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Old 07-22-2016, 10:00 AM   #1
F-Line to Dudley
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Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

Starting a new thread because that "$117 BEEELION DOLLAR!" HSR thread makes for a crappy catch-all. . .

--------------------

MassDOT just did a fresh document dump of study results from the Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative on the Inland Route corridor.

Draft EIS: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Porta...EA_6-13-16.pdf

Inland Route service development plan: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Porta...Accessible.pdf

Boston-Montreal service development plan: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Porta...lRoute_SDP.pdf
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:25 AM   #2
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

Thanks!

And one of the key observations is that "Regional Rail" for New England generally assumes that:
  • Springfield is the natural hub with three legs: Boston, New Haven CT, & Vermont
  • There's insufficient capacity southeast of New Haven to add NYC trains (so a connection at NHV will be needed most of the time)
  • Vermont leg should be extended to Montreal

And for those just joining us, by way of definitions:

Inland Route = New Haven - Hartford - Springfield - Worcester - Boston
(as contrasted with the Shore Line where Acela runs NHV-PVD-BOS)

BOS - MTR is L-shaped = Montreal - Vermont - Springfield -Worcester - Boston

The further idea being that L-shaped routings (which turn their corner at Springfield) end up being as fast as hypotenuse routes because the three-legged star to/from SPG is easier to upgrade, faster than starting with rickety tracks on the hypotenuse (from CT or RI to Worcester, for example, or BOS-MTR via NH or Maine.

For (nearly) the same reason that all TGVs still center on Paris (and none in its first 30 years bypassed it any further "out" than its far suburbs), all of New England's Regional system will center on Springfield.
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:51 PM   #3
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

I made this point on that other board...the network effects also make each +1 train on the schedule behave more like exponential service increases than linear service increases if schedule coordination is tight and precise.

For example, this is the minimum baseline:
  • You have the existing Vermonter. One round trip daily, one-seat Washington D.C. to (eventually) Montreal, via Springfield.
  • You have 6 existing daily Shuttles, New Haven-Springfield. All to be extended to Boston.
  • You have 2 existing Washington-Springfield Northeast Regionals. Schedule has expanded and contracted constantly over the years, currently in a contraction of 2 daily southbounds + 0 northbounds because of all the heavy ongoing construction on the Springfield Line and New Haven Line. Expect a post-construction baseline of the 2 missing northbounds returning. TBD if any of these get extended to Boston, so just assume stet @ Springfield for the minimum baseline.
  • You have 1 existing daily Lake Shore Limited round trip, Boston-Albany-Chicago.
  • You have the upcoming Boston-Montreal train. One round trip daily, one-seat Boston-Montreal via Springfield. This is the only mandatory all-new trainset and crew for the minimum baseline.
Now...Vermonter patrons have long coveted a second frequency spread to opposite end of the day for better business travel convenience, intra-New England passengers in particular. Drumbeat has gotten louder since all the improvements went on-line last year, and will get louder still when the Springfield + New Haven Lines upgrades are complete and the schedule lops off another 20+ minutes of padding. The BOS-MTL train, if scheduled at an opposite high-demand end of the day from the Vermonter, helps for the Springfield-north users. But that's not where the population density itching for the second frequency comes from: Worcester-Boston and NEC-Central CT patrons are still only offered only one direct time slot each to VT/MTL.

Solution?
  • Schedule a southbound Boston-New Haven Shuttle to arrive in Springfield simultaneous with the existing Vermonter northbound. Do the inverse on the return trip. Bake in a short layover for the meet*. Sell single tickets, and have Springfield customer service handle baggage transfers between trains**. Boston gains a second daily Montreal slot, and Vermont gains a second daily Boston slot. For $0 extra operating cost, since it only involves timing the existing schedule and no new crews or equipment.
  • Time one of the (to-be) existing northbound Washington-Springfield Northeast Regionals to meet the Boston-Montreal northbound, which is scheduled opposite end of the day from the Vermonter. Or use a Shuttle if you're not totally confident about the Regional's OTP (I think it'll be fine because Amtrak stages way tougher transfers than that on daily basis). Same deal: layover + cross-ticketing + customer service-assisted transfers. Connecticut + downwind NEC patrons and Vermont gain a $0-cost second daily traditional Vermonter slot, directly addressing that ID'd need for a 2nd trip at opposite end of the day.

