Illinois Amtrak Service

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Jeff Smith
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:23 am

https://www.ourquadcities.com/news/4-th ... 2066318161

Apparently, there's an issue with Iowa Interstate:
The big holdup on it happening is the rail work that needs to be done and what seems to be the inability to reach a deal with Iowa Interstate Railroad to do it.
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Matt Johnson
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by Matt Johnson » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:21 pm

Chicago to St. Louis line is much improved but not done yet

Nothing new really. 90 mph is supposedly "later this year" as it has been for the last couple of years. 110 mph is when or if the feds get around to certifying the I-ETMS system for speeds above 90.

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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by GWoodle » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:32 pm

Matt Johnson wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:21 pm
Chicago to St. Louis line is much improved but not done yet

Nothing new really. 90 mph is supposedly "later this year" as it has been for the last couple of years. 110 mph is when or if the feds get around to certifying the I-ETMS system for speeds above 90.
I'd call the article a one step forward then two steps back plan. Someday to get speeds above 90 about Joliet to maybe Alton. Need a new route Joliet-Chicago maybe on Rock Island instead of flyovers on current Joliet-Chicago route. Then someday new route & new bridge into St Louis. Then they talk about someday new trains to Indy, Louisville, Nashville. No mention about the Springfield new routes.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:04 am

I hope that "Uncle Pete" is giving thanks to the taxpayers for taking passenger train improvement funds appropriated under ARRA09 to build him a new line to access Chicago. I guess you can say he "returned the favor of sorts" building the Global Intermodal Facility at Elwood.

A neighbor has a daughter starting at St. Louis University, when Mom said "we don't pay for flights; we'll fetch her at Joliet", I said "dear, there's a station at Summit" and I sent her a link of the map of the area.

That's all I'll do; no pitch. Amtrak doesn't get that from me.

disclaimer: author holds long position UNP

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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by Tadman » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:33 am

Agreed. The Saint Louis trains have the wackiest timetable northbound. I usually ride south and fly north. There are two pre-dawn trains, then no corridor trans til something like 3. Ergo, your only chance to leave at a reasonable time is the NB Eagle, which is a big gamble. Last week I took such gamble. After checking with the website at 530am and noticing it was a few hours down, and needing to be in Chicago with some certainty to my arrival time, I punted and flew.

Here's the best part: Julie (the automated Amtrak lady) called me an hour later and told me the train was 2-3 hours behind and there were no other trains. Let that sink in. They knew the train was hours late well before the first corridor train out at 430, so there were five other options that day, and they chose to tell me there were no other trains. None???? I don't think so. There are four. And I know they weren't sold out.

Anyway, it's a "play stupid games win stupid prize" on that route some times.

What really kills me is that they add an extra coach north of Saint Louis most days, and it would make a lot more sense to have that as a standing 755a corridor train and then if the Eagle is late, it does it's own thing rather than delay a bunch of people. On the return southbound, which is a lot less prone to delay, they run as one.
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TAN: Substitute Gap Filler Train

Post by JimBoylan » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:03 am

Tadman wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:33 am
What really kills me is that they add an extra coach north of Saint Louis most days, and it would make a lot more sense to have that as a standing 755a corridor train and then if the Eagle is late, it does it's own thing rather than delay a bunch of people.
On Apr. 5, 1971, I remember PennCentral doing exactly that at almost the same time of day. The former New England States from the West was forecast to be almost 2 hours late at Rensselaer, N.Y. due to a Spring snowstorm. The 2 add on coaches were sent to Grand Central at the regular time with an extra engine crew. However, the connecting Snack Bar Coach to Boston was held for the late arrival.

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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:26 am

A "make up" train, what's that?

I'd dare say that 1 Mass and CNOC has long forgotten what that is, especially when there are hardly available crews to handle what they got, and a Class I host to tell 'em to get lost.

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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by gokeefe » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:13 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:26 am
and a Class I host to tell 'em to get lost.
In my opinion Mr. Norman that's the real problem.

In my eyes Amtrak has shown they still know how to "get it done" when they're allowed to.
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Re: TAN: Substitute Gap Filler Train

Post by WhartonAndNorthern » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:48 am

JimBoylan wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:03 am
Tadman wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:33 am
What really kills me is that they add an extra coach north of Saint Louis most days, and it would make a lot more sense to have that as a standing 755a corridor train and then if the Eagle is late, it does it's own thing rather than delay a bunch of people.
On Apr. 5, 1971, I remember PennCentral doing exactly that at almost the same time of day. The former New England States from the West was forecast to be almost 2 hours late at Rensselaer, N.Y. due to a Spring snowstorm. The 2 add on coaches were sent to Grand Central at the regular time with an extra engine crew. However, the connecting Snack Bar Coach to Boston was held for the late arrival.
Recently Palmetto #90 was a quite a few hours down and several steps were taken to serve passengers north of Richmond: Richmond and Alexandria passengers were accommodated on 66 and train 1090 was run north of DC. From what I understand 1090 designates coaches added with the electric motor at DC. If 90 is really, late, 1090 can be sent out by itself.

