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sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
580
I would like to jump off of where IndyLions post about what you would do if you were put in charge of Amtrak. Instead of focusing on what you would do with the long distance trains, I want to focus on what you would do for corridor services. This is also attempting to define what the "huge expansion in corridor service" is. I hope its alright to start a thread jumping off another one.

So here are the ground rules:
The same premise of the post this is jumping off of also applies. So the Mica and 750 mile rules have also been overturned and you have a 5 year transition period until new equipment is coming in.

New corridor services are broken into 2 categories, Interstate Corridors and State Corridors. Interstate Corridors will be given a $2.5 billion annual subsidy and the State Corridors will be given a $10 billion annual subsidy divided between the states by population. I attached a spreadsheet of the funding broken up between the states (Hopefully)

You have, through your silver tongue, gotten Amtrak a massive capital infusion on the level of a new Interstate Highway Project ($300 billion). $100 billion for State Corridors divided proportionally, $100 billion for Interstate Corridors (divided how you want), $100 billion for equipment. Assuming the estimated cost of 1 new engine is $12 million, 1 new car is $3 million and 1 rehabbed mile of double track is $2.5 million. Let’s just for the sake of the thought experiment assume in the negotiations, the Northeastern states have gotten their own supplemental funding package so the Interstate funds can’t be used on the NEC.

The rules for what is an Interstate Corridor are 1) The Corridor connects two primary cities in an MSA and serves 3 states in between or 2) Connects two MSAs at least 500 miles apart (with a 50 mile tolerance) and crosses a state line. Proposed corridors that presently lack Amtrak train service get first priority. The base level of service is 2 trains per day (Overnight trains count) and the end to end run time can’t exceed 24 hours after any track work you propose, within reason so no tunneling under a city or through a mountain.

For the State Corridors, if a state decides to not cooperate with you, Amtrak would then be allowed to plan and run its own instate services.

So have fun, describe a nationwide system or routes where you live.
 

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west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,243
Before we go too far I have to wonder about Porter Rico ? It certainly at one time had a rail network. The other territories are probably too small for anything other than a unencumbered light rail ?
 

IndyLions

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
355
Location
Brownsburg IN
Ok - this is potentially a big job - and I’m still trying to wrap my arms around the financial rules. But let’s get started in my backyard in the Midwest...

Routes that impact Indiana
This is my adopted home. From a travel perspective, it's always been more of a place to pass through rather than an destination - and that continues in this exercise. It's a nice place to live - but the politicians here have absolutely no vision when it comes to transportation.

New Corridors
Cincinnati - Indianapolis - Chicago (300 miles) - new
Nashville - Louisville - Indianapolis - Chicago (500 miles) - new
Cleveland-Toledo-South Bend-Chicago (350 miles) - new
Columbus-Indianapolis-Terre Haute-St. Louis (425 miles) - new

In this scenario, Indianapolis gets lucky and becomes a cross connecting point for trains heading to and from Chicago from Cincinnati and Nashville (through Louisville). A new connection to the east for St. Louis passes through Indy as well as tracks are acquired and upgraded from St. Louis to Columbus OH. The Indianapolis Union Station train shed is finally upgraded so that it is no longer a hellhole. A connector train is also added between Indianapolis International Airport and Union Station. South Bend gets a few more intercity connections with new Cleveland-Chicago service. No connection Indy-Fort Wayne is established because Indiana still won't spend any money.

Routes that Impact Michigan
My birth state is a much rail friendlier state. The corridor investment will allow them to expand frequencies, speed and destinations further. New Coast-to-Coast service is established Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids-Holland. Track acquisitions include the track between Detroit and Toledo - providing connectivity with Cleveland and ultimately New York. Michigan Central Depot is also up and running, all Detroit trains operate from there, including new commuter service Ann Arbor-Dearborn-Detroit. In cooperation with Canada, a new corridor is established Detroit to Toronto, and the old connection at Port Huron to Toronto is re-established.

