• Fredrick Douglass Tunnel (Replacement of the Baltimore and Potomac B&P Tunnel)

  • 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 STrRedWolf
 
realtype wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 10:29 am To add, I doubt that all 6 HHP-8s have been in service at once for many years, but Amtrak does lend MARC electrics from time to time.

As far as I remember nearly all mid-day Penn Line service would be run with Brunswick/Camden Line sets. It was rare to see an electric on the Penn Line outside of rush hour or late evening. If they continue with the same service pattern I think they would have to get dual-mode locomotives to put on some Brunswick/Camden sets plus pure electrics for the exclusive Penn Line sets, or just all dual-mode.
I'd be leaning more dual-mode myself. CSX isn't likely to electrify and to be really cheap long-term, they'd have to run them with dual-mode diesel-electric.
  by scratchyX1
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:35 pm
realtype wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 10:29 am To add, I doubt that all 6 HHP-8s have been in service at once for many years, but Amtrak does lend MARC electrics from time to time.

As far as I remember nearly all mid-day Penn Line service would be run with Brunswick/Camden Line sets. It was rare to see an electric on the Penn Line outside of rush hour or late evening. If they continue with the same service pattern I think they would have to get dual-mode locomotives to put on some Brunswick/Camden sets plus pure electrics for the exclusive Penn Line sets, or just all dual-mode.
I'd be leaning more dual-mode myself. CSX isn't likely to electrify and to be really cheap long-term, they'd have to run them with dual-mode diesel-electric.
I'd be leaning EMU/BMU, with automated doors and traps for low platforms. MARC long term needs to go more regional rail, where possible. I've a feeling that they are going to be quietly working to restore the Claremont branch, and running wire to Curtis Bay. I suspect that CSX will make the state run a 2nd track, just for electrics, on the original main line past the Montgomery wards building. Otoh, I'm wondering if once that's restored, why NS 4 trains a week couldn't get CSX trackage rights though Howard street, and leave the B&P tunnels behind.
  by west point
 
The Penn line needs electric for MARC. Essentially it is just 2 main tracks . MARC needs fast acceleration between stations. for its locals . And remember MARC is the fastest commuter agency in the country for the Penn line. It would need 2 or 3 SC-44s on each train to make the 125 speed to stay out of Amtrak's way. The diesel trains often have to wait at WASH or BAL to allow an Amtrak to run ahead of MARC.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Yes, MARC should definitely be using electrics for all of their Penn Line rail operations. If they run under the wires the entire time, then it’s a no brainer that electric locomotives are beneficial. MARC should look into getting electrics that can accelerate well, maybe a little better than the Charger. The chargers already have great acceleration. I agree that looking at a dual mode locomotive is an idea!

I think I saw that the original B&P tunnels will be staying, in addition to the new proposed two track tunnels. That would be important especially if MARC continued to stick with straight diesel or if Amtrak ever needs to run their own trains running on straight diesel power. The current tunnels should get upgraded too.
  by STrRedWolf
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:52 am Yes, MARC should definitely be using electrics for all of their Penn Line rail operations. If they run under the wires the entire time, then it’s a no brainer that electric locomotives are beneficial. MARC should look into getting electrics that can accelerate well, maybe a little better than the Charger. The chargers already have great acceleration. I agree that looking at a dual mode locomotive is an idea!

I think I saw that the original B&P tunnels will be staying, in addition to the new proposed two track tunnels. That would be important especially if MARC continued to stick with straight diesel or if Amtrak ever needs to run their own trains running on straight diesel power. The current tunnels should get upgraded too.
I can agree that MARC should be on the catenary while on the Penn Line. The issue is that they need the equipment to do so, and still be flexible for their other lines, in the long term. I don't see Maryland's Board of Public Works be able to approve such a massive purchase for ten entire train sets (engine+coaches) when they're going to be mostly idle. I can see them approving a dual-mode set of engines.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Dual mode engines for MARC may be the answer. Let's say if lines like the Brunswick Line ever run all day service, you could have a MARC train with a dual mode locomotive begin an early morning run from Wilmington or Newark, Delaware and head to DC. Maybe an hour after that MARC train arrives into DC, if there is a MARC scheduled to depart DC for Brunswick an hour after that same set arrives into DC from Delaware, well that set can cover the run to Brunswick.
  by west point
 
