What should we do with more equipment?

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west point

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This topic could speculate on how the additional equipment will be allocated. Do you build out present trains first, what new services, etc ?. Any ideas guys ?
 

WICT106

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This topic could speculate on how the additional equipment will be allocated. Do you build out present trains first, what new services, etc ?. Any ideas guys ?
I think that focus should first be on building out present-day trains and services, before adding new trains. The stations and present-day routes can be used as placeholders for additional service.
 

Philly Amtrak Fan

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This topic could speculate on how the additional equipment will be allocated. Do you build out present trains first, what new services, etc ?. Any ideas guys ?
I think that focus should first be on building out present-day trains and services, before adding new trains. The stations and present-day routes can be used as placeholders for additional service.
You must live somewhere with adequate train service. A lot of people would disagree with you.
 
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WICT106

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This topic could speculate on how the additional equipment will be allocated. Do you build out present trains first, what new services, etc ?. Any ideas guys ?
I think that focus should first be on building out present-day trains and services, before adding new trains. The stations and present-day routes can be used as placeholders for additional service.
You must live somewhere with adequate train service. A lot of people would disagree with you.
So, are you saying that we should have a whole bunch more routes where the service is once-per-day-each-direction ? Amtrak has tried that in the past, and trains were discontinued. Would it not be more effective to develop some trunk lines, with branches coming off from them ?
 

CCC1007

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This topic could speculate on how the additional equipment will be allocated. Do you build out present trains first, what new services, etc ?. Any ideas guys ?
I think that focus should first be on building out present-day trains and services, before adding new trains. The stations and present-day routes can be used as placeholders for additional service.
You must live somewhere with adequate train service. A lot of people would disagree with you.
So, are you saying that we should have a whole bunch more routes where the service is once-per-day-each-direction ? Amtrak has tried that in the past, and trains were discontinued. Would it not be more effective to develop some trunk lines, with branches coming off from them ?
That was also tried, and not successfully as they tried it with the California Zephyr, pioneer, and desert wind. One of the reasons it failed is that the branches ran 3x weekly.
 

jis

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The other reason that Pioneer and Desert Wind went away was as Amtrak retired the Heritage Hi-Level Cars, there simply was not enough equipment left to actually run all those trains
 

Eric S

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This topic could speculate on how the additional equipment will be allocated. Do you build out present trains first, what new services, etc ?. Any ideas guys ?
I think that focus should first be on building out present-day trains and services, before adding new trains. The stations and present-day routes can be used as placeholders for additional service.
You must live somewhere with adequate train service. A lot of people would disagree with you.
And plenty of people would disagree with you, even if they live somewhere without adequate train service.

With a limited amount of additional equipment, the biggest "bang for the buck" probably comes from adding equipment to trains that currently often sell out. With a larger amount of additional equipment, start to look at new (or restored) services that could be added.
 

WoodyinNYC

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Let's assume we're talking about an order for new single-level coaches and lounge/cafe cars, say full replacement plus how many more, uh, it depends. (But no more Superliners at this hypothetical time.)

With the NEC Regionals making positive operating results (often called "profits"), most replacements for the Amfleets should go first, not to replace, but to expand the fleet. Today any Regional that departs "sold out" is leaving money on the table. Adding cars to the existing Regionals' schedules should quickly increase the operating surplus to help pay for NEC infrastructure repair and upgrades for better future service.

As the added Regional cars fill with riders, Amtrak's nationwide ridership total will increase. That number is good for itself -- isn't the whole idea to allow more people to ride trains? It is also, as they say, huuuge when asking Congress for more money. "See? When we invest and expand, we can grow ridership and cut our losses."

So the NEC Regionals comprise an orchard full of low-hanging fruit.

Next step would add one or more cars to the existing system of LD routes. I've read that some of these trains sell out from time to time, and that ain't good. It's more money left on the table. Not sure how many cars could be added to the Lake Shore Ltd, already a very long train. Clearly the Lake Shore, Meteor, and Star need one or more cars. Maybe the Palmetto could fill another car.

The added revenue from more filled coaches could be very sweet. Imagine an Amtrak train that runs with a locomotive, bag car, cafe, and three coaches. Figure that the three coaches have already "paid for" the locomotive, bag car, and cafe. Then a fourth coach has low additional costs, chiefly fuel, maintenance, and the equipment charges. But it gets the train crew and some other costs "free", so more of the revenue drops down to the operating results.

Again, lots of low-hanging fruit ripe for plucking.

