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lo2e

Given the Perfect Scenario, Could A Train Go BOS-NYP-WAS Non-Stop?

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This is very much "pie in the sky" thinking, but could an NEC train go from Boston to Washington, only stopping at NYP? Yes, this would be given the right amount of equipment, perhaps a dedicated track, and enough ridership. But I'm wondering if it would be feasible and beneficial for one Acela perhaps to do this?

Edited by lo2e

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In the past attempts to even run a New York - Washington non-stop has not met with roaring success, and in each case, has been withdrawn after several months of trying to make it work.

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This is very much "pie in the sky" thinking, but could an NEC train go from Boston to Washington, only stopping at NYP? Yes, this would be given the right amount of equipment, perhaps a dedicated track, and enough ridership. But I'm wondering if it would be feasible and beneficial for one Acela perhaps to do this?

 

It is definitely feasible but not beneficial from an Amtrak standpoint. A few passengers would probably love it though.

Edited by Thirdrail7

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Clearly WAS-BWI-NYP is the only stopping pattern than makes sense.

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Wasn't NYP-PHL-WAS tried at least a couple of times in the Acela era? And something similar in the Metroliner era as well?

 

Without digging through old timetables, I don't seem to recall any of those services lasting all that long.

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Wasn't NYP-PHL-WAS tried at least a couple of times in the Acela era? And something similar in the Metroliner era as well?

 

Without digging through old timetables, I don't seem to recall any of those services lasting all that long.

You are correct Sir!

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Wasn't NYP-PHL-WAS tried at least a couple of times in the Acela era? And something similar in the Metroliner era as well?

 

Without digging through old timetables, I don't seem to recall any of those services lasting all that long.

Yes. Each time they failed and were withdrawn after a relatively short period.

 

NYP - PHL - WAS was specifically tried and did not work.

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This is very much "pie in the sky" thinking, but could an NEC train go from Boston to Washington, only stopping at NYP? Yes, this would be given the right amount of equipment, perhaps a dedicated track, and enough ridership. But I'm wondering if it would be feasible and beneficial for one Acela perhaps to do this?

 

In what way?

 

Physically, yes, I don't see why not. There is no intrinisc restriction in the equipment that prevents non-stop running over such distances. Pathing conflicts could be eliminated by running this train at night for example. With some careful weaving in the schedules, there are probably also daytime slots that would work.

 

Would such a train generate sufficient ridership to be economically viable? This is a different question and I would think probably not. It's on the shorter trips that the train is most competitive. Longer trips are more a domain where the plane has the upper hand, and shaving off a minute here and a minute there is not going to change that fundamentally.

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Certainly ridership and demand is way higher than the Metroliner era and I imagine more trains runs today than back then. Once the Avelia Liberty equipment there might be the enough trains to justify the trains for the occasional "Big 3" (NYP-PHL-WAS) only train. If that train makes only one stop between Penn Station and Union Station instead of 5 or 6, how much time is saved? Certainly you should be able to fill a train with NYP-PHL, NYP-WAS, and PHL-WAS passengers today.

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Amtrak wants to run alternate single stop Express (with the single stop varying among the various possible stops) and the regular all stops express once the Avelias are fully deployed. So yes, that is in the plans. As for how well it may work, only time will tell.

 

The original Shinkansen, which is what got the US to fiddle around with the NEC, runs three distinct services with different number of stops, and varying stopping patterns. Kodamas are the milk runs which stop almost everywhere, though individual trains do some skip stopping. The Hikaris make only the bigger stations, again doing some alternate skip stop, and Nozomis are the fastest with least stop, often non-stop from Tokyo to Osaka. But then again they run 10 or 15 trains each way per hour, so it is a completely different level of service from what is found on the NEC.

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Certainly ridership and demand is way higher than the Metroliner era and I imagine more trains runs today than back then. Once the Avelia Liberty equipment there might be the enough trains to justify the trains for the occasional "Big 3" (NYP-PHL-WAS) only train. If that train makes only one stop between Penn Station and Union Station instead of 5 or 6, how much time is saved? Certainly you should be able to fill a train with NYP-PHL, NYP-WAS, and PHL-WAS passengers today.

 

This was also in the Acela era. They attempted to run an express train between NYP-PHL-WAS. Then, to stimulate ridership, they added MET...which helped. The truth is, downtown to downtown is not the market some of you think it is.

 

The only benefit is these train ran ahead of previously packed trains. This loosened up space for the not downtown to downtown travel on the congested trains.

 

However, that is not the concept of this thread. Is a WAS-NYP-BOS train feasible? Sure. Would it be beneficial? Not really as it would also increase the razor thin margin for failures (and cancellations) in exchange for minimal benefit.

 

When the new trains come online, then we can have this conversation.

 

Then again, when they come online, you may not have much of a choice but to ride them. :ph34r:

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1. Not enough slots available at NYP for this kind of service ahead of the more stops trains.

2. "IF" when Gateway tunnel bores in service and NYP <> WASH service approaches 2:00 then that would bleed off many of the air shuttle riders.

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There may be a market on a limited basis, say on Friday and Sunday afternoon's....they could even attempt an extra fare, all-business class express....

