How much new service is coming? And how?

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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby electricron » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:38 pm

Senator Byrd was working to get more pork for his home state, his job.
If the Senators from Pennsylvania were terrible at taking the bacon home, don’t blame Byrd.

Byrd used the poor economic conditions of the Applachian Mountains area to get more federal economic funding help for his state just like Representatives today do so for the inner cities all across the nation. It seems like not helping the poorest of the poor is not well received by most of the bueaurcrats in D.C.

The Broadway Limited was cut decades ago. Pennsylvania has other trains, it’s not like they have none at all. Philadelphia sees more Amtrak trains than L.A. , D.C., Chicago, or Boston. The only city Amtrak serves with more trains than Philadelphia is New York.
Philadelphia sees every NEC Regional Train including those extended to Virginia and Springfield, every Acela train, every Keystone train, every Silver Service LD trains, Crescent and Cardinal LD trains, and every Carolinian and Palmetto trains. There must be more than an Amtrak train every half hour during daylight every day.

Yet here you are complaining about how poorly Amtrak services Philadelphia. What a shame it’s just Amtrak’s second busiest city. How much service do you need?

Your attitude that big cities deserve more and more and more is exactly why small states like Delaware and Rhode Island fought so hard for the Great Compromise during the Constutution Convention way back then over 200 years ago.
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:20 pm

electricron wrote:Senator Byrd was working to get more pork for his home state, his job.
If the Senators from Pennsylvania were terrible at taking the bacon home, don’t blame Byrd.

Byrd used the poor economic conditions of the Applachian Mountains area to get more federal economic funding help for his state just like Representatives today do so for the inner cities all across the nation. It seems like not helping the poorest of the poor is not well received by most of the bueaurcrats in D.C.

The Broadway Limited was cut decades ago. Pennsylvania has other trains, it’s not like they have none at all. Philadelphia sees more Amtrak trains than L.A. , D.C., Chicago, or Boston. The only city Amtrak serves with more trains than Philadelphia is New York.
Philadelphia sees every NEC Regional Train including those extended to Virginia and Springfield, every Acela train, every Keystone train, every Silver Service LD trains, Crescent and Cardinal LD trains, and every Carolinian and Palmetto trains. There must be more than an Amtrak train every half hour during daylight every day.

Yet here you are complaining about how poorly Amtrak services Philadelphia. What a shame it’s just Amtrak’s second busiest city. How much service do you need?

Your attitude that big cities deserve more and more and more is exactly why small states like Delaware and Rhode Island fought so hard for the Great Compromise during the Constutution Convention way back then over 200 years ago.


I couldn't have said this better. Of course I totally agree.
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby bdawe » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:35 pm

You look at the station-ridership map, and the small stops between Spokane and St. Paul all over-perform for towns of their size. This is why, despite lacking the intermediary Denvers, Salt Lake Cities Albuquerques or Pheonixes, the Builder has the most riders out of the EB, the CZ, the SC, and the SL . If one wants to criticize the Western LDs, it's odd to pick the strongest of them
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby east point » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:05 pm

matthewsaggie wrote:Every time I read the term *********"" my interest in additional service in PA or revival of the BL declines that much more. .


Good point. What is ignored is the money cost. Re institution or worse a new route has very high up front costs that have been well documented on the various attempts to add service. Any dropped route savings would take 30+ years to meet capital costs of restored / new routes. Deficit hawks will scream.
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:56 am

east point wrote:
matthewsaggie wrote:Every time I read the term *********"" my interest in additional service in PA or revival of the BL declines that much more. .


Good point. What is ignored is the money cost. Re institution or worse a new route has very high up front costs that have been well documented on the various attempts to add service. Any dropped route savings would take 30+ years to meet capital costs of restored / new routes. Deficit hawks will scream.


