• All things Harrisburg (Keystone) Line

  • 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 BuddSilverliner269
 
Per the current Mid Atlantic Bulletin order, All signals between Holland and Thorn interlockings are being converted from position light signals, to color position light signals.
  by Lackawanna565
 
Is rule 562 going to be used from Holland to Thorn interlocking?
  by BuddSilverliner269
 
Lackawanna565 wrote:Is rule 562 going to be used from Holland to Thorn interlocking?
Eventually rule 562 signalling is SUPPOSEDLY run from zoo all the way to Harrisburg. I say supposedly because who knows how the money will look in the future. Amtrak may decide to lleave well enough alone. Time will tell.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Enquiring mind wants to know

Is there an additional report regarding rail passenger service (any speed) through Western Pennsylvania?

Under what enacted legislation is such mandated? (ARRA 09, Div B RSIA '08, other)
  by afiggatt
 
Suburban Station wrote:anyone know when the "Keystone west HSR" report is due?
If you are asking about the $750,000 planning grant awarded from the $8 billion HSR stimulus funding, they may not have even started on it yet. Depends on if the study will done mainly inhouse by PennDot and Amtrak or whether it will mainly be done by a contractor. If all or some part of it is to be contracted out, then they likely had to wait until the Feds actually provide the funds and then go through the whole announcement and bid process. Probably won't see a report for a year or longer.

However, I see The Transport Politic website has an entry today on the recently released PA state rail plan (http://thetransportpolitic.com/). I think his criticism of the slowness of the federal bureaucracy to coordinate and lay out a real plan for a national HSR system is mostly unwarranted because the funds were not there until recently and the agencies are limited in what they can do until the administration & Congress gets serious about providing sustained funding and a framework for HSR and intercity rail projects as part of the next multi-year transportation bill. The PA state rail plan documents can be found at http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/Bur ... 5?OpenForm. I just started scanning through some of them, a lot of fluff, but interesting stuff nonetheless.
  by Suburban Station
 
afiggatt wrote: If you are asking about the $750,000 planning grant awarded from the $8 billion HSR stimulus funding, they may not have even started on it yet. Depends on if the study will done mainly inhouse by PennDot and Amtrak or whether it will mainly be done by a contractor. If all or some part of it is to be contracted out, then they likely had to wait until the Feds actually provide the funds and then go through the whole announcement and bid process. Probably won't see a report for a year or longer.
yes, that report. the idea was that they should study what high speed options they have before they go paying for improvements to the existing ROW to get a 2nd (or fourth) train to Pitt or Altoona. Of coruse, from the PRIIA report, it seems obvious that if the existing ROW is going to be used, the outside track by the stations, which was removed, needs to be put back at the very least. luckily the track that was removed was the passenger track so it should be somewhat straightforward in putting it back. Of course, what improvements can be made to increase speeds is another story. What was frustrating about the last report is it didn't look at what would be necessary to get two trips out of the same equipment. that scenario would unquestionaly have lower mechanical costs and higher ridership than one at the slower trip time requiring doubel the equipment.
afiggatt wrote: However, I see The Transport Politic website has an entry today on the recently released PA state rail plan (http://thetransportpolitic.com/). I think his criticism of the slowness of the federal bureaucracy to coordinate and lay out a real plan for a national HSR system is mostly unwarranted because the funds were not there until recently and the agencies are limited in what they can do until the administration & Congress gets serious about providing sustained funding and a framework for HSR and intercity rail projects as part of the next multi-year transportation bill. The PA state rail plan documents can be found at http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/Bur ... 5?OpenForm. I just started scanning through some of them, a lot of fluff, but interesting stuff nonetheless.
yeah, it was a disappointment IMO. I think the state could have gotten a better product if they had gotten a group of railroad.net volunteers but that's me. I also think some of it is political, Rendell's days are numbered and there is a lack of interest in doing anything new. even the old stuff he did fell apart (act 44). for me, if onorato, wagner, or corbett win (don't know enough about rohrer) I think Keystone West has a good chance of seeing progress. At any rate, I found the PRIIA PA study more illuminating and the new $1.5 million HSR study should finally put some cost and engineering figures to west of Harrisburg, and hopefully some kind of ridership projections. it amazes me that the Pennsylvanian is so well ridden when it's so slow (though it is a nice ride, esp in spring and fall).
  by Suburban Station
 
seems like there are some parallels here, let's hope PennDOT has a similar epiphany and drops the airport station from contention.
The analysis also found that rail infrastructure costs would be $13 million higher at the airport than at Monona Terrace.

