• AMTRAK Operations Center

  • 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

  by BoilerBob
Is the Operations Center for AMTRAK move to Wilmington Delaware complete? If it is, how can I arrange to visit to the center?
  by eolesen
If it's like most operations centers for railroads or airlines, I doubt they are open to organized tours for non-employees.

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  by STrRedWolf
Yes. They moved from CETC in Philadelphia down to CNOC in Wilmington, DE back in 2012.

I don't know what the policy is on visiting the Consolidated National Operations Center... but I would imagine they would deny the request on national security grounds or refer you to the TSA.
  by RRspatch
I'm guessing your request to visit the center would be turned down as public tours of dispatching centers are generally not given. Now having said that I was able to visit the center back in May of 2013. At that time I was both a former Amtrak dispatcher (CETC Philadelphia) and an active dispatcher with BNSF. Using my contacts with my former co-workers I was able to get a tour of the center.

Linked below is a copy of the ATDA (American Train Dispatcher Association) magazine showing the CETC section 5 dispatch desk at Wilmington -

https://www.atda.org/wp-content/uploads ... ssue-2.pdf

Looking at this picture the top screens are the "Look ahead" screens showing the railroad between "Prince" and "Baldwin". Just out of picture to the right would be two more "Look ahead" screens showing the railroad between "Zoo" (or what ever it's called on CETC now) and "Holmes". Look Ahead screens show traffic coming towards your territory on railroad controlled by other dispatchers or in some cases other railroads.
The five bottom screens are to railroad that the CETC 5 dispatcher actually controls. That would be "Phil", So. Penn, No. Penn and the part of Zoo that CETC 5 controls. On the desk you see a keyboard, a mouse, two phones, a radio mike and an open timetable. The screen to the left of Gene Barnes is a combined radio base and phone touch screen. Looking at the lack of trains I'm guessing this picture was taken on 3rd trick. Also noting how clean the desk is there's no doubt this is a staged picture. To the right of Gene Barnes would be the CETC 6 dispatcher who runs "Zoo" to "Holmes". To the left would be the CETC 4 dispatcher who runs "Baldwin" to "Ragan". The Power and Load Dispatchers are also in the same building as well as the signal/MW desk.

The Amtrak CNOC (Centralized National Operations Center) is also located in this building. They handle Amtrak trains both on and off the corridor. Lots of desks with people staring at screens and sometimes yelling into phones. I'm still in contact with one of my former Amtrak co-workers who still works there.

Hope this helps.

Remembering my CETC daze ....
  by BoilerBob
Thank you all for the response. Even though I'll probably be turned down, I might try and ask to visit anyway. No harm in trying, you never know unless you ask.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Bob, I would guess especially as CNOC figures in the actual movement of trains, as distinct from being a "situation room", your response would be about the same as when during '14, I wanted to take a "nostalgic" view of my last duty station; Hill AFB UT.

I approached the Main Gate expecting to be issued a Visitor's badge and a "welcome back, Sarge" (I separated Jan '69).

Uh, not quite.

My Driver's License was lifted by an M-16 toting "One Stripe General" who made sure I turned around and only then was my License returned.

This past September, I was out there again, but I got no closer to HAFB than where I-84 runs within a mile of its perimeter.

Finally, I think a request to visit Council Bluffs, Ft. Worth, Jax, and wherever NS dispatches trains from, would be about the same.
  by Ken W2KB
Even if tours were available in the past, Corona Virus impacts would likely have suspended visits, and have similar controls to PJM in place. By way of analogy, the PJM Interconnection regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia has this policy in effect for the entire office facility, not just the control/electric dispatch room, and suggests that individual utility electric control centers adopt the same. "Limit (eliminate) facility tours" Full multipage Corona response policy: https://www.pjm.com/-/media/committees- ... virus.ashx