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Adding More Through Car Service to LD Trains


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#21 west point

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 06:55 AM

We are all ignoring a very important item.  That is maintenance.  In the pre Amtrak legacy there were car repairmen at many locations for long distance trains.  There were enough trains and spare equipment located at those locations so trains ( cars ) could get minor problems that might sideline a car fixed and continue on a trip. 

Have no idea today where there is maintenance on the NEC but would suspect WASH, BAL, PHL, NYP, New Haven, BOS.  Any more ?

 

On LD routes there are very few maintenance locations.  Those are planned where the opposite directions trains meet with some exceptions.  Example Florence where Auto Train scheduled at about same time as well as Meteor. Other locations with maintenance are often where a train set overnights such as Lynchburg, Fort Worth.  



#22 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 07:03 AM

We are all ignoring a very important item.  That is maintenance.  In the pre Amtrak legacy there were car repairmen at many locations for long distance trains.  There were enough trains and spare equipment located at those locations so trains ( cars ) could get minor problems that might sideline a car fixed and continue on a trip. 

Have no idea today where there is maintenance on the NEC but would suspect WASH, BAL, PHL, NYP, New Haven, BOS.  Any more ?

 

On LD routes there are very few maintenance locations.  Those are planned where the opposite directions trains meet with some exceptions.  Example Florence where Auto Train scheduled at about same time as well as Meteor. Other locations with maintenance are often where a train set overnights such as Lynchburg, Fort Worth.  

 

On my plan, only a smaller consist goes north to BOS, the main SM still ends and is serviced in NYP (similar to the LSL).


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)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 


#23 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 07:04 PM

Which portion(s) of the NYP-BOS route is subject to the 19 cars per day rule? Is NYP-New Haven-Springfield-BOS subject to it? If not, I would push for that route for the through cars to the SM.


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)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 


#24 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 09:30 PM

New Haven, Providence to Boston is subject to a limit the trains agreement. The major issue is boats traffic. One of bridges just got rebuilt, however another one is due. Time to bit the bullet, tunnel or go high.😏

The inland route is losing most Amtrak service soon, as the State of Connecticut is getting ready to run a commuter type service on those tracks.

Not sure if CT is get the title to those tracks, but that would be the time to bring up the limit on trains going on the shoreline.

#25 Palmetto

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 05:06 AM

I think we might confusing terms.  "Inland Route" refers to Boston-Worcester-Springfield-New Haven.  The improvements going on currently north of New Haven in on track known as the "Springfield Line".  Corrections welcomed there.

 

The restrictions east of New Haven state that no more than 39 trains--not cars--operate on that

portion of the railroad.  The boaters and hence the Coast Guard are responsible for imposing that restriction.  Money talks!

 

This is the first I've heard of Amtrak reducing the number of trains between Springfield and New Haven.



#26 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 08:17 AM

Here's a proposed schedule. I gave the trains roughly a half hour in Springfield each way to make the turn (also to match the LSL/Vermonter schedules). Baggage service will be available in the stations that currently have it (New Haven, Springfield, and Boston South Station). The consist would be similar to the ALB-BOS LSL leg and would split/merge off the SM at NYP with the remainder of the train staying in New York.

 

The northbound train would arrive in BOS about a half hour after the 98-82/154/174 transfer as listed in the timetable (6:30pm arrival) but that assumes the connection is made. Also, passengers in BOS can check baggage through to Florida. The southbound train would leave BOS about 1.5 hours earlier than the 93/83/161-97 transfer (9:30am departure). I personally would live with the extra time here to avoid the transfer (plus you get checked baggage the entire route). If the Springfield turn can be done quicker, that time would be reduced. I am hoping in general 50 minutes is enough to make sure the train can arrive in NYP and be hooked with the SM so it can leave at 3:15pm with delay. If the BOS through cars are late getting into NYP perhaps it can continue on to PHL or WAS and catch the SM there so the SM isn't delayed out of NYP because of the BOS leg. Also if the SM is late coming from Florida the split from the SM can be done further south allowing the BOS passengers to skip some of the stops.

