• 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

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  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Red Wing wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:29 pm The only railroad I can think of that used more than one terminal was the New Haven and that was just for trains that were not terminating in New York.
PRR: NYP and Exchange Place (the latter was the original terminus of the PRR main line).
  by Red Wing
 
But PRR owned both stations . Just like Philly with 30th and Suburban. They are not paying rent to another railroad.
  by Tadman
 
justalurker66 wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:20 pm
Tadman wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:45 amYou have yet to actually prove that. Right now we have two bodies of hard fact:
1. the Amtrak way which is proven to be broken
2. the old way which is proven to work
Those are your assertions - not bodies of hard fact - and we have been trying to get you to prove your point since the beginning of this thread. It is your plan to decentralize. It is your responsibility to offer proof.
How much proof do you want? We all know OTP is awful. We've seen the timetables. What else do you need? The ghost of Graham Claytor to tap you on the shoulder? A water stain on a bridge abutment that looks like the Virgin Mary sitting next to Wayne Johnston and George M Pullman sitting in a full dining car discussing trends in modern railroading? These are indeed hard fact and we have all seen the evidence.
justalurker66 wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:20 pm
Tadman wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:45 amWe also have stations in 4 of 5 of the original terminal sites, despite your assertions otherwise.
And tracks connecting those stations to the trains you want to send to them? Don't forget that you made the claims earlier that your plan would not need construction.
Ok fine. you got me. We'll burn this thread up over ten switches. But remember in comparison to any of the "good ideas" out of Amtrak and the city, they're rounding errors. And they're also a best practice as it cut 20+ minute unplanned delays in Detroit to install one switch reducing handoffs between NS and CN in West Detroit. Again, don't let the hard evidence dissuade you.
justalurker66 wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:20 pm
Tadman wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:53 amNobody makes that change at Homewood. Nobody.
Not one person ever? Well that is a bold claim.
I'm good with it. I've suggested it to a few riders on CofNO in the past looking to access Hyde Park and they think I'm crazy. If less than 5% of riders transfer at CUS, how many do or even realize one can at Homewood. With no interline ticketing or guaranteed connections. To another railroad. None. Goose-egg.
justalurker66 wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:20 pm
Tadman wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:53 amAnd you do need extra time, as there is no guaranteed connections, so you have to wait. It's going to be at least 15 minutes and perhaps an hour.
The point is the Amtrak train does not have to wait. Your initial violent rebuke of the idea of transferring at Homewood was the layover time for Amtrak before heading into the city. The train already stops there with no layover beyond a normal station stop to discharge passengers. Amtrak doesn't have to wait for the connecting train.
How does that have any effect on the passenger that transferred? Now the guys going downtown on Amtrak have a longer than necessary ride AND the international man of mystery that doesn't exist that would supposedly wait 20 minutes plus for a Metra connection has a long ride. You've literally taken the worst of two ideas and combined them into an idea that nobody would use.
justalurker66 wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:20 pm
Tadman wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:53 amThe overall point of this thread has and always will be about a strategy of using the natural terminals at the end of the line to avoid handoffs and complexity.
Your idea of what is and is not a natural terminal is unnatural.
Again, not my idea of natural. These are where the trains went before Amtrak came up with "some good ideas".
justalurker66 wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:20 pm
Tadman wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:53 amI'm sure you think you're clever trying to change my arguments and then play the victim because I'm so mean.
And when you can't support your arguments you turn to insults. We are all the victims of your constant harassment. If you could "win" your argument you would stick to the point you want to make and not keep posting insults. But your plan and your arguments have no merit.
Oh cry me a river dude. You are the victim of a feeble mind. I've supported my points with all the hard data in the world and you keep coming back and saying "well thats not proof". I posit OTP is bad. "not proof". I posit that handoffs are done poorly, "not proof". I posit that trains should have sub-3 hour timiing, "not proof". Then you change my arguments. Then you claim to be the victim of harassment. Good luck dude.

Here, take one of these home with you today.
Image
  by justalurker66
 
Tad, you need to learn the difference between claims and proof. Repeating claims does not make them proven.

The bar patrons in New Buffalo would not have the issues blamed on NS solved by terminating at LaSalle instead of CUS.
You said long distance was a lost cause so your comments about CONO's backup move are moot.
Carbondale passengers are already riding a 5 hour train ... your claim was anything over 3 hours was useless. Moving to another station would not cut two hours off of the train's running time. Champaign passengers are riding a two hour train. Even with schedule padding the train's running time to Chicago is under the magical 3 hour limit.

How many passengers do you believe are being lost because the Carbondale trains terminate at CUS instead of elsewhere?

The current issue with the CN-IC line is construction which will be ongoing through at least the end of the year. The bridges on the Air Line west of Indiana Ave are being replaced and CN is working on building a new alignment across Clark St through the Metra 16th St interlocking and across the Chicago river bridge. The new alignment will take out the tight reverse curves at Clark St and provide a better connection for CN and Amtrak. Construction is slowing all trains through the area. (There is currently an open pit on both sides of the CN track west of 16th St.) Work is also being done on the SCAL draw bridge so trains are routed over Amtrak's 21st St bridge instead of over BN.

