Texas Eagle move to TRE

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

afigg

Engineer
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
5,896
Location
Virginia
To the Moderators: I looked for the old thread on this topic and couldn't find it. If you want to merge it in that's fine.
There was a thread on the long stalled move to the TRE just a few months ago: Amtrak over Trinity Railway Express -- anyone know what the holdup is. That thread linked to a WFAA news report from December, 2014 that stated "Starting in February, the Amtrak train will switch over to the current Trinity Railway Express line. That means no freight traffic.".

So, in September, 2015, the Star-Telegram articles states:

"Those negotiations are very close to being completed, said Bob Baulsir, T vice president for TEX Rail and procurement.

“We are on good terms with Amtrak and simply letting the legal folks wordsmith the agreement,” Baulsir said in an email. “I expect it will be signed in the coming weeks.”
Any bets that in October or November, it will be still be "a matter of weeks" before the legal documents are completed and everyone signs off on them? Then more delays before Amtrak is ready to permanently move to the TRE?
 

west point

Engineer
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,881
Location
SW ATL airport
Question: Once the switch to TRE is complete will Amtrak be able to detour on UP if TRE is blocked as it has happened in the past ?
 

battalion51

Engineer
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Messages
7,193
Location
USA
Yes. The TRE contract specifically calls for the UP route to remain available as an alternative on certain weekends when TRE does planned track work.
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,964
Location
Ithaca, NY
There's a deadline for this move. There is ARRA funding for TRE double-tracking which is conditional on this move happening, which means the move MUST happen by the end of 2017 (as wwith all ARRA-funded projects). In fact, the move has to be committed to before then because the double-tracking has to be done by the end of 2017, and the move has to be guaranteed before the double-tracking work can start.

By the way, that was a damn good article. Full credit to the reporter (Gordon Dickson). He managed to solicit comments from everyone involved (DART, the T, Union Pacific, Genessee & Wyoming, Amtrak, the FRA) as well as Texas Rail Advocates, and he even included the rumor which is going around despite being unable to verify it. That's what I call reporting. It gives an excellent overview of the situation.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

afigg

Engineer
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
5,896
Location
Virginia
It took a while, but Amtrak posted a news release today that the Texas Eagle has been moved to the TRE tracks between Dallas and Fort Worth.

FLYING LIKE AN EAGLE: NEW ROUTE BETWEEN FORT WORTH AND DALLAS TO IMPROVE AMTRAK RELIABILITY

FORT WORTH, Texas Amtrak has successfully concluded negotiations and changed the route of the Texas Eagle train between Fort Worth and Dallas. There are no missed stops or public schedule changes at this time for the daily service of Trains 21 & 22 between Chicago and San Antonio via St. Louis; Little Rock, Ark.; Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin, Texas.

This change puts Amtrak Texas Eagle passengers on a better route shared with Trinity Rail Express (TRE) commuter trains and avoids the freight train operations that were challenging our trains every day on the previous routing, said Mark Murphy, Amtrak Senior Vice President and General Manager of the business line that includes the Eagle. This route simplifies our movements through the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center and will improve reliability for more than 100,000 Amtrak passengers who use our Fort Worth gateway every year.

Mike Chandler, Amtrak Deputy General Manager responsible for the Texas Eagle, attended an event in Fort Worth to thank the team that worked through the complicated talks involving TRE, its parent agencies in Fort Worth and Dallas, Union Pacific and other carriers. Murphy and Chandler credited constant support for this improvement from TEMPO, the Texas Eagle Marketing and Performance Organization, and Texas Rail Advocates.
Looking at the Status Maps data for #21 and #22, appears that #21(12/16) was able to take advantage of the quicker route as it departed Dallas 46 minutes late and arrived at Fort Worth only 5 minutes late. Then spent a long time in FTW, giving back much of the time saved. oh well.

Code:
* Train 21 of 12/16/2015.         Formatted Data
* Texas Eagle
* +---------------- Station Code
* |    +----------- Schedule Arrival Day 
* |    |  +-------- Schedule Arrival Time
* |    |  |     +----- Schedule Departure Day
* |    |  |     |  +-- Schedule Departure Time
* |    |  |     |  |     +------------- Actual Arrival Time
* |    |  |     |  |     |     +------- Actual Departure Time
* |    |  |     |  |     |     |     +- Comments
* V    V  V     V  V     V     V     V
* CHI  *  *     1  145P  *     145P  Departed:  On time.
....
* MIN  *  *     2  925A  *     1052A Departed:  1 hour, 27 minutes late.
* DAL  2  1130A 2  1150A 1224P 1236P Arrived:  54 minutes late.           |  Departed:  46 minutes late.
* FTW  2  125P  2  210P  130P  236P  Arrived:  5 minutes late.            |  Departed:  26 minutes late.
* CBR  *  *     2  252P  *     308P  Departed:  16 minutes late.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,669
Location
Austin Texas
Outstanding and it only took 5 years! That's warp speed when it comes to Railroad negotiations and Amtrak!
 

Lonestar648

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,803
Be interested to see if Amtrak adjusts the schedule or just adds more time on either end as a buffer.
 

saxman

Engineer
AU Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
2,520
Location
Dallas, Texas
Took a lot longer than 5 years. Still great news, on something that should have taken 6 months. But thats how transit works here in America. I'm excited to go ride it though.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,669
Location
Austin Texas
You're right Chris, it was what?, 10 years in the making?

