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Wish List for Amtrak/Train Service Expansions


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#21 jhillm

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 07:29 PM

 

Did we miss the Crescent Star?

I would also like to see a Front Range Rocket running all the way from El Paso through Denver all the way up through Great Falls all the way into Canada.

A San Francisco Chief from Chicago via the Santa Fe trans con route and then across Tehachapi all the way to Oakland.



How about corridor service between Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Cheyenne?

 

I've dreamed about and North South route: El Paso, Albuquerque, Denver, and ??.  Connecting all the Western LD trains: Sunset Limited, SWC, CZ, EB.  



#22 CCC1007

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 07:35 PM

 

 

Did we miss the Crescent Star?

I would also like to see a Front Range Rocket running all the way from El Paso through Denver all the way up through Great Falls all the way into Canada.

A San Francisco Chief from Chicago via the Santa Fe trans con route and then across Tehachapi all the way to Oakland.



How about corridor service between Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Cheyenne?

 

I've dreamed about and North South route: El Paso, Albuquerque, Denver, and ??.  Connecting all the Western LD trains: Sunset Limited, SWC, CZ, EB.  

 

best location to meet up with the Builder would be Spokane, as there are two station tracks, and the lines that it would serve does not have any existing service. The best routing would be on MRL from Laurel through Bozeman, Helena, and Missoula. South of Laurel, BNSF is pretty much the only option till you reach Cheyenne.



#23 neroden

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 02:09 AM

How about through cars from the Capitol to Detroit/Ann Arbor? I sure hate having to get up early to get off in Toledo and wait for the Ambus.


Ditto from the LSL. Actually, even a connecting train would be prefereable to waiting the Ambus.
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#24 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 07:10 AM

 

How about through cars from the Capitol to Detroit/Ann Arbor? I sure hate having to get up early to get off in Toledo and wait for the Ambus.


Ditto from the LSL. Actually, even a connecting train would be prefereable to waiting the Ambus.

 

 

There used to be the Lake Cities for that purpose. 

 

http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0021

http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0019

 

Instead of turning north to Pontiac it went south to Toledo and passengers could transfer to the LSL (the eastbound 352 missed the CL and the westbound 351 arrived about 5 hrs before the CL). It looked like 56 miles and 1:40 each way. The train is marked with Conrail tracks, who owns that track now?

 

Ideally the 2016 version would arrive in TOL at in time to catch the eastbound CL (11:49pm) and the leave TOL after the westbound LSL arrived (6:15am). Buf if you went LC-LSL towards NYP, you'd be in for a long wait then (CL-LS wouldn't be as long). If you wanted to make it specifically for only the LSL you could have it arrive in TOL later and not have the CL connection. Or you could try to move the LSL closer to the CL (suggested in the PRIIA's that the LSL leave CHI first at 6pm followed by the CL at 7:30pm) to minimize the wait in TOL for the second eastbound train. They could probably make those changes (or at least move the LSL to an earlier time) if they brought back a BL/TR train to be the cleanup train.

 

Essentially the 352/353 became a third Wolverine to/from Pontiac. I would think if Amtrak did run a new Lake Cities they might as well continue that train on to PGH/PHL/NYP as AAO proposes so passengers wouldn't have to even transfer in TOL during the graveyard shift (transfer in PHL for BAL/WAS).

 

If you ran a new BL or rerouted either the CL or LSL you would need track rights for about 56 miles of track but that could save about 200 from Porter to Toledo. If I couldn't get a BL/TR, I'd propose rerouting the LSL through Michigan (the CL would still remain for South Bend, Elkhart, and Waterloo, and Bryan, who can be shifted from the LSL to the CL). AAO's schedule (http://freepdfhostin.../cf26514bc8.pdf) for its Pennsylvanian extension is CHI 7:00pm CT and 2:25am ET in TOL while the current LSL times are CHI 9:30pm CT and TOL 2:50am in TOL so it looks like about a 2 hr longer train between CHI-TOL via Michigan than via South Bend.


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/

#25 dlagrua

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 08:46 AM

I would like to one day see the Floridian, Broadway Ltd, and National Ltd train service restored.

Floridian-           Currently no direct service from CHI, though Nashville, Louisville, Southern Georgia   to MIA

Broadway Ltd,-  The tracks have been completely restored from Ft Wayne across IN to CHI. Can't see that they could be getting that much use by the freight railroad.This was an all Pullman PRR train that at one time had two dining cars

National Ltd-       Originally an all Pullman B & O RR sleeper service.  Train even offered a secretary, manicurist,valet,, Barber shop, showers, dining and observation cars.  No direct route West from WA to Louisville and St Louis. Would require using tracks veering West  from Cumberland to St Louis Union Station. That station is in pristine shape and just crying out for LD service.

