Regional New England Rail (Amtrak & State DOT & NEC)

Jahvon09

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Don't the platforms have to be lengthened to accommodate such massively long trains? :eek:
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Don't the platforms have to be lengthened to accommodate such massively long trains? :eek:
No. Most Regional stops are already 12-car length. The only shorties left on the NEC are minor ones that get skipped on a lot of AMTK schedules and don't have many boardings/alightings to begin with taxing platform dwells. They've been running trains that long for decades now, so the platform lengthenings have largely caught up.
 

Jahvon09

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Yeah. Acela trains have no stairs. They must stop at high platforms only.
 

Arlington

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Amtrak has received a grant to fund the Reopening of Track 22 at Washington Union Station. This is the westernmost of the "lower level" tracks. From the lower level, it has access to the First Street Tunnel and on southward into Virginia and all Points South.

When it opens in 2022 Track 22 will initially enable Amtrak to maintain capacity as they rebuild Union Station's Subbasement bridgework (which spans the tunnel's bellmouth) (presumably they'll use the new track and platform to allow some swing capacity for closures during construction)

Once *that* is done, they can have all tracks open and things will be ready for the 2027 opening of the new span of the Long Bridge (over the Potomac).
 

Riverside

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So I keep seeing ads from Ed Markey about a "Brain Train" proposal -- does anyone have any insight on this?
 

KCasiglio

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So I keep seeing ads from Ed Markey about a "Brain Train" proposal -- does anyone have any insight on this?
Referring to the "knowledge corridor" of the CT river valley. Basically something like this which I pulled from here

Source: http://jfb-newtransport.blogspot.com/2010/01/boston-connection-for-knowledge.html
 

tysmith95

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I would think that there'd be more demand for Hartford-Boston service than Northampton/Greenfield to Boston service.
 

tysmith95

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Downeaster going from 1 to 4 round trips on Monday. More progress.
Interesting, considering the fact that Maine still requires people to quarantine for 2 weeks coming from Massachusetts, despite letting New Yorkers in without quarantine.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Interesting, considering the fact that Maine still requires people to quarantine for 2 weeks coming from Massachusetts, despite letting New Yorkers in without quarantine.
DE in summertime does a lot of intra-Maine and NH-Maine transit, especially to/from the seasonal Old Orchard Beach stop in literal eyeshot of the beach for beating the bad traffic there. Also really easy to get buses to the further Down East beaches, too, out of Portland or Brunswick. One a day definitely isn't enough for the 'interzone' demand that starts hitting peak nowish that the water temps up there are finally warm and lasts through the full foliage season. 4 a day is too much for this exact moment, I agree. But if you consider that they were getting by with one assigned trainset until now and now need 2, it probably required running both sets twice per day to get Amtrak to agree to send over the second set from Albany (where the DE's equipment is based and where the assigned sets have been stored since the shutdown).
 

DBM

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FWIW, driving in rural south-central RI--almost exactly equidistant between Providence and Westerly (20 miles from each along the AMTRAK corridor)--over the past several months, there has been a fairly large mobilization on the AMTRAK tracks right here, at this access road.

Usually a crew of 12-15 maintenance workers, plus 5-6 very large trucks which look like the type that can "drive onto" the tracks and perform work directly. Very sustained--every workday since the pandemic struck (but perhaps that's merely a coincidence?)

It's so conspicuous a project given how rural the area is--there's very little else that captures the eye there other than the farmland. I assume its signalization work for ACELA?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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FWIW, driving in rural south-central RI--almost exactly equidistant between Providence and Westerly (20 miles from each along the AMTRAK corridor)--over the past several months, there has been a fairly large mobilization on the AMTRAK tracks right here, at this access road.

Usually a crew of 12-15 maintenance workers, plus 5-6 very large trucks which look like the type that can "drive onto" the tracks and perform work directly. Very sustained--every workday since the pandemic struck (but perhaps that's merely a coincidence?)

