You've been appointed President of Amtrak....with a catch

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IndyLions

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Here is my premise for this thread. You have just been appointed as President of Amtrak. But your appointment came with strings and strict instructions. A huge expansion of corridor service has been approved by Congress - but in exchange for that you have to redesign the LD system to include just 10 daily routes.

It’s not all bad news however. You can designate five of the ten LD routes as experiential - with extra attention to the on board experience and/or highlighting the beauty of our great country. Also - five of the ten LD routes can feature multiple sections - ala the LSL and EB today. Trains with more than 2 sections are not allowed, however.

Outdated rules including the Mica Rule and 750 Mile Rule have been repealed. New legislation has been passed that dictates that freight railroads that don't give appropriate priority to passenger trains will be swiftly and severely punished. Miraculously, you have been assured you have full congressional support for your new route system. You'll have to make due with existing equipment for now - but you have been given funding to refurbish all existing equipment - and you'll have all new equipment in hand within 5 years.

As an equipment bonus - the AutoTrain service has been spun off to a private corporation with their own equipment - and is no longer yours to manage. You do, however - have access to all the equipment traditionally used on the AutoTrain.

If this was your directive - what LD system would you design?
 

IndyLions

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OK - here’s my shot at it…because I don't have the Mica rule breathing down my neck - all my trains have full dining. And the experiential trains kick it up a notch - as Emeril Lagasse is famous for saying.

Let’s start with the Florida services. Those are extremely popular. The Auto Train is gone (new private management), but I’ve got that equipment to use on my other routes. I’d keep the Silver Star and the Silver Meteor, but ditch the Palmetto. But the equipment used on the Palmetto would be added to the Silvers so I could still serve at least the same amount of people on the route.

When not abused - the LSL is a very popular train. I’d keep it, and keep the Boston section. I’d also route it through Michigan to serve better markets than those in Indiana. Yes it adds time - but I’m bringing back the Broadway Limited - so that will serve Indiana and be the “fast train” NY-CHI. I’m ditching the Capitol Limited - but adding a DC section to the Broadway. Because North by Northwest is my favorite movie, and the Broadway replaced the Twentieth Century Limited - I’m making the Broadway an experiential train with premium services. The other premium experiential train in the east is the Crescent, in the tradition of the Southern Railway. I’m hanging on to that one as well. The Cardinal, however - is gone. It’s my local train - but in this dream scenario I’m getting new, reliable corridor service Cincy-Chicago to replace it.

A big hole today is the lack of Chicago to Florida service - and I don’t really have a great answer to that one. One approach would be keeping the Capitol and adding a Miami section - which was done in the past. Another option would be to bring back the Floridian, but there aren’t any tracks left. I’m going to compromise and hang on to the City of New Orleans - but add a Jacksonville, FL section (ala the Gulf Wind). Yes - I know there are issues New Orleans to Jacksonville - but those can be overcome. The schedule is still going to suck - but it's the best I can do on short notice.

Out west - we’re keeping the Empire Builder and its Seattle and Portland sections. That’s critical service for those folks on that route. We’re also keeping the Southwest Chief and Coast Starlight - making those trains all experiential with their amazing scenery. On the California Zephyr - it's a no brainer to keep that train and make it experiential. We're also adding back the Los Angeles section (the old Desert Wind) - I took it myself back in '92 and loved it. We're going to have to lose the Texas Eagle and the Sunset Limited - tough choices that had to be made - but I'm counting on new corridor service coming to Texas, Arizona and New Orleans among other places.

To summarize - we keep the Meteor, Star, Crescent, Chief and Starlight. We keep a re-routed LSL with both of its sections, and the existing Builder with both of its sections. We keep the Zephyr, and add back the Desert Wind section. We keep the City of New Orleans, and add a Jacksonville section. We bring back the Broadway, and add a DC section.

Gone are the Palmetto, Capitol, Cardinal, Eagle and Sunset. And we sold the Auto Train so we could use its equipment elsewhere. All in all not a horrible result unless I cut one your hometown trains. But keep in mind - I cut my own (the Cardinal). :)
 

jiml

Conductor
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This'll be fun.

I like a lot of your suggestions, and rather than take issue with the ones I don't let me enhance some of yours.

