• Amtrak Borealis: fka Empire Builder 2nd Daily Frequency Chicago - St Paul

  • 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

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Lest we forget, the Afternoon Hi was whacked somewhat before I hired on. Simple reason: Morning made more connections.

The Q-BN Morning (West)- Afternoon (East) did not connect with anything, but somehow survived until A-Day Eve (I rode it that Eve).
  by Tadman
 
electricron wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 3:51 pm
Tadman wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 12:43 pm Would it make sense to reschedule the Builder as a night train between cities? If you have an 8 hour schedule at 79mph, you could slow it down to a 12 hour schedule at the speed of a fast freight train and do 7pm-7am CHI-MSP. That would mean MKE and REdwing are serviceable stops in dark hours.
No State, or group of States, wish to subsidize an overnight sleeper train with a significantly lower ridership potential. They wish to maximize ridership at the lowest possible subsidy. And therefore a daylight train to at most early evening, which will be at worse twilight in winter but daylight in summer.
I discussed rescheduling the Builder which is not subsidized by a state or group of states. It's a federally-funded existing train that already runs sleeper cars. All I'm suggesting is changing the schedule of the exisiting train so that there aren't two trains in each direction only a few hours apart.
  by Tadman
 
Do we know what kind of equipment will be used here? With Amtrak already very short on equipment and runnign abbreviated existing trains, how do you equip a new run? Probably need 8-10 coaches, 2-3 cafe, and 2-3 motors. Will they be superliners or single level cars?
  by eolesen
 
No way it'll need 12 cars. Six coaches and a cafe.... maybe a bag.

Create too much capacity, and you'll cannibalize the Builder's demand.

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  by ryanwc
 
Tadman wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:36 am Do we know what kind of equipment will be used here? With Amtrak already very short on equipment and runnign abbreviated existing trains, how do you equip a new run? Probably need 8-10 coaches, 2-3 cafe, and 2-3 motors. Will they be superliners or single level cars?
Not positive. But I think the theory is that they're extending Chgo-Milwaukee trains and using that equipment.
  by lordsigma12345
 
ryanwc wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:45 am
Tadman wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:36 am Do we know what kind of equipment will be used here? With Amtrak already very short on equipment and runnign abbreviated existing trains, how do you equip a new run? Probably need 8-10 coaches, 2-3 cafe, and 2-3 motors. Will they be superliners or single level cars?
Not positive. But I think the theory is that they're extending Chgo-Milwaukee trains and using that equipment.
Amtrak will have internal responsibility for the equipment for this service and it will use 100% Amtrak owned equipment - Minnesota is not involved with the Midwest state owned equipment pool and thus no state owned Ventures or Chargers will be used on this route. From what I'm hearing on other boards and FB Groups I believe there will be two trainsets with four Horizon coaches, 1 Horizon/Amfleet Club-Dinette and Amtrak owned P42s for this service. The equipment serving the balance of the Hiawatha runs will be supplied out of the normal Midwest pool (which will eventually be 100% state owned Charger/Venture but right now Amtrak owned Horizons are mixed in as well.) The trainsets for the Borealis service will remain P42s and Horizons even after the Venture deployment is 100% complete and all the other midwest services are running 100% with state owned equipment.
  by electricron
 
You are most likely correct, as of now. But in the future, do not be surprise to see Minnesota asked for new funding from Congress to equip new Venture cars and Siemens Charger locomotives, now that they have a new regional train.
And if the St. Paul to Duluth train ever enters service, even a higher funding ask.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
gokeefe wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 5:46 pm Man alive look at the laundry list of stations between MSP and MKE. WOW!
The proposed service will make 12 station stops in St. Paul, Minnesota; Red Wing, Minnesota; Winona, Minnesota; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Tomah, Wisconsin; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Portage, Wisconsin; Columbus, Wisconsin; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Sturtevant, Wisconsin; Glenview, Illinois; and Chicago, Illinois.
Hopefully they have a catchy name for the service to help passengers distinguish it from the Hiawatha trains terminating in MKE.
Mr. O'Keefe, your wish has been granted :wink:
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Superbad, I don't know to what extent that each state ponied up for the Venture fleet, as Mr. Lord has noted, controls over what routes they may be assigned to.

I'm certain that, away from the axle count cars roads such as CN require, Amtrak would like to have all short distance trains maintained by Lumber Street to have Ventures assigned. Sooner or later the parties in interest will accept the Food Service cars (as will CA theirs), and Amtrak reassign the Amfleets and Horizons elsewhere.
  by west point
 
eolesen wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:13 am Create too much capacity, and you'll cannibalize the Builder's demand.
That will not be a bad idea. Remember that there are times the Builder is sold out MSP <> CHI preventing persons from west of MSP being able to book to / from stations south of MSP. Also if #8 over 3 hours late at MSP train #1340 can take its passenger originations MSP and south without further delay to those riders. Suspect that average Builder rider distances will increase much like what happened to the Crescent once Lynchburg service started.

The Builder's schedules cannot really be changed. Amtrak needs time to turn the equipment at SEA. If 7 too late Amtrak has to cancel SPK <> SEA / PDX and substitute buses. CHI turns once in a while have already been changed due to late #8.
  by west point
 
west point wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 2:54 pm
eolesen wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:13 am Create too much capacity, and you'll cannibalize the Builder's demand.
That will not be a bad idea. Remember that there are times the Builder is sold out MSP <> CHI preventing persons from west of MSP being able to book to / from stations south of MSP.
a big coincidence $8 is sold out MSP - CHI tomorrow May 4th. So, a 1340 tomorrow could have picked up more passengers.
  by Tadman
 
Given the dumpster fire that Siemens equipment is lately and the long string of California Sumitomo gallery cars going into storage from Caltrains electrification, now would be a good time to pick up those cars, rebuild and put long-distance appropriate seats in them (similar to CNW's Peninsula 400, this is possible and been done), and deploy them soon.

There are something like 100+ of these gallery cars idle now.
  by RandallW
 
Tadman wrote: Sun May 05, 2024 1:24 pm Given the dumpster fire that Siemens equipment is lately and the long string of California Sumitomo gallery cars going into storage from Caltrains electrification, now would be a good time to pick up those cars, rebuild and put long-distance appropriate seats in them (similar to CNW's Peninsula 400, this is possible and been done), and deploy them soon.

There are something like 100+ of these gallery cars idle now.
Caltrain is planning on starting to use the Stadler trainsets this fall, so surprised to hear they are idling equipment not yet replaced. What's your source for this news?
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