FROM: P. O. Box 9007 ;

Berkeley, CA 94709 USA First Class his a PAID 10¢

To: 3 PERMIT 1083

BERKELEY, CAL.

VOL.5 NO. 18 SECOND ISSUE OF

SEPTEMBER 1975 TSsue #jl6

SSS

comp

M

wl Big comfortable easy chairs.

AS YOUR SLEEK ANLINER SPEEDS YOU SWIFTLY ONWARD TOWARD YOUR END=POINT...

Don't forget to send your evaluation of your trip to us for RTN's Second Reader Train Rating Survey. The deadline is mid-December, 1975, for ratings of trips taken since mid-June. Complete details appeared in the First July RTN. If you need them, write us and ask for the First July Supplement.

LETTERS ON THE COVER: | enicyed the excellent 2-page spread on my AMTRAK 80 proposal (1st Aug issue). Unfortunately the copy that was sent to you has a few minor errors which have been since corrected. One route segment was left off the map of the 1980 proposed net- vork:. the La JuntaePueblo segment which Amtrak will inaugurate as a part of the Washington-Qenver route next May.

| have received a large number of requests for copies which exhausted my original very limited supply. The plan is being reprinted and is now ready to-go in the mail.

The letter in RTN (1st Aug issue) from "Anonymous Amtrak Employee" raised some ex- cellent points, In spite of all of the criticism of NRPC, the boys at L'Enfant Plaza have much to be proud of that we do not often give them credit for. Unfortunately . the Amtrak employee missed the point that you noted about the Monaghan-Blanton pro- posal--we must plan now for the future. My AMTRAK 80 plan does not envision any new long distance services until 1978 when bilevels start becoming available in quantity. Short haul lines can be put in more quickly as rolling stock for those services is, or soon will be, available. There are also important economies of operation to be achieved by starting with short haul lines radiating from a few major points and then filling in the long distance routes later.

If we do not pull together to support a program that will provide a truly nation- wide system now, then we may lose the opportunity for such a system forever. Ronald C. Sheck, Assoc. Prof. of Geography New Mexico State University

The cover illustration is a portion of Amtrak's latest newspaper ad in its "Easy come, easy go" series, Regular readers will recall the airline reaction to earlier ads in this series which made unfavorable comparisons between rail and air travel, mainly in the Colonial Corridor. The present, full-page ad evidently appears in newspapers nationwide, and gets our vote as Amtrak's most attractive ad to date. It features six cartoon-style illustrations, including a sketch of Amtrak SDP40F #566, and goes a bit easier on criticism of flying: "Flying can leave you up in the air. First get to the airport. Grab a cab and pretty soon you're fuming in the traffic. Pay your fare (it's plenty). Or take your car and try to find a place to park. At the airport search for the gate, if the weather is fine and the ground traffic not too heavy you're off. Great flight if it turns out to be a smooth flight, and you're on your way in if the landing traffic isn't too heavy. Then you begin the cab ride hassle downtown again, (Now what was that number for Amtrak??)" It includes a para- graph on "Driving can drive you crazy" and emphasizes the relaxation and freedom from worry of rail travel. See also Quotes of the Week, in this issue.

right, After all, anyone who has a complaint about Amtrak at least has ridden a

ip i i Don Kotz Kenosha, Wisconsin

Apparently Mr. "A. Mazzo Kist" (LETTERS, last issue) is one of the many Americans who have been "lulled" into the idea that the only way to get somewhere is the fast- est way possible. To say that driving or flying is cheaper than rail travel is pure conjecture. It is relative to how far you are going and the alternative modes, A good car that would be comfortable for a 200-mile trip might get 14 mpg. That is about four cents a mile for fuel only (Ed. note: 4.5¢ for premium fuel in our area), at today's gas prices. Amtrak's coach fare runs between four and five cents a mile in our area. Flying, on the other hand, is very high priced for short runs and much of the time it is not faster than the train or the interstate highways. due to terminal or weather delays. As for safety, the American highways are a joke. We are all "ex- pert" drivers even if we never in our lives practiced taking up a car in a skid, or learned what defensive driving really is. Most people seem to think it is out-run- ning or outemaneuvering the other guy.

Yes, Mr. Kist, | have heard of the Automobile. l own five of them myself! | also know every nut and bolt in them and ! try te use them on the highways as tho it were a privilege to be there and not a constitutional right! | know their capabilities and their limitations. | also travel on business a great deal. Much of it has to be by air, as that is all there is. Much of the time air travel is a great inconveni- ence. i amon a bird once or twice a week to somewhere, The airlines move people like so much cattle. When | can use a train for convenience, | use it. This is the whale idea, to get good service back again in this country, All over the country where people demand it--not just on the East Coast. So, Mr. Kist, | am not a pilot, but | have been closely allied with industries involved in aircraft, one of which builds most of the communications found in nearly all American and forei gn-built craft. | have ridden the jump seat in over forty takeoffs and landings of a Grumman Gulfstream equipped with the gear the planes you are flying in today are now using. a | have some idea of the capabilities and limitations of present-day air- craft.

