Author Topic: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors  (Read 6174 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« on: October 24, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors



Amtrak officials, now armed with an additional $15 billion in funds, have their eye on enhancing service in Florida.  Does Jacksonville want in on the action?

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/924

jeh1980

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 05:11:32 AM »
I think we should get on it! Why not! :D

JeffreyS

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 09:57:45 AM »
Have we had any local official comment on Amtrak's submission?
Lenny Smash

thelakelander

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 10:13:56 AM »
Not that I'm aware of.  I would say, its probably not a top priority of theirs.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2008, 11:57:12 AM »


This is a corrected map (yes Amtrak had drawn the Carolina lines wrong). The routes added in RED are the ones that I asked the Amtrak representative about. We talked at some length about JAX-ATL and the fact that the route COULD USE the NS direct to Valdosta then up the I-75 corridor. He agreed. The line through
Waldo - Ocala - Lakeland is not off the table, in fact he said he fought to keep it open. All they need is a time slot and those trains come back on. The Sunset route LA-"Sanford" (if you can believe that - Congress is completely out of touch with rail) Will come back as it is mandated, moreover it will probably NOT be the Sunset train but a new daytime train along the lines of the old Gulf Wind, running New Orleans - Sanford.
I got him to say IF JACKSONVILLE had a workable station with yard tracks the train would probably terminate here and it's cars continue south on a NY-Miami, or NY-Tampa train. He said they are looking at the former Florida Chicago routes - I asked about the CITY OF MIAMI route JAX-BIRMINGHAM-MEM-CHIAGO/ST.LOUIS, he said he didn't know of any studies on that route (the traditional heaviest traveled of the group) but he would look into it. Charlotte also came up, and direct connections could be made with ease via NS from Columbia - Charlotte. Fact is, some years back one of the Florida trains underwent a study to move it to the NY- DC - Charlottesville - Charlotte - Columbia - Sav - JAX - Miami line. So I know they have the numbers ready on this one too. Ft. Myers has been added by FDOT and AMTRAK and may go all the way into Naples.

The sad tale is, we are not acting with any plan for anything more then "moving Amtrak" as is to downtown. We somehow have not got it in our collective heads that this giant is ours to OWN. All we need is track and platforms. But like Congress says, they could just take them ALL to Sanford.


OCKLAWAHA

JeffreyS

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2008, 04:02:50 PM »
I need a good run to St. Louis.
Lenny Smash

WeeklyJoe

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2008, 04:40:58 AM »
The quality and timeliness of your good run to St. Louis would depend on the route out of Jacksonville, correct?

If you're now ready to travel by train from JAX to STL, be prepared to involve WAS and CHI as places to enjoy the travel experience. Too bad we can't begin this rail excursion with a JAX-ATL segment, then sleep along the way to STL.

thelakelander

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2008, 08:30:40 AM »
This article highlights why things never get done.

Amtrak weighs return of direct route to Miami

Quote
"Amtrak thinks the corridor between Jacksonville and Miami is very viable," McArthur said. "The Southeast is one of the most underserved regions in the country when it comes to rail, and Amtrak wants to change that situation."

The federal government recently authorized a new bill that will give Amtrak $15 billion over five years. Increased interest in rail has led Amtrak to consider expanding services.

The rail company set a record for number of riders in 2007 with 25.8 million.

A Miami-Jacksonville route would require a partnership among Amtrak, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida East Coast Railway. It also would require millions of dollars, although the cost is unknown.

Officials with Amtrak and the transportation department both expressed interest in the project but said the other government entity would have to take the lead to get the project done.

While Amtrak wants to pursue this route, it won't do it unless the state supports it and partners with Amtrak by putting state funds into the route.

Florida hasn't done that yet, McArthur said.

Nazih Haddad, manager for passenger rail development at the Florida Department of Transportation, said the state remains interested in rail service on Florida East Coast lines, but there has been no recent discussion on the issue.

full article: http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/102508/met_348092075.shtml

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The improvements needed for Amtrak's service are the same we would need for commuter rail down that stretch of track.  Here is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and have Amtrak (with their $15 billion stash) fund a portion of the costs we'll end up claiming we have no money for. 

How hard is it to pick up the phone and make contact with each other?  How hard is it to identify the number needed to return service to this corridor?  We get creative when it comes to funding a couple billion for something like the Outer Beltway, but we forget how to talk and read when it comes to rail.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 08:33:35 AM by thelakelander »
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JeffreyS

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2008, 08:48:10 AM »
We just can't pass this chance to piggyback Amtrak's expansion money.
Lenny Smash

Coolyfett

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2008, 02:32:07 PM »
The Jax-Atl & Jax-NOLA too me are the lines that need to run. Atlanta has nothing going north, at less not as vertical as StL, Chi & Det. It sux how they run it.
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2008, 06:03:43 PM »
One of the common complaints about Amtrak is their on-time performance.  First, is it true? 
If it is, their use for commuter rail seems problematic.  Or is their on-time performance better in commuter operations?

9a is my backyard

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2008, 06:12:52 PM »
How hard is it to pick up the phone and make contact with each other?  How hard is it to identify the number needed to return service to this corridor?  We get creative when it comes to funding a couple billion for something like the Outer Beltway, but we forget how to talk and read when it comes to rail.

EXACTLY.  We're far too car-centric in Florida.

On a related note, I heard JTA just recently hired a permanent transportation engineer instead of just constantly hiring consultants to do the work.  While this is no guarantee for positive change, at least we have someone we can go voice our concerns to directly and hope for some consistency.

thelakelander

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2008, 06:27:32 PM »
One of the common complaints about Amtrak is their on-time performance.  First, is it true? 
If it is, their use for commuter rail seems problematic.  Or is their on-time performance better in commuter operations?

This is where the extra $15 billion over five years is supposed to help.  The extra funding will allow Amtrak to help increase track capacity conditions to run a better overall service.  However, the corridor services do not appear to have the same on-time performance issues as the long distance trains.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 06:35:05 PM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Charles Hunter

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2008, 06:32:47 PM »
ah ... good news

lobosolo

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Re: Amtrak: Expanding Intercity Corridors
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2008, 08:10:32 PM »
First - reestablish the New Orleans-Jacksonville segment.

Atlanta would be a good route if it continued to Birmingham, AL; Memphis, TN; and Little Rock, AR. That would connect it with two more Amtrak lines and give better access to FL from other states that are currently cut off by the missing segment or have no access.