MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

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MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby east point » Tue May 30, 2017 11:53 am

Here a conflict that happens at least once a day sometimes more that delays MARC trains out of BAL due to the 2 track present tunnel. Amtrak trains have priority to leave BAL even if late.Just one reason 4 track bores needed south of BAL/


MARC Service Alert <alert@mtamarylandalerts.com>
To
MTA Maryland Alerts Subscriber
Today at 11:43 AM

Train 429 (1135am dept Balt) will have a delayed departure due to late Amtrak traffic.
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby east point » Tue May 30, 2017 7:49 pm

Another conflict today

MARC Service Alert <alert@mtamarylandalerts.com>

To
MTA Maryland Alerts Subscriber

Today at 5:49 PM

Marc 445 (525pm Dpt Baltimore) is operating with a 12-15 minute delay. Due to following an Amtrak train
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby RRspatch » Wed May 31, 2017 5:34 am

The problem here isn't the two track B&P tunnel, but the railroad layout south of Baltimore all the way to Washington. Between Washington and Baltimore the railroad layout is -

Washington (CP Avenue) to New Carrollton - 2 tracks (2 & 3)
New Carrollton to Winans - 3 tracks (1, 2 & 3)
Winans to Bridge - 4 tracks (A, 1, 2 &3)
Bridge to Baltimore station - 2 tracks. (2 &3)

North of New Carrollton ("Carroll") MARC uses Track 1 while Amtrak uses track 2. This is fine as it keeps the slower MARC trains out of Amtrak's way. The problem is in the southbound direction where Amtrak and MARC both share Track 3. Back in my corridor dispatching daze it was not that uncommon to hold a southbound MARC local at Baltimore for a late running Metroliner. Until the railroad is four tracked between Winans and Carroll with slower MARC trains on the outside tracks you're going to get delays like the one you mentioned above. I'm not sure how HOT the ACELA's are these days, but back in the 90's delaying a Metroliner with something as lowly as a MARC or SEPTIC local was unheard of.
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby bdawe » Wed May 31, 2017 11:58 am

Perha
RRspatch wrote:The problem here isn't the two track B&P tunnel, but the railroad layout south of Baltimore all the way to Washington. Between Washington and Baltimore the railroad layout is -

Washington (CP Avenue) to New Carrollton - 2 tracks (2 & 3)
New Carrollton to Winans - 3 tracks (1, 2 & 3)
Winans to Bridge - 4 tracks (A, 1, 2 &3)
Bridge to Baltimore station - 2 tracks. (2 &3)

North of New Carrollton ("Carroll") MARC uses Track 1 while Amtrak uses track 2. This is fine as it keeps the slower MARC trains out of Amtrak's way. The problem is in the southbound direction where Amtrak and MARC both share Track 3. Back in my corridor dispatching daze it was not that uncommon to hold a southbound MARC local at Baltimore for a late running Metroliner. Until the railroad is four tracked between Winans and Carroll with slower MARC trains on the outside tracks you're going to get delays like the one you mentioned above. I'm not sure how HOT the ACELA's are these days, but back in the 90's delaying a Metroliner with something as lowly as a MARC or SEPTIC local was unheard of.


Perhaps things might be happier if they took a cue from the Bay Area and tried to mitigate the problem by improving the average speed of the commuter trains with modern EMUs and cut dwell with full level boarding so that commuter trains are less in the way of intercity trains.
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby east point » Wed May 31, 2017 6:46 pm

Of course we have the problem of 3 - 2 track draw bridges that slows up traffic into and out of Baltimore.,
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby STrRedWolf » Wed May 31, 2017 8:07 pm

RRspatch wrote:The problem here isn't the two track B&P tunnel, but the railroad layout south of Baltimore all the way to Washington. Between Washington and Baltimore the railroad layout is -

Washington (CP Avenue) to New Carrollton - 2 tracks (2 & 3)
New Carrollton to Winans - 3 tracks (1, 2 & 3)
Winans to Bridge - 4 tracks (A, 1, 2 &3)
Bridge to Baltimore station - 2 tracks. (2 &3)

North of New Carrollton ("Carroll") MARC uses Track 1 while Amtrak uses track 2. This is fine as it keeps the slower MARC trains out of Amtrak's way. The problem is in the southbound direction where Amtrak and MARC both share Track 3. Back in my corridor dispatching daze it was not that uncommon to hold a southbound MARC local at Baltimore for a late running Metroliner. Until the railroad is four tracked between Winans and Carroll with slower MARC trains on the outside tracks you're going to get delays like the one you mentioned above. I'm not sure how HOT the ACELA's are these days, but back in the 90's delaying a Metroliner with something as lowly as a MARC or SEPTIC local was unheard of.


Um... not quite for third reasons. First, Amtrak stops at BWI Airport, which is between GROVE and WINANS. That's quite a stretch where Amtrak northbound and MARC northbound are sharing track... and it constantly screws things up enough that if anything breaks down on track 1, MARC has to service Halethorpe and West Baltimore from across track 3. Why? WINANS isn't a full line interlock -- it only splits track A from track 1!

