110 MPH corridors

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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:36 pm

east point wrote:You misread my point. First you eliminate all the slow spots. It will not be easy but Europe does it.

The Swiss have made a science of it. Ease a curve here, reconfigure an interlocking there--it all adds up more than you'd think. Their new (ca. 2000) signal system provides for diverging speeds at interlockings at 10 km/h increments, so that if one route is good for 80 km/h and another for 90, the signaling can provide for both.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby electricron » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:10 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:Technically, the speeds weren't illegal because there were no legal limits on railroad speeds in the US until 1951.
Chicago - Twin Cities is ~400 miles. Hence the C&NW's 400-- "400 miles in 400 minutes." Which also is a pretty amazing speed when you think of it.

That’s one mile per minute speed, the equivalent of 60 mph. Which isn’t that fast for a “maximum” speed, but it is very impressive for an “average” speed. Even Amtrak’s Acela trains only reach “average” speeds of 65 mph.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby daybeers » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:01 pm

electricron wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:Technically, the speeds weren't illegal because there were no legal limits on railroad speeds in the US until 1951.
Chicago - Twin Cities is ~400 miles. Hence the C&NW's 400-- "400 miles in 400 minutes." Which also is a pretty amazing speed when you think of it.

That’s one mile per minute speed, the equivalent of 60 mph. Which isn’t that fast for a “maximum” speed, but it is very impressive for an “average” speed. Even Amtrak’s Acela trains only reach “average” speeds of 65 mph.

I wouldn't say that's "very impressive". What about the European or Asian corridors with averages much, much higher? Even the Acela does about 82 mph average between NYC and WAS.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:36 am

daybeers wrote:
electricron wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:Technically, the speeds weren't illegal because there were no legal limits on railroad speeds in the US until 1951.
Chicago - Twin Cities is ~400 miles. Hence the C&NW's 400-- "400 miles in 400 minutes." Which also is a pretty amazing speed when you think of it.

That’s one mile per minute speed, the equivalent of 60 mph. Which isn’t that fast for a “maximum” speed, but it is very impressive for an “average” speed. Even Amtrak’s Acela trains only reach “average” speeds of 65 mph.

I wouldn't say that's "very impressive". What about the European or Asian corridors with averages much, much higher? Even the Acela does about 82 mph average between NYC and WAS.

The 400 was scheduled at 62mph average speed over a ~415 mile route **in 1935**.

And the equipment was heavyweight Pullmans pulled by oil-burning 4-6-2's.

Seem a little more impressive now? :wink:
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby daybeers » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:18 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:
daybeers wrote:
electricron wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:Technically, the speeds weren't illegal because there were no legal limits on railroad speeds in the US until 1951.
Chicago - Twin Cities is ~400 miles. Hence the C&NW's 400-- "400 miles in 400 minutes." Which also is a pretty amazing speed when you think of it.

That’s one mile per minute speed, the equivalent of 60 mph. Which isn’t that fast for a “maximum” speed, but it is very impressive for an “average” speed. Even Amtrak’s Acela trains only reach “average” speeds of 65 mph.

I wouldn't say that's "very impressive". What about the European or Asian corridors with averages much, much higher? Even the Acela does about 82 mph average between NYC and WAS.

The 400 was scheduled at 62mph average speed over a ~415 mile route **in 1935**.

And the equipment was heavyweight Pullmans pulled by oil-burning 4-6-2's.

Seem a little more impressive now? :wink:

Haha true! But it also makes me sad: we haven't gotten anywhere speed-wise since then.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby electricron » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:55 pm

daybeers wrote:Haha true! But it also makes me sad: we haven't gotten anywhere speed-wise since then.


But I believe you will discover that today’s trains are many more times more efficient.
This should make an excellent read;
http://www.railway-technical.com/trains ... iesel.html
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby daybeers » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:19 pm

electricron wrote:
daybeers wrote:Haha true! But it also makes me sad: we haven't gotten anywhere speed-wise since then.


But I believe you will discover that today’s trains are many more times more efficient.
This should make an excellent read;
http://www.railway-technical.com/trains ... iesel.html

Very interesting, thanks for the link!
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby KTHW » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:28 am

Not 110mph, but I recently saw a Hiawatha near Sturtevant, WI running at 90mph. Not familiar with the area, but I wasn't aware that those tracks had been upgraded to handle 90mph trains.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby electricron » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:10 am

daybeers wrote:II wouldn't say that's "very impressive". What about the European or Asian corridors with averages much, much higher? Even the Acela does about 82 mph average between NYC and WAS.

Amtrak's Acela train schedules read 3 hours plus or minus a few minutes depending upon individual trains to travel the 225 rail miles between DC and NYC.
https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/proj ... 030419.pdf
Basic math follows assuming an average elapse time of 3 hours:
225 miles / 3 hours = 75 mph average speeds.
To achieve the average speed of 82 mph the Acela trains would have to travel the 225 rail miles in 2.74390243902439 hours, or 2 hours and 44 minutes and 38 seconds. That's chopping around 15 minutes off most Acela schedules.
To be absolutely honest, I read anywhere between 5 minutes less to 8 minutes more than 3 hours on that schedule I posted earlier, so let's calculate both 5 minutes less and 8 minutes more to report the minimum and maximum average Acela speeds between DC and NYC.
Maximum average speed = 225 / 175 minutes x 60 = 77.1 mph average speed
Minimum average speed = 225 /188 minutes x 60 = 71.8 mph average speed

Which European rail corridor should we compare, one with just exclusive HSR trains or one with a mix of HSR, slower regional passenger, and freight trains sharing the same rail corridor. To make it more like apples to apples vs apples to oranges, we need to compare the NEC with a mixed use rail corridor. So surfing the web I found this interesting link listing the 10 longest HSR lines in the world. https://www.railway-technology.com/feat ... s-4149752/

Coming in a number 8 was the UK's West Coast Main Line at 645.35 kilometers between London and Glasgow. The line was originally opened in 1849 and witnessed a £8.8bn ($14.3bn) upgrade called the West Coast Route Modernisation (WCRM) programme in 2008, enabling high-speed operation at a maximum speed of 225kmph.

