• Amtrak Hiawatha Discussion: Chicago - Milwaukee and Possible Extensions

  • 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 AmtrakFan
 
Does anyone Think that the Hiawatha Service Currently CHI-MKE will be Extended to Madison any time soon? I heard their is talk about it and if it's ever Extended My Grandma and me will ride it from MKE-Madison. So do you think it will happen in 2005 or 06? Also I heard their talk about going over 79. Will this ever happen?

AmtrakFan
  by RMadisonWI
 
Will not happen in 2005. Probably not 2006. Possibly by the end of the decade. I don't know all the details, but it takes a lot of bureaucratic work to get something like this done.

For example, the Metra extension from Kenosha to Milwaukee will not happen before 2008, if everything works perfectly, and I believe that project is further along than the Madison train service is.

I think they completed the environmental study on Madison service. Not sure what the next step is. But still, there's one key element missing to make the whole project work: $$$

  by metrarider
 
for those who have not been following the issue, here's an article from the Milwaukee journal

http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwau ... tory2.html

Rising ridership is raising talk of increasing frequencies (to 10 round trips daily) and speed, and extending to Madison
  by RMadisonWI
 
Due to an apparent equipment malfunction (most likely engine failure) train 332(11), which was to turn from train 329 (which arrived on time), was cancelled out of Milwaukee today, and the consist was coupled to train 334.

As a result of the equipment (and probably also crew) not being available, train 333 was cancelled northbound, which also meant train 336 southbound was cancelled. After that, everything operated, more or less, normally.

  by AmtrakFan
 
Sounds like a wild day. That's why I think they should keep an extra Locomotive in Milwaukee.

AmtrakFan
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Good point, Mr. Fan--

It would be hard to deny that Amtrak has a surplus of diesel road locomotives.

Only problem, does the responsibility for the Hiawathas deisre to have the full cost, operating and capital, of a spare locomotive charged to his/her Res Loc?
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

  by RMadisonWI
 
There's no need for an extra locomotive in Milwaukee. Problem days like this happen maybe once a month. I, personally, have never been late riding a Hiawatha train. Never had a trip cancelled either.

Having a locomotive sit, useless, in Milwaukee for three or four weeks before it's needed would be a waste of money, especially since you can't just leave it there until it's needed. It would require constant maintenance. Then there's the issue of storage, though I guess you could put it on the track with all the private cars.

  by AmtrakFan
 
RMadisonWI wrote:There's no need for an extra locomotive in Milwaukee. Problem days like this happen maybe once a month. I, personally, have never been late riding a Hiawatha train. Never had a trip cancelled either.

Having a locomotive sit, useless, in Milwaukee for three or four weeks before it's needed would be a waste of money, especially since you can't just leave it there until it's needed. It would require constant maintenance. Then there's the issue of storage, though I guess you could put it on the track with all the private cars.
Who owns the PV's? Also you have a good Point Mr. Madison about the Locomotive never thought of that.

AmtrakFan

  by max
 
Driving back from the East, I stayed over at Racine last evening. Since I had some time this morning, I stopped at Sturtevant for the 8:30 Hiawatha arrival for Chicago. On time; about 40 people boarded; $19 to Chicago. The equipment was FILTHY. The station should be condemned. Its interior is a horror. Bags of garbage were stacked along a decrepit, litter strewn fence along the platform. It all speaks unsafe, unsanitary, and forlorn. Altogether, only a railfan could see beyond that place. Too bad the attempt to build a new station a mile away in a better location has fallen through.

Afterwards, I drove a few miles to Kenosha to Metra's end-of-line station (exCNW). What a difference! 8:30 departure (which I naturally missed); clean; nice down-home, friendly coffee shop in the station; taxi, city bus, and a trolley line service at the station; $6.10 to Chicago!!
  by RMadisonWI
 
Took the Hiawatha yesterday down to Chicago and back. Met Mr. Hinton (member "meh") and spent some time exploring the CTA system.

