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First train leaves Roanoke (10/31/17)


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#61 railiner

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 11:18 AM

One thing that Amtrak should look at is the add on weekend dome car service (RNK-WAS) by the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Too bad that all but one of the old dome cars inherited from the private railroads was scrapped (or sold off)  by Amtrak. The rear observation/lounge cars enjoyed the same fate. The VMT service seems to show that there are rail passengers looking for a higher level of service; perhaps an untapped market.

I like your idea....but I suppose if there was sufficient market for that, some enterprising AAPRCO member with a dome car or two, would try running it?   What do you think?


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#62 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 02:50 PM

Ever heard of Ed Ellis aka Iowa Pacific aka Pullman Rail Journeys?

It's one thing to add a dome and or tail car to the back of a train a few times a year like the 261 group does for its Minneapolis to Chocago runs. It's a whole different deal to run it on a regular basis.

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#63 jis

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 04:03 PM

Besides past experience shows that Amtrak will throw every possible spanner in the works of such regular operation of such.

I overheard a discussion with a senior AAPRCO that Amtrak has always rejected the idea of running something more regularly than once every two weeks or so, as an attachment to an Amtrak train.


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#64 dlagrua

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 06:04 PM

Besides past experience shows that Amtrak will throw every possible spanner in the works of such regular operation of such.

I overheard a discussion with a senior AAPRCO that Amtrak has always rejected the idea of running something more regularly than once every two weeks or so, as an attachment to an Amtrak train.


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Can't disagree with those statements but I believe that adding a bit of luxury, nostalgia and first class service will result in positive publicity and attract new rail passengers. IMO, Amtrak passenger rail service has become very utilitarian They've also eliminated the wine and cheese hour and many other amenities. I say put them back and just charge a fee for them. 



#65 Thirdrail7

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 12:03 AM

I just want to go over this.  Amtrak had almost 500 passengers on the line between WAS-RNK on one train and 450 on the return train, with 157 boarding in RNK alone.  They aren't able to add equipment to their own train because there is a 9 piece limit in RNK, resulting in them cutting a coach in WAS on the way back...which naturally means it isn't available for the turn and so on and so forth.

 

Yet, you want to add a dome?


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#66 City of Miami

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:55 AM

 there is a 9 piece limit in RNK, 

 

Are you counting the locomotive? In my observation, and in wintertime I can see the train clearly from my bedroom window, the Lynchburger very rarely had 9 coaches - almost always 8. The view is not clear enough yet this year to count the Roanoker accurately without walking down to the station.



#67 west point

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 11:15 AM

450 - 500 passengers ?  That must make VA DOT very happy.  As well 157 at RNK.  The published 70 passengers on AM-1s and 60 on AM-2s  means the train is near capacity.  70 x 8 coaches = 560 + lounge = 9 car limit.   Even if all cars are AM-1s then capacity may still need increasing at RNK layover facility ?   Any links to the pictures of RNK layover to see if it can be expanded ?  Granted this is a high demand time of the year but just starting the service we may expect demand to increase as the original Lynchburg train did over 2 years ?

 

157 at RNK should pay for operating costs RNK <> LYH ?

 

Any figures on the thruway bus now to RNK ?

 

"IF"  these loads continue then extension of this train beyond RNK will be counterproductive until a second RNK train is implemented.

 

Does anyone have VA DOT projections of ridership ?  



#68 afigg

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 12:37 PM

450 - 500 passengers ?  That must make VA DOT very happy.  As well 157 at RNK.  The published 70 passengers on AM-1s and 60 on AM-2s  means the train is near capacity.  70 x 8 coaches = 560 + lounge = 9 car limit.   Even if all cars are AM-1s then capacity may still need increasing at RNK layover facility ?   Any links to the pictures of RNK layover to see if it can be expanded ?  Granted this is a high demand time of the year but just starting the service we may expect demand to increase as the original Lynchburg train did over 2 years ?

