MARC/VRE run-through

Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

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STrRedWolf
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Re: BL/YL closure in Fri rush hour?? Until Sun

Post by STrRedWolf » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:06 pm

mtuandrew wrote:I understand weekend closures, Metro, and sometimes you have to devote three days to a project for which the best time is a holiday weekend. But seriously, today is miserable trying to commute home from DC.

https://www.wmata.com/service/status/de ... utdown.cfm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
...
Some customers traveling between Virginia and Downtown DC on Friday, November 9, may wish to consider VRE train service between Franconia-Springfield, Crystal City or King Street to L'Enfant Plaza or Union Station.
That's what gets me. Why couldn't they have struck a deal with MARC, VRE, Amtrak, and CSX to run a shuttle train between Alexandria/King Street and Union Station, with a stop at L'Enfant Plaza? MARC could spare the equipment (two 4-car+diesel set), VRE could run it, Amtrak would have to staff Alexandria over the weekend, and CSX would have to finagle it's train schedules to have a track clear for four days on top of VRE's Friday schedule (no VRE trains on weekend or Veterans Day). I know the obvious reason (money) but there had to been some other factors as well.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

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MARC/VRE run-through

Post by mtuandrew » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:40 pm

This is why VRE needs an airport stop, a Crystal City Station placed between 23rd & 26th instead of clear up at 15th. At least it needs a dedicated shuttle bus regardless of Metro service, given the premium that some people would pay for faster VRE + shuttle over RD + YL Metro.

EDIT: and wouldn’t it be nice to run a few dedicated Airport Trains from BAL to ALX with airport stops at BWI and DCA?

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Re: BL/YL closure in Fri rush hour?? Until Sun

Post by STrRedWolf » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:58 pm

mtuandrew wrote:This is why VRE needs an airport stop, a Crystal City Station placed between 23rd & 26th instead of clear up at 15th. At least it needs a dedicated shuttle bus regardless of Metro service, given the premium that some people would pay for faster VRE + shuttle over RD + YL Metro.

EDIT: and wouldn’t it be nice to run a few dedicated Airport Trains from BAL to ALX with airport stops at BWI and DCA?
At rick of derailing the topic... depends on if CSX and NS are willing to run the shuttle train over the Anacostia and under Virginia Avenue to hook up with the NEC south of New Carrolton to run MARC cars. I think VRE is always low-platform boarding, and MARC can do both. The track is there.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

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Re: BL/YL closure in Fri rush hour?? Until Sun

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:09 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:This is why VRE needs an airport stop, a Crystal City Station placed between 23rd & 26th instead of clear up at 15th. At least it needs a dedicated shuttle bus regardless of Metro service, given the premium that some people would pay for faster VRE + shuttle over RD + YL Metro.

EDIT: and wouldn’t it be nice to run a few dedicated Airport Trains from BAL to ALX with airport stops at BWI and DCA?
At rick of derailing the topic... depends on if CSX and NS are willing to run the shuttle train over the Anacostia and under Virginia Avenue to hook up with the NEC south of New Carrolton to run MARC cars. I think VRE is always low-platform boarding, and MARC can do both. The track is there.
Oh, I was thinking a limited stop MARC-VRE train, handoff at Union Station, rather than a nonstop between BWI and DCA. Something close to an Amtrak schedule with a few more stops and a corresponding higher fare, but without Amtrak’s amenities.

I’ll track down & combine some of the through-running topics eventually, since it seems to come up perennially. Been doing a little housekeeping by combining threads on ATO, WMATA car series, and the HQ move, and I think MARC car series threads are next.

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STrRedWolf
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Re: BL/YL closure in Fri rush hour?? Until Sun

Post by STrRedWolf » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:51 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Oh, I was thinking a limited stop MARC-VRE train, handoff at Union Station, rather than a nonstop between BWI and DCA. Something close to an Amtrak schedule with a few more stops and a corresponding higher fare, but without Amtrak’s amenities.

I’ll track down & combine some of the through-running topics eventually, since it seems to come up perennially. Been doing a little housekeeping by combining threads on ATO, WMATA car series, and the HQ move, and I think MARC car series threads are next.
Hmmm... I can see a route being Fredricksburg, Quantico, Alexandria, Crystal City, L'Efant, Union Station, New Carrolton, Odenton(Ft. Meade), BWI, Baltimore. But to pull that off on a regular basis? Both CSX and Amtrak will want some concessions, namely extra track.
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Re: BL/YL closure in Fri rush hour?? Until Sun

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:46 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:Hmmm... I can see a route being Fredricksburg, Quantico, Alexandria, Crystal City, L'Efant, Union Station, New Carrolton, Odenton(Ft. Meade), BWI, Baltimore. But to pull that off on a regular basis? Both CSX and Amtrak will want some concessions, namely extra track.
I mean, I’d shorten the route to be solely:

ALX
Crystal City (shuttle to DCA)
WAS
NCR
Odenton (shuttle to Ft. Meade)
BWI
BAL

Forget trying to send a MARC train deep into the Old Dominion, you probably won’t get good equipment utilization. Rent a track from CSX in Alexandria Yard to lay over for however long is necessary between trips.

