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With a new administration in D.C., it's time to think outside of the box because passenger rail's survival just may depend on it

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Even more random thoughts


  1. According to the 1970 law that created it, Amtrak was forced to consolidate Chicago service into Union Station when it began operations on May 1, 1971. It took the operator 10 months to complete the process. Meanwhile, Amtrak had to maintain both Penn Station and GCT for two decades in New York until the Empire Connection was finished.
  2. A year and half ago, city officials in Raleigh were talking about building a new Union Station to consolidate Amtrak, Greyhound, light rail, commuter rail and regional bus services under one roof. More recently, city leaders have drastically scaled back plans for a new station in NC's capital city. While it is a big step down from last year's grand concept, it's more financially feasible. Plans to develop a "second downtown" in northeast Raleigh have been in the books for a decade. That plan is centered around a mall and shopping center and will take decades to come to fruition. A commuter rail station is planned near the area. The aha moment would be for future city planners to build two stations in Raleigh. The downtown station will be for Amtrak, SEHSR service, and local/regional transit while the northeastern station could serve as the home for SEHSR service to Jacksonville, non-Amtrak intercity service to the Midwest (the operator would allow passengers to transfer to/from SEHSR trains to Charlotte at the downtown location), and commuter trains.
  3. The Hamburg-Cologne Express has been delayed until the end of the year even though it recently revealed a mock-up of a car.
  4. Just as how big cities are the focus of corridor routes, a movement is needed to make small cities and towns the focus of transcontinental and various overnight routes.

2 comments:

  1. How do you think that we would do #4? People who live in small towns are heavy users of rail when it is available, but politically small towns are often confused with the suburbs of big cities. How do we help those communities speak for themselves?

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  2. These smaller communities could get the rail advocacy groups to rally around the idea of "long distance corridors," which would gradually see more long-distance trains serving these areas (http://myrailmusings.blogspot.com/2011/04/rational-passenger-rail-policy-before.html). Then, they should do what some people along the Pioneer route have done (http://www.pioneertrain.com/index.htm) by openly promoting a route, except that unlike the Pioneer, it'd be existing routes getting an enormous amount of promotion.

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