White Paper: How Amtrak Can Best-Serve the Nation’s Mobility Needs.

2265 views
38 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 1,406 posts
White Paper: How Amtrak Can Best-Serve the Nation’s Mobility Needs.
Posted by Victrola1 on Monday, July 22, 2019 1:42 PM

As Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, approaches its golden anniversary in 2021, it is quite apparent that it has squandered opportunities to mature into a stable and useful transportation entity, given the plethora of internal issues that have historically crippled Amtrak operating under the federal umbrella as a state-owned enterprise. Adding to this position is the impact from a shortage of experienced senior management. 

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/intercity/white-paper-how-amtrak-can-best-serve-the-nations-mobility-needs/?RAchannel=high-performance

 A link to the white paper itself. 

https://www.railwayage.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Singer_Amtrak_White_Paper_July_16_2019.pdf

  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 1,615 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, July 22, 2019 2:05 PM

A paper written for an advocacy group by a guy with no passenger rail background. 

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 6,142 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Monday, July 22, 2019 2:30 PM

charlie hebdo

A paper written for an advocacy group by a guy with no passenger rail background. 

 

 

That's bad because the group has a vested interest, and the guy know nothing about passenger rail.

That's good because we know where they're coming from, and the guy comes in with a clean slate view.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,044 posts
Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 22, 2019 4:28 PM

charlie hebdo
A paper written for an advocacy group by a guy with no passenger rail background.

Hold on there!  Sez right on his LinkedIn page that he's a 'Noted pundit for op-ed editorials in transportation" and a "transportation historian".  Next you'll be asking for his transcript from Champaign-Urbana!

And if you don't believe his punditrous credentials, peruse his 518 articles.  So far.  Bet there'll be more coming.

Seriously, he'll fit right in as a Trains Forum poster on this subject, so why give him grief?  I'd rather we take up his nine recommendations (apparently starting on p.7) and discuss their merits, perhaps in the context of what our own pundits have already expressed on these timeless topics.

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,851 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 2:32 AM

Can someone recopy just repost them?   My server won't contact the URL.  Thanks!t

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 4,151 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 4:10 AM

He makes some valid points in his white paper but he also tends to over simplify things a little.   For example, appointment of non-railroaders to the Amtrak board.   First I do not see a lot of Class I railroaders stampeding over to run Amtrak so I think your going to find there is a drought in that department.   Gunn was not a railroader from what I remember, he was the former head of NJ Transit.   Moreman was reluctant to serve at Amtraks head and so was Graham Claytor,   I suspect Graham Claytor served out of a concern if he didn't a buffoon would be chosen and he didn't want to see what was created so far be lost via incompetence.

Second, Amtrak needs to draw from outside the railroad industry for the sole reason that railroaders are militaristics and institutionalized into staying with the past and being overly skeptical of attempting new ideas that have not been tried before.   So I think the Amtrak board should have a mix of railroad and non-railroad experience.    Certainly there is some political cronyism as we saw with VP Biden sneaking his problem Son into the Amtrak Executive Suite not too long ago.  I think they should get rid of the Cronyism.

  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 1,615 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 8:35 AM

CMStPnP

He makes some valid points in his white paper but he also tends to over simplify things a little.   For example, appointment of non-railroaders to the Amtrak board.   First I do not see a lot of Class I railroaders stampeding over to run Amtrak so I think your going to find there is a drought in that department.   Gunn was not a railroader from what I remember, he was the former head of NJ Transit.   Moreman was reluctant to serve at Amtraks head and so was Graham Claytor,   I suspect Graham Claytor served out of a concern if he didn't a buffoon would be chosen and he didn't want to see what was created so far be lost via incompetence.

Second, Amtrak needs to draw from outside the railroad industry for the sole reason that railroaders are militaristics and institutionalized into staying with the past and being overly skeptical of attempting new ideas that have not been tried before.   So I think the Amtrak board should have a mix of railroad and non-railroad experience.    Certainly there is some political cronyism as we saw with VP Biden sneaking his problem Son into the Amtrak Executive Suite not too long ago.  I think they should get rid of the Cronyism.

 

+1

IMO,  a person with experience in managing mass/regional transit and commuter services is actually better suited than a freight railroad guy,  for the reasons you indicated, plus their ability to deal with pols. 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,044 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 8:41 AM

daveklepper
Can someone recopy [or] just repost them?

As a somewhat rough paraphrase (and division into what I think he intends the 'nine points' to be:

1) Make Amtrak a major campaign issue for 2020 (he says to do this via ‘Congress, the public, and the media’) in particularly “inform and motivate” state people to question the idea of NEC subsidy, or being ‘saddled with’ disproportionate share of the cost of PRIIA-based train service in other area corridors.
 
