• Provocative Railway Age Article 9/10/20: "Private Sector Investment in NEC Operations?"

  • 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

  by Pensyfan19
 
mtuandrew wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:11 pm
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:12 pm Hence my original question:

Is this company planning to take over operations on the NEC from Amtrak, or will Amtrak still operate their regional services along this corridor (i.e. Acela, NE Regional)?
Looks like they’d do whatever makes them the most money from fares + government funding. Probably they’re angling to be the sole intercity operator, but not an infrastructure manager.
Ok. Thank you. Was this proposal brought up within the month of September (or at least the past week since the article was posted on the 10th) or did it already exist before September?
  by BandA
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:40 pm Some familiar concepts in the article that have been discussed here before, including --snip-- and inland service to BON and beyond via Grand Junction. --snip-- No discussion on modes: catenary; DC (over/under); and diesel. --snip-- I like the inland idea as well, but is there an alternative to Grand Junction?
The alternatives to Grand Junction are:

#1 - going north from Worcester on the P&W / PanAM "Worcester Main" skipping existing Framingham Station, proposed Kendall Square Cambridge (Cambridge-MIT), skipping North Station, connecting at existing Anderson-Woburn Station. Requires upgrades to freight-only track and bypassing Boston, not very good.

#2 - North-South Raillink tunnel between BOS-BON. $3B minimum and will be >20 years in the future as state is not behind this.

Grand Junction - Requires neutralizing wealthy, connected NIMBYS who don't want three busy grade crossings to be blocked for a couple minutes at a time. MIT Acoustic & Vibration Laboratory is supposedly next to the tracks, would have to be relocated. A signal system is needed, crossing upgrades & timing changes. Awkward move or backing move through Boston Engine Terminal / yard, or construction of a Wye or most likely a flyover. BON requires reversing direction therefore a full brake test. Intriguing and desirable for Amtrak & MBTA.

Amtrak Thruway Bus between BOS & BON - that could be done in conjunction with local bus service or existing corporate or casino shuttle services, also been talked about.

All Inland Regionals, Grand Junction, and Downeaster would have to run diesel mode north/east of New Haven. So dual-mode locomotives or old-school engine change at New Haven if thru-running through NYP is important.
  by Pensyfan19
 
I just checked their website and it has a copyright of 2019 at the very bottom of the page. In that case, why are they being brought up now? Have they made any proposals or approached Amtrak and/or the government within this month? (I need to know for my monthly rail news series on YouTube, the Pensyfan Periodical. This story could gain the coveted title of the "Top Story" in the September 2020 Pensyfan Periodical.)
  by NHV 669
 
If you're going to pass off an opinion piece as a "top news story", I'd hate to see what passes as "news" behind it.
  by Greg Moore
 
So far most of you have covered most of my thoughts.
Why Alexandria for example. I can't think of a single reason to do so. Now you're that much further from Ivy City Yard etc.
Running some trains onto LI is not a terrible idea, as is running some to Boston via Springfield.

But most of this just pure foam as someone said.

And while I didn't read too deeply (I had paint drying I had to watch) it definitely seemed like, "ok, government, you pay for all the expensive stuff, and we'll take the cream and make money..."

Easy way to profit when someone else is paying for the expensive stuff.
  by Pensyfan19
 
NHV 669 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:11 am If you're going to pass off an opinion piece as a "top news story", I'd hate to see what passes as "news" behind it.
Touche. I thought it was recent since it was just brought up on Railway Age a week ago. I'll try to briefly mention it as one of my side stories for the Periodical. (So far that only leaves me with the Uinta Basin Railway as the Top Story, but I'll see how this month goes.)
  by BandA
 
Their approach is kind of offensive, asking for the keys to the crown jewels to just be handed over to them. Unlike FEC/Brightline, where they actually built something, monetized their real estate, sold the assets, then asked the state for free land to build more.

I've been reading these forums for years now. I should put up a website and draw some maps and mark them "Intellectual Property of Me". What software should I use for drawing maps?
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
BandA wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:38 am Amtrak Thruway Bus between BOS & BON - that could be done in conjunction with local bus service
or existing corporate or casino shuttle services, also been talked about.
I could also see a SEPTA type solution: allowing Amtrak tickets to be valid on MBTA subway between BOS/BBY and
BON, as tickets or receipt stubs are honored on SEPTA between 30th and Center City.
  by FatNoah
 
Amtrak Thruway Bus between BOS & BON - that could be done in conjunction with local bus service
A comfortable bus is probably a better option than an Orange Line transfer. The MBTA 4 bus is scheduled for about 30 minutes between BOS and BON. I've only ridden it once or twice and it wasn't terribly crowded, but it also has 30+ minute headways. Tourists are always more intimidated by local buses, so a dedicated Amtrak bus might be a decent option.

I could also see a SEPTA type solution: allowing Amtrak tickets to be valid on MBTA subway between BOS/BBY...
As a regular Orange Line rider for many years, getting onto the trains at rush hour w/out any baggage is a big enough challenge at times. I can't imagine any but the most adventurous doing that at rush hour and thinking it was anything but a harrowing experience. Outside of rush hours, it might be a bad option.
  by STrRedWolf
 
FatNoah wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:32 am
Amtrak Thruway Bus between BOS & BON - that could be done in conjunction with local bus service
A comfortable bus is probably a better option than an Orange Line transfer. The MBTA 4 bus is scheduled for about 30 minutes between BOS and BON. I've only ridden it once or twice and it wasn't terribly crowded, but it also has 30+ minute headways. Tourists are always more intimidated by local buses, so a dedicated Amtrak bus might be a decent option.

I could also see a SEPTA type solution: allowing Amtrak tickets to be valid on MBTA subway between BOS/BBY...
As a regular Orange Line rider for many years, getting onto the trains at rush hour w/out any baggage is a big enough challenge at times. I can't imagine any but the most adventurous doing that at rush hour and thinking it was anything but a harrowing experience. Outside of rush hours, it might be a bad option.
I can actually see an airport-style shuttle bus (with racks for baggage) doing the BOS/BON bridge, similar to that of BWI's bus bridge from airport to rail station. Ether a 40' or a flexi-60' doing the trip up and back, direct as possible. I can't see Amtrak doing that, though. I can see Amtrak contracting MBTA to do it like how VTA has their #10 bus do airport to light rail.
  by Jeff Smith
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:10 pm The Keystone and SEPTA proposals are a joke. The Harrisburg to Philly only trains do open some other possibilities like running to Dover DE or maybe back to Reading if you are using diesels or dual modes.
Reading, now that would be interesting.