• All things Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by STrRedWolf
 
west point wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 11:18 pm Always have had a problem with looseAmtrak definitions. An extreme example would be a certain segment of a train almostalwayys sold out. That is not 100% but some trying to book thru will get no seats available. and load meter will show 100%.
I can agree, things are very loose with definitions. For instance, my trip to Pittsburgh and back on 42/43. Both times (from Philly to Pittsburgh for Independence Day Thursday and returning the following Tuesday) the conductor said "This is a sold out train!" On 42, every seat was packed... until Harrisburg, when it emptied to 50%. Return trip, conductor said the same thing... but it was empty until Harrisburg, when it filled right up. I never had that in normal operations (2019 was abnormal).

I bet in this case, when you're booking it, Amtrak's system is trying to find a seat for the entire length of the trip you specify. It may be sold out Philly to Pittsburgh, but if you're only going Harrisburg/Pittsburgh, it probably wasn't full!
  by rcthompson04
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Tue Sep 06, 2022 7:39 pm
west point wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 11:18 pm Always have had a problem with looseAmtrak definitions. An extreme example would be a certain segment of a train almostalwayys sold out. That is not 100% but some trying to book thru will get no seats available. and load meter will show 100%.
I can agree, things are very loose with definitions. For instance, my trip to Pittsburgh and back on 42/43. Both times (from Philly to Pittsburgh for Independence Day Thursday and returning the following Tuesday) the conductor said "This is a sold out train!" On 42, every seat was packed... until Harrisburg, when it emptied to 50%. Return trip, conductor said the same thing... but it was empty until Harrisburg, when it filled right up. I never had that in normal operations (2019 was abnormal).

I bet in this case, when you're booking it, Amtrak's system is trying to find a seat for the entire length of the trip you specify. It may be sold out Philly to Pittsburgh, but if you're only going Harrisburg/Pittsburgh, it probably wasn't full!
Does it really matter how it is calculated if it is down substantially since 2019? We are talking about a 50% decrease and a soaring operating loss for a line that was around break even (above or below).
  by electricron
 
I warned everyone that in the future some idiot would use the terrible ridership numbers during Covid shutdowns as the base ridership data point for an increase in ridership.
Pre-Covid being 100%, Covid shutdown year 25%, Post-Covid shutdown 50%-75% can be interrupted in many ways.
A doubling or tripling of ridership since Covid struck, 25% decrease in ridership from Pre-Covid years.
They all are telling the truth, but which one actually reflects the entire history of the rail service?
  by rcthompson04
 
For me the 2019 numbers are the baseline. 2022 and after should be judged off 2019 until we have a consistent number.
  by west point
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Sep 07, 2022 7:31 pm For me the 2019 numbers are the baseline. 2022 and after should be judged off 2019 until we have a consistent number.
ABSOLUTELY
To be more precise how each leg of an route is performing. Average length of the passenger load of each route can be a start.
  by Acela150
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:51 am The service is running an operating deficit of $34.7 million for FY 2022 with a load factor of 21%. This compares to a $16.8 million deficit and load factor of 13% for FY 2021, $11 million deficit and load factor of 31% for FY 2020, $4.2 million and a load factor of 40% for FY 2019.
Their are a few reasons on why the Keystone trains aren't performing as well as they used to.

1. The state workers who would commute on the trains aren't back in Harrisburg yet, and who knows if they'll go back.

2. The commuters from Philly haven't come back either.

Trains 649 and 651 used to be Standing Room only. Now they leave Philly with about 125-150 passengers on board. That's just about 50% capacity.
  by rcthompson04
 
I think that is the problem. The state isn't going to subsidize a service of 11 round trips losing $50 million a year forever.

The Keystone Service is running almost its entire pre-pandemic schedule. SEPTA is only running 75% of its Regional Rail schedule from before that time. At a certain point the Keystone Service is going to have to consider a similar reduction unless ridership returns.
  by planespotting
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed Nov 02, 2022 12:18 pm Keystones may be affected because... well, Strasburg RR 475 crashed into a work vehicle due to an out-of-position switch and inattentive engineer.

