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Biden infrastructure plan and Amtrak

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Biden infrastructure plan and Amtrak
Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, April 1, 2021 7:20 PM
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, April 1, 2021 7:30 PM
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Posted by azrail on Thursday, April 1, 2021 9:43 PM

They seem to forget that the UP line West of Phoenix is out of service W of Buckeye. And UP has no interest in reopening it.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, April 1, 2021 9:59 PM

azrail
They seem to forget that the UP line West of Phoenix is out of service W of Buckeye. And UP has no interest in reopening it.

Money talks - BS walks.  PSR is about money.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 1, 2021 10:36 PM
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 1, 2021 11:52 PM

comments. 

1.  Phoenix to get service I suppose by the out of service Phoenix - Yuma track ?

2.  Louisville - Nashville should be connected

3.  Montgomery - mobile should be a thru route

4.  Pueblo should connect on south

Surprises and enhanced

5.  Several Atlanta services  and Finally Atlanta - CLT - Raleigh - "S" line to Richmond - WASH.  However the ATL station situation needs immediate solution.

6.  Eau Clair Wisconsin  -  That is a  real surprize

7.  Buffalo - Toledo - Detroit   about time

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, April 2, 2021 1:28 PM

One would think Phoenix would be better served with extending their rail network to the Maricopa station.  Of course there is also a lot of growth on the west side as well.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, April 2, 2021 3:30 PM

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6.  Eau Clair Wisconsin  -  That is a  real surprize

Wisconsin is not going to pay for that.    If your lucky we could see Milwaukee  to Green Bay service again.    I seriously doubt you'll see service to Eau Claire nor will you see service to Madison.    Second frequency on Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul route would probably be first.    Milwaukee to Green Bay second.    Eau Claire and Madison are both dreamland destinations in which Amtrak will probably not spend money on.

Guessing Milwaukee Green Bay will be an all CN routing:

North Milwaukee - Fond Du Lac - Oshkosh - Green Bay using former WC passenger main out of Milwaukee.    Wisconsin I believe has the funds already for a second Chicago to St. Paul frequency but is waiting on the match from Minnesota......Amtrak might step in for the MN match to get the service running.

I can't see Milwaukee service to Madison ever being competitive with the interstate speed wise nor can I see Twin Cities service via Eau Claire.

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, April 2, 2021 3:33 PM

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5.  Several Atlanta services  and Finally Atlanta - CLT - Raleigh - "S" line to Richmond - WASH.  However the ATL station situation needs immediate solution.

From what I remember Atlanta to Macon was retained by the Southern Railway post formation of Amtrak and Southern Railway ran that route for a few years into the Amtrak era along with the Southern Crescent but then yanked the Macon route while retaining the Crescent.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, April 2, 2021 3:50 PM

azrail

They seem to forget that the UP line West of Phoenix is out of service W of Buckeye. And UP has no interest in reopening it.

And the line from Petersburg, Virginia, to the North Carolina border was ripped up decades ago. This is the wish list of all wish lists. Just smile, nod and take it from where it comes.

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Posted by 54light15 on Friday, April 2, 2021 5:15 PM

For what it's worth, in the business section of today's Toronto Star, there is a photo of Biden with Tom Conway, head of the United Steelworkers having a discussion. The site of the discussion is an Amtrak dining car. The article didn't say whether or not the car was moving, but there you are. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, April 2, 2021 9:33 PM

Noticed the ex-NP route that Montana was pushing for didn't make the cut.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, April 2, 2021 10:32 PM

D.Carleton

 

 
azrail

They seem to forget that the UP line West of Phoenix is out of service W of Buckeye. And UP has no interest in reopening it.

 

And the line from Petersburg, Virginia, to the North Carolina border was ripped up decades ago. This is the wish list of all wish lists. Just smile, nod and take it from where it comes.

 

 

Is the ROW intact?  

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, April 2, 2021 11:39 PM

What's the color scheme on that map?

It looks like dark blue is existing. Light blue seems to be proposed new (or revived).

What is yellow?

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, April 3, 2021 1:20 AM

charlie hebdo

 D.Carleton 

azrail

They seem to forget that the UP line West of Phoenix is out of service W of Buckeye. And UP has no interest in reopening it.

And the line from Petersburg, Virginia, to the North Carolina border was ripped up decades ago. This is the wish list of all wish lists. Just smile, nod and take it from where it comes.

Is the ROW intact?  

The ROW was held in Fee Simple by CSX after the track was removed. Most recently it has been purchased by the Commonwealth of Virginia with many a lofty goal.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, April 3, 2021 6:52 AM

MidlandMike
Noticed the ex-NP route that Montana was pushing for didn't make the cut.

