Author Topic: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?  (Read 14715 times)

eppy1057

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2019, 01:48:57 PM »
Ridership is way down and it does NOT make any money.
Kind of like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer.
It feels so good when you stop!

Rick

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2019, 05:16:12 PM »
Looks like Indy might get some ice now.  Not as much snow (5-8Ē)now but we all know how forecasters change their expectations. 


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Dschro

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2019, 06:41:18 PM »
Iím not surprised ridership is down.  They couldnít have made the Indy arrival and departure times worse if they tried!  I would love to go to Chicago for the weekend, but itís not possible, I donít particularly mind the early Saturday departure, but I canít get back to Indy at midnight (we hope) and get home by 1, then be back at work seeing patients at 7:30 the next AM!!

Alan2955

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2019, 01:44:27 AM »
Ridership is way down and it does NOT make any money.
Kind of like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer.
It feels so good when you stop!

Where did you get the notion that ridership is down?  Source please.   Last I saw from
INDOT  it was UP 8%.  Not that itís great but letís be honest. I still think the biggest biz killer is the 6am Indianapolis departure time, plus poor parking arrangements.  Why isnít this being addressed ? Itís insane to operate a service in this manner.  Both the Cardinal and the Hoosier need to operate at least an hour later.  Iím sure CSX would cooperate if asked.

CSX_CO

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2019, 05:12:12 AM »
Both the Cardinal and the Hoosier need to operate at least an hour later.  Iím sure CSX would cooperate if asked.

More involved than just CSX in that decision.

Is there platform space available at CUS for an hour later arrival?  Strikes me the closer you arrive to noon, the afternoon outbound trains will be needing spotted for loading.  Hour earlier departure, sand thing. Platform space available? Window to depart with METRA in the height of their evening commuter departures?

ckpcpqq

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2019, 11:32:36 AM »
Where did you get the notion that ridership is down?  Source please.   Last I saw from
INDOT  it was UP 8%. 

To see the Amtrak Fact Sheet on the HS, go here and scroll to the right:

https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/1038/trains-7.pdf

Here are some of the ridership figures (2018 data hasn't been posted yet):

2011:  37,249
2013:  36,768
2015:  29,703
2016:  29,488
2017:  29,504

OK, 16 more riders in '17 from '16.  But look at the overall trend.

What would the ridership have been if the HS ran seven days/week?  I did the math, it works out to 51,632.  Compare that figure to the seven day/week number for the Blue Water (Chi to Port Huron): over 186,000.  You can find similar figures for other Chicago-based corridor trains on the Amtrak Fact Sheets.  The HS has the worst daily ridership figure for all such trains.


BourdonBoy

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2019, 11:40:20 AM »
Both the Cardinal and the Hoosier need to operate at least an hour later.  Iím sure CSX would cooperate if asked.

More involved than just CSX in that decision.

Is there platform space available at CUS for an hour later arrival?  Strikes me the closer you arrive to noon, the afternoon outbound trains will be needing spotted for loading.  Hour earlier departure, sand thing. Platform space available? Window to depart with METRA in the height of their evening commuter departures?

Not to mention the fact that with any long-distance train, any change in arrival/departure time to please one particular station causes a ripple effect that makes the timing worse for other stations along the route.

Having said that, it is also true that higher operating speeds along a route would certainly help the problem.  I find it ridiculous that the Cardinal & Hoosier State can no longer operate at 79 MPH at certain locations where they historically used to.  Of course, it would be up to Amtrak (and, by default, our lovely Federal Government) to pony up the $$$ for the host railroads to raise the class of track to where it was, so that those speeds, or higher, can be attained again.

IndyHog

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2019, 12:15:10 PM »
I think the running time added 20 minutes when top speed was reduced from 79 to 60 mph. Additional spedd restrictions have been added since then such as the restrictions at St John & Shelby diamonds. The best way to improve running time would be to get a better route from Dyer to CUS.
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Alan2955

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2019, 04:40:04 PM »
More involved than just CSX in that decision.

Is there platform space available at CUS for an hour later arrival?  Strikes me the closer you arrive to noon, the afternoon outbound trains will be needing spotted for loading.  Hour earlier departure, sand thing. Platform space available? Window to depart with METRA in the height of their evening commuter departures?

There would be zero problem arriving an hour later. The station is dead at that time of day.  I donít think an hour earlier southbound would work.  Too many connections broken.  Unfortunately we are stuck with a late night arrival unless they can ever speed it up.

CSX_CO

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2019, 06:12:28 PM »
Never realized 11:30 was ďlate nightĒ arrival.

Guess thatís better than those riding Chicago to Toledo and Cleveland.  Capital 23:39 arrival (same as Indy roughly) and nearly 3 am on the Lake Shore..

