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City of New Orleans routing

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jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,912
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario

Tell me if this works. But if it does enjoy the fruits of my labor. On this link is the entire 1952 Official Guide of Railways on an interactive satellite map. If you click on a point on the map it'll tell you the train that stopped at what time, and on what route. Rail lines are color coded by the owning railroad, with the color coming from their paint scheme at the time. Now you can really study the history of what all we have lost.
Now there's several hours of entertainment!
 

Barb Stout

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
564
3. Empire Building: the logic I hear is no air service or nearby expressways to the route it serves. I think part of the other routes have been downgraded or there was no support earlier and the route is stuck, though I remember something about a reroute being offered which would have gone through one of the bigger towns on the route, something to do with Devil's Lake (not the state park in Wisconsin) flooding.
With respect to why Grand Forks, I would guess it's because it's a major population center for ND and the state university is there. If one took a diagonal between Fargo and Minot, there wouldn't be very many population centers. It certainly is not because there aren't expressways as there is an interstate that goes through Grand Forks to Fargo to Sioux Falls, SD and beyond. I would be extremely surprised if it's because there is no air service as it is a "major city" for ND, BUT there was a time when Bismarck, the capital of ND, had only 1 major airline serving it and that was I believe once a day. I think that was in the '80s and/or '90s. So it's possible/probably that Grand Forks was in those same straits. Plus airfare in those days to ND was expensive. I remember flying from Phoenix to Jacksonville FL for $200, but always having to pay $600-800 for a trip from Phoenix to Bismarck.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
709
Location
Oregon Coast
Given that a reroute is not likely either, I think we should push for either a connecting train or thru cars on such a route rather than rerouting the entire train. Amtrak already struggles to compete with driving when it comes to driving time so I'm not eager to add multiple hours to the route when Chicago would still generate significantly more traffic than St. Louis and a thruway connection to STL is already available.

This topic has me wondering how many routes don't take the shortest route between endpoints. Come to think of it, there are at least 8 LD routes that take longer routes than necessary. Below are the ones I can think of along with a faster alternative route.
-California Zephyr (UP across Wyoming)
-Cardinal (LSL Route)
-Coast Starlight (via Central Valley)
-Empire Builder (bypass Grand Forks)
-Silver Meteor (FEC)
-Silver Star (FEC, A-Line through Carolinas)
-Southwest Chief (Southern Transcon via Texas Panhandle)
-Texas Eagle (via KC and OKC)

Many of them take the longer routes in order to serve major cities, such as the CZ, CS, and SS, which makes sense especially considering how few passengers ride end to end. It would be nice if the system was large enough for more of a variety in LD routes, but I don't forsee it in the near future. I don't know how track conditions have changed, but the 1969 schedule for the City of San Francisco was a full 9 hours faster than the current CZ.
Good point! But river flooding may be an issue with a routing through STL.
 

Seaboard92

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Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,768
Location
South Carolina
Bravo Zulu! I can spend hours pouring over your work of art....thanks so much for taking the time to share it with us...👍
You all are very welcome. I enjoyed making this piece of art. One of these days I intend to do the final official guide before Amtrak. I'm going to recharge my batteries first though.

That is great! I was glad to see the Valley & Siletz listed. Not only is it gone, but the terminal city of Valsetz is gone, too.
That was the best part of this little project finding about all of the American ghost towns that have disappeared along with the rails. I can't begin to say how hard parts of the midwest were because there is nothing left of the towns, or the rails. It was almost like guess work at that point. I would always start with making the station points, then I would drag the line afterwards. Basically turning it into an adult color the line puzzle.

