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Old 02-23-2013, 05:21 AM
 
Location: Astana, Kazakhstan
158 posts, read 134,481 times
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Is Amtrak still planning to operate out of Dubuque, and can anyone say when it will begin?
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Newport, KY
212 posts, read 175,141 times
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I honestly can't say I've heard of such plans, only those in Moline, IL to Chicago starting up in 2015.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Astana, Kazakhstan
158 posts, read 134,481 times
Reputation: 47
There have been plans and feasibility studies done for this route, and I was under the impression that it was due to begin in late 2014 or early 2015.

According the Wikipedia (among other Google links), the BlackHawk is an Amtrak train scheduled to operate between Chicago and Dubuque, via Rockford, IL.

Also, a columnist for the Rockford Register Star reported as recently as mid-May, 2012, that the trains would be rolling in 2014 or 2015.

I'll be retiring in a couple of years, and the idea of having a vacation home in Dubuque, with easy access to Chicago, appeals to me.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
1,664 posts, read 2,135,666 times
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I don't see any way this could be economically a smart thing to do only going as far as Dubuque. Any new Amtrak route in Iowa has to include Des Moines somehow in the equation. If anything, a spur running south connecting Des Moines with the current Amtrak line (and thus Omaha and Chicago) would cost less and connect many more people.

There was serious talk of running a line to Iowa City. This may be more feasible economically than Dubuque as well, but could possibly include Dubuque. Once again, unless this line doesn't in some way connect with the main line and run a spur to Des Moines, it will not be very economically beneficial.

It's very expensive to run high speed rail. What I've heard and read is that it seldom is possible to operate without huge taxpayer subsidies. This country is broke as it is. Despite the convenience to many having the rail, we don't have the money to build it, not to mention operate it.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to have rail availability especially from Omaha to Iowa City. I'd use it a couple of times a year. Riding on the rail when you've got a little extra time, beats the heck out of flying.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:18 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,344 posts, read 13,942,640 times
Reputation: 4254
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgg View Post
I don't see any way this could be economically a smart thing to do only going as far as Dubuque. Any new Amtrak route in Iowa has to include Des Moines somehow in the equation. If anything, a spur running south connecting Des Moines with the current Amtrak line (and thus Omaha and Chicago) would cost less and connect many more people.

There was serious talk of running a line to Iowa City. This may be more feasible economically than Dubuque as well, but could possibly include Dubuque. Once again, unless this line doesn't in some way connect with the main line and run a spur to Des Moines, it will not be very economically beneficial.

It's very expensive to run high speed rail. What I've heard and read is that it seldom is possible to operate without huge taxpayer subsidies. This country is broke as it is. Despite the convenience to many having the rail, we don't have the money to build it, not to mention operate it.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to have rail availability especially from Omaha to Iowa City. I'd use it a couple of times a year. Riding on the rail when you've got a little extra time, beats the heck out of flying.
High Speed Rail Usually turns a profit , but is best run between Large Cities and Large Tourist destinations... Regional & Intercity Rail can earn back 60-90% of their costs as long as the line is busy , usually a few thousand will do it.... Electrification plays a huge role in reducing costs , Diesel line usually have a tougher time breaking even then Electric lines do. Although Electrification only makes sense in the Northeast or Busy Intercity Corridor , Iowa might be too expensive to do it unless Freight went Electrify which is highly likely down the road.

This Country can afford HSR , we have the money....we just don't spend it correctly.... Upgrading our Rail system is an Investment in our long term economy. The Air Industry is starting to dump regional flights that are no subsidized since they bleed money on those , which cuts off secondary cities from the Main ones. Rail is the only option in many cases to move a large amount of people.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
1,664 posts, read 2,135,666 times
Reputation: 1745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
High Speed Rail Usually turns a profit , but is best run between Large Cities and Large Tourist destinations... Regional & Intercity Rail can earn back 60-90% of their costs as long as the line is busy , usually a few thousand will do it.... Electrification plays a huge role in reducing costs , Diesel line usually have a tougher time breaking even then Electric lines do. Although Electrification only makes sense in the Northeast or Busy Intercity Corridor , Iowa might be too expensive to do it unless Freight went Electrify which is highly likely down the road.

This Country can afford HSR , we have the money....we just don't spend it correctly.... Upgrading our Rail system is an Investment in our long term economy. The Air Industry is starting to dump regional flights that are no subsidized since they bleed money on those , which cuts off secondary cities from the Main ones. Rail is the only option in many cases to move a large amount of people.
This is why it won't work going to only Dubuque. Not a large enough destination, thus not enough ridership. If you connect Des Moines and Iowa City you will have a much greater chance for this endeavor to at least come close to breaking even.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:19 AM
 
Location: "Chicago"
1,808 posts, read 1,141,099 times
Reputation: 800
Amtrak had a Chicago-Dubuque train but it was discontinued in 1981.

I rode it a few times since I have family in Rockford. It was never a busy route and usually there were just a handful of us in the cars plus the train's crew.

You'd need to serve, at a minimum, Iowa City to make the train a success. Iowa City has the potential ridership (college kids) and they'd be spending other people's money (their parents) to buy tickets. That's the key to making this a success. Too bad it would probably only be busy on the weekends unless school lets out early, like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
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