"Long Distance Trains: A Foundation for National Mobility," a new white paper by the Midwest High Speed Rail Association and the National Association of Railroad Passengers, recommends investing in long-distance routes such as the Lake Shore Limited. Such train service becomes more economically efficient when the routes travel greater distances, connect more cities and add more passengers, according to Brian Pitzer, executive director of All Aboard Erie.When your community has fewer trains than Penn Central operated on the eve of Amtrak, there has to be a lot of upside potential. Had Penn Central implemented the same sort of corridor concept from Buffalo to Cleveland and Toledo that it was implementing east of Buffalo, residents of Erie might already have more trains. As it is, people in Mendota, Illinois, Lynchburg, Virginia, or Sturtevant, Wisconsin, enjoy more frequency and connectivity than do residents of Erie, or, for that matter, Cleveland.
Ridership on long-distance trains has grown rapidly since 2000, the report says, and more growth could occur by making train routes longer; increasing frequency of service; improving tracks, signals and stations to shorten trips and improve on-time performance; and procuring high-performance, modern equipment, Pitzer said. You can read the white paper by visiting www.narprail.org.
MAKING THE CASE FOR FREQUENCY AND CONNECTIVITY.
The editorial board at the Erie (Penn.) Times-News uses a reporter's favorable experience with Amtrak to take up the Cold Spring Shops cause.