Faster, you say? Yes, on long trips. More comfortable, you say? | disagree with that! First class air is comfortable if the weather is fine and you get pampered enough, but first class travel on a train that is run right is a very pleasing ex~ perience unless one is a perpetual grouch, and RTN, | will admit, must be printing a lot of their letters. Dissatisfaction, however, breeds improvement, and | thought that is what RTN was all about.

Carrollton, Texas

Las Cruces, New Mexico

i'm afraid that the suggestion that Hiawatha Service trains run thru Madison to Portage on the C&NW (1st Aug issue, p.8) is not very practical. The line between Madison and Portage belongs to the Milwaukee Road, not C&NW. Secondly, the condi- tion of the trackage is pretty sad. Speed limits of 30-35mph are the rule, and ex- tensive upgrading will probably be required before Madison-Milwaukee passenger trains can ever hope to compete against the buses on 1-94, | stand by my suggestion of 24 years ago (1st May 1973 RTN) to restore the SIOUX and VARSITY to the Chicago- Madison run and leave Milwaukee-Madison to the future. The Milwaukee Road between Chicago and Madison is much more direct than 1-90, which runs thru Rockford, and the Interstate is also a tollway from O'Hare Airport o the Wisconsin border. thus, these trains would be stronger competitors against the bus and the auto than Mil- waukee-Madison trains. Also, the Milwaukee is operating passenger (commuter) trains at 7Omph to Rondout and 60mph RondouteWalworth at present. Altho the track beyond Walworth is not in quite as good shape, it will probably be passable (it was rated at 50 freight/65 passenger prior to the discontinuance of service in 1971).

Mike Blaszak Glenview, Illinois

A belated but stil] solid vote for the views expressed by the "Anonymous Amtrak Employee." | too wondered if it would have been from Paul Reistrup. No matter, jt made sense.

it is a shame that so much sound and fury is wasted on some of the really dreamy schemes for additional service. Our problem is to counteract the criticism of Am- trak which is not justified, and to urge patience on the critics who are in the

Rail Travel News (formerly Rail Travel Newsletter), Vol. 5, No. 18 (Whole No. 116). Second Issue of September, 1975. Copyright 1975 by Message Media. Published twi monthly by Message Media, P.0. Box 9007, Berkeley CA 94709. Subscription $8.00 per year; single copy 35¢, STAFF: James Russell, Editor; Paul Rayton, Editor-at-Large. Regional Correspondents: Peter Putnam Bretz, Malibu; Jack Ferry, Chicago; Kenneth

A. John Nevett, Jr. 3 Haylath, Baltimore; Peter Roehm, Boston, Mailing date this issue: Sept 29, 1975. a pag

LATE SUMMER TRAIN RIDERSHIP MAKES SUBSTANTIAL GAINS

After several months of watching train ridership figures consistently below those of 1974, apparently a-result of the slowed economy and a return to auto travel while the federal government slowly debates action to take on the petroleum problem, Ame trak and its supporters received a pleasant surprise when figures for August were tallied. Systemwide, Amtrak's ridership was up 7% above August, 1974, Some routes posted substantial gains. Here are selected figures: Chicago-Detroit up (the highest single route increase, the result of introduction of Turboliner service); JANES WHITCOMB RILEY up 45% (despite negative reports widely circulated in the press); NY-Florida up 36%; Chicago-NY up 26%; NY-Washington up 32; NY-Boston up k; Los Angeles-Seattle up15%; NORTH COAST HIAWATHA down 12% (in comparison with 1974's figures that were swollen by Spokane's Expo 74). Amtrak said that on-time perform- ance for August was 73.9% overall, a drop of 1.5% from July.

CALL IT THE LAKESHORE LIMITED : ieee ae

Amtrak announced Sept 15 that the Boston-Chicago train due to start service Uc ann be named the LAKESHORE LIMITED, #48 & 49. Amtrak pointed out some of the history of the name: the NYC inaugurated the first LAKESHORE LTD from NY to Chicago in 1897, Later, it ran as a deluxe, all-Pullman train with a Boston section. Am- trak aise used the name LAKESHORE for the train it ran on a portion of the lakeshore between NY and Chicago between May and January of Amtrak's first year of operation. Amtrak said the train will permit same-day connections to San Francisco, Denver, Los Angeles, and the Guif Coast at New Orleans and Houston, out of Chicago.

