• 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 phllax
 
PanAm has put themselves up for sale. I wonder if NNEPRA or even Amtrak in it's dire financial state will make a play for a portion or all of the line?
  by BandA
 
It would be smart to have the states buy up as much as they can at the same time as the rr is sold. Unless a rail line is critical to the new buyer it reduces their capital costs and gives them access to free upgrades on the taxpayer's dime without much downside. For the state they can lock in passenger access, cost certainty, & even control dispatching if necessary.
  by MEC407
 
I don't know about the other states, but in Maine an acquisition of that magnitude would almost certainly have to be decided at the ballot box (e.g. a bond referendum), and there's absolutely no way we'd be able to put it on the November 2020 ballot; it would likely have to wait until June 2021 or November 2021, at which point the railroad will likely be sold already.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
There was an opinion article put out [can't remember where] that since Pan Am operates in all of New England, except Rhode Island, that a consortium of states should buy PAR.
  by MEC407
 
There is no earthly scenario in which ME, NH, VT, MA, and CT could come to an agreement about something like this and be ready to make an offer to Mellon in less than two or three years, and that's being optimistic.

If such a thing is to happen, the states won't be buying the lines from PAR; they'll be buying the lines from whoever bought them from PAR.
  by gokeefe
 
phllax wrote:PanAm has put themselves up for sale. I wonder if NNEPRA or even Amtrak in it's dire financial state will make a play for a portion or all of the line?
No they won't. For many of the reasons already mentioned it ain't isn't an option. For passenger rail service NS is probably a preferable outcome to CN. I fear we would quickly find out just how generous Pan Am's dispatching has been with CN running the railroad. NS would probably be the same or perhaps better (if that's even possible).

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  by BandA
 
States can buy now, pay later, preferably using federal funds. Mellon wants out but probably doesn't need the money right away, but probably wants certainty. Also a good time to extinguish old paper barriers (I read something about paper barriers on the mountain division?) through negotiation or STB process to keep things competitive.
  by gokeefe
 
SLR already serves as an interchange point for Pan Am and CN at Danville Junction. It seems possible SLR could become an "invisible" shortline carrier for waybilling purposes.

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  by swist
 
I was a weekly DE rider for work purposes until the shutdown, and have not used it since. I would really like to return to my old schedule using the train at some point. Has anyone been on it lately? Exactly how are they separating passengers? I assume that at the least they won't put two (unrelated) people together in one seat-pair? But do they also leave every other row empty, which they would have to do to maintain 6' spacing between people ahead of or behind you? By my math, the above two protocols would reduce capacity to 25% of normal full, not the 50% max which they have published.

While traffic is lighter driving still stresses me a lot, and if I can't use the train I'll probably have to quit.

Thanks
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
phllax wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:19 am PanAm has put themselves up for sale. I wonder if NNEPRA or even Amtrak in it's dire financial state will make a play for a portion or all of the line?
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=171795

There is extensive - and informed - discussion regarding the proposed sale, as well as the impact upon the region should Pan Am be acquired by any of the three Class I "contenders, namely NS, GTC (CN), or SOO (CP).

I realize I have long since stepped down as Moderator of this Forum, but, as a fellow member, might I suggest that to avoid "parallel" discussion points, any such relating to the railroad system as a whole move forth at the Pan Am topic, and such here be confined to that relating to the Downeaster service.
  by MEC407
 
swist wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:02 am Exactly how are they separating passengers? I assume that at the least they won't put two (unrelated) people together in one seat-pair?
Correct, they are not seating unrelated people next to each other. Basically, each passenger gets two seats.
swist wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:02 amBut do they also leave every other row empty, which they would have to do to maintain 6' spacing between people ahead of or behind you?
They are not leaving every other row empty. That would be ideal, but as you stated that would mean operating the trains at only 25% capacity.

I'm not sure how many people are riding the Downeaster right now. It's possible that the trains are less than 50% full but I haven't seen any recent numbers.

In addition to giving each passenger two seats, they are requiring all passengers and crew to wear masks. The trains are cleaned after each round trip, and deeply sanitized every night.

From my perspective, the above protocols make riding the Downeaster a safer/healthier experience than shopping at the local supermarket or big box store.
  by gokeefe
 
If the trains aren't showing sold out (which to my knowledge has yet to happen) they're running at less than 50%.

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  by Pensyfan19
 
Since the design for the ALC 42 was just released, and I heard that it will be going on a few other state owned trains other than the LDs, I haven't heard any news about the Downeaster, which rosters amfleets, F40 cabbage cars and Genesis locomotives. With all of this talk of Chargers replacing the Genesis one way or another, I haven't heard much about them on the only partially isolated Amtrak route in the system.

Any thoughts on what will replace the Downeaster locomotives? SC44s, ALC 42s? MPI HSP46s? Rebuilt F40s? The Flying Yankee??? :P
  by gokeefe
 
NNEPRA leases from the national Amtrak pool. The Amfleet replacement order is what will probably end up in Maine.

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