Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffalo

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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby EuroStar » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:49 am

dgvrengineer wrote:Wonder what the effect will be on Amtrak Empire service & LSL if Hunter Harrison gets his way and single tracks Albany to Chicago. From Railway Age " “Hunter did away with the rule banning getting off moving equipment. He currently has a team working on a design to single-track from Albany, N.Y. to Chicago.” . Very interesting article I think everyone interested in the future of CSX should read. Here is the link:
http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/blo ... channel=00


Has the traffic on the Waterlevel route gone down so much that CSX could get away with one track for freight? I find that hard to believe, but then, I really do not know. I surely hope NY State does not let them go down to one track. If they do, the on-time performance of any passenger train between Buffalo and Albany will deteriorate likely to a point where nobody will take the train. Politically that is likely to be unacceptable. The double track beyond Buffalo might be a toast though, especially outside of NY state.

Focusing on Albany-Buffalo, I do not see CSX being able to sell or long lease the full second track to the state because then opposite direction freights will be extremely restricted in passing each other. Same would be true for the Empire Service trains on that second track. I actually do not see a good way to set this up.
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:06 am

Estimates of Selkirk-Buffalo train traffic following a host of abolishments and consolidations are about 35 daily freight trains, dominated by intermodals (~15 intermodal , 1 produce (2 days/week), 6 autorack, 8 manifest, and a handful of grain/ethanol unit trains). So if the only traffic on this largely flat and straight route were 35 daily freight trains, single track CTC should work. But throw in 8 more 70+ mph Amtrak trains and punctuality might suffer.
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:22 am

Does a railroad need STB approval to lift a second track?

Given the political firestorm in NY State right now over poor rail service, this seems a rather tone-deaf move on the part of EHH. Unless of course the goal is to push NYS into taking ownership of the whole line.
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:36 am

A $ingle main reduce$ C$X'$ taxe$. Might be a negotiating tactic to get that tax burden reduced.
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby leviramsey » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:19 pm

Sort of OT, but that may be a decent way to get host RRs to play nice: for states to basically say that they'll cover (say) $0.01 per passenger mile (maybe plus $1 per occupied-car-mile of passenger trains) of property taxes for passenger trains on the freight roads. Then the freight road has some incentive to increase ridership and distance-traveled and it effectively makes freight RR support for passenger service something in lieu of taxes.
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby electricron » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:44 pm

????
Reducing property taxes on private enterprise still leaves the taxpayers holding the bill!

It's a Hobson's choice; the government pays private enterprise the full capital costs to run passenger trains over freight railroad tracks upfront, or lower property taxes of the freight railroad corridor forever, a little every year. Will the freight railroad companies trust government to keep the taxes lower long enough to pay the upfront capital costs needed to support running passenger trains over freight railroad tracks? I certainly wouldn't, because promises made by one governor and legislature isn't a promise made by future governors and legislatures. Just check out the recent example in Wisconsin involving Talgo train sets.
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby jstolberg » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:54 pm

johnpbarlow wrote:Estimates of Selkirk-Buffalo train traffic following a host of abolishments and consolidations are about 35 daily freight trains, dominated by intermodals (~15 intermodal , 1 produce (2 days/week), 6 autorack, 8 manifest, and a handful of grain/ethanol unit trains). So if the only traffic on this largely flat and straight route were 35 daily freight trains, single track CTC should work. But throw in 8 more 70+ mph Amtrak trains and punctuality might suffer.

So why bother with 2-way traffic? Run 18 trains westbound on 12 minute headways (3.6 hours) from Schenectady to Cleveland (+8 hours), then when the last train clears, run 18 eastbound. Any train that wants to run against the prevailing direction sits on a siding for 4 hours until the group clears.

Or, just run clockwise Albany to Baltimore to Cleveland to Albany. Passenger trains can run Chicago to NYP via Albany, return via Baltimore.

There are other ways to do it, but why get complicated? Freight doesn't care.

(I know I'm being simplistic and sarcastic; attempting to reflect a C-suite attitude.)
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:36 pm

EHH has pulled about 1000 locos off the active CSX fleet and sold them off or returned them to the Leasing Companies.
There have been reports of trains that are so under powered that are stalling out near Batavia on a 0.89 grade,and need to
double over that grade! Also EHH has done away with Helper Districts, NOT GOOD!
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:14 am

Derision Railroading. Not good for Amtrak timeliness until things get sorted out to Hunter's liking (or he moves on to a golf course, either in the sky or in Florida.) Certainly making CSX dividends for hiring him, but at a permanent cost.
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:36 am

Is there a topic in CSX for this?
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:33 pm

All the changes are beginning to bite back at CSX and on Amtrak's ability to get over the road,after leaving the Amtrak controlled track
west of Albany. West of Buffalo is already a nitemare for 48 and 49,and having to double a freight over a small grade doesn't help OTP
for any Empire service trains stuck waiting for the freight to clear up. Might be time to get Gov Cuomo to talk to EHH.
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby Railjunkie » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:02 am

Herr Cuomo dosent give a rats ass about Amtrak in general nor anything north of Westchester county Besides Ive never heard him talk only scream.
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:13 am

Cuomo does not run Amtrak and has no say in matter, and recent rulings on non-prioritizing passenger trains by railroad owners are on federal level.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby electricron » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:28 am

Governors of any state have enough problems to divert their attention over that they control,
regional and state transportation agencies like MTA, NYDOT, Port Authority, etc. Amtrak is not controlled by New York state, it is an independent federal agency acting like an independent private enterprise, that just happens to run trains in New York.
But New York and other states subsidize Amtrak on many of the trains it operates. One would think these states would have some authority - but that's not the case. The states are in a contractural relationship with Amtrak.
In contractural relationships like this, who is the consumer and who is the provider?
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Re: Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffal

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:42 am

just because they subsidize part of losses , does not give them say or say in host railroad matters.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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