Amtrak Holiday Trains

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Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Super Chief » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:30 pm

Just a heads up, starting this next Sunday Amtrak will start running their extra Holiday trains for the Thanksgiving rush.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Doktor No » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:34 pm

Unless things have changed the Holland ones are not running and they will be tying on extra coaches to the others to serve as holiday overflow catchers. NS has congestion troubles and doesn't want extra traffic clogging up the works...according to a TRAINS News article a couple weeks ago.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Doktor No » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:43 pm

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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:04 pm

Doktor No wrote:Unless things have changed the Holland ones are not running and they will be tying on extra coaches to the others to serve as holiday overflow catchers. NS has congestion troubles and doesn't want extra traffic clogging up the works...according to a TRAINS News article a couple weeks ago.

I am not a blanket PSR-hater by any means, but NS has really outdone themselves on the Chicago Line. Train counts down but gridlock is almost constant. Ever since they changed dispatchers to Atlanta the skilled weaving of trains between Porter and the Calumet River has gone to hell. Rarely do you see anything but just standard right-hand running, socking Amtrak’s and hotshots alike behind drags which plod along on their own bad signals. Good luck on 354/370/30 on any given evening, they no longer even try to clear the railroad for them.

Kinda pathetic. Used to be fun watching Chicago West work their magic. They added all that track, all those crossovers, and now almost never use them. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of dispatching skill or if they’ve moved to a computer “aided” system, but it’s terrible and makes a railroad with recently added additional capacity and fewer trains run like an overflowing mainline with 50% more traffic than there actually is.

Here’s to hoping they can figure it out, or else Michigan won’t ever get good Amtrak service without switching their route into Chicago.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Ypsi » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:20 pm

I just rode 354 Wednesday night, it started off with a 10 min delay because they had to wye the set out of the station.. no big deal. Then we got a clean shot out of the station and onto the AML.. everything seemed to be going smoothly until over the PA the AC said we were running just under an hour late. This was surprising as it had FELT smooth and we didn’t STOP but I guess it was too dark for me to tell we weren’t making track speed over the NS. (I wasn’t running a scanner or speedometer app). It was surprising to me that we ended up late even tho we kept moving from union station to porter junction, but it must have been due to approaches or anything less than track speed.. I’ve been on trains that have sat 30-45 mins on the Chicago line.. that’s obvious.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby NS3322 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:53 pm

Saturnalia wrote:Here’s to hoping they can figure it out, or else Michigan won’t ever get good Amtrak service without switching their route into Chicago.


I wish they would utilize the South Shore Line to get into Chicago...
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby justalurker66 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:38 am

NS3322 wrote:I wish they would utilize the South Shore Line to get into Chicago...

I'm glad they don't. Why mess up the South Shore? NICTD has plans to use any "extra" capacity that they currently have. Until the double track project is complete, using the South Shore would mean using the congested single track between Gary and Michigan City.

What would NICTD do with a train that is late arriving on their territory? Let it rot on CN-IC in Chicago or on the connection between NICTD and Amtrak in Michigan City until there is a slot that would not interfere with NICTD's schedule? Currently NICTD only has CSS Freight as a client - and their schedule is built around the passenger service - and is secondary to any NICTD passenger service. A late arriving Amtrak (delayed on NS between CUS and Grand Crossing or delayed in Michigan) would need to take a back seat to NICTD.

"Double Track Northwest Indiana" will help (adding a second track from Gary to Michigan Ave east of the downtown street running). But NICTD is also planning on adding a branch line ("West Lake") down to several stations ending just north of the Amtrak station in Dyer. Those trains will be on the South Shore main line between Hammond and Chicago.

NICTD has their fair share of problems ... they don't need the headache of dealing with Amtrak.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Ypsi » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:22 pm

352 was up to 7 cars tonight with one unit. 355 had the normal 5 cars but a P42 on the west end, Charger on the east.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:25 am

Has putting Amtrak on the South Shore been entertained before?
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:15 pm

MQT1223 wrote:Has putting Amtrak on the South Shore been entertained before?