 

For BOS and SPG, they will have two LD trains and will have one seat service to Florida and (if and when it returns) Chicago. For the Connecticut stops, it will be their first LD train. Hopefully it will reduce the traffic in NYP transferring to/from New England.

Attached Files


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)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 


#27 Thirdrail7

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 01:00 PM

Yes, your plan shows that you're more off course than usual. First of all, Metro-North has indicated they are going to want a lot more money to add additional trains on their territory. Indeed, CT legislators intimated they don't believe Amtrak pays their fair share now and they are considering more fees for the existing trains.

 

Secondly, there is a reason that Amtrak gave up the inland route and that is CSX indicated they wanted alot more money in track improvements to run the train. At the time, Massachussetts balked and the NYP-BOS via the inland route ceased to exist. While Massachussetts has taken steps to reintroduce the service, it is still quite slow and plagued with pitfalls. even the most cursory search on the boards you frequent would reveal this basic information. For the benefit of a (sort of) one seat ride, you are adding  another hour and thirty minutes minimum to the already long ride, while increasing fees by operating off Amtrak's main high speed line.   Some of the regional trains are up for the new baggage cars. Hopefully, this plan moves forward and then baggage can be checked on additional regional trains. It would be better of 93 receives the bag and the passengers and their checked luggage can transfer at WAS together.

 

Finally, this isn't the early 90's. NYP is no longer a good environment  to switch live trains. There isn't really room to "run" around trains, which is why the practice was stopped except in cases of extreme emergencies. Everything goes to the yard unless in can turn and burn on the platform in a timely fashion. The tracks that were used for these moves in the past (maintenance, switching, etc) have been upgraded and are now equipped with 3rd rail for LIRR usage due to the severe congestion. 

 

Your proposals never consider the operational environment, the regulations (like what happens  if the connecting train is late and you need an air plant to maintain the federal brake test) or the cost of the manpower that is needed to complete you grandiose plans. Switching out passengers cars isn't as simple as dropping a freight car on a siding. You need things like an extra engine or the equivalent ( air plant, 480 volt standby), track space, electricians, mechanical forces etc.

 

When companies add all of these things into the equation, the results are often (no always) unfavorable...particularly if they're paying for it,


Edited by Thirdrail7, 23 April 2016 - 01:11 PM.

They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#28 jis

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 02:08 PM

That is an important point that Thirdrail makes. Amtrak's rolling stock is really not designed to effectively operate a bunch of through and sectional carriages that are easily parked or transferred from one train to another. For that one would prefer carriages that can keep themselves powered for some significant amount of time, thus saving on cost of shore power facilities. Systems that have such extensive service indeed use self powered carriages.

Amtrak is designed to operate more or less complete trains with little enroute shunting, and that is the way it is. Shuffling of cars en route is the exception rather than the rule.

#29 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 02:59 PM

At least I'm trying to propose ideas to improve the Amtrak map, serve more cities, eliminate transfers. What are the rest of you doing? Satisfied with the status quo? You may be happy with the Amtrak system. I'm not. There's plenty of holes in it. And if you're not happy with Amtrak service, do you have any ideas to make it better?


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)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 


#30 Ryan

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 05:03 PM

You realize that you're asking that to 1) an Amtrak employee that's out there working every day and is try to educate you on the very real operational limitations that come with the proposals you suggest, and 2) a rail advocate that's spent more time working on such topics than you've been alive?

You should be welcoming their inputs with open arms if you actually want to accomplish something past pointless pie in the sky proposals that have no chance of coming to fruition.
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#31 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 05:20 PM

2) a rail advocate that's spent more time working on such topics than you've been alive?

 

I wish. I doubt anyone's been working for 43 years.

 

You should be welcoming their inputs with open arms.

 

Inputs would imply some better way to address the issues and problems I bring up, not just say my ideas "won't work".  


