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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

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Random thoughts #6


  1. Hmm, what does it say about Amtrak’s premier train that passengers would rather use a long-distance train along the southern half of the Northeast Corridor? For starters, the ban on using long-distance trains for local travel between D.C. and NY Penn Station should be lifted. Second, consolidate some of the Northeast Regional trains (none of which offer First Class service) that are sparsely used and move the Amfleet equipment to regions that plan on adding rail service but don’t have new equipment in place.
  2. Perhaps, it was this story that got Amtrak to recognize all of the third party attendants who work at various stations. Prior to the recognition of certain NCDOT run stations between Wilson and Charlotte in the Fall/Winter 2010-11 issue, Amtrak only put a side note below the Carolinian/Piedmont schedule to let the public know that state employees worked there. Now, the carrier distinguishes stations that are run by states or independent volunteers from those stations that are truly unstaffed and unmanned.
  3. A private company in Pittsburgh may run commuter rail in the future. Notice that private railroads once operated commuter trains on their own. NS was an unwilling partner with local government, but AVR is stepping up to the point that it wants minimal government assistance. While every community is different, anything that will reduce startup costs and combats any skepticism from anti-transit forces is a step in the right direction.



1 comment:

  1. The capacity on the corridor was greatly reduced in the mid 1990s with the introduction of the NortheastDirect service. Since then there really aren't underused NEC trains one could raid for off-corridor service. Also, recall that a the consist of a train makes up 2-3 trains a day, so that one cannot simply remove one train, but rather the linked array.

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