The map is what Amtrak wants not what the states want.   I find it highly unlikely anyone will support Amtrak Dallas to Houston if Texas gets a high speed train on the same route.    Likewise with LA to Las Vegas.      The only state desired option I see on the map was extension of the Heartland Flyer......however ultimate goal there was extension to Kansas City not just to the Southwest Chief route.  

So a lot of that Amtrak dream map was slapped together.    Further remember that each new route or route with added trains will require an Environmental Impact Study at a minimum and probably an engineering study.    EIS is going to take 18-24 months by itself and is usually done after the engineering study.    So we are not going to see any of these routes until after Bidens first term in office is over..........so I am not overly optimistic on this latest orgy of spending towards Amtrak.

To be 100% honest, our country and government would make far more and faster progress towards better passenger service just via assisting private proposals such as Brightline instead of watching them twist on the vine in the wind.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, April 3, 2021 9:02 PM

Has Virginia actually taken title to the "S" line in the state?  No matter who now has title I have to wonder how much persons have built on the ROW ?

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, April 3, 2021 10:39 PM

CMStPnP
So a lot of that Amtrak dream map was slapped together.    Further remember that each new route or route with added trains will require an Environmental Impact Study at a minimum and probably an engineering study.    EIS is going to take 18-24 months by itself and is usually done after the engineering study.    So we are not going to see any of these routes until after Bidens first term in office is over..........so I am not overly optimistic on this latest orgy of spending towards Amtrak.

Brightline was done with an EA and FONSI, no need for an EIS.  Why would Amtrak need an EIS?

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, April 4, 2021 3:02 PM

MidlandMike
Brightline was done with an EA and FONSI, no need for an EIS.  Why would Amtrak need an EIS?

Every Amtrak addition in the State of Wisconsin has required both an Engineering Study followed by an EIS.   So perhaps it has to do with the government funding aspect?   State funding aspect?   Not sure.    So far all the projects have crossed state lines as well.

Perhaps Brightline because a subsidiary owns the track and it is done via private monies and is within state lines avoided the Federal Requirements......that could be another reason.    I would be curious if the LA-Las Vegas line avoids the EIS.

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Posted by York1 on Sunday, April 4, 2021 3:21 PM

MidlandMike
Brightline was done with an EA and FONSI, no need for an EIS.  Why would Amtrak need an EIS?

 

I have always believed that the United States required an EIS only on federal projects or on projects involving federal money.  However, many states have their own requirements.

Is that correct?  Is there an expert in the forum who knows for sure?

 

York1 John       

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, April 4, 2021 11:07 PM

Could there be some conflating between an EA (Environmental Assesment) and an EIS ?  As an agency, FRA does their own EAs and EISes.  If an EA results in a Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI) then a formal EIS is not needed.  Looking thru the general rules, its hard to see why they would need a full blown EIS for adding a passenger train.  Although I did not see Amtrak mentioned specifically, they do mention passenger trains.  That's not to say it does not happen, they also make allowances for controversal projects.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=53d557efda087e7a5514dc356e125122&rgn=div5&view=text&node=23:1.0.1.8.43&idno=23#_top

Any construction project, public or private, is subject to the Environmental Protection Act, and must do the appropriate studies (EA, EIS etc.) unless there is an exception under the act.  States usually also have their own laws consistant after the EPA's.

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Posted by SFbrkmn on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 3:21 AM

A blueprint on paper wish list. Any final version of this will become so watered down it won't even matter and, again, the big question comes about on how is it all paid for?

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 7:28 AM

For a forum that is supposed to be about modern passenger rail service,  an objective observer would think the participants are largely anti-passenger service. 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 9:21 AM

charlie hebdo
For a forum that is supposed to be about modern passenger rail service,  an objective observer would think the participants are largely anti-passenger service.

Just for grins, approximately what percentage of the 'new routes' on the proposed Amtrak map represent precisely the kind of LD service that you're so tirelessly 'anti' about here... Angel

I may be using the rose-colored welder's goggles, but most of the discussion in this thread seems to be matters of practical implementation and disappointed experience, rather than deriding enhanced passenger service.  To say that even 12 years of Biden and then Harris won't see the balls fully rolling is not anti-passenger, it's just noting that the road is hard and twisting, neither the moths nor the rust ever sleeps, and even a little political backlash or opportunistic expedience will find large capital projects that save but a few minutes here and there to be the easiest things to 'reallocate'.

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Posted by bill613a on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 11:34 AM

CMStPnP

 All service on this line ended 4/30/71.

 
blue streak 1
5.  Several Atlanta services  and Finally Atlanta - CLT - Raleigh - "S" line to Richmond - WASH.  However the ATL station situation needs immediate solution.

 

From what I remember Atlanta to Macon was retained by the Southern Railway post formation of Amtrak and Southern Railway ran that route for a few years into the Amtrak era along with the Southern Crescent but then yanked the Macon route while retaining the Crescent.

