Author Topic: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?  (Read 17161 times)

IndyHog

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #60 on: January 19, 2019, 01:02:54 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.


Not a big fan of this. Weather forecasters seem to thrive on doom and gloom forecasts. Also many of the host railroads are down to skeleton crews on MOW and Signal employees which makes significant delays and misconections a very real possibility.
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Rick

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #61 on: January 19, 2019, 01:11:23 PM »
I donít know about the Indy area or east of Indiana but they missed the mark badly on this storm.  It didnít start snowing until after 5am this morning when they originally said 9-10 pm last night.  We maybe have 3-4Ē tops but the wind is making it worse. 

Iíll second the previous comment in the skeleton crew mow and track dept. 

On top of that NS has just implemented/modified our air and flow numbers for departing trains and itís already causing some issues with trains leaving.  I imagine(no proof) this has or will cause some mainline issues/delays along with the very cold temps starting today. 


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NS7112

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #62 on: January 19, 2019, 01:32:12 PM »
I donít know about the Indy area or east of Indiana but they missed the mark badly on this storm.  It didnít start snowing until after 5am this morning when they originally said 9-10 pm last night.  We maybe have 3-4Ē tops but the wind is making it worse. 

Iíll second the previous comment in the skeleton crew mow and track dept. 

On top of that NS has just implemented/modified our air and flow numbers for departing trains and itís already causing some issues with trains leaving.  I imagine(no proof) this has or will cause some mainline issues/delays along with the very cold temps starting today. 


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Missed it REALLY bad in Indy...been raining all day and they predicted 6-8inches of snow.  All my kids activities were cancelled last night for today due to light rain :/!!  Blows me away this day and age that you have to cancel the night before when text, email, etc. is literally a click away.  You could tell the forecasters down here were very unsure where the line was going to be with the rain/snow cutoff.  A joke these days really.  Even last weekend people acted like it was the end of the world but that's our world nowadays overhype, ratings, overreact, etc.. 

Alan2955

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #63 on: January 19, 2019, 02:26:48 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..

Well itís scheduled at 11:50 not 11:30, and thatís certainly late night in most peoples world.  By the time you get home and to bed itís 1am. Thatís not convenient to most potential riders. Lots of people have to get up at 6am the next morning. Honestly the train is so hopeless in its current state they should probably just kill it.

LimitedClear

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #64 on: January 19, 2019, 03:05:40 PM »
Well itís scheduled at 11:50 not 11:30, and thatís certainly late night in most peoples world.  By the time you get home and to bed itís 1am. Thatís not convenient to most potential riders. Lots of people have to get up at 6am the next morning. Honestly the train is so hopeless in its current state they should probably just kill it.

Actually the scheduled arrival is 11:39 and it can arrive as early as 11:19.

mononradio

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Slow and "We've Always Done it That Way"!
« Reply #65 on: January 19, 2019, 04:11:28 PM »
Same problem in Illinois and Michigan, even with several billions of dollars in track and signal investments, new locomotives, and overlaid positive train control.
Fighting inertia, and a failed concept that passenger service could ever again ever be properly hosted by freight railroads.

In 1939 there were four different routes between St. Louis and Chicago, each offering multiple frequencies.  The fastest one on the Chicago and Alton was 4 hours.
That's more than 100 miles longer than the Hoosier State route.  In those days, railroad companies cared about their passenger services.
Amtrak today is lucky to make Chicago-St. Louis in 7 hours.  Over 100 days in 2018 Lincoln Service was either cancelled or more than an hour late.
You can do it on I-55 in almost half that time even without exceeding the speed limit.
Same problem with Michigan, still using schedules that take twice as  long as pre-WWII.
At least Illinois and Michigan offer multiple frequencies, so you can travel to in between stops and come back same-day at convenient times.

If the Texas Central gets built between Dallas and Houston, that might finally show the US how it should be done.
90 minutes they say, including a stop around College Station.
Once citizens trying to avoid gridlock on I-45/35 in Texas hear that thing whoosh by, that might raise some eyebrows.
But I believe that is an overseas project, Spanish operators and Japanese equipment, not US.
Still, a possible example of what could be done with a dedicated right-of-way free of road crossings and freight train interference.
 
