Infill Amtrak stops

Discussion in 'Amtrak’s Future: Member Ideas and Discussion' started by railgeekteen, Mar 30, 2018.

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  1. Mar 30, 2018 #1

    railgeekteen

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    What are some cities which are on an Amtrak route and warrant a stop, but they don't have one? Emporia Kansas comes to mind.
     
  2. Mar 30, 2018 #2

    west point

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    Problem is normally each additional stop on LD trains adds 5 - 10 minutes to the schedule.
     
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  3. Mar 30, 2018 #3

    Palmetto

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    Pre-Amtrak, some trains did stop at Emporia. It might be a candidate for a stop during the daytime, as it's 40 miles to Topeka and further from Newton. But such a small city stop in the middle of the night was probably deemed ill-advised when Amtrak began.

    Pure speculation on my part.
     
  4. Mar 30, 2018 #4

    JayPea

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    Actually, until 1996, Emporia was a stop on the SWC route. It was a crew change stop until 1990, and after that continued as a stop until 1996.
     
  5. Mar 30, 2018 #5

    jis

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    So was it discontinued because hardly anyone used it? Or was it for some other reason?
     
  6. Mar 30, 2018 #6

    blueman271

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    Suffolk VA comes to mind. I believe it is Virginia’s intention to eventually have the Norfolk Regional stop there but I am unsure of the timeline.
     
  7. Mar 30, 2018 #7

    jis

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    Indeed that is the case from what I have read.
     
  8. Mar 30, 2018 #8

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Princeton Junction, NJ. They already have a couple that stop in the morning, but that's about it, I believe.

    I am sometimes commuting when the southbound Palmetto stops there, and I have seen as many as 40 people board. The area has a train mentality (lots of commuters to NY and Philly) and tons of money, so many people there could afford Amtrak prices. Years ago, something called a "Clocker" did stop there (I don't know the history like many of you probably do), so it can be done.

    P.S.--I didn't know if you meant a place that didn't have a station or a place that had a station not being used or not used much, so I answered as if it were the second--sorry if I misunderstood.
     
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  9. Mar 30, 2018 #9

    railgeekteen

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    Yuba City CA for some reason does not have a stop.
     
  10. Mar 30, 2018 #10

    jis

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    Clockers were continuation of PRR service for New York - Philadelphia Commuters.

    In NJ their low fares in line with NJT for monthly tickets was subsidized by NJDOT. Eventually NJDOT decided that it was cheaper for them to just let NJT run the service between Trenton and New York, funded by them. At that point there was a mild attempt to get Pennsylvania to cough up subsidy to continue running them to Philly. But the usual Pennsylvania - New Jersey - SEPTA - NJT politics kicked in, and that was the end of that. Remember, it took years of wrangling to get the NJT Atlantic City service to start serving Philadelphia 30th St. too. In any case, no one has so far seen it fit to touch that one with a ten foot barge pole yet.

    So today the remains of the Clockers are the NJT outer zone express trains between Trenton and New York on weekdays, and the NEC semi-expresses on weekends.

    Amtrak has been reluctant to stop trains at PJC because it involves running their trains limited to 110mph often behind NJT trains limited to 90mph (for the EMUs), thus killing their fast schedule on their only piece of higher speed service in NJ. This situation will be considerably mitigated upon the completion of the NJ HSR project, which among other things, adds higher speed switches from the middle higher speed tracks to the side lower speed tracks at around Jersey Avenue, and also raises the max speed of the outer tracks between Jersey Avenue and Trenton to 125 mph, and simultaneously gets NJT push pull trains to be certified to operate at 125mph, thus decongesting the mess between County and Fair CPs. At that point it should become possible to get a few more Regionals to call at PJC.

    Now, if they in their infinite wisdom had not removed at least the crossovers for moving to the slow line westbound and moving to the fast line eastbound at Nassau interlocking ... [​IMG]
     
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  11. Mar 30, 2018 #11

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Thank you, jis. Very interesting history on the Clockers.
     
  12. Mar 30, 2018 #12

    amtkstn

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    Back to the Emporia Kansas topic after the station closed in 1996, it was destroyed by fire in 1999.
     
