• Illinois Amtrak Service

  • 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 gokeefe
 
GWoodle wrote: Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:55 pmThe Wabash once ran Hannibal-Springfield probably has not seen a passenger train since the 1950's.
Well now it's a real contender! :wink:

Are there still active tracks in place?
  by mtuandrew
 
gokeefe wrote: Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:54 pm
GWoodle wrote: Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:55 pmThe Wabash once ran Hannibal-Springfield probably has not seen a passenger train since the 1950's.
Well now it's a real contender! :wink:

Are there still active tracks in place?
Yes there are, it’s part of the NS Kansas City Line. I can’t speak to the speed restrictions or signaling though.
  by HammerJack
 
I've asked this before, but I'm not around the area enough to see for myself. Are Lincoln Service trains hitting 90mph yet, or are we still at 79mph? I remember hearing that the 2019 construction season would allow for 90mph running on certain sections, and the 2020 season would expand to 110mph.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Hammer Jack, I think there need be acceptance that ARRA09 (Stimulus) funding built the Union Pacific an additional access to Chicago, and along which, they built an Intermodal facility near Joliet. Passenger trains have been subject to delays and busitutions since 2010 when the project started. To my best knowledge, passenger trains still operate at 79mph, and are "holed" for Uncle Pete's freight trains, on the single tracked line. When two UP's meet, the passenger is tucked into a siding behind the UP, the meet occurs, then the passenger is backed out of the siding and is then run around the UP.

What should have been done from the start was to restore the double track that the GM&O yanked during '68. If the funding was sufficient for only a single track road, then UP should have been reaching in for the additional funds needed. If ponying up for such was unacceptable, then UP should have been content with its existing Southern access over the C&EI.

The only way there will be the promised HSR and the existing UP freight service is to restore the double track.

disclaimer: author is long UNP, and is not proud of how his company handled this matter.
  by StLouSteve
 
Yes chi to stl is still stuck at 79 mph. There was a short section near Dwight that was 90 for a while but all is back to 79. Blame is on need for PTC and official word is that higher speed is still coning soon.

Double track would have been ideal but there have been significant improvements on the route with regard to time keeping, new stations, ride quality, new locos and increased ridership.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
StLouSteve wrote: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:26 am Yes chi to stl is still stuck at 79 mph. There was a short section near Dwight that was 90 for a while but all is back to 79. Blame is on need for PTC and official word is that higher speed is still coning soon.
FRA still needs to finish vetting I-ETMS (PTC system) for higher speed operation.
  by ryanch
 
Just want to mention my original suggestion of Chicago-Memphis was predicated on the idea of improvements north of Champaign, where 3/day might be sufficient business to merit such improvements, allowing a timetable fast enough to turn the train so it didn't require additional equipment. That may be based on my ignorance of how much time you'd have to save before a single trainset could be used. But I thought mention it. I don't think such a service is worth buying additional equipment for. I only thought it would worthwhile if existing equipment could turn.

It's disheartening to hear the estimate that Carbondale is only sending roughly a busload of people north. My instinct is that Carbondale gets far more Chicago metro students than posters above surmise, but in-state v. out-of-state and Chicago v. downstate student population stats are surprisingly hard to google. This article suggests that they see Chicago and St. Louis as their most important recruiting centers:
https://www.dailyherald.com/article/201 ... /304159840

On the subject of Illinois E-W service, the old Illinois High Speed Rail plan included E-W feeder routes. Even that wildly ambitious plan, with Springfield-Champaign, St. Louis-Centralia, Peoria-Bloomington and Independent Quincy, Quad Cities, Galena and Peoria E-W lines to Chicago, never envisioned Hannibal train service, instead showing a Quincy-Springfield bus line. Quincy is pretty tiny, and the days when Hannibal was a major tourist destination are long gone.

I don't know that Chicago-Memphis is feasible. But you've got a relatively big city with a tourism draw and one of the largest, most rail-friendly metros in the country, with some long-time cultural links through the Great Migration; big student centers along the way; and existing corridor service much of the way. If Chicago-Memphis isn't feasible, I don't see how any other Midwestern corridor is feasible.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The Illinois "regional" schools - Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western, ISU, and from which any will provide a quality education sufficient to "get in the door" at major corporations, all have had "enrollment issues" of late. Many other schools, away from the elites, are confronted with same. Further, many an Out of State school has been advertising in the Chicago market that their OOS tuition beats in-State at any of the Illinois schools. So much of college selection by students today is rightly based upon "bang for the buck" considerations.

Apparently, UI-Urbana-Champaign is "full up" - and with many, many International students paying OOS "full freight" ($31K/yr tuition). Nice "profit center" for the State. Gone are the days when I matriculated at U of I Sep '61; OOS - and with tuition and fees of $620/yr! ($5325 inflation adjusted today)

But all told, less students, less demand for rail travel.

Switching to another point, I've commented adversely at this topic how ARRA09 built the UP an additional Southern line into Chicago. Another travesty was how the IC, in direct violation of the May 1, 1971 Agreement, reduced the "degree of utility" of its line to Carbondale. On A-Day, it was double tracked, albeit manual block (towers). Passenger trains could operate at 100mph - and they were "always more or less" on time! (5-6 Panama; "precisely"). Today, the line has been single tracked (CTC), and as CN further implements "Precision Railroading", it will become even more difficult for passenger trains to move expediently over the road.
  by Arlington
 
The point about state schools--particularly UIUC--is well-taken. With such high international enrollment, the need to travel any place intra-state is way down compared to, say, 2005. International kids are not going to back to METRA territory to visit, they just need a bus to O'Hare a couple of times per year (and maybe at Chinese New Year).
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Keep this in mind about college students: they are not on the train on a frequent basis. Off to college, Fall break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring break, back home. Unless I missed something, that's 12 trips max a student would do if the train were convenient. Most of them drive themselve, carpool or fly. So colleges don't really add a lot of regular riders, would be my opinion.
  by ExCon90
 
... and when they do it's all at once.
  by Arlington
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:17 pmcolleges don't really add a lot of regular riders, would be my opinion.
Bus companies discovered, though, that at a big enough state school, you've often got a girlfriend/boyfriend back in "the big City" (Chicago, in this case) that drives bi-directional weekend visiting. It is ideal to be a charter bus company during the week and then run scheduled campus-t0-Chicagoland trips on Fri/Sat/Su (https://peoriacharter.com/schedule.php?tt=OW) (and daily onesies to Ohare and Chicago)

It helps, though to have biggish cities --in Virginia's case each of Roanoke, C'Ville, Lynchburg are in the 200k to 300k range and Blacksburg is 180k. That powers both the Lynchburger and a a daily VirginiaBreeze.org bus (which directly targets the colleges along I-81)
  by Station Aficionado
 
I’ll second that. As the parent of a child who went to a Tidewater college, I can attest that there’s a decent amount of student travel to DC and NYC most weekends through the school year. Maybe Illinois is different.
  by skibum77
 
I don't think Illinois is any different. I went to college at Missouri State (wish we had train service there!), and our campus emptied out pretty much every weekend. Lots of students would make the 3 hour drive to STL or KC every weekend, not just for breaks. I realize it was now 20 years ago when I was there, but I don't think it would be very different now. Maybe students in Carbondale won't go to Chicago every weekend with that being a 5 or 6 hour trip, but to get to Bloomington or Champaign in 3 hours or less, college students probably wouldn't think twice about doing that trip on a whim.
  by David Benton
 
I would think foreign students would also like to explore Chicago , and maybe other destinations on the weekends. They are unlikely to drive.
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