Anyway, as it pertains to this list, I'll note that the Hiawatha had a pretty bad day yesterday. In fact, yesterday marked the first time that I had been on on a Hiawatha train that arrived at its destination "late" (using the DOT's allowance of up to 15 minutes). Tr. 332(30) arrived 16 minutes late, with 90225, 51002, 54555, 54501, 54518, 519. Car 54555 was painted in the new paint scheme, and 51002 was a long-distance coach (which has apparently been on the Hiawatha for quite some time now) with all seats facing towards Milwaukee (meaning I had to ride backwards to enjoy the additional legroom).

Train 329(30) arrived into Milwaukee 20-25 minutes late, had only a handful of people on board, and they started boarding almost immediately. We left 7 minutes late. One of the (two or three) passengers that came in on 329 lost his cell phone and was walking through our car looking for it (don't know if he found it). I don't know if that was the only reason for the delay.

Slowdowns occurred immediately out of Milwaukee, taking nearly 11 minutes to get to a crossing on the south side where I sometimes go to photograph Amtrak trains (normal travel time to that spot is 5-6 minutes). A bit slow also going past the new airport station construction. I don't know if that building is going to be ready in time for the 22 November opening.

Further slowdowns occurred in Metra territory as they were rebuilding some grade crossings and performing some other track work. Train arrived at 9:45 (vs. 9:29 schedule). As a side note, I later rode a Metra Milwaukee-North train that arrived 20 minutes behind schedule, so Amtrak wasn't the only service screwed up by the track work.

An Amtrak conductor told me that yesterday, train 334 was misrouted onto the UP freight line to Bensenville, and had to stop, back up (presumably with permission from the dispatcher), and resume its normal routing.

Anyway, at the end of the day, I got to Chicago Union Station at around 16:45, just as the Empire Builder was pulling in. One of the conductors on 8 happened to be a friend of mine, so we rode back to MKE together on 339(30). Train 338 (the inbound) was late getting to Chicago, arriving after 17:00 (scheduled arrival 16:29). I don't know all the reasons for the delay, but one problem that apparently occurred on that trip was the train lost HEP, and had to run dark all the way in from Sturtevant.

There was a delay in boarding while they fixed that problem, but they managed to fix the problem quickly, and get us on board. We left at 17:23, 15 minutes late, with 183, 54556, 54524, 54566, 54547, 90208. We continued to run slowly, and even sat at one point for 5-10 minutes to let a freight train through (there was a lot of freight traffic on the line last night). Got into MKE at 19:03, 18 minutes late. That would make me 0 for 3 on "big train" OTP yesterday. Overall, though, Amtrak is still 41/43 (95%) in on-time performance on Hiawatha trains that I've taken.

  by AmtrakFan
 
Well when I ride the Hiawahta's they are normally good less than the most was 30 Min Late due to Locomotive Issues.

AmtrakFan

  by JamesT4
 
Slow downs always happen, because from spring mostally to just the first snowfall(2" or more) it is prime time for metra to do construction on it's lines.

I just rode the hiawahta on friday, and the train had to slow down, because they were doing construction of the Milwaukee Airport station, and some other projects, on the tracks that are owned by CP Rail. My train had came in about 15-20 min. late.

Also notice that in september or early october some people remove bolts from one high voltage power lines, and it fell, and knocked over another power line on the CP Rail tracks stopping hiawahta service for up to 2 days.
  by 7 Train
 
On the Hiawatha corridor, there are currently 5 stations, serving the Chicago-Milwaukee region.

Sturtevant station serves Racine. However Kenosha, a larger city than Racine (population 92,513, Racine 81,855) yet has no Amtrak service. (There is Metra commuter service in downtown.) This leaves one major Chicagoland anchor city unserved by the National Rail System.

Are there any plans for a Kenosha station?

  by AmtrakFan
 
NO Kensoa has Metra I would like to see one serve them though like Present Prarie.

  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
There is plans to run Metra trains via Kenosha to Milwaukee in the near future on the Union Pacific line. With Amtrak stations in Milwaukee and Chicago, a service like that is good enough.
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