2nd QUARTER 2017: Kent Patterson climbs aboard the exciting new privately-built Brightline passenger service set to debut between Miami and West Palm Beach this summer. Retired Amtrak manager Ira Silverman recounts his long career starting with the earliest days of the national carrier. We take a swing through the Midwest to visit Indianpolis and ride the last Hoosier Sate trains operated by Iowa Pacific and review progress on Milwaukee’s first new streetcar line in fifty years. Take a tour of passenger services in the American West in a special photo section titled “How the West Was Won.” All this and more in the 2nd Quarter 2017 issue of Passenger Train Journal!
Brightline is well on its way to proving that a private intercity rail passenger venture just may work and even be profitable. What gives wonder to it all is that Brightline arose from the DNA of the Florida East Coast Railroad, whose roots date from the late 1800s and was a premier passenger carrier into the latter half of the 20th century.
More than 55 years have passed since the Lehigh Valley Railroad abandoned its last passenger trains in 1961. At the time it was one of the largest railroads to do so and followed the Maine Central and Bangor & Aroostook in discontinuing what had been a mature service offering sleeping and dining service along with basic coaches.
New York State, the MTA, and the LIRR are making a big bet that an expanded network, increased track capacity, new and improved stations and new rolling stock will improve service and remove some of the constraints on the railroad’s growth.