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Crescent to Texas via Meridian Speedway?


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#1 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 07:58 AM

I don't know with the proposed budget that this should be called a "Fantasy Thread" or not. I believe the extension does have support.

 

My assumption is the train would split off the Crescent at Meridian, MS and then head to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. If you go by the current Thruway bus route between Meridian and Dallas (8219/8220) it would serve Jackson, MS (currently on CONO) and Shreveport, LA (no Amtrak train service). The advantage to me would be a one seat ride between the NEC (and the Carolinas and Atlanta) and the Dallas area (what other potential stops do you see?)

 

If the train can be scheduled to allow transfers to the TE at DAL it can allow traffic from the NEC another possible route to Arizona/California and a route from the Carolinas and Atlanta to Arizona/California without having to travel north to NEC-Chicago or staying overnight in NOL. The train could add a significant number of passengers to the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle west of SAS. Maybe it helps "save" the train. 

 

One potential problem: Does Dallas (or Ft. Worth) have the service facilities for a LD train (or would it be like BOS or Portland)? You might have to run the train to San Antonio then along the TE route (although I can already hear Bob Dylan saying "they will never allow it!")

 

Also, if you use the schedule of the Thruway bus it takes 11-12 hours between Meridian and Dallas. The westbound schedule requires a nearly 5 hour wait in Meridian (not a place I would want to spend 5 hr) and arrives in Dallas at 5:50am. If you cut the 5 hour gap to 2 hours and use the same timing, you arrive in Dallas at 2:50am, pretty close to the absolute worst time possible (not to mention you would have to open the station at that hour). For a feasible train to arrive in DAL, you'd probably have to make it by midnight. Can you get from Meridian to Dallas in 9 hours or less, including the time required for the split which will surely count for 1-2 hours of that time? Maybe you can help by shifting the Crescent schedule to leave NYP and arrive/leave in ATL an hour earlier and you'd have a chance to make it to Dallas before midnight.

 

The other possibility is to pad the schedule so much it arrives in Dallas after 6am although that adds to the travel time and you'd probably have to idle somewhere in the middle (and spending any significant time waiting in Mississippi cannot be good). An early morning arrival (6-9am) into Dallas would shorten the gap between the "Crescent Star" and the Texas Eagle though. If it arrived in Dallas before midnight, the transfer there would be almost useless as it would require an overnight stay (and if you get to Dallas at that time you wouldn't get to your hotel until after midnight, assuming the train is on time, laughs from AU members).

 


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#2 A Voice

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 09:42 AM

I don't know with the proposed budget that this should be called a "Fantasy Thread" or not. I believe the extension does have support.

 

...............

 

 

The other possibility is to pad the schedule so much it arrives in Dallas after 6am although that adds to the travel time and you'd probably have to idle somewhere in the middle (and spending any significant time waiting in Mississippi cannot be good).

 

 

The proposed extension of a section of the Crescent to Texas is an active proposal and not a fantasy thread.  

 

I know you don't like rural areas, but what exactly is wrong with Mississippi?  



#3 Carolina Special

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 10:06 AM

Too hard to spell? :)

#4 WICT106

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 10:11 AM

Jackson, MS has a metro area population of about 900 000.  It isn't a city I consider "rural" by any stretch.  If I had to layover along this route, that would be one city I would do so.


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#5 Bob Dylan

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 05:20 PM

Philly:Nice thoughts and one that actually can happen if and when Amtrak gets,more equipment,money and can work out the schedules with the Class Is!!😉

You left out one other connection on this proposed routing, the Ambus,connection in Longview from the Texas Eagle to Houston and Galveston.

Also, hopefully one fine day the Texas Eagle will run daily between CHI and LAX, and the stub train from SAS-NOL will be able to make good connections in NOL with the Crescent,CONO and the proposed, long waited train between NOL,the Gulf Coast and Florida.This is a,glaring hole in the National LD Network!

Edited by Bob Dylan, 15 April 2017 - 05:22 PM.

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#6 Seaboard92

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 12:53 AM

I think you guys can be expecting to SEE something on this route in the next two to six months. And Amtrak believe the route to be cash positive so they are very much interested in examining the line closely and meeting with the stakeholders of the project.

