Empire Service (New York State)

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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby EuroStar » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:20 am

NIMBYkiller wrote:Just pointing out that there's plenty of space immediately surrounding Rensselaer station for development. Deck over the parking lots and voila.

There is none in New York though. And decking over anything is not that cheap and is unlikely to pay back given that there is plenty of cheap land around Rensselaer. The only place in the US where it is worth to deck over is NYC. Boston and DC are probably on the margin, but any place else is just not worth the cost.
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby Greg Moore » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:52 am

NIMBYkiller wrote:Just pointing out that there's plenty of space immediately surrounding Rensselaer station for development. Deck over the parking lots and voila.

Right now ALB needs more PARKING.

But that said, I think a decent developer could do well to build up some business in that area. CDTA used to (and may still) make a room available (for rent) for business meetings in the station.
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:29 am

I was looking at a picture of Central Warehouse today, and how it’s in the way of any practical route realignment out of Albany.

Here’s a thought: can Amtrak literally go through the building if necessary?
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:15 pm

Not really (the walls are like 3' think among other things) but I can't imagine any improvement that would require going through the building so it's sort of a moot point.

About the ONLY routing that might be nice and this would be more a local service issue, not an Amtrak one, would be to get a connection to the N-S tracks that run below that bridge that would provide some commuting options (this was explored like a decade ago, but local politics killed it.)
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby hs3730 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:02 pm

Greg Moore wrote:Right now ALB needs more PARKING.
But that said, I think a decent developer could do well to build up some business in that area.


ALB's parking is surprisingly available; at around 4PM the day before Thanksgiving, the 2nd level of the garage had less than 10 cars including mine. As for the surface lots, Megabus customers are using a lot of B and A spaces. Perhaps asking them to chip in for a 2nd level above lot A or C, in exchange for letting them exclusively have lot B? Alternatively, the aerial gondola (if it ever gets off the ground, pun intended) will suddenly bring all the state government visitor lots (most of which have free weekend parking) within range.

As for business, they're trying with DeLaet's Landing, though once Rensselaer lost the casino bid the development plan shrunk to 1/10th the size. So far the most they've built is luxury apartments with a view of the Amtrak railyard (how long until the residents whine about all the idling)...
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby Morning Zephyr » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:13 pm

On a fully sold out 284 this weekend, crowded with university spring break travelers, the crew rendered three (3!) of the tables in the Amcafe unusable by spreading their own gear and paperwork all over them. Of course, there's need for the conductor to have an "office," but one table is sufficient for that purpose. Why does the crew take two more tables than they need?
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:41 pm

Because they have no regard for passenger service needs?
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby SRich » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:00 am

Jeff Smith wrote:Also posted in Brightline: http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.ph ... 9#p1497559

Random question, as improvements to the corridor continue or are pondered, and Amtrak seeks to replace its Amfleet I’s:

The Brightline train sets are led by a variant of the Charger (SCB-40). NYS and Amtrak are looking to replace the P32’s with a modified SC-44 including third rail shoes (presumably over/under for all NYS roads).

Wouldn’t a modified Brightline set and business model be a good fit for Empire Service? Better yet, change providers to Brightline as an operator?

Amtrak would continue to operate the LD’s.


If Amtrak order Brightline sets, maybe the can semi permanent couple the sets and give each car its own shoes, to balance te powerload on the train. So under third rail 80 mph is possible?
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:55 am

It seems that there is probably enough crew members on an Empire Service train to only warrant them having one table in the cafe car.

It seems that Amtrak and NY State is working out a deal with buying a Charger that can both run on third rail and diesel power, which I think would be a nice idea. Sadly, many of the P32AC-DM units are wearing out. I'll miss hearing their engine sound but I look forward to seeing better things.
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby hs3730 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:07 pm

Food service might be coming back:
Food Service on Albany-NYC trains

The gist is, they're considering adding food service into the NYS Budget, so we'll know in about 20 days. My suspicion is it's going to be one of the things that makes it in if legal weed happens, as I don't see any other miracle money coming in to pay for it.
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:55 am

Probably not. We'll first need to study this.
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby StLouSteve » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:36 am

Here’s a heads up, current issue of Passenger Train Journal has cover and feature article on the development of the Empire Corridor. I’m looking forward to picking up a copy.
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Re: Empire Service (New York State)

Postby gokeefe » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:21 pm

hs3730 wrote:Food service might be coming back:
Food Service on Albany-NYC trains


Interesting development ... Beyond the statements of support by ESPA there's no factual basis given for why the effort may be successful this year. In my experience that's a potential indicator of off the record statements being given by decision makers, who may often be quoted on the record elsewhere in the same story.
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