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Thread: Amtrak News

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Post

    Subject:
    Friends of Amtrak Update 7/19/2000
    Date:
    Wed, 19 Jul 2000 06:08:05 -0700
    From:
    "Craig S. O'Connell" <crocon@connix.com>
    To:
    crocon@connix.com


    FRIENDS OF AMTRAK UPDATE 7/19/2000 .
    Dear Friends of Amtrak:

    Joseph Vranich, author of the book "Derailed," a scathing attack on Amtrak,
    resigned from the Amtrak Reform Council on July 10th. Vranich, a
    frequent and vociferous critic of Amtrak, was originally appointed to
    the Council by U.S.
    Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) on the recommendation of
    another frequent Amtrak detractor Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

    Vranich did not leave without casting more aspersions on Amtrak. In
    a bitter letter of resignation to Senator Lott, an often time Amtrak
    supporter, Vranich called for the total removal of the Amtrak Board
    of Directors, a Congressional investigation into Amtrak practices,
    and the removal of the the U.S. Transportation Secretary as the
    federal government's ex-officio member on the Amtrak board.

    In another parting shot, delivered to the press on July 13, Vranich called
    upon President Clinton to "fire" Amtrak Board President Tommy
    Thompson for what Vranich called "pork barrel politics." Thompson is
    the Republican Governor of Wisconsin.

    Vranich accused Thompson of withholding information from the ARC
    reform. Thompson said Amtrak gave the council plenty of information,
    "but they' re never satisfied."

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    FROM A RECENT AMTRAK EMPLOYEE BRIEFING:

    _Public Responds to Revitalized Amtrak_
    The public heard us loud and clear on July 6, when we officially announced
    our Satisfaction Guarantee-we have some facts and figures to prove it:
    * Hits to the Amtrak Internet site rose from 82,000 on June 29, to 110,000
    on July 6.
    * From July 6-9, reservation sales agents received 265,000 calls. That's an
    11.8% increase over the same period last year.
    * There were $17 million in bookings through the call centers from July 6-9,
    a 24% increase over the same time last year.
    * From July 6-9, more than $11 million in tickets were issued through all
    automated systems (excluding conductors). That's a 17.8% increase over the
    same time last year.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Amtrak's plan to split off the Crescent route west from Meridian, MS to
    Fort Worth, TX has sparked some controversy while receiving some
    input from representatives of a number of Texas communities who would
    like to see the passenger rail routed through their area.

    "When Amtrak announced they were going to expand between Fort Worth and
    Meridian, it was clear how the train would go from Meridian to
    Shreveport," Sulphur Springs representative Nathan Bailey said. "What
    was unclear was how they would go westward (into Dallas)."

    Representatives from Greenville, Garland, Sulphur Springs, Winnsboro,
    Pittsburg and Jefferson would like to persuade Amtrak officials to use
    the Kansas City Southern railway for a proposed Shreveport to Dallas
    passenger train route.

    Amtrak Official Ed Walker told a crowd of nearly 200 people who had
    gathered to voice their support for the proposed service that the
    Kansas City Southern route would be taken into strong consideration.

    Nevertheless, folks from Longview, Marshall and Mineola TX take a
    somewhat different view. Longview Assistant City Manager Karen Daly
    is quoted as
    saying, "We want the line to go through here," she said of Longview and the
    other cities along Amtrak's current Texas Eagle line. "I don't think
    there's a threat of us losing the Texas Eagle, but the route of the
    Crescent through East Texas is yet to be determined. I understand they
    (Amtrak officials ) are still in their early stages of studying the
    issue."

    Connie Ware, executive director of the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce
    said officials in her area also are strongly in favor of seeing the new
    route travel through Longview and Marshall.

    "They don't need the Kansas City Southern route," Ware said. "We have
    the best tracks, the shortest route and have provided Amtrak with the
    best passenger service they have."

