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Holiday Extra Trains


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#1 acelafan

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:10 AM

I found this snippet on the NEC holiday timetables:

During the holiday week, Amtrak may use cars borrowed from commuter rail agencies to run “Holiday Extra” trains. (These trains are numbered 3000 and higher in the Thanksgiving
timetable.) We recognize that some of the borrowed cars might not be what you expect from our Amtrak fleet. “Holiday Extra” trains will have fewer restrooms and may not offer food
service.


The timetable shows a few of these extra trains will be running on Sunday November 29th. I don't know the ins & outs of all the NEC equipment, but does Amtrak hook up some VRE or MARC cars to their AEM7s? Might make for some interesting pictures...not to mention a few surprised passengers!

#2 Long Train Runnin'

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:13 AM

I think they use whole sets. So if its MARC cars then there will be a MARC locomotive on it. I know they use NJ Transits Multilevel train sets which have an ALP-46 on the lead. As far as crews go I don't no if its all Amtrak or the Commuter rail line. I assume it has to be Amtrak since the commuter engineers aren't qualified over all the territory.
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#3 wayman

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 11:07 AM

I think they use whole sets. So if its MARC cars then there will be a MARC locomotive on it. I know they use NJ Transits Multilevel train sets which have an ALP-46 on the lead. As far as crews go I don't no if its all Amtrak or the Commuter rail line. I assume it has to be Amtrak since the commuter engineers aren't qualified over all the territory.


That, or they could have NJT crews NYP-TRE, SEPTA crews TRE-NWK, make everyone get out and walk NWK-Perryville, and MARC crews Perryville-WAS! :lol:
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#4 cpamtfan

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 11:39 AM

I think they use whole sets. So if its MARC cars then there will be a MARC locomotive on it. I know they use NJ Transits Multilevel train sets which have an ALP-46 on the lead. As far as crews go I don't no if its all Amtrak or the Commuter rail line. I assume it has to be Amtrak since the commuter engineers aren't qualified over all the territory.


That, or they could have NJT crews NYP-TRE, SEPTA crews TRE-NWK, make everyone get out and walk NWK-Perryville, and MARC crews Perryville-WAS! :lol:



I think there would be alot of refunds that day(sure hope it wouldn't be raining or snowing :o :lol: )!Plus I think it would take longer than Lincoln's train :lol: !

Anyway if you didn't notice, both VRE's and Marc's bi-level cars don't fit through the East River Tunnels, so for the last few years they have used MARC single level sets with a MARC HHP8, a NJT Arrow Death Ride set, and I think another one but I can't remember which RR it was.
They've been doing this for quite awhile, well back into the 90s. Originally the MARC set ran with an Amcafe, but not for food service (hint: MARC cars don't have bathrooms).
This year I'm not sure, but I believe they might use a NJT MultiLevel set (but they seem just as uncomfortable as the Arrows). So it will be a wait and see moment...

#5 wayman

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 12:40 PM

I think they use whole sets. So if its MARC cars then there will be a MARC locomotive on it. I know they use NJ Transits Multilevel train sets which have an ALP-46 on the lead. As far as crews go I don't no if its all Amtrak or the Commuter rail line. I assume it has to be Amtrak since the commuter engineers aren't qualified over all the territory.


That, or they could have NJT crews NYP-TRE, SEPTA crews TRE-NWK, make everyone get out and walk NWK-Perryville, and MARC crews Perryville-WAS! :lol:



I think there would be alot of refunds that day(sure hope it wouldn't be raining or snowing :o :lol: )!Plus I think it would take longer than Lincoln's train :lol: !

Anyway if you didn't notice, both VRE's and Marc's bi-level cars don't fit through the East River Tunnels, so for the last few years they have used MARC single level sets with a MARC HHP8, a NJT Arrow Death Ride set, and I think another one but I can't remember which RR it was.
They've been doing this for quite awhile, well back into the 90s. Originally the MARC set ran with an Amcafe, but not for food service (hint: MARC cars don't have bathrooms).
This year I'm not sure, but I believe they might use a NJT MultiLevel set (but they seem just as uncomfortable as the Arrows). So it will be a wait and see moment...


