Thanksgiving Week Extras

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MACTRAXX
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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:18 pm

Buff (and Everyone:)

The biggest drawback of using the two NJT 8 car Arrow Three in Amtrak service was that they are
restricted to 80 mph in service - the NYP-WAS Thanksgiving Holiday schedule shows running times
are longer using this equipment. The Arrows had two factors in their favor for Amtrak to use them
on the Sunday after Thanksgiving: Rest Rooms and extra luggage space available (especially in
the center door area which Amtrak did not use) making them at least useful for these extra runs.

When Amtrak releases the 2018 Thanksgiving Holiday schedule it will be interesting to see if the
four added Holiday Special round trips (consisting of two MARC single level trainsets and the two
NJT Arrow sets) are in the schedule. In recent years Amtrak has stuck with the same schedule
using these four extra commuter equipment sets running at about the same times of day.

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Backshophoss
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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by Backshophoss » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:40 am

Wonder if Amtrak would use a 12 MLV-II set with a pair of ALP-46's as power when the Arrow are OOS.
Should be able to run on the Entire NEC. The ALP-46's already have ACSES gear installed. :wink:
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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by EuroStar » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:50 am

Backshophoss wrote:Wonder if Amtrak would use a 12 MLV-II set with a pair of ALP-46's as power when the Arrow are OOS.
Should be able to run on the Entire NEC. The ALP-46's already have ACSES gear installed. :wink:
I doubt that NJT will have spare ALP-46s to give out to Amtrak unless they are required to do so under a long term contract. What sort of publicity is for NJT to cut trains from their own schedule, only to lend the equipment to Amtrak? It is true that there is and will be spare equipment on the days when NJT is running weekend schedule, but still the optics of that is such that politically it might not be achievable.

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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:23 am

I think NJT will be reluctant to lend any equipment to Amtrak this year, given the issues Transit has been going through. In reality, if people pay Amtrak ticket prices, they should be riding in Amtrak equipment, not some other commuter rr who’s seats are only meant for people traveling 30 miles each way. If let’s say a NJT trainset covering an Amtrak holiday extra were to break down several states away from home turf, I don’t think too many holiday travelers would be happy. Plus NJT’s own commuters would be very upset.

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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by gokeefe » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:53 am

Pretty sure the extras are discounted on all seats.
gokeefe

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STrRedWolf
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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by STrRedWolf » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:47 am

That would leave MARC being the one giving extra cars out, the MARC IIA/B series. Any word on if they're still spare?
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by mtuandrew » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:28 am

Has Amtrak ever used NJT or MARC Multilevels for Thanksgiving service? The 125mph-rated MARC units seem ideal, with a “panic box” cooler cafe set up somewhere.

Also, I am That Nerdy Railfan that would take an Arrow joyride from WAS to BAL and back. Been a long while, and I doubt they have many more years of leaving New Jersey (except on a flatbed.)

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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by zuckie13 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:44 pm

I think Multilevels will be the last choice. Amtrak would probably ask for some Comet cars before trying Multilevels. Like other have said, luggage is a real problem. The only racks where a suitcase fits are in the end sections. On these specaials everyone has a suitcase, so you've got a real big problem. Cab car has a lavatory, and they can make sure to have a couple of coaches with them as well. 8 Car Comet IV/V is my bet when they give up on the Arrows.

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STrRedWolf
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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by STrRedWolf » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:01 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Has Amtrak ever used NJT or MARC Multilevels for Thanksgiving service? The 125mph-rated MARC units seem ideal, with a “panic box” cooler cafe set up somewhere.

Also, I am That Nerdy Railfan that would take an Arrow joyride from WAS to BAL and back. Been a long while, and I doubt they have many more years of leaving New Jersey (except on a flatbed.)
Doubtful. MARC's load between BAL/PVL/Camden Yards/MRB (Martinsburg) and WAS fills the MARC III/IV multilevels. Plus, MARC could only send the MARC IV's *if* they could spare them -- the MARC IIIs can't fit! It's easier to send the IIA/Bs.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

mtuandrew
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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by mtuandrew » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:17 pm

Red: does MARC fill them even on holiday weekends?

zuckie13
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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by zuckie13 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:42 pm

MARC has plenty of idle cars on the weekend (with lots of them at the far end of the lines from Union station so not conveniently available) but some unused on the Penn line as well. They usually pull from the Penn and Camden fleet to make those specials. Problem is, most of the Penn fleet is the MARC IIIs that they definitely can't use like Red said.