That's just for baseline. Every +1 train that gets added can have all sorts of similar combos at Springfield adding big scale to the network at bite-size, risk-managed operating investments...one train at a time, one foot in front of the other. And that ends up the big value proposition in go/no-go decision on the one-time capital costs of the track upgrades and scope therein. This is a pretty sweet project for low-cost scalability, and for breaking down balkanized community barriers by giving Greater Boston + Worcester, Hampdem, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties + Connecticut and Vermont joint stake in a project they all want with enthusiasm.

Will be interesting to see how the Round 2 refinements take shape (there's some oddities in the Alternatives needing polish, as is typical of a Draft). And whether Beacon Hill is game for the cross-state coalition or is just going to tell everybody out west to piss off because "walk and chew gum blah blah".


----- ----- -----
*Meets are done every day at Albany for the halves of the Lake Shore Limited. Springfield meets should net MUCH shorter-duration layovers than Albany because of shorter distance from Boston, uniformly faster upgraded track, and closeout of the Springfield Line + New Haven Line upgrades substantially improving OTP north of New York.

**The Amfleet-replacement order of single-level cars have a default cab car configuration for push-pull routes that is half-seating, half- baggage room. The Shuttles are push-pull to keep from fouling the NEC in New Haven with a clumsy backup move into the yard; that'll stay that way when extended to Boston. Boston Shuttles thus gain baggage space whether it's truly needed or not. Pull-only routes like the Vermonter and Boston-Montreal which don't need to run with a cab car have option of ordering a half-seating/half-bag regular coach, since the interiors of the new cars will have modular snap-in livery. NY State is considering a large order to equip all Empire trains, and VTrans wants in on that for every Vermonter and Ethan Allen Express for their winter ski and summer hiking patrons (they were hella pissed when Amtrak took away the Vermonter's full bag car). VTrans would split subsidy for the EAE's half-bags with New York since it runs out of the Albany/Empire equipment pool, and MassDOT would split subsidy with VTrans for the Vermonter + BOS-MTL half-bags since those come out of the northern NEC equipment pool. Every schedule combo hitting Springfield will thus have some sort of self-serve or staff-assisted baggage handling.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:16 PM   #4
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

They do this kind of multi-route schedule coordination on the regional trains in the Benelux. Literally open doors cross platform transfers. They are so smooth no one cares whether they are on the direct train or the connection.

It is a brilliant service multiplier, if they can pull it off the schedule timing and reliability.
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:32 PM   #5
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

I think getting a second frequency ALB-SPG in some fashion ought to be in that as well. The LSL runs pretty much full between those points even with it's atrocious timekeeping.

I'm fully aware that the segment itself is not and never will be time-competitive with driving, but most of the people on it are connecting passengers for whom it doesn't make sense to go all the way down to NYC and back up again.

People going from points west of Albany to Boston, transferring to the Vermonter, or destinations on the Springfield Line (as well as Springfield itself) isn't that insignificant.

I think the market is bigger than 1 badly timed (even if on schedule) train a day in each direction, especially with the vastly increased service to points beyond Springfield this would represent.

That's not to say that I would suggest doing that before most of these proposals, but I'd have it on the radar.
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:36 PM   #6
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

My biggest concern is the actual travel time from Boston to Montreal. Almost 9 hours!

I've done that drive many a time for Bruins, Sox and Revolution games up there and even with traffic at the border, 6 hours is an overly conservative drive time.

As much as I'd like to serve the service created, I fail to see how it could be competitive for business travelers and vacationers who value time over cost.
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:54 PM   #7
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by North Shore View Post
My biggest concern is the actual travel time from Boston to Montreal. Almost 9 hours!

I've done that drive many a time for Bruins, Sox and Revolution games up there and even with traffic at the border, 6 hours is an overly conservative drive time.

As much as I'd like to serve the service created, I fail to see how it could be competitive for business travelers and vacationers who value time over cost.
It's not. I'd also suggest that might not be the point even though there will be many people who do choose to take that trip. (I certainly would take the 9 hour train over a 6 hour bus. Air travel is in an entirely different price bracket between the two).

Vermont wants the Vermonter to go to Montreal anyway and wants another frequency in Vermont. The former is certainly happening regardless of this plan.

The added costs of running another train over the same tracks already serving one train are basically just operating costs.