Lets keep the Auto Train passenger equipment in Florida (and sell the auto carriers). All Silver service is now Superliner, terminating in Washington. Fill the gaps in the NEC with recovered single-level equipment from those routes, and new arrivals when funds are available. I concur with your suggestion regarding extending the Capitol to Florida and it fits this pattern. Why even have a Miami section? Just run the whole thing through Washington as either one of the Silvers or an additional frequency..

I will miss the Cardinal and the Texas Eagle.
 
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IndyLions

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...and I'm sure you all can do much better than I did. I left out the entire state of Texas!
 

bratkinson

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Unfortunately, by todays' accounting, the Boston section of the LSL and Portland section of the EB are counted (and booked in the computer) as separate trains. So is the Chicago-Los Angeles TE/SL train #421/422. I'm guessing that the separate sections would be counted as LD trains in their new system. If split sections are OK, then BOS, PDX, SAS, KCY, DEN, and even NOL via CIN on the Floridian.

So, holding to a limit of 10: Keep both Silvers, adding equipment from the Auto Train. The Palmetto stays as a regional train (WAS-SAV) if there's state support.

Keep the Crescent.

Keep the Lakeshore Ltd

Keep the Texas Eagle, but run it to HOU via DAL (unless new TX high speed gets built). Run a connecting regional trains DAL-FTW-SAS and DAL-FTW-DEN

I'd keep the Sunset Limited, too, but it HAS to go to Orlando again. If there's enough equipment (new Superliners, anyone?), I'd make it daily as well. If possible, schedule 'keepable' connections at HOU for connecting passengers to/from the Texas Eagle.

I'd reinstate the Floridian as well, even though it would need significant rerouting to stop at ATL. I'd also run it through Cincinnati and NOT Indianapolis ('they' apparently don't want trains in their state). It would have to be a daylight run between Cincinnati and Chicago both ways to make it work. One idea would be CIN-Dayton-TOL-CHI. Or, if Indianapolis is considered, keeping the Cardinal route and at Dyer, IN, continue to Hegewisch IN via newly restored CSS&SB trackage on the former Monon route. (CSS&SB is planning on doing exactly that) - OR - continue extending Monon trackage to reconnect with former PRR/NYC route.

Keep the Coast Starlight

Keep the California Zephyr.

Keep the Empire Builder.

Losers: Cardinal, Capitol Ltd, City of New Orleans, and Southwest Chief.

If split sections are OK, then BOS, PDX, SAS, KCY, DEN, and even NOL via CIN on the Floridian should be added as well.
 
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Amtrakfflyer

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Feb 2, 2005
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458
Southwest Chief has to stay in any scenario, possibility rerouted but it’s by far and away the most efficient network train we have. You’d be hard pressed to drive from CHI-LAX in 43 hours. It hits all the bullet points we should be looking for in a long distance routes.

*Major endpoints
*Rural communities served
*Important connections in CHI to East Coast and Vice Versa
*Excellent time keeping and schedule
*Potential for limited Express shipments due to above mentioned schedule

Why previous management choose this train to discontinue shows how misguided they were. The true financials of this train may not be known but I have a hunch they are a lot better than previous management portrayed them. Especially since they’re numbers seemed to change with each presentation they made.
 

Dakota 400

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Is the only reason to ditch the Auto Train is to provide more equipment for other services?
 

Thirdrail7

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I do not wish to be a wet blanket on this fantasy thread so I wish to establish clear guidelines by asking for more information, please.

Also - five of the ten LD routes can feature multiple sections - ala the LSL and EB today. Trains with more than 2 sections are not allowed, however.
1) This question may not be in the spirit of the "10 train limit" since it can lead to anything (hint, hint ) but is there a mileage limit for how long the multiple sections can be?😈

. One approach would be keeping the Capitol and adding a Miami section - which was done in the past
oncur with your suggestion regarding extending the Capitol to Florida and it fits this pattern. Why even have a Miami section? Just run the whole thing through Washington as either one of the Silvers or an additional frequency..
2) Along these lines, are we hamstrung by the existing regulations that would apply to such a movement (e.g. locomotive calendar day inspections, 1500 mile inspections, initial terminal inspections etc.) or are we throwing them out of the window? While this may not have a huge impact on others, it is something I would need to know, particularly when coupled with

3) Are we still under the same infrastructure constraints? Is WTC bigger/less congested and can all of a sudden handle a CHI-FLA occupying the lower level? Can the Superliners fit up the NEC? Are the host railroads required to allow Amtrak to use any facility it pleases? Examples would be NS being required to allow Amtrak to store, turn and service cars in ATL or PGH and CSX being obligated to service equipment at RMT.


