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News Wire: West Virginia lawmakers introduce bill to promote daily ‘Cardinal’ service

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Thursday, March 23, 2017 9:05 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s House of Delegates are supporting a bill that would allow the state tourism commissioner to work with other states and Amtrak to help make the Cardinal a daily passenger train, the Charleston Gazette-Ma...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/03/23-west-virginia-lawmakers-introduce-bill-to-promote-daily-cardinal-service

Brian Schmidt, Assistant Editor Trains magazine

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, March 23, 2017 8:35 PM

Is the major problem to get daily service is the BBrRR ?  BBr RR's problem is the short sidings and the large amount of westbound long CSX empty coal car trains. ?

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Posted by bill613a on Thursday, March 23, 2017 9:44 PM

I wonder if the state tourism commission looked at where the most potential ridership would come from?  Under the present circumstances (equipment shortage, political uncertainty) I don't think a daily CARDINAL is realistic.  Focusing on the NEC market with White Sulphur Springs, Charleston and Huntington as destination points would seem to be a better choice. A daily NY-Cincinnati train using roughly the existing schedule would only need to sets of equipment IF the times could be tightened up a bit and if it ran consolidated with either the PALMETTO or CAROLINIAN between NY & DC.

This would mean segmenting the train with the CHI-IND-CIN section run on a schedule with convenient arrival & departure times out of Cincinnati to connect with the western trains and once again IF the schedules were tightened up only one set of equipment would be needed. As for the current CHI-IND schedule let the buses handle that.  PRIIA language would have to be modified to allow for this setup.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:37 PM

blue streak 1
Is the major problem to get daily service is the BBrRR ?  BBr RR's problem is the short sidings and the large amount of westbound long CSX empty coal car trains. ?

From experience, BB won't allow an empty train to be called West from Doswell until after the EB Cardinal is figured off their railroad.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, March 24, 2017 10:28 PM

Some have predicted that in the Hunter era, the CSX overhead traffic will disappear from the BBr

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 25, 2017 9:07 AM

MidlandMike
Some have predicted that in the Hunter era, the CSX overhead traffic will disappear from the BBr

If coal traffic disappears from the James River route then there won't be any need to move empties over the BB route.

James River is a single track railroad with descending water level grade Eastbound.  The BB's route has significantly more grade and is thus used for empties returning Westbound to the mines.  The two lines constitute a double track operation.

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Posted by JPS1 on Saturday, March 25, 2017 9:52 AM

What is the BBrRR?

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:02 AM

JPS1

What is the BBrRR?

 
It's the Buckingham Branch RR, spun off from CSX a few years back.
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 BaltACD on Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:44 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
JPS1

What is the BBrRR?

It's the Buckingham Branch RR, spun off from CSX a few years back.

My understanding is that BB operates the former North Mountain Sub from Clifton Forge to Richmond under lease.  CSX still owns it, BB operates dispatches and maintains it.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Friday, March 31, 2017 3:44 PM

Could we route the Cardinal to Cumberland MDvia the Ol C&O West Sub?

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Posted by Philly Amtrak Fan on Friday, April 07, 2017 5:26 PM

If they want the train so bad, they should pay for it. If it weren't for Byrd Crap, the Broadway Limited/Three Rivers would still be running. If we (PA, outside of Philly, Pittsburgh, or Erie) can't have a train to Chicago why should we pay federal taxes for a worthless train?

bill613a

This would mean segmenting the train with the CHI-IND-CIN section run on a schedule with convenient arrival & departure times out of Cincinnati to connect with the western trains and once again IF the schedules were tightened up only one set of equipment would be needed. As for the current CHI-IND schedule let the buses handle that.  PRIIA language would have to be modified to allow for this setup.

 
It's a joke that Cincinnati only has graveyard shift service. If the Cardinal has any value at all, it's for Indy and Cincy. Nobody outside of West Virginia cares if White Sulphur Springs and Hinton have train service.
 
Unfortunately they'd really have to tighten to schedule between Cincinnati and Chicago to leave Cincinnati after 6-7am and arrive in Chicago for a reasonable transfer to the California trains. You could leave Cincinnati before midnight and arrive in Chicago early in the morning but Indy would be left in the dark. I think just run a reasonable daytime-early evening schedule and not worry about transfers (I'm sure they'd rather have better times).
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Posted by Philly Amtrak Fan on Friday, April 07, 2017 5:28 PM

CandOforprogress2

Could we route the Cardinal to Cumberland MDvia the Ol C&O West Sub?

 
We can just run one train from Chicago to Washington passing through West Virginia and Cumberland and then run a train Chicago-Philly via Pittsburgh (you can then run it south to DC or north to NY depending whether you'd rather help Wilmington/Baltimore or New Jersey have a direct train to Chicago. It's a joke two Chicago-NEC trains pass through West Virginia.
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Posted by n012944 on Saturday, April 08, 2017 12:09 AM

Philly Amtrak Fan

If they want the train so bad, they should pay for it. If it weren't for Byrd Crap, the Broadway Limited/Three Rivers would still be running. If we (PA, outside of Philly, Pittsburgh, or Erie) can't have a train to Chicago why should we pay federal taxes for a worthless train?

