Missouri River Runner and its funding challenges

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crescent-zephyr

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I am tired of this auguring of LD vs. shorter distances. It is another way to Balkanize the USA.

It’s not hostility toward any state or region. It’s Amtrak focusing limited money and resources to connecting the nation by rail with long distance passenger trains.

If states want Amtrak to mange and operate their local / regional operations, than Amtrak can provide that for a fee.
 

tgstubbs1

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Mar 3, 2020
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One type of train that the laws complicate is the short connecting run for a long-distance service. Thus, a Colorado Springs section of Trains 3 and 4 is legal, but a connecting LAJ<>COS train without state funding is not

This is too bad. It seems trains that connect LD routes should be encouraged.

The Missouri trains connect the SWC to the TE. That gives riders more potential to get where they're going.
 

rs9

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como

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I'm feeling very, very gutted still about my favorite passenger train, and not terribly optimistic at the moment. I just wish there was more I could do, but the chaos within the Missouri legislature is only escalating and making funding a train look even more insignificant in comparison. I don't have very high hopes for the 2035 vision unless PRIIA is heavily revised or repealed.
For AU members not from Missouri, the attached article describes the main reason why the Missouri legislature will not get around to voting on funding for the Missouri River Runners (as well as education funding, approving matching funds for many federal programs, etc.). Tempers fray as Missouri Senate Republicans fight over Congressional map • Missouri Independent
 

neroden

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According to the Congressional Research Service, Amtrak load factors for 2019 were:

- NEC: 59%
- LD: 58%
- State: 41%.

Amtrak has only offered such data since 2017. The numbers were consistent for all three years, though growing slightly.

Source: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R45942/
Exactly. Please note that 58%-59% is very high loading, and generally means that the train is actually full at some point along the route.

If the train is full between Albany and Poughkeepsie, you can't sell a NY-Buffalo ticket. If it's full between Toledo and Cleveland, you can't sell a Cleveland-Chicago ticket or a Toledo-NYC ticket.

The train becomes full and starts making many trips unsaleable long before it has 100% load factor (which is almost unachievable except on the Auto Train with its total of two stations).
 

Barb Stout

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I wanted to see what prices and points were like this summer on the Southwest Chief, so I entered several different dates including Aug. 17 to go from ABQ to Chicago which I have traveled several times. For the first time I saw an option of changing trains in Kansas City from the SWC to the 318 Lincoln Service Missouri River Runner. I have never seen that option before. Is this a new schedule for that train that makes this now show up as a possibility? Roomettes were less expensive taking this transfer than staying on the SWC. Of course, one arrives in Chicago about 6 hours later, but that would be worth the $200 difference to me.
 

jis

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Roomettes were less expensive taking this transfer than staying on the SWC. Of course, one arrives in Chicago about 6 hours later, but that would be worth the $200 difference to me.
Of course Roomettes would be cheaper by the Missouri River Runner since you won't have any Roomette between Kansas City and Chicago on the Runner. At most you will have a Business Class seat.
 

Barb Stout

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Of course Roomettes would be cheaper by the Missouri River Runner since you won't have any Roomette between Kansas City and Chicago on the Runner. At most you will have a Business Class seat.
Ah, I see. I didn't know. Given that the travel from Kansas City to Chicago is during the day, it would still be worth it to me.
 

joelkfla

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Ah, I see. I didn't know. Given that the travel from Kansas City to Chicago is during the day, it would still be worth it to me.
I tried it and saw just about $140 difference. But using multi-city booking, you can book a Roomette ABQ to KCY, and stay on the SWC but switch to coach in KCY, you'll get a fare that's about $35 cheaper than switching trains.
 
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I tried it and saw just about $140 difference. But using multi-city booking, you can book a Roomette ABQ to STL, and stay on the SWC but switch to coach in STL, you'll get a fare that's about $35 cheaper than switching trains.
How can you book a roomette from Albuquerque to Saint Louis? The Chief doesn't go anywhere near St. Louis. There is a sleeper on the Texas Eagle between Saint Louis and Chicago, but I don't think the schedules work out unless you spend a night in St. Louis.

It's either a sleeper all the way to Chicago on the Chief, or a sleeper on the Chief to Kansas City, and a choice of coach or business class on the River Runner/Lincoln service from there to Chicago.

Another thing to consider is that if one is in a sleeper, one gets full traditional meal service all the way into Chicago, breakfast, and lunch(?), whereas if one takes the River Runner/Lincoln Service, one has the joy of Amcafe fare or whatever provisions one can find in or near Kansas City Union Station during the layover.
 

joelkfla

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How can you book a roomette from Albuquerque to Saint Louis? The Chief doesn't go anywhere near St. Louis. There is a sleeper on the Texas Eagle between Saint Louis and Chicago, but I don't think the schedules work out unless you spend a night in St. Louis.

It's either a sleeper all the way to Chicago on the Chief, or a sleeper on the Chief to Kansas City, and a choice of coach or business class on the River Runner/Lincoln service from there to Chicago.

Another thing to consider is that if one is in a sleeper, one gets full traditional meal service all the way into Chicago, breakfast, and lunch(?), whereas if one takes the River Runner/Lincoln Service, one has the joy of Amcafe fare or whatever provisions one can find in or near Kansas City Union Station during the layover.
Sorry, I meant Kansas City but typed St. Louis.
 
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