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Amtrak service from Chicago to Fort Wayne, IN.

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Amtrak service from Chicago to Fort Wayne, IN.
Posted by NP Eddie on Friday, September 2, 2022 6:51 PM

Is there any change AMTRAK will resume service from Chicago to Fort Wayne via the old PRR?

My wife and I visited our son and daughter in law in Fort Wayne and we drove---not pleasant.

Ed Burns

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, September 2, 2022 10:14 PM

The ex-PRR Chicago-Ft.Wayne route has been shortlined.  I wonder if the ex-NKP would be a better route?

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, September 3, 2022 2:21 PM

Waterloo is only 25 miles away on existing Amtrak service route.

A while ago there was a proposal for a higher speed line Chicago to Columbus through Ft. Wayne but it was shot down.

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Posted by Jim200 on Monday, September 5, 2022 2:45 AM

People from Fort Wayne take the Capitol Limited or Lake Shore Limited at Waterloo, Indiana, when they go to or from Chicago. Waterloo has a nice station and new parking lot. You could have a family member pick you up or take you there. 

I think the Chicago to Fort Wayne to Columbus, Ohio HrSR which partially uses the former PRR mainline, is like a lot of other high/higher speed passenger rail projects; just waiting in the wings for funding. The oil industry wants us to keep driving cars and trucks, and building new highways. They managed to shut down the optimism we had in 2010 for new passenger rail. However, finally the IIJA does provide some funding, especially $22 billion for Amtrak, $24 billion for the NEC, and $12 billion to improve or add corridors by states or regional commissions. There is a lot of competition for the last item.

https://www.fwbusiness.com/fwbusiness/article_9b80c8d1-df8b-5bd5-9535-60de6649491e.html

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, September 5, 2022 9:44 AM

Somewhat related to this topic.   As a rider on the Texas Eagle I do look forwards to Amtrak's eventual solution with the approach to CUS that this train uses off the former IC tracks.     It is ridiculously slow after we leave the former IC and sometimes there is a long wait as well.  

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, September 5, 2022 10:02 AM

Jim200
The oil industry wants us to keep driving cars and trucks, and building new highways

Lets see now....

42 gallons in a barrel of oil

19 gallons of gas out of that barrel after refining.

Approx 5.5 gallons of that barrel go to feedstock for making plastics.

7 cents per gallon of gas goes to the oil companies.

54 cents per gallon gas goes to taxes in California.

22 cents per gallon gas goes to taxes in Colorado.

As a share of total profits that does not seem like a lot.   So I would opine that Oil Companies make more on the 5.5 gallons from a barrel they get for Plastic feedstock and whatever else they get from Chemicals.    Which is usually reported combined together in the "Windfall Profits" sum the media reports

 

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Posted by D.Carleton on Monday, September 5, 2022 2:31 PM

CMStPnP
 
Jim200
The oil industry wants us to keep driving cars and trucks, and building new highways

Lets see now....

42 gallons in a barrel of oil

19 gallons of gas out of that barrel after refining.

Approx 5.5 gallons of that barrel go to feedstock for making plastics.

7 cents per gallon of gas goes to the oil companies.

54 cents per gallon gas goes to taxes in California.

22 cents per gallon gas goes to taxes in Colorado.

As a share of total profits that does not seem like a lot.   So I would opine that Oil Companies make more on the 5.5 gallons from a barrel they get for Plastic feedstock and whatever else they get from Chemicals.    Which is usually reported combined together in the "Windfall Profits" sum the media reports

With apologies to the Bard: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our CARS, But in ourselves.

We want cars. Following the war we had the industry, means and space to build motorways...and did so writ large. That was so long ago the psychology of previous investment has taken hold and shall be with us for some time more. But none of this would have happened had our forefathers not wanted it in the first place.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

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Posted by Convicted One on Monday, September 5, 2022 3:48 PM

FWIW, here is what the "talking heads" have to say about it

https://www.fortwaynesnbc.com/2022/07/26/high-speed-rail-proposal-go-before-fort-wayne-city-council/

 

The group behind it, perodically makes press releases. But there always seems to be a sinister cloud of  "who will pay for it?" hanging over  the neck of any excitement they manage to generate.

http://niprarail.org/

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, September 5, 2022 9:44 PM

CMStPnP
As a share of total profits that does not seem like a lot.   So I would opine that Oil Companies make more on the 5.5 gallons from a barrel they get for Plastic feedstock and whatever else they get from Chemicals.   

