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Feasibility of Florida-Chicago Train via Atlanta, Nashville, Louisvill


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#1 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 08:32 PM

The train could use the following routing.
-CSX and possibly FEC South of Jacksonville
-CSX Jacksonville-Cordelle, GA via Waycross
-NS Cordelle, GA-Atlanta via Macon
-CSX Atlanta-Lousville via Chattanooga and Nashville
-Louisville and Indiana-Louisville-Indianapolis
Refueling could be done at endpoints and Atlanta (and if necessary Indianapolis and Jacksonville)
Using a generous average speed of 45 MPH, I was able to calculate a proposed schedule. It would require 4 Train sets and take a day and a half to complete.
Mile posts were calculated using current routes and Google maps on roads parallel to the railroad.
Northbound is the left time and Southbound is the right time.
I would appreciate feedback.
Thanks for your time.

0 CHICAGO, IL 4:54 PM-11:06 AM
--------------------------------------
29 Dyer, IN 5:15 PM-12:45 PM
74 Rensselaer, IN 4:15 PM-1:45 PM
122 Lafayette, IN 3:11 PM-2:49 PM
149 Crawfordsville, IN 2:35 PM-3:25 PM
196 INDIANAPOLIS, IN 1:32 PM-4:28 PM
239 Columbus, IN 12:35 PM-5:25 PM
279 Scottsburg, IN 11:42 AM-6:18 PM
307 Jeffersonville, IN 11:05 AM-6:55 PM
--------------------------------------
312 LOUISVILLE, KY 10:58 AM-7:02 PM
352 Elizabethtown, KY 10:05 AM-7:55 PM
402 Cave City, KY 8:58 AM-9:02 PM
447 Bowling Green, KY 7:58 AM-10:02 PM
--------------------------------------
497 Gallatin, TN 6:51 AM-11:09 PM
522 NASHVILLE, TN 6:18 AM--11:42 PM
557 Murfreesboro, TN 5:31 AM-12:29 AM
592 Tullahoma, TN 4:44 AM-1:16 AM
--------------------------------------
642 Stevenson, AL 3:37 AM-2:23 AM
--------------------------------------
682 Chattanooga, TN 2:44 AM-3:16 AM
--------------------------------------
717 Dalton, GA 1:57 AM-4:03 AM
742 Calhoun, GA 1:24 AM-4:36 AM
782 Cartersville, GA 12:31 AM-5:29 AM
807 Marietta, GA 11:57 PM-6:03 AM
827 ATLANTA, GA 11:30 PM-6:30 AM
852 McDonough, GA 10:57 PM-7:03 AM
902 Macon, GA 9:50 PM-8:10 AM
922 Warner Robins, GA 9:23 PM-8:37 AM
972 Cordele, GA 8:16 PM-9:44 AM
1007 Fitzgerald, GA 7:29 PM-10:31 AM
1037 Douglas, GA 6:49 PM-11:11 AM
1087 Waycross, GA 5:42 PM-12:18 PM
1122 Folkston, GA 4:55 PM-1:05 PM
--------------------------------------
1162 JACKSONVILLE, FL 4:02 PM-1:58 PM

1162 JACKSONVILLE, FL 3:22 PM-2:28 PM
1220 Palatka, FL 2:05 PM-3:45 PM
1272 DeLand, FL 12:56 PM-4:54 PM
1304 Winter Park, FL 12:13 PM-5:37 PM
1309 ORLANDO, FL 12:06 PM-5:44 PM
1327 Kissimmee, FL 11:42 AM-6:08 PM
1377 Lakeland, FL 10:35 AM-7:15 PM
1408 TAMPA, FL 9:54 AM-7:56 PM
1440 Clearwater, FL 9:11 AM-8:39 PM
1463 ST. PETERSBURG, FL 8:40 AM-9:10 PM

1162 JACKSONVILLE, FL 3:32 PM-2:18 PM
1199 St. Augustine, FL 2:43 PM-3:07 PM
1249 Bunnell, FL 1:36 PM-4:14 PM
1272 Daytona Beach, FL 1:05 PM-4:45 PM
1316 Titusville, FL 12:06 PM-5:44 PM
1356 Melbourne, FL 11:13 AM-6:37 PM
1404 Ft. Pierce, FL 10:09 AM-7:41 PM
1461 West Palm Beach, FL 8:53 AM-8:57 PM
1479 Delray Beach, FL 8:29 AM-9:21 PM
1489 Deerfield Beach, FL 8:16 AM-9:34 PM
1503 Fort Lauderdale, FL 7:57 AM-9:53 PM
1511 Hollywood, FL 7:46 AM-10:04 PM
1531 MIAMI, FL 7:19 AM-10:31 PM
Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

Upcoming New Routes: Piedmont RGH-GRO (July), Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH (July), Cardinal CHI-WIL (July), Lake Shore Limited NYP-CHI (December), California Zephyr CHI-RIC (December), Coast Starlight SJC-SEA (December), Empire Builder SEA-MSP (January).

