Secondary Midwest connection point

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
446
Location
Cleveland
In decades past, St. Louis was considered a much more important city than it is now. Many transcontinental travelers connected between East-West trains at St. Louis.

Today, all these connections are made in Chicago. That works well considering the populations of Chicago and St. Louis, but St. Louis still would work well for a connection point in so many cases. For example, a trip from Cincinnati to Kansas City could be a lot shorter if the connection were made in St. Louis rather than overnight in Chicago.

Do you guys think a train from the East Coast through St. Louis, connecting to the Southwest Chief to the West Coast would work today, or is there just not enough demand?
 

Cal

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
1,341
Location
Socal
Do you guys think a train from the East Coast through St. Louis, connecting to the Southwest Chief to the West Coast would work today, or is there just not enough demand?
It would depend on many factors. I don't think it's necessary at the moment. However if it's done correctly, yeah.

I personally, would rather connect through Chicago though.
 

jebr

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
4,240
Location
"The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN
I don't think it makes sense diverting an existing LD train, extending/splitting a LD train (likely the Cardinal,) or building a new LD train that ends in STL/KCY. Right now all the connections can generally be made in Chicago, and I think most people would rather lay over in Chicago than at the smaller stations further out. If the demand is there, it'd be as a corridor train, and while it's fine to consider connections as part of the schedule making, it should be run separately to preserve on-time performance and reliability for corridor customers, who would likely make up the biggest customer base.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
446
Location
Cleveland
I don't think it makes sense diverting an existing LD train, extending/splitting a LD train (likely the Cardinal,) or building a new LD train that ends in STL/KCY. Right now all the connections can generally be made in Chicago, and I think most people would rather lay over in Chicago than at the smaller stations further out. If the demand is there, it'd be as a corridor train, and while it's fine to consider connections as part of the schedule making, it should be run separately to preserve on-time performance and reliability for corridor customers, who would likely make up the biggest customer base.
Oh no, certainly none of the existing services should be disrupted. I'm just thinking a WAS-STL or NYP-STL train could be a good addition to the schedule.
 

Cal

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
1,341
Location
Socal
Oh no, certainly none of the existing services should be disrupted. I'm just thinking a WAS-STL or NYP-STL train could be a good addition to the schedule.
Well, if we're being realistic, Amtrak is in no way looking to add a new long distance route right now. In addition, equipment is not there.

And, are the tracks there?
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
27,858
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Well, if we're being realistic, Amtrak is in no way looking to add a new long distance route right now. In addition, equipment is not there.

And, are the tracks there?
All the proposals that were presented in the PIPs were based on passenger train capable tracks that exist and had full analysis of where the equipment would be found for executing on the plans. In short the plan was "shovel ready" (as required by the legislation that caused the PIPs to be prepared - the same legislation that created PRIIA 209 state trains etc.) , but the then Amtrak management (which BTW was Boardman, not Anderson), decided to place the entire thing in cold storage, and then Amtrak made the whole thing disappear like magic!
 

Cal

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
1,341
Location
Socal
All the proposals that were presented in the PIPs were based on passenger train capable tracks that exist and had full analysis of where the equipment would be found for executing on the plans. In short the plan was "shovel ready" (as required by the legislation that caused the PIPs to be prepared - the same legislation that created PRIIA 209 state trains etc.) , but the then Amtrak management (which BTW was Boardman, not Anderson), decided to place the entire thing in cold storage, and then Amtrak made the whole thing disappear like magic!
Lol ok

Okay, what is a PIP? I'm still new..
 

