What would you add?

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sttom

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A Portland to Denver train could also serve eastern Idaho of it skipped Salt Lake City as a stop .... But that would mean poor Boise could get 2 trains instead of one of the Pioneer was restored in two different forms.

I would imagine starting in Portland wouldn't be too much of an issue. They already turn half of the Empire Builder there and must service some of the Cascades there was well.
 

jis

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But the eternal question remains.... how will these trains or train get to Boise ID, with the connection into the city severed? They will probably have to stop somewhere outside the city like the Maricopa stop for Phoenix.
 

Anthony V

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But the eternal question remains.... how will these trains or train get to Boise ID, with the connection into the city severed? They will probably have to stop somewhere outside the city like the Maricopa stop for Phoenix.
The City of Boise owns the out-of-service portion of the "Boise Cutoff," and is ready to allow it to be restored to passenger train standards should efforts to restore the Pioneer get serious. Therefore, there is no excuse to not serve Boise directly with a revived Pioneer.
 

jis

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The City of Boise owns the out-of-service portion of the "Boise Cutoff," and is ready to allow it to be restored to passenger train standards should efforts to restore the Pioneer get serious. Therefore, there is no excuse to not serve Boise directly with a revived Pioneer.
Ah! Good! They did at least preserve the ROW. Good to know.

The Pioneer's real problem is that it is unlikely to be a stellar performer in terms of cost recovery. So someone has to be willing to underwrite its cost to a significant extent, whether it is the states involved or the feds. Maybe the mood will change in the country and such things will get better funding going forward. At least one can hope so.
 
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Anthony V

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Ah! Good! They did at least preserve the ROW. Good to know.

The Pioneer's real problem is that it is unlikely to be a stellar performer in terms of cost recovery. So someone has to be willing to underwrite its cost to a significant extent, whether it is the states involved or the feds. Maybe the mood will change in the country and such things will get better funding going forwar. At least one can hope so.
While there is better air service between major cities along the route of the Pioneer than there was in the 1990's, the opposite is true for smaller and mid sized towns along the route, some of which have no air service at all today. Intercity bus service along the corridor has also decreased in frequency since then. Due to these reasons, the Pioneer would become a critical transportation asset for towns like Pocatello, ID and Baker City, OR if it were restored.
 

piedpiper

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I personally think Desert Pioneer would be a better name for the combined route, Pioneer Wind sounds like someone passed gas.

I don't think timing the Desert Pioneer would be possible or even recommend since the Zephyr passes through Salt Lake at 11pm and 3 am. That would be a rough transfer let alone arrival times in Salt Lake.

I'm not sure what the Pioneer and Desert Wind schedule was like when they ran. Finding schedules prior to the wide distribution of scanners is next to impossible.
I'll give you the Desert Pioneer for the name - scheduling is possible looking at 1980 timetable
 

sttom

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I'm going to repeat that what I'd add is TWO A DAY on every route east of the Mississippi which has only one frequency (or less in the case of the Cardinal). Frequency creates ridership and has economies of scale.
Most of the long distance trains should be running at least twice a day. Who's going to ride a train that shows up at 3am? If a second train ran 12 hours offset, it would show up at 3pm.
 

Qapla

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Who's going to ride a train that shows up at 3am?
Both the Silvers have stops between 1AM and 5AM in both directions - and, yes, people get off and on at those stops ... so, somebody rides the train that shows up at that time

Now, I have not actually known any of the people who did this personally and they sat in a different car than the one I was in ... so, I can't really answer "Who" they are - but they do ride the train at that hour.
 

sttom

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Both the Silvers have stops between 1AM and 5AM in both directions - and, yes, people get off and on at those stops ... so, somebody rides the train that shows up at that time

Now, I have not actually known any of the people who did this personally and they sat in a different car than the one I was in ... so, I can't really answer "Who" they are - but they do ride the train at that hour.
Now imagine if secondary trains arrived at 1pm and 5pm. That would be more of an incentive to ride trains that would otherwise show up in the middle of the night or early in the morning.
 

