RailForum.com
TrainWeb.com

RAILforum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Pioneer Route Coming Back?

   
Author Topic: Pioneer Route Coming Back?
DesertSpirit
Junior Member
Member # 3848

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for DesertSpirit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Pioneer Route


quote:
An Amtrak appropriations bill winding its way through Congress includes a study to look at restoring the Pioneer Route, which used to stop in Hood River and The Dalles.
quote:
While it (SB294) focuses primarily on appropriations for the rail system, it also includes a section that would have an independent auditor look at the addition of intercity passenger routes.

If the bill were to pass, the provision calls for within one year having a one-time evaluation of rail service between Seattle and Chicago along two separate routes — the Pioneer and the North Coast Hiawatha. The Hiawatha runs through southern Montana and was shut down in 1979.

If this bill somehow does pass, what do you think of the Pioneers chances for revival are?
Posts: 30 | From: Colorado | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bob from MA
Full Member
Member # 4686

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bob from MA     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was fortunate to ride the Pioneer route back in the summer of 1993 when it was in service. My wife and I detrained at Rock Springs, WYO and rented a car there. We visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the Gros Ventre landslide site, the Wind River and Green River Valleys, South Pass on the Oregon Trail and the Flaming Gorge area. We continued then on the train through Idaho, the Blue Mountains of Oregon and enjoyed the views along the SOUTH side of the Columbia Gorge (the Empire Builder Portland section runs along the north shore).

I don't know what the chances are of reviving this route, but it would make several tourist sites more accessible by train than they are currently.

Posts: 127 | From: Worcester, Massachusetts | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
Full Member
Member # 2077

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for George Harris     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nothing to get excited about. It does not call for restoration of the route or provide any funds to do so. It only asks that the line be STUDIED

This means that some outfit will be given a contract to or some relatively junior person in Amtrak will be assigned to do some research and write a report.

They will gather up some population figures for points on the way, get the relevant UP employee timetables, churn out somewhere between 20 and 100 pages that will get a couple of copies printed and appear on several web sites.

Much ado signifying nothing. We have enough rail service studies done in this country over the last couple of decades to deforest the country if they were all printed, and for the most part, NOTHING has happened.

Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraksupporter
Full Member
Member # 5619

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraksupporter     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
George Harris said:

We have enough rail service studies done in this country over the last couple of decades to deforest the country if they were all printed


That is certainly the truth.

But, with gas at $3 a gallon and unlikely to come down, I get a sense that the natives are restless and stiring.

Things could be changing. I think the Pioneer has to be at the top of needed long distance runs.

Posts: 82 | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tarheelman
Full Member
Member # 6095

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for tarheelman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Since one of the Senators from Idaho wants to see service restored on the 'Pioneer' route, this study might actually lead to a restoration of service if the following four conditions are met:

1. The Senator in question has a lot of seniority

2. The study indicates that there is sufficient demand for a restoration of this route

3. The study's estimate of the cost to restore service is accurate and shows that the cost isn't prohibitive

4. The freight railroad whose track this route uses doesn't object to a restoration of passenger service

Posts: 100 | From: Kernersville, NC | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mr. Toy
Full Member
Member # 311

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mr. Toy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If an Idaho senator is interested, that makes two. The provision was originally put in an earlier version of the bill by senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. Oregon DOT has also been interested in reviving the Pioneer, so its not strictly a political move. Even Alex Kummant has indicated he'd like to look at it. At least the matter will get a hearing. That's all one can ask for at this point.

If it were revived, I'd make good use of it. I have relatives in Denver, Boise, and the Pacific Northwest. The Pioneer would tie us all together in a neat triangle of Amtrak routes.

Posts: 2649 | From: California's Monterey Peninsula | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
palmland
Full Member
Member # 4344

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for palmland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This route would also let Amtrak offer seasonal thruway bus service to Yellowstone (and Tetons) from Pocatello - about 180 miles. Yellowstone NP has restored its own 1930's era touring buses that could make connection to the various hotels. This is one national park that deserves rail access.

The UP of course had their own service to West Yellowstone from Salt Lake and Pocatello on the Yellowstone Special. I believe AOE/GL may still use that route??

