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Old 02-12-2014, 05:50 AM
 
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I wonder if a Chicago area-Albuquerque Auto Train would work - decorate it with an old Route 66 theme. It seems that Amtrak is going to get browbeat to invest in maintaining the apparently underutilized Raton Pass route, so they might as well run another train on it.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:54 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
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Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
I wonder if a Chicago area-Albuquerque Auto Train would work - decorate it with an old Route 66 theme. It seems that Amtrak is going to get browbeat to invest in maintaining the apparently underutilized Raton Pass route, so they might as well run another train on it.
Nowhere near enough of a market to justify this; Auto Train (which, interestingly, began around 1971 as a publicly-held corporation) tried to follow up on its initial success by expanding service to the Midwest and adding a couple of auto-carriers to Amtrak's Chicago-Miami Floridian. The effort was a dismal failure, and the train's roundabout route (Chicago-Louisville-Nashville-Birmingham-Jacksonville) through the heart of the land of the pickup truck, led to its own cancellation a few years later. The publicly-traded Auto-Train corporation went out of business and the service was folded into Amtrak.

Even a Chicago-West Coast service wouldn't likely raise enough patronage to sustain itself. in 1980, when I made a solo cross-country trip (Wilkes-Barre-Los Angeles) the cost of an Amtrak roomette (and that only from Chicago) stood at $300; it has at least tripled since that time. Two or three college students sharing the cost of gas could undoubtedly drive it lower, and there are a number of highway carriers who will ship personal autos long distance while the owner flies.
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