Qapla

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Yes, it is true that a second train with a 12 hr offset would give the trains a "daytime" stop at those small stations - it would also put the train at the major stations at those "middle-of-the-night" hours that were pointed out as being undesirable.
 

sttom

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And most transit trips happen mid route. Day time stops in those small towns would make taking the train a more attractive option. And there are other routes and city pairs in the Amtrak system that would make sense with a 12 hour offset, like the Coast Starlight or the California Zephyr. A night departure from either train would put it on a major city the next day. A night time departure from LA would be a day time arrive in Northern California. Just like a night departure from Emeryville for the Zephyr would be a day time arrive in Salt Lake City and parts of Nevada which lack Greyhound service.
 

railiner

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Most of the long distance trains should be running at least twice a day. Who's going to ride a train that shows up at 3am? If a second train ran 12 hours offset, it would show up at 3pm.
Both the Silvers have stops between 1AM and 5AM in both directions - and, yes, people get off and on at those stops ... so, somebody rides the train that shows up at that time

Now, I have not actually known any of the people who did this personally and they sat in a different car than the one I was in ... so, I can't really answer "Who" they are - but they do ride the train at that hour.
I think most people are more concerned with their arrival times at their ultimate destination, than their origin departure times...
That's why Cleveland also suffers from both trains serving late night...
 

Qapla

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Lets see:

#91 leaves NYP at 11:00 AM and gets to MIA at 5:58 PM and stops at Denmark, SC at 2:30 AM
#92 leaves MIA at 11:50 AM and gets to NYP at 6:50 PM and stops at Denmark, SC at 2:45 AM
#97 leaves NYP at 3:15 PM and gets to MIA at 6:39 PM and stops at Florence, SC at 3:05 AM
#98 leaves MIA at 8:10 AM and gets to NYP at 11 AM and stops at Petersburg, VA at 3:30 AM

I think most people are more concerned with their arrival times at their ultimate destination, than their origin departure times...
I would agree with that ... looking at the above would we really think that many people would rather have the train in NY or Miami at the 12 hour offset just to be able to be in Denmark, Florence or Petersburg between 2:20 - 3:30 PM to make a second train viable?

Now, would I like to have a second train, Yes! - Do I think it makes financial sense .........
 

sttom

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Lets see:

#91 leaves NYP at 11:00 AM and gets to MIA at 5:58 PM and stops at Denmark, SC at 2:30 AM
#92 leaves MIA at 11:50 AM and gets to NYP at 6:50 PM and stops at Denmark, SC at 2:45 AM
#97 leaves NYP at 3:15 PM and gets to MIA at 6:39 PM and stops at Florence, SC at 3:05 AM
#98 leaves MIA at 8:10 AM and gets to NYP at 11 AM and stops at Petersburg, VA at 3:30 AM



I would agree with that ... looking at the above would we really think that many people would rather have the train in NY or Miami at the 12 hour offset just to be able to be in Denmark, Florence or Petersburg between 2:20 - 3:30 PM to make a second train viable?

Now, would I like to have a second train, Yes! - Do I think it makes financial sense .........
The Silver Star leaves NYC at 11 am and arrives in Raleigh at 9 pm. An 11 pm departure would lead to a 9 am arrival. So there would be city pairs and not just Podunk towns that no one cares if they can take a trip during the day. The reverse would be leaving at 8:45 pm and arriving in NYC around 7 am.

For the Starlight, since that point was ignored, leaves LA at 10:10 am and arrives in Sacramento at midnight. At 10:10 pm departure would lead to a noon arrival in Sacramento. And that noon train would reach Seattle at 8 am the next morning.

And the Zephyr, a 9:10 pm departure from Emeryville would be a 3pm arrival in Salt Lake City and a 7:10 am arrival in Denver. In reverse, it would be 7:15 pm departure from Denver, an 11 am arrival in Salt Lake City and a 4:10 am arrival in Emeryville. Yeah that arrival might be inconvenient, but at least you cities in the middle will have halfway convenient day time arrivals.
 

Qapla

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Of course, while the two trains a day with a 12 hour offset would give alternative times for many stops ... it would also cause a more complex scheduling dance for the freight companies that own the tracks ... Amtrak does not always get the best times for Amtrak - they get the times the freight track owners give/rent them


Personally, I would like to see a JAX to TPA train that ran twice a day. It wouldn't need any sleepers and would be nice if it had the Cafe/Diner car located in the center of the consist ... but that ain't gonna' happen
 
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MARC Rider

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Lets see:

#91 leaves NYP at 11:00 AM and gets to MIA at 5:58 PM and stops at Denmark, SC at 2:30 AM
#92 leaves MIA at 11:50 AM and gets to NYP at 6:50 PM and stops at Denmark, SC at 2:45 AM
#97 leaves NYP at 3:15 PM and gets to MIA at 6:39 PM and stops at Florence, SC at 3:05 AM
#98 leaves MIA at 8:10 AM and gets to NYP at 11 AM and stops at Petersburg, VA at 3:30 AM



I would agree with that ... looking at the above would we really think that many people would rather have the train in NY or Miami at the 12 hour offset just to be able to be in Denmark, Florence or Petersburg between 2:20 - 3:30 PM to make a second train viable?

