Amtrak Quad Cities Proposal Chicago, Moline, Iowa City

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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby Station Aficionado » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:14 pm

The article Mr. Figgatt links notes that design work on the station in Moline continues. The original private developer that was going to be involved in the Moline station project pulled out, but I believe a new developer has been identified. The involvement of a private developer pertains to non-rail uses of the facility. In any event, we are still waiting for the first spadeful of dirt to be turned on extension of service to the Quad Cities. Like Mr. Figgatt, I begin to fear that late 2015 is an overly optimistic date for start of service.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby Greg Moore » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:56 pm

An interesting twist.

A non-binding resolution to support an east-west corridor from Danville to Quad-Cities.

I doubt too much to come of this, but it's still a promising turn of events.

And remember, it's all about the network.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:07 pm

There's already a Thruway bus that does pretty much what is proposed. Is it filled to capacity on a regular basis? If so, add a second frequency. I don't see multi-frequency train service on this route until you fill up multi-frequency buses.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:07 pm

The article is also a bit disingenuous about it being able to be pieced together. Sure, you could, but it would involve five separate railroads: IAIS, Rock Island - East Moline; BNSF, East Moline - Peoria; Tazewell & Peoria (ex-Peoria & Pekin Union) in Peoria and East Peoria; NS, East Peoria - Champaign and Tolono - Danville; and CN, Champaign - Tolono. You could eliminate the CN trackage by reinstalling the ex-NYC between Urbana and Danville, but it's marked as abandoned on the Illinois state railroad map.

Connecting dots on a map is easy in theory.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby skibum77 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:52 am

Not only is the direct line from Champaign to Danville abandoned, looking at Google Earth, most of the NS line between Bloomington and Mansfield is in serious disrepair, if not abandoned as well. Except for a little spur at Farmer City, that line doesn't show up in Google's RR layer. But living in St. Louis, I like the idea of something like this, as it'd shave a few hours off a trip to Champaign or the Quad Cities if the connections at Bloomington were timed well.

If this route were built out, am I wrong in thinking that a train STL - BLN - QC or STL - BLN - Danville would generate just as much traffic as one Danville - QC?

Run 1 train QC - Danville, 1 STL - QC, and 1 STL - Danville. That way you can tap potential STL ridership by giving them a 1 seat ride to more places than just along the Lincoln Service route.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby ryanch » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:56 am

skibum77 wrote:If this route were built out, am I wrong in thinking that a train STL - BLN - QC or STL - BLN - Danville would generate just as much traffic as one Danville - QC?

Run 1 train QC - Danville, 1 STL - QC, and 1 STL - Danville. That way you can tap potential STL ridership by giving them a 1 seat ride to more places than just along the Lincoln Service route.
I don't know. But let's consider likely markets. One is students. But travel home/back is going to be heavily concentrated on a few departures each week, and it's tough to serve both ISU/Illinois Wesleyan and U of I without at least two train sets. Another possibility is long-distance commuters, and there are some, but you'd have to pick which city pair you wanted to serve for commuters unless you had a bunch of train sets, and most commuters need a fallback. It's tough to rely on a service if you only have one option for getting home 60 miles at the end of the day. I don't know how much QC-StL or Champaign-StL traffic there may be in general. But it's tough to see that as a very big market even with a direct routing, given the near-perpendicular route of travel. One way or another, your suggestion creates some sort of back-up move in Bloomington, since there's no way to locate a station that can put trains from the east and west onto the southbound tracks without backing up.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby electricron » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:16 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:There's already a Thruway bus that does pretty much what is proposed. Is it filled to capacity on a regular basis? If so, add a second frequency. I don't see multi-frequency train service on this route until you fill up multi-frequency buses.

