• Lake Shore Limited

  • 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 Greg Moore
 
That's the plan I believe. Worst case, you might have to walk through 1-2 cars. But they're extending the 5 car length platforms (technically a bit longer) to I think 10 car platforms.

For the full length train, I think that's just 1-2 cars short. But better than what they have now.
  by Mackensen
 
I can report that the WiFI worked fine from the sleepers all the way from New York to Toledo, though in the evening when everyone was on I saw the same capacity issues you see on the corridor. I did notice some antennae on the ceiling of the heritage diner which looked like a router/hotspot but could be something else altogether.
  by Woody
 
Rockingham Racer wrote:Thanks for that. I forget: do they plan to have a platform long enough for a one-stop station call?
Sorry, but no. Or not for an unknown while.

Waterloo had been promised the money and had made the plans, but then the funds were cancelled as a result of the damned Sequester. (Don't get me started. LOL.)

When or if funds become available, Waterloo is ready to go. Until then, double stops at a short platform to serve the Ft Wayne market.

We're grateful they got as much done there as they did.
  by DECA
 
Another update on the Lake Shore Ltd. Chicago to Albany section. They are running with one Engine , instead of the prev. 2 that were run for years. # 48 this AM , came through Hamburg NY heading east with Engine #112 alone, a new Viewliner Baggage car, 3 sleepers, Heritage Diner, 5 coaches and a Cafe. car . Train was 2 hours & 10 min. late.
  by twropr
 
Consist changes took place Apr. 26. Interesting that while a locomotive was subtracted a coach was added.
Wonder if there is a protect unit at an enroute location such as Toledo.

Andy
  by Balerion
 
There's a new timetable effective April 24 that shaved a little time off of the ALB-BOS run, mostly due to removing padding from ALB-PIT. BOS-ALB is now 5:10 (down from 5:40). ALB-BOS is now 4:56 (down from 5:45).
  by Greg Moore
 
twropr wrote:Consist changes took place Apr. 26. Interesting that while a locomotive was subtracted a coach was added.
Wonder if there is a protect unit at an enroute location such as Toledo.

Andy
I don't think that number of coaches is unusual. I think often it runs 3 on the NYP section and 2 on the BOS.

As for cutting off padding time. That's sweet.
I'd call shaving off 30 minutes in one direction and 49 in the other is more than "shaved a little time".

I hope it can actually make those times. Honestly, while still slower than driving, at 5 hours, it starts to become more useful of a trip.
(it certainly was handy for me this week getting back from the Cape).
  by Woody
 
Balerion wrote:... a new timetable effective April 24 shaved a little time off of the ALB-BOS run, mostly due to removing padding from ALB-PIT.

BOS-ALB is now 5:10 (down from 5:40). ALB-BOS is now 4:56 (down from 5:45).
I like it a lot. Srsly. Of course it's still slow. But it sounds much less slow. LOL.

It used to take "almost 6 hours" and now it only takes "about 5 hours".

With another construction season or two, maybe they can squeeze 10 more minutes out of the Worcester-BOS commuter corridor being upgraded by the MBTA. (Maybe a couple of minutes out of the Albany and Springfield station upgrades, too.) That could allow Amtrak to say that BOS-ALB, like ALB-BOS, takes "less than 5 hours".

C'mon, that "almost 6 hours" schedule sounded like a Loserville Express for sure. Now "about 5 hours" won't be good, but it won't be so dayum disgraceful.

The "time shavings" at the BOS end also look good for convenience. I don't have an old timetable, but doesn't this mean the train leaves BOS at 12:50 p.m. instead of 12:20? Making it easier to grab a lunch before boarding. And the return, now in BOS at 8:01 p.m., instead of at "almost 9 o'clock" gives better connections to MBTA and gets you home perhaps by 9 instead of after 10 p.m.