Yes and at length. Many feasibility issues, the first of which is that the CSS doesn’t go to Union
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby CR900945 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:43 pm

If they were to run Amtrak trains on the South Shore, a connection would be needed at Grand Crossing or they could run on former IC to the St. Charles Airline like the City of New Orleans. As another blogger pointed out, if the Amtrak was delayed before reaching South Shore, it could play havoc with the commuter line's timekeeping.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Ypsi » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:29 pm

355 by 33W 5 car set with P42’s on both ends.. seems the chargers have been shuffled a bit
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby PatAzo » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:32 pm

Saturnalia wrote:Kinda pathetic. Used to be fun watching Chicago West work their magic. They added all that track, all those crossovers, and now almost never use them. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of dispatching skill or if they’ve moved to a computer “aided” system, but it’s terrible and makes a railroad with recently added additional capacity and fewer trains run like an overflowing mainline with 50% more traffic than there actually is.


Being an NS Dispatcher rates 3.2 out of 5 on Indeed. Some snippets from the reviews, even guys rating them 4 out of 5.

NS does not allow adequate training in using a new dispatch system that was basically forced on all dispatchers and expected to learn on your own with little to no education on how to use it.

Expect disrespectful colleagues to relieve you and complain about everything you did or should have done before they got there.

The new technology that is being implemented was shotty at best, and even critical systems would regularly fail.

Poor job training, especially considering dispatchers are responsible for the safety of other railroaders.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby renf » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:35 pm

Does anyone know why Mr. Anderson made the decision t run no extra Thanksgiving trains on the Michigan Central line
this year? I have taken them in the past and they carried substantial numbers of passengrs.

Thank you for information about Mr. Anderson's decision to cancel these Michigan Central line trains.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:39 pm

renf wrote:Does anyone know why Mr. Anderson made the decision t run no extra Thanksgiving trains on the Michigan Central line
this year? I have taken them in the past and they carried substantial numbers of passengrs.

Thank you for information about Mr. Anderson's decision to cancel these Michigan Central line trains.


If you looked at literally the second post in this thread, you would have seen the answer to your question.

NS is having capacity issues on the Chicago Line due to their movement to Precision Scheduled Railroading and a few other factors that haven’t helped to alleviate the situation. As a result, there are no additional holiday trains because it would only add to the problem during an already busy season.
If the Conductor is in charge of the train, then why is he promoted to Engineer?
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Typhoon » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:08 pm

PatAzo wrote:Expect disrespectful colleagues to relieve you and complain about everything you did or should have done before they got there.



That sounds like it was written by someone who is not very good at their job.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby coasterrider » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:29 pm

NSSD70ACe wrote:
renf wrote:Does anyone know why Mr. Anderson made the decision t run no extra Thanksgiving trains on the Michigan Central line
this year? I have taken them in the past and they carried substantial numbers of passengrs.

Thank you for information about Mr. Anderson's decision to cancel these Michigan Central line trains.


If you looked at literally the second post in this thread, you would have seen the answer to your question.

NS is having capacity issues on the Chicago Line due to their movement to Precision Scheduled Railroading and a few other factors that haven’t helped to alleviate the situation. As a result, there are no additional holiday trains because it would only add to the problem during an already busy season.


Also State of Michigan (MDOT who foots the bill) decided to add extra cars to existing trains instead of adding one extra train. Claiming the ridership was not significant enough to add extra train.
Just add capacity to existing trains. less crews,less equipment,less fuel costs=less money paid to Amtrak.

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Thank you for your comments. This was a business decision based on ridership from previous years. It is more cost-effective to add extra cars to existing trains.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby twropr » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:15 pm

How many cars were being run on Wednesday's WOLVERINES?
Thanks!
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Manistique » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:24 am

twropr wrote:How many cars were being run on Wednesday's WOLVERINES?
Thanks!
Andy



Between 6 and 8 with two sets having locomotives on both ends as far as I know.
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Re: Amtrak Holiday Trains

Unread postby Super Chief » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:01 am

Well thats more cars then I just saw on national TV, had a P42 with 2 cars and called it an extra train for the holidays. Where's Roberta (ex-Chicago East dispatcher) when we need her? Before PTC and dispatch location changes she did a good job keeping the line fluid between Chicago and LaPorte.
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