New Amtrak Proposed Routes Map has Dropped

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ShiningTimeStL

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There is no way the airline lobby will let that happen. Remember when Southwest killed the Texas Bullet Train?

I believe United actually tried something like that with Amtrak connecting with Newark, but it didn't work out.
Killed it? It doesn't seem very dead to me. It' still moving. Maybe we should poke it with a stick and make sure.
 
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jiml

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AA codeshared with DB in Germany for years - maybe still do on some routes. They now serve a lot more airports in Germany than they used to, but it was routine to fly to FRA, board a DB train at the airport station and continue to Berlin, Munich, etc. - all on an AA ticket.
 

Willbridge

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The code-share idea has been around for a while and of course there are problems with implementing it, as with any good idea. In 1986 when Western had pulled its hub out of Stapleton it made a media splash about the move to SLC. The third paragraph down in the attached letter refers to the idea of code-sharing between Amtrak and Western at SLC. You can see how things like this depend on the right people being able to stay involved. Both of the people mentioned here were soon caught up with other projects.
 

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Seaboard92

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I'm not referring to Texas Central. I'm referring to the Texas TGV plan from the 80s.
I believe they are actually supporting Texas Central because they want to exit the Texas Domestic Market (Let's face it Texas is larger than some countries) because they want the slots in Dallas and Houston to go towards more profitable destinations.
 

RovinMoses

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Alaska Airlines used to have a partnership with Amtrak, but I don't remember the details. I do remember that you could use Alaska Miles to fly to California from PDX and take the train with roomette home. It was actually a very good deal and we used it once.
 

bms

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A codeshare agreement could definitely make business sense for an airline. Airlines could use trains that they don't even have to operate to bring a lot of passengers to their hub. However, I don't think airlines would enter into such an agreement. They have an oligopoly right now and don't want people to consider trains as an alternative.
 
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Exvalley

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A codeshare agreement could definitely make business sense for an airline. Airlines could use trains that they don't even have to operate to bring a lot of passengers to their hub. However, I don't think airlines would enter into such an agreement. They have an oligopoly right now and don't want people to consider trains as an alternative.
I recall many, many years ago that United Airlines and Amtrak had a partnership. You would fly one way and take the train the other way. Not quite the same, but it at least showed that a relationship can happen.
 

Ryan

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While one can certainly do that without a partnership, the real meat of it was a handful of NEC stations were given the ability to book a single combined train/plane reservation. Fly to/from EWR, complete your journey on the train. There's a very good writeup on it in this Flyertalk thread. The relationship also offered recripricol earning and lounge access, but it's all over now.
 

jis

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One serious problem with that code share was that it was more often than not easy to get the same journey booked as two separate segments one with United and the other with Amtrak, for a much cheaper overall fare. That was not exactly the best way to make the code share thrive. 🤷‍♂️
 

plane2train

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One serious problem with that code share was that it was more often than not easy to get the same journey booked as two separate segments one with United and the other with Amtrak, for a much cheaper overall fare. That was not exactly the best way to make the code share thrive. 🤷‍♂️
I agree. The age-old problem is the perceived value of an air ticket vs a rail ticket. People are willing to pay more to fly, and the way that airfares are constructed, each O&D pair is priced differently and the connecting city or means of transportation is ignored. If you add a rail segment to an itinerary, you all of a sudden have people breaking connections because value tickets as well as air tickets to EWR are priced so cheaply. It would be impossible to control for this given strict fare rules in filed air fares, the lack of availability information from Arrow and the fixed passthrough rates in airline partner agreements.
 

fredmcain

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I honestly think we should approach regional rail and airline travel as a codeshare. United codeshares flights around the world I can buy a ticket to Moscow from United and it's on Lufthansa from Germany on but it's still a United Ticket. Honestly what I think would make a lot of sense is to eliminate some of these short inefficient EAS Flights that make no sense and pass it over to rail.
Codeshare? Codeshare? This subject sparked quite a few responses and ideas. However, it has little to do with any possible Amtrak expansion and less still with the map.

Shouldn't we have started a new thread for this?
 

Seaboard92

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Codeshare? Codeshare? This subject sparked quite a few responses and ideas. However, it has little to do with any possible Amtrak expansion and less still with the map.

Shouldn't we have started a new thread for this?
I really annoyed some regional flight attendants recently when they were discussing it and I advocated ending regional flights where trains are more competitive.

