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Is a coast to coast train feasible?


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#101 dogbert617

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:29 AM

 

 

Can Superliners be used on the LSL? If not, you would have to change the corresponding western train to Viewliner. Hopefully the new Viewliners can change all differences in LD trains.

 

 

Superliner cannot be used on the LSL, at least not east/south of ALB. And cannot serve high level platforms at SYR and ALB (and coming at ROC). So really not the best idea east of BUF.

 

What do you mean about Viewliners changing differences?

 

Interesting, I always thought Superliners could theoretically be used at least to Albany-Rensselaer. So the platforms are elevated at Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester, but not Buffalo? I got the impression there weren't any issues that'd prevent Superliners to be used east to Albany, but what do I know?

 

And is Capitol Limited the only Superliner train, in the eastern half of the country past Chicago? I know the Michigan trains occasionally use Superliner cars during winter months, for whatever reason. Wish I could remember why that was.

 

 

I am assuming this New York to Los Angeles never even left the planning stage, does anyone have any more details? New York to Los Angeles in 60 hours?

 

http://www.washingto...022800-idx.html

 

Speaking of this article, I found this within that linked article:

 

"The other is to run sections of two New York-to-Florida trains down the Florida East Coast Railway through St. Augustine, Daytona Beach and Melbourne.

 

The Florida East Coast route was the prime route to Miami until the railroad owned by legendary Florida entrepreneur Ed Ball cut the size of train crews and unions went on strike Jan. 23, 1963. Someone began blowing up track under management-operated trains in 1964. President Lyndon B. Johnson called in the FBI after flying over two sabotaged trains on his way to a speech in Miami Beach, effectively breaking the strike. During the strike passenger trains were rerouted through central Florida and never returned to the coastal route."

 

Wow, so this really is the reason why both Silver trains run through lightly populated areas like Okeechobee, Sebring, and Winter Haven, instead of coastal areas north of Palm Beach/West Palm Beach like Melbourne and Fort Pierce? Granted the central FL route does allow Amtrak to serve Orlando(2 trains) and Tampa(1 train), so I can see why Amtrak might prefer that.


Edited by dogbert617, 17 July 2017 - 12:47 AM.


#102 Eric S

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:43 AM

 

 

 

Can Superliners be used on the LSL? If not, you would have to change the corresponding western train to Viewliner. Hopefully the new Viewliners can change all differences in LD trains.

 

 

Superliner cannot be used on the LSL, at least not east/south of ALB. And cannot serve high level platforms at SYR and ALB (and coming at ROC). So really not the best idea east of BUF.

 

What do you mean about Viewliners changing differences?

 

Interesting, I always thought Superliners could theoretically be used at least to Albany-Rensselaer. So the platforms are elevated at Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester, but not Buffalo? I got the impression there weren't any issues that'd prevent Superliners to be used east to Albany, but what do I know?

 

And is Capitol Limited the only Superliner train, in the eastern half of the country past Chicago? I know the Michigan trains occasionally use Superliner cars during winter months, for whatever reason. Wish I could remember why that was.

 

There are high level platforms at ALB and SYR and it's my understanding that the new ROC station will also include a high level platform.

 

And the Auto Train also uses Superliners.



#103 Bob Dylan

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:42 AM

And the Cardinal used to run Superliners when it ran only between Chicago and Washington.

Edited by Bob Dylan, 17 July 2017 - 08:42 AM.

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#104 neroden

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:53 AM

There are high level platforms at ALB and SYR and it's my understanding that the new ROC station will also include a high level platform.

Yes. The new Schenectedy station will also have high-level platforms. And the recently-opened Niagara Falls station has high-level platforms.

A summary of the Empire Corridor platform situation:
NY Penn (and GCT): high level
Yonkers: high level
Croton-Harmon: high level
Poughkeepsie: high level
Rhinecliff: low level
Hudson: track level, below low level (and a mess, with boarding on only one side, branch tracks which need to be moved and a grade crossing)
Albany-Rensselaer: high level
Schenectady: currently low level, high level under construction
Amsterdam: low level, only one platform
Utica: low level
Rome: low level
Syracuse: high level
Rochester: currently low level, high level under construction
Buffalo-Depew: low level
Buffalo-Exchange: low level
Niagara Falls NY: high level

(The Canadian stations on the Maple Leaf are all low level including Toronto. The LSL stations from Erie west are all low-level.)

The low level stations will all get converted to high level eventually. The prognosis on the ones not under construction:
Rhinecliff: this is Amtrak's legal responsibility, which it has been ducking
Hudson: this is Amtrak's legal responsibility, which it has been ducking
Amsterdam: the station probably needs to be relocated with passenger sidings built (an outline proposal has been made), but nobody seems to be paying much attention
Utica: several proposals have been made, trying to figure out what would get the criminal operation at CSX to cooperate
Rome: repeated proposals to close the station, so it'll probably stay as it is for a long time
Buffalo-Depew: will almost certainly be closed and relocated, but nobody seems willing to commit to a location; the mayor made the unfortunate decision not to replace Depew in the near term
Buffalo-Exchange: current proposals involve rebuilding this with high level platforms, but we'll see; the mayor made the unfortunate decision to replace Exchange without replacing Depew, and I kind of expect the project will die and have to go through another round of discussion

Edited by neroden, 17 July 2017 - 11:55 AM.

