East of Mississippi Long Distance (LD) trains 2024

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They are bringing back 5 Sightseer Lounge Cars but they didn’t say which route was getting them. I have to think it’s the Capitol Limited or the Texas Eagle or both.

I read somewhere Texas Eagle gets SSL this summer or fall. That means 4 cars + a spare.

At some point, Capitol Ltd needs to go back to low level, even at the expense of converting the Cardinal back to Superliner, or make one or the other a hybrid train with Viewliner sleeper ahead of the Superliner trans-dorm. Cardinal only lost them 20 years ago because CSX wrecked an Autotrain and they were short Superliners.
 
I read somewhere Texas Eagle gets SSL this summer or fall. That means 4 cars + a spare.

At some point, Capitol Ltd needs to go back to low level, even at the expense of converting the Cardinal back to Superliner, or make one or the other a hybrid train with Viewliner sleeper ahead of the Superliner trans-dorm. Cardinal only lost them 20 years ago because CSX wrecked an Autotrain and they were short Superliners.
Thanks for the info
 
I read somewhere Texas Eagle gets SSL this summer or fall. That means 4 cars + a spare.

At some point, Capitol Ltd needs to go back to low level, even at the expense of converting the Cardinal back to Superliner, or make one or the other a hybrid train with Viewliner sleeper ahead of the Superliner trans-dorm. Cardinal only lost them 20 years ago because CSX wrecked an Autotrain and they were short Superliners.
Why take away one-seat service between NYP and points on the Cardinal route?
 
I read somewhere Texas Eagle gets SSL this summer or fall. That means 4 cars + a spare.

At some point, Capitol Ltd needs to go back to low level, even at the expense of converting the Cardinal back to Superliner, or make one or the other a hybrid train with Viewliner sleeper ahead of the Superliner trans-dorm. Cardinal only lost them 20 years ago because CSX wrecked an Autotrain and they were short Superliners.
Amtrak apparently does have a back burner plan to convert the Cap into a single level train. But before they can go there they will need to bring many more single level cars out of Mothballs, so I suspect this cannot happen before late CY2025.
 
Why take away one-seat service between NYP and points on the Cardinal route?

Because Cardinal ridership east of Washington is very nominal and not a relevant means of transportation between the NEC and Chicago. There are more Regional trains to Charlottesville nowadays. Also, no eventual daily Cardinal. A 3rd set of equipment can't be turned back in 8 hours (at most) overnight in Sunnyside, the train's home base. The Palmetto and Pennsylvanaian often swap to even out layover times and the consists are identical. No other train in Sunnyside looks like the Cardinal's.

Capitol Ltd can be extended to New York, and for anyone between New York-Philly (and likely Paoli via SEPTA) and Alliance-Chicago, the Pittsburgh transfer nonsense is eliminated and they can start clawing back the Broadway Ltd market. That's more important than the Cardinal running in the NEC. 3 sets of equipment can still easily handle it.
 
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Because Cardinal ridership east of Washington is very nominal and not a relevant means of transportation between the NEC and Chicago. There are more Regional trains to Charlottesville nowadays. Also, no eventual daily Cardinal. A 3rd set of equipment can't be turned back in 8 hours (at most) overnight in Sunnyside, the train's home base. The Palmetto and Pennsylvanaian often swap to even out layover times and the consists are identical. No other train in Sunnyside looks like the Cardinal's.

Capitol Ltd can be extended to New York, and for anyone between New York-Philly (and likely Paoli via SEPTA) and Alliance-Chicago, the Pittsburgh transfer nonsense is eliminated and they can start clawing back the Broadway Ltd market. That's more important than the Cardinal running in the NEC. 3 sets of equipment can still easily handle it.
Actually, I believe that the only way they can do a daily service on the Cardinal reliably using three consists is if they turn it at WAS irrespective of whether they use single level or Superliner equipment.

And if they must turn it in WAS they might as well enable the Cap to run to NYP by converting it to single level. It can do daily service using three consists like it does now, and as you point out, start serving some significant markets while at it, with somewhat better equipment utilization to boot.
 