    Daly said she and a number of other officials from the Longview,
    Marshall and Mineola areas are participating in a letter-writing
    campaign to both elected officials and top Amtrak brass.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    A photo of the new Amtrak logo is now on the Friends of Amtrak website...just
    click on the "News Update" link on the main menu or hit:
    http://trainweb.com/crocon/amtrak.html#News

    There are also two new photos by Ron Goodenow on the FOA homepage. One shows
    a Boston And Maine run from 1962. The other is the Winnipesaukee
    Scenic RR train taken this month.
    http://trainweb.com/crocon/amtrak.html

    Look just below the main menu for these new pics.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Amtrak's summer schedule now shows another Boston-Washington weekend
    Acela Regional (all-electric) round-trip and another
    Philadelphia-Harrisburg weekday Keystone round-trip.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------


    Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is urging the Federal Railroad
    Administration to extend high-speed rail service between Portland and
    Auburn, Maine. "With increasingly congested roads and highways,
    particularly during the peak summer
    tourist season, I believe high-speed rail infrastructure would bring
    substantial quality-of-life benefits, as well as economic and
    environmental benefits to the entire region," Snowe told a press
    conference.

    The Boston-to-Portland line has won approval to reach speeds close to 80
    mph. That service, which officials estimate will carry up to 125,000
    passengers annually, is expected to begin in April 2001 but has been
    derailed by roadblocks from Guilford Transportation, which owns that
    line.

    The Portland-to-Auburn line, however, is owned by St. Lawrence and
    Atlantic, which is said to be more receptive to passenger service.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ-D) has created a web site to build
    support for S1900 & S1144. It is:

    <http://lautenberg.senate.gov/highspeed/>

    Go to the section labeled "Support" for sample letters.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    LEGISLATION UPDATE:

    H.R.3700, the High Speed Rail Investment Act (HSRIA), is up to 131 sponsors.
    More are needed. Please write / e-mail / call your representative in
    the House and ask for their support. To reach the Congressional
    switchboard call 1-202-224-3121.

    On the Senate side, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) became the 49th
    sponsor of the Senate HSRIA (S.1900). It's still important for these
    non-sponsoring
    senators -- whose states have much to gain from the bill -- to hear
    strong support for HSRIA from back home: Abraham (R-MI), Collins
    (R-ME), Fitzgerald
    (R-IL), Gorton (R-WA), Santorum (R-PA), and Voinovich (R-OH).

    S.1900, the bill introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), would
    allow Amtak to sell $10 Billion in tax free bonds over ten years to
    develop high speed
    rail corridors throughout the the country.

    Cosponsors for the Lautenberg-Jeffords High Speed Rail Investment Act
    (S. 1900) now include:

    Bayh (D-IN)
    Biden (D-DE),
    Boxer (D-CA),
    Breaux (D-LA),
    Bryan (D-NV),
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Chafee (R-RI),
    Cleland (D-GA),
    Daschle (D-SD)
    DeWine (R-OH),
    Dodd (D-CT),
    Dorgan (D-ND),
    Durbin (D-IL),
    Edwards (D-NC),
    Feingold (D-WI),
    Feinstein (D-CA),
    Graham (D-FL),
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Helms (R-NC)
    Hollings (D-SC)
    Hutchison (R-TX),
    Jeffords (R-VT),
    Johnson (D-SD)
    Kennedy (D-MA),
    Kerrey (D-NEB)
    Kerry (D-MA),
    Kohl (D-WI),
    Landrieu (D-LA),
    Lautenberg (D-NJ),
    Leahy (D-VT),
    Levin (D-MI),
    Lieberman (D-CT),
    Lugar (D-IN)
    Mikulski (D-MD),
    Moynihan (D-NY),
    Murray (D-WA),
    Reed (D-RI),
    Reid (D-NV),
    Robb (D-VA),
    Sarbanes (D-MD),
    Schumer (D-NY),
    Smith (R-OR),
    Snowe (R-ME),
    Specter (R-PA),
    Torricelli (D-NJ),
    Warner (R-VA),
    Wellstone (D-MN),
    Wyden (D-OR).

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    The following is from FOA supporter Gary Farmer:

    Dear Craig,
    My name is Gary Farmer from Hattiesburg, Miss. I would just like to
    inform you and your readers that may be interested, that the
    lawsuits stemming from the tragic wreck at Saraland, Ala. on Sept 23,
    1993 are winding
    down. The last two are scheduled for early August. I was the Asst.
    Conductor on the ill- fated Sunset Limited.