Well, nobody wants to run an empty coach ATL-New Orleans, tho the main Crescent segment NYC-D.C.-ATL could probably use another coach or two. But ATL will need new station facilities to unhitch cars that would be empty on the segment ATL- New Orleans. So before Amtrak can gain from added coaches on the Crescent, it waits for more money to be spent.

Adding another car or two to the Cardinal could help, but it really needs another train set so it can run daily. The PRIIA study forecast ridership would double from adding four more round trips a week, an easy 100,000+ added to Amtrak's total ridership. But we don't know how much would be needed for upgrades to the freights' right of way.

Next up, some of the state-supported trains could use another coach. Others will have better info, but I'd try another coach on the Pennsylvanian, the Adirondack, and the Vermonter, maybe on the Maple Leaf and the NYC-BUF Empire Service trains. The Ethan Allen might use another car when the extension to Burlington kicks in.

The Vermonter may need another coach when the upgrades are finished and run times slashed on the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield segment. For sure the Vermonter will need more cars when it gets extended to the big anchor city of Montreal. The Pennsylvanian will need equipment for another train set or two or three when frequencies are added NYC-Philly-Pittsburgh, after lots of money has been spent on the NS segment Harrisburg-PGH.

None of the trains mentioned above would require any new stations, commissaries, etc. Only mostly small upgrades to improve track capacity.

Replacing the Superliners on the Capitol Ltd with new single-level cars would take three train sets of them. Making the City of New Orleans into a single-level train too would require three, or more (the "Gulf Coaster"), train sets.

Single-level equipment is less efficient than the bi-levels, so costs would go up a bit on the Cap Ltd and the CONO. But their cannibalized equipment would be added to the Western bi-level LD trains which are desperate for equipment, often selling out in segments like Denver-Glenwood Springs-Grand Junction. This would be a stop gap until Congress can be persuaded to buy new bi-level cars. Congress will be more easily persuaded to do that if losses are down on the trains that have received added cars in the meantime.

Back to the Eastern trains, we need another train to Chicago, or more than one. Put the revived Broadway Ltd (or whatever name) top of the list. But it will cost big money for infrastructure. More frequencies of the Pennsylvanian would be part of that. But PGH-CLE-TOL-CHI is highly congested, and the hosts will surely demand substantial investment to create a new slot for a new (revived) train.

The best solution to CHI-East Coast service is to upgrade the CHI-TOL-CLE-PGH corridor to dedicated 110-mph or 125-mph track. At a cost of Billions.

All other added routes would also require paying for improvements to the infrastructure to handle additional trains. If we get another Stimulus, we can look to add a bunch of other corridor trains and the fabled Atlanta Day Train.

But that's another story.
 
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A Voice

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Well, nobody wants to run an empty coach ATL-New Orleans, tho the main Crescent segment NYC-D.C.-ATL could probably use another coach or two. But ATL will need new station facilities to unhitch cars that would be empty on the segment ATL- New Orleans. So before Amtrak can gain from added coaches on the Crescent, it waits for more money to be spent.
Years ago, Amtrak did indeed drop cars from the southbound Crescent, train 19, at Atlanta. What has changed in the intervening years to preclude this practice (other than Amtrak's aversion anymore to in-route switching)? Or is it rather that the practice never was practical, or even why it was stopped?
 

west point

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jebr thanks for the split off.

1. My concern is that any increase in train cars is going to put more stress on locos. Until Amtrak can get the CS-44 sprinters in LD service then the P-42 problems are only going to get worse. Ideally when enough LD sprinters are in service the training and parts for the national network will be available for servicing the locos. It "may" be the best way for the LD trains to operate one P-42 & one sprinter on the LD trains. ( better acceleration ) Sprinters on the Midwest routes this coming winter may free up some P-42s.

2. Longer trains are going to make worse the station dwell problems. Until Amtrak management gets their conductors and OBS persons to work the system better. Part of station dwell problems are some short platforms. Maybe have one or two coaches to be designated as much as possible for short platform stations ? Maybe signage at all platforms stations where the departing passengers would stand. With additional stations going to no agent status that is very important.

3. There is some different seasonal variation of loads on routes that will allow for some different time longer trains. " But " the present seasonal variations may not reflect what is actually there until artificial limitations of number of seats is lifted.

With the above considerations support 1st longer trains. There needs to be a concerted effort by Beech Grove and Wilmington to provide the most seats during peak travel periods. IMHO that means that peak travel periods will have a minimum of cars there that will be into level 2 overhauls and wreck repairs. During slack periods schedule the many level 1s and other minimal work.