Posts: 2394 | From: Camden, SC | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
gp35
Full Member
Member # 3971

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for gp35     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No new routes until a coach builder is found...
Posts: 562 | From: Beaumont Texas | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
Full Member
Member # 3071

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for notelvis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by gp35:
No new routes until a coach builder is found...

Or until something is done to overturn the 'No new routes' provision in the 2002 emergency funding package.

--------------------
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.

Posts: 4203 | From: Western North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
tarheelman
Full Member
Member # 6095

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for tarheelman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by notelvis:
quote:
Originally posted by gp35:
No new routes until a coach builder is found...

Or until something is done to overturn the 'No new routes' provision in the 2002 emergency funding package.
David, rest assured: If either of the two Senators who want to see 'Pioneer' service restored has a lot of seniority, then this provision will be overturned. (To put it another way, what powerful members of Congress want, powerful members of Congress *get*.)

As for new coaches, Alex Kummant has proposed forming a buying group with various state DOTs and the NJ Transit Authority. The purpose of this buying group would be to make bulk purchases of passenger rolling stock, thereby lowering the cost per unit enough to make replacing the aging rolling stock affordable. Let's hope that this proposal sees the light of day.....

Posts: 100 | From: Kernersville, NC | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr williams
Full Member
Member # 1928

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for mr williams     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Presumably, any return would only be on a Salt Lake City - Portland basis (or a stub train SLC - Boise) with either the entire consist or through carriages connected to/from the Zephyr at SLC and running through Colorado to Denver (I couldn't imagine the Wyoming route being up for discussion).

The problem would be timings - IIRC the CZ has historically passed through SLC in the small hours of the morning in recent years - anybody remember what time the CZ connected with the Pioneer and Desert Wind pre-1997?

And IIARC, wasn't there some convuluted timetable at some point where the Empire Builder only ran four days a week, the Pioneer being the Chicago - Seattle link the other three? Let's hope that if the Pioneer does come back it would not be at the expense of daily service on the EB!

Posts: 394 | From: england | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
Full Member
Member # 153

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Geoff Mayo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've got a 1995 timetable at home somewhere, but IIRC the timings for the Zephyr haven't changed significantly over the years.

I don't know about the EB but the Pioneer did at one point alternate with the Desert Wind, such that 3 days of the week the CZ would run with through cars for the Desert Wind and the remaining days it would run with through cars for the Pioneer instead (3 and 4 might be the wrong way around).

Also, IIRC, the Pioneer has split from the CZ at SLC in some years, but split at Denver in other years with a bus link from SLC.

Is there such an issue with the Wyoming route? CZs have run through that way on a regular basis for several years now whilst trackwork has been taking place on the Moffatt route. I know the line is busy though.

Geoff M.

--------------------
Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
train lady
Full Member
Member # 3920

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for train lady     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
WE took the Pioneer to Seattle in 1991. Our car was part of the Zephyr until SLC. I looked through my "stash" of route guides, ticket stubs etal but couldn't find that time table. The route guide however combines the Zephyr, the Desert Wind, and the Pioneer. I do remember getting into SlC around midnight (going west) and being there for some time while they put the pioneer together on one track and the Desert Wind on another. Also there were 2 diners.
Posts: 1577 | From: virginia | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
Full Member
Member # 3071

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for notelvis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by tarheelman:
quote:
Originally posted by notelvis:
quote:
Originally posted by gp35:
No new routes until a coach builder is found...

Or until something is done to overturn the 'No new routes' provision in the 2002 emergency funding package.
David, rest assured: If either of the two Senators who want to see 'Pioneer' service restored has a lot of seniority, then this provision will be overturned. (To put it another way, what powerful members of Congress want, powerful members of Congress *get*.)

As for new coaches, Alex Kummant has proposed forming a buying group with various state DOTs and the NJ Transit Authority. The purpose of this buying group would be to make bulk purchases of passenger rolling stock, thereby lowering the cost per unit enough to make replacing the aging rolling stock affordable. Let's hope that this proposal sees the light of day.....

I don't disagree with you at all - just noting that there would be that one other detail.

Personally, I hope that the 'no new routes' provision gets deep-sixed for good.

Posts: 4203 | From: Western North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
Full Member
Member # 1541

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gilbert B Norman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Be assured, observing the "Everywhere West", or #5-25-35 passing 18.34 circa 1985 was an eyeopener. There were at least eleven Superliners and several MHC's (#13XX Box Reefers - now all retired) - more Superliners during peak travel.

Oh and "Everywhere West"? that is a parody of sorts on the "City of Everywhere' - the UP behemoth that ran last on A-Day Eve. After all, Everywhere...W was the CB&Q's slogan.

Posts: 9390 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
delvyrails
Full Member
Member # 4205

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for delvyrails     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Although a revived Salt Lake-Portland Pioneer would hardly be the optimal priority for an Amtrak route restoration, its equipment could be obtained by refurbishing some of those stored Amfleet cars. Amtrak could even install a few roomette modules as they did with the Shenandoah cars.
Posts: 137 | From: Willow Grove, PA | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
Full Member
Member # 2077

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for George Harris     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by tarheelman:
4. The freight railroad whose track this route uses doesn't object to a restoration of passenger service

The freight railroad involved is Union Pacific.
Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mr. Toy
Full Member
Member # 311

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mr. Toy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I thought the "no new routes" provision was limited to three years.
------------
Later that same day...
I searched for some reference to this, and found a NARP Hotline fromm June 29, 2003. It made reference to a prohibition on using Amtrak money to study or operate new routes through FY 2003. No permanent ban on new routes is mentioned.

Posts: 2649 | From: California's Monterey Peninsula | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DesertSpirit
Junior Member
Member # 3848

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for DesertSpirit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So basically all this means is someone will take a look at it, but it won't get evaluated seriously?
Posts: 30 | From: Colorado | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
Full Member
Member # 2077

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for George Harris     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DesertSpirit:
So basically all this means is someone will take a look at it, but it won't get evaluated seriously?

Most likely something like that. Now, if the guy "earmarked" a few million dollars for equipment and station work that would be different. As government actions go, having studies done is like deciding to get a cup of coffee.
Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
UP owns the track. We all know what UP stand for: UP yours (towards Amtrak).

This is like a parent telling a child 'We'll See' when ultimately the parent has no intention of saying yes.

Equipment seems so sparse, I'm surprised they can keep any of the LD (Superliner) trains running daily out west...and the Superliner equipment that is in service...some of them seem to be in very poor repair.

Also, as long as we have an administration and congress that pander to the airline industry, Amtrak will continue to have to beg on the steps of the Capitol.

Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PullmanCo
Full Member
Member # 1138

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PullmanCo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mr Amtraxmaniac:

Money talks. UP is required to carry Amtrak, but both the incentive and penalty clauses appear to be so weak that it's a "so what?"

Amtrak uses its hole card of mandatory good faith negotiations with the investor-owned railroads. Were Amtrak to have the same kind of $$$ that UPS or COS bring to a container stack, you'd bet UP would haul timely.

Mr Norman: Is it safe to say the UP/SP merger should no longer be considered a barrier to velocity on the UP system?

Posts: 1392 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
train lady
Full Member
Member # 3920

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for train lady     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I posted this once but it disappeared so I am trying again. I found my 1972 timetable and there was no Pioneer or Desert Wind. The Zephyr didn't go to SLC.If you wanted to go there you went to Denver and then took a "non Amtrak" train to SLC. To get to Vegas you took the
Super Chief, the Chief, or the El Cap.There were 2 trains to Seattle from Chicago. One by way of Havre and the other Billings. There were so many trains. You could go from NO to NY by way of Asheville. Those were the days!!

Posts: 1577 | From: virginia | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RRRICH
Full Member
Member # 1418

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for RRRICH     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Train Lady -- back in 1972, the Santa Fe trains (Super Chief, El Cap) served Las Vegas, New Mexico (as the SWC still does) -- they did not serve Las Vegas, Nevada -- which Las Vegas were you referring to?

