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JDStutts

Capitol Limited/Pennsylvanian Expansion

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Don't you think that Amtrak should make a new line that runs on the Capitol Limited and Pennsylvanian tracks from Chicago to New York? It would be faster and more direct than the Lake Shore Limited.

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The time to complete the route would be roughly the same as the Lake Shore Limited due to the mountains, but I am still a strong supporter of such a route. The most likely near-term scenario is thru-cars between the Capitol Limited and Pennsylvanian. If a new train were to be instituted, however, I believe it should run overnight between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to provide a unique schedule between the East Coast and Chicago. This would also provide daylight service to Ohio and potentially Michigan if it was routed that way. The only area with poor times would be during the overnight segment, but that area already has the Pennsylvanian during daylight hours. Such a train would not connect to the Western LDs, but that market is small enough that a 4th east coast to Chicago train should operate on a dramatically different schedule than the other three to provide more options. People who are connecting west of Chicago would still have the option to connect in Pittsburgh just like today.

 

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IMO, what would probably work best is the reactivation of the old Broadway LTD route that ran on the Pennsylvania RR mainline to CHI. Since its rebuilding as a freight line there is another clear route available from PGH to CHI. That's the old line that ran through Crestline, Sandusky, Ft Wayne, & Valpariso. Many of the stations are still there. Ft Wayne station has even been restored and is ready for service.

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Cleveland has four trains all calling the overnight hours. Of course it would make sense for one train to stop in the daytime both directions. How about a train leaving from Philly early in the morning to ensure arrival on Ohio in the afternoon .Going East a morning departure from Chicago.

 

 

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Benate has the correct idea. Early morning departures from PHL and CHI seem a good idea. As well will have a connection from present early morning WASH - NYP train and the night owl from BOS <>- NYP.<> PHL. So lets get the additional equipment.

Edited by west point

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Cleveland has four trains all calling the overnight hours. Of course it would make sense for one train to stop in the daytime both directions. How about a train leaving from Philly early in the morning to ensure arrival on Ohio in the afternoon .Going East a morning departure from Chicago.

 

 

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All Aboard Ohio proposed that in January 2016 (http://freepdfhosting.com/cf26514bc8.pdf). Look at page 18, schedule 41 westbound and schedule 40 eastbound. The trains travel via Dearborn and Ann Arbor as well. This is in addition to 43 and 42 which are the Pennsylvanian extended to Chicago. So I would get TWO trains to Chicago. You wonder why I love AAO so much.

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Have Amtrak get enough passenger equipment and a couple more switchers. Then combine the Pennsylvanian at Pittsburg and go to Toledo then split with part going to Detroit to provide MI service. Rest of combined train follow present Capitol. now how the cars would be allocated will of course depend on the various demands and may have to be adjusted after 3 or 4 months.

Edited by west point

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Having a through train combine and separate at two (or more) locations is a recipe for timekeeping disaster, IMHO....

Although it has been done in the past...such as the Cardinal's predecessor (George Washington), as well as the UP's "City of Everywhere", and some other's...but those were in a different era, with a different environment for passenger train operations...

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Having a through train combine and separate at two (or more) locations is a recipe for timekeeping disaster, IMHO....

Although it has been done in the past...such as the Cardinal's predecessor (George Washington), as well as the UP's "City of Everywhere", and some other's...but those were in a different era, with a different environment for passenger train operations...

 

Was the GW before or during the Amtrak era? Was there ever an Amtrak train that had two or more splits?

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There was a George Washington paired with James Whitcomb Riley in the early Amtrak era. As I recall it was a phenomenal CF.

 

 

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Prior to Amtrak, the C&O George Washington, Washington and Newport News section's combined at Charlottesville. At Huntington, cars to Detroit were split, at Ashland, Ky., the Louiville section was split off. And at Cincinnati, thru cars were conveyed to B&O's National Limited to St. Louis, and NYC's James Whitcomb Riley to Chicago, IIRC. There were other sleepers set out or picked up at Richmond, and perhaps some other stations from time to time.

In the early Amtrak era, the George Washington still split and combined sections at Charlottesville, but that was all, although it did go thru to Chicago...Later on,now called the James Whitcomb Riley, it combined with the Mountaineer at Ashland...by that time, the Newport News section was dropped, and Tidewater passengers went to Norfolk instead. Later still, the Mountaineer ended, and the Boston to TriState Station (Catlettsburg), Hilltopper, "connected" (long layover), with the by now named Cardinal train. No thru cars... It also connected for a time with the Shenandoah at Cincinnati, again, no thru cars...

 

The National Limited, New York and Washington sections combined at Harrisburg, and at Kansas City, a thru Los Angeles sleeper was conveyed to the Southwest Limited...similar to the Crescent/Sunset route at New Orleans....