 

Pretty hypocritical view.  If "you" (PA outside of Philly Pittsburgh or Erie) want a one seat ride to Chicago so bad, you should pay for it.  Using your logic, why should cities like Nashville, Louisville, Phoenix or any other city without Amtrak pay federal taxes for service that is already offered with a connection?

 

 

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Posted by Philly Amtrak Fan on Saturday, April 08, 2017 7:00 AM

n012944

 

 
Philly Amtrak Fan

If they want the train so bad, they should pay for it. If it weren't for Byrd Crap, the Broadway Limited/Three Rivers would still be running. If we (PA, outside of Philly, Pittsburgh, or Erie) can't have a train to Chicago why should we pay federal taxes for a worthless train?

 

 

 

Pretty hypocritical view.  If "you" (PA outside of Philly Pittsburgh or Erie) want a one seat ride to Chicago so bad, you should pay for it.  Using your logic, why should cities like Nashville, Louisville, Phoenix or any other city without Amtrak pay federal taxes for service that is already offered with a connection?

You've illustrated another problem, the large cities you mentioned don't have train service while irrelevant towns like Thurmond, WV do. Trains work best when they have a larger population base. That's why the big cities often have rapid transit trains and more transportation options. You couldn't fill a train through Thurmond because not enough people can fill it. Trains that go through Thurmond and Rugby, ND are a waste of taxpayer money. At least if it went through Philly or Nashville there would be more passengers and more ticket revenue subsidizing the cost and less money for taxpayers to pay. Right now Amtrak can cover about 94% of operating costs with ticket revenue. Shift away a train from West Virginia to Pennsylvania and you get more potential riders with the same trains (and since the old BL is shorter than the current Cardinal you take less time and it costs less for fuel and labor). Maybe then Louisville and Phoenix could have trains then.

The only reason Byrd Crap exists is Byrd himself, he demanded Amtrak run it even though Congress themselves said the train had a lower PM/TM than several other trains that got canceled (National Limited, Floridian, Lone Star, to name a few). Had the Floridian been kept, there's your Louisville and Nashville train. The only relevant market the Cardinal serves that no other train serves is Cincinnati and Amtrak can run a Chicago-Cincinnati train (or better yet a Chicago-Indy-Cincinnati-Columbus-Pittsburgh-Philly-New York train which would still be shorter than Byrd Crap and hit more populous regions). In fact, the Cincinnati-New York route described was the old Pennsylvania Railroad Cincinnati Limited train that was canceled at the start of Amtrak and replaced with the George Washington that runs the same Cardinal route today which means more miles and lower population. Any guess on whose fingerprints were on that one? Nobody has hurt Amtrak more in history than Senator Byrd.

Trains should take the train costs and miles and try to maximize the number of potential passengers and passenger miles and not waste time going through Thurmond, WV, population 5 (and no I'm not kidding).

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Posted by A McIntosh on Saturday, April 08, 2017 8:28 AM

Philly Amtrak Fan

 

 
n012944

 

 
Philly Amtrak Fan

If they want the train so bad, they should pay for it. If it weren't for Byrd Crap, the Broadway Limited/Three Rivers would still be running. If we (PA, outside of Philly, Pittsburgh, or Erie) can't have a train to Chicago why should we pay federal taxes for a worthless train?

 

 

 

Pretty hypocritical view.  If "you" (PA outside of Philly Pittsburgh or Erie) want a one seat ride to Chicago so bad, you should pay for it.  Using your logic, why should cities like Nashville, Louisville, Phoenix or any other city without Amtrak pay federal taxes for service that is already offered with a connection?

 

 

You've illustrated another problem, the large cities you mentioned don't have train service while irrelevant towns like Thurmond, WV do. Trains work best when they have a larger population base. That's why the big cities often have rapid transit trains and more transportation options. You couldn't fill a train through Thurmond because not enough people can fill it. Trains that go through Thurmond and Rugby, ND are a waste of taxpayer money. At least if it went through Philly or Nashville there would be more passengers and more ticket revenue subsidizing the cost and less money for taxpayers to pay. Right now Amtrak can cover about 94% of operating costs with ticket revenue. Shift away a train from West Virginia to Pennsylvania and you get more potential riders with the same trains (and since the old BL is shorter than the current Cardinal you take less time and it costs less for fuel and labor). Maybe then Louisville and Phoenix could have trains then.

The only reason Byrd Crap exists is Byrd himself, he demanded Amtrak run it even though Congress themselves said the train had a lower PM/TM than several other trains that got canceled (National Limited, Floridian, Lone Star, to name a few). Had the Floridian been kept, there's your Louisville and Nashville train. The only relevant market the Cardinal serves that no other train serves is Cincinnati and Amtrak can run a Chicago-Cincinnati train (or better yet a Chicago-Indy-Cincinnati-Columbus-Pittsburgh-Philly-New York train which would still be shorter than Byrd Crap and hit more populous regions). In fact, the Cincinnati-New York route described was the old Pennsylvania Railroad Cincinnati Limited train that was canceled at the start of Amtrak and replaced with the George Washington that runs the same Cardinal route today which means more miles and lower population. Any guess on whose fingerprints were on that one? Nobody has hurt Amtrak more in history than Senator Byrd.