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)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 


#32 jis

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 06:35 PM

In the US I have been involved in passenger rail advocacy in some way shape or form for only 37 years, so yeah not 43 years.

My goal in these discussions is to identify things that need to change for an idea to work. I offer these observation irrespective of whether I think the proposal is stupid or not. ;)

For example in this immediate case the issue I see us that the current equipment is inappropriate for the sort of frequent coupling, uncoupling and shunting that would be involved. Past equipment was better suited for such, as are quite a bit of coaching stock in Europe and the non-EOG equipment in India.

Thirdrail was also pointing out why current practices won't make these proposals easy to implement. An appropriate discussion could be along the lines of 1. Do these proposals make sense as a part of a broader strategy? And 2. If so what needs to change and what would be the possible return for the cost of making those changes?

However, when people turn out to be so thin skinned as to start attacking motives and taunting, I start wondering why bother?

Edited by jis, 23 April 2016 - 06:41 PM.


#33 Thirdrail7

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 07:34 PM

In the US I have been involved in passenger rail advocacy in some way shape or form for only 37 years, so yeah not 43 years.

My goal in these discussions is to identify things that need to change for an idea to work. I offer these observation irrespective of whether I think the proposal is stupid or not. ;)

For example in this immediate case the issue I see us that the current equipment is inappropriate for the sort of frequent coupling, uncoupling and shunting that would be involved. Past equipment was better suited for such, as are quite a bit of coaching stock in Europe and the non-EOG equipment in India.

Thirdrail was also pointing out why current practices won't make these proposals easy to implement. An appropriate discussion could be along the lines of 1. Do these proposals make sense as a part of a broader strategy? And 2. If so what needs to change and what would be the possible return for the cost of making those changes?

However, when people turn out to be so thin skinned as to start attacking motives and taunting, I start wondering why bother?

 

Indeed, Jis. While I can agree that these proposals may seem like it is part of a broader strategy that increases available trains and routes, in real life, these ideas must weighed against items such as costs, value, acceptability and feasibility.

 

 

At least I'm trying to propose ideas to improve the Amtrak map, serve more cities, eliminate transfers. What are the rest of you doing? Satisfied with the status quo? You may be happy with the Amtrak system. I'm not. There's plenty of holes in it. And if you're not happy with Amtrak service, do you have any ideas to make it better?

 

If you actually read something other than your own threads, you'd see that you're not that novel. There are plenty of proposals form board members. If you run over to Railroad.net, you'll see that I've made proposals...and unlike your proposals, I actually balance the fleet. However, not unlike yourself, I don't assign costs since there are many factor that go into them.

 

I'd love to see more trains. Hell, I've watched trains come and go as gaps in the network grew. However, there are severe limitations such as costs, finances, equipment availability. As such, I know that the even the proposals I've endorsed and recommended will not come to fruition because I don't have a few billion dollars to get the trains I want running, let alone maintained.

 

Who is putting up the money? Where is the equipment coming from? What do the hosts have to say? These are all reasonable questions, which when brought up to you....well, you pout and sulk. That is the very nature of "input." These are the limitations...what is your plan for overcoming them?

 

If you go to RR'net, and do a search of my posts, you'd see that I've said some very disparaging things about your favorite train, the Pigeon. I've also attacked the Downeasters and a few other trains. However, I'm wise enough to know without them, there wouldn't be others, including the NEC. This is particularly true at a time like this.

 

I want everyone in this thread to put on their thinking caps and ponder this:

 

***ahem***

 

How much equipment is unavailable these days? How many cars have been lost since January 1, 2015? How many of the NEW baggage cars are currently out of service and will not be available for some time? ACS-64s? Diesels? Did anyone realize there was yet another diesel vs truck incident today?

 

It is to the point that even the mighty NEC is losing cars to prop up off corridor trains due to equipment being damaged in accidents, held up in lawsuits or just falling apart from constantly being on the go. So, unless someone is putting up BILLIONS to maintain what is already operating (by congressional mandate), I look at these proposals as "ideas" that may seem nice, but have little realistic chance of occurring. Unless someone pays, the gaps are going to get larger.

