Cardinal Reschedule

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Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Tadman » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:30 pm

Mod note - split from Horizon thread

Cardinal would be the perfect use of Horizon cars. Other than the corridor, it's a low-density route, so no need for slider doors. Also, DGVR mentions going daily. Try this on for size - drop the sleeper, make it a daily coach train. Pause in Charleston WV overnight, then leave again for Chicago in the morning. Each day. What you essentially have is two day trains, but this way it's the same train so it doesn't run afoul of the new PRIIA regs.

I suggest this because right now the Cardinal is not really useful to any market. It's not a great train Chicago-Indy, it calls on Cinci early morning, it's not the best overnight Chicago-New York solution, and there are plenty of trains to Virginia. What does it do well? Not much. A refocus might help, and an all-coach Horizon consist is the perfect solution.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby WhartonAndNorthern » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:56 pm

Tadman wrote:What does it do well? Not much.


It keeps politicians in West Virginia happy.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:14 pm

Not to go too far off-topic but a schedule reboot could help the Cardinal greatly - by running slow between Cincinnati and Charleston. Like coal train slow, holding at CIN or CHW respectively until a 7:30am departure. It transforms one train into a CHI-CIN day train and a CHW-NYP day train sharing the same cars. That slow running and the holds also should eliminate the issues with CSX causing ever-increasing delays and making it impossible to catch up. By adding an additional bus bridge - dep CHW 5am arr CIN 7am (with guaranteed connection) and vice versa - you extend the reach of those day trains.

Anyway - the Horizon fleet would be good here. Am I correct in recalling that they served on the Three Rivers upon first delivery?
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Tadman » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:59 pm

Right but is that service adequate? Could it be better? Would a new timetable help?

As of right now, the model of running one sleeper car a few times per week is a bit third world. I'd rather see a daily coach train with an overnight layover like Via's Skeena does. When I ask if this train does anything well, I ask as a rider. It's not convenient to many midpoint cities, and we've established that midpoints are important. It doesn't provide much of a public good as the sleepers rooms are expensive and the overall frequency of the train is poor. Nobody really wins here.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby ryanov » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:43 am

If this can be believed and is any indication:

There isn't a place in the system where added sleeper capacity wouldn't be felt. Rooms on the Cardinal are perpetually hard to book less than a month in advance, rooms on the Crescent charge enough to indicate plenty of latent demand, to say nothing of the overnight trains that don’t offer the amenity at all.

https://www.railpassengers.org/happenin ... -in-sight/
|=| R. Novosielski |=|
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:16 am

I've said before the biggest markets should be Cincinnati and Indianapolis (Chicago and the NEC are served by the LSL and CL). But the Cardinal passes through CIN during the graveyard shift and IND at not much better times. So the train would be better served if it left CIN westbound early in the morning and arrived in CIN eastbound before midnight, maximizing the attractiveness of the train between CHI-IND-CHI.The train should still be able to serve Charlottesville-NYP in daylight hours. There are some old Cardinal schedules where the train served CIN-CHI in daylight hours although the train didn't serve IND during some of those times.

http://on-track-on-line.com/amtrak50-cardinal.shtml

If you can't serve CIN/IND at better trains, the train is worthless except as said to keep West Virginia politicians happy. Then they should pay for it instead of the rest of us.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:11 pm

And there should be a combined Capitol Limited-Broadway Limited running single-level equipment, taking the Cardinal’s spot as a reasonable NYC-CHI transportation option. If that changes, we can either chop the Cardinal into two day trains or lengthen the schedule between CIN and CHW so it essentially becomes two.