Enjoy decoding this message.

The non cryptic part of this message now follows.
It'll be a section of the Crescent getting split in Meridian.

The KCS Speedway has a good speed limit I believe 60 for freight which means just reset the signaling and you should be able to get 79 out of it based on what class of track it is.

It also could be an all KCS route to the metroplex if I remember my railroad geography correctly.
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#7 neroden

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 03:37 PM

This is a great route.

KCS currently doesn't really host Amtrak, so I do wonder how much work it will be to get agreement, but since it's a joint NS-KCS venture that might not be a problem.

UP is OK with it by all accounts. It could run on KCS all the way to the east side of the Metroplex, but that is a slow and twisty route. Or it could switch to UP from Shreveport to Dallas; I think the inclination will be to do the latter (fewer new stations, faster route) but you never know. CN (host for Jackson MS) might be uncooperative.

Shreveport seems to be really seriously actively trying to get rail service whether from west or from east, so maybe it'll happen...

Lot of new stations would need to be built,though. Even on the simpler UP route, new stations would be needed at Shreveport, Monroe, and Vicksburg, at a minimum. I don't even know where you'd put a station in Vicksburg; I don't see a good location.

The passenger potential here is large. The main thing to think about here is that Dallas-Fort Worth would "anchor" the route from the west end; people would take the train from Dallas as far as New York. I believe it would be faster than the LSL-Texas Eagle combo (leave NY at 3:40 PM on day 1, arrive at 11:30 AM on day 3).

If we assume the train can travel as fast as driving (it can't), it would leave NY at 2:15 on day 1, arrive Meridian at 2:58 PM on day 2, arrive Dallas at... um... 1:10 AM on day 3.  Probably a bit slower than that, so maybe arrive early morning into Dallas.

The catch here is... as always these days... *equipment*.  The Crescent arrives NOLA at 7:32 PM and leaves at 7 AM the next morning.  This branch would arrive Dallas at 5 AM the next morning, most likely.  If it was as fast as driving it would have to leave at 1 AM or so to get back to Meridian by 11 AM.  With more plausible (but still fast) schedules, it might be leaving at 11 PM.  Anyway, this means it needs *one more trainset* than the current Crescent, five instead of four.

As such I find it highly implausible that it'll happen quickly; it'll require purchasing more sleepers and coaches and locomotives.


Edited by neroden, 16 April 2017 - 03:53 PM.

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#8 Seaboard92

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 07:11 PM

Honestly the option I personally would like to see would be make it a complete separate train and run as a day train from Atlanta to the NEC
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#9 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 09:36 PM

Honestly the option I personally would like to see would be make it a complete separate train and run as a day train from Atlanta to the NEC

 

The file attached has two separate schedules for a separate train:

 

*Day Train between NYP and ATL, then to DAL. Train arrives in DAL at 6:40pm and leaves DAL at 9:45am. If you want to go from ATL to DAL, you board at 12:38am and get back from DAL at 5:35am. The train is overnight in Alabama/Mississippi both directions.

 

*Scheduled to allow for same day transfers with the Texas Eagle

 

Southbound leaves NYP 7:15pm, WAS 11:30pm, ATL 1:13pm/1:38pm, DAL 7:40am (21 South leaves DAL 11:50am)

Northbound leaves DAL 8:45pm, ATL 4:35pm/5:04pm, WAS 6:53am, NYP 10:46am (22 North arrives DAL 3:40pm)

 

Better times for Atlanta and New York. Charlotte has way better times to/from NYP and ATL than the Crescent. The train is overnight two nights in each direction, one overnight around Charlottesville/Greensboro and overnight through Shreveport. Shreveport is during the graveyard shift both directions.

 

I'd prefer the two night train from PHL to DAL, especially if continuing to Austin/San Antonio. This train would be better going to/from ATL than the Crescent as it leaves PHL later and arrives back in PHL earlier. It would be perfect if I needed to get to CLT. From the NEC to LAX via Crescent Star/TE-SL would take a lot longer than going via CHI but the Crescent Star/TE-SL combo would be great for a passenger from ATL or Carolina to LAX.

Attached Files


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 16 April 2017 - 09:42 PM.

