Cardinal Reschedule

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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:37 pm

Cincinatti might need its own state sponsored service train running to Chicago by way of Indianapolis. Ohio, in general, has always been the forgotten stepchild of Amtrak-not just along the Cardinal route but the other long distance routes.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:46 pm

Cincinnati could have all that and more, and I think it should, but the state government has been unwilling to subsidize an extended Hoosier State or the 3-C service proposed years ago to link Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. That isn’t Amtrak’s job to run for free, according to the PRIIA legislation. Ohio also can’t claim to be forgotten with three LD routes, because it doesn’t want to pay for daylight service.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby ryanov » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:36 am

Philly Amtrak Fan wrote:If the west coast cities wanted to go to New York or DC, they can take the LSL or CL. I highly doubt many of them want to go to Hinton, West Virginia.

On my one trip on the Cardinal last year, I got an unscheduled multiple hour stop in Hinton, WV due to track work. :-D
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:22 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Cincinnati could have all that and more, and I think it should, but the state government has been unwilling to subsidize an extended Hoosier State or the 3-C service proposed years ago to link Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. That isn’t Amtrak’s job to run for free, according to the PRIIA legislation. Ohio also can’t claim to be forgotten with three LD routes, because it doesn’t want to pay for daylight service.


But a lot of states get "free" LD service at better hours of the day than Ohio does and some of the states have way less population than Ohio does. In addition to you know what state, how about a good portion of Montana on the Empire Builder? Why is it Amtrak's job to run service between Wolf Point and Libby (wherever the heck those places are) for free but not Cleveland and Cincinnati (or for that matter, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, which now only has state supported service)?
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:25 pm

Montana’s in daylight because it happens to be, not because they have any special right to it. North Dakota and Idaho could pool funding in exchange for daylight from Fargo to Williston and in & around Sandpoint if they wanted to change Amtrak’s scheduling though?

And PHL has four and a half overnight LDs a day daily, as well as three longer-distance day trains and a raft of Northeast Regionals and Acelas. It has more Amtrak service than any station but NYP and you know it :P it just doesn’t have the one you want.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:31 pm

There are a few stations in Ohio that have the trains calling at them just before or as the morning rush hour is about to begin. Cleveland Station-48 stops there at 5:45. At Toledo Station, 49 departs there at 6:15 a.m. and 29 departs from there at 5:22 a.m. Train # 30 departs Toledo at 11:39 p.m. If you live in and around Toledo and need to go to business meetings in Chicago, it can be done, but you have to get up very early still. If you want to head to NYC on Amtrak from Cleveland, that can be done but you have to get up very early. In fact, I'm going to probably be spending some days around Cleveland and coming back, I'm going to take 48.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Arlington » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:09 pm

Amtraks' job with the Cardinal is to run it at as low a loss as possible while maximizing mobility. The current schedule seems optimized for parts of West Virginia that, in TOTAL have a population less than CIN all by itself. The question is: is that still the best that can be done?

I would re-time the Cardinal to take what is essentially the Lynchburger's slot and run it daily, essentially guaranteeing that the "East Third" can be run profitably.
Then note that it makes a very useful "West Third"

Depart NYP at around Noon (you could start from Boston at 8am similar to Lynchburger)
Serve CVS at around 7pm (and WSS by 10pm)
Serve CIN at around 7am
Arrive CHI at 3pm

I would run the eastbound 6 hours earlier
Depart CHI at Noon
Serve CIN at 9pm (Ashland at midnight)
Serve CVS at 9am (served WSS at 6am)
Arrive NYP at 5pm (and run onward or connection to Boston by 9pm similar to Lynchburger)

And sorry, WV. If this is about essential mobility, please catch your train at the same time that the LDs serve PGH and CLT.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Arlington » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:10 pm

The other idea is to switch the Cardinal (back) to Superliner equipment and run it from Washington. Here running it slow might pay off. I'd try to get to CVS by 3pm and WSS by 6pm, but then run it slow for 3 extra hours overnight so that it'd serve CIN at 6am.