SEPTA has some electric-engine/coaches trainsets, used for morning expresses. I don't know if they get lent to the Amtrak holiday fleet or not, but they'd certainly fit through the tunnels. Pretty sure they'd also need an AmCafe AmLoo added to the consist.

And I've seen stray MBTA cars alongside the NEC south of NYC on a few occasions (nowhere near Thanksgiving). No idea why, or if they're available to be pressed into service.
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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:18 PM

I think they use whole sets. So if its MARC cars then there will be a MARC locomotive on it. I know they use NJ Transits Multilevel train sets which have an ALP-46 on the lead. As far as crews go I don't no if its all Amtrak or the Commuter rail line. I assume it has to be Amtrak since the commuter engineers aren't qualified over all the territory.


That, or they could have NJT crews NYP-TRE, SEPTA crews TRE-NWK, make everyone get out and walk NWK-Perryville, and MARC crews Perryville-WAS! :lol:



I think there would be alot of refunds that day(sure hope it wouldn't be raining or snowing :o :lol: )!Plus I think it would take longer than Lincoln's train :lol: !

Anyway if you didn't notice, both VRE's and Marc's bi-level cars don't fit through the East River Tunnels, so for the last few years they have used MARC single level sets with a MARC HHP8, a NJT Arrow Death Ride set, and I think another one but I can't remember which RR it was.
They've been doing this for quite awhile, well back into the 90s. Originally the MARC set ran with an Amcafe, but not for food service (hint: MARC cars don't have bathrooms).
This year I'm not sure, but I believe they might use a NJT MultiLevel set (but they seem just as uncomfortable as the Arrows). So it will be a wait and see moment...


SEPTA has some electric-engine/coaches trainsets, used for morning expresses. I don't know if they get lent to the Amtrak holiday fleet or not, but they'd certainly fit through the tunnels. Pretty sure they'd also need an AmCafe AmLoo added to the consist.

And I've seen stray MBTA cars alongside the NEC south of NYC on a few occasions (nowhere near Thanksgiving). No idea why, or if they're available to be pressed into service.


According to Railroad.net:

Amtrak borrows NJT Arrows and a MARC HHP set for use as 3xxx trains.
The Northeast Regional Extras that go north of NYP and do not stop at WLY, MYS. or ABE are sometimes extra Acela sets
MBTA cars aren't borrowed for Thanksgiving.

Last year, for the inauguration, they tried using an NJT Multilevel set as the extra. Depending on how that went, it may be used for this year's extras. Better comfort for both passengers and the engineer (no more cramped wrist), but less baggage space.

#7 RyanS

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:32 PM

(hint: MARC cars don't have bathrooms).

Incorrect. Not all of them, but at least one per consist, and usually two (depending on length).
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#8 acelafan

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 04:18 PM

And I've seen stray MBTA cars alongside the NEC south of NYC on a few occasions (nowhere near Thanksgiving). No idea why, or if they're available to be pressed into service.

Now that you mention that, I've noticed those as well. I wonder if they are wrecked or spares? It is odd to see them so far away from MBTA territory.

#9 battalion51

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 07:05 PM

The vast majority of the extras that are put into service are MARC sets with MARC engines. Oddly enough there are only holiday extras on Sunday this year, it seems like they usually have some on Wednesday in years past. With the way the schedule lines up it looks like there will be two MARC sets used and three NJT sets needed, if I read it right. I don't know how hard it would've been logistically, but in theory it seems like they could've done some extras on Wednesday using a couple of combined ACES sets...

