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Silver Star and Augusta, GA


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#21 Anthony V

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 11:44 AM

 

 

 

... pulling traffic from eastern/central GA market might add more to revenue on the SS.  ... But of course, getting NS or CSX to agree to trackage might be a formidable  challenge? 

True.   I wonder how feasible my idea is or if it's just a "pipe dream".   :)
Pipe dreams are allowed. Posting them here allows constructive criticism, and usually adds good information.
 
My pipe dream in this region is built on Charlotte-Columbia service. (Some assembly required.) That could be an extension of one or more Piedmonts Raleigh-Charlotte.
 
OR it could be a new long distance train, NEC-D.C.-Richmond-Raleigh-Greensboro-Charlotte-Columbia-Charleston-Savannah-Florida.
 
OR NEC-D.C.-Charlottesville-Lynchburg-Greensboro-Charlotte-Columbia-Charleston-Savannah-Florida. 
 
OR ... now to get back on topic LOL ... Charlotte-Columbia-Augusta-Savannah-Florida.
 
The current government in South Carolina won't spend a dime on passenger rail. And somebody would have to build a few miles of connecting track (NS and CSX) just north of Columbia. But sometimes politics can change very quickly.

You might just get your wish soon. If the things I'm hearing from multiple sources. SS won't be the only train rerouting.

 

What sources are those?


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#22 west point

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:22 PM

Reroute any train ?  Ridiculous.  Negotiations for any would have been announced long ago.  Then you have the problem of different stations.  Even the gulf coast has not fixed all its stations and platforms.    



#23 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:46 PM

 

 

 

... pulling traffic from eastern/central GA market might add more to revenue on the SS.  ... But of course, getting NS or CSX to agree to trackage might be a formidable  challenge? 

True.   I wonder how feasible my idea is or if it's just a "pipe dream".   :)

Pipe dreams are allowed. Posting them here allows constructive criticism, and usually adds good information.

Unfortunately it also allows unconstructive criticism too often (not you Woody but others).

 

I know Amtrak has studied rerouting the SS via CLT which I think would be a great move but said it wasn't feasible at the time. 

 

My pipe dream in the Southeast has always been some train from ATL to Florida. ... How about ATL-Augusta-SAV or ATL-Augusta-Charleston SC?

If there was a clear shot at ATL from Augusta, I'd have included it among my dream options. But unless you have a more optimistic map than I found, there's not an attractive semi-straight line, or even a good roundabout way via Athens or Macon.

 

There's not a straight-line way from Augusta to Charleston that I can see. Need to go Augusta-Columbia-Charleston, which is not too bad. Not that Columbia-Charleston enjoys passenger service now, tho it should.



#24 Anderson

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 02:05 PM

I remember musing a month or two back about the viability of a New York-Atlanta-Florida train.  The through business wouldn't be great but I suspect that both "legs" would do quite well, and depending on your scheduling if you could eat a bad time at NYP you might also get the WAS-ATL day train that's been desired for quite some time.  FWIW my best guess is that the train would be pretty well in the black north of ATL and within FL but have a bit of a hole from ATL-JAX.


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)

#25 west point

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 02:25 PM

Ignoring the ATL station problem the Crescent does very well north of ATL at night.  Its hard to say but overnight ATL <> JAX might do just as well if anyone has ever noticed the ATL traffic on I-75 south of ATL.



#26 Anderson

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 02:41 PM

Ignoring the ATL station problem the Crescent does very well north of ATL at night.  Its hard to say but overnight ATL <> JAX might do just as well if anyone has ever noticed the ATL traffic on I-75 south of ATL.

True.  My thinking was more that you'd get an awful lot of turnover at ATL along with possibly some lousy boarding hours.  Still...I would not be surprised to see a highly successful train on the route.


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)

#27 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:47 PM

 

 

 

 

... pulling traffic from eastern/central GA market might add more to revenue on the SS.  ... But of course, getting NS or CSX to agree to trackage might be a formidable challenge

True.   I wonder how feasible my idea is or if it's just a "pipe dream".   :)
Pipe dreams are allowed. ...
 