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Re: TAN: Substitute Gap Filler Train

Post by electricron » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:58 am

WhartonAndNorthern wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:48 am
Recently Palmetto #90 was a quite a few hours down and several steps were taken to serve passengers north of Richmond: Richmond and Alexandria passengers were accommodated on 66 and train 1090 was run north of DC. From what I understand 1090 designates coaches added with the electric motor at DC. If 90 is really, late, 1090 can be sent out by itself.
You're comparing apples to oranges here. The NEC north of DC is owned by Amtrak through NY Penn Station, almost all of the rail corridor between St.Louis and Chicago is owned by UP. It's easy to run an additional train on your own corridor, difficult to run an additional train on someone else's corridor.

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Re: TAN: Substitute Gap Filler Train

Post by west point » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:04 pm

electricron wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:58 am
motor at DC. If 90 is really, late, 1090 can be sent out by itself.
You're comparing apples to oranges here. The NEC north of DC is owned by Amtrak through NY Penn Station, almost all of the rail corridor between St.Louis and Chicago is owned by UP. It's easy to run an additional train on your own corridor, difficult to run an additional train on someone else's corridor.
[/quote]

Just note how many times MARC is delayed on the Penn line to wait for AMTRAK !

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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by Tadman » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:46 am

gokeefe wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:13 am
Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:26 am
and a Class I host to tell 'em to get lost.
In my opinion Mr. Norman that's the real problem.

In my eyes Amtrak has shown they still know how to "get it done" when they're allowed to.
I don't know that UP has any say in this. Consider the following scenario, a bit simplified:

A long distance train leaves Dallas Monday evening at 5pm, passes Saint Louis at Tuesday 7am where cars are added, and reaches Chicago at noon.

A corridor train is scheduled to leave Saint Louis at noon every day and arrive Chicago at 5pm.

Today, for some reason, the long distance train is 3-4 hours late. The added cars from Saint Louis leave on time for Chicago with the noon corridor train's power. The late long distance train gets to Saint Louis around 11am, is added to the corridor coaches, and held there until the corridor train is scheduled, and they leave as one.

There are no new crews or new track slots needed, in fact this is optimal as the late train would've needed a "make-do" track slot mid-morning. The long distance passengers are already way off, there's no saving them, but here we saved 200 people from Saint Louis on the early run.
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by gokeefe » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:24 am

There is a good chance the sponsoring state agency of the corridor service would have a plan with Amtrak for spare power at St. Louis. As long as St. Louis is a crew change point you're probably all set.
gokeefe

electricron
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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by electricron » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:04 am

Tadman wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:46 am
gokeefe wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:13 am
Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:26 am
and a Class I host to tell 'em to get lost.
In my opinion Mr. Norman that's the real problem.

In my eyes Amtrak has shown they still know how to "get it done" when they're allowed to.
I don't know that UP has any say in this. Consider the following scenario, a bit simplified:

A long distance train leaves Dallas Monday evening at 5pm, passes Saint Louis at Tuesday 7am where cars are added, and reaches Chicago at noon.

A corridor train is scheduled to leave Saint Louis at noon every day and arrive Chicago at 5pm.

Today, for some reason, the long distance train is 3-4 hours late. The added cars from Saint Louis leave on time for Chicago with the noon corridor train's power. The late long distance train gets to Saint Louis around 11am, is added to the corridor coaches, and held there until the corridor train is scheduled, and they leave as one.

There are no new crews or new track slots needed, in fact this is optimal as the late train would've needed a "make-do" track slot mid-morning. The long distance passengers are already way off, there's no saving them, but here we saved 200 people from Saint Louis on the early run.
They add one Superliner car to the Texas Eagle every morning, just one car. There is no way to run that one Superliner coach behind a locomotive to Chicago profitably. Meanwhile, the morning train from Kansas City arrives, a few Horizon cars and locomotive, in St. Louis around noon. You hold an eight, nine, up to ten Superliner cars on the Texas Eagle for it. Then pull a dozen or more Superliner and Horizon cars behind one or two locomotives onto Chicago. When it arrives, the train will have to be split just to platform all the cars in Chicago. I'm not even sure they could platform the entire train in St. Louis.

Good luck convincing Amtrak and the states subsidizng this regional service they could ever break even with a single Superliner car train. What you suggested is possible, but it is not practical. There are valid reasons why Amtrak does things they way they do it instead of they way you wish it was done. They remain as practical as possible attempting to limit operations loses as best as they can. That's why they are adding just one Superliner coach to the Texas Eagle in St. Louis vs running an entire second train in the first place. Ideally, the Texas Eagle never runs late. but we do not live in a perfect world.

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Re: Illinois Amtrak Service

Post by Rockingham Racer » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:14 am

There it is again: "break even". Only in this country is that a hope or expectation for passenger rail service. Whatever happened to the notion of "public service"?

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