  13. Mar 30, 2018 #13

    jis

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    Why was service discontinued there? Lack of patronage? I doubt that it had anything to do with speeding up the SWC.
     
  14. Mar 30, 2018 #14

    Palmetto

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    Let's try this again: Ya learn something new every day. Thanks!
     
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  15. Mar 31, 2018 #15

    railiner

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    One thing to consider....back when the Lone Star was running, it went thru Topeka then to Emporia, while the Southwest Limited bypassed Topeka on a cutoff route via Ottawa (no stop there), and on to Emporia, where the routes rejoined on to Newton. So Emporia served some of the territory near Topeka, for the SWC, that were otherwise bypassed by it....
     
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  16. Mar 31, 2018 #16

    Palmetto

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    Kennebunk, ME is trying to add a stop on the Doweaster, but that effort seems to be faltering. And it's only 5 miles or so from Wells, ME.
     
  17. Apr 6, 2019 #17

    railgeekteen

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    Old thread, but Dunkirk, NY should really be a stop on the LSL.
     
  18. Apr 6, 2019 #18

    jis

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    Not so sure about LSL, but definitely for west of Albany Empire Service. The other place that had service pre-Amtrak AFAIR, and lost it, is Batavia between Rochester and Buffalo.
     
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  19. Apr 6, 2019 #19

    railgeekteen

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    Dunkirk isn't on the LSL line.
     
  20. Apr 6, 2019 #20

    jis

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    Oh sorry. Brain fart. I guess you meant to say Dunkirk is not on the Empire Corridor. I was really thinking of Lyons between Syracuse and Rochester when I made that comment.

    Yeah Dunkirk would be a fine place for LSL to stop at, but I suspect Dunkirk will have to find the money to build a station with high platform on a passing loop for that to happen. Possibly a tall order in addition to getting CSX to agree to it.
     
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  21. Apr 7, 2019 #21

    Pere Flyer

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    Davis, Okla., and Ponder, Texas, should be added to the Heartland Flyer route. But the latter would require Texas to put more money and effort into the train, which the state has refused to do. If the extension to Newton/Wichita happens, stops can be added at Edmond and Guthrie.
     
  22. Apr 7, 2019 #22

    sttom

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    Around me in California? I don't think Amtrak needs more stops along the corridor trains, but it does need more corridors to get more stops. Whole towns in the Sacramento Valley don't have stops. Mostly because the Starlight runs at night. If there was a couple of day time trains, towns that would make good stops would be Weed, Gibson/Pollard Flats, Red Bluff, Los Molinos, Yuba City/Marysville, Possibly Lincoln.

    Other than that, I would say a North Bay line to Sacramento...oh yeah the not so SMART Train went with high level platforms....and there isn't a bridge between San Rafael and Richmond....oh well...
     
  23. Apr 8, 2019 #23

    west point

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    Quick infill locations have many possibilities. Look how well the Orlando area has done with the stations that bookend the downtown Orlando station. A change in Amtrak policies for these stations to provide for quick dwell times. Best way would be list a time with a letter note saying train may leave station 10 minutes early or whatever is best time from proceeding regular timetable schedule station..

    Stations would have only minimal platforms. Some locations in no special order!
    Richmond south, Raleigh ( already has Cary ) , CLT, ATL both east and west, Birmingham, ( Bessemer ), MEM )MS), HOU, DAL, Kansas City, CHI?, MSP. DEN, LAX, WASH, PHL, New Rochelle, Pittsburgh, STL, CLE, !

    Certainly there may be others but you get the idea. Only covered parts of present LD routes.
     
  24. Apr 9, 2019 #24

    plane2train

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    Would be nice if Norcross, GA could be added to the Crescent. Metro Atlanta is a big place, and Peachtree Station is not convenient for everyone.
     
  25. Apr 10, 2019 #25

    Anderson

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    (1) Yes, VA plans to add Suffolk. The main issue is that the tracks in use now are not the tracks they ultimately plan to use, so they don't want to build a station just to have it become redundant in a few years.
    (2) In VA, other infill stations that come to mind include Orange, VA (there have been on-again/off-again efforts on this front), Carmel Church, VA (about halfway between Richmond and Fredericksburg), Norge/Toano (on the north/west side of Williamsburg; the target here is folks taking the train from that side of town, since parking at WBG stinks and expecting folks to go to NPN is a joke...does anyone know where the Lightfoot stop was?), and possibly something between CVS and LYH. I'd also add Busch Gardens (since the overflow parking lot for them is literally within spitting distance of the tracks).