2) “Ensure … the [Amtrak] Board of Directors and executive/senior management team places the public interest first”.  He gives as an example putting the NRPC in ‘receivership’ under ‘the exclusive custody of the FRA Administrator’ who would appoint an ‘interim advisory board consisting of experienced railroad executives’  (He does not say how he would get these executives to serve, or how they would be compensated)  He provides the appointments to the original Conrail Board as a contrast, and asks ‘is there the political will to take a similar step with Amtrak?’
 
3) Have the FRA determine why PRIIA doesn’t charge NEC states for Amtrak ‘corridor’ trains (traveling less than 450 miles end to end) while states outside the NEC are charged ‘fully allocated costs’ for trains under 750 miles; FRA should then ‘advise Congress’ that either the states along the NEC pay a pro-rata contribution to their ‘corridor’ trains or non-NEC states pay an amount ‘comparable’ to NEC states for their service.  (He also wants FRA to examine why Amtrak did not charge/collect from Northeastern commuter lines that use Amtrak’s ‘corridor’ assets heavily before Congress mandated separate accounting for this as late as 2015.) 
 
4) FRA should order (as he notes, specifically authorized and funded by act of Congress) a “competent external forensic audit to assure that Amtrak adheres to GAAP”  FRA should mandate “external financial modeling” on doubling LD train service, with Congress then authorizing full funding to provide this capability plus ‘seasonal trains or extra sections’.
 
5) Put the NEC under the authority of DOT/FRA instead of Amtrak, perhaps using the logic that NRPC was not originally set up to allow Amtrak to be an ‘infrastructure owner/operator’ 
 
6) He appears to be advocating an ‘iron ocean’ model for access to physical Corridor assets – he mentions ‘vetted, qualified private operators’ without mentioning who would be assigned the vetting and qualification – and allowing regional commuter agencies to provide further service at their expense if they desire.
 
7) This is extended (although tacitly, without discussing the potential political ramifications) to authorizing such private operators to use Amtrak’s ‘permissions’ to operate “seasonal services” as they desire – he mentions the AOE specifically as one such. 
 
8) Revise the Amtrak ‘enabling legislation’ to ‘more clearly define ‘profitability”’  He is not exactly clear what he means by this but it appears to involve a Fort Wayne-style emphasis on all aspects of marketing and promotion – he uses the Alaska Railroad as an example, saying that it “embraces a very forward-looking all-encompassing approach to marketing by operating growing passenger services, encouraging charters, offering off-season specials, etc.”
 
9) Have DOT/FRA work with class Is to “determine to what extent will constructing additional main line track dedicated to passenger trains provide additional capacity for all parties”  (he cites specific examples we could check, the California/BNSF funding for increased Pacific Surfliner, Coaster, and Metrolink service in the LOSSAN corridor and the ‘Capitol Corridor’ cooperation between PCJPB and UP) 
 
We have discussed several of these issues in some detail, and with people participating in those discussions who I think may have better 'distinctive competence' to know how to implement the ideas or where the pitfalls or pushback would be.  I'm interested to see the prospective discussion here on a few of these points. 
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,851 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 9:03 AM

Maybe the complete report, which at the moment I cannot read, provides evidence that each or many of these steps would improve matters.  At the moment, I am very uncertain about most of them.

My food-service plan is a concrete step to drastically reduce food deficits.  I don't see anything analogous here.   Making states pick up more tabs and Fed. Gov. less Balkonizes transportation and simply moves money from one pocket to the other, but still lets the taxpayer shoulder the load.  And taking NEC away from Amtrak, ditto.  And is NEC just Boston - Washington or Bangor or Portland - Richmond?  And for either, why?   If NEC is removed from Amtrak Boston - Washington, what does that do to encourage ridership on the Portland service?  And do the Floirida and the Carolina-supported services terminate in Washington?

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 132 posts
Posted by JOHN PRIVARA on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 12:20 PM

Good post.

No fantasies about HSR Super-Chief's, LD trains for sick people, a Texas extension of Southwest Chief at Newton KS (which surely has lots of potential), or any of the rest.

It's really ALWAYS about organization and money.

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 4,151 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 4:06 PM

JOHN PRIVARA
LD trains for sick people

I hope your not attempting to ridicule someone because Amtrak has gone before Congress with stats showing it transports a lot of people with disabilities.    Sooo, not so much a poster fantasy here.   Perhaps you should watch CSPAN a little more?