New & Existing Corridors
Pontiac-Detroit-Battle Creek-Kalamazoo-Chicago (300 mi) - existing
Toronto-Port Huron-Flint-Lansing-Battle Creek-Chicago (500 mi) - extended
Grand Rapids-Holland-St. Joseph-Chicago (175 mi) - existing
Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids-Holland (190 mi) - new
Detroit-Windsor-Toronto (250 mi) - new
Detroit-Toledo-Cleveland (175 mi) - new
 
Last edited:

Philly Amtrak Fan

Conductor
Joined
Jul 25, 2015
Messages
2,005
Location
Philadelphia Area
State Corridors:

Los Angeles-San Francisco (the actual city!) (possible extension to San Diego)
Los Angeles-Sacramento (additional)
Dallas-Houston
Dallas-Austin-San Antonio
Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-New York (Pennsylvania primary state) (additional)
Miami-Orlando-Tampa (additional)
Miami-Orlando-Jacksonville (and/or Miami-FEC-Jacksonville)
Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati
Las Vegas-Los Angeles (Nevada primary state)
Memphis-New Orleans (Split between Louisiana/Tennessee)
Nashville-Atlanta (Split between Tennessee/Georgia)

Interstate Corridors:

Cincinnati-Indianapolis-Chicago
Minneapolis-Milwaukee-Chicago
Nashville-Louisville-Indianapolis-Chicago
Nashville-Louisville-Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland
Raleigh-Charlotte-Atlanta (it goes through South Carolina so it's 3 states!)
Atlanta-Savannah-Jacksonville-Orlando-Miami
Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland-Pittsburgh (in my LD plan, South Bend would lose LD trains, this would be a train for them).

Overlapping proposed LD routes:
Cincinnati-Columbus-Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-New York (Broadway Columbus-New York)
Detroit-Toledo-Cleveland-Buffalo-Albany-New York (Lake Shore Limited entire route)
Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington (Broadway Limited DC leg)
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,295
Location
Baltimore. MD
For an interstate corridor:

Baltimore/Washington -- Pittsburgh It's not anywhere near 500 miles, but it does serve 3 states and the District of Columbia. Of course,being Dictator of Transportation, I would also be able to find money on hand to straighten out some of the curves and flatten some of the grades on the B&O route to get the travel time down to 5 hours or so. There should also be MARC service to Cumberland, and some sort of commuter rail between Pittsburgh and McKeesport.

Of course, the entire Washington -Chicago route could be rebuilt for High Speed Rail and there would be Washington -Chicago daylight "corridor" service with the Capitol Limited being the "hotel train."

East Coast -Ohio service -- New York Philadelphia Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia Akron. Washington - Akron/Cleveland.

For "In-state" corridor:
Baltimore - Harrisburg -- This doesn't meet either the in-state criteria, but it's only 2 states. Probably would be best to run the trains through from Washington. Currently, the route requires going up the NEC to Perryville, and then using the Port Road up the Susquehanna River. Not sure of travel time and how it would compete with driving. Of course, as Dictator of Transportation, I would find the funds to build a new Northern Central line directly north from Baltimore, roughly paralleling I-83 (where most of the development is now, anyway). Given the steep hilly terrain, this would be a doozy of a line with lots of deep cuts and spectacular scenic viaducts to keep the grades and curves suitable for higher-speed running. The line would also allow for Baltimore-York commuter service, and maybe Harrisburg-York commuter service, too.

Baltimore/Washington - Delmarva service -- This would require a bridge over Chesapeake Bay. The State of Maryland right now is deciding whether or not they need a new Bay Bridge (or just expand the current one.) Whatever they do, if I were Dictator of Transportation, I would require them to include a rail bridge as part of the project. If the Danes can build rail/highway bridges over large bodies of water, so can we. The main line would connect Baltimore/Washington to Easton, Cambridge, Salisbury and Ocean City. There should also be a branch line to Dover, Delaware, and maybe Lewes/Rehobeth Beach. This would be intercity service to Rehobeth Beach and Ocean City, and commuter service to, say, Easton.

Keystone West -- Harrisburg to Pittsburgh (Of course, the trains would run through form Philadelphia or New York.)
 

sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
580
Ok - this is potentially a big job - and I’m still trying to wrap my arms around the financial rules. But let’s get started in my backyard in the Midwest...

Routes that impact Indiana
This is my adopted home. From a travel perspective, it's always been more of a place to pass through rather than an destination - and that continues in this exercise. It's a nice place to live - but the politicians here have absolutely no vision when it comes to transportation.

