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Expansion of passenger rail lines: Amtrak to Canada


shootingstar
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Biden is spending $1.2 trillion on infrastructure — here's what that means for Canada | CBC News   I realize everyone here are car drivers  for  long distance travel....so this might be falling on deaf ears or cause a yawn. Yes, I know you will be driving until you're  90 yrs. old

By the way, the Amtrak Cascades train route along coast between   VAncouver BC and Seattle is scenic. Done it 10 times and more. At both ends takes you into downtown of  both cities.

 

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@shootingstar I like what they’re trying to do but until Amtrak can reduce travel time and create better schedules, most Americans will stick to driving or flying. Right now, if you want to ride the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal trails from Pittsburgh to DC, you could take Amtrak, they have racks for bikes for roll on access. But, the only schedule drops you in downtown Pittsburgh around midnight. I’m not sure of travel time but the drive there is about four hours. The problem that Amtrak has is they don’t own a lot of rail miles. The great majority are owned by the big freight lines, so schedule priorities go to the freight lines. 

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20 minutes ago, Old No. 7 said:

@shootingstar I like what they’re trying to do but until Amtrak can reduce travel time and create better schedules, most Americans will stick to driving or flying. Right now, if you want to ride the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal trails from Pittsburgh to DC, you could take Amtrak, they have racks for bikes for roll on access. But, the only schedule drops you in downtown Pittsburgh around midnight. I’m not sure of travel time but the drive there is about four hours. The problem that Amtrak has is they don’t own a lot of rail miles. The great majority are owned by the big freight lines, so schedule priorities go to the freight lines. 

Our problem is more acute  since we have less passenger rail lines in  Canada. Unless North America has a denser network of  passenger rail lines which can create better passenger time destinations like Europe, this will be a long time  to occur.

Can you imagine a bullet train with 200+ km. speeds or even such a proposal, it would cause an uproar or derision in  North America.  In this way, we are backward and our attitudes /transportation habits perpetuate a situation that nothing rarely changes. How many people  take transit in this forum? I know, people didn't choose their homes to be close to transit.

However.....I'm somewhere with some few folks who do have a lifestyle like I do. The initial supporters will be from such folks. Over 30% of  Torontonians seldom use car/don't have cars.

It was the cycling advocacy groups etc. in VAncovuer that vocally supported and pushed for federal govn't to beef up staff at Vancouver BC train station ..there has to be border security staff there.  And the reason was increasing tourism  (and their dollars) on both sides of the border. The line-up pre-pandemic, the daily trip bookings for past few years, became sold out several wks. in advance.....all the time.  Some people do take biz trips instead of flying.

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Womaxx is a bit claustrophobic so she doesn't like to fly unless seated next to me and sedated.  She came to visit when I was working in FL by train.  It's about a 24 hour trip from CT to FL.  She seemed to enjoy it.  I live in the northeast, Amtrak's bread basket and if I wanted to go somewhere like Washington I'd consider taking the train because car travel is so screwed up along the way.  I would take the train to JFK if I were flying somewhere.

Not that I'll be doing either in this environment.

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21 minutes ago, Old No. 7 said:

. Right now, if you want to ride the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal trails from Pittsburgh to DC, you could take Amtrak, they have racks for bikes for roll on access. But, the only schedule drops you in downtown Pittsburgh around midnight. I’m not sure of travel time but the drive there is about four hours.

Yep - it makes more sense to rent a car and do a point-to-point rental.  It's a stupendously AWFUL schedule for going that direction. 

I remember when my sister was in college many states away & without a car, she would take the train to come for Thanksgiving.  I was always the one picking her up in the "bad" part of town at like 1am.  One train per day each direction.  Awful.

Give us high speed rail solely between metropolitan areas on the East and West coasts, and maybe one from Michigan to Texas.  From East to West is just too much low density for it to ever make a lot of sense :(

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13 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

 

Give us high speed rail solely between metropolitan areas on the East and West coasts, and maybe one from Michigan to Texas.  From East to West is just too much low density for it to ever make a lot of sense :(

Yes, one needs to target routes in higher density areas  where already some people use LRT, etc. or do some cycling. The first few yrs.  would be  low  then it builds up when people "get" it, including tourists.

There is intercity LRT  that will take people from downtown Toronto to Niagara Falls, better to get off before  NF, then bike on pathways , visiting Ontario's wineries and places to eat. I suppose alot of american cyclists in East still don't know this...yet. The MetroLinx/Go train from downtown Toronto runs this route several times on weekends starting in spring. We've done this several times  with bikes. We have also biked round trip from Toronto...it is 100 km. 1 way, using a chunk of Waterfront Trail.

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I rode Amtrak Pittsburgh to Washington the first time I did the trail. It took over 10 hours and they lost our luggage when the carrousel broke down. It took two more hours to get my panniers. I rode it the other direction the last time and it was a pleasant experience and took half as long.

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10 minutes ago, Longjohn said:

I rode Amtrak Pittsburgh to Washington the first time I did the trail. It took over 10 hours and they lost our luggage when the carrousel broke down. It took two more hours to get my panniers. I rode it the other direction the last time and it was a pleasant experience and took half as long.

the bike wins especially for you a strong  rider at that time. :) 

We've never experienced any lost  panniers on train rides (which we treated like carry-on baggage) for Amtrak (he did more  train riding involving Chicago) and VIA train ride in CAnada between Toronto and Montreal. And another trip between Toronto and Nova Scotia where we got off and biked-camped for 4 wks. in Maritime provinces.

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