• 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

  • 291 posts
  • 1
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  by STrRedWolf
 
Basing this off of the 2018 national timetable(which I was able to find online), there's 13 round trip trains including LD trains (Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited). The timing... is spread out like a commuter rail system. It's about a 2h30m trip between NYG and Albany.

Which begs the question of why is Amtrak running to Albany when the timing says Metro-North.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:13 am Now, how about NYG? Or Hoboken? Now, admittedly Hoboken is a huge hurdle and would only be
for future service that won't happen anytime soon, and probably not Amtrak anyway.
Years away from the Cutoff back in service. Ask in 2005, they might say 2015, then 2025 in 2015.

The main handicap at HOB is that the Waterfront Connection being single track. It was designed and planned as double track, but were there budget cuts that reduced construction to only a single track? Even before Waterfront, there was a connection (now gone) used by the Bergen Shore Express of the late 80s cutting over PATH and onto the NEC.
  by mtuandrew
 
Safetee wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:30 am from a historical point of view, thew primary focus of passenger service from upstate hudson folks to nyc was always to grand central until amtrak got its brain storm to consolidate in penn . the only gain by going to penn is for people from say albany , new york who can connect to their favorite train to tampa, florida. of course the rmarket for empire service for 99.9999 percent of the folks who regularly use that service is to get to and from manhattan where they work or have business connections or are just visiting the city.

the route to gct also includes 125th street station which gives a significant adavantage to people coming and going from uptown locations.

from a transportation connection point of view gct is hard to beat with its lexington ave transit station as well as the east side west side shuttle.

last but not least from an aesthetic point of view penn is one of the ugliest stations on the planet. gct is one of the most handsome.

put it all together, the penn station end game for the empire service complicates things at an already over complicated situation. i think if everybody thought about it a bit, gct should be the nyc terminal for upstate new yorkers just like the commodore envisioned it back in 1869.
Amtrak could build a station around 125th or 145th too. Did the original express NYNH&H and express NYC trains stop at 125th though, or was that only the locals? And if so, would Amtrak stop there? And if not, what’s the gain to upper Manhattan & Bronx Amtrak passengers when they would have to transfer to Metro-North at Yonkers or New Rochelle anyway?

I roundly hate Penn Station too, but the concept is sound.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
mtuandrew wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:57 pm Did the original express NYNH&H and express NYC trains stop at 125th though, or was that only the locals?
Mr. Stephens, "back in my day", all the Stamford Locals and (locomotive hauled) New Haven Local-Expresses "made" 125th. Most Springfield Lines, save (off the top of my head) The Bankers (WW) and its (EW) counterpart Connecticut Yankee did likewise.

The "premier" Shore Line trains "skipped"; the "secondaries" made 125th.
  by mtuandrew
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:00 pmMr. Stephens, "back in my day", all the Stamford Locals and (locomotive hauled) New Haven Local-Expresses "made" 125th. Most Springfield Lines, save (off the top of my head) The Bankers (WW) and its (EW) counterpart Connecticut Yankee did likewise.

The "premier" Shore Line trains "skipped"; the "secondaries" made 125th.
That helps. Would you consider Amtrak Regionals equivalent to a Local-Express or to a “premier” train? The Acela is unquestionably the premier service on the Shore Line, and the Lake Shore Limited is about the best equivalent to one on the Hudson.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Nelligan may have different thoughts (and maybe Mr. Weaver from "topside"), but I would consider the Regionals as the NH "secondaries". Those trains, with names such as "Murray Hill", "Puritan", and "Gilt Edge". all had a (stainless sheathed) Parlor Car, Grill Car, and "American Flyer" (LW; not sheathed) Coaches. They made ten or so "intermediates" and were timed at about 4'30" for the 229.1 miles.

Finally, 125th was low level platforms, and was always an NH conditional stop. You could ride GCT-125th , but on the Central.
  by mtuandrew
 
That seems to make sense, Mr. Norman. Comparison-wise, a modern Regional is carded for about 4h10m (give or take 5) between NYP and BOS; Amtrak has to deal with Metro-North time & the longer route to NYP (rather than NYG), but has a good amount of 125 mph running and no engine change. I wouldn’t expect too many of the “secondary” (Regional) NYNH&H trains would have stopped at 125th St., and if so they probably would have been letting off passengers only. No equivalent stop on the Hell Gate route, as far as I know.

