MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:55 am

I split this topic as while it tangentially had something to do with the tunnels, it was more about MARC delays being caused by choke points along the NEC, lower priority to Amtrak NEC, as subsequent posts noted. The tunnels are one of several choke points, yes.
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:51 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:I split this topic as while it tangentially had something to do with the tunnels, it was more about MARC delays being caused by choke points along the NEC, lower priority to Amtrak NEC, as subsequent posts noted. The tunnels are one of several choke points, yes.


The tunnels aren't the only choke point, just the one with the biggest impact (30MPH speed limit + tight curves + ageing infrastructure). There's a few more in Maryland, one I can easily name off the NEC:

AVENUE to CARROLL is one of them. It's basically two track all the way up from Union Station DC to New Carrolton, MD and a bit beyond. Break down in this area, and you got four tracks of traffic squeezing down to one AND depending on where it breaks down, you need to start single-tracking at BOWIE. To solve this in the short term, just enhance the CARROLL Interlock to allow moves from track 3 to track 1 going south/westbound. Long term? Shift track 1 closer to Track 2, lay down track A next to it, build a second platform (probably more NE of the existing platform), and enhance CARROLL.

The others need me to look up on Wikimapia...

North of Baltimore is a mess: Going Northbound, GUNPOW shrinks down to two tracks to MAGNOLIA, where it goes to four again before down to two at WOOD, up to three at BUSH, down to two at GRACE, then back up to four at PERRY before shrinking down to two at PRINCE. It goes back up to three at BACON, and then four at IRON right at the MD/DE line. I could go on...

Operationally, MSA aka Martin State Airport Station is something I got to wonder about, because it's got a single side platform. Come on! Folks are going up and down on the MARC here, why have it just on one side? Tunnel under and build a new platform on the other side like Odenton. I'm also wondering about Perryville myself but given it's a termination station for MARC...
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby Sand Box John » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:46 pm

"BandA"
Is there room on the ROW for quad tracking?


Yes. From Landover to just south of the B&P tunnel there is room between the catenary poles for 4 tracks, the only exceptions is at New Carrollton where the platform is between tracks 3 and 2, at Seabrook, Bowie State and Odenton where the platform is where track 4 would be and at BWI where the platform is where track 1 use to be. North of Baltimore its a different story as described by STrRedWolf above. The total width of the easement is roughly 30' wider then the distance between catenary poles, 15' on both sides.
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby ThirdRail7 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:34 am

east point wrote:MARC cannot even avoid being delayed by Amtrak on a Saturday.

MARC Service Alert <alert@mtamarylandalerts.com>
To
MTA Maryland Alerts Subscriber
Today at 2:27 PM
MARC Train 487 (1:55p DPT Baltimore) is operating with a 12-15 minute delay departing BWI due to following Amtrak Train 91.

NOW another delay today ! !

MARC Service Alert <alert@mtamarylandalerts.com>
To
MTA Maryland Alerts Subscriber
Today at 4:58 PM
Marc 688 (410pm Dpt Washington) is operating with a 15-20 minute delay approaching BWI due to following an Amtrak Train.




There is a bit of humor in all of this. While you're using these tweets to bolster your claim that the tunnels are the cause of the delays, the reality is our former dispatcher is correct. It has more to do with the traffic patterns after Fulton that shapes the decisions. For the vast majority of this year, the Penn line has been a two track railroad from Bowie to WAS. This is due to track work. In the meantime, no one reduced the amount of trains in the area. As such, the potential for passing is greatly reduced. Therefore, they often try to position the Amtrak since they make less stops AND travel at a higher rate of speed.

What I find humorous is the typical deflection of OTP. Let's take 9487(3). It is true that it was held "5 for 91. Why did they hold it? 91 operates at 110mph and doesn't stop until WAS and there were norhtboound movements on 2tk. 9487 operates at 90mph (if it is lucky) and will make 7 stops. It makes sense to run 91 first. The funny thing is, 9487 left WBL "6 down. However, it dwelled in HAE for 4" and dwelled in BWI for 6". By the time 9487 left BWI -17", 91 was passing Landover Int, which is 20 miles away!! Why did it lose so much tim enroute?

