• Amtrak Vermonter (Montreal Greenfield Boston CT River Line)

  • 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

  by Donzi8333
 
I work on the vermonter and there has been 2 engines on it everyday that i have worked for the last month. i worked it south from sab-spg on 12-14 and im pretty sure there was no cab car in the consist,
  by jp1822
 
Well I guess the Cab Car got added in Springfield or New Haven, because I noticed it twice in my travels recently - tacked on right behind the business class/cafe car - which is not the typical place for a cab car as we all know.

  by CNJ
 
Here's a question that has always interested me.

What is the level of rider loyalty on the Vermonter...particularly north of Springfield Mass? Do you find a lot of repeat riders? Do you still find many travelers headed for ski areas?

  by gprimr1
 
There's a decent amount of college students coming from Amherst MA and some other colleges in Vermont I think.

  by theozno
 
Lyndon state college you get a few. too bad we have to drive 80 miles but for a 30$ train fare to hartford hell yeah we will always take the vermonter train. I have suggested in the past that they have the friday train depart later so the college kids can take full advantage of the train instrad of skipping class. the benifit as well on the train is we can get our schoolwork done on it. its too bad their is no bus that goes up the I-91 corridor anymore twards newport vt. It is needed on fridays and sundays...
gprimr1 wrote:There's a decent amount of college students coming from Amherst MA and some other colleges in Vermont I think.

  by shadyjay
 
gprimr1 wrote:There's a decent amount of college students coming from Amherst MA and some other colleges in Vermont I think.
Def. a good crowd for Montpelier (Norwich Univ) and for Essex Jct (UVM, and others), espec on Sunday nights. Some of the "guest help" for the winter at Stowe came up on the train to Waterbury. And of course, Amherst gets a lot of college students. So there is def. some pretty good ridership espec Fri-Sun. I try to take it when its convenient for my schedule. Seems to be arriving ontime these past two weeks NB into Waterbury (5-10 of the schedule). It whistled into town at 8:15 the other night! Not sure how SB performance is doing into Springfield - most times I've been on, its been 10-30 mins late there.

-Jay H.

  by shadyjay
 
Just got back from a Vermonter roundtrip, here's a couple observations...

Fri-2/16-WAB to NHV
Decent crowd got on in WAB - at least 15 people. PRevious days train was cancelled, so train was extremly full. Consist was 5 Amfleet and a P42 on either end. Two of the Amfleets must've been ex-Metros since they had extra legroom, footrests, and curtains.

We were going pretty good south of WRJ and then stopped in Vernon at the detector which was malfunctioning (according to the radio). Conductor got out and walked the train just to make sure. Arrived in Palmer and waited a good 20 mins for a EB CSX intermodal to go by. Shame that CR removed the double-track on this line - if CSX reinstated only 10 miles (or less) of the second track, then Palmer-Springfield would be double tracked and delays could be minimized. At SPG, we were delayed for a little while longer while crews tried to thaw out some of the train which was quite frozen - sinks were backing up in the bathrooms. Heading south, for some reason we stopped at Windsor Locks and Wallingford. Arrived in NHV about 1 hour late.

NB on Mon 2/19 - MDN to WAB
same consist as on the way down (2 Metros/2 reg Ams/1 Cafe/2 P42s). North, stopped at Windsor Locks (???). Arrived into SPG at 2:50. While at the station, the WB Lake Shore pulled in, with a P42 on the rear end (!). Left at 3:20, but backed back towards CT, stopping next to the former mail facility (express cars are still there). Was something up on CSX and were we going up the Guilford Conn River for a 10-mph run? Nope. After a few minutes, we pulled back towards the station, this time on TK 2 and rode non-stop at good speed to Palmer. Little delay at Palmer getting on NECR due to a switch the crew had a hard time throwing. Entered NECR with 100 pax. Heading north we lost some time (6:58 leave WRJ) but arrived into WAB at 8:25, about 10 mins late.

A good run, NB run ontime, SB run late (thanks CSX). Amazing how much you here with a scanner - makes the delays more obvious. Next time I'll be sure to have the CSX freqs in there since all I had was the SPG line and NECR.

