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The line is mostly welded rail - without anchors. That's the problem. Stick rail is only Rouses to Cantic, and some in two segments around Brossard and Castle Shannon.

7 freights a week to Vermont, 3 a week to NY, which are basically NS haulage runs between CN and NS on the southern tier. There were always some 49 and 30 MPH segments. When the temperature hits 86, speed limits get cut by 20MPH. Three nasty turns are at 10MPH. Some of the 49 slipped to 30 during Covid.
 
Have yet to see it written or reported on. But pretty sure it would require another crew if 10 mph track speed was required.

However nobody talking on NY or Amtrak side so the rumor will continue to run wild.

Just release a real statement on what and why and everyone might not be happy, but we can assess and understand the situation.

My congresswomen office has yet to return my email. So it a big secret it seems.
 
It’s well known that the line isn’t closed. What CN is probably not revealing is the speed limits while the work is ongoing. Amtrak does not want to run 10 MPH for that many miles. And NYSDOT probably doesn’t want them to either as I’m not hearing them crying foul.
More on the Adirondack debacle. WCAX, the highly respected Vermont CBS outlet, has gotten a direct response from the CN as the track upgrade status. If they tell it "true" they did not ask Amtrak to suspend service.

But the question remains of what speeds would be allowed on hot days this summer, before the work finishes? Would the morning train southbound be allowed to operate as usual, since 85F+ usually comes later in the day? Would 30mph segments be cut to 10mph? Has any of the work been finished?

All valid concerns, as we face three 90F+ days next week in northern Vermont/New York/southern Quebec. But the larger question is why did Amtrak cancel the service indefinitely? If normal operations could be possible on many days is the total loss of the route worth running late on a few days? With the northbound schedule already set to take three hours 43. minutes for 47 miles how much further delay would be incurred?
 
I think it safe to assume CN has not yet replaced so much as a cross tie. If you look at the track structure, rail anchors are few and far between, the tie plates have more than the usual amount of spikes to compensate, and most of the route is ribbon rail, which is more prone to kinks than jointed rail.

When the temperature his 86, I believe speed limits are lowed by 20MPH. So the 49 becomes 30 and the 30 becomes 10. Then the crews won't make it before they outlaw, and nobody would want to ride such a train anyway. The last day of operation in June, 2023, it took 4 hours to go from Lacolle to Montreal, and they threw in the towel the next day.

I encountered slow orders back in 2019 on a hot day, though not as severe an order. I have a spreadsheet of all the times for me since 2013. It took 120 minutes to go from the Lacolle border to St Lambert. Coming back a week later, it took 70 minutes. When we passed St Lambert and announced Montreal in 10 minutes, a round of applause broke out. They had already reduced some 49MPH areas to 30 from 2018 on all jointed rail segments, regardless, which are in the areas of Castle Shannon, Brossard, and the Cantic switch to Rouses Pt.

Where do they measure the temperature - St Jean Sur R or Montreal ? It tends to be hotter in Montreal.

Would the nighttime cool-off make any difference to their policy ?
 
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I can't understand how much hotter places than Quebec (e.g., India, Mexico & Latin America, North Africa & much of the Middle East, parts of U.S.) manage to avoid what affects The Adirondack.

Presumably those other railroads do maintenance on their track, which CN evidently doesn’t do on this line.

The other thing to consider, though, is that it’s not the high temperatures, per se, but rather the temperature swing that a line is subjected to. 86 degrees Fahrenheit may not be that high, but this is also a spot that sees significantly colder temperatures in the winter. If track is built for warmer weather, then 80/90 degree temperatures don’t really bother it, but you’ll possibly see a ton of broken rail when the temperature goes below 0. Build it for those colder temperatures, and heat kinks become more of a problem at the higher temperatures.

If you want the railroad to do better at both ends of the spectrum, it’s going to require a lot more than a set-it-and-forget-it track installation from a few decades ago, which is apparently CN’s preferred approach to this stretch.
 
Presumably those other railroads do maintenance on their track, which CN evidently doesn’t do on this line.

The other thing to consider, though, is that it’s not the high temperatures, per se, but rather the temperature swing that a line is subjected to. 86 degrees Fahrenheit may not be that high, but this is also a spot that sees significantly colder temperatures in the winter. If track is built for warmer weather, then 80/90 degree temperatures don’t really bother it, but you’ll possibly see a ton of broken rail when the temperature goes below 0. Build it for those colder temperatures, and heat kinks become more of a problem at the higher temperatures.

If you want the railroad to do better at both ends of the spectrum, it’s going to require a lot more than a set-it-and-forget-it track installation from a few decades ago, which is apparently CN’s preferred approach to this stretch.
Thank you.
 
I can't understand how much hotter places than Quebec (e.g., India, Mexico & Latin America, North Africa & much of the Middle East, parts of U.S.) manage to avoid what affects The Adirondack.
India makes extensive use of what they call Switch Expansion Joints (SEJ), which they actively adjust for de-stressing the tracks when major temperature shifts happen. These are placed at regular intervals and at each end of long welded rail sections.

In India large temperature swings tends to be a highly seasonal thing with temps varying from as low as 25F in the winter to as high as 130F in the summer in the northern plains. Of course the range varies at other geographical locations.

Track buckling on main lines is relatively rare in India.

