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MikefromCrete

Engineer
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
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So, are they just never coming to the Illini/Saluki? The one train I regularly use.
The whole using Superliners on the Illini/Saluki is the result of demands by the CN. For years, CN has insisted that Amtrak run longer trains in order to activate crossing gates and signals. Recently, CN has insisted that Amtrak use Superliners. This whole crossing activation is a real crock, since railroads all over the world can safely run short trains through crossings. It all boils down to CN's anti-passenger attitude.
 

DavidSh

Train Attendant
Joined
Feb 27, 2023
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33
Location
New Jersey
IIRC they were ordered in 6 and 8-car sets if Amtrak really needed extra capacity couldn't they hook up 2 6-car trains to make a 12-car train? Could a 12-car train work on the NEC?
I know both New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad (not, strictly speaking, on the NEC) run 12-car trains sometimes. Some station platforms are too short to serve all of these cars. and passengers have to walk between cars to exit. New York Penn Station platforms are long enough -- I don't know about the other stations Amtrak uses on the NEC. I vaguely remember announcements that passengers could exit from only certain cars at Aberdeen MD, on a normal Northeast Regional train.
 

IAlam

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Dec 19, 2022
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NYC
I know both New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad (not, strictly speaking, on the NEC) run 12-car trains sometimes. Some station platforms are too short to serve all of these cars. and passengers have to walk between cars to exit. New York Penn Station platforms are long enough -- I don't know about the other stations Amtrak uses on the NEC. I vaguely remember announcements that passengers could exit from only certain cars at Aberdeen MD, on a normal Northeast Regional train.
Yeah I guess at short platforms either the train would have to stop twice or passengers would have to get in a specific set before hand.
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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The whole using Superliners on the Illini/Saluki is the result of demands by the CN. For years, CN has insisted that Amtrak run longer trains in order to activate crossing gates and signals. Recently, CN has insisted that Amtrak use Superliners. This whole crossing activation is a real crock, since railroads all over the world can safely run short trains through crossings. It all boils down to CN's anti-passenger attitude.
When VIA Rail tried to run a 2-car RDC train on the main line between Saskatoon and Edmonton, as planned by the Transport Ministry under Jean-Luc Pepin, the CN insisted on a 3-car train to activate signals and crossing circuits. VIA added a beat-up RDC-4 to comply. This issue has been going on for a while.
1981 035.jpg
 

jis

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Yeah I guess at short platforms either the train would have to stop twice or passengers would have to get in a specific set before hand.
Indeed. Or simply have double unit trains not stop at the few stations with short platforms. Not everything stops everywhere.

The best solution is to run additional frequencies though.

Often two unit trains are run in places where somewhere enroute the train splits and either the two units go to two different destinations, or one unit carries on while the other unit short turns. And that is where assigned seating or at least assigned car comes into play. Amtrak already does the assigned car/section on trains like the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle and the Lake Shore Lmited, so even for them this is not rocket science.

Really, the US is not a pioneer anymore on how to run passenger service. They just have to learn from those that have been there and done that. ;)
 
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Often two unit trains are run in places where somewhere enroute the train splits and either the two units go to two different destinations, or one unit carries on while the other unit short turns. And that is where assigned seating or at least assigned car comes into play. Amtrak already does the assigned car/section on trains like the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle and the Lake Shore Limited, so even for them this is not rocket science.
I could see them doing this on a Boston to/from Washington run, having a double set between Washington and New York, and only running 1 set to Boston.
Splitting at New Haven with a set for Boston and one for Springfield would be another possibility although an 8 car train would be overkill for the Springfield line where 2-3 cars are the norm.
 

jis

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I could see them doing this on a Boston to/from Washington run, having a double set between Washington and New York, and only running 1 set to Boston.
Splitting at New Haven with a set for Boston and one for Springfield would be another possibility although an 8 car train would be overkill for the Springfield line where 2-3 cars are the norm.
I am not sure that Amtrak will do any split join. That may be a bridge too far. Outfits that do split/joins generally also use Scharfenberg or equivalent remotely operated couplers that also carry brake and train lines. None of Amtrak's order include that. The end couplers are all Type H tightlock couplers and require separate handling of brake and train lines.
 
