Texas Eagle Discussion

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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:26 pm

New stop open: Daily Journal Online

Arcadia Valley welcomes Amtrak

The platform lights illuminated the Texas Eagle in an almost other-worldly glow late Thursday night as passengers disembarked for the first time in decades from a train on a scheduled stop at the historic Arcadia Valley depot, now the newest Amtrak station in the nation.

Adding to the ambiance of the evening was the flash of fireworks and the sound of cheers in the air as around 150 people celebrated the historic moment when 29 dignitaries stepped off the train after having been bussed up to the St. Louis Amtrak station earlier that evening from Arcadia to take part in the inaugural ride.
...
Bringing an Amtrak stop to the Arcadia Valley has been a work in progress for many years and has brought with it headaches, problems, delays and setbacks from the very start. Amtrak, MoDOT, Union Pacific, the city of Arcadia and members of Our Town Tomorrow began meeting in 2012 to discuss the documents and funding needed to make the Arcadia Amtrak stop possible.
...
Daily adult coach fares range from $18-$35 to St. Louis, $51-$106 to Chicago, $42-$96 to Little Rock and $92-$178 to Ft. Worth, prior to discounting.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby The Interloafer » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Does anyone have any pics of the historic first station-stop? (Either ceremonial or revenue?)
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:58 pm

Coverage of the Arcadia station opening from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

But the payoff could be significant. Three new restaurants have opened in the last month or so because of the station, Kelsheimer said. A business is interested in adding a rental-car service, and plans are in the works for a trolley bus to make regular trips to nearby state parks.

Still, the times the train comes and goes are less than conducive to visits such as day trips. The train leaves Arcadia at 4:19 a.m. and is slated to arrive in St. Louis about three hours later. It goes south from Arcadia at 10:02 p.m.

“I really don’t think it’s a negative at all,” said Sandy Francis, director of partnership development for the Iron County Economic Partnership, of the train timetable.
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby Morning Zephyr » Thu May 11, 2017 12:19 pm

I received a notice that my St Louis - Austin reservation for June 12 has been changed, to depart St Louis 8:55 PM (instead of 7:55 PM) and arrive Austin 6:22 PM (instead of 6:30 PM). The notice didn't say if this change is temporary or a schedule change. The 1 hour 8 minute time savings is intriguing - does anyone know if this is a special re-route, or a new schedule altogether?
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby Morning Zephyr » Thu May 11, 2017 12:41 pm

The new timings appear for all the dates in June I checked, and an hour savings is entirely between Ft Worth and Austin. Current schedule is leave Ft Worth 2:10 PM arrive Austin 6:22 PM, and new schedule is leave Ft Worth 3:10 arrive Austin 6:22. Many schedules are padded, but how did they find an hour's savings in the 201 mile segment?
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby electricron » Thu May 11, 2017 2:25 pm

Interesting question. Here's a little math......
201 / 4.2 = 47.8 mph average
201 / 3.2 = 62.8 mph average
Note, there isn't any section of class 4 single track in the entire USA I'm aware of where Amtrak is capable of an average speed of 60 mph. This would be the first! I'm thinking it's another schedule mistake that will make the Eagle late every day into San Antonio.
What's interesting is the schedule in the opposite direction. The March released schedule states 4.5 hours, so does the national schedule released in May. What does your June schedule state?
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Thu May 11, 2017 10:31 pm

Looks like they calculated route miles with no stops at max track speed.
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby Morning Zephyr » Fri May 12, 2017 9:49 am

Most of the time "savings" are in the 38 miles between Temple and Taylor, which goes from 53 minutes in the current schedule to 2 minutes in the June schedule, so it must be an error. I ran origin/destination pairs in the amtrak.com trip planner for May 15 and June 13 and got the following:

May 15 June 13
Ft Worth 14:10 15:10
Cleburne 14:52 15:52
McGregor 16:00 17:00
Temple 16:43 17:43
Taylor 17:36 17:45
Austin 18:22 18:22

I just went to Amtrak.com and put in Temple to Taylor for June 13 and it told me the trip takes two minutes. Clearly there is an error there between Temple and Taylor. The system has the train running exactly an hour behind its current schedule from St Louis to Temple, then at Taylor it makes up 51 minutes in 38 miles and is only 9 minutes behind its current schedule. Something's wrong.
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby Morning Zephyr » Sun May 14, 2017 3:45 pm

Here is an explanation I found on another message board. The hypothesis is that there is a reroute between Longview and Taylor, and that although Amtrak.com shows times for those intermediate stops (including Dallas and Fort Worth) the train is not going through any of those cities. It seems the reroute is roughly an hour faster than the normal route. Seems like I lucked into some rare mileage, if this report proves accurate.