My pipe dream in this region is built on Charlotte-Columbia service. (Some assembly required.) That could be an extension of one or more Piedmonts Raleigh-Charlotte.
 
OR it could be a new long distance train, NEC-D.C.-Richmond-Raleigh-Greensboro-Charlotte-Columbia-Charleston-Savannah-Florida.
 
OR NEC-D.C.-Charlottesville-Lynchburg-Greensboro-Charlotte-Columbia-Charleston-Savannah-Florida. 
 
 ...

You might just get your wish soon. If the things I'm hearing from multiple sources. SS won't be the only train rerouting.

What sources are those?

 

O.K. I confess: My notion of Charlotte-Columbia service is not entirely original, but came pre-vetted from a very reliable source.

Rerouting the Silver Star via Charlotte

 

       Preliminary analyses also indicate that rerouting
the Silver Star between Raleigh, NC, and Columbia, SC,
via Charlotte and Greensboro, NC, would produce
significant additional ridership and reduce net operating
losses. This reroute would provide direct service between
Florida and major population centers in NC.
 
       However, there is no direct connection between NS’s
Charlotte-to-Columbia rail line, over which the train
would be rerouted, and the CSX rail line that serves Amtrak’s Columbia station. And significant investments would be required for equipment and other capital costs.
       From page 73 of the 2009 PRIIA Study of the Silver Service trains, still alive on the About Amtrak pages.
 
       Still and all, I'm not so interested in a reroute as in a whole new train, like another Palmetto, or another Silver, depending on the run times.
 
Belated edit, trying to fix line breaks in the cut-and-paste from the PRIIA report.

Edited by WoodyinNYC, 25 July 2017 - 06:48 PM.


#28 Anderson

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 02:34 AM

One version of this that I've heard is "exchanging" the Star and the Crescent out of Washington: The Crescent would run WAS-RVR-RGH-CLT-ATL while the Silver Star would run WAS-CVS-CLT-CLB-SAV.  Depending on what times were used, this would give western VA a one-seat ride to Florida and eastern VA a one-seat ride to Atlanta (and New Orleans), both of which are reasonable moves in terms of ridership IMO.  Other advantages are that it would give the Crescent and Carolinian a fully-overlapping route (which I suspect would be good for ridership) and add a "free" frequency RGH-CLT (which is a not-insignificant corridor), either in addition to or in lieu of the planned additional Piedmont as well as provide 3x daily frequencies WAS-CLT.  Finally, if the "western VA" train retains the Star's slots on the NEC this would make that WAS-CLT segment a daylight(-ish) run (as well as being ripe for bumping Thruway service to/from ROA).  Eyeballing this, an SB 1500 departure from WAS gives CVS at 1730, LYH 1830, and CLT at 2300.  Working backwards out of WAS for the NB train, the 1430 arrival probably corresponds to about a 1200 departure from CVS, 1100 from LYH, and 0630 from CLT.  In both cases I'd like to bump the times by about an hour (earlier SB, later NB) to massage CLT into a better slot, particularly NB.  With that being said, I think these are times that would be big winners.

 

((I'm not really guessing at a timetable here south of CLT simply because I have neither a routing nor a handle on the likely speeds of said routing.  I'm all down with trying to take a vaguely-reasonable guess based on present/recent timetables but I'd rather not fly blind.))

Presuming that the Crescent's slot was retained for the "eastern VA" train...that gets a little more "interesting": It would head south on the RF&P at about 1830, arriving at RVR around 2140.  So far, so good.  It would hit Raleigh at about 0120...which is somewhat problematic...and CLT at around 0440, which is also problematic (if only because it would seem to fall under "defeating the point").  Atlanta at 1030 isn't bad, and the resulting 2200 arrival into NOL isn't the end of the world considering the lack of same-day connections there.

