• North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian Service

  • 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 Rockingham Racer
 
It's not CDOT's need; it's NCDOT's need.
  by deathtopumpkins
 
Rockingham Racer wrote:It's not CDOT's need; it's NCDOT's need.
From:
matthewsaggie wrote: From ConnDoT's viewpoint it adds a pre-6 AM departure from New Haven to NYP and south, since currently their earliest daytime departure is the Acela that leaves Boston at 5:05AM and leaves New Haven at 7:06. Currently, the first Regional is not until 7:37.
It sounds like ConnDOT finds it desirable. Sure, "need" was my word not theirs, but I stand by my point that they don't need it.
  by electricron
 
Rockingham Racer wrote:It's not CDOT's need; it's NCDOT's need.
Can't they make a transfer at Penn Station onto another Amtrak regional?
  by GirlOnTheTrain
 
Sounds like a waste to me...and that's coming from someone who had no ride to New Haven and had to do the last Waterbury-Bridgeport-reverse to New Haven then take 67 to NYP and kill several hours when taking the Carolinian rather than taking one of the first MN trains of the morning and schlepping it over to NYP. Considering they pay Metro North to run New Haven line service, why on earth would they care about adding an earlier departure for Amtrak?

I really don't think Amtrak in New Haven is set up to service an entire LD train with their facilities - what CDOT claims is all well and good but do the people making these claims actually have a clue????
  by mtuandrew
 
Of course Amtrak wouldn't find it desirable - they would be the ones paying for an extended Carolinianregardless of where it originates! Whether New Haven Coach Yard still has the necessary facilities to service an LD train (they do perform limited service on the Shuttles there) is a secondary matter to whether NC can successfully push the train off NCDOT rolls and onto full Federal funding. This hasn't been seriously proposed since RPIIA was enacted.
  by electricron
 
Interesting point! It's 704 rail miles from Charolotte to New York City. Extending this train to New Haven adds 72 rail miles. Math = 704 + 72 = 776.
776 is farther than 750, so this change will convert this train from a state subsidized train into a fully Amtrak subsidized train. This idea is dead on arrival, there's no way Amtrak is going to do this.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
electricron wrote:
Rockingham Racer wrote:It's not CDOT's need; it's NCDOT's need.
Can't they make a transfer at Penn Station onto another Amtrak regional?


Of course, but that doesn't get the problem off of North Carolina's back. The main reason for their proposal was to put the train into a classification which requires Amtrak to fund the train. Which is why I said earlier it's NCDOT's problem. CDOT would simply be the beneficiary of the extension.
  by Philly Amtrak Fan
 
If Amtrak can free up a slot to BOS it would make more sense for an extension.

We had discussed extending a Boston-Virginia train to North Carolina: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=7210&start=225" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Instead of north to New Haven, how about south to Atlanta and/or Florida?
  by electricron
 
It's the same 704 rail miles from New York City to Charlotte. Add just another 46 miles to the train, either north or south, meets the 750 miles where Amtrak fully subsidizes the train. This train would have to be breaking even, without requiring any subsidy at all, before Amtrak is going to lengthening this train travels. And since I don't think it is even close to breaking even today, extending it is not going to happen.
  by Bob Roberts
 
This is a bizarre plan. What is going to happen if the S Line shortcut opens and the CLT-NYC mileage drops by 70 miles or so?

I would love a CLT-Quebec City train, that would only be slightly sillier than running to New Haven.
  by OrangeGrove
 
Perhaps the most important aspect to this bit of news is neither the (somewhat odd) destination of New Haven for a long-distance train nor even whether this plan actually happens. What does matter greatly, however, is the precedent it sets.

Certainly there should be no outright prohibition on the extension of an existing state-supported train, but assuming this change occurs what is to prevent other states from jumping on the bandwagon to get out from under expenses for their own trains which also serve neighboring states. Possibly a case might be made for extending the Pennsylvanian back to Chicago, as the train once ran the entire route, but that would also make it a long-distance route subject to federal - rather than state - funding.