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 04:34:43 PM by mononradio »

trainmaster53

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #66 on: January 19, 2019, 07:20:54 PM »
Build a Dedicated Passenger Line Along I 69 from Indianapolis to Chicago. Here is how they could do it. From Union Station take the Tracks up the Old NYC Line to 86 Street and Elevate it over I 465 and North along I 69. The Passenger line would be Constructed along side the other line. That could save Time and Solve the Problem. Welded Rail and Signals all the Way up.

trainmaster53

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #67 on: January 19, 2019, 07:51:46 PM »
Cardinal Amtrak 50 from Chicago to NY has been Cancelled. Trains 29-30-48 and 49 were also Cancelled.

SankyInbound

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #68 on: January 19, 2019, 09:18:42 PM »
Again, Iíll say Amtrak and the fed missed the boat.  When Amtrak was formed they should have stepped in and given them the reciprocal lines of competing roads in the midwest, ie Penna and NYC.  Now the ROWs are abandoned and reclaimed by adjacent land owners.  If Amtrak had their own trackage things would be different. 
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CSX_CO

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Re: Slow and "We've Always Done it That Way"!
« Reply #69 on: January 19, 2019, 11:05:23 PM »
In those days, railroad companies cared about their passenger services.

That...or they viewed them as ďloss leadersĒ. Cater to the business man, woo them with extraordinary service, and the freight traffic will follow.  Who cares if we move them at a loss, their freight business will make up those losses.

Plenty of railroad correspondence from the 10ís on will collaborate that. Heck, even the Chicago commuter services were shown in the black under this assumption.

Dschro

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #70 on: January 20, 2019, 08:53:00 AM »
Years ago when Amtrak was formed I had a close friend who came up thru the NYC and stuck it out thru PC.  I remember his comment about was Amtrak was that it was designed to fail.  So far, I've seen nothing to dispute him!

Kim_Heusel

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #71 on: January 20, 2019, 08:57:57 AM »
Years ago when Amtrak was formed I had a close friend who came up thru the NYC and stuck it out thru PC.  I remember his comment about was Amtrak was that it was designed to fail.  So far, I've seen nothing to dispute him!

I've heard that, too. But I think those who set up Amtrak thought it would be gone in a few years. It's been around for almost 50 years now.

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HoosierVirg

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #72 on: January 20, 2019, 10:32:31 AM »
Years ago when Amtrak was formed I had a close friend who came up thru the NYC and stuck it out thru PC.  I remember his comment about was Amtrak was that it was designed to fail.  So far, I've seen nothing to dispute him!
That is exactly why Amtrak was started, the railroads wanted  out of the passenger business and this was the way they and the federal government reached a compromise.   Because of groups like NARP, of which I was a member,  and other state rail passenger advocacy groups it has survived.  I lived in Montana when Amtrak came about and Mike Mansfield, one of the strongest senators ever ,made sure that his state was taken care of with a couple of trains . Grassroots support of Amtrak  and a fairly steady ridership on the lines that have survived are the main reasons that Amtrak is still around.  I have ridden trains pretty much all my life starting in 1938 when I was a year old and my mom and her friend took me down to see her friendís husband at an army base in Louisiana.  Mom said that on that trip all the soldiers who of course were separated from their families wanted to take care of me. One of the best ways to keep Amtrak is to believe it or not ride it.  That is what I have tried to do over the years including three or four trips a month on the old Kentucky Cardinal.  Just a sidenote my favorite rail trip was on Amtrak from Truckee to Chicago in a major blizzard which followed us all the way ,we were 38 hours late.  So many interesting things happened on that trip.
Have a good and safe day!

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OrangeAndBlack

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #73 on: January 20, 2019, 01:32:48 PM »
Build a Dedicated Passenger Line Along I 69 from Indianapolis to Chicago. Here is how they could do it. From Union Station take the Tracks up the Old NYC Line to 86 Street and Elevate it over I 465 and North along I 69. The Passenger line would be Constructed along side the other line. That could save Time and Solve the Problem. Welded Rail and Signals all the Way up.

Iíve always thought the best way to revive passenger rail traffic is to make it complementary to road traffic.

Rebuild an interstate, say, I-65 from Indy to the Chicago area. Rebuild it with hi-speed rail in the median of the interstate or to the side of the road.

