Change 48/49/448/449 Service

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JoshP

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Oct 13, 2021
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Buffalo, NY
My idea:

Eliminate 448/449, instead make a new 2x daily AM/PM service between ALB-BOS with 1 locomotive and 4 coach both ways. One will be in morning and one is in evening when 48 or 49 arrives in ALB.

The 48/49 will run 2-3 locos with the former BOS 448/449 sleeper/cafe/biz class and coach attached to it.

With this way, no more waiting for delays or detach or attach to it. So that way 48/49 would just run CHI-NYP directly.

What you think?
 

Eric S

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Milwaukee
In this scenario, are we assuming the 750-mile non-federal funding rule has been removed or revised? Or that MA & NY have agreed to fund these two new connecting trains?
 

JoshP

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Buffalo, NY
let NY pay for 48/49 and MA pay for the new "488 and 449 shuttle".

But the thing is, MBTA wants to extended to Worchester with 2 or 3 trains a day so if that is in the case, then maybe Amtrak can make a new shuttle from WOR to ALB instead?
 

MARC Rider

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My idea:

Eliminate 448/449, instead make a new 2x daily AM/PM service between ALB-BOS with 1 locomotive and 4 coach both ways. One will be in morning and one is in evening when 48 or 49 arrives in ALB.

The 48/49 will run 2-3 locos with the former BOS 448/449 sleeper/cafe/biz class and coach attached to it.

With this way, no more waiting for delays or detach or attach to it. So that way 48/49 would just run CHI-NYP directly.

What you think?
They did that for a while a few years ago when they were doing track work around the Albany (actually Rensselaer) station. Lots of complaints about it on this forum. Potential passengers tend to avoid having to make cross-platform transfers, if they can help it.

What would be good would be for Massachusetts and New York to get their acts together and agree on state-supported service connecting Boston and Albany. But they need to do some work to speed up the tracks. It's a 5-hour train trip vs. a 3-hour drive or bus ride. The problems seem mostly to be sharp curves and grades.
 

JoshP

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Buffalo, NY
They did that for a while a few years ago when they were doing track work around the Albany (actually Rensselaer) station. Lots of complaints about it on this forum. Potential passengers tend to avoid having to make cross-platform transfers, if they can help it.

What would be good would be for Massachusetts and New York to get their acts together and agree on state-supported service connecting Boston and Albany. But they need to do some work to speed up the tracks. It's a 5-hour train trip vs. a 3-hour drive or bus ride. The problems seem mostly to be sharp curves and grades.
I once rode on 448 and tracks after WOR is very bad, it needs to be upgraded. After SPG is okay. But overall, they need to do major overhaul entire route and make sure it's cleared for more higher speed if tracks are straight. And also there is lot of curves too so yeah.
 

Tlcooper93

OBS Chief
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My idea:

Eliminate 448/449, instead make a new 2x daily AM/PM service between ALB-BOS with 1 locomotive and 4 coach both ways. One will be in morning and one is in evening when 48 or 49 arrives in ALB.

The 48/49 will run 2-3 locos with the former BOS 48/49 sleeper/cafe/biz class and coach attached to it.

With this way, no more waiting for delays or detach or attach to it. So that way 48/49 would just run CHI-NYP directly.

What you think?
I rarely have such a strong opinion, but this is a pretty terrible idea.

There is great value in having the train be a through-train with a sleeper as to allow a direct trip to Boston without the hassle of changing trains across a platform...

there’s also the issue of NYP being underground and requiring P32s. Could you run those all the way to Chicago? Current 48/49 power is regular P42s, that can run just fine to South Station.
 
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Tlcooper93

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let NY pay for 48/49 and MA pay for the new "488 and 449 shuttle".

But the thing is, MBTA wants to extended to Worchester with 2 or 3 trains a day so if that is in the case, then maybe Amtrak can make a new shuttle from WOR to ALB instead?
So you’re saying that overnight Chicago passengers with luggage and all should ride a (crappy) MBTA train to Worcester, then wait and for a separate Amtrak train, and then (it gets better) take a third train???

Call me crazy, but I and my fellow passengers, I assure you, would prefer things as they are.
 

JoshP

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Buffalo, NY
So you’re saying that overnight Chicago passengers with luggage and all should ride a (crappy) MBTA train to Worcester, then wait and for a separate Amtrak train, and then (it gets better) take a third train???

Call me crazy, but I and my fellow passengers, I assure you, would prefer things as they are.
I'm just talking in fantasy land,. nothing official.

But if they rather one seat ride like you said, then 448/449 needs to restore Baggage, diner and more sleepers & coaches once for all, then we can talk.
 

Tlcooper93

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I'm just talking in fantasy land,. nothing official.

But if they rather one seat ride like you said, then 448/449 needs to restore Baggage, diner and more sleepers & coaches once for all, then we can talk.
I agree with you on baggage.

A diner is not needed until traditional dining is restored in the east. Cafe car more than suffices. Plenty of food in Boston to take into your roomette. When I take 449 in 2 weeks, this is my plan.

Moreover, why does the train need more sleepers when it rarely sells out its rooms? Now I could see the value in an additional car around holidays. Same could be said for coaches.
 
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Anthony V

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Mar 10, 2016
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To restore baggage service to the LSL's Boston section while opening more sleeper capacity, Amtrak should put a Bag-Dorm car on train 448/449. This way, you can have restore checked baggage service on those trains while not having to add more additional sleeper capacity than is needed, because you would be freeing up rooms in sleeper cars currently used on that section by giving the crew their own sleeping accommodations.
 