Looking at the other direction, an arrival into WAS at 1000 would correspond to departing RVR at about 0750.  This isn't a bad schedule IMO, but those timeslots are a bit loaded up as-is and I'd expect to hear some complaints from Virginia since I can tell you right now that such a train /immediately/ becomes my #1 choice for departing Richmond for DC, especially if we're getting a diner-equipped train out of the deal (as well as potentially creating a "schedule crater" in the middle of the day...though if there's not much damage from this, both the NPN train and the Carolinian should get a bump out of it).  Backing further down the line, 0400 is a bit of a problem for RGH (and 0100 isn't great for CLT), though 1900 for ATL isn't bad (or far from what we have at present) and thus nothing else is likely to get too awfully mucked-up.  FWIW I take it as a given that this isn't exactly what we'd get but it's a reasonable starting point to guess at this.

Personally I'd like to see the NB times pushed back by an hour or so (getting CLT out of the smack middle of the night and getting a better arrival into Washington as well as being able to generate more CLT-ATL business).  SB, I'd like to see some more buffer room between this train and the Meteor (though frankly, shuffling those two around a little wouldn't be the end of the world)...but the risk there comes with both making the turn in New Orleans problematic as well as pushing that arrival too late.  Switching to both Meteor slots probably FUBARs the NOL timing...which is a shame since I think both of those slots would get CLT into decent enough hours on that train.

As another thought, if the "eastern VA" train retains the Star's slots through VA and NC, this puts SB times as RVR 1700, RGH 2100, CLT 0030, ATL 0630, and NOL 1730.  NB this gives RVR 1200, RGH 0800, CLT 0430, ATL 2230, and NOL 0900.  In this case it (continues) to suck to be Charlotte and I'd want to park the SB train somewhere for an hour to get a better time for Atlanta but otherwise it's not bad.

I'm trying to think of anything else that could "reasonably" move in this area: The Meteor and Palmetto are in "don't fix it, it ain't broke" territory right now, with the Meteor only hamstrung from better performance by a lack of equipment.

 

Thoughts:
-If the "western VA" train gets something close to the Star's times north of WAS, then western VA is a big winner in this deal.  Of note, doing this would allow Amtrak to viably experiment with a Thruway service out of Lynchburg into SW VA (or even into Tennessee) under the LD banner, avoiding some of the state-supported morass.  I know that VA would likely be supportive of such an effort, but getting the LD side involved is the only way to "work around" TN's likely low level of interest.

-It's really hard to accommodate WAS, CLT, and ATL well on any single train.  I'd like to see ATL-CLT be able to run as a day train (that's two massive cities which should be able to hive off traffic in the vein of CHI-MSP or CHI-KCY as a pair) but I'm not sure that this can be done without needing an extra set at NOL.

-It's hard to say how NC really comes out of this.  Depending on what shakes out, Charlotte should be a big winner.  Raleigh might end up being a winner or a loser depending on how one defines the terms.  Longer-term I suspect this would be a good thing for NC...but that "longer term" implies at least one or two SEHSR trains to backfill for Raleigh potentially going deep in the doghouse on the "eastern VA" train's times.

 

I'm going to try and hit these timetables a second time to see if I missed anything.


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)

#29 Anderson

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:16 AM

Alright, I'm still trying to get a handle on how to play with these trains if there's a shuffle and I'm trying to pin possible times down.  I've tallied up approximate runtimes; I had to make the presumption that the re-routed Star would run CLT-CLB-SAV (since regardless of my opinions on running it via Augusta, I simply can't even really guess at that one).  I penciled in an average speed of just under 40 MPH on the route (I figure you have at most one intermediate stop and I have no clue as to track conditions).  I could just as easily fill in something closer to 30 MPH and consider the estimate to be as honest.