And ok, I broke my own rule about thread creep so I’ll put these few posts into a new thread. I’m sure there will be plenty more added soon.

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Re: MARC/VRE run-through

Post by davinp » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:08 am

mtuandrew wrote:This is why VRE needs an airport stop, a Crystal City Station placed between 23rd & 26th instead of clear up at 15th. At least it needs a dedicated shuttle bus regardless of Metro service, given the premium that some people would pay for faster VRE + shuttle over RD + YL Metro.

EDIT: and wouldn’t it be nice to run a few dedicated Airport Trains from BAL to ALX with airport stops at BWI and DCA?
VRE does have a Crystal City station.
They are studying moving a little further south.
The problem with the current station is that it is hiding behind a building, not that close to Metro and the platform can only fit 5 cars.

https://www.vre.org/development/station ... rovements/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: MARC/VRE run-through

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:30 am

davinp wrote:VRE does have a Crystal City station.
They are studying moving a little further south.
The problem with the current station is that it is hiding behind a building, not that close to Metro and the platform can only fit 5 cars.

https://www.vre.org/development/station ... rovements/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Yes they do, I’ve boarded there before. Thanks for the link to the station improvement site though.

orulz
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Re: MARC/VRE run-through

Post by orulz » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:40 pm

http://www.hqnova.com/assets/pdfs/NOVA_ ... lution.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It looks like the upgraded/moved VRE station, the CC2DCA walkway, and the 2nd (east) metro entrance at Crystal City are all funded as a part of the incentives package. These items have all been studied at length, but were not funded before now.

The CC2DCA walkway and the VRE station make sense to build as a single project, since the bridge to access the new island platform for the VRE station also will double as the first segment of the CC2DCA walkway. The projects are so linked that it almost wouldn't make sense to consider them separately at all.

The walkway is technically contingent on NPS allowing the bridge to be built over the GW Parkway. They may try to push for a tunnel, but that alternative is just so much more expensive and so badly inferior that I can't imagine it going forward. They will probably be picky about the design of the bridge, but I can't imagine they will stop it outright. Hopefully they can at least secure NPS permission to build a roof (like the bridges to access the platforms at the Weihle/Reston station.)

The recently dropped second entrance at Potomac Yard is also being added back in. If you recall, there was some controversy as the decision to drop this entrance was made in a less than public way back in May. It makes you wonder if they knew all along that this was coming and that they would be able to add it back in anyway.

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Re: MARC/VRE run-through

Post by Backshophoss » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:13 pm

There's a bit of a PTC problem,VRE is not setup with ACSES gear to run north of DC,MARC is behind the 8 ball on I-ETMS gear needed to run south of
DC on CSX trackage. Run thru NOT possible for NOW!
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mtuandrew
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Re: MARC/VRE run-through

Post by mtuandrew » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:26 pm

Backshophoss wrote:There's a bit of a PTC problem,VRE is not setup with ACSES gear to run north of DC,MARC is behind the 8 ball on I-ETMS gear needed to run south of
DC on CSX trackage. Run thru NOT possible for NOW!
More on that issue: viewtopic.php?f=64&t=168415" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It’ll have to be addressed by year’s end, or whenever CSX installs I-ETMS on the Camden and Metropolitan Subs. VRE wasn’t likely to run on the NEC anyway.

ThirdRail7
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Re: MARC/VRE run-through

Post by ThirdRail7 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:13 pm

I believe crews are also an issue. Most VRE crews tie up and receive a respite between the afternoon and morning runs. Same for a some for the MARC crews. If they continued to operate and lost their respite, they would have enough time under the hours of service laws to finish their evening runs. So, you'd need to find additional crews for this venture....which increases expenses.

Is it worth it?

I say, yes....but I don't pay the bills.
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mtuandrew
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Re: MARC/VRE run-through

Post by mtuandrew » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:11 pm

TR7: does it count if a MARC crew ties up for a midday break in Alexandria instead of at Washington Union? Again, assuming that MARC’s Chargers will eventually be certified to run on CSX under PTC rules, and that work rules could allow for a run-through into VRE/Keolis territory.

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Re: MARC/VRE run-through

Post by ThirdRail7 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:14 am

I'm not sure what you mean by "does it count." If you're asking if it is feasible for a MARC crew to tie up in ALX vs WTC, as long as the carrier provides suitable facilities for food and lodging under the Hours of Service Act, they can technically place you on a respite at any agreed location.

In other words, let's say the company wanted to use Woodbridge, Virginia as a place of rest. If it is agreed upon, and suitable lodging and food is available, they could declare it as a designated terminal.

Does that help?

Additionally, I'm not sure of the MARC charter. Are MARC crews and their equipment allowed into Virginia? They may not be able to leave WASHINGTON DC.
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Re: MARC/VRE run-through

Post by mtuandrew » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:20 pm

That does help, knowing that MARC, VRE, and the operating trades would just require a suitable layup facility, thanks. I hadn’t thought of a potential issue with MARC’s charter though (or with VRE’s charter, or with either one’s operating agreements), and I don’t think a crew change at WAS is a great idea. I’m also not enamored with the idea of a full run-through to Woodbridge, Manassas, Baltimore-Camden, Martinsburg, etc. until and unless it becomes one agency.

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