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Amtrak in Houston


cspwal

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This morning came out with a proposed new route map by 2035 with the current proposed funding increase, and it seems to include "new services" in the Texas triangle

Amtrak-Connects-Us-Map.png

 

New service (presumably much more frequent) to San Antonio, and new service to Dallas via College Station. 

I wonder how they think they'll do that - using existing lines?  Will they pay UP or BNSF to upgrade them?  Will they keep the Amtrak shack or are they planning on consolidating with TCR?

 

I know one of the big bottlenecks in Houston for trains is a crossing downtown called tower 26 that is super busy; can they pump more trains through there without laying more track?

 

Just wanted to start a discussion about this I'm sure there's people who know more about the Houston train network]

 

Edited:

H8dFeic.jpg

from the fact sheet pdf http://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Amtrak-Connects-US-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Edited by cspwal
to fix broken image:
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I would guess that instead of just making the Sunset limited more frequent, it's a seperate train (maybe the Alamo Flyer or something) that would be daily (or more frequent) service.  And hopefully faster, though that would take a lot of track work I think

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2 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

The Dallas/College Station/Houston line IS the TCR.  Think they already announced that they would be integrating with Amtrak schedule system...or something.   

Looks like it's using existing UP line...

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16 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

With the Presidents proposed infrastructure bill I hope we see upgrades to our station.  

Maybe a third vending machine 

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22 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

The Dallas/College Station/Houston line IS the TCR.  

I don't think so.  At least the line they drew on their map does not look like the routing of the TCR.  As BeerNut said, it looks very much like the UP line.

Edited by Houston19514
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5 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

Y’all sure could be right. It’d be interesting for Amtrak to run a parallel service to TCR. They would be servicing a different market, I suppose. 

In a fantasy world it would be similar to Japan where you have more stops available on the slower train but that train would share a train station to have access to HSR.  Would make more sense if there was an actual HSR network.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Current Amtrak shack is located across the 45 overpass from PostHTX.

I’d like to see the Amtrak station moved to PostHTX, which would be a nicer location (compared to under a freeway overpass) and could still use the existing heavy rail tracks. Since the loading dock is being transformed into covered patio spaces, convert the loading dock area behind Post HTX into a European style train shed that can support Amtrak operations and connect directly to the food hall/shopping and collaborative areas of Post HTX, adding a new audience to help support Post HTX growth and success. This provides vendors at Post HTX with more sales opportunities in the form of train travelers and gives the city better gateway to welcome train travelers to and from Downtown. And if the city eventually uses the existing heavy rail tracks for commuter rail, this could be the station connection to downtown. Think Denver’s Union Station. 

Edited by tigereye
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  • 1 month later...

Amtrak sets sights on Texas Triangle, frequent Houston service

Quote

The national rail system’s new plan for expanding service, released Thursday, identifies potential routes to create or expand nationwide by 2035. The Texas Triangle, involving Houston, Dallas and San Antonio — and including Austin and Fort Worth — receives significant attention. Three daily round-trip trains are planned between Houston and Dallas, in addition to three between Houston and San Antonio.

 

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It's a good start. 3 round trips per day is enough to be useful *if* they can keep the timing consistent and the speed decent (if not true high speed). That's a very big if though. 

I wish they also proposed more trains between Houston and New Orleans though. Why is everyone trying to get me to go to Dallas? I don't want to go to Dallas.

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12 minutes ago, Texasota said:

It's a good start. 3 round trips per day is enough to be useful *if* they can keep the timing consistent and the speed decent (if not true high speed). That's a very big if though. 

I wish they also proposed more trains between Houston and New Orleans though. Why is everyone trying to get me to go to Dallas? I don't want to go to Dallas.

I feel ya on this one.  I used to go to New Orleans quite a bit for work and even took megabus a few times because it was so cheap.  Every time I looked at taking the train to New Orleans the travel time and on time performance made me nope out.   I can deal with it taking a little longer but several hours longer and not knowing when you would get there is unacceptable.  

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On 5/29/2021 at 7:53 AM, BeerNut said:

I can deal with it taking a little longer but several hours longer and not knowing when you would get there is unacceptable.  

you: hello, your website says between 8 and 10 hours of travel time, when should I plan on arriving in New Orleans?

Amtrak: yes

you: ???

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7 hours ago, samagon said:

you: hello, your website says between 8 and 10 hours of travel time, when should I plan on arriving in New Orleans?

Amtrak: yes

you: ???

If that's an overnight, sleeper train then I'm onboard (pun intended) with that.  Could be useful after spending the weekend on Bourbon street.

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^^Doing just that after July 4th weekend.  Chosen this option a couple times in the past.   It does take a little longer, but it is FAR better than trying to drive though a hangover.   Plus...it's beautiful scenery, a served meal, you can take the edge off with your own bottle of wine (or whatever)...and relax.    Works coming home...but, I always choose drive or fly from Houston to NOLA.  Doesn't make sense to arrive at 11pm, or later.   

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I suspect Amtrak is even going to try more NOLA service for now because of how congested the rails are in downtown, specifically the at grade crossing just east of where the Amtrak station is.  The trains stopped in the East End are often waiting for a green at that junction.  The San Antonio & Dallas trains wouldn't have to go through it, so they try to do more service

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1 hour ago, Naviguessor said:

^^Doing just that after July 4th weekend.  Chosen this option a couple times in the past.   It does take a little longer, but it is FAR better than trying to drive though a hangover.   Plus...it's beautiful scenery, a served meal, you can take the edge off with your own bottle of wine (or whatever)...and relax.    Works coming home...but, I always choose drive or fly from Houston to NOLA.  Doesn't make sense to arrive at 11pm, or later.   

What's a one way ticket from nola to here run?

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, august948 said:

What's a one way ticket from nola to here run?

$35-$60 for a reserved seat and $300ish for a 2 person private room. 

Also, I am absolutely going to ride the whole Texas Triangle in one day if it is possible. Looks like it should take about 15 hourish?

Edited by wilcal
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13 minutes ago, wilcal said:

$35-$60 for a reserved seat and $300ish for a 2 person private room. 

Also, I am absolutely going to ride the whole Texas Triangle in one day if it is possible. Looks like it should take about 15 hourish?

Sounds like a good weekend trip

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Just now, cspwal said:

Sounds like a good weekend trip

Yeah, my own real hesitancy is the timing/delay thing and that we usually go with another couple and that based on the timing, you kind of "waste" a day. If I was going by myself I would totally consider it though.

The train there runs 12:10-9:40pm on Friday and the return train is 9am-618pm and doesn't run on Sunday, so you don't get home Monday night. My preference is to try to do a Friday morning early departure to eat a late lunch in NOLA and then come back Sunday after lunch. I actually just booked a trip for 2.5 weeks from now as there was a good price at the new Kimpton there.

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23 minutes ago, august948 said:

What's a one way ticket from nola to here run?

It's $46 for Seat on The Sunset Limited.  The seat is fine for napping or reading but, we generally spend most of the time in the Sightseer Lounge Car.  Sometimes the Park Service has volunteers onboard who ride onboard and point out points of interest enroute.  

Just now, Naviguessor said:

It's $46 for Seat on The Sunset Limited.  The seat is fine for napping or reading but, we generally spend most of the time in the Sightseer Lounge Car.  Sometimes the Park Service has volunteers onboard who ride onboard and point out points of interest enroute.  

Departs NOLA, Union Station at 9:00am and is scheduled to arrive Houston at 6:15pm*. 

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