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There's a good report in yesterday's WSJ. The FRA wants to spent $120 billion to replace 35 miles of track in Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut in order to take 45 minutes off the Boston-NYC running time. Three and a half billion per mile does make you wonder if there isn't some more economical route.
Gonna miss ya, Uncle Joe. Thanks for your leadership in creating the largest federal capital improvement program for passenger rail in American history.Several days ago, he tweeted: Jan 20, Jill and I will head home to Delaware the same way I have for 44 years: by train. Serving this country has been our greatest honor.
^^ Ok, that makes MUCH more sense; I must have misread the story. However, the article also said that the FRA is getting so much opposition to doing anything in CT that they are focusing on projects south of NYC.
Also essential is a new tunnel alignment on the southwest side of Baltimore that bypasses the Civil War-era tunnels,
Even still, the old alignment can be used for local service?
Trump is cutting subsidies for long haul Amtrak routes.
^I'm sure people reading this stuff have heard this a thousand times since Nov. 8th, but it's worth noting again... elections have consequences! If people are passionate about Amtrak and want to save it, they really need to EDUCATE friends and family (and others) about these issues in depth, and target which pol really is going to help ... and which is going to hurt. I feel that too many people who know better didn't take this election seriously and allow people to perpetuate fallacies like 'voting doesn't matter' and 'both parties are corrupt/the same' and blah-blah-blah... Tell that to Cincinnati folks when Amtrak pulls up its rails there...As we know, passenger train travel was thin enough in America and should be expanded not shrunk. But we have to realize that the resistance to Amtrak, and mass transit for that matter, his little to nothing to do with fiscal responsibility as it does to socio/racial politics pushed by republicans... As we see today, Amtrak is just one of the people-centered government programs republicans are pushing... And once again, let's not just focus on Trump. It's easy to focus our aggressions on him because he's a circus sideshow. But the fact is he's just an example of republicanism run amok. They are hiding behind Trump to do their dirty work. Pence, Ryan, McConnell, ... even smiling John Kasich... Let's not pretend these guys are saints just because they're not Donald Trump.
... There is some good news: at least mass transit at the local level has been catching fire in many cities, particularly in the West, South and Southwest (the so-called Sun Belt), even while transit remains a non-starter in more backward regions like Ohio.
Quote from: clvlndr on March 19, 2017, 10:46:39 AM... There is some good news: at least mass transit at the local level has been catching fire in many cities, particularly in the West, South and Southwest (the so-called Sun Belt), even while transit remains a non-starter in more backward regions like Ohio.Local transit projects have their own issues to deal with, like the TIGER grants program getting canned in this same budget proposal.
Local transit projects have their own issues to deal with, like the TIGER grants program getting canned in this same budget proposal.
Rosy scenario case: Trump has specifically mentioned railways in his infrastructure spending comments. If all the Feds ddo going forward is underwrite some of the massive tunnel and bypass problems, that would constitute a "huge" contribution. Existing and ad-hoc reactionary state-level support could keep a lot of the long distance trains running at a fairly modest additive cost per state.Transportation has been subsidized by every government that we know of since Cyrus the Great. It will continue in some form or other.
And the cost attributed to running the long-distance trains is very high. The Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland-New York/Boston "Lake Shore Limited" carries nearly 400,000 riders per year but costs $30 million more than the revenues generated by the train. That cost includes substantial overhead, terminal costs, general support, etc. How substantial? If the Lake Shore Limited stopped running, it would save Amtrak only $1.6 million per year. The remaining $28.4 million cost would fall on to the remaining state-supported trains and Northeast Corridor trains, making them less financially viable. And that doesn't include the substantial connecting revenue made possible by this and other long-distance trains. That all goes away too.
This says to me that Amtrak is misapplying the non-operating cost burden, perhaps deliberately (creatively?) as an encouragement to state subsidies. I'm much more familiar with airline indirect cost application, but I know you can play those costs like a violin. I'm assuming there's flexibility in RR accounting also.
What's really disappointing to me is Amtrak's failure to schedule more trains that would benefit travelers in the middle of their routes, the Toledo-Buffalo passenger, for example. I've read articles that say Amtrak would lose more money per passenger by adding service to a route - and never understood the rationale. At the same time, I have to say I was amazed by how many people riding the Cardinal were traveling from NY and DC all the way to Chicago; maybe there are no Cincinnati-Charleston passengers.