Now there's several hours of entertainment!
And to make it was a year and half of entertainment but it was so enjoyable. It is amazing how much we have lost over the years.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
709
Location
Oregon Coast

Tell me if this works. But if it does enjoy the fruits of my labor. On this link is the entire 1952 Official Guide of Railways on an interactive satellite map. If you click on a point on the map it'll tell you the train that stopped at what time, and on what route. Rail lines are color coded by the owning railroad, with the color coming from their paint scheme at the time. Now you can really study the history of what all we have lost.
Simply amazing! Now can you invent a time machine that will take us back to 1952 so we can ride those rails!@#$!!!!! 😃
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,296
-Cardinal: This is due to West Virginia needing service, especially when they had a powerful senator who preserved this train. Originally the gateway for the C&O Route across the West Virginia was Cincinnati, OH and Amtrak didn't want to have an additional hub there. Which in retrospect is a really dumb move on their part because Cincinnati is home to a ton of high potential corridors CIN-CLE, CIN-DET, CIN-CHI, CIN-PGH, and CIN-STL
West Virginia had two very influential Senators serving in Congress at the same time: Robert Byrd and Jennings Randolph. Both Senators represented West Virginia very well with Senator Byrd being the more powerful of the two, I suppose. I recall Senator Randolph as being very supportive of passenger rail. During his service, I recall he was Chairman of the Senate Public Works Committee which, I think, might have dealt with Amtrak issues.

I agree with your assessment of Amtrak not taking advantage of Cincinnati. As a former C&O passenger on a train from Cincinnati to Washington, the stretch of tracks soon after crossing the Ohio River into Kentucky were memorable for how really rough they were. Having dinner soon after leaving Cincinnati, I remember my Dining Car Steward placing a cup of soup in a saucer on the table. Half of that cup of soup immediately splashed out of the small bowl and filled the saucer. The Steward blamed the "rough ride" on the heavy coal trains that used that area. I have long wondered if that was really true.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,404
Location
Palm Beach County
West Virginia had two very influential Senators serving in Congress at the same time: Robert Byrd and Jennings Randolph. Both Senators represented West Virginia very well with Senator Byrd being the more powerful of the two, I suppose. I recall Senator Randolph as being very supportive of passenger rail. During his service, I recall he was Chairman of the Senate Public Works Committee which, I think, might have dealt with Amtrak issues.
If you're going to mention West Virginia US Senators Byrd and Randolph, you might also mention Congressman Harley Staggers...you know of "Harley's Hornet" fame....:)
 

zephyr17

Conductor
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
4,050
Location
Washington State

Tell me if this works. But if it does enjoy the fruits of my labor. On this link is the entire 1952 Official Guide of Railways on an interactive satellite map. If you click on a point on the map it'll tell you the train that stopped at what time, and on what route. Rail lines are color coded by the owning railroad, with the color coming from their paint scheme at the time. Now you can really study the history of what all we have lost.
I am super impressed!
 

toddinde

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
156
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
With respect to why Grand Forks, I would guess it's because it's a major population center for ND and the state university is there. If one took a diagonal between Fargo and Minot, there wouldn't be very many population centers. It certainly is not because there aren't expressways as there is an interstate that goes through Grand Forks to Fargo to Sioux Falls, SD and beyond. I would be extremely surprised if it's because there is no air service as it is a "major city" for ND, BUT there was a time when Bismarck, the capital of ND, had only 1 major airline serving it and that was I believe once a day. I think that was in the '80s and/or '90s. So it's possible/probably that Grand Forks was in those same straits. Plus airfare in those days to ND was expensive. I remember flying from Phoenix to Jacksonville FL for $200, but always having to pay $600-800 for a trip from Phoenix to Bismarck.
That was the original rationale when Amtrak began. Grand Forks is an important stop. As you said, the University of North Dakota is there. When the GN/BN Empire Builder took the shorter route, there were many trains serving Grand Forks (Winnipeg Limited, Red River, Western Star).
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,404
Location
Palm Beach County
That was the original rationale when Amtrak began. Grand Forks is an important stop. As you said, the University of North Dakota is there. When the GN/BN Empire Builder took the shorter route, there were many trains serving Grand Forks (Winnipeg Limited, Red River, Western Star).
Grand Forks is also the closest stop to Winnipeg, since the trains to Winnipeg ended. Might encourage more Winnipeger's to drive over to connect with the EB, than if they had to go further...
 

