They're holding my train

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MARC Rider

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I have some business in DC today and went down on NER 111. It was about 10 minutes late into Baltimore (I think there's some trackwork around Martin Airport), but we were going along at a good clip until we were just outside of New Carrolton. Then we stopped dead and sat there while two other southbound trains passed us. We then started moving, and have just left New Carrolton, looks like we're going to be about 15 minutes late. So what's happening? Why did they have the other trains pass us? We weren't that late.
 

John Bobinyec

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One of those trains was 2401 which was due at WAS at 912A but arrived at 907A, 5 minutes early.

Your train, 111, was due at WAS at 856A and arrived at 913A, 17 minutes late.

It looks like the other train was 2103 which was due at WAS at 901A but arrived at 900A, 1 minute early.

I'm guessing, but I would say on its inaugural run, 2401 was given all green lights.

jb
 

jis

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According to Anderson who was on 2401, it caught up with 2103 and was almost running on its marker.

On the NEC that time of the day, if you miss your slot by a few minutes you are apparently sunk. [emoji57]
 

Anderson

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Jis nailed it. I haven't been on a train with so many green lights since a certain incident on the Canadian a few years ago!

We also got caught in a slowdown at the Bush River Bridge, I believe (we dropped to about 40 for a spell). I wouldn't be surprised to see a slight timetable rejigger once they get a sense of how 2401 is going to "play with others" (since Amtrak hasn't had that particular stopping pattern, or lack thereof, to work with in a long time). As I noted elsewhere as well, 2401 was pulling onto the platform at 0905 and we'd stopped before my phone flipped to 0907.
 

VentureForth

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Nice. Hold other trains to make the "new" service look awesome. For a day.

How full was it, Anderson?

Now, 2 hours and 37 minutes on the timetable and making it in 2:32 - is that a record revenue run?

Interestingly, it's available cheaper (both business and first) than regular Acela. Perhaps to create demand?
 
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jis

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It is a new service. People have to get used to an Acela service that does not depart on the clock face schedule they are used to.

Also, historically, demand for non-stop service has been lower than for stopping service simply because the pool of travelers who can use such a service is smaller.

As for holding service, every Acela causes slower service to be held somewhere or the other as part of the planned schedule, even more so if said other service is out of slot. Acelas do command the highest priority. So much so that a slightly out of slot Acela is often given priority over an in slot other service. I jokingly tell people that what you are paying for in an Acela ticket more than anything else is priority. Even when things go pear shaped, Acelas get to go through first.
 
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Thirdrail7

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According to Anderson who was on 2401, it caught up with 2103 and was almost running on its marker.

On the NEC that time of the day, if you miss your slot by a few minutes you are apparently sunk. [emoji57]
They were far enough apart and no where near each other. Indeed, when 2103 passed the sidelined 111 (which is normal when it is running a tad behind), 2401 was barely by BWI. Still, if 111 had an issue at NCR, it would have definitely impacted the new train so they held it..



It is a new service. People have to get used to an Acela service that does not depart on the clock face schedule they are used to.

Also, historically, demand for non-stop service has been lower than for stopping service simply because the pool of travelers who can use such a service is smaller.

As for holding service, every Acela causes slower service to be held somewhere or the other as part of the planned schedule, even more so if said other service is out of slot. Acelas do command the highest priority. So much so that a slightly out of slot Acela is often given priority over an in slot other service. I jokingly tell people that what you are paying for in an Acela ticket more than anything else is priority. Even when things go pear shaped, Acelas get to go through first.

The airline brigade made overtures to rid themselves of that system, favoring passenger counts and revenue over class of service. It would have been entertaining to see them work this out on the fly!
 
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Anderson

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Nice. Hold other trains to make the "new" service look awesome. For a day.

How full was it, Anderson?

Now, 2 hours and 37 minutes on the timetable and making it in 2:32 - is that a record revenue run?

Interestingly, it's available cheaper (both business and first) than regular Acela. Perhaps to create demand?
I checked my watch (well, my phone). We didn't pull out of NYP until a minute after posted departure and the doors were opening on the platform at WAS a minute early.

There was a Metroliner timetabled at 2:30 in the 1970s, though I've heard it was also something of an "aspirational" schedule. It also seems plausible that a few of the WAS-NYP-PHL runs might have "edged" it during the 2007/8 iteration, particularly pre-PTC. There was none of the "throttle feathering" I saw in the past (e.g. the train being edged 2-3 MPH over the posted limit on and off); the few times my phone went over the line it was generally very brief and likely a GPS artifact.
 

railiner

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As I have mentioned previously, I rode the early MU Metroliner nonstop, and we made it in 2:29...

I recall timing the trip from NYP to the Pennsylvania state line crossing the Delaware....39 minutes...the fastest I have ever crossed New Jersey.:)
 
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