And MA is likely only on the hook for their portion of it. So really, it's "is it worth it to MA to pay to run another train from Boston to the VT border via Springfield?" I think that's a yes.
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:03 PM   #8
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

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And MA is likely only on the hook for their portion of it. So really, it's "is it worth it to MA to pay to run another train from Boston to the VT border via Springfield?" I think that's a yes.
Yes, the beauty of trains is that it is about far more than endpoint-to-endpoint We happen to be Bostonians, and Montreal is our counterpart anchor-city so we tend to make the error that it is all about us going to Montreal or them coming here.

It is more like as ridership from Boston starts dribbling off as you go Northbound, riders on their way to Montreal start boarding. Properly sized, a good two-ended route runs full(ish) the whole way.

Maybe nobody rides BOS-MTR (some will), but if you live in Worcester, or Springfield? How would you get to Montreal by air? by bus?
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:40 PM   #9
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

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I think getting a second frequency ALB-SPG in some fashion ought to be in that as well. The LSL runs pretty much full between those points even with it's atrocious timekeeping.

I'm fully aware that the segment itself is not and never will be time-competitive with driving, but most of the people on it are connecting passengers for whom it doesn't make sense to go all the way down to NYC and back up again.

People going from points west of Albany to Boston, transferring to the Vermonter, or destinations on the Springfield Line (as well as Springfield itself) isn't that insignificant.

I think the market is bigger than 1 badly timed (even if on schedule) train a day in each direction, especially with the vastly increased service to points beyond Springfield this would represent.

That's not to say that I would suggest doing that before most of these proposals, but I'd have it on the radar.
The LSL can certainly join the party post-improvements. There's mix-and-match opportunities @ Springfield as well to see if there's north-south demand to tease out for a cross-platform Albany connection that would in turn provide the safety in numbers for dipping toes in the shallow end on a +1 BOS-ALB Shuttle frequency. It most definitely is difficult for people from Greater Hartford to get to Albany because of the pick-your-poison of I-84/I-91 through Hartford or I-84 to I-87 through the Waterbury-Danbury-Newburgh slog of despair. So the trick will be seeing what Boston + Connecticut demand can be stacked up, and then finding the right connection match at Springfield to funnel the two largest ridership sources.

The study talks of Vermont wanting a New Haven short-turning Vermonter as a sort of #3 frequency. That's probably a bit of a reach for Day 1 because VTrans will have its funding hands full signalizing 50 miles of NECR track north of White River Junction. But if that becomes a later add-on, seems like an appropriate candidate to match with the LSL's time slot.

We will have to temper expectations a bit on Albany, though. The Empire Corridor is its own messed-up world and needs a lot of cross-state improvements of its own before the LSL attains any sort of schedule reliability. Especially on that return trip east. Doing light reliability upgrades to the B&A through the Berkshires to build off of the major upgrades east of Springfield is probably something they want to defer till later when it's clearer what NY State is going to do about Albany-Buffalo and setting aside its feud with CSX. Albany Hub's stability depends greatly on that plan snapping into focus before it clicks well enough to capitalize on low-margin starter frequencies like a BOS-ALB Shuttle. Ball's in NY's court on that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by North Shore View Post
My biggest concern is the actual travel time from Boston to Montreal. Almost 9 hours!

I've done that drive many a time for Bruins, Sox and Revolution games up there and even with traffic at the border, 6 hours is an overly conservative drive time.

As much as I'd like to serve the service created, I fail to see how it could be competitive for business travelers and vacationers who value time over cost.
Except...it's not going to be 9 hours because the study explicitly omits upgrades on the Canadian side of the border. Right now the absolute dog-slowest most excruciating part of the Adirondack is between the border crossing stop at Rouses Point, NY and St. Lambert, QUE just outside Montreal. It takes 90 minutes of transit time (i.e. time not stopped at Customs) to cover only 45 miles, and that's because Canadian National RR's unsignaled Rouses Point Subdivision between the border and St. Jean-sur-Richelieu barely cracks 25 MPH and has unprotected grade crossings galore. CN doesn't give a damn about spending one Canadian cent on track improvements, because they only run on it once a day to pick up at the NECR interchange. Any Adirondack or Montrealer studies have had to treat this as an everlasting condition because CN doesn't care, Quebec province has been unable to convince CN to care, and up until the election a few months ago the former Harper government didn't care about lifting a finger to help Quebec or pressure CN.

