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GaSteve

First train leaves Roanoke (10/31/17)

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If it is along the existing route and wouldn't interfere with operations, why not? If funding is found, build the station and make the stop!

I agree...sometimes the smaller stops produce a lot more traffic proportionately, or otherwise, than the larger ones, due to lack of transportation alternatives....such as local airline or bus service...

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[Roanoke]-Bristol ~151 miles on N&W (NS) took ~ 4:05 for the Birmingham Special. and took the Bristol - Knoxville 130 miles on SOU (NS) 3:30. That was when there were only 2 RT . manifest freights on each line with a day time local each way.

Now NS runs as many as 15 freights a day with many fewer sidings available for much longer freights.

Tennessee service would be Bristol - Johnson City - Greenville - Morristown - Knoxville - 5 stops to - Chattanooga.

Bristol - Bulls Gap is the actual slow section ( east of Morristown )

It would be hard to find any present Amtrak route service this slow

So what?

 

Roanoke-Bristol-Knoxville would be overnight, just the way the Southern ran it. The train will leave Roanoke well after dark, and arrive Knoxville about 6 a.m., same as it ever was.

 

If everybody is asleep, who cares how slow it goes? Would it somehow be better to speed up the train and arrive in Knoxville at 4 a.m.? Please don't.

 

btw Since that is the historic timetable, everyone in Bristol understands that the train will arrive there between midnight and dawn. That's O.K. Better for them a train at 3 a.m. than no train at all.

Edited by WoodyinNYC

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If daily service to Roanoke has begin; I checked three separate dates originating in PHL in Nov-Dec-Jan and all show that "one part of your trip segment is SOLD OUT". That's seemed pretty strange

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What do you mean "if". There are literally three pages of posts about the fact that the service has in fact started.

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If daily service to Roanoke has begin; I checked three separate dates originating in PHL in Nov-Dec-Jan and all show that "one part of your trip segment is SOLD OUT". That's seemed pretty strange

Could you have possibly inserted the Roanoke bus stop rather than train station as your destination?

 

Sent from my SM-J327P using Amtrak Forum mobile app

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The Roanoke Train station is RNK. Must have dialed in the bus stop as I now see mid January fares PHL-RNK at $70-$178 one way. Business class show only 4 seats available at $116 so the bucket structure effects that fare on a daily count. Trip shows 7hrs 42 minutes.. IMO, the train could use a full dining car for that long of a trip.

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The Roanoke Train station is RNK. Must have dialed in the bus stop as I now see mid January fares PHL-RNK at $70-$178 one way. Business class show only 4 seats available at $116 so the bucket structure effects that fare on a daily count. Trip shows 7hrs 42 minutes.. IMO, the train could use a full dining car for that long of a trip.

I’m at my office 9 hours. I pack a lunch. ;)

 

 

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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.

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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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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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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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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.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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.

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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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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.

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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 ?

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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

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