• Amtrak New Gulf Coast Service - New Orleans to Mobile AL

  • 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 mtuandrew
WhartonAndNorthern wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:57 am
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:16 am At most, bring it to Tallahassee or Jacksonville. I'm just glad this isn't a CoNO extension. Remember <cough> Virgin Brightline <cough>? There's no need to go any further south in Florida. I'll be surprised if Amtrak makes it much longer in Florida past Jax.
On the contrary, I can see them paying to run the Meteor over Virgin/Brightline from Orlando to Miami. Complete the DC2RVA improvements and you can knock a 27 hour trip down to less than 24 hours. Maybe even reduce the number of sets required to run the Meteor.
And the Silvers can definitely get up and move even behind Gennies; 110 mph ought to do it on the FEC raceway. Sure would be nice for them to terminate at Virgin MiamiCentral though, or go from there to Miami Hialeah to terminate. (That’s for another topic though.)

The Creole Limited is just a thought exercise, I think it would be better as six regional trains (Corpus Christi-San Antonio, San Antonio-Houston, Dallas-NOL, NOL-Mobile, and Tallahassee-Miami via Jacksonville, MIA-Tampa via Orlando) with a non-zero number operated by Virgin.
  by Jeff Smith
But WHY would Virgin/Brightline want to allow Amtrak? The Meteor gets to Jacksonville per the schedule around 9 a.m. SB, and 5 p.m. NB. Virgin could run east coast passengers directly down the FEC; while they're focused on Tampa right now, I could see them on the I-4 corridor up to Daytona eventually as well, connecting both Orlando and Tampa to Silver service in Jacksonville. The Star SB is earlier at 6:30 a.m., so a transfer for sleeper passengers is not great that early, but they could plan a meet in Orlando that's much more convenient to continue, either to Tampa or Miami. NB the same. I don't see Amtrak abandoning FL any time soon, but I do see Virgin as eventual competition, and with proper scheduling could make meets much easier.
  by mtuandrew
Jeff: because the JAX market isn’t big enough yet for Virgin to bother with it, but it’s politically and operationally important enough for Amtrak. That changes if/when Virgin gets big enough to build out to Atlanta (which I honestly think will happen eventually. Maybe FEC buys the Central of Georgia off NS and the S-Line off CSX?) At that point, either they boot Amtrak (a regular tenant, not a rent-controlled tenant), they price Amtrak out of the market by rent increase or fare decrease, or they restrict Amtrak to discharge-only SB and receive-only NB. In fact, I’d do that last one anyway, don’t want Amtrak cannibalizing the MIA-WPB market.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mobile-NO would be the kind of "two a day Corridor of sorts" that meet all of Amtrak "specs" for such. There are reports of CSX saying "come on back, we've missed you", half the equipment needed is already there (the set for 59 to 58 with its now 23 hour turn), and even the additional equipment needed will soon be there with the release of A-I's and Horizons as the new Siemens cars are delivered.

Lest we forget, that for the '84 Expo train, only one state ponied up. Now two are "I'm in" and a third "on the fence". Further, the "Redneck Riviera" has been built up since '84 - including the "bells a ringin'" from slots.

Even if 'Bama doesn't get on board, Pascagoula-NO would still serve the Casinos - and only 15 miles away from Mobile. Possibly an unsubsidized livery operator would want to step up and offer a "last mile" service.

Predictably, I'm not in favor of "Sunset East" being restored. But a "Mini-Corridor" Mobile (ideally)-NO, is a fair and reasonable service addition giving more credence to "national in scope" should there be some Adios drumheads out hanging.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:44 am But WHY would Virgin/Brightline want to allow Amtrak? [...] I don't see Amtrak abandoning FL any time soon, but I do see Virgin as eventual competition, and with proper scheduling could make meets much easier.
Right now I see Virgin JAX-Miami as years away, something to be done after Orlando to Miami is completed. A Palmetto/Silver Palm extension is more probable in the meantime.
Virgin gets a paying customer (FEC never joined Amtrak) and some exposure as part of the national network. If this venture turns unprofitable (as Mr. Norman suggests), Virgin will have more congressional allies when it requests a subsidy to sustain it's route to avoid cancelling/rerouting a now-essential national service.
  by Gilbert B Norman
mtuandrew wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:24 am Here’s a thought: a Creole Limited from Tampa to Corpus Christi via Jacksonville and San Antonio.
Mr. Stephens, I don't know where you came up with that name, but best address the IC for "naming rights" :P

"Back in my day at the Big U", that was the NB Coach only leaving NO at about 1201A (remember volks, there is NO Midnight on the railroad) that, after making every flagstop, and maybe even a few uncarded ones, got to Champaign at about 330P, or about the time for many a student to "split for Chi".

The equipment assigned to The Creole was whatever could run. I can recall when a Frat Brother, once remarked to me, "this looks like something out of Dr. Zhivago."
  by gokeefe
I found the "first if it's kind" description interesting but given that corridor service has never been attempted from West Florida to New Orleans by Amtrak it seems fair.

From a PR standpoint it's a sharp turn of phrase that creates an immediate break with the legacy services (and their shortcomings).
  by Greg Moore
ExCon90 wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:43 pm Probably not Gulf Wind. Gulf Zephyr? :wink:
Nope, definitely wrong part of the country for a zephyr wind.

Perhaps the Gulf Coast Current?
Gulf Coast Meanderer?
Gulf Coast We'll Get there Eventually?
Gulf Cost (sic) Liner
  by Gilbert B Norman
"Gulf Coast Service" would be consistent with Amtrak policy elsewhere about the System.
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