DOT ISSUES STATEMENT OF NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION POLICY rae Transportation Secretary William T. Coleman, Jr. on Sept 17 sent to Congress a tSiatement of National a tation Policy," the first such to be written by the DOT, altho that agency was mandated to do so when it was created in 1967. RTN has not seen the 53-page report--only a Washington Post summary of it and the DOT's own press release. The release did not summarize the actual policy matters of the doc- ument, only listing the "improvements" which would be realized if Coleman's policy

were followed, The Post article put emphasis upon Coleman's statement that the cutomobile will remain "the most universally accepted form of transportation in Amer- ica," About Amtrak, Coleman evidently stated that it should be funded for a few vears to see if it succeeds, and then a decision made about whether the U.S. wants to fund it further. The overall emphasis appeared to be upon the private sector of tie economy, with de-emphasis of federal funding wherever possible; federal subsidy should be only a "last resort" in transportation problems.

BUS OWNERS LAUNCH NEW ANTI-AMTRAK CAMPAIGN

The National Association of Motor Bus Owners (1025 Connecticut Ave, Washington DC 20036) began on Sept 23 a major campaign viá full-page newspaper ads to directly at= Jack Amtrak in a drive to reduce its congressional support. The first such ad was headed: "Last year 190 million Americans paid for a train ride they never got. The second (Sept 24) pictured a stern-looking Uncle Sam with a long roll of eek, a the caption, "For what it's costing to keep Amtrak going, Uncle Sam could buy a bus ticket for every Amtrak passenger for the next two years and three months and save America's taxpayers $140 million." The ads talk about a "threat to the future of : public transportation by America's privately owned intercity bus industry. They ate tempt to make the point that buses are unsubsidized, while Amtrak is. i

In a reply to a similar attack from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this month, rail passenger supporter Ray Hannon of Dallas wrote that "Antrak is the least subsidized (carrier) of all... No form of passenger transportation in the U.S, exists without dependence on government owned and maintained facilities, or subsid 3 oe Bett p% ‘private enterprise’ air or bus carriers could build and maintain tne airp p traffic control systems, or highway networks. page 4

|

PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM.... 1876 REVISITED

by George E. Lerrigo

imagine New York's Penn Station about a year from now. The station is full of passengers traveling the Colonial Corridor as you descend to track 14 to board the MONTREALER, After some time in the "Pub," you retire to your bedroom,

The next morning you are in Vermont, lush with greenery. Your train approaches Montpelier Junction, You get off at the red station and take a taxi into Hontpel- ier, Shortiy, after a second cup of coffee, you hear a long-forgotten sound: a steam whistle. You explore. And there, in the shadow of the Montpelier Statehouse is areal live puffing steam engine. It is probably a Pacific No. 127, and trail- it are a baggage car and five coaches painted in Tuscan red.

You board the restored cars to find the reupholstered plush seats and woodwork brought back to their original luster. You sit down as the train pulls out of Montpelier. It is a perfect day. You open your window to smell the Vermont air and hear the engine. After a brief stop at Montpelier Junction, the train accel- erates to get a run on Roxbury Hill. When a town or village is reached, the train stops, In many towns the stations have been refurbished and are used for nonerail purposes: Roxbury, a bank; Bethel, a barber shop. When you get up and walk around you find that the baggage car has been converted into a Museum of Vermontiana from the last 200 years.

At While River Junction, the train makes a substantial pause. It is long enough to water up, and you have a chance to get some lunch nearby. Throughout the after- noon, the train rolis south to Bellows Falls. At Bellows Falls the train ties up for the day. i ;

The next morning there is time to visit Steamtown before reboarding the same train, this time headed over the Green Mountains. The next 50 miles are spent in a hard pull over and thru the Green Mountains, There is much "stack talk," whistle blowing and stopping at the towns: Chester, Ludlow, W. Wallingford, before arriving at Rutland. At Rutland, the train meets its counterpart up from Bennington. There is an exchange of passengers before proceeding west over the D&H to Whitehall.

At Whitehall, you pull in just before the southbound ADIRONDACK which arrives pulled by blue and silver PA's, After watching the D&H train leave, you see your train being turned. You now move over to the Champlain Canal, where a barge is waiting to carry you and your luggage inte downtown Whitehall. You arrive in Whitehall only to change again, to the Vermont I!--an exact replica of an 1870 steamboat, It is about half the size of the Ticonderoga after which it is modeled. But it is a steamboat with a capacity of 500 passencers. The afternoon is spent cruising up the lake, propelled by the Vermont II's side paddle wheels. At Fort Ticonderoga the boat stops within view of the Fort to exchange passengers with the northbound ADIRONDACK. By late afternoon you are on the broad segment of the lake, Downstairs dinner is being served in the main dining room, By early evening Bur- lington is sighted. You find convenient hotel accommodations nearby.

