What would you add?

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StriderGDM

OBS Chief
Joined
Dec 23, 2014
Messages
581
Forget cuts.

Let's say you could ADD to Amtrak, what would you add?

Let's be reasonable. We're not going to see $10B a year added.

Myself:

Start process for replacement of the single-level fleet (already proposed). But make sure to order even more cars to handle increased traffic over coming decades (minimum 500 cars to replace Amfleet I fleet, more likely 600).

Add some form of Sunset East. The train itself doesn't necessarily do well, but one has to consider the power of the network.

Add an ATL-WAS day train. Keep Crescent, but make this route more accessible during daylight hours.

Extend Heartland flyer to Kansas. Again.. it's about the network.

Get all 3-day/week trains to daily. Need reliable service

Extend Vermonter to Montreal

Add a Buffalo-Chi "day train". Again, extend the network, make those cities accessible during DAYLIGHT hours.
 
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Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
19,399
Add to Amtrak: 1)Return of the Broadway Ltd. from NYP- CHI 2)A Sleeper on #66/#67 3)A Diner and Sleeper on a DAILY Cardinal

Revise: 1)DAILY Texas Eagle CHI-LAX-CHI

with a Stub Train SAS- NOL 2)Extend Heartland Flyer to Kansas to connect with SWC 3) City of New Orleans run through to Florida to connect with Silver Trains in Jacksonville 4)Return of the Regional/Chef Specials in the Diners/ a surcharge of $10-20 per Sleeper ticket should cover this and look into getting better deals on better quality food and beverages( Coke!!) from suppliers( Wal- Mart/Costco method/drive a hard bargain with suppliers)

4) once the new Viewliners are in service make the Cap Single Level and use the Superliners where they are badly needed. 5) rebuild the P-42s, they are being run to death and becoming shop queens
 
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R30A

Guest
Perhaps a bit too far in the fantasy side, but I don't intend this to be an all or nothing scenario. The following is what I would LIKE to see, not what I EXPECT to see.

Long Distance:
Daily Cardinal
Daily Sunset
Restored Desert Wind
Restored North Coast Limited

Restored Broadway Limited/3 rivers, Via route of Capitol west of Pittsburgh. This takes the Lake Shore's slots. The Lake Shore needs to be earlier EB and later WB.
Second Starlight, Third Silver Service.
If it can be done, The Floridian. If not, perhaps the third Silver could be in actuality a continuation of the Capitol Limited allowing through ticketing.
Of course, this all needs a more friendly congress than today.

East Corridors:

Virginia: Richmond Main Street really needs to be the south end of the NEC. Getting an electrified higher speed right of way will be hard, but is certainly justifiable. Also, connecting RVM to the Atlantic coast service would really help Richmond. Other than that, Boost Lynchburg/Roanoke as well as Norfolk. Friendly state government makes this one a lot more possible.

North Carolina: Eventually add another Piedmont or two. Extend them east as well. Unfriendly state government, but might be popular enough to happen anyway.
Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh needs at least 2 TPD. Friendly state government. This should happen.
PA NY NJ: I'd love to see new NY-Scranton- Southern Tier corridor. Probably would have to wait on friendlier state governments in both NY and NJ.
New York: Additional service west of Albany.
CT/MA: Restore at least one daily through train on the inland route. Should have never been cut.

Overall: More evening service. 9PM should be the absolute earliest for a last train anywhere within Richmond, Harrisburg, Albany, Springfield, Boston ring around NY.

Midwest:

Michigan: Make the holiday schedule the normal one! I think the state would support this. Might actually happen when all the current projects in ROW and rolling stock come along further. Restore the international!

Illinois: Essentially do what is planned! I am still cautiously hopeful for Quad Cities, although the Black Hawk has done little but disappoint. Additional frequencies of the other corridors too. Not sure how the state is going to act on this one.

Indiana/Ohio:
3Cs a must. Day trains CHI-Cleveland and CHI-Cincinnati are no brainers. Requires friendlier governments in both states. (i.e. Can't really start doing anything for at least 3 years here.)

Wisconsin: Madison at the very least needs to happen. Again, nothing at all for the next 3 years.

West: The state plans of the west coast states all seem to be in the right idea. On top of that, a LA-LV corridor is needed. Perhaps LA-Phoenix/Tucson too. These are Large investments for sure. Perhaps also Talgo service along the routes of the Empire Builder in WA/OR.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Additions to Amtrak should be in growth corridors. Adding new stations or migrating stations to connect to more rail or access hubs.

Florida is a prime example where rail is increasing in growth and Amtrak can benefit on connection traffic.

Population tends to be increasing in certain areas like Northeastern Corridor and Florida and Texas and California.