That's changed now under the Trudeau Administration, as the Canadian federal gov't has ID'd these two international trains as priorities. So if they address this, even getting the Rouses Point Sub. up to the same modest 60 MPH as NECR in northern VT lops an hour off the schedule right then and there. Poof. All the Adirondack and Montrealer need are confirmation of the final plan of action on the Canadian side of the border, and the times quoted in these studies get updated.

BTW...there'll already be an hour shed on the Adirondack in the next 18 months when the Customs pre-clearance platform opens at Gare Central in Montreal. They're constructing an enclosed platform there and setting up both U.S. and Canadian Customs right at the station, eliminating the need for the Rouses Point and Lacolle Customs stops on either side of the border and ensuing 1-hour schedule allowance. All part of a new treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate last year. Adirondack will drop the St. Lambert stop and run "sealed" nonstop from Rouses Point to Montreal. Montrealer would similarly have no need to stop for Customs between St. Albans and Montreal like it did in its last incarnation pre-1995, and likewise run "sealed" on the other side of the border.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:04 PM   #10
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

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Yes, the beauty of trains is that it is about far more than endpoint-to-endpoint We happen to be Bostonians, and Montreal is our counterpart anchor-city so we tend to make the error that it is all about us going to Montreal or them coming here.

It is more like as ridership from Boston starts dribbling off as you go Northbound, riders on their way to Montreal start boarding. Properly sized, a good two-ended route runs full(ish) the whole way.

Maybe nobody rides BOS-MTR (some will), but if you live in Worcester, or Springfield? How would you get to Montreal by air? by bus?
Hell yes they're going to ride BOS-MTL. The Montrealer had somewhat of a notorious reputation in the old days as a booze and party train. It was very popular with students. A lot of the New York kids even opted for it over the Adirondack because the Amtrak staff on that train were a little more permissive about the drinky-drinky. Until ('76? '78? '80?) Amtrak and New York outsourced Adirondack ops to Delaware & Hudson RR, the route's original private operator; D&H conductors were a bit more puritanical than the stock Amtrak'ers manning the Montrealer.

Not that a 2019 Montrealer revival and a post-2020 Boston train are ever going to be wild and crazy keggar like the 70's now under family-friendlier and business travel-oriented 21st c. Amtrak, but you better effing believe that's going to be a popular mode of travel for the students who already go BOS-MTL in large numbers for a weekend of fun. And the urban professionals who just want to decompress for a weekend, or take their small kids somewhere without the claustrophobia of the family SUV. Buses are cheap, but buses aren't conducive to getting up and walking around, socializing, sitting face-to-face in a dinette. That stuff matters to a large enough spread of the population for trips >6 hours.
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:31 AM   #11
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

I don't remember any Boston/Montreal buses taking less than 8 hours anyway. 9 hours is already competitive then subtract the track improvements...
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:56 PM   #12
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

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I don't remember any Boston/Montreal buses taking less than 8 hours anyway. 9 hours is already competitive then subtract the track improvements...
Quick Google search (small sample size alert!) shows that to be true. They all cluster about the same unless you're paying more for an express without intermediate stops.


Should be underscored as well what a B.F.D.! this new Customs Preclearance treaty is. One of the most pain-in-the-ass parts of driving to Canada is the border Customs check. Just picture that family with small kids who are getting all fidgety while the car is inching along in the checkpoint line, and then the obligatory pull-over at the next rest stop to reorganize any items in the trunk that got disturbed during the search and declarations. Buses are only marginally better because there's always That Guy who has some issue/ambiguity with his declarations to settle chewing up extra time for everyone on the bus.

Now, both Gare Central in MTL and Pacific Central Station in Vancouver (for the Cascades) have the sealed preclearance platforms going up inside the station. Everything--U.S. and Canadian--gets settled:
  • . . .in one shot
  • . . .off-the-clock for the trip timetable, instead of requiring that hour's worth of schedule-padding
  • . . .on a spacious platform where suitcases and trunks don't have to be hastily popped side of the road, and are handled by professional baggage staff
  • . . .with surge staffing onsite to handle the crowds
  • . . .in the middle of a major metropolitan area where help is minutes away if there's a major problem, and minutes away to tend to your problem before you miss your train
  • . . .with restrooms, food, places to sit, and quiet areas to calm down fidgety kids while waiting for processing.
That is a MASSIVE advantage this mode gains over any rubber-tired means in quality-of-service and lowered stress. And to some degree over air travel, where preclearance is more common (and being widely-deployed across all major Canadian airports due to this same treaty) but has its gains diluted by the same old TSA/security bottlenecks. Customs sucks. And time in Customs is completely unpredictable, especially when the security level is a constantly moving target. Anything that addresses those inconveniences/stress-inducers and the very real schedule drain at the border is an intangible advantage that's going to draw lots of people to this mode.


