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Silver Service changes?

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me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,506
Funding and scheduling with the freights may be more of a problem ...
Well, if the ShortStar left Miami at the same time as the Star (but on the days the NB Star didn't run, and returned on the days when the SB Star didn't run, there would be no freight issue as Amtrak had that slot anyway. And the freight company (CSX? NS?) should be happy to have a Star running southbound that should never be late due to delays further north.
If Amtrak called it a "test train" or some-such nonsense, they could fund it themselves. After all, there should be plenty of coach cars and P42s idled from the Star not running those days. Heck, one P42 and two coaches would be all they need initially.
I'm so brilliant, I should work for Amtrak. Hey, I could replace Flynn! Wow! Then I could not travel on Amtrak LD trains just like Flynn and spend more time coming up with crazier ideas than they have.
 

joelkfla

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
320
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
It would be possible for brightline to operate trains from Orlando to Tampa on existing right of way correct?

Like if the state wanted to make it happen...
Brightline is a profit-making enterprise (or hopes to be, some fday.) Running a slow train once or twice a day on shared track is not their operating model.

And the State of Florida is not likely to subsidize anything. It's a different governor, but the same Republican establishment that shot down HSR between Orlando & Tampa several years ago, even though construction would have been paid for by the Federal government, because they were afraid of having to contribute to operating expenses. They're embracing Brightline only because no state funding is involved.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
4
But isn't that what Amtrak has been pushing? More coach trains and fewer LDs. Yet, when they have an opportunity to run the two Silvers such that no more than one runs once a day, they make no attempt to keep that part of the Star busy with coach runs on the days it doesn't run to give Tampa-Miami and possibly Tampa-Orlando a train that will have fewer chances of delays and that could "prove" their point that overnight LD is not needed and that daytime coach can replace it. Wasn't that Anderson's dream?
And if Brightline never comes through, possibly that route can be developed into something more particularly if a future Florida governor come up with some bucks to build tracks to divert that train to stop at WDW. I would think Anderson could be foaming at the mouth saying "What if the virus had come earlier when I was president?"
A short term solution is to run both silver trains on the same schedule south of Savanna via Tampa. An 8pm arrival in Miami would also permit a same day connection from Boston for both trains. Northbound, an 8-10am departure gets into NYP in time to connect north.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,031
Brightline is a profit-making enterprise (or hopes to be, some fday.) Running a slow train once or twice a day on shared track is not their operating model.
I was suggesting a multiple train a day corridor.... I remember most of that track being in good shape with lots of 79 mph running.
 

joelkfla

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
320
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
I was suggesting a multiple train a day corridor.... I remember most of that track being in good shape with lots of 79 mph running.
I believe Brightline's plans are to lay new track designed for 125 mph on the main stretch, same as the track between Cocoa & Orlando. Current schedule on the Star is 2 hours from Orlando to Tampa, and seems to run at least 15 minutes late about half the time; that probably would not attract enough traffic to make it worth their while.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,031
I believe Brightline's plans are to lay new track designed for 125 mph on the main stretch, same as the track between Cocoa & Orlando. Current schedule on the Star is 2 hours from Orlando to Tampa, and seems to run at least 15 minutes late about half the time; that probably would not attract enough traffic to make it worth their while.
What I was suggesting... since Amtrak isn't running Orlando to Tampa daily... maybe Brightline could run a daily train.. perhaps even multiple trips daily. Of course Sunrail could do that too I suppose.

2 hours between Orlando to Tampa seems very reasonable to me. Of course.. I've used the Star for just that purpose.
 

McIntyre2K7

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Messages
97
Location
Tampa, FL
Brightline is a profit-making enterprise (or hopes to be, some fday.) Running a slow train once or twice a day on shared track is not their operating model.