Now, would I like to have a second train, Yes! - Do I think it makes financial sense .........
There's already daylight (or reasonable hours) arrivals and departures between MIA and Petersburg on 91/92. And between New York and Florence on 89/90.

What's missing are reasonable hour arrival/departure times for Miami to stops on the A line between Savannah and Rocky Mount (MIA to Rocky Mount actually has good times on 91/92), and for people who want to travel from either Florida or New York to Denmark or Columbia (a much more significant stop, considering it's the state capital.) I would think that a Palmetto-like service operating on the S line to New York would be easy to do, but there might be an issue of train slots between Richmond and Washington.
 

Pere Flyer

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Dec 25, 2016
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This group’s title makes a fantastical assumption that any of us individuals would have the power to change Amtrak to our wishes, so I’d rather not take it too seriously.

Golden rule of improv:
“Yes—and, …”
 

Philly Amtrak Fan

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Jul 25, 2015
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When the Three Rivers and Silver Palm were still running, not only were there one seat rides that don't exist today but there were more favorable schedule choices that don't exist today.

While the Three Rivers was still running, in 2004 the eastbound Lake Short Limited left Chicago at 7:35pm and arrived in New York at 3:25pm (before rush hour) as the TR served as the "cleanup" train (10:00pm-7:28pm). It also served Pittsburgh-Chicago at better times than they are today (10:00pm=7:45am westbound, 10:00pm-9:00am eastbound)

http://timetables.org/full.php?group=20041101&item=0069
http://timetables.org/full.php?group=20041101&item=0071

In Florida, passengers from New York to Miami had 7:15am-12:20pm, 11:00am-5:20pm, 7:01pm-9:35pm and return trips 7:00am-10:12am, 10:35am-3:28pm, 3:00pm-7:31pm. Compare that to the current southbound Miami arrival times within an hour of each other (5:58pm and 6:39pm).

http://timetables.org/full.php?group=20040426&item=0073
http://timetables.org/full.php?group=20040426&item=0074

More trains, more choices.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
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Since it does not look too promising for resumption of JAX to NOL ... it would be nice to add a train from SAV to ATL that would go through Macon. It should make the trip shorter and less costly than the current routes available ... thus making JAX to NOL a little more feasible.
 

west point

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NS is adding the new 3rd day SAV - CHI intermodal service that might over tax the non signaled portion SAV - Macon ? However I agree that making the route a part of the Crescent would side step the present 750 mile limit ?
 

neroden

Conductor
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Feb 23, 2014
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Yes, it is true that a second train with a 12 hr offset would give the trains a "daytime" stop at those small stations - it would also put the train at the major stations at those "middle-of-the-night" hours that were pointed out as being undesirable.
On the Lake Shore Limited, nearly every station is a "major station", so in order to serve them all in the day time, you *need* at least two trains.
 

Siegmund

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Nov 19, 2018
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Yes, it is true that a second train with a 12 hr offset would give the trains a "daytime" stop at those small stations - it would also put the train at the major stations at those "middle-of-the-night" hours that were pointed out as being undesirable.
Very often you can do better offsetting 8 hours rather than 12.

In the case of a NY-Chicago train, for instance, you can do NY late evening-Pittsburgh early morning - Chicago early afternoon, or NY early afternoon - Pittsburgh late evening - Chicago morning.

In my dream world, we'd have a fleet of these, such that from Chicago, there'd be both a day train and an overnight train to Minneapolis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland/Buffalo.
 

Way2Kewl

Train Attendant
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Sep 29, 2019
Messages
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Each time I make a long distance run I love to make it to the last car to take some phots out the back window.
I wish I could do the same from the Engineers viewpoint.

WHAT I WOULD LOVE TO SEE is LD trains set up with a router and extenders to carry an intranet (internal) within the train.[and also pick up Internet (external) when in signal as they do on Coast Starlight]
Add cameras on the front and back of the trains.
Set up a home page (similar to a hotel) that allows anyone with a laptop/tablet/phone to access and watch both of these cameras. An added plus would be to add a “shared” page of our "follow along map" like large planes that’s not reliant on cell signal but using GPS instead that everyone can access.

The home page can also link to the Schedule, Menu, Route Guides as another plus. And over time maybe even add real time self serve Diner scheduling. When the Diner Lead roams the cars for reservations, they can use the real time data and simply skip the rooms that’s already used the self service.

I would think the project cost would be pretty small in relation to the added value to your train trip enjoyment experience as well as being more efficient, seems it would be worth the cost.
 
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