 

As I've stated before, the bane of my existence is not being able to bury you with service proposals and route analysis studies that have occurred. They are way deeper than most of what has been proposed, and they have costs, potential ridership numbers, equipment counts etc. They would make your mind melt. If you want to do something, why not file a FOIA request and see if they will grant you access?

 

in the meantime, if I see a good idea, i chime in. When the thread passed about the second Pennsylvanian, I found the slot, equipment, times and balanced the fleet.

 

If I see a bad idea, I will indicate why it is bad...just as I did above. There are threads that cover the limitations of operating East of New York.  I started a thread on Railroad.net on operations east of NYC when I mentioned extending a Florida  train to Bos. That was at least 4 years ago. In that time, some of the bridges that caused the train count have been rebuilt. However, there is much more work to be done. So, it will be interesting to see if the Coast Guard amends the cap in 2018, when they are up for review.

 

However, if more slots are found, is it better to operate a small long distance train, with its limited revenue potential (but greater direct network access) or restore the two canceled Acela trains, with their high revenue potential?

 

That is a real discussion, with real consequences, that requires real knowledge of how Metro-North and/or CSX (if you choose the inland route) bills Amtrak for passage. Is it by the number of trains? Is it by hour of the day (premium slot vs off peak slot?) Is it by number of cars? How much would servicing cost? Storage? Maintenance? Wear and tear? How do these items stack up to the benefits of the proposals?

 

These are just a few of the things that come into play and this is the reason why you don't see a ton of passenger operations. This is a very expensive operation. Even commuter services that carry thousands of people a day can't cover their costs. So, imagine some of the states, facing a budget shortfall deciding to subsidize some of suggestions the members of this board make.

 

 

Does that mean give up? No, but carping on a board without lobbying (and I do pay into a lobbying group) is just internet banter.


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#34 Ryan

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 08:04 PM

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#35 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 08:42 PM

State of CT is limited by federal law on what it can charge for Amtrak trains to travel on Metro North tracks. A few years back Amtrak try to jack the fees on the Shoreline East Commuter Trains by a reported 10 times. Amtrak back down stated "Just a opening Bid". One thinks the state wants to charge the same fee it gets charge from Amtrak.

The limitation on number of trains East of New Haven is State of CT not USCG. USCG has regulations but nothing about a limited of trains. Also Shoreline East does not count on the limit. The limited is more to do on the weekend than weekday.

CSX does not own the track between Springfield, MA and Boston, MA. MBTA does, bought it a few years back.

Let's not forget the funds that the State of CT has payed for work on the inland (Springfield) line. Work that has not gotten done, but Amtrak has promised to get done.

Feel free to correct any misstatement, but I do think upgrade of service is in the cards. One just has to think about it from time to time. A lot of changes going on in the last four years.

Now should that be a long distance train....



Last rant: DB rail going for all ICE trains, as that were the money comes from. However people like Locomore is coming and runing trains on the same route at a much lower cost. Acela is not the solution that fit all problems.

Link for Locomore: https://locomore.com/en/services.html

#36 Thirdrail7

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 11:35 PM

State of CT is limited by federal law on what it can charge for Amtrak trains to travel on Metro North tracks. A few years back Amtrak try to jack the fees on the Shoreline East Commuter Trains by a reported 10 times. Amtrak back down stated "Just a opening Bid". One thinks the state wants to charge the same fee it gets charge from Amtrak.
 

 

Not so. Metro-North can charge more based upon cars exceeded by the current operating agreement. Indeed, they do not even have to operate extra service upon demand. With additional negotiations, I would expect more fees, particularly when Metro-North starts working on their bridges and considering this statement from Senator Blumenthal:

 

 

Connecticut pays far more than its fair share for maintenance of railroad tracks through the state and Amtrak should contribute more, according to U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

 

Blumenthal, D-Conn., and state Transportation Commissioner James Redeker held a conference call Wednesday to discuss issues raised during a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee earlier in the day. Blumenthal is chairman of the committee.

