justalurker66 wrote:I am surprised that Hudson Lake isn't marked as a "discharge only" stop on 511 and 513. It would save NICTD money if those trains could be annulled east of Michigan City on nights when there are no Hudson Lake or South Bend bound passengers. As it stands, NICTD would have to run empty to at least Hudson Lake just in case someone wanted to go to South Bend at 11:23p or 1:23a. Of course, I hope the nights 511 or 513 go unused east of Michigan City are rare. Perhaps the "discharge only" can be added in February when the schedules are reprinted (Metra price increase affecting Hegewisch)?
What if there's a passenger who may want to ride from Michigan City to South Bend, or Hudson Lake, or any combination of those three? I have never seen any railroad have a "may be annulled sometimes, at short notice" train in its schedule.
More trouble than it's worth, for the pittance it would actually save in operating costs. Labor costs are by far the largest cost component in the overall cost of running a train. By the labor agreement, crews are going to be paid at least 8 hours, even if they work less. If the run is by design an overtime assignment, and you say at the last minute, "naaaa...just park the train and go home; you're not getting that overtime today", you're going to wind up with a nice union grievance, which the union will probably win.
So, this is a non-starter. It might make sense to cut the last train of the night back to Michigan City with an actual schedule change during the non-peak travel season in the winter, and NICTD discussed that when the new weekend schedules were proposed to the Board. Might still happen, but you'll *never* see a "might not run tonight" train on the South Shore Line.