Only build, however, between the citiesí two beltways, or, extend lines on the beltways themselves if the line is destined for another city. The line can be extended into a city itself if infrastructure already exists within a city to accommodate passenger rail.

Building beltway to beltway removes the cost and political hang-ups of trying to build through a densely populated area. Build a huge park-and-ride where the hi-speed line terminates and build a station thatís accomodating to business travelers and day trippers. This could be a way to re-develop shopping mall sites that are dying on the vine due to the collapse of retail in that format and that are located at the kind of sites I have in-mind.

If a city wants to include it within their own transportation system? They would be responsible for constructing light rail to the terminus of the hi-speed system. Stations along the way would also be located along the interstate with park-and-rides that are appropriately sized for their communities.

So looking at the I-65 line, a station could be built at Lafayette Square, though in Indyís case, that would be an inconvenient location for where most of the population is located. So identify property near the 65/865 intersection. It can be a mile or two north or south of it.

Stations would be located at Lebanon (optional, might be too close to the Indy terminus, would be at Indiana 32), Lafayette (station at Indiana 26 or Indiana 43), Rensselaer (if St. Joeís re-opens, station at Indiana 114), Crown Point (optional, at U.S. 231), and since passenger rail already exists in Da Region? Have the I-65 line terminate where the South Shore passes by the Indiana Toll Road in Gary and built an integrated station. Or, the hi-speed line could be extended into Chicago itself on existing rail lines.

If you wanted to extend hi-speed rail to Louisville along I-65? Rebuild 465 east and then south with rail to accomodate the line and put a station at either Keystone or at Castleton (best choice with I-69 intersection) and put another at Washington Street. When the line turns south at I-65, stations would be located at Greenwood (probably Main Street), Columbus (Indiana 46), Seymour (optional given proximity to Columbus, U.S. 50) and it would terminate at I-265 between Clarksville and Sellersburg. Louisville/TARC would be responsible for building light rail to the terminus if they so chose.

Iím sure thereís a million hang-ups Iím not taking into account, but thatís how Iíd do hi-speed rail.

mononradio

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Call Me Skeptical about Interstate Highway Corridors
« Reply #74 on: January 20, 2019, 04:30:58 PM »
Unfortunately, there is no possible safe way that a rail corridor can be shoehorned into the median of an interstate highway in the US.  A trucker (probably with a load of gasoline) will find a way to impale himself and his truck, incinerating an oncoming load of passengers.  I suspect this will be the issue in Florida, if Brightline/Virgin stays on or too close to the I-4.

Even if the truck wreck does not take out the adjacent rail line, these multiple-daily mini-disasters would close down the lines for hours pending cleanups, "police actions involving high speed pursuits, etc," and investigations of everything bad that seems to take place on our nations highways.

Just listening to the ISP on the radio over the last day or two leads one to the remarkable conclusion that semi's are born to jackknife and leave the roadway.  And it does not necessarily require bad weather.
4 wheelers just as bad, although they normally aren't big and brawny enough to destroy an overpass, underpass, or take out the abutments of an overhead rail line.

I am reminded of a disaster in Britain a few years back, when a lady pulling a trailer lost control.  Even though the "bullet train" passing below was grade separated, the trailer flipped over the bridge railing, landing on the tracks below, and killed scores of innocent victims on the train.

The route selected in Texas is on a utility corridor, which should avoid some of the problems with extracurricular vehicle activities.  One of the other choices, I-45, was not selected.  While I am not especially familiar with the corridor chosen, one would assume that if it is an electrical transmission line corridor, its choice would eliminate some of the NIMBY's who no doubt aren't living there because they would never want their residences up against a high tension power transmission line.  And if electric, that might make some more sense if, as I would think, the rail line would need to be electrified.

For a time Texas was considering a super-wide right of way (1,000 feet I believe), which would have had utilities, highways, and rail.  With that amount of width maybe it could have worked, but the NIMBY's and the gun rights people came out in force.  They figured, probably rightly so, that the government confiscation of their land would be the first step in taking away the guns in Texas. [Incidentally this is the same thing that will kill a border wall in Texas...the taking by government of private landowner property for a wall.]


