Amtrak NEC, Downeaster, Acela, & Long Distance

jass

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See above for why stairs are an even less plausible idea, but... what is the actual goal here? If it's "run more Keystone service," the currently in RFP Amfleet 3 order will provide exactly that, with longer, cheaper to operate trains (this is critical since service will run through the tph limited north river tunnels).
When will those trains arrive? No, not when theyre set to arrive, but when will they actually arrive?

It seems wasteful to throw away trains that can still chug along before the fleet actually has expanded.

It reminds me of when Amtrak California bought retired 40-year old NJT Comet Cars to provide service in the Central Valley.

Naysayers:

They're ancient!
They've been parked for years!
They're high floor!
The new fleet is just 2 years away!
What a boondoggle!

Those bad boys will have completed 10 years of service before the fleet replacement that was supposed to arrive in 2015 actually shows up.

Whoever signed off on the Comet purchase didn't get bogged down by "we can't do this because" logic. That purchase allowed service to be increased immediately, and 2 round trips were added. That's a real material benefit to people who rely on transit to get around.
 

FitchburgLine

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The off the shelf EMU order is in the RFP stage, while the Acela II order is in pre-production, so the total gap for potential service is... 2/3 years. Obviously you can invoke delays here, but it's symmetric - the Acela II could get delayed making this entirely pointless. Either way, there are still the logistical issues that are not present in your Comet example - will we violate the ADA by doing stairs? Build full-high platforms in 2 years? Until that gets answered, it's not a plausible option even without considering trainset length and cost of maint issues.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Really, huge equipment costs?

Youre comparing dumping a billion dollar fleet into the ocean with the cost of acquiring stairs that every airport in the world has managed to buy.

Look, Im not saying this will be done, but why are we so eager to jump into the "we can't do this because" frame of mind? What are we, highway engineers discussing sidewalks?

Amtrak: We cant run more trains because we dont have equipment
Also Amtrak: lets dump these trains in the ocean, to go along with all the other trains we have bought but decided to park in the forest because REASONS
YES...ginormous equipment costs. Astronomical. That "most expensive passenger train in the world to operate" line is not hyperbole, and not because Amtrak food service is a money-loser. The trainsets are a dumpster fire of a design that eat parts like Cheerios and require an army of techs to condition for every goddamn day they have to run. They are nice for passengers but it takes superhuman effort at unsustainable cost and labor on daily basis to keep them in shape to faithfully run their schedules. No other trainset in the world has to put up with margins that bad as a basic cost of doing business...literally not a one.


Let's stop being intentionally dense with false arguments for one damn second here. This has nothing to do with stair interfaces. The Acela sets suck resources from all else by sole reason of having to be operated at all. It's utterly unsustainable. The RFP for 400+ Amfleet replacements is now out with contract to be awarded later this year. Why are we only replacing the ancient Regionals fleet now? Because the Acela-replacement Alstom Aveilas had to get far enough along in prototyping the now majority-assembled pilot trainset to know within calendar-year certainty when the Acelas and their massive parts/labor outlays could be scraped off the ledger. The main NEC shops don't have bandwidth to juggle Aveila warranty milestones, Amfleet-replacement acceptance and bug-fixing, and several years of reserve-fleet Amfleet maint with the shop-queen Acela sets still sucking up all the oxygen on open-ended timetable.

Get it?...keeping the unicorns actively INHIBITS deploying the new stuff. Can we please argue honestly around that reality instead of inventing new strawmen?
 

jass

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- will we violate the ADA by doing stairs? Build full-high platforms in 2 years? Until that gets answered, it's not a plausible option even without considering trainset length and cost of maint issues.
You all have zero imagination.

Here you go, ADA issue solved.



YES...ginormous equipment costs. Astronomical. That "most expensive passenger train in the world to operate" line is not hyperbole, and not because Amtrak food service is a money-loser. The trainsets are a dumpster fire of a design that eat parts like Cheerios and require an army of techs to condition for every goddamn day they have to run. They are nice for passengers but it takes superhuman effort at unsustainable cost and labor on daily basis to keep them in shape to faithfully run their schedules. No other trainset in the world has to put up with margins that bad as a basic cost of doing business...literally not a one.
Whats the environmental cost of running so little rail service in this country?
 

