• North Coast Hiawatha Study

  • 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

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  by Tom V
 
In terms of Superliner equipment, what about having the Capitol Limited go to single level and utilizing their Superliners for expanded North Coast Hiawatha.

There's been studies about having the Pennsylvania link up with the Capitol Limited in Pittsburgh. Having all single level fleet makes that easier. The View liner production line is open now, the new administration can add on to existing orders for additional diners, sleepers etc.. and get them on property quickly. Coaches is where they're going to be tight.

Speaking of coaches, doesn't California utilize some Amtrak long distance Superliner equipment on their California State supported services. I've seen them mixed in with their own equipment. Hopefully those can go back to Amtrak with the new California Siemens orders.
  by conductorchris
 
"Trains should be routed where more people live, not towards vast stretches of emptiness. "

Actually trains should be routed where the most riders are -- which doesn't necessarily correlate with population, as the rural areas without airports and interstates have much higher market share.

Example: when the Cardinal was re-routed away from Indianapolis to run through Richmond-Muncie and beyond on the C&O in Indiana, ridership went up. Went back down when sent back to Indianapolis.

From this criteria, the Empire Builder is a better Amtrak route than the southern part of the state, as the only interstate is in the south of the state. It seems the history and ridership in the seventies bear this out.

Christopher

Christopher
  by Ridgefielder
 
Five of the eight mountain states-- ID, NV, UT, CO, AZ-- notched population growth of 12% or greater between 2010 and 2020. MT grew ~10%. There is going to inevitably be pressure for more Amtrak service in the region. Whether that means the North Coast Hiawatha or something else (Pioneer?) I don't know.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Doesn't have much to do with politics as it does BNSF not wanting a passenger train on their Southern Transcon any more miles than now. As for the Montana proposal for the NCH, there are two major changes since the Amtrak study that I see:

1- BNSF upgraded the entire line across Southern Montana to CTC.

2- Coal is in big trouble, and so then are the coal trains that used to dominate this route. There are many
fewer running now than ran when the 2009 Amtrak study was done for this route.
  by electricron
 
conductorchris wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:12 pm "Trains should be routed where more people live, not towards vast stretches of emptiness. "

Actually trains should be routed where the most riders are -- which doesn't necessarily correlate with population, as the rural areas without airports and interstates have much higher market share.
Example: when the Cardinal was re-routed away from Indianapolis to run through Richmond-Muncie and beyond on the C&O in Indiana, ridership went up. Went back down when sent back to Indianapolis.
From this criteria, the Empire Builder is a better Amtrak route than the southern part of the state, as the only interstate is in the south of the state. It seems the history and ridership in the seventies bear this out.
Christopher
Do you have a link to those ridership numbers so we can verify them?
Having higher market share in a really small market does not necessarily mean more riders on the trains.
Example with numbers anyone could verify with simple math.
20% market share in market of 100,000 travelers would total 20,000 riders.
2% market share in a market of 1,000,000 travelers would total 20,000 riders.

Having more travelers in your customer base should be a great way to have more riders.
It is riders in those seats that earn revenues, not market share.
  by Backshophoss
 
Question is: What will MRL demand from Amtrak,and will they play nice with Amtrak?
  by dgvrengineer
 
Backshophoss wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:44 pm Question is: What will MRL demand from Amtrak,and will they play nice with Amtrak?
Would MRL have a say or would it be BNSF's decision since they are the owners of the track and MRL is just a lessee?
  by eolesen
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:48 am 2- Coal is in big trouble, and so then are the coal trains that used to dominate this route. There are many
fewer running now than ran when the 2009 Amtrak study was done for this route.
Coal for US consumption, sure, but that's been declining for the last decade.

I'd think PRB coal for export to Japan/India should be holding its own...
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Unfortunately, the BNSF does not like the idea of running via Amarillo. So that's the end of that.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:43 am
Rockingham Racer wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:48 am 2- Coal is in big trouble, and so then are the coal trains that used to dominate this route. There are many
fewer running now than ran when the 2009 Amtrak study was done for this route.
Coal for US consumption, sure, but that's been declining for the last decade.

I'd think PRB coal for export to Japan/India should be holding its own...
Even then, there aren't many BNSF/MRL coal trains going to Roberts Bank anymore, it seems. The coal trains to Centralia, WA still run as well, but who knows for how long. I think UP carries a lot more export coal out of the PRB than does the BNSF, but I could be wrong.
  by RRspatch
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:16 am Unfortunately, the BNSF does not like the idea of running via Amarillo. So that's the end of that.
BNSF actually chipped in some money to keep A3 and A4 on the Raton Pass route and AWAY from Amarillo, Clovis and Belen. All three terminals can be "difficult" on a good day and a complete Clusterf**k on a bad day. I worked the Panhandle West desk (Amarillo), as well as the Clovis West and Raton (Belen) desks. The idea of running 10K, 12K and 16K trains hasn't helped things through the terminals either. While BNSF hasn't gone full on stUPid with PSR, they have done some dumb things in their own way.
  by Jeff Smith
 
mtuandrew wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:54 pm I find it very suspicious that BNSF requires $546.6 million - over half of the proposed cost - to run an additional train daily each way. Aren't there enough alternate freight routes that they can use from St. Paul to the MRL at Jones Junction, and from Spokane to Seattle?

This LD reinstatement has the best chance of the bunch, but I do hope that a few senators lean on BNSF to bring their proposed costs down.
I understand your point about the amount of money for one additional frequency, but why should BNSF reroute their trains over their tracks to accommodate a train that is not theirs?
  by Jeff Smith
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:14 pm Five of the eight mountain states-- ID, NV, UT, CO, AZ-- notched population growth of 12% or greater between 2010 and 2020. MT grew ~10%. There is going to inevitably be pressure for more Amtrak service in the region. Whether that means the North Coast Hiawatha or something else (Pioneer?) I don't know.
The article mentioned other services to other cities such as Salt Lake.
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