$10, a paperclip and a stick of bubble gum won't provide a better terminal for the Carbondale trains than CUS. Neither will "a pair of switches". Millions of dollars just to satisfy your itch for trains to terminate elsewhere. Not to mention all of the support facilities needed to terminate the train. Simple facilities work in Carbondale, Quincy and elsewhere because the trains can receive their required inspections and maintenance in Chicago. Any alternative terminal in Chicago would require trains to make non-revenue moves to CUS for maintenance. Those moves would further clog the host railroads. Good luck selling that to Amtrak and the host railroads.

Next time you're selling a <product redacted> to Amtrak feel free to pitch your operational ideas. See how fast they laugh. Perhaps they will be politer than you and not run you off the property and chose another vendor when they realize you are serious about your fantasy rail plan. Or they will find another place to buy their <product redacted>.
  by STrRedWolf
 
I just spent a good hour mucking about in OpenStreetMap looking at what Tadman was alleging to see what he was going at, and make some sense at it.

Did you know about the right-click feature to query features on their map? This I learned today. :)

That said, anything Amtrak on the southbound side of CUS goes through BNSF at least, NS, CN, and Metra tracks inside of Chicago.
  • The City of New Orleans and the Illini/Saluki comes on CN and Metra tracks, then switches to BNSF tracks, before having to back up at Metra Halstead station just to get into CUS!!! The reason why? There's no curve track off the St. Charles Air Line bridge. There doesn't seem to be much a way to cut this move out without some expert-level engineering.
  • The Texas Eagle and Lincoln service has a CN to NS over a bridge to BNSF handoff whammy. There's not really much any other route you can take from Summit up to remove the NS section, short of dedicated track and bridge. Anything else adds another railroad into the mix, be it CSX or a short-line.
  • Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Lake Shore Limited, and all Michigan services are NS to BNSF handoffs.
  • Everything else is BNSF.
So the solution, Tadman says, is to terminate in separate stations. It's a partial solution, because you're rerouting the City of New Orleans and Illini/Saluki to remove a reverse move... and that doesn't account for restocking logistics, transfers, etc. The Texas Eagle/Lincoln services are an issue, as there's no direct track connection to any existing terminal. Popping some of the services to Metra for the last mile isn't much of a solution because you still have to service the equipment, a lot of the stations are not equipped for it, and some of the routes don't have a Metra station on them.

It requires engineering... and justalurker66 already says that it's being fixed right now for the CONO and Illini/Saluki.

This thread's mootness is enlarging every post.
  by David Benton
 
The solution for the CONO is a connection at Grand crossing , already proposed , and already in the planning stages. Just add $$$.
The real long term solution would be a seperated HSR from CUS to south of Chicago , which could then branch off South , east and west. just add $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
Seperate stations solves nothing , and is proposed/planned by no one , except Tad.
Maybe if he is into facts and industry sources, he could post some industry proposals or opinions in support of the idea of separate terminals .
  by justalurker66
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:42 pmThat said, anything Amtrak on the southbound side of CUS goes through BNSF at least, NS, CN, and Metra tracks inside of Chicago.
  • The City of New Orleans and the Illini/Saluki comes on CN and Metra tracks, then switches to BNSF tracks, before having to back up at Metra Halstead station just to get into CUS!!! The reason why? There's no curve track off the St. Charles Air Line bridge. There doesn't seem to be much a way to cut this move out without some expert-level engineering.
  • The Texas Eagle and Lincoln service has a CN to NS over a bridge to BNSF handoff whammy. There's not really much any other route you can take from Summit up to remove the NS section, short of dedicated track and bridge. Anything else adds another railroad into the mix, be it CSX or a short-line.
  • Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Lake Shore Limited, and all Michigan services are NS to BNSF handoffs.
  • Everything else is BNSF.
Amtrak owns 21st St and the lift bridge south of CUS. They have a direct connection to NS to the south (eastbound).
BNSF owns the track west of Canal St (the road) and the SCAL west of the bridge. CN owns the track running east and west through the 21st St interlocking (and the SCAL east of the bridge). The only place the CONO touches Metra is when crossing the RI line at 16th St.

The lead between Amtrak's 21st St and CN's Canal St interlocking is long enough that most of the time Amtrak can use that lead as the south end of a wye movement without crossing the CN tracks and coordinating with CN or NS (they would need to coordinate with BNSF). Other than the occasional BNSF train running through from NS the tracks are all passenger trains.

The CONO normally backs out of CUS and heads west on BNSF before moving forward over the SCAL to the CN-IC. Two railroads outside of Amtrak ownership. The CN and Metra tracks are separate on the CN-IC ... no crossovers connecting them until 115th St where NICTD has one for their commuter trains. No freight on the Metra Electric District.

Michigan and the eastern limiteds arrive on Amtrak property from NS. No other railroads in the Chicago area. The Cardinal is a mess in the Chicago area but that mess extends at least as far as Cincinnati.

