Crossing America By Rail?

BarstowRick Mar 22, 2019

  1. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I couldn't agree more and it does get rediculous. "If they don't get it fixed soon, there could be a CATASTROPHIC derailment!" <then cut to the CGI of the train crashing for full visual effect>. I guess they do this to keep the average viewer interested. At least the host is humble and the trains remain the stars on the show.

    I thought the episode on Sweden's log-hauling Hector Rail was interesting, especially their one-person "crew" working train make up and brake testing on the ground using remote control, then running the train. Interesting too that their version of PTC is as frustratingly failure-prone as ours is.

    As featured in another episode, we someday want to ride the Rocky Mountaineer (on the CP mainline between Vancouver <=> Banff) when my wife retires.

    I don't think the show has done an Amtrak route yet. ("With dining car service recently eliminated from our train, all eyes in the coach were intently focused on my day-old sandwich, as I carefully unwrapped it." :rolleyes: )
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Reminds me of that show "Railroad Alaska". Way too much faked drama. Bleh. I stopped watching.
     
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  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    For sure. I had a number of people at work tell me it was great and that I'd love it, but my reaction was just like yours. Oh brother.
     
  4. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Trains and the wide assortment of TV programs leaves much to be desired. I find myself shorting them and watching the 70's show. I mean if you want drama, there you go.

    I've noticed that Amtrak's trains are back to running something closer to a facsimile of on time schedules. Also noting what appears to be a drop in freight traffic. Which might explain it.

    I was hoping to keep adding videos here but my service from Verizon is the worst ever. Something about a metered hot spot and I used it all up. When I go to watch a video all I get is buffering and more of the same. So for now I will back off. You can add any video you want and keep the comments coming.

    BarstowRick out.
     
  5. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    So much for a close facsimile to on time travel. For those who seldom get to see #3 come through Barstow without setting your alarm clock. #3 came through Barstow this morning at about 8:30 a.m. CA time and #4 came through Flagstaff at about 8:45 a.m. AZ tiem... give or take a few. Over three hours late. I have no idea what slowed #4 down getting out of LAUPT but they were running better then 3 hours late last night.

    Noted are other Amtrak trains running extremely late on other routes. Check it out on Track A Train.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  6. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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  7. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    #3 arrived 4 hours late into Flagstaff this AM, led by a "service loaner" loco courtesy of BNSF.
     
  8. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    While some things change other's do not. As of tonight, it's everything normal....you can finish that if you want to. Running over two and three hours late. Out of LAUPT #4 appears to be on time.

    Well, this has been fun and I've appreciated everyone's responses here.

    We aren't going to be able to change anything.

    Thinking it's time to shut this down. Unless you guys and gals want to keep it going.
    It was fun while it lasted.

    BarstowRick Out.
     
  9. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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  10. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Looks like you'll have to pack your own food now, along with your luggage.......o_O:confused:
     
  11. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hmmm. I hope it is not an accounting scheme, to separate the supposedly profitable, from the not...
     
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  13. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's an interesting thought. It seems that Amtrak already uses a mystifying form of accounting where fully allocated costs are recognized when they identify routes they wish to quit, but uses only variable costing when they want to shine the light on halo trains like Acela.
     
  14. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Seems more like a proposal to let the new CEO run the NEC/Acela trains like the airlines against which they compete.
    Then, let someone else run the cross-country trains as a vital transportation link for residents of "fly over territory" and for whom the only alternative would likely be a bus.
     
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  15. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    That will treat long distance first class passengers like dirt. The ex-diner First Class Lounge, experienced last week on the Crescent is a cruel joke. Of the four entrees offered, two might be found in the freezer aisle of a low budget grocery. While the other two should not be offered even from a roadside fast food chain. The only hot breakfast item is a Jimmy Dean Sausage Egg & Cheese Muffin. That name is not my opinion, but what both attendants called it.
     
  16. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Wouldn't be surprised to see Amtrak cross-country service reduced to coach only class.
    Or, maybe section type sleeping accommodations will make return.

    If you watch the railcam at the La Plata MO station, you'll periodically see hoards of students from Trumanm State U. in nearby Kirksville MO using the train. The trip, for example, between Chicago and Kirksville via the Southwest Chief takes about five hours and is scheduled during daytime/early evening hours. By comparison, the same trip on Greyhound would be a 12-20 hour overnight jaunt on a roundabout route via St. Louis. How would that fly, so to speak, if the Southwest Chief was discontinued, as some have rumored?
     
  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    They might need to accommodate increased vehicle parking, on or near campus. I have a hunch more folks would opt drive that commute.
     
  18. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Exactly the first step I proposed.

    Step two: Hand the NEC over to the eight states it serves, because they are eight of the ten or twelve richest states in the union per capita and don't need poor states to subsidize their trains the way we do now.

    Step three: Privatize the trains on private rails.

    Otherwise known as how to cure us of Anthrax.

    Definitely close enough for government work.
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I still fail to comprehend any way a private operation will be able to take over, and operate upon non-owned rails, doing any better. What clout would they have, to keep their hosts 'in line', so to speak? The freight operators do not want these pests in their way. Before anything could even happen, there would need to be iron clad, loophole free agreements in place. And regulatory power with heavy hands established. I cannot foresee these two steps coming to fruition.
     
  20. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    The 1971 act that created Amtrak imposed fines on host railroads if a train was delayed more than 30 minutes. Unfortunately those fines were defined in 1971 dollars. Today, with inflation, they have become minor costs added to a railroad's annual overhead budget. :mad:
     

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