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Happy 50th Birthday, Amtrak

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Happy 50th Birthday, Amtrak
Posted by NKP guy on Friday, April 30, 2021 8:17 PM

   May 1st marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Amtrak.

   Thank goodness that half a century after the "smart" people predicted the imminent demise of the intercity passenger train, it's still with us in the USA.

   Like anyone else, I have my share of stories where Amtrak, to say the least, let me down.  But I have more stories of the wonderful trips I've taken and the memories I have.

   Best wishes to everyone who made and makes Amtrak a national asset.  Here's to the next fifty years!   

 

 

 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, April 30, 2021 9:07 PM

Congrats to all Amtrak employees and managers that didn't permit the undertaking to be buried as Congress intended after 5 years.  

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Posted by SFbrkmn on Friday, April 30, 2021 11:45 PM

My wife was age five on Amtrak day. Her father was a SF trainman @ Newton, KS from 1947-1986. Mike was able to hold down the psgr board to Dodge City for about the last six yrs prior. On 5/1/71, he worked back home as conductor from Dodge on #18. This would become the final ATSF Super Chief on the route. He also knew his career as a psgr trainman would be finished (which it was, working his final 15 yrs in various frt service).                                                            .Train 18 arrived on its scheduled arrival time @ Newton around 0230. This was during the wk when school was in session. My wife was in Kindergarden that yr.Her mom took Kim down to the depot to watch the final arrival of the Super Chief and last run for dad in psgr service. She does not recall much about that night and event. I was in second grade and do not recall anything of 5/1/71 Amtrak day.                                                                                                     .My late father-in-law talked about how crushing the feeling was of the psgr trains going away. Many rr employees actually cried. That was the impact on the end of this service on our nations carriers had upon the workforce, towns and public folks who were interested in railroads                                                                                                   

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, May 1, 2021 5:44 PM

Young Mr. Harrison shot a nice brief video for Amtrak's 50th, VERY well done and I think you'll enjoy it!  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMx9-DFxE2Y  

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Posted by Harrison on Sunday, May 2, 2021 6:57 AM

Thanks for sharing it Wayne, I'm a little late to the party as I don't often look in the Passenger forum. I literally didn't remember Amtrak's birthday until the day of (but at least I wasn't late sending a card in the mail, LOL). 

Amtrak has given me many memories, including riding the Adirondack twice and the Downeaster once. I can't wait until the Adirondack comes back to town, I actually plan on making a banner to celebrate it. 

Harrison

Homeschooler living In upstate NY a.k.a Northern NY.

Modeling the D&H in 1978.

Route of the famous "Montreal Limited"

My YouTube

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Posted by azrail on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 12:30 PM

It would have been more feasible for the original 1969 plan, which was the govt buying new psgr cars, lease them to the RRs, and subsidize the passenger trains. You may have had better and more competitive service (especially to California and Florida) than a nationalized system.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 1:51 PM

You have to remember that there was a lot of dead wood in the passenger rail network at the time that needed to be pruned.  It's hard to justify a subsidy for a two-car train with barely more passengers than crew.

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 Gramp on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 1:58 PM

How much would railroads have to be paid to treat the Amtrak trains they operate equal to their most valuable freight traffic?

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 2:04 PM

...

 

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 6:13 PM

Gramp
How much would railroads have to be paid to treat the Amtrak trains they operate equal to their most valuable freight traffic?

There is a old saying - 

"If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it."  It applies to corporations as well as individuals.

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Posted by JPS1 on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:11 PM

Gramp
 How much would railroads have to be paid to treat the Amtrak trains they operate equal to their most valuable freight traffic? 

Irrespective of its politically correctness, the primary objective of an investor - owned railroad (business) is to make money.  Money talks.  If Amtrak paid the freight carriers the fully allocated cost of hosting its trains, as opposed to the incremental cost, I suspect the on-time performance metrics would improve dramatically.  
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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 9:14 PM

azrail

It would have been more feasible for the original 1969 plan, which was the govt buying new psgr cars, lease them to the RRs, and subsidize the passenger trains. You may have had better and more competitive service (especially to California and Florida) than a nationalized system.

 

I think the article in this month's Trains (June) answers that question.  DOT preceived that the railroads had a culture of antagonism toward passenger rail, and that they would not get good service from subsidizing the RRs.

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Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 10:27 PM

JPS1
 
Gramp
 How much would railroads have to be paid to treat the Amtrak trains they operate equal to their most valuable freight traffic? 

 

Irrespective of its politically correctness, the primary objective of an investor - owned railroad (business) is to make money.  Money talks.  If Amtrak paid the freight carriers the fully allocated cost of hosting its trains, as opposed to the incremental cost, I suspect the on-time performance metrics would improve dramatically.  
 

So, Amtrak is a deadbeat, or at minimum, parasitic.  I'll look to other interests. We need to build our country on strengths. 

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