110 MPH corridors

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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:43 am

Been advocating a North American HST125-style set for years. The Siemens Viaggio Brightline sets are rocket ships at least, but easily half again as heavy as they safely need to be; same for the LRC concept of yore. When the Michigan sets are running P42 - six Horizons - P42 they are pretty quick, ~7400 horsepower (incl HEP losses) gets you going in a hurry and keeps you at top speed.

Ron: ATL-ORL would be great, as long as you can overcome the Delta and Southwest lobby, get bills through both state houses, and have Administrator Batory sign off (which means kicking it up to Secy Chao & hubby and the Big Chief.) I’ve always wondered why NS maintains two routes from Macon to Atlanta, and it seems like both Georgia and NS would be better served if one is a primarily-passenger line.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Matt Johnson » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:54 am

mtuandrew wrote:Been advocating a North American HST125-style set for years. The Siemens Viaggio Brightline sets are rocket ships at least, but easily half again as heavy as they safely need to be; same for the LRC concept of yore. When the Michigan sets are running P42 - six Horizons - P42 they are pretty quick, ~7400 horsepower (incl HEP losses) gets you going in a hurry and keeps you at top speed.


Brightline locomotive: 132 tons as I recall. Rohr Turboliner power car: 74 tons if memory serves! But then on North American railroads, maybe it's good to have a battering ram up front when going through grade crossings.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Tadman » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:43 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
As far as '160' MPH in NJ. That's nice. It does nothing for running times - you won't spend more than a minute or two at those speeds (assuming you get there). The money would be far better spent getting rid of that stupid S curve in Elizabeth.


Amen. Ask us Michiganders how useful the Portage to Jackson-ish 110mph and ITCS is when the Norfolk Slowthern can't get you out of Chicago in less than an hour. USE-LESS... Also, somehow we have a few slow orders around Michigan City so evidently we can't even use the 110 we have???

The best thing that happened to the Michigan trains was the Detroit junction fix a few miles timetable west of the Detroit station, which seriously cut wait time for the interlocker and heavily streamlined crossovers, etc...

Bottom line, higher speed trains means zero when you sit around waiting for a freight train.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Railjunkie » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:36 pm

As was shared with me when I first started running trains. "It's not how fast you go,it's how you go fast". Still works today as it did 15 years ago.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:59 pm

Tadman: wouldn’t it be nice to have a dedicated corridor Portage-Chicago? Could be MCRR, could be a two/three-track South Shore, could be another track next to the NS Chicago Line, but a consistent 79 mph would do wonders for trip times on all the Michigan services plus the LSL and Cap.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:49 am

I think it's Porter, isn't it? Portage is a few miles west of Porter IIRC.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:42 am

Rockingham Racer wrote:I think it's Porter, isn't it? Portage is a few miles west of Porter IIRC.

You are correct, sir! Porter, Portage, La Porte, what’s the difference? :P
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Greg Moore » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:11 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
east point wrote:Just think how much faster passengers could get to destinations if every route listed could have just 110 MPH running except for station stops ? Most routes do not even average 50 MPH. You could get that 110 average by having just a few 125 sections. Get rid of all slow spots and passenger rail becomes competitive to autos and short haul air line routes. That does of course require a minimum of 2 main tracks and more in some places. Even the NEC does not meet that average. Just get all segments to 110 MPH and the HSR sections will do their job.


You'd have to be willing to buy equipment that can actually accelerate, though. More along the lines of the British HST 125 sets. Superliners and P42s ain't gonna cut it. Of course, none of this is impossible, if you're willing to think outside the box...

As far as '160' MPH in NJ. That's nice. It does nothing for running times - you won't spend more than a minute or two at those speeds (assuming you get there). The money would be far better spent getting rid of that stupid S curve in Elizabeth. The catenary rehab is worth it, though. Hopefully they bumped the insulation up to 25kv, even if the clearances aren't there (yet).


Right, my understanding is the 160MPH is a nice side effect, but wasn't the primary goal. Still I'll take it. ;-)
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Matt Johnson » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:11 am

Greg Moore wrote:
Right, my understanding is the 160MPH is a nice side effect, but wasn't the primary goal. Still I'll take it. ;-)


Exactly, the tracks were already maintained to FRA Class 8 (160 mph) standards to support 135 mph operation.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby daybeers » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:15 pm

Greg Moore wrote:
Nasadowsk wrote:
east point wrote:Just think how much faster passengers could get to destinations if every route listed could have just 110 MPH running except for station stops ? Most routes do not even average 50 MPH. You could get that 110 average by having just a few 125 sections. Get rid of all slow spots and passenger rail becomes competitive to autos and short haul air line routes. That does of course require a minimum of 2 main tracks and more in some places. Even the NEC does not meet that average. Just get all segments to 110 MPH and the HSR sections will do their job.