 

There may have been some other cases, if you want to spend time researching, look here....http://www.timetables.org/catalog/

Edited by railiner

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There was a George Washington paired with James Whitcomb Riley in the early Amtrak era. As I recall it was a phenomenal CF.

 

 

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The main issue in that era was the deplorable rail condition in Indiana on the Penn Central lines....both the Cardinal and the Floridian were constantly re-routed in search of better track...

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After we install Hyperloop everywhere, maybe . Just heard that my train will be indefinitely delayed due to a train ahead of it striking a trespasser.

 

 

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For a number of reasons....there was of course, much more passenger equipment, much more mechanical forces at various location, more than one-a-day trains on many routes, so that if a train section was seriously delayed, they had alternate trains to forward late trains on, etc....and certainly not least....the railroads operating the passenger trains, in general, had a much better attitude towards their operation.

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For a number of reasons....there was of course, much more passenger equipment, much more mechanical forces at various location, more than one-a-day trains on many routes, so that if a train section was seriously delayed, they had alternate trains to forward late trains on, etc....and certainly not least....the railroads operating the passenger trains, in general, had a much better attitude towards their operation.

And Railroaders took pride in their Line and their jobs!

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For a number of reasons....there was of course, much more passenger equipment, much more mechanical forces at various location, more than one-a-day trains on many routes, so that if a train section was seriously delayed, they had alternate trains to forward late trains on, etc....and certainly not least....the railroads operating the passenger trains, in general, had a much better attitude towards their operation.

And Railroaders took pride in their Line and their jobs!

 

Actually, whether all admit to it, or not....I think they still do....its the management mostly, that doesn't.... ;)

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At this point, there is conclusive evidence that dispatchers in certain divisions of certain railroads have been led to believe that their job is to delay Amtrak trains for freight trains. This is, of course, flatly illegal, but nobody has managed to nail the relevant management on it yet.

 

You can tell what's going on because other dispatchers in other divisions of other railroads do what they're supposed to.

Edited by neroden

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At this point, there is conclusive evidence that dispatchers in certain divisions of certain railroads have been led to believe that their job is to delay Amtrak trains for freight trains. This is, of course, flatly illegal, but nobody has managed to nail the relevant management on it yet.

 

You can tell what's going on because other dispatchers in other divisions of other railroads do what they're supposed to.

 

It's not always fair to blame the dispatchers. If a line is just clogged up and congested to saturation, there's not much juggling room that even a willing dispatcher can use to priorizie Amtrak.

 

On the other hand, if the line sees little traffic besides Amtrak, the dispatcher only needs to be mildly cooperative for Amtrak to keep to time.

Edited by cirdan

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Often a Dispatcher is placed in a no win situation by decisions made at higher levels on how much traffic will be shoved through the Dispatcher's territory. All that the Dispatcher can do is deal with the hand that s/he is served by events and decisions out of their control.

 

For example, the NS fiasco with auto-dispatching (which BTW happened under Moorman's watch) is something that a Dispatcher could not do much about, short of just quitting or getting fired.

 

Oddly enough, Amtrak seems to face similar problems in territories dispatched by Amtrak Dispatchers, even involving Amtrak trains. Of course screwing NJT trains is completely par for the course too. So I guess what is good for the goose is good for the gander when the tables are turned.

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For a number of reasons....there was of course, much more passenger equipment, much more mechanical forces at various location, more than one-a-day trains on many routes, so that if a train section was seriously delayed, they had alternate trains to forward late trains on, etc....and certainly not least....the railroads operating the passenger trains, in general, had a much better attitude towards their operation.

And Railroaders took pride in their Line and their jobs!

 

Actually, whether all admit to it, or not....I think they still do....its the management mostly, that doesn't.... ;)

 

 

You mean those who fund the operation. They are the ones who consider the costs of protecting services.

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Often a Dispatcher is placed in a no win situation by decisions made at higher levels on how much traffic will be shoved through the Dispatcher's territory. All that the Dispatcher can do is deal with the hand that s/he is served by events and decisions out of their control.

 

For example, the NS fiasco with auto-dispatching (which BTW happened under Moorman's watch) is something that a Dispatcher could not do much about, short of just quitting or getting fired.

Yeah, that's just top-level incompetence. I'm thinking of the sort of stuff which happened on the CN lines, which amounts to deliberate troublemaking. Amtrak actually filed a complaint to the STB (its first ever against a Class I IIRC) over that.

 

Oddly enough, Amtrak seems to face similar problems in territories dispatched by Amtrak Dispatchers, even involving Amtrak trains.

Not like the CN stuff.

 

Of course screwing NJT trains is completely par for the course too. So I guess what is good for the goose is good for the gander when the tables are turned.

And Metro-North is actually one of the worst for dispatching Amtrak poorly (and in their case it's legal -- it's only illegal to prioritize freight over passengers, it's legal to prioritize some passengers over other passengers), so yeah. Edited by neroden

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