Amtrak could add 2nd round-trip train between Harrisburg, Pittsburgh

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by benjibear, Sep 18, 2015.

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  1. Sep 19, 2015 #26

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    I'm going to be "That guy". In an Internal NS Employee E-mail NS has heard nothing about a second train being added. On-Top of that an Engineer who represents the UTU, seems to think that NS wouldn't budge. As he thinks that NS wouldn't care about what the state's residents want etc.

    Bottom line is NS won't allow it unless PennDot pays for everything. That's if NS finds a slot for the train.
     
  2. Sep 19, 2015 #27

    mlhughes0522

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    Pennsylvanian

    43 NYP 11:00a PHL 12:30p HAR 3:00p PGH 9:00p

    42 PGH 7:00a HAR 12:30p PHL 3:00p NYP 4:30p

    41 PHL 6:30a HAR 9:00a PGH 2:45p

    40 PGH 3:30p HAR 9:00p PHL 11:30p

    Here is what I would go with new service.
     
  3. Sep 19, 2015 #28

    jis

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    I like the way you think :)
     
  4. Sep 20, 2015 #29

    Philly Amtrak Fan

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    Would an overnight "red eye" work?

    West: NYP 8:30pm, PHL 10:30pm, HAR 12:30am, PGH 6am

    East: PGH 11:30pm, HAR 5am, PHL 7am, NYP 9am

    You would get little if any interest between PGH and HAR (and HAR's times aren't too great).

    Certainly not a 1st train and a 2nd train would be iffy but maybe a 3rd train? Could you adjust the times to make them work?
     
  5. Sep 21, 2015 #30

    Thirdrail7

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    I would maybe tinker with the earlier incarnation of the Pennsylvanian an, but bump it up a tad earlier.

    Therefore, it would resemble this:

    41: NYP-645am PHL-820a/840a PAO-910a HAR-10:30a/10:40a PGH-3:59p

    I would also look into moving train 641 back to an 845am departure from NYP instead of a 725am. Then, I would move 643 from a 930am departure to a 1030ish NYP departure. If all of that is possible, I'd keep 645 as a 1205pm departure, and replace new train 609 (the forthcoming 1255pm departure) with the second train to PGH, I would make it an afternoon departure from NYP, similar to the schedule of the Broadway Limited. Therefore, it would resemble this:

    43: NYP- 105pm PHL-225p/2:40p HAR-425p/435p PGH-9:45pm

    The afternoon run should be a little shorter since it will make less stop and runs outside of the commission hour.

    For the return, I would keep 42 on its current schedule and use the old schedule for train 44 for the second train. So, it would resemble this:

    42: PGH-7:20am HAR-2:26p/2:36p PHL-2:55p/3:25p NYP-4:55pm

    44: PGH-1:30pm HAR-6:55p/705pm PHL-910p/9:30p NYP 10:57pm

    44 would replace Keystone trains 610/674 on the weekends and is timed all stops with a diesel. At PHL, it leaves room for an overtake between TRE-PHL by Acela 2128 and on Sundays, Acela 2228 will overtake it while sitting in TRE. 44 also fits into the NYT's late night and weekend single track operational profile.

    These trains will also fill in a few blanks along the keystone corridor and also leave time for the crews and equipment to balance. Since a good number of city pairs on the Pennsylvanian east of Philadelphia generate more revenue and riders, it is better to allow for through ridership without transfers.

    Additionally, don't have to beef up mechanical forces in PHL to service an additional train.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2015
  6. Sep 21, 2015 #31

    Thirdrail7

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    Here's a question: IS there some sort of master schedule for freight trains that states there is no slot for another train? The reason why I ask is although times have changed, Conrail had no problem running two trains a day to PGH. They didn't need a ton of upgrades or additional tracks. Additionally, they ran them quite well. Their OTP was usually stellar.

    While traffic levels have climbed and redundant mileage has been eliminated, it still is two trips per day at speeds the current train achieves. What did Conrail have that NS doesn't? Why can't a slot be found?
     
  7. Sep 21, 2015 #32

    cirdan

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    I understand there are now more freights going around Horseshoe Curve than there were in Conrail days. Remember Conrail ripped out the 4th track, so they can't have been overly concerned about insufficient capacity.

    A slump in coal production could easily reverse that though.

    Or putting back the removed track.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2015
  8. Sep 22, 2015 #33

    neroden

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    The slump in coal production in the East has been happening for years now, and is permanent.

    The slump in coal usage in the East is starting to accelerate.

    If there are more freights going around Horseshoe Curve, they aren't coal drags. Coal plants have been closing left and right.
     