New Corridors
Cincinnati - Indianapolis - Chicago (300 miles) - new
Nashville - Louisville - Indianapolis - Chicago (500 miles) - new
Cleveland-Toledo-South Bend-Chicago (350 miles) - new
Columbus-Indianapolis-Terre Haute-St. Louis (425 miles) - new

In this scenario, Indianapolis gets lucky and becomes a cross connecting point for trains heading to and from Chicago from Cincinnati and Nashville (through Louisville). A new connection to the east for St. Louis passes through Indy as well as tracks are acquired and upgraded from St. Louis to Columbus OH. The Indianapolis Union Station train shed is finally upgraded so that it is no longer a hellhole. A connector train is also added between Indianapolis International Airport and Union Station. South Bend gets a few more intercity connections with new Cleveland-Chicago service. No connection Indy-Fort Wayne is established because Indiana still won't spend any money.

Routes that Impact Michigan
My birth state is a much rail friendlier state. The corridor investment will allow them to expand frequencies, speed and destinations further. New Coast-to-Coast service is established Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids-Holland. Track acquisitions include the track between Detroit and Toledo - providing connectivity with Cleveland and ultimately New York. Michigan Central Depot is also up and running, all Detroit trains operate from there, including new commuter service Ann Arbor-Dearborn-Detroit. In cooperation with Canada, a new corridor is established Detroit to Toronto, and the old connection at Port Huron to Toronto is re-established.

New & Existing Corridors
Pontiac-Detroit-Battle Creek-Kalamazoo-Chicago (300 mi) - existing
Toronto-Port Huron-Flint-Lansing-Battle Creek-Chicago (500 mi) - extended
Grand Rapids-Holland-St. Joseph-Chicago (175 mi) - existing
Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids-Holland (190 mi) - new
Detroit-Windsor-Toronto (250 mi) - new
Detroit-Toledo-Cleveland (175 mi) - new
One thing I did forget to mention is that the Interstate Corridors would still count as a part of the National Network and the State Corridors wouldn't. So its possible to have a revived and expanded Hoosier State and an overlapping Interstate Corridor to Cincinnati. I would differentiate them by the Hoosier State having more local stops and a lower fare structure than the Interstate trains.

Also the international services would be a completely different story. Anything from Detroit to Ontario could be Via Rail services rather than Amtrak. And probably would given the circumstance with the Maple Leaf. Or rather a better example would be the Cascade trains that run to Vancouver. It would probably be that in reverse.

For an interstate corridor:

Baltimore/Washington -- Pittsburgh It's not anywhere near 500 miles, but it does serve 3 states and the District of Columbia. Of course,being Dictator of Transportation, I would also be able to find money on hand to straighten out some of the curves and flatten some of the grades on the B&O route to get the travel time down to 5 hours or so. There should also be MARC service to Cumberland, and some sort of commuter rail between Pittsburgh and McKeesport.

Of course, the entire Washington -Chicago route could be rebuilt for High Speed Rail and there would be Washington -Chicago daylight "corridor" service with the Capitol Limited being the "hotel train."

East Coast -Ohio service -- New York Philadelphia Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia Akron. Washington - Akron/Cleveland.

For "In-state" corridor:
Baltimore - Harrisburg -- This doesn't meet either the in-state criteria, but it's only 2 states. Probably would be best to run the trains through from Washington. Currently, the route requires going up the NEC to Perryville, and then using the Port Road up the Susquehanna River. Not sure of travel time and how it would compete with driving. Of course, as Dictator of Transportation, I would find the funds to build a new Northern Central line directly north from Baltimore, roughly paralleling I-83 (where most of the development is now, anyway). Given the steep hilly terrain, this would be a doozy of a line with lots of deep cuts and spectacular scenic viaducts to keep the grades and curves suitable for higher-speed running. The line would also allow for Baltimore-York commuter service, and maybe Harrisburg-York commuter service, too.

Baltimore/Washington - Delmarva service -- This would require a bridge over Chesapeake Bay. The State of Maryland right now is deciding whether or not they need a new Bay Bridge (or just expand the current one.) Whatever they do, if I were Dictator of Transportation, I would require them to include a rail bridge as part of the project. If the Danes can build rail/highway bridges over large bodies of water, so can we. The main line would connect Baltimore/Washington to Easton, Cambridge, Salisbury and Ocean City. There should also be a branch line to Dover, Delaware, and maybe Lewes/Rehobeth Beach. This would be intercity service to Rehobeth Beach and Ocean City, and commuter service to, say, Easton.