My nephew was an exec with Exxon Mobil and said the profit was largely  plastics and chem.

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Posted by Gramp on Monday, September 5, 2022 11:57 PM

Burning a resource up is using the resource at its lowest value. Wood, coal, oil, whatall.  Little profit in it.  

Cars are a universal tool. Have become the path of least resistance in accomplishing so many wanted actions. Smartphones have/are becoming the same in their way. 
Passenger rail needs to do the same. I only see Brightline as cognizant of that required underlying structure.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 12:58 AM

D.Carleton
We want cars. Following the war we had the industry, means and space to build motorways...and did so writ large. That was so long ago the psychology of previous investment has taken hold and shall be with us for some time more. But none of this would have happened had our forefathers not wanted it in the first place. Add

I disagree it being a want more than a rational choice.   Remember the private railroads are running on rails laid back when speeds were in some cases only 25 mph on the passenger train.    A lot of private railroads only incrementally upgraded or rebuilt their lines as they felt they had to, to remain competitive with other railroads.   

Along comes the car and the Federal Government and it's deep pockets.   Building a whole new infrastructure for the car that in many cases short cut the existing rail routes resulting in the car being the fastest and most convinent choice between points.   The more infrastructure the Feds built the more and more the car came out on top as the choice for the trip to be taken.    I don't think the private railroads even if they wanted to could have kept even with the investments being made for the automobile.   Though several railroads tried on a small scale, the railroads really needed a the same multiple billions spent on their line realignments, rebuilding for higher speed and direct routes that were being spent on the Interstate Highway system in order to compete with the 75 mph auto on most routes.

So my opinion is we only wanted the automobile because with the massive spending on the automobile side of the equation it became the rational choice for speed and convinenece.    If you flip the spending over to the rail side for 20 years the reverse starts to come true.    Rail passenger cooridor trains will become the rational choice over the automobile.    I doubt the investments on the rail side will ever be sustained at that rate or that folks would tolerate the neglect of investment on the auto side for long though.    So thats why I suspect the auto is going to remain dominant and the most we can hope for on the rail passenger side is a partial restoration in some corridors vs nationwide restoration of the rail passenger network that once existed.

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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 11:06 AM

Admittedly I have not inspected the entire length of the route. But based upon the portions that I am familiar with,  the former PRR route between Chicago and Fort Wayne would require SIGNIFICANT rehabilitation just to return run-of-the-mill passenger rail service.....and beaucoup upgrades to even think about HSR.  Much of it has been single tracked, much of what's left is deteriorated.    Lots  of at-grade crossings.....one would have to put so much money into the right of way....that I doubt such an endeavor could ever justfy itself, economically.

IMO, they would be better off restoring the rubber tired shuttles between Fort Wayne and Waterloo.   Which would lose money as well....just not nearly as much. 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 12:43 PM

Does AMTRAK have the locomtives and cars to add a couple of extra (at least 1 each way) trains?

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Posted by Gramp on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 8:41 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
D.Carleton
We want cars. Following the war we had the industry, means and space to build motorways...and did so writ large. That was so long ago the psychology of previous investment has taken hold and shall be with us for some time more. But none of this would have happened had our forefathers not wanted it in the first place. Add

 

I disagree it being a want more than a rational choice.   Remember the private railroads are running on rails laid back when speeds were in some cases only 25 mph on the passenger train.    A lot of private railroads only incrementally upgraded or rebuilt their lines as they felt they had to, to remain competitive with other railroads.   

