• All Things Cascades incl Vancouver

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  • 580 posts
  • 1
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  by Backshophoss
 
The 1 series 8 set is in somewhat daily use on the 500/504 turn,with the Horizon set as the standby set,Depending on the charger teething issues.
  by wigwagfan
 
electricron wrote: I believe (WSDOT) desires to buy true HSR train sets in the future if they somehow can find some financial help from anyone for building a new HSR line. The rail corridor between Seattle and Portland is much too crowded with Sounder and BNSF freight trains to actually take advantage of higher speed train sets. I believe (WSDOT) has learned that lesson and will now pursue a new passenger only line.
Just a few small problems, there is literally nowhere to put a "true HSR line" that will actually be high speed. There is a group that has received planning funding from the two states and the province, and Microsoft, but the reality is any potential HSR route will be a non-starter for the sheer amount of housing and environmentally sensitive land it will have to destroy, but with little to no ability to replace. The HSR backers are also literally promising a chicken in every pot (a station for every town) which will defeat the purpose of HSR, unless they are planning a four-track main especially north of Seattle where towns are just a few miles apart and everyone wants a stop. And the I-5 ROW is simply infeasible for anything beyond light rail...and who wants to ride a light rail train for over 100 miles, stopping every 2 miles, city bus style seating and no amenities, not even a restroom?

Between Tacoma and Vancouver, Washington there's room for HSR if you don't mind building through second-growth timber, foothills and being 20 miles away from a town.

AFAIK, the future is going to be Siemens coaches. The days of "European style rolling stock" are over.
  by Backshophoss
 
Would not be surprised if WSDOT & ORDOT ask Caltrain to borrow a set of Siemen's Coaches/Food service car for a test on the Cascades route,then follow up with an order for 6-7 sets to replace the remaining tago sets
  by Pensyfan19
 
Backshophoss wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:56 am Would not be surprised if WSDOT & ORDOT ask Caltrain to borrow a set of Siemen's Coaches/Food service car for a test on the Cascades route,then follow up with an order for 6-7 sets to replace the remaining tago sets
I remember hearing that Siemens Venture coaches, the same ones used by Caltrain, will replace the Talgos on the northwest, so it would only make sense for WSDOT to test the existing coaches on the route.
  by ST Saint
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:59 am
Backshophoss wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:56 am Would not be surprised if WSDOT & ORDOT ask Caltrain to borrow a set of Siemen's Coaches/Food service car for a test on the Cascades route,then follow up with an order for 6-7 sets to replace the remaining tago sets
I remember hearing that Siemens Venture coaches, the same ones used by Caltrain, will replace the Talgos on the northwest, so it would only make sense for WSDOT to test the existing coaches on the route.
WSDOT will be first in line tacking onto with Amtrak's Amfleet I replacement order and receiving those cars first. I haven't heard anything confirming Siemens will be the winner of that, but many signs point to that being the case with the testing on the NEC. Time will tell.

In other news, Charge 1408 has begun running on the route paired with another locomotive.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laZPevOskl4

I believe testing on the Point Defiance Bypass should be starting soon as well, but I haven't seen any official announcements yet.
  by ST Saint
 
ST Saint wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:46 pm I believe testing on the Point Defiance Bypass should be starting soon as well, but I haven't seen any official announcements yet.
To follow up, here is an article announcing the testing. Testing will begin with Amtrak equipment Jan 16-17 8am-4pm on the Point Defiance Bypass.

The News Tribune - Expect to see trains going 79 mph through Tacoma, Lakewood and DuPont soon
  by electricron
 
wigwagfan wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:40 am Just a few small problems, there is literally nowhere to put a "true HSR line" that will actually be high speed. There is a group that has received planning funding from the two states and the province, and Microsoft, but the reality is any potential HSR route will be a non-starter for the sheer amount of housing and environmentally sensitive land it will have to destroy, but with little to no ability to replace. The HSR backers are also literally promising a chicken in every pot (a station for every town) which will defeat the purpose of HSR, unless they are planning a four-track main especially north of Seattle where towns are just a few miles apart and everyone wants a stop. And the I-5 ROW is simply infeasible for anything beyond light rail...and who wants to ride a light rail train for over 100 miles, stopping every 2 miles, city bus style seating and no amenities, not even a restroom?

Between Tacoma and Vancouver, Washington there's room for HSR if you don't mind building through second-growth timber, foothills and being 20 miles away from a town.

AFAIK, the future is going to be Siemens coaches. The days of "European style rolling stock" are over.
Maybe you are correct, maybe you are wrong. WDOT is studying true HSR as we discuss this right now.
https://wsdot.wa.gov/planning/studies/u ... tion-study

Why study something you really do not wish to build? They really want to, that is my point.

Between Portland and Olympia there is a fairly straight power line a HSR train could follow 3-5 miles west of I-5. Northeast of Olympia, to Seattle will be more challenging to find a route, but not impossible if you look at vertical instead of just horizontal solutions. Going vertical will definitely cost more to implement, but vertical solutions have not deterred WDOT in the past.
  by Jeff Smith
 
electricron wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:10 pm Why study something you really do not wish to build? They really want to, that is my point.
Studies are often dark corners projects go to die.

Witness: CtDOT/HVCEO study of the Danbury branch, which after 30-some odd years resulted in a statement: "Yeah, we'd like to do this sometime in the future".

