mtuandrew wrote: ↑Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:00 am
David Benton wrote: ↑Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:40 pm
Kinda fits in with where I was going with the Amazon comment. On the NEC , Amtrak does have the station space (though limited), and the frequemcy of trains. I'm not suggesting massive distribution centers, or offices. Think current bicycle couriers and future Amazon drone delivery proposals . The linehaul is competitive , and pretty well covered. But the final delivery is congested in cities, and costly. Those vans stuck in traffic are ticking over $$$. So I'm thinking where Amtrak provides a car or 1/2 a car per train dedicated to bicycle delivery size ( or minivans ) that can quickly off load, go straight to their delivery route, and return. No warehouse space ,( storage time negates the advantage of the scheme). Only requirement is quick ingress/ regress that doesnt interfere with passengers , or lenghten boarding times.
That’s pretty clever. Post-COVID it could succeed, as long as there’s a way to get bulk items to the station in the first place. A company could even forklift a rack of loaded bikes onto a baggage car at (say) BAL and have new riders pick them up at NYP (for uptown) or NWK (for the PATH connection to Wall Street.)
Batteries are more difficult, especially bulk lithium batteries through tunnels. That isn’t a reasonable expectation I think.
Ehhhh... there's trouble there. Assume dedicated baggage car at one end of the train that has mail as well, fit in dedicated containers (a la UPS) that can be easily locked down or wheeled out. Assume each container is pre-sorted so by the time you get to the destination city for a set of packages, you can just wheel the container(s) out.
Take Baltimore (BAL). You only have 4 tracks (4-7) served by two platforms, and one elevator each. No matter what (because of how the elevator is arranged) you're likely to be fighting passengers(ADA) for those elevators... and woe if it breaks down. No, you'll need a freight elevator away from customers and a second bridge... and you're taking over the Post Office building if it's the east-most point. If it's the west most point, you're extending the platforms and building right next to Charles Street.
Take Washington (WAS). Southmost point, you're fighting passengers. Northmost point, you need freight elevators.
Take New York Penn (NYP)... you know, no matter where you go, you're fighting passengers. You got no room. As they say, fuhgedabouddit!
The point is, you got major infrastructure problems that prevent offloading packages in a safe and efficient manner.