Non Amtrak: Atlanta Streetcar, Caltrain, CTA, DC Streetcar, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, LIRR, MARC, MARTA, MBTA Subway, Metra, Metrolink, METRO Transit Light Rail, Miami Metrorail, Muni Metro, NJT Commuter Rail, North Star, NYC Subway, PATH, River Line (NJT), SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Subway, South Shore Line, Sunrail, TECO Streetcar, Tri-Rail, Washington Metro

#2 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 08:58 PM

I'm guessing your northbound time in Chicago is wrong because how can a train leave Dyer and get in Chicago earlier (wouldn't be a time zone difference since they are both the same time).

 

In theory it's good but it will be expensive.


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)!
 
 


#3 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 09:02 PM

Sorry, I did not realize Dyer was Central time. Thanks for the correction.
Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

Upcoming New Routes: Piedmont RGH-GRO (July), Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH (July), Cardinal CHI-WIL (July), Lake Shore Limited NYP-CHI (December), California Zephyr CHI-RIC (December), Coast Starlight SJC-SEA (December), Empire Builder SEA-MSP (January).

Non Amtrak: Atlanta Streetcar, Caltrain, CTA, DC Streetcar, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, LIRR, MARC, MARTA, MBTA Subway, Metra, Metrolink, METRO Transit Light Rail, Miami Metrorail, Muni Metro, NJT Commuter Rail, North Star, NYC Subway, PATH, River Line (NJT), SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Subway, South Shore Line, Sunrail, TECO Streetcar, Tri-Rail, Washington Metro

#4 maxbuskirk

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 11:04 PM

Didn't we talk about how this train wouldn't work out a couple times before?

Sorry to discourage you, I had the same idea too :)

Oh, and you can use the Floridian's mileposts from the 70's at timetables.org .

Edited by maxbuskirk, 30 March 2016 - 11:05 PM.

I have ridden Cascades #516 (SEA-STW), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-SLO), Southwest Chief #4 (LAX-CHI), Cardinal #50 (CHI-NYP), Northeast Regional #85 (NYP-WAS), Capitol Limited #30 (HFY-WAS), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-PDX), and many Pacific Surfliners with Amtrak. I have seen, including the previous, California Zephyr #5 at SAC (with luck), what I guess to be Crescent #19 (at WAS) and Silver Meteor #97 (at WAS), and Empire Builder #28 at PDX. I have also ridden the Hokutosei in Japan, Ueno - Sapporo (now discontinued).


#5 railiner

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 12:53 AM

It's always fun to 'construct' a proposed schedule....just a bit curious though....why did you begin the trips at such 'odd' times (instead of on the hour...)?


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#6 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 04:00 AM

I started in Atlanta and Nashville in order to prevent either one from getting an overnight time. From there I calculated exactly 45 MPH between stations.
Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

Upcoming New Routes: Piedmont RGH-GRO (July), Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH (July), Cardinal CHI-WIL (July), Lake Shore Limited NYP-CHI (December), California Zephyr CHI-RIC (December), Coast Starlight SJC-SEA (December), Empire Builder SEA-MSP (January).

Non Amtrak: Atlanta Streetcar, Caltrain, CTA, DC Streetcar, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, LIRR, MARC, MARTA, MBTA Subway, Metra, Metrolink, METRO Transit Light Rail, Miami Metrorail, Muni Metro, NJT Commuter Rail, North Star, NYC Subway, PATH, River Line (NJT), SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Subway, South Shore Line, Sunrail, TECO Streetcar, Tri-Rail, Washington Metro

#7 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 04:07 AM

Didn't the Floridian bypass Indianapolis? I believe it also took a further west routing South of Nashville staying in Alabama much longer and bypassing Chatanooga, Atlanta, and Macon. I considered using that same route but this one is shorter and goes through larger cities.
Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

Upcoming New Routes: Piedmont RGH-GRO (July), Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH (July), Cardinal CHI-WIL (July), Lake Shore Limited NYP-CHI (December), California Zephyr CHI-RIC (December), Coast Starlight SJC-SEA (December), Empire Builder SEA-MSP (January).