  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 1,615 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 5:00 PM

A brief, non-comprehensive examination of the 9 points:

1. Highly doubtful at best, delusional worst case.

2.Almost as unlikely and as mentioned elsewhere, having freight railroad execs in charge seems to be a questionable appointment criterion.

3. Complex, but there are unsubstantiated assumptions here, as JBS1 has discussed in the past.

4. Ditto.

5. Could be a fine first steo toward putting ALL rail trackage under FRA control.

6. "Open Access" by another name? Who would do the vetting?  How about Joe and his gang of retired T&E employees?

7. Ditto.

8. I'll pass.

9. Ditto.

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 132 posts
Posted by JOHN PRIVARA on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 7:58 PM

Re: Sooo, not so much a poster fantasy here.

If LD train supporters are going to try to keep LD trains around because of disabled and sick people, I doubt a majority of the population would agree with that as a good reason, or worth it. The airlines are doing just fine transporting both.

If LD train supporters would just come-out and admit they want their hobby subsidized, that's fine with we. I like taking LD trains too. AND, there's no good reason NOT the loot the government; everybody else is doing it, the LD train hobbyist might as well too. I'd rather see LD trains than F35's or more freeways built over peasant hovels, but grasping at straws in order to save an obsolete form of transportation isn't going to work with most of the population.

The same goes for "sightseeing trains" and "dining cars where people of all socioeconomic groups can talk over a find dinner". Sorry, the LD trains aren't for THAT either. If the cruise-people want cruise trains, let the cruise-ship companies run them.

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 132 posts
Posted by JOHN PRIVARA on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 8:17 PM

My opinion (for what it's worth, which is nothing).

 

1)   The presidential elections are meaningless (and have been for decades now).

2)   Who knows, without more loot it doesn't matter who runs it.

3)   Yes,  figure-out the costs and where the loot is supposed to come from.

4)   Same as 3 (but no public "business" should have a pretend accounting system).

5)   Amtrak should ONLY be an infrastructure builder or owner.  See 3.   They obviously can't OPERATE anything.

6)   Same as 3

7)   Amtrak shouldn't be OPERATING anything.   They'll never BE able to operate a customer-service business, no government agency can.

8)   If you are going to "revise" the legislation, fix where the loots gets spent and who owns the infrastructure and who gets to use it.   The Government doesn't OPERATE airlines or trucking companies.   And, if they did, we'd all be dead now.

9)   THAT is a good idea.   Some mechanism to spend loot on existing ROW.   A higher-speed track that the passenger trains use, that the freights could use at very low speeds (a continuous siding).   Seems like a good incremental way to move the US rail-system into (at least) the 1980's.   Before the US rail-system can get to the 2020's, it's at LEAST got to move itself through the late 20th century (for the 2nd time; hard to imagine how much 1940-50's higher-speed track was lost).

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,851 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 1:46 AM

Historically, long distance trains have always been more used for leasure travel than business travel.  Look at the brochures of railroads during the classic era.  There is no reason to write-off that market today.  I believe my station-restaurant scheme can preserve decent food and service in dining cars while effecting the needed economy.  Sleepers need some similar thinking, but I have not come up with an answer, not for lack of trying.

And please rememver that your daily (weekday) business traveler receives ten times the subsidy that the once-a-year LDT rider receives.  Per-ride it is the reverse, but per citizen, that is the case.

When I rode long distance trains, the impression I got was that most passengers felt their vacation started when the boarded the train, not when the train arrived at the destination.

However, let the cruise people operate them has a point.  Perhaps we are on the way?

Virgin is heavily in the cruise-ship market and plans on extending their Virgin-Brightline to the Miami port to connect directly with their and others' cruise ships.

Step 2 running to Jacksonville as well as Tampa.

Step 3 asking Amtrak for interline privileges.  If you let us run one of our trains daily to and from New York, we will let you use our use of the FEC main Jacksonville-Miami and serve our intermediate stations with the Miami section of the Star and Meteor.   (Initially our New York train for cruise-ship passengers and crew-members only, but then?)

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,044 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 8:18 AM

daveklepper
... asking Amtrak for interline privileges.  If you let us run one of our trains daily to and from New York, we will let you use our use of the FEC main Jacksonville-Miami and serve our intermediate stations with the Miami section of the Star and Meteor.   (Initially our New York train for cruise-ship passengers and crew-members only, but then?)

Aside from this being a justification for Singer's open-access ideas, this smacks of the situation with Iowa Pacific or the AOE ... the problem being variable demand.  Absent either an assured subsidy below xx passengers per train, or really good business-interruption insurance coverage, a private firm can have trouble meeting its fixed expenses (which for any well-run service would be relatively large) in off-traffic periods, or during outages or service limitations, especially if it is taxed on its 'profits' when it does well.  