FitchburgLine

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LOL, ramp is obviously non-ADA compliant due to slope [also note the tarmac on which to maneuver the ramp. If you can pave the platform to that level of precision to avoid cross slope issues, you can just put in high platforms, which is the long term solution anyway]. If this problem was as trivial as you keep making it out to be, mind pointing to a single international example where it is implemented?
Finally, if we're allowed to handwave operational issues, getting Amtrak to a European level of fleet availability for the Amfleet 1s gives you all the capacity you need, and is actually a cost effective and smart idea! Why not advocate for that?
 
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jass

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Yes, the "REASONS" that have been pretty well documented and pointed out in this very thread, that you seem to be ignoring.
The Talgo trains purchased by Wisconsin for their cancelled "HSR" line have never been used simply because of stubborn bureaucrats and paperwork. In the face of the climate crisis, such waste is unconscionable.

There are always reasons. In many cases, those reasons are idiotic.

How do you expect to use a ramp without massively increasing dwell times?
How does moving a ramp decrease dwell times? I don't see how positioning an ADA ramp consumes any more time than the the movement of checked bags Amtrak does.



Never mind that the current Amtrak fleet requires the manual placement of bridge ramps even at the busiest stations.

And you all realize this is how Amtrak currently provides ADA access at low floor platforms right?



"It cant be done" is a really odd thing to say when thats what Amtrak does and has been doing for decades.

Y'all need to ride more trains.
 

George_Apley

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Note: Let's commit to not posting personal attacks and "I need the last word" types of posts. If you're frustrated with the way the argument is going, take a breath and let it go for the time being.
 

roy_mustang76

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The Talgo trains purchased by Wisconsin for their cancelled "HSR" line have never been used simply because of stubborn bureaucrats and paperwork. In the face of the climate crisis, such waste is unconscionable.

There are always reasons. In many cases, those reasons are idiotic.



How does moving a ramp decrease dwell times? I don't see how positioning an ADA ramp consumes any more time than the the movement of checked bags Amtrak does.



Never mind that the current Amtrak fleet requires the manual placement of bridge ramps even at the busiest stations.

And you all realize this is how Amtrak currently provides ADA access at low floor platforms right?

[images snipped for brevity]

"It cant be done" is a really odd thing to say when thats what Amtrak does and has been doing for decades.

Y'all need to ride more trains.
Fine, I'll bite (even though you're being weirdly stubborn to the point of fruitlessness), but it's apples and oranges, my man, apples and oranges.

Aircraft stairs and ramps are used at airports that either are too small for the infrastructure of a jetway to be worthwhile to purchase and maintain (sometimes there is barely a terminal to speak of), or more commonly, at airports that are limited by space (you'll find this often done at European airports with limited jetway gates because you can only cram so many jetways onto the same terminal building). Additionally, airline dwell times are astronomically higher than train dwell times by any measure - 3 minutes to maneuver airstairs into place is really no big deal when the plane is on the ground for at least an hour, possibly changing crews, refueling, catering... you get the gist of it. Conversely, the little baggage cart you picked out is a million times more maneuverable than airstairs (or some weird train version thereof) is, and can get into and out of position much faster. Your ADA contraption is also a red herring, because sure, it's slower, but while they are assisting the ADA passenger, all of the non-ADA passengers are able to board and alight all by themselves, so it's not penalizing the dwell time terribly (if at all). By the time your ADA passengers have boarded or alighted, everyone else should have already had ample time to do so, and the train can continue onward.

Current Amtrak operating practice does not meaningfully impact dwell times because their admittedly awkward workarounds for luggage and ADA compliance work in parallel with standard boarding, whereas the implementation of exterior train stairs (to use the Acelas anywhere but full high-boarding areas) applies a penalty to every single dwell time by virtue of needing to maneuver them in and out of position every time. Depending on implementation, this may also result in forcing everyone to use one egress point, which is no better than using a mini-high, or now you have to maneuver up to 6 train stairs each time which entails an even greater dwell time penalty. Also, who exactly is going to be moving these things anyway? You're SOL if you ever have to stop at an unstaffed station, which is a perfectly normal circumstance.

The stairs/ramps are a nice idea, but they're really infeasible, and cause way too many operational issues that are much more easily solved with either full-high platforms or rolling stock with traps. Add on top of that the sheer cost of operating the Acelas as is, adding operational complexity as well as additional cost in order to reuse the trains we are already explicitly trying to replace just doesn't make sense.
 

FitchburgLine

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"It cant be done" is a really odd thing to say when thats what Amtrak does and has been doing for decades.

