Lake Shore Limited

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Greg Moore
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by Greg Moore » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:06 pm

The EGE wrote:Chatham and Palmer are such obvious stops; it's very surprising they haven't been added yet. Palmer had one-a-day service until A-day; Chatham actually had Harlem Line service until 1972 but east-west service also ended on A-day.
I wonder what it would take to convince the powers that be to make this happen.
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TomNelligan
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by TomNelligan » Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:53 pm

Greg Moore wrote:I wonder what it would take to convince the powers that be to make this happen.
Money. The last B&A trains that stopped at either Palmer or Chatham were pre-Amtrak NYC/PC Boston-Albany locals 404/405 which went off around 1969-70, and the old platforms are long gone. These days, rather than putting down a few boards, you need to deal with ADA stuff, and CSX's likely disinclination to allow high level platforms (required of all new construction under ADA interpretations, I believe) would make new stops anything but cheap.

Greg Moore
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by Greg Moore » Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:39 pm

Hmm, fair point!
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The EGE
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by The EGE » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:43 pm

New-build accessible stations don't have to cost a lot. Holyoke's new station - which includes a 400-foot high-level on a siding - cost $3.2 million. A mini-high on the mainline would be cheaper, but it'd probably be better to have the siding if possible. Chatham certainly has room; Palmer would be trickier but it's still doable.

CSX might complain about the slightly increased travel time, but if it's done in conjunction with Inland Route track work (which would probably also include a stop in Warren or one of the Brookfields) it shouldn't be a big issue.

west point
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by west point » Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:23 pm

The Edge is correct about station platforms. Build a station track with a high level platform. That siding has two uses. No problem with freight trains as they would stay on main. If additional track(s) are built then no moving of platform with passenger trains using outside track. Along with station tracks and high platforms build platforms with sidings on both sides of the ROW. Sidings should be long enough to extend platforms in future.
The problems of MBTA's BOS - Worcester line not having platforms on both sides highlight this problem. Capital corridor already has some stations with sidings although they are low level due to using superliner and California cars.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:30 am

For points west of MBTA territory (except Springfield) the tippy-top schedule density will never require having 2 side platforms. So there's nothing freight-related preventing them from building a full-high. Or raising the low at Pittsfield to a full-high, for that matter. In the case of Palmer, figure that double-tracking of the B&A is going to reconfigure the whole junction and probably allow for 2 freight passing tracks with extra crossovers between them if the platform got situated on Depot St. at or adjacent to the old station building. CSX won't complain; it's already established that when the time comes they're getting a quid pro quo from MassDOT in the form of improved road access to West Springfield Yard. And CSX cares way more about getting similar truck access parity to the W. Springfield profit center as they got with new Worcester yard than they care about sharing running rails on the B&A, because W. Springfield is going to earn them way greater profits than dispatching supremacy on running track that really isn't all that crowded. They won't just be happy to make that trade...they'll be doing backflips.


So far the only intermediate stop being officially studied for the Inlands is Palmer. Adjacent Mass Pike exit, easy campus shuttle bus access to UMass, and midpoint spacing between Springfield and Worcester make that too obvious to pass up. But until you start talking frequencies quite a bit beyond the Springfield Shuttle-type plans currently envisioned here--and it's going to be many, many years after startup before it reaches that point--there's no reason for any other stops. The Brookfields are way too sparsely populated, Warren is right next to Palmer, and Ludlow and Wilbraham have buses into Springfield.


Worcester Union Station's #2 platform would be an island adjacent to the current platform track...same place it used to be in the old days. The tracks are spaced that wide because of the footprint of that demolished platform. Won't be that big a deal or change operations much at all. But the T alone needs it...and soon.

The only other thing I could see being a necessity is raising the platform at Framingham to full-high. Back Bay has plans for raising the mini-high on the Worcester side to full-high, which would leave Framingham and Pittsfield as the last AMTK-served lows east of Albany and Framingham the only low on the Inlands. They might as well just do it because if every Springfield Line stop is now full-high it'll be easier to stamp out the last Inland outlier where Amtrak conductors would have to work the door traps. A freight passing track can very easily be snaked behind the station between legs of the wye. I think the only reason it wasn't done that way when the new Framingham station was in design in the late-90's was because MassDOT and Conrail really really did not get along back then and no battle in Conrail territory was too small to give an inch.

7express
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by 7express » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:35 am

I'm surprised this topic is still going strong 5 years later :-D

I agree with the early morning ALB-BOS shuttle and back in the evening, also the added stops in Chatham, NY & Palmer, MA to generate increased traffic.

sicariis
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by sicariis » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:10 am

A BOS-ALB morning shuttle would also be great. Would love to be able to catch the Adirondack or Maple Leaf in ALB.

electricron
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by electricron » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:24 am

sicariis wrote:A BOS-ALB morning shuttle would also be great. Would love to be able to catch the Adirondack or Maple Leaf in ALB.
If there is enough traffic to warrant a second round trip, I'm all for it. Just remember the second train should be considered a regional train which should be subsidized by the state/states. Can NY and MA agree to a subsidizing formula with Amtrak. Are there enough rolling stock available to support it? Is there a time slot on the corridor for a second train?

