• AllEarth Rail / Vermont Commuter Rail

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

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  by electricron
 
In Vermont, these RDCs do not have to have PTC installed. The rail corridors in Vermont are not owned by Class I freight railroad companies, nor have enough business to warrant it. The limitation for them is 12 passenger trains per day, or if you prefer 6 round trips, along any section of track.

That’s up to six trains in one direction in the morning, and six trains in the evening in the opposite direction. Amtrak already uses 2 of the 12 possible passenger trains south of St. Albans towards New Haven ever day. So that leaves 5 round trips between St.Albans and Exeter, and 5 round trips between Exeter and Montpelier. That also leaves all 6 round trips between Exeter and Burlington and towns further south towards Rutland.

The tracks from St. Albans south to New Haven and Burlington south to Rutland have recently been or in the process to be refurbished to 60 mph maximum speeds. That leaves the sections of tracks between Burlington and Exeter, and between Montpelier and Barre left to be refurbished. As I understand the conditions, both of the latter segments of track are limited to 10-15 mph max speeds. Refurbishing either or both sections of tracks will be necessary for a useable commuter rail system.

AllEarth does not really want to operate these RDCs, they want the local transit agency or the state to subsidize the operations. All they wish to do is be the provider of the RDCs. Besides finding the money to refurbish the tracks left needing to be done, and subsidizing the rail operations, someone is going to have indemnify or fund the freight railroad companies higher insurance costs.

I do think when push comes to shove, Vermont will not fund this commuter rail push because it would be too expensive. ViA wanted these RDCs badly, but were outbid for them. As soon as AllEarth realizes Vermont will not fund these trains, they will sell them to the highest bidder. AllEarth can not and will not hold onto them forever, there is a time when these RDCs will be sold. Canada does not require PTC for passenger train operations, and the lack of PTC equipment in these RDCs will not be a problem for them.

And I do not think NICTD will buy them mainly because they will run more than 6 round trips per day, and some of the tracks they plan to use are owned by Class I freight railroads, so PTC will be a requirement for them. Whereas I have no idea if PTC can be installed on these or not, why do so? There is a reason why the TRE decided to sell them, and those same reasons are also true for them.
Last edited by electricron on Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by DutchRailnut
 
Vermont is not even in picture , no deal , no railroad,
so lets focus on other idea's with PTC.
  by Backshophoss
 
Any kind of cab signal/PTC install will be a bit of a "shoehorn" fit on a RDC,might lose a bathroom or a seat or 2 for the gear required.
including Air Brake plumbing for both cabs.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
DutchRailnut wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:32 pm Vermont is not even in picture , no deal , no railroad, so lets focus on other idea's with PTC.
NYSW (NJDOT-sudsidized) commuter service, anyone? NYSW already ran some RDCs with the On-Track shuttle operation in Syracuse. With NJDOT/NJT subsidy, a few round trips from either Tonnelle or Hackensack (NJT bus terminal hub there) to Paterson and Pompton Lakes.

Or an off-the shelf solution for the CSX/Erie Northern Branch: no need to extend electric HBLR, but run RDCs from Englewood/Tenafly/Northvale to the Tonnelle park-ride. Just one active customer left on the branch.
  by MickD
 
Don't wanna' go off topic.but
A drawback with RDC's on Northern Branch might be
that would make it 3 ride trip into Manhattan,Gotta' wonder how much that
would appeal to the daily commuter....and with The Susquehanna
personally I think the only reactivation that would make any sense
would be from destination west of Hawthorne Jct.feeding onto
NJ Transit Main Line at Hawthorne
I don't see how All Earth's proposed operation is gonna' be
much more than a local curiosity...as it would need
substantial patronage to make it work long term..
  by wigwagfan
 
TriMet (WES Commuter Rail) has two Budd RDCs - ex-Alaska Railroad - that are in service every day (or almost every day) and have PTC installed.

TriMet also owns two more RDCs - ex-Trinity Railway Express - that have never entered service.
  by trainhq
 
They actually did a ridership study for CR from Middlebury to Burlington a while ago;
I worked on evaluating the noise and vibration from the proposed trains. The numbers
simply weren't that great; maybe a few dozen people a day would use it to commute to
Burlington. I don't know about further south, but the numbers would have been even less.
Just don't see the ridership justifying the expense here.
  by NH2060
 
trainhq wrote: Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:19 pm They actually did a ridership study for CR from Middlebury to Burlington a while ago;
I worked on evaluating the noise and vibration from the proposed trains. The numbers
simply weren't that great; maybe a few dozen people a day would use it to commute to
Burlington. I don't know about further south, but the numbers would have been even less.
Just don't see the ridership justifying the expense here.
If there wasn't enough actual ridership to justify keeping either the Ethan Allen Connection or the Champlain Flyer (may they both R.I.P.) going there's no way commuter trains to/from Middlebury would produce enough ridership. A daily Amtrak train in each direction connecting Burlington and towns like Middlebury with downstate NY and NYC is another story. Maybe a 2nd daily train (even as just an Albany-Burlington "shuttle") could work, but only because of the ability for connections to be made to points south and west which is where the ridership and revenue potential really is.
  by Tadman
 
Backshophoss wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:27 pm Any kind of cab signal/PTC install will be a bit of a "shoehorn" fit on a RDC,might lose a bathroom or a seat or 2 for the gear required.
including Air Brake plumbing for both cabs.
yeah that's basically it. Ron mentions NICTD above, and NICTD had to install PTC on many of their cars. They basically tossed a seat and installed a stainless cabinet the size of a home fridge. Pro tip, there is a little ledge to the left of that cabinet that makes for an excellent footrest.
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