    Best Regards
    Gary

    If you would like to contact Gary he can be reached by e-mail at:
    <Gary92@webtv.net>


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Friends of Amtrak supporter, Pat Fitzhugh, has written an article about the
    "City of New Orleans" accident in Illinois last year (a sad but true
    account of what happens when people don't obey crossing signals). The
    right people saw the article, and Pat ended up winning an "excellence in
    journalism" award for it. Hopefully, this will get the article in front of
    more people and educate them about railroad crossing safety. The article
    is now posted on Themestream, a Web-based publishing company. If you're
    interested in reading the article, please visit:
    http://www.themestream.com/gspd_brow...gsp?c_id=62301

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------


    MORE AVIATION SUBSIDIES:

    None to report in this update but you might be interested in the following
    statistics:

    48,905 domestic airline flights were delayed 15 minutes or more in
    the month of June, up 18 per cent from the same period a year earlier
    and up 8 per cent from the previous record of 45,162 delays in July
    of last year.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    June 21, 2000

    MAYOR THOMAS CARPER OF MACOMB, ILLINOIS APPOINTED CHAIR OF THE AMTRAK
    MAYORS' ADVISORY COUNCIL

    WASHINGTON, DC - Mayor Thomas Carper of Macomb, IL was appointed
    Chair of Amtrak's national Mayors' Advisory Council at the U.S.
    Conference of Mayors Summer Meeting last week in Seattle. For the
    past year, Mayor Carper has served as the Council's Vice-Chair. The
    Council was formed by the Amtrak Board of Directors to bolster local
    support for intercity passenger rail, raise awareness of its
    important transportation role, and support Amtrak's Strategic
    Business Plan through closer partnerships between Amtrak and cities
    and towns. The 22-member mayoral body is balanced for geography,
    city/town population, and party affiliation.

    "I am honored to be chosen as the Chair of the Amtrak Mayors'
    Advisory Council, and I look forward to strengthening Amtrak's state
    and local partnerships which will help improve our economy and
    Amtrak's bottom-line," said Mayor Carper. "As the mayor of a city
    that depends on Amtrak, I know that these partnerships will enable
    Amtrak to deliver better intercity passenger rail service to meet the
    growing transportation needs of our citizens."

    "There has been a clamoring for more and better rail service
    throughout the U.S., and the Amtrak Mayors' Advisory Council is now
    providing a platform for the mayors to collectively raise their
    voices to support a stronger Amtrak for their communities," said
    Mayor John Robert Smith, Amtrak Board member and mayor of Meridian,
    Mississippi. "I know that Mayor Carper's leadership as Chair of the
    Council will help achieve an economically stronger Macomb and Amtrak."

    As Vice-Chair, Mayor Carper represented the Council at the High-Speed
    Ground Transportation Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia
    and at the Amtrak Customer Advisory Council in Milwaukee. He will be
    a featured speaker at the National Corridors Initiative later this
    month in Washington, D.C. Mayor Carper has also been a strong
    advocate for a long-term, dedicated source of capital funding for
    intercity passenger rail service with the Illinois Congressional
    delegation.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    From Robert Mann, City Council member, Town of Cashion, OKLAHOMA:

    If everything goes as scheduled, we will obtain 2 two
    of the FLORIDA EAST COAST's camp cars now located in
    New Smyrna Beach yard. The cars were bought from the
    City of Miami/South Wind pool of the SCL and rebuilt
    in the 1980's at Custom Car Company in Northwest
    Jacksonville.

    As Cashion, Oklahoma, was once the site of a joint
    ROCK ISLAND/SANTA FE line extending from Guthrie to
    Kingfisher, we want to highlight our railroad
    heritage.
    The plan calls for a movement from New Smyrna Beach to
    Jacksonville to Guthrie, Ok. and hence by truck to
    Cashion. At Cashion the cars would be placed on the
    original grade with relaid track. They would be the
    highlight and anchor of a bike-rail trail system and
    Main Street's Depot Square. Also highlighted by a
    reconstructed depot, visitors center, trailhead and
    micro-museum.

    While the plan is conceptual at present, things are
    starting to move. Our thanks to the FLORIDA EAST COAST
    RY for a great donation. Interested parties may
    contact me at: confederatebob@yahoo.com

    Robert W. Mann
    City Council
    Town of Cashion, Oklahoma
    e-mail: <confederatebob@yahoo.com>

    As an addendum Bob wrote...