It's so conspicuous a project given how rural the area is--there's very little else that captures the eye there other than the farmland. I assume its signalization work for ACELA?
Or regular programmed work. That's Class 8 track (165 MPH max rating), the fastest allowable by the FRA. Each escalating track class has more intensive maint responsibilities than the previous class, so things like cycled tie replacement happen more regularly. Amtrak has a relatively thick concentration of Maintenance of Way yards on the New Haven-Providence stretch of Shoreline relative to the total service levels (very little freight, little commuter rail except for middling Shore Line East frequencies). Track class is the reason. Inspections are much more frequent, and small cycled track maint jobs are more frequent.
 

DBM

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Or regular programmed work. That's Class 8 track (165 MPH max rating), the fastest allowable by the FRA. Each escalating track class has more intensive maint responsibilities than the previous class, so things like cycled tie replacement happen more regularly. Amtrak has a relatively thick concentration of Maintenance of Way yards on the New Haven-Providence stretch of Shoreline relative to the total service levels (very little freight, little commuter rail except for middling Shore Line East frequencies). Track class is the reason. Inspections are much more frequent, and small cycled track maint jobs are more frequent.
Right--makes sense! I was going to point out, it's such a long straightaway here, I'd assumed it was the highest-rated stretch of track in terms of max speed, between Providence & Westerly. So presumably it does have the most intensive maintenance requirements. It's just so intriguing to see such a beehive of activity in such an otherwise empty quarter of land (save the turf farms).

The next nearest node of activity is the URI flagship campus and even that really isn't close... the road that parallels the tracks there within just a few yards, right at that access path, is used almost as frequently by very large farming tractors (these turf farms do not bleep around, very big operations) as by regular cars.

It's funny to think of a tractor tooling along at 10 mph on that road simultaneously with an ACELA nearly "brushing its sleeve" at 165 mph.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Right--makes sense! I was going to point out, it's such a long straightaway here, I'd assumed it was the highest-rated stretch of track in terms of max speed, between Providence & Westerly. So presumably it does have the most intensive maintenance requirements. It's just so intriguing to see such a beehive of activity in such an otherwise empty quarter of land (save the turf farms).

The next nearest node of activity is the URI flagship campus and even that really isn't close... the road that parallels the tracks there within just a few yards, right at that access path, is used almost as frequently by very large farming tractors (these turf farms do not bleep around, very big operations) as by regular cars.

It's funny to think of a tractor tooling along at 10 mph on that road simultaneously with an ACELA nearly "brushing its sleeve" at 165 mph.
Amtrak NEC MOW are pretty much the "best and brightest" when it comes to that type of work. They do not fuck around when they hit the ground to do a maint blitz. I can also guarantee that when an HSR train is coming there isn't a single employee on the ground who doesn't know exactly what footstep they need to be occupying as the train passes; that's all immaculately safety-coordinated.

It's surprising that the ROW is not fenced there...
It is, but in the swampy areas the fence can sometimes be very far set back from the ROW. Physical existence of the fence isn't necessarily a deterrent, though. There was an actual car-on-tracks fatality about 3+ years ago here when some teen crashed through the fence at Wates Corner Rd. just north of the Kingston platform and got hit by the southbound Regional slowing for a station stop. Paid attention to the GPS instead of surroundings, then panicked...which is how a missed turn + several hundred feet of empty farmland + train headlight brightly visible from the northeast horizon from nearly 3/4 mile distance + guardrail + fence + rolling entirely over the empty northbound track all managed to happen in sequence-to-fatality when any one of those stoppers would've otherwise saved the driver.
 

DBM

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It's surprising that the ROW is not fenced there...
Oops, didn't mean to imply there wasn't a fence there--I only meant that, the road snuggles up so close to the tracks there, that, if the convergence is timed correctly, a car/tractor/bicyclist/jogger/Rhode Island Red rooster can pass an AMTRAK train at a distance of less than 20 feet, per Google Maps.

Needless to say, it's quite startling, if your driving schedule happens to coincide perfectly with the timetable of an ACELA, to see a train burst out of the puckerbrush at 165 mph at a distance of 20 feet or so and barrel past you... it's happened to me once this year.
 

chmeeee

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I was referring to the fact that if you street view drive yourself a few hundred feet south, there is no fence between the road and the RR.
 

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