Additional Service from New York/Philadelphia to Pennsylvania

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jis

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The situation for NY area to Pennsylvania train service was complicated by the fact that Conrail actively tried to destroy routes that it considered to be potential competition for their chosen routes. There is no explanation other than that for them going out of their way to destroy the NJ Lackawanna Cutoff. It was at the 11th hour that finally it was saved through eminent domain, and as I recall we at NJ-ARP were involved in it to some extent.

The situation on the CNJ RoW of the Raritan Valley Line did not fare all that much better even though it was under the control of NJDOT. That is partly because there was very little demand beyond Raritan Valley into Pennsylvania which cause NJT to drop service to P'Burg and then allow the line to be severed and more or less abandoned beyond High Bridge.
 
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Amtrak25

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The NJT RVL pre-pandemic has just 3% of its ridership headed west of Raritan to High Bridge, with almost all of that being North Branch, White House and Annandale. There is no freight anymore west of the US202 overpass in western Bridgewater. The twice a week middle of the night NS freight vanished a few years ago.

Ironically, some RVL crews live in Pennsylvania, and have to drive into Raritan only to deadhead with their equipment 18 miles west to High Bridge to start their service day. From about a mile west of High Bridge, track is out of service. It would probably be unsafe to even run a hi-rail pickup truck over it.
 
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The better solution to provide rail service would be to reactivate the former Reading line to Philadelphia, although I am not sure what its status is North of Quakertown, if the right of way still exists. This would more likely be something the State of PA and the local communities would have to pursue rather than Amtrak. In the past Northampton and Lehigh counties have been less than interested in public transportation though.
 

dan

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I was on a charter train few years back that ran from Hoboken to Philipsburg and then back but on slow going tracks to Hackettstown where we picked up NJT tracks back to Hoboken.
 

Amtrak25

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Westbound 43 now departs Harrisburg 2 hours earlier than 4:40pm, so connection to train 29 at Pittsburgh would be just for 2 hours, not 4.

If 42 leaves at 7am rather than 730, connection from train 30 will be missed that much more often

BTW, Amtrak refers to PGH as Pittsburgh UNION Station.
 

west point

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Certainly now the Capitol - HAR/PHL/NYP connections now possile. Certainly better. Now if the LSL would connect at Toledo to Capitol. One going by way of Michigan.
 

Amtrak25

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I don't think anyone wants either the Lake Shore or Capitol to make middle of the night connection at Toledo, nor go on a 3-1/2 hour sightseeing tour of Michigan for a 7 hour schlep between Toledo and Chicago, nor permanently lose a slot on the NS Water Level route to Chicago that they would never get back, just as NS demands a $180 million ransom to put the Three Rivers back between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh after 17 years.
 
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Interesting that the Commonwealth has agreed to $200 million in infrastructure upgrades. I would love to know what that will be. Undoubtedly, some of it is storage tracks at Pittsburgh. But isn't that about the amount that is being demanded by CSX and NS for the Gulf Coast service? Because PA caved into NS's demands, that emboldens them in other areas.
 

Oldsmoboi

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Interesting that the Commonwealth has agreed to $200 million in infrastructure upgrades. I would love to know what that will be. Undoubtedly, some of it is storage tracks at Pittsburgh. But isn't that about the amount that is being demanded by CSX and NS for the Gulf Coast service? Because PA caved into NS's demands, that emboldens them in other areas.
I've ridden the PGH-NYP and back many times and I never felt the line was in poor shape. I'm not sure where $200m would go unless they're looking to straighten the line.
 

Amtrak25

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I've ridden the PGH-NYP and back many times and I never felt the line was in poor shape. I'm not sure where $200m would go unless they're looking to straighten the line.
It amounts to adding and extending sidings here and there. Had David Gunn not yanked 40/41 between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, we would not be having this discussion. He made several bad decisions, this being one of them.
 

Oldsmoboi

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It amounts to adding and extending sidings here and there. Had David Gunn not yanked 40/41 between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, we would not be having this discussion. He made several bad decisions, this being one of them.
at about $1.5m per mile, they could make a good chunk (133 miles) of the PGH-HAR route an extended siding.
 

Tom Booth

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I don't think anyone wants either the Lake Shore or Capitol to make middle of the night connection at Toledo, nor go on a 3-1/2 hour sightseeing tour of Michigan for a 7 hour schlep between Toledo and Chicago, nor permanently lose a slot on the NS Water Level route to Chicago that they would never get back, just as NS demands a $180 million ransom to put the Three Rivers back between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh after 17 years.
This has been discussed before but is there any chance of extending the west bound run to Chicago - essentially reviving the Broadway Limited? This would give NYP the 2nd run to Chicago again.
 
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This has been discussed before but is there any chance of extending the west bound run to Chicago - essentially reviving the Broadway Limited? This would give NYP the 2nd run to Chicago again.
One thing at a time. Let's get a second Keystone West train running first. Then maybe think about extending it to (or connecting it to) a train serving Cleveland, and maybe Toldeo, but that requires some action by the State of Ohio. This stuff is being funded by the State of Pennsylvania, which I don't think is too interested in facilitating transportation in Ohio.

As far as a "revived" Broadway Limited, the best one can hope for is that they might finally implement the connection of through cars between the Capitol and the Pennsylvanian at Pittsburgh, but I think the requires spending some money on tracks at the Pittsburgh station to accommodate the switching of cars.
 

Amtrak25

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As far as a "revived" Broadway Limited, the best one can hope for is that they might finally implement the connection of through cars between the Capitol and the Pennsylvanian at Pittsburgh, but I think the requires spending some money on tracks at the Pittsburgh station to accommodate the switching of cars.

There was a Performance Improvement Plan for that, one of the more viable ones, but Richard Anderson removed all PIP's from the website, no one in mamangement has any institutional memory of them, and represents another PRIIA section that Amtrak dislikes and decided to ignore without blowback. The CL was ranked as the 4th worst performing train of the 15 in that analysis.

Adding a switch at the western end of the Pittsburgh depot would help, its removal after 2005 by NS Amtrak naturally slept through, but split/mergee can be done with a little thought. But Gardner and Coscia have no intentions of improving the status quo of LD train operations or their marketing base, and don't want to mix their accouting of a PRIIA train and federal LD train, even though Virginia state trains operate in the federal NEC. So the Capitol Ltd will remain somewhat of a Dog that it is with a barebones consist, because it is nothing more than the weaker Washington "half" of the Broadway Limited.

I think Gunn killed the wrong train east of Pittsburgh.
 
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