    This is in the VERY EARLY stages...ie: the mail hasn't even been drafted
    at this point. But the towns plans are firm and the cars WERE spoken
    for via telephone last week. A hard copy to FEC for verification is
    in the works. There ARE MORE cars available, IF someone out there
    would help with transportation costs then we might obtain the extras
    for preservation purposes. They DO contain some ASBESTOS but it is
    pipe wrap under the floors in inside the walls, IF left alone it is
    harmless.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Harry Sutton has posted yet another Friends of Amtrak trip report on Prodigy.

    "Three Rivers And The Capital Limited, May 25-27, 2000" by Brad
    Newell can be found at:
    http://communities.prodigy.net/trains/ttrip055.htm


    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Amtrak is now in the process of building a new station to serve the
    Phoenix, Arizona area. It is located in Maricopa, which is approximately 25
    miles from Phoenix. Amtrak's SUNSET LIMITED will service the new station. It
    will be the closest station to Phoenix since the passenger carrier detoured
    the SUNSET LIMITED four years ago. The parking lot is being graded now and an
    old round tail observation, which is currently at Los Angeles Union Station,
    will be moved to the site for use as a ticket office and waiting room.
    Completion date is expected in two months.

    Courtesy: Dave Bowe

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    The New London (CT) Day reports on July 7 that Amtrak is buying a large
    warehouse on Industrial Drive in Groton, CT. This is located near the
    entrance to Bluff Point State Park in the Poquonnock Bridge section of
    Groton. The 7 acre property will be used as a maintenance base for the New
    England stretch of electrified rail along it's high speed corridor. Amtrak
    has hired 60 employees for the facility and will transfer 40 more from other
    maintenance shops, including one it plans to close in New London by the Shaw
    Cove drawbridge according to Amtrak's spokesman Rick Remington. The building
    contains 50,000 square feet of work space along with 12,000 square feet of
    office space. Remington also stated the shops will run 24 hours a day. This
    shop will be responsible for maintaining the newly electrified rail between
    New Haven and Boston. The article also stated that they will sell the Shaw
    Cove facility to the New London Redevelopment Council which the council has
    wanted for some time because it is prime waterfront land.

    Courtesy: Dave Bowe

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    There is a great new photo of Train #175 crossing the bridge at Nan in
    Niantic, CT on May 30, 2000 now posted on the Friends of Amtrak website:
    http://trainweb.com/crocon/amtrak.html

    Photo, by Leo King, is noteworthy for its unique vantage point. Don't miss it!

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Catch the National Corridors Initiative website at:
    http://www.nationalcorridors.org/

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    From: Illinois High Speed Rail

    For More Info Contact:
    Kevin Brubaker
    Environmental Law and Policy Center
    312-673-6500; fax 312-795-3730
    LEARN MORE ABOUT HIGH-SPEED RAIL --> SIGN UP FOR OUR LIST SERVE
    BY SENDING THE MESSAGE "subscribe high-speed-rail" to
    majordomo@lists.elpc.org http://www.elpc.org


    HIGH-SPEED RAIL NEEDS YOUR HELP! Amtrak and the Illinois Department of
    Transportation are working jointly to introduce 110 mph train service
    between Chicago and St. Louis. The state is currently seeking public
    comment on the proposed draft Environmental Impact Statement for the
    project. We need to demonstrate strong public support for this project in
    order to keep it moving. Governor Ryan has pledged to have the trains
    running by Fall, 2002, but this could easily change if the only people who
    comment on high-speed rail are its critics. Details on the proposal can be
    seen at http://www.dot.state.il.us/hsrail/highspdinfo.html

    PLEASE SEND AN E-MAIL IN SUPPORT OF RAIL SERVICE TO THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT
    OF TRANSPORTATION. Just copy the following text and paste it in a new
    e-mail message to HSRDEIS@nt.dot.state.il.us Be sure to add your name and
    mailing address to the bottom of the letter.

    THANK YOU!

    Mr. Merrill L. Travis
    Chief, Bureau of Railroads
    Illinois Department of Transportation
    2300 South Dirksen Parkway
    Springfield, IL 62764

    Dear Mr. Travis,

    As a frequent Amtrak rider, I am writing to voice my strong
    support for the proposed high-speed rail corridor between Chicago and St.
    Louis. Though I don't live in Illinois, I will likely be a user of this new
    service once it is available.