Largely for the same reason 9688(3) ran into trouble. It left WAS on time with nothing in its path. However, it had a small hiccup and lost a little time coming up to NCR. It continued to lose time on the run until it arrives at OTN -13". At this point, the Amtrak that left WAS 15 minutes after 9688 had closed in. So they held the MARC at Grove and ran the Amtrak around it. Once again, the Amtrak will operate at 110mph to BWI, depart at 110mph and maintain that speed until MP100. If you keep the MARC ahead, it will operate at 90 (if it makes it), stop at BWI and it will travel at 45mph from BWI to HAE, where it will have to change tracks to access the high level platforms.

Yet, the MARC alert just states "amtrak interference" without bringing up the fact that the slow loading, plodding diesels that are saddled with double deckers aren't much of a match for the undulating territory between BAL-WAS. That is a major source of delays and why the dispatchers often ask "are you operating with an electric or a diesel?" They can't get out of their own way.





STrRedWolf wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:I split this topic as while it tangentially had something to do with the tunnels, it was more about MARC delays being caused by choke points along the NEC, lower priority to Amtrak NEC, as subsequent posts noted. The tunnels are one of several choke points, yes.


The tunnels aren't the only choke point, just the one with the biggest impact (30MPH speed limit + tight curves + ageing infrastructure). There's a few more in Maryland, one I can easily name off the NEC:

AVENUE to CARROLL is one of them. It's basically two track all the way up from Union Station DC to New Carrolton, MD and a bit beyond. Break down in this area, and you got four tracks of traffic squeezing down to one AND depending on where it breaks down, you need to start single-tracking at BOWIE. To solve this in the short term, just enhance the CARROLL Interlock to allow moves from track 3 to track 1 going south/westbound. Long term? Shift track 1 closer to Track 2, lay down track A next to it, build a second platform (probably more NE of the existing platform), and enhance CARROLL.


Even if you had a crossover that could reach from 3 to 1, it still isn't going to accomplish much if you're transfering passengers from a disabled train on two of the three tracks. You'd still have to single track starting at Bowie. With the influx of MARC traffic, your long term goal is short sighted. Anticipating future traffic patterns, the NEC Transportation Plan-Proposed Track Configuration (1998) wanted 4 tracks by 2015. NCR has (for lack of a better word) a tunnel box in which they could add another platform between 2 and 1 track. Even without a forth track, there was plan established a few years ago to build Hanson further south than originally anticipated. It would replace Landover and consist of high speed crossovers that would connect to 1 track. This would reduce the long, double block protected 45mph crossover from 2-1.

An immediate goal should be to replace 2-1 at Carroll and 1-A at Winans with a high speed crossovers.

STrRedWolf wrote:The others need me to look up on Wikimapia...

North of Baltimore is a mess: Going Northbound, GUNPOW shrinks down to two tracks to MAGNOLIA, where it goes to four again before down to two at WOOD, up to three at BUSH, down to two at GRACE, then back up to four at PERRY before shrinking down to two at PRINCE. It goes back up to three at BACON, and then four at IRON right at the MD/DE line. I could go on...


It is a mess depending on the traffic levels. With freight traffic in the area leveled off, the current capacity usually works (particularly after they raies the speed on 3tk between the south limits of OAK and the north limits of BUSH and equipped them both with high speed crossovers) unless there are late trains bunching up or MARC and/or SEPTA plan to stuff more trains into the area.


STrRedWolf wrote:Operationally, MSA aka Martin State Airport Station is something I got to wonder about, because it's got a single side platform. Come on! Folks are going up and down on the MARC here, why have it just on one side? Tunnel under and build a new platform on the other side like Odenton. I'm also wondering about Perryville myself but given it's a termination station for MARC...