4. " Maybe " Amtrak will get the V-2 sleepers by Thanksgiving that can be allocated out as has been discussed in other threads elsewhere ?

5. The Meteor would seem the first for additional coaches although that might require another diner or at least a café car as well. ( there goes the food deficit up ). The Star as well for the

6. LSL of course with NYP at its car limit and the BOS sections as needed. That may make a rather long train west of Albany maybe requiring 3 locos to maintain schedule ?

7. Cardinal of course with extra cars during the peak periods.

8. Now the Crescent problem. ATL station is an impossible problem because it ties up the NS main line twice a day for at least 1-1/2 hours a day each way. Cut off cars might be done if a location west of downtown could be found to store cut off cars. As well SOU RR up to time it went to Amtrak would run extra sections at peak periods ATL WASH . The day train ATL - NYP cannot be started until the station problem is solved. Look how well Carolinian carries many passengers. ATL - Raleigh is the second largest population super area in the country. One solution would be cut off cars at CLT but car storage there is problematic.
 

WoodyinNYC

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This topic could speculate on how the additional equipment will be allocated. Do you build out present trains first, what new services, etc ?
... focus should first be on building out present-day trains and services, before adding new trains. The stations and present-day routes can be used as placeholders for additional service.
You must live somewhere with adequate train service. A lot of people would disagree with you.
Well now. You've decried that Cincinnati and Cleveland and some other important cities are served during the graveyard shift. I agree, that's not adequate service. Pittsburgh gets a near-midnight arrival WB and at crack of dawn EB. Is that good enuff?

Memphis has great NB times for those in the sleepers, waking up in the Windy City by breakfast time. Riders SB from Chicago arrive Memphis early morning, again perfect if you're in a sleeper. But coach passengers have to sleep in their seats. (No wonder the SB "day train" segment to Jackson and New Orleans gets so many more riders than the NB segment.)

Would you oppose a "day train" thru already-served Cleveland? Instead of a daytime train CHI-Memphis, would you prefer a new route, perhaps stopping in Nashville also around 2 a.m.? Would you say Cincy already has a train, so a new train to unserved Columbus should take priority over more frequencies to Cincy?

Is a new train with stops in unserved Lubbock and Amarillo more urgent than daily service San Antonio-Houston-Beaumont-Lafayette-New Orleans?

Restoring the Pioneer, to serve greater metropolitan Boise and not much else, would come at a cost the UP put at more than half a Billion in needed upgrades to infrastructure. Would that be a better use of such funds than building a corridor route Tucson-Phoenix, which both already kinda-sorta have Amtrak service?

Restoring the Desert Wind (ignoring other efforts to serve L.A.-Las Vegas), what was the suggested bill for the infrastructure needed to add Salt Lake-Las Vegas-L.A. to the national system? Close to half a Billion there too? Or better to use that money to rebuild track west of Phoenix to get 125-mph corridor service to Amtrak cities Tucson-Phoenix-Yuma-L.A?

Six or eight 125-mph corridor trains CHI-Milwaukee-Madison-St Paul, with one train extending to St Paul-St Cloud-Fargo-Grand Forks-(possibly Winnipeg), could be one opportunity to increase service -- to existing Amtrak cities. Or would you prefer a revived North Coast Hiawatha serving CHI-St Paul-Bismark-Dickenson, N.D.-Billings-Bozeman-Butte-Missoula, MT-Seattle?

As WICT106 said: ... focus should first be on building out present-day trains and services ...
 

west point

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NYP has a practical limit of train length of approximately 14 (?) cars. For the NYP - South trains Amtrak could add cut off cars at PHL to the south destinations making for the old legacy RR longer trains.
 

Philly Amtrak Fan

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Responding to Woody's comments:

I will believe the best way to expand the network and increase ridership/revenue is to introduce service to cities that don't have service so yes I would like to see cities like Vegas and Nashville (large cities and tourist attractions) and Phoenix get service before expanding frequency on current routes. On the other hand, your point on costs is absolutely a factor. Sure, it would be cheaper to use Amtrak's existing infrastructure (tracks and stations) so I see why you want to expand there first. Then again, I've gotten as much a backlash when I suggested more trains over currently used routes as I have over new routes (the host railroads don't want any more trains on their tracks).

