• Amtrak New Gulf Coast Service - New Orleans to Mobile AL

  • 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 NY&LB
so let's look at how good PUBLIC highways are:
Urban Bridges: 56.5% "good"
Rural Bridges: 43.5% "good"
That's for 2021 from https://www.bts.gov/content/condition-u ... ay-bridges

So I do not agree that PUBLIC Infrastructure is "BETTER" than PRIVATE.

The railroads have basically one goal, maximise profit for their shareholders...like it or not.
If AMTRAK "requires" additional investment for their trains, they should pay "their fair share".
  by west point
eolesen wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 12:53 am As a private property, CSX can move trains as slowly as they wish. Amtrak cannot move as slow... if it will cost money to make it practical for the speeds needed to meet the schedule, Amtrak needs to pay the full cost for those improvements.
I disagree with that premise. Running slower takes a toll on shippers that might not be able to buy more product. As well going slow sometimes but not other times causes interruptions to manufacturing os product. Can you imagine having to shut down a steel making blast furnace?

Right now the slow down of PSR is contributing to inflation as ultimate sellers cannot get enough product in time for selling. Got my Christmas items on New Years.
  by photobug56
I'm no expert on PSR, but it does sound like it causes all sorts of problems. For instance, a railroad makes much longer trains, longer than it has sidings for meets. That creates congestion. And when a massive train arrives at a yard, it likely causes more congestion. And it doesn't help if railroads do massive stock buybacks instead of improving their infrastructure.
  by eolesen
west point wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 3:21 pm I disagree with that premise. Running slower takes a toll on shippers that might not be able to buy more product.
Well, you're taking it out of the context it was intended in.

A container doesn't care if it takes three or twelve hours to move between terminals. CSX can optimize the flow of traffic between NOL and MOB by fleeting with short headways in one direction, and holding traffic in sidings or yards for the opposite direction. I know some railroads that run directional in 6-8 hour blocks.

Throwing in a train that expects to make that trip in 2-3 hours throws everything off.
west point wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 3:21 pm Right now the slow down of PSR is contributing to inflation as ultimate sellers cannot get enough product in time for selling. Got my Christmas items on New Years.
PSR didn't cause supply chain delays at Christmas.... Outsourcing manufacturing decades ago did.

It all started with Chinese factories not producing, then having enough containers, and then too many containers showing up at the ports for Longshoremen to unload, and then too few drayage drivers available to move at the inland ports.
  by ExCon90
Reducing train speeds has two unfavorable effects on a railroad apart from the effect on the shipper and on the economy in general:

1. Increasing trip time will require more locomotives and cars (and containers) for the same volume and revenue. If a schedule requires that the power that left on Monday's train is due back in time to handle Wednesday's train and it doesn't get back in time, you need to scrounge another engine or let the traffic sit, occupying a track in the yard and running up car-hire expense instead of earning money by moving -- as well as possibly requiring an arriving train to park out on the main because the yard can't accept it right now.

2. Since a restrictive curve limits the speed of a train while any part of it is on the curve, the longer the train the longer it's held to that speed. If there are two 30-mph curves three miles apart, a two-mile-long train operating at 30 mph will not be able to reach the nominal track speed between leaving the first curve and having to reduce to 30 to enter the second. If restrictive curves are close enough together and the trains are long enough you could have a theoretical 60-mph railroad on which most trains will never get up to that speed.

(I haven't figured in the time spent walking the train to check the 237th journal bearing on the south side -- plus all the rest of them, just to be sure.)
  by STrRedWolf
Trains article: Modeling was flawed to begin with.
WASHINGTON — Two days of testimony that made up the second week of the Surface Transportation Board’s hearing on Amtrak Gulf Coast service delved into the intricacies of traffic modeling and its data inputs, and made clear both that Amtrak had no role in that modeling, and that consideration of changes to freight operations were not part of the process.

Mark Dingler, senior project manager for consulting firm HNTB, testified during both the April 12 and 14 sessions. His testimony revealed plenty of collaboration among consultants and host railroad personnel.

