General Amtrak Discussion

Transportation topics in KC
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FangKC
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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by FangKC »

We need to stop thinking in terms of bringing high-speed rail linking the entire country across vast states. Instead, we should look at cities, and regional economies, since they are the largest generators of GDP and jobs. The approach should look to link urban centers to each other where it would be appropriate because of economic activity.

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beautyfromashes
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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by beautyfromashes »

KC and St. Louis?

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by flyingember »

FangKC wrote:We need to stop thinking in terms of bringing high-speed rail linking the entire country across vast states. Instead, we should look at cities, and regional economies, since they are the largest generators of GDP and jobs. The approach should look to link urban centers to each other where it would be appropriate because of economic activity.
a large part of our regional economy is long-distance transport (rail, trucking).

So wouldn't long distance links be what we would need for KC?

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by bobbyhawks »

beautyfromashes wrote:KC and St. Louis?
I just think this is such a naturally great idea for a state with metros that are spread out like Missouri, but it is ambitious, expensive, and different from what we are used to doing, so nobody is willing to risk being the one proposing truly modern HSR across the state. KC and STL are just a little bit closer together than Tokyo and Kyoto, and the Tokyo to Kyoto bullet train takes around 2.5 hours with multiple stops along the way. A wifi enabled 2 to 2.5 hour train ride would really make KC and STL seem closer together and allow them to exist as a single economic engine. It could also do wonders for Columbia as folks could realistically commute to work in either KC or STL from there. It would cost a lot of money, but Missouri would have a backbone that only a few other states are even considering, and there are a lot of jobs tied to such a massive effort, both in the short term and the long term.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by aknowledgeableperson »

If either KC or StL metro areas had a population of almost 38 million it might make sense.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by bobbyhawks »

aknowledgeableperson wrote:If either KC or StL metro areas had a population of almost 38 million it might make sense.
And if the Shinkansen was a pioneering new technology that had just been built in a dense country lacking in rail options, that comparison would make sense. Tokyo/Kyoto was only used because it is a distance that I was aware of that was similar to KC to STL. There are a lot of equivalent systems in other countries, but it is worth noting that the Japanese first conceived of and built the Shinkansen in the late 1950s and into the early 1960s. The population argument is one certainly worth making, and I agree we have a very different footprint than most nations considering HSR, but I'd hope we are at least capable of catching up to what they were doing in the 80s or 90s.

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normalthings
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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by normalthings »

aknowledgeableperson wrote:If either KC or StL metro areas had a population of almost 38 million it might make sense.
A Train only has to travel 110mph to be considered high speed. This is already being worked on between Chicago and STL over Union Pacific Tracks. Adding KC would be a natural next phase and wouldn't be too expensive either.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by pash »

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Last edited by pash on Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by DaveKCMO »

ldai_phs wrote:
aknowledgeableperson wrote:If either KC or StL metro areas had a population of almost 38 million it might make sense.
A Train only has to travel 110mph to be considered high speed. This is already being worked on between Chicago and STL over Union Pacific Tracks. Adding KC would be a natural next phase and wouldn't be too expensive either.
CHI-STL high speed service was budgeted at $1.1 billion.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by bobbyhawks »

DaveKCMO wrote:
ldai_phs wrote:
aknowledgeableperson wrote:If either KC or StL metro areas had a population of almost 38 million it might make sense.
A Train only has to travel 110mph to be considered high speed. This is already being worked on between Chicago and STL over Union Pacific Tracks. Adding KC would be a natural next phase and wouldn't be too expensive either.
CHI-STL high speed service was budgeted at $1.1 billion.
Perhaps we can coerce some Missouri-roots conservative with gobs of money into building such a connector through reverse psychology. Maybe have the Dems offer up bogus bills with no chance of passing that would prevent a private railroad or privately operated rail service from connecting STL and KC (it would fit right in with other bills designed to protect things that don't need protecting). I mean, one of the main characters in Atlas Shrugged could do it; how come modern libertarians and Randians are such whiny little bitches they can't get something magnificent done without waiting for the government to create the opportunity for them? We can't rely on Elon Musk for everything.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by DaveKCMO »

renovated amtrak interiors should all be complete by may 2018, including the missouri ones (but not the superliners used on the southwest chief). here's what they'll look like:

