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Expanding the Amtrak Route Map


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#41 west point

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 01:23 PM

Despite what this poster thought it appears that NOL <> ORL service is moving toward restart. Appears some Republican congress critters are pushing it as well. What will be needed IMO is some additional funds in a supplemental appropriation shortly after Jan 20th. That money can be used for rebuilding some wreck damaged cars and rebuilding some out of service locos. As well any station building / restorations and any track improvements required including any PTC items.
Would expect it will take 12 - 18 months at minimum after full approval.
Depending on how the schedule is compiled to / from NOL the rebuilds may require additional cars on CNO and / or Sunset. If the highly unlikely daily Sunset happens then as well some cars and locos for that expansion.

#42 neroden

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 02:05 PM

I think it would be a lot better if they bought new cars and locos. They're badly needed. We can't rebuild wrecks from the 1970s forever.

Amtrak currently has an option on Charger locos which seem to be quite nice. The thing to do would be to jump on that option. The Southern Rail Commission could buy and own a couple of locomotives. If they get through the "study phase" fast enough and get real funding.

If the problems with the Kinki Sharyo bilevel order are resolved, a few cars could be bought as options on that order, again probably by the Southern Rail Commission.

Edited by neroden, 02 January 2017 - 02:08 PM.

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#43 A Voice

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 03:05 PM

Despite what this poster thought it appears that NOL <> ORL service is moving toward restart. Appears some Republican congress critters are pushing it as well. What will be needed IMO is some additional funds in a supplemental appropriation shortly after Jan 20th. That money can be used for rebuilding some wreck damaged cars and rebuilding some out of service locos. As well any station building / restorations and any track improvements required including any PTC items.
Would expect it will take 12 - 18 months at minimum after full approval.
Depending on how the schedule is compiled to / from NOL the rebuilds may require additional cars on CNO and / or Sunset. If the highly unlikely daily Sunset happens then as well some cars and locos for that expansion.

 

Amtrak has already stated they have sufficient equipment for the City of New Orleans extension to Orlando, so no additional wreck rebuilds (beyond any already budgeted/planned) are necessary before this service can be launched.  A much bigger problem are the demands of CSX, though I think its a safe assumption those numbers are something of a bargaining position.  

 

In addition, if Nippon-Sharyo actually manages to deliver a finished car within our lifetimes (apparently, additional delays this month), this will free up Horizon cars for use elsewhere.  Spare locomotives, badly needed by chronically power short Amtrak, will also be released by the Siemens Chargers bought by the states and which should be in service in the coming months.  



#44 west point

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 09:08 PM

Disagree about spare cars. It may be in slack times there are spares but the last Thanksgiving- new Years period had every available car in service. Granted some were down for weather problems but would have been in service if available. Can you cite anywhere there are enough cars? When was the last time Amtrak said it did have cars ?.
Amtrak can easily get cars on a short term basis but for 24 - 365 service it is a different item.

Edited by west point, 02 January 2017 - 09:12 PM.


#45 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 10:19 PM

 

. . . it appears that NOL <> ORL service is moving toward restart. . . . some Republican congress critters are pushing it as well.

 

. . . if Nippon Sharyo actually manages to deliver a finished car within our lifetimes (apparently, additional delays this month) . . .

Well, that's not a little (parenthetical) aside. LOL. Do you have more details and/or a link?



#46 A Voice

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 11:28 AM

 

 

. . . it appears that NOL <> ORL service is moving toward restart. . . . some Republican congress critters are pushing it as well.

 

. . . if Nippon Sharyo actually manages to deliver a finished car within our lifetimes (apparently, additional delays this month) . . .

Well, that's not a little (parenthetical) aside. LOL. Do you have more details and/or a link?

 

 

Report from the December 6th meeting of the NGEC Executive Board states the Final Design Review scheduled for this month (january 2017) will be postponed until sometime in the Spring.  Some sources are a bit more negative.  However, Nippon-Sharyo is also reported to be rehiring laid-off workers - for Caltrans work in the 4th quarter of 2017.  