In the morning you are again called towards the lake, but this time for another train trip. Canadian National's Northern 6060 is waiting with ten CN coaches for the trip to Montreal. By early afternoon you'll be in Central Station ready to enjoy the 1976 Olympics.

Is this some railfan's secret dream? Well, not exactly. it is a probable scen- ario of what a trip will be like on Vermont's Historic Transportation System, The Historic Transportation System is the brainchild of Waitsfield, VT. architect Robert Burley. He reasoned that Vermont could provide a transportation loop in the style of 100 years ago as a fitting Bicentennial project. Envisioned as corridors were the railroads and the beautiful, 100-mile long Lake Champlain,

Vermonters have in fact long had an affection for their railroads and the lake. Many have fond memories of the Rutland, the CV, the St, J. and L.C. Most were sade dened when the Ticonderoga was pulled out of the lake to the Shelburne Museum, Ver- mont was a pioneer in purchasing the rail lines when they meet hard times (the Rut- land and most recently the St.J. and L.C.) as they were lifelines to the area. When Amtrak reinstituted the MONTREALER service, thousands turned out in the rain to welcome it and 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning. So when Robert Burley suggested to the Vermont Bicentennial Commission that they make Historic Transportation their major project, they accepted the idea and set to work on it. The trio of Burley, James Hormel, Executive Director of the Commission, and Jack Burgess, Chairman of the Commission became a formidable team in promoting this project.

Today the system has received Federal funding to the tune of $1.2 million for roadbed improvement and in addition an ARBA grant for restoration of 27 exeLong ls- land cars, Steamtown has agreed to provide the engines for the rail part and do the restoration work. The State is still looking for a sponsor who will build the Lake Steamer, altho it has an operator. While the boat cannot be ready for next Memorial Day, trains will bridge the loop from Bellows Falls to Burlington via Rut- land until the vessel is ready.

A detailed plan was devised in a feasibility study by Barton Aschman Associates of Chicago, which outlines the operations. - Now under preparation is the Operating Manual, the second phase to implementations Actually the plan is modest consider- ing the market, Only two trainsets of 6-7 cars are to be in operation at any one time. A third complete backup train will be held in reserve. The core loop is as described in the scenario, but branches will serve Bennington, St. Johnsbury and St, Albans, Another aspect actively proposed was the running of steam excursions to Vermont from Montreal by the Canadian National, using Northern 6060 and CN equipment, at least during the Olympic season.

The Olympics are a major factor in considering the operation of a Vermont system at alle The expected visitors to Montreal plus the desire of many to visit his- toric New England Bicentennial spots places Vermont on the main route between these attractions. In addition, Vermont annually thrives on summer tourists who would make use of this system. Finally, there are those who will be attracted to Vermont because of the Transportation system itself.

The system will have the benefit of focusing the celebration of the Bicentennial onto the Vermont towns and villages. The communities in the state will be respon- sible for arranging the celebrations and festivals that would provide the enter- tainment. An added feature will be to call attention to the core of the community, the development of municipal transport, the interfacing of all transportation and community awareness of its historic and architectural heritage. Finally, the trains and the boat will travel at a leisurely pace, allowing people to slow down and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings. i

Emphasis is being placed on interfacing public transportation with the system.

It is hoped that Amtrak can have a Connecticut Valley day train in operation by 4976, Connections can be made with the ADIRONDACK at Whitehall and Fort Ticonder- oga. To the north, the CN would connect. Also the planners are urging the Ver- mont buslines to connect. As service will not be daily on any line, those desir- ing return trips in the same day will return by bus or by Amtrak. Large parking facilities are tobe laid out at strategic spots. For example, the vast Steamtown lots are to be used.

The plan calls for an all-reserved train. This would avoid one of Amtrak's big problems, that of crowding, It is hoped that the Vermont operation can be hooked into a national toll-free reservation system and some discussions have taken place with Amtrak. The trains will be composed of openewindow coaches and the baggage museum car, Emphasis will be placed on shorter trips with frequent stops. The op-

'

l l

erating season is projected to run -from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, it appears, however, that for 1976 it is unlikely that the system will be running by Memorial Day. Servicing of engines and cars will take place primarily at Steamtown, but a second facility will be in Burlington, probably on the VIR. Federal funds in the amount of $200,000 will go towards station renovation, watering and cealing facili- ties and the above-mentioned shops.

On the lake, the Vermont Hi will operate on three routes: Line Service, Burling- ton-Whitehall route, Day Cruise south or north, and evening Dinner Dance Cruises. In the winter it is hoped that the trains can be used to bring skiers to Vermont, with the boat as a gourmet restaurant tied to the Burlington pier. Both will pro- vide additional revenue for the operation.

