Chicago - St Louis high speed rail

Discussion in 'High Speed and Other Non-Amtrak Intercity Rail' started by RickIronton, Dec 10, 2013.

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  1. Oct 30, 2018 #51

    Steve4031

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    Steve4031

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    I’ve seriously become disillusioned about this entire project. It’s ridiculous. China has built an entire bullet train network in the time Illinois has done nothing.
     
  2. Oct 31, 2018 #52

    me_little_me

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    China is a more advanced country than Illinois is a state?

    With only one party, China doesn't need to have its politicians waste time and money on political corruption when commercial corruption is more efficient?

    China is advancing from the 16th century whereas Illinois is only advancing from the 19th?

    Random thoughts from a lost mind.
     
  3. Nov 6, 2018 #53

    penguinflies

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    The main reason why I ask is that we are beginning to arrive early to stations enroute.  We had to hold at SPI for 20 minutes, Carlinville for 10, etc.  A good problem to have, but as an end to end customer, I would like to see the schedule condensed a bit.
     
  4. Nov 7, 2018 #54

    neroden

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    Maybe it's time to start writing to Illinois DOT and asking them about getting agreement to shorten the schedules.  There is no reason why the Texas Eagle, or any of the other trains, should be artificially slowed down.  (I could understand a big fat wait in St. Louis for the northbound Texas Eagle, to allow for any delays further south without messing up the schedule further north, but not on the rest of the route.)
     
  5. Nov 7, 2018 #55

    penguinflies

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    Thanks.  There was talk in May that the segments were going to be allowed 90 mph operation q3 or 4 2018, then 110 in in 2019.  I would hope that this means schedules are already drafted by the bureaucrats.
     
  6. Nov 8, 2018 #56

    daybeers

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    This whole project has taken absolutely forever and there is no reason for trains not to be running at 110 right now.
     
  7. Nov 15, 2018 #57

    penguinflies

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    I asked and the project team responded. The response did not include any timeline, only that if Amtrak does increase speeds, there is no plan to condense the schedule.

    " A significant portion of the Chicago to St. Louis High-Speed Rail corridor infrastructure is now in place and the program is installing Positive Train Control (PTC), a safety system that uses advanced communication systems to avoid collisions with other trains, protect maintenance workers, and enforce speeds in slow zones. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued PTC guidance for running trains up to 90 MPH and field testing of the PTC system is required. Once PTC installation is complete and approved, Amtrak trains in the Chicago to St. Louis High-Speed Rail corridor will begin operating at higher speeds. At this time there is no plan for a change in the train schedule. "  -The Illinois High-Speed Rail Chicago to St. Louis Program Team
     
  8. Nov 15, 2018 #58

    cirdan

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    So if schedules are not going to be condensed, what is the benefit of the entire exercise?

    It's not the speed itself that makes a train attractive but the time the higher speed can save.
     
  9. Nov 16, 2018 #59

    Anderson

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    No, they're not planning schedule changes until they get the tech straight (which may affect how much time they can pull out).

    And I will concur that there are issues with implementing anything in a timely manner in the US.  Then again, the fact that there's a decent chance that Brightline is into Orlando before VA gets a Record of Decision on Richmond-Washington says plenty given that both projects started around the same time.
     
  10. Nov 28, 2018 #60

    Ziv

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    "Mussolini made the trains run on time!"

    It was a common statement at one time, with a small grain of truth to it, but it is kind of related to the issue of why China can build a world class train system in a relatively short amount of time whereas a more advanced economy like the US stumbles from one problem to another. There is little doubt that a fascist like Mussolini, or an autocracy like the Communist Party of China, can achieve great things if they point their resources at a particular issue. But I doubt most of us would prefer to live there over a seemingly dysfunctional nation like those we have in the West.  But building the Italian train system from horrifically bad to moderately effective probably wasn't worth putting up with il Duce.

    ;-)
     
  11. Nov 28, 2018 #61

    jis

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    This has got be the most billions spent for getting absolutely no effect on timetable. Bravo! :lol:
     
  12. Nov 29, 2018 #62

    MikefromCrete

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    Now that the voters have ousted Gov. Bruce Rauner, perhaps we will see some progress on this route, as well as the Quad Cities and Rockford trains. The state has been practically non functional during   the past four years.
     
  13. Nov 30, 2018 #63

    Devil's Advocate

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    &

    Unless I'm mistaken nobody wrote faster speeds or shorter schedules for the other trains into the original upgrade agreement and after the upgrade was completed the freight host indicated they had no interest in making any further changes without additional compensation or other considerations.  Profit motive can be an especially compelling reason for arbitrarily resisting even benign progress.
     
  14. Dec 13, 2018 #64

    VentureForth

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    Who paid for this upgrade?  BNSF or Taxpayers?
     
  15. Dec 13, 2018 #65

    AutoTrDvr

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    I would not consider either of those "high speed."  But, then again, I'm spoiled by the Japanese Shinkansen trains as well as Thallys, both of which can reach 320Kph and more.

    I wouldn't even consider Acela (at 150mph)  "high speed."    Not by a long shot.

