• 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

  by dgvrengineer
 
The Milwaukee had double track over the entire route. Not sure if was in their declining days or after CP took over, but it is now 5 to 10 miles of single track then 5 to 10 miles of double track over most of the route between Milwaukee and St. Paul. I do agree that double track over the entire route of any new service would be a probable requirement.
  by east point
 
dgvrengineer wrote: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:42 pm The Milwaukee had double track over the entire route. Not sure if was in their declining days or after CP took over, but it is now 5 to 10 miles of single track then 5 to 10 miles of double track over most of the route between Milwaukee and St. Paul. I do agree that double track over the entire route of any new service would be a probable requirement.
The last time I rode the route the ROW was still in place. Even better on the single track segments all signal equipment was placed back of the old tracks so restoring the double track sections would not require moving bungalows. That way only signal work in the bungalows would be needed and of course new crossovers and second tracks.
  by ryanch
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:04 pm It seems to me there was a plan to extend a few commuter trains as far as Watertown many years ago.
I'm sure you're right, but it's not a very active idea, since a quick google didn't turns up nothing. Heritage service ended in 1972. Aside from noting that the state purchased Madison-Watertown trackage in prep for the Madison service, Watertown isn't mentioned in the Wisconsin Rail Plan 2030.

(edited - I originally wrote 'Milwaukee-Watertown trackage', but it should be Madison, not Milwaukee.)
  by ryanch
 
dgvrengineer wrote: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:42 pm I do agree that double track over the entire route of any new service would be a probable requirement.
Am I wrong in thinking CP has not required double track over the entire route Milwaukee Chicago, even with much higher levels of passenger service? To add another two round trips, they're asking for two long sidings, right?

Why would Dells-Milwaukee be different? More freight? If so, it surprises me.

How should I read the diagram here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watertown_Subdivision

Does this indicate a substantial number of sidings that might be the basis for a continuous second track, or am I misreading it? Or are sidings not really good building blocks for a second track?
  by ryanch
 
It's surprising to me that anyone ever gets rid of a 2nd main while maintaining that much of it. It seems like the benefits of just being able to say you're on the westbound track for the next hour would be significant, rather than having to manage entry and exit into sidings.

Or do some of them function like sidings at this point, with loading/unloading of cargo? That would restrict your ability to consider it a second main (though obviously, a continuous second track would have enormous benefits even if there were cars parked in certain sections at certain times.)
  by lstone19
 
ryanch wrote: Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:42 am Or do some of them function like sidings at this point, with loading/unloading of cargo? That would restrict your ability to consider it a second main (though obviously, a continuous second track would have enormous benefits even if there were cars parked in certain sections at certain times.)
Depends if it's "double track" (two tracks each signaled for movement in one direction only) or "two main tracks" (two tracks signaled for movement in both directions with CTC (or equivalent)). If it's "double track", then getting around stopped or standing equipment is complicated since it requires the appropriate form to be issued. While I'm not current on GCOR rule numbers, under NORAC, "double track" is rule 251 while "two (or more) main tracks" is rule 261. Any discussion of the capacity of a second track is meaningless without knowing under what signaling and rules it operates.

While I know nothing of the line west of Milwaukee, the C&M (Chicago to Milwaukee) is all "two main tracks" (three main tracks for the first five miles out of Chicago).
  by Tadman
 
It would be interesting to see if a master plan between UP, CP, Amtrak, and Metra could be worked out on the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor. There are a few important givens here:

1. UP and CP basically do not run freight south of a certain point, as it's now diverted to Bensenville or Proviso
2. Hiawatha, Kenosha, and Fox Lake commuter trains are here to stay
3. It's going to be hard to add track capacity to either UP or CP mains at this point.

The take-away from these points is that UP and CP are here to stay north of Roundout/Techny or wherever they choose to divert freight trains to the freight yards to the west. The same for the corridor and commuter trains.

Perhaps there are small amounts of capacity at different times on either main that might be better used if all four carriers sat down and looked at their needs and did something similar to CN/CP in British Columbia. I'm not necessarily suggesting directional running, just looking at things and making sense of them in order to make the passenger and freght trains move better.
  by GWoodle
 
ryanch wrote: Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:42 am It's surprising to me that anyone ever gets rid of a 2nd main while maintaining that much of it. It seems like the benefits of just being able to say you're on the westbound track for the next hour would be significant, rather than having to manage entry and exit into sidings.

Or do some of them function like sidings at this point, with loading/unloading of cargo? That would restrict your ability to consider it a second main (though obviously, a continuous second track would have enormous benefits even if there were cars parked in certain sections at certain times.)
IC now CN did the same thing. With CTC better to have 1 good track than 2 streaks of rust. In some cases, the 2nd main used for passing siding (CTC controls turnouts}. May save some money not having 2nd track with bridges, grade crossings, other items to maintain. Under Precision Railroading maybe you get back to opposing freight go into siding then continue 40mph in long enough siding. Unloading of cargo depends on the number of freight customers en route. May still need siding to do switching runaround moves depending how industry points face. May depend if you can keep the old grain elevator operating for 25 miles or so. These days need to fill cuts of cars not just 1 at a time.
  by eolesen
 
Tadman wrote: Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:43 am It would be interesting to see if a master plan between UP, CP, Amtrak, and Metra could be worked out on the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor. There are a few important givens here:

1. UP and CP basically do not run freight south of a certain point, as it's now diverted to Bensenville or Proviso
2. Hiawatha, Kenosha, and Fox Lake commuter trains are here to stay
3. It's going to be hard to add track capacity to either UP or CP mains at this point.
CP already runs over the UP exiting the C&M at Shermer to get to Bensenville. Directional running as a joint line between Shermer and Milwaukee could solve quite a bit of the capacity problem, but connecting the UP and CP in Milwaukee won't be cheap. Might be easier to run a connector south by Pleasant Prairie where the two parallel by less than a mile or so.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
dgvrengineer wrote: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:42 pmThe Milwaukee had double track over the entire route. Not sure if was in their declining days or after CP took over, but it is now 5 to 10 miles of single track then 5 to 10 miles of double track over most of the route between Milwaukee and St. Paul.
The line noted was single tracked starting about 1980 (I was still there, but looking about for "the next chapter") using loan guarantees under the 1976 "4R Act". The loan guarantees called for one track only to be Class 4 (F 60, P79) while the portions of the other track would become sidings.

Possibly SOO/CP has restored such during their ownership, but I "escaped" now 38 years ago.
  by mtuandrew
 
eolesen wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:41 amCP already runs over the UP exiting the C&M at Shermer to get to Bensenville. Directional running as a joint line between Shermer and Milwaukee could solve quite a bit of the capacity problem, but connecting the UP and CP in Milwaukee won't be cheap. Might be easier to run a connector south by Pleasant Prairie where the two parallel by less than a mile or so.
UP freight over CP is already possible, via the connection at S Kinnickinnick Ave and E Bay St and looping south and west to the UP yard. CP freight over UP would either require reversing directions at E Bay once they came off the ex-CNW, or rebuilding the passenger connection between CNW and MILW at E Washington (which fouls the CP passenger main.)

Makes me think CP should host fast intermodal while UP gets coal drags, rather than directional.
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