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What is your predictive outlook for the future of Amtrak in the next 3 years?

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jis

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UP wanted an obscene amount to reinstate the Sunset East and run a Daily Eagle, and the story is that an Amtrak Exec backed out @ the last minute when a deal was reached???
AFAIR, restoring Sunset East was not part of the discussion involving restructuring of the Sunset/Eagle service. Amtrak has never asked for such an extension since the Katrina related suspension to my knowledge. Sunset East has pretty much been dead for a long time except in the feverish fantasy of some railfans.
 

Bob Dylan

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AFAIR, restoring Sunset East was not part of the discussion involving restructuring of the Sunset/Eagle service. Amtrak has never asked for such an extension since the Katrina related suspension to my knowledge. Sunset East has pretty much been dead for a long time except in the feverish fantasy of some railfans.
You are correct, I should have said starting a stub Train from San Antonio to New Orleans was part of the Daily Eagle plan, and later when Boardman ran the PR Special from NOL to Florida, the idea was to start the new NOL- Jacksonvile or Orlando Route.
 

Nick Farr

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Which would be a dead-end requiring a back-up move for Wolverines to go on to Pontiac.
So would going to MCS.

It makes a lot more sense to me to run a light rail line from downtown to MCS along Michigan Avenue, like the line that connects the present Amtrak station to downtown.
Unfortunately, the QLine as been a $200m failure already, one that is not worth repeating down Michigan Ave. The QLine runs down Woodward, which actually has a ton of attractions and residential density along its route. There is basically nothing pedestrian friendly between MCS and Downtown Detroit.

For the same amount of money we can create a multi-modal service that actually delivers passengers into the core of Detroit, into a facility that is actually attractive as opposed to retrofitted into it.

Now--none of this precludes making MCS a station itself, perhaps for luxury excursions, restoration of Detroit-Toronto passenger service, etc. I'm just saying that it should not be Detroit's *main* train station.
 
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IndyLions

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So would going to MCS.
For the same amount of money we can create a multi-modal service that actually delivers passengers into the core of Detroit, into a facility that is actually attractive as opposed to retrofitted into it.
1. Show me on a map where this is even feasible, and I might buy it.
2. So you are suggesting that a new “Multi-modal station built in the heart of the city” built in 2020 would be both less expensive and more “attractive” than a restored MCS? That I don’t buy.
 

toddinde

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1. Show me on a map where this is even feasible, and I might buy it.
2. So you are suggesting that a new “Multi-modal station built in the heart of the city” built in 2020 would be both less expensive and more “attractive” than a restored MCS? That I don’t buy.
That doesn’t make any sense. Creating multiple Detroit stations is foolish. MCS is perfectly located for Chicago-Detroit-Toronto service, it’s a simple, short back up move to continue on to Pontiac, the facility is iconic, and an express bus route would deliver passengers to all downtown attractions in minutes. Not to mention Corktown will be a happening place with all Ford is pumping into it. This isn’t even worth debating. The solution is crystal clear. It is the only thing that makes any sense.
 

bms

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That doesn’t make any sense. Creating multiple Detroit stations is foolish. MCS is perfectly located for Chicago-Detroit-Toronto service, it’s a simple, short back up move to continue on to Pontiac, the facility is iconic, and an express bus route would deliver passengers to all downtown attractions in minutes. Not to mention Corktown will be a happening place with all Ford is pumping into it. This isn’t even worth debating. The solution is crystal clear. It is the only thing that makes any sense.
I rarely say this because I respect all opinions, but you're completely right here. Idk why Ford would spend all this money to renovate Michigan Central Station and not use it, but that's on them. Every Amtrak train should use Michigan Central Station for sure. Currently, Dearborn and Ann Arbor usually have more passengers than Detroit each year, and it's not like the AA station is good, people just don't want to go to the Detroit station!

Now if I'm getting really greedy, I'd ask for a train that goes from Cleveland to Detroit without stopping in Chicago, lol. I think there used to be an Amtrak train that bridged that Toledo-Detroit gap.
 

jis

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If the rail planners in US were as rational as in most of the rest of the world, they would go straight for DEMUs or push pull trains and simply bring everything to MCS and have them change direction to serve onward places like Pontiac for Michigan Line service or the rest of the Michigan Line for service from Toledo. But that is usually too much to expect since it would remove the source of income for consultants to fund their next generation's colleges for years to come. :D
 

jiml

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That doesn’t make any sense. Creating multiple Detroit stations is foolish. MCS is perfectly located for Chicago-Detroit-Toronto service, it’s a simple, short back up move to continue on to Pontiac, the facility is iconic, and an express bus route would deliver passengers to all downtown attractions in minutes. Not to mention Corktown will be a happening place with all Ford is pumping into it. This isn’t even worth debating. The solution is crystal clear. It is the only thing that makes any sense.
It would be interesting to see how much actual traffic there is between Royal Oak/Birmingham/Pontiac and points between Detroit and Chicago. I've often wondered why this wasn't a commuter route. When Pontiac became the terminus "back in the day" it was more about Amtrak having a secure place to park trains overnight. I can remember boarding in Pontiac one morning with our family of 4 being 2/3 of the passengers.
 

bms

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It would be interesting to see how much actual traffic there is between Royal Oak/Birmingham/Pontiac and points between Detroit and Chicago. I've often wondered why this wasn't a commuter route. When Pontiac became the terminus "back in the day" it was more about Amtrak having a secure place to park trains overnight. I can remember boarding in Pontiac one morning with our family of 4 being 2/3 of the passengers.
I would take the Wolverine all the way to Pontiac, but there isn't a hotel anywhere near the downtown. I agree that this should be a commuter route.

Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids seems to be a major missing link in the Michigan rail system. I'm not sure why the system is designed to get people to Chicago from various places in Michigan, but not to take people between the big cities in Michigan.
 

Ziv

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Stop right there! You mean MCS doesn't stand for Motor City Station?
I am crushed...

😔

I rarely say this because I respect all opinions, but you're completely right here. Idk why Ford would spend all this money to renovate Michigan Central Station and not use it, but that's on them. ...
 

railiner

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I would take the Wolverine all the way to Pontiac, but there isn't a hotel anywhere near the downtown. I agree that this should be a commuter route.

Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids seems to be a major missing link in the Michigan rail system. I'm not sure why the system is designed to get people to Chicago from various places in Michigan, but not to take people between the big cities in Michigan.
I agree with this. I am guessing, it is more to do with Amtrak having its 'hub' in Chicago, crew base, maintenance base, commissary, lots of connections, etc., that just makes it more practical to skew the schedules that way. This was all in place before the state of Michigan got involved with funding service, I believe...
 

CAQuail

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I recall being told at a MARP meeting many years ago that when the state was doing the planning for the Pere Marquette they originally were looking at Grand Rapids-Lansing-Detroit. However, when looking at the potential ridership they found that there was stronger demand for service to Chicago from Grand Rapids than Detroit.
 

railiner

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I recall being told at a MARP meeting many years ago that when the state was doing the planning for the Pere Marquette they originally were looking at Grand Rapids-Lansing-Detroit. However, when looking at the potential ridership they found that there was stronger demand for service to Chicago from Grand Rapids than Detroit.
That's one of the ironies of funding a service that will take your constituent's to another state to spend their money in for shopping, medical, recreation, etc...
 
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