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IAlam

Train Attendant
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Dec 19, 2022
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57
Location
NYC
Indeed. Or simply have double unit trains not stop at the few stations with short platforms. Not everything stops everywhere.

The best solution is to run additional frequencies though.

Often two unit trains are run in places where somewhere enroute the train splits and either the two units go to two different destinations, or one unit carries on while the other unit short turns. And that is where assigned seating or at least assigned car comes into play. Amtrak already does the assigned car/section on trains like the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle and the Lake Shore Lmited, so even for them this is not rocket science.

Really, the US is not a pioneer anymore on how to run passenger service. They just have to learn from those that have been there and done that. ;)
I could see them doing this on a Boston to/from Washington run, having a double set between Washington and New York, and only running 1 set to Boston.
Splitting at New Haven with a set for Boston and one for Springfield would be another possibility although an 8 car train would be overkill for the Springfield line where 2-3 cars are the norm.
There's a wide range of services and split points that could potentially work like New Haven, Philly, and DC/Richmond.
I am not sure that Amtrak will do any split join. That may be a bridge too far. Outfits that do split/joins generally also use Scharfenberg or equivalent remotely operated couplers that also carry brake and train lines. None of Amtrak's order include that. The end couplers are all Type H tightlock couplers and require separate handling of brake and train lines.
That's a shame more fleet flexibility would generally be a better thing.
 
Joined
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Somewhere in Southern Ontario
VIA Rail runs their Jonquiere and Senneterre trains together between Montreal and Hervey…
Correct, and also some Toronto to Ottawa/Montreal "J trains*" (as they are called), separated at Brockville station. Unfortunately both these and the Northern Quebec trains are conventionally connected and the process to disconnect is also "conventional" and not quick.

* J trains = Joint trains, easily determined by looking for simultaneous departures to both Ottawa and Montreal from Toronto on the schedule. They used to also do the process in reverse - connecting at Brockville, but timekeeping made it impractical.

 

Burns651

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Jul 21, 2016
Messages
84
The whole using Superliners on the Illini/Saluki is the result of demands by the CN. For years, CN has insisted that Amtrak run longer trains in order to activate crossing gates and signals. Recently, CN has insisted that Amtrak use Superliners. This whole crossing activation is a real crock, since railroads all over the world can safely run short trains through crossings. It all boils down to CN's anti-passenger attitude.
The order to run on CN at least 32 axles (IIRC) started with the April 27, 2004 crash of Amtrak 364 and a vehicle in Charlotte, MI, killing 2. The gates hadn't fully lowered by the time the train entered the crossing. On May 24 at the same crossing, the protection didn't activate until a train was in the crossing. In June that year an Amtrak engineer reported gates lowering only 14 seconds before his train entered a crossing between Flint and Durand. Minimum time for complete lowering is 20 seconds.

For a time after these incidents, Amtrak trains were ordered to approach each crossing on CN's Flint Sub prepared to stop. I rode the Blue Water during that time and it was an ordeal. Eventually that restriction was lifted but the axle count order remained.

Early on, it was speculated then overruled that coal dust leaking from freights had something to do with the problem.

Apparently CN and Amtrak ran test trains this winter, still trying to figure out the cause, probably after Amtrak finally prodded CN.
 

Cal

Engineer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
4,159
Location
Socal
Which train? I will definitely be riding.
I think it was the first morning departure out of Quincy, but I didn’t take the screenshot so I can’t be sure. I’d suggest you check out the railcam in Quincy to monitor it. A business class car was also on one of the other Quincy trains yesterday, I forget which one
 
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