Crescent getting stabbed south of Atlanta

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Crescent getting stabbed south of Atlanta
Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, June 12, 2017 9:37 PM

This is an almost every day occurrence,  Tonight 20 has been sitting outside of Atlanta station holding short of Howell interlocking as of 10:28 PM tonight. As of 10:30 finally moving. Based on departure at Anniston it could have been holding since 9:15PM  

Today's 19 lost 2:23 from ATL to Anniston.  On a very good day 19 & 20 can make ATL <> Anniston 25 minutes under schedule.   What is NS doing wrong ?  Nothing !!!  Almost always the delays are due to CSX  ( Western and Atlantic RR - civil war fame, NC&SL, L&N ) long freights fouling Howell.

NS on the MPR ( monthly performance reports ) gets charged for freight train inteferrence at Howell but CSX who was at Howell first gets off scott free !

Do not think NS is blameless for all Crescent delays.  It very ocassionally has fouled Howell but it seems to try to avoid such.  As well sometimes the intersection of the Chattanooga line at Austell causes delays but very seldom.  Today NS did delay 20 betweeen Birmingham and Anniston but that is a rarity.

NS is still delaying both 19 & 20 some days between Merdian and BHM. Those of you who are skeptical just check Dixieland history on these two trains for May and June. 

What significance is this going to have ?  For the NYPS maintenance work Crescent will be turned at WASH.  Will 20 delays cause the turn to 19 be delayed ?  Worse still the T&E crews on 19 turn next day to 20 at New Orleans and may have HOS layover problems as turn scheduled for less than 10 hours starting in July.  A small saving grace is NS north bound oftens makes up time from CLT - Greensboro and lesser to CVS.  

EDIT  20 arrived ATL peachtree station 10:35 PM.  Fair note.  Just learned of a NS freight at Inman yard which may have contributed to 19 & 20 delays ?  Train orders said 19 Had to be routed thru yard ?   

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, June 12, 2017 9:52 PM

CSX doesn't hold their traffic at Howells - if CSX is ready to roll it gets the light.  If NS gets there and no CSX movements are lined, they get the light.

Signals get lined at Howells before trains are physically at the crossing.  I believe it is a 10 minute grind off if it is decided to change the route once it has been lined.

         

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:09 PM

BALT.  It is not that simple.  There are 2 Howells withiin 3/4 mie of each other.  The one giving the problem is where NS crosses CSX.  Any yard work at Tilford has to go pull south over Howell and then push north for the yard at what appears as 3 MPH.  Thought the downgrading of Tilford yard hump would help but has not.  The yard lead from Tilford to Howell is only about 3/4 mile so long freights --  you get the idea.  Have both observed this and have been caught while on Crescent.  Last time on Crescent 37 minutes by my log.

Believe Trains Mag had an article on it but cannot find it  Anyone ?

Here is a world map if you zoom in about 10 times you can see the whole mess.

 

http://www.openrailwaymap.org/

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 8:51 AM

blue streak 1
BALT.  It is not that simple.  There are 2 Howells withiin 3/4 mie of each other.  The one giving the problem is where NS crosses CSX.  Any yard work at Tilford has to go pull south over Howell and then push north for the yard at what appears as 3 MPH.  Thought the downgrading of Tilford yard hump would help but has not.  The yard lead from Tilford to Howell is only about 3/4 mile so long freights --  you get the idea.  Have both observed this and have been caught while on Crescent.  Last time on Crescent 37 minutes by my log.

Believe Trains Mag had an article on it but cannot find it  Anyone ?

Here is a world map if you zoom in about 10 times you can see the whole mess.

 

http://www.openrailwaymap.org/

For the most part, a move that is lined will foul Howells until it is completed.  If Howells is needed for 'head room' to make the move, Howells will be fould until the move shoves back clear of Howells.  It is as simple and as complex as that.

I have had that mess as a part of my territory for several years.  CSX is trying to make a coheasive terminal out of what the 5 terminating predecessors built and then were surrounded by the expanding nature of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.  The routes between each of the 5 carriers yards constituted interchange routes - not Main Tracks.  Atlanta Terminal is a mess, for CSX and for everyone else.

         

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Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 10:38 AM

Atlanta terminal is a mess.  Doing things on the cheap over the years hasn't helped.  Turning Inman from a hump into a "poor man's" intermodal terminal is one example.  Building a second intermodal terminal in town is another.  Should have built one, big terminal and been done with it.     

