Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

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Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby benboston » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:13 am

I just noticed how optimal the tracks between Wilmington and Baltimore, with the exception of the Susquehanna River Bridge. I calculated the average speed over this segment to be 90 mph. I think that considering the track geometry they should really work on upping that speed.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby east point » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:10 pm

Cannot locate link at present but upgrading and 4 tracking is planned along with the bridge replacements. Upgrading and easing curves is not best practice unless 4 tracks are built in to the upgrades that include Constant tension CAT and new signaling. Signaling and CAT problems on the PRR portion of the NEC are mainly between PHL ( mainly Wilmington ) - WASH At least build ROW changes 4 tracks wide even if only placing the present 2 or 3 tracks in now . Presently the way Amtrak scheduling is done MARC takes the operating hit whenever MARC or Amtrak is late. For example for these 1st 2 days of November approximately 9 MARC trains have taken delays between 5 and 15 minute delays !

These operating restrictions have put the costs to make the Perryville - WASH route all 4 tracks mainly on MARC at present which of course cannot afford the funds. Until some federal funds become available for incremental upgrades of the route including the 3 obsolete 2 track draw bridges speeds can only be done sporadically !


It all comes down to operating Acela and NER regional train speeds on the same tracks that have MARC trains making many commuter stops. Now MARC could do better if they had electric motors or even better EMUs for better acceleration ! But that means that MARC would not be able to interchange equipment with its diesel routes. Marc wants more service which Amtrak opposes. As a substitute MARC proposes to add cars to present trains however Amtrak opposes unless MARC adds second diesel loco or maybe even 2 motors on trains to increase acceleration. That lengths will require platform extensions at many stations.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:10 am

You're talking about the old 2007 MARC Growth & Investment Plan, which given the 2010 incident, is a bit out-of-touch with reality... but still some good items can be gleamed off of it and updated.

  • +3 years -- new storage yard by Baltimore Penn Station
  • +8 years -- Reconfigure New Carrolton interlocks for service on three tracks (with new island platform). 4-track GROVE to BRIDGE. Rebuild BWI. Add Bayview, reopen Elkton, open Newark. Storage/Maintenance facility in Edgewood.
  • +13 years -- 4-track LANDOVER to CHARLES. Reconfigure West Baltimore via adding the Circle Tunnel to replace the old B&P. New Gunpowder River bridge to 4-track to Edgewood.
  • +28 years -- 3 track WAS to LANDOVER. 4 track Baltimore (SAINTPAUL) to PERRY via tunnel/bridge expansion.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby east point » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:33 am

STrRedWolf wrote:You're talking about the old 2007 MARC Growth & Investment Plan, which given the 2010 incident, is a bit out-of-touch with reality... but still some good items can be gleamed off of it and updated.

  • +3 years -- new storage yard by Baltimore Penn Station
  • +8 years -- Reconfigure New Carrolton interlocks for service on three tracks (with new island platform). 4-track GROVE to BRIDGE. Rebuild BWI. Add Bayview, reopen Elkton, open Newark. Storage/Maintenance facility in Edgewood.
  • +13 years -- 4-track LANDOVER to CHARLES. Reconfigure West Baltimore via adding the Circle Tunnel to replace the old B&P. New Gunpowder River bridge to 4-track to Edgewood.
  • +28 years -- 3 track WAS to LANDOVER. 4 track Baltimore (SAINTPAUL) to PERRY via tunnel/bridge expansion.



Red Wolf- From what we have heard the main problem of the MARC growth & investment plan is that there has been a higher passenger growth than anticipated ?
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:03 pm

east point wrote:
STrRedWolf wrote:You're talking about the old 2007 MARC Growth & Investment Plan, which given the 2010 incident, is a bit out-of-touch with reality... but still some good items can be gleamed off of it and updated.

  • +3 years -- new storage yard by Baltimore Penn Station
  • +8 years -- Reconfigure New Carrolton interlocks for service on three tracks (with new island platform). 4-track GROVE to BRIDGE. Rebuild BWI. Add Bayview, reopen Elkton, open Newark. Storage/Maintenance facility in Edgewood.
  • +13 years -- 4-track LANDOVER to CHARLES. Reconfigure West Baltimore via adding the Circle Tunnel to replace the old B&P. New Gunpowder River bridge to 4-track to Edgewood.
  • +28 years -- 3 track WAS to LANDOVER. 4 track Baltimore (SAINTPAUL) to PERRY via tunnel/bridge expansion.


Red Wolf- From what we have heard the main problem of the MARC growth & investment plan is that there has been a higher passenger growth than anticipated ?


I would expect it that since Dec 2010, when they reconfigured the MARC train setups with Amtrak and was able to do 15 minute headways during rush periods to WAS using 6-car consists. Those things filled up rather quickly once folks got used to it. The Penn line has always been "damn-near capacity" for some time.

The problem now is that you need more track between DC and Baltimore. That means the Circle Tunnel, rebuilding BWI, Odenton, and New Carrolton to access all four tracks (BWI and New Carrolton for Amtrak service, Odenton because heavy usage and Ft Meade), ripping out abandoned track near Odenton for the platforms, and adding another bridge. That gives enough capacity so that Amtrak and express MARC trains get the inners and local MARC trains get the outer.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby Acela150 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:32 pm

benboston wrote:I just noticed how optimal the tracks between Wilmington and Baltimore, with the exception of the Susquehanna River Bridge. I calculated the average speed over this segment to be 90 mph. I think that considering the track geometry they should really work on upping that speed.


Believe it or not a decent section between Wilmington and Baltimore is 125, 130, and 135 for Acela trains. The Bridge in Perryville is 90 flat for Type A and B trains.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby RRspatch » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:29 am

STrRedWolf wrote:You're talking about the old 2007 MARC Growth & Investment Plan, which given the 2010 incident, is a bit out-of-touch with reality... but still some good items can be gleamed off of it and updated.

