• Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

  • 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 artman
 
nomis wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:41 am Correct, PanAM the Class II could stay under the federal threshold of 12 passenger trains a day (with a signal system) and be grandfathered in before requiring PTC, but a Class I does not have that stipulation & must install PTC for passenger use.
This is a good thing because when (if?) NNEPRA wants to add a seventh round trip, they can't be stonewalled by PanAm saying they don't want to add PTC
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Trinnau wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:33 am This is nothing new, it's called "inland route" service and used to exist before. New York to Boston via New Haven-Springfield-Worcester. There is a rather lengthy thread on the topic in this forum.

There are a lot of hurdles to overcome to make it happen, several of them in just changing from BOS to BON.
Money can solve anything. :-D Bring a Downeaster down the Western Route with a stop at Malden. Then, via the wye behind BET and on over to Swift and the Grand Junction. Add a stop at Boston Landing, then go west on the Inland Route. Slow going in Boston, but connectivity between cities should be the goal, not speed. Qualify Amtrak T&E through to Worcester where there's a change.

This avoids a hassle with Pan Am [or CSX] to run one of those "nasty" [!] passenger trains on the Lowell and Stony Brook branches, and the Worcester Main. It also gives customers a one-seat ride, always a better option than a transfer, even a cross-platform one. Where the train would terminate is up for discussion.
Last edited by Rockingham Racer on Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Red Wing
 
With PTC being install, would the speeds be raised too?
  by Rockingham Racer
 
I hope so. Doesn't the T limit its trains to 60 on many of its lines? The Downeaster is 70 and 79 in many places east of T territory already.
  by Trinnau
 
PTC has no bearing on increasing speed. It's a safety feature and arguably slows trains down slightly because it is restrictive - engineer leeway is gone.

You won't see much, if any, MBTA territory exceed 80mph outside the Northeast Corridor. They have been making a slow, steady push to increase track speeds on some lines though from 60 up to 80 including on the routes the Downeaster runs. There are also different things you have to do with engines and coaches to maintain operations above 80mph which jumps the operating and maintenance cost significantly.

The problem with the Grand Junction is that it's 10mph, and so is going behind BET. You're talking almost an hour to get from Malden to Boston Landing under current conditions and without a true stop at Boston Landing. MBTA's proposed West Station would be the stop to make under this operation anyway.
  by oat324
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:30 pm
Trinnau wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:33 am This is nothing new, it's called "inland route" service and used to exist before. New York to Boston via New Haven-Springfield-Worcester. There is a rather lengthy thread on the topic in this forum.

There are a lot of hurdles to overcome to make it happen, several of them in just changing from BOS to BON.
Money can solve anything. :-D Bring a Downeaster down the Western Route with a stop at Malden. Then, via the wye behind BET and on over to Swift and the Grand Junction. Add a stop at Boston Landing, then go west on the Inland Route. Slow going in Boston, but connectivity between cities should be the goal, not speed. Qualify Amtrak T&E through to Worcester where there's a change.

This avoids a hassle with Pan Am [or CSX] to run one of those "nasty" [!] passenger trains on the Lowell and Stony Brook branches, and the Worcester Main. It also gives customers a one-seat ride, always a better option than a transfer, even a cross-platform one. Where the train would terminate is up for discussion.
They need the Inland route back IMMEDIATELY. The amount of people we carry between Albany and Boston on the current 3 days a week 448/449 runs is amazing. With most of the factory and manual labor jobs gone in the Northeast to easier computer based jobs, many more can ride these days. The line thru Grand Junction would be great with a stop at Main Street (where a .02 mile walk will get you to the Kendall Red Line stop for transportation to Harvard) or Massachusetts Ave for MIT students.
  by markhb
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:30 pm
Trinnau wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:33 am This is nothing new, it's called "inland route" service and used to exist before. New York to Boston via New Haven-Springfield-Worcester. There is a rather lengthy thread on the topic in this forum.