Expect politicians and taxpayer groups to howl, though, if special consideration is given to any private operator in this respect.

Also expect all sorts of government-related priorities, union agreements, etc. etc. etc. to be made to apply to any service authorized by Amtrak to operate either in furtherance or replacement of an "Amtrak" train.  I am not sure that Singer-style political consciousness-raising or community organization will be enough to overcome this.

I will grant you that a typical cruise company can probably arrange enough excess 'profit' to cover losses on a number of train services, particularly if they are 'bundled' into a cruise price as part of its "experience".  However, my experience with these companies is that they can make nickels cry like tin whenever they can, so it may take some very careful backroom dealings, counting fingers carefully each time, before anything like this actually gets run.

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 4,151 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 2:50 PM

daveklepper
Historically, long distance trains have always been more used for leasure travel than business travel. 

Agree with one exception, the overnight departure trains.   My Father rode the trains for business but only the overnight  evening departure, arrive in the early morning scheduled ones.    He rode the Milwaukee Road Southwest Limited quite a bit in the 1950's for business.   He liked the schedule that it got into Kansas City before 8:00 a.m. with time for a shower and change of clothes and the onboard lounge car seats.    Apparently they had showers in KC Union Depot or nearby.   Even though not listed on the timetable as equipment he said he got a roomette sleeper sometimes, so apparently Milwaukee put a sleeper on the train every once in while.....probably in the late 1950's.

I also remember when Amtrak ran the North Star to Duluth via Milwaukee and the Twin Cities it was all new Amfleet and carried sleepers departed Chicago 10:30 p.m. and got to the Twin Cities before 8:00 a.m. as well.   No clue how many business travelers rode it but that decent schedule and nice equipment didn't last long. 

I think Amtrak should experiment more with the overnight trains between large cities and promote one or two of them and see how much patronage.

  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 132 posts
Posted by JOHN PRIVARA on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 5:01 PM

Re: I think Amtrak should experiment more with the overnight trains between large cities and promote one or two of them and see how much patronage.

So, a 21st century business traveler, who is getting all the travel expensed to the company, who is used to traveling for 1 or 2 hours in a modern airplane, maybe in business-class, to and from a modern airport, with modern restaurants, stays overnight in a modern hotel, AND he gets to keep his hotel and airline points; is INSTEAD going to spend 8+ hours in (what?) a 6x3 foot BOX called a roomette, with the bathroom down the hall, bouncing along all night on bad track, and leaving and departing from an Amshak surrounded by homeless people in the worse part of town?

Yeah, THAT sounds feasible... Maybe Amtrak can pitch that "concept" on Shark Tank.

(Business people don't travel overnight in Japan or Europe where they've got 21st century trains!)

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,851 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, July 25, 2019 7:23 AM

 
Some do!
 
And
Interline is not the same as open-access.  The analogy was the Southern Crescent operated by the Southern Ry Wash. – NO and Amtrak NYC – Washington.
  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 1,615 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, July 25, 2019 8:24 AM

Very,  very few business people take overnight sleeper trains in Western Europe TODAY.  When was the last time you were on one? 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,044 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 25, 2019 10:23 AM

charlie hebdo
Very,  very few business people take overnight sleeper trains in Western Europe TODAY

Frankly I suspect this is far more a concern of marketing and avoidance of proper co-ordination of amenities than any objection to the 'fundamental principle of the Century', riding the train overnight to arrive fresh and ready to go with all the last-mile stuff arranged properly.


In the olden days, sitting in the car until hours after arrival was "enough".  Not so in the 21st Century ... but coordination in a Web-enabled world with good broadband on the train, and active one-stop portal for requirements upon arrival, ought to be a cinch.  Even for governments.

  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 1,615 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, July 25, 2019 12:11 PM

If I were a Chicago-area businessperson with a meeting scheduled at 10:00 am in NYC, I'd rather take a 2.5 hour flight after work the day before,  have a nice dinner and comfortable night in queen or king bed in a hotel, prepare, breakfast and go to the meeting refreshed.  Better than a fitful night in a cramped space in a mediocre,  tiny bed and bland diner food.  I suspect 98+% of others would also. 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,044 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 25, 2019 12:27 PM

charlie hebdo
If I were a Chicago-area businessperson with a meeting scheduled at 10:00 am in NYC, I'd rather take a 2.5 hour flight after work the day before,  have a nice dinner and comfortable night in queen or king bed in a hotel, prepare, breakfast and go to the meeting refreshed.  Better than a fitful night in a cramped space in a mediocre,  tiny bed and bland diner food.  I suspect 98+% of others would also.

