Amtrak Proposal Long Distance Expansion Dream

I found this cool proposal dream was written by amtk1007 at Reddit so I though want to share with you all on his ideas and pipeline dream. I know almost impossible it will happen but it’s always great to see more people to come forward and share theirs. Feel free to share your comments below of this page and we would love to hear your opinions. Please keep this clean and respect others.

Proposal for expanded long distance passenger rail operations within the United States:

The following is a description of what I propose for the future of the North American long distance passenger rail system. The following assumptions have been made:

  1. Single level passenger cars are to be ordered, as they are most easily built in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
    1. There currently are single level coaches and cafe cars under construction in the United States, and these cars can be used as a baseline for future orders.
    2. Ordering nearly off the shelf cars has been shown to be quicker and cheaper than specing brand new cars.
  2. For all trains where clearance is not an issue, Dome lounge cars and Touring Dome Coaches are to be included in the consist as compensation for lost viewing space currently offered by the Amtrak Sightseer Lounge cars, and the Via Rail dome cars.
    1. The trains that operate into and through New York City and Baltimore require single level lounges, which can be offered using a single level “Dome” similar to the Panorama car found on Via Rail. Similar cars can be configured for touring coach class on these trains.
  3. Trains are modeled using three standards for configurations:
    1. Type A have six coaches, four  dome coaches or six single level touring coaches, eight all roomette sleepers, four all bedroom sleepers, two prestige class sleepers, two round end bar cars, four lounge cars, two dining cars, a table car, two crew dormitory cars, and two baggage cars. These trains tend to be split into two sections, to simplify station operations.
    2. Type B have three coaches, two dome coaches or three single level touring coaches, four all roomette sleepers, two all bedroom sleepers, a round end bar car, two lounge cars, two dining cars, a crew dormitory car, and a baggage car.
    3. Type C have two coaches, one dome coach or one single level touring coach, two all roomette sleepers, a single all bedroom sleeper, a round end bar car, a lounge car, a diner, a crew dormitory car and a baggage car.
    4. The individual services show their train type in (A), (B), and (C) respectively.


The core of this proposal is an expansion to restore former long distance routes that were lost in the 20th century. This would take the form of a network of many daily round trips, described in the list below:

  • 3 round trips Los Angeles to Seattle (A)
  • 1 routed via Bakersfield on the California High Speed Line between Bakersfield and Palmdale, CA.
  • 1 round trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans (C) 
  • 1 round trip from New Orleans to Miami (C) 
  • 5 round trips Chicago to Seattle
  • 2 trips on the Pioneer Routing, Via Portland, Boise, Salt Lake City, Denver and Omaha (B)
  • 1 trip via Spokane, Billings, Denver and Omaha (B)
  • 1 trip via Spokane, Billings, Minneapolis and Milwaukee (A)
  • 1 trip via Spokane, Havre, Minneapolis and Milwaukee (A)
  • 3 round trips Chicago to Portland
  • 1 trip via Spokane, Billings, Denver and Omaha (B)
  • 1 trip via Spokane, Billings, Minneapolis and Milwaukee (B)
  • 1 trip via Spokane, Havre, Minneapolis and Milwaukee (B)
  • 3 round trips Chicago to Emeryville
  • 1 trip via Bakersfield, Barstow, Albuquerque, Amarillo and Kansas City (Bakersfield to Mojave, CA on the California High Speed line) (B)
  • 2 trips via Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver and Omaha (A/B)
  • 5 round trips Chicago to Los Angeles
  • 1 trip via Barstow, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Denver and Omaha (B)
  • 1 trip via Barstow, Albuquerque, La Junta, Denver and Omaha (B)
  • 1 trip via Barstow, Albuquerque, La Junta and Kansas City (B)
  • 2 trips via Barstow, Albuquerque, Amarillo and Kansas City (A)
  • 2 round trips Chicago to Denver via Omaha (B)
  • 3 round trips Chicago to San Antonio
  • 2 trips via St. Louis and Dallas (B)
  • 1 trip via Kansas City and Dallas (B)
  • 2 round trips Chicago to New Orleans via Memphis (B)
  • 2 round trips Chicago to Miami via Atlanta (A)
  • 2 round trips Chicago to Washington DC via Cleveland and Pittsburgh (A/B)
  • 2 round trips Chicago to Boston via Albany and Cleveland (B)
  • 4 round trips Chicago to New York City
  • 2 trips via Cleveland and Albany (A)
  • 1 trip via Cleveland and Pittsburgh (B)
  • 1 trip via Cincinnati and Washington, DC (C) 
  • 2 round trips New York City to New Orleans via Washington DC and Atlanta (B)
  • 1 round trip Boston to Miami via New York City, Washington DC, Savannah and Orlando (A)
  • 3 round trips New York City to Miami via Washington DC, Savannah and Orlando (A)