Since Vermont is celebrating a 2-year Bicentennial (the U.S. effort in 1976 and its own in 1977), plans call for continuation of operation for the 2-year span.

The major expenses involve the boat's construction and fixed facilities improvement, i.e., roadbed upgrading. These will be around for a long time after the Bicenten- nial for better Amtrak and freight service.

Planning work proceeded this summer. Because of a delay in federal funding, the track work began only at the end of the summer, with 100 workers employed along the Green Mountain and VIR, It will have to continue into the fall and winter months. It is probable that there will be several changes before the trains and boats begin running. Altho there are roadblocks (currently Vermont's severe environmental law 250 on smoke abatement), the planners are now confidently predicting a Memorial Day startup for the rai] portion of the plan.

As Robert Burley states in the Bicentennial slide show on this project: "It will get the trains back on the track and running." If the transportation system suc- ceeds, it is possible that the system could become a permanent feature in the Val- leys and on the great Lake Champlain.

VERMONT [1 UPDATE: On Sept 6-7 the project was officially christened with a trial run of a steam-powered train on a Bennington-Burlington roundtrip. The trip, or- ganized by Steamtown Foundation of Bellows Falls, was a public relations success. The train carried VIPs, including John W, Warner, national administrator of the American Revolutionary Bicentennial Administration, who apparently was highly en- thusiastic. Reports said the train was jammed, and the tracks lined with onlookers. Gov, Salmon, also aboard, said that the project would have to run in the black its first year--no state funding to make up deficits. Consist of the train was two exe Canadian Pacific engines built in 1946 and 1948, with ex-Jersey Central and DL&W coaches. VIPs rode in the rear in an 1897 private car owned by Richard A. Snyder of Lakeville, Conn. Steamtown plans two more steam trips BenningtoneRutland on Oct 25 and Dec 29, neither connected with the Bicentennial, but which will test marketabil- ity of steam trips in the area. Cars to be used on the Bicentennial train next year are exeLong Island 60-footers and ex-Erie Stillwells.

$3.50 each (Calif. add tax

of 21¢, 23¢ BART counties.) Mail to: MESSAGE MEDIA

BOX 9007, BERKELEY CA 94709 f

(Print name & address below) |

| Order your copy now. Just | i i

RIN'S RAIL TRAVEL YEARBOOK 1975, now in production, will be out soon. it promises to be a unique event i in the history of passenger rail publishing. bica i

AMTRAK STARTS A NEW STATION iN CLEVELAND by Albert Mladineo

Amtrak held an inauspicious ground breaking ceremony for the naw Cleveland lakee front station on September 5. Amtrak's V.P. Harold Graham and Cleveland's Mayor Perk turned the first spadeful of dirt with only a few spectators present. Was it the driving rain or a poorly planned ceremony that kept both daily newspapers and citizens! organizations away? if Mayor Perk were trying to capture credit for get- ting the Beston-Chicage train for Cleveland, it would be reasonable not to want pre- sent the grass roots organization which obtained 40,000 signatures in influenced DOT Secretary Brinegar to ept for the Cleveland route.

Amtrak says it has been working with the city in the selection of the station site, that Cleveland Union Terminal was not suitable because of expensive operating costs, and that Amtrak wanted to be in the middle of the major civic and commercial develope went proposed by the city, Amtrak feels it will be quite "visible" if located in the new center. The new center has been identified as the Gateway development, and it was placed in a state of limbo because of financial problems, according to a recent newspaper article.

An emergency ordinance was pushed thru council in order to get around a 1919 Jaw =< which made the Terminal Tower site the only railroad terminal possible in Cleveland, Many councilmen who voted for the lakefront station feared delaying the train serv- ice. "There was not enough time to study all the facts,” said a councilman, while others said they were betrayed, The only visible opposition to the lakefront site was Al Madineo, Chairman for the Grass Roots Movement for Amtrak in Cleveland, Rodger Sillars, Vice President, Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers, and Al Cohn, representing the Northeast Areawide Coordinating Agency.

Amtrak plans to spend $1.2 million for the lakefront station, which is at best a temporary 5-year arrangement. The city will receive $100,000 for a Seyear land leaso, and the building will cost $700,000, while the rest will go for track work. An alternate plan rejected by Amtrak would have placed a ticket office and informa- tion center in the Terminal concourse at an estimated 5-year lease cost of £18,000. Passengers could be moved by rapid transit to an interim train stop near the aire port. This arrangement would save the taxpayers a great deal of money and please the consumers, but Amtrak chose to go along with the mayor, who indicated he would vigorously oppose any site other than the lakefront site.