But other parts of the nation tend to be on decline for rail traffic where its more of a relaxation or people want to take trains for sightseeing and the like so traffic levels on these routes wont see much growth.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,685
Trains on a Cincinnati-Dayton-Columbus-Cleveland route making decent connections at Cleveland and Cincinnati with LD trains.

Put more money in training of onboard service staff to improve the consistency of service on the trains.
 

dlagrua

Conductor
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,105
My wish list:

Broadway LTD (one line across OH and IN is insufficient for long term growth)

Olympian Hiawatha ( a single line to Seattle isn't working well. ROW is still there)

Desert Wind

Floridian (doesn't anyone agree that an IL to FL route is needed?)
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,206
An additional connection with VIA Rail in Canada would be nice, but I think the the only reasonably doable one is Port Huron MI to Sarnia ON with only about 3 miles of track separating the two stations. But the one train a day on both sides of the border involves a 6 to 8 hour hour layover in Sarnia - an unmanned station - from about 2200 to 0600 hours going either way.

Via Rail has more trains in and out of Windsor (across the river from Detroit) but a rail connection there looks almost impossible because of the trackage.

I think any other connection across the border West of Detroit would be a sure money pit - even bigger than the Port Huron/Sarnia one.
 

boxcarsyix

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
184
"Olympian Hiawatha ( a single line to Seattle isn't working well. ROW is still there)"

Are you talking about the old Milwaukee Road ROW?
 

Just-Thinking-51

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
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Sep 17, 2009
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The small things. A conductor range of control is three cars. Have all trains made into 3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24,27,30 size.

Max out your employees, under the current contact. Nothing like a train selling out at some point in the trip, but only have a total of 5 cars assigned.

Hello New York
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,685
My wish list:

Broadway LTD (one line across OH and IN is insufficient for long term growth)

Olympian Hiawatha ( a single line to Seattle isn't working well. ROW is still there)

Desert Wind

Floridian (doesn't anyone agree that an IL to FL route is needed?)
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
1,685
My post did not get applied.

A Chicago to Miami train with a stop in Cincinnati would be a welcome improvement to Amtrak's service.
 

DryCreek

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
276
Forget cuts.

Let's say you could ADD to Amtrak, what would you add?

Let's be reasonable. We're not going to see $10B a year added.

Myself:

Start process for replacement of the single-level fleet (already proposed). But make sure to order even more cars to handle increased traffic over coming decades (minimum 500 cars to replace Amfleet I fleet, more likely 600).

Add some form of Sunset East. The train itself doesn't necessarily do well, but one has to consider the power of the network.

Add an ATL-WAS day train. Keep Crescent, but make this route more accessible during daylight hours.

Extend Heartland flyer to Kansas. Again.. it's about the network.

Get all 3-day/week trains to daily. Need reliable service

Extend Vermonter to Montreal

Add a Buffalo-Chi "day train". Again, extend the network, make those cities accessible during DAYLIGHT hours.
That alone would certainly make my day! Sunset eastbound from NOL would also be great, but another North-South route tying the TE in with the SWC, and then from where it intersects in Hutchison KS, go East until Topeka, and then North again to Lincoln NE to tie in the CZ, and then where?, maybe eastbound to Omaha and then North to somewhere in ND or MN? Once it ties into the Empire Builder, it truly could be the Heartland Flyer! Imagine how much train time you could save when bypassing CHI to get to the PNW. It would also make more sense for those in SAS who want to go skiing in Denver, wouldn't it?
 

niemi24s

Conductor
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,206
"Olympian Hiawatha ( a single line to Seattle isn't working well. ROW is still there)"

Are you talking about the old Milwaukee Road ROW?
If part of that would be the trackage between the ghost town of Taft MT and Avery ID, count me in. That would have to be one of the most spectacular rides on this side of the event horizon. 9 Bridges and 17 tunnels along 26 miles of track connecting those two places that are only 15 miles apart as the crow flies. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Enter "Avery ID" here... http://www.mytopo.com/maps/index.cfm ...and then follow the river and old roadbed up the river to the Northeast all the way to Taft. Then see if you do the same using Google Earth.

A fella can dream, can't he?
 
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K

Kevin69

Guest
I would add moderators in the diner and sightseer lounge to monitor conversations for inappropriate comments by passengers.
 

Tennessee Traveler

Conductor
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
1,230
A Chicago to Miami train with a stop in Cincinnati would be a welcome improvement to Amtrak's service.
A Chicago to Miami train should absolutely be routed through Nashville to Chattanooga to Atlanta whether that train comes through Evansville, IN or Louisville, KY. At least Cincinnati and Indianapolis have some token of Amtrak service so if tracks in those areas are reason for "slow" trains then possible train through Carbondale, IL into Nashville would be good.
 
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jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
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Aug 24, 2003
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25,617
The slowness problem would be at the Nashville to Atlanta segment which is hard to fix by routing through Carbondale up north.
 

