• Newark, Delaware Extension - SEPTA Connection

  • 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

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  by ThirdRail7
 
I disagree. Infrastructure costs must be considered. Do you really think that Amtrak is going to overturn their previous thoughts on track capacity? Even with a high speed crossover at Bacon, you'll need another track between Bacon and Prince for MARC to extend service to Elkton. Ideally, you'll have 4 between Bacon and Iron, but I can't imagine an increase in MARC service without a third track.
  by realtype
 
The distance between Prince and Bacon is about 7.5mi, which isn't much longer than the distance between Landover and Washington, and the Elkton station is beyond that portion and served by a third track. So, it still might be feasible, but yeah a third track would definitely make it more viable.
  by gprimr1
 
Maryland also has to consider the aging B&P tunnels in Baltimore. Some estimates have at most 10 years of safe service left. Do we spend money to connect MARC to Elkton and Newark, or save it to bore new tunnels.
  by realtype
 
I think funding for the new tunnels will be strictly federal since the primary beneficiary is Amtrak, and Maryland would never put up that much money to replace them. Ditto the bridge replacements.
  by electricron
 
Of course Amtrak should be responsible for paying to replace bridges on the corridor they own, but local agencies should be responsible for paying to add extra tracks on those bridges and tunnels needed to support their usage. Most of the existing bridges in Maryland are double track, shouldn't the local agencies be responsible for paying to increase the capacity for triple or quadruple tracks?
  by Jeff Smith
 
from the ashes....: Newark Post Online
Study to examine extending MARC line to Newark

Regional transportation planners are conducting a feasibility study to examine the demand for an extension of the MARC commuter rail line from Perryville, Md., to Newark.

The 20-mile stretch between Perryville and Newark is the only spot between Washington and New York in Amtrak’s northeast corridor that lacks a commuter rail service.

Officials in New Castle and Cecil counties have long advocated for extending MARC service beyond Perryville, which is currently the end of the commuter line. Amtrak’s rail line, which is utilized by MARC, extends through Newark and up the corridor, but the MARC line simply doesn’t run that far.

If the line is extended, commuters from Newark could travel to Baltimore and Washington D.C. By connecting with other MARC lines, they could also reach western Maryland and West Virginia
...
One proposed idea would see MARC intersecting with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) at the same platform in Newark, improving commuter access to the Philadelphia region. It would also benefit commuters going south to Baltimore or Washington D.C.
...
  by ThirdRail7
 
I see they are installing a high density signal system on the two track territory between Bacon and Prince. It is an odd area to plop this in. I wonder if this is prelude to future service.
  by Arlington
 
Who is they? Is this something Amtrak would do, expecting to get repaid by the Commuter lines out of trackage fees? Or is some state paying from a capital budget?
  by Arlington
 
WILMAPCO approved its study results in September:
http://www.wilmapco.org/MARC_SEPTA_Final.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by STrRedWolf
 
In short: "We can get a decent boost in train transit traffic if we extend MARC service to meet SEPTA's service."

I still think it'll need significant rail capacity expansion to pull off, though (4-track WAS-WIL at least).
  by Arlington
 
STrRedWolf wrote:I still think it'll need significant rail capacity expansion to pull off, though (4-track WAS-WIL at least).
Isn't it about filling fuller the MARC trains that already run (giving them double-ended demand)? As far as that goes, why wouldn't the high-density signal system (described by ThridRail7, above) be sufficient to extend just today's existing MARC service Perryville-Newark? (and let all of WAS-WIL wait for another day).
  by STrRedWolf
 
Arlington wrote:
STrRedWolf wrote:I still think it'll need significant rail capacity expansion to pull off, though (4-track WAS-WIL at least).
Isn't it about filling fuller the MARC trains that already run (giving them double-ended demand)? As far as that goes, why wouldn't the high-density signal system (described by ThridRail7, above) be sufficient to extend just today's existing MARC service Perryville-Newark? (and let all of WAS-WIL wait for another day).
ThirdRail7 wrote: Do you really think that Amtrak is going to overturn their previous thoughts on track capacity? Even with a high speed crossover at Bacon, you'll need another track between Bacon and Prince for MARC to extend service to Elkton. Ideally, you'll have 4 between Bacon and Iron, but I can't imagine an increase in MARC service without a third track.
I can think a few reasons why a high-density signal system wouldn't be sufficient:
  • The big elephant called the B&P Tunnels. (For those late in reading: Civil War era, 2 track tunnel, max speed 30 MPH, MARC and Amtrak shove trains through that)
  • Sharing of two tracks where MARC service runs. Seriously, you got MARC trains stopping at New Carrolton and BWI. MARC gets delayed for late Amtrak trains at Baltimore. It works half-way decently at Seabrook, Bowie State, and Odenton but you got Amtrak servicing BWI as well, and that's essentially a two track station. The scheduling headaches must be horrendous...
For an example of how bad it could get, look at current operations WAS-BAL, where Amtrak has track 3 out of service for track work between GROVE and BRIDGE. Yes, you got a section between GROVE and WINANS that's now essentially two-tracked. Guess what major station is there? BWI. Guess what Amtrak and MARC had to do just to keep the delays down to a minimum because of two stations with track bridges? In the mornings, switch tracks between GROVE and ether BRIDGE, FULTON, or CHARLES to get the heaviest passenger traffic taken care of quickly. Before they did that, trains got delayed badly. Now, it's not too bad.

Oh, did I mention that those trains start getting packed hard during rush by around Odenton or Bowie when they start at Baltimore? Odenton and BWI are MAJOR stations for a reason. You run more trains from Wilmington, I will put in a sure bet they will start looking full after Baltimore and run express or discharge-only by Halethorpe... and carry the extra reason of being late because Amtrak's pissed off at them taking a ton of passengers and being slow about it.

Packing more trains in with tech? Sure... but when things break down, you'll have what... twice as many trains to rescue because they're all backed up? And in two track territory? I see the folks at Amtrak and MARC reaching for the antacids already.
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