Y'all need to ride more trains.
This is reaching. Those lifts take ~20s per user. They "work" because able-bodied passengers skip them and step up using other sets of traps. But unless 76ers players take the Keystone service, every single passenger will take on the order of 20s to board. 10 minute dwell times per station instantly destroy the capacity advantage of reusing the Acelas, even ignoring all other issues.
The Talgos are a completely separate situation, and I'm unsure why they're getting brought up. No one here disagrees that Amtrak has made dumb equipment decisions, but this isn't one of those cases and inventing bespoke solutions for the 2 years before we get new EMU trainsets, rather than just keeping an international-standard spare ratio isn't a good idea.
EDIT: Roy said it better above^
 
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jass

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Fine, I'll bite (even though you're being weirdly stubborn to the point of fruitlessness), but it's apples and oranges, my man, apples and oranges.

Aircraft stairs and ramps are used at airports that either are too small for the infrastructure of a jetway to be worthwhile to purchase and maintain (sometimes there is barely a terminal to speak of), or more commonly, at airports that are limited by space (you'll find this often done at European airports with limited jetway gates because you can only cram so many jetways onto the same terminal building). Additionally, airline dwell times are astronomically higher than train dwell times by any measure - 3 minutes to maneuver airstairs into place is really no big deal when the plane is on the ground for at least an hour, possibly changing crews, refueling, catering... you get the gist of it. Conversely, the little baggage cart you picked out is a million times more maneuverable than airstairs (or some weird train version thereof) is, and can get into and out of position much faster. Your ADA contraption is also a red herring, because sure, it's slower, but while they are assisting the ADA passenger, all of the non-ADA passengers are able to board and alight all by themselves, so it's not penalizing the dwell time terribly (if at all). By the time your ADA passengers have boarded or alighted, everyone else should have already had ample time to do so, and the train can continue onward.

Current Amtrak operating practice does not meaningfully impact dwell times because their admittedly awkward workarounds for luggage and ADA compliance work in parallel with standard boarding, whereas the implementation of exterior train stairs (to use the Acelas anywhere but full high-boarding areas) applies a penalty to every single dwell time by virtue of needing to maneuver them in and out of position every time. Depending on implementation, this may also result in forcing everyone to use one egress point, which is no better than using a mini-high, or now you have to maneuver up to 6 train stairs each time which entails an even greater dwell time penalty. Also, who exactly is going to be moving these things anyway? You're SOL if you ever have to stop at an unstaffed station, which is a perfectly normal circumstance.

The stairs/ramps are a nice idea, but they're really infeasible, and cause way too many operational issues that are much more easily solved with either full-high platforms or rolling stock with traps. Add on top of that the sheer cost of operating the Acelas as is, adding operational complexity as well as additional cost in order to reuse the trains we are already explicitly trying to replace just doesn't make sense.
Just to clarify, my original intention is to push back against the knee-jerk "it cant be done because" reaction that is so prevalent in American thinking these days. It seems like everywhere I turn, people are incredibly eager to grab onto one single detail as a way to justify the cancellation of an entire project. That style of thinking has paralyzed this country.

Are there obstacles to continued use of Acela train-sets? Absolutely. But those obstacles need to be weighed in terms of cost and benefits. And those benefits need to go beyond the Amtrak balance sheet, and look at externalities such as how providing more frequent and faster train service on somewhere like the keystone can decrease vehicular emissions.

I'm not saying I've done the analysis, but simply saying that I don't buy the "we need to toss them" argument without the analysis in place. Frankly, Amtrak doesn't have a good track record at those kinds of analysis.


Now, going back to the high-floor barrier, the Keystone route is mostly high-platform. There are 4-5 stations with low-floors, which also happen to be the lowest ridership stations (aside from North Philly). One way to bypass the whole issue? Use the Acela's to offer express Keystone service hitting only high-platform station.

It's imperative that you stop at North Philly? Great. Is it New London where every single passenger must exit from a single door? That could be an option as well. Build a mini-high and have everyone use that door. Sucks? Yeah. But again, cost-benefit. Maybe adding another round trip is worth it, even if it means North Philly becomes a 6-minute dwell for a single train.
 