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Now you’re talkin’!
Bring back The Broadway, and split/join Washington section at Pittsburgh. All single level…🙂
That will require some significant track work in Pittsburgh though before it can be done.
 
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Although would prefer Superliners on the Capitol the use of single level cars does have some advantages. One coach and 1 sleeper could connect with a Silver train. One less coach and sleeper on a silver north of WASH should not effect ridership. That should only require one more sleeper and coach to cover a single level capitol route. Now to make it much more interesting suppose also a coach and sleeper connected to the Crescent at WASH. Same deal of needing 1 more of each car.

Then with a daily Cardinal Amtrak can connect directly to the Crescent at Charlottesville and run a thruway from there to Richmond for Indy / Cincinnati east to Florida. Of course VA DOT does have plans for a train from CVS to RVR but long into the future.

This is probably a quicker way to get a start of train service of Midwest to Carolinas, Florida. Georgia, Alabama, MS, LA. "IF" The FRA plans to Florida thru ATL ever gets implemented then these kinds of connections "might" not be needed.
 
They need to add the switch at the west end of the depot that they ripped out. With a little thought, they can do without, but they won't.

The FRA fantasy maps seem to be about new routes, not much about thru cars on existing routes. The Airo train sets won't permit this and they have thrown up a fire wall between Corridor and LD trains with fixed train sets that won't be compatible.
 
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That will require some significant track work in Pittsburgh though before it can be done.
Why is that? To add a switch at the west end of the station?
Even with the switch only at the east end, it could be done…
 
Although would prefer Superliners on the Capitol the use of single level cars does have some advantages. One coach and 1 sleeper could connect with a Silver train. One less coach and sleeper on a silver north of WASH should not effect ridership. That should only require one more sleeper and coach to cover a single level capitol route. Now to make it much more interesting suppose also a coach and sleeper connected to the Crescent at WASH. Same deal of needing 1 more of each car.
Support

However let’s not switch in a coach. Stick to the sleepers. Make the yard switchers work easier. Makes the OBS and Conductors life easier too.

Big issue is make the connection. Ever time.

If we’re going to get crazy how about a sleeper from Boston, Buffalo, Vermont.

The whole convert the CL to single level should of been done years ago.
 
Why is that? To add a switch at the west end of the station?
Even with the switch only at the east end, it could be done…
But they have said that they will not do it without the switch and I think it is a waste of time arguing that point with them.
 
To this Indianapolis native who took the "South Wind" as a kid and teenager, a Chicago-Florida train with one night out would be a winner. A lot of work to be done, to be sure, but the routing should be CHI-IND-LOU-NAS-ATL-JAX. CHI-ATL "DAY" AND ATL-JAX" overnight.
 
To this Indianapolis native who took the "South Wind" as a kid and teenager, a Chicago-Florida train with one night out would be a winner. A lot of work to be done, to be sure, but the routing should be CHI-IND-LOU-NAS-ATL-JAX. CHI-ATL "DAY" AND ATL-JAX" overnight.

If the northbound Crescent left ATL earlier there could be a connection with the 2 trains at a new ATL station. + if the DFW - Meridian is combined with the Crescent that will give a connecting service from Texas & east to Florida.
 
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Will the $200m Pennsylvania is kicking in for the start of the 2nd Pittsburgh train include anyone of this?
Here is the PennDOT web page on Keystone West Project.

https://advancingparail.com/projects/keystone-west/

It does mention two items related to Pittsburgh station tracks realignment which might have a crossover installation hidden in it: Here is the list of projects that are mentioned in the article:,

The proposed set of infrastructure projects includes: (*denotes Early Action)
  • Harrisburg new main line and interlocking configuration improvements
  • Enola new main line and interlocking configuration improvements*
  • Lemoyne Connector Track to Enola Yard*
  • Camp Hill Connector Track upgrades*
  • Mifflin interlocking upgrades
  • Hawstone interlocking upgrades
  • Altoona new main line and interlocking configuration improvements
  • Johnstown (east) interlocking upgrades
  • Johnstown (west) new interlocking*
  • Pittsburgh interlocking upgrades
  • Pittsburgh Station new main line
 
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