Doyle said he originally signaled support for the airport because he thought there would be more parking there, but it turned out the parking is needed for long-term expansion of the airport.

Klein said the decision to go Downtown does not mean the state has lost confidence in receiving federal funding to extend the line to Minneapolis. Rather, the state may consider a second Madison station at the airport when it extends the line. The state was awarded $1 million by the Federal Railroad Administration to study that extension.

'Economic development potential is unlimited'

Leaders emphasized the economic development potential of a Monona Terrace station. Imagine, said Ald. Mike Verveer, visitors getting off the train beneath a refurbished building at 1 W. Wilson St. and having a porter carrying their bags up to their hotel room, then walking a block to buy locally grown produce at a public market where the Government East parking ramp once stood.
http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ ... 002e0.html
  by gp80mac
 
Why drop the airport station? Makes no sense to take what could be a tri-modal station (bus, air, rail) and replace it with a station on the edge of middletown. And by doing so, they would have to relocate the M&H RR interchange AGAIN. And tons of tax money was used to build the current one... talk about a waste.
  by Suburban Station
 
gp80mac wrote:Why drop the airport station? Makes no sense to take what could be a tri-modal station (bus, air, rail) and replace it with a station on the edge of middletown. And by doing so, they would have to relocate the M&H RR interchange AGAIN. And tons of tax money was used to build the current one... talk about a waste.
the airport station makes no sense, that's why. who is going to take the train to outside of middletown and transfer to a bus? no one, that's who. it's unrealistic. it's also misleading since there's no reason a bus can't stop at the AP Green site. just as they found with madison, if it's not walking distance, they aren't going to take the train there. as noted upthread, an airport stop is further away from the airport parking than the AP Green site, not closer, and requires the train to cross NS which should have been a fatal flaw. just as with madison, it's an inferior site. middletowners seem to prefer the current station, but the greene site seems to offer a decent compromise. it's clearly superior to the so-called airport site and more flexible than the current site yet still within walking distance of "downtown." the downside is it puts the station at far walk from a large swath of very walkable MDT but certainly more accessible than an outside town airport stop. I just hope PennDOT realizes the error the same way Madison did. even better, the Greene site will coincide with exactly the sort of development we want to encourage around stations.
  by gp80mac
 
Suburban Station wrote:
the airport station makes no sense, that's why. who is going to take the train to outside of middletown and transfer to a bus? no one, that's who. it's unrealistic. it's also misleading since there's no reason a bus can't stop at the AP Green site. just as they found with madison, if it's not walking distance, they aren't going to take the train there. as noted upthread, an airport stop is further away from the airport parking than the AP Green site, not closer, and requires the train to cross NS which should have been a fatal flaw. just as with madison, it's an inferior site. middletowners seem to prefer the current station, but the greene site seems to offer a decent compromise. it's clearly superior to the so-called airport site and more flexible than the current site yet still within walking distance of "downtown." the downside is it puts the station at far walk from a large swath of very walkable MDT but certainly more accessible than an outside town airport stop. I just hope PennDOT realizes the error the same way Madison did. even better, the Greene site will coincide with exactly the sort of development we want to encourage around stations.
And what sense does it make to put the station on the edge of town at AP Green? Without seeing any kind of studies, I'd guess the majority of people using amtrak out of Middletown are driving to the station. So what does it matter if they get on their car in Middletown or just outside of Middletown? Except the fact that the airport stop would be closer to the I-283 connector. AP Green isn't in walking distance of a majority of Middletown residents as it is on the edge of town. It is still not within a reasonable walking distance (a couple of blocks) to downtown. Not like there's anything in "downtown" Middletown to brag about.

A HIA station would hopefully be closer to the actual terminal. The AP green site is just closer to the edge of their long term parking (but still a good distance away from the actual terminal). But if you are in a car, the difference between driving to AP Green and the airport is about 2 minutes, tops. CAT actually had a park and ride out of one of the lots near the airport.

Of course the people in Middletown prefer their current station - the parking is FREE (both in the lot and on surrounding streets). They know any change in the location will mean they will have to pay to park their cars.

And of course the cost of an AP Green station will involve rebuilding and moving the M&H RR interchange AGAIN. More tax money flushed down the toilet. To think that moving the station at AP Green is suddenly going to revitalize downtown middletown is foolish. It's a train station.
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