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#105 railiner

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:58 PM

Depew will be closed and relocated?   Sure would be nice if they could return to a restored Central Terminal someday...... :)


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#106 Bob Dylan

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:01 PM

Depew will be closed and relocated?   Sure would be nice if they could return to a restored Central Terminal someday...... :)

This!😎

But realistically it will end up like Central Station in Detroit due to lack of money and no political will!😣
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#107 zephyr17

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:04 PM

 

 

 

Can Superliners be used on the LSL? If not, you would have to change the corresponding western train to Viewliner. Hopefully the new Viewliners can change all differences in LD trains.

 

 

Superliner cannot be used on the LSL, at least not east/south of ALB. And cannot serve high level platforms at SYR and ALB (and coming at ROC). So really not the best idea east of BUF.

 

What do you mean about Viewliners changing differences?

 

Interesting, I always thought Superliners could theoretically be used at least to Albany-Rensselaer. So the platforms are elevated at Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester, but not Buffalo? I got the impression there weren't any issues that'd prevent Superliners to be used east to Albany, but what do I know?

 

And is Capitol Limited the only Superliner train, in the eastern half of the country past Chicago? I know the Michigan trains occasionally use Superliner cars during winter months, for whatever reason. Wish I could remember why that was.

 

 

I am assuming this New York to Los Angeles never even left the planning stage, does anyone have any more details? New York to Los Angeles in 60 hours?

 

http://www.washingto...022800-idx.html

 

Speaking of this article, I found this within that linked article:

 

"The other is to run sections of two New York-to-Florida trains down the Florida East Coast Railway through St. Augustine, Daytona Beach and Melbourne.

 

The Florida East Coast route was the prime route to Miami until the railroad owned by legendary Florida entrepreneur Ed Ball cut the size of train crews and unions went on strike Jan. 23, 1963. Someone began blowing up track under management-operated trains in 1964. President Lyndon B. Johnson called in the FBI after flying over two sabotaged trains on his way to a speech in Miami Beach, effectively breaking the strike. During the strike passenger trains were rerouted through central Florida and never returned to the coastal route."

 

Wow, so this really is the reason why both Silver trains run through lightly populated areas like Okeechobee, Sebring, and Winter Haven, instead of coastal areas north of Palm Beach/West Palm Beach like Melbourne and Fort Pierce? Granted the central FL route does allow Amtrak to serve Orlando(2 trains) and Tampa(1 train), so I can see why Amtrak might prefer that.

 

Yes.  Because FEC was out of the passenger business by the time Amtrak was formed, FEC had no incentive to join it, so it didn't and the FEC route was not available to Amtrak.


Edited by zephyr17, 17 July 2017 - 03:04 PM.

Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
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#108 jis

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:36 AM

There has been an ongoing on again off again activity to get Amtrak to run at least one train on the FEC. It requires a bit of track construction around West Palm Beach and restoration/ building of a bunch of stations for which the relevant cities/ incorporated areas are willing to pitch in. So maybe it will happen some day.

Irrespective of that apparently Brightline between JAX and Miami Central looks very likely to happen.

#109 west point

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:16 PM

There is a new problem with Amtrak service using the Brightline stations.  Brightline platforms are high level.  To prevent having to have gauntlet tracks at stations for plate "H" freight trains the Brightline cars all have an extendable platform built into the vestibules of the cars.  These platforms extend out then lower to the station platforms.  This feature will require Amtrak to have portable platforms for each vestibule stored at the station.  A cost for sure and the need for a secure container to store them.  Then the possible training of crews of how to use them ?  Do able yes but ? ?


Edited by west point, 18 July 2017 - 12:18 PM.


#110 jis

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:43 PM

There is a new problem with Amtrak service using the Brightline stations.  Brightline platforms are high level.  To prevent having to have gauntlet tracks at stations for plate "H" freight trains the Brightline cars all have an extendable platform built into the vestibules of the cars.  These platforms extend out then lower to the station platforms.  This feature will require Amtrak to have portable platforms for each vestibule stored at the station.  A cost for sure and the need for a secure container to store them.  Then the possible training of crews of how to use them ?  Do able yes but ? ?

Your understanding I believe is incorrect based on a conversation I had with Rusty (I forget his last name) who is the Director of Public Relations or some such at AAF. He usually comes to our FRPC meetings and also to FECRS meetings to give updates on Brightline.

There are freight bypass tracks at each Brightline station, except Miami Central where there is chance of a freight ever making it there. The platforms are standard height. What Brightline has is Bridge Plates built into the cars to aid loading of wheelchairs and such. People who are able to walk do not need those, but their presence increases safety. Amtrak trains will have no problem platforming at Brightline platforms, like they don't at their own platforms.

