Daily Sunset Limited Campaign

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SanAntonioClyde

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Messages
196
Progress is being made in gaining support from various Texas cities served by the Sunset.  Since September 2018 we have gathered supporting resolutions from Jefferson Cty Judge (Beaumont), Mayor of Houston, San Antonio City council, Del Rio Mayor and county judge, Del Rio

chamber of Commerce, Terrell Cty Judge (Sanderson) and Alpine city council.  Mayor of Tucson has also supplied a supporting letter.  Now in process of backfilling to see addition support can be gathered.
 

Pere Flyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
421
Strong signs of political support. A daily Sunset’s four key words are equipment, equipment, and Union Pacific.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,764
Think you can get Maricopa, Phoenix, or... I know it's a long shot... New Orleans?
 

SanAntonioClyde

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Messages
196
This Texan always welcome all the Yankee support he can get.  To answer both of you I would ask that when you speak to to your elected congressional representatives and Amtrak you stress the importance of having a true national rail system with reliable connectivity.  If you have had personal experiences traveling on the Sunset please let tell your story.
 

SanAntonioClyde

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Messages
196
We have received additional supporting resolutions and letters from all seven communities served by the Sunset Limited plus numerous surrounding areas; 100%+!

Now we enter phase 2 to push for funding to provide track capacity on UP line for increased passenger service.
 

Pere Flyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
421
We have received additional supporting resolutions and letters from all seven communities served by the Sunset Limited plus numerous surrounding areas; 100%+!

Now we enter phase 2 to push for funding to provide track capacity on UP line for increased passenger service.
Thanks for the update. Keep on fighting the good fight. Following this thread closely.
 

Willbridge

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
327
I read this string and then read Alon Levy's blog and a sentence jumped out at me:
"...as high frequency is useful on short trips and encourages higher ridership."

In working on Amtrak issues on other routes, I've often wondered how much of the Sunset poor performance is caused by having inherited less-than-daily operation from the SP. Over the years I've found the following useful (and even profitable at times): The convenience of a headway is determined by the length in time of the prospective passenger's trip. It's why we might wait 23 hours and 59 minutes for the one Lufthansa Denver - Frankfurt flight, but walk up a couple of flights of stairs when an elevator does not come right away. That rule of thumb suggests that only a New Orleans <> Los Angeles trip is convenient on a tri-weekly schedule.

When some of us were working on the mandated PRIIA studies of two other of the three transcon lines, I think we all were sure that the Sunset Route and/or Texas Eagle in one of various combinations was the most likely to advance for negotiations with the UP (needed to get toward reality in terms of their actual needs and Amtrak's actual needs). Keep at it.
 

Pere Flyer

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
421
@Willbridge, thanks for bringing Mr. Levy’s ideas to this forum. I too read his blog, and consider it gospel for any advocates or workers involved in urbanism, transportation/city planning, and climate activism.
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,284
Now we enter phase 2 to push for funding to provide track capacity on UP line for increased passenger service.
I realize you're only doing what you feel is absolutely necessary to get the job done, and I fully support your tireless efforts in that regard, but has Union Pacific ever provided any meaningful evidence that a daily Sunset will create a substantial and materially relevant impact to their other operations? Going from tri-weekly to daily might actually be something of a normalizing move that ends up with a net neutral impact.
 
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Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
19,457
Honestly I'm with the Eagle being the Daily CHI-LAX Train with a Daily Stub SAS-NOL-SAS Train as has been the Amtrak plan for several years!( Getting UP to agree has been the Fly in the Ointment!)
 
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SanAntonioClyde

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 22, 2012
Messages
196
You have to respect UP's right to protect their investment. the cost to bring on additional passenger at the expense of line capacity should be examined and negotiated.
 

toddinde

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
99
I don’t respect UP at all in this regard. These railroads were built with land grants, and Amtrak was created to relieve the railroads of the obligation they had to provide that service creating a windfall for railroads like the UP and SP. UP has a legal obligation to allow Amtrak access. That’s the law. I am all in favor of funding the upgrades they need, but if they stonewall, I would be all about eminent domain.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,652
I don’t respect UP at all in this regard. These railroads were built with land grants, and Amtrak was created to relieve the railroads of the obligation they had to provide that service creating a windfall for railroads like the UP and SP. UP has a legal obligation to allow Amtrak access. That’s the law. I am all in favor of funding the upgrades they need, but if they stonewall, I would be all about eminent domain.
Where is the money going to come from for exercising Eminent Domain? You cannot just seize property without paying for it you know? Maybe in China. But not in the US or several other countries that have Eminent Domain laws based on British common law or equivalent. Can't even do it in India for example.
 
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Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,284
Where is the money going to come from for exercising Eminent Domain? You cannot just seize property without paying for it you know? Maybe in China. But not in the US or several other countries that have Eminent Domain laws based on British common law or equivalent. Can't even do it in India for example.
The power of the state vastly exceeds the will to use it. A determined government could revoke UP's corporate charter, break it up into a dozen smaller railroads, and nationalize ownership of the Sunset Route if it so chose. If UP still wants to charge absurd money to make a single one time schedule change, then perhaps our rail regulators should establish absurd fines for refusing to negotiate in good faith and pay the bridge troll with his own money.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,652
Wake me up when you come across such a determined government in the US. The primary problem in the US is the anti-rail bias in the power structure of the US. Every other problem will start getting resolved if that one factor can be changed by even a smidgen.
 

toddinde

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
99
Read Fred Frailey’s column in this month’s Trains Magazine. Railroads haul about 17% of the freight in America, roughly the same as waterways. The railroads are cutting physical infrastructure and carrying ever diminishing amounts of freight. We have the right to demand that our railways serve the interests of society and the public. This is particularly the case with climate change and the need to move people and goods more efficiently. When the railroads didn’t serve the public interest in the past, they were regulated. The same can happen again. The political winds of change are blowing.
 

toddinde

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
99
Where is the money going to come from for exercising Eminent Domain? You cannot just seize property without paying for it you know? Maybe in China. But not in the US or several other countries that have Eminent Domain laws based on British common law or equivalent. Can't even do it in India for example.
I’m a lawyer, and yes, I know all about eminent domain. It does not need to be a full taking, but a partial taking. But again, the law allows Amtrak access, and running a daily train is not a big ask.
 

toddinde

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
99
I realize you're only doing what you feel is absolutely necessary to get the job done, and I fully support your tireless efforts in that regard, but has Union Pacific ever provided any meaningful evidence that a daily Sunset will create a substantial and materially relevant impact to their other operations? Going from tri-weekly to daily might actually be something of a normalizing move that ends up with a net neutral impact.
Just logic would dictate that a daily train has almost no additional impact over a Tri weekly train. As you said, it normalizes it’s presence.
 

toddinde

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
99
Comtac
Think you can get Maricopa, Phoenix, or... I know it's a long shot... New Orleans?[/QUOTE

Contact AllAboard Arizona. The fall meeting is in Tucson in December. Let’s see if we can get them to make this a priority.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,764
Wake me up when you come across such a determined government in the US. The primary problem in the US is the anti-rail bias in the power structure of the US. Every other problem will start getting resolved if that one factor can be changed by even a smidgen.
This is true; rail freight gets damaged by the anti rail political bias as well as passenger rail.

The harbinger of the future, IMNSHO, is Massachusetts, which will probably own all the track in the state soon, with a policy of promoting train use over trucks and cars. But it will be a while before other states follow, and Arizona and Texas are very far away.
 
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