Terainal Tower is located in the heart of the city, and is recognized nationally and internationally as the symbol of Cleveland. Amtrak's rejection of the "Tower" has precipitated formation of a coalition of business and civic leaders who speak of a possible lawsuit to prevent Amtrak from spending more money than necessary on the lakefront station in order to facilitate an early move towards the Terminal Tower, The ensuing conflict is based on the Awtrak Improvement Act of 1974, which allows the station to be turned into an intermodal transportation center, This group argues that the newly formed Regional Transit Authority should be the respon- sible agency for the implementation of intermodal transportation plans because of prior rights into the Terminal with rapid transit. Rather than seek a railroad station in the middle of nowhere, they argue, Amtrak should identify itself with j Cleveland's exciting Halprin Plan and the Terminal Tower transit hub. In this manner, Amtrak could be a party to Cleveland's downtown renaissance.

The long delay of the startup of Amtrak service has left many people skeptical. Clevelanders do not realize that they were left out of the original DOT basic Ame trak system, and that the service instituted on May 10, 1971 was the best available at the tine, No one cause can be blamed for the termination of service 8 months later, and many feel that Amtrak was too hasty in removing the train. The greatest difficulty was the rental of Cleveland Union Terminal, which wiped out any profit the train may have made. page 8

The hunchebacked, sad-looking figures in the Amtrak drawing above are entering the projected new Cleveland lakefront station. While a symbolic groundbreaking for the new facility took place this month, actual construction starts in spring. a ee ee

Amtrak has a potentially great market in the Cleveland area. Both daily papers feel Amtrak must prove itself. The Greater Cleveland Growth Association backed the train once and now seems leary to do it again. Even Amtrak officials speak of the route as experimental, able to be removed in three years. No salesman can succeed with doubts about his product, and no city can enjoy the full value of rail passenger service without giving full support.

Cleveland will soon discover what other cities have been enjoying in rail pase senger service, and will clamor for more after October 31. September 5 was a rainy day in Cleveland, but after October 31 there will be plenty of sunshine and happy Amtraking.

Urban-Suburban Transit

DAY IS COMING! proclaims the little sun drawing at the right, in full-page newspaper announcements of the RTA, the Greater angels ch Transit Authority. Quote: "On July 22, e seed was planted for better public transportation. The r iccoming

first harvest comes October 5!" On that a, the RTA will das ingl augment bus and rail service and initiate its promised 25¢ fare structure, with free rides except during rush hours for elderly and handicapped people. These changes fulfill part of the agreement approved by voters last July.

WASHINGTON'S METRO SYSTEM was to have opened a few days ago, but, reports the Chi- cago Sun-Times, Phase | of the automated system operation cannot get started until at least next February, and Phase Il, connecting to National Airport, probably will not meet its mid-1976 startup date for the Bicentennial celebration. The Rohr Core poration, which had similar troubles in building the automated cars for BART, has reportedly delivered only 12 cars, and the Metro people have not pronounced them as ready for service yet, Rohr had been scheduled to deliver 40 fully debugged cars by this time. In addition, the central computer and the automated ticketing system are not expected to be ready for mid-1976 operation. Limited, manual operation could be undertaken before that time. page 9

by Daniel Sage

THE BANKERS 1S BACK

The BANKERS returned to the Springfield-Hartford-New York line on September 15. Altho today's BANKERS (Train 141) is not what the old New York, New Haven and Hart- ford Railroad BANKERS EXPRESS was, it ista step in the right direction on the Harte

` ford-Springfield Tine. The New Haven's BANKERS EXPRESS was always a popular train because of its early (9:25am) arrival tine in New York.

Today's train leaves Springfield, Mass. at 6:15am, Monday thru Friday, with an £3 diesel, a coach, and a parlor car, and arrives in New Haven at 7:45am, The BANKERS makes intermediate stops at Windsor Locks, CT at 6:34am, Hartford at 6:52am, Berlin at 7:06am, Meriden at 71:15am, and Wallingford at 7:25am, At New Haven the BANKERS $s then switched to the EAST WIND (Train 161) and departs at 8:13am, With a stop at Rye, NY, it's then into Penn Station, New York at 9:45am, and the train continues on to Washington. The longer renning time of today's BANKERS is due te the switch- ) ing of the cars in New Haven and the running of the train into Penn Station. }

The first day of operation saw only 15 passengers. This was mainly due to the fact that Amtrak's reservation and information bureau did not know the train was running, and consequently the parlor car was empty. Another reason for the poor turnout to a once popular train was the lack of notices of the schedule change, and also the lack of timetables until one day before the change. Watching the train on the second day, after some newspaper articles and TV coverage, one observed a larger looking crowd.