When Amtrak reconfigured the NEC in the 80's they probably didn't foresee a huge uptick in commuter service. As such, they upgraded the outside tracks through the area. What you're basically suggesting is to routinely stop a 90mph train at a lightly used station in the middle of 125mph territory. Working it off the lower speed track works fine since a good number of trains serving the station originate or terminate at MSA.



Sand Box John wrote:"BandA"
Is there room on the ROW for quad tracking?


Yes. From Landover to just south of the B&P tunnel there is room between the catenary poles for 4 tracks, the only exceptions is at New Carrollton where the platform is between tracks 3 and 2, at Seabrook, Bowie State and Odenton where the platform is where track 4 would be and at BWI where the platform is where track 1 use to be.



This is not necessarily true. While the cat poles were built with expansion to four tracks in mind, a lot of the clearance on the curves has been eliminated by the super elevation required for high speed operation. Glaring examples exist between MP110 and MP111.
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby STrRedWolf » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:42 am

ThirdRail7 wrote:There is a bit of humor in all of this. While you're using these tweets to bolster your claim that the tunnels are the cause of the delays, the reality is our former dispatcher is correct. It has more to do with the traffic patterns after Fulton that shapes the decisions. For the vast majority of this year, the Penn line has been a two track railroad from Bowie to WAS. This is due to track work. In the meantime, no one reduced the amount of trains in the area. As such, the potential for passing is greatly reduced. Therefore, they often try to position the Amtrak since they make less stops AND travel at a higher rate of speed.

...

Yet, the MARC alert just states "amtrak interference" without bringing up the fact that the slow loading, plodding diesels that are saddled with double deckers aren't much of a match for the undulating territory between BAL-WAS. That is a major source of delays and why the dispatchers often ask "are you operating with an electric or a diesel?" They can't get out of their own way.


That doesn't quite explain delays at West Baltimore/BRIDGE. Every day I'm on MARC 406, and it gets held at BRIDGE to let an Amtrak through -- waiting long enough that you can shove 406 in and get it on time (on an old schedule as well!). No, it gets delayed to get an Amtrak going through for what reason I really like to know, because it makes 406 FRA-spec late.

An immediate goal should be to replace 2-1 at Carroll and 1-A at Winans with a high speed crossovers.


That I can agree on. Winans can be a full high-speed crossover that will allow trains having to go around breakdowns on track 1 or 3 to still serve Halethorpe and West Baltimore without having to serve it from track 2 and fowl a track needed. MARC trains have to serve those stations basically on the other side and foul track 3.
STrRedWolf wrote:The others need me to look up on Wikimapia...

North of Baltimore is a mess: Going Northbound, GUNPOW shrinks down to two tracks to MAGNOLIA, where it goes to four again before down to two at WOOD, up to three at BUSH, down to two at GRACE, then back up to four at PERRY before shrinking down to two at PRINCE. It goes back up to three at BACON, and then four at IRON right at the MD/DE line. I could go on...


It is a mess depending on the traffic levels. With freight traffic in the area leveled off, the current capacity usually works (particularly after they raies the speed on 3tk between the south limits of OAK and the north limits of BUSH and equipped them both with high speed crossovers) unless there are late trains bunching up or MARC and/or SEPTA plan to stuff more trains into the area.


Or breakdowns. Never forget about breakdowns. Performance is fine but when things go south you need flexibility, and there could be more here.

STrRedWolf wrote:Operationally, MSA aka Martin State Airport Station is something I got to wonder about, because it's got a single side platform. Come on! Folks are going up and down on the MARC here, why have it just on one side? Tunnel under and build a new platform on the other side like Odenton. I'm also wondering about Perryville myself but given it's a termination station for MARC...



When Amtrak reconfigured the NEC in the 80's they probably didn't foresee a huge uptick in commuter service. As such, they upgraded the outside tracks through the area. What you're basically suggesting is to routinely stop a 90mph train at a lightly used station in the middle of 125mph territory. Working it off the lower speed track works fine since a good number of trains serving the station originate or terminate at MSA.


I'm looking at old records and the 2007 MARC Expansion Plan as well, which called for the far platform. Stuff that originates at MSA? Okay, lets look at the current layout and see if we can produce a track layout that will allow for it.