Silver Star Timetable (A is current slots, B is Crescent slots)
     |  91  | 91-A | 91-B | | 92-B | 92-A |  92  |
NYP  | 1102 | 1102 | 1415 | | 1346 | 1850 | 1850 |
WAS  | 1505 | 1505 | 1830 | | 0953 | 1438 | 1438 |
CVS  | ---- | 1720 | 2045 | | 0740 | 1220 | ---- |
LYH  | ---- | 1830 | 2155 | | 0630 | 1110 | ---- |
CLT  | ---- | 2245 | 0210 | | 0215 | 0655 | ---- |
CLT  | ---- | 2305 | 0230 | | 0155 | 0635 | ---- |
CLB  | 0138 | 0130 | 0455 | | 2330 | 0410 | 0401 |
SAV  | 0413 | 0405 | 0730 | | 2055 | 0125 | 0122 |
JAX  | 0639 | 0635 | 1000 | | 1825 | 2255 | 2303 |
JAX  | 0659 | 0655 | 1020 | | 1805 | 2233 | 2243 |
ORL  | 1006 | 1000 | 1320 | | 1505 | 1922 | 1932 |
ORL  | 1020 | 1015 | 1335 | | 1445 | 1906 | 1916 |
TPA  | 1223 | 1220 | 1535 | | 1245 | 1717 | 1727 |
TPA  | 1237 | 1235 | 1550 | | 1230 | 1703 | 1713 |
MIA  | 1758 | 1755 | 2100 | | 0730 | 1140 | 1150 |

Analysis:
-Keeping the "current" slots provides good daylight times between Charlotte and Washington via the ex-Southern route through western Virginia.  Though this is arguably a product of the presumptions on runtimes between Charlotte and Columbia, the runtimes are basically unchanged under the current slots.
-Switching the slots with the Crescent provides "daylight" service further north within Florida.  However, this is arguably a mixed bag as it would basically put the northbound Silver Star right on top of the Northbound Meteor through Florida.

Crescent Timetable (A is current slots, B is Silver Star slots; 19-C uses the Meteor while 20-C uses the Carolinian's slots and presumes that the Carolinain would be moved.
     |  19  | 19-A | 19-B | 19-C | | 20-C | 20-B | 20-A |  20  |
NYP  | 1415 | 1415 | 1102 | 1515 | | 2035 | 1850 | 1346 | 1346 |
WAS  | 1830 | 1830 | 1505 | 1925 | | 1630 | 1438 | 0953 | 0953 |
RVR  | ---- | 2040 | 1715 | 2135 | | 1420 | 1228 | 0745 | ---- |
RVR  | ---- | 2050 | 1725 | 2145 | | 1410 | 1218 | 0735 | ---- |
RGH  | ---- | 0020 | 2055 | 0115 | | 1040 | 0848 | 0405 | ---- |
RGH  | ---- | 0030 | 2105 | 0125 | | 1030 | 0838 | 0355 | ---- |
CLT  | 0220 | 0345 | 0020 | 0440 | | 0715 | 0523 | 0040 | 0146 |
CLT  | 0245 | 0405 | 0040 | 0500 | | 0655 | 0500 | 0020 | 0121 |
ATL  | 0813 | 0935 | 0610 | 1030 | | 0125 | 2330 | 1850 | 2004 |
ATL  | 0838 | 1005 | 0640 | 1100 | | 0055 | 2300 | 1820 | 1935 |
NOL  | 1932 | 2105 | 1740 | 2200 | | 1300 | 1130 | 0600 | 0700 | (Central Time)
Analysis:
-Schedule 19-A/20-A (using the present slots on the NEC) provides good times for Richmond and Atlanta.  Charlotte is no worse off than at present, but Raleigh gets shafted.  Seeing as Raleigh-Richmond/Raleigh-NEC is a major market set for the Silver Star this is problematic.  Also problematic is the timing out of New Orleans northbound.
-Schedule 19-B/20-B (using the Silver Star's slots on the NEC and proceeding from there) preserves these markets.  Southbound the time into Atlanta is too early (though a bit of padding could help there) and northbound the train seems to skew a little bit later than might be desirable.  The train also runs the risk of losing out on the Crescent's Atlanta-Washington market.
-Schedule 19-C is necessarily close to 19-A (the trains run an hour apart) and is thus similar.  I threw out a Meteor-based option for 20 since it had 20 leaving NOL in the middle of the night.
-Schedule 20-C provides daylight service north of Charlotte (and might pair well with 19-B there).

===== ===== ===== ===== =====

I'm trying to weigh how these would interact.  That's really not an easy question since some pairs (NYP-CLT) can use either route while others (RVR-CLT, NYP-RGH) can't.  My instinct is as follows, however:
Southbound:
Silver Star: Use schedule 91-A or a close variant.
Crescent: Use a variation of 19-A, moved perhaps an hour earlier to get Raleigh before midnight.

