Cardinal discussion

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

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Jeff Smith
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:52 pm

Back on topic: someone thinks the Cardinal is in danger...

http://americantraintrips.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Check the scroll at the bottom:
Important Notice: Urgent! Ride the Cherry Blossom Special through New River Gorge while the Cardinal is still operating as a through train
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

David Benton
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by David Benton » Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:40 pm

Fred Frailey also cautions against the effect of lower traffic on the Buckingham branch.
http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/fred-frailey ... pardy.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Site Admin: added brief, fair-use quote. I encourage members to discuss the other two trains mentioned in separate threads, if they feel so inclined.
Cardinal. This Chicago-New York train utilizes CSX from suburban Chicago to Clifton Forge, Va., 710 miles. Then it pops onto the Buckingham Branch Railroad from Clifton Forge to Orange, Va., 125 mountainous miles, before joining Norfolk Southern for the ride to Washington, D.C.

Buckingham Branch leases this trackage from CSX, and its economic viability go up and down based on the number of empty westbound coal and grain trains CSX runs over it between Richmond and Clifton Forge. BBRR collects traffic rights fee for every train. CSX has its own single track, CTC-equipped line between these points, cleaving to the James River. Today, with traffic down, does CSX really need the Buckingham Branch in order to relieve congestion on its James River main line. I think not. Were CSX to move empty unit trains to the James River, Buckingham Branch would have its props pulled from beneath it.
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Alcochaser
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by Alcochaser » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:06 am

That is the other thing about this. The Buckingham Branch does not seem to be in danger right now. Nor does the C&O "core" mainline.

The C&O mainline from Columbus eastward seems to have a future when the Oil Trains return. Anyone believing that we will have an extended oil glut is fooling themselves. Give it a couple years and it will be back.

CSXT seems fixated on the lines in and out of Cincinnati right now, here is the plan as I am told.
The C&O Cincinnati Subdivision is only a part of the plan.
The KD sub (L&N thru Corbin) is slated for the same 25MPH branchline treatment.
To funnel traffic into Cincinnati from the south, CSX has come up with a plan to run all freight from the south thru Nashville and Louisville.
To do this, the LCL, Indiana Sub, and the LIRC would be turned into directional running. With the LCL being one route, and a combined LIRC. Indiana Sub being the other.

Now for this. There is HARD proof. CSXT is upgrading the south end of the LIRC with a vengeance right now. And now materials have been spotted on the Indiana Sub from Seymour IN to Cinci. (including an expensive double one way low speed diamond set for the Madison RR at North Vernon) Also contracts have been cut to get the Indiana Sub back in shape with MOW companies.

To make this work. CSXT has to reduce the stuff from other places that has to be classified and run thru Cincinnati that isn't north south. Hence why the Cincinatti sub is on the downgrade block. Anything not originating from Cincinnati that needs to go east or west on the C&O can be fed via, Columbus or Fostoria from the east west lines.

Nothing other then slop freights and coal used the ex C&O from Russel to Cincinnati anyway. They can run a slop freight from Columbus to Cumberland MD to collect the stuff the local trains need. (The old Q316/Q317)

east point
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by east point » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:48 pm

Including the passenger stops and refueling the route time at 30 MPH MAS will be increased from ~ 3:20 to 5:20. Bad but maybe not a killer ?

CHTT1
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by CHTT1 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:10 pm

The Cardinal is scheduled to run the 123 miles between Indianapolis and Cincinnati in 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours, which isn't much faster than a 30 mph run between Ashland and Cincinnati. Nobody rides the Cardinal for speed, so it probably wouldn't mean that much difference to passengers.

ThirdRail7
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by ThirdRail7 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:03 pm

Alcochaser wrote:CSXT has stated many times it didn't want any more Amtrak trains then there are now past CUT.

With this shakedown attempt, perhaps they will change their position.
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Alcochaser
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by Alcochaser » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:40 am

There could be less trains on the CUT side yes. With both the KD and Cincinatti sub getting the branch line treatment.

Also the Indiana Sub is only accessible from the yard side.

