Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:38 pm

That makes me wonder if it is indeed worth it, then, to run trains north of Portland in the off hours. It looks nice in the timetable, but the need does not seem to be there. Save some crew expense and fuel costs.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby gokeefe » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:04 pm

The real savings is from the layover facility. You lose all of your energy savings storing those cars overnight outside in Portland.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:14 pm

gokeefe wrote:The real savings is from the layover facility. You lose all of your energy savings storing those cars overnight outside in Portland.


Seems reasonable. Thanks!
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby charlesriverbranch » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:20 am

I have another milepost question. Traveling north on #681 just now, I noticed that just past a milepost labeled "B 36" was a stone that appears to mark the NH state line. North (east?) of it, mileposts seem to show three-digit numbers. I'm guessing that the "B" numbers are original Boston and Maine numbers, while the three-digit ones are of Pan Am origin. I'm further guessing that MBTA ownership of the ROW extends to the state line, where Pan Am takes over.

Are either of these guesses correct?
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Arlington » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:52 am

You are correct that ownership goes from MBTA to PanAm at the MA/NH line. I am not sure if I have ever seen a pan am mile marker.

I live between the granite "B6" and "B5" (West Medford MA and visible from the DE) on so I'm going to say there's a pattern all along the downeaster's route. :-)
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby jcpatten » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:08 pm

I believe mileage north (RR east) of Portland is based from Mattawamkeag; south/RR west of Portland must be from somewhere west of Lawrence - Deerfield Yard, maybe.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Dick H » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:43 pm

PAR mileage starts at zero in Mattawamkeag ME and continues to Milepost 489 at Rotterdam Jct. NY.
When operating in MBTA territory, they use MBTA Mileposts beginning from Boston.

The old B&M mileposts originated at Boston North Station and ran to Portland on what is now District #2.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby MEC407 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:08 pm

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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby markhb » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:37 am

Wasn't there a photo of the farthest Guilford mile post still standing in Pennsylvania, at the end of the D&H?

On topic, what would this mean for the Mountain Division eastbound wye?
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:44 pm

A688 departed Brunswick on-time but lost 13 minutes by the time they got to Freeport. They've lost more time between Portland and Saco and are now over an hour late and sitting still at CPF 209. Meanwhile, A685 has just now come to a stop at CPF 211.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Dick H » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:20 pm

#688 Service Alert 2/26

2/26/19 - 8:30 pm

Train 688 is operating approximately to be 90 minutes late due to a switch issue in the area of Portland, ME.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby charlesriverbranch » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:40 pm

What is the short train set I sometimes see at Portland: a single coach with a locomotive at each end?
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Dick H » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:20 pm

That is likely spare equipment. The do have one spare coach. As far as the
engines go, the cabbage units seem to be quite unreliable and an engine has
to be frequently substituted. Hence, the two spare engines.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby markhb » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:55 am

I just saw that the recent NNEPRA board packet says (in the minutes from January) that they're looking at potential new station locations in Portland. Is that because the decision to stay at PTC was predicated on the original vision for Thompson's Point, and with the turn that project has taken there is no longer a compelling reason to stay (connectivity to Rock Row notwithstanding)?
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby gokeefe » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:32 pm

markhb wrote:I just saw that the recent NNEPRA board packet says (in the minutes from January) that they're looking at potential new station locations in Portland.

I think you're referring to this bullet ...

• Explore Portland Station improvement options and alternatives

That does not signify a potential reconsideration of location but rather "alternatives" being a variety of ideas beyond obvious choices for that particular site. In environmental studies that can also mean consideration of a "no build" alternative.

In this case it's probably related to options for a new parking structure. The alternatives for a platform are truly quite limited due to the size of the space and the grade crossing. You either build an island with an elevator tower and a pedestrian bridge or you don't.

The parking lot decision and the choices with regard to the station facilities is much more complicated.
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