Cardinal discussion

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jhdeasy
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by jhdeasy » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:48 am

Train 51(27) had 2 Viewliner sleepers and 4 Amfleet II coaches, as well as the Amfleet II cafe diner lite car and the Amfleet I business class - lounge car.

I noticed the short side of the A II cafe car was facing the coaches, while the longer side of the car was facing the business class car and the sleepers. I believe they were using the longer end of this car for the diner lite service.

This train doesn't have much lounge space for coach passengers, but it has a separate lounge (the dinette section of the business class car) for the business class and sleeper passengers.

Woody
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Woody » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:09 pm

mmi16 wrote:Should be no fight at all with Buckingham Branch. It's been taking money from the Commonwealth of Virginia to upgrade its route to add capacity to better handle the Cardinal.
CSX might not want a big fight. Coal traffic is down and it's not coming back up as long as natural gas can underprice coal. So probably plenty of room for another train 4 days a week. I'm more afraid that CSX might decide to abandon mileage between Ashland and Cincinnati.

Arlington
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Arlington » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:24 pm

Woody wrote:I'm more afraid that CSX might decide to abandon mileage between Ashland and Cincinnati.
Might be a blessing in disguise: It'd free them to run NY-WV as an NEC extension, and to re-time CIN-CHI to 9 hours of daylight running instead of the current ungodly 1:30am CIN departure for CHI and the 3:27am return. Run it as two "Palmettos"

I'd encourage IP to run its Hoosier on the Cardinal's schedule for the convenience of IND and western LD connections (which the westernmost part of the Cardinal is timed for)

ANd then Amtrak can meet its service obligations with a train that runs:
CIN-CHI 5am - 2pm
CHI-CIN 3pm - 12m
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

Philly Amtrak Fan
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Philly Amtrak Fan » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:05 pm

So the Cincinnati times would be 5am and midnight? I guess they are better than the current times in CIN but they don't seem that much better.

Unless trains can be turned in CHI in an hour, CHI-CIN looks to be a two set operation. If so, might as well move the westbound to leave after the graveyard shift and the eastbound to get back to Cincinnati earlier.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: It's not necessary to quote (especially nesting quote) the posts from the immediately preceding post. Thanks!

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:45 pm

Arlington wrote:And then Amtrak can meet its service obligations with a train that runs:
CIN-CHI 5am - 2pm
CHI-CIN 3pm - 12m
Good luck getting any crew, be it T, E, or OBS, to bid on that. Chicago based T& E would have a 29 hour layover at Cinci. I guess you could have your existing Indy crew base handle the trains with "short rest", but if somebody was late, well better have the "dog catcher" out and about.

OBS, while not under HOS, it would simply be unreasonable and impractical to consider a same-day turn at Cinci.

Posting jobs like that with 29hrs away would simply result in a continual parade of force assignments - bad news for efficient train operation; bad news for customer service.

Finally, consider that three sets would be necessary under continual conditions. Sure, for two days during the Thanx travel period, you can double up the equipment for an additional, but you can't for 365.

Arlington
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Arlington » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:55 pm

Ok if it takes 3 sets anyway, it can be more like 9am - 6pm both ways, or maybe run through to MKE and change crews at some point along the way
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

Woody
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Woody » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:32 pm

Arlington wrote:
Woody wrote:I'm more afraid that CSX might decide to abandon mileage between Ashland and Cincinnati.
Might be a blessing in disguise: It'd free them to run NY-WV as an NEC extension, and to re-time CIN-CHI . . . Run it as two "Palmettos"
There is value in the mid section.
Washington/Charlottesville/New York/Philly/Charleston, WV - Chicago
are 5 of the top 9 city pairs by revenue.

What this threatened segment needs is two daily trains: One daily Cardinal, of course.
The PRIIA study said daily service would double the ridership. And then we need a new Tidewater/Hilltopper train Norfolk-Richmond-Charlottesville-Charleston-Huntington-Ashland-Cincinnati-Dayton-Columbus-Toledo-Detroit-CHI. As usual, what's needed is
a lot more equipment and a little more money.

Meanwhile, what's the political benefit from cutting a train that serves Kentucky? Why would Ms Chao or her husband favor that?