Non Amtrak: Atlanta Streetcar, Caltrain, CTA, DC Streetcar, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, LIRR, MARC, MARTA, MBTA Subway, Metra, Metrolink, METRO Transit Light Rail, Miami Metrorail, Muni Metro, NJT Commuter Rail, North Star, NYC Subway, PATH, River Line (NJT), SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Subway, South Shore Line, Sunrail, TECO Streetcar, Tri-Rail, Washington Metro

#8 jphjaxfl

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 06:35 AM

The Kentucky Cardinal is the most recent passenger train on the Louisville and Indiana between Indianapolis.  It was very slow averaging about 25 miles per hour, but it was primarily a mail train.  It carried Superliner Cars and merged with the Cardinal to/from Chicago at Indianapolis.  I rode the Superliner Sleeper once and was the only customer.  I got very good service from the SCA.  Until the tracks through Indiana are upgraded, no passenger train from Chicago to Florida will make sense.  I was a frequent traveler on the Floridian and previous South Wind from Chicago to Florida.  In the late 60s before Amtrak, there was still a good passenger train market from Chicago to Florida via the  City of Miami/South Wind which operated on alternate days. Unfortunately, the bad tracks that Amtrak had to deal with in the early 1970s drove passengers away with very late trains and being very undependable.  Unless a train can be developed that will average 50-55 mph from Chicago to Florida, it would be a huge waste of money that Congress will not consider.



#9 CoachSlumber

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 08:47 AM

The Kentucky Cardinal is the most recent passenger train on the Louisville and Indiana between Indianapolis.  It was very slow averaging about 25 miles per hour, but it was primarily a mail train.  It carried Superliner Cars and merged with the Cardinal to/from Chicago at Indianapolis.  I rode the Superliner Sleeper once and was the only customer.  I got very good service from the SCA.  Until the tracks through Indiana are upgraded, no passenger train from Chicago to Florida will make sense.  I was a frequent traveler on the Floridian and previous South Wind from Chicago to Florida.  In the late 60s before Amtrak, there was still a good passenger train market from Chicago to Florida via the  City of Miami/South Wind which operated on alternate days. Unfortunately, the bad tracks that Amtrak had to deal with in the early 1970s drove passengers away with very late trains and being very undependable.  Unless a train can be developed that will average 50-55 mph from Chicago to Florida, it would be a huge waste of money that Congress will not consider.

I will always remember boarding the Floridian in Chicago one evening in the late '70s. After departure, a passenger was flabbergasted to learn we would not be arriving in Florida the next morning, but the morning after that.



#10 railiner

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 02:07 PM

Oh, and you can use the Floridian's mileposts from the 70's at timetables.org .

Maybe for part of the proposed route...(the Floridian went via Birmingham and Montgomery)....


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#11 ainamkartma

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 02:11 PM

If you could get the average speed up to 55 mph (approximately equal to the SWC), you could get a schedule like:

 

Chicago         8:50 AM      5:00 PM

Indianapolis   6:15 AM      9:30 PM

Louisville       4:10 AM     11:40 PM

Nashville      12:20 AM      3:30 AM

Atlanta           6:50 PM      9:00 AM

Jacksonville 12:45 PM      3:10 PM

Miami             6:00 AM      9:50 PM

 

By sacrificing reasonable service times at Louisville and Nashville, this schedule creates a business-friendly overnight timing between Chicago and Atlanta and a very long day train between Atlanta and Miami.  It also only uses three train sets.  Realistic?  Probably not... but we can dream, I guess.

 

Ainam "I would ride that Chicago-Atlanta section in a heartbeat" Kartma



#12 jis

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 02:17 PM

You'll never get much less than 8 hours from MIA to JAX on the current Amtrak route. An even less likely to get anything even close to that kind of speed beyond that.



#13 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 07:03 PM

If 55 MPH could be reached, I think the second proposed schedule would work well except I would make the northbound 3 hours later. This would give a better time in Miami and give Louisville a reasonable time, leaving Nashville as the only major city traversed overnight.
Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

Upcoming New Routes: Piedmont RGH-GRO (July), Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH (July), Cardinal CHI-WIL (July), Lake Shore Limited NYP-CHI (December), California Zephyr CHI-RIC (December), Coast Starlight SJC-SEA (December), Empire Builder SEA-MSP (January).

