AMTRAK, Gulf Coast Proposed Trains

Hytec Aug 6, 2021

  1. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
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  2. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    I can't wait!
     
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  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Unfortunately, STB has allowed until December 16 for discovery, rebuttal, and proposals, with hearings to begin immediately, or as late as January.

    Be nice if STB granted interim authorization earlier.
     
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  4. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    The following was posted last evening, 8/20/21. It was sent by a friend who is a member of NARP.

    N-S, Amtrak Trade Queries in Gulf Coast Proceeding
    By Jim Mathews

    In a Surface Transportation Board filing on Wednesday night Amtrak posed some tough and long-awaited questions to CSX and Norfolk Southern about those railroads’ objections to re-starting Gulf Coast passenger rail service, looking for information and documents to support the host railroads’ claims that passenger service would tie up freight traffic and require some $2.3 billion worth of additional investment to untangle it.

    Unless the STB or Administrative Law Judge Thomas McCarthy say otherwise, STB practice guidelines mean that CSX and N-S will have to supply answers – or objections – before Labor Day.

    Norfolk Southern kicked off the discovery process last Friday, filing its first set of questions to Amtrak in what lawyers call “interrogatories,” along with asking for documents from Amtrak (which lawyers call a “Request for Production” or RFP). Amtrak’s answers are due on August 30.

    All of this legal back-and-forth may be hard to follow, but these are important steps toward getting passenger service started again between New Orleans and Mobile, wiped out 17 years ago this month by Hurricane Katrina.

    CSX has repeatedly asserted that it will take more than $2 billion in investment to accommodate a single passenger train every 12 hours into and out of Mobile, despite other estimates – including those supported by the Federal Railroad Administration – putting the real costs as low as $117.7 million.

    In your Association’s May 17th filing to the Surface Transportation Board in this matter, we pointed out that “CSX has offered no concrete details on how precisely a single train, spending a few minutes transiting to park for several hours on a siding off the main line, can possibly bring freight traffic to a halt.”

    Amtrak’s questions and document requests last night essentially seek those concrete details. [Read the full story on the Rail Passengers blog]
     
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  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    They might have a bit more to argue, had there not previously been such service. Sounds more like just common stalling tactics by the "host" companies.
     
  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    The Sunset Limited ran over these same rails to Jacksonville from 1993 until hurricane Katrina. Amtrak never cancelled the Sunset east of NOLA, merely suspended service temporarily. So CSX's argument doesn't hold water. NS' argument is with the NOLA/Mobile train parking at Mobile between trips, potentially blocking NS access to port facilities. That also may be a moot point as I've heard there is an unused stub siding near the station that ATK has asked to use.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
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