This gets you daylight-ish service for basically all of your major markets, save for ATL-CLT.  As much as I would like that, however, it just doesn't work with only one train on the route and a need to serve New Orleans at a solid hour as well.

Northbound:
Silver Star: Use 92-A or a close variant.
Crescent: Here I'm stuck: 20-C is too late at Atlanta, 20-B is too early at Charlotte, but 20-A is too early at Raleigh and New Orleans...and pushing 20-B earlier by a bit (the best option I can see on the table) runs into rush hour in New York.  All of them lose the overnight ATL-WAS timing.  Given the pile of lousy choices, I'd say you either run a variant on A or B: Either push A around so you can the NOL/ATL times in line with what is presently the case (try to get NOL as close to 0700 as you can manage; as nice as pulling this train earlier would be, that puts too much stress on the NOL end of the schedule) or shove B 30-60 minutes earlier south of Charlotte but try to keep it roughly in position from Raleigh north (give or take half an hour) so it can run in at the end of rush hour.  Charlotte's times stink, but 92-A covers that.
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)

#30 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 06:21 AM

When it came to Florida, I wasn't think about an either/or scenario between Raleigh and Charlotte, I was thinking of Carolinian route to Charlotte and then to Columbia. I'd rather that than take the SS away from Raleigh (although you'd give service to two large North Carolina markets (Charlotte and Greensboro/Winston Salem) as opposed to one). Raleigh's SS times are as good as they get now though so unless CLT's/Greensboro's are anywhere close that would be a negative swap. Ideally any tinkering in Florida service schedules would either allow an evening departure out of NYP/PHL or an earlier arrival into south Florida in time for the cruise ships as long as it arrives in ORL after 7am (anything so the trains don't chase each other's tails in MIA).


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/

 


#31 Anderson

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:30 PM

When it came to Florida, I wasn't think about an either/or scenario between Raleigh and Charlotte, I was thinking of Carolinian route to Charlotte and then to Columbia. I'd rather that than take the SS away from Raleigh (although you'd give service to two large North Carolina markets (Charlotte and Greensboro/Winston Salem) as opposed to one). Raleigh's SS times are as good as they get now though so unless CLT's/Greensboro's are anywhere close that would be a negative swap. Ideally any tinkering in Florida service schedules would either allow an evening departure out of NYP/PHL or an earlier arrival into south Florida in time for the cruise ships as long as it arrives in ORL after 7am (anything so the trains don't chase each other's tails in MIA).

It's more than just the NC markets, though: Charlottesville's ridership actually rivals Raleigh's (it's 141k vs 155k) despite having less service.  I figure the transfer effects are similar (RGH has Piedmont-to-Silver Star while CVS has Cardinal-to-Crescent).  To be fair, I'd ideally want "all of the above" to be served (CLT-WAS on the western route is a sorely-missing daylight market).  Were the equipment (and sidings, and funding) available I think there would be an unusually solid case for spliting trains at CLT in some fashion.


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)

#32 Seaboard92

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 10:28 PM

Anderson took the clue and read into it right.

Just to help you out some Cliff. The NS R line is 91 miles CLT to CLB with a track speed of 49 mph. Should be able to upgrade it to 60 relatively simply. But the line is loaded with curves. I'm honestly trying to think of a stretch of track on that line that is straight. Maybe right around Rockton but that's it.

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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)

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Norfolk & Western No. 611

Nickel Plate Road No. 765

Southern Pacific No. 4449

 


#33 Anderson

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 02:43 AM

Anderson took the clue and read into it right.

Just to help you out some Cliff. The NS R line is 91 miles CLT to CLB with a track speed of 49 mph. Should be able to upgrade it to 60 relatively simply. But the line is loaded with curves. I'm honestly trying to think of a stretch of track on that line that is straight. Maybe right around Rockton but that's it.

