Union Pscific Streamliners

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Union Pscific Streamliners
Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 02, 2017 4:11 PM

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 02, 2017 7:06 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, November 03, 2017 7:00 AM

Title should be Union Pacific Streamliners.

For some reason on this thread, the edit button does not work the title.

Apologies

Just a bit more last-run souveniers:

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, November 03, 2017 11:38 PM

Wish UP told Amtrak to stuff it and kept going....they and Sante Fe could have done it and still have service today...I have zero doubts

Maybe some worrisome years in the troublesome 70's but they would have attained legendary status with everyone and be a highly sought after status trip today. 

Maybe shave off a few millions from the bottom line but as far as community relations, favourabilty with the public, mythical status, proud independence and so on it is priceless. Who knows it may have resulted in offsetting enhanced freight revenue from shippers who are very impressed. 

Folks here are going to shoot me down on this but I say it was possible and even from today's perspective, the right thing to do. 

Ok, I'm nuts, tired, been a long hard week.

Anyway...thanks Dave. 

PS- I case anyone is wondering about BNSF, well it goes like this...Sante Fe agrees to the merger and taking second fiddle in the new name only if their Premier train is left alone and runs as Sante Fe as the identifying train and service. Take it or leave it.

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Saturday, November 04, 2017 3:30 AM

Thanks Dave.  A sad farewell to a great fleet of passenger trains.  RIP.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, November 04, 2017 8:44 AM

Miningman, your comment reminded me of something I read a few years back, maybe in "Trains," maybe in "Railfan and Railroad," but it went like this...

A rail writer, I don't remember who, was riding a Union Pacific steam excursion behind 844 and enjoying himself tremendously, as was everyone else on board.  He was speaking to a UP official and asked him jokingly  "So when is Union Pacific going to start running passenger trains again?"

Suprisingly, the UP official didn't laugh, but got a serious look on his face.  "You know," he said, "If we thought we could make money doing it, we would."

Somehow I suspect UP may not have been all that crazy about abandoning passenger service, company heritage and history and all that, but in business you just do what you have to do. 

In addition to Santa Fe the Southern Railway didn't jump on the Amtrak bandwagon right away, but eventually they did as well.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, November 04, 2017 9:05 AM

Firelock76
Miningman, your comment reminded me of something I read a few years back, maybe in "Trains," maybe in "Railfan and Railroad," but it went like this...

A rail writer, I don't remember who, was riding a Union Pacific steam excursion behind 844 and enjoying himself tremendously, as was everyone else on board.  He was speaking to a UP official and asked him jokingly  "So when is Union Pacific going to start running passenger trains again?"

Suprisingly, the UP official didn't laugh, but got a serious look on his face.  "You know," he said, "If we thought we could make money doing it, we would."

Somehow I suspect UP may not have been all that crazy about abandoning passenger service, company heritage and history and all that, but in business you just do what you have to do. 

In addition to Santa Fe the Southern Railway didn't jump on the Amtrak bandwagon right away, but eventually they did as well.

If any of the carriers realistically thought they could turn a sufficient profit with passenger service - they would be operating passenger service.

Sufficient doesn't mean break even - it means a return on investment to the same standards the carriers use on their other capital improvement projects.

         

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, November 04, 2017 10:10 AM

As an aside, in the late 1960's, SP requested a 111% increase in fares on the Peninsula commute service.  This would have been sufficient to provide a reasonable return on investment.  The request got about as far as you would expect.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, November 04, 2017 10:53 AM

BaltACD- The minus's and the minus's in many instances make a plus. Tax savings, free advertising, good will, company pride, intangible things that instinctively add up to a big win. Probably the only thing that could be quantified are the losses which really are a plus with a very satisfying wink. I doubt if UP's steam program, since forever, added anything to the bottom line. 

CSSHEGEWISCH- Yeah,...it's their railroad, their equipment and they should have been able to do as they see fit...when regulators ie governments stick their nose in as far as they can and decide outcomes it is never a good thing, but who knows who is pushing their buttons. Political philosophies? GM? Military Industrial Complex? 

