• All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

  • 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 brettj22
 
Well I hope they do a good job publicizing it. When I taught a freshman engineering lab there in 2008/2009 my entire class did not know Amtrak was anywhere nearby.
  by Lackawanna565
 
SEPTAR3kid wrote:the eastbound pennsylvanian is over two hours late right now, anyone know why?
Freight Traffic, Freight Traffic and more Freight Traffic.
  by chuchubob
 
Train 42 went through Bryn Mawr at 4:48 PM.
  by Silverliner II
 
Great shot, Bob! :)
  by Suburban Station
 
Lackawanna565 wrote:
SEPTAR3kid wrote:the eastbound pennsylvanian is over two hours late right now, anyone know why?
Freight Traffic, Freight Traffic and more Freight Traffic.
coupled with: passenger interlockings no longer in existence
  by train2
 
I was looking at the most current Amtk schedule on the Amtk website and I noticed that the Pennsylvanian shows daily in both directions. Was there not an alternate schedule in the past on one day, perhaps Sunday? I know the train used a different number on that off day.

I don't keep up with this train often, so is this a seasonal thing? Has it been eliminated entirely?

T2
  by Jishnu
 
Yes there used to be a different schedule for the eastbound on Sunday, which is now gone. It is probably in preparation for the run through cars between Capitol and Pennsylvanian, but that is just a speculation.
  by Suburban Station
 
I'd guess Jishnu is right though Amtrak didn't think it important enough to mention why or even that it was doing so, they just kind of snuck it in there. I can't imagine it's a good thing for the Pennsylvanian but as Jishnu implied, this is more about the capitol ltd than the pennsylvanian. Amtrak should probably just put up a sign in Pittsburgh, "if you live here, don't bother with the train, please take the bus across the street"
  by train2
 
Have not heard about through cars yet. Tell me more? When does it start? Coaches or sleepers?
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Train, the proposal to operate through cars 30-PGH-42 and v.v. is addressed within the September 2010 Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) that was mandated under PRIIA 08. Discussion of the proposal begins at Adobe Page 17 as well as being referenced within the Executive Summary:

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/BlobServe ... ed-PIP.pdf

Here is previous discussion regarding this proposal:

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 46&t=75575
  by afiggatt
 
train2 wrote:Have not heard about through cars yet. Tell me more? When does it start? Coaches or sleepers?
Mr. Norman provided the link to the Capitol Limited PIP report from last year. As to when it might start, there have been no official or unofficial announcements that I read of. There are reports that Amtrak and Norfolk Southern have agreed to restore the switch at Pittsburgh station discussed in the report, but no visible work has been done.

The most significant hold-up is the lack of 3 available Viewliner sleepers for the through service. Whether Amtrak would add the through service sometime next spring or fall with only Amfleet II coaches and a café car is not known. When the first of the new Viewliner II sleepers are projected to be ready to enter revenue service is also not known. So the through car service on the Pennsylvanian may or may not start in 2012 or maybe in 2013. See how solid the information is??
  by jstolberg
 
From the Performance Improvement Report for the Lake Shore Limited,
CSX is currently undertaking tunnel clearance work on the Capitol Limited route east of Pittsburgh that requires that the tracks be taken out of service each day after the passage of the eastbound train. Implementation of a later Capitol Limited schedule could not occur until that work, scheduled for completion in approximately a year, is finished. At that time, Amtrak plans to develop adjusted schedules, and updated ridership and financial projections, for a rescheduling of the Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited that would allow realization of the financial and ridership benefits of an earlier eastbound Lake Shore Limited departure from Chicago.
So, no earlier than next fall, the Chicago departures of the Lake Shore Limited and the Capitol Limited will get switched, making the CL the evening clean-up train. That means that the eastbound arrival of the CL in Pittsburgh will be later, eliminating the long layover for connection to the Pennsylvanian.

