Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Dick H
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by Dick H » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:36 pm

Major Construction on the Main St. Bridge in Saco next weekend. 10/25 - 10/27
On October 26 & 27, Pan Am Railways and Maine Department of Transportation will be performing construction work at Main Street in Saco, ME that will impact Downeaster service. This work includes the complete replacement of the Main Street bridge which carries both train and automotive traffic. Click below for details of no Saco service and busing between Brunswick and Wells.

https://amtrakdowneaster.com/service-alerts

johnpbarlow
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by johnpbarlow » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:40 am

Replacing Saco's Main St road/RR bridge in 2 days? Looking at Google Earth, that looks like a major undertaking!
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Dick H
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by Dick H » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:00 am

I have a verbal report from a good source that it is only the concrete deck
on the bridge that is being replaced.

gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by gokeefe » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:08 pm

Wow ... The concrete looks terrible in Street view ... Thought there were some bridge timber replacement planned on some of the other Saco bridges as well. Perhaps not this weekend ...
gokeefe

johnpbarlow
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by johnpbarlow » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:35 am

I'm guessing if the concrete road surface is being replaced on the Main St bridge, that the rails for the abandoned 2nd track will also be removed?
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BM6569
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by BM6569 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:41 am

"As it nears 20 years in operation, the Downeaster passenger train service is weighing options to become a reliable means of regional transit, not just a rail connection from southern Maine to Boston.

But expanding service may require big changes – possible new stations in Portland and West Falmouth, a commuter-friendly schedule and new rail lines to Westbrook and Lewiston-Auburn.

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, the agency that runs the Downeaster, plans an open house Tuesday in Portland to introduce its ideas and get public feedback."

https://www.masstransitmag.com/rail/new ... er-service

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MEC407
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by MEC407 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:34 pm

johnpbarlow wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:35 am
I'm guessing if the concrete road surface is being replaced on the Main St bridge, that the rails for the abandoned 2nd track will also be removed?
Maybe, maybe not. The bridge as it appears today is the result of a major rebuild that happened approximately 20 years ago if I remember correctly. I lived in that area when they were rebuilding it. The second track had been gone for decades but they kept it as a two-track crossing when they rebuilt it.
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swist
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by swist » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:54 pm

Trains are regularly late out of Portland or into Freeport because of two severe speed restrictions that have been in place for months. There is no sign of any worker activity at these places.

1) Between the start of the Brunswick branch at Royal Crossing up to Yarmouth Crossing (North of the new siding project) and not apparently related).

2) In Portland near that abandoned yard between Allen Ave & Read St. This one is under 10mph!

Anyone know what's going on?

markhb
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by markhb » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:56 pm

I wouldn't call Deering Junction abandoned; I've seen them use it for manipulating cars destined for the other side of Forest Ave. No idea what's happening there, though.

I went to the open house tonight. The biggest ideas NNEPRA has going on would seem to be the Wells Siding project, the West Falmouth stop, the commuter service (meaning a 6th trip making a short turn at Wells and returning to Portland In the morning), and a new Portland Station. One thing that was mentioned that I didn't realize was that building the wye would only save 5 minutes between Saco and Freeport.
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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by Rockingham Racer » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:14 am

Two and a half minutes each way to/from the PTC? I think that's pushing it a tad.

markhb
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by markhb » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:56 am

Essentially, it takes 15. minutes from the time the train pulls off at Mountain Junction to the time it gets back there after stopping at POR. It would take 10 minutes with the wye in place, presumably including time for whatever needs to be done when changing ends. The current feeling is that the cost of the wye is quite steep for the time improvement they would get.
"...And then I thought, every time some company creates a more powerful locomotive does Superman become more powerful as well or is he stuck at 1938 locomotive power levels?" - A friend of mine elsewhere
Anything I post here is mine alone and does not represent the views of my employer.

swist
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by swist » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:30 am

And it could be less than 15 minutes with (a) a bit of speed increase on the mtn branch - most trains literally crawl into the station, and (b) a little more urgency in turning the train around at the station - get the boarding passengers onto the platform sooner, get the disembarking passengers lined up in the train (some conductors are better than others at this), use multiple doors more efficiently.

gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by gokeefe » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:34 am

Having seen it up close and personal in a role as a partner to the service there is very little that can be done to speed up arrivals and departures at the PTC.

A full length platform would be the only improvement that might really help. The current configuration is pretty much being maxed. I think NNEPRA's take on it at this point has become "Why build the leg if we can get a new station on the Main Line for the same/similar money?"

At a $10,000,000 price tag for the northbound leg they're probably dead on ...
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TRNE
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by TRNE » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:41 am

George, Patricia made a compelling argument about a Mainline station at last night's Open House. The 100+ attendees put it at the top of their priority list (of course, they didn't bring as money to the table). Her presentation can be seen at http://www.trainridersne.org

gokeefe
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Post by gokeefe » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:25 pm

Thank you! Good to hear the Open House was supportive of that objective. I'm very optimistic that it will help enhance the existing service. Hopefully there will be discussion of how to continue to cooperate with Concord Coach lines in whatever way makes sense.
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