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Proposal for Extending Crescent to SAS & Improving TE schedule


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#1 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:14 PM

This is me brainstorming here:

 

Currently Amtrak has a SL going from NOL to LAX and a TE going from CHI to LAX. These trains merge/split in SAS. If you are going from anywhere between CHI and before SAS, you have a layover in SAS from 9:55pm to 2:45am waiting for the SL. The layover eastbound is shorter but right before dawn (4:50am to 7:00am). The SAS to LAX times are lousy (2:45am to 5:35am going west and 10:00pm to 4:50am going east).

 

My proposal which I'm sure others have thought of:

 

Run the Texas Eagle directly from CHI to LAX with a minimal stop in SAS.

 

Extend the Crescent from NOL to SAS along the SL route. 

 

This would kill the SL in name but the entire current route is still being used (NOL to SAS along the Crescent and SAS to LAX along the Texas Eagle).

 

Some brainstorming on times:

 

Crescent 19 going south departs four hours later:

 

NYP 6:15pm, PHL 7:55pm, WAS 10:30pm, Charlotte 6:20/6:45am, ATL 12:13/12:38pm, NOL 11:32/midnight, HOU 9:18/9:55am, SAS 3:05pm

 

Texas Eagle 21 going south departs CHI at noon (1:45 earlier). The portion to LAX leaves SAS at 9:00pm (5:45 earlier).

 

CHI noon, STL 5:36/6:15pm, DAL 9:45/10:05am, SAS 8:10/9:00pm, El Paso 7:37/8:02am, Tucson 1:00/1:50pm , Maricopa 3:07/3:17pm, LAX 11:50pm

 

Passengers from NOL to SAS (including HOU) now have to change trains in SAS and there is about a 6 hour layover (3:05pm to 9:00pm) but the times are much better than the current layover in SAS for passengers coming from STL and DAL.

 

 

Texas Eagle 22 going east departs LAX at 11:00pm (1 hr later)

 

LAX 11:00pm, Maricopa 6:30/6:40am, Tucson 8:28/9:15am, El Paso 4:10/4:35pm, SAS 5:50am/7:00am (SAS to CHI times unchanged)

 

Crescent 20 going north departs SAS at 2:25pm (8 hrs after the SL does now)

 

SAS 2:25pm, HOU 7:10/8:10pm, NOL 5:40/7:00am (NOL to NYP times unchanged)

 

The layover in SAS is now 5:50am to 2:25pm (about 8.5 hrs). You can leave SAS earlier and get into NOL earlier but that would be the middle of the night.

 

The losers would clearly be anyone from NOL to SAS who wants to go west of SAS. But if this service is daily, that might be a gain. The layover going west isn't much longer than the one with the Texas Eagle now. Plus, they can now go to anywhere along the Crescent route without changing trains in NOL (and again, daily). So you can ask the people between NOL and SAS would they rather see the eastern part of the US or the western part?

 

The winners would be anyone along the Crescent route who now have a direct route to HOU and SAS. With the new schedule, you would leave PHL at 7:55pm and arrive in SAS at 3:05pm two days later. Right now, you'd have to leave much earlier and wouldn't get into SAS until 9:55pm, NYP to SAS would be 6:15pm to 3:05pm 2 days later instead of 3:40pm to 9:55pm 2 days later. WAS to SAS would be 10:30pm to 3:05 2 days later instead of 4:05pm to 9:55pm 2 days later. The Charlotte times going south are now early in the morning rather than in the middle of the night (although the northbound ones remain unchanged). Plus now you can go North Carolina or ATL to HOU and SAS and connect in SAS for Arizona and LAX (leave ATL 12:38pm, arrive in LAX 11:50pm 2 days later). 

 

Also winning would be the southbound passengers going from north of SAS to Arizona and LAX who lose the 5.5 hr layover. Plus, I would think 11:50pm would be preferable to 5:35am getting into LAX.

 

The other problem is if Amtrak does it, it is basically saying the eastern part of the SL is never coming back. If they've made up their minds, maybe this is an improvement.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 11 October 2015 - 04:26 PM.

Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#2 CCC1007

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 04:13 PM

The one problem that I know about is the extremely short platform at maricopa, which can't be expanded due to a major road and a minor road on either side of it. The train generates complaints from locals as is due to needing to block the road while they stop up to four separate times!

#3 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 04:25 PM

The one problem that I know about is the extremely short platform at maricopa, which can't be expanded due to a major road and a minor road on either side of it. The train generates complaints from locals as is due to needing to block the road while they stop up to four separate times!

 

How do you get four separate times? It would just be the TE at different times than the SL currently runs.


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#4 FrensicPic

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 04:45 PM

I think he may be referring to the fact that the trains have to do multiple spots due to the short platform. During all these spots, the train blocks at least one road. I've sat in my sleeper and watched the traffic back up! Also, Maricopa is a crew change point which also adds time to the stop.


John...

29,076 miles on the Coast Starlight, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder, California Zephyr and Capitol Limited.

More miles on the Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, White Pass and Yukon Route, Grand Canyon Railway, Napa Valley Wine Train, Fillmore and Western and private railcars with LARail.com

 

Photos: http://www.flickr.co...rensicpic/sets/<p> 


#5 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 04:47 PM

I think he may be referring to the fact that the trains have to do multiple spots due to the short platform. During all these spots, the train blocks at least one road. I've sat in my sleeper and watched the traffic back up! Also, Maricopa is a crew change point which also adds time to the stop.

 

But that's a problem already. I don't see how my proposal makes it worse.


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#6 FrensicPic

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 05:15 PM

 

I think he may be referring to the fact that the trains have to do multiple spots due to the short platform. During all these spots, the train blocks at least one road. I've sat in my sleeper and watched the traffic back up! Also, Maricopa is a crew change point which also adds time to the stop.

 

But that's a problem already. I don't see how my proposal makes it worse.

 

Exactly. I agree...that's why I made that comment.


John...

29,076 miles on the Coast Starlight, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder, California Zephyr and Capitol Limited.

More miles on the Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, White Pass and Yukon Route, Grand Canyon Railway, Napa Valley Wine Train, Fillmore and Western and private railcars with LARail.com

 

Photos: http://www.flickr.co...rensicpic/sets/<p> 


#7 west point

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 09:00 PM

Philly:  Problem would be the need for 3 additional Crescent train sets. A new station at Atlanta is desperately needed to be able to drop surplus cars at Atlanta.  How ridership would be west of NOL is anyone's guess so equipment needs there ?    A decent layover at NOL is needed so car maintenance can fix any bad order items or substitute equipment. So until Amtrak gets reliable locos and whatever new Viewliner cars needed.  3 - 1/2 baggage, 10 coaches ( unless Horizons which are nearly verboten on the NEC, 3 - 1/2 diners, 9 sleepers. 

Got some money ?



#8 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 09:20 PM

Well currently it is (to the best of my knowledge) ...

 

7 Viewliners from NYP to NOL

7 Superliners from CHI to SAS

3 Superliners from NOL to LAX

 

I am assuming on the 3 days the TE heads to LAX that the coach, sleeper, and baggage cars from the TE hook up with the SL at SAS. They wouldn't need an extra diner or lounge car.

 

Remember in my proposal the 3 Superliners from NOL to LAX aren't needed. You can use the same Viewliners between NOL and SAS and use the same Superliners from CHI to SAS through to LAX. There would be no hooking at SAS anymore. 

 

I don't see how any new cars are necessary. You would need more staff for the extra four days over the current SL but Amtrak wants to make the SL daily anyway.

 

The ridership west of NOL on the Crescent would be the current SL passengers plus any carryover from east of NOL.


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#9 Ryan

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 10:13 PM

Unless you are going to chop off the top of the Superliners, you can't really treat them as interchangeable.

You plan would work if you truncated the train at WAS and could use Superliners. Just make it an easy transfer at WAS for anyone headed up the NEC, no big deal.
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#10 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 10:25 PM

Unless you are going to chop off the top of the Superliners, you can't really treat them as interchangeable.

