• All things Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

  • 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

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  by rcthompson04
 
ExCon90 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:03 pm We can forget SEPTA to Harrisburg. Silverliners -- with or without toilets -- are not going to attract additional riders. And good luck getting Lancaster and Dauphin Counties to join SEPTA.
SEPTA really has no business west of Atglen. Even west of Coatesville is a stretch.
  by MACTRAXX
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:30 pm The Harrisburg high speed Metroliner service (stillborn) was originally supposed to be a SEPTA service, and even
single unit Silverliners ran in Harrisburg service in the 1970s, so there is some precedent for SEPTA to Harrisburg.
R36 and Everyone: Beginning in the 1960s through the 1970s SEPTA partially sponsored Philadelphia-
Harrisburg passenger rail service. There were a few Metroliner MU cars that were going to be assigned to this
service (10?) that never were originally. This service was operated through that period with Silverliner Two and
Three MU cars equipped with at least one lavatory. HBG-PHL MU trains offered a 1 hour 45 minute on average
service time and usually ran with one or two Silverliner MU cars in service as mentioned.

Amtrak replaced the Silverliners with leased Jersey Arrows in the 1979-1980 time period until the Metroliner MU
cars were "bumped" off the NEC in 1981-1982 into NYP-PHL-HAR service and re-named them "Capitoliners".

The 103 mile PHL-HAR line is a speed-concious route - with the Metroliner MU cars and than less frequent and
slower diesel trains were operating specifically during the 1990s the line saw a noteable decline in ridership.
At one point Amtrak seeked to discontinue electrified service altogether west of the SEPTA commuter area.

PennDot stepped up and funded major upgrades to the infrastructure of the PHL-HAR route as we have all
noted. Retaining electrification along with some dedicated Keystone equipment was the right move.

SS: The slow trackage in the 5 or so miles between 30th Street Station and Overbrook is a one-direction
problem - westbound. Upgrading the tracks in the vicinity of the 52nd Street flyover and the SEPTA RRD
Overbrook facility to allow a higher speed would be helpful to Amtrak and SEPTA Paoli-Thorndale trains.

In closing MU cars have a significant history on the PHL-HAR route...MACTRAXX
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
In all of my travels aboard Amtrak trains on the entire Keystone Corridor, I have noticed slow speeds around 52nd Street in Philadelphia. I would like to see those speeds get bumped up. It’s pretty straight around that area with the right of way. Trains would probably have to still slow down a bit just before the curve which is east of Overbrook.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:22 pm Beginning in the 1960s through the 1970s SEPTA partially sponsored Philadelphia-
Harrisburg passenger rail service. There were a few Metroliner MU cars that were going to be
assigned to this service (10?) that never were originally.
820-830, later reassigned to the NEC in 1972.
  by ExCon90
 
That traditional westbound alignment using the flyover was a pretty straightforward operation, except for the abrupt curve at the west end of the skew bridge, with a straight move through Overbrook as No. 4 track; the present, somewhat makeshift, surface route is a succession of diverging signals imposing 30- and 45-mph speeds for a considerable distance. Some shifting of tracks would be necessary to fix that -- probably cheaper than doing what would be needed to keep the bridge in service.
  by mcgrath618
 
ExCon90 wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:28 pm That traditional westbound alignment using the flyover was a pretty straightforward operation, except for the abrupt curve at the west end of the skew bridge, with a straight move through Overbrook as No. 4 track; the present, somewhat makeshift, surface route is a succession of diverging signals imposing 30- and 45-mph speeds for a considerable distance. Some shifting of tracks would be necessary to fix that -- probably cheaper than doing what would be needed to keep the bridge in service.
The bridge was taken out of service about two years ago. Cynwyd trains heading west now just diverge off of Track 4.
  by rcthompson04
 
mcgrath618 wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 8:18 am
ExCon90 wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:28 pm That traditional westbound alignment using the flyover was a pretty straightforward operation, except for the abrupt curve at the west end of the skew bridge, with a straight move through Overbrook as No. 4 track; the present, somewhat makeshift, surface route is a succession of diverging signals imposing 30- and 45-mph speeds for a considerable distance. Some shifting of tracks would be necessary to fix that -- probably cheaper than doing what would be needed to keep the bridge in service.
The bridge was taken out of service about two years ago. Cynwyd trains heading west now just diverge off of Track 4.
Correct. Taking the bridge out of service seems to have eliminated at least one problem going westbound. The biggest conflict point still exists… westbound SEPTA trains versus Keystones coming from or going to 30th Street lower level from the Main Line.
  by ExCon90
 
That conflict always existed -- there was only one track from the convergence of the routes from the upper and lower levels until the split at the west end of the bridge, with the convergence from North Philadelphia via the Pittsburgh Subway thrown in. What has changed is the number of divergences that now exist along the present route. I think that with some track changes you could provide a succession of Clear indications there.
  by NortheastTrainMan
 
Quick question, pardon me if it was answered already.
Seeing how the Keystone is push pull, are there still regular crew changes at 30th Street?

I always thought when the train reached 30th Street the engineer just swapped ends and ran to HAR or NYP and the swap would be at HAR or NYP.
Unless the Keystone only ran from Harrisburg to 30th Street.

I ask this because I was on a Keystone recently and when we were pulling into 30th Street the conductor announced there would be a crew change.
I thought the extra dwell time at 30th Street was for changing ends, it never occurred to me that the time could also be for a crew change.
  by NortheastTrainMan
 
daybeers wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 4:50 pm Yeah, they're different territories.
Ah I see. Thanks for letting me know.
  by CNJGeep
 
There are, or at least were in recent memory, crews that do both halves. The engineer for 43 used to run the motor NYP-PHL and the diesel PHL-HAR, the train crew also stayed aboard. Qualifying in Philadelphia means the NYP Line, the PW Line, and the PH Line.
  by rcthompson04
 
That is interesting regarding the Pennsylvanian. I would have presumed the engineer changed at PHL due to the engine change requiring two engineers.
  by NortheastTrainMan
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Tue Jul 27, 2021 6:06 am
daybeers wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 4:50 pm Yeah, they're different territories.
It's probably the same with the Pennsylvanian. Change at Harrisburg and change at 30th Street.
I figured that. For some reason I thought a locomotive change signified a crew change because it was more "work" than removing the reverser (if necessary) and changing ends on a Push Pull (Keystone in this case). Flawed logic, but I'm happy y'all helped me.
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