Pay close attention to the Adirondack and (moreso, because it's a Corridor train) Cascades after these new preclearance facilities open in 2017 and all that Customs padding gets stripped out of the schedules. Should see hefty ridership bumps going both directions, much-improved OTP, much-improved customer satisfaction ratings, and a better reference point for benchmarking Montrealer demand and performance.

----- ----- -----

FWIW...the Maple Leaf is NOT doing preclearance at Toronto Union like the Adirondack and Cascades at MTL and VAN because that route has too many high-demand intermediate stops in Ontario and can't practically run 'sealed'. The new treaty instead is consolidating the Customs checks solely at the brand new expanded Niagra Falls, NY station set to open in a few months (replacing the godawful Amshack). Instead of having to double-dip Customs on both sides of the bridge they're lumping it all on the U.S. side and building a rapid processing checkpoint platformside to streamline the hell out of it and cut down the schedule padding as much as possible.

Same deal would happen if the joint Amtrak/VIA Rail-run International between Chicago-Toronto were restored (discontinued 2004 due to VIA budget cuts, with the Amtrak half surviving as the Blue Water terminating Port Huron, MI). Either Port Huron or Sarnia, ONT stations would get the Niagra Customs treatment.


Doubly interesting is that GO Transit just announced as part of its huge Toronto commuter rail expansion plan that Niagra Falls, currently run as a Cape Flyer-like summer weekend service, is going to year-round full daily commuter schedule by or before 2023 once they finish the billion-dollar rebuild/supersizing of the Lakeshore West CR line it branches from. GO will terminate at the Ontario-side VIA Rail station because its agency charter and union contracts would have to be amended in order to cross the bridge. But with 7 years left to go, should that paper barrier get squared to get them to the NY-side Customs platform we could have the Western Hemisphere's first true international commuter rail line and direct timed transfers from every Empire Service train terminating at Niagra, NY (currently 4 per day with lots more to come). This would, if preclearance regs were further streamlined to commuter passholders, enable practical daily work commutes between Buffalo (pop. 219,000), St. Catharines (pop. 131,000), and Hamilton (pop. 519,000)...which are separated by only 60 miles, same distance as Hartford Line commuter rail in our backyard. More useful still if New York augmented the Empire with Springfield Shuttle-like short-turns and quasi-commuter fares to boost the Syracuse-west service levels on the corridor.

B.F.D.! treaty, indeed.
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:15 PM   #13
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

Eurostar uses customs preclearance (for the time being!). Very easy. There is only one intermediate station on each side of the border though, both modern and customs-sealed. And my trip skipped both of them anyway, express.

On my voyage over the Oresund bridge between Copenhagen and Malmo the Swedes had officials out in force to check passports, but that was it. Both countries are members of the Schengen agreement, but apparently the Swedes were getting antsy and started asking foreigners to have ID with them when travelling. So they forced us to change trains at Copenhagen airport station and intercepted everyone coming down the ramp to the platform with a quick passport check (basically: do you have one? OK!) before allowing us to board.

Going back there was no check at all, just another intercity/commuter train, for all you could tell.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:56 PM   #14
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

https://trainsinthevalley.org/ has a lot of great info about the proposals for Springfield and the Pioneer valley if anyone's interested.

I love the planned changes, and am hoping that this will allow more college kids to travel home via Amtrak. Aside from moving in/out, I've been going Springfield to Boston whenever I come home from school and think it's a massive untapped market because of the lack of frequency and connections in Springfield. Something like the Montrealer would be a great one or two seat ride to/from Boston and Worcester for the ~40,000 college kids out in Western Mass.

