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Baltimore B&P tunnel replacement study


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#101 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:08 AM

Shutting down one Hudson Tunnel reduces throughput by 66% not 75%.

/quote]

Amtrak claims 75%.

If Amtrak thinks 8 slots instead of 24 per hour is 75% then that might explain why their accounting is so screwed up too. :)

Or they may just be providing more dramatic slightly alternate facts for better effect. ;)
In single track operation, the tunnels only have a capacity of 6 per hour compared to 24 per hour when both are open. That is reduction of 75%. Where did you read that single-tracking capacity is 8 per hour?

http://www.nj.com/tr...d_to_close.html

Edited by brianpmcdonnell17, 04 April 2017 - 06:08 AM.

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#102 jis

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 07:58 AM

They operate upto 8 per hour in each direction today. Roughly 20 mins in each direction and 10 mins to switch direction.

This has been mentioned several times during the Gateway RCLC meetings that I have been present at. Of course if they wish to give themselves more elbow room by artificially stating a lower capacity that is fine by me too.

Edited by jis, 04 April 2017 - 08:02 AM.


#103 A Voice

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:24 AM

They operate upto 8 per hour in each direction today. Roughly 20 mins in each direction and 10 mins to switch direction.

This has been mentioned several times during the Gateway RCLC meetings that I have been present at. Of course if they wish to give themselves more elbow room by artificially stating a lower capacity that is fine by me too.

 

So, in a very serious emergency - such as one of the tunnels out of service for an extended period - they could get a higher total capacity by not switching directions as often, right?  By reversing only once per hour you (if I'm not mistaken) get approximately twenty trains in each direction every two hours (as opposed to sixteen), which is a significant difference in such a capacity constrained environment.  That would be a major inconvenience for Amtrak, requiring a near complete redo of schedules, but probably workable if you absolutely had to (but if a train misses its 'window'...).  The effect on commuter operations would be horrendous, but in the event of a shutdown, that would happen anyway.  


Edited by A Voice, 04 April 2017 - 10:25 AM.


#104 CraigDK

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 02:38 PM

Just to bring this back to the B & P tunnel.

 

http://www.bizjourna...billion-of.html

 

The last paragraph, in a nutshell. Amtrak will spend at least some of its general capital budget in an effort to continue to move the project forward while everyone tries to figure out a way to fully fund it.



#105 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 03:11 PM

... Amtrak will spend at least some of its general capital budget in an effort to continue to move the project forward while everyone tries to figure out a way to fully fund it.

That's the fit and proper thing to do. Of course there's a thousand other places to invest the puny capital budget. But the risk of a tunnels catastrophe is too great to ignore.

 

And then the capacity additions and the time savings will be sweet. I'm not seeing another State of Good Repair project that offers a one-shot bonus 2 1/2 time-saving minutes for the cost. That's 2 1/2 minutes out of all the Avelias' and Regionals' timetables. And it's 2 1/2 minutes out of the Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Palmetto, Crescent, Cardinal, and Carolinian as well as the Amtrak Virginia trains Lynchburger, Roanoker, Norfolk, Newport News, and Richmond.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 04 April 2017 - 03:16 PM.


#106 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:43 AM

Actually, I would guess the solution would be the elimination of reverse peak trains, and 8 trains an hour off peak.
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#107 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 01:15 PM

Actually, I would guess the solution would be the elimination of reverse peak trains, and 8 trains an hour off peak.

Yet another cannibalistic 'solution' -- cutting service til there isn't any left. LOL.

 

I assume you're kidding.



#108 Thirdrail7

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:34 PM

Well, it looks like Hunter Harrison strikes again!

 

Heard from the Baltimore Sun that the Howard Street Tunnel will be modified in the coming years in order to fit double-stack trains. Cost is expected to be only $425 million, a lot cheaper compared to the previous estimate of $1-3 billion.

 

So now the B&P Tunnel shouldn't need to be built to handle double stack trains, and hopefully this will lower the cost of that project.

 

 

 

If CSX gets the FASTLANE grant, or gets the funding assembled via other sources in the next several years, that could affect the planning for the B&P tunnel replacement. Since the proposed alternative is to bore out 4 separate tunnels, one option for future capacity protection would be to bore out just 1 or 2 tunnels for Plate H doublestack clearances and the others for smaller clearances. Or drop any plans for Plate H entirely. How much that would reduce the cost? Not a clue.

 

However, CSX rebuilding the Howard Street Tunnel locks in the tunnel for continued freight train use for many decades to come. Which means downtown Baltimore remains at risk of a derailment and tunnel fire. And that the tunnel could not be repurposed for use by the light rail line which has been suggested and considered in the past. With Governor Hogan in charge, not going to give any thought to that angle.

 

 

 

For now, he has pulled the plug on the Howard Street tunnel project.  Please allow a brief

 

CSX Pulls Support for Baltimore Tunnel Renovation
Port Dealt Blow in Efforts to Win Neopanamax Business

 

 

 

Federal and state lawmakers from Maryland expressed frustration at a decision from CSX Corp. to withdraw its support to fund the renovation of the Howard Street Tunnel near the Port of Baltimore, dealing another blow to the long-awaited project that would allow double-stack trains.

The 122-year-old tunnel is too short in certain spots to handle the intermodal trains unless they’re single stacked, particularly in the westbound direction.

The total cost of about $425 million would’ve been split between CSX, the Maryland Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Upon the news, Maryland withdrew its request for a $155 million federal grant to fund the project.

 

 

Additionally:

 

 

With his arrival, Harrison brought his Precision Scheduled Railroad concept, significantly revamping the intermodal network by eliminating certain underutilized lanes and emphasizing other high-demand corridors. In his cost-conscious efforts, the Howard Street Tunnel project became expendable.

“Given the operating changes that CSX’s new leadership team has made over the last several months, and upon an updated evaluation, we determined that the Howard Street Tunnel project proposal no longer justifies the level of investment required from CSX and our public partners at this time,” CSX spokesman Christopher Smith said. “Intermodal is an important part of CSX’s business and we are committed to supporting the freight rail needs of our customers and the Port of Baltimore through frequent, reliable, on-dock service.”

Maryland’s congressional delegation, however, sent a letter to the railroad expressing disappointment with the decision.

“We seek to understand how a project that has been a top priority for CSX, multiple local, state and federal representatives and the business community for many years — to the exclusion of other local needs and projects — is suddenly no longer of importance to CSX,” the delegation stated in the Nov. 1 letter.

 

 

I'm not sure if this is a ploy to extract more money from the federal government and the state of Maryland, but we'll have to take this seriously for now.

 

1) How will this effect the proposed B&P tunnel? While very little freight moves through it currently, there may be a need to accommodate future service by another operator.

 

2) Upon hearing that CSX withdrew support, Maryland withdrew its funding request. Can they still request the funding and use it to assist the Amtrak tunnel projects?

 

 If anyone ever doubts the uncooperative nature of CSX, they need to look no further than this plan (which was split three ways) that may sabotage their OWN future for years to come.


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