Ouch.
Thanks for sharing. They shut off the Virtual Railfan in Paradise, PA after this happened. Below is different clip that shows the damage to 475 was quite severe. I don't think it will affect Keystone line too much as there seems to be a good amount of space between siding and mainline. There will be some rubbernecking though!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UblnTe6T6Lc
  by rcthompson04
 
planespotting wrote: Wed Nov 02, 2022 1:27 pm
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed Nov 02, 2022 12:18 pm Keystones may be affected because... well, Strasburg RR 475 crashed into a work vehicle due to an out-of-position switch and inattentive engineer.

Ouch.
Thanks for sharing. They shut off the Virtual Railfan in Paradise, PA after this happened. Below is different clip that shows the damage to 475 was quite severe. I don't think it will affect Keystone line too much as there seems to be a good amount of space between siding and mainline. There will be some rubbernecking though!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UblnTe6T6Lc
Does not appear to be impacting service now.
  by STrRedWolf
 
It didn't. Train's extensive coverage of the accident.
PARADISE, Pa. — Strasburg Rail Road’s 4-8-0 steam engine No. 475 collided with a tracked excavator or “trackhoe” parked on a spur Wednesday morning, Nov. 2, punching a hole in the engine’s smokebox. No injuries resulted and the engine, running light, remained on the track.

A combination of a misaligned switch — apparently left open when a maintenance crew tied down the trackhoe on the spur — and the engine crew’s failure to operate the engine at ”restricted speed” contributed to the collision.

Damaged were the smokebox front and door, some auxiliary metal pieces, and the headlight, as well as the bucket, piston, and hydraulic hoses on the trackhoe. The trackhoe arm did not pierce or deform anything vital to steam operation, such as No. 475’s flues or front flue sheet.
Further discussion in the dedicated thread
  by jp1822
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Sep 07, 2022 7:31 pm For me the 2019 numbers are the baseline. 2022 and after should be judged off 2019 until we have a consistent number.
This is what most businesses are doing as a measurement……..
  by jp1822
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 1:58 pm I think that is the problem. The state isn't going to subsidize a service of 11 round trips losing $50 million a year forever.

The Keystone Service is running almost its entire pre-pandemic schedule. SEPTA is only running 75% of its Regional Rail schedule from before that time. At a certain point the Keystone Service is going to have to consider a similar reduction unless ridership returns.
Well, PENDOT is working to get the second frequency west of Harrisburg back in place (restoration of the old Three Rivers or “Son of Broadway”), after they pay a big ransom figure to Norfolk Southern. Is what it is after all these years - a price to be paid for re-entry of service - is what it is. Some Keystone frequencies are running pretty full, while other are hurting a bit. I’d hate to see Amtrak lose the traction it gained in restoring this NYC-PHL-HAR corridor (the restoration of electrified service once again during David Gunn’s administration). This corridor had quite the comeback, ROW clean-up, ROW and track improvement etc. etc. Speeds increased and frequencies increased to truly make it a corridor purposed passenger rail option. Nonetheless, if the second frequency west of Harrisburg proves to do well, be nice to see a third. Amtrak used to have at least two trains from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh on the schedule - be it National Limited and Broadway Limited, Broadway Limited and Pennsylvanian - and even the short-lived Fort Pitt (Altoona to Pittsburgh and back). Duquesne is in their somewhere as well. Even at the turn of the Century, Amtrak nearly had three trains rounding Horseshoe Curve daily - Pennsylvanian, Three Rivers, and the stillborn [overnight] Skyline Connection (leave Philadelphia at midnight, arrive Pittsburgh early morning - M&E driven though!).

Hopefully there’s hope for revival/restoration of passenger rail service west of Harrisburg once again in Amtrak’s near future!
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. JP, I think we both know that #55 "Pennsylvania Limited" and #23 "Manhattan Limited" otherwise known as "Skyline Connection" made it into the Amtrak timetable as "service to begin on a date to be announced".

But, as we both know, that along with anything else in the "W-Gang's Network Growth Strategy" never turned a wheel - especially their NYP-LAX with no station stop in CHI !!!!
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