    As the draft Environmental Impact Statement documents, this
    proposal has a number of advantages:

    * 2900 new jobs and $20 million in new economic activity;
    * a travel alternative 3 times as energy efficient as cars and 6 times
    as efficient as planes, resulting in less air pollution
    * a 15% reduction in grade-crossing accidents

    With 35% lower operating costs than conventional rail,
    combined with growing ridership, high-speed Amtrak service will be
    self-sufficient along this corridor - an important demonstration of Amtrak's
    long-term viability nationwide.

    If reliable, comfortable, and convenient rail service were
    available, connecting Chicago with St. Louis in just 3 ˝ hours, I would take
    it when traveling in Illinois. When the entire Midwest high-speed rail
    network is finished, this corridor will provide easy connection through
    Chicago to virtually every major city in the Midwest. As an Amtrak rider, I
    find this option very attractive.

    Providing safe high-speed service will require closing some
    of the 300+ grade crossings along the corridor. This needs to be done in a
    way that meets the needs of both rail and car travelers. I was therefore
    pleased to see that you will not be closing any crossings without local
    approval.

    I look forward to riding the high-speed trains.


    Sincerely,

    YOUR NAME

    MAILING ADDRESS

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Honoring

    The Honorable Jolene M Molitoris

    Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration

    and

    The Honorable Terrence D Mulcahy

    Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation

    The Honorable Cristine M Klika, Honorary Chair

    The Indiana High Speed Rail Association

    in partnership with the

    High Speed Ground Transportation Association

    Midwest High Speed Rail Coalition

    Railway Progress Institute

    and with generous support from

    Siemens Transportation Systems, Inc

    United States Steel Corporation

    Warmly Invites you to its

    Sixth Annual Meeting

    and

    The Golden Spike Seminar

    "In celebration of the

    Midwest Regional Rail Initiative"

    Friday, September 8, 2000

    7:00 am to 3:15 pm

    Center for Visual & Performing Arts

    1040 Ridge Road

    (in the southeast Chicago suburb of)

    Munster, Indiana

    RSVP

    2645 Ridge Road Highland, Indiana 46322

    (219) 887-1351 / wdh.indiana@att.net

    RESERVATIONS

    Seminar, Continental Breakfast & Luncheon - $75.00

    College or University Student - $50.00

    Day of registration - $100.00

    Luncheon Only - $25.00

    American Express Card accepted

    HOTEL INFORMATION

    Courtyard by Marriott

    I-94 & Kennedy Avenue

    Hammond, Indiana

    Reservations to Thursday, August 17 - $99.00

    Phone: (219) 845-6350

    ID: Indiana High Speed Rail

    PASSENGER RAIL INFORMATION

    Eastbound Amtrak passenger trains from Chicago and westbound trains
    to Chicago stop at Hammond, Indiana

    The South Shore Commuter train from South Bend and Chicago stop at
    Hammond, Indiana

    AIRLINE INFORMATION

    The NEW Pan Am Airlines has convenient flights from New England
    (Portsmouth, NH), Orlando (Sanford, Florida); Pittsburgh,
    Pennsylvania and St Louis (Bellevue, Illinois) to the Gary / Chicago
    Airport

    The Gary / Chicago Airport is just a few minutes to the Courtyard by
    Marriott and the Center for Visual & Performing Arts. Downtown
    Chicago is just 25 minutes from the Airport.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    INDIANA HIGH SPEED RAIL ASSOCIATION
    Annual Meeting and
    GOLDEN SPIKE SEMINAR on the
    Midwest Regional Rail Initiative
    Friday, September 8, 2000

    SEPTEMBER 7 HOTEL RESERVATIONS: $99.00
    to August 17, 2000

    Courtyard by Marriott
    I-94 & Kennedy Avenue
    Hammond, Indiana
    (219) 845-6350
    "Indiana High Speed Rail"

    The Courtyard is a 45 minute drive from
    Chicago's Midway and O'Hare Airports

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Steve Brown has posted eight new images of the Amtrak Cascades Talgos on his
    website at:
    http://www.photosbystevenjbrown.com/...des/talgo.html

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    From Wisconsin ProRAIL:

    WISDOT SEEKING PUBLIC COMMENT ON LARGE-RANGE STATE PLAN

    The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has announced it
    is seeking public involvement to help develop a long-range State Rail
    Plan that will guide the preservation and enhancement of Wisconsin's
    freight and passenger rail systems over the next 20 years.