HenryAlan

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I'm not saying I've done the analysis
And therein lies the problem. The analysis has been presented in this very thread. You are confusing "it doesn't make sense based upon the following concerns...," with "can't be done." Nobody, not one person in this thread has said you cannot re-purpose the Acela sets. What several people have said, however, is that re-purposing doesn't provide any added value and is a net loss compared to other options. The more convoluted the solution, the less likely it is to be a reasonable choice.
 

jass

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And therein lies the problem. The analysis has been presented in this very thread. You are confusing "it doesn't make sense based upon the following concerns...," with "can't be done." Nobody, not one person in this thread has said you cannot re-purpose the Acela sets. What several people have said, however, is that re-purposing doesn't provide any added value and is a net loss compared to other options. The more convoluted the solution, the less likely it is to be a reasonable choice.
No, it hasnt.

The only analysis presented has been "Amtrak says theyre too expensive to maintain".

Amtrak also says that selling food is too expensive.

Amtrak also says that lining passengers up like kindergartners to board a train is a best practice.
 

roy_mustang76

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Just to clarify, my original intention is to push back against the knee-jerk "it cant be done because" reaction that is so prevalent in American thinking these days. It seems like everywhere I turn, people are incredibly eager to grab onto one single detail as a way to justify the cancellation of an entire project. That style of thinking has paralyzed this country.

Are there obstacles to continued use of Acela train-sets? Absolutely. But those obstacles need to be weighed in terms of cost and benefits. And those benefits need to go beyond the Amtrak balance sheet, and look at externalities such as how providing more frequent and faster train service on somewhere like the keystone can decrease vehicular emissions.

I'm not saying I've done the analysis, but simply saying that I don't buy the "we need to toss them" argument without the analysis in place. Frankly, Amtrak doesn't have a good track record at those kinds of analysis.


Now, going back to the high-floor barrier, the Keystone route is mostly high-platform. There are 4-5 stations with low-floors, which also happen to be the lowest ridership stations (aside from North Philly). One way to bypass the whole issue? Use the Acela's to offer express Keystone service hitting only high-platform station.

It's imperative that you stop at North Philly? Great. Is it New London where every single passenger must exit from a single door? That could be an option as well. Build a mini-high and have everyone use that door. Sucks? Yeah. But again, cost-benefit. Maybe adding another round trip is worth it, even if it means North Philly becomes a 6-minute dwell for a single train.
Sure, I get the impulse to push back, but at least around here, semi-serious analysis is considered a plus, from everything I've seen (it's why I'm here instead of rr.net, for sure). Pushing back just for the sake of pushing back really isn't constructive discussion, and is going to devolve into the back and forth that you and F-Line got into upthread. We're pretty much all willing to entertain most options, but there's gotta be a grounding in reality of your proposal, which means you gotta come up with some sort of rationale other than "well Amtrak hasn't proved you can't do it", or "Amtrak sucks at analysis, we can't trust their numbers". I even lean towards the opinion that Amtrak accounting is a bit dodgy, but if you're gonna make assertions like that you've got to back it up with something substantial. No need for an F-Line dissertation, but you're not gonna convince anyone by saying "but they're wrong". Hell, even if your main beef is that they're not correctly accounting for externalities, you gotta try to quantify that for us in some fashion, hand-waving isn't gonna cut it.

Bouncing back to the high-floor barrier, I haven't been to every single Acela stop, but I feel like you're unfairly using weirdo New London as a comparison (I used to live there, it's MY weirdo station). To start, it's literally built on a curve and across a grade crossing, and in close proximity to the Thames River Bridge, a moveable span, so you're not exactly going screaming through there to begin with. It also has the oddity of being both a low- and high-level boarding station (NB is full-high, and SB has somewhat more than your usual mini-high as well). It's safe to say we'd never choose it as a regular Acela stop, but given the speed penalties you are taking just dealing with passing through the station and the bridge, it's probably worth looking at for a handful of stops because it's not really a boarding bottleneck. Go figure, that's exactly what NLO ends up being on Acela - a nice +1 station that gets picked up on occasional runs, but easily cut if the schedule were to demand it. There are a few Keystone Corridor low-platform stations that don't have any other service (for North Philly, like New London, it is also served by Northeast Regionals), and I can't tell you if it is worth those stations losing service. Luckily, I'm only arguing for the status quo, which the only data and analysis I'm aware of supports.

Amtrak saying selling food is too expensive is simultaneously irrelevant to the discussion and also likely correct given the mandate they are under from the Feds. I think the mandate is unfair but we don't get to choose the operating constraints of Amtrak except through our representatives. That's out of bounds.

