All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed May 31, 2017 11:55 am

Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:28 am

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/pas ... enter.html

Amtrak will build a $28-million locomotive service facility in Seattle.

The U.S. passenger rail corporation said the project is its third major investment in the Seattle facility that provides services for the long-distance Empire Builder and Coast Starlight; Amtrak Cascades state-supported corridor service, and maintenance for Sound Transit Sounder commuter trains.

The project, to be managed by PCL Construction Services, will include demolition of the site’s existing buildings, utilities, tracks, and other structures, as well as construction of a new 31,000-square-foot locomotive shop. Existing yard tracks will be reconfigured to provide access to the new facility, which will be equipped with a 55-ton crane and a new 125-ton drop table, the latter funded by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:16 pm

Saw a bunch of new engines along with a one car cascade train setup in the Seattle yard. Did they get new engines for the cascade trains and are they using the short, single-car consist to test them?
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby gokeefe » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:24 pm

What do they have on site right now and what's being torn down?
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby Tadman » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:25 pm

That single car consist has been sitting in the same spot for over a year. I did notice about 10 of the new engines on the west side of the engine house in Sodo on an inbound train last week.

I love taking this train, such a nice ride. I hope they can clean it up a bit, as reliability is really suffering as is timekeeping up north.
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby NorthWest » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:41 pm

Those are spare cars from when they pillaged one of the sets for more coaches, leaving a spare baggage, power and bistro car, which happen to be the ones that break most often. Some of the older sets are longer than others, as some are 21 total axles when they hit a detector and others are 22.

There are only 8 SC-44s, but they have all arrived in Seattle and apparently have started to be used sporadically for tests.
With the new locomotives and the coming Point Defiance Bypass opening and the resulting schedule changes, things are getting interesting.

The strange thing about the timekeeping is that it seems to be the same thing every day: delays at the border. 517 is usually on time out of Vancouver and only occasionally loses time at the New Westminster bridge, but seems to lose 15-20 minutes consistently at the border before delaying 516 in Stanwood. 513 has been a bit worse, often meeting 510 in Mount Vernon. Maybe time to pad the schedule a bit?
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:21 pm

Has anybody heard when the Chargers are to go online? Or is the PTC install keeping them on a siding?
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:25 am

Backshophoss wrote:Has anybody heard when the Chargers are to go online? Or is the PTC install keeping them on a siding?


The Chargers were delivered from the factory PTC-equipped for the regions they run in, so they shouldn't be affected by that ongoing installation project. Right now it's P42 availability that's hurting nationwide from the rotating onboard signal installations. Could be something with Cascades route testing or lineside PTC compatibility that's running tardy, because in the Midwest the Chargers are being gerrymandered to certain routes first over others.
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby Woody » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:12 pm

Not surprising, but this is official.
An e-mail release from ...
... the Oregon Department of Transportation ... changes coming December 18, 2017 to the Amtrak Cascades trains. The state of Washington is adding two new round trips ... between Portland and Seattle, and these additions are prompting schedule updates that will allow Oregon trains to meet the new arrivals and departures.

Overview of train schedule changes in the Willamette Valley

Schedule change for southbound train from Portland:

The 6:00 a.m. train departure will move to a 9:45 a.m. departure to line up with Washington trains (Mon-Fri); Sat-Sun-Holidays will change from 9:35 a.m. departure to 12:30 p.m. departure.

Schedule change for northbound train from Eugene:

The 4 p.m. train departure will move to a 4:30 p.m. departure to line up with Washington trains (all days).

It will be interesting to see if the later SB departure picks up a large number of connecting riders from stations north of the Columbia River. The Oregon segment of the Cascades has not been robust, and could really use some added revenue.
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby gokeefe » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:44 pm

This is really big news. Thanks for passing it along!
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby electricron » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:49 pm

gokeefe wrote:This is really big news. Thanks for passing it along!

Is it good news? It’ll be interesting to see if the ridership of the Oregon sections of the trains improves or not. I guess we’ll have to wait for the reports when they come in to know.
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby east point » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:50 pm

Speculation --- will the new train sets be used for Thanksgiving extra trains ?Any one there heard anything ?
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby Woody » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:39 am

electricron wrote:
gokeefe wrote:This is really big news. Thanks for passing it along!

Is it good news? It’ll be interesting to see if the ridership of the Oregon sections of the trains improves or not. I guess we’ll have to wait for the reports when they come in to know.

Yeah, if the early results look good, Oregon DOT will break out the segment from the Amtrak Cascades total and put out a release bragging about the progress being made. If the early figures are bad, they will probably delay releasing them until they get better, or until some mandated deadline, like next year's annual report. LOL.

Personally I'd say it's good news, because any 6 a.m. departure is torture for me; and I know I'm not alone. Taking a larger view, passengers who really absolutely must be in Salem or Eugene early will have to take the bus, or drive I guess. We hope those who choose to get up early to drive will be outnumbered by riders coming from Washington State, and by sleepyheads like me happy to take a later train.

But the Oregon DOT had to do something drastic. The Willamette Valley segment of the Cascades has been a money loser to the point that the state legislature has been threatening to pull the plug.

Oregon needs to keep going with the subsidy and start investing in passing sidings, double tracking, etc. to allow at least one more daily round trip, and invest still more to raise the speeds. It will be easier to get state funding for upgrades after the added frequencies Seattle-Portland are a big success, and the tweaked schedule on the Portland-Eugene segment is at least somewhat successful.
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby bdawe » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:03 pm

I agree with that estimate. The Portland-Eugene segment is under capitalized, and average speeds are pretty unimpressive for a not unreasonably curvy corridor.
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Re: All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:35 pm

Enjoy this segment that appeared tonight on NBC Nightly News :

https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/vi ... 8562627979
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