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Acelas are extra fare all Business Class plus First Class expresses already.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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Then again, when they come online, you may not have much of a choice but to ride them. :ph34r:

Interesting that Amtrak is talking about getting rid of all other level of service other than Acela. Only Acela makes money thinking. One thinks giving up market share to the bus would be bad idea.

 

Even limited regional service. Running just few times a day, with a really long train set. With a branding other than Acela. Just to keep the bus people on there toes. One thinks that would be a workable and profitable level of service.

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Acelas are extra fare all Business Class plus First Class expresses already.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

Good point....that, they certainly are...

What do you think about running them on a Friday and/or Sunday afternoon express?

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Then again, when they come online, you may not have much of a choice but to ride them. :ph34r:

Interesting that Amtrak is talking about getting rid of all other level of service other than Acela. Only Acela makes money thinking. One thinks giving up market share to the bus would be bad idea.

 

Even limited regional service. Running just few times a day, with a really long train set. With a branding other than Acela. Just to keep the bus people on there toes. One thinks that would be a workable and profitable level of service.

 

If Amtrak gives up the "bus fare" market, the commuter railroads could fill in the 'gaps' where they are, and run a cheap thru pool train to fill that market...

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For those that may not have noticed, Amtrak is really not a serious contender in the bus fare market on the NEC already.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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Then again, when they come online, you may not have much of a choice but to ride them. :ph34r:

Interesting that Amtrak is talking about getting rid of all other level of service other than Acela. Only Acela makes money thinking. One thinks giving up market share to the bus would be bad idea.

 

Even limited regional service. Running just few times a day, with a really long train set. With a branding other than Acela. Just to keep the bus people on there toes. One thinks that would be a workable and profitable level of service.

Who said anything about getting rid of the Regionals? Thirdrail is talking about the retirement of the current Acela sets.

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IIRC back in the late 1960s there was also a WAS-BAL-NYP Metroliner...but that seems to have (1) been very specifically timed (it was a once-a-day thing) and (2) I suspect that it was done more to get a showoff end-to-end time than because it made absolute sense.

There's probably room for peak-of-the-peak "extra sections" which make no stops or minimal stops, but don't forget: Most of those expresses that were being run back in "the day" were being run 1-2x daily as part of a broader service, not hourly...and in more than a few cases, there was probably a not-express on the heels of the express.

I do suspect that there's a market for an express NYP-PHL train, but the rub is that you only save a few minutes by skipping Newark (many Acelas skip Metropark and Trenton, but the time savings for dropping both versus serving both is only about six minutes; the savings per stop skipped seem to be in the 2-4 minute range, probably depending as much on the nuances of each stop as the traffic situation).

Back on the "lower" end, I do think there's a case for service to more stops along the NEC. The main problem is that Amtrak can only really run 2-4 trains per hour into NYP. If Amtrak could run, say, 8 per hour (and had the equipment to do so) you might see something like 2-3 Acelas, 2 Regionals, 2 Keystones or Locals, and 1-2 "other" (LD trains, etc.). The best we could, at present, hope for would be for Amtrak and NJT to somehow team up to revive a version of the Clockers...but that would require both there being a sufficient market for them and a level of creative thinking and willingness to work "outside the box" that we (sadly) can't really expect from a transit agency.

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Who said anything about getting rid of the Regionals? Thirdrail is talking about the retirement of the current Acela sets.

 

 

I didn't specify anything, Daybeers as this is a long way off. However, let me help you out a little bit by translating Just Thinking's theory:

 

Even limited regional service. Running just few times a day, with a really long train set. With a branding other than Acela. Just to keep the bus people on there toes. One thinks that would be a workable and profitable level of service.

 

 

Just Thinking's theory is clear to me. if you have a dedicated, confined train set, on a dedicated corridor that has much more capacity than your existing brand, you can push more people to that service by reducing access your competing brand (regionals). Then, you can use the released equipment to support other routes. In other words, you may only run trains on the NEC that will venture off corridor...and there is nothing saying they have to permit local travel between certain points.

 

This is a long, long way out but I have the feeling that Just Thinking is quite astute.

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This is a long, long way out but I have the feeling that Just Thinking is quite astute.

read-between-the-lines.jpg

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Who said anything about getting rid of the Regionals? Thirdrail is talking about the retirement of the current Acela sets.

 

I didn't specify anything, Daybeers as this is a long way off. However, let me help you out a little bit by translating Just Thinking's theory:

 

Even limited regional service. Running just few times a day, with a really long train set. With a branding other than Acela. Just to keep the bus people on there toes. One thinks that would be a workable and profitable level of service.

 

Just Thinking's theory is clear to me. if you have a dedicated, confined train set, on a dedicated corridor that has much more capacity than your existing brand, you can push more people to that service by reducing access your competing brand (regionals). Then, you can use the released equipment to support other routes. In other words, you may only run trains on the NEC that will venture off corridor...and there is nothing saying they have to permit local travel between certain points.

 

This is a long, long way out but I have the feeling that Just Thinking is quite astute.

 

Ah, makes sense. So the theory is that everyone will eventually use Acela IIs or something? And how far off we talking here, five years, ten years?

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