Same thing regarding the boarding practices - irrelevant to the discussion (especially since it only applies at terminus stations or major stations with atypically long dwell times, such as Washington Union, Penn Station, and South Station - no one is lining up on a platform in New London).
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Alright...let's put some Weed-B-Gone spray on the irrelevant tangents that have derailed the last page-plus so there's some gravitation back to topic:

  • Level Boarding & The Keystone -- Of 22 Keystone Service stops NYC to Harrisburg, exactly THREE (Ardmore, Downingtown, Parkesburg) are still unfunded for platform raisings. Middletown is funded for construction starts in 2022, Coatesville for a relocated brand new station in 2023. Three others were just rededicated at full ADA in the last 2 years. PennDOT is keeping up with this, guys. Why are we entrenched for battle over kludgy stairs, Talgo cars that can only board on 8-inch platforms, spurious comparisons with airliners, and post after post of imagespam when $20M licks the last remainders in under 5 years? Jesus Christ...it took 3 minutes on Wikipedia to verify what a nothingburger issue this is.

  • Technological solves for non- level boarding: Believe it or not, Amtrak has the answer for retiring those cumbersome lifts! Read it straight from the horse's mouth. The PRIAA No. 305 next-gen single-level car specs--ratified by Congress and the NEC Region member states 8 years ago--calls for automated gap-filler door mechanisms to shoot out from each vestibule door to cover any gapped platforms. This is a feature already implemented on the Siemens Viaggio Comfort-derived coaches ordered by Virgin Trains USA (formerly Florida Brightline), for VIA Rail delivery in 2022, for the Amtrak midwestern single-levels, and as prohibitive frontrunner for the Amfleet replacements.

On regular NEC or commuter full-high platforms you don't need this because there's an extended platform edging flush with the door that's absent in the ^^Virgin Trains pic above^^. Not having the extra edging means:​
-- You can build complete full-high Amtrak platforms on freight clearance routes (like the 7 Pennsylvanian intermediate stops west of Harrisburg to Pittsburgh or the 7 mini-high Downeaster stops in NH and ME) without needing to spend extra on passing tracks, and get the bridge plate with only a few seconds' delay to door-opening instead of a full minute.​
-- You can build 1-car mini-high platforms at light-boarding stations without needing to have a maintenance-intensive retractable edge or more time-consuming platform-side bridge plate (like Rutland, VT here).​
-- You can retire the portable lifts at all low-platform stops that still have them in favor of cheap fixed temp metal 1-door boarding ramps without any consideration to freight clearances...and install those immediately where it may take another decade to stamp out last remainders.​
-- You can square ADA on trains that pass between 48-inch level boarding territory (Northeast) and 8-inch level boarding territory...like everything that passes south-of-D.C., or west of Buffalo on the Lake Shore Limited, or crosses internationally into Ontario like the Maple Leaf, or any number of LD trains that originate in NY or DC. Especially valuable where there's low-boarding commuter rail overlap like GO Transit in Toronto or Virginia Railway Express south of D.C. where you can't gobble up very much commuter low platform space to accommodate high-boarders like the VA Northeast Regionals.​
Wow...look at all that time we just wasted circular-debating the thing that this already-issued Amfleet replacement RFP totally fixes!​