FormerOBS

Conductor
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
1,272
I've been thinking about some possibilities for North-South trains, hopefully scheduled to connect with the East-West trains. Some of these ideas are from out in left field, especially in cases where passenger service had ended before Amtrak day. I'm not sure that the operating railroads could be compelled to cooperate, although I don't claim to know the legal/contractual issues.

1. Denver south to La Junta or Trinidad over the Joint Line. This would be intrastate, so Colorado would have to sponsor it AFAIK. This could be extended north to Cheyenne or south to Albuquerque.

2. Detroit-Toledo-Lima-Dayton-Cincinnati. This was a good market for B&O (now CSX). It runs parallel to Interstate 75, which is pretty busy. That should show that potential traffic exists. Possible future extension to Louisville and Nashville, although I don't know about track condition in some places. We probably can't expect Ohio to help out on this one in the next several years, at least.

3. Use NS "Rathole Division" (named for numerous tunnels) South from Cincinnati for service to Florida. This is very problematic.

4. This one is a sentimental dream. South from Buffalo, NY to Williamsport, PA, to Harrisburg. I rode this line in the 1960's & found it to be one of the prettiest train rides ever, in spite of the PRR's rundown equipment. Possible extension south to Baltimore and Washington. Another pipe dream would be to extend it South from Harrisburg to Hagerstown and Roanoke, through the Shenandoah Valley. If there were a practical way to connect this with the Crescent Route to N.O., that would be great; but I think that's probably impractical unless the connection were made at Manassas, which would avoid most of the Shenandoah Valley. As I said, this one is a sentimental dream.

5. One additional East-West extension: Establish some service to Asheville, NC by extending the NC State's trains. Another pipe dream.
 
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MikefromCrete

Conductor
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
2,610
Here's my thoughts:

1. Restore the Broadway Limited, Chicago-Cleveland-Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-New York City. Killing this route was one of Amtrak's biggest mistakes.

2. A Chicago-Florida train. Ideally, this would run via Louisville, Nashville and Atlanta. If this route proves impractical to restore, then extend the CONO by taking a left turn at New Orleans over the old Sunset East route.

3. Detroit-Cincinnati (and possibly farther south).

4. Ohio 3-C's, Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati.

5. Additional runs on Midwest Routes.

6. Real, improved Chicago-Indianapolis-Cincinnati-Louisville service.

7. Three times daily service Chicago-Milwaukee-Minneapolis

8. Minneapolis-Kansas City-Dallas

9. Denver-Dallas

10. Dallas-Houston-San Antonio

11. Boston-Montreal

11.Of course, daily service on the Cardinal and Sunset.

I'll leave the far west and southeast suggestions for those more familiar with those areas.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,422
1. Chicago-Indy-(Cincinnati)-Louisville-Nashville-Chattanooga-Atlanta-Jacksonville-Orlando-Miami. Not only is this a big gap in the map but it serves ten major cities. I put Cincinnati in parenthesis seeing there is a route direct to Louisville from Indy. If the Hoosier State ceases to run this train could easily fill the CHI- IND run.

2. A feeder train for the first option Detroit-Cincinnati via the three C route. Time one train to connect the Florida train.

3. A charlotte-Atlanta train extension of the piedmont. Maybe even route it via Columbia and Augusta. There is a higher population base on the indirect route.

4. Auto train extension Chicago-Sanford.

5. Auto train extension New York metro area to Chicago.

6. Auto train extension Chicago to LA metro.

7. Auto train extension Chicago to Pacific Northwest.

8. Figure out how to add intermediate stops to the auto trains.
 
G

Guest

Guest
4. Auto train extension Chicago-Sanford.
Wasn't that a total waste, major money looser, back when it was in operation? What has dramatically changed such that it would be different now?

5. Auto train extension New York metro area to Chicago.
You would need a lot of seasonally migration between Chicago and NYC to support it (windbirds vs snowbirds?). Does such really exist?
 

Chey

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
455
The Caprock Chief - FTW to DEN
 

Palmetto

Conductor
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
1,931
4. Auto train extension Chicago-Sanford.
Wasn't that a total waste, major money looser, back when it was in operation? What has dramatically changed such that it would be different now?

5. Auto train extension New York metro area to Chicago.
You would need a lot of seasonally migration between Chicago and NYC to support it (windbirds vs snowbirds?). Does such really exist?
Sorry about the double post. I don't know how to delete one. IIRC, they tried an Autotrain to Louisville and it did not do well.
 

Palmetto

Conductor
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
1,931
I liked the Caprock Chief proposal. I realize that there are not many megacities on the route, but it would've opened up loads of new city pairs. We are woefully short on north/south routes, and I think this one would've had possibilities.
 
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