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How fast does the Carolinian go in the NEC?


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#1 me_little_me

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:24 PM

On the northbound Carolinian today, I measured 113 between Baltimore and Wilmington using Speedometer app on my smartphone. Is this the fastest it goes? anyone measure better numbers?



#2 RyanS

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:28 PM

The bag limits that train to 110.


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#3 Ocala Mike

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:34 AM

110 is the MAS through there.  Your engineer may have had a "heavy foot" or your timing was slightly off.



#4 MattW

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:08 AM

Most likely your GPS was slightly off. Accuracy for phone GPSs in urban areas and without clear view of the sky can be as much as 9-16 feet. 110mph is about 161.3... feet per second. Your GPS probably updates once per second, so at the extreme, if you were 16 feet off at both points, it would read 193.3... feet per second or as much as 131mph! The other way, it could read as low as 58mph. Reading 113mph if the train was actually going 110mph, would give an accuracy of around 2 feet at each interpolated point, which is very good. Of course, this assumes one second between updates, some apps update quicker.


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#5 afigg

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:47 AM

Most likely your GPS was slightly off. Accuracy for phone GPSs in urban areas and without clear view of the sky can be as much as 9-16 feet. ...

I would expect that GPS tracking applications would use Kalman Filters or equivalent to smooth out the position and velocity errors. So the computation of the velocity is more complex than your example. Your point is valid, though, in that speed reported by GPS apps or GPS navigation devices should not be taken as always completely accurate. The speed reports have an error range and will jump around, despite using predictive Kalman filters. For example, if the app shows a short lived jump from a 124 mph reading on a Regional to 128 mph and then steadies back down to 123 to 124 234 mph. Does not mean that the train suddenly speed up by 4 mph and then slowed down 10 seconds later.

 

Once the new Viewliner II baggage cars are available and placed on the Carolinian and Palmetto, those two trains will be able to run at 125 mph on the NEC. The Heritage baggage cars are the only car in the consist that is holding them down. The Silvers, Cardinal, and Crescent will have to wait until the new diners, bag-dorms, sleepers are all delivered and the Viewliner I sleepers are upgraded to 125 mph capability before their NEC schedule could be adjusted if Amtrak is planning to do that.

 

Edit: fixed typo, should proofread more carefully...


Edited by afigg, 04 July 2013 - 04:56 PM.


#6 jis

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 10:14 AM

I seriously doubt that the NEC schedules for the LD trains would be significantly adjusted. A significant part of the schedule now is padding to allow for the low priority they get on the NEC.

#7 Anderson

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 02:56 PM

Well, it's possible that a few minutes will be shaved off SB.  Bear in mind that WAS-NYP is 225 miles, and there's probably a good portion of that which those trains are clear for 110 at the moment and would be clear for 125 under the new system.  There's also a lot of padding in there, too (the Meteor, in particular, seems to have about 90 minutes of pad RVR-NYP).

 

In sum, dropping 10 minutes each way seems plausible.  Anything more would come down to managing slots and the like.  What's most likely is that, if nothing else, times get tightened NYP-WAS (to allow quick departures) but that a lot of that time "reappears" in WAS with the pop-the-toaster pad.


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#8 VentureForth

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:03 PM

I clocked 115 MPH sustained on the Silver Meteor on the NEC with my non-phone Garmin GPS.


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#9 jis

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:20 PM

If it was truly doing 115mph under ACSES it would likely have been subject to a penalty stop, provided the correct train class was coded into the ACSES controller. Of course if it was operating in non-ACSES territory then it could be doing whatever upto something like 125mph + 5mph or so.

 

Remember that the Colonial that was involved in the Chase crash was carrying a Heritage car and was restricted to 110mph, but was merrily tooling along at 128mph before emergency brakes were applied. After that there was a considerable period when there were FRA agents with radar guns lurking in the bushes by the tracks of the NEC. :)

 

This is part of the reason that FRA insisted on ACSES before permitting operation above 125mph.


Edited by jis, 03 July 2013 - 04:21 PM.


#10 afigg

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 11:00 AM

I seriously doubt that the NEC schedules for the LD trains would be significantly adjusted. A significant part of the schedule now is padding to allow for the low priority they get on the NEC.

How much of the padding for the LD trains is to allow the faster Regionals. Keystones, and Acelas to maneuver around them? To provide time buffers to keep the LD train (or Carolinian) parked in a station or shunted off to the slow track so the 125 mph regionals and Keystones get pass them? If there is LD NEC schedule padding to allow for that, the padding could be trimmed, although it will have to wait until all the Viewliner IIs are delivered and the Viewliner Is are upgraded. Having a uniform fleet of more powerful ACS-64s in place of 3 locomotive types with less traction power may also allow for schedule trimming once all the AEM-7s and HHP-8s are retired. But this is probably at least 3 years away.



#11 jebr

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 11:51 AM

Most likely your GPS was slightly off. Accuracy for phone GPSs in urban areas and without clear view of the sky can be as much as 9-16 feet. ...

For example, if the app shows a short lived jump from a 124 mph reading on a Regional to 128 mph and then steadies back down to 123 to 234 mph. Does not mean that the train suddenly speed up by 4 mph and then slowed down 10 seconds later.

234 mph? Yikes, we just got a new bullet train with the Regional! (Or a really off GPS.)


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#12 afigg

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 04:58 PM

234 mph? Yikes, we just got a new bullet train with the Regional! (Or a really off GPS.)

oops.  :unsure:  Thanks for pointing out the typo.
 



#13 railiner

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:03 PM

This thread reminds me of a trip on the Cardinal, years ago.....After a long and very leisurely ride from Chicago to Washington, at tops 79mph, but oftentimes a lot slower than that, we finally arrived at Washington for our last lap to NYP.  We said goodbye to our F40PH's, and when the lights and air conditioning whoosh returned, we were harnessed to an AEM7.   We smoothly pulled away from the station.  Did not notice the gaining of speed, until just happenned to glance out the window at the vehiculer traffic on the parallel Baltimore-Washington Parkway.  We were passing the traffic so fast, that they seemed to be going backwards!   I'll never forget that experience of our train changing character so much so quickly..... :cool:


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#14 RyanS

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:06 PM

US 50.

The NEC doesn't run along the B-W Parkway.
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#15 railiner

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 11:29 PM

US 50.

The NEC doesn't run along the B-W Parkway.

You are correct.....the NEC runs along a stretch of the John Hanson Highway - US 50, from around Cheverly  to around New Carrollton.  Sorry my memory was fuzzy on that.

Thanks for the correction. :)


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#16 chrsjrcj

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 09:35 AM

On the Silver Star a couple months ago, and I was watching my GPS as we made our way through Florida. 79 mph, then 83 mph, then 95 mph, then 150 mph....realizing I was not on the Acela Express, I just had to shut it down. 





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