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Fri Mar 25, 2016, 02:28 AM

Amtrak passenger service on track for rail service across Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Orlando

Read more: http://democratsforever.freeforums.net/thread/5803/amtrak-passenger-service-track-rail

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Reply Amtrak passenger service on track for rail service across Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Orlando (Original post)
TexasTowelie Mar 2016 OP
Lorien Mar 2016 #1
Trailrider1951 Mar 2016 #5
DawgHouse Mar 2016 #11
TexasMommaWithAHat Mar 2016 #6
Trailrider1951 Mar 2016 #8
TexasMommaWithAHat Mar 2016 #10
Trailrider1951 Mar 2016 #12
OriginalGeek Mar 2016 #9
Eleanors38 Mar 2016 #2
KamaAina Mar 2016 #3
Trailrider1951 Mar 2016 #4
csziggy Mar 2016 #7

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 02:33 AM

1. I'm in Orlando and I'd love to go to New Orleans by rail

but it's usually more expensive than flying.

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Response to Lorien (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:02 PM

5. You're right, I just checked, Orlando to New Orleans

Lowest One-Way Adult Fare, for July 19, 2016 (random date):

Southwest Airlines, Coach Class: $152

Amtrak, Coach Class: $193.50

The airplane gets you there quicker and is less expensive right now, but flying is a royal pain in the ass. Today, taking the train requires that you travel north to Raleigh, NC on the Silver Star, change trains, travel to Charlotte, NC on the Carolinian, change trains, and catch the southbound Crescent to New Orleans. However, with the reinstatement of direct train service on the Sunset Limited, the fare (based on mileage and other factors) should drop and it will take much less time. Also, the train is more fun and more scenic.

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Response to Trailrider1951 (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:58 PM

11. You should also check flying out of Sanford to NOLA

Very inexpensive, less than SWA departing OIA.

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Response to Lorien (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:17 PM

6. Yeah, why pay more to go by rail esp. factoring in the time?

I loved traveling by rail in Europe where cities are closer together "and" cities have good public transportation and are very pedestrian friendly.

Unfortunately, rail doesn't make a lot of sense in some parts of this country. I'm totally against the rail planned between Houston and Dallas. Imo, it's huge money pit that the taxpayer is going to get stuck paying for.

Both cities are LARGE and SPRAWLING and have absolutely lousy public transportation. How much time am I going to save if I have to drive to the rail station, park, get on the train, get off and then rent a car? An hour? I'd just as soon drive! It's just not worth it to the average traveller, but contractors are going to get rich building the damn thing!

Oh, and did I mention how freaking hot it is over here several months of the year? No one walks anywhere if they have any choice!

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Response to TexasMommaWithAHat (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:50 PM

8. Actually, there used to be Amtrak train service between Houston and Dallas

It connected up with the train that goes north from San Antonio to Chicago. I rode it back in 1987 or 1988. Now that leg of service is provided by Houston to San Antonio to Dallas by train, or Houston to Longview by chartered bus and then Longview to Dallas by train. I'm your neighbor over here in the Redneck Outback northeast of Austin. I lived in Houston for many years, so I know how freakin hot it gets in August.

I guess I'm spoiled. I can catch the train in Taylor at 10:30 am on a Friday and arrive in Dallas at 3:30 pm for a weekend visit with my sister. Return trip on Sunday at 11:30 am, and arrive back in Taylor at 5:30 pm. Cost for coach class with my senior discount is $40, round trip, and parking is free. If I were to fly, I would have to drive about 60 miles to Austin-Bergstrom airport and pay for parking. And the trip would cost much more than $40. I could drive, but the last time I drove that stretch of I-35, it was big ass trucks, bumper to bumper traffic and construction everywhere. No thanks. To each his own, I guess.

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Response to Trailrider1951 (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:55 PM

10. College kids (including my own) take the Mega Bus

I LOVE Austin, and would like to retire there, but we might be priced out of a house by the time we're ready. (Of course, I think everyone I know wants to retire in Austin. LOL)

And it depends where my kids finally settle.

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Response to TexasMommaWithAHat (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 05:04 PM

12. The affordable way to retire in Austin

is to retire NEAR Austin, LOL. Real estate is much more affordable in the small communities around Austin. That's why I live in the Redneck Outback!