    "This statewide plan will establish a long-term framework guiding the
    future of our state rail system and will define the important role
    rail fills in Wisconsin's comprehensive transportation network," said
    WisDOT Secretary Terry Mulcahy in the July 11 news release.

    "Development of this plan will be a two-year process and we’re
    counting on public involvement every step of the way."

    The rail plan will encompass six major areas: inter-city passenger
    rail; freight rail; highway/rail crossing safety; funding rail
    improvements; economic impacts of the rail industry; and
    environmental considerations.

    WisDOT will hold nine public listening sessions around the state
    through mid-September. Each session will begin with a brief overview
    of the plan, but the major emphasis will be hearing public comments
    and concerns, according to the announcement.

    Meetings are set for Eau Claire July 17; De Pere July 25; Superior
    Aug. 8; Rhinelander Aug. 9; La Crosse Aug. 15; Oshkosh Aug. 22;
    Milwaukee Aug. 29; Madison Sept. 14; and Wausau Sept. 19.

    Advertisements will be placed in local newspapers prior to each forum
    providing the time and location of each meeting along with a contact
    phone number.

    Currently, 12 railroads operate in Wisconsin on nearly 4,500 miles of
    track, WisDOT said. In 1998, these railroads combined to carry 94
    million tons of freight. In addition, there are 4,411 public rail
    grade crossings in Wisconsin with 1,872 having some type of active
    warning device.

    The State Rail Plan will be coordinated with the Midwest Regional
    Rail Initiative (MRRI). The MRRI proposes a 3,000-mile rail network
    through Wisconsin and eight other Midwestern states radiating from
    Chicago.

    Midwest Rail will utilize modern, high-speed trains operating along
    rail corridors already largely in place, providing a transportation
    alternative for reaching major Midwest urban centers and smaller
    communities along the planned routes.

    The plan will also reflect the policy framework established by the
    Governor’s Task Force on Passenger Rail.

    As part of the rail plan's initial public outreach effort, WisDOT
    sponsored a rail symposium this spring that gathered a broad
    cross-section of groups representing local government, freight rail
    owners, passenger rail interests, transportation planning
    associations, private industry and state agencies. Both the
    Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers and ProRail were among
    those invited to participate, and both sent representatives.

    Along with promoting an active discussion of rail issues among
    participants, the event helped identify key issues to be addressed in
    the rail plan.

    WisDOT's State Rail Plan is another in a series of plans emerging
    from Translinks 21, Wisconsin's comprehensive multi-modal
    transportation blueprint that guides the development of each modal
    system. WisDOT has already completed statewide bicycle, airport, and
    highway plans and is in the process of forming long-range pedestrian,
    rail and transit plans.

    Citizens unable to attend an upcoming listening session can send
    written comments to: Donna Brown, WisDOT Bureau of Planning, P.O. Box
    7913, Madison, WI, 53707-7913.

    LIST OF STATE RAIL PLAN PUBLIC LISTENING SESSIONS

    Each meeting runs from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and will begin with a
    brief overview of the rail plan development process to be followed by
    a listening session to gather public comment.

    July 17: Eau Claire, Holiday Inn Campus, 2703 Craig Road.

    July 25: De Pere, St. Norbert College, Bemis Center, 100 Grant St.

    Aug. 8: Superior, Superior Public Library, 1530 Tower Ave.

    Aug. 9: Rhinelander, Holiday Inn, 668 W. Kemp St.

    Sept. 19: Wausau, Marathon County Commission for the Aging, 212 River Dr.

    Aug. 15: La Crosse, Radisson Hotel, 200 Harborview Plaza.

    Aug. 22: Oshkosh, UW-Oshkosh, Gruenhagen Conference Center, 208 Osceola St.

    Aug. 29: Milwaukee,The Miller Room at O'Donnell Park, 910 E. Michigan St.

    Sept. 14: Madison, Alliant Energy Center (formerly Expo Center), 1919 Expo Way.