For those that don't know, the CSX Cincinatti terminal has two distinct routes on either side of the yard.
One runs down from Colerain on the east side of the NS and CSX yard by CUT It connects to the route south via a single track viaduct to the double track over the river bridge. It's only accessible from one of the two tracks over the river bridge too,

The other runs as a single track bypass on the west side of the NS and CSX yard to the south end of the yard. Here is meets the south end of the CSX yard where it meets the double track over the river and the connection to the Indiana sub and the CIND line.

The problem is that anything that was a unit or auto train was crammed over that single track viaduct with the connection only to one of the two tracks over the bridge. So a southbound needing to use the viaduct from CUT would have to wait for a NOrthbound to come all the way from Newport KY over the slow bridge and viaduct route.

That and CSX likes to park trains only needing a crew change in front of CUT between Tower A (the current one, not the old one in CUT) and Hopple Street

As I look now CSX has 1 and 2 between Hopple and Tower A blocked with parked trains.

Heck they are even loathe to let NS use those tracks for those trains between there to access the NS CSX Tower A connection

With the CSXT unit trains potentially gone or using the yard side, perhaps this beef is null now.

Woody
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by Woody » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:58 am

Alcochaser wrote:There could be less trains on the CUT side yes.
. . .
The problem is . . .
. . .
That and CSX . . .
. . .
With the CSXT unit trains potentially gone or using the yard side, perhaps this beef is null now.
Well, you've softened my heart. Now I'm feeling a little mercy for the folks who planned the 3-Cs with two (2) Amtrak stations in Cincy. LOL.

Alcochaser
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by Alcochaser » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:07 pm

Thats only half of it.

Cincinnati has a never used station under 2nd that was built in the mid 2000s and needs a tenant, and it's a short connector track away from the Boathouse that the tourist trains stop at now.

So you have CSXT saying PIKE OFF, and Cincinatti begging on the end of track that is very little used and doesn't go near the yard..... doesn't take long to give into the situation already in place.

mtuandrew
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:02 pm

From what I understand from a colleague in the know, the CUT building isn't in fantastic shape inside. With operational difficulties and high upkeep costs, maybe it's time for Cincinnati Union Terminal to get the Richmond Broad Street treatment.

And who knows, maybe DC Comics needs a new headquarters :wink:

Philly Amtrak Fan
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by Philly Amtrak Fan » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:17 pm

With the current problems with Buckingham Branch and the possible downgrade east of Cincinnati, how about a reroute to a more northern path to the East Coast from Cincinnati? Maybe go to Columbus and then over to Pittsburgh and then follow the Pennsylvanian route to Philly/New York? Or if that's not available, go all the way north to Cleveland before taking either the Capitol Limited/Pennsylvanian route or the Lake Shore Limited/Empire State route to New York? There has to be a quicker way to get from Cincinnati to any of New York, Philly, or Washington than going all the way south to Virginia (especially if the speed limit is reduced).

JoeBas
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by JoeBas » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:03 am

That sounds AMAZINGLY like some kind of Broadway Limited restoration! I wish someone would have thought about that... *rolling eyes*

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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by gokeefe » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:40 am

I think its interesting that the problems with the Cardinal are happening when they do. I agree that restoration of the Broadway Limited makes more sense to an extent in the context of this conversation. That being the case as Backshophoss would remind us, NS is not going to be in favor of allowing any new trains on their main line to Chicago while they are dealing with a hostile takeover attempt.
gokeefe

JimBoylan
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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by JimBoylan » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:35 am

If Norfolk Southern is against a hostile takeover attempt of their lines, might they be in favor of more passenger trains as a "poison pill' to become less attractive to the opponent?

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Re: Cardinal Crisis (CSX downgrade of lines)

Post by mtuandrew » Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:57 am

Small poison pill to EHH, and a continued thorn in the side of NS or CP. I'd sooner expect an NS bid on PAR, NYSW, FEC, or KCS - big poison pill, and a huge potential benefit to future NS operations.

Same for CSX. They have no reason to add passenger trains, whether or not they receive a bid. If anything, the STB might force open passenger access (whether or not there's open freight access) as a condition of merger anyway.

I'd sooner expect to see the short-lining of either NS or CSX between Portsmouth and Cincinnati, and Fed/State support to keep the line(s) at FRA Class 4ish a la Buckingham Branch. It makes the most sense for all players, especially if said Class I keeps title to the line and leases it to an operator.

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