Sand Box John wrote:"BandA"
Is there room on the ROW for quad tracking?


Yes. From Landover to just south of the B&P tunnel there is room between the catenary poles for 4 tracks, the only exceptions is at New Carrollton where the platform is between tracks 3 and 2, at Seabrook, Bowie State and Odenton where the platform is where track 4 would be and at BWI where the platform is where track 1 use to be.


This is not necessarily true. While the cat poles were built with expansion to four tracks in mind, a lot of the clearance on the curves has been eliminated by the super elevation required for high speed operation. Glaring examples exist between MP110 and MP111.[/quote]

That can be built up easily enough.

The major station reconstruction is New Carrolton, Seabrook, and BWI (which is in the 2016 BWI Expansion plan). Bowie State and Odenton has enough room to move the platforms back for a new track 1. BWI gets rebuilt properly.
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby ThirdRail7 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:35 am

STrRedWolf wrote:That doesn't quite explain delays at West Baltimore/BRIDGE. Every day I'm on MARC 406, and it gets held at BRIDGE to let an Amtrak through -- waiting long enough that you can shove 406 in and get it on time (on an old schedule as well!). No, it gets delayed to get an Amtrak going through for what reason I really like to know, because it makes 406 FRA-spec late.



Actually, I didn't explain 9406 because it is pretty self explanatory. The only way you'll see 9406 ahead is if it is on time or early at WBL (which it usually isn't,..it was late today out of HAE as usual) and 172 is down significantly approaching Bridge.

Why?

Amtrak 172 is scheduled to pass 9406 and enter Baltimore first.That is exactly what the timetable calls for. That is why there is so much time in scheduled between HAE-BAL. So even though it doesn't really matter if both train are on time, it doesn't help that as I look back at 9406's history for the last few weeks, it has been on time out of HAE a grand total of 3 times....and it usually had a clean shot approaching Bridge.


PS: Why are so many northbound trains losing time at BWI?



STrRedWolf wrote:
An immediate goal should be to replace 2-1 at Carroll and 1-A at Winans with a high speed crossovers.


That I can agree on. Winans can be a full high-speed crossover that will allow trains having to go around breakdowns on track 1 or 3 to still serve Halethorpe and West Baltimore without having to serve it from track 2 and fowl a track needed. MARC trains have to serve those stations basically on the other side and foul track 3.



The Winans situation is particularly distressing to me since I made a personal appeal for a high speed crossover when they rebuilt the interlocking several years ago. They claimed they lacked the room. Extending the station a wee bit north (where the existing low level platforms were) would have helped the cause. Even if they didn't move the station, they could have stuck a 60 mph crossover in the current configuration. It is a major source of delay for MARC trains making HAE and it also impacts and following traffic. it is sad that in 2015, we're tooling around at 45mph.

Anyway, we need to stop thinking small. We shouldn't be debating Winans or Carroll. We should be debating why it has been almost 20 years since the long term goals in the 1998 vision was established (with a long term vision for 2015) and the only thing we have to show for it is a 2018 vision that is similar. Amtrak and/or MARC needs to four track this area. No more studies!!!!

STrRedWolf wrote:
It is a mess depending on the traffic levels. With freight traffic in the area leveled off, the current capacity usually works (particularly after they raised the speed on 3tk between the south limits of OAK and the north limits of BUSH and equipped them both with high speed crossovers) unless there are late trains bunching up or MARC and/or SEPTA plan to stuff more trains into the area.

Or breakdowns. Never forget about breakdowns. Performance is fine but when things go south you need flexibility, and there could be more here.



Here's the problem. I don't have figures for today, but when Amtrak and the FRA undertook the NECIP in the 80's, a lot of interlockings were rationalized or removed. That is because they are maintenance heavy, require weekly testing and represent points of failure. As such, the average cost of keeping an interlocking in service was put at $40,000...30 years ago. Keeping in mind that most of the constraints you listed are due to bridges and new ones aren't forthcoming, what can we do to maximize what we have?