Cal

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
1,341
Location
Socal
I've said in other threads the priority should be to create a secondary hub in either New Orleans or in Texas (San Antonio, Dallas, or Houston) to connect East/West traffic between Texas/California and Florida.
I think New Orleans would be better.
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
879
Location
Denver
All the proposals that were presented in the PIPs were based on passenger train capable tracks that exist and had full analysis of where the equipment would be found for executing on the plans. In short the plan was "shovel ready" (as required by the legislation that caused the PIPs to be prepared - the same legislation that created PRIIA 209 state trains etc.) , but the then Amtrak management (which BTW was Boardman, not Anderson), decided to place the entire thing in cold storage, and then Amtrak made the whole thing disappear like magic!
It's why I'm stuck with so many pdf's and print copies of old studies and reports! The "public" only gets to look at this information for a while. If you don't get a copy for yourself it'll be hard to find later. When I worked for ODOT I had a stack pass for the State Library and could roam wide-eyed among the forgotten or frequently repeated studies. The public could get a look on request but you had to know what to ask for.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,153
Location
South Carolina
Actually there are all sorts of routings across the midwest that would give you some great variety in routes. Cleveland-St. Louis is still a mainline for CSX. EX NYC from Cleveland to Terre Haute via Marion and Indianapolis. Then it's EX Pennsy on into St. Louis. I do think there is a potential to have some trains out of St. Louis as Chicago gets more congested. I think St. Louis makes less sense than somewhere like Indy or Cincinnati where you can have a ton of various corridor trains interacting with each other.
 

Philly Amtrak Fan

Conductor
Joined
Jul 25, 2015
Messages
2,024
Location
Philadelphia Area

jiml

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
3,375
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
Lots of interesting "meat" in that proposal, including the much-talked-about combination of the Capitol with Silver Service.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
27,858
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
There is this thread, though it probably needs a bit of updating....

 

TrackWalker

############
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
369
Location
Rural Pacific Northwet
There is this thread, though it probably needs a bit of updating....

Thanks. 👍
 

Cal

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
1,341
Location
Socal
There is this thread, though it probably needs a bit of updating....

I saw that once and tried to find it again, but I didn't remember what it was. Thanks
 

jpakala

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
41
I did find PIP by Googling it plus Amtrak, although above that was Plenary Infrastructure Partners and Plenary Infrastructure Philadelphia.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,449
IMO Amtrak reservations needs to have a demand program that measures city pair demand. So every time there is a request by a potential passenger for a ticket from say "Dallas to Atlanta" it will be recorded in some que. Easy enough to eliminate multiple requests for same pair by our posters.

Amtrak can take those numbers and then add train routes to the most requested pairs. I used Dallas - ATL as one example that might be requested many times. Also the requests for city pairs along a route would be added in as well. Request for say a 8 - 12 hour second service can also be programed if the time of departure is retained even though a passenger takes what is available,.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,177
Location
Ithaca, NY
In decades past, St. Louis was considered a much more important city than it is now. Many transcontinental travelers connected between East-West trains at St. Louis.

Today, all these connections are made in Chicago. That works well considering the populations of Chicago and St. Louis, but St. Louis still would work well for a connection point in so many cases. For example, a trip from Cincinnati to Kansas City could be a lot shorter if the connection were made in St. Louis rather than overnight in Chicago.

Do you guys think a train from the East Coast through St. Louis, connecting to the Southwest Chief to the West Coast would work today, or is there just not enough demand?
Economies of scale means it makes sense to connect everything through Chicago until Amtrak has roughly *twice* as much service as it does now. Then it would make sense to have a secondary hub, I'd say. But first we'd have to have two trains a day on every existing long-distance route. IMO.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
446
Location
Cleveland
Economies of scale means it makes sense to connect everything through Chicago until Amtrak has roughly *twice* as much service as it does now. Then it would make sense to have a secondary hub, I'd say. But first we'd have to have two trains a day on every existing long-distance route. IMO.
Sounds about right, Good post.
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
879
Location
Denver
IMO Amtrak reservations needs to have a demand program that measures city pair demand. So every time there is a request by a potential passenger for a ticket from say "Dallas to Atlanta" it will be recorded in some que. Easy enough to eliminate multiple requests for same pair by our posters.

Amtrak can take those numbers and then add train routes to the most requested pairs. I used Dallas - ATL as one example that might be requested many times. Also the requests for city pairs along a route would be added in as well. Request for say a 8 - 12 hour second service can also be programed if the time of departure is retained even though a passenger takes what is available,.
I made this same request for transit service planning. Was told we couldn't do it because the software was proprietary and didn't include that feature. It's a typical silo-based missed opportunity.
 
Top