Second, Amtrak uses track 2 in both directions. Nice if you can manage the skip. But two ways on the same track? That slows things down. It'll be better if they four-track it all the way down to AVENUE from WINANS (and expand that interlock, oh, and fix BRIDGE as well) so that Amtrak can dedicate one track for one direction all the time. They're working on doing GROVE to WINANS, by the way...

Third, you can't ignore the B&P Tunnel! Let us review: That is a two-track, 30MPH bottleneck, and is primary issue that Amtrak and MTA have identified as being the killer of NEC service from Washington to New York. It's been studied to death. The solution is there. Do you want a 50MPH bump in the speed limit *and* four-track service into Penn Station that dedicates a pair of tunnels to MARC and another to Amtrak, which speeds things up even more?

Let me tell you one thing: I'm sick and tired of having MARC Train 406 having to hold south of BRIDGE because of a late-running Amtrak train. I can't wait until it's built.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby east point » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:34 pm

Now today an Amtrak train failed at BWI. MARC trains backed up with one an hour late. Just one more reason for a 4 track main. Disabled trains are going to happen. There needs a way for trains behind and in this case running the other way to get by disabled train.


MARC Service Alert <alert@mtamarylandalerts.com>
To
MTA Maryland Alerts Subscriber
Today at 7:45 AM
While disabled Amtrak train 180 is unloaded at BWI, MARC trains continue to hold. Northbound MARC Train: 502 is delayed 55-60 minutes; 404 is delayed 40 minutes. Southbound MARC Train: 511 is delayed 30 minutes; 413 is delayed 20 minutes; 415 is delayed 10 minutes.
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:46 pm

I got caught up with that. Amtrak 180 was stuck between GROVE and the BWI Airport station. They transferred them to another Amtrak Regional and maybe an Acella as well, before pushing a bypassing MARC through and then MARC 404 (which I jumped on to not be even more late). Needless to say, if it goes 4-track and there was the center platform in the linked documents? Then yes, after GROVE they would be dedicating the newer tracks (3 and 4, aka current 2 and 3) to keep service moving while 180 got offloaded and moved. By then, the emails would be instead of "Serving BWI from middle track" they'd say "Listen to station announcements for which track your train is on."
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby east point » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:02 pm

MARC cannot even avoid being delayed by Amtrak on a Saturday.

MARC Service Alert <alert@mtamarylandalerts.com>
To
MTA Maryland Alerts Subscriber
Today at 2:27 PM
MARC Train 487 (1:55p DPT Baltimore) is operating with a 12-15 minute delay departing BWI due to following Amtrak Train 91.

NOW another delay today ! !

MARC Service Alert <alert@mtamarylandalerts.com>
To
MTA Maryland Alerts Subscriber
Today at 4:58 PM
Marc 688 (410pm Dpt Washington) is operating with a 15-20 minute delay approaching BWI due to following an Amtrak Train.

Anyone know if MARC is going to have a schedule change July 10th to meet Amtrak's NYPS work schedule change ?
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby STrRedWolf » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:19 am

MARC always gets delayed due to delayed Amtrak trains trying to make up time. The replacement B&P tunnel will help with that, since it'll shuffle the through-tracks to inside tracks. (It also means WINANS has to expand to all four tracks, but what else can you do?)

On new schedules? Depends. If the new Amtrak schedules match the old ones (just cancelled trains), MARC won't issue new ones. Otherwise, they'll probably issue them after July 10th, because they gotta negotiate the schedule with Amtrak and CSX -- and the CSX-owned Brunswick line was a PITA to change.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby electricron » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:37 am

I'm amazed people still wonder why tenants are usually treated worse than owners. We should expect Amtrak dispatchers to favor Amtrak trains over everyone else, just like we should expect freight railroad dispatchers to favor their own trains over everyone else.
If you don't like it, buy or build your own railroad. Some commuter rail agencies have - and dispatch their own tracks. Guess which trains they favor?
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby east point » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:29 am

Yes MNRR is good example and BOSTON MBTA on Worcester and Downeaster lines.
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby BandA » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:14 am

In Ma$$achusetts, MBTA owns the NEC and BOS, but Amtrak maintains & dispatches (and MBTA now pays them! which is a story for another thread...). Their vendor Keolis dispatches the Downeaster where the Commuter Rail runs, I believe, and PanAm dispatches beyond as well as NH & ME, I believe.
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby BandA » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:21 am

Is there room on the ROW for quad tracking? Obviously not on existing bridges/tunnels. Was it previously quad track? Would existing track have to be moved. Is this worth doing before the tunnel is done, or would there be too much re-work?
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:54 am

It's already quad-tracked in the West Baltimore area. The EIS says that they will move the tracks west and reconstruct the MARC Station to make the existing curve there less sharp.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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