Crescent schedule performance

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zephyr17

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What other schedules were revised due to this reason?
To my certain knowledge, the SW Chief, the Coast Starlight and the Empire Builder have all been restrung. There may be more, but I know those for sure. The changes to the SW Chief and the Starlight were quite minor. The change to the Builder larger, but not nearly as much as the Crescent got.

Any schedule that has been modified since January 2021 was likely because of this.
 

toddinde

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I'm not sure of this directly relates to your comment about turn-around operating crews, but my southbound departure Crescent out of Atlanta at the end of April was delayed a couple of hours as it sat in the station waiting for the operating crew, who had to rest a minimum certain number of hours because their northbound Crescent arrived so late the night before.
I was referring to the operating crews who apparently come in on the Crescent the night before and take the next morning’s Crescent north again. This is what I’ve been told, and don’t know this is the case. However, an earlier departure from New Orleans and a decent departure time from Atlanta is critical. It’s interesting that you had that problem in Atlanta. Clearly, there’s a terrible shortage of operating personnel. Their quality of life is essential to retention.
 

west point

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Meridian Crews cover the Crescent ATL and south. They arrive at NOL and ATL and then take the next morning's Crescent back toward MEI. ATL <> CLT is covered by CLT crews. CLT crews take Crescent to CVS ( Charlottesville ).

Although a strong supporter of early departure from NOL that will mean that Southbound Crescent crews into NOL would not have even enough scheduled rest time into NOL. Somehow crew assignments will need changing to enable early NOL departure.

It might be having CNO crew lay over in NOL as they do now but take early Crescent to MEI. That does not solve MEI - NOL. Layover at MEI and take same day Crescent to NOL?

Of course the possible MEI <> DFW will be aother conflict if CP KCS merger is approved with it keeping MEI <> DAL.
 
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The central problem with all of these schedule and crew time-related issues is the failure of dispatchers to give priority to Amtrak between NOL and ATL, compounded by freight railroad failure to build sidings long enough to fit the trains they choose to run. The schedule was already generously padded BEFORE they added still more padding in the most recent schedule change---and timekeeping is still atrocious.

If Amtrak's TWO trains/day were allowed to run without freight interference, the Crescent could have reasonable departure AND arrival times in both NOL and ATL, AND enough time off for the trains' crews.
 

west point

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The central problem with all of these schedule and crew time-related issues is the failure of dispatchers to give priority to Amtrak between NOL and ATL, compounded by freight railroad failure to build sidings long enough to fit the trains they choose to run. The schedule was already generously padded BEFORE they added still more padding in the most recent schedule change---and timekeeping is still atrocious.

If Amtrak's TWO trains/day were allowed to run without freight interference, the Crescent could have reasonable departure AND arrival times in both NOL and ATL, AND enough time off for the trains' crews.
I have looked at the quickest running times of the Crescent between Laurel and BHM. The padding comes to over 2 hours. You make your own conclusions. One problem is MEI. MEI station and north is the NS AGS district. Just south of MEI is the NS NONE distric which includes the traffic off and on from the KCS. Have no idea if both districs covered by same dispatcher or not. That KCS traffic has to cross the NONE to get to the AGS distric's yard that is east of the Amtrak station.. It is a real screw up.

BHM <> ATL is somewhat a different problem Again of course is too many "SHORT" sidings. However the CP Howell about 3 miles west of the ATL station is a real hold up. I Have noted an over 3 hour delay there because of CSX blocking the NS line. It is CSX's priority as that is the Atlantic and Western route that predates SOU. SOU did not cross the A&W line until the later 1800s.

The only solution to this Howell problem is to have CSX duck under the NS's differnent lines CSX really only as very limited reasons to help finance the duck under. NS & Amtrak do not have any reason to stop part of a train on Howell. CSX on the other hand often stops rear of trains north bound for crew changes and some switching to drop or pick up of cars / locos at reduced size of CSX Tilford yard. A full separation will be almost complicated as PHL ZOO interlocking.

Commuter rail to north and east destinations will not be possible until CSX and NS are separated at Howell with no crossing interferrence.
 

JRR

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I have looked at the quickest running times of the Crescent between Laurel and BHM. The padding comes to over 2 hours. You make your own conclusions. One problem is MEI. MEI station and north is the NS AGS district. Just south of MEI is the NS NONE distric which includes the traffic off and on from the KCS. Have no idea if both districs covered by same dispatcher or not. That KCS traffic has to cross the NONE to get to the AGS distric's yard that is east of the Amtrak station.. It is a real screw up.

BHM <> ATL is somewhat a different problem Again of course is too many "SHORT" sidings. However the CP Howell about 3 miles west of the ATL station is a real hold up. I Have noted an over 3 hour delay there because of CSX blocking the NS line. It is CSX's priority as that is the Atlantic and Western route that predates SOU. SOU did not cross the A&W line until the later 1800s.

The only solution to this Howell problem is to have CSX duck under the NS's differnent lines CSX really only as very limited reasons to help finance the duck under. NS & Amtrak do not have any reason to stop part of a train on Howell. CSX on the other hand often stops rear of trains north bound for crew changes and some switching to drop or pick up of cars / locos at reduced size of CSX Tilford yard. A full separation will be almost complicated as PHL ZOO interlocking.

Commuter rail to north and east destinations will not be possible until CSX and NS are separated at Howell with no crossing interferrence.
Great report. So if Amtrak really cared, they would know this and do the necessary to see that these issues were corrected!
 
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Great report. So if Amtrak really cared, they would know this and do the necessary to see that these issues were corrected!
I attended an RPA webinar on this subject. Amtrak is not happy at the continued abysmal performance even with the schedule change. However they have to jump through these motions before they can file any kind of complaint.
 
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It sounds like Meridian and Atlanta cause similar situations that delay Lincoln service trains between Joliet and Chicago. I’ve had delays where freights from other railroads have blocked CN tracks when their trains suffer a mechanical issue.

At this point who gets blamed? Assuming Amtrak is on time, if CN controls the crossing it should be blamed. If not it becomes “nobody’s fault” and thus there is no urgency to correct the problem.
 

west point

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IAt this point who gets blamed? Assuming Amtrak is on time, if CN controls the crossing it should be blamed. If not it becomes “nobody’s fault” and thus there is no urgency to correct the problem.
I forgot to mention that Amtrak has to deal with CSX twice at BHM. Short getting on CSX from Meridian to actual station tracks. Note: BHM station was once L&N owned. Then Amtrak has to cross CSX again north of BHM station for access to NS ATL line.
 

jis

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I forgot to mention that Amtrak has to deal with CSX twice at BHM. Short getting on CSX from Meridian to actual station tracks. Note: BHM station was once L&N owned. Then Amtrak has to cross CSX again north of BHM station for access to NS ATL line.
And not surprisingly those are some of the major specific delay points.
 
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