• 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 Ridgefielder
 
gokeefe wrote: Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:20 pm
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:27 pm According to the AAR's one-time "Quiz on American Railroads" publication, the RF&P was reported to have three (3) miles of electrified railroad. Evidently, the PRR's "end of track" was on the District's side of the Potomac.
Sounds like a billing nightmare for the accounting department if I've ever heard of one.

Mr. Norman, I assume the Pennsy simply used their own ",juice". Do you think there was any kind of special deal for the RF&P, e.g. charging the PRR "rent" on the poles or something like that?
The Pennsy was a part owner of the RF&P. Ownership of the road's capital stock was split equally between all the Class I's that connected to it-- the PRR, B&O, ACL, SAL, SOU and C&O. That may have made the accounting easier.

Was the Long Bridge owned by the PRR or was it owned by the Washington Terminal Co.?
  by SouthernRailway
 
Wouldn't hourly passenger trains be above the minimum number of trains needed make electrification of the DC-Richmond route cost-effective?
  by ExCon90
 
According to the PRR Centennial History (commissioned by PRR in 1946 from Coverdale & Colpitts), on June 21, 1870 Congress extended to the Baltimore & Potomac perpetual use of the Long Bridge free of cost, the B&P being required to maintain the bridge and grant access to other railroads seeking to connect with roads in Virginia. This took possession from the B&O, which had had control until then. Nothing is stated about who built it in the first place, but Congress had control of it. (Would have been interesting to be the proverbial fly on the wall during some of those negotiations.)

From the Washington Yard PRR Employees' Time Table, Chesapeake Region, April 3, 1957, For the Government of Employees of Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio, Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac, and Southern Railway operating trains between Anacostia and South End:

Mileage
0 SUBURBAN STATION, Philadelphia
134.2 ANACOSTIA (Junction with B&O)
135.9 VIRGINIA (Junction with passenger mains from Union Station)
136.3 SEVENTH STREET
136.6 14TH STREET [sic]
137.6 POTOMAC RIVER MOVABLE BRIDGE
137.7 REGION POST (R. F. & P.)
138.1 SOUTH END (R. F. & P.)

Special Instruction 1154-C2. Toilet room doors must be locked between South End and Washington Terminal. In case of distress doors may be opened upon request.

Rule 251 (signal indication with current of traffic) was in effect between Anacostia and South End on both tracks, except that Rule 261 (signal indication in both directions) was in effect on Track 2 (normally northbound) between Virginia and 14th Street. If a southbound freight was being held out of PotYard on Track 3 (normally southbound--there was no Track 1) this would have permitted a southbound passenger to run around it on signal indication without all the paperwork of reverse running under Rule 251. (If the freight being held was B&O it would also have permitted a PRR freight to run around it and get into PotYard first--just sayin'.)

So it looks like it was RF&P track from the south end of the bridge but dispatched by PRR (and with catenary under the control of the Power Director in Baltimore).
  by gokeefe
 
SouthernRailway wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:37 pm Wouldn't hourly passenger trains be above the minimum number of trains needed make electrification of the DC-Richmond route cost-effective?
I think it's pretty close especially once you throw in VRE. Worth noting it's hourly in both directions(!).
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
There are plenty of Amtrak diesel corridor routes that run around hourly or even less. The Empire Corridor schedule between NYP and Albany-Rensselaer is almost hourly, especially during the week and I think Sundays. On Saturdays, there are some more two hour gaps between trains between NYP and ALB. The Pacific Surfliners run almost hourly from LAUPT to San Diego. Those are two routes that won't be getting electrified.
  by mtuandrew
 
gokeefe wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:39 pm
SouthernRailway wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:37 pm Wouldn't hourly passenger trains be above the minimum number of trains needed make electrification of the DC-Richmond route cost-effective?
I think it's pretty close especially once you throw in VRE. Worth noting it's hourly in both directions(!).
Re: VRE, that’s why I’m starting to push my electeds to make a similar deal with NS. It would mean that in one fell swoop, we could go from a diesel system to an electric one, and could run a common MARC-VRE system through DC if we wanted.

NJT/MNRR: it wouldn’t surprise me if Los Angeles -San Diego eventually got wired; that’s more of a possibility than the Hudson Valley.
  by SouthernRailway
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:53 pm There are plenty of Amtrak diesel corridor routes that run around hourly or even less. The Empire Corridor schedule between NYP and Albany-Rensselaer is almost hourly, especially during the week and I think Sundays. On Saturdays, there are some more two hour gaps between trains between NYP and ALB. The Pacific Surfliners run almost hourly from LAUPT to San Diego. Those are two routes that won't be getting electrified.
NY Gov. Cuomo just called for a review of past studies about NY HSR and for a new study about NY HSR to be done. I’m not sure of the point of simply preparing a study, but there is some push for faster trains upstate, which might include electrification. So never say never for Hudson Line electrification.
  by gokeefe
 
The point of doing an updated study is to gather evidence for a case you think you will make. Studies are essential in the due diligence process and to help test hypotheticals against facts.

The fact that they are spending money on this, and with an administration that wants to move forward on as many fronts as possible is very promising.
  by quad50cal
 
SouthernRailway wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:10 pm NY Gov. Cuomo just called for a review of past studies about NY HSR and for a new study about NY HSR to be done. I’m not sure of the point of simply preparing a study, but there is some push for faster trains upstate
I would wager it's a shovel ready contingency to be well placed in the case of Biden 2020 becoming president. Cuomo aligned with Biden early on and the only national figure that's promoted HSR recently has been Joe Biden. Specifically, Biden has mentioned widespread electrification, NEC HSR and expanding the NEC to the South.