Keystone West -- Harrisburg to Pittsburgh (Of course, the trains would run through form Philadelphia or New York.)
I would count DC as a state for route determining purposes, but if you don't, adding stops at Berkeley Springs and Pawpaw, West Virginia would make a DC-Pittsburgh train serve 3 states. I am not opposed to stops being added on some services. And stops would have to be added on some potential new routes like a Denver-Albuquerque route since it isn't currently served by an Amtrak train.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,295
Location
Baltimore. MD
I would count DC as a state for route determining purposes, but if you don't, adding stops at Berkeley Springs and Pawpaw, West Virginia would make a DC-Pittsburgh train serve 3 states. I am not opposed to stops being added on some services. And stops would have to be added on some potential new routes like a Denver-Albuquerque route since it isn't currently served by an Amtrak train.
Actually, the current Capitol Limited already stops in Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, West Virginia. so that would be covered even without the extra stops. However, an extra stop at Berkeley Springs/Hancock. MD (basically where US 522 crosses the tracks) definitely makes sense. There's also Duffields, between Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry, which is a park and ride for the MARC trains. I'm not sure about Paw Paw. I've driven through there and there's not much to the place. Of course, maybe someone has bought up a lot of cheap land around there, and wants to do some real estate development to turn Paw Paw into some kind of bedroom community. Not sure the locals living there would be thrilled.
 

Anthony V

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
214
The following new routes are needed to improve passenger rail in my home state (Illinois).
All of the following corridors would have at least two daily round trips.

New intrastate corridors needed include:
- Black Hawk (Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque)
- Quad Cities Rocket (Chicago-Quad Cities) via former Rock Island route
- Peoria Rocket (Chicago-Peoria) via former Rock Island route
- Some service to Decatur (maybe run it as a third frequency of the Illini between Chicago-Champaign, where it would diverge from that route to get to Decatur).

New interstate corridors needed include:
- Chicago-Janesville-Madison (revived Lake Country Limited, but extended to Madison).
- Chicago-Indianapolis-Cincinnati (revived Hoosier State, but extended to Cincinnati).
- Chicago-Indianapolis-Louisville-Nashville (revived Kentucky Cardinal, but extended to Nashville).
- Chicago-Milwaukee-Fond Du Lac-Fox Cities-Green Bay (extension of a couple Hiawatha round trips).
- Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison-Eau Claire-Twin Cities (extension of a couple additional Hiawatha round trips).
- Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City-Des Moines-Omaha-Lincoln (extension of revived Quad Cities Rocket).
- Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque-Waterloo-Ft. Dodge-Sioux City (extension of revived Black Hawk).
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,286
Cincinnati-Columbus-Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-New York (Broadway Columbus-New York)
This would be something similar to the route that New York Central used to run on the Ohio State Limited except leaving Columbus, it went North to Cleveland and on to Albany and New York. PRR may he had a similar train; don't know.

Columbus-Indianapolis-Terre Haute-St. Louis (425 miles) - new
A reprise of part of PRR's Spirit of St. Louis route.

Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati
One could only hope. During Governor Strickland's Administration, serious consideration and study was done on this route, starting with standard passenger equipment. Upgrading the tracks to allow high speed trains were part of the proposal. Then, the Great Recession hit. The Governor was defeated and his plans were rejected by the following Administration. (There was a good reason for such at that time. There was no money. Ohio's rainy day fund had been depleted to, I think, 10 cents.)

In what ever route that is selected that includes Cincinnati and Columbus, please, please include a stop in the Gem City: Dayton, Ohio.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,243
The suggestion of a combination rail road bridge needs application much expanded for many routes. A good way to uses road funds partially for rail routes.
 

AGM.12

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
77
Location
SC
Regarding infrastructure, I wonder how many station and terminal facilities need to be expanded or built from scratch. One prime example is Atlanta so as to handle the desired corridor services for that city. In many cases like this Amtrak must be proactive. If government officials cannot make up their minds, then forget them and Amtrak must plow ahead and build a station on a site suitable for them.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,243
AGM12" The need for expansion of station and terminal facilities will be many items. That is especially true for the NEC. Additional yard tracks are needed at WASH , Sunnyside, and Boston.