Also, does anyone know if the new station in Springfield is being designed to already accomodate more trains than just the Knowledge Corridor service? Would more East-West trains cause a capacity issue, or should it be fine once the new station's done?
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:14 PM   #15
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

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https://trainsinthevalley.org/ has a lot of great info about the proposals for Springfield and the Pioneer valley if anyone's interested.

I love the planned changes, and am hoping that this will allow more college kids to travel home via Amtrak. Aside from moving in/out, I've been going Springfield to Boston whenever I come home from school and think it's a massive untapped market because of the lack of frequency and connections in Springfield. Something like the Montrealer would be a great one or two seat ride to/from Boston and Worcester for the ~40,000 college kids out in Western Mass.

Also, does anyone know if the new station in Springfield is being designed to already accommodate more trains than just the Knowledge Corridor service? Would more East-West trains cause a capacity issue, or should it be fine once the new station's done?
Springfield's got 6 tracks, which is more than Back Bay Station. They won't ever be hurting for capacity since population density out there just isn't big enough to ever demand tight headways. Technically all trains run east-west into the station. Pull-only Amtrak trains like the Vermonter and NE Regionals do a ground crew-assisted reverse move backwards through the crossovers onto the wye, and then face forward the rest of the trip. Been done that way at this station for 100 years, back when traffic was way heavier than it is now. Shuttles and terminating commuter rail trains, being push-pull, just reverse direction for the return trip on-platform with engineer changing ends into the cab car like MBTA commuter rail does. Inland Route trains would obviously just pass straight on through between Springfield Line wye and B&A mainline to make their stop en route between Boston and New Haven. If the Hartford Line and Knowledge Corridor run as any sort of mixed service pattern (say, Greenfield-Hartford), then they would probably do the assisted backup move rather than reversing direction in the cab mid-trip.


The main limiter to capacity at this very moment is layover space. MassDOT has so far refused to commit their share of funding to build Armory Layover a half-mile east of the station, where Amtrak and ConnDOT would share a layover yard, small locomotive shop, and maintenance base. The Hartford Line's starter schedule is going to use the tiny 3-track yard at the former Amtrak mail station just off the Springfield Line side of the wye, but the schedule cannot increase without Armory being built. Neither can MassDOT plausibly launch any homegrown service without paying up and building that facility, as they'd be the third co-tenant. It'll get done, but there was some spell of strange iciness between CT and MA over that layover (probably related to Gov. Patrick's Berkshire fantasy train making promises on ConnDOT's back, which displeased Gov. Malloy).
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:53 AM   #16
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

Pilot unit for Amtrak's new Siemens Charger diesel locomotive came into D.C. yesterday on the Capitol Limited to begin testing on the NEC next week. Shown 1:05 & 1:55 on the video sandwiched behind the leading Genesis and Dash 8 locos and ahead of the brand new baggage car. Looks exactly like a Sprinter electric sans pantograph and featuring same screen-door style side vents as the new T diesels.

With any luck this is what'll be hauling the Downeaster and Lake Shore Limited out of Boston come 2019.

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Old 08-10-2016, 12:46 PM   #17
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

I saw that beautiful shiny new Viewliner baggage car sneak in there also! Hah!!

Here are 3 beautiful shiny new Viewliner II passenger cars in testing.






Last edited by Jahvon09; 08-25-2016 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:26 AM   #18
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

Not sure if this is the correct thread, but, it looks like Alstom and Amtrak have officially inked their deal for the replacement Acela II cars. Alstom, Amtrak ink deal

Also not sure if this is old news or not - I know this has been in the works for awhile.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:53 AM   #19
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by bakgwailo View Post
Not sure if this is the correct thread, but, it looks like Alstom and Amtrak have officially inked their deal for the replacement Acela II cars. Alstom, Amtrak ink deal
The actual finalization/signing is (or will be) genuinely new news. I'm a little distressed that neither Amtrak nor Alstom actually commented for the article, but again relies on Senator Chuck Schumer as its source, and he's been consistently early and too emphatic in his "its a deal" calls.

We've known for a long time that Amtrak had selected Alstom as its preferred vendor and had entered what appeared to be a "just crossing t and dotting i phase" Amtrak Chairman Boardman said he wasn't retiring until he had a deal. Stuff like that made it feel like "by March" then "by May" then "by June" but it never happened.

Its news if it is really true this time.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:07 AM   #20
Jahvon09
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Re: Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread

I wonder how the new high-speed trains will look. Dying to see a possible rendering of it!
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