 

Maintenance of the rails has been raised as an issue because of the May 17 derailment in Bridgeport, in which 76 passengers and crew members were injured. An inspection by a Metro-North foreman two days before found a section of track lacking ballast under a rail joint. It was at that spot that a joint bar connecting the rails broke, possibly causing the derailment.

"Clearly, today's hearing highlighted the need for investment in infrastructure long term ... through either a railroad trust fund or an infrastructure bank," Blumenthal said.
 

Redeker had reported the state had spent $3.2 billion on track upkeep in the past 10 years, while Amtrak had spent $64 million in the state. Those numbers "show that Connecticut taxpayers and citizens are paying much more than our fair share. ... Amtrak is getting a free ride and failing to pay its fair share," Blumenthal said.

Amtrak is a federally subsidized agency that operates railroads across the country. It runs the Shore Line East commuter train from New Haven to New London as well. An Amtrak spokesman did not respond to questions before deadline.

 

Connecticut owns the tracks between the New York border and New Haven, while Amtrak owns those east of New Haven. The state contracts with Metro-North to maintain its tracks.

 

 

 

 

The limitation on number of trains East of New Haven is State of CT not USCG. USCG has regulations but nothing about a limited of trains. Also Shoreline East does not count on the limit. The limited is more to do on the weekend than weekday.
 

 

I stand corrected. The USCG and the Connecticut DEP (among others) do have input as to how many trains operate over the bridges. Please note that Shore Line east DO count towards the total number trains allowed. This why when C-Dot increased service to NLC, Amtrak cut trains and cross honored. The original agreement (modified since its inception) is up for renegotiation in 2018 and the Coast Guard will no doubt be involved.

 

 

CSX does not own the track between Springfield, MA and Boston, MA. MBTA does, bought it a few years back.

 

To the best of my knowledge, Massachusetts owns from Back Bay to Worcester (CP 45.) From CP 45 to CP 92(?), the railroad is CSX's Boston Subdivision. From CP 92 to SPG (CP 98), the railroad is CSX's Berkshire Subdivision.  Most of the railroad from CP 45 to CP 92 is single track, hilly territory. This is why Amtrak stopped operating the inland route. CSX wanted money for upgrades and Amtrak had their own, recently upgraded high speed line that they controlled. While upgrades are occurring, it is still a long, slow, hilly route.

 

 

Let's not forget the funds that the State of CT has payed for work on the inland (Springfield) line. Work that has not gotten done, but Amtrak has promised to get done.
 

 

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but very well. The existing Springfield line could easily accommodate a few more Amtrak trains. What it can't accommodate is the commuter service commingling with Amtrak service. The bottleneck is the aforementioned B&A route. Until improvements are completed, you're still have a rough ride to Boston.

 

 

Feel free to correct any misstatement, but I do think upgrade of service is in the cards. One just has to think about it from time to time. A lot of changes going on in the last four years.

Now should that be a long distance train....

 

 

Indeed. There have been a lot of changes already with more on the horizon. 2018 is just around the corner and work on the Thames and Niantic river bridges have been completed. Perhaps more slots will be available on the Shore Line.  With CSX seeing traffic drop, I wonder if MASS can grab the rest of the line.  Personally, I'd like to see another ALB-BOS train that met the Vermonter and SPG shuttle for connections. I'd also like to see service on the inland route restored especially since the trains on thrived on Fridays and Sundays for a total of 4 trains between SPG-BOS. However, one thing hasn't really changed and that is a lack of equipment. Even if track work is completed, you need equipment to push the service through. Until the equipment comes available, I have advocated for MBCR (now Keolis) to extend their reach and operate commuter service from BOS-SPG. At SPG, they can transfer to an Amtrak train to the corridor, the Vermonter (hopefully the Montrealer) or the forthcoming Knowledge Corridor commuter service to Greenfield. I think it would be an easier sell and the states would take interest.

 

See, I have pie in the sky ideas too!

