• 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 BandA
 
Ah markhb, Inland Regional to BON! Since pre-covid BOS is "full", routing to BON is a creative way of dealing with these capacity problems. By hitting Kendall and BON it would provide good connectivity to Boston/Cambridge and Red, Orange and Green MBTA subways.

Through-running requires changing locomotives at NHV, or using special diesel-electric locomotive, or both a diesel and an electric.

Excellent excuse to upgrade Grand Junction. Cantabrigian NIMBYs who turn up their nose at riding to Framingham or Worcester or Springfield will be dazzled by the idea of a one-seat ride to NYP and easy-access to Maine and drop their opposition. Will also benefit Commuter Rail. Grand Junction never had passenger service, so it doesn't connect well to BON at present.

Framingham Station (or BOS) is a nightmare to get to by car at rush hour. An additional station such as Boston Landing or one of the Newton stations is needed if peak time service is offered. Boston Landing can only access Grand Junction on track 1, so might need a new crossover. Newton stations need full rebuild for ADA.
  by electricron
 
Why are we discussing "Inland Regional" trains on a thread supposedly dedicated for "Downeaster" trains? Do you really believe the State of Maine is going to subsidize trains to western Massachusetts? Create a new thread for the "Inland Regional" trains please!
  by Jeff Smith
 
Seems to me it may be a good time to put the "squeeze" on CSX for passenger train concessions to hasten their merger with Pan Am. More frequencies, new routes, etc.
  by markhb
 
electricron wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:53 am Why are we discussing "Inland Regional" trains on a thread supposedly dedicated for "Downeaster" trains? Do you really believe the State of Maine is going to subsidize trains to western Massachusetts? Create a new thread for the "Inland Regional" trains please!
Because "Inland Regional via BON and the GJ" as a cross-platform transfer for DE passengers was brought up at the TrainRiders/Northeast annual meeting (that's the advocacy group that brought the original passenger train referendum to Maine and continues to drive some of the discussion around it).

Not to say that we shouldn't move to the existing Inland thread, but that's how the discussion came about.
  by markhb
 
The Amtrak service proposal map for Joe Biden's infrastructure bill includes the Downeaster extension to Rockland.
  by MEC407
 
It also shows enhanced/improved service from BON to BRK.
  by BM6569
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:52 am Seems to me it may be a good time to put the "squeeze" on CSX for passenger train concessions to hasten their merger with Pan Am. More frequencies, new routes, etc.
CSX is installing PTC to Brunswick, which will allow more Downeaster roundtrips. That's a good savings for NNEPRA!
  by Cosakita18
 
I NNEPRA's long term goal is 7x roundtrips from BON to BRK. Wondering if this proposal might expedite the implementation of those new frequencies. I believe they are able to do 7x daily with the 3 trainsets they have.
  by markhb
 
That's a big "If", since they're not only constrained by track slots but by platform availability at BON. I wonder if the short-turn BRK-WEM-BRK morning run (designed to serve as a northbound commuter trip to Portland) will still be on the table.
  by gokeefe
 
Let's just say that I know that plan "well" and unless something has radically changed it did not go via Springfield. In Worcester the route branches off avoiding CSX and uses P&W via Norwich. Grand Junction would indeed need upgrades. There was also an additional aspect that called for consideration of diverting the Lake Shore Limited to BON.

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  by west point
 
Diversion of LSL to BON would cause equipment utilization problems. that is especially with the Night Owl sleeper restoration.
  by markhb
 
gokeefe wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:04 pm Let's just say that I know that plan "well" and unless something has radically changed it did not go via Springfield. In Worcester the route branches off avoiding CSX and uses P&W via Norwich. Grand Junction would indeed need upgrades. There was also an additional aspect that called for consideration of diverting the Lake Shore Limited to BON.

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I had seen talk of the Norwich route in here but didn't know it was actively discussed "elsewhere". I would think a big question there would be if Connecticut is prepared to pony up some cash for upgrades.
  by gokeefe
 
The sentiment was that P&W was actually in pretty good shape. Even most of the crossings look ok. Hardware and signals were the real question. Connecticut appeared likely to be supportive give their generally favorable view of rail and the need for improved opportunity in that part for the state.

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  by Trinnau
 
PTC might kill that option. Since the Port Defiance and Cayce incidents Amtrak has been far less interested in running without PTC even though it may be allowed by regulation, that really came out of their safety review and was, from what I heard, a big part of the reason why Rockland service was initially delayed. Prior to CSX's agreement to buy Pan Am they were already talking about PTC on the rest of the Downeaster route.
  by west point
 
Our concern is that when installing the PTC that another Cayce accident does not happen.
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