Spark the second great railroad revolution. Two centuries ago, the first great railroad expansion drove our industrial revolution. Today, the U.S. is lagging behind Europe and China in rail safety and speed. A 21st-century passenger rail system that connects people across our nation is essential to our competitiveness, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to giving more Americans the freedom and flexibility to travel. Biden will make sure that America has the cleanest, safest, and fastest rail system in the world—for both passengers and freight. As president, he will invest in high-speed rail. He’ll start by putting the Northeast Corridor on higher speeds and shrinking the travel time from D.C. to New York by half – and build in conjunction with it a new, safer Hudson River Tunnel. He will make progress toward the completion of the California High Speed Rail project. He will expand the Northeast Corridor to the fast-growing South. Across the Midwest and the Great West, he will begin the construction of an end-to-end high speed rail system that will connect the coasts, unlocking new, affordable access for every American. A Biden Administration will also support freight projects, including a truck and rail-transit bridge linking Oregon to Washington State, and Chicago’s CREATE project, which has the potential to halve transit times for goods moving across the country. Overall, Biden’s rail revolution will reduce pollution, connect workers to good jobs, slash commute times, and spur investment in communities that will now be better linked to major metropolitan areas. To speed that work, Biden will tap existing federal grant and loan programs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and improve and streamline the loan process.
Electrify the rail system. As president, Biden will work with Amtrak and private freight rail companies to further electrify the rail system, reducing diesel fuel emissions.
  by gokeefe
 
They'll get the money if Trump is not re-elected regardless of who it is.
  by RRspatch
 
gokeefe wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:39 pm
SouthernRailway wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:37 pm Wouldn't hourly passenger trains be above the minimum number of trains needed make electrification of the DC-Richmond route cost-effective?
I think it's pretty close especially once you throw in VRE. Worth noting it's hourly in both directions(!).
The problem of course is going to be the 1st street tunnel. At 17' you might be able to get away with catenary rails but you would be limited to single level equipment. I'm not sure if the tunnel floor could be lowered or not and what effect tunnel work would have on nearby buildings (Supreme Court, Library of Congress and the House and Senate office buildings including the Senate subway).
  by SouthernRailway
 
gokeefe wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:07 pm The point of doing an updated study is to gather evidence for a case you think you will make. Studies are essential in the due diligence process and to help test hypotheticals against facts.

The fact that they are spending money on this, and with an administration that wants to move forward on as many fronts as possible is very promising.
Yes, although the New York Times article basically said, “Cuomo ordered old studies to be reviewed and another study prepared”, which sounds idiotic. After numerous studies they should know more or less what’s needed to implement HSR, and it’s clear that all of these studies have resulted in very little progress.
  by Arlington
 
The 1st St tunnel had its trackbed lowered c.1995 by a foot or two to permit VRE bilevels and Amtrak Superliners for a couple of $million. (Clearance went from 16' to 17' ish).

Nothing about that project suggested there was some hard limit on digging deeper--just that VRE was young and unproven and Amtrak was poor and risk averse, and they only dug as much as they needed to match their proposed rolling stock.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I just remembered that if any catenary is being considered on the RF&P, it would have to meet the clearance of not only double-stack CSX trains, but the VRE trains as well as the Amtrak Auto Train which uses Superliners. I know that the superliners can operate under the catenary at WAS. Daily, there are gallery cars that run through that 1st Street Tunnel and when the Cardinal uses Superliners, that train does as well.

When the increased Amtrak train frequencies begin, people who are heading to Richmond on daytrips will have more options. For those who are spending a day in the Downtown area will have plenty of flexibility as they wouldn't have to leave DC or northern Virginia too early and then get back super late.
  by rvlch
 
ExCon90 wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:54 pm According to the PRR Centennial History (commissioned by PRR in 1946 from Coverdale & Colpitts), on June 21, 1870 Congress extended to the Baltimore & Potomac perpetual use of the Long Bridge free of cost, the B&P being required to maintain the bridge and grant access to other railroads seeking to connect with roads in Virginia. This took possession from the B&O, which had had control until then. Nothing is stated about who built it in the first place, but Congress had control of it. (Would have been interesting to be the proverbial fly on the wall during some of those negotiations.)
The Cloverdale & Colpitts narrative on the Long Bridge referenced by ExCon90 is available in full on the Hagley site here.

Additionally, for those interested, extensive details on the very complex political and economic factors, actors and events can be found in Albert Churella's The Pennsylvania Railroad Vol 1 in Chapter 10.

In 1831 the Federal Government acquired the rights to a bridge at this location from the private owners of the first (1809) bridge. There were no rails across the river until 1862, laid by the Union military. I believe it is these bridge rights that were transferred to the B&P in the 1870 act of Congress.

Private Union side investors built a new, parallel bridge in 1864 (presumably with the blessing of the Union government). The original bridge was apparently removed soon after being badly damaged in 1865. After the Civil War. court decisions also c.1870 awarded the bridge and trackage north from the state line at the Virginia shore to these union investors and the trackage south of the bridge to pre-war Virginia interests. Exactly how the B&P acquired the investors interest is not clear, but clearly they did as from that point forward the B&P then the PB&W and eventually the PRR itself (through various consolidations) paid for all further maintenance (and several replacements) as well as operated the bridge - to the Virginia state line.

While CSX is retaining ownership of the existing bridge, it would seem one of the things they might be conveying in the deal are rights to construct an additional bridge, derived from those granted to the B&P in 1870.
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