I am sure one of those.  I wouldn't dream of riding any Amtrak LD train either for a time-critical purpose or with any particular expectation of a fully pleasant experience.

But the things Dave is proposing are NOT necessarily the same thing as 'current' Amtrak-level accommodations, particularly with respect to mediocre quality of accommodations or unfortunate (and excessively expensive) food or drink.  He is proposing precisely that the food and the experience of eating both be good, that any 'social' activities on the train be fun, that the beds be comfortable and well-made-up, and that ride quality allow a reasonable quality of sleep.  

I think the better argument is that so many billions of dollars would be needed to build this level of service and then staff it and run it properly that few in their right minds would spend it for the few people who prefer 'Klepper quality' ... and would pay their reasonable fair share to experience it and cover at least its running costs.  Absent a Bellamy-like (and similarly pretty unlikely!) mass reconsideration of the joys of overnight rail, and a similar resolve on the part of all the various providing stakeholders (also probably unlikely in many ways) I don't see this becoming any kind of meaningful national priority, no matter how many Singers we start to hear from.

  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 1,615 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, July 25, 2019 1:39 PM

The above-rails cost to make accommodations better would be more than most other than nostalgia buffs would pay.  People took overnight trains when the alternatives were worse.  That changed first with DC 6s and Super Connies and was finalized with jets and lower fares. 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,044 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 25, 2019 6:17 PM
  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 1,615 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, July 25, 2019 9:34 PM

Overmod

Corridors 

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 4,151 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, July 25, 2019 10:17 PM

charlie hebdo
If I were a Chicago-area businessperson with a meeting scheduled at 10:00 am in NYC, I'd rather take a 2.5 hour flight after work the day before,  have a nice dinner and comfortable night in queen or king bed in a hotel, prepare, breakfast and go to the meeting refreshed.  Better than a fitful night in a cramped space in a mediocre,  tiny bed and bland diner food.  I suspect 98+% of others would also.

After work departure, huh?

Write that down in a timeline in a post how exactly that works traveling from your house in the Chicago area to downtown Manhattan via what you described above.   Use current and realistic timeframes.   I am curious as to departure time of your flight and how fast you get to downtown Manhattan checked into your hotel from LaQuradia airport with time for a nice leasurely dinner.    You might also want to include dollar amounts spent for each event during the journey as well.

ORD to LaQuardia is 2 hours and 7 min nonstop on American (fastest time I could find).    You said 2.5 hour flight.   Including the rule you have to be onboard 10 min prior to departure  roughly 2:17 min (that would be you running to the gate and just making it on board and presumming you didnt check your luggage and had not problems at TSA.   We will of course presume TSA PRE CHECK and that it is staffed in Chicago to make your times easier)    So please also be specific as to detail on your forth comming post.   Taxi to Airport or Drive?    How do you get from LaGuardia to Manhatten.....Bus or Taxi.   Last I remember that alone was at least a 30-40 min drive outside of rush hour.    Hotel Check-In usually a line around dinner up to around 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. for big city hotels....so there is some waiting to get to the front desk check-in.

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 4,151 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, July 25, 2019 10:37 PM

charlie hebdo
Corridors 

Which almost every LD train traverses in the United States, so that is hardly an out of your side of the argument.   Also noticed you made the sleeping car seem as uncomfortable as possible..........now why would you find the need to do that if your arguing point was so sure or sound.  

Now granted I am not saying business people will flock to any future service but I cannot see the absolutist point that absolutely no business people would ever use the service and it is a complete impossibility any would consider it.    Have you flown 100,000 miles in a year?   Do you know what that feels like around month #9 or 10?    Also, take into account that a lot of folks are able to travel with their spouse on business as well, it is not just a single traveler's forte.    You also know that after dinner flights are prone to cancel as they get closer to the timeframe of the last flight of the day.   First flight out is also more prone to cancel or significant delay.

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • 378 posts
Posted by alphas on Friday, July 26, 2019 12:51 AM

I think Dave should be pushing hard to change the law that granted Amtrak a monopoly on Interstate trtain service.    That's the only way he's ever going to have at least a chance of luxury LD service.  

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 11,387 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, July 26, 2019 7:12 AM

A luxury train service has been tried.  The American European Express started out with three sleeping cars, a dining car and tavern-lounge tacked onto the "Capitol Limited" between Chicago and Washington.  It later became a separate train on the route of the "Cardinal".  The service was under-capitalized and, like Auto Train, ran out of money after a derailment sidelined much of the fancy equipment.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy