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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » New Orleans Public Discussion?

   
Author Topic: New Orleans Public Discussion?
notelvis
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Anyone have a report on what the Amtrak folks had to say in New Orleans today?

--------------------
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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Steve O.
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No, but I'm hoping to get an email soon with the details from the folks with SMART who were in attendance. I wish I could have been there...have word that several Amtrak reps were there including one V.P.

--------------------
Good morning America, how are ya?

44,950 Amtrak rail miles traveled since August 18, 2003.

Posts: 135 | From: Atlanta, GA / New Orleans, LA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve O.
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Here is some information from the meeting from one of the attendees...


Todd Stennis of Amtrak has spoken with every mayor or city leader along the
Sunset route about these options.

1 - Resume the Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to Orlando. That
is the cheapest method. However, Amtrak confirmed that this
means a tri-weekly schedule with possibly a long wait for a daily
train. There is no correlation between the daily service west of
New Orleans and service east of New Orleans. In other words with
use of option 1 we would have a situation where only three days a
week would people be able to continue on to Orlando with that
option. Daily service east of New Orleans would be a matter for
another decision, and could take some time. No new equipment
needed.

2 - Running the City of New Orleans from Chicago via New Orleans
to Orlando. This route picks up the most potential passengers,
and has the best effect on revenue. Would require a total of two
sets.

3 - Running a brand-new train from New Orleans to Orlando. This
is the most popular option of city leaders along the route
(probably due to most likelihood of on-time performance) , and is
the most expensive option. Service is not definite, but would
not include first class immediately. Would also require a total
of two sets.

He went on to say that any one of the three will require from 2-1/2 years to 3 years in all likelihood - even the return of the transcontinental
tri-weekly Sunset Limited. He said it's not equipment, but training for the crews.

Also of interest was the talk about the SL west of New Orleans. From what was said, it seems like the daily NOL-SAS stub train is pretty close to actually happening, and could happen within six months or sooner. The train would have coaches (with one coach featurning Business class w/ an attendant and amenities) plus a CCC; Connection time in SAS of no more than 90 minutes in either direction; Also, it was said that both East and West of NOL are being worked on by two different teams, but once a final plan for the service East of NOL has been decided upon, schedules would be correlated so that a connection to both trains in NOL would be met.

They are also considering taking the Superliners off the City of New Orleans and replacing them with single-level equipment to free up some Superliners.

--------------------
Good morning America, how are ya?

44,950 Amtrak rail miles traveled since August 18, 2003.

Posts: 135 | From: Atlanta, GA / New Orleans, LA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
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Possibility of LA to Orlando with two changes en-route? No! With tight connections (90 mins at SAS) that's a disaster waiting to happen. No opportunities for bustitution as far as I'm aware. So if they make the next train wait for yours to arrive then the 2nd will be late - and the 3rd, assuming the benefits of delaying outweigh the costs or other considerations.

I don't like the idea of taking Superliners off the CONO - but that's just a personal preference.

One thing that I find curious is why it takes 2.5-3 years to train crews. Presumably that is drivers and conductors more than customer-facing crew? If so, why not consider using the host railroad's crew - something I've often wondered?

Geoff M.

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Geoff M.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Withdrawing Superliners from the 58-59 City of New Orleans would upset the same day continuation in Chicago with the Eagle resulting in one extra Eagle set.

Regarding Mr. Mayo's comments, 2-3 years to qualify Train & Engine crews over a line that formerly handled Amtrak trains - uh....where do we start spinning the yarn. Regarding contracting with CSX to provide passenger Train & Engine crews for a resumed service, first there is the matter of a Labor Agreement between Amtrak and its employees that operate their trains. Secondly, I wonder if CSX even has a Book of Rules regarding passenger train operation.

My take: a resumption of Sunset East service, if it is ever to happen, is not going to be tomorrow or during any time frame that could be considered "near term".

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amtrak92
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I think it is about time to get a train running there again. It would make it easier for people in the south to get to the west coast, because now if we wanted to go, we would have to via Chicago. So it should get some traffic for it.
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notelvis
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Sounds like status quo to be honest.......

Pulling the superliners off the CONO likely means another coach only overnight train. I don't think Amtrak has enough viewliner sleepers available to equip another overnight train. (That's why there are no sleepers Newport News - DC - Boston.)

--------------------
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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DeeCT
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Hmmmmmmm ----

A trip from LAX to ORL ----

Option 1 --- works for me. However, time and day of travel is not a concern for me. I can adjust my other travel and visit plans to a thrice weekly schedule.

Option 2 --- would not be unworkable, even if it means an over night in NOL. Not a bad option since I can certainly find things to do in NOL.

Option 3 --- if it does not include first class would probably make me think long and hard. At my age I still consider coach "do-able" for up to about 18 hours. So it would depend on the timing and dependability of connections.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wonder if there is a connection between Option 2 and the possibility of dropping Superliners and replacing with single level equipment. Is there a reason that Superliners could not be used through to Florida?

One would suspect if Option 2 is the bean counters "best revenue producer" --- it may likely be Amtrak's choice of the 3 options.

Dee

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RRRICH
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Dee - no problem with Superliners in Fla. The Sunset originally ran all the way to Miami, with Superliners. I think the problem now is availability of the equipment.
Posts: 2427 | From: Grayling, MI | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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