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KeystoneRegional

7 Years After Katrina, Mayors, Amtrak Considering Gulf Coast at Large.

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[float=left]post-5097-0-90454200-1346081641_thumb.png[/float]A 2009 Amtrak plan suggests three option s for restoring gulf coast service from New Orleans to Florida. In 2005, there weren’t many passenger trains rolling from Florida to New Orleans — just three a week in each direction.

 

Now there are none. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina washed away swathes of rail along the Gulf Coast owned by CSX. Amtrak used those tracks for the last stretch of the Sunset Limited service mostly for passengers going to, or coming from, as far off as Los Angeles.

 

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im not a frequent blogger here but i lived in Pensacola for about 6 months. The city is great for tourism and driving to and from New Orleans is a bit nerve racking at seldom times. This route needs to be restored, think of all the activities that occur down there (Mardi Gras, spring break along the Florida beaches, among others). its a money making route IF done the right way that needs everybody involved in it to give their pitch

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Is there a demand for service?

 

Everyone clamors for more rail, but unless there is a need/demand for service, it's not going to pay for itself.

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Let's wait until after Isaac hits this week. Amtrak suspended Silver Meteor, Silver Star on Sunday and Monday from Orlando to Miami.

 

Service restored tomorrow

 

Now Amtrak will do the same thing with City of New Orleans, Crescent, and Sunset Limited.... No trains in/out of NOLA

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Is there a demand for service?

 

Everyone clamors for more rail, but unless there is a need/demand for service, it's not going to pay for itself.

 

 

There is demand, but the issue is that the train came into these areas in the dead of night or very early in the morning. The route east is also slow because there are some sections that do not have signals meaning the train has to travel at 59 mph according to what I heard instead of 79. On top of that there are also sections where there is one track, so it causes problems. Union Pacific wants Amtrak to pay them $900 million in order for the Sunset Limited to go daily. We all know Amtrak does not have that kind of money at this time. I think Amtrak is waiting until the improvements being done on the Sunset's route west of New Orleans are completed before going any further with a daily Sunset Limited. Right now they maybe better off restoring the tri-weekly train east of NOL. It would get the train up and running in about 18 months. In about six years Amtrak is expected to get new bi-level cars to replace the Superliner Is and to supplement the Surfliner cars in California, which is listed on the fleet stragedy.

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Let's hold our collective breaths until Isaac passes. If the storm is as strong as predicted that could delay things.

 

They are not expected to make a decision until the next 4-6 months from what I've read.

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