Quote
To accommodate extensive Union Pacific track work west of Longview, the Texas Eagle will operate on an alternate route through Texas as indicated below:


Upcoming Texas Eagle detour in Texas. Beginning with train 21 on May 24, continuing through and including train 21 of June 21, (22 of May 25 through June 22), the Texas Eagle will take an alternate route through parts of Texas. After Longview, at Big Sandy, train 21 will travel on the former Cotton Belt to Tyler, the former SP to Corsicana, the former T&NO to Hearne and the former MP to Taylor TX, to rejoin the usual route to Austin and San Antonio. During this time, the train will operate one hour later between Chicago and Taylor. Train 22 will divert from the usual route at Taylor, operating on the former Missouri Pacific through Palestine direct to Longview. Train 22 will operate its regular times San Antonio to Taylor, but will operate one hour earlier from Longview to Chicago. Passengers on train 21 for stations Mineola-Temple will detrain at Longview for charter bus service to destination. Passengers on train 22 for stations Temple-Mineola will detrain at Austin for charter bus service to destination. This detour will provide the opportunity for some unusual mileage for rare mileage fans.



Unquote
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby Backshophoss » Sun May 14, 2017 5:04 pm

The area that seems to "have" problems with the Eagle's otp is the UP Austin sub from Taylor Jct to Tower 105/Tower 112
in San Antonio

Enjoy that "Detour" that avoids the D-FW Metroplex. :-)
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby Morning Zephyr » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:35 pm

Now, three weeks after the first notice of change, I received a second call from Amtrak, stating another change: departure St Louis still 20:55 (rather than the usual 19:55) but now arrival at Austin 19:22, rather than the 18:22 (usual time) which they had told me earlier. So either:
a) the re-route is still happening, but is not an hour faster than the normal route
or
b) the re-route is cancelled, but they are keeping the departure time St Louis an hour behind normal, and then everyplace else an hour behind normal too.
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby Morning Zephyr » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:13 pm

Rode the Big Sandy-Tyler-Corsicana-Hearne-Taylor detour today. Left Longview just about time, and arrived Taylor almost two hours early. We encountered very few freights. The Eagle had to sit at Taylor two hours before continuing south on schedule. (I called a car service out of Austin to dog catch me the final 36 miles.) Crews are changing at Hearne.
In other news, dining car food is much better than a year ago.
And in other news, we met the northbound 22 this morning at North Little Rock, meaning he was running about five hours late.
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby David Benton » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:57 am

A bit off topic to the current discussion, but whilst looking at the detour on the map, I looked north. and I wondered if a slight dogleg , from Little Rock to Memphis , then on up to St.Louis, was possible / viable?
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby electricron » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:14 am

It's possible to get to Memphis easily from Little Rock. It'll cause the Eagle to run on the same tracks north of Memphis far into Illinois, duplicating coverage of the City of New Orleans for hundreds of miles. It'll cause reversing moves at the base of the McArthur bridge in St. Louis on some of the busiest tracks in America - assuming you'll still want to go to St. Louis. Yes, it would be possible, No it wouldn't be practicable.
There's a reason why the Texas Eagle has that name. Might as well call it something else if we move it off its namesake tracks. Check out the Missouri Pacific Eagles.......
http://www.trainweb.org/screamingeagle/eagle.html
And you'll find out where the phrase "Screaming Eagles" came from......
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Re: Texas Eagle Discussion

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:03 pm

Very interesting background; however, "fame and the thanks of the management" seems pretty chintzy considering that the Reading gave a $25 savings bond (serious money in 1938) to the employee who came up with the name Crusader.
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