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Response to Lorien (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:53 PM

9. I'm in Orlando too

and my wife and I were thinking about a trip up north a few years back and we wanted to take a train adventure so she called up Amtrak and talked to the lady about different things including prices and amenities and what-not.

Then my wife asked "What about wrecks? I seem to hear about train wrecks fairly often..." and the lady says "Oh we hardly ever have wrecks...we only average one a week...."

!? We flew.


but to be fair, my aunt and uncle, who live in Venice, drove up to Sanford and caught the auto-train that took them and their car up to DC and had a wonderful, wreck-free trip. They drove back. But it was mighty spendy.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 03:09 PM

2. 2 big destination points, makes sense.

 

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 03:15 PM

3. And only eleven years after Katrina!

 

Wow! My head is spinning!

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 03:33 PM

4. Blame the stupid republicans in congress

As with all social services, they starve Amtrak of funding and then whine, "It doesn't work". They've wanted to kill Amtrak since it's inception in the 1970's. They also say, "Nobody rides the train anymore!". Nobody, but me and 31 million* of my closest friends.

*2013 figures. https://www.narprail.org/our-issues/ridership-statistics/

I hope they do re-instate that route. Then I can take the train to visit my brother in Clearwater!

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 25, 2016, 04:24 PM

7. Service from New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida stopped before Katrina

The Sunset Limited used to connect to the Gulf Wind and go from Jacksonville to Los Angeles. The entire route was called the Sunset Limited.

In 1993 a barge hit a train bridge and caused an Amtrak train to fall into the water -
1993 Big Bayou Canot train wreck
The 1993 Big Bayou Canot train wreck was the derailing of an Amtrak train on the CSXT Big Bayou Canot bridge in northeastern Mobile, Alabama, United States, on September 22, 1993. It was caused by displacement of a span and deformation of the rails when a tow of heavy barges had collided with the bridge eight minutes earlier. Casualties were 47 killed and 103 injured.[1] To date, it is both the deadliest train wreck in Amtrak's history and the worst rail disaster in the United States since the 1958 Newark Bay, New Jersey rail accident in which 48 lives were lost.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Big_Bayou_Canot_train_wreck


Service from Mobile to Jacksonville was stopped and had not been re-established on a regular basis prior to Katrina. The timing was bad - the route through to Jacksonville has just been restored:
Meanwhile, on April 4, 1993, the entire New Orleans—Jacksonville route reestablished passenger train service with the extension of the Sunset Limited to Miami, using the route of Amtrak's Silver Meteor south of Jacksonville.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunset_Limited#Amtrak


I had been planning to take a train trip with that re-opening of the line. I live in Tallahassee and before the route was opened in 1993 my options for catching a train were to drive to Jacksonville or to the Orlando area. It was exciting to think that I could take a train from my town - but before I could plan a trip the bayou accident prevented it. Apparently some service had been resumed but although I was trying to keep track of it, I never heard that it had by 2002 (photo in article below is the ONLY record I could find for that!)

According to articles in the local paper, service might be restored to Tallahassee in 2020:
All aboard: Rail service could be returning to Gulf Coast
Karl Etters, Democrat staff writer 3:20 p.m. EST December 31, 2015

More than a decade has passed since thundering passenger locomotives stopped in Tallahassee or anywhere else east of New Orleans.

But that could all change as the Southern Rail Commission looks to restore rail service from the Big Easy to Orlando, which would include a stop in the capital city.

This year, the SRC asked Amtrak to evaluate options for bringing train service back. The popular Gulf Coast Limited rail line closed in 2005 in the wake of destruction of miles of tracks in Hurricane Katrina.

The Amtrak report looks at three possibilities of restoring the rail line, all with stops in Tallahassee. One would be a daily trip from New Orleans to Orlando with 16 stops along the way. Another would extend the New Orleans line to two daily trips between Mobile where passengers would change trains on their way to Florida. The third would be an overnight trip from New Orleans to Orlando.
http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2015/12/31/all-aboard-rail-service-could-returning-tallahassee/78131404/

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