 

 

Last rant: DB rail going for all ICE trains, as that were the money comes from. However people like Locomore is coming and runing trains on the same route at a much lower cost. Acela is not the solution that fit all problems.

Link for Locomore: https://locomore.com/en/services.html

 

 

That's a good looking train. I prefer locomotive hauled consist due to their flexibility. However, there is a shortage of cars and I don't see anyone ponying up money for new coaches. it is back to the point of wondering " now that we've robbed Peter to pay Paul, should we actually pay Paul or split it between Paul and Robin?"

 

The Acela sets are confined to the corridor and new sets may be on the way. When that happens, it would make sense to use the confined equipment in the confined corridor and allow the remaining cars to deploy into areas where the Acela can't operate. This is why when Amtrak added additional weekend service to Boston, using the Acela was a no-brainer.

 

There wasn't much else available.


Edited by Thirdrail7, 24 April 2016 - 12:12 AM.

They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#37 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 07:17 AM

I'm certainly in the minority here but I feel that long distance service on Amtrak is important. At times I feel some of you if you were starting from scratch wouldn't run any trains more than 300 miles (the trains OTP goes down the longer it gets). Here's the opposing view. If a location is 2-3 hours away, I can reasonably drive the distance in the same (or less) time if parking was not an issue (I recently went up to New York and it parking was an issue so I did take a train). For a long distance trip like Chicago or Florida even if I drove I'd probably get tired and have to make stops (possibly overnight) and the train would be comparable in terms of time and I don't have to stop several times for rest/gas. While I certainly appreciate the trains to New York or Washington, the trains to Florida and (if it exists) Chicago are more valuable. If I could get one more train to Philly, why should I want another train to DC when there are already tons of them? Is there a big difference between 20 trains to DC and 21? There is a big difference between one daily to Chicago and none. I'd even say a second Pittsburgh train is significant. So when it comes to Boston, I think they should have choices rather than 19 of the same route that serves the same cities. I get the Acelas are huge money makers. I'm not sold on the Regionals that travel south of DC. Certainly Virginia should have train service (especially since they pay for it) but I would imagine 90% of the demand in Virginia is to New York and south. 

 

NARP Ridership Data:

http://www.narprail....trains_2015.pdf

VA Service/Richmond: WAS 46,798, PHL 11,862, NYP 39,298, NHV 1,475, BOS 905

VA Service/Norfolk: WAS 41,444, PHL 8,664, NYP 29,161, NHV 1,110, BOS 579

 

So why do they need to hog precious BOS-NYP slots for a few extra thousand riders (and I believe those numbers are for multiple daily trains)? You can talk about all of the OTP problems with the Silver Meteor but BOS-RVR is almost 600 miles already. Once the train goes south of WAS or north of NYP then you're adding quite a bit of miles. I think the Virginia trains would still be effective if they only ran NYP-Virginia. It doesn't even have to be all of them terminating in NYP, just enough to make BOS-Florida a reality. I would say even if you just ran BOS-WAS trains in place of BOS-Virginia trains it would be an improvement for New England.

 

The reasoning behind my latest proposal: Inland Route instead of Shore Line East because of the capacity limitations. I certainly didn't see all the issues with the Inland route but then again pick your poison. And the Inland Route was certainly Amtrak's choice in the Summer of 2000: http://www.timetable...0521n&item=0034

 

I also proposed a through car branch instead of running the whole SM up to Boston and not being able to service it there which has been pointed out to me on multiple occasions (who says I don't listen?). With all the problems with splitting/merging, can you imagine the LSL or EB without it (well technically LSL is going through it now and there's a whole thread about it)? Sure it's a hassle but without it Portland and Boston wouldn't be able to go through to Chicago and Dallas/Austin wouldn't be able to go through to Los Angeles. And I don't think through car branches in the future are dead, Amtrak proposed through cars off the Capitol Limited in 2010. Have things gotten much worse in just six years? I'm hoping the problems with the LSL don't become permanent and Boston will have no service at all.

