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No more charters & special moves: 3/28 Memo fr Anderson

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There is one bit of possible ambiguity that needs to be clarified.

 

The Amtrak document says that cars can only be added or removed at those designated stations. There are certain possibilities of doing a round trip where the car is neither adde3d, not removed at the away destination. Are those going to be allowed?

 

For example, if a car is attached at Emeryville to a train to Bakersfield, and it just stays with the consist at Bakersfield and returns to Emeryville on the same consist, is that allowed, even though Bakersfield is not listed as an originating/terminating point?

 

Strict reading would suggest this is not allowed. Logic does not dictate that such restriction makes much sense.

 

 

 

That is operationally different Jis. This is what I often refer to when I differentiate "initial terminal" versus "turnaround point/turnaround service". In your example, Bakersfield is a turnaround point and they would look at it on a case by case basis to see it would interfere with any turns. Since the trip would actually be EMY-EMY, it likely wouldn't be an issue.

 

 

If you assume that the document was carefully written, the answer would be "no". The Bay Area-bound San Joaquins terminate in Oakland, and Oakland is not on the list. The Zephyr is the only train that terminates in Emeryville.

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But how are they going to operate the Santa Barbara Wine train when? Not sure how this can be adjusted when the only Surfliner trains PV's are allowed originate and terminate in LA and SD.

From the representatives on the line, their answer was to check back for updates or call for further details.

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Well right now I've heard conductor Bill Hattrick owner of Overland Trail is mothballing his car at a scrapyard if things don't change. Several other cars have been mothballed.

 

And others are likely to come.

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There is one bit of possible ambiguity that needs to be clarified.

 

The Amtrak document says that cars can only be added or removed at those designated stations. There are certain possibilities of doing a round trip where the car is neither adde3d, not removed at the away destination. Are those going to be allowed?

 

For example, if a car is attached at Emeryville to a train to Bakersfield, and it just stays with the consist at Bakersfield and returns to Emeryville on the same consist, is that allowed, even though Bakersfield is not listed as an originating/terminating point?

 

Strict reading would suggest this is not allowed. Logic does not dictate that such restriction makes much sense.

 

 

 

That is operationally different Jis. This is what I often refer to when I differentiate "initial terminal" versus "turnaround point/turnaround service". In your example, Bakersfield is a turnaround point and they would look at it on a case by case basis to see it would interfere with any turns. Since the trip would actually be EMY-EMY, it likely wouldn't be an issue.

 

 

If you assume that the document was carefully written, the answer would be "no". The Bay Area-bound San Joaquins terminate in Oakland, and Oakland is not on the list. The Zephyr is the only train that terminates in Emeryville.

 

 

 

Designated repair facilities at initial terminals were not listed, Tibike. Technically, the Zephyr doesn't terminate in Emy any more than train 2126 (an acela on the corridor) terminates in NYP or train 235 terminates in ALB. The Zephyr actually deadheads from EMY between OAK for servicing. Hence, OAK is the initial terminal and EMY is the originating passenger terminal. For the reverse, CHI is the originating passenger terminal while 14th Street Yard is the initial terminal.

 

As explained, operations at initial terminals and yards will remains the same. This is because initial terminals are were the train is assembled and adding them should not at to delays. They have changed for the stations where moves on the equipment are required.

 

At least that is how it was explained to us. What happens in CA may differ which is why they said it would be examined on a case by case basis.

Edited by Thirdrail7

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LA Rail will continue to use private cars on Amtrak for their trips. However, changes are made with route/station adjustments.

No more San Diego or Santa Barbara trips for the time being. Long distance, perhaps. Spoke to Bill Hatrick this afternoon at LAUPT, the new rates aren't going to help either.

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LA Rail will continue to use private cars on Amtrak for their trips. However, changes are made with route/station adjustments.

No more San Diego or Santa Barbara trips for the time being. Long distance, perhaps. Spoke to Bill Hatrick this afternoon at LAUPT, the new rates aren't going to help either.