NativeSon5859

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
984
Location
NOLA

Tell me if this works. But if it does enjoy the fruits of my labor. On this link is the entire 1952 Official Guide of Railways on an interactive satellite map. If you click on a point on the map it'll tell you the train that stopped at what time, and on what route. Rail lines are color coded by the owning railroad, with the color coming from their paint scheme at the time. Now you can really study the history of what all we have lost.
Truly impressive! Thank you so much for sharing!
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,404
Location
Palm Beach County
I had forgotten about Rep. Staggers. There certainly were some "heavyweights" representing West Virginia at that time.
And it showed...think about the Blue Ridge, the Potomac Turbo, the Shenandoah, the Mountaineer, the Hilltopper, the Capitol Ltd, and of course, the Cardinal.
About the only train that crossed a panhandle of WV without stopping, was the National Limited...
 

JayPea

Conductor
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
3,897
Location
Colfax, WA (CFX)

Tell me if this works. But if it does enjoy the fruits of my labor. On this link is the entire 1952 Official Guide of Railways on an interactive satellite map. If you click on a point on the map it'll tell you the train that stopped at what time, and on what route. Rail lines are color coded by the owning railroad, with the color coming from their paint scheme at the time. Now you can really study the history of what all we have lost.

Love this!!!!! In my area (Spokane area) so many of these places aren't even wide spots in the road any more. It's hard to imagine they ever had stations. Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into this!!!!
 

dlagrua

Conductor
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,154
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
Nice project. This only goes to show how low the USA has sunk when it comes to passenger rail. Right in my home town of Neshanic Station there is an abandoned R.O.W. and station building. In speaking with some of the old timers they remember taking that train to Lambertville and riding the PRR along the Delaware river to Phillipsurg where they would pick up the Erie RR to Chicago. In the Southern direction you could pick up the NE Corridor at Trenton. Today all those RR lines are now gone and you can find this all over the country. As time goes on, maybe the need will see some of those lines brought back by Amtrak but I don't see this happening anytime soon.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,768
Location
South Carolina
Thank you again for all the kind comments. It was a bit difficult to find the rail right of ways in places, but for the most part where a railroad has been leaves a scar on the land. So you can trace them with tree growth, and dead grass in a farmers field. It's difficult but it was oh so much fun.
 

basketmaker

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
109
Location
Brighton, CO (DEN but FMG-Preferred)

Tell me if this works. But if it does enjoy the fruits of my labor. On this link is the entire 1952 Official Guide of Railways on an interactive satellite map. If you click on a point on the map it'll tell you the train that stopped at what time, and on what route. Rail lines are color coded by the owning railroad, with the color coming from their paint scheme at the time. Now you can really study the history of what all we have lost.
WOW! Unbelievable! That is impressive. Also love the time period as it is my birth year. And growing up within a mile or so of your "namesake" SCL/SAL, FEC and ACL in Hialeah, FL.

I just discovered that there was a stop about 1/2 mile from my home now on the BNSF Brush Sub at MM 527 at Barr. CO.

I can see how my day is gonna be spent just perusing! Thank You for the amazing work.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,747
Location
Austin Texas
In my Hometown of 5,000 in the 50s, there were 2 Railroad Stations ( Mopac and The Kary), and 6 Passenger Trains( one could ride to San Antonio, Houston,Longview and Ft Worth any make connections to the SP,the T&P, the Santa Fe and NDM ) and about 25 Freights a day came through town.

There were no Overpasses over the Tracks, so for Hours @ a time both sets of tracks were often blocked.( they were 2 blocks apart).

The City passed an ordinance that allowed the PD to write tickets for the RR that blocked Crossings off more than 20 minutes, but they were never Paid and the State Supreme Court ruled the Ordinance Unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
 

siberianmo

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
167
Location
25 miles west of downtown St. Louis, MO
Pardon me if this has been discussed before, but my search came up empty.

Two questions in regard to the City of New Orleans:
1) Why don't they route it through St. Louis? It seems like an awfully big city to miss by about 60 miles.
2) In the alternative, what about a routing like this: Chicago - Indianapolis - Louisville - Nashville - Memphis - New Orleans. Neither Louisville nor Nashville are served by Amtrak, so it would be nice to add these cities to the route network.
I have wondered that very thought about CoNO into StL a few times - then after taking many trips aboard Lincoln Service (StL-Chi) it hit me: one could walk faster than the "speed" of the train between StL Gateway Station and into Granite City, IL. Terrible and truly something modern-day railroading should be embarrassed about. Whenever I traveled aboard CoNO, I began the trip in Chicago as opposed to the "shuttle" to Carbondale; ugh.

