Retiming Lake Shore limited

Discussion in 'Amtrak’s Future: Member Ideas and Discussion' started by railgeekteen, Mar 13, 2018.

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  1. Mar 13, 2018 #1

    railgeekteen

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    As you know, Ohio should get a daytime train. Cleveland has two trains, but both stop in the middle of the night. The Lake Shore limited should be retimed to give Cleveland a daytime train, as most of the route is served by other trains.
     
  2. Mar 13, 2018 #2

    Ryan

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    What is your proposed schedule?
     
  3. Mar 13, 2018 #3

    railgeekteen

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    I don't know the exact schedule, this is just an idea that I have to improve the national network. If this is a big problem for some reason than a second Lake Shore Limited servicing Ohio in the daytime would be a good idea.
     
  4. Mar 13, 2018 #4

    jebr

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    The biggest current problem is that the LSL is currently timed in part to make connections from the western LD trains and serve as a cleanup train of sorts should other connections be missed. The most recent official proposal I've heard was to switch the CL and the LSL's Chicago departure time, but that still wouldn't get Ohio a daytime train.

    The only way to get a daytime train would be to create a second daily LSL train, which isn't a bad idea but someone needs to fund it. Ohio wouldn't even take the funding for the 3 C's rail corridor, so I doubt there's going to be much political will, especially in Ohio, to help pay for a second daily LSL.
     
  5. Mar 13, 2018 #5

    Trogdor

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    It has been looked at many times before. The problems are, generally:

    The Lake Shore is the "late train" to connect from western trains. In order to serve Ohio in daylight, you would lose all of your connections, and also don't have a backup in case trains miss the connection to the Capitol Limited. The westbound situation isn't any better.

    The value of the connections is greater than the additional revenue you'd get from serving Cleveland during the day.

    If Cleveland is served midday, then Chicago and New York wind up with overnight/late night (or very early morning) times. Then you're just trading one bad time for another (or two).

    There's also the issue of limited flexibility in trying to avoid the train being at CHI or NYP during their respective rush hours due to limited platform space (and this is the case even without trackwork projects in New York).
     
  6. Mar 13, 2018 #6

    Philly Amtrak Fan

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    Retimed, no. Second train, yes.
     
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  7. Mar 13, 2018 #7

    jis

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    At this point we collectively break into the Abba song "Money, money, money ... " [​IMG]
     
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  8. Mar 13, 2018 #8

    Railroad Bill

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    We Cleveland riders have gotten used to the current schedule. Like the ability to make all the westbound Chicago LD trains. Like the idea of an alternative from the CL if our western LD trains are late. Like no rush hour traffic in CLE at 2 & 3 am [​IMG] And the EB LSL has a good time in the summer, Nearly light all the way to NY. So, knowing that there will be no money from the state to add trains. We just live with it and go on.
     
  9. Mar 13, 2018 #9

    jebr

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    Looking at the schedule, if fundling became available and if the host railroads were generally cooperative ( [​IMG] ) you could put a second train nine hours ahead of the current LSL schedule eastbound (12:30 PM departure Chicago, 6:20 PM Toledo departure, 8:50 PM Cleveland departure, 9:23 AM arrival into NYP) and 8 hours and 15 minutes after the current LSL westbound (11:55 PM departure NYP, 12:00 PM departure Cleveland, 2:45 PM departure Toledo, 6:00 PM arrival Chicago.) It wouldn't be my choice for the once-daily schedule, but it would fit the bill as a good second daily train schedule. It offers the Ohio daylight service that's been desired, it offers a late-night train westbound along the Empire Service corridor (currently the latest one that goes past Albany is the current LSL outside of Friday's Ethan Allen Express schedule,) and it avoids the worst of rush hour and puts arriving trains right after (or near the end) of rush hour so a late train won't find itself hitting rush hour most of the time.

    You'd also have the benefit of it still being late enough in the day for people to connect from the Pere Marquette, Wolverine, CONO, Lincoln Service, Illinois Zephyr, and Hiawatha. The arriving train could connect with the City of New Orleans, the Hiawatha, and the Greyhound Thruway to Kalamazoo, Dearborn, and Detroit. Going a bit earlier would restore a few more connections (there's the Wolverine at 5:50 PM, the Illinois Zephyr at 5:55 PM, the Pere Marquette at 6:30 PM, and the Lincoln Service at 7:00 PM) but then you'd hit rush hour or get too close to the current LSL schedule.

    ETA: The Boston section would arrive from Chicago about 11:00 AM and depart South Station for Chicago about 9:05 PM. There wouldn't be any issues with rush hour there either and the times overall seem decent. This all assumes a second train would be able to use the current schedule timing, just shifted.
     