 

It will definitely be tricky for a while. The 700 series trains are notorious for running late already so it probably won't help their case. Also, now train 759 leaves LAUS at 4:09AM so it can be used by Ventura County commuters to SB so thats unusable for the wine train.

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Actually, from what I posted earlier, trips are being canned (Long distance might stay for a price)

Edited by CHvision

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LA Rail will continue to use private cars on Amtrak for their trips. However, changes are made with route/station adjustments.

No more San Diego or Santa Barbara trips for the time being. Long distance, perhaps. Spoke to Bill Hatrick this afternoon at LAUPT, the new rates aren't going to help either.

 

It will definitely be tricky for a while. The 700 series trains are notorious for running late already so it probably won't help their case. Also, now train 759 leaves LAUS at 4:09AM so it can be used by Ventura County commuters to SB so thats unusable for the wine train.

 

And 759 only operates Monday thru Friday which won't matter for a Saturday or Sunday wine train.

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I'm pretty sure that those trains were chosen for a reason. And that is to discourage private cars from going to SAN. Just like the thirty minute rule was designed to do something similar as well.

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I'm pretty sure that those trains were chosen for a reason. And that is to discourage private cars from going to SAN. Just like the thirty minute rule was designed to do something similar as well.

Thirty minute rule: The less than 30 minute dwell at LAUS eliminated "through" Pacific Surfliners for PV's us use for San Diego and Santa Barbara trips.

 

Actually, Amtrak often adds/removes a Surfliner coach at LA for some through trains... the same way as it did with some PV's...at the station platform!

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Couple things I don't get. Why does it take so long to couple and uncouple railcars at Amtrak? This whole 20+ minutes to couple and decouple engines and cars just does not happen on other trains of the world. There are many trains that leave the station coupled and then separate mid-route and it all happens within couple of minutes from what I have experienced on Swiss Rail and ViaRail Corridor Trains.

 

I've been on Surfliners where they need to add a second engine or extra car at LAUS so they can take it down to San Diego and I've easily sat there 30+ minutes after the "bump" without power. Same on the San Joaquins.

 

The Surfliner is heavily used by people who commute for work so I think it is fine that Amtrak is trying to keep good time, BUT on Saturday's and three day weekends, they should really make an exception for PV's at least on the Surfliners. LOSSAN already run specially timed 1000 series trains on the weekends and holidays and from what I've heard consistently from the train attendant and the conductors is that Saturdays are generally the slowest day of the week.

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there are lots of factors...

 

Once you add a car, you have to cut the brakes in and then perform a brake test. If the cars have been sitting by themselves, they won't be charged with air so this will add a few moments and then that car(a) needs to be walked and visually inspected during a brake test to see that all brakes on that car both apply (walk the cars) and release (walk cars again). The engineer also has to perform a leakage test to make sure the new car, combined with existing consist, have working brakes with only minimul leakage (im emberassssed to say I don't remember what it is anymore.. 5 lbs.)

 

So that's 1 thing that takes some time....

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there are lots of factors...

 

Once you add a car, you have to cut the brakes in and then perform a brake test. If the cars have been sitting by themselves, they won't be charged with air so this will add a few moments and then that car(a) needs to be walked and visually inspected during a brake test to see that all brakes on that car both apply (walk the cars) and release (walk cars again). The engineer also has to perform a leakage test to make sure the new car, combined with existing consist, have working brakes with only minimul leakage (im emberassssed to say I don't remember what it is anymore.. 5 lbs.)

 

So that's 1 thing that takes some time....

That is very accurate. Now there are some other useless things we have to do to you forgot. Why Amtrak has to do a brake test when they back up before coupling up. Especially when the train already has proven over the course of miles it has functional brakes.

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For example, if the Cedar Rapids run along the Empire Builder from Chicago, IL to St. Paul. MN, can the special car with passengers (on board the special car) run along the route? or it has to be terminal by terminal?

Edited by CHvision

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For example, if the Cedar Rapids run along the Empire Builder from Chicago, IL to St. Paul. MN, can the special car with passengers run along the route? or it has to be terminal by terminal?