When it comes to a second (or third or fourth, etc) of the same route, I feel there has to be a specific reason for passengers to choose that new route/schedule over the current one. You mention Chicago/Memphis. A passenger from Memphis to Chicago can travel overnight. If they added your proposed day train, would a Memphis passenger give up his/her entire day to travel when they can sleep through the night on the current CONO While sleeping in coach isn't ideal the alternative is traveling 10-12 hours during the day in the same coach seats. I've never used an Amtrak sleeper of any kind and I'll take 10:40pm to 9:00am over 10:40am to 9:00pm (there goes my entire day) any day of the week. I could've taken the Coast Starlight between San Jose and Los Angeles but I chose the Thruway to Santa Barbara/Surfliner instead (you think sleeping in coach is bad, how about sleeping on a bus between San Jose and Santa Barbara?) because the schedule is way better. The current schedule between Pittsburgh and Philly is totally impractical for me to travel to/from the cities. If there was an overnight between the two, I'd be way more inclined to take the train. Of course communities in between get screwed so I'd only do this overnight service on LD routes where someone has to be in the graveyard shift or if there were day trains serving the intermediate markets. If I had the money to spend, (New York)Philadelphia/Pittsburgh and Bay Area/Los Angeles would be near the top of my list to spend on "night owl" trains.

You mentioned Cleveland/Cincinnati. I have said before that I would absolutely support a BL/TR that serves Ohio outside of the graveyard shift and travels between PGH and PHL during the graveyard shift (there's the overnight PGH-PHL/NYP train I mentioned) and we all know I want the Cardinal rescheduled to better serve CIN (and IND). I totally agree CLE and CIN do not have adequate service. As for PGH in terms of travel west, the 11:59pm departure is pushing it and the 5:05am arrival is clearly inadequate.

If we're sticking with existing routes/stations I think a new BL/TR is absolutely part of the discussion as opposed to treating it like a "new route". Unless you reroute through Michigan, you would need no new stations or track rights (and if you go through Michigan you need no new stations and about a 55 mile patch of new track rights). If people are concerned that the LSL doesn't satisfy the demand between CHI and NYP and you can't practically add cars to the LSL, a new BL/TR can give you the 2nd CHI-NYP train to take some demand off the LSL (don't get me started on the 27 hr train). Sure, you could run a 2nd LSL and have that train serve upstate New York during the graveyard shift but I would think a 2nd frequency between PGH and NYP would be more valuable than a fifth between BUF and NYP and it would give more passengers in PA a one seat ride to/from CHI. Having two good trains from CHI to NYP will also allow them to be spaced out. I would virtually guarantee one of the trains from CHI to NYP would leave Union Station before 9:30pm at night if there were two trains going the same route so you'd be able to get back to NYP earlier than 6pm.

I feel a new BL/TR is the best compromise which is above 750 miles, takes advantage of Amtrak's current infrastructure and gives enough passengers a reason to ride the specific train(s) over the current trains. If I could only expand on currently used tracks, I'd go for a new BL/TR over any other expansion hands down. I'd still fight for DET-TOL in terms of new track rights (I think it could be an Amtrak game changer) but if I could get BL/TR on the current CL/Pennsylvanian, I'd do it in a second (same is true fo connecting the CL/Pennsylvanian). I'd go for expanding the Palmetto back to Florida second. I'd still like to find a way to have through service between BOS/NE and Florida if I could but I've fought a lot with Thirdrail7 on that issue. I'd do all three of them over making the Byrd daily unless making the Byrd daily were way cheaper (and I mean way cheaper) than any of the other three. All things being equal, I'd make the Sunset daily over the Byrd to better serve Houston.
 
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jphjaxfl

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It's nice to dream about restoring passenger train service to routes that used to have service, but unless there is funding new long distance trains are not going to happen. I think there will be more state supported routes and private investment routes such as Brightline and Texas Central. If a concept like Brightline is successful, there will be more similar routes. Once California High Speed rail is built completely out from the Bay Area to Southern California and it is successful which I believe it will, other states will take notice and build. Amtrak certainly hasn't invested much in the Long Distance trains. Even the single level dining cars to replace the 60+ year old Heritage cars are very slow in coming. Meanwhile the current equipment limps along provide mostly unreliable service to customers who have a lot of time on their hands and don't mind arriving hours late. It sound very much like what the private railroads were doing in the 1960s to chase off passengers.
 

neroden

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Well, nobody wants to run an empty coach ATL-New Orleans, tho the main Crescent segment NYC-D.C.-ATL could probably use another coach or two. But ATL will need new station facilities to unhitch cars that would be empty on the segment ATL- New Orleans. So before Amtrak can gain from added coaches on the Crescent, it waits for more money to be spent.
Years ago, Amtrak did indeed drop cars from the southbound Crescent, train 19, at Atlanta. What has changed in the intervening years to preclude this practice (other than Amtrak's aversion anymore to in-route switching)? Or is it rather that the practice never was practical, or even why it was stopped?
Lack of station facilities, lack of sidings (probably ripped out). Increased freight traffic. Norfolk Southern will not let Amtrak do switching at the current, grossly inadequate Atlanta station site, and actually I agree with NS about this.