You plan would work if you truncated the train at WAS and could use Superliners. Just make it an easy transfer at WAS for anyone headed up the NEC, no big deal.

 

I am not planning on a through connection at SAS. If you are going from the Crescent to the Texas Eagle at SAS (including anywhere between NOL and SAS to anywhere west of SAS) you have to transfer. So the Viewliners are needed from NYP to SAS rather than NYP to NOL, no new Viewliners are needed. They would still use Superliners from SAS to LAX using the Texas Eagle trains minus any excess coaches and sleepers they don't need could be stored in SAS.


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 11 October 2015 - 10:26 PM.

Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#11 jis

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 09:34 AM

How many consists do you think the Crescent uses for its NYP - NOL service today?

#12 afigg

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 10:13 AM

I am not planning on a through connection at SAS. If you are going from the Crescent to the Texas Eagle at SAS (including anywhere between NOL and SAS to anywhere west of SAS) you have to transfer. So the Viewliners are needed from NYP to SAS rather than NYP to NOL, no new Viewliners are needed. They would still use Superliners from SAS to LAX using the Texas Eagle trains minus any excess coaches and sleepers they don't need could be stored in SAS.

jis beat me to it in responding to your post. Anyway, the Crescent requires 4 consists to support its current NYP-NOL service. NOL to SAS is a circa 15 hour trip. I have not tried to figure out your schedule in depth with regard to equipment turnarounds, but an extension to SAS would probably require 6 Crescent consists. Which is a lot of additional single level equipment.

Your proposed change to the Crescent schedule changes the NYP/WAS to ATL overnight trip schedule for start of work day arrivals at ATL and end of work day departures from ATL that has been in place since before Amtrak. I don't see Amtrak messing with that traditional schedule in any significant way. That also goes for extending the Crescent west of NOL all the way to San Antonio.

There are possibilities in revising the TE and SL schedules to trim trip times and cut costs as improvements come into play on segments of their routes. The CHI to STL corridor, TE move to the TRE tracks between Dallas and FTW; UP getting close to completing double tracking of the entire route between El Paso and Southern California. Bringing the Crescent into it just muddies the discussion.

#13 MikefromCrete

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 10:52 AM

Let see, the most popular part of the Crescent is the overnight trip between Atlanta and Washington, as well as the rest of the NE corridor. Extending the train all the way to San Antonio means that more delays, sometimes extreme, are possible. What happens when that overnight train from Atlanta is 12 hours late because the train and a vehicle collided somewhere in Texas or weather conditions bring delays? Stretching out the length of long distance trains is not a good idea. Various proposals to stretch the Lynchburger further and further out into the deep south also work to diminish the original appeal of the train. Establishing a new train from New Orleans to San Antonio, making the Texas Chief a Chicago-West Coast train is not a bad idea because it's already a LD train not dependent on local traffic. Hey, establish a new train from Washington to San Antonio, but leave the NYC-Atlanta core of the Crescent alone. Don't mess with a successful operation because something looks good on a map.

#14 afigg

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 11:09 AM

 

I think he may be referring to the fact that the trains have to do multiple spots due to the short platform. During all these spots, the train blocks at least one road. I've sat in my sleeper and watched the traffic back up! Also, Maricopa is a crew change point which also adds time to the stop.

 
But that's a problem already. I don't see how my proposal makes it worse.