4) Are costs and losses considered?

Such issues will impact my responses.
 

IndyLions

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Is the only reason to ditch the Auto Train is to provide more equipment for other services?
It was a cheat. It wasn’t “cancelled” - but the rights were sold to a private company that thru some miracle had their own equipment. That made its equipment available for other routes.
 

IndyLions

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Messages
327
I do not wish to be a wet blanket on this fantasy thread so I wish to establish clear guidelines by asking for more information, please.



1) This question may not be in the spirit of the "10 train limit" since it can lead to anything (hint, hint ) but is there a mileage limit for how long the multiple sections can be?😈




2) Along these lines, are we hamstrung by the existing regulations that would apply to such a movement (e.g. locomotive calendar day inspections, 1500 mile inspections, initial terminal inspections etc.) or are we throwing them out of the window? While this may not have a huge impact on others, it is something I would need to know, particularly when coupled with

3) Are we still under the same infrastructure constraints? Is WTC bigger/less congested and can all of a sudden handle a CHI-FLA occupying the lower level? Can the Superliners fit up the NEC? Are the host railroads required to allow Amtrak to use any facility it pleases? Examples would be NS being required to allow Amtrak to store, turn and service cars in ATL or PGH and CSX being obligated to service equipment at RMT.


4) Are costs and losses considered?

Such issues will impact my responses.

In memory of my high school gym teacher - I will change the rules (or at least add a couple) in the middle of the game. God bless Curt Knowles.

1. We'll allow one section as long as 750 miles (so the Desert Wind fits), all others must be 375 miles or less. Also - we'll allow sections on only one end of the trip (ala CHI - PDX/SEA, CHI-EMY/LAX, CHI-BOS/NYP, etc.). So if someone came up with a Florida train that was DET/CHI - NOL/MIA, that wouldn't be allowed.
2. You know the implications of the regulations FAR MORE than I do, but let's try leave them in.
3. We'll say that Superliners still can't fit on the NEC, but we'll also say that WTC has additional capacity now, and that the freight railroads have been "railroaded" into allowing Amtrak carte blanche when it comes to supporting/servicing Amtrak and their whims.
4. Let's not worry about costs and losses. What the hell. We're printing money like we actually have it through this Covid mess - why stop now?
 
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Bob Dylan

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I'm not one for axing my Home Train so I'll just say " Daily" Texas Eagle CHI-LAX! ,(1) the Sunset can go away since a Corridor/Stub Train can run between San Antonio and New Orleans as was a long term plan @ Amtrak.

Of course keep the Starlight,Zephyr,Chief and Empire Builder.(5)

Keep the Crescent (6,), and Run the Silvers 12 Hours Apart NYP-MIA.(7,8)

That leaves the Lake Shore with its BOS and NYP Sections(9) and the 10th One will be the Cap/Broadway Limited with its WAS and NYP Sections joining in Pittsburgh.( 10).

( Of course if the Auto Train was kept,the Starvation would have to be axed).
 
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Dakota 400

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It was a cheat. It wasn’t “cancelled” - but the rights were sold to a private company that thru some miracle had their own equipment. That made its equipment available for other routes.
That would indeed be a "miracle"!
 

Thirdrail7

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I just lost 20% of my finished post. :(

FWIW, when you pick up the Auto Train pool, you've acquired 4 transition dorms (NON ADA/Not compliant), 16 sleeping cars ADA sleeping cars, 6 dining cars, 16 coaches, 6 lounge cars and remember....you pick up 6 deluxe sleepers!

You also pick up a pool of roughly 14 road diesels and switchers.
 
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Agree with Jim on the Eagle, Zephyr, Starlight, Chief, Lake Shore, and EB.

I would ditch the Crescent, since you can get to NOL on the Eagle.

I would keep the Silver Star, but make it the glamorous Florida travel of decades ago, with full dining and a sun lounge—perhaps even some mild entertainment (lectures on Florida wildlife, for example).

I would replace the Meteor with a Chicago to Florida train, coming into Florida at Jacksonville and going down the coast to Miami. Add some glamour to it as well.

Since we get to dream here, I will add a new luxury train from Philly to Chicago, perhaps with a culinary lecture and demonstration, since it would travel between two terrific food cities.