For the original premise of this thread, I think it’s a minor miracle that Amtrak was able to move all of its trains to Penn Station. It’s not a good station for passengers, we can all agree it’s objectively in dire need of a makeover, but the fact that there’s able to be a central hub in Manhattan is pretty incredible. It just would have been nice if it were located in either the heart of Midtown at Grand Central, or down near the Battery and Wall Street. (Penn Station is sort of the equivalent of Midway Station in St. Paul, though you couldn’t say that NYP is off the beaten path or not in a densely-settled area.)
  by STrRedWolf
 
mtuandrew wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:53 pm For the original premise of this thread, I think it’s a minor miracle that Amtrak was able to move all of its trains to Penn Station. It’s not a good station for passengers, we can all agree it’s objectively in dire need of a makeover, but the fact that there’s able to be a central hub in Manhattan is pretty incredible. It just would have been nice if it were located in either the heart of Midtown at Grand Central, or down near the Battery and Wall Street. (Penn Station is sort of the equivalent of Midway Station in St. Paul, though you couldn’t say that NYP is off the beaten path or not in a densely-settled area.)
That's the thing. Local transit can overcome a multitude of sins. It may take 15 minutes to go from GCT to NYP via two subway train lines and a transfer, but you can do it... or transfer at Yonkers or New Rochelle. It's two subway lines and a transfer for Boston North Bay to Boston South Bay. Midway St. Paul didn't have decent transit nearby, while Union Depot there has it's light rail right outside the door.

Chicago? You're walking. Yes, consolidating at CUS was a good idea. Splitting it up to existing stations with no connecting transit? Are you nuts?
  by mtuandrew
 
It’s funny, but if they’d put in the proposed stop at Cleveland/Transfer and University, it would have been less than 100’ further from Green Line LRT to the Empire Builder platform at Midway as it currently is at St. Paul Union Depot. (It would have been a very cold and uncomfortable walk with no amenities though.)

And yup, being on two major lines and just a short walk from more connections at Herald Square helps NYP a ton.
  by Jeff Smith
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:22 pm
mtuandrew wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:53 pm For the original premise of this thread, I think it’s a minor miracle that Amtrak was able to move all of its trains to Penn Station. It’s not a good station for passengers, we can all agree it’s objectively in dire need of a makeover, but the fact that there’s able to be a central hub in Manhattan is pretty incredible. It just would have been nice if it were located in either the heart of Midtown at Grand Central, or down near the Battery and Wall Street. (Penn Station is sort of the equivalent of Midway Station in St. Paul, though you couldn’t say that NYP is off the beaten path or not in a densely-settled area.)
That's the thing. Local transit can overcome a multitude of sins. It may take 15 minutes to go from GCT to NYP via two subway train lines and a transfer, but you can do it... or transfer at Yonkers or New Rochelle. It's two subway lines and a transfer for Boston North Bay to Boston South Bay. Midway St. Paul didn't have decent transit nearby, while Union Depot there has it's light rail right outside the door.

Chicago? You're walking. Yes, consolidating at CUS was a good idea. Splitting it up to existing stations with no connecting transit? Are you nuts?
I still like the idea of a couple trains to GCT, whether off the NEC (BOS-NYG only, no DC), or Empire Service. I think GCT is a destination in and of itself. So now, what services do you need? Commissary? Not for Empire; they don't have cafe cars. If they did, put a commissary back in Albany. Agents? Nah. Machines. Baggage? Nope. Leave the LD's at NYP. A crew base? Yes. You'd need mechanical for sure. And then there are overhead fees and station usage fees.

