Single-end stations at midpoints

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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby andrewjw » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:31 pm

I can confirm the Cardinal does NOT back into or out of DC Union Station, but uses lower level platforms which are on through tracks.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby gokeefe » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:09 pm

CarterB wrote:Part of Washington DC Union station is stub end tracks...(west tracks) IIRC...the Cardinal always backs into Union Station on way to/from NY/CHI.


Not according to this video.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby east point » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:32 pm

Spent a lot of time in NOL just after Katrina. For a short while trains could not use the maintenance loop and nosed in. Switcher then took train to the wyes at Carrolton or East city. Once fixed then all observed backed in.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:52 pm

gokeefe wrote:
CarterB wrote:Part of Washington DC Union station is stub end tracks...(west tracks) IIRC...the Cardinal always backs into Union Station on way to/from NY/CHI.


Not according to this video.

Was thinking about this. The only way the Cardinal would have to back into or out of DC would be if it was heading west on the B&O Metropolitan Sub for some reason. That would mean a trip through the Ivy City wye and a reverse move. For the usual C&O route west it should be a straight through run over the Long Bridge.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby CarterB » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:03 am

The Cardinal, which runs NYP to CHI, not the Cap that ends at DC. I took the Cardinal some years ago and we backed into DC Union so that cars were facing right way for the entire trip NYP to CHI
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby Hawaiitiki » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:23 pm

Another one that sort of counts. The ACES services that NJT used to run NYP>Newark>Atlantic City had to do a K turn near the Delair Bridge which isn't equipped with a crossover to allow south-bound trains to seamlessly access from the NEC (IMO a big problem if NJT ever wants to expand service in South Jersey). Took it a few times, the turn was never all that pleasant, took way to long, the HEP went off for about 5 minutes, and often non-railroad-literate people on board thought the train had broken down.

Also, another thing that European railroads are more comfortable doing is splitting trains mid-journey fairly seamlessly. (e.g. Coaches 1-5 go to XXX, coaches 6-8 go to YYY). I know sort of off-topic, but is there anywhere in the United States where this goes on?...seamlessly. I don't mean a 30-45 min operation. I mean 2 - 7 minutes. I know this used to go on in what is now NJT territory when coupling coaches was a lot less complicated.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby Tadman » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:31 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
CarterB wrote:Part of Washington DC Union station is stub end tracks...(west tracks) IIRC...the Cardinal always backs into Union Station on way to/from NY/CHI.

That seems unusual, given that it should be a straight-through movement from Amtrak to CSX. A backing move would only be useful if the Capitol Limited originated in NYC (which it doesn’t and can’t.)

That said, it isn’t a midpoint but the City of New Orleans, the Illini/Saluki and sometimes the Cardinal back into/out of Chicago Union Station to access the St. Charles Air Line.


Interesting about the Cardinal, doesn't it leave WAS to the south? I thought they would do an engine change just like anything else headed south. If it leaves via B&O back north to Ivy City then west to MD, why not drag it backward from NYC similar to the way the Olympian was dragged backward Seattle-Tacoma?

Regarding the CONO, I ride fairly frequently and they do indeed back out of CUS, west over the wye toward Aurora, then reverse to forward up and over the SCAL to the lakefront. It's the most efficient backup move I've ever seen.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:53 pm

A historical note; the B&O backed trains into Wash. This enabled cars destined to Jersey City to be properly pointed, and if on the head, more efficiently switched.

It also enabled them to confine their operation to the Westernmost tracks at WT ensuring that they will not pay "wheelage" for use of other zones within the facility.

