• Amtrak: Connects US

  • 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 MikeBPRR
 
gokeefe wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:58 pm That might also have the effect of easing platform congestion at Penn Station ... Others who know better can likely confirm if this is correct ....

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I’m no expert, but looking at OpenRailMap, it theoretically could be done, as long as any through-routed Empire Service trains made it to tracks 5-7; tracks 1-4 dead-end under Seventh Avenue.

If this service does come to pass to Ronkonkoma, my guess is that it would take the NYP slots of some LIRR Ronkonkoma trains that will be rerouted to Grand Central Terminal once East Side Access is completed, and I also think that they may cross-honor LIRR tickets like Amtrak does for MARC on its Penn Line.

Edited out something that made no sense.
  by GWoodle
 
eolesen wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:48 pm Still curious what they can use for power... I don't believe the Sprinters have a third rail shoe right now.

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Makes me wonder if Amtrak does this in the next 3-5 years could we see trains with rebuilt P42 + 3-4 Amfleet or Horizon cars released from regional duty? The locos & cars could be replaced in the next 3-5 years. Keep production of new locos, new Viewliners, other single level cars for 10 years? Also need a plan to replace locos & cars from the Superliner fleet.
  by electricron
 
gokeefe wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:47 pm LIRR is a railroad subject to the STB just like any other carrier. Amtrak can compel access if they chose too. I doubt very much of course that it would ever come to that.

The key is to create a plan that helps LIRR favorably rebalance their traffic loads. Taking through passengers off crowded local trains is good for everyone. It also might create an additional "express" option for some who chose to use it. The Downeaster does much the same for Haverhill on the MBTA.
The Downeaster also extends the service beyond the NH border. I'm not familiar with the fares, but it is hard for me to believe the Downeaster fares would be cheaper than MBTA.
That would not be true on Long Island, because the LIRR goes just as far.
  by Ridgefielder
 
electricron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:03 am
gokeefe wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:47 pm LIRR is a railroad subject to the STB just like any other carrier. Amtrak can compel access if they chose too. I doubt very much of course that it would ever come to that.

The key is to create a plan that helps LIRR favorably rebalance their traffic loads. Taking through passengers off crowded local trains is good for everyone. It also might create an additional "express" option for some who chose to use it. The Downeaster does much the same for Haverhill on the MBTA.
The Downeaster also extends the service beyond the NH border. I'm not familiar with the fares, but it is hard for me to believe the Downeaster fares would be cheaper than MBTA.
That would not be true on Long Island, because the LIRR goes just as far.
Why would Amtrak fares be the same as LIRR fares? They aren't levied per-mile. Amtrak would be positioned as a premium product, the LIRR... isn't.

I see the positioning as being similar to that on most of the NEC, where Amtrak and various commuter agencies (MARC, SEPTA, NJT, MN, SLE, MBTA) serve the same station pairs.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The Times has a front page article today reporting how "everybody and his uncle" is vying for a space at the AJPA21 feeding trough. The following Fair Use quotation illustrates how the top rail infrastructure project must compete with the other interests -transportation related and otherwise:
Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey, wants to tackle the Gateway rail tunnel under the Hudson River. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, has suggested that surely the “functionally obsolete” Brent Spence Bridge in his state should receive funding. And progressive lawmakers have a five-part wish list that includes lowering drug costs and providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers.
Into this frenzy, Amtrak throws in their Connected US "whatever you care to call it" nonsense. I'm certain Amtrak isn’t the only agency about town "muddling waters" with similar. But the more stuff like Connected US gets thrown about, the greater the chance that the Opposition within the Senate will seek to have the Bill deemed outside the Reconciliation measurement and allow a Filibuster that can only be ended by a 60 vote Cloture - or a compromise.

With a compromise, wither $80B for passenger rail, for this Bill is supposed to be for infrastructure. It is not the Omnibus Spending Bill.
  by Greg Moore
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:33 pm
electricron wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:03 am
gokeefe wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:47 pm LIRR is a railroad subject to the STB just like any other carrier. Amtrak can compel access if they chose too. I doubt very much of course that it would ever come to that.

The key is to create a plan that helps LIRR favorably rebalance their traffic loads. Taking through passengers off crowded local trains is good for everyone. It also might create an additional "express" option for some who chose to use it. The Downeaster does much the same for Haverhill on the MBTA.
The Downeaster also extends the service beyond the NH border. I'm not familiar with the fares, but it is hard for me to believe the Downeaster fares would be cheaper than MBTA.
That would not be true on Long Island, because the LIRR goes just as far.
Why would Amtrak fares be the same as LIRR fares? They aren't levied per-mile. Amtrak would be positioned as a premium product, the LIRR... isn't.

I see the positioning as being similar to that on most of the NEC, where Amtrak and various commuter agencies (MARC, SEPTA, NJT, MN, SLE, MBTA) serve the same station pairs.
And we have evidence of this with Metro-North to Poughkeepsie. I know folks who have done the drive from Albany to POU for the cheaper fair... and realized 5 across, hard seats compared to 4 across Amfleet seats made Amtrak seem worth it.
  by STrRedWolf
 
MikeBPRR wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:46 pm If this service does come to pass to Ronkonkoma, my guess is that it would take the NYP slots of some LIRR Ronkonkoma trains that will be rerouted to Grand Central Terminal once East Side Access is completed, and I also think that they may cross-honor LIRR tickets like Amtrak does for MARC on its Penn Line.
For context, Amtrak honored MARC weekly/monthly tickets from Aberdeen direct to DC on four trains (two to DC, two from DC).

