• Cuomo proposed High Speed System in NY

  • 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 Tadman
 
With all due respect, is the Adirondack really worth it? Montreal-NYP is a really tertiary market compared to plenty of underserved cities like the Southern Tier and Northeast PA.

In other words, if we dropped it tomorrow and replaced it with an Albany run, plus another corridor train to _____, is that money better used?

I think there's a predisposition to the Adirondack because it's a scenic route and has frequently been home to lovable equipment like the D&H PA's, the turbo, and the big dome.

But at the end of the day, is it that important or useful? Compared to other regional or corridor trains?
  by photobug56
 
We have family in Montreal, plus it's a good city for tourism. We have either gone by air or driving from Long Island via the NY Thruway. Going by Amtrak would be nice - except its a horribly slow trip with only low end food if any. A trip that takes so long needs decent dining and shouldn't be setting records for how long it can take. Also, it's not very practical if you live in diesel country on Long Island - if something on the Long Island H-ll Road goes wrong inbound, you miss the train. Or if something goes wrong on your way home, you could be stuck on LIRR with luggage, never something you want.

When we took Acela to DC some months ago, lots more trains, going a lot faster for a shorter distance, not hard to do with LIRR coming and going, eliminating variable border delays?. For Montreal, too much of a chance to take. Plus with a family, going so many hours with hardly anything edible just doesn't make sense.

Now if the could speed it up, and include better choices and better food, the trip would make a lot more sense by train. Preclearance for customs and immigration each way before boarding? Both a real, viable dining car and cafe car? Equipment in good shape and faster train speeds wherever possible?
  by Greg Moore
 
I think a train to Montreal IS worth it, but the US and Canada definitely have go ahead with customs at the station in Montreal.
This should eliminate a good chunk of time currently wasted at the border.

Combine this with a revived Montrealer (which seems to be in the works) spreads the costs around and gives Americans more opportunities to get to Montreal.

As a railfan, I look forward to doing a Montrealer/Adirondack "loop" someday.

As a general passenger, if the Adirondack time were reduced by an hour, I'd be far more likely to ride it.
So let's assume get it down to a 10 hour train (9 would be even better)

Honestly, I'd also love to see an overnight. Leave NY at say 9:00 PM, Arrive in ALB at 11:30 PM and Montreal at 7:00 AM.
And then something similar in the reverse direction (leave Montreal in the evening to head back).

Toss 1-2 sleepers, no diner on it, and I'd definitely consider that as way to do a nice day trip to Montreal.

I don't see this route ever doing 5-6 round trips a day from Albany to Montreal, but I think actually 2 of them, well timed, plus options such as the Montrealer would work and increase ridership.
  by dowlingm
 
The customs for Montreal was announced a looong time ago. I suspect everything is on hold because of the goddamned REM more-or-less takeover of Montreal Central.

Is there anything planned to improve efficiency at Syracuse, like building a second passenger platform track behind the “island” in the space where the Ontrack commuter service was supposed to be extended to?
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
dowlingm wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:20 am I suspect everything is on hold because of the...REM more-or-less takeover of Montreal Central.
Mr. Dowling, likely an off topic thought on our collective parts, but I would think having Gare Centrale becoming a transfer point, i.e. Metro Center Wash, Atlanta Five Points, for a municipal transit system, will only add to its value as a regional transportation asset.

Apparently the existing former CN commuter service will be unaffected.. There's hardly enough VIA intercity service today to justify the existing ststion.

An analogy down here is LAUPT. On A-Day it was down to Tri Weekly Starlight and Sunset, a Daily Chief. and two San Diegans. How long would it have been before Amtrak, stuck with its entire cost (think Section 4.4 that I've noted at the Forum on occasion), and a developer with eyes on that location, would have shaken hands had there not been a strong initiative developing for locally funded commuter and intercity passenger trains AND a rapid transit system?
  by jp1822
 
I am onboard the Adirondack train at least once a quarter, and have been since at least 2003. Typically the Adirondack north from NYP to Plattsburgh or Port Kent and then business/vacation time in Burlington, VT (pickup a rental car out of Plattsburgh, NY). Is it the cheapest transportation mode - all in from NYC to Burlington VT including car rental - absolutely not. But I use the time on the train to get work done as I now can get WiFi for a good portion of the journey (be it through Amtrak or my own personal MiFi hub.....It’s an enjoyable trip. There’s been various recommendations for building even a separate high speed line between Albany and Montreal.

My three wishes for the Adirondack:

1) Better passenger/coach cars or putting a descent Lounge Car on the train to give the best passenger experience in light of the phenomenal scenery! Business class would be nice but I’d probably term it and build the product more as a “Touring” or “Custom Class” - again catering to those who want a more enhanced onboard experience with better equipment - be it for comfort, food service, lounge service, bigger windows, etc.

2) Better Food Service. This train is serving typically breakfast, lunch, and possibly dinner. More variety and better selections would be nice. I’ve suggested that the Adirondack, Vermonter, Pennsylvanian, and Carolinian train sets be outfitted with the Viewliner II Diner / Lounge. Use them to help the State Supported trains that are on the road all day! It could be the single point of food service on the train, but also serve as a nice lounge with its booths/tables and double row of windows for taking in the scenery. Everyone knows that Amtrak has plenty of the Viewliner II Diners sitting around in Hialeah, Florida or deployed as useless axle count cars. Only 11 Viewliner II Diners (aka Sleeper Lounges) are required for regular service The remaining 14 Viewliner II Diners (and the prototype) have no regular assignment. Here’s an opportunity to use 8. Eventually the remaining 6 could be used on the Silver Star and Cardinal. Amtrak can have the prototype as a backup out of NYC since all trains are humbled there - except Vermonter. I am sure more spares will need to be had, but you get the idea.