Anyway, I don't believe it's our job to propose dismembering the national system. The haters can handle that. :P

Philly Amtrak Fan
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Philly Amtrak Fan » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:32 pm

Considering the Cardinal has the lowest revenue of any LD train, that's like choosing 5 of the 9 hottest women at a retirement home.

We all know two of the city pairs have faster trains and one has a faster transfer combo by about 6-9 hours. So you're down to 2 of the 9 that would make the mid section worthwhile (if you consider them worthwhile).
Woody wrote: Meanwhile, what's the political benefit from cutting a train that serves Kentucky? Why would Ms Chao or her husband favor that?
Serves Kentucky? You mean tiny Ashland, So. Portsmouth-So. Shore, and Maysville? Maysville is about 1.5 hrs from Lexington and about 2.5 hrs from Louisville. Do you think people in Philly or Pittsburgh care that the Lake Shore Limited serves Erie? Only 12% of Kentucky residents are within 50 miles of an Amtrak station (https://www.narprail.org/site/assets/fi ... s_2015.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). Unless Chao or McConnell live anywhere near Ashland or Maysville, I doubt they care too much.

Alcochaser
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Alcochaser » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:16 pm

jhdeasy wrote:
I noticed the short side of the A II cafe car was facing the coaches, while the longer side of the car was facing the business class car and the sleepers. I believe they were using the longer end of this car for the diner lite service.
This is what happens when someone substitutes a car, but doesn't bother to turn it the right way. it's a pain in the arse for the diner lite attendant as it puts the diner lite ovens on the opposite side of the lounge from the tables.
This is usually Sunnyside's fault. It's difficult for them to turn cars. Chicago will eventually dig the car out and get it turned the right way.

Alcochaser
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Alcochaser » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:36 pm

As to the CSX plan.. things are moving much slower then anticipated getting the replacement lines for the freight up to speed.

The L&I and B&O upgrades are proceeding much slower than anticipated.

But once that is done. The plan will be to move EVERYTHING that comes into Cincinnati from the south on CSX via Louisville.
The issue is that the existing line from Louisville to Cincinnati cannot handle all the traffic. So they are upgrading the L&I and B&O routes to form a directional running.

Northbounds would use the L&I and B&O to goto Cincinnati, or to go to Indianapolis on the L&I
Southbound would use the existing CSXT route.

Once this is all in place. The C&O that Amtrak uses and the L&N Corbin route would be downgraded to 25MPH branchline service. The C&O might be gapped in the middle to save money as it has a BIG area in the middle with no online customers.

So for now, the Cardinal gets a stay of execution. Next spring would be the earliest I see them getting all the upgrades done.

This thread on another forum documents all the work being done to the B&O
http://indianarailroads.org/board/index ... =1967.2420" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Arlington
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Arlington » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:34 pm

Thanks Philly for that pithy statement of the revenue problem, which boils down even further to:
1) There isn't much revenue, period.
2) There isn't much revenue that couldn't/shouldn't be recaptured WAS-CHI on the Capitol Limited, on the NYC-CHI LSL, and even as connections CVS/PHL - CHI via WAS or NYP. That revenue wouldn't be lost, and in fact it'd serve to incrementally improve the performance of other LD trains that could really use the help.

Meanwhile, CIN-IND burns 3.5 hours of staff time (on sleeper-staffed train) to go 120 miles (at 35mph it is not good transportation value-for-money) and really only adds CIN-CHI (at a cripplingly inhumane hour), and the other markets can be accommodated by connections (it can't really be argued that anybody traveling Charlottesville-Chicago by train is in any particular hurry, and frankly additional Roanoke/Lynchburg trains shortening the connect time in WAS are a better way of providing fast-enough daily CVS-CHI service)

If/When CSX effectively cuts CIN-IND, a daily "Cardinetto" operating from Huntington WV to NYP, and maybe an additional Northeast Regional operated by Amtrak Virginia (or Amtrak "Virginias") would be a much better way of serving the all-points needs of the eastern half of the Cardinal.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

Philly Amtrak Fan
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Philly Amtrak Fan » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:48 pm

So what Amtrak service do you propose for Cincinnati? We're just going to cut off a major market? And you care more about Huntington than Cincinnati? Who are you, Byrd? If I were in charge of the NEC, I'm not wasting my trains to West Virginia unless they pay for it. I'd keep Cincinnati over West Virginia in a heartbeat.

