30 October, 2011


The eastern leg of the Sunset limited was fatally flawed in three ways. Some of the stations and their locations were terrible. Making a 90 degree turn from east-west to north-south at Jacksonville was an expensive waste of Amtrak's resources. Scheduling and frequency was deplorable for virtually all of the 'new' cities along it's route.

I'll use the example of a department store. Imagine we built a 100,000 square foot store, with locations in each of the towns served by the eastern Sunset Limited. Next we make a decision based on a handful of nocturnal customers to open our store 3 days a week from midnight until 5 am. How long do you think we'd last?

Running a daily, daylight train over this former Gulf Wind Route from New Orleans to Jacksonville would serve this market much better then the overnight schedule ever did. Amtrak proved it could run a coast to coast train, but the actual numbers making the trip beyond New Orleans in either direction was minuscule. A daylight train could serve as a second New Orleans - New York train through it's connections in Jacksonville.

Extending the Palmetto train into Florida south of Jacksonville would offer connections to lower Florida,. Jacksonville is now planning a downtown train station with a large enough rail side to handle of the switching plus commuter rail.


  1. Yes, something is needed to fill in the gap between N.O. and Jax!

    What about the slow speeds from AL to Tallahassee!? There's no way that 59 mph can compete with highway traffic!

    Then, again, I'll take a train on the line over no train!

  2. Its really a nice information...i enjoyed this blog very mush....keep sharing..
    Burun Esteti─či



The arguments rage to this date, "Should have never been built," "waste of taxpayer money," "Doesn't go anywhere," "Nobody rides it..." etc. Bottom line is we have it, and it is finally showing signs of life. Simple extensions to the Stadium, San Marco, and the area of Blue Cross in North Riverside would turn this little train around. Addition of Park and Ride garages and multimodal transit terminals at the end points would bring on the crowds. The video must have been shot on a Sunday Morning, as downtown is certainly as packed with life as any other major City on weekdays. Jacksonville is a city of Bikes, joggers, walkers, buses and cars, one almost wonders how the photographer managed to find this quiet moment.

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