 

You're never going to convince me that Boston-Florida service isn't worthwhile. Difficult? Sure. Are we lacking in money/equipment? Absolutely. But I'd be willing to guess that more than 1,600 passengers a year travel to/from Florida and BOS (not even counting the rest of New England) and are forced to transfer. I'd imagine there's more interest in New England to go to Florida than to go to Norfolk. If the Silver Meteor is as late as some of you say, connection nightmares and rescheduling in NYP for the New England passengers are certainly not uncommon. Plus, there's the baggage inconvenience. Maybe you do have to make some sacrifices with our current limitations to gain something more valuable. 

 

You can say what's the point to discuss projects that aren't feasible now? I still think the ideas should be active or if and when Amtrak can take care of them people will forget. I'm worried that's happening to my other big wish list project. The longer these things drag on, so many people just forget the old trains even existed. At least there's movement towards New Orleans-Florida again.

 

There may be progress at the local level and I do appreciate Thirdrail7's efforts but I feel there needs to be progress at the national level and LD level too.


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 24 April 2016 - 07:18 AM.

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)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 


#38 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 07:42 AM

I don't think you're in minority about LD trains.  I think you are in the minority about having all LD routes be one seat trips.  That's just not going to happen.


2011: Jun: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // Nov: WIL=>WAS=>CHI=>PRO (NER=>CL=>CZ)
2012: Apr: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // May(NTD): WIL=>PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>PAO=>PHL (Keystone) // Aug: WIL=>WAS (NER) / BWI=>WIL (NER) // Oct(Gathering): PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>HAR=>PHL (Keystone) / SEPTA, NJT, PATCO, River Line, Princeton Dinky
2013: May(NTD): WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct (Gathering): WIL=>CHI (Card) / CHI=>MKE=>GLN=>CHI() / CHI=>JOL=>CHI () / CHI=>WIL(CL=>NER) / CTA, Metra. SEPTA (WIL=>NRK) // Nov:  PHL=>PHL (Autumn Express) 
2014: May(NTD):  WIL=>PHL=>WIL(NER) // May:  WIL=>BOS=>WIL(NER) day trip

2014: Oct(Gathering): WIL=>NYP=>TOL(pd-NER=>LSL) / TOL=>CHI=>LAX=>EMY(pts-LSL=>SWC=>CS) / EMY=>CHI=>TOL (pts-CZ-CL) / TOL=>WAS=>WIL(pd-CL=>NER)
2015: May: CHI=>CIN(pd-Card) / CIN=>WIL(pts Card)
2015;  Oct(Gathering):  WIL=>WAS(Acela) / ALX=>WAS(NER) / WAS=>BAL(Acela) / WAS=>WIL(NER)

2016: Mar: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct:  WIL=>NYP=>NYP=>WIL (Autumn Express) 


#39 jis

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 07:56 AM

It seems to me that providing service where there is none at present, should take priority over tinkering around with schedules in areas where people already have service, just to give a one seat ride to a few.

#40 CCC1007

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 08:19 AM

 
I also proposed a through car branch instead of running the whole SM up to Boston and not being able to service it there which has been pointed out to me on multiple occasions (who says I don't listen?). With all the problems with splitting/merging, can you imagine the LSL or EB without it (well technically LSL is going through it now and there's a whole thread about it)? Sure it's a hassle but without it Portland and Boston wouldn't be able to go through to Chicago and Dallas/Austin wouldn't be able to go through to Los Angeles. And I don't think through car branches in the future are dead, Amtrak proposed through cars off the Capitol Limited in 2010. Have things gotten much worse in just six years? I'm hoping the problems with the LSL don't become permanent and Boston will have no service at all.
 

Just because you don't like transfers does not mean that when they occur it is like the second train just simply doesn't exist anymore in the eyes of the consumer. I know that people do SPO and east to PDX by way of SEA, some due to scenery, others because they weren't able to purchase a direct ticket, and some simply because they wanted to be on a train longer (gasp!).




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