Trains Traveled: Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA), Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Lake Shore 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), Soon: Texas Eagle (CHI-DAL)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/


#10 Seaboard92

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:30 PM

I should add the terminal for the train will be Fort Worth not Dallas.
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#11 west point

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 12:03 PM

Your FTW - Meridian - ATL - CLT then - RGH - Richmond - NYP would attract many more passengers . That covers a much larger population base and can be part of NC DOT's Piedmont corridor. Day train ATL - NYP as well. Once the RGH - PTB "S" line is operational the enroute times CLT - WASH will be same as the Crescent. The day times for CLT - GRO - Danville -CVS will just not attract many intermediate passenger boardings. Especially if VA DOT runs another LYN <>WASH trip.

Edited by west point, 17 April 2017 - 12:10 PM.


#12 Seaboard92

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 11:27 PM

West Point while that may have a lot of good cities and routes. However the Crescent seems to do brisk business from ALX south from my experience. I've met a lot of 20s at Clemson and most passengers were going to Charlottesville and Manassas.
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#13 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:16 AM

Your FTW - Meridian - ATL - CLT then - RGH - Richmond - NYP would attract many more passengers . That covers a much larger population base and can be part of NC DOT's Piedmont corridor. Day train ATL - NYP as well. Once the RGH - PTB "S" line is operational the enroute times CLT - WASH will be same as the Crescent. The day times for CLT - GRO - Danville -CVS will just not attract many intermediate passenger boardings. Especially if VA DOT runs another LYN <>WASH trip.

 

 

West Point while that may have a lot of good cities and routes. However the Crescent seems to do brisk business from ALX south from my experience. I've met a lot of 20s at Clemson and most passengers were going to Charlottesville and Manassas.

 

If you are running the Crescent Star as a split off the Crescent, you are probably better off leaving the Crescent route through Charlottesville (faster). But if you are going to run two separate trains from ATL to the NEC, I don't see the harm in one via Charlottesville and one via Richmond and Raleigh like the Silver Star and Silver Meteor. Assuming my schedules, both routes would put the cities in question in the graveyard shift anyway. I am intrigued about Raleigh to Atlanta myself. If one day North Carolina finds the benefit of doing so they'd extend a Piedmont to Atlanta (and would pick up Clemson and its college kids along the way). If you are really trying for the day train, you pretty have no choice but to go via Charlottesville (unless you want to arrive in NYP around 1am) until the S line is operational.


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

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:35 AM

We took the Greyhound bus from Jackson to Dallas the year before last, stopping over in Shreveport for a day.

On both legs the bus was almost full. And looking at the schedule there are quite a few frequencies. So this route does have potential, at least as a corridor if not as a LD operation.

At least as far as Shreveport is concerned, there might be a case for the casinos chipping in with some start-up money. An estimated 90% of people getting on or off there were either employees or visitors to casinos.

#15 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 09:33 AM

We took the Greyhound bus from Jackson to Dallas the year before last, stopping over in Shreveport for a day.

On both legs the bus was almost full. And looking at the schedule there are quite a few frequencies. So this route does have potential, at least as a corridor if not as a LD operation.

At least as far as Shreveport is concerned, there might be a case for the casinos chipping in with some start-up money. An estimated 90% of people getting on or off there were either employees or visitors to casinos.

The background to this story is that Shreveport has "riverboat casinos" but Dallas (like the rest of Texas) doesn't allow casinos or most gambling. Right now buses, vans, shuttles, etc, carry heavy traffic. To tap that sweet market, the departure and arrival times need to match the demand. Leaving Ft Worth and then Dallas after work would be ideal, then not arriving too late at night into Shreveport. Return trips need to be timed for folks who need to go to work the next day -- or later that morning. LOL.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 18 April 2017 - 09:38 AM.


#16 Anderson

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:26 PM

I'd say this depends on the state of SEHSR in the longer-term.  If you've got four or five "long-haul Regionals" (the four SEHSR trains plus the Carolinian) running either NYP-CLT or WAS-CLT (probably a mix of the two, FWIW) then forcing a connection at CLT isn't the end of the world.  Also, doing so keeps the operation simple: Once it leaves the NEC, the train is all NS until it transfers to KCS.  CSX is only involved "on paper" in the DC area (and I strongly suspect you'll have two pax-only tracks from WAS to the split south of ALX in due time, eliminating any freight interference issues there).