Along comes the car and the Federal Government and it's deep pockets.   Building a whole new infrastructure for the car that in many cases short cut the existing rail routes resulting in the car being the fastest and most convinent choice between points.   The more infrastructure the Feds built the more and more the car came out on top as the choice for the trip to be taken.    I don't think the private railroads even if they wanted to could have kept even with the investments being made for the automobile.   Though several railroads tried on a small scale, the railroads really needed a the same multiple billions spent on their line realignments, rebuilding for higher speed and direct routes that were being spent on the Interstate Highway system in order to compete with the 75 mph auto on most routes.

So my opinion is we only wanted the automobile because with the massive spending on the automobile side of the equation it became the rational choice for speed and convinenece.    If you flip the spending over to the rail side for 20 years the reverse starts to come true.    Rail passenger cooridor trains will become the rational choice over the automobile.    I doubt the investments on the rail side will ever be sustained at that rate or that folks would tolerate the neglect of investment on the auto side for long though.    So thats why I suspect the auto is going to remain dominant and the most we can hope for on the rail passenger side is a partial restoration in some corridors vs nationwide restoration of the rail passenger network that once existed.

 

I think, in the end, having to schedule one's time to meet departure times is the underlying bridge-too-far for rail/bus/air travel. Auto travel today has the flexibility people want. Can even satisfy off-road travel. I live in snow country. Snowmobiles used to be the thing. Now it's ATV's. Ebikes and scooters are coming on for short travel in good weather. 

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Posted by bill613a on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 9:09 PM

The quickest and easiest way to reinstate FW service is to reroute the CAPITOL LTD via the ex-NKP Chi-FW & FW-Butler via the ex-Wabash. It would still be an all NS schedule between Chi & Pitt and would be far more practical than a patchwork routing between Col & Chi. I'd opt for meat and potatoes rather than pie in the sky.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, September 8, 2022 6:57 AM

bill613a

The quickest and easiest way to reinstate FW service is to reroute the CAPITOL LTD via the ex-NKP Chi-FW & FW-Butler via the ex-Wabash. It would still be an all NS schedule between Chi & Pitt and would be far more practical than a patchwork routing between Col & Chi. I'd opt for meat and potatoes rather than pie in the sky.

 

It might be quick and easy but focusing on Fort Wayne rather than much larger and more important Columbus is having the cart lead the (iron) horse.

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Posted by Convicted One on Thursday, September 8, 2022 10:23 AM

One thing that I would really like to see, is Amtrak ridership figures over the final 5 years of Ft Wayne service.   Since I never see the figures used to promote new proposals, I assume they were dismal. And, I feel safe in assuming that America has only become more attached to their personal vehicles since.

But still, I believe the Amtak figures might be useful in an "even if you can double that (figure), then that's the best it's ever likely to be"....sort of way.

Sometimes I believe that optimism  is good only in measured doses.   What appears to be a "can't fail" proposition to a rail fan, doesn't hold the same appeal to the population in general.  (fwiw, I suspect some of the steam restoration outfits share the same misperception)

I'd probably ride Amtrak to Chicago as a novelty "just to be riding a train"....a recreational outing you might say....but if I was on a schedule of some sort, then rail would most likely be the last option I would consider.

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Posted by Gramp on Thursday, September 8, 2022 9:45 PM

This is where I just don't have confidence that US government will provide for more than mediocre solutions. Look how Chi-StL stalled out. I stood on the Springfield platform, and watched a man in a wheelchair be wheeled out into the middle of the adjacent cross street by Amtrak staff with autos waiting behind the gate for the train to leave. They used a manual contraption to hoist him in his wheelchair unceremoniously up into the rail car. Fortunately it wasn't raining or snowing. 
Then I look At Brightline. Building for the present and the future. Double tracking. Replacing 100 year old bridges. Building 30+ miles of gradecrossing-free 125mph line with airport and light rail access. Way too many positives to mention. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, September 9, 2022 9:59 AM

If my memory is correct, Brightline is a loss leader of sorts for the various and sundry real estate developments of the parent firm.

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 Convicted One on Friday, September 9, 2022 11:21 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
If my memory is correct, Brightline is a loss leader of sorts for the various and sundry real estate developments of the parent firm.