  • ...and getting the technological solves on the property: Remember where I said ^^above^^ that these bridge plate specs for pushing systemwide level boarding were ratified way back in 2012? Yeah...that's really sad on its face, even though the RFP is out and bids will be awarded (98% likelihood to Siemens) by Summer. But that brings us back to that whole bandwidth thing. The Acelas are worlds-destroyers at sucking up funds. They are; it's not an "Amtrak says they're too expensive"...it is the letter of the Bombardier S&S contract's rates and 20 years of documented parts consumption have already cut 'dem checks. Are we to believe this is some ever-debateable "but that's, like, your interpretion maaaan!"??? That money is G-O-N-E...spent...and every extra year you try to keep that machinery working 'dem checks keep getting written at sums higher than the cost of operating any other trainset in the world.
How is this sustainable? The last several sessions of Congress and even the ostensibly pro-rail Obama Admin. who drew up all those kewl HSR maps expected and still expect Amtrak to be majority self-supporting at paying for its own equipment. So that Amfleet replacement had no funding mechanism for the longest time. They had to address the actual single-level car shortage from Chicago Hub growth with that PRIAA order (and then the reboot from bi-level Nippon-Sharyo to single-level Siemens when NS impaled itself and had the contract pulled). And it had to take out a loan on itself to buy the Avelia Liberty HSR trainsets, the only means of retiring the oxygen-suck Acelas such that they could process 400 incoming new pieces of Corridor equipment and 400 outgoing Amfleets within their shop bandwidth.​
Conclusion #1: Neato. Stupid-jerky U.S. FAILrail n'er-do-wells Amtrak actually pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps for once in their lives and cleared a prohibitive funding-chain backlog with on-time/on-budget development of what they spent the loan on, have cued up the Amfleet replacement RFP, and are overwhelmingly likely to adopt coaches already in-service in Florida and 2 years from being in-service in Canada at less debugging time than a ground-up design.​
Conclusion #2: WTF were the feds (and especially Obama) thinking that making Amtrak jump over hot coals to self-fund national policy initiative follow-thrus like system ADA compliance and dwell-taming to advance a federal HSR network was the path to sustainability? Both the Aveilas and Amfleet replacements could've kicked off years earlier with grant action instead of private loans, with immediate ROI and more up-front time to do things like upgrading the last Keystone low platforms. Politics is broken. But sure, OK...take the Amtrak procurement dept. out behind the barn first for not Euro'ing fast enough with no money, because somebody's got to be the asshole. That will surely fix this.​
So why is it again that we are screaming "NO NEW, ONLY OLD!" at each other about repurposing cost-chewing Acelas and Amfleets and kludging airline stairs to an enormous backlog of low platforms that doesn't really exist??? Oh, right...because we want our instant gratification FASTER. Even though the very act of keeping the old stuff has already made it YEARS SLOWER and will continue to do so for as long as we prolong the agony leaving that old stuff on the road. Where you have to maintain 150 MPH-enabling tilt machinery for a branchline that can't hit those speeds, and have to build some Rube Goldberg Machine platform interface because we're keeping the old stuff that doesn't have automatic bridge plates to erector-set temp ramps that can be installed in 1 week. And we're putting Amtrak and not Congress on the hotseat for self-funding, which means we can't even allot more resources to ordering more new cars or raising more platforms because old shit's gotta stay old.​
Please, people...stop taking this circular-argument bait. We just got wound up over a whole bunch of stuff that is done...fucking settled in the real world. And only because one hand was explicitly tied behind the discussion's back about the acknowledgement that (bad) Point A exists in a process that leads to better solution in Point B. Only in a world where goalposts take superhuman leaps can you finger every party involved for being a failquitter at not being born on Point B then declare the problem implicitly solved by the rejection of any explainable process for getting there.
 
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jass

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Congratulations f-line, it took a few posts but I'm glad to see you finally agree that the platform height is not a barrier to continued use of Acelas, and using it as an excuse to dump a billion dollars into the ocean is silly.

Onwards.
 

Arlington

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Level Boarding & The Keystone -- Of 22 Keystone Service stops NYC to Harrisburg, exactly THREE (Ardmore, Downingtown, Parkesburg) are still unfunded for platform raisings. Middletown is funded for construction starts in 2022, Coatesville for a relocated brand new station in 2023.
The block above would mean that there are 5 stations that are not Acela-ready today, and that by even 2024, the three unfunded ones will still be not ready.

There's not a problem with the Acelas sitting somewhere waiting for reuse, but they'd be nearly perfectly analogous to that other cutting edged dead end, the Turboliners which were tech marvels on many dimensions (married set, aerospace construction, compact turbine engine, 100+mph operation) but were also fuel hogs and had slower acceleration than new "regular" diesel-electric locomotives.


By 2023 Amtrak will know both when Keystone high-level platforms will be coming online and how its future fleet will be mixed between Brightline-style or Acela 2 (Avelia Liberty) fleets.

Thing is: by 2023 it is VERY likely that rather than take the Acela 1s back from Bombardier (the parts supply line will be that much more withered and expensive), they'll simply order more of whichever Amfleet 3 (with traps) or Avelias (without..if high platforms come quickly) is best suited to the Keystone and the parts being robust and the assembly lines being ready.

I'm not satisfied that we've identified an ADA-compliant way of both getting people on/off the trapless Acela 1s and not having painfully-long dwells. The stock photos of ADA access to the Long Distance bi-levels show an operation on trains--the western land cruises--where the trip is so long and the freight interference is so bad that there's no expectation of ever being on time: extended dwells are the least of the LD's problems, but are a top issue on the NEC.

Keystones require a system that keeps them on time in PA so they can catch their slot from PHL to NYP.
 
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