Republican coalition against Mobile Amtrak service

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me_little_me

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
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Jul 16, 2010
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While it would be wonderful to have the country filled with LD trains, having a train that goes between these cities is a good first step (unlike Amtrak's long term plan that seems to ignore LD).

I love France's new edict to ban airline flights between cities that can be reached by train in under 2 1/2 hours. Day trains between cities is not a replacement for LD but an opportunity to have multiple trips.
 

John Bredin

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
819
Location
suburban Chicago (Deerfield)
One long distance train supplemented by an optimally timed corridor train would check the most boxes for all involved at a modest cost. The key is getting the long distance trains operating on time before that model could ever be considered.
In the meantime, better some train service than none. A New Orleans-Mobile service could build demand for a restored eastern Sunset Limited (I can go to Mobile, why not east of Mobile?) and make it somewhat more likely fiscally (money spent on capital improvements between New Orleans and Mobile doesn't need to spent again to get east of Mobile), but a line empty of passenger trains won't.
 

saxman

Conductor
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Gathering Team Member
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May 17, 2004
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Dallas, Texas
What gets me about the freight railroads trying block service restoration is that when the tracks were repaired after Katrina, CSX gave the green light for Amtrak to resume Sunset Limited service. Amtrak, obviously, doesn't want to but they never gave the required 180 day notice to abandon the route either. They've gotten around the law by saying service is "suspended" for the last 16 years. Of course now they want to restart service on the same line they have a right to, and of course, CSX and NS balk at it. I think for this reason the STB Amtrak has an advantage on their side.

I'm also unclear on a couple of things. It the track serving the platform at Mobile part of main line to and from the port? Or is it siding? If it's part of the main line, I can see why the freights might not want them to sit there for a few hours.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,449
There are several LD routes that are proposed for what the map shows as enhanced service. + some shorter routes but all cover high population services.
1. JAX - TPA - MIA
2. BOS - ALB see #5
3. "S line Richmond -- Raleigh
4. BHM - ATL - CLT - RGH - -RVR - WASH
5. ALB - BUF - TOL - new to Detroit see #2
6. CHI - MSP === Several various routes
7. CHI - Cincinnati
8. San Antonia - FTW - OKC - Adding to Newton
9. Tucson - PHX - LAX = Reroute thru PHX
10. LAX - Bay area

Now a nice round number 10. That in IMHO is very hard push but covers the high traffic areas already covered by a LD train.
 

Qapla

Conductor
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
1,809
Location
Gator Country Florida
The JAX-TPA-Mia route currently is a "south only" trip if you want to travel in the "daytime"

Having daytime northbound trains would be nice


It is also a shame that JAX to Savanah is not possible as a daytrip with the current schedules
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,177
Location
Ithaca, NY
What gets me about the freight railroads trying block service restoration is that when the tracks were repaired after Katrina, CSX gave the green light for Amtrak to resume Sunset Limited service.
According to Amtrak's latest legal filing, CSX in fact did not do so. And Amtrak has brought the receipts to prove it, which are filed as exhibits; Amtrak's request for service restoration 15 years ago, and CSX's excuses given to prevent it.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
13
This is unfortunately true. In most instances there is not a groundswell of popular grassroots demand for new transportation services. Much of it comes from business and community leaders who see the benefit and sometimes they are able to rally support from politicians and other prominent members of the public. After the services are implemented, support can grow, sure.
I think this take is more realistic than some of the loco ones I have read claiming Republicans want power and preventing the building of a 19th mode of transportation denies people that power.

The biggest problem with train travel in America is that people across the political spectrum don’t value it. I have spoken to many coworkers and friends that I know are left of center in their politics about my positive experiences on the train, and they look at me like I’m nuts. Many times I get the same two responses. “I could just fly and be there in an hour” or “I’m gonna save money and drive.

While I support expanded rail service in this country, I do so because I believe that having multiple options for travel is a good thing. But let’s not act like people who don’t support Amtrak are trying to deny essential freedoms to people when those same people have direct access to one of the best national highway systems on the planet. That’s an elitist mentality that will work against you more often than it helps move your argument forward.
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
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May 24, 2010
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12,353
Location
Texas
The biggest problem with train travel in America is that people across the political spectrum don’t value it. I have spoken to many coworkers and friends that I know are left of center in their politics about my positive experiences on the train, and they look at me like I’m nuts. Many times I get the same two responses. “I could just fly and be there in an hour” or “I’m gonna save money and drive."
The primary issue is that of policy - which is a matter of public record - rather than some random anecdotes about coworker evangelism. There is no actual mystery as to who reliably supports passenger rail and who does not.

While I support expanded rail service in this country, I do so because I believe that having multiple options for travel is a good thing. But let’s not act like people who don’t support Amtrak are trying to deny essential freedoms to people when those same people have direct access to one of the best national highway systems on the planet. That’s an elitist mentality that will work against you more often than it helps move your argument forward.
Most of us just want the highway system to be held to the same standard as passenger rail. If one must pay its own way then so should the other, and vice versa. It's hard to get more elitist than expecting everyone to fund highways while passenger rail is left to fend for itself. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
13
The primary issue is that of policy - which is a matter of public record - rather than some random anecdotes about coworker evangelism. There is no actual mystery as to who reliably supports passenger rail and who does not.


Most of us just want the highway system to be held to the same standard as passenger rail. If one must pay its own way then so should the other, and vice versa. It's hard to get more elitist than expecting everyone to fund highways while passenger rail is left to fend for itself. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
The highway system is paid for by numerous state and federal taxes, and the most traveled roads are pay roads i.e Turnpikes. Hell, the Ohio Turnpike is one of the best maintained roads in America.

But I will reliably stand behind my anecdotes because I speak with real people in the middle of the country who cross political divides and don’t spend time demonizing people as immortal dictators because they don’t support rail as a matter of policy. Nuance still exists
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
13
The primary issue is that of policy - which is a matter of public record - rather than some random anecdotes about coworker evangelism. There is no actual mystery as to who reliably supports passenger rail and who does not.


Most of us just want the highway system to be held to the same standard as passenger rail. If one must pay its own way then so should the other, and vice versa. It's hard to get more elitist than expecting everyone to fund highways while passenger rail is left to fend for itself. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
And honestly, let’s face it, an automobile is one piece of property in this country that regular people can still afford and own with relative ease. There will always be a segment of American culture that will never view the train as a viable form of transportation because they already have the freedom to go where they please on their own time tables.

If you want to be constructive about expanding rail service in this country, it will be better to fully understand why people hold certain views for and against rail travel, rather than demonizing anyone that doesn’t agree with you on every point and pushing them away.
 

jpakala

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
41
I'm reminded of when I phoned in to a popular radio program to advocate rail travel such as between Chicago and Madison, WI and the host countered by citing the huge number of cars people drove on that route. I should have said those vehicles are a reason for, not against, a passenger rail alternative, but instead I said they're not public transportation (which is true, but not as effective an argument). The difference in pollution produced would have been another good point to make.
 
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