And ideally in the future, there should be two separate trains via PGH (alongside the Lake Shore Limited and a new twin via BUF.) One, a CHI-PGH-PHL-NYC Three Rivers section of the Cap, and the other a CHI-PGH-WAS section of the Broadway Limited - I suggest the name Ambassador or the Liberty (Limited).
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby dgvrengineer » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:43 pm

It seems to me that the Cardinal schedule from Amtrak inception through 1976 that left Washington around 6pm, got to White Sulphur Springs before midnight and Cincinnati around 8am would be the answer to giving Cincinnati to Chicago daylight service. The biggest problem is you basically loose all Chicago to the west connections.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:09 am

Those from the NEC still have the LSL and CL for that purpose. As for CIN and IND, would they rather have west connections or service at better hours?
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby east point » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:21 pm

Why do you keep ignoring the stations ALX, Manassas, Culpeper, CVS who would need to connec to Capitol at WASH o very early Roanoker or Crescent.. Then you have Staunton, Clifton Forge, White Sulphur Springs, Hinton, Charleston Wv, Huntington, Ashland, Ky among other. You kill their chances of getting connections at both CHI and WASH. All those stations at present can make fairly good connections. Of course daily Cardinals are really needed and an extension of the Hosure to Cincinnaniti at the times you are proposing.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:10 pm

Because to me CIN and IND are larger cities/markets and more important.
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby electricron » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:21 pm

More important than making the connection in Chicago for trains to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and New Orleans? Some of those connections are to cities four times larger than Indianapolis and Cincinnati put together. Really?
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby Philly Amtrak Fan » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:45 pm

If the west coast cities wanted to go to New York or DC, they can take the LSL or CL. I highly doubt many of them want to go to Hinton, West Virginia.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby Arlington » Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:43 pm

[EDIT] Oh. Nobody can ever change anything for the convenience of anybody because tradition dictates that the only money that can be made in Chicago is made by connecting sleeper passengers [/EDIT]

mtuandrew wrote:[B]y running slow between Cincinnati and Charleston. Like coal train slow, holding at CIN or CHW respectively until a 7:30am departure. It transforms one train into a CHI-CIN day train and a CHW-NYP day train sharing the same cars. That slow running and the holds also should eliminate the issues with CSX causing ever-increasing delays and making it impossible to catch up.

^+1 I think this is genius.

I do know that UVa kids consider the Cardinal a good way to go to/from IND/CHI from CVS and I don't think going slower would change much of that usefulness. In fact it would make it a better trip to/from CIN too. It plays to the Sleeper's strength: cheaper than a hotel in downtown CIN. I see how it works westbound. How do you picture it eastbound?

mtuandrew wrote:By adding an additional bus bridge - dep CHW 5am arr CIN 7am (with guaranteed connection) and vice versa - you extend the reach of those day trains.

I'm a little worried this won't work: I see CHW to CIN is 200 miles, meaning you'd have to leave at 4am to get to the other end by 7:30a
ryanov wrote:The Cardinal serves various places that the other sleeper trains NY to Chicago do not.

But why are we giving the single biggest intermediate city on the WV side (CIN) the crappiest possible times?
Westbound: CIN 1:31am IND 6am
Eastbound: IND Midnight CIN 3:27am
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Re: Cardinal Reschedule

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:00 am

Arlington: lemme work that schedule out, but basically an early departure from Chicago for a late dinner-time arrival in Cinci, then an early departure from Charleston for a late dinner-time in New York.

Maybe instead of Charleston, we hold the eastbound at Huntington and keep the westbound hold at Cincinnati, like so:

Eastbound 50:

Dep CHI 12p Central
Arr CIN 10:20p Eastern
(Mayville, Portsmouth, Ashland)
Arr HUN 7:00a (realistically, any time after 1a)
Dep HUN 7:16a
Arr NYP 9:58p

Westbound 51:

Dep NYP 6:45a
Arr HUN 9:51p
(Ashland, Portsmouth, Mayville... slowly)
Arr CIN 7:00a (anytime after 1am)
Dep CIN 7:10a Eastern
Arr CHI 5:30p Central

Not the best CHI-IND schedule (dep IND 1:20p westbound, arr IND 4:20p eastbound) but the Cardinal is not really a business train anyway.
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