My tenth train would be my favorite—the lowly, humble Cardinal that I love. But with a surprise twist. Someone who loves it as much as I do (but who has much, much more money!) will buy it and turn it into a luxury train, with a lounge car, fine dining, etc. However, the route and pace will be different. It will start in ALX and meander through VA and WV, stopping to take in the railroad history and towns along the way, and arrive in CHI maybe a week after it starts.🙂
 

Thirdrail7

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I'm playing fast and hard with the rules. 😈 Please note that @IndyLions did not say we were limited to train a day...meaning we could have multiple frequencies. Florida will benefit from this. He also didn't mention political pressure. :)

That being said, my first cut: The Coast Starlight, aka The Coast Starlate. The reason I say cut it @TiBike mentioned multiple times that the train would work well as a corridor train. Since there are multiple corridors embedded in the route, that would be the train to cut.

My first save believe it or not is the Sunset Limited. Utilizing some of the Auto Train equipment, I would operate trains 1 and 2 on a daily basis and restore it back to MIA. I would also carry a TPA section that would split at JAX.

My next cut is the Cardinal, aka The Pigeon. It would become, two daily, corridor trains. One train would operate between CHI-CIN and would have multiple frequencies. The other would operate between NYP-HUN. You'd have multiple frequencies from CVS with the Crescent and the Lynchburger, which operates to Roanoke.

My next save would be the Crescent and I would restore the Gulf Breeze from BHM-MOE. It would add to the proposed state-supported service, resulting in multiple frequencies along the route. With my freed superliners yielding me single-level equipment,, I would also ADD another section that ran earlier in the day!!!. So, you'd have a day train that left NYP at 605am and a later train that left around 3pm. The daylight section would drop some of its consist and short turn at ATL. Returning, you'd have the current departure with an afternoon departure. I also start another train at CLT, swing it along the Crescent's route through DAN/CVS , bolstering the route.

My next cut is the Palmetto. I would turn that into a corridor train that terminates in FLO. I wouldn't need it because of my next two moves.

My next save is the Silver Meteor, aka the Silver Slug. and I move up the departure time from 3:05p to 11:05a. I run it as is to RMT, where it will now break off and follow the Silver Star route to JAX. From there, it will continue to also split at JAX and have a train to TPA and one to MIA.

Next, I tie up WTC with retimed Capitol Limited, aka The Capitol Punishment. Equipped with Superliners, I would push back the departure time at CHI to 11pm, run it through Ohio (picking up stops at AKO, FOS, GAR before arriving PGH at 10:30p. Passengers at PGH can transfer to Train 44, the second Pennsylvanian that I would restore . Through passengers continuing to WAS would arrive, at 6ish, where the train would hold and receive new engines and a 1500 mile inspection. It would depart on the current Silver Meteor schedule and operate to MIA. Passengers from BOS/NYP would transfer from train 171 (or 2163) at WAS. The Capitol from MIA would depart WAS for CHI at the same time, connecting with pas at PGH with the later version of the Pennsylvanian.

So, my next cut is obviously the Silver Star, aka the Silver Starvation. With the Meteor operating on the Star's route and the CHI-MIA train operating on the Meteor''s route, we can ditch the Star. We have also added the Sunset Limited between JAX/TPA and JAX/MIA, which adds additional service.

My next controversial move would involve the California Zephyr. I'd run two sections of it. The advance section, which would leave at 10am would split at DEN and head to SEA as the Pioneer. The second section would leave on the current schedule, would split at SLC and continue as the Desert Wind. This arrival times at LVS, SEA and LAX wouldn't be too bad. You would also bring back Wyoming and Las Vegas into the mix.

I wouldn't do much with Empire Builder other than adding additional, state-supported service between CHI-MSP.

The same goes for the Lake Shore Limited. I would consider a later departure time from NYP (630p-730p) and earlier departure time from CHI (5pm-ish.) This would result in earlier times at TOL/CLE and would mirror the current schedule for train 280-BUF-NYP. You can take 280's equipment and run 288, every day and have a later schedule from NFL-NYP.

I don't know enough about the Chief, the Beagle or the CONO to do anything with them.

As for which routes would be experiential, I'd go for the Chief, the Capitol, the Zephyrs, the Sunset, and the Builder. I picked them due to their length and lack of Amtrak competition (the Capitol obviously being an exception between WAS-MIA.)
 