 

I was thinking the same thing. Unfortunately Fort Wayne allowed the biggest chunk of developable land near our passenger station to become a transformer farm for the local power utility. Black Eye

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Posted by Gramp on Friday, September 9, 2022 7:19 PM

Convicted One

 

 
CSSHEGEWISCH
If my memory is correct, Brightline is a loss leader of sorts for the various and sundry real estate developments of the parent firm.

 

 

I was thinking the same thing. Unfortunately Fort Wayne allowed the biggest chunk of developable land near our passenger station to become a transformer farm for the local power utility. Black Eye

 

Kind of like putting an elevator in a multi-use high rise building. Creating value. Creating wealth. 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, September 10, 2022 12:30 AM

Agreeded Columbus will need to be eventually included.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, September 11, 2022 1:32 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

If my memory is correct, Brightline is a loss leader of sorts for the various and sundry real estate developments of the parent firm.

Congratulations on achieving time travel.                                              

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Posted by Convicted One on Monday, September 12, 2022 12:30 PM

Gramp
Kind of like putting an elevator in a multi-use high rise building. Creating value. Creating wealth.

 

Creating wealth for the electric utility yes,  but killing any opportunity for synergy in a Brightline-like opportunity. 

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Posted by Convicted One on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 12:17 PM

blue streak 1
Agreeded Columbus will need to be eventually included.

Of course that's true.  The group behind our passenger rail initiative supposedly has determined  that Ft Wayne-Chicago alone are insufficient end points to generate the volume necessary to even get close to covering costs.   Chicago-Pittsburgh is already being served.....so Chicago-Columbus got "nominated"

Trouble is,  don't believe that the powers that be in   Ohio are nearly as enthusiastic about service to Columbus as the Ft Wayne group is.

Personally, I don't believe it will ever come to fruition....the only people who are convinced that it must be done are the people also who believe that "somebody else" is gonna pay for it

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Posted by bill613a on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 8:53 PM

Unless the state of Indiana puts up the funds a CHI-FW train is not going to happen.  However rerouting the CL would eliminate that issue. In 1990 when Conrail forced Amtrak off the ex-PRR routing the CL went on the LSL routing while the BWAY was put on the ex B&O line. In Ohio Canton and Lima were dropped while Akron and Yougstown were added.  Losing FW as a stop eventually sealed the fate for the BWAY. Amtrak botched this by not selecting to switch to the ex-NKP at the grade level crossing in Fostoria, Ohio. That was then, this is now.

A simple reroute would get FW back on the Amtrak map. As for Columbus the main focus seems to be on it becoming part of the 3-C corridor listed on the Amtrak-2035 map. Time will tell

Convicted One

 

 
blue streak 1
Agreeded Columbus will need to be eventually included.

 

Of course that's true.  The group behind our passenger rail initiative supposedly has determined  that Ft Wayne-Chicago alone are insufficient end points to generate the volume necessary to even get close to covering costs.   Chicago-Pittsburgh is already being served.....so Chicago-Columbus got "nominated"

Trouble is,  don't believe that the powers that be in   Ohio are nearly as enthusiastic about service to Columbus as the Ft Wayne group is.

Personally, I don't believe it will ever come to fruition....the only people who are convinced that it must be done are the people also who believe that "somebody else" is gonna pay for it

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 8:57 PM

Only reason I ever had to go to Fort Wayne was to watch the Komets play ice hockey.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 9:57 PM

At one time FW was a manufacturing powerhouse.  Decimated like so many Midwest towns. 
The NKP passsenger station still exists in pretty good shape I believe. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 10:01 AM

By the time that the Broadway/Three Rivers moved off of the former PRR main, the line was little more than a high-speed branch line with long sidings so the few freight trains on the line would be out of the way when the Broadway came through.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 11:59 AM

bill613a
Losing FW as a stop eventually sealed the fate for the BWAY.

I have never heard that given as the reason. My impression was that it was always late ("sidinged") and a really rough ride, even compared to the old PRR Broadway.

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