Thursday, October 25, 2007

Atlantic City casinos are funding more train service from NYC

This is great. As for-profit companies are realizing that our transportation networks are underserved by trains and they are willing to invest their budgets not just in parking lots but in other ways of getting customers to their doors -- that is, with trains -- public policy can't be too far behind.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer (as reposted by the biglittler blog here), Atlantic City casinos are getting together to fund the operating deficit of express train service between New York City and their boardwalk to appeal to 25-34 year olds who don't like sitting in traffic. The casinos are contracting with NJ Transit to operate the trains.

The casinos are buying the trainsets themselves, which is great, since we need more entities in the trainset buying business.

I'm a big fan of Amtrak (in fact, I'll be catching an Illinois train to Champaign in five hours), but the more entities we get buying trains and finding operators to run them, the better off we'll be.

Congratulations to the Atlantic City casinos for their vision. If we ever get a casino in Chicago (to help finance infrastructure like.....trains), I hope that casino will decide to finance additional train service. Maybe the Northwest Indiana casinos should get in that business now.


Blogger Unknown said...

The Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City offers a free shuttle from the Michigan City South Shore station. I don't know about other casinos.

Amtrak can't compete with the South Shore between South Bend and Chicago. Frequent electric train service beats twice a day diesel (capital limited and lake shore limited). Which is kinda sad because amtrak stops in downtowns, and the south shore ends at the South Bend airport.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Dan Johnson said...

Maybe the South Shore should stop downtown.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't know if you've ridden the south shore, it stops on Michigan Ave. in Chicago which is great and downtown Michigan city and more or less in towns along the route.

I dearly wish there was the money and political will for it to be extended to downtown South Bend or ideally even farther.

Considering that the South Shore still has prominently displayed on its site a several year old study for a line to Lowell, I doubt such a thing will happen.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Christopher Parker said...

I believe there is a law being considered in the Maine legislature right now that would allow gambling on passenger trains on the Mountain Division - that is the former Maine Central west of Portland to Freyberg and North Conway NH. (I'm not involved in this in any way, it's just something I read about, so perhaps I'm confused on the details)

11:52 AM  

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