The rolling stock operated on the line includes 53 Class 390 Pendolino fixed-formation electric tilting trains operated by Virgin Trains. WCML is currently the busiest mixed-use railway in the UK. It is used by multiple operators and accounts for 43% of Britain’s freight traffic.

So we can certainly state the corridor has mix usage. So what are the average speeds the Class 390 Pendolino achieve? Per Trainline.com, the average journey time between Glasgow and London is 5 hours 57 minutes . The fastest journey time is 4 hours 28 minutes. On an average weekday, there are 23 trains per day traveling from Glasgow to London. FYI, 645 km is 400 miles which is 177% the distance than DC to NYC.
Using the fastest time to calculate the fastest average speed, 645 km/268 minutes x 60 = 144 km/hr, or 89 mph upon conversion.
Using the average time to calculate the average average speed, 645 km/357 minutes x 60 = 108 km/hr, or 67 mph on conversion.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Tadman » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:03 am

For what it's worth, the 110mph corridors in the midwest are frustratingly futile uses of money. Both the Saint Louis and Detroit trains have freight hosts that are very congested. The CN-to-UP handoff at Joliet is off, the UP doesn't care about the trains south of there, and the NS is very crowded between Chicago and Porter, leading to delays over an hour. You've also got CN east (direction west) of Detroit to Pontiac, which is not always smooth. An hour delay is enough to negate the 79-to-110mph upgrade for the whole Porter-Detroit segment.

What would be a far wiser use of money is upgrading congested interlockers, slow curves, etc... Moving speeds from 25 to 60 is amazing for timekeeping and scheduling.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby CarterB » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:30 pm

I remember well that back in the 1950's, the ICRR ran the CNO from Champaign to Mattoon sometimes over 100mph. Not sure, but IIRC the City of Miami and Panama ltd. ran a nice fast pace on that general segment as well.
Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:31 pm

Tadman wrote:For what it's worth, the 110mph corridors in the midwest are frustratingly futile uses of money. Both the Saint Louis and Detroit trains have freight hosts that are very congested. The CN-to-UP handoff at Joliet is off, the UP doesn't care about the trains south of there, and the NS is very crowded between Chicago and Porter, leading to delays over an hour. You've also got CN east (direction west) of Detroit to Pontiac, which is not always smooth. An hour delay is enough to negate the 79-to-110mph upgrade for the whole Porter-Detroit segment.

What would be a far wiser use of money is upgrading congested interlockers, slow curves, etc... Moving speeds from 25 to 60 is amazing for timekeeping and scheduling.


Yeah, which reminds me, how is CREATE doing? I know one of the goals was to increase velocity of all trains in the Chicago area?

Here in NY at least, where we have 110mph running, there's no freights for the most part. (There's I think ONE crossing they can't close, that interrupts the 110mph running, but other than that, at least Amtrak can take advantage of it.)
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Tadman » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:39 pm

Funny you should ask. I just looked it up and while the CREATE website shows all kinds of happy progress, the hard numbers show the following: a $1b project is now a $3b project. Of that, about $600m has been allocated or spent. I'm not sure how that weighs against the project total, and whether it indicates the project is a bit over half done or 1/6 done.

At this time, the state and city are both seriously broke. I'm not sure what the federal funding attitude is toward this project, I suspect it comes on a project-by-project basis as some projects have more impact on a national stage than others. It's not something that has been very high profile lately in Chicago.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:21 pm

When we compare to Europe and Japan and now China we should be comparing not just speed, but also frequency. The Illinois corridors aren't just flops because of freight interference, railroad apathy or hostility, and other factors that affect speed. They are also problematic because making three or four or five trains a day a bit faster still leaves a lot of people's potential train trip time about the same: Say you are done with your Chicago meeting at 11 in the Loop, but the next train for Springfield doesn't leave until 1. Making that hypothetical train take 20 minutes less to get to Springfield wouldn't help passengers as much as having twice as many trains. There are routes in Europe etc with just a few trains a day; some of them are faster than similar Amtrak routes and some of them aren't; but the routes we are thinking about when we say "Europe" are things like the Dutch mainlines with express trains every half hour and local trains in between, or at least the ones with hourly expresses and locals in between. That's a big part of what attracts passengers -- being able to travel pretty much whenever you want.

Just one more way that US rail transportation efforts have a long way to go.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:10 pm

Tadman wrote:Funny you should ask. I just looked it up and while the CREATE website shows all kinds of happy progress, the hard numbers show the following: a $1b project is now a $3b project. Of that, about $600m has been allocated or spent. I'm not sure how that weighs against the project total, and whether it indicates the project is a bit over half done or 1/6 done.

At this time, the state and city are both seriously broke. I'm not sure what the federal funding attitude is toward this project, I suspect it comes on a project-by-project basis as some projects have more impact on a national stage than others. It's not something that has been very high profile lately in Chicago.

I seem to recall that CREATE did grow from its original goals, so some of that $3B may be "here's more useful projects" and I think the intent was always to "fund it one project at at time" which isn't necessarily a bad idea. BUT, the goal was also to move much faster.

Again, probably one of those useful infrastructure projects we really should be spending a bit more money on.
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