 

The time of day matters when the Amtrak train blocks traffic in Maricopa. The current schedule times have the SL stopping there in the evening and before 6 AM, outside of peak rush hours. However, it looks as if the grade crossing at SR 347 may be separated in 5 to 6 years with a bridge over the UP tracks. The state of Arizona has received federal approval for a road bridge and AZ DOT has allocated $55 million for the bridge with $36 million for construction in FY2020.  Law firm article(?): SR 347 bridge project in Pinal County gets approval from Feds



#15 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 02:53 PM

Let see, the most popular part of the Crescent is the overnight trip between Atlanta and Washington, as well as the rest of the NE corridor. Extending the train all the way to San Antonio means that more delays, sometimes extreme, are possible. What happens when that overnight train from Atlanta is 12 hours late because the train and a vehicle collided somewhere in Texas or weather conditions bring delays? Stretching out the length of long distance trains is not a good idea. Various proposals to stretch the Lynchburger further and further out into the deep south also work to diminish the original appeal of the train. Establishing a new train from New Orleans to San Antonio, making the Texas Chief a Chicago-West Coast train is not a bad idea because it's already a LD train not dependent on local traffic. Hey, establish a new train from Washington to San Antonio, but leave the NYC-Atlanta core of the Crescent alone. Don't mess with a successful operation because something looks good on a map.

 

Right now, the Texas Eagle merges with the Sunset Limited. You are proposing the other way around with the Sunset Limited (NOL-SAS) joining with the Texas Eagle which would go through CHI to LAX. Unfortunately NOL to SAS is only 573 miles so separating the NOL to SAS route requires state funding from Texas and Louisiana unless they actually extend the SL back to Florida. 

 

Assuming the SL remains NOL to LAX you would like to have a decent transfer at NOL to the Crescent (a SL-CONO connection wouldn't help too many people I can think of) and a decent transfer at SAS to the Texas Eagle. Right now, even if you wanted to transfer from the Crescent to the SL you would have to do overnight in NOL both ways. In SAS, the layover is almost 6 hrs going from the TE to the SL and it is 9:55pm to 2:45am. The eastbound transfer from the SL to the TE is slightly better but still not ideal.

 

Assuming you keep the Crescent and TE the same, it is impossible to have a decent connection to the Crescent at NOL and a decent connection to the Texas Eagle at SAS. My assumption is the SAS connection is more valuable as you can get Dallas to LAX and most of the NEC would go one of the eastern routes to the SWC although a Crescent/SL connection at NOL could serve ATL to LAX (try doing that trip now).

 

The 2:45am SAS to 5:35am LAX sucks on both ends. The best I can do there while maintaining an evening arrival into SAS from CHI and DAL is 9:00pm SAS to 11:50pm LAX and that would require shifting the TE earlier which may not be ideal. Assuming either Texas/La fund a NOL to SAS leg or the SL is extended to Florida, then a train from NOL has to arrive in SAS around 7:00pm (maybe earlier) if I use the proposed 9:00pm SAS departure on the TE. 7:00pm into SAS would require a 4:00am departure from NOL which is never going to happen. If we do a midnight departure from NOL it would get into SAS around 3pm and then passengers from NOL to SAS would have to wait 6 hrs for the TE. Now this wait is a better time but the question is would you rather the passengers from DAL (and possibly STL) wait 6 hours in SAS or have the passengers from NOL/HOU wait 6 hours in SAS (although at better times)? Are there more passengers traveling to LAX from Dallas/St. Louis or Houston/New Orleans? If the answer is Dallas, maybe the shift would work and you can use my times except the Crescent would go back to the regular schedule and the SL would be NOL midnight, HOU 9:18/9:55am, SAS 3:05pm/9:00pm.

 

So the question is how do you arrange the SL to get a decent connection time in SAS with the Texas Eagle and/or in NOL with the Crescent while allowing for a better arrival time in LAX than 5:35am?


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#16 jis

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 09:49 AM

Well currently it is (to the best of my knowledge) ...

 

7 Viewliners from NYP to NOL

7 Superliners from CHI to SAS

3 Superliners from NOL to LAX

 

I am assuming on the 3 days the TE heads to LAX that the coach, sleeper, and baggage cars from the TE hook up with the SL at SAS. They wouldn't need an extra diner or lounge car.

 

Remember in my proposal the 3 Superliners from NOL to LAX aren't needed. You can use the same Viewliners between NOL and SAS and use the same Superliners from CHI to SAS through to LAX. There would be no hooking at SAS anymore. 

