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Author Topic: Aviation Fans Talk AmtrakCascades
Vincent206
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Over at a popular aviation forum there's an on-going discussion regarding AmtrakCascades service between Seattle and Portland. A number of posters have detailed their travel experiences--positive and negative. There are a few train haters: "Oh my God, I did that one time SEA-PDX on the train. I looked out the window, and the school busses were going twice as fast as the train." writes ridgid727. A few posters talk about how the service works into their business plans and the value added features of train travel (mobility, food, views). Nobody has yet mentioned the greater opportunity to working productively while riding the train.

Personally, I'm patiently waiting for 2017 and the completion of the rail infrastructure improvements that will bring 2 more roundtrips and a faster trip time. Driving to Portland has become an ordeal that can take up to 5 hours when the weather is bad. And when the weather is good, there are usually enough construction projects scheduled that those trips can also take up to 5 hours. So, in either case, driving to Portland can be exasperating. And then I have to make the trip back.

Several times in the thread it has been mentioned that Amtrak is subsidized, but (so far) no one has pointed out that highway travel is also heavily subsidized and that driving to Portland also requires milking a large government subsidy. If AmtrakCascades trains can reliably provide a 3:15 trip time between King Street Station and Portland Union Station, I think train ridership will grow rapidly. Same day business trips will still be challenging (6.5 hours on the train); but compared to driving, I would still prefer the train.

Posts: 831 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
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A week ago today I was attempting to drive from Salisbury to Charlotte, NC. The interstate was clogged, the main secondary route was clogged.... a 45 mile trip took longer than two hours. Had the last northbound Piedmont not already departed, I believe I would have taken the train instead.
Posts: 4203 | From: Western North Carolina | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
palmland
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Last weekend would have been the 611 trips at Spencer. Did you get to see or ride it?

I wish all states had Piedmont like service. They really have their act together.

And I suppose it's fitting that the museum has a Piedmont DC-9 at the museum. It was one of my favorite airlines before Agony wiped them out.

Posts: 2394 | From: Camden, SC | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
notelvis
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I rode the 611 trips in 'steerage' both days Palmland. Steerage being one of several coaches NS restored for the 21st Century Steam trips using commuter bus seats instead of regular coach seats.

The trips were fun but we managed to lose a couple of hours off the schedule each day and those seats became mighty uncomfortable aftr the first four hours. If we see such trips again I will probably just chase.

--------------------
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
George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by palmland:
I wish all states had Piedmont like service. They really have their act together.

They are able to do this because the state owns the railroad, and the start of the service was part of the lease renewal negotiations due to expiration of the original 99 year lease of the North Carolina Railroad to Southern Railway and predecessors.
Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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