And the State of Florida is not likely to subsidize anything. It's a different governor, but the same Republican establishment that shot down HSR between Orlando & Tampa several years ago, even though construction would have been paid for by the Federal government, because they were afraid of having to contribute to operating expenses. They're embracing Brightline only because no state funding is involved.
Correct however I think they plan on making a good chunk of money with real estate around their stations. FYI The Florida Governor that turned down the HSR between Tampa to Orlando has investments in Brightline. The crazy thing is the people here voted him to become a senator. Dude was apart of the biggest medicare fraud in history.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
1
Trying to build the snowballs into a snowman here.
Based on what I believe I have read or heard in the past.
Trains 91 and 92 go through Columbia because the senior Senator said so. Slow and shaky, just like him.
The Silver Service reschedule is a knee jerk reaction to the Covid issue.
The de-bathrooming of the roomette units is an politico-engineering attempt to enable the removal of some cleaning and maintenance crew-persons. Speeding repairs and turnaround is just a side benefit.
The Autotrain car carriers couldn't fit through the Baltimore tunnel in the past and probably still can't without scraping the paint.
The Autotrain terminal in Louisville, KY was the "best" location to place a Chicago servicing Autotrain terminal.
The best way to "save" Amtrak would be to sell it to Bill Gates and let him run it as a public service/full sized toy train set. Think of the tax write offs!!!
Nationalize all the mainline rails, give them to Elon Musk to keep them upgraded to max speed and let Amtrak use them free (more tax write offs).
 

cocojacoby

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
401
The only multimillionaire who seems interested in rail is Richard Branson and he is already involved.
 

chrsjrcj

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
831
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
Eh...I think Branson is more interested in making a profit, investing in Brightline is just a means to a way. That said, based off interviews it does seem that Fortress founder Wes Edens may have an interest in passenger trains.
 

John Bredin

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
763
Location
suburban Chicago (Buffalo Grove)
The best way to "save" Amtrak would be to sell it to Bill Gates and let him run it as a public service/full sized toy train set. Think of the tax write offs!!!
Nationalize all the mainline rails, give them to Elon Musk to keep them upgraded to max speed and let Amtrak use them free (more tax write offs).
Bill Gates, possibly. Elon Musk definitely not, as he's anti-rail. He promoted Hyperloop as an alternative to (as he put it) slow, old-fashioned high-speed rail, even though the capsules could hold only a fraction of the passenger load of a modern train. And his Boring Company plan/idea is to run either capsules (again!) or private cars mounted on sleds (?!) in his gee-whiz tunnels because, again, he thinks nobody will ride a train to or from an airport. :rolleyes:
 

siena1965

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Messages
30
i just the price for the train nyp to orl there have rised the prices again. no one will travel ny to fla if they dont stop rising the price every week. i use to travel a few times a year for under 15000 points one way now it almost 19000 point. rise the price and that got cheaper food.
 

joelkfla

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
320
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
Eh...I think Branson is more interested in making a profit, investing in Brightline is just a means to a way. That said, based off interviews it does seem that Fortress founder Wes Edens may have an interest in passenger trains.
I just read somewhere that Branson said he has not invested in Brightline. The rebranding is just a marketing agreement (not sure exactly what that means, I not being a Business major.)
 

McIntyre2K7

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Messages
97
Location
Tampa, FL
What I was suggesting... since Amtrak isn't running Orlando to Tampa daily... maybe Brightline could run a daily train.. perhaps even multiple trips daily. Of course Sunrail could do that too I suppose.

2 hours between Orlando to Tampa seems very reasonable to me. Of course.. I've used the Star for just that purpose.
I think the Brightline trains between Tampa/Orlando/Miami would run hourly. However I wouldn't mind seeing the Sun Rail get extended to Tampa. I don't know if Hillsborough and Polk County leaders would agree to it. Basically you would have stops in Lakeland and Tampa. You can add a stop in Plant City as well. There is a state senator that wants to see Sun Rail's line extended to Lakeland. If they could build a line between Haines City and Lake Wales then they could have the sun rail turn south and have it stop in Lake Wales and Winter Haven before going to Lakeland and Tampa.
 

cocojacoby

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
401
Uhh...ever hear of Warren Buffet?;)
Got it, but we are discussing passenger rail here, Mr. railiner (i.e., people moving). So . . .