In Toronto today, subway riders are subsidized to nearly 400 million dollars, paid for of course by the many that never use it and won't. If they raised fares a buck and a half it would require no subsidy at all, but heaven forbid they take away any money from their numerous daily $4.00 lattes and expect the ridership to pay their own way. 

It's all so convoluted and twisted up it can never be fair. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, November 04, 2017 3:30 PM

But those that pay the taxis that subsidize the service and don't ever use it are happy to do so because without that service and the subsidy that invites people to use it, they would not find driving to work and returning home at all pleasant and convenient and fast.

That is the story of public transit in all major North American cities.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, November 04, 2017 4:46 PM

Dave- You are stepping in a big pile of doggy do with that one. 

They are definitely not happy subsidizing subway riders while no new roads are arteries are built for decades on end. 

There is an economist in Toronto, Lou Ghezis, on the radio 6 times a day with a market/economy report who goes on incessantly about this issue. Every day! 

Why do transit riders need a subsidy from taxpayers anyway? Is it the unions, extravagant pensions, overtime shenanigans, folks at the trough? 

I'm all for transit but make it a zero sum outcome. Pay as you play. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, November 04, 2017 7:07 PM

Miningman
Dave- You are stepping in a big pile of doggy do with that one. 

They are definitely not happy subsidizing subway riders while no new roads are arteries are built for decades on end. 

There is an economist in Toronto, Lou Ghezis, on the radio 6 times a day with a market/economy report who goes on incessantly about this issue. Every day! 

Why do transit riders need a subsidy from taxpayers anyway? Is it the unions, extravagant pensions, overtime shenanigans, folks at the trough? 

I'm all for transit but make it a zero sum outcome. Pay as you play. 

For the same reason highway users are subsidized!  All forms of public transportation are subsidized!  Think sidewalks are free?  The only way you don't directly use subsidized transportation is to stay in your house and on your own property.

         

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:45 PM

Gasoline Taxes, both Provincial and Federal, drivers license annual renewal fee, license plates annual renewal on your car, sales taxes both provincial and federal on all of the above ( tax on taxes) all of it promised to go to funding of the roadways a long time ago and never done or even coming close. Enough is collected that no subsidy is required. There are no sidewalks in my town, no paved roads, but I get garbage pick up in exchange for exorbitant property taxes. 

I know what you mean Balt but it is self serving with no end if transit riders get a slice of free ride while no new roads have been built in 20 years or more. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, November 05, 2017 8:27 AM

I am on solid ground with respect to Toronto, New York, San Franciso.  Where do you propose to put the roads to bring people to work in those cities downtown areas if transit was not subsidised to encourage people to avoid driving to work?

The cost of land, even with emenent domain, in these three cities would make adding lanes to existing highways and streats absolutlely prohibitive.  The interest on bonds required to take over the expensive commercial property and then to fund the road and parking lot construction to allow seamless auto commuting would be considerably greater than the subsidies these cities provide public transit.

Second, the biggest subsidy is that highways, including interstate highways, do not pay real-estate taxes.  Yet the land these highways occupy is part of the automotible profit-making industry.  And municiap parking lots do not pay real-estate taxes.  So, if public transit was not subsidized, cities could not exist in their present form.

Today, it is estimated that 1/10th of all land, all acerage, of the State of Massachusetts is devoted to highway transportation.

Without subsidized public transportation, cities would end up looking like suburban shopping malls.

And there are towns and cities like that.  Often without any public transportation.

In some, such as Charlottesville, VA, public transportation is provided as a social service for the needy and poor and handicaipped and elderly who cannot afford and/ or have the ability to drive a car.

But not Toronto's case.

And similarly the subsidy for corridor high-speed trains.   Less expensive over the long term than airport expansion.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, November 05, 2017 12:23 PM

Well of course you are correct Dave. It is an unusual position for me to take, but I have a wee bit of sympathy for the driving public. Hard reality, at least one side of the coin, is that there will always be a significant amount of folks who will choose to drive rather than take public transit, and for a significant long list of reasons. 

