Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

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

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Backshophoss
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by Backshophoss »

That would be the Siemens built midwest fleet cars first deployment from the Factory.
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gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by gokeefe »

The Illinois cars (under construction as we speak) will be here sooner.
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Backshophoss
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by Backshophoss »

IL is one of the "Owners" of the Midwest fleet.
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eolesen
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by eolesen »

Yes, but WisDOT is not in the multi-state consortium, so they'll either be buying their own units for pool use or they're buying into the consortium. My guess is they're adding to the pool.

gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by gokeefe »

Could be. Regardless, due to the original Talgo order (later cancelled) Wisconsin was not in the original order for the "Amtrak Midwest" pool.
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knope2001
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by knope2001 »

The project will replace deteriorated, outdated passenger cab-baggage and coach cars used in the Chicago–Milwaukee Amtrak Hiawatha Service with three single-level cab-coach cars and six single-level coach cars. Replacement of the cab-baggage cars with cab-coach cars will increase seating capacity, reduce fuel consumption, increase equipment reliability, reduce crowding, and improve accessibility for passengers with disabilities
Anybody familiar enough to go into specifics on the capacity increase mentioned? If I recall correctly typically the two trainsets each run with 6 coaches with 70-ish seats. This story talks about nine new cars (not twelve). Does anybody have more specifics on new versus old here, including the capacity bump? It will be great to have more seats on the morning southbounds, especially.

gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by gokeefe »

The capacity increase is due to the elimination of the ex-F40 "cabbage" cars. Only seats in these cars at present are for the crew in the cab.
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electricron
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by electricron »

gokeefe wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:32 pm
The capacity increase is due to the elimination of the ex-F40 "cabbage" cars. Only seats in these cars at present are for the crew in the cab.
Replacing “cabbage” cars with cab cars will certainly add capacity. Never-the-less, 9 brand new cars seating around 70 passengers each is not going to equal 12 old cars seating around 70 passengers each being retired; we are at least 3 cars short seating around 210 passengers in total within the two train sets. The only way to compensate for this lack of seats is run more trains on this corridor or borrow other new cars from other Midwest trains.

gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by gokeefe »

Based on this video I would have guess the Amfleet coaches are being replaced. Cafe cars would likely stay (I don't recall these being on the Hiawatha previously) but if you figure one cab coach + new coach added to each train set then you have additional seating. The net gain is in the cab-coach.
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David Benton
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by David Benton »

So a cab car with passengers is ok off the NEC/ keystone? I thought it was frowned upon (or not permitted)due to potential grade crossing / freight traffic accidents?
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electricron
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by electricron »

gokeefe wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:01 pm
Based on this video I would have guess the Amfleet coaches are being replaced. Cafe cars would likely stay (I don't recall these being on the Hiawatha previously) but if you figure one cab coach + new coach added to each train set then you have additional seating. The net gain is in the cab-coach.
They are replacing older cars, not adding new cars to the older cars.
Wisconsin only uses two train sets. 6 coaches and 3 cab-coaches means 4 cars per train set with a cab-coach car as a spare.
Most of the older cars Wisconsin has been seeing on the Hiawatha have been Horizon cars.
Latest youtube video of a Hiawatha train:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n240cuEktrU
Two locomotives and seven cars. 5 of the 7 being Horizons with 2 Amfleets. The cafe car on this train was a Horizon car. 4 new cars per train will never equal the same capacity of 7 older cars per train.

andrewjw
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by andrewjw »

David Benton wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:31 pm
So a cab car with passengers is ok off the NEC/ keystone? I thought it was frowned upon (or not permitted)due to potential grade crossing / freight traffic accidents?
I expect that Siemens has managed to convince the FRA that their designs are substantially safer than the Metroliners.

gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by gokeefe »

That is most definitely the case. And it's not a matter of convincing. There is a new FRA standard that they follow. Brightline/Virgin trainsets are one of the first examples.
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FLWfan
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by FLWfan »

Had a weird experience November 14 on train #336 headed to CUS. Just south of Sturtevant, the train gradually slowed to a stop and an announcement indicated that there was a problem with the train horn (unable to be turned off). A mechanical team was to arrive and fix it and after sitting for about 25 minutes, an announcement indicated we could be on our way again. The problem evidently was not fixed because at every at-grade intersection the train approached, it slowed to barely a crawl until it passed by, then picked up speed again. My guess is the horn was turned off completely and this was the only way for the train to proceed until it reached Chicago which, I guess, does not include many (if any) at-grade intersections. I'm not a novice Amtrak passenger, but this was a first for me. Incidentally, this added about an hour to the trip.

Greg Moore
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Re: Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

Post by Greg Moore »

Yeah, that sounds definitely like what it is. In the absence of a horn, trains have to stop and flag every grade crossing.
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