This is yet more evidence that the (completely arbitrary) 750-mile distinction between state funded regional and federally funded long-distance trains is a mistaken policy, not well thought out prior to its implementation. The true purpose was, of course, simply to shift funding responsibility completely onto the affected states (as opposed to the previous state-national split); This was not an attempt to develop a reasoned, purposeful transportation policy, and it shows.
  by Philly Amtrak Fan
 
OrangeGrove wrote:
Certainly there should be no outright prohibition on the extension of an existing state-supported train, but assuming this change occurs what is to prevent other states from jumping on the bandwagon to get out from under expenses for their own trains which also serve neighboring states. Possibly a case might be made for extending the Pennsylvanian back to Chicago, as the train once ran the entire route, but that would also make it a long-distance route subject to federal - rather than state - funding.
I'd do cartwheels if that happened. Maybe the compromise would be Pennsylvania covers the PGH-NYP half and Amtrak/feds cover the CHI-PGH half. I kind of think it's unfair to North Carolina to have to cover the entire cost of the train. They should just treat it as an NEC regional north of WAS (maybe Virginia can help as well).
OrangeGrove wrote: This is yet more evidence that the (completely arbitrary) 750-mile distinction between state funded regional and federally funded long-distance trains is a mistaken policy, not well thought out prior to its implementation. The true purpose was, of course, simply to shift funding responsibility completely onto the affected states (as opposed to the previous state-national split); This was not an attempt to develop a reasoned, purposeful transportation policy, and it shows.
Totally agree. I'd rather a fairer distribution with regional routes requiring more funding from states but LD would still require some funding for states but less. As a federal taxpayer I'd rather pay for some shorter trains than some LD trains.
  by electricron
 
Philly Amtrak Fan wrote: Totally agree. I'd rather a fairer distribution with regional routes requiring more funding from states but LD would still require some funding for states but less. As a federal taxpayer I'd rather pay for some shorter trains than some LD trains.
But Amtrak is already paying significant shares of the total cost to operate these shorter distance trains. The States are only subsidizing Amtrak's loses. Maybe a better expalanation is needed.
http://reasonrail.blogspot.com/2014/11/ ... overy.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Example (1), the extension of corridor trains to Lynchburg made a profit of $4,304,973 in 2014, so Virginia contributes no subsidies in 2014 for this train.
Example (2), the extension of corridor trains to Norfolk, Virginia would have paid $151,000 subsidy for 2014 to make up Amtrak's loses.
Example (3)' the extension of corridor trains to Richmond, Virginia would have paid $2,605,047 for 2014 to make up Amtrak's loses.
Example (4) the extension of corridor trains to Newport News made a profit of $3,357,190 in 2014, so Virginia contributes no subsides in 2014 for this train.
Sub-Total for Virginia subsidies for 2014 was zero, because the trains making profits earned more than the trains losing money. The entire costs for operating the Virginia trains were paid by Amtrak and its customers.

Better example, the Carolinian itself.
Example (5) Carolinian needed $1,563,689 in subsidizes from North Carolina for Amtrak to break even in 2014. The entire costs for Amtrak to run the train was $20,700,000, while the train earned $19,136,311. So Amtrak and its customers paid over 19 million to run this train while North Carolina paid less than $1.6 million in subsidies.
  by Jehochman
 
During some of the New Haven-Springfield weekend construction closures, Regional trains have terminated in New Haven instead of Springfield. Amtrak has done it.

Another frequency between New Haven and New York would be extremely useful. The existing trains are often sold out, or nearly sold out. Math will reveal whether this change would make the train more or less profitable. It might reduced the amount of state subsidy required even if the feds didn't add a penny.

Next year CT will launch commuter rail from Springfield to New Haven. The network effect should increase demand for Amtrak seats to and from New Haven. This may be a way to make more seats available without buying more equipment.
  by Backshophoss
 
Figure on ConnDOT forking over some $$$ if Amtrak and MN get on board with this extension.
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