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  10. Mar 13, 2018 #10

    ParanoidAndroid

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    Maybe a CHI to Niag. Falls day train? Would go through major population centers CHI, South Bend, Northern Ohio, Erie, and Buffalo in daylight. Maybe to PGH?

    Edit: The schedule above would work better.

    CLE-CIN should be farther along now, had Kasich not canceled it, saying that 'nobody rides trains', thus creating a feedback loop.

    Once CHI-IND is done improving, CHI-HUN (through CIN) could be done in daylight. Only a place to store it in HUN is needed (similar to the Palmetto in SAV).
     
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  11. Mar 13, 2018 #11

    Philly Amtrak Fan

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    I have suggested several times to just reschedule the Cardinal to run CIN-IND-CHI outside the graveyard shift. That's what the peak audience should be (it isn't because CIN-IND is during the graveyard shift). You would lose western connections in CHI. Would Cincinnati passengers rather get up at 3am in the morning instead? I'd keep the Hoosier State schedule as is to retain the western connections on those days. Yes it would be a different schedule on different days, so what?
     
  12. Mar 13, 2018 #12

    Thirdrail7

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    I believe this is complicated by operational issues as well. Unless you're forking over another set of equipment, 49(pd) turns to 48(sd). If you move 48 to an earlier departure time, it is likely that you'll need to move 49 earlier to give it time to turn.

    If memory serves, moving 49 is problematic because NS wants 29 and 49 operating in close proximity so they can have a (somewhat clear) path. If they still insist on that, you'll need to move 29 as well.

    This isn't as simple as just changing times.
     
  13. Mar 13, 2018 #13

    jis

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    When all that you have to satisfy is the neat columns in a limited timetable spreadsheet, such detail may fall by the wayside sometimes. [​IMG]
     
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  14. Mar 13, 2018 #14

    railgeekteen

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    I'm all for better times for CIN, but it would be a shame to cross the New River Gorge at night.
     
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  15. Mar 23, 2018 #15

    neroden

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    I believe it would pay for itself, operationally and in rolling stock terms.

    If you could get it through the problematic "host railroad mob shakedown process", that is. :-(
     
  16. Mar 23, 2018 #16

    neroden

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    And here we have a reference to the mob shakedown process in action...

    The only long-term solution is to get the tracks out of the hands of these mobsters. As Richard Anderson has said, they are violating the agreement by which they were allowed to stop operating passenger service themselves: violating both the letter and the spirit. If they won't comply with their public service obligations, they need to have the tracks removed from them and put into responsible hands.
     
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  17. Mar 28, 2018 #17

    IndyLions

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    In the name of eminent domain (or some other made up legal excuse) the US should have taken the tracks back years ago...

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  18. Mar 29, 2018 #18

    railiner

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    Never mind that... they should never have approved the sale and breakup of Conrail to CSX and NS....
     
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  19. Mar 30, 2018 #19

    Just-Thinking-51

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    A schedule for a second train in the LSL route by Neroden.

    Of course it not a retiming of the LSL. But its a elevator pitch, that written down.
     
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  20. Mar 30, 2018 #20

    jis

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    It is truly sad that we cannot do NY to Chicago in 16-17 hours anymore, while similar distances are done by many LD trains in other countries in 17 hours or less with as many as 7-9 stops on the way, with max speed restricted 81mph, even in maddeningly dense passenger and freight traffic.
     
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  21. Mar 31, 2018 #21

    railiner

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    81mph? Did they "raise it" from 79mph? [​IMG]

    Agreed that they should be able to run at least a 17 hour schedule. If they added another train, not having to combine at ALB with a BOS section would help that cause...
     
  22. Mar 31, 2018 #22

    jis

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    US laws do not apply in other countries. 130kph is roughly 81mph.

    I noticed that I missed the phrase "in other countries" in my original post, which I have now inserted to disambiguate. In the absence of that phrase, railner, your question was a legitimate one, and my answer makes sense only with that phrase in there. Sorry about the confusion.


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  23. Apr 1, 2018 #23

    neroden

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    Minor explication on my "two a day" proposal. (Which I would push more actively if... well, if I didn't spend most of my life sick and taking care of medical problems, frankly.)

    There isn't enough BOS-ALB business to justify two trains per day; Amtrak rarely fills the existing rather small Boston section. So if we got TWO A DAY only one of them would have a Boston section. The other would not.

    I think the existing eastbound LSL should be retimed to its original earlier departure from Chicago as proposed in the PIP. (Acting as a "cleanup train" is inappropriate for one of the most successful LD trains; give the CL the cleanup role, it'll help its weak ridership.)

    The westbound LSL should also depart earlier, to make it possible to get to 9 AM meetings in Chicago. There's no commuter traffic coming in on this route to Chicago so there's no commuter rush to avoid.

