News Wire: Senators' amendment pressures Amtrak to honor 'Southwest Chief' pledge

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Monday, June 11, 2018 9:31 AM

WASHINGTON — An amendment offered by two U.S. senators, pressuring Amtrak for its effort to add conditions to its pledge of funding for work on the route of the Southwest Chief, has advanced in the Senate Appropriations Committee. A Friday news...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/06/11-senators-amendment-pressures-amtrak-to-honor-southwest-chief-pledge

Brian Schmidt, Associate Editor Trains Magazine

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Monday, June 11, 2018 3:24 PM

Isn't amazing that when you threaten some ones station agents, hot meals or passenger train, the politicans come out and finally supports thier service.

Amtrak's new CEO will soon find out it was far easier to discontinue flights than it will to kill the Southwest Chief.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, June 11, 2018 6:12 PM

ROBERT WILLISON

Isn't amazing that when you threaten some ones station agents, hot meals or passenger train, the politicans come out and finally supports thier service.

Amtrak's new CEO will soon find out it was far easier to discontinue flights than it will to kill the Southwest Chief.

The Amendment has to pass first.   New Mexico and Kansas are two impoverished states that have problems balancing their state budgets.    CEO of Amtrak is right to be concerned about the very shaky agreement Boardman setup because neither NM or KS has really a strong constituency for being able to afford or support passenger train service.     In NM it's a miracle they got the RoadRunner built but even now there is talk of dismantling it as something they can not afford and if you talk to folks that live in NM, it is pointed to as a money pit.

I think if they could bring in Colorado and Missouri to the agreement, it would help alleviate some of the Amtrak CEO's concerns about sustainability.     Even then though the agreement is kind of shakey.   Best would be a multi-state rail compact created legally between the states that established a more permanent funding and contracting vehicle.    Like the Midwest has (which Amtrak is comfortable with). 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, June 11, 2018 7:46 PM

ROBERT WILLISON
Isn't amazing that when you threaten some ones station agents, hot meals or passenger train, the politicans come out and finally supports thier service.

Amtrak's new CEO will soon find out it was far easier to discontinue flights than it will to kill the Southwest Chief.

Glad Trains believes talk of railroads can be apolitical.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, June 11, 2018 7:55 PM

ROBERT WILLISON
Isn't amazing that when you threaten some ones station agents, hot meals or passenger train, the politicans come out and finally supports thier service. Amtrak's new CEO will soon find out it was far easier to discontinue flights than it will to kill the Southwest Chief.

Gee, we've never seen THAT before!  Wink

Just gotta horse-trade at the state level...  Trade Kansas in the middle of the night for a second KC - Chicago train and throw in Thruway bus connections across the gap meeting both trains.  Everyone wins! Might need a barrel of cash for BNSF, too...

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, June 11, 2018 10:18 PM

oltmannd
Gee, we've never seen THAT before!   Just gotta horse-trade at the state level...  Trade Kansas in the middle of the night for a second KC - Chicago train and throw in Thruway bus connections across the gap meeting both trains.  Everyone wins! Might need a barrel of cash for BNSF, too...

Wouldn't also make sense since Amtrak and the states are paying for this isolated line with limited traffic to possibly reroute the California Zephyr to run Chicago to KC first then over the state maintained line............then up the joint line to Denver?    How much additional time would that take vs the potential speed improvement?      Colorado would get the Pueblo stop without rerouting the SW Chief.

Maybe install ATS on the line after KC all the way to Colorado and increase speed again?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:11 AM

The joint line is congested,  Stops west of Raton would be missed.

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Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 10:21 AM

daveklepper
The joint line is congested,

You'd have to bring a dump truck full of money!

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, June 17, 2018 1:09 PM

daveklepper
The joint line is congested

Often stated in the Trains Forums but never with any real evidence, that it is really a unsurmountable obstacle.

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