Trains should take the train costs and miles and try to maximize the number of potential passengers and passenger miles and not waste time going through Thurmond, WV, population 5 (and no I'm not kidding).

 

Philly Amtrak Fan

 

 
n012944

 

 
Philly Amtrak Fan

If they want the train so bad, they should pay for it. If it weren't for Byrd Crap, the Broadway Limited/Three Rivers would still be running. If we (PA, outside of Philly, Pittsburgh, or Erie) can't have a train to Chicago why should we pay federal taxes for a worthless train?

 

 

 

Pretty hypocritical view.  If "you" (PA outside of Philly Pittsburgh or Erie) want a one seat ride to Chicago so bad, you should pay for it.  Using your logic, why should cities like Nashville, Louisville, Phoenix or any other city without Amtrak pay federal taxes for service that is already offered with a connection?

 

 

You've illustrated another problem, the large cities you mentioned don't have train service while irrelevant towns like Thurmond, WV do. Trains work best when they have a larger population base. That's why the big cities often have rapid transit trains and more transportation options. You couldn't fill a train through Thurmond because not enough people can fill it. Trains that go through Thurmond and Rugby, ND are a waste of taxpayer money. At least if it went through Philly or Nashville there would be more passengers and more ticket revenue subsidizing the cost and less money for taxpayers to pay. Right now Amtrak can cover about 94% of operating costs with ticket revenue. Shift away a train from West Virginia to Pennsylvania and you get more potential riders with the same trains (and since the old BL is shorter than the current Cardinal you take less time and it costs less for fuel and labor). Maybe then Louisville and Phoenix could have trains then.

The only reason Byrd Crap exists is Byrd himself, he demanded Amtrak run it even though Congress themselves said the train had a lower PM/TM than several other trains that got canceled (National Limited, Floridian, Lone Star, to name a few). Had the Floridian been kept, there's your Louisville and Nashville train. The only relevant market the Cardinal serves that no other train serves is Cincinnati and Amtrak can run a Chicago-Cincinnati train (or better yet a Chicago-Indy-Cincinnati-Columbus-Pittsburgh-Philly-New York train which would still be shorter than Byrd Crap and hit more populous regions). In fact, the Cincinnati-New York route described was the old Pennsylvania Railroad Cincinnati Limited train that was canceled at the start of Amtrak and replaced with the George Washington that runs the same Cardinal route today which means more miles and lower population. Any guess on whose fingerprints were on that one? Nobody has hurt Amtrak more in history than Senator Byrd.

Trains should take the train costs and miles and try to maximize the number of potential passengers and passenger miles and not waste time going through Thurmond, WV, population 5 (and no I'm not kidding).

 Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't one of the reasons for long distance passenger rail service is to serve municipalities that lack any other transportation outside of driving? If an Amtrak thruway bus could fill this need, then the arguement would be to replace all LD trains with buses in these underserved markets. However, since Amtrak is a national system, then all cities and towns should be treated equally with a service tailored to their needs. The people in Thurmond are no different than folks in Philadelphia or any where else.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, April 08, 2017 8:42 AM

A fact of life for LD trains.  Not every community on the route can have 'optimum' arrival departure times.  If the entire LD trip could be completed in 4 - 6 hours then it could.  That is not the network that Amtrak is able to operate anywhere but on the NEC.

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Posted by Philly Amtrak Fan on Saturday, April 08, 2017 8:46 AM

A McIntosh
 Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't one of the reasons for long distance passenger rail service is to serve municipalities that lack any other transportation outside of driving? If an Amtrak thruway bus could fill this need, then the arguement would be to replace all LD trains with buses in these underserved markets. However, since Amtrak is a national system, then all cities and towns should be treated equally with a service tailored to their needs. The people in Thurmond are no different than folks in Philadelphia or any where else.

In theory, yes everyone should be taken care of. In practice, it is virtually impossible. If you think Amtrak takes care of everyone, ask Louisville, Nashville, and Phoenix if Amtrak takes care of them. Amtrak has a limited amount of resources and their goal should be to serve as many passengers and make as much revenue (to make up for as much as the costs possible so less money is required from taxpayer's expense). Any train that goes through Thurmond is one less train that could serve Nashville or Phoenix and bring more butts to the seats. The city of Philadelphia has almost as many people as the entire state of West Virginia and the state of Pennsylvania has about 6 times as many people as West Virginia. Lancaster, PA has more people than any city in West Virginia yet they don't have direct service to Chicago while Thurmond and Hinton do. That's not fair to me and a poor use of limited resources. And it takes more miles and more time for a Chicago to New York train to go all the way down to West Virginia than if it went straight across PA. 

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