Greg Moore
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by Greg Moore » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:39 pm

electricron wrote:
sicariis wrote:A BOS-ALB morning shuttle would also be great. Would love to be able to catch the Adirondack or Maple Leaf in ALB.
If there is enough traffic to warrant a second round trip, I'm all for it. Just remember the second train should be considered a regional train which should be subsidized by the state/states. Can NY and MA agree to a subsidizing formula with Amtrak. Are there enough rolling stock available to support it? Is there a time slot on the corridor for a second train?
I think these are definitely fair questions and worth some thought.

From just talking to some people I know (a fairly small sample set) who travel to Boston from Albany one or more times a year, the general consensus is "yes, we'd seriously consider this."
Now, we're not enough to fill business class, let alone a full Amfleet I, but we are somewhat representative of the general Albany population. So I think if you had a small train, perhaps 2 coach and a cafe/BC car you could get away with that. (the issue with that is most Empire Service trains are 5-6 cars, it may be easier to deadhead 2-3 cars back and forth than switch out cars or otherwise have a dedicated train set).

So, you'd probably need 5-6 cars to "replace" a set you'd normally cycle between ALB-NYP. I think in a few years this might be available.

Looking at the schedule, it's basically 2:20 between ALB-SPR (WB it's 3:20 but that really is an hour of makeup in the schedule!)

I think since you're no longer dependent on waiting for a train from Chicago, you can better schedule your slots with CSX. The key would be to make this reliably a 4.5 hour (or less), not a 5.5 hour scheduled trip.

So I think leaving Albany at say 7, gets you to Springfield at 9:30 or so (time enough to do business in Springfield, catch a shuttle to Hartford or New haven). Or be in Albany in time for lunch. (Heck, time it right, get to Boston, grab some clam Chowder and hope on the LSL and be back home by 5:30).

I'm guessing that by the time you're leaving Springfield and heading into Boston, you've missed most of the commuter MBTA traffic so there are more slots available.

Now, EB, is a bit more complicated, but you're going against incoming commuter traffic, so that may or may not work out for an outbound train. Getting into Albany around Noon gives you time to do some business there and then hop the EB LSL back home.

It's never going to be a huge amount of traffic like the Empire Service between NYP-ALB or even the Connecticut River shuttles, but I think there's some viable traffic for connecting the cities in Mass.

Now funding... with the push in Mass for more trains, I can see them willing to work out something. The problem I see is NY and I don't see them willing to put up the funding. (nor any capital improvements to improve capacity on CSX in NYS).

So, while I think it could work, I just don't see New York going for it.
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NRGeep
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by NRGeep » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:09 am

Has the Saudi flooding of the petrol market contributed to less oil trains out of North Dakota and hence better OTP of the LSL?

MetroBostonRailways
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by MetroBostonRailways » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:32 pm

so when is the regular set involving a viewliner for 448 and 449 going to come back?

Backshophoss
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by Backshophoss » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:43 pm

Not untill the trackwork at Albany station is completed,to allow BOS sleeper switching off/on 48/49.
For now,believe fixed consist used on 448/449 uses a "Biz Class" car for sleeper passengers BOS-ALB,
BOS sleeper turns at Sunnyside with the rest of the train.
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jstolberg
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by jstolberg » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:40 am

NRGeep wrote:Has the Saudi flooding of the petrol market contributed to less oil trains out of North Dakota and hence better OTP of the LSL?
Carloadings of crude from North Dakota and Canada peaked in December and January. From my perspective in the Chicago area, it appears that most of the decrease in oil train traffic is to refineries in Texas and Louisiana, not to the east coast.

Nevertheless, the August Monthly Performance Report indicates an OTP of 25% for the LSL, up from 16.3% a year earlier and 11-month OTP of 40.2% up from 38% a year earlier.
11-month OTP for the Maple Leaf is pretty much unchanged from a year ago at 49.9% and 11-month OTP for the other Albany-Niagara trains is at 44.2% which is worse than the previous year. So as a whole,I'd say that OTP has not improved in upstate NY due to the drop in oil prices. The only improvement to the water level route seems to be at the west end with the completion of the Englewood Flyover in Chicago.

Dick H
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Re: Lake Shore Limited

Post by Dick H » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:54 pm

According to a report elsewhere, Amtrak is closing the ticket
office in Worcester MA Union Station permanently on November
14th. There is no quik-trak machine there currently. Amtrak.com
has not yet been updated. The Lake Shore 449//449 are the only
Amtrak trains using the Worcester station.

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