• Amtrak: Connects US // American Jobs Plan Infrastructure Legislation

  • 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 STrRedWolf
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:47 am
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:26 am If Amtrak were to buy or build more rail lines to run corridor service, then it would be maintaining those lines themselves... and I bet that's cheaper than paying the host railroads.
You're kidding, right?... There's no way Amtrak is paying anything remotely close to the full cost of ownership for the lines it traverses outside the NEC.

In an earlier thread, I posted the following:
The last number I heard was Amtrak paying around $150M per year to host railroads (prior to COVID), which comes out to around $6.50 per mile regardless of train length or weight. As Prof. Norman said, that's going to vary depending on the expenses incurred by the host road and the prorated miles/operations for Amtrak. Running on Metro North where it's electrified won't be as cheap as running the BNSF transcon.

Trackage rights or access fees charged to foreign roads are a fixed rate based on tons per mile, and they might vary based on bilateral agreements.
If you think that Amtrak could possibly maintain a nationwide network for less than $150M a year, I'd love to see that cost analysis....
I'm fully prepared to lose that bet. :P But I wouldn't go nationwide. Corridor service only. And I'd have to see how much per mile Amtrak spends on track & signal maintenance on the NEC.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Things are looking great for the NYC to Scranton service.

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... c-service/
SCRANTON, Pa. — Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority have reached agreement on a study to assess a potential route between Scranton and New York City.

The Pocono Record reports Amtrak will look at the route’s infrastructure and estimate possible ridership and revenue, with the authority covering the $400,000 cost of the study.

The route is one of 39 first suggested in a map released by Amtrak in March [see “Amtrak unveils ‘Connect US’ map …,” Trains News Wire, March 31, 2021], and included in a more detailed report released in May.
I also looked closely at the detailed northeast Connect Us map and noticed that there is a small line which goes along the Metro North route between Yonkers and New York, so this could mean that Amtrak could be reutilizing Grand Central!
Image
  by photobug56
 
The rail authorities in NEPA are very interested in this and when I last heard expected some financial involvement for their part of the connection. I don't remember details, but NJT is unlikely to do any upgrade work, for instance, in PA using their own money. Fed money was already meant to be used for much of the overall project long before Amtrak came to this. But the money needs to be allocated.
  by mcgrath618
 
It seems to me that if Amtrak intends to add more service from PHL - PGH, more service from CLE - PGH, and more service from CHI to CLE, they could kill three birds with one stone with a revival of either the Three Rivers or the Broadway Limited
  by electricron
 
[quote]
If Amtrak were to buy or build more rail lines to run corridor service, then it would be maintaining those lines themselves... and I bet that's cheaper than paying the host railroads.
You're kidding, right?... There's no way Amtrak is paying anything remotely close to the full cost of ownership for the lines it traverses outside the NEC.
The last number I heard was Amtrak paying around $150M per year to host railroads (prior to COVID), which comes out to around $6.50 per mile regardless of train length or weight. As Prof. Norman said, that's going to vary depending on the expenses incurred by the host road and the prorated miles/operations for Amtrak. Running on Metro North where it's electrified won't be as cheap as running the BNSF transcon.
If you think that Amtrak could possibly maintain a nationwide network for less than $150M a year, I'd love to see that cost analysis....
I'm fully prepared to lose that bet. :P But I wouldn't go nationwide. Corridor service only. And I'd have to see how much per mile Amtrak spends on track & signal maintenance on the NEC.
[/quote]
Amtrak runs over 21,400 miles route miles, and owns just 623 route miles outright.
I believe it is safe to assume Amtrak runs at least two trains a day on most of those track miles, for a total of at least 42,800 train miles. The miles where they do not is probably off set by the route miles of tracks where Amtrak runs far more than two trains a day.
$150 million per year / 42,800 train miles = $3,504.67 per train mile per year.
For each day 3504.67 / 365 = $9.60 per train mile.
How many passenger would you suggest is approriate on average for each train? I recommend 200 for this what if exercise.
$9.60 per train mile / 200 passengers = $0.048 per passenger mile.
Yes, less than a nickel per passenger mile.
On a cross country trip, 2500 or so rail miles across the country, Amtrak pays the railroad's around $128 for each passenger.
But most Amtrak passengers on average ride for just 200 miles.
https://www.statista.com/statistics
6,420 million passenger miles / 32 million passengers = 200.625 miles
https://www.statista.com/statistics/553 ... ca-amtrak/