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, June 15, 2017 6:11 PM

Here is a better map that you can zoom in to the location.

http://www.mytopo.com/maps/index.cfm?feature=gwinn&state=0

Crescent trains have to stay clear at the CSX intersection just south of the "Theatre du Reve " which is where NS crosses CSX.  Northbound Crescents usually hold somewhere west of "Bims liquor store" to not foul NS freights coming in from the south.

Southbound Crescents will usually hold short of the CP near Howell Mill Road.  You will notice that this route will also affect any NS freights going on this route.  As well Piedmont division freights have to hold at Howell Mill rd if CSX 2 MTs block the single track crossing for NS trains going south to Macon. 

NS freigths to / from Chattanooga, Birmingham, and Inman yard going to Macon will not be impeeded by CSX at Howell. 

There is single track line that starts between  "Georgia lawers for the arts" and "Compound" that splits off the NS 3 tracks proceeding north and joins CSX  near "theatre du Reve" then goes thru switches and bears off to the right,  That is the old SAL connection from Terminal station to the Athens line /  SAL Silver comet line to BHM ( Abandoned west of I-285 ).  CSX still uses this route at times from the trackage rights for trains to/from BHM and Montgomery trains further messing up Howell.   

To clarify at the "Paul Mitchell the school Atlanta " there are 5 tracks shown.  From the east the first two tracks are 2 MT CSX ( NC&SL { W&A} ), then 2 MT NS (SOU) and one siding which do not recall how it is now used. 

For today 19 lost 1:05 from ATL to Anniston + the :25 minutes under schedule it runs when no delays.  19 was under schedule ATL - ATN when the Amtrak Officer's special was ferried to NOL, SAS, FTW, OKC for the inspection trip to Newton. 20 today still too delayed to comment.

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, June 15, 2017 10:08 PM

BTW, officially Texas has written off extension of the Crescent to Dallas via Meridian, MS because of the projected costs they got back from NS and KCS.   Amtrak still likes the additional revenue and ridership the extension would bring in.    However without Texas financial support they both agree the route probably will not happen and they have officially walked away from the plan.    Casino funding in LA was also deemed unreliable at best.

Long term they are still looking at Austin to Houston service (large capital costs because some rail needs to be relaid)

San Antonio to Monterrey, MX (bureaucratic and political issues with Mexico holding this up, as well as lack of funding).

Houston to New Orleans...........forget what they said about this route.

Dallas to Denver..........costs too high to improve the route.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, June 16, 2017 2:58 AM

20 lost  an additional 2:15 ATN - ATL  last night / this morning.  Left ATL at 1:05 AM this morning.  Cannot imagine all the normal passenger load having to wait in that small waiting room !

NS isn't getting off scott free on this trip.  Lost 3:00+ MEI - TCL - BHM - ATN.

A Crescent extension ?  With this time keeping no way !

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Posted by conrailman on Friday, June 16, 2017 8:33 PM

CMStPnP

BTW, officially Texas has written off extension of the Crescent to Dallas via Meridian, MS because of the projected costs they got back from NS and KCS.   Amtrak still likes the additional revenue and ridership the extension would bring in.    However without Texas financial support they both agree the route probably will not happen and they have officially walked away from the plan.    Casino funding in LA was also deemed unreliable at best.

Long term they are still looking at Austin to Houston service (large capital costs because some rail needs to be relaid)

San Antonio to Monterrey, MX (bureaucratic and political issues with Mexico holding this up, as well as lack of funding).

Houston to New Orleans...........forget what they said about this route.

Dallas to Denver..........costs too high to improve the route.

 

 

 Where did you hear Texas has written off extension of the Crescent?? When did Texas said that in last 2016 or in 2017??My 2 Cents

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, June 16, 2017 9:31 PM

conrailman
Where did you hear Texas has written off extension of the Crescent?? When did Texas said that in last 2016 or in 2017??

2016 Rail plan below:

Chapter 3 on the link below...........interesting reading and remember it is the state DOT and excludes regional trains planned/forecasted by local transit authorities for the most part.

http://www.txdot.gov/government/reports/texas-rail-plan.html

 

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Posted by conrailman on Friday, June 16, 2017 9:56 PM

CMStPnP
 
conrailman
Where did you hear Texas has written off extension of the Crescent?? When did Texas said that in last 2016 or in 2017??

