2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

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2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby mspang311 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:08 pm

Well, it is a little early... but any speculation for the 2018 trip?
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:34 pm

Two words-not happening.

The brand new president does not want any special excursions running on tracks used by regular Amtrak trains.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:10 pm

Outside chance if done by 1 of the state operators on the west coast were willing to take the mantle.
Personal chose,WSDOT,with BNSF blessing,Seattle-Sopkane-Portland-Seattle.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby SouthernRailway » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:49 pm

Time for the NC Transportation Museum to do another one through the western NC mountains.

We need a “sticky” showing all upcoming special trips. I never can keep track of them, so I’ve missed so many from NYC.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby gprimr1 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:06 pm

Well typically the Autumn Express runs on freight-only tracks, that's part of its allure.

I agree though, I'm not sure that it will run this year.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby rwk » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:48 pm

I’m afraid except for UP’s 844 excursions which happened last month, and the New River Train this fall, which they fought Amtrak to run this year, there will be almost zero mainline excursions on any class 1 railroads with Anderson in charge of Amtrak. That’s steam, diesel, everything. Autumn Express included which is most likely not running this year. Anderson has a more sinister plan for Amtrak which includes cutting most long distance trains, and replacing them with shorter city to city trains and replace the Genesis diesels and Amfleets with newer married diesel trainsets. Seems that there is little room for special excursions in Anderson’s world. Even the 611 isn’t running any mainline excursions because of him. NS told VMT they needed to work with Amtrak for this year’s excursions. But then the charter ban hit. VMT is going to try to talk with Amtrak for 2019 excursions. Unless you’re headed to WV in October, you’ll have to ride a tourist railroad or non-Amtrak sponsored excursion like the 765 on Metra and CVSR next month.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby SouthernRailway » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:10 pm

rwk wrote:NS told VMT they needed to work with Amtrak for this year’s excursions.


Because NS would need Amtrak passenger cars for excursions, or another reason?

I know that this idea has been shot down on this board, but if NS or another Class I would use its own business train plus some museum equipment on an excursion, and no Amfleet or other Amtrak equipment, I'd pay a fortune to ride and I know others would, too.

I recall Southern Railway excursions in the '80s and maybe even around 1990. It was all Southern Railway and Norfolk & Western equipment (still lettered as such), with maybe a UP dome car or so added in.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby John_Perkowski » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:30 am

NS was at one point quite friendly to its steam program and to other excursions. Then, they stopped, cold turkey.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby CHTT1 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:37 am

Just shows you what a change in management can do.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby mspang311 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:26 pm

Seems like it is not going to happen this year.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby CentralValleyRail » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:19 am

rwk wrote:I’m afraid except for UP’s 844 excursions which happened last month, and the New River Train this fall, which they fought Amtrak to run this year, there will be almost zero mainline excursions on any class 1 railroads with Anderson in charge of Amtrak. That’s steam, diesel, everything. Autumn Express included which is most likely not running this year. Anderson has a more sinister plan for Amtrak which includes cutting most long distance trains, and replacing them with shorter city to city trains and replace the Genesis diesels and Amfleets with newer married diesel trainsets. Seems that there is little room for special excursions in Anderson’s world. Even the 611 isn’t running any mainline excursions because of him. NS told VMT they needed to work with Amtrak for this year’s excursions. But then the charter ban hit. VMT is going to try to talk with Amtrak for 2019 excursions. Unless you’re headed to WV in October, you’ll have to ride a tourist railroad or non-Amtrak sponsored excursion like the 765 on Metra and CVSR next month.


This isn't Amtrak territory but it covers a good reach within the area that the Autumn Fall train runs. The Reading and Northern Railroad runs a 3 hour each way Steam Excursion to Jim Thorpe PA from Port Clinton PA. I did it 10 years ago and it was a blast. It's about 90 minutes from NYC and PHL.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby rwk » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:33 pm

Yes, the Reading and Northern is a good place to ride a long excursion, and they have open window coaches which are verboten on class 1 railroads now. One exception to the rule is that 765 will have an open air car for railfans on its Chicago area excursions on Metra. Steamtown also runs a variety of excursions of different lengths usually with diesel power. TVRM in Tennessee operates longer excursions like the 100 mile round trips to Summerville, GA with steam. The New River Train is running this October. The Durbin and Greenbrier Valley offers steam and diesel rides on its lines. They own a lot of track. Steam is only at Cass now. The Amtrak charter ban might suck, but there are other options out there for a long train ride.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:08 pm

There are plenty of tourist railroads that enable people to ride long excursions. Yes, the Reading & Northern was mentioned. The Lehigh Gorge RR will probably be running their bike trains well into October and that is a nice ride. I did it in June and had lots of fun.

The 765 will definately make an appearance on Metra's Rock Island Line.

NS's steam program stopped recently. Many of their tracks are used by Amtrak trains, especially the first few miles of the Manassas-Front Royal excursions.

Getting back to Amtrak itself, if you want a trip on museum style equipment, ride the Piedmonts. Those heritage cars are amazing and continue to ride well. Who knows how long they will be operating for though.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:48 pm

A bit of a sour note on UP Steam,might be in suspension mode after the bystander strike in Co,per the legal beagles at UP. :(
Amtrak-Ca is out due to that wildfire near Redding Ca.
Best bet is ORDOT/WSDOT sponsorship up the Gorge to Spokane Wa.
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Re: 2018 Amtrak Autumn Express Speculation?

Postby diburning » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:33 am

SouthernRailway wrote:
rwk wrote:NS told VMT they needed to work with Amtrak for this year’s excursions.


Because NS would need Amtrak passenger cars for excursions, or another reason?


Because the trip would need to be Amtrak's liability and covered under Amtrak's insurance for the operation (for passenger injuries, equipment damage, infrastructure damage, lost revenue due to infrastructure damage, etc). Amtrak might be self-insured. NS's insurance probably does not cover this type of trip/movement. It's highly unlikely that VMT would be able to afford an insurance policy that would cover all of that.
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