But Amtrak was not involved, as it had been when the Rail Traffic Controller modeling was used to determine possible infrastructure work needed for passenger service expansion on CSX’s Washington-Richmond, Va., corridor or extensions over Norfolk Southern in Virginia to Roanoke and Norfolk.
Later, operational details were shown to be different from actual operations
WASHINGTON — Switching details and conflicting traffic modeling assumptions dominated discussions at the Surface Transportation Board’s hearing into Amtrak plans to launch passenger service between New Orleans and Mobile, Ala.

The seventh and eighth days of testimony and cross-examination, spread over three weeks, on the dispute over plans for two daily Amtrak round trips precedes a three-week hiatus while the STB attends to other matters.
This is getting to be that CSX and NS are trying to snow the STB, and it's not working.
  by hi55us
Watching the hearing on Youtube is very fascinating, I'm only 2 hours in to the 7 hour hearing but Thomas Crowley provided some very interesting testimony that really questions the validity of CSXs data. I'm convinced CSX created a fantasyland scenario of tons of trans running on the line that don't actually operate. You can watch the recording of the hearing on youtube, I'd encourage anyone interested in the case to watch.
  by eolesen
Hearings always make for good political theater. It's the details that matter, not the rebuttals and cross examination.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by John_Perkowski
From Railway Age: Gulf Coast Battle: An Interim Report

David P Alan, a contributing editor and IP attorney, writes…
After the other Board members made their statements, Oberman admonished Amtrak for concentrating its case on the argument that the railroads did not meet their statutory burden of proof, and suggested that Amtrak should provide more evidence in support of its case in chief. Having said that, he reiterated his call for the parties to settle on their own.
  by WashingtonPark
Quote from the Railway Age article. Isn't this the truth. " Oberman also criticized the railroads for their unwillingness to build new infrastructure until after considering operating changes when they are spending their own money for that infrastructure, but insisting on new infrastructure instead of inexpensive operating changes when taxpayers’ money would pay for it."
  by markhb
I just stopped into this thread today, wondering if anything had happened (answer: no), and then when I went to the STB I found this.

Save you the click:
The Surface Transportation Board today announced that the hearing regarding the National Railroad Passenger Corporation’s (Amtrak) application to operate Gulf Coast Service will continue on November 17 and 18, 2022, beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET each day. The Board also announced that it will hold a voting conference on December 7, 2022, beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The hearing will be limited to examination and cross-examination of the new evidence presented in the supplemental materials filed following the conclusion of the hearings on May 12, 2022, and to present closing arguments. The Board expects the evidentiary part of this hearing to be completed within five hours. During the December 7, 2022 voting conference, the Board members will discuss among themselves, and may vote on, the outcome of the case. Although the voting conference will be open for public observation, no participation by the Parties or the public will be permitted.
  by John_Perkowski
Trains Magazine just posted this:
Amtrak, freight railroads say they have a deal on Gulf Coast service

Brief, Fair Use Quote:
In a joint statement, Amtrak, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, and the Alabama State Port Authority say they have “collectively reached an agreement to support passenger and freight service in the Gulf Coast Corridor. The parties filed a motion today informing the Surface Transportation Board that a settlement agreement has been reached and asking that the case be held in abeyance while the parties execute the various conditions of that settlement agreement. Due to the confidential nature of the settlement agreement, the parties are not able to provide further comment on its terms at this time.
  by prokowave
Hopefully we are nearing an end to this saga. However it is a bit disappointing to not be able to see how the board would rule on the case as presented. My impression is that they were leaning toward Amtrak's position and the implications could have been huge for service expansion nationwide.

Looking at the actual filing, this part was interesting:
With the assistance of Board-sponsored mediators, the Parties have agreed upon a settlement that will—after several conditions are met in the coming weeks and months—completely resolve this dispute. Some of these conditions are not entirely within the Parties’ control, however. Therefore, each Party has reserved its right to reinstate this proceeding in the event certain of those conditions are not met.
Of course the actual terms were redacted, but my guess is that service will be contingent on availability of the previously awarded federal funds so that NS and CSX get some improvements, but not the 400-500 million they were seeking.
  by Roadgeek Adam
Obviously if this all starts, at least Bay St. Louis is ready to go. I've not seen photos on the 3 other Mississippi stations, but the ones of BSL have gotten around that platforms and signage are in place.
  • 1
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 30