3) Enhanced onboard experience. People are not taking this train for its quickness. Better understand who the patrons of this train are and see what onboard offering could be had that could generate more revenue - an upsell basically.

I would say though - don’t discount this train for having low ridership, because over the years I’ve seen the ridership grow pretty steadily. There was a time I could go as a single traveller and have the seat next to me empty for he whole trip - or switch from one side to the other for better scenery south and then north of Albany. That’s not the case any more. Even the conductors joke about the ridership being heavy and Amtrak still trying to treat this train at a lower volume ridership level......
  by Pensyfan19
 
Do yo know who can provide all of those options for the same route??? The proposed private overnight service from Montreal to Albany!!! Any word about how that is going? That private company has the potential of checking off all of those points since it wouldn't be at the mercy of the government for funding and could have enough private funding to provide these services.
  by mtuandrew
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:11 pmDo yo know who can provide all of those options for the same route??? The proposed private overnight service from Montreal to Albany!!! Any word about how that is going? That private company has the potential of checking off all of those points since it wouldn't be at the mercy of the government for funding and could have enough private funding to provide these services.
A night train isn’t gonna have very good scenery :P

—————

Moderator Note: and let’s cool it on pie-in-the-sky private proposals, especially if they aren’t actually HSR like the above scheme. Private proposals for higher-speed or high-speed rail (i.e. 90 mph or higher) in New York State are ok in the context of this thread.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Welp, it looks like this proposal is delayed just like in California. :( :( >:(

https://www.timesunion.com/business/art ... 316811.php
ALBANY — It's the first sign of movement since Gov.Andrew Cuomo announced plans last winter to name a blue-ribbon panel to "re-examine and rethink strategies to bring high-speed rail to New York." And rail supporters say it's heading in the wrong direction.

The Federal Railroad Administration last month quietly added another year to the timetable for the arrival of the final environmental impact statement, a document required before the project can advance, pushing it back to the end of June 2021.
  by Alphaboi
 
I'd love Southern Tier rail service to NYC since it'll mean service for Scranton PA too. As for NYC-Montreal; there's a market ant it's a important link, but having ridden the Adirondack several times it's not really conducive as means of getting to Montreal. An overnight route like the Montrealer would make more sense (especially for business travel). I'd even pick a coach seat over the night Greyhound. It's dependent on preclearance though

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  by Roadgeek Adam
 
Alphaboi wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:24 pm I'd love Southern Tier rail service to NYC since it'll mean service for Scranton PA too. As for NYC-Montreal; there's a market ant it's a important link, but having ridden the Adirondack several times it's not really conducive as means of getting to Montreal. An overnight route like the Montrealer would make more sense (especially for business travel). I'd even pick a coach seat over the night Greyhound. It's dependent on preclearance though

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Great. How much you ponying up for the Lackawanna Cut-Off construction that's needed? You can't tell me with a straight face you think it's beneficial to improve the Southern Tier Line to double track for Amtrak when it's still a freight line for NS and NYSW? That line would take even longer than going via Scranton. I'm sure people in Hancock and Susquehanna would love train service on Amtrak, but it's not logical.
  by photobug56
 
Restoration of the Cutoff is, IMHO, badly needed, but passenger service to the Southern Tier, and on to Scranton, would also be good. Scranton has a lot of good workers but a huge shortage of good jobs.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
photobug56 wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:55 pm Restoration of the Cutoff is, IMHO, badly needed, but passenger service to the Southern Tier, and on to Scranton, would also be good. Scranton has a lot of good workers but a huge shortage of good jobs.
But again, you'd have to do it via the Cut-Off or it's going to be one confusing route to NYC that won't make a high profit.
  by cle
 
Getting NYC-Albany to under 2 hours has to be the first step to anything meaningful, either along to Buffalo or up to Montreal. I'd also like to include improvements to Springfield and Boston, making Albany a real nucleus of 'higher' speed rail.

But NYC-Albany will always be the money-maker. Secondary I'd say would be making cities like Rochester and Syracuse and even Buffalo to NYC way more competitive vs flying or car.

Montreal is a nice to have, but I can't see it sub 6-7 hours - which is low-frequency, leisure territory.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Working on high speed improvements for the Water Level route should be priority. Wherever more stretches of more track can be added should be done. Between Schenectady and Amsterdam, the stretch of single track should be increased to double track.

It would be nice to have two hour running time from NYP-ALB but unfortunately, that will probably not happen for a number of reasons and much of them have to do with Metro North. There are stretches of the Hudson Line that hinder speed increases including going through Peekskill-very sharp curve there, the sharp curve and tunnel underneath the Bear Mountain Bridge. The Hudson Line is mostly a two track railroad starting just to the south of Peekskill Station and adding a third track between Peekskill and Poughkeepsie would be beneficial. However, I don't think it can be done because the right of way either has water on both sides of the tracks, there is water on one side but rock formations on the other side of the right of way. Even the north end of the Hudson Line is very busy with Metro North trains during pre-COVID 19 times. I remember many years ago, in the 90s and I think early 2000s ,that Amtrak ran a nonstop each way from ALB-NYP and back Mondays through Fridays .

Maybe, Amtrak could look into finding ways for potential speed increases on the Westside Connection. I believe that at the base of the Westside Line, it's single track. Wherever it's still single track, maybe double track could be looked into.
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