New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

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penn central
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New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by penn central »

In the Trains News Wire it mentions the city of St Joseph wants a connection built at New Buffalo so the Blue Water and Wolverine trains can serve that area. Someone will have to explain to me how practical that will be? Sounds interesting i guess.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by DaveO »

How about the Pere Marquette serving New Buffalo?
The Blue Water and Wolverine already stop at New Buffalo.
Practical yes, just needs money.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by penn central »

DaveO wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:03 pm
How about the Pere Marquette serving New Buffalo?
The Blue Water and Wolverine already stop at New Buffalo.
Practical yes, just needs money.
Ask the city leaders of St Joe that question.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by penn central »

penn central wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:22 pm
DaveO wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:03 pm
How about the Pere Marquette serving New Buffalo?
The Blue Water and Wolverine already stop at New Buffalo.
Practical yes, just needs money.
Ask the city leaders of St Joe that question.
And a connecting bus service would make more sense because to physically serve St Joe and Benton Harbor the Blue Water and Wolverine trains would have to go out of route.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by DaveO »

Blue Water and Wolverines stop in New Buffalo.
Pere Marquette does not stop in New Buffalo.
Pere Marquette serves St. Joseph-Benton Harbor.
New Buffalo would like a connection from the CSX line to Grand Rapids and the Amtrak Michigan Line.
That connection is practical. But would take money.

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Doktor No
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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by Doktor No »

The article was more about the ability of Twin Cities folks being able to connect from St. Joe to NewBuff and then connecting to Wolverine Service eastward.
As I replied to the Trains article, there is but one train in the early morning and one in the mid evening...making connections somewhat...problematic.
It would be smarter to drive down to Niles and get on.
Do these people in St. Joe have a clue or read a map? Or have money to do this? This horse has been well beaten over the last few years, time to bury it.
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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by DaveO »

Doktor No wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:35 pm
The article was more about the ability of Twin Cities folks being able to connect from St. Joe to NewBuff and then connecting to Wolverine Service eastward.
As I replied to the Trains article, there is but one train in the early morning and one in the mid evening...making connections somewhat...problematic.
It would be smarter to drive down to Niles and get on.
Do these people in St. Joe have a clue or read a map? Or have money to do this? This horse has been well beaten over the last few years, time to bury it.
So I had to go back and reread what they said.
Yes, you're correct. It's one thing to make a track connection. Quite another to have usable trains connections.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

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Practical meaning "likely to succeed or be effective in real circumstances", no.

Amtrak and the state are already strapped for cash. Neither is likely to put resources into building a connection for the infrequent passenger who wants to go east that won't travel to Niles or take the bus that already stops in Benton Harbor. Even if they don't have a car I bet there is an Uber or Lyft driver who will take them down to Niles. Quicker and more travel time options.

Then there is the cost. Amtrak is in a long curve at this point and I'd wager would be resistant to allowing a switch in a curve in their 110MPH territory. If so the connector would have to loop to the east if it fit between the CSX and I94 or it would extend west of Red Arrow Highway. Add in land acquisition, earth work, track, a couple power switch with signal changes on two railroads it's a project that could easy be the high six figures.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by Steve B »

PatAzo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:23 am
...it's a project that could easy be the high six figures.
I'm just pulling this number out of thin air, but I'd say $2.5- 3 million would be the likely amount. Sounds about right; it has that look of something quoted in an email response from Amtrak or MDOT.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by NSSD70ACe »

PatAzo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:23 am
Practical meaning "likely to succeed or be effective in real circumstances", no.

Amtrak and the state are already strapped for cash. Neither is likely to put resources into building a connection for the infrequent passenger who wants to go east that won't travel to Niles or take the bus that already stops in Benton Harbor. Even if they don't have a car I bet there is an Uber or Lyft driver who will take them down to Niles. Quicker and more travel time options.

Then there is the cost. Amtrak is in a long curve at this point and I'd wager would be resistant to allowing a switch in a curve in their 110MPH territory. If so the connector would have to loop to the east if it fit between the CSX and I94 or it would extend west of Red Arrow Highway. Add in land acquisition, earth work, track, a couple power switch with signal changes on two railroads it's a project that could easy be the high six figures.
Well...love it or hate it, Amtrak is apparently planning for it. FY20-25 service line plan is out and the NBU connection is scheduled for FY23.

https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/proj ... Y21-25.pdf

Page 71.
Amtrak's here to stay. Deal with it.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by PatAzo »

Steve B wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:24 am
PatAzo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:23 am
...it's a project that could easy be the high six figures.
I'm just pulling this number out of thin air, but I'd say $2.5- 3 million would be the likely amount. Sounds about right; it has that look of something quoted in an email response from Amtrak or MDOT.
How about $20 million... Scroll down to Table 9. $2M design, $2M signal, $6M track, $10M new Red Arrow Highway overpass.

They claim they will save $50K per year in rent to CSX getting off the New Buffalo-Porter segment and pick up 1,900 passengers a year. If you're interested in the consultant hyperbole. https://www.cityofnewbuffalo.org/downlo ... rative.pdf

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by NSSD70ACe »

PatAzo wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:53 pm
Steve B wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:24 am
PatAzo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:23 am
...it's a project that could easy be the high six figures.
I'm just pulling this number out of thin air, but I'd say $2.5- 3 million would be the likely amount. Sounds about right; it has that look of something quoted in an email response from Amtrak or MDOT.
How about $20 million... Scroll down to Table 9. $2M design, $2M signal, $6M track, $10M new Red Arrow Highway overpass.