    ------------------------------------------------------


    Around The Rumor Mill:

    No rumors today.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    There will be an Amtrak Special running from Portland, OR to Lewiston,
    ID on October 6,7 & 8. The trip will include rare miles on the freight
    only Camas Prairie RR through the 2,000 ft deep Snake River Canyon
    between Riparia and Lewiston. Saturday trips on the dinner train that
    operates on a Camas Prairie branch line are also planned. More details,
    prices, etc. at <A HREF="http://www.goldenstaterails.com">http://www.goldensta
    terails.com</A>

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    The following is from TEXAS ARP:


    AUGUST 19, 2000

    Make your plans for the Texas coast

    The meeting will be held at the Victorian Condo Hotel & Conference
    Center at 6300 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, Texas. Here is some
    information:

    The meeting will be from 10.00 am to 4:00 pm

    Fee: $25.00 per person which includes lunch

    25 rooms are blocked at a $75.00 per day rate through July 31 - Make
    your reservation early

    Check in is at 4:00 pm / checkout time is 11:00 am. The room includes a
    parking pass.

    If you have to cancel, they require 48 hour notice before 6:00 pm.

    You can make your reservation at 800-231-6363; to insure the room
    rate be sure to tell them it is for the TXARP meeting on the 19th.

    See you in August.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    To pre-register, mail your check to:

    Texas Association of Rail Passengers
    2205 Marvin Gardens
    Arlington, TX 76011

    ------------------------------------------------------------


    If you would like to submit a trip report please follow the guidelines at
    the following site:
    http://trainweb.com/crocon/tripreports/send.html

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Amtrak's Mid-Atlantic Division Safety Council has a new web site
    dedicated to the safety of its employees and guests:
    http://www.safetycouncil-amtrak

    ------------------
    When in doubt, empty your magazine.

  2. #2
    BC Rail King is offline Your e-mail bounces. Please change your e-mail address and then contact support.
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> FROM A RECENT AMTRAK EMPLOYEE BRIEFING:

    _Public Responds to Revitalized Amtrak_
    The public heard us loud and clear on July 6, when we officially announced
    our Satisfaction Guarantee-we have some facts and figures to prove it:
    * Hits to the Amtrak Internet site rose from 82,000 on June 29, to 110,000
    on July 6.
    * From July 6-9, reservation sales agents received 265,000 calls. That's an
    11.8% increase over the same period last year.
    * There were $17 million in bookings through the call centers from July 6-9,
    a 24% increase over the same time last year.
    * From July 6-9, more than $11 million in tickets were issued through all
    automated systems (excluding conductors). That's a 17.8% increase over the
    same time last year.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I had a gut feeling that this would improve things for amtrak, at least on the short term. Many people, probably just plain out forgot about Amtrak until the sixth.

    I do have one question, why did they wait until the sixth to introduce all this stufff, if they did it earlier they would have gotten more people on the July 4th rush!

    Happy Railroading!!

    Dane N.

    ------------------
    BC Rail King
    BCRailKing@Canada.com

    InternationalRegion@tamr.org for TAMR info.
    Dane_Nicholson@tamr.org
    http://www.tamr.org

  3. #3
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    I do have one question, why did they wait until the sixth to introduce all this stufff, if they did it earlier they would have gotten more people on the July 4th rush!

    Well they probably waited because they were pretty much sold out on most trains over the holidays. Reggie

    ------------------

  4. #4
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    The new guarrantee was in effect on the 4th it just wasn't annouced to the public till the 6th. If you look back in a earlier thread you will find where I posted it was starting the 4th.

  5. #5
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    Reggierail got it right the first time, they were sold out and already stressed, why put a bad foot forward.

    Good Luck to them.

    But don't tell the crews on the "Shore Line East" a small commuter rail line run on the CT shoreline. Owned by the CTDOT but operated by AMTRAK. They really screwed the pooch during Connecticut OPSAIL 2000. Thousands of visitors to New London CT tried to ride the rails and not hassle with parking.

    1 to 3 hour waits for trains... people jammed on platforms... trains cancelled... empty cars sitting around and crews saying it's not my job...

    Lots of bad press!!! Lots of horror stories!!!

    Typical absentee management, and the old adage; we here to run a train not deliver people.



    ------------------
    When in doubt, empty your magazine.

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