I've taken that thruway bus a few times this last decade, not even a van was filled when I rode it.
Two RDCs, or a modern married pair DMU, would be overkill for the amount of riders on it.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:45 pm

And to get back on topic, when can we expect to see service out of Chicago? Have they even begun the Wyanet connection yet?
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby Tadman » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:37 pm

Interesting this came up - today's WSJ notes that the frequency of airline departures out of Des Moines is seriously dropping, perhaps this is the time such a service could be successful. That said, the success is limited because you're limited to Chicago O&D traffic or transfers to MKE or Detroit, given the uselessness of IND runs and the geographic disadvantage of the STL run.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby Bob Roberts » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:07 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:There's already a Thruway bus that does pretty much what is proposed. Is it filled to capacity on a regular basis? If so, add a second frequency. I don't see multi-frequency train service on this route until you fill up multi-frequency buses.


I understand and accept the merits of this approach to demand forecasting. However, it reminds me a little of forecasting the demand for a bridge based on counting the number of people who swim across the river.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:48 pm

Bob Roberts wrote:
Rockingham Racer wrote:There's already a Thruway bus that does pretty much what is proposed. Is it filled to capacity on a regular basis? If so, add a second frequency. I don't see multi-frequency train service on this route until you fill up multi-frequency buses.


I understand and accept the merits of this approach to demand forecasting. However, it reminds me a little of forecasting the demand for a bridge based on counting the number of people who swim across the river.



LOL! Except: you can't drown in a bus! [unless it goes into your river] :-D
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby ryanch » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:30 pm

Tadman wrote:Interesting this came up - today's WSJ notes that the frequency of airline departures out of Des Moines is seriously dropping, perhaps this is the time such a service could be successful. That said, the success is limited because you're limited to Chicago O&D traffic or transfers to MKE or Detroit, given the uselessness of IND runs and the geographic disadvantage of the STL run.

I was actually going to suggest almost the opposite - that if anything, Des Moines St. Louis might be a little better because it was more dogleg than two sides of a right triangle, and the driving routes aren't very well developed - you'd probably drive almost the same route the train takes. But I just don't think Des Moines- St Louis is a big travel routing for any mode.

I'll take this opportunity to mention that a moment ago, I looked down part of the routing in question (well, the route mentioned this week - Quad Cities-Champaign/Danville.) I'm on the Lincoln Service, and we just pulled out of the station in Normal. Which is one difficulty. The NS line connecting Peoria and Champaign runs through Bloomington, but the brand new intermodal station is in Normal. There is an old spur that seems to be shown on the Illinois Rail map, leading from the Champaign road to the Normal station, (it's most likely a remnant of an old line to Decatur), but I just saw several bicycles riding a trail there. It looks like the NS line crosses the Lincoln Service at a rail junction near the intersection of Washington and Morris in Bloomington, and there is some space there, possibly even an existing connection between the two lines (west and north are connected). But it's 3 miles from the station. That's a lot of backing on a busy passenger line.

On my way into Springfield early this afternoon, I waited 20 minutes a mile north of the stop while they gave a crippled northbound Texas Eagle a new locomotive. I mention it for those who say that the St. Louis-Chicago line isn't busy enough for one passenger train to cause trouble for another.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby quincunx » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:49 am

IGNN - Governor Quinn Unveils Six-Year, $8.6 Billion Transportation Construction Program

$222 million to provide new intercity passenger rail service between Chicago and Moline for the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City Corridor in Cook and DuPage Counties


http://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ ... cNum=12115
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby gokeefe » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:33 am

There is also this separate but related line item:

$60 million to re-establish passenger rail service, which includes a new station in South Elgin for the Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque Corridor in Cook, DuPage and Kane Counties


Quad Cities Total= $282 million. Among the single largest outlays in the entire proposal.
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Re: Amtrak Quad Cities Service Proposal Chicago - Iowa City

Postby Station Aficionado » Wed May 14, 2014 1:03 pm

Lo and behold, an actual sign of something tangible happening on the Quad Cities project (alas not track work):
It doesn't look like much yet, just a vacant old warehouse on 4th Avenue and 12th Street in Moline, but it's in the works to become the new Amtrak Station in the QCA.

Crews are already inside, stripping lead paint and prepping the soon-to-be train station for construction. City officials said they're on track to have it open in late 2015, before the train service begins
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Unfortunately, there's a bit of bad news (or confirmation of what we have expected) included:
The Amtrak Station in Moline will be open in late 2015. Train service from the QC to Chicago is expected to begin in 2016.

(Emphasis added).
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