-Jay

  by gprimr1
 
I dont know if 448/449 operates with a cab car or not, but someone once here said that cab cars aren't heavy enough to safely bust through the ice that forms in some street crossings.

During the Thanksgiving break, I was talking to the conductor (the Vermonter was delayed 35 minutes into Amherst) and he said that they were delayed because the station stop times weren't sufficient to board everyone.

I hate to say it, but I wonder if this train could become a non-daily train. Perhaps eliminate one run a week and add extra service on Friday and Sunday.

  by jwallacect
 
The snow/ice issue at crossings discourages Amtrak from using cab control cars north of Springfield, MA. The NECR doesn't run frequently enough to keep the flange groves at road crossings from filling up with packed snow and ice and the cab control cars are not heavy enough to cope with these conditions if they are severe. I too have wondered why Amtrak doesn't use the de-engined ex-F40's on the Vermonter but they may also be too light to cope with iced over crossings.

John Wallace

  by Greg Moore
 
gprimr1 wrote:I dont know if 448/449 operates with a cab car or not, but someone once here said that cab cars aren't heavy enough to safely bust through the ice that forms in some street crossings.
t.
448/449 do not operate with a cab car. They're turned at Albany on the Wye.
  by jp1822
 
Cab cars on the Vermonter can be positioned so that they are ONLY in service between New Haven and Palmer Junction. This was pretty standard for a period in 2005-2006 when I was riding the Vermonter. Now anything goes!

  by gprimr1
 
When I visited Amherst in April 2006, we had a cab car both ways.

On all subsiquent Vermonter trips, (Nov 2006, Dec 2006) we have operated with 2 P42s.

I have also railfanned the Vermonter in various places with 2 P42s.

  by shadyjay
 
I don't think we'll see the return of cab cars on the Vermonter.... most have all gone to PA for Keystone Service, with a couple retained NHV-SPG for shuttles.

I thought the F40 cabbage would be perfect - solve two birds with one stone (baggage cars out of service/sold/stored + the extra power vs cab car) but I was informed by DRN that they cannot run into NYP. I guess one could be added on in NHV during the power swap.

The SB run on Fri was delayed an hour by the time we got into NHV, mainly because of CSX not getting us out on the line sooner. So it got me to thinking - would rerouting the Vermonter down the NECR the entire length to New London save time? Have stops in Willimantic and New London. You'd get off CSX and have much better time keeping, providing the line south of Palmer was fixed up a bit, though I remember reading that there is still some welded rail down south. Sure, you'd lose Springfield and Hartford, but a connecting shuttle at NHV could solve some problems, and keep frequency in that time slot. Most riders simply use the Vermonter as an additional frequency option between SPG and WAS.

As we were backing out of SPG on the NB move, I had another wondering, if by some chance if we were going to limp up the Conn River Line - then I realized that (h**l) had not frozen over yet (though it was cold Monday).

-Jay

  by Greg Moore
 
shadyjay wrote:I don't think we'll see the return of cab cars on the Vermonter.... most have all gone to PA for Keystone Service, with a couple retained NHV-SPG for shuttles.

I thought the F40 cabbage would be perfect - solve two birds with one stone (baggage cars out of service/sold/stored + the extra power vs cab car) but I was informed by DRN that they cannot run into NYP. I guess one could be added on in NHV during the power swap.


-Jay
Umm, a "cabbage" provides no extra power that I'm aware of since the room for the baggage portion comes from where the motor was removed. And this would also permit them to be used in NYP (since again, no exhaust.)

  by gprimr1
 
I proposed this to dutchrailnut and he pointed out that it would be very difficult to do because you have to send a third piece of equipment in. Right now, the engines are powered, so they can just move out of the way. With an NPCU, they would have to have a third engine waiting to tow the NPCU off the track.

It's a shame one couldn't be built with a small engine, capable of say a top speed of 10mph and a panograph. The train could then limp off into the yard without requiring a towing engine.

Edit:

I believe it's an East River and Hudson River tunnel height issue, not a fumes issue.
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