 

I don't see how any new cars are necessary. You would need more staff for the extra four days over the current SL but Amtrak wants to make the SL daily anyway.

 

The ridership west of NOL on the Crescent would be the current SL passengers plus any carryover from east of NOL.

I do agree about your contention that the Superliner consist that is used between NOL and SAS can just be used from CHI instead beefing up the through consist to LAX, or to go into the equipment pool to make the TE daily all the say to LAX.

 

Currently the Crescent uses 4 consists to run  the daily service not 7 (as you seem to imply). With your proposal with your proposed timing, the Crescent will need 5 consists. So basically the following equipment will need to be found from somewhere:

 

1 Viewliner II Baggage

2 Viewliner Sleepers

1 Amfleet II Cafe/Lounge

1 Viewliner II Diner

4 Amfleet II Coaches

2 P40/42s

 

One source for this may be to use these cars for this service instead of for the through running from the Pennsy to Cap. but I don't think that could be justified based on overall demand projections on the two competing proposals. I can't see where else you could find these cars from. The Coaches could be finagled by using Horizons I suppose as can the Amcafe. But the problem will be with Sleepers and possibly the Diner. I am assuming that the release of P40/42s from the midwest upon the arrival of Chargers there will provide enough leeway to find the engines.



#17 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 04:45 PM

 

Well currently it is (to the best of my knowledge) ...

 

7 Viewliners from NYP to NOL

7 Superliners from CHI to SAS

3 Superliners from NOL to LAX

 

I am assuming on the 3 days the TE heads to LAX that the coach, sleeper, and baggage cars from the TE hook up with the SL at SAS. They wouldn't need an extra diner or lounge car.

 

Remember in my proposal the 3 Superliners from NOL to LAX aren't needed. You can use the same Viewliners between NOL and SAS and use the same Superliners from CHI to SAS through to LAX. There would be no hooking at SAS anymore. 

 

I don't see how any new cars are necessary. You would need more staff for the extra four days over the current SL but Amtrak wants to make the SL daily anyway.

 

The ridership west of NOL on the Crescent would be the current SL passengers plus any carryover from east of NOL.

I do agree about your contention that the Superliner consist that is used between NOL and SAS can just be used from CHI instead beefing up the through consist to LAX, or to go into the equipment pool to make the TE daily all the say to LAX.

 

Currently the Crescent uses 4 consists to run  the daily service not 7 (as you seem to imply). With your proposal with your proposed timing, the Crescent will need 5 consists. So basically the following equipment will need to be found from somewhere:

 

1 Viewliner II Baggage

2 Viewliner Sleepers

1 Amfleet II Cafe/Lounge

1 Viewliner II Diner

4 Amfleet II Coaches

2 P40/42s

 

One source for this may be to use these cars for this service instead of for the through running from the Pennsy to Cap. but I don't think that could be justified based on overall demand projections on the two competing proposals. I can't see where else you could find these cars from. The Coaches could be finagled by using Horizons I suppose as can the Amcafe. But the problem will be with Sleepers and possibly the Diner. I am assuming that the release of P40/42s from the midwest upon the arrival of Chargers there will provide enough leeway to find the engines.

 

 

When I said 7 and 3 above I meant 7 trains per week to distinguish from the Sunset Limited. The assumption here is the Crescent takes the place of the SL between NOL and SAS and the Texas Eagle replaces the SL between SAS and LAX. So there technically wouldn't be a Sunset Limited anymore although the route will still be served. Wouldn't those trains then be freed up? You would continue the Crescent trains and the Texas Eagle trains that are already running. I know it isn't as simple as I said so please fill in the details.


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#18 jis

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 01:16 PM

For Crescent equipment requirements I just did, in the message that you responded to.

#19 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:05 PM

How about make the Crescent only NYP-ATL and have the Sunset Limited go ATL-SAS?

