Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:11 pm

What's even more interesting about the Texas projects is the internal clash it has produced between the big city/big oil corporate suits and the Texas countryside.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby John_Perkowski » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:36 pm

The only thing needing update with this study are the costing factors.

This was when Kansas tried to claim 79MPH was high speed rail, during the Obama billion dollar rail grants giveaway. In spite of the fact Kansas has a D governor now, I don’t see any changes politically that would bring $75M on a 1/1 cost sharing basis.

The 2010 study for Kansas to extend the Heartland Flyer to Newton.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:42 pm

Watch what happens if they apply for federal funding and get it.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:06 am

gokeefe wrote:Watch what happens if they apply for federal funding and get it.


I would like to see that happen, George. But who is "they" in your statement, to clarify?
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:14 am

John_Perkowski wrote:The only thing needing update with this study are the costing factors.

This was when Kansas tried to claim 79MPH was high speed rail, during the Obama billion dollar rail grants giveaway. In spite of the fact Kansas has a D governor now, I don’t see any changes politically that would bring $75M on a 1/1 cost sharing basis.

The 2010 study for Kansas to extend the Heartland Flyer to Newton.


There are some erroneous statements in that study, the continuing rising cost of gasoline being one of them. I follow the BNSF quite closely, and operationally, there have been some changes. The Topeka Sub between Holliday and Ellinor is no longer DTC. CTC installation on it was completed last year.

The consulting company--and BNSF--make a big deal of running a passenger train against the flow of their freight traffic. This happens in lots of places from Maine to Washington, and most especially on BNSF's Northern Transcon between Williston, ND and Seattle where the line is single track, with passing sidings. The Hearland Flyer route is not even as busy as the Northern Transcon route, so it's hard to see how adding a passenger train is going to cause difficulty, except for a dispatcher sitting in front of a computer making a few clicks on the mouse, and planning good meets.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby Tadman » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:41 am

Rockingham Racer wrote:
The consulting company--and BNSF--make a big deal of running a passenger train against the flow of their freight traffic. ... it's hard to see how adding a passenger train is going to cause difficulty, except for a dispatcher sitting in front of a computer making a few clicks on the mouse, and planning good meets.


This is probably a bargaining chip, one to be given away in return for something else. You don't start boiling water at 210 degrees. And of course BNSF's consulting company is going to back BNSF up. I can't imagine an situation where the consultants came out publicly and said "yeah sure passenger trains are great, we have plenty of room for them add a few more".

Even if BNSF did have plenty of room (not saying they do or don't), it would be in their best interest to hoard it for future traffic increases.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby bretton88 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:15 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:
gokeefe wrote:Watch what happens if they apply for federal funding and get it.


I would like to see that happen, George. But who is "they" in your statement, to clarify?

The State of Kansas and Oklahoma is who would be applying. To note, Wichita has made the HF Extension their number 1 priority and is willing to put up funding for it. So there is very real momentum for this extension.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:28 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:
gokeefe wrote:Watch what happens if they apply for federal funding and get it.


I would like to see that happen, George. But who is "they" in your statement, to clarify?


Kansas.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:16 am

Kansas traditionally has been pretty sluggish over the issue of passenger rail, ie., not has considered it a high priority for spending. Perhaps the Southwest Chief situation has caused folks there to get more proactive in pursuing passenger rail and the funds to run it?
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:40 am

Having a two-party-controlled system helps versus the single-party control formerly in Kansas - they have to focus on common issues rather than either side’s particular hobby horse. Also, Gov Brownback was especially hostile to rail expansion at state expense, though also opposed to the Southwest Chief being modified in any detrimental way.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby Tadman » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:45 pm

I've also never understood why Kansas won't pony up to extend the River Runner to Topeka. You have a number of benefits - no new equipment is needed, the railroad itself is a quiet secondary, and it services the majority of Kansas population in a short distance (including University of Kansas). It makes a lot more sense than the Flyer coming to Wichita from Oklahoma. It also would move jobs that straddle the Missouri-Kansas line firmly into Kansas, those of the car cleaning and support team in KC.

Heck, why not start a state supported train from Wichita through Topeka and Lawrence to KC instead of Wichita to OKC?

Honestly the thought of a OKC-Wichita train just makes the least sense of all possible scenarios. I was a Kansas resident for three years and nobody was itching to go to Oklahoma City, and anybody going to Dallas was going to fly.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:04 pm

Tadman wrote:I've also never understood why Kansas won't pony up to extend the River Runner to Topeka.


They don't believe in operating subsidies for rail.

Just because it makes sense doesn't mean it will happen ...
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby bretton88 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:05 pm

Tadman wrote:I've also never understood why Kansas won't pony up to extend the River Runner to Topeka. You have a number of benefits - no new equipment is needed, the railroad itself is a quiet secondary, and it services the majority of Kansas population in a short distance (including University of Kansas). It makes a lot more sense than the Flyer coming to Wichita from Oklahoma. It also would move jobs that straddle the Missouri-Kansas line firmly into Kansas, those of the car cleaning and support team in KC.

Heck, why not start a state supported train from Wichita through Topeka and Lawrence to KC instead of Wichita to OKC?

Honestly the thought of a OKC-Wichita train just makes the least sense of all possible scenarios. I was a Kansas resident for three years and nobody was itching to go to Oklahoma City, and anybody going to Dallas was going to fly.


Per the study they did, it was only going to cost 87 million for an HF extension to Newton, but to go all they way to KC, BNSF wanted 450 (!!) million. That's a lot of extra cash and mostly for that supposedly quiet Newton to KC stretch.
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:13 am

Newton to KC is hardly quiet. Where did you get that idea?
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Re: Amtrak Heartland Flyer Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:14 am

Rockingham Racer wrote:Newton to KC is hardly quiet. Where did you get that idea?

It certainly isn’t quiet on the Transcon directly, but what about via Topeka? Kansas doesn’t have a train volume map so I can’t tell.
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