Avelia Liberty/New Acela II's Speeds and Trip Times

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Speed limit apparently won't be raised for Acelas. They will go into effect with the Avelias. The necessary work to make that possible is done. The higher speed limits are only on tracks 2 and 3. Speed limit on tracks 1 and 4 will be raised from 110mph to 125mph too.
135 to 160 is actually a pretty big difference!

One thing I recently noticed is that scheduled trip times on BOS-NYP have changed back to 3:32 from 3:46 last year. Any particular reason for this?
 

jis

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I have heard a rumor that the speed limit in the NJ segment will be raised only to 145mph for the portions that got only SAP Assemblies and not Constant Tension. But of course we will see what actually happens.

Anyway here is a great presentation by Chris Jagodzinski, VP Operations on the Next Generation Acela project. The talk was at Mass Bay RRE third Thursday of the month meeting in March 2021. Very informative:

 
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I have heard a rumor that the speed limit in the NJ segment will be raised only to 145mph for the portions that got only SAP Assemblies and not Constant Tension. But of course we will see what actually happens.

Anyway here is a great presentation by Chris Jagodzinski, VP Operations on the Next Generation Acela project. The talk was at Mass Bay RRE third Thursday of the month meeting in March 2021. Very informative:


Do you have any resources that go into the state of the NJ high-speed improvements? I have found a lot of the initial documents but nothing that goes into what ended up completed on the project.
 
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Another area that might affect travel time is the junction with Metro North New Haven line at New Rochelle. This is a flat junction and subject to delay due to conflicting moves. I imagine this could get worse when MNCR starts running to Penn Station. At one time there was talk of building a flyover here is that still a possiblity?
 

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Anyway here is a great presentation by Chris Jagodzinski, VP Operations on the Next Generation Acela project. The talk was at Mass Bay RRE third Thursday of the month meeting in March 2021. Very informative:
I finally had a quiet few minutes to sit down and watch the whole presentation (minus the Q&A thus far). Very informative indeed, many thanks for sharing!
 
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Another area that might affect travel time is the junction with Metro North New Haven line at New Rochelle. This is a flat junction and subject to delay due to conflicting moves. I imagine this could get worse when MNCR starts running to Penn Station. At one time there was talk of building a flyover here is that still a possiblity?
Heck, the whole Metro-North line from New Rochelle to New Haven seems always to be subject to delay. I mean, I've seen 40 mph running even while riding an Acela. And there's been construction going on for the last 20+ years that seems to keep one track out of service. I know the physical characteristics of the infrastructure make 100+ mph running impossible, but if they could at least run consistently at 70 mph for those 50-some miles, the total trip time could be shortened considerably.
 

jis

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Do you have any resources that go into the state of the NJ high-speed improvements? I have found a lot of the initial documents but nothing that goes into what ended up completed on the project.
What Amtrak is willing to say can be found at:


As for details of electrification upgrade beyond what is stated there, as observed by actually traveling the segment and observing what is installed....

1. Constant Tension Catenary has been installed replacing the old PRR catenary roughly between CP Midway and Hamilton Station. 160mph may be allowed in this segment on tracks 2 and 3.

2. The balance between CP County (Jersey Avenue Station) and Trernton has been upgraded using SAP Assemblies for suspending the catenary. Speeds upto 145mph will be or is allegedly allowed in these segments on tracks 2 and 3, which roughly goes from CP County to CP Midway in the north/east end and Hamilton Station to Trenton in the south/west end.

3. Tracks 1 and 4 (the outer tracks) will have speed limits upped from 110mph to 125mph

I don't know exactly when these new limits will find their way into the working timetable.
 
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jis

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Here is an old (2013) article about what is in store for the NJ portion of NEC, including the New Brunswick - Trenton upgrades. It also discusses service patterns that are behind the upgrades.


The extent of 160mph constant tension catenary has been reduced some as described in an earlier post above, and the NJT Midline Loop, the North Brunswick Station and upgrade to the Jersey Avenue station which are funded through NJDOT are yet to see the light of the day.
 
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jis

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Another area that might affect travel time is the junction with Metro North New Haven line at New Rochelle. This is a flat junction and subject to delay due to conflicting moves. I imagine this could get worse when MNCR starts running to Penn Station. At one time there was talk of building a flyover here is that still a possiblity?
FRA originally planned a flyover junction. It was determined that the real estate needed for the flyover alternative is not available. It involved moving too many things including an entire cemetery, which was not going to happen without going through litigation that would last decades if not centuries and cost way too much

Instead the flat junction was modified at CP216, with complete realignment of flow through New Rochelle station and moving the full merge of Amtrak flow into MNRR flow to the east of of New Rochelle station through high speed switches at new CP217. Additionally Amtrak created two new interlockings on the Hell Gate Line, CP 215 and Manor, to preposition trains on the correct track.

This raised Amtrak speed through CP 216 to 45 mph from the previous 15mph. MNRR has a 40mph speed through CP 216. It reduced Amtrak's running time through CP 216 by 1.5-2 mins.

The realignment moved the conflicts east and spread them out over a couple of interlocking providing alternative paths to the dispatcher using high speed (track speed 70mph) crossovers instead of the previous 15mph ones. The current layout is considered to be adequate for MNRR to Penn Station, and currently no further changes are planned.

Eventually if the NEC Futures high speed plan comes to fruition it will not touch this area. It will be left as is for local and regional traffic. The high speed line will use a separate two track alignment possibly through lengthy tunnels in this area.
 
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