Checking the schedule for Virginia Tech, the university Thanksgiving holiday begins on Saturday, Nov. 18. So the train presumably had a large number of students taking the train north on Friday & Saturday. And students heading home from colleges on the NEC. Even without the holiday break, the northbound train likely will get a lot of business at RNK, LYH, CVS from college students on Saturday mornings during the school year. Wait to see what the passenger numbers are in January, February, July.

 

If you look at the draft Virginia State Rail Plan, adding a second train to Roanoke is on the list. Since adding a second train to Lynchburg has been in the funded plans for a while, I expect we will see a second Regional to Roanoke while proposals for extending service beyond Roanoke will be stalled in studies for many years. Now that VDOT & Amtrak have extended service to NFK and LYH -> RNK, better to improve the service with additional daily trains to NFK, RNK, perhaps a 3rd one to NPN, and trimming the travel times with track upgrade projects in the coming years than extend to Bristol which presents a lot of challenges.



#69 jis

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 01:27 PM

It may be time for Virginia to consider ordering some rolling stock, so that they can set up a bunch of service from Washington DC, somewhat independent of NEC equipment availability for such. Of course that changes the funding model considerable. not sure that VADOT is in a position to stomach all that in the near future though. They could perhaps learn a thing or two from North Caroliana or Brightline or both.



#70 railiner

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 01:41 PM

Sounds like the new train is a roaring success....what is the possibility of extending the platforms on the route to enable a couple of extra cars?

Or perhaps just walk the passenger's thru at the end of the line for a car?


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#71 City of Miami

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 04:12 PM

70 x 8 coaches = 560 + lounge = 9 car limit.   Even if all cars are AM-1s
 

 
  

The words we use are not the same. By coaches I guess I meant AM1 cars. The train rarely, very rarely, has more than a total of 8 cars + loco. And one of those 8 is the cafe and another is business class. I have taken the Lynchburger many times from CVS and never seen it crowded.

#72 Seaboard92

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 07:44 PM

The issue isn't a platform issue at Roanoke. It's an issue of how much space there is in the overnight facility.
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#73 City of Miami

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 10:49 AM

it was an unusual performance this morning. Crescent noshow at 7:10 as usual. Then 176 did not appear at 8:53 and a few minutes later a freight lumbered through. Then the Crescent having lost an additional hour since Lynchburg appeared with 3 P42s; then finally, 51 minutes late, 171 appeared with the expected consist of 1 P42 and 8 coaches including the cafe in the middle. 176 had departed LYH half an hour late...... SO something amiss was going on down there this morning. Too bad with all those crowds of passengers aboard here at T'giving Week. 



#74 Thirdrail7

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:49 PM

 

 there is a 9 piece limit in RNK, 

 

Are you counting the locomotive? In my observation, and in wintertime I can see the train clearly from my bedroom window, the Lynchburger very rarely had 9 coaches - almost always 8. The view is not clear enough yet this year to count the Roanoker accurately without walking down to the station.

 

 

Right now, it is pieces. If you have 8 cars, you can have 1 engine. If you have 2 engines, then you may not have more than 7 cars. If you have 3 engines, you can have 6 cars. This is supposed to change to a 10 piece limit. The reason has to do with the wye. That is the reason for most limits at various outlying points.

 

 

it was an unusual performance this morning. Crescent noshow at 7:10 as usual. Then 176 did not appear at 8:53 and a few minutes later a freight lumbered through. Then the Crescent having lost an additional hour since Lynchburg appeared with 3 P42s; then finally, 51 minutes late, 171 appeared with the expected consist of 1 P42 and 8 coaches including the cafe in the middle. 176 had departed LYH half an hour late...... SO something amiss was going on down there this morning. Too bad with all those crowds of passengers aboard here at T'giving Week. 

 

NS had signal problems which delayed both trains which is why some aren't fans of extending this "corridor" train any further.


Edited by Thirdrail7, 20 November 2017 - 08:50 PM.

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





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