Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Line)

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Train60
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by Train60 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:14 am

johnpbarlow wrote: There appears to be no Commonwealth of Mass PTC implementation plan for its Conn River line nor is such a plan listed in the MBTA implementation plan or Q417 progress report. Nor is there a PTC implementation plan for the New England Central so the implication is the Conn River line north of Springfield meets the PTC Exclusion criteria.
Interesting... So where is the Main Line Track Exception (aka PTC Exemption) for the MassDOT-owned Conn River Line? I would assume that by now they either would need either a PTC implementation plan for the line or an exemption.

I searched on https://www.regulations.gov/ and have not been able to find anything. (I did though find the PTC exemption for the NECR portion of the Vermonter's route.)

lordsigma12345
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by lordsigma12345 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:33 pm

It is interesting. That's why I'm wondering if they either did the work as part of the improvement or if they think they are exempt since Pan Am, the operator, is Class II.

Backshophoss
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by Backshophoss » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:34 pm

PAR/PAS are having a "disagreement" of sorts over PTC with MBTA over a "dual" PTC setup(both ACSES and I-ETMS) on a few track segments
shared by both,and loco equipment installation. :(
The Downeaster(Amtrak) is tangled in "disagreement" as well. :(
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

leviramsey
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by leviramsey » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:35 pm

I believe that as far as the Conn River is concerned, it's still PAS (as MassDOT is not a railroad). However, the only Pan Am PTC Implementation Plan I've found is strictly for Worcester-Mattawamkeag, not PAS. I can't find any PAS-specific PTC filings, but it seems possible that NS covers it in their (heavily redacted, including on which segments they are claiming exemption) filings.

johnpbarlow
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by johnpbarlow » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:26 pm

AFAIK, Pan Am has been granted a PTC exclusion as none of their non-MBTA routes exceed PTC thresholds of 15M annual tons of freight, TIH traffic (200 annuals cars transited?), and passenger train density. So there should be no Pan Am PTC implementation project plans.

lordsigma12345
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by lordsigma12345 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:39 pm

Could be covered under NS but also could not be. The track side of things (maintenance, dispatch, etc.) on the PAS routes, including the MassDOT CT River line, is still run by the "Springfield Terminal Railway" division which is 100% Pan Am. With that you'd think that Pan Am would be the ones putting forward PTC plans, but who knows at this point. I have a feeling this one falls under Pan Am's PTC exemptions.

Noel Weaver
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by Noel Weaver » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:53 pm

A little history course here. I pulled a Boston and Maine passenger timetable from my collection dated April 29, 1956 to figure out just how much passenger service operated in and out of White River Junction at that time. My first time in White River Junction was very early in 1957 and it was pretty much the same at that time. Here is what there was offered on a normal Monday to Friday basis:

Boston and Maine Railroad south and east

1:40 AM - New York and Washington (The "Boot")
3:30 AM - Boston
6:05 AM - Boston
6:05 AM - Springfield/New York
6:40 AM - Boston via Bellows Falls and the Cheshire Branch
12:30 PM - Boston
12:30 PM - Springfield/New York
3:05 PM - Springfield/New York
3:20 PM - Boston
6:15 PM - Boston
7:00 PM - Springfield/New York

Boston and Maine Railroad north

3:00 AM - Wells River/Newport/Montreal via CPR.
7:30 AM - Berlin, NH
12:40 PM - Wells River/Newport/ Montreal via CPR.
4:35 PM - Bretton Woods Fabyan
4:50 PM - Berlin, NH

Central Vermont Railway north

3:22 AM - Montpelier/St. Albans/Montreal via CNR The "Boot"
4:30 AM - St. Albans, VT Local
4:45 PM - Montpelier/St. Albans/Montreal via CNR

Total of 19 trains. Some of the Springfield/New York trains required a change of trains at Springfield while others had through cars.
I think this is right about the time that McGinnis took over the railroad and the effects of his mis-management had not been felt as yet.
Ten short years later the last two round trips between New York and Montreal (via the CV) came off and White River Junction went from being a very important railroad junction to freight service only.

In 1956 steam was still in use on the Central Vermont on most of their passenger trains including The "Boot". The station was open 24/7, manned 24/7, had a lunch counter and newstand, had baggage carts all over the place loaded with baggage, express and shipments. I remember crates of baby chicks on many of them. Both the B & M and the CV had very active yards and engine terminals with a fair amount of steam on the CV. OH and the Hotel Coolidge right across from the passenger station with a clean and decent room at night and you could count on a good meal there too. GREAT DAYS!!!!!
Noel Weaver

Arlington
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by Arlington » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:17 am

