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10328RE: [FJGRailroad] Train service linking Binghamton, Utica derailed

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  • paul larner
    Jul 8, 2004
    • 0 Attachment

      Insurance, FRA requirements for minimum levels of track maintenance,
      inspections, additional employees, all cost money, not to mention equipment

      I agree it should have an opportunity to fail but this is what capitalists
      do best. The capitalists have determined that it will fail and will invest
      their money somewhere else. I don't purposely invest my money if I
      reasonably expect I'll lose it. They apparently did a thorough business
      analysis of the region and its assets determining there wasn't enough rvenue
      to support the investment. Is there a more pro passenger train group in
      this state? They have shown themselves to be responsible which could
      reflect well on their future initiatives when the results would be more

      Mark, perhaps you can answer these: How much revenue on the
      Binghamton/Syracuse line is earned from on line customers and how much is
      overhead? Against that how much of the over head traffic could move just a
      well on the southern tier, if the tier received a little upgrading? What
      does it cost to maintain the line for twenty-five mph? What speeds is the
      line run at today?

      The state of Vermont just went through one of these operations in the
      Burlington area, finally giving up the ghost after spending many millions of
      our tax dollars. The VTR sure benefited though, by receiving a roadbed
      upgrade for a few miles and new crossing signals etc. The people voted with
      their automobiles. The tourists enjoyed the train and the VTR does
      capitalize exceptionally well on this market. But these guys re the
      Syracuse/Binghamton route answered that question too - not many people go
      there as tourists. Years ago it was determined that for a tourist railroad
      to be successful there has to a draw greater than the train to bring out the
      riders. The train becomes just a diversion but the folks will ride it if
      they're there. If just running a great (fantastic) rail experience was the
      key to success then East Broadtop would be running twelve months a year and
      the entire route. I haven't been there in too many years (used to go down
      for the winter spectaculars and every few summers) but in my opinion EBT is
      short line heaven. Going in the engine house and shops was truly steps into
      the past. Unfortunately too few beyond the true believers went to the area
      - it is hard to get to with little else to draw people - and the state, I
      think, committed a cardinal sin by not giving the money or at least some of
      the money, they spent on creating Steamtown amusement park over to the
      preservation and restoration of the East Broad Top. (Maybe could have built
      a better road up from the pike too)


      >From: "Dicarlo, Gino" <Gino.Dicarlo@...>
      >Reply-To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
      >To: <FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com>
      >Subject: RE: [FJGRailroad] Train service linking Binghamton, Utica derailed
      >Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 12:56:24 -0500
      >I like the idea of the mixed train they're talking about. How
      >can they lose money if the freight is going in that direction
      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: joseph Klapkowski [mailto:riverlinejoe@...]
      >Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 1:07 PM
      >To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: RE: [FJGRailroad] Train service linking Binghamton, Utica
      >This may be unrealistic, but why not allow it to fail ? If I were pushing
      >the idea, I might look for revenue enchancements like maybe carrying the
      >mail between Utica and Bing.
      > >From: "paul larner" <pklarner@...>
      > >Reply-To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
      > >To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
      > >Subject: RE: [FJGRailroad] Train service linking Binghamton, Utica
      > >Date: Wed, 07 Jul 2004 21:03:05 -0400
      > >
      > >Wow, a realist!
      > >
      > >PKL
      > >
      > >
      > > >From: Gino DiCarlo <GDICARLO1@...>
      > > >Reply-To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
      > > >To: FJG Email Group <FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com>
      > > >Subject: [FJGRailroad] Train service linking Binghamton, Utica derailed
      > > >Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 12:00:26 -0400
      > > >
      > > >Subject: Train service linking Binghamton, Utica derailed
      > > >
      > > > Train service linking Binghamton, Utica derailed
      > > > by George Spohr, Journal Staff
      > > >
      > > > 07/02/04: BINGHAMTON - The president of the state's leading
      > > >rail-advocacy group says an on-again, off-again proposal to link Utica
      > > >and Binghamton by rail is neither likely nor realistic.
      > > > Bruce B. Becker, president of the Empire State Passengers
      > > >Association (ESPA), says the plan - which originally was floated in
      > > >2002 by State Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito (D-Rome) and state Sen.
      > > >Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton) - likely would fail to attract enough
      > > >passengers to make the line profitable.
      > > >
      > > > Two years ago, Destito said the idea wasn't to create an
      > > >Amtrak-like passenger service between Binghamton and Utica, but rather
      > > >to run excursion trips during peak tourism time to connect Binghamton
      > > >to Union Station in Utica, where the Adirondack Scenic Railroad is
      > > >based.
      > > >
      > > > The owner of the tracks between the two cities, the New York
      > > >Susquehanna & Western Railway Corp. (NYS&W), could not be reached for
      > > >comment but in the past has indicated it plans on moving ahead with
      > > >passenger service to connect Binghamton with Utica and Syracuse.
      > > >
      > > > NYS&W, which operates OnTrack City Express passenger service in
      > > >Syracuse, has pitched two ideas, both of which possibly could be funded
      > > >with state transportation funds:
      > > >
      > > > . One or two self-propelled, 90-seat renovated passenger cars,
      > > >which previously were used by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)
      > > >in New York City, could carry passengers between the two cities.
      > > >
      > > > . A passenger car could be tacked onto a freight train carrying
      > > >cargo between Binghamton and Utica. Either plan would face significant
      > > >obstacles were it to succeed, Becker says.
      > > >
      > > > "While ESPA advocates passenger rail services as the most
      > > >and cost-effective alternative to the use of private automobiles, we do
      > > >not currently see the resumption of routine passenger rail service
      > > >between Utica and Binghamton as being either likely or realistic,"
      > > >Becker says. "The current rail line between these points would need
      > > >significant improvements in order to increase rail speeds and decrease
      > > >rail travel times to a point that would even be remotely competitive
      > > >with cars."
      > > >
      > > > Due to safety concerns borne of the track's physical condition,
      > > >the top speed of passenger trains between Utica and Binghamton could
      > > >not exceed 30 miles per hour.
      > > >
      > > > "Thus, routine rail trips would be far slower than by car -
      > > >too slow to attract the necessary passengers," Becker says.
      > > >Short-distance excursion trains for special events, such as between
      > > >Binghamton and Norwich or Norwich and Utica, might work.
      > > >
      > > > "If the line were to be considered for possible special-event,
      > > >shorter-distance excursion trains, perhaps a market could be created
      > > >for a tourist-oriented service," he adds.
      > > >
      > > > Another problem is that, unlike a link between Binghamton and
      > > >Syracuse, which ESPA supports, there aren't enough significant
      > > >attractions at either end-point that would make the run profitable,
      > > >Becker says.
      > > >
      > > > "Unless a significant attraction were created at either
      > > >end-point, as exists in Syracuse with the Carrier Dome, it would not be
      > > >likely that the market could support such service," he says. "The
      > > >opportunity for service between Binghamton and Syracuse is much more
      > > >likely."
      > > >
      > > > ESPA is a 1,400-member citizens-advocacy organization that
      > > >to promote improvements to passengers rail service and public
      > > >transportation in New York State and nationwide.
      > > >Visit Gino's Railpages at
      > > >
      > > >http://www.ginosrailpage.com
      > > >http://fjgrr.org
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      >Get tips for maintaining your PC, notebook accessories and reviews in
      >Technology 101. http://special.msn.com/tech/technology101.armx
      >Visit Gino's Railpage at
      >Visit The Greater Capital District Railfan Assocation at
      >Visit Pete Seftons Lost Landmark Page
      >Visit The NERAIL North American Photo Archive at
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
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