One one the things that I have always felt would help MARC is extending the Wood and Magnolia sidings. Install high speed crossovers at Magnolia (and make the interlocking complete) and abolish Wood interlocking, move the station back to allow new outside tracks. This would involve building a new bridge over the road that runs underneath, but it would be a very small bridge. Let the the trains make EDG from the new tracks and make the four track run to the south end of the Bush River bridge, where they could merge at a new, high speed crossover equipped interlocking.

My low(?) budget thoughts for operations between Bush and Perryville are in the short Penn Line Perryville Shuttle Trains thread. I can't believe it has been 5 years since that thread was created and the only thing that has changed is the speed on 3 track between Grace and Bush. I guess we get what we (don't) pay for!

STrRedWolf wrote:Operationally, MSA aka Martin State Airport Station is something I got to wonder about, because it's got a single side platform. Come on! Folks are going up and down on the MARC here, why have it just on one side? Tunnel under and build a new platform on the other side like Odenton. I'm also wondering about Perryville myself but given it's a termination station for MARC...


When Amtrak reconfigured the NEC in the 80's they probably didn't foresee a huge uptick in commuter service. As such, they upgraded the outside tracks through the area. What you're basically suggesting is to routinely stop a 90mph train at a lightly used station in the middle of 125mph territory. Working it off the lower speed track works fine since a good number of trains serving the station originate or terminate at MSA.

I'm looking at old records and the 2007 MARC Expansion Plan as well, which called for the far platform. Stuff that originates at MSA? Okay, lets look at the current layout and see if we can produce a track layout that will allow for it.



The 2015 plan called for a center island platform between A&1. However, I think we should look at not using a hand thrown switch at a service facility as a originating/terminating point. Does anyone know what happened to that plan to build a MARC facility just north of Perryville? If we can get that done, I think Amtrak should reconfigure Gunpow to allow for the Amtrak trains to use what is now 1&2 as the high speed tracks and allow MARC to use 3 and A. That would require a little work at BAY and Amtrak prefers to keep the freights off high speed routes when they can, but they already allow freights on 1 track, which is rated for 110mph.

These are short term solutions to an expanding problem. They may also expensive. Shall we start a go fund me page? :-D
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:09 am

Glad I split the topic :wink:
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby JackRussell » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:40 am

For those of us that don't ride the NEC very often, is there any of this stuff that is actually under construction or is expected to start construction soon?
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby STrRedWolf » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:06 pm

ThirdRail7 wrote:Actually, I didn't explain 9406 because it is pretty self explanatory. The only way you'll see 9406 ahead is if it is on time or early at WBL (which it usually isn't,..it was late today out of HAE as usual) and 172 is down significantly approaching Bridge.

Why?

Amtrak 172 is scheduled to pass 9406 and enter Baltimore first.That is exactly what the timetable calls for. That is why there is so much time in scheduled between HAE-BAL. So even though it doesn't really matter if both train are on time, it doesn't help that as I look back at 9406's history for the last few weeks, it has been on time out of HAE a grand total of 3 times....and it usually had a clean shot approaching Bridge.

PS: Why are so many northbound trains losing time at BWI?


I can say for 9406 that if it's truly on-time at ODN, it'll be on-time in BAL. Unfortunately, it's been a consistent 3-5 minutes late at ODN, which makes it a solid 5-10 at BAL. BWI delays? All I can say is that folks take MARC to the BWI Airport, and dragging bags off the train and back on it takes time.


Anyway, we need to stop thinking small. We shouldn't be debating Winans or Carroll. We should be debating why it has been almost 20 years since the long term goals in the 1998 vision was established (with a long term vision for 2015) and the only thing we have to show for it is a 2018 vision that is similar. Amtrak and/or MARC needs to four track this area. No more studies!!!!


Agreed. We need an EIS or GTFO. Four track WAS to BAL.