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  9. Oct 3, 2015 #34

    Anderson

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    There are two issues here. One is the fact that "adding" a train is always going to result in requests for concessions (e.g. tracks, sidings, etc.). The other is that Conrail had the NYC system as well...remember, just about everything north of the Potomac and east of Ohio was either Conrail, B&O, or shortline until you got to New England. When Conrail got split up, NS got the Pennsy portions and CSX got the NYC portions (I think NS also got most of the rest of the stuff in Pennsylvania as a whole, but I can't recall how much of the Reading, Erie, etc. systems stayed "in-house" and how much got sent off to shortlines.
     
  10. Jun 11, 2017 #35

    Thirdrail7

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    Here's an update on the never ending studies.

    PA Senate moves forward with Amtrak expansion study

    Here's a telling statement from the same article:

    He's just across the river from Harrisburg and he's not a fan. Perhaps if we extend it to Chicago, he'll get behind it. :ph34r:
     
  11. Jun 11, 2017 #36

    Acela150

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    The numbers are surprisingly not as high as I thought they'd be. But until someone actually puts something in motion.. This is still a pipe dream. :(
     
  12. Jun 11, 2017 #37

    Anderson

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    The capex numbers seem to be about right. The subsidy is maybe a little on the high side but not horridly so, and not out of line with the existing Pennsylvanian's numbers.
     
  13. May 2, 2019 #38

    Thirdrail7

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    It looks like the fight doesn't go well for this train. Even a truncated train from PGH to ALT lacks the funding.



    What happened to those feasibility studies for additional passenger rail in Pennsylvania?




     
  14. May 4, 2019 #39

    Acela150

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    Now where do you turn a train in Altoona? The only logical answer I can think of is some 10 miles away at Galitzen. It’s absolutely dumb to shove a train basically a total of 20 miles. Unless there is a place where they can spin power that I can’t think of. Running a back to back set of power is the best way to go but then you’d have to take the train to Rose hard to reposition the power and do another air test.

    Bottom line. They had two trains 15 years ago and the state didn’t put up enough of a fight to keep it. It won’t happen any time soon.
     
  15. May 4, 2019 #40

    Thirdrail7

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    As demonstrated by the perseverance of the Cardinal, Senator Byrd wouldn't have let the train go. If only he represented Pennsylvania. :D
     
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  16. May 4, 2019 #41

    VKurtB

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    There’s been record turnover in the General Assembly. There are a bunch of new sheriffs in town, plus some unanticipated high revenue numbers.

    However, both U.S Senators, one D and one R, are dopes. PennDOT is the key, not the U.S. Congress. Right now, the Keystone Service is massively subsidized for its PA mileage, with full costs in New Jersey.
     
  17. May 5, 2019 #42

    west point

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    There is absolutely no reason for Amtrak to go to the freights for additional trains. Until Amtrak has enough passenger cars to fill out present trains and application for additional service is a lost cause. Daily Cardinal or Sunset? Amtrak cannot supply enough equipment to even start those trains. Second Pitt train ?. Means another train set. Reason Va has done well is that WASH regional terminations have provided excess equipment.
    Trains needing more equipment that is not available? Down Easter, New Haven - Springfield, NY empire service, Harrisburg, Lynchburg, Meteor, Crescent to ATL, Carolinian, LSL. Western trains ignored

    Yes those trains can momentarily have more cars but not in long time.
     
  18. Sep 9, 2019 #43

    Abe26

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  19. Sep 9, 2019 #44

    philabos

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    The big issue for this service has always been the lack of frequency.
    That said, NS has always done a good job keeping these trains on time. They will want capital in order to consider a second frequency.
    Traditionally money is always available for studies to join the rest on the shelf. The above article makes clear times will be tough in years ahead for transportation funding.
     
  20. Sep 10, 2019 #45

    PaTrainFan

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  21. Sep 10, 2019 #46

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    Since so many non-PA people here are supporting doubling the trains running in PA, I would purpose adding a $500 surcharge onto every ticket sold anywhere by Amtrak, and direct that surcharge to funding the additional trains in PA. Seems more fair than expecting me to help fund it.
     
  22. Sep 10, 2019 #47

    Acela150

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    Recently that has not been the case with Trains 43 and 42. Ever since the dispatchers moved to Atlanta it's completely different.

    And again I'll say it... No matter how many studies they run, it's all talk. Until I see a second train scheduled and running I won't buy into it. Less talk, more walk.
     
  23. Sep 10, 2019 #48

    Anderson

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    I'd buy it if a contract was signed and money was changing hands or major improvements were being made, but otherwise I'm with @Acela150 on this one.
     
  24. Sep 10, 2019 #49

    philabos

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  25. Sep 10, 2019 #50

    Anderson

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