All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

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wigwagfan
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Post by wigwagfan » Sat May 04, 2019 11:52 pm

mtuandrew wrote:wigwag: it sounds like you’re saying, dump the Eugene-Seattle-Vancouver Talgo turns and either use a dedicated, smaller trainset that only runs in the Willamette Valley, or abandon all Eugene service but for buses and LD service. How close am I to the mark?
Ditch the PDX-EUG market by rail, let the buses handle it. The trains can be far better utilized north of Portland.

A non-stop Portland-Eugene bus can do the run in less than two hours. Amtrak takes a minimum two and a half hours.

Vincent
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Post by Vincent » Sun May 05, 2019 12:19 am

wigwagfan asked: How much "connecting feed" is there?

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/sites/default/f ... rt2018.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Slide 10 shows that in 2018 there were about 40,000 annual passengers who traveled between WA stations and stations south of Portland. That's about 110 passengers per day.

Who is selling bus trips for less than 2 hours? BoltBus schedules 2:20 for the Eugene - Portland trip, Greyhound is even longer due to more stops.

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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Post by MattW » Sun May 05, 2019 10:30 am

STrRedWolf wrote:
Backshophoss wrote:The Quick fix is the 2 unused WI Taglo sets at Beech Grove,need to moved west and put in service!
Reported hangup is the FRA wavier to use the sets "as is",without the Door interlock trainline that's now required.
(ie Door open,loco cannot move)
This is probably the best route, since there are two near-ready pairs, even if they can't get the waiver...

Although, why do they need that interlock? Amtrak engineers and conductors on MARC equipment have a hard enough time stopping on a 1.5 car extended platform at Odenton, MD (hint: trackwork BRIDGE to BOWIE on the NEC starting June 3rd) with one of them hanging out the door while the train's moving telling the engineer YA GOING TOO FAST YOU IDIOT!!! (Yes, I'm pissed about the trackwork since March 2nd.) Making a "Open door, dump air" policy is *WORSE*.
Don't the door interlocking systems have an override key or switch that the conductor can enable for the exact scenario you describe?

Backshophoss
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Re: other Matters Cascades

Post by Backshophoss » Sun May 05, 2019 6:56 pm

Door under local (key) control will not trip the PKO relay,Relay trips open when a bunch of doors opened from 1 door control panel.

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STrRedWolf
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Re: other Matters Cascades

Post by STrRedWolf » Sun May 05, 2019 8:51 pm

Backshophoss wrote:Door under local (key) control will not trip the PKO relay,Relay trips open when a bunch of doors opened from 1 door control panel.
Okay, that jives with what I see on the NEC. They key-override that door to get the positioning down.
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Tadman
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Post by Tadman » Mon May 06, 2019 9:09 am

wigwagfan wrote: Japan/Europe can figure out how to keep trains moving with minimal delay. Southwest does it all day long, thousands of times a day, with their 737s, at hundreds of different stations. We're asking Amtrak to figure it out at just TWO locations.

SURELY, Amtrak can figure it out.

Or, maybe, this is just a realization the Talgo trainset is not the appropriate equipment, if its blue water/black water tanks can't withstand a 300 passenger load for less than four hours. It's already bad enough the doors can't open automatically leading to deboarding delays at PDX/SEA as a Conductor has to walk around and open the doors (God forbid if you're in Car 9...)
Some really good points here.

First, when you're not incentivized to figure things out, the rate of innovation is much lower. Amtrak is not known for innovation, they are known for interia. The though that they would find a way to fast-turn trains is a stretch. This is why I like the Brightline mentality - they have to be scrappy and nimble to make it work and start making money, so fast turns is a good idea.

Regarding Talgos as the right equipment, I have plenty of thoughts there, too. The justification was the curvy ROW, but the curves are mostly north of Tacoma. The maintenance costs are high from what I understand, requiring a tech onboard at all time. I'm a bit surprised that the tanks can't seem to handle the load, as Talgos are used for overnight sleepers between Hendaye and Lisbon and Berlin and Moscow nightly.

If I were ODOT/WSDot, I'd ask Brightline or BN for a bid to run the service, and I'd look at Siemens Velaro train sets.

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Tadman
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Re: other Matters Cascades

Post by Tadman » Mon May 06, 2019 9:33 am

STrRedWolf wrote:
Backshophoss wrote:...Reported hangup is the FRA wavier to use the sets "as is",without the Door interlock trainline that's now required.
(ie Door open,loco cannot move)
...Although, why do they need that interlock? ....
The lovely FRA sewing circle strikes again! Hundreds of people dying each year at grade crossings and they do nothing. Nobody ever fell out of a train BUT THE SKY IS FALLING WE CANNOT RUN A TRAIN THIS WAY!!!! OMG RUSSIANS WILL BE COLLUDING TO PUSH PEOPLE OUT THE DOORS AND LEE HARVEY OSWALD WILL BE PICKING PEOPLE OFF THROUGH OPEN DOORS AS THEY RIDE THROUGH DALLAS THE HORROR OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYYYYYYYY GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Don't tell those idiots they used to run commuter trains with the doors and traps open. Millions of people went to work every day and nobody fell out. I'm not advocating we do this again, but come on, let's not start making stuff up.

