• Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

  • 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 gokeefe
 

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Safe assumption, Mr. O'Keefe will be closely following such.
Yes. Multiple angles to keep track of.


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  by west point
 
I would certainly wonder if NS acquired the DownEaster route. NS' on time performance south of Atlanta is terrible . Also their handling of passenger trains going into CHI.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Possible, Mr. West Point, if there was initiative to further develop Portland, beyond its name, into a deepwater maritime port:

https://www.maineports.com/

But presently, it would appear that it's "raison.." is Love Tubs. Further, in the neo-Panamax era, all to many East Coast maritime ports decided to "throw a party" and while not quite the "and nobody came" I feared. I still must wonder to what extent a "return on the public funds" will be realized.

Further, I throw out my usual caveat; where is the second railroad that maritime shippers. shall we say, "expect".

Now if the NS first contemplates acquiring the PA Southern route (Hoosac Tunnel) they could acquire to the East through Ayer and on to Portland. But they're "not exactly" about to so for the opportunity to assume a passenger service contract with NNEPRA.

Calling Mr. Cowford.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by gokeefe
 
I do not believe a Class I would be an issue on this corridor. The MBTA has been a more serious problem in many respects than Pan Am. Pan Am was really simple "you want it you build it". With the T even tens of millions in improvements have had limited results. Pan Am on the other hand was in many respects "give 'em the railroad" as long as the checks kept clearing.

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  by codasd
 
I hope a Class I would correct 10mph speed restrictions much faster than PAR. I also believe their MoW are much more efficient with more automated equipment and larger track gangs than PAR. There is so much work to be done east of Ayer it would probably take multiple seasons to get the work done properly.
  by gokeefe
 
They *might* but would they dispatch the Downeaster the way Pan Am does? I highly doubt it. You can have all the beautiful tracks in the world you want but if the host railroad won't play ball it's "Game Over". Although not awful this is fundamentally the problem with the T. No slow orders but Approach and Stop signals are a little more common than one would like.

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  by Trinnau
 
The problem in the T territory is more complex than that. Like many agencies over the last 10 years, the MBTA has increased their service so they have more trains running and "in the way" of ideal Downeaster service patterns. Haverhill service went from 26 trains to 30, Lowell service went from 44 trains to 50. With there still being some key single-track locations in MBTA territory there are simply things that can't be done. If you then add in the equipment rotations after the full extension to Brunswick and limited meet locations outside of MBTA territory, sometimes the only window to run in the desired time slot doesn't have a lot of margin for error around MBTA service. The extra infrastructure provided over the last 5 years is what allows those to even be possible.

Nevermind the T has some major infrastructure projects in the GLX and PTC/ATC that are also having an impact right now.
  by gokeefe
 
All very true but point being they added service that compromised enhancements that should have allowed Amtrak and the MBTA to operate seamlessly. These enhancements weren't done to *preserve access* they were done to *perfect* it.

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  by Backshophoss
 
MBTA is installing ACSES without cab signals in ex-B&M territory,PAR/PAS has very few engines rigged for ACSES or I-ETMS PTC ,as they got some sort of exemption due to their system wide MAS of 25 mph
for their freight trains
  by gokeefe
 
They have enough to handle it.

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  by Rockingham Racer
 
If the T and the Downeaster always ran on time, then I assume there would be no conflicts. They are both often off schedule. Not a perfect world. This is a big prlloblem with Amtrak delays between New Rochelle and New Haven. If they don't arrive when they are supposed to, they "take what they get", which is usually more delay due to MNRR conflicts and being out of slot.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The solution is to double track on MBTA as much as possible, especially through Andover. Lawrence, MA should get a second platform so that way, MBTA trains serving Lawrence Station don't have use just one track to do their station work. Lawrence has a lot of ridership. If the Wildcat isn't double tracked and there is a way to do it, that would be nice to add a second track.
  by bostontrainguy
 
For what it's worth the rumor mill has CN buying Pan Am.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Well, Mr. Trainguy, this UK publication is certainly helping to feed the "mill":

https://www.railjournal.com/financial/p ... -for-sale/

Fair Use:
“If CN owned the Pan Am it could put that on its roadmap. CN is also looking to create short multimodal lines in the US. So if CN took ownership of the Pan Am at Auburn, Maine, it could start building multimodal services that would feed its own network
Without diverting too much in the way of discussion more appropriate to the Pan Am Forum, I must ask where does the CN have a physical interchange with PAR? Wasn't the GTRR, where there would have been one at Portland "shortlined" a while back?
  by MEC407
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:00 am ...where does the CN have a physical interchange with PAR? Wasn't the GTRR, where there would have been one at Portland "shortlined" a while back?
PAR interchanges with St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (SLR) at Auburn, Maine (Danville Junction). SLR owns and operates the former Grand Trunk line through Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, crossing the international border at Norton, Vermont, and interchanging with CN in Richmond, Québec. They also interchange with CP (formerly Central Maine & Québec [CMQ]) at Sherbrooke, Québec.

The SLR ex-Grand Trunk line from Auburn to Portland was abandoned by SLR several years ago and is now owned by the state of Maine, with no operator, preserved for possible future use. There are no customers left on that portion of the line, which is why SLR abandoned it. The interchange with Maine Central subsidiary Portland Terminal ended decades ago when the Grand Trunk swing bridge in Portland was severely damaged by arson, thus making it impossible for GT to connect with PT/MEC in Portland.
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