 

The PRIAA clearly stated the demand is higher north of ATL than south. If the split occurs, you can service the southbound train in ATL and send it back north to NYP the same day in the 12 hour span so no storage in ATL is necessary. Amtrak did discuss splitting the train at ATL ("connected corridors") and the loss of passengers and that certainly is a concern. But if you add service from ATL to Texas (HOU and SAS) you may gain passengers you lose from splitting. Plus, you can go from the East Coast to HOU and SAS by one connection (ATL) and it might be quicker than via CHI (right now NEC to HOU would require an overnight in NOL). Also, if the SAS connection is better to the TE, it could give service from ATL to LAX and Ariz in one stop.

 

If you use the NYP to ATL times (arriving 8:13am from NYP, leaving 8:04pm to NYP)...

 

The train heading west would have to arrive in NOL either before midnight or early the next day. You can shift the ATL to NOL portion of the Crescent four hours so it leaves ATL at 12:38pm and arrives in NOL at 11:32pm. Then it can continue to SAS using the times I suggested (NOL midnight, HOU 9:18/9:55am, SAS 3:05pm). At SOS, you connect with the extended Texas Eagle, leaving SAS around 9pm.

 

The train heading east would have to leave NOL before midnight to allow an adequate transfer at ATL. The train can use the SL times from SAS to NOL and then leave NOL around 11pm (eight hour shift) and arrive in ATL around 11:35am. The layover in ATL would be nine hours but any later arrival would force the train to arrive/leave NOL in the middle of the night. 

 

Of course these changes would depend a lot on an improved station in ATL. I imagine it wouldn't be pleasant spending 4-9 hrs. in ATL's current station.

 

I remember someone saying they wanted to try the NOL connection from east to west as traveling along the southern routes is less prone to snow delays which may happen if connecting in CHI. Right now between the Crescent and Sunset Limited, that's an overnight in NOL on your own dime. Is there a way to improve the connection?

Also the idea of running the Texas Eagle CHI-LAX with the Sunset Limited connecting at SAS rather than the other way around would require either state funding by Texas and Louisiana for a NOL-SAS route or extending the NOL-SAS further east. Of course the best choice would be to Florida. But if that's not possible, perhaps ATL would be a second choice.


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#20 neroden

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 09:12 PM

This is me brainstorming here:
 
Currently Amtrak has a SL going from NOL to LAX and a TE going from CHI to LAX. These trains merge/split in SAS. If you are going from anywhere between CHI and before SAS, you have a layover in SAS from 9:55pm to 2:45am waiting for the SL. The layover eastbound is shorter but right before dawn (4:50am to 7:00am). The SAS to LAX times are lousy (2:45am to 5:35am going west and 10:00pm to 4:50am going east).
 
My proposal which I'm sure others have thought of:
 
Run the Texas Eagle directly from CHI to LAX with a minimal stop in SAS.
...
Thoughts?


This actually makes sense to me. The major problem is this: It would increase delays on the Crescent.

The Crescent has very few hosts. It's Amtrak (New Orleans) to NS to CSX (Alexandria-Union Station) to Amtrak.

This would add UP (San Antonio-Lake Charles), BNSF (Lake Charles-New Orleans), CN (New Orleans), and New Orleans Public Belt (New Orleans). In addition, it would add a lot of runtime to generate delays. This is a recipe for delays.

The minor problems: it would require more Viewliners; it would have a crummy transfer at SAS; there is nowhere to drop cars at Atlanta.

If Atlanta somehow, miracle of miracles, got a new station, I wouldn't mind a Crescent from Atlanta to NY and a separate "Gulf & Western" from Atlanta-New Orleans-San Antonio, but the "Gulf & Western" would still have the problem of six host railroads.

FWIW there is no legal problem with running a daily Texas Eagle LAX-SAS-CHI and a set of coaches from SAS to NOL funded as part of the national system; just declare the SAS-NOL train be a section of the Texas Eagle, like the Boston and New York sections of the LSL. Even though right now everyone has to get off the train from Boston at Albany, it's still officially part of the LSL, so it doesn't trigger the PRIIA state funding requirements. :rolleyes:

Edited by neroden, 23 October 2015 - 09:15 PM.

--Nathanael--

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