As for Atlanta. The Atlanta metropolitan area has probably the largest population metro that has no commuter rail. It does have the MARTA subway heavy rail system that only serves Fulton and DeKalb counties. However it does not have any commuter rail for its suburbs 12 different routes which is at least 6 more counties and an additional 10+ counties further out..

So for intercity rail and commuter rail a 10 -12 track station will be needed. If it is built downtown a balloon track will be needed as well. There are 7 potential routes that all will pass thru Howell CP. However for Amtrak and commuter rail the CP at Howell will be needed to be rebuilt as a complete flyover with depressed tracks, surface tracks , flyovers much in the way ZOO is built but will be even more complicated.
 

Deni

Service Attendant
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
181
Ok - this is potentially a big job - and I’m still trying to wrap my arms around the financial rules. But let’s get started in my backyard in the Midwest...

Routes that impact Indiana
This is my adopted home. From a travel perspective, it's always been more of a place to pass through rather than an destination - and that continues in this exercise. It's a nice place to live - but the politicians here have absolutely no vision when it comes to transportation.

New Corridors
Cincinnati - Indianapolis - Chicago (300 miles) - new
Nashville - Louisville - Indianapolis - Chicago (500 miles) - new
Cleveland-Toledo-South Bend-Chicago (350 miles) - new
Columbus-Indianapolis-Terre Haute-St. Louis (425 miles) - new

In this scenario, Indianapolis gets lucky and becomes a cross connecting point for trains heading to and from Chicago from Cincinnati and Nashville (through Louisville). A new connection to the east for St. Louis passes through Indy as well as tracks are acquired and upgraded from St. Louis to Columbus OH. The Indianapolis Union Station train shed is finally upgraded so that it is no longer a hellhole. A connector train is also added between Indianapolis International Airport and Union Station. South Bend gets a few more intercity connections with new Cleveland-Chicago service. No connection Indy-Fort Wayne is established because Indiana still won't spend any money.

Routes that Impact Michigan
My birth state is a much rail friendlier state. The corridor investment will allow them to expand frequencies, speed and destinations further. New Coast-to-Coast service is established Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids-Holland. Track acquisitions include the track between Detroit and Toledo - providing connectivity with Cleveland and ultimately New York. Michigan Central Depot is also up and running, all Detroit trains operate from there, including new commuter service Ann Arbor-Dearborn-Detroit. In cooperation with Canada, a new corridor is established Detroit to Toronto, and the old connection at Port Huron to Toronto is re-established.

New & Existing Corridors
Pontiac-Detroit-Battle Creek-Kalamazoo-Chicago (300 mi) - existing
Toronto-Port Huron-Flint-Lansing-Battle Creek-Chicago (500 mi) - extended
Grand Rapids-Holland-St. Joseph-Chicago (175 mi) - existing
Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids-Holland (190 mi) - new
Detroit-Windsor-Toronto (250 mi) - new
Detroit-Toledo-Cleveland (175 mi) - new
I love so much of this, matches a lot of what I think about for the region (I live in Chicago). That there is not a good way/schedule for getting to/from Indy is one of the most annoying things. I've always thought the CHI-Nashville and CHI-Cincinnati routes would be fantastic for serving Indianapolis and those other cities. Multiple round trips a day for schedule options. My wife was being recruited for a job in Indy that would have been great for us financially but we wanted to be able to keep our place in Chicago (because the job would pay enough for that) so we could spend most of our weekends in Chicago. But without wanting to drive all the time or end up on a bus we wouldn't even consider it.

I also think I would take your CHI-CLE corridor and make it extend to Buffalo and Niagra Falls, at least one trip out of the few a day I imagine the route would have. Maybe it could even go into Toronto, giving cities like Cleveland, Toledo, South Bend direct routes to that city. I love you connect OH and MI by train routes.
 

Deni

Service Attendant
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
181
The following new routes are needed to improve passenger rail in my home state (Illinois).
All of the following corridors would have at least two daily round trips.