Also, beginning late next year, Amtrak should begin taking delivery of the first new Viewliner cars. We don't know what the delivery schedule will be (although the first car is rumored to be a diner). Ordinarily, I would expect that the diners would be delivered first, to be followed by the baggage/dorm cars.
  by Suburban Station
 
jstolberg wrote:From the Performance Improvement Report for the Lake Shore Limited,
CSX is currently undertaking tunnel clearance work on the Capitol Limited route east of Pittsburgh that requires that the tracks be taken out of service each day after the passage of the eastbound train. Implementation of a later Capitol Limited schedule could not occur until that work, scheduled for completion in approximately a year, is finished. At that time, Amtrak plans to develop adjusted schedules, and updated ridership and financial projections, for a rescheduling of the Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited that would allow realization of the financial and ridership benefits of an earlier eastbound Lake Shore Limited departure from Chicago.
So, no earlier than next fall, the Chicago departures of the Lake Shore Limited and the Capitol Limited will get switched, making the CL the evening clean-up train. That means that the eastbound arrival of the CL in Pittsburgh will be later, eliminating the long layover for connection to the Pennsylvanian.

Also, beginning late next year, Amtrak should begin taking delivery of the first new Viewliner cars. We don't know what the delivery schedule will be (although the first car is rumored to be a diner). Ordinarily, I would expect that the diners would be delivered first, to be followed by the baggage/dorm cars.
the long layover is necessary so the CL doesn't screw up the Pennsylvanian's departure time. they may end up just pushing back the Pennsylvanian's departure time to a more reasonable 9 am
  by jp1822
 
Amtrak has operated more than just the "39" Viewliner sleepers that are required for those train sets running with Viewliners in revenue service. This leaves 11 in reserve. And just over Thanksgiving break, Amtrak operated at least four additional sleepers on various train sets, raising the number from 39 to 43 Viewliners in revenue service. Granted it, in my opinion, I don't think the Viewliner fleet has "aged well" but it would seem that Amtrak could operate an additional 3 Viewliners in revenue service for this "through Capitol Limited/Pennsylvanian service. This would still leave 8 Viewliners in reserve. I have long stated that I think Amtrak's Viewliner sleeper utilization is very poor. They don't even do a same day turn of at LEAST one train set at Sunnyside Yard any more. Amtrak I think has rationalized they would rather have 24 hours there to service the Viewliner sleepers, rather than trying to do a same day turn with say the Silver Meteor's train set, like used to be done. Course this may also necessitate a later departure of the Silver Meteor (as was in place) and a tightening up of the schedule. It was only after the Three Rivers was discontinued that Amtrak took the three sleepers from this train to alter the Meteor's schedule AND establish an additional train set for this train (4 train sets now in service, as opposed to just 3). I often wonder if a private carrier would keep 11 Viewliner sleepers in reserve like this. After all these sleepers are high revenue producers. And on would think that if Amtrak does have this many in reserve, the Viewliner fleet would be in better shape than what they are in!

As for the Pennsylvanian leaving at 9 a.m. from Pittsburgh, I doubt this would happen because Amtrak wants to get this train into NYP before the evening rush hour. If they tighten up the schedule, an 8 a.m. departure would probably be reasonable and hopefully get the train into NYP before 5 p.m. (Amtrak's goal on weekdays). Amtrak should consider reverting the westbound departure back to 8 a.m. or so. Supposedly the move to 10:50 a.m. was to help facilitate "transfer" passengers trying to use this train from upstate NY or New England. But I wonder if Amtrak has followed up to see if this change in schedule has materialized. The most ideal situation would be a morning train and and an afternoon train leaving both NY and Pittsburgh. One would have to be state subsidized - perhaps a Keystone train to/from Harrisburg could be extended out to Pittsburgh. With the recent loss of airfare, the additional train service "west of Harrisburg" may actually have better traction now. The Pennsylvanian has always been a pretty popular train and a second frequency I think would do well. It would be downtown to downtown service at least (Pittsburgh airport being "out of town").

Lastly, I think the additional trackage at Pittsburgh is more for convenience. If this operation of through cars wanted to start earlier without the extra trackage, I've heard "it could be done."
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