#47 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 12:25 PM

 

 

 

. . . it appears that NOL <> ORL service is moving toward restart. . . . some Republican congress critters are pushing it as well.

. . . if Nippon Sharyo actually manages to deliver a finished car within our lifetimes (apparently, additional delays this month) . . .

Well, that's not a little (parenthetical) aside. LOL. Do you have more details and/or a link?

Report from the December 6th meeting of the NGEC Executive Board states the Final Design Review scheduled for this month (January 2017) will be postponed until sometime in the Spring. . . .

Thanks. I'd druther know than not know.

 

By the calendar, Spring will start the last week of March, continue thru most of June. Oy vey.

 

But what do I know. I'm still trying to figure out what 'they' mean by Winter 2017. Are we currently in Winter 2017? Or will we meet Winter '17 at the solstice next December? LOL.



#48 west point

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 03:20 PM

What is puzzling is why both the Amtrak haters and supporters have not each called especially CAF but also Nippon (NS) to the halls of congress explain why they are wasting taxpayer's money ?

#49 west point

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 10:24 PM

There may be a very untapped service that stumbled across. The SOU RR ran the Royal Palm Cincinnati <> JAX as part of trains Midwest <> MIA. Note the sleepers on the schedule CHI -2, Detroit - 5, BUffalo - 1, Cleveland - 1, Cincinnati - 1, And then coaches as well. Note how much of an express the schedule has so few stops. Suspect there were servicing stops and crew change stops. Train would be at least 16 cars and maybe more ? Wonder if it often ran in 2 sections ?

http://www.streamlin...palm195103.html

#50 neroden

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 07:57 AM

What's the state of, ownership of, and traffic status of the Cincinnati-Lexington-Chattanooga-Atlanta tracks?

Wait... I know that route. That's the Cincinnati Southern. It's owned outright by the city of Cincinnati. Leased to Norfolk Southern.

Yes, it might be possible to get passenger service on that route. With sufficient support from Cincy and from Chattanooga, it seems very possible. Unfortunately I think a good result there depends on doing one of the following:
(1) Getting better service from Cincy to the north, or
(2) Getting a new station in Atlanta.
Needs better connections / anchors on at least one end than it currently has.

Edited by neroden, 06 January 2017 - 08:02 AM.

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#51 west point

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 12:45 PM

Many of the proposals for various Midwest services and to Florida may be covered eventually to a Royal Palm type train linked just below. How would you initiate a Royal Palm (RP) type train ? All listed option connections would be labeled Royal Palm to prevent any conflict with the present 750 mile rule just as the Empire builder and LSL.

http://www.streamlin...palm195103.html

1. Initiate the train CIN - CHA - ATL - JAX - MIA. The ATL station problem may be worked out by the train passing Howell interlocking and backing into the present ATL station then pulling forward once station work complete. Back in can work in both directions but with the knowledge there will be some days delays will happen at the Howell interlocking. The NS route is ~ 840 miles CIN <> JAX . The NS rat hole division might be somewhat faster due to tunnel and track revisions since 1951 ?

The big problem is getting the train approved over the Cincinnati southern (NS) to CHA and the NS to ATL - JAX. The present Amtrak route to MIA could then be used. By following the old Royal Palm schedule the cars CIN <> CHI could be attached to at least a daily Cardinal CHI - CIN ( extended Hoosier ? ).
Certainly there will be more RP station stops than what is shown of the 1951 RP. As approved cities build required stations then schedule train stops there. Have no idea of status of stations on NS route ?

Then the following can be accomplished in no special order
2. Make the Cardinal daily and have the Hoosier run at better schedule times for day trippers. Attach RP cars CIN <> CHI .

3. Extend the RP to Detroit or Cleveland over the 3 C corridor. That may provide at least connections for Michigan travelers to connect at Toledo for east coast trains as well. Will leave day 3C trips to others

5. Or add car(s) at Toledo somehow for Cleveland maybe an extension of an Empire train to Toledo ? Maybe a Buffalo car(s) as well.

