Lead Service Attendant
- Mar 30, 2019
Years ago when I collaborated with Amtrak on setting up the Pioneer there were people who wanted to revive the City of Portland. When we looked into that, besides having huge train-mile costs, it assumed very long intermediate trip lengths. The CZ route along with running the SEA>PDX>BOI train via SLC has a lot of intermediates that are strong, such as Denver>Lincoln and Denver>Glenwood Springs. Check the RPA statistic sheets for more info.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.
One of the peculiarities that Amtrak management Back East has rarely understood is that in the West there are a lot of people who ride for transportation AND for the scenery. The CZ and SWC and EB all fit that description, as do some of the California and Cascades Corridor trains. I began to think more about this after riding the re-allocated Superliners of the Capitol Limited and seeing attractive scenery out of the lounge windows, while the uninterested passengers played cards, drank cheap beer and enjoyed conversation.