Rising like, uh, Phoenix?

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frequentflyer

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Probably because Stadler DMUs seem to be the most prevalent modern DMU in the US.
And in Europe too.

Siemens will have its hands full with the Amfleet replacement order for a number of years. If this has PHX rumor has any truth to it, I expect Amtrak to order something other than Siemens.
 

jis

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I suspect there will be a field of three or four contenders *IF* Amtrak decides to explore articulated DMUs, which of course they may not. For equipment commonality they might just go for an articulated two car + cab car with a suitably derated version of SC at the other end. Truth be told I suspect that Arizona might have a say in what happens too since they will have to agree to take it over after a small number of years. For now it is pretty much up in the air AFAICT.

If new articulated sets become the thing to go for I suspect that Alstom, Stadler, Siemens and possibly one or two others will initially be in the running.
 

Willbridge

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Fascinating discussion for someone who remembers Amtrak refusing to consider dmu's after the SPV2000 experience. Later, when Oregon wanted to use RDC's on the Lewis & Clark Explorer Amtrak nixed that and the project went to a private operator.
 

toddinde

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Whether Arizona state government funds this is largely dependent on who gets elected there in 2022. The Republican Party of Arizona is currently trying to prevent people from voting because they don't think they can win honestly.

If they continue to control the state government, it is quite possible that Metro Phoenix and Metro Tucson will be willing to provide the funding themselves.

Rebuilding the Phoenix West line is, frankly, easy. Yes, it has to have the track and ties and ballast completely replaced, but the right-of-way and subroadbed is in good condition. Desert conditions preserve it pretty well. It's not like restoring the Scranton to New York City line, which has to be rebuilt below the roadbed, with bridge restorations.
You’re absolutely right on all counts. Rehabbing the West Line isn’t a big deal. There isn’t any freight train interference. It can be rebuilt to 110-120 mph easily. The right of way is all there. Candidly, this is low hanging fruit for Amtrak.
 

coventry801

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They can do Phoenix-Tucson trains fairly easily as the UP line from Pichaco Junction to Phoenix is fully intact. They just need to rehab stations and negotiate with UP for access. And put some kind of maintenance base in Tucson.

Phoenix to LA is another story. The line was embargoed by SP back in 1990s and is in sorry shape. It pretty much has to be totally rebuilt. That and maintenance will all be on Amtrak's dime, since UP is clear they don't need it. The whole reason Amtrak rerouted to Maricopa is that SP said they'd have to be responsible for all maintenance costs since they'd be the only ones using the line.

I am not holding my breath for Phoenix to LA.
if Phoenix - Tucson is easily doable, can’t Phoenix - LA train go through the same route from Phoenix to Pichaco Junction, then join back to current Maricopa route?
 

toddinde

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if Phoenix - Tucson is easily doable, can’t Phoenix - LA train go through the same route from Phoenix to Pichaco Junction, then join back to current Maricopa route?
That would leave Tucson out of the mix in the sense that the Tucson to LA passenger would have to back track almost back to Tucson. It would add hours to the Tucson to LA schedule making that unrealistic. It would also add time to the Phoenix to LA route over the West Line. It really isn’t feasible. Better to just bite the bullet and fix the west line. Fixing the West Line is probably the least expensive. Adding capacity to the Sunset Route will cost more.
 

me_little_me

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While I know the chances of it happening range between zero and none, this would be an excellent opportunity for the state or feds to take the track by eminent domain paying a depressed price because of its condition, then fix it up and when the Class 1 decides they could in the future use that track, charge them appropriately for the opportunity.
 

neroden

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While I know the chances of it happening range between zero and none, this would be an excellent opportunity for the state or feds to take the track by eminent domain paying a depressed price because of its condition, then fix it up and when the Class 1 decides they could in the future use that track, charge them appropriately for the opportunity.
Requires a sensible government. Also, barring special congressional legislation, you can only use eminent domain against railroads if you're going to use it for a railroad (which this case would be), and you need to file with the Surface Transportation Board, so it's a whole procedure. While some state DOTs might put the effort into doing it, Arizona? Sigh.
 

MikefromCrete

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You’re absolutely right on all counts. Rehabbing the West Line isn’t a big deal. There isn’t any freight train interference. It can be rebuilt to 110-120 mph easily. The right of way is all there. Candidly, this is low hanging fruit for Amtrak.
Restablishing service over what is essentially an abandoned line is always complicated. No project of this scale is easily -- or cheaply -- done.
 

John Bredin

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Requires a sensible government. Also, barring special congressional legislation, you can only use eminent domain against railroads if you're going to use it for a railroad (which this case would be), and you need to file with the Surface Transportation Board, so it's a whole procedure. While some state DOTs might put the effort into doing it, Arizona? Sigh.
Couldn't Amtrak exercise eminent domain as a railroad? Yes it can. Admittedly it's a somewhat circumscribed power in that it must be used as a last resort and Amtrak can't take government land, or railroad land without STB approval. But it's there.
 

neroden

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Of course Amtrak could seize the line through STB filing, like they did with the line in Vermont. But they're not going to do that without support from either the Arizona government, or at least the Phoenix and Maricopa County and related local governments. I just am not currently seeing the political will. Advocates might be able to change that, of course. Vermont had the political will, but it's very different from Arizona politically.
 

Bob Dylan

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Of course Amtrak could seize the line through STB filing, like they did with the line in Vermont. But they're not going to do that without support from either the Arizona government, or at least the Phoenix and Maricopa County and related local governments. I just am not currently seeing the political will. Advocates might be able to change that, of course. Vermont had the political will, but it's very different from Arizona politically.
Yep, with the Arizonia Government involved in the "Alice in Wonderland " like "Audit" of the 2020 Election, they just don't have time to worry about anything else.🤡🤠
 

daybeers

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As I understand, currently the Phoenix station is owned by Sprint (yes, the wireless carrier). They were bought by T-Mobile, which uses a different network technology than Sprint. The station parcel is littered with antennas. Could this be a good time for Amtrak to purchase the land and bring it back to a station?
 

neroden

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As I understand, currently the Phoenix station is owned by Sprint (yes, the wireless carrier). They were bought by T-Mobile, which uses a different network technology than Sprint. The station parcel is littered with antennas. Could this be a good time for Amtrak to purchase the land and bring it back to a station?
Amtrak's very reasonable policy for several decades has been to support *localities* who want to purchase the land and bring it back as a station. So bottom line -- ask Phoenix and Maricopa County. Again, sigh.
 

Ziv

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I did not know that bit of historical trivia. Thanks for the heads up!
Per Wiki:
" In the mid-1970s, SPC held a contest to select a new name for the company. The winning entry was "SPRINT", an acronym for Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Networking Telephony.[22] "

Yes, people tend to forget that SPRINT is an acronym, with the first three letters being obvious.
 
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