• Amtrak Michigan: Wolverine, Blue Water, Pere Marquette

  • 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 mtuandrew
 
ExCon90 wrote:Has the line from Detroit to Port Huron ever been more than single-track dark railroad with Timetable & Train Order operation? In the 1940's there was one passenger train a day in each direction--a doodlebug--and afaik not a lot of freight. It might need a lot of track work and certainly a lot of signal work.
It looks like the line is mostly track warrant/radio dispatch with limited double-tracking. That's, what, 59mph max?
  by Woody
 
bdawe wrote:... how much more time will Kalamazoo- Detroit improvements squeeze out of the Wolverines?
The currently funded phase aims to take roughly 50 minutes, iirc. That counts eliminating a wye or something near Detroit, which is a sort of separate project.

Then the next phase, including South of the Lake, would aim to take out another 50 minutes. In that phase, a handful more smallish projects Kalamazoo-Detroit/Pontiac could happen -- double tracking, some rerouting thru or around a yard in Battle Creek, one more forget. The section Detroit-Pontiac could drop from an hour to only 40 minutes.

By the end of that storied second phase with a Billion or two for South of the Lake, well, don't ask me, I'll be dead and gone. LOL.
  by jsmyers
 
I hope that the state of Michigan looks seriously at running an extra "half frequency" when the work Kalamazoo to Detroit is complete. With the current schedule, it is tough to travel eastbound in the morning and west bound in the evening within Michigan. The equipment utilization and service could be improved by having one trainset spend the night in Kalamazoo instead of two in Pontiac.

It can be an EB trip departing Kalamazoo at ~6:30 or 7 am. Now the first EB train is at 10:52 am.

In the other direction in the evening a train arriving in Kalamazoo at 11 pm or later would be great. The current last trip arrives at 9:23 pm, and that gets to Chicago really late. I think this would work with the current running time, but with the improvements it should be easier. If the time is tight, you could turn in Detroit instead of Pontiac.

Additional frequency to Chicago would be great, but given the current constants, I don't think it is possible.

One question: What does it require to combine/separate Amtrak trains, without shuffling cars or locomotives? In other words, coupling the trailing cab/loco to the lead of the second train. One way to get an extra frequency to Chicago would be to combine the Blue Water with a Wolverine in Battle Creek or Kalamazoo (and separate in the EB direction).
  by Station Aficionado
 
jsmyers wrote:One question: What does it require to combine/separate Amtrak trains, without shuffling cars or locomotives? In other words, coupling the trailing cab/loco to the lead of the second train. One way to get an extra frequency to Chicago would be to combine the Blue Water with a Wolverine in Battle Creek or Kalamazoo (and separate in the EB direction).
Sounds like the VIA J-train--a great concept for avoiding enroute switching on a train with multiple endpoints.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Regarding Mr. Aficionado's immediate, that's done overseas "all the time".

I actually took a photo in Salzburg last August of an Austrian RailJet from Munich being coupled to another from Innsbruck, both of which as one 14 car train, with a locomotive in the middle and at the end, leave for Vienna.
  by Tadman
 
Station Aficionado wrote:
jsmyers wrote:One question: What does it require to combine/separate Amtrak trains, without shuffling cars or locomotives? In other words, coupling the trailing cab/loco to the lead of the second train. One way to get an extra frequency to Chicago would be to combine the Blue Water with a Wolverine in Battle Creek or Kalamazoo (and separate in the EB direction).
Sounds like the VIA J-train--a great concept for avoiding enroute switching on a train with multiple endpoints.
I might be way wrong, but I think the FRA frowns on the J-train concept.
  by twropr
 
On Mon. Dec. 21, the WOLVERINES began using the new West Detroit Connector, some trains making the Detroit-Dearborn run in 17 min. Am told that the new track has a 40 MPH speed limit, which compares favorably with 15 MPH for the connection between Bay City Jct. and Vinewood. The new track is signaled, so there should be no more stopping to line switches.
Does anyone know where CP Federal is and what function it serves?
Andy
  by Tadman
 
