David Benton wrote:Thurmond's 5 residents took 295 trips in 2015, if you transpose that to CIN, we need HSR.
My point is , you ted to need a reason to travel , as well as population. Tourist attractions, major or specialized health care, major sporting event , conventions, all generate more traffic than a city without such attractions.
I imagine Las Vegas has a lot more air traffic than other cities its size, for example.
Alcochaser wrote:I had heard stories of the crew forgetting to stop there as it is a flag stop, and they don't stop very often. So I took my lantern and literally made sure to FLAG the with the proper signal. Got the proper two hoots in response both times. Engineer called out to the conductor on the radio "Flag at Thurmomd"
Arlington wrote:Let's begin by noting that the Cardinal takes 28 hours from NYP to CHI. Clearly it is not being operated for the convenience of New York to Chicago travel, which is better handled by either the Lake Shore Limited (19 hours), or even connections (Pennsylvanian + Capitol Ltd) or (NEC + Capitol Limited) which run in the 20 to 22 hour time range. In addition to being slow, it is "small", representing just 17% of Amtrak's capacity between New York and Chicago (3 out of 17 itineraries) and about 30% of capacity between Washington and Chicago (3 out of 10 trains).
The first thing, then, to conclude, is that the Cardinal is being operated for the convenience of all the people between Staunton VA (just beyond Charottesville) and Connersville IN (just before Indy) for whom it is, perhaps, their sole means of moving conveniently from "home" to "the Big City"
But also, given the really lousy timing at Cincinnati (1am westbound and 3am eastbound), you'd have to say that the Cardinal "works" for everyone along the way except Cincinnati (pop 2.2m), in the same way that the Pennsylvanian and Capitol Limited do a bad job of serving Pittsburgh (pop 2.6m) but serve everyone else pretty well.
I look at that and say the Hoosier State would probably do much better if it were extended to CIN, even without Ohio's help (same as the Downeaster depends on New Hampshire and Maryland's MARC trains go into West Virginia...the fare money pays for it, even though NH/WV "freeload"). Plenty of Indianans would benefit too: not just Connersville, but also the 3 counties in Indiana that are part of the CIN metro area.
There's got to be a better way to serve the Cardinal's route. Going daily seems to just repeat the flaws of the current route and schedule.
gokeefe wrote:The ridership numbers don't bear that out, see the earlier referenced fact sheets. The train's ridership bases are out of Cincinnati (to Chicago and points between) and Charlottesville (to Washington).
east point wrote:Some here are selling the Cardinal short. Here it is the dead of winter and its sold out tomorrow and most trips for rest of month have very few openings. For the needs of the Cardinal seems to be more rolling stock and maybe daily service. WASH <> CHI $100, BC 160, sleeper 500 - 600 / Don't let the POL s think that teir train ( not the Cardinal ) can get cancelled at just a whim.
Rockingham Racer wrote:Forgive me for asking, but isn't the Subway still open at Zoo? And if it is, why can't people in the Phildelphia area go to the North Philadelphia station to get a through long-distance train as in days of yore? All of the PRR's through trains skipped 30th St. AFAICR.
gokeefe wrote:I find these last few posts very interesting in that it has really brought to light the true fundamental issue at hand. The Cardinal simply should not run as a through train to Chicago. The route isn't competitive nor is the timing. Passengers originating in West Virginia and traveling towards Chicago would have a layover in Cincinnati but Union Terminal these days is really quite nice and there would be more than sufficient facilities present for a handful of "Moutaineers" (ok ... they probably are not all WVU alums ...) to pass the time while waiting for departure of the train to Chicago.
Philly Amtrak Fan wrote: Let's say for sake of argument we can get a daily "Broadway Limited" of some sort before we can make the Cardinal daily. Tell me why we shouldn't replace a 3x/week Cardinal with a daily Broadway, using one more train set and easily doubling ridership (especially if Amtrak can use their own 110 mph track in Michigan to save on paying NS for a significant portion of the route and providing direct access from Michigan to PHL/NYP)? Now a daily Broadway probably requires some track negotiations and for the mess in Chicago to clear up. But which will Amtrak be able to do first, a daily Broadway or a daily Cardinal?
Philly Amtrak Fan wrote:I really think if we're discussing "when is the Cardinal be daily?" 5-10 years from now, Amtrak will still be in the red and the Cardinal will be one of the biggest money losers. Why waste 2 LD sets on a train that can only be used 3x/week if there is an obvious better option using 3 sets?
As for Congress, Byrd's dead. Hopefully the next time Amtrak's budget is cut, the Cardinal will be the one canceled and not some better train. If any better train gets canceled to save the Cardinal it will be as horrible as the decision to cut the Broadway to save the Cardinal.
Arlington wrote: "CSX may hobble it"
Arlington wrote:Isn't the problem, though, that with coal's decline, nobody is investing in rails through West Virginia? Instead, the investment is along routes that intermodal wants (which favor good interstates and bigger population/commercial/manufacturing centers)
CHTT1 wrote:Want do you mean let Iowa Pacific take care of a Cincy train? You mean let Indiana DOT and Ohio DOT run a Chi-Cincy service. Iowa Pacific doesn't run the Hoosier State on its own account. It runs it under contract with InDOT. Iowa Pacific is not going to run its own trains without state assistance.
Terminate the Cardinal in Galesburg!!!! You want to establish a whole new maintenance base, food vendor and crew base in some little town in the middle of nowhere? Bypassing the second largest city in the U.S. for a place that isn't even the top 10 population centers of Illinois!!! All for the dozen or so folks who might want to transfer to the CZ or SWC on a given day.
As far as terminating the train in Washington, hasn't it been shown that ridership increased a lot when the Cardinal became a through train to New York?
Chicago - Indianapolis -Cincinnati should be a multi-train corridor just like the Chicago-St. Louis and Chicago-Detroit corridors, but good luck in getting Indiana and/or Ohio to cooperate in establishing such a corridor.