Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

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Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:41 pm

Not much detail I’m afraid: ProgressiveRailroading.com

• up to $5,050,000 to construct a second platform serving Amtrak riders at the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby Tadman » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:05 am

Pop quiz:

- A train has ten doors per side
- Each configured to work low platforms with traps/stairs
- The crew only opens 3 of those doors
- The line inside the train to use those doors is almost a car-length long
- We spend $5,000,000 to build another platform

What is the return on investment in terms of...
1. Dwell time reduction
2. Dollars
3. Safety

The answer of course, is zero, negative five million taxpayer dollars, and zero if they don't open more doors. It's a mystery why they're not using that $5m to put in high platforms and a gauntlet track. Or just get the crew to open more doors. It's like the powers-that-be have never been on this train.
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:47 am

Tad/ keep in mind the current crew can’t feasibly open more than 3-4 doors at a time in Horizon cars. That changes with the Siemens cars, which presumably will have trainline-controlled automatic doors. I can’t say whether the new platform is needed but it won’t be as simple as what you describe.
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby jpIllInoIs » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:57 am

The roi is that a 2nd Western track platform will allow 2 way directional service. As the article mentions the existing single platforms requires all Amtrak service to load and unload on eastern platform. The 2nd platform will eliminate a 10.7 mile bottleneck. The 2nd platform is also required in order to increase frequency on the Hiawatha route which currently has 8 NB/SB trains, the joint plan from WisDot and IDOT [https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/multimodal/rail-chi-mil/facts.aspx][/url] is to increase frequency up to 10 a day. The Hiawatha route is the busiest route in the Midwest with 829,000 riders in 2017. The Milwaukee Airport station had 180,000 passengers in 2018 and at the time of opening in 2006 was one of 4 Amtrak stations with direct airport access.
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:39 pm

Another pop quiz:

What would be the cost of installing crossovers immediately north and south of the platform vs. a new high-level platform with accompanying gauntlet--as well as overpass and elevators? Less flexibility than a second platform, but I'd think cheaper. (Probably too late to change anything without forfeiting the money, I suppose.)
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby jpIllInoIs » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:56 pm

^I'm not sure 2 sets of cross overs would save any money. It would add crossover costs and save a platform. But undoubtedly would require another environmental and engineering study. Why not proceed with the project as requested by the agencies involved with their view for enhance - more frequent service?
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby Tadman » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:50 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Tad/ keep in mind the current crew can’t feasibly open more than 3-4 doors at a time in Horizon cars. That changes with the Siemens cars, which presumably will have trainline-controlled automatic doors. I can’t say whether the new platform is needed but it won’t be as simple as what you describe.


I've considered that side of the issue, and here's my hangup: The layovers at the terminals are about 25 minutes. There is plenty of time to open all doors to ease boarding, but instead they cram 5-7 cars worth of people through 2-4 doors at the terminals. Given that they don't bother to open more doors at terminals where there is plenty of time, I take it that they just don't want to open all the doors rather than having a manpower issue. It's borderline unsafe with the amount of people and suitcases jamming up stairs and down the aisles.

At intermediate stops like the airport, it significantly lengthens dwell time to the point where the cost-benefit ratio to opening more doors is definitely tilted in favor of opening more doors. Dwell time at the airport can be big, and that's what's causing those 10 mile traffic jams mentioned above. Open a few more doors and the train will unload faster.

Frankly, given that track 19 at Chicago and 1 at Milwaukee are defacto exclusive to Hiawatha, I'm not sure why they didn't make them high-level. The Builder always uses adjacent platforms in both terminals. Freight uses tracks 3 & 4 in Milwaukee.

Back to the airport. It sucks getting off the train there. I've done it and they do the same pair of door sets that they do at terminals, and there is a big line.
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:53 pm

I wish the Nippon Sharyo cars had been delivered instead of needing to buy Siemens cars, so high-level platforms wouldn’t have needed to be a consideration.
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby Tadman » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:06 pm

You and me both, brother. It was one illustrious f*** up in a pantheon of illustrious f*** ups. I spend a lot of time on Nippon Sharyo products and they are very good products and they last forever. Siemens it seems has a good product when new, but we don't have any domestic install base older than a few years to gauge their durability in the US market. It seems the ICE trains last, but Germany is a different culture, weather, infrastructure, etc...
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:34 pm

Also wish Alstom had gotten a crack at the contract, being as the Surfliner and California Car were essentially the Midwest car. I would have had zero worries about their product holding up in Chicago Hub service.

I’m sure the Viaggios will be fine, of course.
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby STrRedWolf » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:56 am

So we have no idea if this will be a high platform or not?
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby Tadman » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:28 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:So we have no idea if this will be a high platform or not?


I have not seen anything that indicates high or low, but it's a safe bet to be low. There is decent CP freight through here and they would have to build a gauntlet for high platforms to make clearances with that freight.

mtuandrew wrote:Also wish Alstom had gotten a crack at the contract, being as the Surfliner and California Car were essentially the Midwest car. I would have had zero worries about their product holding up in Chicago Hub service.
.


Absolutely agree. It's a proven concept that works great. I have only spent a bit of time on those cars, but they were quite nice. Also, said California cars can fit about 20 more passengers. Spread across a six car train, that means one less coach. Subtract the expenses of towing and maintaining one extra coach from each train for service life of the cars and we're talking some very serious money saved.
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby STrRedWolf » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:38 pm

Tadman wrote:
STrRedWolf wrote:So we have no idea if this will be a high platform or not?


I have not seen anything that indicates high or low, but it's a safe bet to be low. There is decent CP freight through here and they would have to build a gauntlet for high platforms to make clearances with that freight.


If they're smart, they'll move the platforms into pocket tracks like what CSX did with MARC at Greenbelt and high platform off the pocket tracks. Takes care of the freight trains (making CP happy) and makes Amtrak happier (they can remote-open on high platforms).

As you know, it's likely they're be dumb ("SAVE MONEY!!!") and go low.
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby mkerfe » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:42 pm

As far as the crossovers I believe they would only need one.
LAKE Interlocking is not that far south (RR East). So you'd have to put one North/West of the station.
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Re: Amtrak Milwaukee Airport Getting a Second Platform

Postby east point » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:24 pm

mkerfe wrote:As far as the crossovers I believe they would only need one.
LAKE Interlocking is not that far south (RR East). So you'd have to put one North/West of the station.


That north interlocking will have another benefit. The north bound trains leaving the station will get an immediate signal (* maybe clear ) allowing that train to go faster than restricting speed until the next visible signal. BTW how far is the next northbound signal?+ depending on how far will save 2 - 5 minutes.
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