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 2:46 PM

Overmod

 

 
charlie hebdo
For a forum that is supposed to be about modern passenger rail service,  an objective observer would think the participants are largely anti-passenger service.

 

Just for grins, approximately what percentage of the 'new routes' on the proposed Amtrak map represent precisely the kind of LD service that you're so tirelessly 'anti' about here... Angel

 

I may be using the rose-colored welder's goggles, but most of the discussion in this thread seems to be matters of practical implementation and disappointed experience, rather than deriding enhanced passenger service.  To say that even 12 years of Biden and then Harris won't see the balls fully rolling is not anti-passenger, it's just noting that the road is hard and twisting, neither the moths nor the rust ever sleeps, and even a little political backlash or opportunistic expedience will find large capital projects that save but a few minutes here and there to be the easiest things to 'reallocate'.

 

Most of the new routes appear to be of the corridor and linkage types of within some existing LD routes.  In fact,  that is the sort of passenger rail service Is am very "pro" on.  I don't know what you are referring to and apparently, neither do you. I suggest you reread the thread.  Most comments are all the things wrong with Amtrak's map,  of the nitpicker variety, along with the "who will pay" types (who seldom say a word about defense spending. 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 5:51 PM

charlie hebdo
Most comments are all the things wrong with Amtrak's map,  of the nitpicker variety, along with the "who will pay" types (who seldom say a word about defense spending.

Funny, I didn't read many of the comments that way... which is certainly not to say they aren't.

What I found in it to be critical about was an implicit assumption: that people who in some sense will be guiding and advising Biden's policies have pre-analyzed and implicitly chosen or rejected what lines will either provide 'useful' social return or pay some acceptable portion of their cost.  Some of the potentially "critical" comments speak to this: bridging from Louisville to Nashville to connect up that potential 'trunk' in a national network being one that has a certain attractiveness to it that would be spoiled by careful bud pruning right at the start.

Something I have not 'seen' in the map is an assessment of where higher speed/shorter time is truly relevant vs. convenience of extended or one-ride service.  I continue to wonder if we can extend the multiple classes of 'provision of transportation' so the bare-bones social needs can be served by less extravagantly expensive crappy service, without devolving into an Amtrak of glorified (or not!) buses and equivalent on the one hand, and cruise-train expensive options whizzing past like things out of a Fitzgerald story.

Something that perhaps pointedly has Not Been Discussed is whether or not the 'new and improved' Congress and Administration are going to emend or walk back the 'profitability mandate' that is supposed to be applying right about now and has likely only been temporarily delayed with COVID-19 concerns.  That we have not seen this specific thing addressed early in Biden's priorities is an interesting, and perhaps a little ominous, thing.  (Of course, perhaps it did happen and I missed it...)

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 8:06 PM

Overmod
Something that perhaps pointedly has Not Been Discussed is whether or not the 'new and improved' Congress and Administration are going to emend or walk back the 'profitability mandate' that is supposed to be applying right about now and has likely only been temporarily delayed with COVID-19 concerns.  That we have not seen this specific thing addressed early in Biden's priorities is an interesting, and perhaps a little ominous, thing.  (Of course, perhaps it did happen and I missed it...)

I do not know whether it has been discussed on not and I doubt if you or anyone else here is party to those discussions.   This whole plan is really just an outline of where Amtrak wants to go with adding new services,  obviously corridors not LD lines,  at least according to the Amtrak map.  It's easy to miss the point by getting embedded in details. 

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Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 8:32 PM

Why would one think anything's going to change?  It's the same mumbo jumbo. A bunch of people who've spent their lives wheeling and dealing to where they're incapable of getting things done. 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 11:44 PM

bill613a
CMStPnP

 All service on this line ended 4/30/71.

 
blue streak 1
5.  Several Atlanta services  and Finally Atlanta - CLT - Raleigh - "S" line to Richmond - WASH.  However the ATL station situation needs immediate solution.

 

From what I remember Atlanta to Macon was retained by the Southern Railway post formation of Amtrak and Southern Railway ran that route for a few years into the Amtrak era along with the Southern Crescent but then yanked the Macon route while retaining the Crescent.

 
 

 

 

A little more complicated than that.

First SOU had 2 routes SOU ATL - Macon thru McDonough.  Subsidiary C of GA thru East Point - Hapeville.

Before Amtrak day C of GA technically ran the Nancy Hanks ATL - Macon - Savannah over all Cof Ga tracks..  However by a fluke of corporate set up the line was actually Central of Georgia tracks ( C of GA ) not SOU.  C of Ga joined Amtrak but SOU did not.  So on the last day Cof Ga ran the last Nancy Hanks pulled by a steam loco (750 I think) somewhere past the ATL airport. A SOU diesel the rest of the way. Schedule to arrive SAV before midnight. Next day no Nancy Hanks on Amtrak or Cof Ga.

But SOU ran its Crescent as usual

 

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