I think it depends on your definition of "Broadway Limited". If you use the old Amtrak Broadway Limited/Three Rivers route and have to use the route west of PGH (whether it's the Ft. Wayne? route pre 1990 or Fostoria? 1990-2005) that could be hard to bring back. But to have a route using the Pennsylvanian route NYP-PGH and Capitol Limited PGH-CHI, the route is already used by Amtrak, the stations are in place, it's just a matter of getting NS's blessing (of course that's the hard part). And what should be the easiest thing of all would simply be just connecting through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited as the PRIIA suggested. Sure there would still be the long 4 hour gap in PGH westbound and 2 1/2 gap eastbound but instead of getting out of the train and carrying your belongings you can stay in your train (and eastbound you can sleep). I (and I am sure the Amish from Lancaster) would welcome this upgrade, at least eastbound, if a separate train is not made. I still think a separate train is worthwhile and the Michigan detour is worth doing as I'm sure a lot of Michigan passengers also wish to travel east and can't find the graveyard shift transfer and the Thruway bus pleasant either. But the through cars is certainly an upgrade and was requested in the PRIIA in 2010 and seven years and counting. The one drawback would be the Pennsylvanian would have to wait for the Capitol Limited each day. However, there was talk at the state level about a second Pennsylvanian frequency so if there's a second Pennsylvanian then there should be less objection to the through cars (or to passengers missing the Pennsylvanian because of the Capitol Limited).
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby electricron » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:44 am

Philly Amtrak Fan wrote:I think it depends on your definition of "Broadway Limited". If you use the old Amtrak Broadway Limited/Three Rivers route and have to use the route west of PGH (whether it's the Ft. Wayne? route pre 1990 or Fostoria? 1990-2005) that could be hard to bring back. But to have a route using the Pennsylvanian route NYP-PGH and Capitol Limited PGH-CHI, the route is already used by Amtrak, the stations are in place, it's just a matter of getting NS's blessing (of course that's the hard part). And what should be the easiest thing of all would simply be just connecting through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited as the PRIIA suggested. Sure there would still be the long 4 hour gap in PGH westbound and 2 1/2 gap eastbound but instead of getting out of the train and carrying your belongings you can stay in your train (and eastbound you can sleep). I (and I am sure the Amish from Lancaster) would welcome this upgrade, at least eastbound, if a separate train is not made. I still think a separate train is worthwhile and the Michigan detour is worth doing as I'm sure a lot of Michigan passengers also wish to travel east and can't find the graveyard shift transfer and the Thruway bus pleasant either. But the through cars is certainly an upgrade and was requested in the PRIIA in 2010 and seven years and counting. The one drawback would be the Pennsylvanian would have to wait for the Capitol Limited each day. However, there was talk at the state level about a second Pennsylvanian frequency so if there's a second Pennsylvanian then there should be less objection to the through cars (or to passengers missing the Pennsylvanian because of the Capitol Limited).

You can transfer trains today in Pittsburgh, or take an entirely different route to get from eastern Pennsylvania to Chicago. Reinventing the Broadway Limited isn't needed.
You can harp and complain about it every day, every hour, every minute, every second; it's not going to change the fact that Amtrak doesn't want to reinvent it. :(
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:13 pm

I predict the Capitol Limited will become a single-level train, and when that happens we will see a Broadway section just like the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited. Not before.
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby gokeefe » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:29 am

One item I think everyone has missed ...

Downeaster to Rockland in 2018
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:48 pm

gokeefe wrote:One item I think everyone has missed ...

Downeaster to Rockland in 2018



YES!!!!
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby Arlington » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:40 pm

asull85 wrote:The Greenfield thing is now a definite. I'm unsure on the timeline but additional crews will begin qualifying shortly.

