Amtrak / Intercity Rail Discussion Thread

datadyne007

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Renamed the thread to Intercity Rail instead of Regional Rail, as RR is often used to describe commuter rail systems, while Amtrak is more about Intercity Rail service.
 

RandomWalk

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I think the Eastern Route will be reactivated around the time that Seabrook Unit 2 goes online.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I wonder what impact this will have on eventually reactivating the eastern route.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20190815/seacoast-rail-trail-to-become-reality

It was never going to happen soon, but unified state ownership is a prerequisite so at a transactional level this is a good thing. Pan Am could've sold in pieces to abutters or to the towns to build Route 1 bypass roads (for-real proposed by some local yokels). Owning MA state line to the active freight yard allows for integrated planning, including rail-with-trail compatibility for any sooner trails.
 

WormtownNative

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the ROW goes well inside the fence for Seabrook? If that's the case, how do they plan on allowing a trail through, let alone reactivating the rails for the downeaster?
 

Arlington

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the ROW goes well inside the fence for Seabrook? If that's the case, how do they plan on allowing a trail through, let alone reactivating the rails for the downeaster?
It is "behind" the vehicle checkpoint, but I'm not sure that's the same thing as being inside the fence.
https://goo.gl/maps/FHoA7hDWCqpSa1KK9


This article, on Calvert Cliffs in Maryland, stressed that the vehicle checkpoint ≠ visitor denial point. http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/2014/09/why-daily-caller-is-wrong-about-nuclear.html

and that the "real" security fence is all within 1200' of the containment
https://images.app.goo.gl/CMTsA6PA2i6k6HkG7
taken from PDF page 16 of:
https://www.nhsec.nh.gov/projects/2018-02/petition/2018-02_2018-05-08_pet_declaratory_rule_seabrook_upgrade.pdf
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the ROW goes well inside the fence for Seabrook? If that's the case, how do they plan on allowing a trail through, let alone reactivating the rails for the downeaster?

Reactivation isn't a problem because the RR predates the plant and operated in Seabrook after the plant went online. The charter being intact protects the preemption. No way a trail is going through there, and they aren't planning on one there. There'll be a permanent break there.
 

Arlington

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^
Rail=Yes *
Trail=No? **

Or is there a comma or a negative missing, above?

In situations like this, if rail gets re-activated, the trail can run alongside it (but not until then?)

FWIW, Trail advocates think they'll have to go around.



*
Reactivation isn't a problem because the RR predates the plant and operated in Seabrook after the plant went online. The charter being intact protects the preemption.
**
No way a trail is going through there, and they aren't planning on one there. There'll be a permanent break there.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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^ Rail=Yes and Trail=No?

Or is there a comma or a negative missing, above?
Rail = yes, Trail = no.

Rail traffic can run "sealed" because there's no risk of trespassing beyond the fence from a moving (or stopped + supervised-evacuation) train. Trailgoers left to their own devices are a different matter, so that will never be allowed. Not even rail-with-trail, and not even when the plant is decommisioned because of the dry-cask spent fuel storage that's likely to remain onsite decades after the plant is permanently shut down.

There's a lot of land in Seabrook to carve out a trail detour, but it won't happen soon because of the number of easements required.
 

cbrett

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I hate the usage of Flyer for things that aren't seasonal/ tourist focused, it would've been nice to maintain the same branding as the Cape Flyer for similar projects. Should have gone with the Shuttle branding or something else entirely
 

Arlington

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I hate the usage of Flyer for things that aren't seasonal/ tourist focused, it would've been nice to maintain the same branding as the Cape Flyer for similar projects. Should have gone with the Shuttle branding or something else entirely
I'm OK if Flyer is the brand for State city-to-hinterland trains (Cape, Valley, & Berkshire).

In this case, Amtrak's SPG-NHV meet-the-NEC service has long been known as Shuttle.

Clipper would have been a fun alternative for a daily, year round service.
 