 

2016 Rail plan below:

Chapter 3 on the link below...........interesting reading and remember it is the state DOT and excludes regional trains planned/forecasted by local transit authorities for the most part.

http://www.txdot.gov/government/reports/texas-rail-plan.html

 

 

 

I could not find the Cost$$$ route to Dallas, TX for Amtrak 19 & 20. on the pages.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, June 17, 2017 8:37 AM

conrailman
I could not find the Cost$$$ route to Dallas, TX for Amtrak 19 & 20. on the pages.

It's not in there it was in a seperate article back when they were looking at running a test train over the route (but could not raise the funds).    Amtrak didn't want to pay out of it's budget for a test train and so requested either the states along the route pay for it or the Casinos (maybe that was a test).   Nobody came up with any money.   So no test train and they went with the estimates of NS and KCS.........and that was that.

Now on the OKC to KC route.   Not sure who paid for the test train but after running it they are like "Hey, wait a mininute these costs for startup have to be way out of the ballpark".    Track and infrastructure both in great shape on OKC to KC route  just need a few more sidings and some signaling related changes.     However OK and KS are dirt poor when it comes to state budgets compared to other states.    Primarily because they are agricultural states.

I think a lot of these railroad cost estimates are nothing more than the tendency of a private corporation to shake the money tree when it sees a in part Federal organization approach them and should be viewed as such until the facts prove otherwise.

Anyhow, in the above study.....interesting reading on how the reconfiguration of the Texas Eagle and Sunset Limited, brought in more money to the bottom line..........who would have thought that?

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, June 25, 2017 8:41 PM

Tonight's 20 arrived at Howell at 8:01PM and left at 9:11 arrived Atlanta station 9:24.  Not much delay today for 19 and 20  BHM <> MEI  but they have been taking  1/2 to 1 hour most days this month. This last week 19 & 20 did not take much delays ATN <> ATL.

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Posted by schlimm on Sunday, June 25, 2017 9:30 PM

blue streak 1

Tonight's 20 arrived at Howell at 8:01PM and left at 9:11 arrived Atlanta station 9:24.  Not much delay today for 19 and 20  BHM <> MEI  but they have been taking  1/2 to 1 hour most days this month. This last week 19 & 20 did not take much delays ATN <> ATL.

 

Sounds like a regular occurence.  Perhaps drop service beyond ATL or bus the remaining passengers?

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, July 02, 2017 4:57 AM

The Amtrak monthly performance report ( MPR ) came out for May 2017

https://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/467/804/Amtrak-Monthly-Performance-Report-May-2017.pdf

The Cresent was dead last for end point on time arrivals ( table  E-2 ).  Just 6.5 % trains arrived NOL / NYP on time    ( 10 trains out of 63 ).  It appears that NS is again at bottom of OTP only exceeded by its midwest meltdown August - October 2014.  Surely movement planner is not being used ? 

Just a glance at times for month showed 2 delay spots.  Meridian <> BHM  ( movement planner ? ) and Anniston <> Atlanta.  The latter almost all waiting for CSX to clear Howell interlocking.  NOTE:  Amtrak does not charge CSX the delay but delay charged to NS as Freight train interferrence.  North bound train 20 can often make up as much as 1 - 3/4 hours from Gastonia - Danville and WASH - NYP that may have allowed the 10  trains to arrive NYP on time or within 30 minutes. Did not find any NOL on time arrivals for MAY!  Of course starting July 10th the WASH - NYP make up will not be available.

Guess the  LSL  ( late shore limited ) is in danger of being dethroned ?

 EDIT:  Changed post per Oltmann

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Posted by oltmannd on Sunday, July 02, 2017 8:17 AM

blue streak 1

The Amtrak monthly performance report ( MPR ) came out for May 2017

https://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/467/804/Amtrak-Monthly-Performance-Report-May-2017.pdf

The Cresent was dead last for end point on time arrivals ( table  E-2 ).  Just 6.5 % trains arrived NOL / NYP on time    ( 10 trains out of 62 ).  It appears that NS is again at bottom of OTP only exceeded by its midwest meltdown August - October 2014.  Surely auto router is not being used ? 