They claim they will save $50K per year in rent to CSX getting off the New Buffalo-Porter segment and pick up 1,900 passengers a year. If you're interested in the consultant hyperbole. https://www.cityofnewbuffalo.org/downlo ... rative.pdf
That’s quite something. Here’s my question: if they’re going to double-track the line from Niles to Glenwood, why not go all the way to CP147? The roadbed is still there. According to my timetable it would be about 40 miles of new track. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to double-track an area in the middle of nowhere but then have them stop outside Kalamazoo waiting for a WB to clear out.
Amtrak's here to stay. Deal with it.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

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I am confused by this project. The document released by the City of New Buffalo indicates that the long term plan is to change the Pere Marquette service to a Holland- Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo route (see Fiqure 5). If that is planned (I think that makes a lot sense), why spend the money on the New Buffalo connection?

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

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Signals, switches, land, money and train frequency aside... has anybody ever been to the New Buffalo station? It’s a (very nice) open platform with no heated waiting room. Beautiful in the summer. Perfectly fine in the winter when you’re being picked up or dropped off. But waiting in the open air for a connection between Michigan’s famously late trains? That’s dangerous, and something I hope no rational manager at Amtrak or MDOT would consider without a heated waiting room.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

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NSSD70ACe wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:50 pm
That’s quite something. Here’s my question: if they’re going to double-track the line from Niles to Glenwood, why not go all the way to CP147? The roadbed is still there. According to my timetable it would be about 40 miles of new track. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to double-track an area in the middle of nowhere but then have them stop outside Kalamazoo waiting for a WB to clear out.
$68 million (2012) for 14 miles is a good reason not to build more track than needed. This provides a long passing segment where trains should not need to stop in a siding. The entire stretch to Kzoo does not need to be double tracked to provide that service.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by Steve B »

Since the TIGER application is from ca. 2011, I wouldn't put too much stock at this point into many of the quoted figures or the hoped-for timetable of various projects outlined. It's moving quickly into the realm of historical artifact.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

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Standard Railfan wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:19 pm
I am confused by this project. The document released by the City of New Buffalo indicates that the long term plan is to change the Pere Marquette service to a Holland- Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo route (see Fiqure 5). If that is planned (I think that makes a lot sense), why spend the money on the New Buffalo connection?
On what planet does that make sense?
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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by Standard Railfan »

SD80MAC wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:30 am
Standard Railfan wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:19 pm
I am confused by this project. The document released by the City of New Buffalo indicates that the long term plan is to change the Pere Marquette service to a Holland- Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo route (see Fiqure 5). If that is planned (I think that makes a lot sense), why spend the money on the New Buffalo connection?
On what planet does that make sense?
Routing passenger trains to Kalamazoo from the north allows for more frequent and customer focused service. Since there are already multiple trains through KAL in both directions, the Pere Marquette can make connectIons there.
Customers could the travel to the east without going all the way to Chicago. The Pere Marquette could then run multiple round trips between KAL and GRR and HLD with one train set. Ridership usually increases with more frequent service.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by Saturnalia »

Standard Railfan wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:42 am
SD80MAC wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:30 am
Standard Railfan wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:19 pm
I am confused by this project. The document released by the City of New Buffalo indicates that the long term plan is to change the Pere Marquette service to a Holland- Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo route (see Fiqure 5). If that is planned (I think that makes a lot sense), why spend the money on the New Buffalo connection?
On what planet does that make sense?
Routing passenger trains to Kalamazoo from the north allows for more frequent and customer focused service. Since there are already multiple trains through KAL in both directions, the Pere Marquette can make connectIons there.
Customers could the travel to the east without going all the way to Chicago. The Pere Marquette could then run multiple round trips between KAL and GRR and HLD with one train set. Ridership usually increases with more frequent service.
Except that you throw away half of the Pere Marquette’s ridership in losing Holland and St Joseph.

It would also be many, many more times as expensive to reconfigure Sunnyside in GR and BO Tower in Kalamazoo to prevent back up moves, let alone raise the track speed on the Elk, compared to installing this connection at New Buffalo.

In fact, I’d hazard to to guess that it would be cheaper to upgrade the current PM route to 110 MPH operation than setup everything to run via the Elk.

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Re: New Connection in New Buffalo AMTK.

Unread post by justalurker66 »

The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative is a bad plan and most of it will never be built.
They have St Joseph Michigan and South Bend Indiana served by bus routes on that map!

It was a pipe dream written before recreational was legal in Michigan so I assume they had some bad drugs.

I like the connection at New Buffalo ... I don't like the price. $20 million (2012 dollars) to serve 400 passengers carried in 2009 that somehow become an estimated 1900 passengers if the link is built? Half of that for work on the Red Arrow Highway overpass. (Can they not just put the connection entirely east of Red Arrow Highway?) Perhaps a $2 million study will tell New Buffalo where to put their connecting track.

(The TIGER grant requested in 2012 was not granted.)

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