Freight Rail News and Happenings

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby VacantLuxuries » March 30th, 2018, 9:09 am

Let them pony up and build new railroads if they want to play J.J. Hill so bad. I don't feel bad for millionaires that no longer get to take advantage of Amtrak.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » April 2nd, 2018, 8:41 am

I don't think a Wall Street Journal article is representative of the use of private varnish on the Amtrak system. Excursions are a much bigger use.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby mulad » April 2nd, 2018, 10:10 am

I don't know the breakdown between private car owners using these themselves vs. either renting them out to others or having heritage preservation organizations that operate private cars for more public benefit, but I think it's a mistake to cut the service so deeply. This is threatening the 261 group's planned trip to Duluth and back on June 9th & 10th, which will/would carry hundreds of people. I think the heritage preservation side of this issue outweighs the fully-private side, so I suggest that folks sign this petition to restore the program: ... -movements

One of the issues here is that Amtrak is such a tiny organization, relatively speaking -- 31.7 million passengers last year compared to 4.7 billion passengers on Deutsche Bahn (Germany's national rail network), for instance. A small number of heritage equipment owners will cause a lot more headaches for an undersized railroad. That means Amtrak should get bigger, not that they should cut services like this.

Amtrak has always been in need of a lot more funding (double or more of what it currently gets per year) over a sustained period of time (a decade or more) to really get on its feet. At least they've managed to hold the line on funding and service reach/frequency, unlike the Canadian VIA Rail system, which has shrunk a lot over the years. By cutting this, I think Amtrak alienates a lot of their best supporters, including many who are well-connected.

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