And, as we all know, the 1972 "non-AMTRAK train" from Denver to SLC was the old "Rio Grande Zephyr" -- thankfully, the current AMTRAK CZ still follows that route! (most of the time) Back then, the 1972 CZ took the route through Wyoming and stopped at Ogden, not SLC

Posts: 2427 | From: Grayling, MI | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraksupporter
Full Member
Member # 5619

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraksupporter     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
column in Idaho statesman

"Woodward: Waiting for Amtrak? Don't hold your breath; Will Amtrak's Pioneer train be back before we're old enough to be using walkers? It's possible. But don't rule out the walker."

http://www.idahostatesman.com/life/story/359310.html

Posts: 82 | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rresor
Full Member
Member # 128

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted      Profile for rresor     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Both the Pioneer and the Desert Wind were late additions to Amtrak's route system (late 1970s, IIRC), and originally ran as "stub" trains between, respectively, Los Angeles and SLC and Seattle and SLC.

I rode the Desert Wind in 1981, connecting to the "Rio Grande Zephyr" in SLC. At that point, the DW went up to Ogden to make a connection with the SFZ. DW used the UP station in SFZ; RGZ used the DRGW station (they're adjacent).

In 1991, rode the Pioneer from SLC to Seattle. At that time, the SFZ was running via the Rio Grande and there was a three-way split at SLC. This time we left from the DRGW station (which at the time contained a decent Mexican restaurant), following a lot of switching, and ran north to Ogden and points northwest.

In 1993 or so, the Pioneer began to follow the UP route through Wyoming, splitting off the SFZ at Denver. This lasted (IIRC) until the cuts of 1996 did away with both Pioneer and DW.

I wouldn't look for either service to return any time soon.

Posts: 614 | From: Merchantville, NJ. USA | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PullmanCo
Full Member
Member # 1138

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PullmanCo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
From Mr Woodwards column:

quote:

The Senate passed its version of the Amtrak reauthorization bill that would reevaluate our route, but the House is dawdling. The train's return can't happen without full Congressional approval, followed by a feasibility study to measure public support.

"Amtrak doesn't have to start the study until it gets authorization," Crapo spokesman Lindsay Nothern said. "The House hasn't authorized it. I don't know why, but that needs to happen, and then the Senate and the House will need to physically fund it."

Let's see: The Majority in the current Senate is the Democratic Party.

The Majority in the current House is the Democratic Party.

So why's the holdup on this? I thought all Democratic congresscritters were pro-Amtrak.

Posts: 1392 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's not a hot button issue with either party right now. Its not energy or Iraq. LOL. My guess is that it's collecting dust in committee right now. Anyone know what committy the bill has been sent to? That can explain why it's taking so long.
Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
Full Member
Member # 2077

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for George Harris     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by PullmanCo:
From Mr Woodwards column:

quote:

The Senate passed its version of the Amtrak reauthorization bill that would reevaluate our route, but the House is dawdling. The train's return can't happen without full Congressional approval, followed by a feasibility study to measure public support.

"Amtrak doesn't have to start the study until it gets authorization," Crapo spokesman Lindsay Nothern said. "The House hasn't authorized it. I don't know why, but that needs to happen, and then the Senate and the House will need to physically fund it."

Let's see: The Majority in the current Senate is the Democratic Party.

The Majority in the current House is the Democratic Party.

So why's the holdup on this? I thought all Democratic congresscritters were pro-Amtrak.

Remember your history, part of which tells you the thing to do when watching a politician is to turn off the sound and watch the action. The sound is only there to obscure the action. The biggest cuts suffered by Amtrak were under Democratic administrations.

They might be pro NEC, but long distance trains? nope.

Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PullmanCo
Full Member
Member # 1138

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PullmanCo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mr Harris, Sir, you get a gold star for accurately defining how to evaluate a politician [Smile]

Have a great weekend Sir!

--------------------
The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

Posts: 1392 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
amtraxmaniac
Full Member
Member # 2251

Icon 1 posted      Profile for amtraxmaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But how many of those DEMOCRATIC administrations were under a REPUBLICAN congress? (ie; the Clinton Administration)
Posts: 387 | From: Bakersfield, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PullmanCo
Full Member
Member # 1138

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PullmanCo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not the CARTER CUTS. Dem/Dem.

