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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » An Iowa Pacific Super Chief????

   
Author Topic: An Iowa Pacific Super Chief????
Gilbert B Norman
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Ask me, and I wouldn't get too excited, but look what The New York Times reports today:

New York Times

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  • Another provision is aimed at long-distance train routes that have long dragged down Amtrak’s profitability.

    The Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston generates about $300 million in operating profits for Amtrak. But the company loses about $600 million a year on long-distance routes, according to a report by the Brookings Institution.

    A provision in the new bill would allow competitors to operate up to three long-distance lines if the companies can show that it will cost taxpayers less than trains operated by Amtrak. That could be a blessing for Amtrak, which has wanted to shed some long-distance routes but has been blocked by rural states loath to lose train service.

    Amtrak declined to comment on the provision.

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jerome Nicholson
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Well, let's go with this and talk about which three routes, if any, that Amtrak: (A) wouldn't mind shedding
(B) might be better served by IP or some other operator.
I'm thinking the three triweekly trains; Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, and Cardinal.
Or perhaps one daily - the City of New Orleans.

Posts: 470 | From: Richmond VA USA | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
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Maybe Iowa Pacific would be interested in operating a new Gulf Wind...... that being an LD route that Amtrak clearly didn't mind shedding.

--------------------
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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palmland
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GBN, now that is a fun proposition, if highly unlikely to ever happen. But, playing the game-

I looked at Amtrak performance reports Jan. thru August. The big losers (in total dollars -millions, not per passenger mile where the triweekly trains shine):

CZ- $58.9
EB- $53.6
SWC- $51.4
CS- $45.5
(figures are fully allocated but ranking the same for operating loss)

If I was Joe Boardman I would be happy to see this cash drain off the books. But who would be crazy enough to want to take this on, presumably with the help of significant subsidy? As a railfan, it would be fun to see what IP would do but don't think they have the resources to handle it. Who else? How about Mr. Branson who seems to like dabbling in transportation ventures in the U.S. be it rocket to space or customer friendly airlines. So my vote would be Virgin CruiseTrain.

And of the four, I'd pick the EB, CZ and CS. This links the routes at both ends and also has arguably the most marketing potential with their scenic routes.

If this happens, everyone can buy me a steak dinner in Chicago. If I'm wrong, I'll buy the beer.

Posts: 2394 | From: Camden, SC | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TBlack
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I think the significant phrase is:
"if the companies can show that it will cost taxpayers less than trains operated by Amtrak." So, I'm with Gilbert, don't get too excited about this.
Tom

Posts: 506 | From: Maynard, MA, USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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