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#10 AlanB

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:04 PM

No, the commuter agencies typically didn't want to part with their equipment on Wednesday's, since they still have a huge rush themselves, so it was very rare to see 3,000 series trains on Wednesday.
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#11 TransitGeek

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:14 PM

I've seen them run a full Coaster train SNA-SAN over the Labour Day weekend. Don't know if Amtrak is running extra service on the Surfliner, but just mentioning I've seen them in the past.
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#12 wrjensen

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 10:41 PM

Looks like on Sunday there are 4 trains added all Was to NYP. So it would only be 2 or 3 train sets
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#13 railiner

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:14 AM

This practice goes way, way back. Back when PRR ran MP54's NYP to WAS to supplement mainline fleet on Thanksgiving. Imagine if travelers boarded one of those today! :o
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#14 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:11 PM

in theory it seems like they could've done some extras on Wednesday using a couple of combined ACES sets...


They can't use the ACES set. They belong to the Casino companies. They're also extremely lavish and probably expensive to staff.

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#15 wayman

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:54 PM

in theory it seems like they could've done some extras on Wednesday using a couple of combined ACES sets...


They can't use the ACES set. They belong to the Casino companies.


That shouldn't prevent Amtrak from renting them through a contract worked out with the casinos...

They're also extremely lavish and probably expensive to staff.


Can't speak to that, having not ridden them myself. My guess is, first class car yes, other cars not so much.
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#16 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:34 PM

in theory it seems like they could've done some extras on Wednesday using a couple of combined ACES sets...


They can't use the ACES set. They belong to the Casino companies.


That shouldn't prevent Amtrak from renting them through a contract worked out with the casinos...

They're also extremely lavish and probably expensive to staff.


Can't speak to that, having not ridden them myself. My guess is, first class car yes, other cars not so much.


The "first class" is the upstairs area of, I think, 3 of the 4 cars on the train. The problem with the cars is that all but the rear most car, which is equipped with a lounge instead, have food service areas. But all the seats on the train are outfitted with leather, and the train is just generally lavish.

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#17 AlanB

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:21 AM

Actually it wouldn't surprise me to find out that the Casino's might decide to run a few extra trains for the holiday, but even without that, their runs are all on the weekend, so Amtrak would be unable to rent them for Sunday. However, they would be a good choice for Amtrak since these cars actually have luggage racks in them that can hold normal suitcases.

I don't see the cafe's as being a problem, but the first class seating in two of the cars might be a bit of an issue. Of course it could be sold as BC seating technically. The problem would be keeping the coach pax out of them. Amtrak has a hard enough time keeping coach pax out of the BC car when the entire car is BC. Having coach on the lower level and BC on the upper presents an even greater challenge.
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#18 jacorbett70

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 09:21 PM

Holiday extra sets-
3154: MARC
3057: NJT Arrows
3099: NJT Arrows
3056: MARC
3045: MARC (presume 3154 on return, though it was too dark to see engine #)
I presume the 3096 and 3082 sets are the returning NJT Arrows and the 3167 will be the returning MARC.

MARC set at Philly Girard Ave:
http://www.flickr.co...t70/4144964231/

NJT Arrow set same location:
http://www.flickr.co...t70/4145722944/

MARC set 30th St station Philly:
http://www.flickr.co...t70/4145836094/

(edit added third photo link)

Edited by jacorbett70, 29 November 2009 - 09:22 PM.

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#19 acelafan

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:38 PM

Holiday extra sets-
3154: MARC
3057: NJT Arrows
3099: NJT Arrows
3056: MARC
3045: MARC (presume 3154 on return, though it was too dark to see engine #)
I presume the 3096 and 3082 sets are the returning NJT Arrows and the 3167 will be the returning MARC.

MARC set at Philly Girard Ave:
http://www.flickr.co...t70/4144964231/

NJT Arrow set same location:
http://www.flickr.co...t70/4145722944/

MARC set 30th St station Philly:
http://www.flickr.co...t70/4145836094/

(edit added third photo link)

Very nice, thanks for posting some pics! :D That is a long consist of commuter rail equipment - wish I had been up to the NEC to do some viewing.

Edited by acelafan, 29 November 2009 - 10:40 PM.


#20 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:16 PM

I don't see any sets in those photos that are impressively long.

Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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