If the train is on time it can be cut off at MSP. Don't worry there are several of us PV guys lobbying for more cut offs. Me personally I'm after Huntington (for friends cars) and Portland (for my car). Right now I'm prepping two of the Huntington Cars to move elsewhere.

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For example, if the Cedar Rapids run along the Empire Builder from Chicago, IL to St. Paul. MN, can the special car with passengers run along the route? or it has to be terminal by terminal?

If the train is on time it can be cut off at MSP. Don't worry there are several of us PV guys lobbying for more cut offs. Me personally I'm after Huntington (for friends cars) and Portland (for my car). Right now I'm prepping two of the Huntington Cars to move elsewhere.

 

Where is Borden planning to move her cars?

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For example, if the Cedar Rapids run along the Empire Builder from Chicago, IL to St. Paul. MN, can the special car with passengers run along the route? or it has to be terminal by terminal?

If the train is on time it can be cut off at MSP. Don't worry there are several of us PV guys lobbying for more cut offs. Me personally I'm after Huntington (for friends cars) and Portland (for my car). Right now I'm prepping two of the Huntington Cars to move elsewhere.

Where is Borden planning to move her cars?
Savannah, GA. CP Huntington is currently homeless but we're moving their two out tomorrow on 50. Then my car Willamette Heights if they accept my offer I put in this morning to buy it. Will probably be moving to Seattle because I can't use it out of Portland. It has some work before it can be Amtraked so I probably could send it to Beaverton Creek and buy the siding I've been eyeing. But I'm Leary of doing that till Portland is approved for 11/14, 27/28

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there are lots of factors...

 

Once you add a car, you have to cut the brakes in and then perform a brake test. If the cars have been sitting by themselves, they won't be charged with air so this will add a few moments and then that car(a) needs to be walked and visually inspected during a brake test to see that all brakes on that car both apply (walk the cars) and release (walk cars again). The engineer also has to perform a leakage test to make sure the new car, combined with existing consist, have working brakes with only minimul leakage (im emberassssed to say I don't remember what it is anymore.. 5 lbs.)

 

So that's 1 thing that takes some time....

That is very accurate. Now there are some other useless things we have to do to you forgot. Why Amtrak has to do a brake test when they back up before coupling up. Especially when the train already has proven over the course of miles it has functional brakes.

 

So more of a Amtrak procedural/policy delay or equipment too old(Amtrak equipment) that it takes too much time? When they coupled and decoupled the LRC cars on ViaRail, I was excepting 30+ minutes because of experience on Amtrak, but after like less than a minute of power outage, we were on our way.

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there are lots of factors...

 

Once you add a car, you have to cut the brakes in and then perform a brake test. If the cars have been sitting by themselves, they won't be charged with air so this will add a few moments and then that car(a) needs to be walked and visually inspected during a brake test to see that all brakes on that car both apply (walk the cars) and release (walk cars again). The engineer also has to perform a leakage test to make sure the new car, combined with existing consist, have working brakes with only minimul leakage (im emberassssed to say I don't remember what it is anymore.. 5 lbs.)

 

So that's 1 thing that takes some time....

That is very accurate. Now there are some other useless things we have to do to you forgot. Why Amtrak has to do a brake test when they back up before coupling up. Especially when the train already has proven over the course of miles it has functional brakes.

So more of a Amtrak procedural/policy delay or equipment too old(Amtrak equipment) that it takes too much time? When they coupled and decoupled the LRC cars on ViaRail, I was excepting 30+ minutes because of experience on Amtrak, but after like less than a minute of power outage, we were on our way.
That's because of how incompetent some switch crews are. I'm not saying all are incompetent but there are quite a few that are.

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all of the rules I described were rules I learned when I was a conductor on a Shortline railroad. They are FRA rules as far as I know.

 

Dropping cars is a faster procedure... Drop the cars, re-attach monkey hose / back up hose if applicable, quick apply and release break test from back of train, and you're good to go.

 

I have no clue how LRC cars, or other European style cars work.

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I suspect that HEP and Trainline connectors bring in some additional issues.

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