The Eastern lower level tracks are far busier with VRE than ever anticipated, so it is possible a "through" train could be backed into a stub end platform, make the engine change, pull out, back up through the wye, then forward into the tunnel. Likely there would be a delay, but if a Northbound considering all the "slop" built into the schedule and "drop only", they could be OT by NYP.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby R30A » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:31 pm

I have taken the Cardinal through DC 8 times now, and not once have we backed up in the Washington area. (Furthermore, I can't see a reason why it would or even how it could do so. )
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby andrewjw » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:15 pm

I too have taken the cardinal through DC many times and it has never backed up into or out of DC. The only situation that could result in that that I can possibly imagine would be a major incident blocking its route through Virginia or West Virginia and it being rerouted along the route of the CL.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby Return to Reading Company Olney Sta » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:18 pm

Hawaiitiki wrote:Another one that sort of counts. The ACES services that NJT used to run NYP>Newark>Atlantic City had to do a K turn near the Delair Bridge which isn't equipped with a crossover to allow south-bound trains to seamlessly access from the NEC (IMO a big problem if NJT ever wants to expand service in South Jersey). Took it a few times, the turn was never all that pleasant, took way to long, the HEP went off for about 5 minutes, and often non-railroad-literate people on board thought the train had broken down.


Amtrak's Atlantic City Express of the early 1990's did the same with sevice from the north (New York and Springfield). One difference though is Amtrak performed an engine change as well when reversing direction at Frankford Jct.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby cobra30689 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:09 am

Hawaiitiki wrote:
Also, another thing that European railroads are more comfortable doing is splitting trains mid-journey fairly seamlessly. (e.g. Coaches 1-5 go to XXX, coaches 6-8 go to YYY). I know sort of off-topic, but is there anywhere in the United States where this goes on?...seamlessly. I don't mean a 30-45 min operation. I mean 2 - 7 minutes. I know this used to go on in what is now NJT territory when coupling coaches was a lot less complicated.


Not anymore, and you are correct about NJT territory.....specifically the M&E where trains were split/combined at Summit, to/from Dover and Gladstone. The Arrow MU couplers were designed for this very thing in mind, but along with the now-defunct 6-7 minute engine change at South Amboy, FRA air brake regulations (and the tests that go along with them) make the process much more time consuming.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby rohr turbo » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:58 pm

Hawaiitiki wrote:Also, another thing that European railroads are more comfortable doing is splitting trains mid-journey fairly seamlessly. (e.g. Coaches 1-5 go to XXX, coaches 6-8 go to YYY). I know sort of off-topic, but is there anywhere in the United States where this goes on?...seamlessly. I don't mean a 30-45 min operation. I mean 2 - 7 minutes. I know this used to go on in what is now NJT territory when coupling coaches was a lot less complicated.


Of course both the Empire Builder and Lake Shore Limited do this. LSL schedule shows Boston section leaving just 10 mins after arrival. EB Seattle section takes 35 mins. Second sections for both trains take longer.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:08 pm

Hawaiitiki wrote:Also, another thing that European railroads are more comfortable doing is splitting trains mid-journey fairly seamlessly. (e.g. Coaches 1-5 go to XXX, coaches 6-8 go to YYY). I know sort of off-topic, but is there anywhere in the United States where this goes on?...seamlessly. I don't mean a 30-45 min operation. I mean 2 - 7 minutes.
VIA does it on some of the Ontario corridor routes with basically two consists back-to-back, I suspect it might be quicker than what is done on 48/448, 49/449, 7/27 and 8/28.

Looking at some 1990s timetables, the spilt between BOS and SPG trains at NHV was about 7-15 minutes.
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Re: Single-end stations at midpoints

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:37 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:
Hawaiitiki wrote:Also, another thing that European railroads are more comfortable doing is splitting trains mid-journey fairly seamlessly. (e.g. Coaches 1-5 go to XXX, coaches 6-8 go to YYY). I know sort of off-topic, but is there anywhere in the United States where this goes on?...seamlessly. I don't mean a 30-45 min operation. I mean 2 - 7 minutes.
VIA does it on some of the Ontario corridor routes with basically two consists back-to-back, I suspect it might be quicker than what is done on 48/448, 49/449, 7/27 and 8/28.

Looking at some 1990s timetables, the spilt between BOS and SPG trains at NHV was about 7-15 minutes.

Worth noting that because of the engine change at NHV the track layout within the station is uniquely suited to splitting/joining trains quickly. The setup that allows an electric motor to uncouple and quickly scoot out of the way while a diesel backs down makes it possible to have multiple locomotives waiting for multiple sections of a train that is being broken up.
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