by Bob Roberts
Tadman wrote: ↑Fri May 08, 2020 9:34 am Where is the commuter train cleaned? Minneapolis or St. Cloud? Given that a Duluth train is starting soon, maybe it's wise to have a pool of cleaning and restocking resources in MSP somewhere for all three carriers.This is basically the turn around model that Amtrak currently uses for the Carolinian at its Charlotte endpoint. The train set sits on a siding at the Charlotte yard, is cleaned by a contract crew (the same crew is used when the Piedmont train sets turn, they do a good job), a fuel truck delivers to the Carolinian and the Crescent, I believe all Piedmont fueling is done in Raleigh. There is a crew base in two modular units adjacent to the siding. I have not seen how they service toilets (and they may not?). The cafe is not restocked in Charlotte, the return trip uses food loaded before the Southbound trip leaves Sunnyside (and my experience is that cafe stock on the Northbound trip is generally fine). The cafe crew told me once that they occasionally restock a few items in Charlotte from the grocery store (it was implied that the cafe staff makes the trip to the store themselves) -- I didn't really believe any of that however. This system has generally worked fine since the dawn of the modern Carolinian (more than 20 years). No reason the same system could not work in the Twin Cities. [I imagine the process is basically the same in Savannah, the Vermont trains, Carbondale, Lynchburg, Norfolk, Grand Rapids, Port Huron and other outlying terminal points]
But then again, there are plenty of cleaning outsourcing companies in the area. Maybe find a siding with road access, or MNTR shops, or 261 shops, where they can store the train during the day. A fuel truck pulls up and fills the engine, a semi pulls up and drops off bedding and amenities while carrying away laundry, and a honeywagon does the same for the toilets. A modular trailer or rented building could serve as crew base and rest area.
[off topic from the Twin Cities train] NCDOT did get ARRA money to build a new passenger equipment serving yard just to the West of town. Phase 1 of the yard and a crew building (which is pretty nice looking) has been finished for a while. Unfortunately it won't actually be connected to the NS main until Gateway station opens up which is 3-5 years away. Phase 2 of the yard will add washing and maintenance facilities. I don't recall the total cost of the yard, but it was not cheap, and it certainly would not have been built if the Carolinian was the only train using it.