• Illinois Amtrak Service

  • 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

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  by John_Perkowski
 
F40CFan wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:08 pm In a perfect world, the politicians would look to cleaning up their act instead of cutting Amtrak Service.
Cue Don Quixote de la Mancha
  by Anthony
 
Support for Illinois' state-supported Amtrak routes is so strong that they won't go away without a fight, so I think they will be safe. There are ongoing efforts to expand the network to include the Quad Cities and Rockford (and eventually Dubuque). These expansion projects were included in the Rebuild Illinois capital bill. Whether they will eventually be built remains to be seen.
  by eolesen
 
Sure, that Amtrak may be popular with some, but I suspect statewide, more people want to maintain their police and fire protection... Illinois is beyond broke, and there won't be bailout money coming from Washington that isn't specifically tied to COVID.

Unless Springfield has the appetite for a Constitutional amendment on pension reform, I see no choice other than spending and staffing cuts at Metra, CTA, Pace and other agencies.

And it's not just transportation. Libraries and Senior Centers will close or reduce their hours. Park Districts will scale back their art programs or raise fees to be self-sustaining. Art and sports in public schools may have to go fee-based.

Oh yeah. Raise taxes, because that's worked so well the last three times... Every time my taxes have gone up, the deficits have gone up more.
  by StLouSteve
 
FYI

This month's Trains Magazine has a technical article on why the high speed rail projects in MI and IL have failed to reach their targets. Sounds like speed in IL will eventually get bumped to 89 from the current 79 and that will be it instead of the once hailed 120 mph. Heartbreaking photo of second high speed mainline abruptly ending after a bridge due to lack of funding.

Unmentioned is UP's new on line center and whether IL got sold a bill of goods to rebuild UP's line at gov't expense.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Less politics, less editorializing please.
  by John_Perkowski
 
ADMIN NOTE:

The moderators will, at their leisure, sort out the matters of signaling from the matters of Amtrak Illinois regional service.
  by Pensyfan19
 
So how's Amtrak service in Illinois? Are consists the same as before the Pandemic? Any progress on the Quad Cities or Black Hawk? (Any rare catches on the Illinois routes while we're at it?)
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Greatly reduced, Mr. Pennsy

First number is the pre-COVID frequency, followed by the present. Compilation exclusive of the LD's that operate on their reduced frequencies.

Chi-Quincy. 2 1
Chi-Stl. 5 2
Chi-Cbndl 2 1
Chi-Pont 3 1
Chi-Port H 1 1
Chi-Gd Rap 1 1
Chi-Milw 7 4
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
It does not appear that any additional trains are being added for Thanx - well at least by me.

I just checked and for Wed Nov 25 and Sun Nov 29, there is only #383, Illinois Zephyr, operating. Adding insult to injury, only #5, Zephyr, operates Wednesday and Sunday neither #3, Chief, nor #5 do same.

Addendum: no changes to other Chicago originating routes.

From what I've learned, colleges are having a combined Thanx-Xmas break, so this will alleviate the "peak" considerably. Presumably this will cut into Spring break, which in our COVID environment is probably just as well.
  by electricron
 
StLouSteve wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 8:23 am This month's Trains Magazine has a technical article on why the high speed rail projects in MI and IL have failed to reach their targets. Sounds like speed in IL will eventually get bumped to 89 from the current 79 and that will be it instead of the once hailed 120 mph.
Unmentioned is UP's new on line center and whether IL got sold a bill of goods to rebuild UP's line at gov't expense.
I do not believe Illinois DOT ever promised 120 mph speeds, what they did promise was 110 mph speeds. With 110 mph max speeds, they promised up to an hour savings in elapse time between Chicago and St. Louis. With the now promise (since January 2019) 90 mph max speeds, the time savings has shrunk to 15 minutes. At a cost of $2 Billion, that calculates out to be an expenditure of 133,333,333.33 per minute. At $1 Billion, an expenditure of 66,666,666.66 per minute. Some argue what was the total spent, so I included both figures. Whichever, the speed increase is still just a promise.

Even when it was a promised one hour savings, the cost per minute saved seemed more reasonable, at either 33,333,333.33 or 16,666,666.67 per minute; a difference of $100 million or $50 million less per minute.
  by eolesen
 
And yet people still advocate for more high speed rail on existing low volume corridors.....

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by Pensyfan19
 
Keep in mind that most of the services on these Midwest services, especially the Hiawatha service and maybe the Alton route to St. Louis, reached over 100mph on a daily basis before Amtrak took over...
  by mtuandrew
 
I’d feel a lot more comfortable if the improvements were taken holistically. The SPG safety improvements, the UP capacity improvements to ideally remove traffic from I-55, the roadbed and track work to reduce wear on equipment, the removal of long-term slow orders, and so forth. It’s still a frustrating amount of money for essentially no improvement to public transportation, but at least it has slightly more justification.

Illinois does seriously need to pursue a purchase of the ex-Alton, or perhaps better yet Amtrak (being as Illinois is having a great deal of trouble balancing its budget.)
  by Pensyfan19
 
mtuandrew wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:44 am I’d feel a lot more comfortable if the improvements were taken holistically. The SPG safety improvements, the UP capacity improvements to ideally remove traffic from I-55, the roadbed and track work to reduce wear on equipment, the removal of long-term slow orders, and so forth. It’s still a frustrating amount of money for essentially no improvement to public transportation, but at least it has slightly more justification.

Illinois does seriously need to pursue a purchase of the ex-Alton, or perhaps better yet Amtrak (being as Illinois is having a great deal of trouble balancing its budget.)
Not to mention, they should also consider double-tracking the region instead of slightly improving the existing ROW for increased frequency and therefore Amtrak doesn't have to worry about freights (or even LD trains) causing traffic. I remember five years ago, my Lincoln Service was shifted into a siding and waited for about 15 minutes for the Texas Eagle to pass.

Also, weren't certain portions of the present-day Illinois Central mainline double-tracked or even 4-tracked at one point? This should emphasize my point.
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