Ah, never mind. I'm still holding out hope for Virg....., <cough>, Brightline to pitch a proposal. Imagine how nice they could make a NYG-ALB and points farther service!
  by STrRedWolf
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:56 pm I still like the idea of a couple trains to GCT, whether off the NEC (BOS-NYG only, no DC), or Empire Service. I think GCT is a destination in and of itself. So now, what services do you need? Commissary? Not for Empire; they don't have cafe cars. If they did, put a commissary back in Albany. Agents? Nah. Machines. Baggage? Nope. Leave the LD's at NYP. A crew base? Yes. You'd need mechanical for sure. And then there are overhead fees and station usage fees.
*looks at a 2018 timetable* Ehhhh... mixed bag there. Here's my reasoning.

Lets look at all the earliest departure times of all the LD trains originating at NYP going south on the NEC, and match them up with Empire Corridor Amtrak trains (pairing up "close" Sat/Sun and M-F trains):
  • Palmetto - 5:51a - No trains.
  • Carolinian - 7:17a - Empire Service 230 arr 7:03a
  • Pennsylvanian - 10:52a - Empire Service 234/252 is best, 260/236 is too tight. (arr 9:24a/9:43a vs 10:48a/10:49a)
  • Silver Star - 11:02a - Empire Service 260/236
  • Crescent - 2:15p - Empire Service 280 or Ethan Allen Express 290. (arr 12:18p/1:19p)
  • Silver Meteor -3:15p - Empire Service 238 (arr 2:18p)
Those make sense to go to NYP to ease transfers to them.

That leaves 232/250 (8:19a/8:43a), 284, 256/242 (4:22p/5:19p), 244(6:56p), the Adirondack, Maple Leaf, and Ethan Allen Express 296. The latter three I'd be hesitant to move (NEC transfers, possibly), and 284 has a cafe. That leaves 3 that can possibly be moved to GCT.

How about arrivals? Earliest train gotten...
  • Palmetto - 11:58p - No train.
  • Carolinian - 8:38p - Empire 243/259 (8:49P/9:15P)
  • Silver Star - 6:50P - Empire 241 (7:15p)
  • Pennsylvanian - 4:55p - Empire 253/239 or Ethan Allen Express 293 (5:11p/5:48p)
  • Crescent - 1:46p - Ethan Allen Express 291/Empire 255 (2:15p) or Ethan Allen Express 295 (3:10p)
  • Silver Meteor - 11:00a - Empire 251/235 (11:15a/12:15p)
Skipping the named LD's... 233 (9:15a), 281, 283, 237(4:38p), 245/261(10:37p//11:34p). 281 and 283 have cafes, so we're down to 3.

Only 232 and 233 pair nicely, being M-F. Everything else needs more equipment and long-term storage at GCT.

I think you'd be reworking a lot of schedules to pull it off nicely.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Oh for sure. But for the Regionals and Empire, I'd look for those who don't necessarily pair up with a southbound LD. Those that do, with "cushion", I'd leave, and that's where you'd book your transfers to.

Had one more thought; the Springfield Regionals would seem like a good NEC train, and potentially, as an inland to BON, to send from NYG.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Don't the Springfield regionals currently run from Washington or points south? Would it really be worth reducing or eliminating the easy rides from, oh, Philadelphia to New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield in order to create easy rides from midtown to Hartford and Springfield? (There are already plenty of Metro North trains if someone wants to go from midtown to New Haven, right?) It seems a lot more reasonable to say "take the subway from Penn Station to your destination" than to say "Your one-seat ride from Philly to Springfield or whatever is now a three-seat ride."
  by Jeff Smith
 
Good points, but I'd say that when I lived in Hartford, the Regionals I rode were fairly empty, with most of the disembarkations at Hartford. I don't see much of a market for Philly to Springfield. DC, maybe. And it wouldn't be a three-seat ride, just two, from points south of NYC/NYP. Transfer at Stamford or New Haven cross-platform. Remember, CT wants to shrink the time it takes to get to/from NYC from points east, and a Regional, with less stops than a commuter train, can do that from Springfield, whether its NYG or NYP. And NYG might be preferable.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Also good points.

I never lived along the NEC, just in Boston when I was a kid -- no Springfield line experience at all -- so I have no real sense of the travel patterns. It seems obvious that the NEC is time-and-hassle competitive with driving and flying for a lot of possible trips between cities on either side of NYC; I guess it's less obvious that many people want to make those trips by any mode.
  • 1
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20