--------------------
The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

Posts: 1392 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Amtrak207
Full Member
Member # 1307

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Amtrak207     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I believe that the "no new routes" provision was dropped sometime in 2006. Unfortunately, the "Federal DOT can withhold your most of your appropriation if they don't think Amtrak is pinching enough pennies" provision is still in effect. Also, Amtrak still doesn't have enough healthy equipment, nor do they have the shop forces to repair or maintain the existing network.
Also, keep in mind that a number of Re-Publican congresspeople have been pro-Amtrak, so it's never an issue defined directly down party lines.
All that is happening with the reauthorization bill is the preliminary work that has to be in place should people start demanding more routes more loudly. As things stand right now, don't hold your breath. In five minutes, you'll pass out, and in five years, you could see different services restarted. Before starting any new routes, enough equipment will have to be refurbished to fill the existing voids, and that probably includes changing the Cardinal back to Superliners, daily. That will free up enough Amfleet IIs to shore up the Palmetto, Lakeshore, and Silver Service, and enough Viewliners to run an overnight sleeper on the NEC again. As I have observed, they have been overhauling a significant number of Amfleet IIs over the past year and a half, and more than just the diner-lytee crap, which they were mostly forced to do. You can see how one route is influenced by another.
So, in order for some kind of serious shape-up maintenance blitz to occur, you not only have to have a one-seat majority in Congress (plenty of swing votes still up in the air there), but you also have to have an entire organization that is more obsessed with running trains (imagine that) than pinching pocket change. This means continued emphasis on plant and equipment and customer service (on which Mr. Kummant appears to be pushing well) beyond just enough to get by, you've got to get ahead of the game, and that takes money. Reauthorization with a commitment has to happen. In 1997, they had both of those, and then the money didn't show up. Beyond that, you need a supportive (or at lest non-idiotic) administration AND a federal DOT head whose repeatedly-stated "solution" is a little more than, "we should build more roads."

Diner Lite is a good example of this. Federal DOT said, "you must demonstrate cost savings in food and beverage or you're not getting the rest of your appropriation this year" which would force a shutdown of the whole railroad as Amtrak went in the red in the beginning of August. With no other choice, Amtrak designed and build the Not-Quite-Diner cars and with the nonmaintained Heritage cars slowly dropping out (can't fix them, that would cost money, so they parked them) they put the Lounge-Hevvye cars on the Lakeshore as a way of saying, "your train doesn't recover enough of its costs through no fault of your own." (Uh, sorry, we'd book more sleeper rooms but you have your crews occupying them now.) If the forces in power decide to change their outlook on the long distance network (pleasepleasepleaseplease!) then the Lounge-Hevvye cars can be assigned to different routes (Cardinal, Adirondack, Palmetto, NightOwlTwilightShorelinerFederalnonexpressWashingtonianExecutiveSleeperColonial, I'm looking at you!) and so on. But for now, you've got these Am II lounges there, not to mention some EXTREMELY dirty Horizon cars working where they're not supposed to. 53509 is BLACK on the outside.
That and the Boston stub of the Lakeshore, thanks to nobody caring about it, could become a little more than an engine, a baggage car, and TWO coaches.
Out west, first you'd have to re-equip the Cardinal even if it would stay triweekly. For that, I'm going to say four trainsets, using an overeconomized dining car, no lounge, two coaches (one a C-B for luggage), and a transition dorm OR full sleeping car. That's sixteen to twenty cars needed out of the shops. Now on to the Pioneer, it would probably be similar. The Pioneers of old never had a baggage car, usually running as an engine, a crew dorm, sleeper, diner or lounge, and two or three coaches. If the train were to run daily, that would involve six trainsets trading places, not including any standby equipment. That's another thirty cars. Since the Grovers are (forced to be) more concerned with day-to-day maintenance and inspections that would take about six months to get the Cardinal back up and about eight months to have enough equipment ready to fire up the Pioneer.
So, for a daily Pioneer restart, that would take about 50 refurbished Superliners. It's kind of funny that 50 is about how many cars are laid up there right now.
Well, you'd need another two dozen lead-capable locomotives too.

Posts: 391 | From: Schenectady | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Home Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2




Copyright © 2007-2016 TrainWeb, Inc. Top of Page|TrainWeb|About Us|Advertise With Us|Contact Us