There has been suggestions of double decking the Gardiner Expressway, the Don Valley Parkway, completing the long promised but shelved for many years Spadina Expessway. I suppose within the city itself parking will have to go up, as in vertical stacking, and up as in cost. The whole thing is nightmarish but it is the situation they find themselves in. 

Another reason I have some sympathy for drivers is that city and regional politics is increasingly embracing "causes", radical idealism and poor science. Batty ideas that have nothing to do with the populations living well outside the cities. As an example, using Toronto, the city of Toronto is not the Province of Ontario, nor should they be imposing draconian ideals imposing them on Northern and rural residents of the province. The beat goes on.

My personal position is likely no longer achievable, and probably too wishful and unrealistic. I believe strongly in free markets. Governments role should be only to guide and steer with a strong philosophy of "Good Governance". In my world, commuters and public transportation would be market driven, with a reasonable return on investment.

Nothing wrong with Southern Pacific showing reasonable cause for 111% increase in fares which includes a fair return on investment. The answer should have been "good, fine" along with a corresponding increase in road use, either gas taxes or license renewal fees. 

Dirt poor folk and those left behind economically recieve a handful of free chits each month, after all the trains are running anyway. Tax deduction for the operating company. No biggie there.

Perhaps in this idealistic world of mine we would still have a great deal of our interurbans, now thoughouly modernized,  and far more advancements and innovation in public transportation. Less reverence for vehicles in major urban centres and regions could have evolved naturally with the proper steering and guidance from governments from essentially the start. Less "military industrial complex" in collusion with government, less crony capitalism. Everyone behave and be nice and watch it grow. 

Dream on. 

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Posted by timz on Sunday, November 05, 2017 5:51 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
in the late 1960's, SP requested a 111% increase in fares on the Peninsula commute service.  This would have been sufficient to provide a reasonable return on investment.

Signor says it was 1974. The 111% was supposed to be enough to "break even", if no riders left. SP wasn't hoping for a return on investment.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, November 06, 2017 9:28 AM

Appreciate the reasonable comments.  Going back to the UP, note the sorrow expressed that Amtrak did not choose the City of LA route or the Overland rout in general.  From what I remember of the period, while we 1st Class passengers on the City got this beautiful set of momentoes, people on the last AT&SF Super before Amtrak just the assurance that the excellence will continue (told this by people on that train), and it did indeed for a while.  And then Amtrak did use the Overland because the D&RGW opted out for independence --- for a while, until 1988. 

I know about the continued excellence, because the next year I was on Amtrak going into Chicago and getting later and later, and it becoming obvious that we would miss the Amtrak San Francisco Zephyr which was to take me to Denver.  Going on the next day's train would mean missing some important appointments.  So I ended up the Super, still a delightful experience, to Raton and Greyhoud from Raton to Denver.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, November 06, 2017 11:11 AM

BaltACD
Think sidewalks are free? The only way you don't directly use subsidized transportation is to stay in your house and on your own property.

But even there, you'd be paying for it ... sidewalks, that is.  In a great many places I've lived, the owner of a piece of city property is responsible for providing, and maintaining, the public sidewalks.  No tax revenue is allocated for that (even plowing or sanding) nor is there any tax break for repairing them, making them ADA compliant, etc.

Public transport, by and large, was only 'subsidized' when private ownership was providing woeful service (and no hope of reasonable maintenance, let alone capex or improvements) or when there was a political reason to keep nominal fares low (as with transit in New York City).  I think the poor idea that transit 'ought' to be furnished as the "worst of both worlds", higher and higher fares and draconian enforcement of 'beaters' while overall taxpayer costs go through the roof, is not a particularly good plan when the 'usual' explication for providing it (a means of transport for those who can't afford cars or cabs) does not wash.  On the other hand there's little question that if riders had to pay for the entire stranded cost of the network that transports them into cities, they'd start clamoring for subsidy.

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