Anyway, just my 2-cents on an idea with merit until the practicality gets in the way.
 

siberianmo

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
167
Location
25 miles west of downtown St. Louis, MO
Given that a reroute is not likely either, I think we should push for either a connecting train or thru cars on such a route rather than rerouting the entire train. Amtrak already struggles to compete with driving when it comes to driving time so I'm not eager to add multiple hours to the route when Chicago would still generate significantly more traffic than St. Louis and a thruway connection to STL is already available.

This topic has me wondering how many routes don't take the shortest route between endpoints. Come to think of it, there are at least 8 LD routes that take longer routes than necessary. Below are the ones I can think of along with a faster alternative route.
-California Zephyr (UP across Wyoming)
-Cardinal (LSL Route)
-Coast Starlight (via Central Valley)
-Empire Builder (bypass Grand Forks)
-Silver Meteor (FEC)
-Silver Star (FEC, A-Line through Carolinas)
-Southwest Chief (Southern Transcon via Texas Panhandle)
-Texas Eagle (via KC and OKC)

Many of them take the longer routes in order to serve major cities, such as the CZ, CS, and SS, which makes sense especially considering how few passengers ride end to end. It would be nice if the system was large enough for more of a variety in LD routes, but I don't forsee it in the near future. I don't know how track conditions have changed, but the 1969 schedule for the City of San Francisco was a full 9 hours faster than the current CZ.
Lots to think about with this one . . . I will restrict my 2-cents to CZ and SWC:

When I travel long-distance by train, "faster" has nothing to do with what I am looking for - I savor the moments aboard the trains along with the fantastic scenery aboard the CZ in Colorado and SWC in Northern/Central New Mexico. Changes to those routes would definitely change my bookings.

Having also traveled the other routes mentioned - I remain mute on those whilst enjoying the feedback!
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,416
Location
Chicago, Illinois
Lots to think about with this one . . . I will restrict my 2-cents to CZ and SWC:

When I travel long-distance by train, "faster" has nothing to do with what I am looking for - I savor the moments aboard the trains along with the fantastic scenery aboard the CZ in Colorado and SWC in Northern/Central New Mexico. Changes to those routes would definitely change my bookings.

Having also traveled the other routes mentioned - I remain mute on those whilst enjoying the feedback!
Again, I'm not advocating changing the routes of those trains. In fact, the fastest routings for the CZ and SWC would bypass Denver and Albuquerque, which would also drastically limit their use for transportation. Personally, I also ride trains for the scenery and experience. However, most passengers are riding to get somewhere and it's much easier to argue for the government funding a transportation service rather than a subsidized vacation. Even in my case, I usually want to spend some time at my destination and am limited in time off, so faster trains or even more importantly more frequencies would allow me to travel more frequently.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,841
Lots to think about with this one . . . I will restrict my 2-cents to CZ and SWC:

When I travel long-distance by train, "faster" has nothing to do with what I am looking for - I savor the moments aboard the trains along with the fantastic scenery aboard the CZ in Colorado and SWC in Northern/Central New Mexico. Changes to those routes would definitely change my bookings.

Having also traveled the other routes mentioned - I remain mute on those whilst enjoying the feedback!
Within reason though... the zephyr continues to move at mainline speeds the entire journey. Trains like the Canadian with several hours of layovers in Winnipeg and Jasper are too much of an extreme in my book.
 

siberianmo

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
167
Location
25 miles west of downtown St. Louis, MO
Within reason though... the zephyr continues to move at mainline speeds the entire journey. Trains like the Canadian with several hours of layovers in Winnipeg and Jasper are too much of an extreme in my book.
My travels aboard the Canadian were before the ridiculous and unreasonable long layovers in Winnipeg. Jasper for refueling, etc. was tolerable - always enjoyed the town.

Cheers!
 
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