 

That's my wish list but until the USA decides as a country that LD train service is beneficial, it will never happen.  Still fun discussing it though.



#26 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 04:24 PM

Did we miss the Crescent Star?
 

 

Someone in Amtrak is thinking about it ...

 

http://news.wabe.org...-southern-route


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/

#27 jis

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 04:46 PM

 

Did we miss the Crescent Star?
 

 

Someone in Amtrak is thinking about it ...

 

http://news.wabe.org...-southern-route

 

This is one that has a couple of strong individuals, Senators and Congressmen batting for it. Talked to one while I was on the Hill with the NARP folks the other week.



#28 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 06:57 PM

It's been a while since I've entertained the idea of any long distance expansion projects.  Now I simply hope for continued service and  perhaps some better scheduling of the routes which still exist.  At this point if we don't lose any more long distance routes that would be an amazing an unexpected success in my book.


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#29 Eric S

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 10:10 PM

It's been a while since I've entertained the idea of any long distance expansion projects.  Now I simply hope for continued service and  perhaps some better scheduling of the routes which still exist.  At this point if we don't lose any more long distance routes that would be an amazing an unexpected success in my book.

 

Probably why my initial inclination was to list corridor expansions/improvements and Thruway connections, rather than anything related to long-distance trains. 



#30 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 11:15 PM




Did we miss the Crescent Star?

 

Someone in Amtrak is thinking about it ...

 

http://news.wabe.org...-southern-route

 

Admit it. Just too far to be a day train, Atlanta-Dallas.

 

Starting with the current Crescent in ATL at 8:30 a.m.  It is scheduled to arrive in Meridian at 3 pm Central (4 p.m. Eastern), so, 7 hrs 30 min later.  Then another 7 hrs (taken from the Thruway Bus schedule) gets it into Shreveport about 10 p.m. and into Dallas at 3:40 a.m. Not viable for the Big D.

 

Starting with the fabled Atlanta day train, leave ATL around 9 pm. Then 7 hrs 30 min passing thru Anniston (116,000 metro), Birmingham (1,146,000 metro), Tuscaloosa (240,000), and Meridian (105,000) in the dark of night. Then another 1 hr 30 min or so to Jackson, MS (579,000 metro) for a 6ish arrival time. Then daylight thru small cities -- Vicksburg (57,000)-Monroe (179,000)-Ruston (48,000 LA Tech U)-Shreveport (444,000 riverboat gambling)-Marshall (67,000)-Longview (218,000)-Dallas-Ft Worth -- to arrive in Dallas in the evening, 7ish, and Ft Worth 8ish. Worth doing.

 

I'm always skeptical of long Long Distance trains, with big anchors at the end but too thin in the middle. Like the Southwest Chief CHI-L.A., supported, barely, by "intermediate destinations" Kansas City and Albuquerque, but dust bowl desert empty aside from that. And end-to-end passengers comprise less than 15% of the total ridership.

 

This Meridian Speedway route has big anchors, ATL-DAL. But how we gonna fill this train, if only 15% of the riders going between the anchor cities? After all, the trip will take all night and all day.

 

Suppose we don't get many riders from Anniston, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Meridian due to their dark-of-night service. (Their total pop. is 1.6 million, so we'll get some riders.) But adding up those small-city figures from Jackson thru Longview, well, 1.5 million looks like a population base to work with.

 

As a bonus, the route would create the beginning of a corridor Ft Worth-Dallas-Longview/ Shreveport, because the Texas Eagle already uses the tracks Dallas-Longview/and offers a Thruway bus for the 62 miles to the riverboat casinos in Shreveport. Then to the two LDs, add a corridor train over the 220 miles Ft Worth-Shreveport and it's a strong start.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 27 April 2016 - 11:23 PM.


#31 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 05:18 AM

 




Did we miss the Crescent Star?

 

Someone in Amtrak is thinking about it ...

 

http://news.wabe.org...-southern-route

 

Admit it. Just too far to be a day train, Atlanta-Dallas.

 

Starting with the current Crescent in ATL at 8:30 a.m.  It is scheduled to arrive in Meridian at 3 pm Central (4 p.m. Eastern), so, 7 hrs 30 min later.  Then another 7 hrs (taken from the Thruway Bus schedule) gets it into Shreveport about 10 p.m. and into Dallas at 3:40 a.m. Not viable for the Big D.

