• Amtrak Borealis: fka Empire Builder 2nd Daily Frequency Chicago - St Paul

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by west point
STrRedWolf wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 7:04 am Going through this...

  • Afternoon Hiawatha
  • Afternoon Twin Cities Zephyr
  • Bat
  • Chicago Special
  • Day/Eastern Express
  • Morning Zephyr
  • Varsity
You gave an idea of Chicago express and Minneapolis express. Or use Special instead of express?
  by west point
It is time for us railfans trying to revive old train / route names. The general public has no idea what some of these proposed names mean. It might also speed up calls to reservations
1. IMO Zephyr needs to be assigned to the CHI west all the way to regionals in southern Illinois.
2. Call it the Minneapolis HIA and Chicago HIA.
3. Then the various trains can be called Milwaukee HIA in CHI and train.
4. AT MKE it will either be Minneapolis HIAS or CHI HIA
5. The station boards need to also list destination. That will somewhat mitigate the problem of passengers boarding wrong train.

It seems unscientifically that certain names cause more new passengers. Look at Carolinian, Piedmont, If it takes 2 lines on PID boards so be it. EX. at CHI one-line MKE HIA another line for same train MSP HIA.

So, in NOL as EX
1. It should be Houston - LAX sunset:
2. BHM / ATL & NY Crescent.
3. Them Mobile _________
4. Baton Rouge __________

These names need wide coverage ads that are local in nature.
  by Tadman
west point wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 1:49 pm It is time for us railfans trying to revive old train / route names. The general public has no idea what some of these proposed names mean.
I've often thought that some sort of naming convention would help the traveling public identify the services and offerings better. IE "___-Rocket" would signifiy a fast premium service making limited stops. So perhaps each corridor would have1-2 rockets per day with a business class car and less stops. Then "___-Limited" would denote long distance trains making lots of stops and have sleeper cars.

west point wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 1:49 pm These names need wide coverage ads that are local in nature.
Of course this leads to my next question, "whatever does the marketing department really do with their time?". You can publicize all you want, but if you can't back up the glamour of your advertising with substantive reliable service, it's all kind of silly. I've often thought that they should RIF the entire marketing and advertising department and use that funding for staff service level training. IE "here is where we board" and "this is how we board" and "how to train the detroit and Chicago station staff not to be as rude as possible".
  by markhb
Wouldn't it make more sense and be as straightforward as possible just to name it the Twin Cities? Alternatively, in recognition of both endpoints it could be the Windy Gopher.
  by superbad
If would be pretty nifty if they use May 11th, National Train day as the date to announce this trains name and start date. I was on a Builder this weekend and unlike previous questions to crew about this train there was now and answer of 'soon'
  by CNJGeep
Borealis is the confirmed name. Service to start May 21, via an Amtrak official Facebook post.
  by superbad
that caught me by Surprise.....
you can already book on it. The prices are half the Empire Builder too. looks like $33 from Winona to Chicago and back. I hope this train has fixed fares like the Hiawatha.
  by Jeff Smith
https://media.amtrak.com/2024/05/introd ... milwaukee/


Introducing Amtrak Borealis trains with Expanded Service between St. Paul and Chicago via Milwaukee

New passenger train arrivals and departures in a partnership with Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois

ST. PAUL, Minn., and CHICAGO – Tickets are now available for a second daily Amtrak service between the Twin Cities and Chicago, via Milwaukee: new state-sponsored Borealis trains originate from St. Paul at midday and from Chicago in the late morning. Travelers seeking a more comfortable, sustainable and productive choice than driving will have double the current rail options, starting May 21, 2024.

Amtrak Borealis coach fares start at $41 each way between St. Paul and Chicago for adults, with everyday discounts for children ages 2-12, students, seniors, veterans, military personnel and families, groups, and others.

Amtrak Borealis trains will offer Coach and Business Class in addition to a café car featuring regional items. Customers will enjoy wide reclining seats with ample legroom, no middle seats, free Wi-Fi, and views of the Mississippi River between St. Paul and La Crosse, Wisc., in daylight in both directions across Wisconsin.

The trains will make the current Empire Builder stops between St. Paul and Milwaukee and Hiawatha stops between Milwaukee and Chicago (see schedule). Another benefit of the Amtrak Borealis service is a new eastbound Amtrak origination from Ramsey County’s Union Depot in St. Paul.

“A second daily passenger rail service connecting St. Paul to Chicago via Milwaukee is a welcome addition to our transportation system, providing more choices and travel flexibility for passengers,” said Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger, Minnesota Department of Transportation. “We appreciate our partnerships with communities, federal, state and local governments, the host railroad CPKC, and Amtrak that were needed to get this service on-track, and to provide another safe, reliable transportation option. We look forward to continuing these partnerships as we work toward further building out passenger rail options in the Midwest.”

“This route includes eight stations in Wisconsin, and doubling the frequency of the service will better connect the many businesses, universities and tourist attractions along this corridor,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “This expansion is thanks to the work WisDOT was able to do together with Minnesota, Illinois and Amtrak, as well as the opportunities provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We will continue to work with federal and state partners to explore more passenger rail options in Wisconsin.”

“We are proud to collaborate with neighboring states and our federal partners to offer more Amtrak service in the Midwest,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Ensuring passenger rail that’s safe, reliable and accessible is one of the many reasons Illinois continues to distinguish itself as the transportation hub of North America under Gov. JB Pritzker.”

The new service is sponsored by the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Amtrak now operates 29 state-supported routes with 18 state partners.

“Through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Corridor Identification Program we are working with grantees on dozens of other possible new Amtrak routes,” said President Roger Harris. “Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, interest from state transportation departments and others for new or expanded Amtrak service across the country is at an all-time high.”

“This is a win for passenger rail expansion in America, and more importantly, it’s a win for a growing number of Americans who rely on passenger rail and benefit from it,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose. “Investments in rail have long helped Midwesterners and the region’s economy, and this new service will mean additional access for people traveling between Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois while contributing to economic growth.

“The Federal Railroad Administration applauds the strong partnership between the states and Amtrak, and through President Biden’s infrastructure package, we know even more progress is underway,” Bose added.
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