New Mexico to study cost-sharing for ...

New Mexico to study cost-sharing for Amtrak route

There are 29 comments on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer story from Mar 18, 2014, titled New Mexico to study cost-sharing for Amtrak route. In it, Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that:

New Mexico plans to study whether to help pay part of the cost of keeping Amtrak 's Southwest Chief on its current route.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

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Just Me

Albuquerque, NM

#1 Mar 19, 2014
I'm not sure why the state of New Mexico would spend millions of dollars annually to keep Amtrak on it's current route since the new route will also be through New Mexico and will service many more people. Is it worth paying Amtrak $40 Million Dollars to stop in Raton instead of Albuquerque? Sucks for Raton, but the Governor has to choose what's best for the entire state, what benefits the most people, and what will bring the most revenue.

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Mar 20, 2014
The cost of commuter rail is incredible and in many cases as much or more than to fly to a destination. Leave rail for commercial transpo.
Just Me

Albuquerque, NM

#3 Mar 20, 2014
The Amtrak Southwest Chief isn't a commuter rail, it's a cross-country passenger train, one of the very few that even exists today in the United States. It's mostly utilized by leisure travelers such as foreign visitors, retirees, and railroad enthusiasts.

It's also the only train that services Raton, New Mexico; commercial freight trains abandoned the route years ago. That's why the people of Raton are hoping against all odds that the Southwest Chief will continue on it's historic route through their town.
captain obvious

Albuquerque, NM

#4 Mar 20, 2014
The whole issue is about money, like every other issue on the face of the planet. It's not about historic routes. It's not about serving remote locations. And it's not about the small town dreams of Raton and La Junta.
And that's why I predict the train will not continue on it's present route in the future.
Can New Mexico afford to maintain and upgrade the outdated tracks for a twice-a-day train? Of course not.
Can Amtrak? They don't make enough profit to even justify staying in business.
Will BNSF? They'd rather abandon the property altogether.

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Mar 20, 2014
Population Raton NM (2012) 6607. And that justifies $40mil in NM taxpayer funds that could be better spent on other things NM truly needs?

Amtrak as per their national route map http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/948/674/System021... has no TRAIN service from Abq to Denver or Phoenix. You can get to Dallas if you go via LA, & to SLC via LA & San Fran -or- via Chicago. Just a leetle bit outta the way! Much better to fly Pt2Pt or take a bus.

Oh, and by commuter I meant passenger, my poor choice of words.
Just Me

Albuquerque, NM

#6 Mar 20, 2014
I live in Raton, and I love Amtrak and the railroad. But you are correct, and anything else is wishful thinking.

I also mis-spoke in the first post: The current route does travel through Albqueque, and so will the proposed re-route. For Amtrak revenue, the trade would be Amarillo instead of Raton.

Population of Raton, 6,000.
Population of the Amarillo metro area, 240,000

The Texan politicians are licking their chops for the new route:
http://amarillo.com/news/latest-news/2014-01-...

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#7 Mar 20, 2014
SW Chief has been around since 1937. I hate seeing the older stuff go too but it simply doesn't make economic sense today to spend that much for so little return. NM already has done that w/ the FailRunner choo-choo and the SpacePork near TorC. Lest we forget the FailRunner has a pair of $235mil balloon pmts due in 2025 & 2027, let alone what it has already cost taxpayers here. It moves less than ΒΌ of 1% of the corridor population between Abq & SaniFlush. Train travel is simply no longer feasible w/ respect to economics - sadly.

Amtrak is great for relaxing I suppose, if you don't mind paying more and taking a lot longer than flying, or even a bus for that matter.
truth hurts

Albuquerque, NM

#8 Mar 20, 2014
i havent directly compared the cost of train to air travel recently. but the airlines treat passengers like cattle. and thats after you get groped and scanned by the airport like a common criminal.
amtrak is like flying used to be.

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Mar 20, 2014
I just did earlier this week. The cost wasn't significantly more (10%) but the travel time was significant - 3hrs vs 50 hrs each way for the trip I was considering. Bus was 41 or 46 hrs depending... If you have the time or want a leisurely scenic trip, a train or bus works. If scenery in between isn't important and/or time is an issue then flying is better. Of course if you want food on that 50 hr trip you can eat theirs, bland and overpriced or take your own (if allowed???) which will be quite amusing on day two I suspect (imagining a Subway sandwich). If you want to sleep in something other than your seat for 50 hrs it'll cost you more too.

Like any form of travel, they all have their pluses and minuses.
THE GREEN WATCHDOG

Oklahoma City, OK

#10 Mar 21, 2014
CornDogz wrote:
I just did earlier this week. The cost wasn't significantly more (10%) but the travel time was significant - 3hrs vs 50 hrs each way for the trip I was considering. Bus was 41 or 46 hrs depending... If you have the time or want a leisurely scenic trip, a train or bus works. If scenery in between isn't important and/or time is an issue then flying is better. Of course if you want food on that 50 hr trip you can eat theirs, bland and overpriced or take your own (if allowed???) which will be quite amusing on day two I suspect (imagining a Subway sandwich). If you want to sleep in something other than your seat for 50 hrs it'll cost you more too.
Like any form of travel, they all have their pluses and minuses.
Simplistic comment. Keeping transportation routes updated and maintained is a must, unless NM wants to alienate itself from the rest of US.
FYI

Albuquerque, NM

#11 Mar 21, 2014
THE GREEN WATCHDOG wrote:
<quoted text>Simplistic comment. Keeping transportation routes updated and maintained is a must, unless NM wants to alienate itself from the rest of US.
New Mexico is blessed with multiple transportation options that are easily accessible in most of the state: airlines, railroads, and interstate highways.