I would replace the Cardinal with...

New Broadway Limited (old one was 915 miles, http://www.timetables.org/full.php?grou ... &item=0018" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, shorter than the current LSL (959 miles) and Cardinal (1147 miles): Gives you PHL-CHI and NYP-CHI faster.
Extend Hoosier State to Cincinnati for a route that serves three major markets and run at hours that are good for all three cities (perhaps leaving CHI eastbound after the BL/CL/LSL and arriving in CHI westbound before the BL/CL/LSL so passengers in Indiana can go to Chicago and then to the NEC).
Add an extra Lynchburger running at the same time as Cardinal now for the nighttime CVS-NYP and morning NYP-CVS.

If you wanted CIN-NEC service, you can try to run CIN-Columbus-PGH-PHL-NYP (the old New York Central Cincinnati Limited, http://www.american-rails.com/cinn-ltd.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). It would be shorter in distance between NYP and CIN (755.1 vs. 828) and would add Columbus to Amtrak as well as CIN-PGH. Some people at another message board tell me the tracks are lousy but they can't be worse than the current Cardinal route (especially if the downgrade happens). The old route took 15 hrs, 5 min while the current Cardinal route takes 18 hrs, 46 min (3 hrs, 41 min longer).

Arlington
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Arlington » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:01 pm

For terminating the Eastern half at Huntington, I chose that mostly because I believe (1) there's already a crew base there and (2) anything that can be tied to the NEC as a day train operating between 5am and 11pm is viable.

On the western side of the mountains, I'm skeptical of how big even CIN can be if it can only be reached on a 25mph branch line between 1am and 4am. CSX could be as big a "storm" as Katrina washing out the Gulf Coast cities of the Sunset Limited. I did propose upthread with retiming the CHI-CIN side for not-dead-of-night times.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

Alcochaser
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Alcochaser » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:02 pm

A couple things to consider here.

First. Anything that replaces it has to be longer then the 750mile length under the 2008 PRIIA act

South Portsmouth to NYP only gets you to 720. :(
Cincinnati to Chicago well short of 750.

Second. The Hoosier state CAN NOT handle the deadhead moves to Beech Grove anymore. This is because it's using non Amtrak equipment. The Cardinal is moving the deadheads. So whatever replaces the cardinal, has to visit Indianapolis.

Third. Columbus to Pittsburgh direct is now NO GO. It's in the hands of Genesee and Wyoming. And it's a 25MPH mess.

It would be possible to run a NYP, PITTSBURGH, CLEVELAND, MARION OHIO, INDIANAPOLIS, CHICAGO train. Good mainline routes exist on that routing.

Bonus would be adding a train to the NYP, PITSBURGH market.

Now.... Another all mainline route that misses Indy is possible that uses most of the Cardinal route thru WV, if you can solve the Deadhead issue.
This would use the Cardinal route to Ashland KY. However before you get to South Portsmouth you turn right at Northern Junction and continue on the C&O mainline to Columbus OH then you would keep on the route until you got to Fostoria OH. At Fostoria OH you would turn onto the former route of the Three Rivers and head to Chicago.

Arlington
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Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Arlington » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:30 pm

Alcochaser wrote:First. Anything that replaces it has to be longer then the 750mile length under the 2008 PRIIA act
PRIIA's service mandate applies to cities, not trains. If those *cities* were on a train that ran 750+ miles, Amtrak is obligated to maintain service to that city at the same level as the 750+ train provided in 2008, and cannot ask the states for money. So if it otherwise made sense, Amtrak could divide LD trains like the Cardinal or Crescent at any midpoint and run it as "two-halves" trains of any duration, so long as "service" were maintained.

If it was service that was less than 750mi at the time, that's what Amtrak had to either secure state support for or stop operating, and if, say, Virginia service ever got to 751+ route miles, it would make no difference (Virginia would still be on the hook) since those cities (ROA, NFK, or whatever) were not on the LD network in 2008.

Getting stuff to Beech Grove is a serious issue. Can it come out from Chicago?
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn

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