• Substitute Trains For Short Distance Flights?

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Benton, I think your immediate thought is "not quite as true" as some might think. Here are those coming to my mind where there is a single seat ride available between the major airport and the downtown area.

USA:

Newark
Philly (may be inactive)
Baltimore
Wash - National
Miami
Chicago - ORD and MDW
DFW (added by Mr. Olesen)
San Francisco

Overseas:

London (LHR and LGW)
Frankfurt/Main
Munich
Vienna
Sydney

There ARE more, especially in Asia, of which I'm not aware and there are others involving transfers. Further, there WILL be more, such as Honolulu. So all told, there is room for more, but not as dire as "Miss Sweden" paints the picture.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Fri Sep 30, 2022 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by eolesen
 
There's a vast difference between having an express service to downtown like you find overseas, and riding BART or the CTA...

Both Dallas and Fort Worth now have single-seat service between DFW and the respective downtowns.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I should have not forgotten DFW; rode such to Dallas July '19. The Marriott at which I stayed was one block away from Pearl/Arts District station.

I am editing my previous post to include such (and attribution to Mr. Olesen)
  by ExCon90
 
Even more important is which airports have through service to other cities; examples are:
Zurich and Geneva to major cities in Switzerland (and to each other)
Frankfurt to major cities in Germany
Schiphol (Amsterdam) to major cities in the Netherlands
Zaventem (Brussels) to major cities in Belgium

All of the above have frequent service, often hourly, to other cities; get off the plane at Zurich airport, go downstairs, and board a fast train for Basel, Bern, Lucerne -- or Fribourg, Lausanne, or Geneva if there's a more convenient flight to Zurich than to Geneva.
  by eolesen
 
If air/rail connections are the ultimate goal, would it not be better to move Amtrak out of Union Stations in CHI LAX and Penn/GCT and built new stations integrated into or adjacent to the airports?

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  by eolesen
 
Specific to Chicago, theres a new train station on airport property which is finally connected to the terminals by the guideway system.

Those platforms are on the former WC/Soo, which rhe NCS uses with a connnect to the MD-W and into Union. For a bypass, the WC continues south to the B&OCT, which crosses and could intersect with both the BNSF and CN lines which run corridor services to the rest of Illinois.

The airport isn't going to move. The only real alternative if you want to increase air/rail in Chicago is to move the rail station to somewhere that's not landlocked or 20 miles away.

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  by RandallW
 
eolesen wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 11:59 am If air/rail connections are the ultimate goal, would it not be better to move Amtrak out of Union Stations in CHI LAX and Penn/GCT and built new stations integrated into or adjacent to the airports?

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Moving Amtrak out of LAX Union Station to serve LAX Airport would meet one goal (don't drive to airport) while totally defeating another goal (provide regional public transit services in Southern California) for which the current LAX Union Station is well suited as it also a hub for LA Metro Rail and Metrolink services. Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner does server Burbank airport in LA County, which has historically been cheaper to fly into than LAX, so if you want to promote interconnections between long distance air and short distance rail, you should promote the use of Burbank to the Pacific Surfliner customer base.

You have a better argument for extending Amtrak Midwest trains that serve Union Station from the south to O'hare to provide direct connections from most cities in Illinois served by Amtrak, but it would likely be deemed to expensive to add through platforms and tracks in Chicago for the expected market.

I think some less expensive airports to connect to regional Intercity services are Philadelphia (towards Harrisburg and Trenton although I don't know if the SEPTA station would need to be expanded first), Richmond (the airport is right beside a field where a rail station could be built for a market from Fredericksburg to Newport News), and Charlotte (the airport is adjacent to rail and the Piedmont services could be extended to it from downtown Charlotte to serve a market up to Greensboro).
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
At Munich, Flughafen is reached via S-Bahn from Munchen-Ost, which is a stop on the line Hbf-Rosenheim-Salzburg. Take a Westbound train and ten minutes later, you are at the Hbf.
  by ExCon90
 
I think the most workable solution for Chicago would be to establish a true terminal station at the CN site (if there's enough land for it) and expand all Corridor services other than Rockford or wherever to start and end there, stopping at CUS en route, similar to what is done at Geneva, as suggested by RandallW. This should not overtax platform capacity at CUS provided that they go through with the announced plan to add two or three through tracks on the river side, and would help to provide needed frequency (I would say every 20 minutes minimum) for Chicago passengers. This would require coordinating all Corridor services to fit the frequency pattern (now there's a challenge) including shuttle trains to fill in the gaps. I don't think there's a market for separate services from CUS and ORD to places like Battle Creek or Quincy, which would be prime candidates for rail service from ORD.

At Philadelphia it is currently impossible to get from the airport station to anywhere but 30th Street Upper Level, which is useless for destinations north, west, or south without reversal at the platform, although some track changes at PHIL interlocking would permit movements toward New York or Harrisburg via the Lower Level. No way that I can see to provide terminal facilities for anything but MU equipment at the airport station, however.
Last edited by ExCon90 on Sat Oct 01, 2022 10:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by eolesen
 
Forcing all corridors thru CUS would add at least an hour to every routing...



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  by ExCon90
 
It would be a one-seat ride for pax from ORD, and the time wouldn't change for pax from CUS.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
ExCon90 wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 10:15 pm I think the most workable solution for Chicago would be to establish a true terminal station at the CN site (if there's enough land for it) and expand all Corridor services other than Rockford or wherever to start and end there, stopping at CUS en route,
Mr. ExCon, True, the trackage is all there as it is an existing METRA route over the SOO, interchanging to the MILW at Franklin Park, thence to the through tracks at CUS, and from there to any existing Chicago Corridor - including the backup move needed to access the IC.

But, as you noted, land would be an issue. While the SOO (CN in "newspeak") has a small yard in Schiller Park that could be used to service equipment, that would require a backup to get to the O'Hare Transfer station, which I guess is where you have in mind for these Corridor trains to originate.

"For better or for worse", Illinois has WAAAY relaxed their casino laws since first enacted during the 1990's. While first intended to be a riverboat excursion with table gaming incidental to the experience, they have successively been relaxed to forget the excursion, forget having a pile driven into a river, and become as land based as they are out in "The Meadows". There has never been a "Native" financial interest requirement in Illinois.

So back to point, the O'Hare perimeter, particularly within Rosemont where the station is located, has become a "magnet" for casino gaming. I'm sure the major operators are "scouting" for locations around there, as reportedly the five outlet nationwide Rivers (it has a pile driven into the Des Plaines River) "does well".

All of that means there are more "lucrative" uses for land around there than an expended passenger rail facility.
  by eolesen
 
Casinos are a concession, and Rivers stake in the ground (or water) should give them exclusivity for the Des Plaines / Rosemont area, no?

Their license was in part why Churchill gave up on a casino at Arlington Park as I'm recalling it. The amendment to the bill passed in 2019 allows for a casino in Chicago, but the remaining five licenses have to be built in Danville, Rockford, Waukegan, Williamson County, and the five townships that comprise South Cook County. That would rule out another casino in the Rosemont area.

That said, the next big push for gaming in Illinois won't be more casinos. It will be to expand on online gambling, specifically fantasy sports such as what DraftKings and FanDuel offer.

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