Bob Dylan

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I'm playing fast and hard with the rules. 😈 Please note that @IndyLions did not say we were limited to train a day...meaning we could have multiple frequencies. Florida will benefit from this. He also didn't mention political pressure. :)

That being said, my first cut: The Coast Starlight, aka The Coast Starlate. The reason I say cut it @TiBike mentioned multiple times that the train would work well as a corridor train. Since there are multiple corridors embedded in the route, that would be the train to cut.

My first save believe it or not is the Sunset Limited. Utilizing some of the Auto Train equipment, I would operate trains 1 and 2 on a daily basis and restore it back to MIA. I would also carry a TPA section that would split at JAX.

My next cut is the Cardinal, aka The Pigeon. It would become, two daily, corridor trains. One train would operate between CHI-CIN and would have multiple frequencies. The other would operate between NYP-HUN. You'd have multiple frequencies from CVS with the Crescent and the Lynchburger, which operates to Roanoke.

My next save would be the Crescent and I would restore the Gulf Breeze from BHM-MOE. It would add to the proposed state-supported service, resulting in multiple frequencies along the route. With my freed superliners yielding me single-level equipment,, I would also ADD another section that ran earlier in the day!!!. So, you'd have a day train that left NYP at 605am and a later train that left around 3pm. The daylight section would drop some of its consist and short turn at ATL. Returning, you'd have the current departure with an afternoon departure. I also start another train at CLT, swing it along the Crescent's route through DAN/CVS , bolstering the route.

My next cut is the Palmetto. I would turn that into a corridor train that terminates in FLO. I wouldn't need it because of my next two moves.

My next save is the Silver Meteor, aka the Silver Slug. and I move up the departure time from 3:05p to 11:05a. I run it as is to RMT, where it will now break off and follow the Silver Star route to JAX. From there, it will continue to also split at JAX and have a train to TPA and one to MIA.

Next, I tie up WTC with retimed Capitol Limited, aka The Capitol Punishment. Equipped with Superliners, I would push back the departure time at CHI to 11pm, run it through Ohio (picking up stops at AKO, FOS, GAR before arriving PGH at 10:30p. Passengers at PGH can transfer to Train 44, the second Pennsylvanian that I would restore . Through passengers continuing to WAS would arrive, at 6ish, where the train would hold and receive new engines and a 1500 mile inspection. It would depart on the current Silver Meteor schedule and operate to MIA. Passengers from BOS/NYP would transfer from train 171 (or 2163) at WAS. The Capitol from MIA would depart WAS for CHI at the same time, connecting with pas at PGH with the later version of the Pennsylvanian.

So, my next cut is obviously the Silver Star, aka the Silver Starvation. With the Meteor operating on the Star's route and the CHI-MIA train operating on the Meteor''s route, we can ditch the Star. We have also added the Sunset Limited between JAX/TPA and JAX/MIA, which adds additional service.

My next controversial move would involve the California Zephyr. I'd run two sections of it. The advance section, which would leave at 10am would split at DEN and head to SEA as the Pioneer. The second section would leave on the current schedule, would split at SLC and continue as the Desert Wind. This arrival times at LVS, SEA and LAX wouldn't be too bad. You would also bring back Wyoming and Las Vegas into the mix.

I wouldn't do much with Empire Builder other than adding additional, state-supported service between CHI-MSP.

The same goes for the Lake Shore Limited. I would consider a later departure time from NYP (630p-730p) and earlier departure time from CHI (5pm-ish.) This would result in earlier times at TOL/CLE and would mirror the current schedule for train 280-BUF-NYP. You can take 280's equipment and run 288, every day and have a later schedule from NFL-NYP.

I don't know enough about the Chief, the Beagle or the CONO to do anything with them.

As for which routes would be experiential, I'd go for the Chief, the Capitol, the Zephyrs, the Sunset, and the Builder. I picked them due to their length and lack of Amtrak competition (the Capitol obviously being an exception between WAS-MIA.)
Some interesting ideas here!
 

Bob Dylan

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20,060
Agree with Jim on the Eagle, Zephyr, Starlight, Chief, Lake Shore, and EB.

I would ditch the Crescent, since you can get to NOL on the Eagle.

I would keep the Silver Star, but make it the glamorous Florida travel of decades ago, with full dining and a sun lounge—perhaps even some mild entertainment (lectures on Florida wildlife, for example).