I'm not familiar with WA at all, so whether that's the case who knows. Nevertheless, a study is just a study. The conclusion may be "nice to have, too expensive, fugghedaboutit".
  by Matt Johnson
 
With Horizon coaches covering some of the Cascades runs, is there any confirmation that the Wisconsin Talgo sets are indeed being modified for use in the Pacific Northwest?
  by wigwagfan
 
electricron wrote:Why study something you really do not wish to build? They really want to, that is my point.

Between Portland and Olympia there is a fairly straight power line a HSR train could follow 3-5 miles west of I-5. Northeast of Olympia, to Seattle will be more challenging to find a route, but not impossible if you look at vertical instead of just horizontal solutions. Going vertical will definitely cost more to implement, but vertical solutions have not deterred WDOT in the past.
I have a stack of rail plans of ambitious projects between Portland and Eugene and Portland and McMinnville, repeated about every five years, that all say the same thing: It's technically feasible, it will never pay for itself nor attract significant ridership off highways. Study, after study, after study.

Well, there was one study that actually suggested upgrading a one-time interurban railway that currently is limited to freight trains moving 20 MPH on 90 pound jointed rail would be cheaper to upgrade for passenger service, than the paralleling Union Pacific (ex-Southern Pacific) mainline to "upgrade" it to passenger service - never mind, passenger trains already run on the track.

You also ignore the fact that if you build a straight line 3-5 miles west of I-5, you have to somehow find a way to build a track through either Portland's industrial area or through Forest Park, one of the nation's largest wilderness parks, that climbs to an elevation of over 1,000 feet above sea level (the industrial area sits around 40 feet ASL), and then build a massively huge bridge somewhere over the Columbia that has a minimum clearance of at least 197 feet at the high water mark to clear oceangoing ships, will likely bypass Longview and Centralia, and then force a sharp curve at Olympia or a massive slowdown to access Olympia (remember, even today's Amtrak trains don't stop in Olympia, they stop over six miles away in an exurban sprawling residential neighborhood that used to be farmland).

Or we can build another floating bridge over Puget Sound, like WSDOT intended to do some 50 years ago when it bought up a bunch of ferry lines as a temporary measure until the bridges were built. 50 years later, we're still running the ferries, but the plans for the floating bridges are sitting in a dusty old file cabinet somewhere in Olympia.
  by wigwagfan
 
David Benton wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:52 amYet they manage in far more crowded europe and japan.
And had Washington State built High Speed Rail in the 1960s and 1970s it would have been far more feasible, but it isn't 1960 anymore, it's 2021. There's a lot more people. There's a lot more environmental awareness. And we didn't drop a couple nukes on downtown Seattle or send hundreds of B-17s over downtown Portland.

We can't roll the clock back. We either acknowledge it's going to be harder, or we accept the fact that those precious wetlands, shorelines, tideflats and other sensitive environmental areas are expendable, that it's OK to pollute waterways and land, and those endangered salmon and other aquatic life can be made extinct; and that damned be low income people whose homes are in the way - it's socially and politically acceptable to kick them out of town and force them to the streets because they won't be able to afford replacement housing. Are you willing to stand before a podium and say that before 25 live cameras?
  by electricron
 
Here is the latest 2019 report from WDOT, you might find it an interesting read.
https://wsdot.wa.gov/sites/default/file ... y-2019.pdf
and
https://wsdot.wa.gov/sites/default/file ... s-2019.pdf
And here is the planning set for this year.
https://wsdot.wa.gov/planning/studies/u ... tion-study

Who is financing all these studies?
2020 This $895,000 study was funded by approximate equal contributions from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Microsoft Corp.
2018-2019 The study was funded with $750,000 from the Washington State Legislature and an additional $650,000 from the Province of British Columbia, the Oregon Department of Transportation and Microsoft Corp.
2017 The 2017 feasibility study funded with $300,000 from the Washington State Legislature. Microsoft and labor unions also contributed funds to conduct a more in-depth economic impact study.

Did you catch that Microsoft is pushing for the HSR train with its own money?
When all the local governments and the huge economic engine of the region is pushing for something, it usually gets done.
  by David Benton
 
wigwagfan wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:18 pm
David Benton wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:52 amYet they manage in far more crowded europe and japan.
And had Washington State built High Speed Rail in the 1960s and 1970s it would have been far more feasible, but it isn't 1960 anymore, it's 2021. There's a lot more people. There's a lot more environmental awareness. And we didn't drop a couple nukes on downtown Seattle or send hundreds of B-17s over downtown Portland.

We can't roll the clock back. We either acknowledge it's going to be harder, or we accept the fact that those precious wetlands, shorelines, tideflats and other sensitive environmental areas are expendable, that it's OK to pollute waterways and land, and those endangered salmon and other aquatic life can be made extinct; and that damned be low income people whose homes are in the way - it's socially and politically acceptable to kick them out of town and force them to the streets because they won't be able to afford replacement housing. Are you willing to stand before a podium and say that before 25 live cameras?
Hsr2 is been built now in England.Must admit, it is hard to see how they find room for it. billions of pounds help.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Interesting to note that the portion of the corridor down to Eugene/Springfield has been left out. And Oregon paid an equal amount to the other entities to have the study done.
  • 1
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39