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Dakota 400

Conductor
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There is a potential Amtrak ridership for those who are attending the universities in the Cincinnati area. The University of Northern Kentucky, the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, the University of Dayton, Wright State University, Wilberforce University, Central State University, etc. Properly developed, this could be "low hanging fruit" for Amtrak.

The Cardinal's route goes through Oxford, Ohio, the site of Miami University. A flag stop, if not a scheduled stop, has been proposed for a long time. Yet to happen, but, I think, it is a missed opportunity. If, as I said, it is properly developed.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
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Aug 19, 2016
Messages
839
Location
Chicago, IL
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
If you're talking about expanding Michigan passenger train service, I'd add considering doing a train from Grand Rapids to Traverse City as well. Heck, even some in Michigan Department of Transportation have thrown that idea around, as well. And flight costs of flying into TC are sadly absurd, whenever I check passenger flight ticket costs(into TC) online. I've heard of some people flying North Country Sky into Manistee, MI to save money, then renting a car to go the rest of the way.

And on the idea of thinking REALLY big for passenger rail expansions, maybe extending train service north of Pontiac-Holly-Flint-Saginaw-Bay City could be done? It looks like some railroad track would have to be restored within the city of Flint for this to happen, though. Not sure if the rest of the tracks would have to be upgraded, to allow for passenger rail again along this route. Ditto with the route between Grand Rapids, and Traverse.
 
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IndyLions

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Nov 6, 2016
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Brownsburg IN
If you're talking about expanding Michigan passenger train service, I'd add considering doing a train from Grand Rapids to Traverse City as well...
In the mid/late 60s - right when I was born - my Dad worked as a block operator on the Pennsy’s Grand Rapids & Indiana (GR&I) line. That included trackage all the way from Grand Rapids to Mackinaw City. At the beginning of the week he’d hop a ride with a crew in Kalamazoo - they’d drop him up north - then do it in reverse at the end of the week. At that point they were shutting things down - and he told me he was one of the very last (if not THE last) block operator to work up there.

I think there’s still a lot of track in place along 131 - but it obviously would need a lot of work.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
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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.



A reprise of part of PRR's Spirit of St. Louis route.



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.
Finally glad to see someone give a reasonable response to why 3C failed. I think now it has a better chance to succeed with the current plan Amtrak put forth since there would be better connections to other corridors and long distance trains. More towns with service means more state politicians will be open to the idea, even Republican ones.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
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Dec 31, 2014
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4,153
Location
South Carolina
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.
Ok I'm going to have some fun here. I'm going to break this down by region. However this is going to be a bit messy as I'm going to interline corridors with each other. This will end up being multiple posts. This is the Atlanta based trains.

Southeast Atlanta Hub
~Charlotte to Atlanta via Greenville as an extension of the Piedmont. Using the existing Piedmont rolling stock. Needs Three Sets for the core. But when you factor in interlining the Raleigh-Charlotte trains you raise it to Five Sets.
-------The First Train would run Charlotte-Atlanta leaving Charlotte at 6 AM arriving around 12 PM. Flip that consist out at 1:00 PM and get to Charlotte about 6 PM and continue onto Raleigh as a different train. I would potentially split all of the runs in Atlanta just to make it easier as a connection than mixing city pairs as one way.
-------Second train departing CLT at 9 AM arriving in ATL at 2 PM. Flip it back at 5 PM arriving in Charlotte at 10 PM where the equipment would sit to become that Birmingham Train.
-------Third Train Departing ATL at 6:00 AM arriving in CLT at 12:00 PM send it on up to Raleigh as the midday Piedmont. With the returning frequency being the evening train out of CLT at 5:00 PM.

~Charlotte to Atlanta via Columbia, Augusta. One Equipment Set
-------The Train would Depart Charlotte at 6:15 AM, DP CLB 8:30, DP AUG 10:30, AR ATL 1:00 PM flip that consist back out back out at 2:00 PM from ATL hitting AUG at 4:30, CLB at 6:30, and CLT at 8:45 PM

~Augusta-Birmingham Corridor via Atlanta. Two Trainsets
------Train 1 would depart AUG at 6:00 AM, AR ATL 8:30, AR BHM 11:30 AM CT. Flip it out at 12:30 PM CT, DP ATL 5:30 PM, AR AUG 8:00 PM
------Train 2 would depart BHM at 6:00 AM CT, DP ATL 11 AM, AR AUG 1:30 PM. Flip it out 3:30 PM, DP ATL 6:00 PM, AR BHM 9:00 PM CT

What I did to get Augusta-Atlanta to three times daily was use the Thru train from Charlotte as a frequency. Don't worry we are getting back to South Carolina's Charlotte-Columbia in a bit.

