Sunset Limited East/City of New Orleans Ext/Mobile Service

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Re: City of New Orleans CoNO Extension/Sunset Limited (East)

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:00 pm

I'd be fine with temporarily extending the City of New Orleans to Florida, but it isn't a permanent solution to either the Gulf Coast Sunset East problem or the CHI-Florida train problem. Like Tad says, it's currently a one-railroad one-overnight train that works well, and adding a second carrier will probably make timekeeping suffer. I'd rather see a standalone San Antonio (or Fort Worth) - Orlando or New Orleans - Miami train along the coast, both of which would be comfortably over the LD limit of 750 miles, and a Chicago - Florida train that passes through the Appalachians or its foothills.

If I thought they could all work well together, I'd suggest CHI - (CN) - MEM - (BNSF) - BHM - (NS) - JAX - (FEC) - MIA in lieu of CHI - (CSX) - MIA.
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Re: City of New Orleans CoNO Extension/Sunset Limited (East)

Postby R&DB » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:26 am

mtuandrew wrote:
If I thought they could all work well together, I'd suggest CHI - (CN) - MEM - (BNSF) - BHM - (NS) - JAX - (FEC) - MIA in lieu of CHI - (CSX) - MIA.

I think a better routing would be via Louisville - Nashville - Chattanooga - Atlanta - Jacksonville - Orlando - Miami. More potential traffic. This might also gain some New Orleans to Florida traffic with a change at Atlanta. Basically the old Floridian Route except through Atlanta instead of Birmingham.
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Re: City of New Orleans CoNO Extension/Sunset Limited (East)

Postby railgeekteen » Tue May 01, 2018 11:10 am

So when is the target completion date for this?
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Re: City of New Orleans CoNO Extension/Sunset Limited (East)

Postby Tadman » Tue May 01, 2018 8:20 pm

Given (a) the current political climate; (b) current Amtrak brass policy; (c) the quality of the idea, probably never. This is an unpopular answer to a question nobody asked.
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Re: Sunset Limited East/City of New Orleans Ext/Mobile Servi

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:03 pm

Update: AL.com

'We need governor's signature': Amtrak's restart in Mobile in Ivey's hands as deadline looms

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey must decide by Wednesday whether the state will make a $5.3 million commitment over three years to bring Amtrak service back to Mobile, connecting the city with New Orleans.

Rail advocates who are pushing for the return of Gulf Coast passenger rail say that Ivey has yet to meet with them and frustrations are mounting.

Said Jerry Gehman, the governor's designee to the 21-member Southern Rail Commission: "On Thursday, this project is dead for Alabama. She's the only one who can do this. Not her chief of staff or the Legislature. We need the governor's signature."

The restarted route would include two Amtrak trains running daily from New Orleans to Mobile with stops in Mississippi towns - Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula.

...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Sunset Limited East/City of New Orleans Ext/Mobile Servi

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:26 pm

From the FB group Friends of Sunset Limited

THIS IS MAJOR NEWS!!!

Florida Gulf and Atlantic Railroad, a new subsidiary of International Rail Partners, is taking over the CSX Florida Panhandle Line between Baldwin FL and Pensacola FL. This is almost the entire route through the Panhandle of the proposed Amtrak Gulf Coast Service in Florida.

"The following notice was posted November 6, 2018:
Pursuant to regulations of the Surface Transportation Board, 49 C.F.R. § 1150.32(e), Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad LLC (“FGAR”) hereby notifies employees of CSX Transportation, Inc. (“CSXT”) that FGAR intends to acquire from CSXT and operate the following rail lines: (1) the Tallahassee Subdivision between Baldwin, FL at or near CSXT milepost SP 653.3 and Chattahoochee, FL, at or near CSXT milepost SP 842.5, (2) the P&A Subdivision between Chattahoochee, FL, at or near CSXT milepost 00K810.7 and Pensacola, FL, at or near CSXT milepost 00K651.0, and (3) portions of the Bainbridge Subdivision between Tallahassee, FL, at or near CSXT milepost SLC 52.0 and Attapulgus, GA, at or near CSXT milepost SLC 79.0 (the “Lines”). The total length of the Lines is approximately 373 Miles."

What this portends for us is unclear, except to say that CSX has been and is, very difficult to deal with. maybe another railroad will have a better attitude. Five Gulf Coast counties are sitting on a pile of loot from the BP disaster settlement and if parties are in agreement, perhaps the line could be upgraded with new signaling, station work, etc.

Couple this with the work to take place between Mobile and New Orleans and we could be on to something!
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Re: Sunset Limited East/City of New Orleans Ext/Mobile Servi

Postby gokeefe » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:10 pm

Well that's certainly an interesting development ... hopefully they will find a way to move forward. I remain impressed by the depth of the community commitment to this project. Further proof that passenger rail, including Amtrak service, has become a non-partisan issue.
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