Interest artcile in the washington post web site

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AlanB

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Viewliner said:
The only good thing so far is that Amtrak will no longer be forced to cut routes. Click here for an article about that.
No, Amtrak is still being forced to cut LD routes. The only difference is that instead of the House saying cut these specific routes, they chickened out and won't say which routes should go. They instead put a cap on how much money from the appropriation Amtrak can spend on LD trains. 150M is not enough to support the entire LD network, Amtrak needs more than that.

This means that if Amtrak follows the mandate, that they will have to pick which trains to cut. This gives the politician an out, since he/she can now point the finger at Amtrak for cutting a route through their state, instead of Congress choosing which routes get cut. They are hoping that the voters of their districts won't see through the farce.

Also remember that David Gunn has said he won't cut any LD routes, unless Congress specifically tells him which routes to cut. He won't make that decision for them. Instead he will just close down all of Amtrak and let the fools in the House explain to this country why they killed Amtrak by giving it less than 1.2B.
 

Viewliner

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Yes, after all, thats what he threatened in July, and definitely would not be afraid to do. Hopefully he won't have to do that, at least till after March (selfish reason :) ) How long would the LD money last till?
 

AlanB

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Viewliner said:
How long would the LD money last till?
Probably no more than 4 to 5 months max. David may also just decide not to play ball and pull the plug even sooner. So unless the states step up to the plate or Congress wakes up........ :(
 

GWR

Train Attendant
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Aug 25, 2002
Messages
40
Well I know LD routes are under threat. The problem is even if Amtrak got the money for the routes. They still have the same old problem with the tracks. The Only way they could solve this problem is to upgrade the track in such a way the Trains can get a reasonable speed 125 m.p.h or faster.

I believe most track speed can be anything from 10 m.p.h to 70 m.p.h.

In the trains went faster more people will go on them.

I know you Amtrak might never be able to take on the airline industry with these routes but you can have a try with certain route.

I believe a good route would be the routes in the south. You should make Atlanta a Hub where all the train and arrive and depart. This mean you could have a High speed train starting in New York and ending in Atlanta.

When people Arrive in Atlanta They have a choice of Train going to Atlanta Chicago, LA via Houston, New Orleans, St. Louis, Cincinnati-New Orleans on the through trains.

If anyone is interest about other passenger routes I found a list.

http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Arti...01/138fddcg.asp

Guy
 

Miami Joe

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Aug 22, 2002
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Miami,Fla
Gunn sent out his employee advisory today about the House.

In the normal course of business, both bills will go to their respective chambers for approval, then to a conference commitee comprised of members from both houses, who will be responsible for ironing out the differences. It appears unlikely that this will occur before Oct. 11, when Congress takes a recess.

It is expected that a Continuing Resolution will be passed to avoid a shutdown in October. It is not known how long this will be in place or for how much, but the Bush boys indicated they would support the Resolution at a level necessary to avoid a shutdown until the final appropriations are set.

Amtrak will also finish the fiscal year with a modest amount of cash, barring no emergencies!!

He also said that next years budget will have new priorities.

First, more money is going to infrastructure and equipment repairs. Mechanical's goal is to put at least 22 cars back in revenue by 09/30/03.

Second,express will be phased out.

Third, over the next 2 years, Amtrak will ask the states to make up the difference ( the operating loss) on partnership services.

B)
 

Allen Dee

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Sep 16, 2002
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Santa Barbara, CA
Miami Joe said:
He also said that next years budget will have new priorities.
First, more money is going to infrastructure and equipment repairs. Mechanical's goal is to put at least 22 cars back in revenue by 09/30/03.

Second,express will be phased out.

Third, over the next 2 years, Amtrak will ask the states to make up the difference ( the operating loss) on partnership services.

B)
Placing 22 cars back into revenue service translates to the potential for more trains. The proposal from congress to eliminate "unprofitable" trains is absurd; virtually no passenger trains anywhere in the world operate at a profit. We don't need fewer trains, we need more trains.

Gunn's decision to elimate express service is right on. Even if this service was profitable, the delays to the passengers -- the real reason for these trains -- are contributing to the large numbers of "never again" passengers.

Finally, if every state in the country supported Amtrak as proportionally as has the state of California, Amtrak wouldn't even be in the mess they now are.
 

tp49

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Aug 23, 2002
Messages
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I do not forsee states increasing funding for anything right now. Many of the largest states are dealing with huge budget deficits (namely California and New York) and with the threats of program and service cuts the states will most likely not increase any funding for Amtrak services. California will probably keep the funding level for this FY the same as last year. As much as I would love to see a couple of extra San Jose/Sacramento round trips to alleviate crowding on the last weekday NB of the day I'm not holding my breath for this year.
 

JongSuk

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 25, 2002
Messages
16
Maybe they should not completely eliminate the express service. They could have it for only express thats going from the train's start point to it's end point(get rid of cars that have to be couple /uncouple en route). Or maybe it the express service needs to be reorganized.
 

Amtrak Watcher

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Oct 1, 2002
Messages
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Texas
The Washington Post article was yet another disappointment. Most of our representatives are smart, well educated, and genuinely concerned about public matters. This observation makes it even harder for me to understand where the opinions reflected in the Washington Post article come from. It looks like it’s a combination of the regional and model nature of how transportation is funded in the U.S. mixed up with a lingering theory that passenger rail can be profitable. Neither makes any sense.

Passenger rail could have been profitable 100 years (or even 50 years) ago, but not today. Today passenger rail funding should be considered in the light of modern things like avoiding road congestion, saving money on highway construction, and strategic interests such as avoiding dependence on air travel. Its all very depressing to me that so many smart and caring people in congress just don’t get it. Every single industrialized country in the world (and many pre-industrialized ones) has a national commitment to passenger rail service based entirely on these kinds of strategic matters – not on seeking a profitable enterprise. The U.S. is completely outside the world mode. I don’t understand it.
 
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