• Amtrak NEC Virginia Regional 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 Alex M
 
According to the DC2RVA plans, they plan to use the existing route through Fredericksburg and rebuild the viaduct through that city with a third main line. I don't see this as a high speed line. It doesn't need to be. It just has to provide reliable and timely service.
  by Riverduckexpress
 
Alex M wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:22 pm According to the DC2RVA plans, they plan to use the existing route through Fredericksburg and rebuild the viaduct through that city with a third main line. I don't see this as a high speed line. It doesn't need to be. It just has to provide reliable and timely service.
Yeah this is hardly HSR, at least between DC and Richmond. The ROW is still going to be only 2 tracks in some areas, most notably in Ashland, max speed of 90 MPH, and still low-level platforms. Not to mention some news articles seem to outright imply that Virginia is buying the entire ROW. But i don't want to be entirely negative, this is still progress.
  by ryanch
 
I'm glad you can bring yourself not to be entirely negative about a plan that will result in 16 round trips a day on Amtrak, making it the best-served non-NEC corridor on the continent.
  by Alex M
 
One simple way one could deal with LD is any route that covers 50% of expenses from the farebox would be spared. The others would be dropped or cut back to corridor service.
  by Alex M
 
Disregard the above post as I meant to post on another site. My bad.
  by gokeefe
 
ryanch wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:00 pm I'm glad you can bring yourself not to be entirely negative about a plan that will result in 16 round trips a day on Amtrak, making it the best-served non-NEC corridor on the continent.
I was starting to wonder about that. I realized that at 12+ trains per day you start to run out of other competitive corridors really quickly.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The route from DC to Richmond is very important from a business perspective. There are probably many people who travel back and fourth between DC, Alexandria, and Richmond and vice versa. I'm sure that many of those people don't do it daily but whenever they have a job assignment that needs to get done, then yes. People who live around Fredericksburg who want to go to cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City will prefer to have more rail options rather than having to either drive to a Metro Station like Franconia-Springfield or all the way into DC to get their train for their journey northward. DC to Richmond will be like a Capitol Corridor, given that you will be able to travel 100 something miles between two capitol cities.
  by gokeefe
 
In the Amfleet replacement thread we've been discussing why Anderson made statements in favor of MU trainsets (potentially dual mode). Faster transit times to Virginia from Maryland and Delaware would seem to make a lot of sense as a benefit for increased service. The whole "wait 45 minutes in DC" routine isn't going to be acceptable anymore.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The dwell times at DC Union Station have never been acceptable period. People want to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. I have a friend who lived in Newport News for a short time. She never took the train out of there very much because it took too long and it still does. She told me that she knows many people who live in towns around Richmond who drive north to DC to catch the train. The layover times for trains at DC Union Station heading to the south and vice versa vary. On Sundays, Amtrak Train # 157 is scheduled to have a layover time of 27 minutes. I think many of the trains layover at DC for between 30 and 45 minutes. It would be great to have as much dwell time reduced at DC Union Station.
  by gokeefe
 
Given the market opportunity at hand for Amtrak I think it's very likely that will happen. Dwell time at Union Station eliminates Amtrak's biggest advantage over other ground transportation between Maryland and Virginia. Specifically, the ability to pass through and stop in downtown DC without having to go around the Capital Beltway (I-495) at any point.
  by mtuandrew
 
I doubt it will ever be as bad as the North River Tunnels, but the 1st Street Tunnel does only have two tracks and that could eventually be a big limitation to southern service. It also will only ever have two tracks, unless someone can convince Congress to take a long break while they reconstruct the entire front plaza. That means dwell time on southbound trains is now incredibly important to minimize.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I think in order for our trains to be like European standards, the 28 minute plus layovers at DC must stop. Road traffic is a pain getting to DC as well as in the District itself. If you live between DC and Richmond and are taking Amtrak to get to Philadelphia or other cities in the Northeast as well as heading to Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, Fredericksburg, Ashland, and Richmond, by driving to DC to get the train, you must build in extra time than you might think in order to catch your train at Union Station. People who are starting or ending your trip in Alexandria while coming from the north would probably much rather be able to catch an Amtrak train there rather than do Metro to Union Station and grab Amtrak. First, when you take Metro from Alexandria to Union Station, the fastest route to take is the Yellow Line to Gallery Pl-Chinatown and then switch to the Red Line. At Gallery Pl-Chinatown, you have to head upstairs from the Yellow Line to the Red Line. You better hope that the escalators are working in the Metro as they have been hit or miss in the past. If there are ever 15 minute layovers for Amtrak trains heading from DC to Richmond as well as beyond and you board or detrain in Alexandria when heading to PHL or NYP, that will just be like saying a passenger who lives closer to Newark, NJ and wants to take the train to Boston will get on in Newark, rather than having to take a NJT train to NYP to connect to Amtrak there. I know plenty of people who live near Newark who use NWK Penn to head to cities on Amtrak in New England along the NEC and Springfield Line. By boarding the train at Newark Penn Station when heading to Boston, by the time the train arrives into NYP, Boston passengers would be able to choose the best seats before the crowd at NYP heading to a station along the north end of the NEC boards. Many Amtrak trains layover for 15 minutes at NYP.
  by Station Aficionado
 
gokeefe wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:28 pm
ryanch wrote: Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:00 pm I'm glad you can bring yourself not to be entirely negative about a plan that will result in 16 round trips a day on Amtrak, making it the best-served non-NEC corridor on the continent.
I was starting to wonder about that. I realized that at 12+ trains per day you start to run out of other competitive corridors really quickly.
Everyone here always forgets California. The Capital Corridor already has 15 round trips on weekdays, and the Surfliner has 13 (LA-SD), with more to come on both.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:50 pmI think in order for our trains to be like European standards, the 28 minute plus layovers at DC must stop.
Mr. NJT/MNR, you couldn't be more correct. "Been there done that" on the OBB approaching Linz (3rd largest Austrian city; second is Graz) and if this were Amtrak, there would be "higgling and piggiling" for maybe 20min or so. But "get 'em off, load 'em up" (even considering what the backpackers are handling), and be gone in two minutes is the standard (even Salzburg; 4th largest, same story).

But adding new classes of equipment such as self propelled MU's and Dual Mode locomotives, none of which in their limited Amtrak use have produced good results, might not be beneficial. Electrifying the RF&P might prove worthy, even if costly.

Finally, I must question to what extent have the MU "advocates" around here actually ridden the Diesel varietal - here or Overseas?

Joyeux Noel
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Gilbert, yes. Not much related to Amtrak Virginia but still related to Amtrak and layovers, I see that there are still multiple Keystones that still layover at 30th Street Station for 20 minutes when the layover times should be 10 minutes given that Keystones don't change engines very much anymore. I have been to Europe once and got to ride one of the Malev trains in Hungary from Budapest to Szeged. I think the route that we took was only a few hundred miles but fast.

If Amtrak wants to use self propelled MUs for their intercity services to Virginia, then good for them. If they want to use dual mode locomotives for the extensions of NE Regionals to Virginia, that's probably a little better. As for electrifying the RF&P, I don't think it would be much of a time savings. Plus there are still several CSX freight trains that use the RF&P. That's a very important route from the Northeast to the Southeast so let's not forget that, in terms of erecting catenary. It's not like the speeds will be raised a lot on the whole RF&P. The right of way is a bit curvy in many areas. Even in Ashland, where it is as straight as an arrow, the tracks through there will remain two tracks and the trains will slow down considerably.
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