The return BANKERS departs Washington at 11:05am as part of the STATESMAN (Train 174), with a New York departure at 3:10pm. There's a 4:45pm arrival into New Haven, switching of the cars, and train 142 departs at 5pm, Wallingford is the first stop at 5:19, Meriden at 5:30, Berlin at 5:41, Hartford at 5:55, flag stop at Windsor at 6:03, Windsor Locks at 6:11, flag stop at Thompsonville at 6:19, and a 6:37pm arrival at Springfield.

With the return of the BANKERS, Amtrak is finally realizing the peopie on the Hartford-Springfield line are tired of 20-year-old RDCs and a change at New Haven. The BANKERS looks Tike a change fer the better. Photography by the author

BELOW: Train 141, the BANKERS on its first run Sept 15 with E8 unit #280, parlor car and coach.

Rail Canada

A LOOK AT THE CANADIAN, SUMMER 1975 by Lowell Ciucas

The evolving landscape. along the transcontinental route of the CANADIAN, as patrons of this classic train will attest, is magnificent. But would the forested peninsulas and islands of Lake Superior, the sawtooth silhouette of the Rockies building up be- hind Calgary, or the valley of the Kicking Horse River be quite as enjoyable if the CPR's roadbed and trackage resembled much of the Penn Central's?

Based on our observations during a recent westbound trip from Montreal to Vancouver, arranged by Great Western Tours in San Francisco and preceded by stretches on the NATIONAL LIMITED, MERCHANTS LIMITED and ADIRONDACK, the CANADIAN's 1955 Budd rolling stock appears to be holding up reasonably well. And the main line of the CPR must be either the best, or among the very best maintained railroads on either side of the U.S.-Canada border.

Yet all is not right with the CANADIAN these days. Business is definitely off. We were light, too light for a train of this international reputation in high season, when ve moved out of Windsor Station on a misty morning in Tate August. The consist was seven cars: baggage dormitory, coach, Skyline dome coach, dining car “Louise,® our own sleeper "Jarvis Manor,” sleeper "Chateau Cadillac," and bringing up the rear, dome observation lounge "Sibley Park." Soft music was playing over the "Sibley Park's" PA system, the train's interior was immaculate, the air conditioning was working, the windows were spotless, and there was, obviously, plenty of room, The one tolerable flaw, the product of many years of heavy usage, was the CANADIAN's fading upholstery.

Not long after Dorval, where the CPR and Canadian National aains pass the Montreal Airport, we were called for lunch in "Louise," served by the French dining car crew which handles meals on the run from Montreal to Sudbury, and found ourselves in con- versation with the steward, the first of several talks with crew members of the CANA- DIAN over the next three days on the future of the train. To summarize their views right here, apart from what the CPR management has in mind, they believe the CANAD IAN will be around for awhile, "Ottawa won't let them take it off," was the general op- inion expressed to us. "Besides," a CPR conductor told us, "the company isn't losing all that much money. They're receiving an 80% subsidy from the government now. What they're looking for is 100%. The reason the train is light is the big fare increase in June--202 on the standard fare and more than 100% on some sleeping accommodations. The economy is partly responsible for it. But in my opinion people aren't using the train because they've made it too expensive. That's 90% of the problem this summer."

At Sudbury, late that evening, we watched the CANADIAN's Toronto section arrive. Expertly guided by the yard crew, giving directions over their hand radios, a switcher rapidly pulled both sections apart, "Louise" disappearing into the darkness to be re- placed by "Annapolis," the dining car which came up from Toronto. With the addition of a second coach and sleepers "Craig Manor," "Allan Hanor® and *Chateau Roberval" from the Toronto section, the CANADIAN was stil] only 11 cars long when we left Sud- bury for the 2400-mile haul to Vancouver, in good times, crew members told us, train lengths of 20 to 24 cars are not unusual. Even with the new passengers from Toronto, including a special tour group, there were still empty seats in "Sibley Park's" dome, This particular run of the CANADIAN would not be a major revenue pro- ducer for the CPR.

On the way to Sudbury, a CPR passenger representative asked us briefly about our accommodations (an open dation and our destination. This proved to be the forerun- ner of a long questionnaire in English and French distributed to the CANADIAN's pas- sengers between Calgary and Banff for collection the next morning on the way in to Vancouver, Entitled "Passenger Survey 1975," it included certain questions with a

page 11

rather curious ringe "ls there any other mode of transportation that you could have used for this trip?" for example, "How convenient would it have been for you to wait for this train.on another day of the week? How convenient would it have been for you to travel.by soge.other means. of transportation?"

Whatever the.CPR or the Canadian government decides to do about or with the CANA- DIAN, it remains a highly disciplined operation. At the end of our second day, as the train glided smoothly over the Manitoba prairie, our conductor came on the PA system to announce our impending arrival in the provincial capital, "Ladies and gen- tlemen," he said, "it is 10 minutes to eight, Central Time, We are running on sched- ule, in 20 minutes we will be in Winnipeg where there will be a 30-minute stop. Thank you and good night."