Until there are 4 main tracks from WASH - to any future end of MARC service point MARC will need high acceleration locos. IMHO MARC cannot get that HP from any present dual loco in service or being built. The ACS-64s have an important short time rating that even 2 SC-44s cannot meet as well. Those short times mean getting out of the way of Amtrak. It may be Amtrak will want or need to increase service in MARC territory. Who will suffer ? MARC of course. Since MARC does not seem to be able to purchase enough coaches at this time it will probably need to change locos at WASH to rotate train sets.

Note Penn line traffic is increasing so much that MARC may finally have to buy enough coaches for some rush hour Penn train sets. They will not be practical on the other 2 routes, Someone on this forum who know the platform capacities at stations for MARC ?. Maybe some platform stops will not allow all cars to be used ?
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Four tracks are a must on as much of the south end of the NEC as possible. At least, wherever there are two tracks below Wilmington, make three but four is even better. The electric or hybrid electric/diesel locomotives will have to be more of a permanent thing and should be ordered in the short term. Those MP36 units load slowly with long train of bilevel cars. Amtrak plans to increase service for their own trains and that's very important in terms of adding more tracks below Wilmington as well as the Frederick Douglass Tunnel. Amtrak wants to run more Acela trains on the shoulder of the days I think. With Amtrak planning to run hourly Regional trains to Richmond, we have to wonder if those will actually be extensions of Northeast Regional trains on the existing and pre pandemic schedules. Amtrak is definately going to be running four additional Carolinians.
  by STrRedWolf
 
west point wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:02 am Note Penn line traffic is increasing so much that MARC may finally have to buy enough coaches for some rush hour Penn train sets. They will not be practical on the other 2 routes, Someone on this forum who know the platform capacities at stations for MARC ?. Maybe some platform stops will not allow all cars to be used ?
The MARC IV cars work on the other lines. They're not exclusively high-block -- they have traps that can be lifted. It's just that most of the other lines are not high-block, and a few are ether pocket platformed or terminals. You can blame CSX for that.

The only other limiting factor is how long the platforms are. West Baltimore on the Penn Line can barely open two doors on one car, but that's expected to be rebuilt anyway and it's 4 track wide. On the Camden Line, I remember College Park, Laurel Race Track, and maybe St. Denis being 1 door only operation. Dunno about Brunswick, but I won't be surprised if the deal is the same and they're using a short train set in even normal times.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Current platform at W. Baltimore isn't long at all. That's a station that really should get high level platforms that can accommodate many cars. It's so close to where the Frederick Douglass Tunnels will begin. College Park and St. Denis stations on the Camden Line don't have very long platforms.
  by TheOneKEA
 
I’ve always felt that the MTA really needed to try harder to run more electric hauled services on the Penn Line and this discussion only confirms my thoughts. It feels like a missed opportunity for the MTA to not throw in some funds to the ACS-64 order to allow for some additional locos to run their services.

I have several questions about the tunnel replacement that I’d like to add to the discussion:

- Will the existing four tracks from WINANS to FULTON be reworked into a paired-by-direction layout, with MARC on the outside and Amtrak on the inside?
- How could FULTON be redesigned to provide for a proper 4-into-2 junction to the new tunnels and for later expansion when the other two are built?
- If the existing B&P tunnels are retained, will they be singled during refurbishment to allow for taller freight?
- Will Amtrak make the necessary provision for any expansion of the 138kV transmission lines during/after the new tunnels are built?
- Who will pay for Martins Yard to be electrified, so that MARC can start/end their electric services there instead of at Penn?
  by John_Perkowski
 
Admin note.

Closed for housekeeping. This is the Amtrak forum. Please comment about MARC aspects in the MARC forum.
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