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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » pie in the sky?

   
Author Topic: pie in the sky?
train lady
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In this morning's Tennessean there was an article about Bob Clements who is running for mayor of Nashville. He says if elected he will push for Amtrak service to Nashville. Was there ever such service and if so what are the chances of success?
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Gilbert B Norman
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Oh well, another campaign promise!!

From a 'been there done that" experience, in the Wyndham Union Station Hotel at the Concierge desk, there is a carefully scripted Arrivals and Departures chalkboard. If you go to the desk and ask the Concierge on duty, "when is the next train to New York (Chicago, wherever)", the answer is "well, you just missed it - by about thirty years or so".

Another "whens the next train experience" of mine is with a docent at the Ogden UT Depot turned transportation museum. He was dressed in a Conductor's uniform and set up at the desk that was used by the Pullman Conductor to lift tickets prior to boarding. During May 2K, I walked up and said 'Have you a Roomette on the City open to Chicago?" to which the reply was "oh, maybe twenty years ago".

In this case, had one asked 'whens the next train to Chicago", the response would likely been ' well, that would be Amtrak from Salt Lake City; here's their phone number".

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chrisg
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Nashville had Amtrak service with the Floridian
a Chicago to Florida train that went bye bye in the Carter years in office.


Chris

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notelvis
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quote:
Originally posted by chrisg:
Nashville had Amtrak service with the Floridian
a Chicago to Florida train that went bye bye in the Carter years in office.


Chris

Good to see you home safely Chris.....just finished your story on the Summerville trip.

To expand a little, the Floridian was Amtrak's version of the old South Wind, a joint operation by the Pennsylvania, Louisville & Nashville, and Seaboard railroads. It ended in October 1979. I rode this train several times in the 1970's......the last being a roundtrip Louisville to Nashville about five weeks before the last run. Best thing about it was the dome coach.....the schedule took two nights enroute which seemed long at the time but compared to changing in DC like you do now, it wasn't so bad.

It has been popular for politicians to call for it's reinstatement......the first being a junior senator from Tennessee named Al Gore in the early 1980's. Regardless of what happens, bringing it back would be difficult.....the original route between Indianapolis and Louisville is restricted to 35mph and the 'other' route that this train was using at the time of it's demise, the old Monon Railroad, has been abandoned between Bloomington and Bedford, IN. (They do have a mighty fine bike trail there.....so I've heard.)

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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PullmanCo
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So the Floridian was part of the Carter cuts... that also took the Texas Chief (later the Lone Star) off the boards.

Mr Carter is why some of us are utter cynics about the 218+51+1 ... both parties have shown they are "not necessarily" friends of Amtrak.

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George Harris
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Unless Clments has quite a few million dollars to put where his mouth is, forget it. As mayor of Nashville this promise can be no more than hot air, only.

Now, if he were talking about expanding the commuter service into Nashville and happened to be talking about some sort of funding for the track improvements, second mains, etc. needed to do it, then you might have a promise worthy of a little consideration as having some possibility of happening. But this thing? Political hot air only.

George

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Gilbert B Norman
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During November 1977 I had a "bumper to bumper (Tampa)" on The Floridian.

This was probably the "go for broke do or die" fling as it was not possible to be other than impressed with the all Budd consist of two domes, two Sleepers, two Coaches, Diner, Lounge, Dorm, Baggage, and hauled by two SDP-40F's.

On its "one night out" schedule at that time, on time at every stop; little kids waving as we made our way through rural America.

Quite a trip, even if hardly competitive with "drive time'.

But while it seems like there is more of a "lean' at this forum towards the Members being Democrats, Be mindful of Mr. Pullman's thought; many more train miles have come off during Democratic administrations than otherwise - including Mr. Carter's 'breaking' the previously considered "impenetrable" Basic System. While of course owing to increased frequencies in Corridors, there are more train miles, lest we forget there are less route miles than there were on A-Day (losses: National Ltd, Floridian; gains: San Joaquin, Vermonter, Ethan Allen, Adirondack, Columbia River; swaps: Broadway for Lake Shore, Eagle for Texas Ciief).

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palmland
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Hi Train Lady - We spent Sunday night in Nashville and arrived home yesterday. Quite a trip and thanks for all your help.

I believe there was some serious discussion about extending the Kentucky Cardinal to Nashville before that train's demise. I suspect the best option now would be to connect to the Cardinal at Cincinnati and then down through Louisville to Nashville. CSX freight traffic and the unfortunate middle of the night schedule for the Cardinal would be the problem. Not to mention funding. But it was at least good to hear it was on the radar screen for Mr. Clements.

I had the pleasure of riding the Floridian twice, once from Chicago to Nashville and then from Jax to Bowling Green, KY. Good train and good service (but still a distant second to L&N's Pan American). I would love to see the magnificent Nashville station (now a Wyndam as Mr. Norman notes) with train service again.

It was also very strange to see the signs along the interstate for the new commuter train stations east of Nashville. I-40 follows the old Tennessee Central (now Nashville and Eastern RR) most of the way to Knoxville. Hope that service can do well enough to get other routes added. So far ridership has been a little weak.

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RRRICH
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If you compare timetables, there are actually more AMTRAK trains now than there were 5 years ago; however, as previously noted, most of the new service has been in corridors (NEC, Illinois, California, etc.) -- and unfortunately we have also lost some MAJOR links in the "basic" AMTRAK system over the last few years -- you can no longer take one train from Chicago to Boston; you can no longer take one train from Chicago to Kansas City via St. Louis, you can no longer take one train from Chicago to New York via Pittsburgh, you can no longer take a train from Chicago to Toronto, etc. etc. etc.
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train lady
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and don't forget the long lost Desert Wind and Pioneer.
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delvyrails
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"Amtrak service to Nashville". How like a politician. Never mind where it comes from or goes to. Roll in the pork barrel (on rails)!
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RRRICH
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Other lost trains we also need to remember: The National Ltd, the North Coast Hiawatha, the Hilltopper, the Floridian (already mentioned), the River Cities (KCY-NOL via Centralia, IL and Carbondale), the Shenandoah (WAS-CIN via northern WV and Athens and Chillicothe, OH), the North Star (mentioned in a thread a couple weeks ago), the Texas Chief (later reincarnated as the "Lone Star"), the Kentucky Cardinal, the Blackhawk (Chicago to Dubuque), and many others.........
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notelvis
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Here are two that have not been mentioned -

The North Coast Hiawatha - (A Chicago - Seattle train via southern North Dakota and southern Montana. Bismark, Billings, et al.)

The Gulf Breeze - (A short-lived section of the Crescent which offered through coaches New York - Birmingham - Montgomery - Mobile.)

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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HopefulRailUser
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A nice article about Amtrak from MSNBC posted on my MSN home page:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20630319/

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Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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train lady
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Interesting,Vicki. This is the same article I found on Forbes
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