You'd have to be willing to buy equipment that can actually accelerate, though. More along the lines of the British HST 125 sets. Superliners and P42s ain't gonna cut it. Of course, none of this is impossible, if you're willing to think outside the box...

As far as '160' MPH in NJ. That's nice. It does nothing for running times - you won't spend more than a minute or two at those speeds (assuming you get there). The money would be far better spent getting rid of that stupid S curve in Elizabeth. The catenary rehab is worth it, though. Hopefully they bumped the insulation up to 25kv, even if the clearances aren't there (yet).


Right, my understanding is the 160MPH is a nice side effect, but wasn't the primary goal. Still I'll take it. ;-)

Yup. A big part of the project is getting the outside local tracks up to 125 (?) operation.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Triaxle » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:14 pm

east point wrote:Just think how much faster passengers could get to destinations if every route listed could have just 110 MPH running except for station stops ? Most routes do not even average 50 MPH. You could get that 110 average by having just a few 125 sections. Get rid of all slow spots and passenger rail becomes competitive to autos and short haul air line routes. That does of course require a minimum of 2 main tracks and more in some places. Even the NEC does not meet that average. Just get all segments to 110 MPH and the HSR sections will do their job.


"You could get that 110 average by having just a few 125 sections."

No. Pencil it out. One 30 mph curve costs an amount of time that cancels the difference between 79 and 125 for a number of miles. I'll off-hand-guess that ONE 30 mph curve eats over 3 minutes, the exact number can be calculated by more serious railfans or rail operations personnel.
Now pencil out the impact of a few slow sections such as leaving a terminal yard, curves with a 250% safety factor, curves with less than maximum banking, etc etc. You can't make time go backwards and you just can't get a train to go fast enough to compensate for many of those bottlenecks.

Even if you gave the train rubber tires, concrete rails and the Hellcat of powerplants, current practice doesn't allow passengers to experience accelerations which a Honda Civic can generate. A mere Civic gets from a stop to 100mph in about 22 seconds, down to less than 15 depending on which sub-model Civic. While I'd pay extra to ride a train that did that, a noisy minority would screech something fierce, and lawyers would salivate so thick there'd be a flash flood on K street. Not to mention the practical aspects of 100,000 hp locomotives and the downstream forces generated.

Trains can be fast only when they run like airplanes, going a dozens or hundreds of miles between stops. Otherwise, they can only be fast compared to congested car traffic, with highways backed up for miles as they often are.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:33 pm

Nicely stated, Triaxle. The Twin Cities Hiawatha and Twin Cities Zephyr, arguably the two very fastest-scheduled passenger trains in the world for a time, only had five? four? stops in the 300? miles between CHI and STP. Lots of cruising at *mumbles an illegal number* miles an hour, and as little time at restricted speed as possible. The restrictions Chicago-Porter are why Amtrak hasn’t been able to really capitalize on Porter-Kzoo at 110.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby east point » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:53 pm

You misread my point. First you eliminate all the slow spots. It will not be easy but Europe does it. Get them to at least 110 and preferable 125. Then you upgrade the straightaways to 160 and you can get our 110 MPH average. Will take many years long after I'm gone !
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Tadman » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:19 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Tadman: wouldn’t it be nice to have a dedicated corridor Portage-Chicago? Could be MCRR, could be a two/three-track South Shore, could be another track next to the NS Chicago Line, but a consistent 79 mph would do wonders for trip times on all the Michigan services plus the LSL and Cap.


Yeah I've been saying that for a long time. How is it there are 2.5 government funded passenger corridors over that stretch and they still can't un a few trains on time, EVER... Youv'e got the South Shore corridor, then the Amtrak Michigan line and the Pere Marquette lines east of Porter and that mythical third main west of Porter.

Supposedly Amtrak approached South Shore 10ish years ago about trackage rights and CSS freight was against it, probably NICTD to. The reason I heard was too much single track east of Gary. So then they go and build a third track west of Porter???? Why didn't they just build a second track east of Gary and make it work??? Obviously that third track west of Porter is a crock of sh*** or the trains might run on time occasionally.

I give up. I wish I had a job where I could perpetually screw everything up and get paid.
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Re: 110 MPH corridors

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:23 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Nicely stated, Triaxle. The Twin Cities Hiawatha and Twin Cities Zephyr, arguably the two very fastest-scheduled passenger trains in the world for a time, only had five? four? stops in the 300? miles between CHI and STP. Lots of cruising at *mumbles an illegal number* miles an hour, and as little time at restricted speed as possible. The restrictions Chicago-Porter are why Amtrak hasn’t been able to really capitalize on Porter-Kzoo at 110.

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.
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