• MARC/VRE run-through

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by STrRedWolf
 
Looking at this... end points between Alexandria and Wilmington...

Here's the thing. I can see weekday service between Alexandria and Baltimore, maybe even Martin State Airport (MSA), so the 600 series trains using diesels can do it. The platforms are big enough to do at least 4 cars. The only issue is that trains have to turn almost immediately back up to Baltimore.

I can then see the Perryville trains being extended out to Wilmington, any engine.

The issue is timing.
  by nomis
 
And yet, the article talked about the 20 miles Perryville to Newark.
  by mtuandrew
 
At some point in the medium-term future I’d love to see a tail track connecting into the First Street Tunnel from the west side of Union Station. A U-shaped route from Frederick to Manassas could make sense with either MARC or VRE run-through equipment; right now it’s only possibly by fouling the entire approach to Washington Union Station.

Also, at some point in the nearer future this is going to behoove VRE to raise the Alexandria island platform to high-level or mini-highs. They can certainly operate low-platform-only, but it’s easier for everyone to run with level boarding for the MARC cars.
  by STrRedWolf
 
mtuandrew wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:23 pmAlso, at some point in the nearer future this is going to behoove VRE to raise the Alexandria island platform to high-level or mini-highs. They can certainly operate low-platform-only, but it’s easier for everyone to run with level boarding for the MARC cars.
Which means getting rid of all the galley cars, because those are low-platform-only.

Doesn't Alexandria already have a high platform for Amtrak trains?
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
There are no high level platforms at Alexandria Station.
  by D.S. Lewith
 
The only way for a MARC/VRE through-service would be to electrify the tracks south of DC Union Station. Since the end of last year, the tracks between DC and Richmond are under the ownership of Virginia (also they don't see much freight traffic really) so they can rebuild and electrify the line. Electrification extension could also mean converting the tracks between DC and Wilmington, Delaware to 25 kV 60 Hz AC.
A MARC/VRE through-service would also mean that the trains to be used would be like the Bombardier MultiLevel III EMUs that NJT and SEPTA are ordering since the Gallery cars can't fit into the B&P Tunnels on the way to Baltimore Penn Station (thouch such a thing could be solved by lowering the tracks between West Baltimore station and N Howard Street by a foot or two, which would enable VRE and MARC to buy KISS trains from Stadler).
  by STrRedWolf
 
D.S. Lewith wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 1:18 am The only way for a MARC/VRE through-service would be to electrify the tracks south of DC Union Station. Since the end of last year, the tracks between DC and Richmond are under the ownership of Virginia (also they don't see much freight traffic really) so they can rebuild and electrify the line. Electrification extension could also mean converting the tracks between DC and Wilmington, Delaware to 25 kV 60 Hz AC.
A MARC/VRE through-service would also mean that the trains to be used would be like the Bombardier MultiLevel III EMUs that NJT and SEPTA are ordering since the Gallery cars can't fit into the B&P Tunnels on the way to Baltimore Penn Station (thouch such a thing could be solved by lowering the tracks between West Baltimore station and N Howard Street by a foot or two, which would enable VRE and MARC to buy KISS trains from Stadler).
MARC runs diesels on the NEC and through the B&P. There is no need to electrify.

The B&P Tunnels are slated for replacement. Lowering the tracks (which were lowered once already) is not viable. Check the docs on the linked page.
  by scratchyX
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:11 pm
mtuandrew wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:23 pmAlso, at some point in the nearer future this is going to behoove VRE to raise the Alexandria island platform to high-level or mini-highs. They can certainly operate low-platform-only, but it’s easier for everyone to run with level boarding for the MARC cars.
Which means getting rid of all the galley cars, because those are low-platform-only.

Doesn't Alexandria already have a high platform for Amtrak trains?
From what I recall, it's all low platform.
I think that, even after reconstruction, ALX will still have low platforms,but ones high enough to not require a step stool.
  by scratchyX
 
mtuandrew wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:23 pm At some point in the medium-term future I’d love to see a tail track connecting into the First Street Tunnel from the west side of Union Station. A U-shaped route from Frederick to Manassas could make sense with either MARC or VRE run-through equipment; right now it’s only possibly by fouling the entire approach to Washington Union Station.

Also, at some point in the nearer future this is going to behoove VRE to raise the Alexandria island platform to high-level or mini-highs. They can certainly operate low-platform-only, but it’s easier for everyone to run with level boarding for the MARC cars.
Frederick to Alexandria would be logical, as it's all low platform. but there's the pesky matter of the limited access to the First Street Tunnel.
If Union station is ever rebuilt, and the tunnel that the hopscotch bridge removed (you know, which DDOT planned to put the streetcar in, without consulting Amtrak first), then two of the west side tracks could be put in a tunnel. Realistically, Center tracks, Since it sounds like the basement eatery area has been decimated, and likely won't come back. So might as well use the space for increasing capacity, Since WMATA won't be able to, for a long time.
  by STrRedWolf
 
scratchyX wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 1:06 pm Frederick to Alexandria would be logical, as it's all low platform. but there's the pesky matter of the limited access to the First Street Tunnel.
If Union station is ever rebuilt, and the tunnel that the hopscotch bridge removed (you know, which DDOT planned to put the streetcar in, without consulting Amtrak first), then two of the west side tracks could be put in a tunnel. Realistically, Center tracks, Since it sounds like the basement eatery area has been decimated, and likely won't come back. So might as well use the space for increasing capacity, Since WMATA won't be able to, for a long time.
Actually... no. For two reasons:

First, do you realize what is above the First Street rail tunnel? I'll give you the short answer: Congress and the Supreme Court. Yes, those two are RIGHT THERE, directly south of Union Station. And that's a *)[email protected]#( security hazard there if anyone with enough explosives got in that tunnel and set it off!