  • +3 years -- new storage yard by Baltimore Penn Station
  • +8 years -- Reconfigure New Carrolton interlocks for service on three tracks (with new island platform). 4-track GROVE to BRIDGE. Rebuild BWI. Add Bayview, reopen Elkton, open Newark. Storage/Maintenance facility in Edgewood.
  • +13 years -- 4-track LANDOVER to CHARLES. Reconfigure West Baltimore via adding the Circle Tunnel to replace the old B&P. New Gunpowder River bridge to 4-track to Edgewood.
  • +28 years -- 3 track WAS to LANDOVER. 4 track Baltimore (SAINTPAUL) to PERRY via tunnel/bridge expansion.


Actually a small part of what you have listed above is about to start construction.

Just south of New Carrollton station Amtrak and MARC will build a new interlocking called Hanson. This interlocking will be located just south of the US Route 50 (John Hanson Highway) overhead bridge. In conjunction with this a new high level platform will be built off of No.1 track at New Carrollton along side the Metro Orange line. This platform along with a new switch from No.2 to No.1 track will allow
MARC trains clear following Amtrak trains while making their New Carrollton stop. The switches on the passenger tracks at Landover (No.2 and No.3 track) will be removed. Construction is supposed to start soon.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby STrRedWolf » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:35 pm

RRspatch wrote:Actually a small part of what you have listed above is about to start construction.

Just south of New Carrollton station Amtrak and MARC will build a new interlocking called Hanson. This interlocking will be located just south of the US Route 50 (John Hanson Highway) overhead bridge. In conjunction with this a new high level platform will be built off of No.1 track at New Carrollton along side the Metro Orange line. This platform along with a new switch from No.2 to No.1 track will allow
MARC trains clear following Amtrak trains while making their New Carrollton stop. The switches on the passenger tracks at Landover (No.2 and No.3 track) will be removed. Construction is supposed to start soon.


Oh good! Hopefully there will be enough room for track 1, a new island platform, and possibly expansion onto a new track A next decade. Just having passengers boarding off of track 1 will help in this area.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby east point » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:35 pm

You have no idea how messed up the route was due to an Amtrak train ( Acela ? ) breaking down at BWI this morning ( Tuesday ) Some MARC trains took a 2 hour delay and at least 6=8 others took 15- 40 minutes delays all day long waiting for some Amtrak train. The sooner the better getting 3 or 4 tracks on the whole route except for the 3 bridges and the B&P tunnel ! Interlockings on each end of those 4 locations could at least mitigate some of these delays. But those 4 do definitely need fixing so no delays for bridge opening or tunnel having another of its many problems affecting traffic.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby Acela150 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:46 pm

east point wrote:You have no idea how messed up the route was due to an Amtrak train ( Acela ? ) breaking down at BWI this morning ( Tuesday ) Some MARC trains took a 2 hour delay and at least 6=8 others took 15- 40 minutes delays all day long waiting for some Amtrak train. The sooner the better getting 3 or 4 tracks on the whole route except for the 3 bridges and the B&P tunnel ! Interlockings on each end of those 4 locations could at least mitigate some of these delays. But those 4 do definitely need fixing so no delays for bridge opening or tunnel having another of its many problems affecting traffic.


I can only imagine what it was like. I looked at Amtrak status maps and saw some delays.

According to Amtrak's twitter feed 2160 had mechanical issues. To me it sounds like the trainset really pooped out. I can only say that it's a good thing that the trainset was on the southern end of the Corridor so they could take it back to Ivy City to get love from the laptop that seems to be a cure all.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby ThirdRail7 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:29 am

benboston wrote:I just noticed how optimal the tracks between Wilmington and Baltimore, with the exception of the Susquehanna River Bridge. I calculated the average speed over this segment to be 90 mph. I think that considering the track geometry they should really work on upping that speed.


I'm not sure why so many of the responses to raising the speed between WIl and BAL ending up being a referendum on MARC operations, but for the record, there are plans to raise the speed between WIL-BAL. That doesn't mean they will come to fruition in the near future, but there are definite plans. Some of the seeds are being planted right now. I'd expect some of them to kick in when the new train set arrives.

Acela150 wrote: I can only say that it's a good thing that the trainset was on the southern end of the Corridor so they could take it back to Ivy City to get love from the laptop that seems to be a cure all.


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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby east point » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:32 pm

ThirdRail7 wrote:I'm not sure why so many of the responses to raising the speed between WIl and BAL ending up being a referendum on MARC operations, but for the record, there are plans to raise the speed between WIL-BAL. That doesn't mean they will come to fruition in the near future, but there are definite plans. Some of the seeds are being planted right now. I'd expect some of them to kick in when the new train set arrives.

LAPTOP LOVE!!!


The reason MARC is talked about so much is that the 2 and 3 track sections delay MARC to get behind AMTRAK. But AMTRAK is delayed often by MARC trains making multi stops in front of AMTRAK. So how can AMTRA speeds be raised ! Make the whole section 4 tracks is only way to speed up AMTRAK. That will include the B&P tunnels and 3 drawbridges.
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Re: Acela between Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:44 pm

Agreed. You basically need operational separation between Amtrak and MARC trains to get more speed. Amtrak can avoid the MARC easy enough on 4-track areas... but for stations it services, it needs to access all four tracks.

North of Baltimore, it means reconstructing a tunnel or two, a few bridges, and many stations.

South of Baltimore, it's also a few bridges, many stations (only two are good as-is... okay, one), and replacing a 30 MPH speed-limited tunnel.
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