Ideally you do want to see traffic feeding in from both routes.  The main thing is that (1) I think the "western" market still isn't tapped out (and indeed that you could generate a decent boost in traffic if you ran a connection from Roanoke or beyond to connect with the train going each way) and (2) I also, as a matter of operational philosophy, like it when as many trains as possible do roughly the same thing (e.g. follow the same routes, not necessarily have identical stopping patterns).  Additionally, I'm not sure there's a market for a train so close to the Palmetto heading into Richmond (this train, as presently timetabled, chases the Palmetto very closely...and the Palmetto itself isn't too far ahead of the Carolinian, so you'd be throwing three trains NYP-RVR in very short succession).  I'm also hesitant as to whether there's a market for a train between the Shoreliner and the Palmetto...and I'm fairly certain that Amtrak isn't going to be too hot on an earlier-scheduled train en route to Texas doing a "reverse peak" commuter routine WAS-FBG.

To be fair, my vote would be for an earlier time out of NYP (and a later one into NYP): I'd rather have passable times PHL/WAS-ATL given the choice (especially since I suspect that CLT-ATL would be a decent-sized market for this train if the time is good).

Also of note: Even with a somewhat later time, a connection to the Meteor via CVS is plausible while at CLT the Star should connect (indirectly) as well.  The Palmetto is tough to connect to in either case, but that connection is also slightly awkward since you'd have to run a bus or something...and the utility of that is somewhat limited, too, IMHO (since the Palmetto only goes to SAV).

Edit: Another advantage to moving the train earlier is that if you could pair it with pushing the Sunset Limited later by an hour or two you might be able to make a same-day connection happen.


Edited by Anderson, 18 April 2017 - 05:06 PM.

Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#17 neroden

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:45 PM

I should add the terminal for the train will be Fort Worth not Dallas.

Small difference, now that we're running on TRE.  But that is one more host to negotiate with.

 

I still think the biggest issue is rounding up equipment -- like I said, this would be five consists instead of four, and they *have to be single-level*, and even with the new Viewliners, I really don't think they have the equipment.  Unless the funding proposal involves buying some extra cars.  :-)  They could move the dining car from the New Orleans section to the FTW section but they'd still need one more dining car; each coach which they switch to FTW requires one extra coach; each sleeper which they switch to FTW needs one more sleeper; and the FTW section will probably be busier than the New Orleans section.  So they basically need a whole extra consist.  Better start buying additional cars from CAF now...

 

Unless they did something weird like truncating in DC so that they could use Superliners.  I suppose that's a possibility, but the Cardinal does so much better when extended to NY that I doubt they'd do that.

 

So, primary problem: get some more rolling stock.  Further things needing funding, in addition to the necessary new stations (Shreveport, Monroe, Vicksburg):

-- Looking at Jackson MS I expect they'd need to do significant trackwork improvements -- specifically a set of switches at the north end to get from the active platform to the west-bound line.

-- They'd need a second platform at Marshall, TX, and wait for it, it would need to be high-level if the train was a single-level train.... probably need to build a siding.  There's plenty of *room*, but Marshall still needs to be made wheelchair accessible as well... anyway, lot of station construction needed at Marshall....

I don't think it matters too much what the schedule is in this case and I'll let the experts figure it out, but it would be good to be able to make same-day connections with the Eagle and the CONO in all directions while optimizing the Dallas-Shreveport market... which is probably impossible. 


Edited by neroden, 18 April 2017 - 08:45 PM.

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#18 Seaboard92

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 11:41 PM

I'm shocked no one decoded my first message on this thread
View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net
Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)
Steam Engines I've worked behind: Norfolk & Western No. 611; Nickel Plate Road No. 765; Southern Pacific No. 4449
 

#19 Anderson

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 11:49 PM

.


Edited by Anderson, 18 April 2017 - 11:50 PM.

Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#20 railiner

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 05:14 AM

I'm shocked no one decoded my first message on this thread


More "inside" info?
Like that long thread on the LSL going via Michigan? :)
metroblue?

okay on the blue!




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