Good to hear. I did a few Detroit runs this year and that's an awful slow connectione when done the old way. I recall thinking "didn't we just cross over these tracks and why is it taking so long???". Come to find out I wasn't the first guy with said bright idea. Good to hear it's up.
  by BlendedBreak
 
Tadman wrote:
Station Aficionado wrote:
jsmyers wrote:One question: What does it require to combine/separate Amtrak trains, without shuffling cars or locomotives? In other words, coupling the trailing cab/loco to the lead of the second train. One way to get an extra frequency to Chicago would be to combine the Blue Water with a Wolverine in Battle Creek or Kalamazoo (and separate in the EB direction).
Sounds like the VIA J-train--a great concept for avoiding enroute switching on a train with multiple endpoints.
I might be way wrong, but I think the FRA frowns on the J-train concept.

All that is required is a conductor and a brake test.Longer platforms help too.


Its been done on the corridor when track work south of DC does not allow for normal capacity of scheduled passenger trains. Double stops all the way to DC and beyond.
  by Woody
 
twropr wrote:On Mon. Dec. 21, the WOLVERINES began using the new West Detroit Connector, some trains making the Detroit-Dearborn run in 17 min. Am told that the new track has a 40 MPH speed limit... The new track is signaled, so there should be no more stopping to line switches.
Psychologically, riders hate to back up, LOL, it feels worse than going slow. So with the wye maneuver eliminated, passengers will have a much less stressful ride.

A while back a MI DOT official said this project alone would save 10 minutes from the timetable. Now if trains are doing DET-Dearborn in 17 min, the savings might even be a minute or two better. That's still no big thing on a 5+ hr DET-CHI Wolverines run, but it's sure a Big Deal for the Ann Arbor-DET segment previously 1 hr, or even for Pontiac-Ann Arbor that's 2 hrs in the current timetable.

These short segment city pairs to and thru DET could see nice increases in ridership in 2016. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the upgrades kick in next year and the next.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Lots of improvements in Michigan, but East Lansing is still waiting... Lansing State Journal
For now, Capital Area Transportation Authority bus customers are using the new $6.3 million facility called Capital Area Multimodal Gateway to catch their buses. Amtrak customers are still using the old station.

CATA manages the transportation hub and moved intercity bus service into the new facility last November. A CATA spokeswoman said Amtrak signed a lease for the new space about two weeks ago. But CATA "can't do a thing" about demolishing the old station until Amtrak moves into its new quarters, she said.

The parking lot still hasn't been paved. That won't happen until the old station is demolished and all the paving can be done at once, CATA said.

"We are eager to have the relocation take place in order to better accommodate Amtrak customers -- as we have our intercity bus customers -- and complete all phases of this project," said the spokeswoman, Laurie Robison. "The timing decision rests solely with Amtrak."

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said it could be another few weeks before the commuter rail service can transfer its phones, computers and other data capabilities to the new building. That work involves several companies, he said.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Here is an interesting video recorded this past April, that certainly depicts why Amtrak "avoids like the plague" intermediate adding/cutting cars to/from a consist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1m19SZOCWU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Safe to say that little visit to Ann Arbor cost Charter Wire, owner of those two Milwaukee based PV's, "heap big wampum". Seems like the "cast of thousands" hasn't changed since my days in the industry.

Naturally, if Yäger gets his claws ahold of NS, there would be an RCU and one Conductor (I think that is the craft that operates those things) to handle that whole production.
  by Tadman
 
INteresting video, but do we really need five pickup trucks and umpteen men standing around to make a joint? I know there's HEP cables here, but if the conductor can't do that, isn't one electrician required? Are that many men required to make a joint in the yard or at Spokane or Albany?

I count something like three guys here at Albany's engine change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azlxuNWlhm4" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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