Not a word about the crew change which would take place in Winnipeg, merely the essentials of what the passengers needed to know, from a professional railroader accustomed to on-time precision.

On the final morning of the trip, as the CANADIAN moved easily past the lumber mills and grain elevators of Burrard Inlet, three days and nights and roughly 2900 miles from Windsor Station, it was clear that we would pull up in Vancouver exactly when we were supposed to, at 8:25am. The operating advantages of running a long- distance passenger train over a truly transcontinental system under one management and ownership must be enormous.

Thru the 20 years of its existence, its good train crews and management, its mar- velouse-if aginge-equipment and the incomparable country of rivers, lakes, prairie and mountains it offers its passengers, the CANADIAN is justifiably an international i pillage Speaking for a couple of people who recently rode it, we hope it stays

at way.

AN OMINOUS NOTE for long distance Canadian rail travel appeared in the Toronto Globe & Mail (Sept 13). The report stated that this fall is a likely time for the "rationalization of transcontinental service to begin, with CN and CP each running a train on alternate days. The rationalization plan under review now by the CTC, the Ministry of Transport and the railways is the Ministry's own report of the past June, which paints a pessimistic picture for Canadian rail travel. The plan, which presents many philosphical similarities with the DOT's ideas on train travel prior to the formation of Amtrak in the U.S., looks for the cutting back of all trains outside the Quebec-Windsor "corridor," terming other rail routes "wasteful and cost- ly." The plan also envisions putting a high-speed demonstration train on the Que- bec-Windsor corridor.

DESPITE THE REPORT given above, CN has posted timetable changes for the Oct 26 changeover date which indicate no major alterations in passenger trains. The Toron- to-Montreal Rapido trains 64 & 65 (which run fri & Sun) will leave their respective cities at 6:3ipm instead of 4:30. The daily 4:30 Turbos from those cities will be departing 15mins later. The westbound SUPER CONTINENTAL wil? be speeded up 30mins, to arrive Vancouver at 7:25am. Train 34 to Montreal wil] leave Ottawa 20mins earlier at 2:50pm. Turbo 35 to Ottawa will leave Montreal 20mins earlier, at 12:55pm. Train

50 leaves Toronto at 9:10am instead of 9:25; train 60 leaves at 11:30am instead of ~

11:40. There are minor adjustments also the- schedules of trains 40, 653, 143 & 146. CN said the schedule of the tri-weekly Jasper-Prince Rupert train had not been firmly set as yet.

CANADIAN TURBO TRAIN may not be dead yet, according to a Globe & Mail report. When the government selects a lightweight train for the Quebec-Windsor demonstration pro= ject, the contenders are expected to be the LRC, the Futura (a Hawker Siddeley design not yet built), and the Turbo. The Canadian division of United Aircraft (now United Technologies) is still prepared to produce the train if the government shows interest, unlike the American counterpart which recently announced its departure from the

field of high-speed train production,

page 12 :

$

EVALUATING THE AMFLEET

| trisd to approach my first Amcoach ride with an open mind, but it wasn't easy. Amtrak's successes haven't included much of its roiling stock=-old cars, we found, could be re-upholstered more easily than they could be renewed mechanically; the French Turbos, tho reliable, were not warmly embraced for their interiors. And from the look of things, those of us for whom passenger railroading means Dutch doors, diners and domes are going to find few of the old haunts on the new trains, Stil], there's something irresistible about riding brand now intercity cars, for the chance dees not come often,

Thus on Saturday morning August 30 we waited patiently at New London for the PiL- GRIM to Boston as train time (10:17) cama and went, Finally, just after 11:00, No. 480 rolled in, the metroshells lcoking shiny but a little toy-like on their side- frameless Pioneer III trucks. Things felt different right away--the crew didn't open up until the train stopped and we could get no head start on a particular Ves- tibule--but two trips and 318 Amfleet miles later | had come to feel at home with

by Alan Crossiey

. the new cars.

There were some disturbing malfunctions in the cars | rode: a reading light al- ready out, a trash bin door which would not latch properly, and two bathrooms (in car 21001) which wore outeof-order signs. Besides these, there were a few design features | disliked. Stick-on labels--for seat numbers, trash receptacles, and snack menus--abound in Amfleet cars, as does plastic, There's no place for seat checks either; trainmen had mixed success trying to jam them into the strip of mold- ing on the baggage rack. And contrary to those "unofficial reports" (RTN, 2nd July issue), the windows | saw had the lexan on the outside, the glass on the inside~= keep trying, fellows, you'll get it yet--and were already partially scratched.