So basically a new Atlanta station is needed in order to have cutoff cars.
 
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west point

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Yes Amtrak did have ATL cut off cars at one time. The trains had the cut off cars but as well had 2 - 4 material handling cars. Southbound trains after stopping at the station an Amtrak switcher would move off a siding and couple to back of train and pull the cut offs back into siding and continue east to NS Armour yard. Cars often in yard before South bound Crescent had left. Yard also had a convenient wye.

In evening Switcher would get consist and go west about 3 miles to Howell junction ( with a complicated wye ) and wait for north bound Crescent to pass then push cut off cars onto back of Crescent.

When Mail contract ended cut offs were cancelled. ATL's MARTA then built a subway car yard on part of Armour. NS now needs use of the parking location so no longer available to AMTRAK. The old use it or loose it.
 

Thirdrail7

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I'd still like to find a way to have through service between BOS/NE and Florida if I could but I've fought a lot with Thirdrail7 on that issue.
For the record, the subject of this thread is "what should we do with more equipment."

As i have previously indicated, if we had more equipment, I would be in favor of running long distance trains to BOS assuming the bridge slot issue is addressed and Southampton Yard is beefed up to support the operation.

I am not in favor of killing an existing slot for a LD train particularly since Southampton can not really support the service at this time.
 

WoodyinNYC

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Let's assume we're talking about an order for new single-level coaches and lounge/cafe cars, say full replacement plus how many more, uh, it depends
Sorry. I wasn't clear about my assumption: The Fleet Replacement Plan envisions 100 new single-level cars delivered per year for some 6 or 7 years to replace the obsoleting cars of the current fleet. But I'm going beyond that, assuming not 600 or 700 new cars, but 900 or more, depending on how many new frequencies and new routes, corridors and LD, are created by infrastructure investments and by using the added equipment.

I'm certainly not assuming just another CAF-size order for merely 70 or 100 special-use cars like diners and sleepers. Well, we could use more of those, too, but ... I'm talking about 100, or 200, or maybe added 300 cars, mostly coaches, over and above the 600 or so replacements.

Philly, and others, you always revert to the shortage mentality. That thinking drives you to cannibalism: Kill one train to restore another. The answer to what ails Amtrak is not to cut one or two LD trains and try to make do on the others with the few more cars freed up by the killings.

The solution is to think big and grow Amtrak. The most immediate way to grow Amtrak

is to increase the equipment pool, mostly the single-level coaches, lounges, etc, by the hundreds.
 

jebr

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More frequencies makes the route more usable. We need to increase frequencies on almost all routes before we start restoring new routes. The market already exists, and people are much more likely to use a train that can take them multiple times a day (so they can tailor their trip times to what they want to do at their destination, instead of hoping that the times work out. It also gives people flexibility should things change that there'll be another train along soon, instead of having to wait until the next day or longer.) All current routes should be made daily; every Amtrak route currently has the market base to be able to support daily frequencies at this point. The next step would be to remove the 750-mile rule that favors the NEC over other corridors and start restoring some corridor routes along existing long-distance routes. The Midwest is ripe for this and could probably support more frequencies on pretty much every route radiating out of Chicago, at least to a nearby large metropolitan area (Denver, MSP, and Memphis are two huge untapped markets that come to mind.) There are probably many others that could support a second or third frequency to acquire additional train passengers.

To the specific point on "why a day train when we already have a night train?": A lot of people prefer to sleep in either their own bed or a non-moving bed, especially if they're traveling coach. A frugal traveler who may be able to sleep in coach seats would find a night train useful, but the family that's going to see relatives or spend a few days in another town for vacation would much prefer a day train. Travel can be done in adequate or better comfort for day travel, and they arrive to their destination in time to make it to their relatives' house or to a hotel and be able to sleep on a real bed instead of in coach. Even myself, who generally has little trouble sleeping on a train, would prefer a day train if I'm going to visit family or having to work the next day. For example, if I'm taking the train eight hours to visit a friend, I may take the night train out on Friday night to make it out there quicker and not waste a day getting there, but take the day train back on Sunday so that I get back in time to do any small errands I may need to do before work the next day and make sure I can be well rested for work on Monday.
 