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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:03 pm

If MAEC were to lend any additional trainsets to Amtrak for the holiday crunch, it would probably have to be Sumitomos. I'm not surprised that MARC wouldn't lend Amtrak their bilevels.

Getting back to the Arrow IIIs, I don't like how they are limited to 80 and on a railroad where a lot of trains do at least 110, having trains do 80 often slows down everything else.

How many MARC Sumitomo cars are still in revenue service?

I remember the first two southbound holiday extras that used NJT Arrow III sets didn't just use them for reasons mentioned such as storing suitcases in center door slots and restrooms. By having the Arrow IIIs run southbound on the first two commuter holiday extras, they have been able to head back from DC to NYP in the evening so that way they are ready for their regular assignments on home turf. In the future when NJT gets their issues straightened out, there shouldn't be much harm for them putting together a few solid sets of Comet Vs or even a Comet IV set so that way, suitcases can be stored in the center door area.

Obviously, there are no restrooms on Septa Bombardier Cars but at least, Amtrak could tack on an Amfleet with a restroom.

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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by MACTRAXX » Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:33 am

Everyone:

Amtrak over time has leased commuter equipment for the Thanksgiving holiday period from not
only NJT and MARC - they have used SEPTA, MBTA (NHV-BOS) and MNCR (NYG-ALB) sets in the
past when capacity was needed the most - on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

I have been a longtime watcher of Amtrak train service on that day (since the late 1970s) and note
that the biggest change was the reservation requirement for all trains implemented in the 2000s...

From what I have seen the best commuter equipment that Amtrak has used in recent years are the
MARC single level cars and then the Arrow Two and Three MU cars (NYP-PHL and PHL-HAR) which
when newer could run up to 100 mph in service. Amtrak did lease them for periods in the late 70s/
early 80s era. Each pair (and some of the A3 singles) had restrooms-which was a major factor.

Other equipment had drawbacks: SEPTA's Silverliner Four (leased by Amtrak in the 80s and early
90s) cars used NYP-PHL and PHL-HAR had no restrooms but offered a fast ride. Amtrak has also
leased SEPTA P/P equipment primarily for either PHL-HAR or as standby - at least two of the cab
cars DO have a working restroom - that is kept locked and not available to the public. The MBTA
cars did not run west of NHV since they did not clear the third rail into NYP (steps?) and as it did
turn out was better utilized by a transfer at NHV. The MNCR equipment only ran in the Empire
Corridor back primarily during the 80s - which then was physically split from the NEC.
New Haven-Hartford-Springfield has used CT owned commuter equipment as needed.

There are problems with using either NJT Comets or Multilevels - with Comets Amtrak would need
or demand trainsets with a good ratio of restrooms. On a recent TRE-NYP ride I had Comets - and
I discovered that the eight car train had only one restroom - in the closed cab car which I had to
ask permission from the train crew to use. NJT (or MARC) Multilevels would have the previously
mentioned problems with luggage space even though they have good seating capacity. A long
train of multilevels is a very heavyweight train and would have for example slow acceleration to
deal with. BSH mentions a very long train of multilevels more than 10 cars: Back when they were
new NJT ran at least one NEC train with at least 10 multilevels and two ALP46s on either end.
This train had as aforementioned slow startups from stations and both motors drew tremendous
amounts of power - with the biggest amperage draw at acceleration with these startups.

We all will not know what Amtrak will lease from outside commuter authorities until the 2018
Thanksgiving Schedule and Program becomes public...Could this be the year even less then 4
sets of commuter equipment runs in Amtrak service on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (11/25)?

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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by MACTRAXX » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:25 am

gokeefe wrote:Pretty sure the extras are discounted on all seats.
Gokeefe: On the Sunday after Thanksgiving Amtrak charges their highest possible fares - on their
busiest single day of the year - but - there IS precedence for offering an incentive to riders that do
ride leased commuter equipment: Back in 2000 I rode an early morning unreserved WAS-NYP train
that used MARC equipment - the train crew issued each passenger a voucher good for 20 percent
off your next Amtrak ride when tickets were collected. I used mine for a later BOS-NYP ride...
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STrRedWolf
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Re: Thanksgiving Week Extras

Post by STrRedWolf » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:15 am

mtuandrew wrote:Red: does MARC fill them even on holiday weekends?
Weekends are a slower schedule, and they only use maybe four sets of III's or IV's that get a hefty load. There's a lot of idle trains off of the Camden line, though. The Brunswick line has about ten sets but they're ether in Martinsburg's MARC yard, Brunswick's CSX yard, or Monocacy's MARC yard.

I won't be surprised if a few sets with the MARC HHP-8's would work nicely.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

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