• Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

  • 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

  • 8942 posts
  • 1
  • 571
  • 572
  • 573
  • 574
  • 575
  • 597
  by TRNE
 
Not a word in that article about how TrainRiders/NE has kept the station open for Downeaster passengers for more than a decade. Dover's passenger load has continued to grow over the years, but the city wants income from the property, trashing their responsibility to traveling public.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
gokeefe wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:34 pmNo effect.
So, you are telling us that CP is on board with running the Downeaster up to Rockland? Good news, and a fast agreement, for sure.
  by Dick H
 
Regarding the Dover Station "tenant": A year ago there was a proposal for a bagel shop. In the end, the operator essentially wanted nothing to do with the DE passengers, except if they were buying bagels, etc. This time around with the deli operation, there is a extensive lease agreement that requires deli employees to have a one day course on the operation of the DE, tickets and information. If the deli is a major success, the employees sure won't have time to be checking the status of the train and when it is late, such as during temperature speed restrictions, weather events and the infamous PAR freight train breakdowns.

The station building was never designed to have a separate area for a tenant that can be secured when the tenant is not open and still provide at least some waiting room facilities. The main entrance to the station is on the east end facing the high level platform, while the rest rooms are on the west end beyond the end of the low level platform. Initially, it appeared that only the vestibule on the east end and the rest rooms on the west end would be open when there was a station host available and the deli was closed, which would have included weekends, as the original contract called for a 6 AM to 2 PM Monday to Friday deli operation. The Foster's article seems to have modified that.

As noted in a post above, the Trainriders/NE has had a modest group of volunteer hosts staffing the station for most DE arrivals and departures. In addition to assisting passengers, they also "policed" the station and platform area for trash and other duties. Half or more of these volunteers are well along in years and if there is no longer a counter area inside the station for them to do passenger business, I don't expect them to continue to be station hosts.

Three other sub/pizza type shops, one across the tracks from the station and two others in the next block have closed their doors within the last month. The contract for the station deli extends out for five years. Several other eateries in the downtown area have closed over the past year.
At any rate, the 63,000 plus passengers that boarded and detained at Dover will surely have less facilities available at the Dover station in the future.
  by gokeefe
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:33 am
gokeefe wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:34 pmNo effect.
So, you are telling us that CP is on board with running the Downeaster up to Rockland? Good news, and a fast agreement, for sure.
No, I'm saying that it's my impression of the likely outcome.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
gokeefe wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:54 pm
Rockingham Racer wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:33 am
gokeefe wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:34 pmNo effect.
So, you are telling us that CP is on board with running the Downeaster up to Rockland? Good news, and a fast agreement, for sure.
No, I'm saying that it's my impression of the likely outcome.
Ah, okay, George. Given that you hold some position of authority :-D up there, I thought you might have had some "inside info".
And I hope you're right!!
  by gokeefe
 
No "authority" whatsoever. Just my thoughts likely colored by a little bit of hope.

I think it's a very reasonable question. Having a Class I as the contract operator is a completely different business proposition than a Class III.

I would note that at no point have I gotten the impression that the line operator was in any way shape or form a part of the problem.

This extension has had delays related to funding (political not fiscal) and some operations and procedure changes at Amtrak.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
CP has a very good reputation with Amtrak on their Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul runs. I think they'll do fine Brunswick to Rockland.
  by mtuandrew
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:25 am CP has a very good reputation with Amtrak on their Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul runs. I think they'll do fine Brunswick to Rockland.
CP really does try to hustle the Empire Builder and Hiawatha Service well. How’s their timeliness Albany-Rouses Point on the D&H?

From an outside perspective the Rockland Branch seems ripe for a new operator, not because CP would be incompetent but because it doesn’t really fit their system whatsoever. Remember that they spun off the entire ex-MILW operation in Indiana, another marginal system disconnected from their main lines. Seems like it would be a better fit for SL&A at least? It doesn’t connect with them either, but Genesee & Western would at least take the time to develop carload freight on the line.
  by gokeefe
 
Regardless of follow on effects I have to agree that CP seems unlikely to operate the Rockland Branch "forever".
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Amtrak operates to Brunswick, correct? I assume they will operate to Rockland, whoever the owner is. I agree that this line is an orphan for CP. Wouldn't be surprise to see them sell it.
  by charlesriverbranch
 
CP isn't going to sell the Rockland Branch because it's owned by the state of Maine; CM&Q is leasing it.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
charlesriverbranch wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:15 pm CP isn't going to sell the Rockland Branch because it's owned by the state of Maine; CM&Q is leasing it.
Oops. :-D :-D
  by dgvrengineer
 
My guess is if it is allowed in the lease with the state, they will sub-lease it to a shortline.
  by MEC407
 
WATCO has already taken over some paper mill switching at PAR-served mills in Maine; it would be surprising if WATCO didn't also bid on the Rockland Branch contract. Or the contract could go to someone totally out in left field: we were all surprised when it went to Morristown & Erie several years ago, and Safe Handling a few years before that. Or we could see another new startup come in, much like Maine Coast Railroad did in the '80s.
  • 1
  • 571
  • 572
  • 573
  • 574
  • 575
  • 597