At the end of the day bad things happen when tracks are not maintained. They are definitely not an install once and then forget item
 
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Looks like a resume for reelection. Doesn’t really say much else.
Looks like a slightly tweaked form letter. Probably written by staff. And it's amusing how the representative is proud of her bringing money into her district, when she also proudly voted against the bipartisan infrastructure bill that provided a lot of the funding that is used for these projects.
 
Rail Passengers Association President/CEO Jim Mathews spent much of the past week trying to hunt down some real background on the ADIRONDACK suspension drama. We talked about this as well and I am pleased to share what I think is an informed view of what is really happening.

It does not offer a quick solution, but I think it clarifies much that until now was simply speculation and fairly allocates blame to all the major participants--as well as making clear there will be a fsr-better line when the work projects are finished in (we hope/pray) early September. Here is Jim's report.

***********************************************

What’s Happening With The Adirondack?


By Jim Mathews / President & CEO

When it comes to Amtrak’s Adirondack between NY and Montreal, everybody is angry.

Passengers are angry because, just like last year, service through this tourism-heavy area had to be abruptly suspended and will stay that way through yet another busy summer season.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY21), whose district includes New York’s North Country and who just happens to be the number-three Republican in the U.S. House, is angry because she has had to push Amtrak and host railroad Canadian National (CN) multiple times to get this done for her traveling constituents – and for the North Country businesses which count on summer-season dollars.

CN is angry because it got a public-relations black eye out of all this as it waited for Amtrak to agree to pay for the upgrades that passenger service requires on that territory; from CN’s point of view, the sluggish service was just fine for its freight operations (though shippers might well beg to differ).

And Amtrak is angry because they’ve had to break faith with passengers – again – for host-related reasons beyond their control, and when the political heat began to rise along with the summer temperatures, CN chose to blame Amtrak without acknowledging their own role in the delay.

CN’s position appears to be along the lines of, “so what’s the big deal about 10 miles per hour?”

“CN’s Rouse Point Subdivision, which hosts Amtrak’s Adirondack service, is open for freight and passenger rail operations and will remain open all summer and fall while undergoing maintenance. CN continues to operate three to five freight trains daily over this line, and did so as recently as yesterday,” CN told a Plattsburgh, NY, television station on June 6. “Amtrak unilaterally decided to suspend its passenger service between Saratoga Springs and Montreal between May 20 and September 9 without consultation with CN.”

Amtrak’s official position is that it is working with CN to get the upgrades finished by September 8 and that it is “anxious to restore service on the northern section of our Adirondack service to Montreal. Track conditions and current heat restrictions that Canadian National (CN), owner of the route, has in place on this route limit Amtrak trains within Canada to 10 mph for up to 40 miles.”

And privately, Amtrak is trying hard to live more peacefully with its host railroads and wants to avoid public criticism of CN.

But Rail Passengers has learned that after Amtrak agreed with CN to pay to do the work, it appears CN dragged its feet on putting the pieces in place to begin the upgrade and that, far from there being “no consultation,” Amtrak came up with multiple options to avoid problems that would arise from profound delays such as hours-of-service concerns.

As an Amtrak official told me: “We explored different solutions with CN but didn’t find a feasible solution to avoid our customers experiencing significant delays of up to four hours or even potentially being stranded mid-trip while CN performs track upgrades.”

CN did recently take a positive step, reshuffling schedules to focus the maintenance-of-way crews’ efforts on the stretch north from New York.

Lost in all this is the role of New York State’s Dept. of Transportation, which is Amtrak’s official “customer” for the Adirondack because it’s a state-supported service. Nobody has yet adequately answered why DOT wouldn’t pay for a bus bridge during this year’s full-season suspension. NYDOT helpfully defers all rail questions to Amtrak, which of course can’t speak for NYDOT.

Amtrak tells me that they are in talks with Greyhound, which runs a service northbound along the route, to adjust the bus schedule by a few minutes in Saratoga Springs, NY, to make it easier for displaced Amtrak passengers to finish their journey. But that’s not yet a finished agreement.

There is actually some good news in all this, however. It seems that by mid-September real track upgrades, with welded track, near Rouses Point, N.Y., will be finished so that Amtrak’s Adirondack trains between NY and Montreal won’t have to spend every summer crawling through heat-restricted territory...or worse yet, be suspended altogether. And it can never hurt to see your member of Congress fighting for passenger trains, even if the reason for the fight is dismaying.
 
Here is a brief update on the ADIRONDACK Montreal debacle. Thanks to Ross Capon, former NARP Executive Director and life-long rail advocate, for this catch in the lengthy Amtrak Appropriations language for 2025. I note the "thanks" to CN for what they have been doing (?!?) and hope that whatever that was/is may soon be revealed. Why are the actual details of this project being kept secret?

From page 51 (computer page 55)
"Adirondack line service.—The Committee is encouraged by the
progress between Canadian National Railway and Amtrak to mitigate summer stoppages of service of the Amtrak Adirondack Line due to heat related slow orders. However, the is concerned about the current stoppage of summer service in 2024.

The Committee directs Amtrak to cooperate with CN to ensure year-round service is restored. The Committee requests a briefing from Amtrak on the status of the Adirondack Line within 30 days of enactment of this Act."

The report can be seen at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CRPT-118hrpt584/pdf/CRPT-118hrpt584.pdf
 

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