One one the things that I have always felt would help MARC is extending the Wood and Magnolia sidings. Install high speed crossovers at Magnolia (and make the interlocking complete) and abolish Wood interlocking, move the station back to allow new outside tracks. This would involve building a new bridge over the road that runs underneath, but it would be a very small bridge. Let the the trains make EDG from the new tracks and make the four track run to the south end of the Bush River bridge, where they could merge at a new, high speed crossover equipped interlocking.


Looking at it off of Wikipedia makes me think they could kill Wood and move it up by the Bush River bridge without any new bridges -- there's enough room in the ROW to lay down new track. The killer would be the Bush River bridge itself... how often does that even get opened?

The 2015 plan called for a center island platform between A&1. However, I think we should look at not using a hand thrown switch at a service facility as a originating/terminating point. Does anyone know what happened to that plan to build a MARC facility just north of Perryville? If we can get that done, I think Amtrak should reconfigure Gunpow to allow for the Amtrak trains to use what is now 1&2 as the high speed tracks and allow MARC to use 3 and A. That would require a little work at BAY and Amtrak prefers to keep the freights off high speed routes when they can, but they already allow freights on 1 track, which is rated for 110mph.

These are short term solutions to an expanding problem. They may also expensive. Shall we start a go fund me page? :-D


Last time I heard, they were still trying to locate the land for it, although TBH I'd like a repair shop in Odenton as well. There's already land for it, and right next to power as well!

[b]Edit:[b] I will admit, having a Kickstarter for quad-tracking the NEC WAS to BOS would be seriously funny.
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby avgeeky » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:16 pm

JackRussell wrote:For those of us that don't ride the NEC very often, is there any of this stuff that is actually under construction or is expected to start construction soon?

FRA passed the environmental hurdle for the BWI expansion to 4 tracks and new platforms (between GROVE and WINANS) last year, but it's gone mum after that. I presume the no significant impact finding is usually the last regulatory step before tendering and construction (at least it is for aviation projects).
https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L17334
Everything else is still in planning or in someone's dreams.

ThirdRail7 wrote:Yet, the MARC alert just states "amtrak interference" without bringing up the fact that the slow loading, plodding diesels that are saddled with double deckers aren't much of a match for the undulating territory between BAL-WAS. That is a major source of delays and why the dispatchers often ask "are you operating with an electric or a diesel?" They can't get out of their own way.

Wait hold on...the dispatchers KNOW what's on the pointy end of each set? then WHY on earth does a MARC set with a hippo up top (capable of 125) nonstop to BWI get dropped off to track 1 behind an all-stopper to give way to a delayed Amtrak going to the same place? Why delay 2 trains when you can delay just 1? (I know about the 2 tracks restriction below Seabrook, this has been happening to 430/438 for the past 2 years, well before any track work began)

STrRedWolf wrote:
ThirdRail7 wrote:PS: Why are so many northbound trains losing time at BWI?


I can say for 9406 that if it's truly on-time at ODN, it'll be on-time in BAL. Unfortunately, it's been a consistent 3-5 minutes late at ODN, which makes it a solid 5-10 at BAL. BWI delays? All I can say is that folks take MARC to the BWI Airport, and dragging bags off the train and back on it takes time.

That, plus there's just so many people that use BWI to commute. Peak trains will drop off a good 5/600 people trying to cram out of those doors to the parking garage. It's always fun to see people in suits and heels running across that road to be first outta that garage.
That goes smoothly as long as the engineer actually stops at the platform, if he/she only gets 2-3 doors on it (that's happened 11 times in the past 3 months (yeah, I counted)) then you are truly up a creek.
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby STrRedWolf » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:57 pm

avgeeky wrote:That, plus there's just so many people that use BWI to commute. Peak trains will drop off a good 5/600 people trying to cram out of those doors to the parking garage. It's always fun to see people in suits and heels running across that road to be first outta that garage.
That goes smoothly as long as the engineer actually stops at the platform, if he/she only gets 2-3 doors on it (that's happened 11 times in the past 3 months (yeah, I counted)) then you are truly up a creek.