Folks care about this stuff more than whether the train is moving an average of 55 mph or 59 mph. So with better arrival and departure times, it's all good.
  by gokeefe
 
I am very curious about this rather sudden improvement. Typically changes like this only occur due to improvements in track conditions and dispatching.
  by east point
 
If the improved times are Worcester <> BOS it may be from MBTA's distressing the rails that CSX did not do ?
  by gokeefe
 
That's exactly what I was wondering about.
  by Woody
 
east point wrote:If the improved times are Worcester <> BOS it may be from MBTA's destressing the rails that CSX did not do ?
Balerion's post above said it was "mostly due to removing padding from ALB-PIT".

I mentioned the Worcester-BOS work might shave more time, because I know the MBTA has been working to upgrade the service since acquiring the segment from CSX. I don't know the scope of the work, but they are investing serious money to cut times and add trains.
Last edited by Woody on Wed May 04, 2016 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Woody
 
Actually, this on-going work is the subject of this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=65&t=159622" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here's link to an outside blog on this exact subject.

Short form: yes, destressing. And more.

http://dbperry.weebly.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Woody wrote:
east point wrote:If the improved times are Worcester <> BOS it may be from MBTA's distressing the rails that CSX did not do ?
Balerion's post above said it was "mostly due to removing padding from ALB-PIT".

I mentioned the Worcester-BOS work might shave more time, because I know the MBTA has been working to upgrade the service since acquiring the segment from CSX. I don't know the scope of the work, but they are investing serious money to cut times and add trains.
The work isn't all that expensive and won't make the railroad any faster. What it does is exactly what it's doing: shore up the reliability of the line so the excessive schedule padding can bleed off. It's a huge issue in summer because when the thermometer hits 90 degrees the formerly CSX-owned/maintained rail between Framingham and Worcester goes into automatic speed restriction as safeguard against heat kinks. That was the maintenance standard Conrail chose in the mid-80's when it rebuilt the B&A from Framingham-Schodack. It's been wholly inadequate for passenger service since commuter rail was re-extended to Worcester in '94 and substantially expanded in subsequent bursts between '00 and now. And it affects the amount of padding that has to get crammed into the LSL schedules because high-and-dry Worcester County is statistically capable of producing a 90-degree day in up to 6 calendar months per year. The rest of the year, of course, you've got possibility of cold weather-related ailments delaying the train. Destressing ends that heat restriction, and lops off a huge number of variables that could negatively impact OTP. Many fewer reasons on months fewer calendar days that a schedule could get borked by a slowdown on the most congested parts of the line, so the padding can come out even though on a *normal* day the train's not going to physically go any faster between BOS and ALB.

If the Inland Route project happens, you'll see the same rail destressing done between Worcester and Springfield and a whole bunch more time come off the schedule padding. Even if track speed doesn't increase. Springfield-Schodack probably will never be touched, but that's not a long enough segment for a 90-degree day to seriously impact the schedule (not to mention Berkshire County has way fewer 90-degree days than Worcester County) so eventually destressing all points east pretty much does the trick at whittling down excessive schedule padding to within a more-or-less normal range of padding for reliably hitting the Albany split/combine.
  by Balerion
 
Here are the details of the timetable change:

Westbound:

BOS-BBY Old = :05, New = :07 (+2 min)
BBY-FRA Old = :28, New = :28 (even)
FRA-WOR Old = :30, New = :38 (+8 min)
WOR-SPG Old = 1:12, New = 1:15 (+3 min)
(5 min in SPG in both schedules)
SPG-PIT Old = 1:21, New = 1:16 (-5 min)
PIT-ALB Old = 1:59, New = 1:21 (-38 min)

So they actually added some padding from Framingham to Springfield, but netted 30 minutes of time savings because they ripped out so much padding from PIT-ALB and little from SPG-PIT.

Eastbound:
ALB-PIT Old = 1:04, New = 1:04 (even)
PIT-SPG Old = 1:19, New = 1:19 (even)
(5 min in SPG in both schedules)
SPG-WOR Old = 1:04, New = 1:11 (+7 min)
WOR-FRA Old = :38, New = :30 (-8 min)
FRA-BBY Old = 1:28, New = :41 (-47 min)
BBY-BOS Old = :07, New = :06 (-1 min)

The Eastbound's padding was mostly in the FRA-BBY stretch, a crazy 1:28 that has been reduced by over half.
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