Anyway, Mr. Buffet paid me cash to go away when he took over BNSF. They didn't even give stockholders a choice or else I would probably still have stock in it.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,668
Location
Palm Beach County
Got it, but we are discussing passenger rail here, Mr. railiner (i.e., people moving). So . . .

Anyway, Mr. Buffet paid me cash to go away when he took over BNSF. They didn't even give stockholders a choice or else I would probably still have stock in it.
Berkshire Hathaway stock is on the market....
Class 'A' is currently only $291,621.00 per share...:)
Class 'B' is 194.52 per share.
 

IndyLions

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
472
Location
Brownsburg IN
i just the price for the train nyp to orl there have rised the prices again. no one will travel ny to fla if they dont stop rising the price every week. i use to travel a few times a year for under 15000 points one way now it almost 19000 point. rise the price and that got cheaper food.
I just booked an (intentionally) roundabout trip Boston - Crawfordsville IN. Crawfordsville (CRF) is the first stop west of Indianapolis.

The routing is BOS-NYP on Acela in BC, NYP-Charlottesville (CVS) in a Crescent Roomette, then CVS-CRF in a Cardinal Roomette. Less than $500, which I thought was a fair price. In past years just the Cardinal portion of the trip could be more than that.

I REALLY wish they still had the Night Owl, although connecting with the Cardinal’s schedule would have been tricky.
 

jruff001

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
112
I had not considered that the Silvers cover the same distance in less time (16m faster) even with all their local stops. I wonder why?
The AT has a TON of schedule padding.

Yes I know all Amtrak trains have padding, but I have seen the AT arrive at its endpoints over an hour early.
 

Palmland

OBS Chief
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
913
Location
Carolinas
I travel a couple times a year on the Palmetto between Florence, SC and Richmond. Up on Friday, back on Sunday. Those are extremely popular travel days with the Palmetto usually picking up half a coach load in Florence and many more in NC stations plus a huge crowd in RVR. That trip is no longer possible with the tri-weekly service Oct. 1. That is so dumb. The Palmetto is more like a regional train than true LD, at least for SC, NC and VA. It does empty out south of Florence. So why not operate it daily Florence-Ricmond? The cost for the crew that does a RT Florence-Savannah would be saved with much less loss of revenue. Admittedly, my comments are self serving!
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,879
Location
South Carolina
The Palmetto does brisk weekend business I agree both with people going north on Friday and south on Sundays. But also the other way it's packed with people from the northeast going to the south. It's actually so busy I try and shift my travel patterns to go on a day with a lighter load by going on Monday to go north.
 

Palmland

OBS Chief
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
913
Location
Carolinas
I think historically, perhaps going back to the northern migration in the 60's, daytime service into the Carolins has done well. There is a reason why there are still three LD trains on this route. Certainly the change from primarily a winter seasonal service to Florida points to year round with the start of the theme parks in the 70's also contributed. Amtrak seems intent on forgetting those lessons and those families that always take the train to see relatives may at last stop considering Amtrak as a travel option.

While it's not going to happen in SC, perhaps rail friendly NC and VA will influence Amtrak to change their plans.
 

VentureForth

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
5,867
Location
West Melbourne, FL
Correct however I think they plan on making a good chunk of money with real estate around their stations. FYI The Florida Governor that turned down the HSR between Tampa to Orlando has investments in Brightline. The crazy thing is the people here voted him to become a senator. Dude was apart of the biggest medicare fraud in history.
No, not correct. He was afraid of sticking operating losses to the taxpayers, because they were protected to be huge. Invested in Brightline because that is what you do - invest in private enterprise, taking a fiduciary RISK with your own money. Private enterprise ALWAYS does it better than government when there is a chance for profit.
 
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