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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, April 30, 2014

Life Under Section 209: Operations

Equal Operator Model
Amtrak operates part of an existing corridor but other companies run trains on a corridor’s extension.

How It Could Work: Amtrak runs the first leg of the Southeast High Speed Rail route and the Piedmont Corridor but Veolia operates the Charlotte-Atlanta and Atlanta-Jacksonville legs of SEHSR while Herzog runs the Raleigh-Jacksonville route.

Amtrak Dominant Model
Amtrak operates an entire high speed route or existing corridor while other short distance routes are handed off to private operators.

How It Could Work: Amtrak runs the entire SEHSR system while the Piedmont is handed off to the North Carolina Railroad. The Southeastern states turn to AIPRO members for non-corridor service.

The state DOT contracts passenger service to the railroads that own infrastructure. This is more likely to work with regional and shortline operators than with the Class I railroads.

How It Could Work: The state of Maine contracts out new passenger services to the various Class II and III railroads rather than to any passenger operator.

Amtrak Recessive Model
No one operator would have a majority of routes in a particular region but Amtrak's share would be less than 50%.

How It Could Work: After a brutal bidding process in California, Amtrak is left with only the Pacific Surfliners while Keolis runs the Capitols, Herzog wins the San Joaquins contract, and foreign operators run high speed rail routes.

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