Illinois Amtrak Service

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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby StLouSteve » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:08 pm

Latest news seems to imply 90 speed next summer (2018) and 110 the following year (2019) once PTC issues are resolved.



http://www.sj-r.com/news/20171215/illin ... inal-phase
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby Woody » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:50 pm

Thanks for posting this. Good article full of news bits.

Not sure this could be correct, tho:
"Work started in 2010 included a September 2018 deadline for spending federal funds, said Blankenhorn."
I was sure the Stimulus deadline was September 2017. Maybe everybody got a Free Pass while I wasn't paying attention.

As I've complained elsewhere, not a damn one of the big projects has completed work by the 2017 deadline and started a faster schedule. (The Cascades' new schedule Seattle-Portland, with an added early morning and a late afternoon train, starts Monday, December 18, so there's that.)

The Illinois DOT Secretary also seems to be watering down the goals, now saying that the biggest benefit will be the promised improvement in On Time Performance, whereas before the emphasis was on cutting "about an hour" off the timetable. He doesn't say a thing about capacity either, but after the Nippon Sharyo debacle crashed the bi-level order, it's probably better for him to discuss that another time, or never.

Because of a mushy paragraph, I'm not sure if the 53 minute savings is the cumulative total. Is that the next in a series of time savings of 10 minutes, then 20 minutes from double tracks near Joliet, then another 23 for a total of 53 minutes? Or is it a big bang of 53 on top of the 10 and 20 minutes, for a total savings of 1 hr 23 min? I'm a cynic in this case, so I'll assume it's 53 minutes saved for $1.8 Billion.

Maybe the biggest omission in this report regards the frequencies. It's now four Lincoln trains plus the Texas Eagle. Will there be more frequent trains? If so how many, and how will that alter the current timetable?

So I'm disappointed by the report, but of course it's better to know than to stumble ahead in the dark.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby quincunx » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:04 pm

electricron wrote:I thought they had planned to move the Lincoln services trains to the rail line on what could be called 10th Street? Why spend hard to find money for rail projects on two different rail lines within Springfield?


I don't think they've secured the money to move to 10th St and build a new station, so it's a long ways off.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby quincunx » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:06 pm

Pathetic how long this has taken.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby HammerJack » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:33 pm

Anyone know the status of the 110 Joliet- St. Louis corridor? I just took a ride on the Lincolns between Joliet and Normal, and it was all 79. Not even 90 between Dwight and Pontiac. If I recall from two years ago, which was the last time I rode the Lincolns, Dwight to Pontiac was 110. Seems like a bit of backwards progress over the years... Kidding aside, the service seemed to be split between Chargers and Genesis, which was nice to see. Acceleration between the two is noticeably different.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby Matt Johnson » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:51 pm

Yeah, the 110 demo stretch was downgraded to 79 over a year ago I think. So far, this project has been all hype. I mean, I guess the track upgrades are largely in place, but 110 mph always seems to be a year away. I remember the promised start of 110 mph ops being 2015, then 2016, 2017, 2018....now I hear they're looking to bump speeds to 90 mph instead of 110 initially, maybe by the end of the year.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:24 am

The more that time passes, the more this "High Speed Rail" initiative funded largely by appropriations under ARRA09 ("Stimulus"), appears to be an upgrade of a Union Pacific freight route at taxpayer expense.

When I hear of operating practices such as tucking a Lincoln Service train behind a freight on a siding, waiting for a meet with opposite direction traffic, backing the Lincoln onto the main, then running around the other train smacks me as a "shame on you" moment. The funds were appropriated to build a 110mph predominately passenger line over the C&A/GM&O/CMW/SP/UP and not a freight line for "Uncle Pete", who already has a Chi-Stl line (C&EI).

But the UP is now so heavily vested with its Intermodal terminal near Joliet, there's "no turning back". If the Administrators of this ostensible "HSR" project intended to have "fluid" passenger train operations, including "ten a day" frequency, as well as accepting that UP was expanding their operations on THEIR line, then first step would have been to restore the double tracking that existed until 1968. Otherwise, who knows when or if this "HSR" will be operational.

disclaimer: author holds long position UNP
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:37 pm

quincunx wrote:Pathetic how long this has taken.


It is a cautionary tale in the willingness and ability of all parties to work together to operate "higher speed" in mixed operations.

I remain hopeful ...
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:59 pm

Silly question, but in the V-II thread this came up:
CNJGeep wrote:8400 was spotted recently filling out the axle count for one of the trains that runs over CN(?) and is usually chock full of H-Bags.


Does Amtrak offer low baggage rates on Illini/Saluki to take advantage of the extra capacity it has to tow around? Could it? Would anyone use it if it undercut UPS?
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:03 pm

Not ... dead ... yet ...

"Be patient." That was the message Wednesday from the Illinois Department of Transportation for local residents wondering when passenger rail service to Chicago will start.

Members of the Bi-State Regional Commission got an update on the project from Scott Speegle - the Passenger Rail Communications Manager for the Illinois DOT. He says the preliminary engineering work is going on now, and once that's finished, they'll know what work needs to be done and may be able to estimate when the tracks'll be ready.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby gokeefe » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:07 pm

Some additional detail on sevice to the Quad Cities ...

The extension allows IDOT to continue working with the FRA and Iowa Interstate Railroad on preliminary engineering studies that will determine the full scope of improvements necessary to facilitate passenger trains between Wyanet and Moline," Speegle said. "The current preliminary engineering activities include inspection and assessment of bridge structures and track conditions, grade crossing design, signal and systems design, and track rehabilitation planning."
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby bretton88 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:43 am

gokeefe wrote:Some additional detail on sevice to the Quad Cities ...

The extension allows IDOT to continue working with the FRA and Iowa Interstate Railroad on preliminary engineering studies that will determine the full scope of improvements necessary to facilitate passenger trains between Wyanet and Moline," Speegle said. "The current preliminary engineering activities include inspection and assessment of bridge structures and track conditions, grade crossing design, signal and systems design, and track rehabilitation planning."

Grumble, we've gone from 2016, to 2018 to who knows when on this thing. I'd love to see it done.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:20 pm

Translated, that sounds like:

IAIS: “how does this benefit us?”
Illinois: “...doing your civic duty?”
IAIS: “great, write ‘civic duty’ in the memo section of the fat check for us.”
BNSF: “what they said, but in triplicate”
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:36 pm

Two delays ... One because they had to dump the CN (?) route and the other because the Governor's office held the project up during a budget crisis. Changing host railroads (or not getting it right on the first attempt) is probably the source of most of the lost time.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:38 pm

gokeefe wrote:Two delays ... One because they had to dump the CN (?) route and the other because the Governor's office held the project up during a budget crisis. Changing host railroads (or not getting it right on the first attempt) is probably the source of most of the lost time.

Are you thinking of the Black Hawk redux? Quad Cities service only involves BNSF and IAIS.
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