I've been on #22 several times on the TRE Route on detours but for some reason never on #21!! I have ridden TRE many times between FTW and DAL as have you, its a much quicker route without the UP Freights!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

tonys96

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
1,419
Location
Texas
My job is along the UP line, and if/when the TE was on time, I would see it during lunch. Had to go to have a spinal procedure today and did not see if it had moved yet or not. As an aside, there is currently a bit of work on the UP line in Grand Prairie and Arlington, some enhancements to spur connections (Lights and arms) so this is a great time for the change to take place. Hopefully it will commence quickly!
 

WoodyinNYC

Conductor
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
1,515
Location
NYC
It took a while, but Amtrak posted a news release today that the Texas Eagle has been moved to the TRE tracks between Dallas and Fort Worth.
This is actually part of a bigger rail deal ...http://www.star-telegram.com/news/traffic/your-commute/article50325125.html
Says here that tyhe TEX Rail Commuter line, including stops in downtown Ft Worth and at D-FW Airport, will cost about a Billion.

So there is federal money for rail when the local Repub CongressCritter is all in for it. (Good for her!) Maybe it will be possible after all to fund the Billion or Two needed for South of the Lake to transform passenger rail Chicago-Detroit/Cleveland.
 

tonys96

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
1,419
Location
Texas
It took a while, but Amtrak posted a news release today that the Texas Eagle has been moved to the TRE tracks between Dallas and Fort Worth.
This is actually part of a bigger rail deal ...http://www.star-telegram.com/news/traffic/your-commute/article50325125.html
Says here that tyhe TEX Rail Commuter line, including stops in downtown Ft Worth and at D-FW Airport, will cost about a Billion.

So there is federal money for rail when the local Repub CongressCritter is all in for it. (Good for her!) Maybe it will be possible after all to fund the Billion or Two needed for South of the Lake to transform passenger rail Chicago-Detroit/Cleveland.
Kay Granger said:

“Receiving these initial funds will put the TEX Rail project on the fast track to gain federal support for completion by 2018,” Granger said. “Passengers should be able to ride in comfort from downtown Fort Worth to the airport within three years.”

I will not hold my breath for that. I do believe that once the spigot opens, it will likely stay open, though. Both Mrs. Granger and Rep. Mark Veasey (also from Tarrant County) support this project, mainly because the DART rail now goes to the airport and there is a huge Dallas/Ft. Worth rivalry. Maybe in five years, but I doubt it will be in three.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/traffic/your-commute/article50325125.html#storylink=cpy
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,964
Location
Ithaca, NY
Be interested to see if Amtrak adjusts the schedule or just adds more time on either end as a buffer.
The sensible thing to do would be to leave it alone for a few months to see how the running times play out in practice, *then* propose a tighter schedule.

If they actually build the Valley View double track promptly now that the bureaucratic obstacles have been resolved, they might want to wait until that's done to see how the running times play out. (The funding for that was contingent on Amtrak moving to TRE.)

Anyway, great news that this is *finally* done. Hopefully the schedule will be tightened eventually.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

saxman

Engineer
AU Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
2,520
Location
Dallas, Texas
I really hope they can get the Eagle to have an late afternoon Chicago departure again. An Empire Builder connection would be most helpful, as MSP the biggest market that the Texas Eagle has the most potential revenue for.
 

afigg

Engineer
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
5,896
Location
Virginia
Be interested to see if Amtrak adjusts the schedule or just adds more time on either end as a buffer.
The sensible thing to do would be to leave it alone for a few months to see how the running times play out in practice, *then* propose a tighter schedule.

If they actually build the Valley View double track promptly now that the bureaucratic obstacles have been resolved, they might want to wait until that's done to see how the running times play out. (The funding for that was contingent on Amtrak moving to TRE.)

Anyway, great news that this is *finally* done. Hopefully the schedule will be tightened eventually.
The On-Time Performance of the Texas Eagle in November, according to the Amtrak website, was 41.7%. Which was an improvement over the 29.8% OTP of the last 12 months. The TE was still being re-routed between CHI-STL for the first part of November, so that affected the November OTP. I also expect they won't change the TE schedule for a while; if nothing else get the OTP numbers up. Besides, there will more rounds of track work next Spring and Summer between CHI and STL which is likely to cause delays and perhaps more re-routes in IL.

Do they wait for trip time improvements between CHI and STL for a schedule revamp of the TE? Then there is the matter of the Sunset Limited which is arriving at LAX really early on a regular basis. As UP doubles tracks more of the El Paso to LA route, at some point, Amtrak is going to have to weigh the options on a major revamp of the combined TE and SL schedules.

That said, the southbound TE #21 (12/19) spent a lot of time laying over in Dallas and Fort Worth on Sunday. Lighter freight traffic and no TRE traffic on Sunday, so easier for the TE to stay on schedule. but still, there were probably some on that train impatient for the train to get moving.

* Train 21 of 12/19/2015. Formatted Data
* Texas Eagle
* +---------------- Station Code
* | +----------- Schedule Arrival Day
* | | +-------- Schedule Arrival Time
* | | | +----- Schedule Departure Day
* | | | | +-- Schedule Departure Time
* | | | | | +------------- Actual Arrival Time
* | | | | | | +------- Actual Departure Time
* | | | | | | | +- Comments
* V V V V V V V V
* CHI * * 1 145P * 145P Departed: On time.
....
* MIN * * 2 925A * 936A Departed: 11 minutes late.
* DAL 2 1130A 2 1150A 1109A 1150A Arrived: 21 minutes early. | Departed: On time.
* FTW 2 125P 2 210P 1229P 210P Arrived: 56 minutes early. | Departed: On time.
* CBR * * 2 252P * 252P Departed: On time.

Look at the times. Stopped at Dallas for 41 minutes, then parked at FTW for 101 minutes. Enough time to get off the train and buy lunch twice.
 
Top