Cardinal discussion

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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby Arlington » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:26 pm

I suspect that adding Lynchburg to the Cardinal would be a huge win. LYH does 86k passengers a year, vs Stauntons 6k (which might be JMU students going to/from the West?). Adding Chicago to LYH's route map should be very powerful. Liberty University (res. enrollment 15,000) likely draws a lot of students from WV, OH, IN, & IL, and has said they'd like a station on campus (which wasn't compatible with going to both ROA & CLT, if I remember correctly)

Even some crazy moves/reverses/wyes in Lynchburg would be worth it for now. It connects a powerful market on an under-used Cardinal slot across the Long Bridge.

Also if you could find a stop along CSX @ I-81 (Natural Bridge, a draw in itself, would be PERFECT) it would serve Lexington VA, home of both VMI (enrollment 1700) and Washington & Lee (enrollment 2250) which have a reasonably multi-state student bodies.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby Alcochaser » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:36 pm

That C&O Southern connection at Lynchburg is AWKWARD to say the least.

You have to creep behind a small yard on the C&O side and you come out on the Southern facing the wrong way.

Fairly steep too.

It could be done, you would have to use the wye off the Southern yard.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:45 pm

Yeah, that's what I was referring to in my earlier comments. There isn't a good connection otherwise, unfortunately.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby Alcochaser » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:37 pm

It wouldn't be the worst thing. The Kentucky Cardinal used to do that crazy seesaw at Indianapolis.
The C&O side and Southern Side have CTC power switches.
The actual connection belongs to the NS. There is some kind of signaling on the connection. Street view from Garnet Street shows a couple of signals on that track.
The southern yard has a CTC switch in and out of it too.

The only thing that worries me is that wye is on the main N&W to SOU connection. I think it's pretty busy. Plus NS would have to leave 10 car lengths on one of the yard tracks for turning the cardinal.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:59 pm

Alcochaser wrote:It wouldn't be the worst thing. The Kentucky Cardinal used to do that crazy seesaw at Indianapolis.
The C&O side and Southern Side have CTC power switches.
The actual connection belongs to the NS. There is some kind of signaling on the connection. Street view from Garnet Street shows a couple of signals on that track.
The southern yard has a CTC switch in and out of it too.

The only thing that worries me is that wye is on the main N&W to SOU connection. I think it's pretty busy. Plus NS would have to leave 10 car lengths on one of the yard tracks for turning the cardinal.

Mhmm - that's why there won't ever be permanent Cardinal service via CLT, LYH, and CLF. Shame, because like Arlington says, it's a bigger market than Staunton on a more well-maintained set of railroads.

Looks like there was once another SOU-C&O connection along Blackwater Creek from the old C&O depot to the current Amtrak (SOU) depot, which would have allowed a backing move both up (eastbound) and down (westbound) without needing a wye. Since it's now part of the James River Heritage Trail and has a (probably low-clearance) tunnel en route, let's call restoration of that route a no-go.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby Alcochaser » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:35 pm

I will have to do some research. All those connections may be far less busy then they used to be. A lot of that stuff was for Coal trains.
The C&O to SOU connection exists at Lynchburg for NS trackage rights on the ex C&O from Glasgow to Lynchburg. That is why the connection is signaled.

You know, there might be another way now that I see Glasgow VA. The C&O to N&W connection at Glasgow faces the correct way. The correct wyes also exist at Front Royal and Manassas.
No backup needed. All lines are main lines with CTC (I believe), all the connections and wyes are CTC.

So what about running the the N&W instead of the BB?
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:15 pm

It would be interesting to see the options mapped out for those not familiar with the area.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby Alcochaser » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:07 pm

justalurker66 wrote:It would be interesting to see the options mapped out for those not familiar with the area.


Look here.
http://www.nscorp.com/nscorphtml/pdf/system-map.pdf
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby Arlington » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:48 pm

Virginia state rail map
http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/media/1133 ... prints.pdf

Has Lynchburg detail inset (big file!)
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:33 pm

cardlyncgburg1.png

OK ... that helps with the big picture. The reroute through Lynchburg is shown highlighted.

Checking Arlington's link - No insert for Lynchburg? But enough info to draw the route,
cardlyncgburg2.png

I am assuming that the train would go south to the wye, turn, then go back north and either take the NS to go to DC or the turnout to go to CHI.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:41 am

Using the ex-N&W would work, but that's kind of like killing a fly with a hammer - you lose several large destinations, though you'd gain Front Royal, Manassas and Waynesboro (does the Cardinal already stop here?) I also don't know how willing NS would be to have passenger trains on the Crescent Corridor, with the pains they've taken to separate freight and passenger traffic north of Charlotte already.

justalurker: that's exactly right.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby dgvrengineer » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:44 pm

The line from Roanoke to Riverton JCT has been or is in the process of being downgraded to 35mph to avoid PTC. Most traffic has been moved to the main Via Manassas. Many more potential customers Via Charlottesville.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby Alcochaser » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:39 am

dgvrengineer wrote:The line from Roanoke to Riverton JCT has been or is in the process of being downgraded to 35mph to avoid PTC. Most traffic has been moved to the main Via Manassas. Many more potential customers Via Charlottesville.


Doesn't surprise me. It's no speedway. MAS is only 45 with copious amounts of other restrictions.

Even with the wye move. Lynchburg C&O to Sou move would be quicker.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby jhdeasy » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:25 pm

I observed The Cardinal, train 51, at ALX on Friday June 23rd, while a half-dozen members of the RF&P Historical Society were conducting their annual dawn-to-dusk survey of railroading, something that they do on the Friday closest to the Spring Equinox. The consist order was:

P42 locomotive
A2 coach
A2 coach
A2 coach
A2 cafe
A1 coach (business class)
V1 sleeper
V1 sleeper
V2 baggage

The last time I had seen The Cardinal earlier this spring, business class service was provided in an unstaffed A1 cafe car with 2&1 seating on one end and dinette table/booths at the other end. I'm wondering if the A1 coach I saw last Friday, most likely with 2&2 seating, was a temporary substitute for a bad order car of the other configuration.

I think the working A2 food service car had the short end (where the sit down meals are served to sleeper passengers) positioned facing the coaches, and the long end (the lounge area) facing the sleepers and business class. I think things would work better if the car were turned in the other direction, but I recognize that turning a car at Sunnyside Yard in NY is a complex evolution that requires substantial extra effort - a trip into Penn Station followed by a trip back around the loop at Sunnyside. Probably deemed "not worth the trouble" by a busy Yardmaster with higher priority tasks.
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Postby David Benton » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:32 pm

On the Cardinal Facebook page, a lady described her trip , where a coach did indeed substitute for the business Class cafe. So it seems they do not have a spare Cafe car. Or possibly not a spare at both end terminals.
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