John Santos

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To restore baggage service to the LSL's Boston section while opening more sleeper capacity, Amtrak should put a Bag-Dorm car on train 448/449. This way, you can have restore checked baggage service on those trains while not having to add more additional sleeper capacity than is needed, because you would be freeing up rooms in sleeper cars currently used on that section by giving the crew their own sleeping accommodations.
You mean add a bag-dorm to the current consist, not replace the current sleeper with a bag-dorm, correct? That I could agree with. 448/449 would definitely use a baggage area, but a full baggage car would most likely be overkill. (Back in the day, when I rode those trains a handful of times before they eliminated baggage service, the baggage car was pretty empty. Maybe a dozen checked bags or so.)

Switching trains instead of engines in Albany wouldn't save any time. The NYP<->ALB requires electric or dual-mode engines due to the NYC tunnels, but the ALB<->CHI route requires diesels, so they still would have to switch engines in Albany. Anyone remember New Haven before they electrified the last section of the NEC? Unless they electrify the entire water-level route, which I certainly would not object to.
 

JoshP

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Give me a example what bag-dorm looks like because I cant find it on internet so I can get the idea.
 

zephyr17

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I rarely have such a strong opinion, but this is a pretty terrible idea.

There is great value in having the train be a through-train with a sleeper as to allow a direct trip to Boston without the hassle of changing trains across a platform...

there’s also the issue of NYP being underground and requiring P32s. Could you run those all the way to Chicago? Current 48/49 power is regular P42s, that can run just fine to South Station.
All trains that go west of Albany get the engines changed out at Albany, not just the LSL.

The Albany engine change is simply not a big deal. I was on 49 from NYP last month and 449 wasn't running for some reason. The whole consist, including what are normally the Boston cars (2 coaches, cafe/biz class and sleeper) originated in New York. The engine was changed in Albany like usual.

With that said, I agree that through cars to Boston should be retained, irrespective of whether or not some kind of Corridor service between Boston and Albany is instituted.
 

PVD

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No, on Empire Service trains the DM has been been running all the way to Niagara Falls, not sure about the Leaf. Maybe they switched some years ago, but any of the trains I've taken in recent years no.
 

Tlcooper93

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All trains that go west of Albany get the engines changed out at Albany, not just the LSL.

The Albany engine change is simply not a big deal. I was on 49 from NYP last month and 449 wasn't running for some reason. The whole consist, including what are normally the Boston cars (2 coaches, cafe/biz class and sleeper) originated in New York. The engine was changed in Albany like usual.

With that said, I agree that through cars to Boston should be retained, irrespective of whether or not some kind of Corridor service between Boston and Albany is instituted.
doesn’t really change what I said before. You can’t run p32’s all the way to Chicago, so if you’re going to do an engine change (which has never taken less than 30 minutes in my experience) you might as well do what they already do, and just hook the trains together.

a full baggage car is definitely overkill. The one on 65-67 is also overkill for that matter. Of the six or 7 times I’ve taken night owl in the last year, the baggage car is nearly empty every time. A bag dorm would make more sense on both trains, and would be nice for added sleeper capacity (especially if they opened the sleeper south of WAS as they should). Having the bag dorm on 448/9 would add the needed sleepers for holidays too and I wouldn’t run into the problem I ran into last week!
 
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AmtrakMaineiac

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Now what I would do that would be different I would split the sections completely and run Boston-Chicago without a New York section at a significantly different time to double the service over the water level route west of Albany
Sounds good. Move the Boston departure a few hours later say 5 PM, with elimination of the almost an hour layover at ALB waiting for 49 you get to CLE at a more civilized 6:30 AM, Arrival at Chicago would be around 1 PM still early enough to make the connections westbound if the train is on time.
 

Tlcooper93

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Sounds good. Move the Boston departure a few hours later say 5 PM, with elimination of the almost an hour layover at ALB waiting for 49 you get to CLE at a more civilized 6:30 AM, Arrival at Chicago would be around 1 PM still early enough to make the connections westbound if the train is on time.
If we were to split them up, it would be nice if there was a way to have both trains still have guaranteed connections in CHI for western trains, but also serve OH at very different times.

On another note, there ought to be a totally separate and additional train connecting Albany and Boston daily.
 

oregon pioneer

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They did that for a while a few years ago when they were doing track work around the Albany (actually Rensselaer) station. Lots of complaints about it on this forum. Potential passengers tend to avoid having to make cross-platform transfers, if they can help it.
I got caught traveling during that track work at least two trips before it was finally done. I hated having to vacate my comfy room, and ride the rest of the way in coach.

There is great value in having the train be a through-train with a sleeper as to allow a direct trip to Boston without the hassle of changing trains across a platform...
If I don't have a room I can just stay in, I would definitely not be taking that routing to Boston anywhere near as often. I might as well take the CL to WAS and come up the NER to a station closer to my suburban destination. I love the Berkshire scenery, but that only goes so far to console me.

So you’re saying that overnight Chicago passengers with luggage and all should ride a (crappy) MBTA train to Worcester, then wait and for a separate Amtrak train, and then (it gets better) take a third train???

Call me crazy, but I and my fellow passengers, I assure you, would prefer things as they are.
Yep, that idea is a complete nonstarter for me. I take the 448/449 every other year or so, but if there were changes like this, I'd take it a lot less. Sorry, but I think it would kill the train's ridership.
 
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