~Atlanta-Nashville Three Trainsets. This one is a bit sloppy but I'm intending on throwing a Chicago-Florida train in that Evening Slot from Nashville south, and the 6:00 AM slot from Atlanta North. I probably can recycle that set that sits in Nashville for 18 hours by sending it on to Memphis.
-------Train 1 would depart ATL at 12:00 PM, AR NVL at 5:00 PM CT. Turns into the Mid Day Train to Atlanta from NVL the next day
-------Train 2 would depart NVL at 6:00 AM CT, AR ATL 1:00 PM. Flip it out of ATL at 6:00 PM, AR NVL at 10 PM CT
-------Train 3 would depart from NVL at 12:00 PM AR CT ATL 7:00 PM

~Montgomery-Knoxville via Atlanta Thru Train One Set
------Train would depart MGY at 6:00 AM CT, DP ATL 10:30, AR KNX 3:30 PM. Flip it out at 4:30 PM, DP ATL 9:30 PM, AR MGY at 12:00 AM CT

~Montgomery-Atlanta Two Trainsets. This uses that Thru train as an additional frequency.
------Train 1 would depart MGY at 10:00 AM CT, AR ATL 2:30 PM. Flip that train at 5:30 PM, AR MGY 8:00 PM CT
------Train 2 would depart ATL at 10:00 AM, AR MGY 12:30 PM CT. Flip that Train at 5:30 PM AR ATL 10:00 PM

~Atlanta-Knoxville Two trainsets. This still uses the thru train as an additional frequency.
------Train 1 would depart ATL at 6:00 AM, AR KNX 11:00 AM. Flip it out at 12:00 PM AR ATL 5:00 PM
------Train 2 would depart KNX at 6:00 AM AR ATL 11:00 AM. Flip it out at 5:00 PM AR KNX at 10:00 PM

~Atlanta-New Orleans via Montgomery, Mobile. Two Trainsets
----Train 1 would depart ATL at 6:00 AM, DP MGY 8:30 AM CT, DP MOB 12:30 PM, AR NOL 3:30 PM
----Train 2 would depart NOL at 6:00 AM, DP MOB 9:00 AM, DP MGY 1:00 PM, AR ATL 5:30 PM

~New Orleans-Mobile Two Trainsets with five frequencies between MOB-NOL when you add the Thru Train in.
-----Train 1A Would Depart NOL 9:00 AM, AR MOB 12:00 PM. Flip out at 1:00 PM AR NOL 4:00 PM.
-----Train 1B Would Depart NOL at 5:00 PM AR MOB 8:00 PM. Flip out at 9 PM AR NOL 12:00 AM
-----Train 2A Would Depart MOB at 6:00 AM, AR NOL 9:00 AM. Flip out at 12:00 PM AR MOB 3:00 PM
-----Train 2B Would Depart MOB at 4:00 PM, AR NOL 7:00 PM. Flip Out at 8:00 PM AR MOB 11:00 PM

Factor that each consist has Four Coaches, A Cafe, and a Business Class car. You are looking at 18 Sets of Equipment. Total Equipment cost in this scenario is 324M for the Cars, and 96 M for locomotives. That isn't counting spares however.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
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Dec 31, 2014
Messages
4,153
Location
South Carolina
Southeast Continued.
Atlanta Based
~Atlanta-Macon-Savannah Two Trainsets. The route is just too long to really try for a third frequency.
------Train 1 DP SAV 6:00 AM AR ATL 12:00 PM. Flip out at 5:30 PM AR SAV 11:30 PM
------Train 2 DP ATL 6:00 AM AR SAV 12:00 PM. Flip out at 5:30 PM AR ATL 11:30 PM

Charlotte Based Trains

~Columbia-New York an extension to the Carolinian assuming they route it via the state owned line the times north of RVR should stay close to the same.
-------Train 1 DP CLB 6:00 AM AR CLT 8:30 AM, RGH 11:40 AM, then same schedule north of RVR.
-------Train 2 Same Schedule as No. 79 to RVR, DP RGH 3:36 PM, DP CLT 6:46 PM, AR CLB 8:46 PM

~Charlotte-Columbia-Charleston. One train combined CLT-CLB with the CLT-ATL via Columbia Train. Three Trainsets
------Train 1 DP CLT 6:30 AM, DP CLB 8:30 AM, AR CHS 11:00 AM. Flip Out at 4:00 PM, DP CLB 6:30 AR CLT 8:45 PM
------Train 2 DP CLT 10:00 AM, DP CLB 12:15 PM, AR CHS 3:45 PM. Flip out at 7:00 PM DP CLB 9:30 PM, AR CLT 11:45 PM
------Train 3 DP CHS 6:00 AM, DP CLB 8:30 AM, AR CLT 10:45 AM. Flip Out at 3:30 PM DP CLB 5:45 PM, AR CHS 8:15 PM

~Charlotte-Knoxville via Asheville Two Trainsets
------Train 1 DP CLT 11:00 AM, DP ASV 4:30 PM, AR KNX 7:30 PM
------Train 2 DP KNX 8:00 AM, DP ASV 11:00 AM, AR CLT 4:30 PM

~Charlotte-Asheville Two Trainsets. But the Thru train to Knoxville adds the midday frequency.
-----Train 1 DP CLT 6:00 AM AR 1:00 PM. Flip out at 5:00 PM AR CLT 10:00 PM
-----Train 2 DP ASV 6:00 AM AR 1:00 PM. Flip out at 5:00 PM AR ASV 10:00 PM

~Charlotte-Tampa Two Trainsets
-----Train 1 DP CLT 8:30 AM, DP CLB 10:45, DP SAV 1:15 PM, DP JAX 4:15 PM, AR TPA 9:45 PM
-----Train 2 DP TPA 6:00 AM, DP JAX 11:30 AM, DP SAV 2:30 PM, DP CLB 5:00 PM, AR CLT 7:15 PM

Equipment Needs: 11 Trainsets. Cars 198M, Locomotives 132M
 
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