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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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby Korh » April 22nd, 2018, 6:21 pm

Had a bit of a discussion with involving railroad crossings involving a certain line and it got me wondering, anyone know how maintenance for railroad crossings are paid for, is it threw MNdot, the railroad company, individual counties, etc.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby FISHMANPET » April 22nd, 2018, 8:06 pm

It's paid for by whoever owns the road that crosses the railroad, the railroad doesn't pay anything. At least that's the case with all the crossings on the freight rail along Hiawatha.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » April 23rd, 2018, 8:25 am

Bloomington and Richfield have been investing in new railroad crossing signals along the High Line Spur owned by Progressive Rail. Some are replacing older signals that probably needed replacement, and others replaced a crossbuck with stop sign. I guess its worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars so people don't have to stop even if a train isn't coming.

Also wasn't funding allocated to grade-separate the Como Avenue/BNSF St. Paul Sub crossing? Seems like that will be very difficult with the surrounding residential. Talmage Avenue in Minneapolis, on the same BNSF line, could be easily grade-separated since its on an elevation and little to no driveways to worry about.

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Re: Freight Rail News and Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » May 4th, 2018, 8:31 am

Friends of the 261 have cancelled their PTC fundraising trip between Minneapolis and Duluth since Amtrak will no longer provide the insurance. They're still planning to make the 261 PTC compliant.

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