Non Amtrak: Atlanta Streetcar, Caltrain, CTA, DC Streetcar, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, LIRR, MARC, MARTA, MBTA Subway, Metra, Metrolink, METRO Transit Light Rail, Miami Metrorail, Muni Metro, NJT Commuter Rail, North Star, NYC Subway, PATH, River Line (NJT), SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Subway, South Shore Line, Sunrail, TECO Streetcar, Tri-Rail, Washington Metro

#14 railiner

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 12:59 AM

You'll never get much less than 8 hours from MIA to JAX on the current Amtrak route. An even less likely to get anything even close to that kind of speed beyond that.

Unless they could get it re-routed over the FEC.... :)


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#15 jis

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 06:21 AM

That's why I said "current Amtrak route".  After AAF build its JAX service, if Amtrak can run over FEC then 6 hours should be more than  feasible. Of course I am sure FEC will extract quite a pretty penny for such access at that point too.



#16 ainamkartma

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 12:24 PM

If you could get the average speed up to 55 mph (approximately equal to the SWC), you could get a schedule like:

 

Chicago         8:50 AM      5:00 PM

Indianapolis   6:15 AM      9:30 PM

Louisville       4:10 AM     11:40 PM

Nashville      12:20 AM      3:30 AM

Atlanta           6:50 PM      9:00 AM

Jacksonville 12:45 PM      3:10 PM

Miami             6:00 AM      9:50 PM

 

By sacrificing reasonable service times at Louisville and Nashville, this schedule creates a business-friendly overnight timing between Chicago and Atlanta and a very long day train between Atlanta and Miami.  It also only uses three train sets.  Realistic?  Probably not... but we can dream, I guess.

 

Ainam "I would ride that Chicago-Atlanta section in a heartbeat" Kartma

 

OK, here's a concept.  Since we will Real Soon Now™ have fast day service between Jacksonville and Miami on AAF, maybe the smart thing to do is terminate the South Wind at Jacksonville and let the Florida passengers connect onto AAF trains.  Then the South Wind train set can be used to renew the "Sunrise Limited" by sending the same train overnight to New Orleans.  So the schedule would look something like:

 

Chicago            8:50 AM      5:00 PM

Indianapolis      6:15 AM      9:30 PM

Louisville          4:10 AM     11:40 PM

Nashville         12:20 AM      3:30 AM

Atlanta              6:50 PM      9:00 AM

Jacksonville    12:45 PM      3:10 PM

Jacksonville      8:40 AM      6:30 PM

Tallahassee      4:30 AM     10:00 PM

Mobile               6:20 PM     5:30 AM

New Orleans     2:30 PM    10:20 AM

 

(The times for the Jacksonville-New Orleans section are from the 2002 Sunset Limited timetable, suitably offset to make the connections.)

This schedule uses four train sets.

The assumptions here are that you can make 55 mph average north of Jacksonville, that four train sets and relevant trackage rights magically appear, and that you can service and turn a train in four hours at New Orleans.

 

Note that this schedule allows a same day connection at New Orleans from the Sunrise Limited to the CONO, but not to the Sunset Limited and not from either existing train to the Sunrise Limited.  That's pretty much a given as long as Amtrak sticks to afternoon to evening arrivals for the New Orleans trains.

 

Ainam "Main problem with Amtrak: on the ground, so I can't get Pie in the Sky in the diner" Kartma



#17 jis

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:14 PM

Might as well us the proposed timetable from the Southern Rail Commission Report for the self standing JAX NOL train

 

JAX 7:45p

NOL 9:30a

 

NOL 5:00p

JAX 8:15a



#18 ainamkartma

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:27 PM

Might as well us the proposed timetable from the Southern Rail Commission Report for the self standing JAX NOL train

 

JAX 7:45p

NOL 9:30a

 

NOL 5:00p

JAX 8:15a

 

Do you know what is the method they intend to use to so dramatically speed up the schedule relative to 2002?

 

Thanks,

Ainam "Not that I'm objecting" Kartma



#19 jis

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 01:37 PM

 

Might as well us the proposed timetable from the Southern Rail Commission Report for the self standing JAX NOL train

 

JAX 7:45p

NOL 9:30a

 

NOL 5:00p

JAX 8:15a

 

Do you know what is the method they intend to use to so dramatically speed up the schedule relative to 2002?

 

Thanks,

Ainam "Not that I'm objecting" Kartma

 

I don't know. It is a report that Amtrak put together and I have no reason to disbelieve them.

 

For methodology details read the report (PDF) at http://static1.squar...Report 2015.pdf



#20 Palmetto

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:45 PM

 

You'll never get much less than 8 hours from MIA to JAX on the current Amtrak route. An even less likely to get anything even close to that kind of speed beyond that.

Unless they could get it re-routed over the FEC.... :)

 

Nah, the folks in Martin County wouldn't allow that.






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