Re: Spirit of WA Dinner Train moving to TACOMA!!!!!!
Date: 06-14-2007 - 21:09
Good comments everyone! you esp KRK!
I am happy that the SOWDT is going to keep running.
I just think the ridership will be half of what is out of Renton. Why?
1. An hour farther drive for people from Seattle vs going to Renton. Yes, I know not all the riders are from Seattle.
2. There is nothing in the area just south of Freighthouse Square except for a parking lot and a storage area. What is going to built there so passengers can get on/off easily? Who is going to build it? Tacoma Rail? People are not going to like to be standing outside when it is raining and windy and we all know we will have those days.
3. Logitics will play some issues I'm sure. As many have noted on other boards, GPRR had issues getting from Tacoma Rail yard over UP then across to Freighthouse Square. I would bet that SOW train will come be parked on the line south of FHS early afternoon to ensure time to get there. Why Tacoma Rail has such problems with UP to move from their yard to the Mountain Division puzzles me. I've seen may TR trains waiting in UP yard to move south or north. Many time TR parks the train at the junction and leaves it there until another crew picks it up later. I understand BNSF controls the trackage from TR Junction past FHS. Is that true? I was surprised to see signals up the Tacoma Hill. Getting the train loaded with food, etc I would think might be a little harder than in Renton.
4. 3.5 hours roundtrip sounds a little optimistic to me. How much work has TR done on the route they are going to run? I rode the MRSS Rail Fan days about 5 years ago when they offered trips to Fredrickson and back and the track up the hill and out to McKinley was in terrible shape. I've heard (and not seen) that much of the track out towards Morton is not that good of shape.
5. How is this going to affect TR Freight Service to customers on the Mountain Division? I've seen TTX flats going south to a customer but that was in the evenings after all Sounder trips done for the day.
6. Any chance if this is long term ( I dont think it will be)that another passenger platform would be built across from Freighthouse Square? Currently the property on the south side of the tracks is an empty lot supposedly owned by the Puyallups. Could we see a station there with an overhead walkway over to FHS?
7. It was quoted in articles that TR could realize up to $100K in income for this. I hope so. I would also hope that they would take any monies earned from SOW and plow it back into the track from Tacoma out to Spanaway/Fredrickson.
I've never ridden the SOW and would like to. Personally I would rather ride it Renton to Woodinville vs Tacoma to Kapowsin/Eatonville. I'm sure the scenery is nicers on the Renton trip. I wonder how people on the train will react to the garbage, grafitti and homeless people living along the TR line up the hill. And all those wonderful junkyards etc.
Best wishes to SOW I hope it succeeds in Tacoma.
I just think this is a stop gap until Temple can get a contract from Snohomish to Woodinville for operations after May 2008 and he will go back there. I hope I'm wrong
GN Goat, HIBALL