My mileage presumption was a bit longer (I was playing with 95 miles per Google Maps between CLT and CLB).  Accounting for that, if I add the roughly ten minutes needed to sync the existing schedule with 91-A/91-A that gives an average speed of around 35.2 MPH (with a travel time of 2:35 instead of 2:25).  On curvy 49 MPH track I think this is a reasonable estimate to use.  I'll also note that there may be a bit of wiggle room on top of this from NC's Piedmont Improvement Program (I can't find how much time this is supposed to save, but I'd presume that the Star-via-Western-VA would save perhaps 5-10 minutes under it while the Crescent-via-RVR would save perhaps 15-20 minutes).  Basically this means that operating WAS-SAV via RVR-RGH-CLB or CVS-CLT-CLB takes about the same amount of time.

I did wind up with a secondary thought: Presently the SB Star operates basically "on top of" train 95/195 WAS-RVR, albeit skipping stops.  This has long struck me as one of the most inefficient bits in Amtrak's VA timetable (91/195 are 15 minutes apart at WAS and about 3 minutes apart at RVR, while there's more space on weekdays), especially since on weekends they're the only WAS-RVR trains between about 1100 and 1700 (and alongside the tight spacing of 71 and 97 on weekends, it makes for a very clunky SB schedule).  Moving this around isn't inherently awful.  To be fair, you'd ideally get another train or two into RVR and then rejigger the schedule pretty thoroughly there (of note, RVR-Hampton Roads does need work).  That all being said, putting 19 in there does have some interesting effects since it resolves a strange "mid-afternoon" stack-up of trains but puts another one in the evening in its place.

 

Edit: Also, I checked...the approximate WAS-CLT runtimes are 9:15 via RVR and 7:40 via CVS.  The NC program should cut perhaps 15-20 minutes off of RVR and 5-10 off of CVS, moving reducing the difference by about 10 minutes or so.  The various elements of SEHSR would reduce the RVR times substantially as well...so it may soon make less difference as to which route you pick, at least operationally, and come down to priorities in terms of ridership and markets served.


Edited by Anderson, 25 July 2017 - 04:20 AM.

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)

#34 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 08:14 AM

 

When it came to Florida, I wasn't think about an either/or scenario between Raleigh and Charlotte, I was thinking of Carolinian route to Charlotte and then to Columbia. I'd rather that than take the SS away from Raleigh (although you'd give service to two large North Carolina markets (Charlotte and Greensboro/Winston Salem) as opposed to one). Raleigh's SS times are as good as they get now though so unless CLT's/Greensboro's are anywhere close that would be a negative swap. Ideally any tinkering in Florida service schedules would either allow an evening departure out of NYP/PHL or an earlier arrival into south Florida in time for the cruise ships as long as it arrives in ORL after 7am (anything so the trains don't chase each other's tails in MIA).

It's more than just the NC markets, though: Charlottesville's ridership actually rivals Raleigh's (it's 141k vs 155k) despite having less service.  I figure the transfer effects are similar (RGH has Piedmont-to-Silver Star while CVS has Cardinal-to-Crescent).  To be fair, I'd ideally want "all of the above" to be served (CLT-WAS on the western route is a sorely-missing daylight market).  Were the equipment (and sidings, and funding) available I think there would be an unusually solid case for spliting trains at CLT in some fashion.

 

 

One big advantage CVS has over RGH is it's much closer to the NEC cities than RGH is which makes travel to those cities more popular.

 

CVS to WAS: 114 mi, PHL: 249 mi, NYP: 339 mi

RGH to WAS: 306 mi, PHL: 440 mi. NYP: 531 mi

 

The 156 can go from CVS to WAS in 2:22 and the 20 takes less than 3 hours while both the 92 and 80 take close to 6 hours from RGH to WAS. That helps ridership in CVS a lot. Charlottesville also has a Chicago train that Raleigh doesn't have (ugh!) but only about 2.2% of CVS's passengers travel 800-899 miles so that's maybe around 3,000 passengers so that's meaningless when comparing the two riderships.

 

Also, you take the SS away from Richmond. Sure, they would still have the SM to Florida but the northbound arrival into RVR is during the graveyard shift so I'm guessing Richmond area residents would be really mad if they lost the SS (for RVR, ridership in RVR is 33,392 on the SS vs. 20,156 on the SM).