New intrastate corridors needed include:
- Black Hawk (Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque)
- Quad Cities Rocket (Chicago-Quad Cities) via former Rock Island route
- Peoria Rocket (Chicago-Peoria) via former Rock Island route
- Some service to Decatur (maybe run it as a third frequency of the Illini between Chicago-Champaign, where it would diverge from that route to get to Decatur).

New interstate corridors needed include:
- Chicago-Janesville-Madison (revived Lake Country Limited, but extended to Madison).
- Chicago-Indianapolis-Cincinnati (revived Hoosier State, but extended to Cincinnati).
- Chicago-Indianapolis-Louisville-Nashville (revived Kentucky Cardinal, but extended to Nashville).
- Chicago-Milwaukee-Fond Du Lac-Fox Cities-Green Bay (extension of a couple Hiawatha round trips).
- Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison-Eau Claire-Twin Cities (extension of a couple additional Hiawatha round trips).
- Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City-Des Moines-Omaha-Lincoln (extension of revived Quad Cities Rocket).
- Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque-Waterloo-Ft. Dodge-Sioux City (extension of revived Black Hawk).
These are all great, two separate routes to Madison are great idea.

I would also extend the IL Zephyr/Carl Sandburg to St. Louis.
 

dlagrua

Conductor
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,152
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
What is obviously missing are direct routes going from the East/Mid Atlantic to the Midwest . It would be nice not having to always travel to Chigago to make these connections. A route from Columbus-Indianapolis-St Louis to Kansas City would be ideal and convenient for people traveling to those cities. I predict that after this virus scare has past more people will consider rail travel than to avoid being locked in a cramped, crowded, filthy aircraft where one sneeze can infect everyone. .
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,286
A route from Columbus-Indianapolis-St Louis to Kansas City would be ideal and convenient for people traveling to those cities
This route was part of the National Limited's Kansas City-New York/Washington route that ended in 1979. Originally, the train's western end was St. Louis, but was extended to Kansas City for a connection to the Super Chief. As one who lives along such a route, I'd take it.
 

Anthony V

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
214
Unfortunately, much of the former National Limited route from Dayton to Indy has been removed, and there's no practical alternative. Yes, you could divert to Cincinnati, and add another population center, but that would add way too much time to the trip. I just don't see the National Limited ever returning for these reasons. A better way to bring service to the IND-STL-KCY corridor is to run a new section of the Cardinal along that portion of the former National Limited route. This would connect with the CONO and Carbondale trains at Effingham, the TE at STL, and the SWC at KCY. It would also provide a third frequency along the River Runner route.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,286
No knowledge about the tracks available west of Dayton, but I do know that the tracks used by the National Limited between Dayton and Columbus are gone. I drive along US 35 between Dayton and Xenia. The site of those tracks are now a bike trail.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2015
Messages
8
A couple of years before the National Limited was discontinued Amtrak studied the possibility of diverting the train thru Cincinnati.
 

toddinde

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
152
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
Before we go too far I have to wonder about Porter Rico ? It certainly at one time had a rail network. The other territories are probably too small for anything other than a unencumbered light rail ?
Puerto Rico had rail but there is not enough left of that system to build upon. Puerto Rico is not a big place. Probably an interurban type system linking some major cities is a possibility. Not particularly relevant to an Amtrak discussion. Anything outside the 48 states had always been non-Amtrak. The Alaska Railroad for example.
 

toddinde

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
152
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
The growth in this country is in the west and southwest. Definitely LA-Phoenix-Tucson and at least a second train continuing on to El Paso to compliment a daily Sunset Limited. Obviously, Oklahoma City-Fort Worth-San Antonio. Cheyenne-Denver-Colorado Springs-Albuquerque. Albuquerque - El Paso. El Paso-Midland-Odessa-Dallas.
 

IndyLions

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
355
Location
Brownsburg IN
Unfortunately, much of the former National Limited route from Dayton to Indy has been removed, and there's no practical alternative. Yes, you could divert to Cincinnati, and add another population center, but that would add way too much time to the trip. I just don't see the National Limited ever returning for these reasons. A better way to bring service to the IND-STL-KCY corridor is to run a new section of the Cardinal along that portion of the former National Limited route. This would connect with the CONO and Carbondale trains at Effingham, the TE at STL, and the SWC at KCY. It would also provide a third frequency along the River Runner route.
With the tracks from Dayton to Indy gone, I like the Cardinal split at Indy and then off to Effingham/STL/KC option a lot.