    @west point:
    Going down your list:
    -Richmond (south): I agree, insofar as most of the trains don't hit Main Street. Snarkily, one could say this is "Petersburg". The bigger problem here is the "Suffolk problem"...the long-term plan is to move traffic to the S-line, which would make any stop on the A-line redundant.
    -Raleigh (already has Cary): Raleigh/Cary is probably sufficient pending SEHSR.
    -Charlotte: Gastonia probably qualifies on the southern side of town. Kannapolis or Concord might work on the north side (bearing in mind that Salisbury is "only" 42 rail miles away)
    -ATL (both east and west): Actually, I think "Atlanta, anywhere" would be a good idea due to the parking problems. The fact that the NS tracks parallel MARTA for several miles (and several stops) makes this all the more inexcusable. Lenox, Brookhaven, or Chamblee seem like decent candidates (Lindbergh Pocket, the next stop east/north, has a bad layout for co-location while Doraville is, unfortunately, right next to a yard that NS probably doesn't want messed with, even if that might also make it ideal for "not blocking the line"). There's probably a case for moving to one of these stops (on the "east" side), adding a stop on the west side, and then dumping the current station as being redundant, poorly accessible, and badly located. Note that the current Atlanta station's lack of MARTA access is a killer here: If MARTA served it, this wouldn't be as strong a situation.
    -Birmingham (Bessemer): Probably not a big enough city/stop to quite justify.
    -Memphis: You may have a case for both sides of town at a higher service level.
    -Houston
    -Dallas: Going west, I'd argue that Fort Worth should "cut it" and that TRE should take care of the rest of the needs in between. Going east? There might be a case for something out by I-635...if you can get more trains.
    -Kansas City: Three sides to look at. Independence covers the River Runner. There's no good location towards Chicago on the Chief, and towards Topeka the pickings are a little slim as well (maybe out by I-435?).
    -Chicago: On the east side, Amtrak has experimented with Hammond-Whiting on the LD trains. It wasn't a big success. Most of the other routes have a stop (Joliet, Galesburg, and Glenview). Something co-located with the SSL (at 75th Street) might have more success, but there might just not be the demand here.
    -Minneapolis-St. Paul: There's probably a case to add a Minneapolis station as much as anything.
    -Denver: Agreed on both sides of town. In particular, westbound should help with the Ski Train as well. Eastbound, is there anywhere you could co-locate with their mass transit system?
    -LAX: All of the Amtrak routes have a stop elsewhere within the Metrolink network, but there might be a case to move the Chief over to the San Bernadino line and add one infill station at an existing Metrolink stop. The case for the Sunset Limited is more of a mess because of track configurations...ideally you'd give them both the same stopping pattern going out that way, but stopping the Sunset at San Bernadino would involve a bad backup move likely to give you a peeved host railroad...while moving the Chief to the Sunset's tracks is just going to add a host to the operation and make things worse for everyone.
    -Washington, DC: You already have Alexandria and Capitol Beltway...I mean, New Carrollton. Already covered. While we're at it, Baltimore has BWI (to the south). Martin Airport might be an option to the north...but as usual, I'm not sure of the economics of adding the stop vs adding travel time.
    -Philadelphia: Adding some trains to North Philadelphia only seems justified if you start gentrifying the area as well. Note that both routes have high-frequency commuter service, so you could arguably add any of those stops...but those time arguments show up again.
    -New Rochelle: Already stopped at by some trains, already suburban to New York.
    -Pittsburgh: Three one-a-day routings out of here, two are in the middle of the night. Dubious value.
    -St. Louis: Alton to the east, Kirkwood to the west. Covered.
    -Cleveland: Already has Elyra.

    On all of the NEC discussions, I'd say that if you got to 2-3x hourly service for a given level of train (e.g. Acela vs Regional), mixing stopping patterns (with a consistent number of stops) might be a winning move.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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