This is the northward extension of the Springfield - New Haven Shuttles, and as ever the answer to "And how?" is thanks to state support (from Massachusetts, in this case)
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:56 pm

electricron wrote:Senator Byrd was working to get more pork for his home state, his job. Byrd used the poor economic conditions of the Applachian Mountains area to get more federal economic funding help for his state just like Representatives today do so for the inner cities all across the nation.
It was Kennedy who proposed an "Appalachian initiative" for regional development and fulfilled under the Johnson administration in 1965 as a joint federal-state commission (ARC). So assistance for Appalachia was included in the "Great Society" platform, along with urban development.
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby leviramsey » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:26 am

east point wrote:The slow sections can be upgraded to 60 - 80 MPH and you get more bang for the buck instead of spending first on higher speeds Going from 60 - 80 MPH takes much more track miles than 30 - 60 . 80 MPH/ You get more time reduction with the 30 -60 increase. That means much more money !s available to do more mile of eliminating the slow sections. That is what NC DOT is doing.

That is how you increase the average speed better than that pushing first to increase top speed. Know It is not as sexy but -----------


Higher max speeds are sexy and do have a marketing benefit. But upgrading the lower speed segments has far more effect.

30 miles of 100 mph and 10 miles of 30 mph => 38 minutes (63 mph average speed)
30 miles of 200 mph and 10 miles of 30 mph => 29 minutes (83 mph average speed)
30 miles of 100 mph and 10 miles of 60 mph => 28 minutes (86 mph average speed)

( #harmonicmeans )

The analysis here is the same as for cars, so people thinking in car terms can understand up to here.

But for a train (or a plane) headway matters. If the train arrives at 6am and you want to get there at or before 12 noon, that's not that different from 6 hours of 0 mph. The airlines have figured this out over the last 30 or so years (as they've converted routes from 1 flight/day with as big a plane as possible to several flights/day with smaller planes).

First approximation: desired arrival time at a destination is uniformly distributed over 7am to 7pm local time. So a 6am arrival is an expected wait time of 7 hours, 7am is 6 hours, 8am is a 7 hour wait time, 9am is a 8 hour wait time, and 7pm is an 18 hour wait time (due to the effect of an overnight wait). Add 9 hours of 0mph to travel and even if it takes the train 1 hour to travel 150 miles, the effective speed is 15 mph. Add a second frequency, and you cut the wait time by half, which nearly doubles the speed for the shorter trips (the 150 mile trip with 1 hour of travel time goes up to 27 mph, which is faster than a teleporting ansible that works once a day).

Focus on acquiring rolling stock and paying for smaller upgrades (signals, passing sidings, etc.) to enable n+1 (at least where n is less than 10 or so; at n>10, the extra frequency might start to get beaten by moving the train faster) frequencies where it makes sense to. Maybe try to get a few miles here or there upgraded to 79 so you can say "travel at up to 79 mph" for marketing, but the real gains come from the extra frequency. At the same time, don't be afraid to increase fares to capture the increased consumer surplus.

As I noted, airlines have figured this out. Transit supporters who don't actually use transit (e.g. it's a politically symbolic gesture), which includes most decision makers at transit agencies in this country, don't get this and instead fixate on (if we're lucky) making the trains run faster. Amtrak having an airline exec for a CEO who presumably gets this is a huge step forward.
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby Greg Moore » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:29 am

Related to this is the network effect. The LSL to Springfield is useless to me if I for some reason want to ride the Vermonter.
But, having additional trains allows more useful connections. This has been shown on multiple routes as I recall that going from 1x day to 2x a day often leads to more than 2x the ridership.

It's one reason I'm watching the Springfield-New Haven shuttles and other MassDOT plans closely. It could get quite interesting in New England in the next decade or so.
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby ebtmikado » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:26 pm

Arlington wrote:
asull85 wrote:The Greenfield thing is now a definite. I'm unsure on the timeline but additional crews will begin qualifying shortly.

This is the northward extension of the Springfield - New Haven Shuttles, and as ever the answer to "And how?" is thanks to state support (from Massachusetts, in this case)


Any new information on this?
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Re: How much new service is coming? And how?

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:02 pm

Still moving forward, crew qualification was reported to be underway a month or two ago.
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