 

To me if you can connect CLT with Columbia, SC, rerouting the SS via the Carolinian route between RGH and CLT and then to Columbia is a no brainer. You're adding about an hour and a half to the SS between RGH and CLB and gaining CLT and Greensboro. I don't think the swap between the Crescent and SS is a slam dunk by any means and I would have to be convinced that it would be beneficial. I think we all can agree that having the Florida train is the bigger attraction than having the ATL/NOL train so I can see why Charlottesville would want it. Since you can get Charlotte/Greensboro a Florida train without switching, the question then comes down to CVS vs. RGH and 1/2 of RVR. One advantage I can see to switching is direct RGH/ATL service though which does have some merit.

 

As for Augusta, I really can't figure out any way to fit it in the SS or any current LD route without a major reroute. I'm surprised there is no Thruway Bus serving Augusta either. I'm sure Greyhound serves Augusta but can it be timed with the Crescent?


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Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
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Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL)
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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/

 


#35 Seaboard92

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 11:24 AM

I will say that the NS R line we are talking about is a good stretch of railroad and has one or two good potential stops as well. Rock Hill/Fort Mill would be phenomenal and service the south Charlotte area incredibly well. Especially if one can get a station near Dave Lisle BLVD. and Chester wouldn't be horrible. Chester is about the size of Camden.

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#36 Anderson

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 09:53 PM

I'll elaborate more on this when I'm not on my phone, but just looking at ridership numbers at one station doesn't say where those riders are going. In the case of the Silvers at RVR, a lot of those riders are going north. At last check, for both the Star and the Meteor, the #3 city pair is RVR-NYP. The Star is also a VERY corridor-ish train, especially since the diner was cut.
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Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#37 jis

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 11:57 AM

The Star has in general been a more corridorish train due to its route and timings. The Meteor is basically overnight between Washington and Florida for all practical purposes, whereas the Star has distinct identifiable segments that could almost support a corridor train - viz NYP/WAS - RVR, Northe East and Virginia to RGH, RGH - SAV/JAX and Florida (with bits of SC thrown in though at ungodly hours), JAX - Orlando Metroplx - TPA, TPA - Miami Metroplex. Meteor does have the corridors in Florida and that is about it. hence it has heavier Sleeper traffic and on an overage I believe it has longer rides per passenger too.



#38 Anderson

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:41 PM

The Star has in general been a more corridorish train due to its route and timings. The Meteor is basically overnight between Washington and Florida for all practical purposes, whereas the Star has distinct identifiable segments that could almost support a corridor train - viz NYP/WAS - RVR, Northe East and Virginia to RGH, RGH - SAV/JAX and Florida (with bits of SC thrown in though at ungodly hours), JAX - Orlando Metroplx - TPA, TPA - Miami Metroplex. Meteor does have the corridors in Florida and that is about it. hence it has heavier Sleeper traffic and on an overage I believe it has longer rides per passenger too.

The Meteor also sort-of has Virginia-NEC.  The morning time for that is lousy (0435 at RVR), though the departure just after 0500 wasn't as awful in context (especially since it was the only way to get to New York before noon and you could often get a last-minute roomette for relatively cheap).  At present the addition of FBG to the Meteor's timetable does make it a decent option for folks traveling north of there onto the NEC (the departure from FBG is right in the middle of the flow of VRE trains and 0600-1100 isn't a horrible set of times for getting to NYC).  But the point is definitely taken.


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)

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#39 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:15 AM

Not to go off-topic, but the early morning arrival of the 98 Silver Meteor into RVR was the reason why I opted to take the 92 Silver Star from ORL to RVR on my recent trip.  I transferred in Richmond to take the 95 Northeast Regional to NPN.

 

Now, if I had been going to say, WAS or NYP from ORL, then I probably would have ridden the Meteor instead.    :)


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#40 west point

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 04:52 PM

A quick check on the Meteor and Star tomorrow WASH - SAV shows only one sleeper room available and 2 on the Meteor. Definitely not enough sleeper space southbound. !




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