Coming back, you'd do CIN at 9pm, but have it run slowly such that it'd serve WSS at 9am (a decent "check out hour") and CVS at 12noon.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Morning Zephyr » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:08 pm

Why does the Cardinal serve Cincy when it does and the Builder serve Montana when it does and the Lake Shore serve Cleveland when it does? Don't look for rationality. The reason goes back to the fundamental purpose of Amtrak: the purpose of Amtrak, and NARP's advocacy for it, is not to be responsive to markets, or be geographically equitable, as some earlier posters imply are the criteria. (Though those should be the criteria.) No. Remember, the purpose of Amtrak, and the focus of most advocacy, is simply to keep everything as similar to May 1, 1971 as possible.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby electricron » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:34 am

Morning Zephyr wrote:Why does the Cardinal serve Cincy when it does and the Builder serve Montana when it does and the Lake Shore serve Cleveland when it does? Don't look for rationality. The reason goes back to the fundamental purpose of Amtrak: the purpose of Amtrak, and NARP's advocacy for it, is not to be responsive to markets, or be geographically equitable, as some earlier posters imply are the criteria. (Though those should be the criteria.) No. Remember, the purpose of Amtrak, and the focus of most advocacy, is simply to keep everything as similar to May 1, 1971 as possible.

Most long distance trains are scheduled to reach Chicago in the morning, they are scheduled to depart Chicago in the afternoon and evening. Don't believe me, here are their schedules at Chicago.
Southwest Chief
Train 3 departs 2:50 pm
Train 4 arrives 2:50 pm (exception?)
California Zephyr
Train 5 departs 2:00 pm
Train 6 arrives 2:50 pm (exception?)
Empire Builder
Train 7 departs 2:15 pm
Train 8 arrives 3:55 pm (exception?)
Texas Eagle
Train 21 departs 1:45 pm
Train 22 arrives 1:52 pm (exception?)
Capital Limited
Train 29 arrives 8:45 am
Train 30 departs 6:40 pm
Lake Shore Limited
Train 48 departs 9:30 pm
Train 49 arrives 9:50 am
Cardinal
Train 50 departs 5:45 pm
Train 51 arrives 10:00 am
City of New Orleans
Train 58 departs 8:05 pm
Train 59 arrives 9:20 am

Exception? Yes and no.
All the trains potential originating from the West Coast are schedule to arrive in Chicago no later than 4:00 pm - all the trains going south or east depart no sooner than 5:30 pm. There are around at least 1 hour (almost 2 hours) of layover time with Train 8 arriving before 4:00 pm and with Train 50 departing just before 6:00 pm

All the trains originating from the East Coast or New Orleans arrive no later than 10:00 am - all trains potentially going to the West Coast depart no sooner than 1:30 pm. There are around at least 3 hours (almost 4 hours) of layover time with Train 51 arriving at 10:00 am and with Train 21 departing at 1:45 pm.

There isn't room in the schedule to change some trains by 6 hours. If a train departs Chicago 6 hours earlier - it affect passengers transferring to it from other trains. Likewise, if a train arrives in Chicago 6 hours later, it affects its' passengers transferring to other trains.
Otherwise, having trains arrive in Chicago 6 hours sooner makes transferring to other trains easier, and likewise having trains depart Chicago later makes transferring to them easier.

Moving the Cardinal to a later arrival in Chicago hurts transfers to other trains, moving the Carinal to an earlier departure hurts transfers to it.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:11 am

Morning Zephyr wrote:Why does the Cardinal serve Cincy when it does and the Builder serve Montana when it does and the Lake Shore serve Cleveland when it does? Don't look for rationality. The reason goes back to the fundamental purpose of Amtrak: the purpose of Amtrak, and NARP's advocacy for it, is not to be responsive to markets, or be geographically equitable, as some earlier posters imply are the criteria. (Though those should be the criteria.) No. Remember, the purpose of Amtrak, and the focus of most advocacy, is simply to keep everything as similar to May 1, 1971 as possible.


