SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby EuroStar » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:51 pm

The DEIS for the Southeast HSR is out https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0729. Mostly adds third track. The cost of the bypasses seems excessive, so I doubt that they will happen.
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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby lpetrich » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:57 pm

That's DC - Richmond only, but it will still be good. I checked the Executive Summary, and it showed where the additional tracks would be. I also found that it made no mention of electrification.
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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby bdawe » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:05 pm

Given commuter traffic, existing and potential intercity traffic, DC-Richmond electrification seems like it should be worth more exploration. Wouldn't fewer trains being re-powered in DC be a plus for terminal capacity there too?
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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby electricron » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:57 pm

Would be a great idea if the rail corridor being used was owned by Amtrak or the Commonwealth of Virginia. But it is not! It is owned by a freight railroad company with no intentions at all hanging electric wires above its tracks. Someone on another thread suggested 24 trains a day or so is needed to make it worthwhile, and I don’t think there’s that many trains stop in Richmond. Trains that go further, like to Raleigh, Newport News, and Norfolk will have to switch locomotives in Richmond anyways, so all this will accomplish is move the location where it will occcur on most trains. The delay experenced by passengers will still be experenced by most of them. And in that same thread it was suggested the price for electrification was $10+ Million/mile of track. There’s 123 rail miles of track between Richmond and D.C. so the costs of this improvement will be at least $1.23 Billion.

If you are going to spend that much only electrifying the rail corridor, let’s improve the speed of the trains so they can go faster than those using diesel locomotives. And that means maximum speeds of the trains over 125 mph for the entire corridor. Otherwise, the money is being wasted with no appreciable gain in the trains’ performance.
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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:27 pm

There is a lot of realignment potential in that distance too; it's only 109 highway miles from Washington Union Station to Richmond Main Street Station. Best not to throw money at electrification which doesn't reasonably need to be spent until 125+ mph comes into the picture, when the existing ROW isn't really good for more than 90/110 in places.
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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:15 am

bdawe wrote:Wouldn't fewer trains being re-powered in DC be a plus for terminal capacity there too?


Potentially, but at the expense of losing economies of scale. Several trains would still need to change engines in DC, meaning Amtrak would still need to keep a yard crew there, and the required infrastructure, in addition to adding this infrastructure in Richmond. Unless they're extending full Northeast Corridor service (i.e. Acela and Regionals) south to Richmond, it makes far more sense to keep the engine swap at a major terminal like Washington where Amtrak already has the facilities for it.
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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby dowlingm » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:31 am

Amtrak carries out Regional/Vermonter swaps in New Haven. How much yard/crewing is required for that operation?
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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby deathtopumpkins » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:52 pm

It's a moot point because you already have the economy of scale. New Haven is already a large maintenance base with leftover facilities from the hundred years when it was the end of electric territory. It already has an established yard and crews. Plus it's Amtrak's base of operations for SLE, which it runs under contract.

Richmond has none of those things. It's apples to oranges.
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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby dowlingm » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:25 pm

I forgot about SLE. That's a good point. However, didn't Amtrak cut back Pennsylvanian loco change to PHL rather than HBG for pretty similar reasons? I wonder what the # of loco changes would be before it because viable.
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Re: SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Postby electricron » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:57 pm

How many Amtrak trains continue on the Springfield line that need locomotive swaps at New Haven?
Southbound (15 minutes scheduled stop)
55 Vermonter (Mon-Fri)
57 Vermonter (Sat-Sun)
141(Mon-Fri)
143 (Sat-Sun)
147 (Sat)
157 (Sun)
Northbound (15 minutes scheduled stop)
54 Vermonter (Sat-Sun)
56 Vermonter (Mon-Fri)
136 (Fri)
140 (Sat-Sun)
146 (Sat)
148 (Mon-Fri)
Basically, that’s 4 Amtrak trains on weekdays and 6 Amtrak trains on weekends. I
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