What about this possibility? A split of the CL or LSL at Toledo heading south through Indianapolis and then west to Effingham, St. Louis & Kansas City?
 

sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
580
First thing I would like to say is Thank you Anthony for reminding me that Peoria and Decatur, IL are not on the existing Illinois routes. My blindness failed me when looking at rail maps.

I pretty much added service to every on of the lower 48. I pretty much counted the Midwestern States as one gigantic network since most of the routes fed into 4 cities anyways, it would have made the map an even bigger mess than it already is. And they already semi coordinate with each other anyways.

As for the Interstate Corridors, I would be adding the following:
1) New York to Charlotte via Charlottesville.
2) The spine of the proposed Southeast Corridor.
3) Washington DC to Nashville
4) Washington DC to Cleveland
5) Atlanta to Jacksonville, with an overnight run to Miami.
6) Atlanta to Jackson MS, with an overnight run to Dallas, TX
7) Atlanta to New Orleans via Montgomery
8) New Orleans to Jacksonville
9) New Orleans to Dallas via Shreveport
10) Dallas to Nashville
11) Nashville to Chicago
12) Chicago to Cleveland
13) Chicago to Columbus
14) Chicago to Cincinnati
15) Chicago to St. Paul via Eau Claire
16) Chicago to St. Paul via La Crosse
17) Chicago to Sioux Falls
18) Chicago to Oklahoma City via St Louis
19) Chicago to Oklahoma City via Kansas City
20) Chicago to Lincoln, NE via Des Moines
21) Chicago to Omaha via current CZ route (I would reroute the CZ via Des Moines post track work)
22) Kansas City to St Paul
23) Kansas City to Sioux Falls
24) Kansas City to Albuquerque
25) Kansas City to Denver
26) Denver to Omaha
27) Denver to Rapid City
28) Denver to Salt Lake City (Overland Route)
29) Denver to Albuquerque
30) Albuquerque to DFW
31) Albuquerque to Oklahoma City
32) Oklahoma City to Corpus Christi
33) Albuquerque to Phoenix
34) Phoenix to Los Angeles
35) Salt Lake City to Montana
36) Salt Lake City to San Jose
37) Oakland to Portland
38) Portland to Couer d'Alene

As for how many stations would be opened, I would expect there to be 4 to 5 time as many stations as there are now. I would make sure there were. I would pretty much add a stop in most towns along proposed state corridors would have a station. Its not like stations need to be that fancy, some of them are basically bus stops with train tracks (looking right at you Vacaville).

As for other infrastructure, I would assume that a facility like Beech Grove would be needed on the West Coast and one in the Southeast. I would also imagine at least 16 secondary facilities would be needed around the country to at least support the Interstate Corridors. I would also suspect most states would need at least 1 terminal facility, probably near where most of the routes would pass through.

Another thing I would also fight for is setting up minimums for the State Corridors, such as a certain number of round trips per day on new routes, seating classes on the trains and even the fare structure. For one, I would make new routes with under a 3 hour run time have 4 daily round trips and anything over that have at least 2. When it comes to a under 3 hour end to end trip, I don't see how 1 round trip per day would make for a useful line. And if we are going with a federal subsidy being available, its not like the states would be ponying up much for the service.
 

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Puerto Rico had rail but there is not enough left of that system to build upon. Puerto Rico is not a big place. Probably an interurban type system linking some major cities is a possibility. Not particularly relevant to an Amtrak discussion. Anything outside the 48 states had always been non-Amtrak. The Alaska Railroad for example.
There were plans for a regional system around San Juan which would have expanded the existing subway system (one short line currently) into commuter rail (or in addition to the expanded existing system which would be extended and lines added). Their expressways are quite busy and a line to Ponce from San Juan and west from San Juan along the north coast would be useful.
 

neroden

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I'd start with the Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland-Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse-Albany-New York corridor, and get it under 24 hours with two trains daily running on time and daytime service everywhere, as well as convenient overnights in the right locations. This is proof of concept. Next, Pennsylvania to State College.
 
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