Riverside

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I hate the usage of Flyer for things that aren't seasonal/ tourist focused, it would've been nice to maintain the same branding as the Cape Flyer for similar projects. Should have gone with the Shuttle branding or something else entirely
Yeah, but if you look at the schedule, I think the service is intended for day trips to NYC. Definitely does not seem commuter-friendly to me, nor particularly friendly to tourists looking to visit Northampton.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Yeah, but if you look at the schedule, I think the service is intended for day trips to NYC. Definitely does not seem commuter-friendly to me, nor particularly friendly to tourists looking to visit Northampton.
All this is the re-branding and extension of the Springfield Shuttles to give it a new placeholder role now that the Hartford Line is running. It's still needed because expansion of Hartford Line schedules north of Hartford to Springfield to full-blast is contingent on additional staggered-out construction work and MassDOT getting off its ass to help build a new layover yard in Springfield (one of their few HFD Line monetary commitments, which they are ducking). As these are still the Shuttles, they're subject to the same ConnDOT-subsidized quasi- commuter fares carried over to the new stops. Those will be very useful to people who go from Holyoke and Northampton to Central CT on an otherwise hellish I-91 commute (Greenfield a tad out-of-range for Greater Hartford commutes), especially as more office park shuttle buses scale-up. From Day 1 it may end up being the most reliable way to fly, since Windsor Locks has a Bradley Airport shuttle and will get substantially upgraded facilities for airport transferees when the relocated Windsor Locks station gets constructed up the street.

Ultimately this is supposed to be a temporary assignment, only designed to keep their "use it or lose it" rights on the Shuttles as the Hartford Line fills out. One, if we would just get on with it as a state and greenlight the sure-as-sure-can-be Inland Route plan, the Springfield Shuttle/Valley Flyer gets recast once more as the Boston-New Haven shuttle with substantially increased schedule. Second, this Greenfield experiment makes for a low-risk test for commuter rail demand on the Conn River Line, since it's able to leverage ConnDOT's existing fare agreement with Amtrak without modification. This can inform whether and how soon to go for it on Conn River commuter rail. Surveying the hell out of riders on this route can establish pecking order for infill stops--Chicopee, Hatfield, Deerfield, etc.--and most-demanded bus service expansions. And, if the prevailing travel pattern is more through Springfield than to Springfield (likely...HFD-SPG is a unified job market, but there's more density in that market on the CT side of the border) it can inform whether MassDOT tries to go it alone as a Springfield-terminating service or opts to pool operations with ConnDOT to run a Greenfield-Hartford thru run flavor of Hartford Line schedule. The Valley Flyer placeholder arrangement for the Shuttles can be extremely useful for planning if they use the live trial to mine the right data and don't shy away from making big commitments if the signs point to big commitments needing to be made (already there on the Inlands...TBD but promising on commuter rail if they apportion it right).
 

Norval Elliot

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From Day 1 it may end up being the most reliable way to fly, since Windsor Locks has a Bradley Airport shuttle and will get substantially upgraded facilities for airport transferees when the relocated Windsor Locks station gets constructed up the street.
When was the Windsor Locks-to-Bradley shuttle launched? The FAQ section of the Hartford Line website still reports that "There is no transit service available at Windsor Locks Station, but it is served by transportation network companies (Uber/Lyft) and local taxis."
 

bakgwailo

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Do we have a dedicated Acela thread?

The next generation of Amtrak Acela trains will hit the rails for testing in less than eight months with the first ones going in service in 2021.

Are the interiors of America’s only high speed train as posh as the train is fast?

Amtrak officials provided a sneak peak of what the inside of next generation of Acela trains will look like on Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware.
Video:

A posh new ride is coming on Amtrak’s Acela trains and we got a sneak peak inside

Look at Acela 2 interior mock-ups, also looks like things are on track for a prototype test train on the NEC in March. Also hopefully figured out quoting.
 

Arlington

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Is the Valley Flyer running today (I know they have been running training runs at night) but I also heard they've been slightly tentative on advertising and starting due to unknowns (like platforms at SPG)
 

Norval Elliot

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Is the Valley Flyer running today (I know they have been running training runs at night) but I also heard they've been slightly tentative on advertising and starting due to unknowns (like platforms at SPG)
Revenue service begins tomorrow—with ticket prices commensurate with those of the Vermonter.(n)
 

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