Here's the map.

Is it a good idea to drop two central or western-most tracks and tunnel them DIRECTLY UNDER Congress? Homeland Security will be saying "NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE!" ad nauseum.

Secondly, decimation? Nope, they cut half of it out (which wasn't being used anyway), cleared out the theater, and put in a Walgreens. And the food court is STILL (pre-pandemic) busy with everything! In effect, you'll be splitting it in half and you'll have to put in elevators and escalators.

So no. You're stuck with the First Street tunnel.

The real question, though, is can you tunnel from the south side of CP-VIRGINIA where the tunnel's tracks meet CSX track, and fly under it into a new tunnel that connects to First Street? Pull *THAT* off, and you got yourself a reason to put more platforms up and have VRE have more service... and MARC to run through.
  by scratchyX
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 4:51 pm
scratchyX wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 1:06 pm Frederick to Alexandria would be logical, as it's all low platform. but there's the pesky matter of the limited access to the First Street Tunnel.
If Union station is ever rebuilt, and the tunnel that the hopscotch bridge removed (you know, which DDOT planned to put the streetcar in, without consulting Amtrak first), then two of the west side tracks could be put in a tunnel. Realistically, Center tracks, Since it sounds like the basement eatery area has been decimated, and likely won't come back. So might as well use the space for increasing capacity, Since WMATA won't be able to, for a long time.
Actually... no. For two reasons:

First, do you realize what is above the First Street rail tunnel? I'll give you the short answer: Congress and the Supreme Court. Yes, those two are RIGHT THERE, directly south of Union Station. And that's a *)[email protected]#( security hazard there if anyone with enough explosives got in that tunnel and set it off!

Here's the map.

Is it a good idea to drop two central or western-most tracks and tunnel them DIRECTLY UNDER Congress? Homeland Security will be saying "NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! NOPE!" ad nauseum.


Secondly, decimation? Nope, they cut half of it out (which wasn't being used anyway), cleared out the theater, and put in a Walgreens. And the food court is STILL (pre-pandemic) busy with everything! In effect, you'll be splitting it in half and you'll have to put in elevators and escalators.

So no. You're stuck with the First Street tunnel.

The real question, though, is can you tunnel from the south side of CP-VIRGINIA where the tunnel's tracks meet CSX track, and fly under it into a new tunnel that connects to First Street? Pull *THAT* off, and you got yourself a reason to put more platforms up and have VRE have more service... and MARC to run through.
I meant cut over to first street tunnel under columbus circle. Though, for increasing throughput, camden line needs to be two track into union station,
instead of a mile of single track. I'm pretty sure it used to be double track.
And maybe a flyover/under for brunswick line, whenever CSX allows more trains. (but we don't need them, becasue of frederick MONORAIL.. yeah, right.)
I'm not sure how one could fit in extra bridges for a CP-VIRGINIA flyover, though it looks like an extra track could be fit next to the current first street tunnel. Of course, New long bridge needs to come first.

By center tracks, I meant 16, and 15. Or more practically, rebuild all lower platforms so that they are a mix of high and lowish , like one of the more western platforms.

I've not been to union station in 6 years, I'm going by what friends said, as of 3 years ago, So I don't know what it looks like, now.
  by TheOneKEA
 
I'd like to be educated on why the following idea wouldn't work for MARC/VRE run-through:

Build a center reversing siding south/west of Alexandria Station, in the vee of the junction next to the Metrorail yard, with the ability to enter/exit from either end. Route some of the Camden Line trains into the low-level side of Union Station, through the First Street Tunnel, and across the Long Bridge to Alexandria where they go out of passenger service. Run into the siding, change ends and go back to Alexandria to return to passenger service.
  by STrRedWolf
 
TheOneKEA wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 8:27 am I'd like to be educated on why the following idea wouldn't work for MARC/VRE run-through:

Build a center reversing siding south/west of Alexandria Station, in the vee of the junction next to the Metrorail yard, with the ability to enter/exit from either end. Route some of the Camden Line trains into the low-level side of Union Station, through the First Street Tunnel, and across the Long Bridge to Alexandria where they go out of passenger service. Run into the siding, change ends and go back to Alexandria to return to passenger service.
It's called Interlock K. Camden Line comes in on the wrong side of the two NEC/Penn Line tracks and essentially has to cross NEC traffic to get to the lower levels. In comparison, the Brunswick line is worse because it's all the way on the opposite (wrong) side of the interlock.

And anything that doesn't slip nicely in the NEC traffic is bad.

Trace it down using Google Maps or Wikimapia from New Carrolton, and you'll see that Camden's single track is on the northern (wrong) side of the NEC tracks and doesn't switch until southwest of F interlock, well into K.

That's why previously in the thread we mention the Penn line over the other lines and using MARC equipment. MARC works high or low. Amfleets work high or low. VRE double-deckers don't.
  by ThirdRail7
 
CIting a budget shortfall, the Governor has vetoed the MARC expansion bill. This impacts the run-through service to Virginia and the Marc/Septa meetup at Newark.

Standing by for an override.

https://ggwash.org/view/77559/gov-hogan ... o-override
On May 7, Hogan vetoed 37 of those bills, including HB (House Bill) 1236, or the MARC Train Expansion of Service Act, an ambitious proposal to expand the scope of Maryland’s MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuter) commuter rail system.

The bill, sponsored by Jared Solomon (D-Montgomery), primarily calls for the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Transit Administration to study running Penn Line trains through their current southern terminus at Union Station in Washington, DC, all the way to Alexandria Union Station in Virginia.
We'll see if an override occurs.