I've only had one occasion in which my train (I forget which year, so it could of been pre-2010/2011 switch-over 435 or post-switch 445) slid through ODN, and had to back up because it completely missed the platform. Had to go all the way back. I'd gotta pour though the logs again... doesn't look like it got recorded by MarcOPS.
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby avgeeky » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:06 am

But it wouldn't get recorded if the train got at least 1 door on the platform right? I've never had a complete overrun, just times the only door that gets on the platform is the last one on the cab car or just the last 2 cars (3-4 doors total on a 7-car set) with no reversing required.
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Re: MARC Delays Caused by Amtrak

Postby MCL1981 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:37 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:
avgeeky wrote:That, plus there's just so many people that use BWI to commute. Peak trains will drop off a good 5/600 people trying to cram out of those doors to the parking garage. It's always fun to see people in suits and heels running across that road to be first outta that garage.
That goes smoothly as long as the engineer actually stops at the platform, if he/she only gets 2-3 doors on it (that's happened 11 times in the past 3 months (yeah, I counted)) then you are truly up a creek.


I've only had one occasion in which my train (I forget which year, so it could of been pre-2010/2011 switch-over 435 or post-switch 445) slid through ODN, and had to back up because it completely missed the platform. Had to go all the way back. I'd gotta pour though the logs again... doesn't look like it got recorded by MarcOPS.


Only once in the last I think 3 years have any of my trains completely overshot. It's a full length platform with plenty of wiggle room too. 890 came in to Germantown and didn't stop until the last car was about 200 ft past the end of the platform. You could tell as soon as they came around the bend "wow this isn't gonna work...". Woosh. However I think the reason was it had just rained right there and was bone dry a few thousand feet up the line. I don't think the engineer was prepared for or expecting the wet rails. Although coming in fast and needing to use nearly full service brakes in good dry conditions may not be the best way to handle it either.
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby RRspatch » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:20 pm

bdawe wrote:
Perhaps things might be happier if they took a cue from the Bay Area and tried to mitigate the problem by improving the average speed of the commuter trains with modern EMUs and cut dwell with full level boarding so that commuter trains are less in the way of intercity trains.


The last time MARC used EMU's was in the late 70's early 80's when they leased "Jersey Arrows". Yes, faster EMU's would make a lot of sense on the Penn line but MARC wants equipment (train sets) that can be used on all three lines without having to change power. Now that MARC is going all diesel (something I've heard rumors about them rethinking and maybe keeping the Hippo's) I expect the schedules will get even slower. I stand by my assertion I made in the "Charger" thread that Amtrak will force MARC to lenghten the schedules due to the fact that the diesels just can't make the "electric" schedules. This will mean either more train sets and crews to run them or longer turn times and fewer trains. We shall see.
Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Is just a freight train coming your way

No leaf clover ~ Metallica.
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Re: Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel Discussion (Replacement

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:43 am

RRspatch wrote:The last time MARC used EMU's was in the late 70's early 80's when they leased "Jersey Arrows". Yes, faster EMU's would make a lot of sense on the Penn line but MARC wants equipment (train sets) that can be used on all three lines without having to change power. Now that MARC is going all diesel (something I've heard rumors about them rethinking and maybe keeping the Hippo's) I expect the schedules will get even slower. I stand by my assertion I made in the "Charger" thread that Amtrak will force MARC to lenghten the schedules due to the fact that the diesels just can't make the "electric" schedules. This will mean either more train sets and crews to run them or longer turn times and fewer trains. We shall see.


I really doubt the schedules will go slower overall, when most of the power on the Penn line is existing diesel with expresses being mostly electric. Plus, with the number of stops on an all-local schedule, I think the electrics would only save maybe... 5 minutes on average for an hour-long trip BAL-WAS?

That said, MARC got the Chargers to replace the AEM-7's, not the Hippos. The Hippos were something on the fence; ether Bombardier fixed them (probably as rebuilding them) and increased their reliability or they were getting replaced. Since Bombardier took over all of MARC's maintenance, I guess they're getting proper data back on the Hippos and actually *fixing* them.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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