I would replace the Meteor with a Chicago to Florida train, coming into Florida at Jacksonville and going down the coast to Miami. Add some glamour to it as well.

Since we get to dream here, I will add a new luxury train from Philly to Chicago, perhaps with a culinary lecture and demonstration, since it would travel between two terrific food cities.

My tenth train would be my favorite—the lowly, humble Cardinal that I love. But with a surprise twist. Someone who loves it as much as I do (but who has much, much more money!) will buy it and turn it into a luxury train, with a lounge car, fine dining, etc. However, the route and pace will be different. It will start in ALX and meander through VA and WV, stopping to take in the railroad history and towns along the way, and arrive in CHI maybe a week after it starts.🙂
Love your idea about the Luxury Train to Florida, especially the Sun Lounge!
 

Willbridge

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
401
Since we get to dream here, I will add a new luxury train from Philly to Chicago, perhaps with a culinary lecture and demonstration, since it would travel between two terrific food cities.
On behalf of us Westerners, please run the eastbound Philadelphia - Chicago train eastbound late enough out of CHI to protect connections. That would be better than using the LSL for that purpose (having suddenly found myself going to DC via NYP). I'm thinking of the old Pennsylvania Limited schedule eastbound.
 

Willbridge

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Mar 30, 2019
Messages
401
In memory of my high school gym teacher - I will change the rules (or at least add a couple) in the middle of the game. God bless Curt Knowles.

1. We'll allow one section as long as 750 miles (so the Desert Wind fits), all others must be 375 miles or less. Also - we'll allow sections on only one end of the trip (ala CHI - PDX/SEA, CHI-EMY/LAX, CHI-BOS/NYP, etc.). So if someone came up with a Florida train that was DET/CHI - NOL/MIA, that wouldn't be allowed.
Portland <> Spokane is 380 miles, five miles over your cut-off. 750 miles seems to have been selected in order for Congress to retain the Palmetto as a federally sponsored service, but also to prevent California from the same benefit.

I do agree with limiting split sections to one end of the route. In the days before Amtrak the UP - for example - did it on both ends and the middle of trips, but they had the use of switch engines so that the whole train did not have to be run back and forth.
 

west point

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Jun 9, 2015
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3rd rail. We still have the problem of the Crescent south of ATL. Northbound out of ATL would have multiple trains late. BHM - MOB like it much but will have the problem of leaving late most days due to late arriving Crescent. A second train north out of ATL should go by Raleigh which has much more ridership potential than DAN and LYH.
 

IndyLions

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Nov 6, 2016
Messages
327
Portland <> Spokane is 380 miles, five miles over your cut-off. 750 miles seems to have been selected in order for Congress to retain the Palmetto as a federally sponsored service, but also to prevent California from the same benefit.
Whoops - I screwed up. I looked up the Spokane <> Portland distance and got it wrong - as that was the basis for my limit. We’ll bump it up to 400 miles.

The 750 mile limit was to allow the Desert Wind section - which I think is 625 or something. 750 seems like a “round” number around here.
 

IndyLions

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327
I'm playing fast and hard with the rules. 😈 Please note that @IndyLions did not say we were limited to train a day...meaning we could have multiple frequencies.
I wondered if anyone would take advantage of this! I ran through a variety of scenarios/rules prior to making the original post - and one of the rules that was in there almost all the way to the end was fewer trains (8 instead of 10), but allowing multiple frequencies on a limited number of trains. None of us like to cut - we all want to build on our existing system - so I figured it would be more fun if I bumped the number up a bit and left it up to the imagination of you all as to if you'd go with multiple frequencies or not...
 

IndyLions

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Nov 6, 2016
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Cause the OP's Rules of the Game say you can only have 10 LD Trains!!
I got the idea for this thread from reading the interview with Anderson from Skift that jis posted a while back. Anderson stated he wanted to cut the LDs down to 5-10 trains, and focus on corridors. That's a scary proposition. So I wondered what would happen if someone on this board, who is pro-Amtrak - was given that task without all the barriers of political issues, Mica rule, 750 mile rule, etc. - could they come up with a scenario that was still somewhat palatable? In other words - could a pro-Amtrak person make the most out of a bad situation.

Thanks for playing. Also - my wife was getting fed up with me getting so upset over politics. She said I needed to turn my brain over to something else. Happy wife, happy life. So I listened...
 
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