So, on average, Amtrak pays the railroads $10 per passenger trip.
That's assuming every passenger rides 200 miles on a freight railroad owned tracks. Which is not close to being true. I wish I had better data to actually state a more truthful number.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
If Amtrak wants to add more service west of Harrisburg heading to Cleveland, NS needs to seriously think about adding more track capacity. Wherever it's two tracks, add a third track and wherever it is three, add a fourth. This would not only reduce delays for Amtrak and NS's trains. It could enable Amtrak to take a couple more hours off of the long schedule from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. It would also be nice to have high level platforms added at the stations between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Many of the stations served only by the Pennsylvanian are along straight section of tracks. Doing that would help reduce the dwell time. Probably the only place that may be a little tough is Tyrone but on the other hand, a small high level platform would be fine there.
  by west point
 
We need a thread to just put to bed the myth that high level platforms cannot be place willy nilly. Platforms have to be much farther back that passenger car ability to meet. "Mind the large gap." Brightline solves that problem by having extendable walkways on its train cars or having bypass tracks around stations.
But Amtrak does not have a fleet of just new cars.
  by MACTRAXX
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 7:24 am If Amtrak wants to add more service west of Harrisburg heading to Cleveland, NS needs to seriously think about adding more track capacity. Wherever it's two tracks, add a third track and wherever it is three, add a fourth. This would not only reduce delays for Amtrak and NS's trains. It could enable Amtrak to take a couple more hours off of the long schedule from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. It would also be nice to have high level platforms added at the stations between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Many of the stations served only by the Pennsylvanian are along straight section of tracks. Doing that would help reduce the dwell time. Probably the only place that may be a little tough is Tyrone but on the other hand, a small high level platform would be fine there.
Buff: The reduction of tracks between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh was undertaken by Conrail during the
course of the 1980s primarily. NS could require that Amtrak or PennDot fund any new track replacement.

As it stands now high-level platforms at stations west of Harrisburg are not necessary. NS may require gauntlet
tracks for any new high-level platform construction - or not permit any at all on their trackage...MACTRAXX
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
mcgrath618 wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:27 pm It seems to me that if Amtrak intends to add more service from PHL - PGH, more service from CLE - PGH, and more service from CHI to CLE, they could kill three birds with one stone with a revival of either the Three Rivers or the Broadway Limited
As late as 1964 there were four PRR daily roundtrips between PGH-CLE, including AM and PM commuter service.
But the general decline of service in this region speaks something about the decline of the "Rust Belt" or "Steel
Belt" (a region also including Allentown and Scranton, two cities high up on the list for reinstated rail service).
  by photobug56
 
One of the big highway problems in NEPA is that so many people commute to NYC - there aren't a whole lot of good jobs left in Scranton outside hospitals, colleges. Lot of poverty there. But I'm guessing home prices are lower.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
That could be true about high level platforms not being needed in general west of Harrisburg but some stations, particularly in the cities like Altoona and Johnstown could benefit from them.

The commuting situation for residents living in NEPA is weird. Yes, many commute to NYC but I’m sure only a few times a week now and even pre-pandemic. The economy in NEPA isn’t that great and in the cities, it needs work. Scranton probably isn’t the worst in terms of poverty. There are plenty of people who live in NEPA who even work in places like Dover and Morristown and they would really benefit from the train. They may need to take a shuttle bus from Dover station to their job as there aren’t many corporate offices in Dover. However, there is many within walking distance of the Morristown Station.
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