Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Chiacago (TCMC) second daily service

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Ironically, a MILW named train between Chicago and the Twin Cities was the Pioneer Ltd.
There may be a link. We sent Amtrak a list of proposed train names in 1976 as part of my work at ODOT, and as the Milwaukee Road wasn't using it, I included Pioneer Limited. I've always wondered if someone looked at the list or pulled it out of thin air.

I had a pleasant ride in coach on the CHI>MSP direction of the Pioneer Limited in 1967, connecting in St. Paul Union Station to the NP Mainstreeter. The attendant rented pillows to coach passengers for 50 cents (?). To the end, it was the premiere overnight train between Chicago and the Twin Cities. However, the Milwaukee's coach-only Fast Mail outlived all of the other night trains between those cities, as far as I know.
 
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Listening to the WiSARP Zoom meeting didn’t provide much new information other than Lisa Stern of WisDOT put a lot of the blame at MNDOTs feet for the delayed rollout.
 
Listening to the WiSARP Zoom meeting didn’t provide much new information other than Lisa Stern of WisDOT put a lot of the blame at MNDOTs feet for the delayed rollout.
Ah, why am I not surprised that MnDOT is a large part of the cause. Did she mention anything specific that you remember? MnDOT (may as well still be called the Dept. of Highways, cough, cough) has a long history of slow-walking or active hostility towards anything intercity non-car transportation related. That, and MnDOT has never had enough staff capacity to do much beyond the bare minimum of rail planning, unfortunately.
 
Given the high failure rate of Charger locos and weekly cancellations of Milwaukee and Carbondale trains, and 2 car Quincy trains, all too often without cafe-business car, I don't see how they will run it at all. The 4 state consortium seems sound asleep with Amtrak's service failures.
Reliability of the Chargers isn’t where it needs to be but high failure rate is pure hyperbole. Weekly is pure nonsense, a few have been cancelled but calm down with the exaggerations. The Midwest corridor services would collapse if their failure rate was high.
 
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Ah, why am I not surprised that MnDOT is a large part of the cause. Did she mention anything specific that you remember? MnDOT (may as well still be called the Dept. of Highways, cough, cough) has a long history of slow-walking or active hostility towards anything intercity non-car transportation related. That, and MnDOT has never had enough staff capacity to do much beyond the bare minimum of rail planning, unfortunately.
Nothing really specific, just agreements on their end.
 
No, the car would just be unstaffed in that scenario. Milwaukee will be a crew change location.
I doubt that they will send out a fully stocked food service car unstaffed from Chicago. Who is going to be responsible for the inventory? So I don't see this happening, since Milwaukee has no Commissary to deliver inventory to the food service car.
 
I doubt that they will send out a fully stocked food service car unstaffed from Chicago. Who is going to be responsible for the inventory? So I don't see this happening, since Milwaukee has no Commissary to deliver inventory to the food service car.
Yeah, I can't see them trying to do anything other than run it from Chicago. It'll probably be closed through a decent part of the Chicago to Milwaukee portion anyways, as often the cafe car doesn't open until 15-30ish minutes into the trip.
 
I think food service cars should always be in service, when trains are. They should prepare to open before passengers board, and close when train reaches its last station.
Further, they should set up operations so that the attendant is relieved by another during breaks.
Perhaps even keep open overnight, if there is busy traffic during that time…the old Night Owl did…
 
I think food service cars should always be in service, when trains are. They should prepare to open before passengers board, and close when train reaches its last station.
Further, they should set up operations so that the attendant is relieved by another during breaks.
Perhaps even keep open overnight, if there is busy traffic during that time…the old Night Owl did…
While I agree in general. The lounge car’s operation is done in a way that makes these difficult to achieve.

The LSA is fully financially responsible for all products for sale. You miss count the number of coffee cups, the LSA gets to reimburse Amtrak the cost out of their pocket. Their pay would need to start early and continue after the train arrives, to get the full travel time covered. Never mind the last minute change of cars. I do believe the current pay schedules is for one hour before and after. The whole coverage by somebody other than the LSA during breaks would be hard to implement.
 
Some how I don't picture that 2nd train consist of a double stack superliner - it is not as if it was a long haul train needing sleeping accommodations.
More of a speedy metro commuter train from MSP to Chicago (Milwaukee). On the same note where is Amtrak going to get another double stack
Superliner train set unless replacing one of the other long haul trains with a new set of wheels (not in the budget !)
I am picturing the consist being a short train set of locomotive - baggage - 3-4 coach (one with business seating) cars and a diner/snack car.
If need be throw a View Liner Sleeper on the end. This 2nd train set should be short enough to slip into any siding to make ease of movement
around the long freight trains. - Not my job to run the train or blow the horn but should it jump the track guess who catches the blame !

All this predicated on running the train late morning early afternoon.
Running later in the evening then there would be justification for the Sleepers.
Early am too much conflict with the scheduled #8 -

AND then the return trip from Chicago to MSP -
Definitely a morning trip to avoid conflict with the (late) evening #7

BUT still yet the connection conflict with the Chief and the Zephyr and other east bound trains.
Unless the rails are worked on to allow high speed rail the connection issue may be mute.

Then the possibility of connection with the NorthStar Duluth service -

When the airlines beat the train city-center-to-city-center if is time to rethink the travel equation !
The CP route between Chicago-Milwaukee is double-track and will likely be extended West to Watertown for expanded service to Madison and Minneapolis.
 
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