6. Initiate RP connection train STL - Louisville - Nashville - Chattanooga.

7. Reroute RP train over FEC to MIA. Will require upgrading / restoring the FEC - West Palm Beach connecting track to Tri Rail past the old Palm Beach hurricane cemetery. Alternate is to use FEC to MIA and connection built to Tri Rail. However Brightline station platforms at Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale high level with 12 inch gap.

8. Hattiesburg, Meridian, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham could also connect at ATL from Crescent for Florida that is not possible with the present proposed NOL - Orlando train without overnight at NOL.

9. Nashville - Louisville section might be extended to CHI.

10. If the Roanoke Virginia train is ever extended to Bristol, then Knoxville - CHA connecting at CHA RP times would mesh with present proposals.

11. Palmetto extended to JAX would give possible connections <> Florida destinations maybe even thru car(s) however that in future might make RP too long ? Would expect southbound schedule arrival JAX later northbound earlier ?

12 West Va / Va persons can also connect to south at CIN.

13. Unfortunately connections for Florida to Crescent north of ATL would require 9 hour layover in ATL. But at present Florida connections from Greensboro to ATL also requires a lay over in Raleigh or plus CLT at certain stations. Proposed Piedmont ATL <> NYP / WASH no connection.

Will leave east west trains in Ohio valley proposals to others.

The next big question then is equipment.

21, To start service CHI <> MIA will require just 5 train sets ? ( is my math bad ? ) Expect MIA will be too close to turn equipment same day.

22. Superliners or single level cars. There are pluses and minus both types. Am leaning toward single level. MIA would be able to rotate the Silver service trains but ? ?. Cardinal equipment would be compatible.

23. Single levels start with Baggage, 3 coaches, Diner, lounge 2 sleepers ? == 40 + 5 spares. Suspect that winter could easily be Bag, 5 coaches, diner, lounge, 5 sleepers = 65 + 8.

24. So definitely more cars. CAF ? Boy what a mess. Siemens Bright line ? maybe but it will take redesign to add traps.

25 Locos ? Probably enough P-42s released with Chargers taking their place.

26. Need 2 sets each for 3C and Nashville.

Just a wag but probably $450 - 500M ?

Edited by west point, 06 January 2017 - 12:55 PM.


#52 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:50 AM

IMO the expansion that would seem to be the easiest (shortest distance) with the biggest potential gain are Detroit area-Michigan (about 60 miles). That would connect the Wolverine Corridor to the Chicago Line (LSL/CL) and give Michigan train access to the East Coast (even if you have to change trains in the middle of the night in TOL it still is more desirable than the bus). Also, it involves a state that seems to have some interest in investing in rail travel (Michigan). There were rumors last year the LSL would be rerouted via Michigan. Once the upgrade to 110 mph is complete you might be able to travel between CHI and TOL faster via Michigan than South Bend. At the very least, you use fewer miles of NS track. It's pretty clear NS uses the CHI-CLE route a lot. How about Michigan-TOL? 

 

I do think ATL to Savannah and/or JAX would help a lot but then it goes back to the issues at ATL. Ideally I'd like to see a split at ATL for the Crescent with one leg to Florida and one leg to New Orleans to add ATL-Florida (and CLT/Greensboro-Florida) traffic.

 

The problem with Louisville and Nashville is unless the cities and/or states pay there isn't an obvious through car to or reroute of an existing LD route you can add them to. Maybe Kentucky Cardinal extended to Nashville? Or connect Louisville to Cincinnati to the Cardinal eastbound? Atlanta-Nashville would seem to be an obvious city pair but again ATL mess.


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)!
 
 


#53 dlagrua

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 10:13 PM

 IMO the two trains having the best chance to come back are the quad cities route from CHI to Moline and the Broadway Ltd route from PHL - CHI. . The Quad cities has been in the planing stages since 2009 and All Aboard Ohio, a lobbying group is putting out  some favorable reports on the restoration of passenger service on the old PRR mainline ( that has been recently rebuilt by Norfolk Southern) .






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