Metra's SWS currently runs Amtrak to NS to Metra to a mess of tracks at 75th St. That is being cleaned up and SWS will be moving to LaSalle St. That construction will also help the Cardinal.
Last edited by justalurker66 on Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Backshophoss
 
A reminder,The congress critters wanted Amtrak to move the Empire service OUT of GCT and INTO NY Penn.
They will COMPLAIN if Amtrak were to move some trains to other Chicago Terminals,The better move is to divert some METRA trains to the other terminals if there's a demand for that.
That would ease the load at CUS,believe that was par of the reasoning for CREATE/GRAND CROSSING projects in the Chicago Metro area.
  by urr304
 
You folks do realize that fifty years ago, that one of Amtrak's goals was to have all intercity trains under one roof esecially in Chicago. Thirty some years ago the Hammond-Whiting station was set up as an easier connection for those on the southside of Chicago/extreme NE Indiana. I am not close to my references to nail down dates.

If you think Homewood is a good transfer point to reach the lake side of downtown Chicago, I am sure you can figure that on your own. Perhaps after you get some real data, you could supply that to the Metra authorities to look into sheduling a connection there. But the rest of us taxpayers are not going to be too interested in running one or two sets of trains into a different terminal than the one we paid for and still paying for.

None of us here can do much about it beyond contacting those who can and providing good data to forward the idea, just because we thnk it would be neat is not good enough reason.
  by StLouSteve
 
Any advantage to moving the Eagle and Lincoln Service to Metra/Rock Island at Joilet (instead of the current CN routing) to Chicago or does that make it much more complicated to reach Union Station? I think this has been proposed before due to freight on the CN route.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:42 pm
Red Wing wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:29 pm The only railroad I can think of that used more than one terminal was the New Haven and that was just for trains that were not terminating in New York.
PRR: NYP and Exchange Place (the latter was the original terminus of the PRR main line).
B&O used two stations in Pittsburgh depending on whether the train was terminating or connecting to Chicago (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore ... ittsburgh) )

My thought is that for consistent branding, Amtrak should have ONE Chicago terminal and should work to reduce the difficulties connecting between lines. The Southwest Chief is not going to go back to Dearborn. Does the station even exist? The CREATE project is working to fix that inconvenient back up move on the ex-IC line trains.

From a passenger confusion standpoint and from a cost standpoint, Amtrak shouldn't it split its passenger operations in Chicago. It would require additional station agents, additional baggage handlers (assuming checked baggage is offered) and a myriad of other staffing and logistical concerns (Do coaches need to be cleaned in station by additional staff? Do trains need to be shuttled off to a central facility for servicing?)

If Indiana really wanted to pay for a daily (7x), no-frills Hoosier equivalent that ran to Millennium Station like the South Shore, I might say fine, but that's not happening.
  by electricron
 
Amtrak has been using Union Station since 1971. I’ll assume all the various trains have been using it, or have moved to it, at least 40 years. In 40 years Amtrak has been pleased with back up moves and their resulting delays. Just now they are looking at improving train access for quicker travel? It has been so long they are replacing the rolling stock they bought new decades ago.

Can you imagine back up moves at NY’s Pennsylvania Station as standard operating procedure? Worse yet, back up moves are required at LA’s Union Station on every train entering or leaving, thankfully not both.
  by CHTT1
 
WhartonAndNorthern wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:32 am
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:42 pm
Red Wing wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:29 pm The only railroad I can think of that used more than one terminal was the New Haven and that was just for trains that were not terminating in New York.
PRR: NYP and Exchange Place (the latter was the original terminus of the PRR main line).
B&O used two stations in Pittsburgh depending on whether the train was terminating or connecting to Chicago (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore ... ittsburgh) )

My thought is that for consistent branding, Amtrak should have ONE Chicago terminal and should work to reduce the difficulties connecting between lines. The Southwest Chief is not going to go back to Dearborn. Does the station even exist? The CREATE project is working to fix that inconvenient back up move on the ex-IC line trains.

From a passenger confusion standpoint and from a cost standpoint, Amtrak shouldn't it split its passenger operations in Chicago. It would require additional station agents, additional baggage handlers (assuming checked baggage is offered) and a myriad of other staffing and logistical concerns (Do coaches need to be cleaned in station by additional staff? Do trains need to be shuttled off to a central facility for servicing?)

If Indiana really wanted to pay for a daily (7x), no-frills Hoosier equivalent that ran to Millennium Station like the South Shore, I might say fine, but that's not happening.
Interestingly, the Dearborn station building still stands. It is used for offices, small businesses and even a jazz club. South of the station, an large residential community has been constructed. There are no rails anywhere near the station building.
  by mtuandrew
 
WhartonAndNorthern wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:32 amIf Indiana really wanted to pay for a daily (7x), no-frills Hoosier equivalent that ran to Millennium Station like the South Shore, I might say fine, but that's not happening.
Yeah, Tad has suggested that, and I’ve doodled out a plan for (electric 3kVDC) service from the vicinity of Millennium to Indianapolis Union Station. It depends on the state of Indiana to invest money in a state-owned business though, which I don’t see happening outside of the northwest few counties.

It’s one of the most recent posts in the Hoosier State thread, if you’re interested.
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