 

Starting with the fabled Atlanta day train, leave ATL around 9 pm. Then 7 hrs 30 min passing thru Anniston (116,000 metro), Birmingham (1,146,000 metro), Tuscaloosa (240,000), and Meridian (105,000) in the dark of night. Then another 1 hr 30 min or so to Jackson, MS (579,000 metro) for a 6ish arrival time. Then daylight thru small cities -- Vicksburg (57,000)-Monroe (179,000)-Ruston (48,000 LA Tech U)-Shreveport (444,000 riverboat gambling)-Marshall (67,000)-Longview (218,000)-Dallas-Ft Worth -- to arrive in Dallas in the evening, 7ish, and Ft Worth 8ish. Worth doing.

 

I'm always skeptical of long Long Distance trains, with big anchors at the end but too thin in the middle. Like the Southwest Chief CHI-L.A., supported, barely, by "intermediate destinations" Kansas City and Albuquerque, but dust bowl desert empty aside from that. And end-to-end passengers comprise less than 15% of the total ridership.

 

This Meridian Speedway route has big anchors, ATL-DAL. But how we gonna fill this train, if only 15% of the riders going between the anchor cities? After all, the trip will take all night and all day.

 

Suppose we don't get many riders from Anniston, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Meridian due to their dark-of-night service. (Their total pop. is 1.6 million, so we'll get some riders.) But adding up those small-city figures from Jackson thru Longview, well, 1.5 million looks like a population base to work with.

 

As a bonus, the route would create the beginning of a corridor Ft Worth-Dallas-Longview/ Shreveport, because the Texas Eagle already uses the tracks Dallas-Longview/and offers a Thruway bus for the 62 miles to the riverboat casinos in Shreveport. Then to the two LDs, add a corridor train over the 220 miles Ft Worth-Shreveport and it's a strong start.

 

 

With the schedule you propose Woody customers from the NEC will have to spend almost all day in Atlanta to wait for this train. Could we have it leave Atlanta earlier in the day and arrive in Dallas earlier?

 

The biggest intermediate markets you said were Birmingham, Jackson, and Shreveport. I'd probably want to leave Birmingham before midnight and arrive in Shreveport early in the morning and Jackson gets the graveyard shift (around 1/2 the population of Birmingham). I can't think of a schedule that doesn't leave one of them overnight.

 

If we shift 19/819 back 7 hours:

 

ATL 3:38pm, Birmingham 6:50/7:08pm, Jackson 1:35/2:25am, Shreveport 6:50/7:30am, DAL 10:40am.

 

This way the train arrives in Dallas earlier than the TE and might convince some NEC passengers to take this route as opposed to CHI (especially PHL and BAL).

 

Shift 8220/20 up 7 hours:

 

DAL 3:45pm, Shreveport 7:50/8:20pm, Jackson 12:00/12:50am, Birmingham 7:15/7:24am, ATL 12:35pm

 

Would 3 hrs in ATL and 5 hrs in DAL be enough to turn around the train same day? We can probably save an hour in Meridian each way (currently a 2 hr layover between the Crescent and the bus). You could then leave ATL an hour later and leave DAL an hour later so the turnaround  would be 6 hours in DAL and 4 hours in ATL. Or leave DAL at 3:45pm and arrive in ATL at 11:35am so it's 5 hrs each way.

 

Edit: If the train can get to Longview by 8:40am it can catch the 6021 to Houston giving two trains that can feed that Thruway Bus. 6022 arrives in Longview at 5:40pm.

 

Shreveport to Longview by Thruway bus is 1 hr 30 min. So the train would have to leave Shreveport before 7:30am to get to Longview in time. My scheduled train would leave DAL shortly after the TE would so it should leave Longview in enough time to receive passengers from 6022.


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 28 April 2016 - 02:35 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/

#32 MARC Rider

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 05:00 PM

How about through cars from the Capitol to Detroit/Ann Arbor? I sure hate having to get up early to get off in Toledo and wait for the Ambus.

Ditto from the LSL. Actually, even a connecting train would be prefereable to waiting the Ambus.

The advantage of through cars is that you could keep sleeping at the godawful hours that the westbound trains come through Toledo.

#33 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 05:15 PM

 

 

How about through cars from the Capitol to Detroit/Ann Arbor? I sure hate having to get up early to get off in Toledo and wait for the Ambus.

Ditto from the LSL. Actually, even a connecting train would be prefereable to waiting the Ambus.

