Passenger rail service coming to Roanoke by 2018

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Dec 7 19:25:51 EST 2012

Ken, Thank you for taking the time to reply with your insightful comments. John Katz

Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2012 12:09:23 -0500
To: nw-mailing-list at
Subject: Re: Passenger rail service coming to Roanoke by 2018
From: nw-mailing-list at


I've ridden every regularly scheduled Norfolk Southern passenger train there is. ;) More to the point, I'm an engineer for NS, and I know how they handle customers (especially small customers) and scheduling. I also know what the attitude of most NS transportation employees is like, and I can tell you it wouldn't go over well with the public. NS is fairly good at what the N&W was best at - moving unit trains efficiently. LCL freight is more trouble than it's worth, and even single car spots seem to be treated more like annoying obligations that opportunities to excel at service and customer satisfaction. Amtrak, on the other hand, understands that their entire business is built on efficiently moving individual passengers wherever they want to go.

I would sooner trust UPS to run passenger service than I would trust NS. The steam program and heritage units are relatively minor inconveniences for the sake of good PR, but I just don't see NS being interested in running passenger service which would likely cost more than it makes. If forced to do it, they would probably do what so many railroads have done in the past - make the service so bad and so inconvenient that nobody uses it and then use the low ridership as justification to kill the service completely.

Ken Rickman

On 12/5/2012 12:45 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:

How many Norfolk Southern passenger trains have you ridden? Dates and locations would be helpful. John Katz
Kenneth Rickman
Salisbury, NC
Reality has a well known liberal bias - Stephen Colbert
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