For example there are only four cross-country passenger train lines in all of the United States and two of them happen to transect New Mexico. And if the Southwest Chief is re-routed to Amarillo, there will ~still~ be two cross-country passenger trains crossing New Mexico.
FYI

Albuquerque, NM

#12 Mar 21, 2014
CornDogz wrote:
amtrak has no TRAIN service from Abq to Denver or Phoenix. You can get to Dallas if you go via LA, & to SLC via LA & San Fran -or- via Chicago. Just a leetle bit outta the way! Much better to fly Pt2Pt or take a bus.
I think there would be a huge market for daily train service up and down the Front Range, from Cheyenne to El Paso. It wouldn't be efficient or fast enough for business travelers or commuters, but it would be an excellent option for leisure travelers and families.

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#13 Mar 21, 2014
FYI wrote:
<quoted text>
New Mexico is blessed with multiple transportation options that are easily accessible in most of the state: airlines, railroads, and interstate highways.
For example there are only four cross-country passenger train lines in all of the United States and two of them happen to transect New Mexico. And if the Southwest Chief is re-routed to Amarillo, there will ~still~ be two cross-country passenger trains crossing New Mexico.
You have to be kind to the OK Urchin as Amtrak dead ends in his city (OKC), he and it share something - dead ends. Also understand this is the same troll who a year+ ago tried to tell me the Rio Grande ran thru OKC so my water use directly affected him - hmmm...

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#14 Mar 21, 2014
FYI wrote:
<quoted text>
I think there would be a huge market for daily train service up and down the Front Range, from Cheyenne to El Paso. It wouldn't be efficient or fast enough for business travelers or commuters, but it would be an excellent option for leisure travelers and families.
Don't know how big it might be but it would likely spawn interest, incl from me. Sadly Amtrak has far less NS lines than it has EW (as per their map) so many areas are only accessible via air, bus or POV. I'd have no issue w/ a rail route that took in Phx, Den, Dal & EP, but the cost would probably be extremely prohibitive. I'll pass on OKC<G>.
Very Funny

Phoenix, AZ

#15 Mar 21, 2014
This nation is untold trillions in debt, with an upcoming generation geared for dependency. The dollar is backed by this nation's full faith and credit, now non existent. So let us talk about fantasy dreams of government subsidized choo choo trains going through toilet burgs and speculate about more ridiculous routes. American yuppie hipster libtards are in for a schocking next few years. MAybe you little children should just buy an old Lionel set. LOL!
THE GREEN WATCHDOG

Oklahoma City, OK

#16 Mar 21, 2014
CornDogz wrote:
<quoted text>
You have to be kind to the OK Urchin as Amtrak dead ends in his city (OKC), he and it share something - dead ends. Also understand this is the same troll who a year+ ago tried to tell me the Rio Grande ran thru OKC so my water use directly affected him - hmmm...
Travel by rail is affordable and much less stress than flying in a metal coffin. I don't know who you equate me to, but never did I comment that the Rio Grande flow into Oklahoma.

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#17 Mar 22, 2014
Didn't say it wasn't affordable, I said on the trip I looked at the price was about 10% higher than flying, other costs as well as the travel time were the deal breaker. Mmmm, I &#9829; chemtrails<snicker>.

airplane - metal coffin
train - metal coffin
bus - metal coffin
car - metal coffin
Hmmm...

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#18 Mar 22, 2014
THE GREEN WATCHDOG wrote:
<quoted text> Travel by rail is affordable and much less stress than flying in a metal coffin. I don't know who you equate me to, but never did I comment that the Rio Grande flow into Oklahoma.
Must be the chemtrails to blame for you being geographically challenged huh?
THE GREEN WATCH DOG

Oklahoma City, OK

#19 Mar 22, 2014
CornDogz wrote:
Didn't say it wasn't affordable, I said on the trip I looked at the price was about 10% higher than flying, other costs as well as the travel time were the deal breaker.
Hmmm...
A trip on SW airlines cheapest fare this coming Monday from ABQ to. Denver is $219 vs $94 for AMTRAX. American is way more expensive. Many fights have stop overs to other cities. When you factor in money paid out in parking at the airport, baggage fees, checkin time, general delays, squishing yourself in a airplane seat, and the general air travel hassles the choice is quite simple. So what are you saying? A cost of a soda is 10% higher than on a plane? while it is flying? That must be it.:)

“US Navy”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#20 Mar 22, 2014
Denver is not on the Amtrak train route so your argument is moot, you must take a bus to Den from Raton. Unless you want to take the more scenic route to Den via Amtrak going thru LA, San Fran & SLC (see the route map). Cost & travel time would by far exceed going thru Raton.

Parking fees are moot if you have someone drop you off & pick you up regardless of air, train or bus.

Driving Abq-Den, 444 miles each way(888 RT), 6 hrs each way(12 hrs RT)@ 75mph and in my car (35mpg highway) 13 gals each way, 26 gals round trip. 26gals X 3.50/gal =$91 grand total RT. And that allows you transpo while in Den too, your POV, no baggage fee's etc. Nice leisurely scenic trip. Oh, and if 2-3-4 people go, still $91 total round trip, divided by 2-3-4 people. Been there, done that several times!
----------
Albuquerque - Seattle - Round Trip (the trip I considered)

SWA $340, no extra baggage fee's
travel time, 3 hrs each way (6 hrs RT) non-stop
no food required.

Amtrak $382, unknown extra baggage fee's (if any)
travel time 50 hrs each way (100 hrs RT) incl a ton of layovers plus numerous bus trips.
food definitely required.

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