Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Freq)

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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby jonnhrr » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:59 pm

mtuandrew wrote:No official word yet, but on a state-supported service? Probably not.

I'm even having trouble identifying when the train would depart and arrive. Maybe 7ish CHI - 3ish MSP, 2ish MSP - 10ish CHI?


I know the times aren't as ideal, but if you changed it to CHI 6AM - MSP 2PM then MSP 3PM - CHI 11 PM, could you run the service with one set of equipment?

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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby ebtmikado » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:45 pm

A turn-around time of greater than an hour would be needed.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:43 pm

Wasn't a problem for the "Q". One set covered two trips in a day. Morning Z made Same day turn at both Chi and Msp to the Afternoon Z. Here we are talking only to St Paul.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:50 pm

As they say, that was then--this is now. Under today's conditions they would need a "protect" set anyway if they tried to do an out-and-back in the same day; might as well schedule two sets and gain flexibility in departure and arrival times.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:57 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Wasn't a problem for the "Q". One set covered two trips in a day. Morning Z made Same day turn at both Chi and Msp to the Afternoon Z. Here we are talking only to St Paul.

Would be nice, but with CP Rail not having as big a stake in Amtrak's timeliness as the MILW (or CBQ) did for their own trains, I'd foresee a lot of La Crosse short turns and a lot of bustitution MSP-Tomah. As ExCon says, no need to play it so close.

Also, three of the options involve Minneapolis Target Field Station, St. Cloud Amtrak, or both. Only Option 4 is SPUD-only.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby David Benton » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:18 pm

If they wanted better equipment utilization, they could tack a Milwaukee- Chicago run before and after the MSP runs. though this would work better on the current empire Builder schedules.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:05 am

David Benton wrote:If they wanted better equipment utilization, they could tack a Milwaukee- Chicago run before and after the MSP runs. though this would work better on the current empire Builder schedules.

They might, this will probably replace a Hiawatha so maybe these sets will turn for the regular MKE-CHI rotation as well as the MSP-CHI service.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Bob Roberts » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:18 am

mtuandrew wrote:They might, this will probably replace a Hiawatha so maybe these sets will turn for the regular MKE-CHI rotation as well as the MSP-CHI service.


I agree, it will almost certainly replace a Hiawatha. This is bad news for Hiawatha reliability which I suspect is pretty important to those riders.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:36 am

Although I noted in my immediate posting that the "Q" made same day turns with their Zephyrs, that in itself does not mean Amtrak should do so.

It is simply a matter of connections; while the Midwest Corridors with their "three a day" or more have trains connecting with nothing, will a "two a day" (West of MKE) be viable missing connections?

On the MILW when I was there, the Afternoon was first to go; the Morning survived until A-Day when it became the Builder. I learned it first hand; Morning was stronger simply owing to connections which included Mail & Express. Locals about the same.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:32 am

Bob Roberts wrote:I agree, it will almost certainly replace a Hiawatha. This is bad news for Hiawatha reliability which I suspect is pretty important to those riders.

CP isn't too terrible with timekeeping, as long as BNSF gives them the train on time or Amtrak doesn't have its own issues. Since it'll spend minimal time on BNSF and won't be caught in North Dakota oil field (or seasonal grain) traffic, a Twin Cities Hiawatha ought to do okay.

Guessing 807 would take 331's slot (dep CHI 8:25a) and 808 would take 342's (arr CHI 9:04p.) Since it's a reverse commute with no connections attempted, Hiawatha Service passengers shouldn't be too inconvenienced by late trains.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:59 pm

Would it spend any time at all on BNSF, actually? Thought the Builder was on the ex-Milwaukee Road all the way from Union Station to St. Paul.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:19 pm

I think they run on the BNSF from St. Croix to St. Paul.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:27 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:I think they run on the BNSF from St. Croix to St. Paul.

It can - CP and BNSF have had a joint track agreement since the late 1800s between Hastings and Hoffman.

EDIT: Also, if extended past St. Paul this train would necessarily take BNSF from the Minnesota Commercial to Target Field Station and/or St. Cloud.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Suburban Station » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:26 am

Bob Roberts wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:They might, this will probably replace a Hiawatha so maybe these sets will turn for the regular MKE-CHI rotation as well as the MSP-CHI service.


I agree, it will almost certainly replace a Hiawatha. This is bad news for Hiawatha reliability which I suspect is pretty important to those riders.

since they want to expand Hiawatha trips they should use this to add service. it isn't like they will save equipment, replacing a trip just means the equipment will sit
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:30 pm

Suburban Station: should do, yup. Maybe they will, if the equipment and funding is there.
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