• Moving to one terminal per big city - wise?

  • 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 David Benton
 
Could be . To make it worthwhile , move the Michigan and Eastern Trains onto the Scal as well , with a connection to the NS line at Grand Crossing. Look like there is room .
  by justalurker66
 
eolesen wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:54 pmAgain, might be easier to build a flyover from the SCAL into CUS than all the work GC involves.
tadman's decentralization has a better chance than connecting SCAL to CUS. :)

The biggest problem would be clearing the land below and laying out a curve that the trains can handle. Straddlebents over the BNSF yard and lost tracks. Once the track has made the curve it needs to get to yard level to pass under 14th St. Not impossible, but expensive. (I like the concept - I just don't see the return on investment.)

Grand Crossing uses an existing railroad path. The connectors at each end are new but there isn't anything critical in the way.
  by justalurker66
 
David Benton wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:17 amdo you mean under Roosevelt Road ? Or is that also 14th street?
Yes.

BTW: The Grand Crossing roller coaster has a tight turn under the skyway that is comparable to the tight turn that would be needed to connect SCAL directly to CUS. The NKP track came up on the north side while the proposed connection comes up on the south side of NS.

There is room for a NE quadrant connector at Grand Crossing if one wanted to reroute the limiteds and Michigan trains that way ... but staying on the NS line remains a decent approach, especially if they can build a passenger only track on the south side of the NS alignment running past the NS yards. One less railroad with which to coordinate.

A new passenger main on the north side of NS from Indiana to Grand Crossing, north along CN and across SCAL then on a new connection to CUS would be interesting. But in a country that considers "high speed rail" to be 90-115 MPH I don't see such a major investment being made. Only "baby steps" such as Grand Crossing (and then after the larger and more useful freight projects are completed).
  by Jeff Smith
 
You know I started to research frequencies the other day for CUS. Amtrak, METRA, etc. I used Wiki to get a general idea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_U ... ion#Amtrak

I think I came up with something like 13 lines (both LD and corridor) with daily frequency, 1 with thrice weekly (Cardinal), Hiawatha (7), Lincoln (4), Wolverine (3), for a total of 28 max (allowing for the Cardinal and weekend Hiawatha, 26).

Then there are six I believe METRA lines into CUS. I didn't attempt to figure out those frequencies.

These are your CHI stations:

-CUS: Amtrak's "flagship" Midwest station, they own it, 4th busiest in country after NYP, GCT, and Jamaica (Brooklyn),
30 island platforms/24 tracks (14 South/10 North)
-Millennium (Randolph): South Shore, Electric District, 4th busiest in Chicago, 6 island platforms/13 tracks
-Ogilvie (C&NW): 3 lines (UP North, UP NW, UP West), 8 island/16 tracks
-LaSalle St: 1 line, Rock Island, 2 side 3 island platforms/8 tracks
-Central: demolished 1974, commuter service until 2009, reroute to St. Charles Airline, yards being redeveloped
-Dearborn: abandoned 1976, only head house remains

It amazes me that they still have 4 active terminals, but perhaps I shouldn't be amazed. The NY Metro area has NYP, GCT, Atlantic, Hunterspoint, and Hoboken (9th busiest station in the US, 6th in NY area), and once had another 4 west of the Hudson.

So, what's my point? To make a short story long, it's that I just don't see a need for Amtrak to have more than one station in Chicago with a possible exception in some cases. It's their hub. Rock Island was used as an example; for intercity, it seems like that's served by CUS, with a potential Metra extension.

I do understand Tad's point about problematic legacy connections; it just seems to me that it's more of a corridor/commuter issue, and in Chicago and New York you still have multiple terminals. I think for additional services Amtrak might add? Sure. Do some of the Amtrak services have frustrating routing? Absolutely, yes. So which of those LD's or corridor trains should be moved? I'd hesitate to move LD's as CUS is the transfer point from East to West, or South. But corridor trains? They don't seem likely candidates to require transfers, and those few that might could be accommodated by other methods.

So after all the back and forth, that's my summation LOL!

So which corridor trains should be relo'd into Metra terminals?