But on May 1, 1971, trains didn't pass through Cincinnati during the graveyard shift. At that time, there were two separate trains, one west to Chicago and one east to Washington and Norfolk-Newport News.

http://timetables.org/full.php?group=19710501&item=0023

Oh, on May 1, 1971 there was this train called the Broadway Limited. What a concept! Maybe Amtrak should be more like May 1, 1971.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby dowlingm » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:43 pm

Philly Amtrak Fan wrote:Why is it Amtrak's job to run service between Wolf Point and Libby (wherever the heck those places are) for free but not Cleveland and Cincinnati (or for that matter, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, which now only has state supported service)?
Because Congress, by statute and by funding envelope, says so.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Greg Moore » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:25 pm

electricron wrote:
Morning Zephyr wrote:Why does the Cardinal serve Cincy when it does and the Builder serve Montana when it does and the Lake Shore serve Cleveland when it does? Don't look for rationality. The reason goes back to the fundamental purpose of Amtrak: the purpose of Amtrak, and NARP's advocacy for it, is not to be responsive to markets, or be geographically equitable, as some earlier posters imply are the criteria. (Though those should be the criteria.) No. Remember, the purpose of Amtrak, and the focus of most advocacy, is simply to keep everything as similar to May 1, 1971 as possible.

Most long distance trains are scheduled to reach Chicago in the morning, they are scheduled to depart Chicago in the afternoon and evening. Don't believe me, here are their schedules at Chicago.
Southwest Chief
Train 3 departs 2:50 pm
Train 4 arrives 2:50 pm (exception?)
California Zephyr
Train 5 departs 2:00 pm
Train 6 arrives 2:50 pm (exception?)
Empire Builder
Train 7 departs 2:15 pm
Train 8 arrives 3:55 pm (exception?)
Texas Eagle
Train 21 departs 1:45 pm
Train 22 arrives 1:52 pm (exception?)
Capital Limited
Train 29 arrives 8:45 am
Train 30 departs 6:40 pm
Lake Shore Limited
Train 48 departs 9:30 pm
Train 49 arrives 9:50 am
Cardinal
Train 50 departs 5:45 pm
Train 51 arrives 10:00 am
City of New Orleans
Train 58 departs 8:05 pm
Train 59 arrives 9:20 am

Exception? Yes and no.
All the trains potential originating from the West Coast are schedule to arrive in Chicago no later than 4:00 pm - all the trains going south or east depart no sooner than 5:30 pm. There are around at least 1 hour (almost 2 hours) of layover time with Train 8 arriving before 4:00 pm and with Train 50 departing just before 6:00 pm

All the trains originating from the East Coast or New Orleans arrive no later than 10:00 am - all trains potentially going to the West Coast depart no sooner than 1:30 pm. There are around at least 3 hours (almost 4 hours) of layover time with Train 51 arriving at 10:00 am and with Train 21 departing at 1:45 pm.

There isn't room in the schedule to change some trains by 6 hours. If a train departs Chicago 6 hours earlier - it affect passengers transferring to it from other trains. Likewise, if a train arrives in Chicago 6 hours later, it affects its' passengers transferring to other trains.
Otherwise, having trains arrive in Chicago 6 hours sooner makes transferring to other trains easier, and likewise having trains depart Chicago later makes transferring to them easier.

Moving the Cardinal to a later arrival in Chicago hurts transfers to other trains, moving the Carinal to an earlier departure hurts transfers to it.


This is worth quoting and reading if one didn't because it does show that Amtrak does give some thought to how it tries to handle what are basically the breakdown of the Eastern LD and Western LD trains. And it sort of makes sense because someone coming from the east into Chicago is unlikely to head back east the same day, but is likely to head west. And vice vera.

That said, it's one area where if Amtrak could add 1 or 2 more east coast LD trains terminating in Chicago and perhaps NYP or WAS, they could afford to run more "off-hours".
But... money and equipment. Write your local rep.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:50 pm

Really hoping Amtrak acquires enough LD equipment to allow a Broadway Limited again - not because Philadelphia necessarily needs a western connection, but because it frees the Cardinal to be rescheduled in a way that makes sense for the enroute communities.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Arlington » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:30 am

Leaving this thought here, but mostly going to pursue it in the "Amtrak Expansion" thread:

If you did a survey of where WV people need to get to, I suspect that the top places would be:
DC, Cinci, & Pittsburgh as the closest commercial hubs, and the places that the families of "Hillbilly Elegy" migrated to, leaving connections both in WV and these hubs.

So the cousins, the grandkids, the funeral, the university medical center, the regional sales office, and the tall-building lawyers are in CIN, PGH, and WAS all of which are expensive to get to by air.

And vice-versa for where "tourists" and "weekend getaway" vacationers come from. The sweetspot for weekends is 2 ~3 hours away, and for vacations is 6 hours away.

This has strong implications for how you connect WV to CIN and WAS, but also how you make corridor trains, in general.
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