This would require a capital expenditure of approximately $25 Billion approximately 240 trainsets 

This would be accomplished by either purchasing or building new tracks for passenger service on the following corridors:

  • Seattle, WA to Portland, OR
  • Portland, OR to Sacramento, CA
  • Seattle, WA to Spokane, WA
  • Spokane, WA to Sandpoint, ID
  • Sandpoint, ID to Billings, MT
  • Salt Lake City to Denver
  • Cheyenne to La Junta, CO via Denver
  • Denver to Omaha
  • Omaha to Joliet, IL via Princeton, IL
  • Kansas City to Princeton, IL
  • St. Louis to Joliet, IL
  • Fargo, ND to Roundout, IL
  • La Junta, CO to Albuquerque, NM
  • La Junta, CO to Kansas City
  • Albuquerque, NM to Barstow, CA
  • Barstow, CA to San Bernardino, CA
  • Sacramento, CA to Moorpark, CA (Coast Line)
  • Chicago, IL to Indianapolis, IN
  • Chicago, IL to Cleveland, OH
  • Cleveland, OH to Pittsburgh, PA
  • Cleveland, OH to Buffalo, NY
  • Buffalo, NY to Albany, NY
  • Washington, DC to Rocky Mount, NC
  • Savannah, GA to Miami, FL
  • Savannah, GA to Atlanta, GA

This comes in at over 12,000 miles of new or purchased trackage, which would come out to approximately $85 Billion in construction for the track and electrification. 

Where physically possible, and where the current track owner is amenable to this option, the new passenger tracks can be built alongside existing track.

Where possible, dispatching control for any line where passenger trains operate should be administered by a joint dispatching team, to allow for dispassionate dispatching of all trains on these lines.

Where excess capacity is available on passenger tracks, freight operators can bid for slots for high priority trains that are not designed as “key” trains. Freight operations shall be evaluated for possible operational disruptions. Freight crews shall not operate more than eight hour schedules on these lines.

The minimum design speed for any train equipment on this network should be 70 mph.

The criteria used to determine whether or not to purchase the tracks for a given segment, is best described as the following:

Is there going to be more than 5 passenger trains in each direction every day? Include Long Distance, Regional (current or planned), and commuter rail.

Is there more passenger traffic than freight traffic? Examples include La Junta, CO to Kansas City.

Is the line under threat of abandonment? Examples include the Salt Lake City to Denver line.

The reason to not include the tracks from Joliet, IL to Chicago, IL, from Moorpark, CA to Los Angeles, and from San Bernardino, to Los Angeles, is that these lines are already owned by local commuter lines.

New lines should be engineered for 220 MPH curves where possible, and built for 125 MPH operation. Preferred siding spacing depends on traffic density, but should be a maximum of 20 miles between sidings. Along new tracks, station buildings and platforms should be built to accommodate level boarding. Where practical, electrification of track should be performed.

Locomotive selection for trains operating under should be the following:

While operating under electrification, Type A and B sets require 2 ACS-64 style locomotives, Type C can operate with one. 

While operating outside of electrification territory, Type A sets require 4 ALC-42 locomotives, Type B require 3, and Type C require 2.

If technically feasible, the second locomotive on a type B set, along with the second and third units on a type A set, should be a variant of the ACS-64 that is cab-less, and can be operated in conjunction with a pair of ALC-42E locomotives to provide a dual mode power set, so that locomotive charges can be avoided on type A and B sets that transition from electric to diesel or visa versa.

This proposal would employ over 40000 people including personnel involved in customer service, maintenance, operations, and other involved fields once fully deployed.

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