Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Line)

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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hsr_fan

Post by hsr_fan »

Greg Moore wrote: Umm, a "cabbage" provides no extra power that I'm aware of since the room for the baggage portion comes from where the motor was removed. And this would also permit them to be used in NYP (since again, no exhaust.)
Too tall for NYP.

mainerails

Post by mainerails »

An F40-based NPCU, as cited above, would certainly be too tall for NYP (probably due to catenary in the river tunnels).

What would work well for trains like the Vermonter, hypothetically, would be to have an electric on one end of the train and a diesel at the other. Just shut down the diesel south of New Haven and vice-versa northbound.

I suppose that isn't terribly feasible, but if there are any extra electrics on the corridor and there's a more reliable way to keep shut-down P42s from freezing, that would be an easy way to skip the engine change *and* the cab car.

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shadyjay
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Post by shadyjay »

Looking back at my last post, I see how some may have gotten confused... I realize that the NPCU "cabbage" is unpowered, but the comparison I was making was that two diesels (one at each end) VS one diesel and one cab car or cabbage. There is no logical need for two powered locomotives on this train.

I guess the cabbage idea I had originally is sounding worse every time - never thought about the need to get it coupled on.

As for towing an electric in diesel territory - I don't see that as a possibility whatsoever, except for some interesting photography... "AEM7 #950 leads the southbound Vermonter as it enters Montpelier". :-)
Electrics are needed closer to the NEC.

Best bet is if nothing is going to change as far as the train's routing, then lets scrounge up another cab car or make one - plenty of Amfleets stored kicking around (but no extra $$$ for a small project as this - in terms of quantity). Perhaps if Springfield shuttles get replaced with CDOT trains someday (yeah right), there'd be a couple cab cars available.

Until then, its two P42s, one at each end.... until there's a routing change. And I don't see that coming anytime soon.

Pan-Am --- Prove Me Wrong!

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Post by gprimr1 »

Ahh, but is there a wye near St. Albans if you ran it on the Conn River line?
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shadyjay
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Post by shadyjay »

If you are referring to turning the locomotive, there is a turntable in St Albans. Though I think terminating the train in St Albans is pointless and that it should be moved to Burlington, but that's another story (and another track issue)...

The only backing required if the Conn River Line was used in Mass would be to get into (or out of) Springfield, which is on the east/west line just to the east of the north/south line. I have heard that in Montrealer days, the conductor would keep watch as the train was backed the few hundred feet into the station. I'd assume this would all that would be required in these modern times, correct?... so long as the E-brake is arms-length away.

CNJ

Post by CNJ »

shadyjay wrote:I don't think we'll see the return of cab cars on the Vermonter.... most have all gone to PA for Keystone Service, with a couple retained NHV-SPG for shuttles.

I thought the F40 cabbage would be perfect - solve two birds with one stone (baggage cars out of service/sold/stored + the extra power vs cab car) but I was informed by DRN that they cannot run into NYP. I guess one could be added on in NHV during the power swap.

The SB run on Fri was delayed an hour by the time we got into NHV, mainly because of CSX not getting us out on the line sooner. So it got me to thinking - would rerouting the Vermonter down the NECR the entire length to New London save time? Have stops in Willimantic and New London. You'd get off CSX and have much better time keeping, providing the line south of Palmer was fixed up a bit, though I remember reading that there is still some welded rail down south. Sure, you'd lose Springfield and Hartford, but a connecting shuttle at NHV could solve some problems, and keep frequency in that time slot. Most riders simply use the Vermonter as an additional frequency option between SPG and WAS.

As we were backing out of SPG on the NB move, I had another wondering, if by some chance if we were going to limp up the Conn River Line - then I realized that (h**l) had not frozen over yet (though it was cold Monday).

-Jay
Jay, it would probably be easier to purchase and restore the old B&M ROW north of Springfield....the way the original Montrealer/Washingtonian used to use.

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shadyjay
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Post by shadyjay »

CNJ wrote: Jay, it would probably be easier to purchase and restore the old B&M ROW north of Springfield....the way the original Montrealer/Washingtonian used to use.
Yes, that would be the ideal route, in a perfect world.

Maybe if all of us got together and chipped in to buy the Conn River Line from Pan-Am..... :wink:

theozno
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vermonter route in MA

Post by theozno »

curious question for you guys. I was trying to find the route for the vermonter in norther MA but just north of Amherst College the tracks on google, yahoo and Mapquest have the track disapper north of Amherst college.. any idea why?

what holds amtrak up from using the CT river valley line and have bussing to amhearst college? just curious. my best guess is the shape the tracks are in. the vermonter right now goes through Ct faster than you can drive it at 70MPH (proven true for my dad and I on sunday had to chase it up to springfield from stamford at 12:45pm.) if they were to fix this track issue and get the rights through bellows falls-chester-ludlow to okemo ETC, you could probably do a day trip ski excursion train. well thats just my thought.