I can see the same for the LIRR from Ronkon: weekly or monthly, Ronkon to NYP direct. Nothing else.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Here is a New York Times column appearing today:

Fair Use:
There are many brilliant proposals embedded in President Biden’s mammoth infrastructure plan, and most aim to address climate change as they also address other critical needs. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in this country, and inspiring fewer people to drive cars will be a crucial element in the fight to limit the damage wrought by climate change. Expanding both freight and passenger rail service across the country is one plan that does double duty.

It’s sorely needed here in the South, where car culture is endemic. Nashville to Savannah, Ga.; Montgomery, Ala., to Atlanta; Houston to Fort Worth; Mobile, Ala., to Baton Rouge, La. — all, I am grateful to note, are on the list of possible new train routes if Congress fully funds Mr. Biden’s proposal .
I have "mixed thoughts" reading material like this in a respected nationally circulated publication. As I have previously noted at this topic, AJPA21 is about rebuilding infrastructure and not about adding new passenger train routes.

But then, The Times does not, to my best knowledge, "censor" the opinions of any of their columnists.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by gokeefe
 

electricron wrote:The Downeaster also extends the service beyond the NH border. I'm not familiar with the fares, but it is hard for me to believe the Downeaster fares would be cheaper than MBTA. That would not be true on Long Island, because the LIRR goes just as far.
Throigj a quirk of the fare tarrifs the monthly pass from Haverhill on the Downeaster is in fact cheaper than the MBTA. The regular fare is not.

There is significant benefit to the MBTA because it maximizes use of Amtrak capacity to and from Boston North Station by regular commuters. The MBTA trains are otherwise very crowded. Passes do not guarantee seats.


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  by lordsigma12345
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:24 pm Here is a New York Times column appearing today:

Fair Use:
There are many brilliant proposals embedded in President Biden’s mammoth infrastructure plan, and most aim to address climate change as they also address other critical needs. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in this country, and inspiring fewer people to drive cars will be a crucial element in the fight to limit the damage wrought by climate change. Expanding both freight and passenger rail service across the country is one plan that does double duty.

It’s sorely needed here in the South, where car culture is endemic. Nashville to Savannah, Ga.; Montgomery, Ala., to Atlanta; Houston to Fort Worth; Mobile, Ala., to Baton Rouge, La. — all, I am grateful to note, are on the list of possible new train routes if Congress fully funds Mr. Biden’s proposal .
I have "mixed thoughts" reading material like this in a respected nationally circulated publication. As I have previously noted at this topic, AJPA21 is about rebuilding infrastructure and not about adding new passenger train routes.

But then, The Times does not, to my best knowledge, "censor" the opinions of any of their columnists.


I like some of the map - however I do see your point - from a strict point of view addressing NEC backlog, gateway, and addressing fleet needs could be viewed more appropriately “repairing infrastructure” than new routes, but I guess it depends how you look at it. Another million dollar question about the plan is which state governments would sign on. Most likely these federal funds would be available for route development, but states would need to sign on and state funds would be phased in over a few years with these eventually becoming traditional state supported routes requiring the same percentage of subsidy required for current routes. With the opposition we are seeing to NOL - Mobile by Alabama, some other red states may have no interest in these routes even though Amtrak does - not that I am doubting that any of these have any potential but if the state isn’t interested in ponying up funds to match federal funds - it probably doesn’t happen.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Ohio's governor is taking a "wait/see" position on the routes in Ohio. His big concern: details are sketchy, and he won't give his opinion until the details are spelled out, particularly in relation to how much it will eventually cost the state. Fair enough, IMO.
  by scratchyX1
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:39 pm
MikeBPRR wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:46 pm If this service does come to pass to Ronkonkoma, my guess is that it would take the NYP slots of some LIRR Ronkonkoma trains that will be rerouted to Grand Central Terminal once East Side Access is completed, and I also think that they may cross-honor LIRR tickets like Amtrak does for MARC on its Penn Line.
For context, Amtrak honored MARC weekly/monthly tickets from Aberdeen direct to DC on four trains (two to DC, two from DC).
I can see the same for the LIRR from Ronkon: weekly or monthly, Ronkon to NYP direct. Nothing else.
The honored tickets are what I used, for 6 months , for commute.
If only the bus trip home didn't take 2 times the length of the train trip, I'd have continued doing so.
Does Amtrak no longer honor them?
  by STrRedWolf
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:57 am The honored tickets are what I used, for 6 months , for commute.
If only the bus trip home didn't take 2 times the length of the train trip, I'd have continued doing so.
Does Amtrak no longer honor them?
They're suspending honoring them during the pandemic. Once MARC and Amtrak are back to full service along the NEC, they'll probably honor them again.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Regarding Amtrak gaining access to LIRR/Ronkonkama, that was part of the Penn Station Access for MNRR compromise. NYS will also replace the Pelham Draw.
  by jonnhrr
 
Looking at this plan with respect to Maine where I live:

The extension of some Downeasters to Rockland (presumably a summer weekend only similar to the late lamented Maine Eastern service) had already been proposed pre-pandemic and should be relatively easy to do once agreements are worked out with CMQ (which I believe is now owned by CP) since much of the infrastructure such as stations are already there.

What Maine could really use is Boston - Portland - Bangor service, most likely via Augusta and Waterville. However that would require track work as part of the route between Brunswick and Augusta is out of service. Undoubtedly Pan Am (soon to be CSX) would need its pound of flesh, requiring new sidings etc. to prevent interference with its fairly skeletal freight service on that line.

Another problem with that route is that it misses Lewiston/Auburn the second largest metro area in the state. But running via L/A would most likely involved branching off of the current route to Brunswick at Royal Jct. and following the "back road" via L/A to Waterville. So rather than extending some current Brunswick trains, this would add new trains or replace existing runs. Also it misses Augusta the state capital.

So something that would be nice to see but I suspect won't make the cut anytime soon unless Mainers really push for it.

Jon
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