Anderson

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At the moment, broadly speaking, I would be inclined towards first building out existing trains; then, I'd look at adding frequencies on existing routes (or partly on them), and finally network expansion. As things stand, even going with a 14-car limit for NYP (IIRC there are two platforms at NYP are capable of about 18 cars) the Meteor only generally comes to about 10-11 cars (3 sleepers, 2 FSCs, 4-5 coaches, and a bag); it's definitely feasible to add another sleeper (though that might stress the diner) and two sleepers and a coach is something I can see happening. Adding a sleeper or two to the Crescent also seems feasible (cut-off or no cut-off, though it might make sense to "de-staff" one or two sleepers south of Atlanta). Similar situations seem to exist for the LSL and Cardinal in the east. The Star is a more complicated situation. The bottom line, however, is that I can chew through a lot of equipment without adding trains.

If I get a large enough slug of single-level equipment (say, 100 LD coaches and 100 sleepers) then I'm mostly adding additional frequencies (e.g. extended Palmetto, second LSL, Pennsylvanian-to-Chicago). The only likely cases for LD "new service" in the East would be a section of a daily Cardinal to St. Louis, sections of the Silvers to Miami via FEC (likely going back to the "old" ACL split: FEC section to Miami and inland section to Tampa via Orlando...I'd trade ORL/TPA-South Florida for NEC-to-the-coast and likely operational advantages of both sections having shorter runtimes), and maybe sending an east coast-to-CHI train via Detroit and/or a NYP-NOL train via Montgomery instead of Birmingham.

If my extra equipment is bilevel, the first thing I do is re-equip the Auto Train and redistribute the existing equipment throughout the fleet (this would be about 40 cars if I'm not mistaken). You could probably work up an order for two trainsets which are 20-25 cars long and include a power car somewhere in that set; on the lower end, it's also possible that by starting from scratch you could power said trainset from the locomotives (IIRC we can do 18 as it stands) with more energy-efficient systems and/or adjusting the electrical systems. I'm not an electrical engineer and I'm not going to pretend to be one, I'm just being hopeful here. Hopefully I can use that equipment to cover a Daily Sunset and some version of a revived Sunset East.

Here, if it's a larger slug then there are some long-distance adds I'd pursue once I get the existing trains "up to size". Most produce additional frequencies on part(s) of an existing route; I'd want a second CHI-DEN train, for example, but I'd use a second frequency to support a Pioneer and/or Desert Wind. I'd also want a second CHI-SEA train, likely using the NCH route west of MSP. These are all pretty "regular" additions, but again they're behind expanding existing trains and reducing deficits on them as much as possible.

Note my lack of state trains...I'm working under the presumption of being somewhat hamstrung by PRIIA 209 and some other extant restrictions.
 

MARC Rider

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Ten car NE regionals! (That includes the Vermonter.)

More seats would drop NEC fares and maybe get some diesel-belching Bolt buses and Megabuses off of I 95.

More NEC trains with baggage car service.

Dining car service on the Palmetto, the Carolinian, the Pennsylvanian, and some selected. VA-DC-Boston services. Cafe cars on the Keystones and Albany trains.

Hourly corridor service outside the NEC.

Anything that would allow rail to have significant market share in its corridor, similar to what's in the NE.
 

A Voice

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Ten car NE regionals! (That includes the Vermonter.)

More seats would drop NEC fares and maybe get some diesel-belching Bolt buses and Megabuses off of I 95.

More NEC trains with baggage car service.

Dining car service on the Palmetto, the Carolinian, the Pennsylvanian, and some selected. VA-DC-Boston services. Cafe cars on the Keystones and Albany trains.

Hourly corridor service outside the NEC.

Anything that would allow rail to have significant market share in its corridor, similar to what's in the NE.
Dining car service on the Palmetto, in particular, is an interesting concept as the train covers three meal periods - same as the southbound Silver Meteor if you exclude dinner prior to the Miami arrival (does #97 even serve dinner if on time into Miami?). People tend to talk about full dining cars (or lack thereof) on the overnight trains, but you don't need or want meals while you are sleeping; You want them during the day - breakfast, lunch, and dinner - while you are awake.
 
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