Noel Weaver wrote:A little history course here. I pulled a Boston and Maine passenger timetable from my collection dated April 29, 1956 to figure out just how much passenger service operated in and out of White River Junction at that time. My first time in White River Junction was very early in 1957 and it was pretty much the same at that time. ... Some of the Springfield/New York trains required a change of trains at Springfield while others had through cars.
I think this is right about the time that McGinnis took over the railroad and the effects of his mis-management had not been felt as yet.
Ten short years later the last two round trips between New York and Montreal (via the CV) came off and White River Junction went from being a very important railroad junction to freight service only.
I don't see how RR management could have helped/hurt White River Junction one way or another given that the Masspike (NY to MA-128) opens in 1957 (tapping off a whole lot of Springfield/Boston demand), and (as I read it) Vermont builds its parts of both I-89 and I-91 between 1958 and 1965 (tapping off a whole lot of "Junction" and "beyond WRJ" demand) while Mass & CT had made significant progress on first US-5 and then I-91. I-89 in NH then opens by 1967 (and I-93 to Boston is at least done in MA by then). I don't see how any mostly-smalltown passenger rail, such as WRJ, could have withstood a new competitor like that.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

Noel Weaver
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:44 pm

McGinnis was a killer of passenger trains in New England and it is nothing short of a miracle that there is any passenger service north of Massachusetts or out of North Station, Boston. I admit that the Interstate highway system did an awful number on the passenger trains everywhere but they did not have to be destroyed the way Mc Ginnis did on the Boston and Maine. I have the newspaper clippings from the 60's when the cuts were taking place, the last train out of White River Junction for Boston had over a hundred passengers, hardly a losing affair. The buses did not get much pick up in business when these trains came off either, the folks just decided to drive instead.
McGinnis downgraded the service between Boston and Portland to one train a day. Amtrak today has five trains each way and I think in time there could be more. People like passenger trains and if there are passenger trains they will ride them. The Maine Cenrtral might have stayed in the passenger business later than 1960 had not the Boston and Maine forced them out by refusing the mail and express business and forcing passengers from Maine Central points to change to a Budd Car at Portland. I was there and rode some of these trains and the Boston and Maine would take deliberate steps to make it unpleasant for passengers to ride their trains and you know what? It seemed to work. I remember coming into Springfield from White River Junction and seeing the New Haven connection leave as we were approaching the diamond, it was that close. At that time the New Haven was being run by the same bunch. Two hour wait for the next train and arrive New York well after midnight. This did not encourage patronage on the Conn River.
Noel Weaver

millerm277
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by millerm277 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:51 pm

Anyone with a take on this: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/2018/feb ... nt-service" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ?

I can't see that going through, but that it's on the table at all seems potentially ominous.

ExCon90
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:32 pm

Certainly if a line requiring PTC lacks it, Amtrak can legitimately claim that it is forbidden by law to operate over it; however, on a line where PTC is not required by law because of low traffic volume that argument wouldn't stand. All the same, Amtrak may derive some leverage from the situation--no point in throwing something away that you might be able to use.

electricron
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by electricron » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:33 pm

It’s all about the money - especially insurance liabilities.
Amtrak is probably schemeing to make Vermont pay more than it is now for the insurance to run these trains to Vermont.

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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:32 am

From the above article:
Amtrak could suspend Vermont service
...
The routes that Amtrak uses in Vermont, for the Ethan Allen Express and Vermonter trains, are in fact exempt from the federal requirement because they see so little traffic, but Anderson told the subcommittee that “for those instances, where we will not have PTC even after the 12/31 deadline because it's not required by statute, we have a question about whether we're going to operate at all, and I doubt we will.”

Asked to confirm that Anderson's statement reflected Amtrak's position accurately, spokeswoman Christina Leeds, in a February 20 email to VBM, wrote, “Yes, we are considering if we continue to operate over these routes.”

The following day, however, Amtrak assistant vice president for operations Chris Jagodzinski told affected states that the company was at this point only launching a risk analysis of its 21,000 miles of routes, according to Dan Delabruere, who heads up Vermont's passenger rail program at the Agency of Transportation.

Jagodzinski spoke at a meeting of the States for Passenger Rail Coalition in Washington, DC, with the Vermont agency participating by phone.

“They're just having their first risk analysis meeting today,” Delabruere told VBM February 21, emphasizing that even the scope of that analysis was still up in the air.

“There certainly wasn't a hard, fast, 'We're going to stop’,” he said, referring to Jagodzinski's comments as they concerned Vermont.
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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charlesriverbranch
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by charlesriverbranch » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:07 am

This is ridiculous. PTC or no, those Vermonter passengers are a lot safer on that train than they would be driving down I-91, which is where they'll be if Amtrak pulls the plug on the Vermonter. This Anderson guy needs to be sent packing.

dowlingm
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Re: Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Li

Post by dowlingm » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:39 am

charlesriverbranch wrote:This is ridiculous. PTC or no, those Vermonter passengers are a lot safer on that train than they would be driving down I-91, which is where they'll be if Amtrak pulls the plug on the Vermonter. This Anderson guy needs to be sent packing.
Good luck getting a personal injury trial lawyer representing the folks in the Cascades wreck that Amtrak weren't negligent by failing to wait for PTC to be fully operational there. This is surely influencing Amtrak thinking.

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