Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

CSX will aid New York HSR

This comes from the Schenectady Daily Gazette where you can read the enitre story. Obviously, this is big.

A major railroad company has agreed to play an active role in making high-speed rail transportation a reality in New York state, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Wednesday.

Schumer met with Michael Ward, CSX Corp. chief executive officer, on Wednesday in Washington to discuss the state’s new rail master plan and to encourage CSX to be an active partner in the plan.


Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail

Call for better passenger rail advocacy

Jim Cameron, up in Connecticut, relates his recent experience addressing a gathering of the National Association of Railroad Passengers. I could not agree more with his desire to see a more inclusive broad based representation of this essential transportation segment.

I dearly wish I had the financial capacity to work on this full time because we, as advocates of good ground transportation, have been segregated into the slums of public policy with a bunch of pass riding, sentimental, blowhards that reflect nothing of the people on the trains. Amtrak’s customer base includes students, business people (even in the middle of America), minorities, and women with their families.

NOTE: It was too harsh. I apologize sincerely.

Let me add that the current deplorable situation is not NARP’s fault. They, like all the rest of us, have their hands full. I come from a railroad family (GM&O) and I know the difference between history and nostalgia. I recommend you read “Advocacy” above (and I am sure it could use some improvement).

The other main contributor to this endeavor, Logan Nash, is a college age man who is perfectly tuned in to the culture and issues. He gives us a real”edge.” I think an internet community can more easily reach out to people of different age groups and backgrounds and include them in the national discussion. That is what Trains for America is about.

Here is part of what Jim had to say and a link.

Rail advocates must be taken seriously, not seen as eccentric hobbyists. And NARP should do more to really represent all rail passengers, not just “foamers”.

Filed under: Administration, Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

Amtrak equipment repair list: UPDATE complete pdf file

This is a summary of wrecked Amtrak cars that will be returned to service. The remainder are apparently beyond repair (an assumption which will be hard to disprove).

UPDATE: here is the document.

I have read that there are 15 long distance locomotives to be rehabilitated and a new station for Beaumont. If the latter is true, this is a significant commitment to the Sunset route.

Cars to be returned to service for long-distance trains:

Increase capacity and fill-in on long distance service: 1 Superliner
Coach-Bag (31006) @ $1.086m; 2 Superliner I Coach (34040 and 34087) @

Capitol Limited Route (will replace the Diner-Lounge Cars which will go
on the Empire Builder Route): 3 Superliner I Diners (38017, 38026 and
38031)@ $.970m; 1 Superliner II Diner (38049) @ $1.055m.

Auto Train Service: 1 Superliner II Deluxe Sleeper (32501) @ $1.073m.
Expand Empire Builder Route: 5 Superliner I Sleepers (32014, 32040,
32046, 32049 and 32065) @ $1.073m; 1 Superliner II Sleeper (32112) @

Supplement daily shortage on long distance service: 2 Superliner II
Trans Sleepers (39008 and 39023) @ $1.065m.

Lake Shore Limited Route: 1 Viewliner Diner (8400) @ $1.634m.

3 Superliner I Lounges (33003, 33011 and 33016) @ $.378m; 1 Superliner
II Lounge (33036) @ $.512m.

The following Amfleet II Coach Cars will be returned from wreck status
at a total average cost per unit of $.872m: 25007, 25055, 25085 and
25103. These cars will be used in long distance service.

The following Amfleet II Food Service Car will be returned from wreck
status at a cost of $.650m: 28019. This car will be used in single-level
long distance service.

(all other cars being restored are for Northeast/Corridor service)

It has been reported that this inventory represents every item of rolling stock that can be restored. The disappointing news is pretty clear for the Sunset and Pioneer.

This is the result of a deliberate political policy of starvation. Previous administrations have seen Amtrak’s political base and recognize the impossibility of eliminating the service, but refusing to provide any ability to operate has been a very successful strategy. With no equipment, Amtrak is perpetually marginalized, while highway and airline special interests are proteced.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail

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March 2009