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Post by gprimr1 »

The tracks to disappear, I think it's just a problem with the map. It pretty much goes up to VT and I think it joins the Conn River in Brattleboro.

The Vermonter posts 30-55 along the route, top speed on the Conn River Line is 10mph and you have to deal with Deer field yard and the slow trains there. NECR is willing to keep the track in decent condition in exchange for Amtrak's monthly "rent" check. PAR (Guilford Rail) has very little to no interest in restoring the Conn River line and is loosing business to trucking.

Before the Conn River line went to crap the Vermonter did indeed use it, but as it stands now it is faster to go to Palmer than it is to go down the CT River.

Amtrak does have trackage rights over NECR Bellows Falls, they use the track that goes north, Green Mountain RR uses the track that goes west. Your point about Chester is interesting, but the Vermonter is supposed to be transit for Vermont residents. A second train there might be productive, as the Ethan Allen Express sells out, and the trackage is there, but the main issues are:

NECR in MA is train orders, no signals and almost completely single tracked.

CSX has to agree to grant more slots to trains to use the single tracking between Palmer and Springfield.

The reason it goes through fast through CT is that is Amtrak owned and operated and maintained for probably 70-90mph.


That all I said,

I live in Amherst and go to Umass Amherst. I would LOVE to see 2 Vermonters a day, I would LOVE to see service to Northamtpon, but until Mr. Patrick is willing to put big money into it, throw down with Peter Pan Bus Lines and PAR, nothing will be done. Just be thankful Vermont continues to send Amtrak it's monthly check for the Vermonter, because otherwise there would be no Vermonter.

BTW, if there ever is a second train to Amherst or Northamtpon, it should be called the "Captain Hook LTD" since it will be competing with Peter Pan. :-D
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Dick H
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Post by Dick H »

Unfortunately, it appears that yahoo, mapquest, mapblast and google all use the same map database. Inexplicitly, they have all dropped the New England Central rail line between Amherst and East Northfield MA. They have also dropped the Guilford/PanAM line between Charlemont and North Adams MA. I emailed a couple of the sites many months ago, but got no reply or saw any correction to the site.

The Guilford line from Springfield to East Northfield is mostly, if not all, 10 mile per hour track. Many crossings are stop and protect, even with the automatic protection in place...There is very little chance that this line will ever be brought up to passenger standards as long as Guilford owns it.

Dick H

gprimr1
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Post by gprimr1 »

Part of Charlemont-North Adams is the Hoosaic tunnel, they may not map that.
-Greg Primrose
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"I'm leaving on a jet train, don't know when I'll be back again. Bags are packed and there ready to go."
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theozno
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Post by theozno »

~old message please delete~
Last edited by theozno on Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

theozno
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Post by theozno »

gprimr1 wrote:The


Amtrak does have trackage rights over NECR Bellows Falls, they use the track that goes north, Green Mountain RR uses the track that goes west. Your point about Chester is interesting, but the Vermonter is supposed to be transit for Vermont residents. A second train there might be productive, as the Ethan Allen Express sells out, and the trackage is there, but the main issues are:

:-D
funny you mention the Ethan Allen as it stands right now It is the same amount of time to go from the New Haven line in Old greenwich to Harlem 125th transfer to the Hudson line go all the way up to poughkipsie transfer to Amtrak to get to Rutland. I can't believe it only minutes difference than going from old greenwich to new haven then transfering to the Vermonter. (using the commuter rail as much as possible saves money)

can any of you guys just imagine what the Proposed trans-Hudson line from Portchester NY to Tarrytown NY would do. This could possibly create interest for many more skiiers to take to the rails to VT. on top of that aren't their plans in NY to upgrade the NY Main Lines as well? (ie NYC to Albany) this could possibly create a trip by rail from CT/NY stamford border to rutland in under 5 maybe 4 hours. people might show interst in that if they did a ski excursion train departing stamford direct to rutland... the other possibility if they did not build the tappan Z corridor train, another possibility is if the maybrook line were in use for a train originating out of stamford to norwalk, danbury to poughkipsie and up to rutland. again these are just my "dream thoughts"

Dick H
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Post by Dick H »

The actual ommission from internet maps of the Guilford main line actuall begins in Shelburne Falls and extends to North Adams. This distance by highway is 27 miles. The Hoosac Tunnel is about four and 1/2 miles. The rail mileage from Shelburne Falls to North Adams is about 23 miles. At any rate, there is approximately 20 miles of railroad lines missing from the internet maps.

Dick H

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Palmer

Post by amtrakhogger »

One idea to speed the move is build a west leg with power switches from the Berk Sub. to the northbound NECR main to eliminate the
reverse move and associated use of the hand operated switches.
That would save at least 10-20 minutes running time.
I don't know why this has not been proposed in the past.
He is a railroad man. Isn't there a discount for a railroad man?

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