Hypothetically could a state simply ditch Amtrak and contract out state supported routes to a private company? If I understand it right California is basiclly planning to do this and have DeutschBahn run its HSR instead of Amtrak.
According to the attached DoT slides from 2017 and an OIG Report from 2010, yes they do. Amtrak pays "incremental costs" instead of a "market rate" for access.Is there any evidence that Amtrak still enjoys the kind of mandatory access that leads to below-market trackage fees? To the best of my understanding whatever Amtrak pays today is negotiated on even terms. In theory if a freight railroad tried charging impossible prices it might create a regulatory enforcement problem, but to the best of my knowledge that threat has not been levied or acted upon in many years.
There seem to be some wiggle words of unknown significance mixed in with those statements. For me the realization that UP was able to levy a multi-hundred-million price tag for a one-time schedule change to the Sunset Limited put Amtrak's access in a completely different perspective. The usual response is that it wasn't a serious figure, but that's kind of the point, and the schedule never did change afterward.According to the attached DoT slides from 2017 and an OIG Report from 2010, yes they do. Amtrak pays "incremental costs" instead of a "market rate" for access.
Kind of, and no (at least not that I’m aware of).Didn't Indiana contract with Iowa Pacific for the Chicago-Indianapolis train, and didn't New York State contract with a freight RR for the Adirondack years ago?
Saratoga to North Creek. I rode it during the brief period that it ran. It was OK. At least it had one of the ex-Santa Fe domes.Iowa Pacific at one point owned a shortline that ran from Saratoga Springs to somewhere else, and tried to run a passenger train that connected with the Adirondack and/or Ethan Allen. It ended as you would expect an Ed Ellis venture to. It's possible TheCrescent was thinking of that.
The CP operation was discontinued on A Day. Actually there were two trains run by D&H/CP that were discontinued, a day train and a night train. The day train was the Laurentian.I have a vague recollection of the Adirondack being operated by CP (D&H) for Amtrak for longer than some other routes, from its start in 1974. There was some issue that made this necessary, but once completely handed over it was the first train they ran into Canada without a crew change. Even the Montrealer had a crew change at the border, as of course did other Amtrak services (International, Maple Leaf) until the Cascades.
Massachusetts had a rather large fight with CSX over buying all the tracks they use for MBTA service (and all the ones they wanted for future MBTA service); Massachusetts won. It's a template worth following.In my experience trackage access for LD trains is a different kettle of fish from trackage access for a regional system, For the latter usually the interested state has often got considerable leverage over the private line and can often strike a reasonably equitable deal, examples being Caltrans and UP, or VDOT and CSX. NCDOT had even more leverage with NS, while we have seen NYSDOT strike a good deal with CSX, and most surprisingly Florida DOT work with CSX. But as I said an LD train traveling through multiple states is a different kettle of fish, specially if all the states on the route do not want to gang up on the railroad.
Rolling stock and motive power can be leased, maintenance can be contracted, and onboard services are vanishing on Amtrak anyway. You'll need access and signage for each platform, but depending on the layout that could come from the rail access contract rather than the station owner.So for a state to switch operators it would need
1) Its own equipment.
2) Control over the stations.
3) Be willing to build its own maintenance facilities.
4) Probably pay more for track access.
5) Possibly lose some onboard services.