There are a lot of hurdles to overcome to make it happen, several of them in just changing from BOS to BON.
Money can solve anything. :-D Bring a Downeaster down the Western Route with a stop at Malden. Then, via the wye behind BET and on over to Swift and the Grand Junction. Add a stop at Boston Landing, then go west on the Inland Route. Slow going in Boston, but connectivity between cities should be the goal, not speed. Qualify Amtrak T&E through to Worcester where there's a change.

This avoids a hassle with Pan Am [or CSX] to run one of those "nasty" [!] passenger trains on the Lowell and Stony Brook branches, and the Worcester Main. It also gives customers a one-seat ride, always a better option than a transfer, even a cross-platform one. Where the train would terminate is up for discussion.
Why are we going to all the trouble of staying on the Western? The DE already has an established route in on the Northern line.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Because you cannot get on the GJ from the Northern. It crosses over the wye on a trestle behind BET and comes down a grade to join the Western at BET. You can't access the GJ from the Fitch, either.

BTW, the Grand Junction could be restored to double track; there's already a siding in the middle of it. Bone up the grade crossings for faster speeds, spruce up the turnouts at BET and Swift, and voilà! Like I said, it would take some moola! :wink:
  by oat324
 
markhb wrote: Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:38 pm I noticed today that at least one of the engines on the Downeaster has what appears to be a 50th Anniversary logo on the side. Has anyone gotten pictures yet?
Here you go when it was in the Amtrak yard at Boston MA.
Image
  by markhb
 
Thanks!

Also, so far as that alternate routing goes, I see... That is intended to skip North Station entirely. I'm not sure that's going to be of interest to Maine regardless of capital improvements to the GJ, since we're giving up at least one primary Boston connection daily, unless it's a complete add-on set up to not need an additional NS slot.
  by BandA
 
I don't see how to replay the 3/25/2021 TRNE annual meeting referenced above; I assume the route for this supposed NYP-Brunswick train would include reversing at BOS (or skipping it entirely) (If servicing BOS you would go by BBY twice!), reversing at Boston Landing, and reversing at BON.
  by BandA
 
CSX taking over PAR, says they want to share the cost of PTC. It would be only fair that Amtrak should only pay PTC costs for trains >12 per day, and then only proportionately. For example, if Amtrak runs 7 each way and CSX runs 10 each way, Amtrak should pay 2/12 (or 1/6 or 17%) of the TOTAL PTC costs including capital/depreciation, assuming you allocate per train. Could also allocate per "slot" or per car. Or, when Amtrak >12, pay proportional to the maintenance costs only, in my example 7/17 or 41%.
  by markhb
 
BandA wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:41 pm I don't see how to replay the 3/25/2021 TRNE annual meeting referenced above; I assume the route for this supposed NYP-Brunswick train would include reversing at BOS (or skipping it entirely) (If servicing BOS you would go by BBY twice!), reversing at Boston Landing, and reversing at BON.
No, from the descriptions I've seen, the Downeaster would end as it does today at BON, and there would be a cross-platform transfer to a new BON-NYP train that would run via the Grand Junction west to Worcester and Springfield (the Lake Shore route west from Allston), and then turn south to NHV and New York.

I don't believe those Zoom meetings can be replayed although I'm sure there could be an FoA request for them.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
markhb wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:43 pm
BandA wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:41 pm I don't see how to replay the 3/25/2021 TRNE annual meeting referenced above; I assume the route for this supposed NYP-Brunswick train would include reversing at BOS (or skipping it entirely) (If servicing BOS you would go by BBY twice!), reversing at Boston Landing, and reversing at BON.
No, from the descriptions I've seen, the Downeaster would end as it does today at BON, and there would be a cross-platform transfer to a new BON-NYP train that would run via the Grand Junction west to Worcester and Springfield (the Lake Shore route west from Allston), and then turn south to NHV and New York.

I don't believe those Zoom meetings can be replayed although I'm sure there could be an FoA request for them.
Amtrak should pay zero. The Downeasater is a NNEPRA venture.
Last edited by Rockingham Racer on Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by BandA
 
Amtrak state sponsored by NNERPA. ATC is triggered by CSX merger. CSX can apply for a reduced-interest loan. NNERPA should not pay either.
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