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by John_Perkowski » Mon May 06, 2019 9:44 am

I merged two Cascade topics. The wreck topic is still free standing.
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Suburban Station
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Post by Suburban Station » Mon May 06, 2019 1:04 pm

wigwagfan wrote:
ApproachMedium wrote:It isnt that simple. Trains need to be serviced. And only having 30 minutes means if there IS any delays or snags enroute that will end up making a cascade of delays for any trains later in the day the set would use. At some point trains need interiors cleaned between runs. i dont know the distance/time these trains are running but nothing on the NEC gets a 30 minute turn except maybe a Keystone set and that continues to prove to be a problem because the bathrooms run out of water and the trash bins fill up. And the toilets start to nearly overflow.
If the trains are so incredibly dirty after a 3:30 run PDX-SEA then there is a serious problem. As it is, the trains barely get any "cleaning" between runs even with a generous 4-5 hours (or more) between trips; is there even any crew in Portland that cleans at all, beyond dumps the holding tanks?

Japan/Europe can figure out how to keep trains moving with minimal delay. Southwest does it all day long, thousands of times a day, with their 737s, at hundreds of different stations. We're asking Amtrak to figure it out at just TWO locations.

SURELY, Amtrak can figure it out.

Or, maybe, this is just a realization the Talgo trainset is not the appropriate equipment, if its blue water/black water tanks can't withstand a 300 passenger load for less than four hours. It's already bad enough the doors can't open automatically leading to deboarding delays at PDX/SEA as a Conductor has to walk around and open the doors (God forbid if you're in Car 9...)
I believe the Hiawatha has some 30 minute turns in its schedule so Amtrak can do it when they want to. most routes are not reliable enough to schedule tight turns though.

bdawe
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Post by bdawe » Mon May 06, 2019 5:28 pm

Sure, but the most-of-a-working-day turn arounds at either end of the Cascades corridor are pretty sad
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Vincent
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by Vincent » Mon May 06, 2019 6:53 pm

Here's the math.

The current Cascades schedule with 4 daily roundtrips between Seattle and Portland (8 trips * 3:30 trip time = 28 daily train hours) plus 2 roundtrips between Seattle and Vancouver BC (2 rts * 8:25 = 16:50 train hours) plus Portland to Eugene 2 roundtrips (4 trips * 2:35 = 10:20 train hours). Total utilization is 55:10 divided by 5 trainsets = 11:02 daily utilization.

The December 2017 schedule offered 6 daily round trips between Seattle and Portland (12 trips * 3:20 = 40:00 train hours) plus 4 daily trips between Portland and Eugene (4 trips * 2:35 = 10:20 train hours) plus 2 daily roundtrips between Seattle and Vancouver BC (2 rts * 8:25 = 16:50 train hours). Total daily utilization was 67:10 divided by 7 trainsets = 9:35 daily utilization.

Considering there aren't any overnight runs on the corridor, that's not bad utilization. Most airlines fly their planes on domestic routes for 9-12 hours a day. The Hiawathas make 7 trips a day @ 1.5 hours between Chicago and Milwaukee. That's a daily utilization of ~ 10.5 hours. The Hiawathas do have some 30 minute turns but the trip time is only 1:29 compared to 3:20 for a Seattle to Portland trip.

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Tadman
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by Tadman » Mon May 06, 2019 8:50 pm

I guess the next question is, "what is a turn?". Other than operating in the opposite direction and a new train number, why does the train set need to be serviced? NEC trains run something like 8 hours WAS-BOS without a full service. Is it really necessary to stop at one end and completely service if many NEC trains run 8 hours?

Suburban Station
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by Suburban Station » Tue May 07, 2019 2:34 pm

Vincent wrote:Here's the math....
I'd think that even at 3.5 hours you would be able to have at least one short turn before a longer layover was necessary (enough time to also dump toilets) whereas at 1.5 hours you might be able to make two or three trips before toilets had to be dumped. what is the OTP for the cascades?

Vincent
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by Vincent » Tue May 07, 2019 7:34 pm

Cascades's OTP is not good. It's been in the 60% range for the last year. In my experience, Portland to Seattle seems to be the best segment, while the Seattle to BC segment is less reliable.

The turn service could be done quickly by putting a large cleaning crew on board. If it takes 6 labor hours to clean and turn a train, then 6 people could turn the train in 1 hour or 2 people can turn the train in 3 hours. In a fairly busy station like Seattle or Portland it makes sense to turn the train in 1 hour, but in a station like Eugene or Vancouver BC, where there are only 2 arrivals per day, it would be difficult to hire enough people to do a quick 60 minute turn if those employees are only going to get 1 hour of work a day.

There also are a number of mechanical checks mandated by the FRA for the locomotives and rolling stock. I don't know the schedule or how long those checks require, however.

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Post by STrRedWolf » Tue May 07, 2019 8:59 pm

A minimal turn-around would be 30-40 minutes, and w/o a dump, as practiced by MARC service on the NEC.

I think a full service would take an hour or two, including dumping the waste tanks. Thankfully there's maybe two or three on MARC trains. There's probably one every two cars on Amtrak trains. I would think some of the medium and long distance trains would service at the ends or at long layover stops.
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