#111 Eric S

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:50 AM

Irrespective of that apparently Brightline between JAX and Miami Central looks very likely to happen.

 

Is this *new* news, so to speak? An update to some of the speculation about what *might* happen after Orlando?



#112 jis

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:18 PM

They have mentioned both Tampa and Jax. Nothing beyond that. The only thing on which actual preliminary planning is going on at present beyond Orlando is a station in Brevard County. Nothing else that I know of.

#113 neroden

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:36 PM

Depew will be closed and relocated?   Sure would be nice if they could return to a restored Central Terminal someday...... :)

Yeah, CSX doesn't like having it in the freight yard, and neither does anybody else.

It's very unlikely to be upgraded in place.  When it's upgraded it will be moved.


Edited by neroden, 20 July 2017 - 11:37 PM.

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#114 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 09:47 AM

There is another active thread about spending several consecutive days/nights on a train so I thought about the idea of a coast to coast train again. Most agree it isn't feasible due to the duration of the train and the chance of delays growing the longer of the train. 

 

The current longest train is the Texas Eagle which on CHI-LAX days runs 2728 miles and roughly 2 1/2 days (1:45pm CT to 5:35am PT three days later) but that is combined with the Sunset Limited and isn't a daily train. The next longest train is the California Zephyr which runs 2438 miles and 52 hr, 10 min (2pm CT to 4:10pm PT two days later).

 

Time wise if you added the LSL or CZ to the SWC you would get either 3:40pm or 4:05pm to 8:15am three days later which time wise is comparable to the TE between CHI and LAX but distance wise it would be either 3045 miles (780+2265) or 3224 miles (959+2265). They certainly tried the idea of SWC+CL once and with too few trains it probably led to more headaches. But if there were ever more CHI-NEC trains and CHI-California trains they really should consider the idea of one coast to coast. You know I'm going to push for a "Philly" train and a "Desert Wind/Vegas" train. Perhaps they should be the two that are linked and the LSL, CL, SWC, and CZ can be kept separate.

 

At the very least if not a coast to coast train the Philly train, could be scheduled "off schedule" meaning passengers can leave Chicago eastbound in the morning or early afternoon rather than at night and reach Ohio before midnight so passengers who come in late from California (or from Texas) aren't stranded all day in Chicago until the next night but can leave Chicago earlier and get back to Ohio and/or the NEC if they miss their connections. It also would give Ohio daytime service. In reality, the Cardinal should be an "Ohio" train as it would separate it from the LSL/CL as an option and better serve CIN/IND (the HS can then be the transfer train from the West Coast).

 

But if delays are really the issue preventing most of you from signing off on a coast to coast train then hopefully the technology will come and then in 20-30 years trains from NYP-LAX will take the time it takes from CHI-LAX now and will not have the delay issues they have now. Then maybe I can have a one seat ride from PHL-LAX or at least from PHL-CHI. By then (assuming I'm still alive) I will be at or near retirement age and will have more time to travel the country. It will be sad if the farthest west PHL residents can travel daily 20-30 years from now is PGH (well I guess NOL still counts down south).

 

By the way, what's the link for checking on missed connections? I'm worried about a missed connection soon and if you really don't want me to complain even more about the lack of one seat rides pray I don't miss a connection in the upcoming weeks!


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#115 railiner

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 01:45 PM

Just because a train is a "thru" train.....there is no absolute guarantee that you will have a "one seat ride", if the train is drastically delayed,.  At some point Operations will determine that it would be better to "annul" the train, reaccommodate the thru passenger's, and "set in" an on time train....


metroblue?

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#116 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 04:02 PM

Not related to Amtrak but way a long time ago I wanted to go to Orlando for a bowl game. It was last minute since I didn't know Penn State was going to the Citrus Bowl (my graduate school).  At that time the train fare was so expensive I decided to take the train to Orlando instead. I was supposed to be on a one seat ride from Orlando to Washington/Philadelphia (I forget) but the bus driver announced somewhere (I think it was Fayetteville, NC) that the bus was "cut" so they kicked us off the bus and we had to wait in the bus station in the middle of the night for the next northbound bus. So I had a similar situation happen in Greyhound world and in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere.


Trains Traveled: Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA), Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Lake Shore Limited (NYP-CHI), , Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL), Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX), California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY), City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL), Texas Eagle (CHI-DAL)
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https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/


#117 west point

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 04:03 PM

Let us take an aside.  Do any of you want to get on an airplane that has not been cleaned and serviced for 3 - 1/2 day ?  Much less 2 days ?  Oh  that right  just ride Aeroflot !



#118 PRR 60

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 02:27 PM

I've removed a whole bunch of posts that had nothing to do with a cross country train and became just an immature back and forth. Some other posts that were related to those posts were also removed.  I'm also closing this topic as asked and answered.






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