Just a glance at times for month showed 2 delay spots.  Meridian <> BHM  ( auto router ? ) and Anniston <> Atlanta.  The latter almost all waiting for CSX to clear Howell interlocking.  NOTE:  CSX does not get charged for the delay but delay charged to NS as Freight train interferrence.  North bound train 20 can often make up as much as 1 - 3/4 hours from Gastonia - Danville and WASH - NYP that may have allowed the 10  trains to arrive NYP on time or within 30 minutes. Did not find any NOL on time arrivals for MAY!  Of course starting July 10th the WASH - NYP make up will not be available.

Guess the  LSL  ( late shore limited ) is in danger of being dethroned ?

 

 

Just a clarification.  Auto router is just a regular "stacked route" tool.  I think the thing you want to refer to is "movement planner". 

It, most assuredly, is not the problem.

NS can code delays internally due to foreign trains blocking the route, but Amtrak does not differentiate.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, July 02, 2017 10:02 AM

Don thanks for the correction.  Changed the post to reflect that.  Old timer's brain loss ?

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, July 03, 2017 8:24 PM

For the first time in over a month 19 arrived NOL only 19 minutes late which is considerd on time by Amtrak recogning.  Train arrived Meridian on time but lost time to Laurel.  20 today lost :50 Meridian - Tuscaloosa and could not make up time even though only made schedule time Anniston -  ATL .  the 25 minute pad did not help.  

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Posted by conrailman on Monday, July 03, 2017 11:20 PM

I will be on Amtrak 19 & 20 to NOL, LA on July 16, 2017 coming back July 22, 2017. I happy man in sleeping cars. Paradise

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 07, 2017 9:37 PM

2 days before Cresent did loose some time but today back to same old same old.  19 lost :45 ATL - ATN & :59 additional BHM - Meridian.    20 lost 2:00 +  Meridian - Anniston.    NS what can you do ?

EDIT;  20 Left Atlanta 3:00 late.  Now how much time can be made up to WASH and NYP ? 

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Saturday, July 08, 2017 9:32 PM

Were freight trains getting in the way, track maintenance, derailment? what was the issue?

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, July 17, 2017 8:41 PM

Amtrak last week did very well south of Atlanta thru Thursday.  Since then went back to old ways.  Tonight 20 been sitting at least 30 minutes at Howell at 9:35PM  and will be over 2:00 late at Atlanta.

EDIT lost 40 minutes ATN - ATL now 2:15 late.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 9:37 PM

19 / 25 arrived ATL early was 1:53 late by Meridian.  20 / 26 left Meridian :10 late, Anniston 3:48 late, now scheduled ATL not before 11:00PM which is best case.  More likely 11:30 PM ?

EDIT----  Arrived ATL 11:20  that is 3:45 late   19 will arrive NOL about 11:50 CDT.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 28, 2017 1:40 AM

Not sure why but 20 lost 3:30 ATN - ATL tonight now runing 5:00+ late.

Left ATL at 1:09 AM.  This is going to interfeer with Carolinian at CLT for Cresent - Carolinian connections.  Happened a couple weeks ago.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, August 03, 2017 8:02 PM

19 lost  5:55  ATL - Anniston.  Most if not all came because a NS freight Macon - BHM; just west of Temple went in emergency then broke a knuckle not once but twice. Relief locos pushed freight out of way.  Hopefully no additional delays to Meridian or crew will outlaw due to HOS.   ETA NOL 0200 CDT.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, August 06, 2017 6:06 PM

Today  Train  # 19 lost 3:13  ATL - ATN

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, August 07, 2017 10:34 PM

July 11th last time #20 arrived ATL on time. Only 7 days less than 2:00 late ATL.  Number  19 arrived NOL only one time less than 60 minutes late since July 11th and onlly 8 times arrived NOL less than 2:00 late since July 11th.  But arrived Atlanta less than 60 Minutes late 22 days same time period.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, October 29, 2017 5:13 AM

Situation not improved as of now.  Median additional delays between Anniston <> ATL are running over 1 hour.  However close looking has some delays on NS west of Mabelton.  Additionl delays BHM <> Meridian on NS but usually more southbound.

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, October 30, 2017 10:22 AM

Norris yard in Birmingham is in the ditch (again).  Delays could be related....

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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