I'd add I'm not opposed to Amtrak going back to GCT, and adding Hoboken (I'm living here in Allentown, where they're closing all the factories down, and it's getting very hard to stay.......). Why should I be stuck with one station in Manhattan?
  by Jeff Smith
 
During lunch, I thought about the Cardinal and the not so dearly departed Hoosier State. IIRC, it's routing was the subject of discussion, particularly inbound from Indy. "Legacy Lines and Connections" as noted above, and the fact that much of the routing no longer exists post-PC/Conrail. Yes, it's an LD, but maybe that should go into Millennium along with the South Shore?
  by mtuandrew
 
Route the Cardinal to St. Louis (a more “natural” terminal perhaps) and you won’t need to worry about Chicago access :P

If Indiana wants to fund a train between Indy and Chi-town, they can do whatever they want. Millennium would be fine for a non-Amtrak operator - but any Amtrak-operated train will end up at Union Station whether or not it’s branded for Amtrak.
  by Arborwayfan
 
But corridor trains? They don't seem likely candidates to require transfers,
Why not? Lots of trips are best accomplished by transferring from an LD to a corridor train or vice versa or from a corridor to a corridor. Anywhere downstate Illinois to Milwaukee or to Michigan? Omaha to Champaign?
  by Jeff Smith
 
It just seems to me that a corridor train is to get from point A to point B, not for an excursion. Could there be? Sure. I said that. They can be accommodated. I just think the vast majority of "corridor" travelers don't transfer. That's all.
  by justalurker66
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:57 amSo which corridor trains should be relo'd into Metra terminals?
None. Thanks for asking. Amtrak has a terminal, they should use it. Especially when LD trains serving the same stations as the regionals would remain at CUS. Why would a trip from Carbodale to Chicago end up at a different station just because one hopped on the City of New Orleans instead of a regional?
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:28 pmI thought about the Cardinal and the not so dearly departed Hoosier State. . . . Yes, it's an LD, but maybe that should go into Millennium along with the South Shore?
It certainly is small enough to use a commuter rail station ... with room to spare ... but there are two issues. 1) The train would need to be moved over to CUS for the required inspections and mechanical service. 2) The train is used as a hospital train to ferry cars between Chicago and Beach Grove (Indianapolis). The bottom line is that the train set is going to CUS - it might as well take the passengers there too.

If Grand Crossing is built I could see shifting the Cardinal over and run it CSX to CN-IC to NS to CUS (instead of CSX to UP to what will be NS to CUS). The rebuild of 75th St corridor removes a couple of railroads from the list everyone likes to point to as the worst in Chicago.
  by justalurker66
 
mtuandrew wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:53 pmIf Indiana wants to fund a train between Indy and Chi-town, they can do whatever they want. Millennium would be fine for a non-Amtrak operator - but any Amtrak-operated train will end up at Union Station whether or not it’s branded for Amtrak.
I agree. A state operated (non-Amtrak) train could terminate at Millennium Station. The operator would still need to deal with the daily mechanical inspections and servicing. But they might be able to work out a plan to do that in Indy.
  by mtuandrew
 
We might all be wrong about the premise of this argument. Ross Capon (former head of NARP/RPA) has done some research in regards to the COVID cuts but which also applies to whether Amtrak should break further connections.

The report is here: https://www.railpassengers.org/happenin ... ite-paper/

As for the image, I’m not sure when these numbers were tallied, but RPA gives these as example percentages of transfers to long-distance trains. Looks like between 4% and 14% transfer from state-supported service - it especially impacts western LDs to break the eastern connections.
Image
  by justalurker66
 
mtuandrew wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:58 pmAs for the image, I’m not sure when these numbers were tallied, but RPA gives these as example percentages of transfers to long-distance trains. Looks like between 4% and 14% transfer from state-supported service - it especially impacts western LDs to break the eastern connections.
That is a reasonable number of connections from state services. It would be a shame to spend money to decentralize and make those connections more difficult.
  by David Benton
 
I guess the question is , do they need to go right into Chicago to connect?. Already , there are Thruway bus connections in the outer suburbs, (if you could call Galesburg that ), from L.d to L.d . I guess Amtrak see the hour or 2 connections at CUS as too tight.(under 2 hours not guaranteed? ) . Us railfans probably wouldnt want to give up the ride into CUS, but your average traveller might like an extra couple of hours to grab a unhurried meal , shower or exercise break . Preferably all 3.
The negative would be bus instead of train.
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