By codeshare I mean something where the Train gets a flight number from the airline reservation and is ticketed by the airline. The airlines benefit because they can cancel the unprofitable regional flights while still keeping the connectivity that they offer. Even if the airlines would fund the trains it would still end up being cheaper than running flights. Gate Fees, and slots in busy airports are expensive and all of these short 90 mile-200 mile trips end up costing a lot more than they bring in because no one is flying from Columbia, SC to Charlotte, NC. Not when its an hour and a half drive. But the flights run because at Charlotte they connect on to outward points.

If I was American I would rather keep as many of those landing slots for more profitable intercon and transcon flights than a puddle jumper from every point in the south under the sun. Just with a small Piedmont expansion you could effectively acquire 30-40 slots at Charlotte between RDU, GSO, GSP, and CAE flights arriving/departing.

The airline who really has a lot to gain from a regional rail standpoint is Delta. From their Atlanta hub the train even today on unupgraded tracks you could easily eliminate flights to Chattanooga, Columbus, Greenville, Augusta, Valdosta, Birmingham, and Montgomery. Delta being as busy as a hub as it is those slots could be better allocated than they already are. Trains have less staffing required, more fuel efficient, and the ability to add intermediate places to the airline network without needing an airport.
 

Michigan Mom

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The point is, if people in the large metropolitan areas have to drive long distances to get to their airports, then why shouldn't people in smaller towns?
It's a fair point, still, people in large metro areas usually have light rail and/or bus options to get to the major airports while people in smaller towns do not. Commuter rail and puddle-jump aircraft fill different infrastructure needs.
 

jebr

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It's a fair point, still, people in large metro areas usually have light rail and/or bus options to get to the major airports while people in smaller towns do not. Commuter rail and puddle-jump aircraft fill different infrastructure needs.
Sure, though unless someone lives within walking/biking distance of the airport or rail station they'd still need some way to get to the station or airport regardless. Rail stations can at least support transit-oriented development so that's at least an option - something that is extremely unlikely to be feasible at an airport (even if you put apartments there, most jobs and daily errands would likely be pretty far away anyways.) A shuttle bus could do at-home pickups and then head to a larger airport, thus obviating the need for subsidized commercial air service at the small airport - though rail would still be useful if it provides connections to local resources not near the larger airport.
 

me_little_me

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The airline who really has a lot to gain from a regional rail standpoint is Delta. From their Atlanta hub the train even today on unupgraded tracks you could easily eliminate flights to Chattanooga, Columbus, Greenville, Augusta, Valdosta, Birmingham, and Montgomery. Delta being as busy as a hub as it is those slots could be better allocated than they already are. Trains have less staffing required, more fuel efficient, and the ability to add intermediate places to the airline network without needing an airport.
How about the 17 flights PER DAY from Macon, GA to Atlanta? From some company called "Linear Air Taxi". According to Kayak (I searched a Tuesday in mid June and quick checked a different day in April), all the flights are $2,083. That's right - TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHTY THREE DOLLARS one way.

Talk about a deal if there were rail service! The state looked into it years ago but didn't want to spend any money. Bet there was a lobbyist pushing against that idea (if it existed back then).
 

Chris I

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How about the 17 flights PER DAY from Macon, GA to Atlanta? From some company called "Linear Air Taxi". According to Kayak (I searched a Tuesday in mid June and quick checked a different day in April), all the flights are $2,083. That's right - TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHTY THREE DOLLARS one way.

Talk about a deal if there were rail service! The state looked into it years ago but didn't want to spend any money. Bet there was a lobbyist pushing against that idea (if it existed back then).
Oh, and it gets even better. Macon gets subsidies through the Federal "Essential Air Service" program.

So basically, the taxpayers subsidize flights for the wealthy out of these small airports, when they could be subsidizing rail connections that everyone can afford.
 

IndyLions

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Oh, and it gets even better. Macon gets subsidies through the Federal "Essential Air Service" program.

So basically, the taxpayers subsidize flights for the wealthy out of these small airports, when they could be subsidizing rail connections that everyone can afford.
While I agree it is far from optimum - until there actually exists a better designed alternative (such as passenger rail) to Macon - I don't have a problem with this. I'm sure there are examples of Amtrak routes where the fare box recovery is 33%.
 

Exvalley

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So basically, the taxpayers subsidize flights for the wealthy out of these small airports, when they could be subsidizing rail connections that everyone can afford.
As someone who regularly takes EAS flights, I can assure you that they are not just for the wealthy. Thanks to the EAS subsidy the fares are actually quite reasonable. In that regard the EAS program works quite well.
 

Exvalley

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This is exactly the point. The fares are "quite reasonable" precisely because we're paying for most of them, not the traveller.
Yes. EAS opens up travel to those who could not otherwise afford it.
 
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