SankyInbound

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2019, 06:57:10 PM »
2017 ridership at 29,504 at 4 times per week...  So thats 208 days per year, which makes for 141 passengers per day.  I assumed thatís an up and back.  Thatís a lot of work for fewer than 80 people a day per trip.  Itís a 5 hour trip according to Amtrak and Greyhound says its 3.5 hours.  Prices werenít far off from each other.  If getting work in and out of Beech Grove was an issue then I donít see why Iowa Pacific would have had the opportunity to take over years ago anyway. 

Long distance passenger trains in the US are a novelty.  Without their own trackage they donít have a chance.  I am about 20 minutes west of Marion county and if traffic is good, I could make it to Cook county, Illinois and back in the time it takes the hoosier state to make a one way trip. 
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BourdonBoy

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2019, 12:40:05 AM »
Here's another reason why ridership on the Hoosier State is not what it could be: tonight's 850 departed Chicago only 2 minutes late, and Rensselaer 23 minutes late, but is now 1 hour 16 minutes late and has yet to arrive at IUS.
(And before someone tries to blame the weather, it has only just recently begun to snow in Chicago.  The radar is otherwise clear all along the rest of 850's route.)

Unbelievably, the traveling public has the audacity to expect scheduled services to depart and arrive on schedule . . . or at least close to it.

UPDATE:  It made up 15 of those lost minutes and arrived at IUS at 12:40 AM, 1 hour 1 minute late.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 01:03:56 AM by BourdonBoy »

huelsy

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2019, 09:33:34 AM »
Last time I rode the NB Hoosier State (Feb 2017) we were 90 minutes late into CUS. IPH power was crap so we left Indy an hour late then a passenger had a medical emergency in Lafayette and we lost another half hour. The SB return under Amtrak we were 10 minutes early into Indy and that included an unscheduled 15 minute smoke break in Lafayette since we were running so early.

IndyHog

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2019, 09:53:25 AM »
Here is the schedule Amtrak used to run in the 80's. Had plenty of passengers. Of course it was a daily train then.
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BourdonBoy

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2019, 10:26:20 AM »
Wow, 4 hrs 10 mins both ways for the Hoosier State, and 4 hrs 20 mins both ways for the Cardinal.  There have been times it has taken me longer than that to DRIVE Indy-Chicago downtown to downtown.

The 2018 schedule is 5 hrs northbound and 4 hrs 54 mins southbound.

I had forgotten that Indy was once actually served by TWO passenger trains on three days of the week during my lifetime.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 10:39:09 AM by BourdonBoy »

IndyHog

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2019, 10:39:12 AM »
Yes, people wanting to spend the day in Chicago would often take the Hoosier State up and come back on the Cardinal.
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TomB

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2019, 10:50:30 AM »
Why doesn't Amtrak route trains to Indianapolis via the CN to Kankakee then the KB&S over to Lafayette then down?  It would avoid most of the Chicago area congestion.  Yes, the KB&S tracks would have to be upgraded but the long-term benefits would be worth it.

IndyHog

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2019, 10:57:54 AM »
Well the Hoosier State is an Indiana state supported train. Why give up the Rensellaer and Dyer Stops.  Also this would require a time consuming back-up move at Lafayette to access the current station.
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ckpcpqq

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2019, 12:08:05 PM »
I think the running time added 20 minutes when top speed was reduced from 79 to 60 mph. Additional spedd restrictions have been added since then such as the restrictions at St John & Shelby diamonds. The best way to improve running time would be to get a better route from Dyer to CUS.

20 minutes faster would help but you're right, the main problem is the route from Dyer to Union Station.  For one thing, it requires the HS and Cardinal to crawl thru UP's Yard Center at a snail's pace and then cross Dolton Jct, one of the busiest interlockings anywhere.

But the most serious problem is this: from CUS to Maynard where CSX's ex-Monon is accessed, the trains must travel on tracks owned by six--count'em six--different roads: Amtrak, NS, Metra, Belt Rwy, UP and CN/GTW.  That means they must contend with six different dispatchers plus the IHB East Dispatcher who controls Dolton.

Unfortunately, there is no better route.  The most natural one would be continuing on CN/GTW and accessing CN/IC at Harvey.  But CN is the most passenger-hostile of the Class 1 roads and would fight it tooth and nail.  Plus there would be the time-consuming backup move off the St.Charles Air Line that the Amtrak Illinois trains must use. 
 

CSX_CO

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #59 on: January 19, 2019, 12:49:59 PM »
In other news, AMTRAK canceled most of their trains today and tomorrow I believe on account of the snow. Supposedly Michigan service still going, but long distance trains are canceled.