Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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east point
Posts: 1458
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:50 pm

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by east point »

The only problem that Amtrak might have with the "Brightline" type cars is their ability to operate in the US winter weather extremes . All winter weather in the US is not the same.
You have powder snow, heavy wet snow, ice, ice storms, temperature extremes down to -40 and lower, all that blowing ,debris from fallen trees, etc.
Plus running from these winter weather conditions to needing air conditioning. So the AC units need protecting from these extreme winter conditions !

Dick H
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Location: Dover, NH

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by Dick H »

From the Portland Press Herald.
Trespasser Strike/Fatality at Falmouth

https://www.pressherald.com/2020/02/13/ ... -falmouth/

dowlingm
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by dowlingm »

east point wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:55 pm
The only problem that Amtrak might have with the "Brightline" type cars is their ability to operate in the US winter weather extremes . All winter weather in the US is not the same.
You have powder snow, heavy wet snow, ice, ice storms, temperature extremes down to -40 and lower, all that blowing ,debris from fallen trees, etc.
Plus running from these winter weather conditions to needing air conditioning. So the AC units need protecting from these extreme winter conditions !
uh... we up here in Ontario are hoping Siemens have figured those issues out for when their trainsets start arriving at VIA Rail in two years.

sicariis
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 8:24 pm

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by sicariis »

Small update on the Durham/UNH Station Expansion
Rail Station Enhancements: $974,000 for platform, site and structure improvements. UNH hopes to release a design & engineering RFP in late fall of this year following FTA award execution. Construction to begin spring 2021 with completion goal of winter 2021 - the 111th birthday of the relocation and construction of the station at this site.
https://www.unh.edu/transportation/site ... rojupd.pdf

Cowford
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:34 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by Cowford »

Although none of the 17 passengers on the train or its crew were injured...

This unsurprising paltry pax count prompted me to check to see if ATK's FY19 station numbers have been published. They have. So while both BRU and FRE have gone up a healthy degree (40K - up 17% and 15K - up 22%, respectively), the numbers are still tiny. (Seasonal OOB does more business than FRE.) BRU now averages just 55 pax/day in each direction.

The eyebrow-raising number is the decline in Portland (158K - down 8%). As BRU/FRE/POR are somewhat interchangeable points from a pax perspective; combined the stations collectively shrank 2% to 213K... a total THAT IS SMALLER THAN PRE-BRUNSWICK LEVELS. Maine ridership overall declined 1%.

For all the hype about ridership levels exploding, etc the numbers don't prove it out.

gokeefe
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:28 pm
Location: Winthrop, Maine

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by gokeefe »

That's 683 ... Mid day northbound from Boston. That train always runs light. It was also close to the end of its run and already north of Portland.

I would like to take a look at the numbers as well. I checked RPA recently and posted here so the ones you're looking at would be more recent (I think).

Were you on Great American Stations or something else?
gokeefe

Cowford
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:34 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by Cowford »

Yes, Great American Stations. RPA?

Believe it or not, that train's pax count was ABOVE average based on FY 19 stats. BRU/FRE FY19 55,000 divided by 365 days divided by 10 trains = 15 pax/train east of Portland.

Bottom line is that the only thing the BRU line has done - after seven years and tens of millions in investment - is bleed off Portland ridership. Incremental revenue isn't a bad thing, and Portland station capacity issues have been relieved, but NNEPRA's justification for the extension was NEW ridership. It has completely failed in that goal.

Ridgefielder
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Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by Ridgefielder »

dowlingm wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:24 pm
east point wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:55 pm
The only problem that Amtrak might have with the "Brightline" type cars is their ability to operate in the US winter weather extremes . All winter weather in the US is not the same.
You have powder snow, heavy wet snow, ice, ice storms, temperature extremes down to -40 and lower, all that blowing ,debris from fallen trees, etc.
Plus running from these winter weather conditions to needing air conditioning. So the AC units need protecting from these extreme winter conditions !
uh... we up here in Ontario are hoping Siemens have figured those issues out for when their trainsets start arriving at VIA Rail in two years.
Siemens AG is based in Munich, a city within sight of the Alps and at the same latitude as Minot, ND. Between that and supplying passenger rolling stock to the Russian State Railways I think they've probably got this whole "works ok in winter weather" thing pretty well figured out. :wink:

johnpbarlow
Posts: 2202
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by johnpbarlow »

Federal agency grants Downeaster $17 million for upgrades

https://www.pressherald.com/2020/02/27/ ... kmMq0P_4h4

Excerpt:
The authority will use the funds to build a six-mile-long rail extension on the Pan Am Railway’s freight line in Wells. The extension will be added to an existing two-mile side rail.

In addition to the rail extension, funds will go toward building a new passenger platform and pedestrian bridge at the Wells Transportation Center. The improvements will add capacity to meet projected increases in passenger and freight demand, and should also reduce delays that arise when freight and passenger trains must pass each other on the tracks.

The federal funds will also allow the rail authority to add a sixth daily round trip between Brunswick and Wells, according to a news release issued Thursday by U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, who chairs the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.

artman
Posts: 457
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:07 pm

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by artman »

johnpbarlow wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:54 am
Federal agency grants Downeaster $17 million for upgrades

https://www.pressherald.com/2020/02/27/ ... kmMq0P_4h4

NNEPRA has always been great at getting grants. An eight-mile siding in Wells is huge w/r/t freight trafffic getting off the main line. Plus a two platform station. Excellent!

swist
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Location: Westport Island, ME

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by swist »

In reply to someone's comment about ridership averages a few posts back, as the old saying goes "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics".

Any statistician will tell you that taking an average where the deviation in samples ranges from practically empty to sold out (events, commuter trains, holidays), yields no number of particular validity for determining anything.

Obviously passenger counts are important, but if they are used as a basis for operational decisions, they need to be carefully considered in the context of probably dozens of factors that determine ridership.

Cosakita18
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:42 pm

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by Cosakita18 »

artman wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:27 am
johnpbarlow wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:54 am
Federal agency grants Downeaster $17 million for upgrades

https://www.pressherald.com/2020/02/27/ ... kmMq0P_4h4

NNEPRA has always been great at getting grants. An eight-mile siding in Wells is huge w/r/t freight trafffic getting off the main line. Plus a two platform station. Excellent!

Great news, but why not make the new Wells platform entirely full-height? That should be the standard by this point.

gokeefe
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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:28 pm
Location: Winthrop, Maine

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by gokeefe »

It's not at all clear from the article what the platform length will be. However, it is certainly my understanding that at present FRA is requiring them everywhere (Roanoke and Springfield both got caught up in this).

So it would appear at this point in time that there will be a high level (new) on one side and a mini high (existing) on the other.

It is a very safe assumption that this entire proposal has been developed in cooperation with Pan Am Railways.
gokeefe

johnpbarlow
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by johnpbarlow »

How many Downeaster doors need to open at Wells? Does the patronage there justify having all 5-6 cars' doors be able to open?

gokeefe
Posts: 12424
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:28 pm
Location: Winthrop, Maine

Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by gokeefe »

johnpbarlow wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:56 am
Does the patronage there justify having all 5-6 cars' doors be able to open?
I've seen my fair share of trains where the anwser would be "yes".

Also worth noting the requirement for full length high platforms is ADA based.
gokeefe

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