    I also made a slight revision as someone pointed out that people get out of events in NYC very late; it makes Albany more viable.

    Great Lakes Express (slight revision)

    (Eastbound)

    Chicago 10:00 AM

    Toledo 3:50 PM

    Cleveland 6:20 PM

    Buffalo 9:21 PM

    Syracuse 11:48 PM

    Albany 4:15 AM

    New York 6:53 AM

    (This requires a new slot through upstate NY.)

    (Westbound)

    New York 12:35 AM

    Albany 4:00 AM

    Syracuse 6:44 AM

    Buffalo 8:54 AM

    Cleveland 12:40 PM

    Toledo 3:10 PM

    Chicago 6:40 PM

    (This requires a new slot through upstate NY.)

    Lake Shore Limited

    (Eastbound)

    Chicago 6:30 PM

    Toledo 12:20 AM

    Cleveland 2:50 AM

    Buffalo 5:51 AM

    Syracuse 8:18 AM

    Albany 1:45 PM

    New York 3:23 PM

    (Springfield 3:00 PM -- makes Vermonter-Boston connection)

    (Boston 5:28 PM)

    (Note: this takes the slot of 280 through upstate NY. The existing LSL slot should be used for an Empire Service train from Niagara Falls.)

    (Westbound)

    (Boston 11:35 PM)

    (Springfield 2:08 PM -- makes Boston-Vermonter connection)

    New York 2:25 PM

    Albany 5:50 PM

    Syracuse 8:34 PM

    Buffalo 10:44 PM

    Cleveland 2:30 AM

    Toledo 5:00 AM

    Chicago 8:30 AM

    (Note: this takes the slot of #283 through upstate NY. The existing LSL slot should be used for another Empire Service train to Niagara Falls.)

    The dining car on the LSL should go to Boston, since the schedule revisions make it unnecessary on the NY side. The cafe car should go to NY. Boston should get a full business class car, since there's enough demand.

    These schedules could all be shifted around by an hour or so in either direction and still have the same positive effects.
     
  24. Apr 1, 2018 #24

    jebr

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    The biggest problem I currently see with the Great Lakes Express is the arrival time into NYP: a 6:53 AM arrival means that any late train is hitting rush hour (both for track capacity through Metro North territory and platform availability at NYP.) I'm not sure if pushing the Chicago time to be earlier than 9 AM would hit any platform capacity issues or not, but at least any late train would push itself out of rush hour so it wouldn't be as big of a deal. (That being said, until the LSL has very strong OTP, I think it'd be a bit unnecessary to worry about making appointments that are within an hour or two of arrival; frankly, Amtrak isn't reliable enough on their LD services to be able to count on that sort of timekeeping.)
     
  25. Apr 1, 2018 #25

    railiner

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    How about this, based on current running times over segments, added to the New York / Chicago mix....?

    | /|\

    \|/ |

    Train No. 41 ET Train No. 40

    5:10 PM Lv NEW YORK Ar 11:15 AM

    5:27 PM Newark 10:53 AM

    6:02 PM Trenton 10:18 AM

    6:30 PM Ar Philadelphia Lv 9:50 AM

    6:42 PM Lv Philadelphia Ar 9:35 AM

    7:05 PM Paoli 9:10 AM

    7:45 PM Lancaster 8:30 AM

    7:59 PM Elizabethtown 8:16 AM

    8:20 PM Ar Harrisburg Lv 7:55 AM

    8:30 PM Lv Harrisburg Ar 7:45 AM

    9:40 PM Lewistown 6:34 AM

    10:16 PM Huntingdon 5:28 AM

    10:42 PM Tyrone 5:02 AM

    11:00 PM Altoona 4:46 AM

    11:54 PM Johnstown 3:52 AM

    12:35 AM Latrobe 3:11 AM

    12:46 AM Greensburg 3:01 AM

    1:35 AM Ar Pittsburgh Lv 2:20 AM

    1:45 AM Lv Pittsburgh Ar 2:05 AM

    3:25 AM Alliance 12:21 AM

    4:36 AM Ar Cleveland Lv 11:10 PM

    4:45 AM Lv Cleveland Ar 11:01 PM

    5:15 AM Elyria 10:31 PM

    5:48 AM Sandusky 9:58 PM

    6:40 AM Ar Toledo Lv 9:06 PM

    6:50 AM Lv Toledo Ar 8:56 PM

    8:04 AM Waterloo 7:42 PM

    8:57 AM Elkhart 6:49 PM

    9:17 AM South Bend 6:29 PM

    CT

    10:05 AM Ar CHICAGO Lv 4:00 PM

    $$$

    I didn't research what impact it would have on any current schedules, or connections....just an excersize to see what a modern "Broadway Limited" might look like... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2018
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