    To me, "high speed" is a train that can get you to where you need to be and can be "competitive" with air travel between the same points, both in time savings and cost.  Where it cost less and takes less time to take a train than it is to fly (including ground time to get to/from each station/airport as well as on-boarding time)  and, where there is demand for that travel, I think high speed rail would work well, if we're talking Shinkansen/Thallys speeds.  Not sure if that means Chicago <---> St. Louis or not.  Frankly, I think even the Acela service between NY and Wash. DC is questionable. Perhaps it's OK between BOS and either NYP or Wash DC. Then again, I'm from a time when Eastern Air ran the BOS and DCA shuttle planes that were really cheap.   
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2018
  16. Dec 13, 2018 #66

    Devil's Advocate

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    IIRC taxpayers paid Union Pacific to perform the necessary upgrades.  Union Pacific agreed to allow passenger trains that were specifically mentioned in original contract to increase speeds, but also held other trains back unless and until more taxpayer money could be extracted on their behalf.

    In my view average speed across an entire route has a lot more relevance than some brief Goldilocks segment at top speed.  By my way of measuring Acela is a conventional 65MPH rail line masquerading as a 150MPH high speed train.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2018
  17. Dec 13, 2018 #67

    AutoTrDvr

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    Precisely.  The Shinkansen, TGV and Thallys all have the majority of their segments at those high speeds.  They make the grade.  Acela does not.
     
  18. Dec 13, 2018 #68

    cirdan

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    Interesting reading on this topic from Snopes

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/loco-motive/
     
    jis likes this.
  19. Dec 16, 2018 #69

    neroden

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    Write to IDOT, the governor, and your state legislators.  Tell them that the trains are running perfectly fast, and that's great, and thank them for that.  But then say the trains are arriving at stations early and are being delayed because of Union Pacific's irresponsible intransigence and unwillingness to tighten the schedule.  Ask them to either negotiate with UP to make the schedule tighter, or (better) to buy the line so that you don't have to argue with UP ever again.  Explain that you understand that some schedule slack is needed to allow for things like PTC upgrades, the Springfield track relocation project, etc., but that it makes no sense to be sitting for 20 minutes at Dwight because you haven't bothered to renegotiate with Union Pacific -- and it is bad for Union Pacific too.
     
  20. Dec 24, 2018 #70

    NorthShore

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    The Springfield track relocation project is a bunch of bs, imo.  Why relocate the tracks from where everyone wants to go to the fringes of downtown, several blocks away from everything?

    As far as buying the line, remember this state is practically bankrupt and deep in pension debt.  As is Chicago.   

    Though, there is a need for another infrastructure program.   Which is why there's talk of raising the state gas tax.  

    At least Metra has released a five billion dollar Christmas wish list, explaining how they'd spend the money, if they had it, for improvement.  Which is more than we can say for Amtrak.
     
  21. Jan 1, 2019 #71

    penguinflies

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    "IDOT now projects that 90-mph speeds will be in place for Amtrak next summer from Alton to south of Springfield and along much of the remainder of the route by the end of next year.
    However, the agency is no longer saying when it believes the more significant speed target of 110 mph will be reached."
    - Mark Schlinkmann St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    https://www.stltoday.com/news/traffic/along-for-the-ride/amtrak-riders-between-st-louis-and-chicago-are-still-waiting/article_e3354cec-af48-5a9b-bc24-2e8c9b5f6fc0.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2019
  22. Mar 7, 2019 #72

    GBNorman

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    The Wall Street Journal summed up the consensus around here regarding tjis debacle - and circulated same nationally.

    Hope the UP remembers to thank the taxpayers for building their second St. Louis-Chicago route (other; former C&EI):

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/high-speed-rail-in-the-u-s-remains-elusive-illinois-shows-why-11551713342?shareToken=stf07be36cf79d43dd8216804c6d2d972a&amp;reflink=article_email_share

    Fair Use:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2019
  23. Mar 21, 2019 #73

    NorthShore

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    So here I sit (for the second time today, from travel in each direction) a little north of Dwight, waiting on an Amtrak train to pass, apparently held up by freight. I've experienced more movement through Ohio and Indiana than this.

    We were projected to arrive in Chicago a half hour early out of Dwight. Now, we'll likely be late at Union Station.

    So much for high speed rail!

    (At least I got to hear a little gossip from a Class 1 lobbyist in Springfield over dinner.)
     
  24. Mar 21, 2019 #74

    jis

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    It should be noted that even India does not call its 90mph and 100mph trains, of which they have a few now, "High Speed". But they do have a plan to convert their entire so called Golden Quadrilateral uniformly to such speed or eventually upto 125mph, that is a total of a bit more than 8,000 route miles. They just call them "Higher Speed". They do have a true High Speed project in the making with Japanese aid between Mumbai and Ahmadabad, which is stuck in eminent domain land acquisition wrangles at the Mumbai end for now.
     
  25. Mar 21, 2019 #75

    Maglev

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    When I rode the Texas Eagle in January, I kept waiting for a smooth, higher-speed section between St.Louis and Chicago, but never experienced it. I did notice long stretches of very expensive-looking fence along the right-of-way.
     

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