Image

separately, there's finally a deal for brand NEW equipment. arrival date TBD.

https://www.midwesthsr.org/new-midwest- ... ens-design

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by bobbyhawks »

That looks pretty nice. It's been a few years since I've ridden Amtrak, but do they have wifi on all routes yet? It doesn't look like the Southwest Chief does yet, which just boggles my mind.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by DaveKCMO »

Almost all sleeping cars have Wi-Fi, but not coach. The rest of the “corridor” routes all have it.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by bobbyhawks »

DaveKCMO wrote:Almost all sleeping cars have Wi-Fi, but not coach. The rest of the “corridor” routes all have it.
That is just insane to me. Keeping people occupied via wifi sounds like the #1 way to improve the customer perception of the long, slow hauls through Iowa with no or intermittent cell coverage.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by DaveKCMO »

bobbyhawks wrote:
DaveKCMO wrote:Almost all sleeping cars have Wi-Fi, but not coach. The rest of the “corridor” routes all have it.
That is just insane to me. Keeping people occupied via wifi sounds like the #1 way to improve the customer perception of the long, slow hauls through Iowa with no or intermittent cell coverage.
Amtrak's WiFi system runs on cellular connections.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by WoodDraw »

Yeah, even on the Missouri River runner wifi (cellular) coverage is average at best.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

Wasn’t Amtrack (excuse the pun) on track to turn a profit this year? With the restrictions of air travel, and the large amount of people able to work remotely, I could still see that being possible, what is the likelyhood? I do understand most of their money is made on the NEC, so with less commuting I imagine they can’t make it up on any of the distance routes, even if they did end up turning a profit. Just a thought, but I’m welcome to hear everyone’s insight!
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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by flyingember »

There's signs of what Amtrak can do to become profitable

1. 110mph+ dual track There's a ridership document below but Lincoln Service east of St. Louis 4x the service of the river runner. It was up while the river runner was down.

2. More short distance regional service.

http://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uplo ... ership.pdf

32.5 million riders

47.3% on state sponsored
38.4% in the NEC corridor
13.8% on long haul


NE Regional was #1
Acela #2
Four mainly serving California #3,4,7,9
Two feeding into NYC #5,6
Milaukee to Chicago #8
St Louis to Chicago #10


So how could KC increase ridership?

The idea of rail to KCI of course is way too expensive for the city alone, but imagine if after Union Station the river runner ended in St. Joseph with a stop at the airport.

Extend across the Hannibal bridge and turn towards the airport about Farley with new track and then double back and turn towards St. Joe. There's single track a lot of the distance along the river, but having the row cuts down on the cost of adding service. Expand service to dual track and higher speed like Illinois did. Then increase the frequency of service into rural communities.

In the big picture it's something for everyone, supporting rural communities, connecting to the airport and providing a backbone for the first commuter line.

It would just require getting the state legislature on board. If the whole cooridor from StL to KC can support much higher speeds we all win

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by normalthings »

flyingember wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:04 am

So how could KC increase ridership?
Break the long-distance routes up into sets of regional routes with timing that makes sense. I imagine twice-daily service to Chicago and Denver would be significantly more popular then what we have now.


LA - Chicago becomes: LA - Phoenix, Phoenix - SantaFe and/or Denver, Denver - KC, KC- Chicago.

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Re: General Amtrak Discussion

Post by DaveKCMO »

A twice-daily KC-Chicago train is likely if the Chief is broken up, which was actually proposed before COVID. Pre-COVID I think it was the most productive city pair on the route. Least productive is central Kansas, so that tells you how likely a KC-Denver train will be, since there will be significant startup costs and the states are pursuing different corridors (Kansas is focused on retaining the Chief and getting to OKC/Dallas, while Colorado is focused on the I-25 corridor).

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