The advantage of through cars is that you could keep sleeping at the godawful hours that the westbound trains come through Toledo.

 

 

Same reason through cars are needed from the CL in PGH to the Pennsylvanian. Or better yet, a separate train that can go from CHI through Michigan to CLE-PGH-PHL-NYP as All Aboard Ohio proposes. Kill two birds with one stone. Pittsburgh and Toledo have to be two of the worst required transfers in the entire Amtrak system. What other cities require transfers during the graveyard shift?


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 28 April 2016 - 05:21 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/

#34 Eric S

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 06:01 PM

Well, the just-started Thruway connection at Newton KS (to/from Wichita and Oklahoma City) is a connection around 3:00am. Flagstaff (to/from Phoenix) and Williams Junction AZ (in at least one direction) would probably count as well.

 

Guess we could just look at each LD train schedule and see what others there are.



#35 neroden

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 10:57 PM

There used to be the Lake Cities for that purpose. 
 
http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0021
http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0019
 
Instead of turning north to Pontiac it went south to Toledo and passengers could transfer to the LSL (the eastbound 352 missed the CL and the westbound 351 arrived about 5 hrs before the CL). It looked like 56 miles and 1:40 each way. The train is marked with Conrail tracks, who owns that track now?

Norfolk Southern, except for the northern end which is actually still Conrail (now a joint venture between NS and CSX -- so much for competition). It's mostly NS-dispatched.

It's an interesting situation; a pair of NS/Conrail tracks are sandwiched between a CN track to the west and a CN track to the east.

http://knorek.com/RR/SAA/SAAIndex.htm

Ideally Michigan and/or Toledo could purchase the affected tracks from CP West Detroit to Toledo, but it might be possible to just cut a deal with NS.

Edited by neroden, 28 April 2016 - 11:00 PM.

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#36 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 02:16 PM

 

There used to be the Lake Cities for that purpose. 
 
http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0021
http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0019
 
Instead of turning north to Pontiac it went south to Toledo and passengers could transfer to the LSL (the eastbound 352 missed the CL and the westbound 351 arrived about 5 hrs before the CL). It looked like 56 miles and 1:40 each way. The train is marked with Conrail tracks, who owns that track now?

Norfolk Southern, except for the northern end which is actually still Conrail (now a joint venture between NS and CSX -- so much for competition). It's mostly NS-dispatched.

It's an interesting situation; a pair of NS/Conrail tracks are sandwiched between a CN track to the west and a CN track to the east.

http://knorek.com/RR/SAA/SAAIndex.htm

Ideally Michigan and/or Toledo could purchase the affected tracks from CP West Detroit to Toledo, but it might be possible to just cut a deal with NS.

 

 

So let's say we can get a third CHI-NEC train that completes its run within 24 hours (I'll call it the Philly train). We go to NS and say would you rather we run the Philly train on your tracks between Porter and TOL (TOL to South Bend is 150 miles already) along with the LSL and CL or run the Philly train on your tracks between DET and TOL (56 miles)?


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/

#37 neroden

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 03:11 AM

So let's say we can get a third CHI-NEC train that completes its run within 24 hours (I'll call it the Philly train). We go to NS and say would you rather we run the Philly train on your tracks between Porter and TOL (TOL to South Bend is 150 miles already) along with the LSL and CL or run the Philly train on your tracks between DET and TOL (56 miles)?


If this was being asked for as a third train, I can make an educated guess regarding the response -- NS says "FFS, before you run any more trains, please do something about the bottleneck from Porter to Chicago". :-)
(Can we get South of the Lake funded?)

If the request was to swap one of the trains (LSL or CL) onto the Michigan route, I suspect NS would be happy to do it.
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#38 west point

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 04:33 PM

As much as this poster wants more ATL service it will not happen until 2 ATL projects are  finished neither which has even started.

1.  A new ATL station that is off the NS main so not to tie up the main for another 1-1/4  to 1-1/2 hours each way.  Three hours a day now is too much.

2.  IF any station located near or east of the present ATL station the Howell(s) CP rebuilt with a flyover.  Just the other day the northbound Crescent took a 3 hour delay there going from Anniston - ATL.  It happens too often to count.


Edited by west point, 02 May 2016 - 09:21 PM.


#39 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 09:10 PM

I thought you were going to list the new Hudson Tunnels and the new Potomac Long Bridge!

 

iiuc They are both about maxed out with no additional slots for added trains.



#40 jis

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:41 PM

Hudson tunnels have no additional slots only in the rush direction during two morning and two afternoon hours. Other than that there are plenty of slots to be had.




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