Did we mention the Empire Builder and the Lake .... . Oops, guess we need to read more carefully.Patrick Boylan wrote:Station Aficionado, David Benton, you're repeating 2 of the 3 examples electricron already mentionedin addition to repeating what he already said, your extra posts are also at the same time redundantelectricron wrote: Lake Shore > Chicago to Albany 820 miles, Albany to New York City is 150 miles, Albany to Boston is 170 miles.
Empire Builder > Chicago to Spokane is 1780 miles, Spokane to Seattle is 280 miles, Spokane to Portland is 350 miles.
Sunset > Los Angeles to San Antonio is 1350 miles, San Antonio to Chicago is 1240 miles, San Antonio to New Orleans is 540 miles.
To followup on Ron's point, switching loco-hauled consists can be more involved than splitting/joining DMU/EMU consists, given the train power and trackage requirements. That said, as recently as the early '90's, Amtrak did a lot more enroute switching. In addition to EB, LSL and TE/Sunset, there were the following (and I may be missing some): both Silver trains had Miami and Tampa sections that were combined and split somewhere in Florida; the Carolinian and Palmetto combined/split at Rocky Mt.; the Crescent had cars that were dropped and added at Atlanta, as well as having a Mobile section (Gulf Breeze) that separated/joined at Birmingham; the TE had both San Antonio and Houston sections, that combined at Dallas; both the Desert Wind and Pioneer were joined to/separated from the CZ at Salt Lake City. But the prime switching location was New Haven. Before the Boston electricfication, Springfield/Inland Route sections split from/joined many (most?) NYP-BOS NEC trains.
So what's changed? I'm can't address any changes in operating practices, but (in addition to trainoffs) I do know that Amtrak wanted to reduce the expenses of maintaining switchers and switch crews at lots of locations (or paying for contract switching, which I know they did in Atlanta). And, as Ron noted, timekeeping on the LDs is an issue. Interestingly, the various PIPs for the LDs recommended a return, at least to a small degree, of enroute switching: Atlanta set-out cars for the Crescent, a Glewood Springs set-out for the CZ, and a single-level New York section of the CL, splitting off at Pittsburgh.