Ralph

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #75 on: January 20, 2019, 04:47:40 PM »
Iím sure thereís a million hang-ups Iím not taking into account, but thatís how Iíd do hi-speed rail.

That's okay. Any plan starts with ideas of a better way to do something and then looking at obstacles to be overcome such as those listed by mononradio. Many years ago Dr. Tim Watson (big fan of rail and expert on the Beech Grove traction line) said that the interstates were not nearly straight enough for any speed on a neighboring rail line.

I kind of like the idea of following power transmission lines although I've seen many that make very small radius turns. Plus, farmers still farm the land below those lines. Someone take the idea further.

OrangeAndBlack

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Re: Call Me Skeptical about Interstate Highway Corridors
« Reply #76 on: January 20, 2019, 04:58:34 PM »
Unfortunately, there is no possible safe way that a rail corridor can be shoehorned into the median of an interstate highway in the US.  A trucker (probably with a load of gasoline) will find a way to impale himself and his truck, incinerating an oncoming load of passengers.  I suspect this will be the issue in Florida, if Brightline/Virgin stays on or too close to the I-4.

Even if the truck wreck does not take out the adjacent rail line, these multiple-daily mini-disasters would close down the lines for hours pending cleanups, "police actions involving high speed pursuits, etc," and investigations of everything bad that seems to take place on our nations highways.

Just listening to the ISP on the radio over the last day or two leads one to the remarkable conclusion that semi's are born to jackknife and leave the roadway.  And it does not necessarily require bad weather.
4 wheelers just as bad, although they normally aren't big and brawny enough to destroy an overpass, underpass, or take out the abutments of an overhead rail line.

I am reminded of a disaster in Britain a few years back, when a lady pulling a trailer lost control.  Even though the "bullet train" passing below was grade separated, the trailer flipped over the bridge railing, landing on the tracks below, and killed scores of innocent victims on the train.

The route selected in Texas is on a utility corridor, which should avoid some of the problems with extracurricular vehicle activities.  One of the other choices, I-45, was not selected.  While I am not especially familiar with the corridor chosen, one would assume that if it is an electrical transmission line corridor, its choice would eliminate some of the NIMBY's who no doubt aren't living there because they would never want their residences up against a high tension power transmission line.  And if electric, that might make some more sense if, as I would think, the rail line would need to be electrified.

For a time Texas was considering a super-wide right of way (1,000 feet I believe), which would have had utilities, highways, and rail.  With that amount of width maybe it could have worked, but the NIMBY's and the gun rights people came out in force.  They figured, probably rightly so, that the government confiscation of their land would be the first step in taking away the guns in Texas. [Incidentally this is the same thing that will kill a border wall in Texas...the taking by government of private landowner property for a wall.]

Itís not a full rail corridor, but the Red and Blue Lines in Chicago run down the middle of interstates without any worry of traffic accidents.

And yeah, youíd have to widen the corridor. There would be problems, but not terribly different from widening existing highways from two to four lanes or building highway bypasses around cities.

CSX_CO

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2019, 05:11:33 PM »
Those subway lines do see occasional service distruptions from car accidents though. 

Alan2955

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #78 on: January 20, 2019, 07:51:52 PM »
Actually the scheduled arrival is 11:39 and it can arrive as early as 11:19.

Wow. Love to argue about minutia donít you. The times itís more than 15 minutes early are rare indeed and I guess you are ignoring that itís sometimes late as well.  Bottom line it arrives Indy far too late to appeal to very many riders.11:39, 11:19, or 12:05 are all poor times for most people.  It really canít run much earlier or you kill the Chicago connections.  Already the Chief, Builder, and CZ often miss connecting.  Indiana really needs to either commit to make this thing faster or just kill it.  It has terrible infrastructure issues vs most other routes out of Chicago.  Sad but true.

BourdonBoy

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #79 on: January 20, 2019, 08:35:14 PM »
Unfortunately, there is no possible safe way that a rail corridor can be shoehorned into the median of an interstate highway in the US. 

Some of L.A. Metrolink's rail lines run partially in highway medians. The San Bernardino line is one (I-10); I have ridden it. Chicago's CTA "L" in some locations is another example. (Oops, I just saw someone else has already stated this.)

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