Phoenix future Amtrak?

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  • Member since
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Phoenix future Amtrak?
Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, May 17, 2010 8:25 PM

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/05/17/20100517amtrak-phoenix-arizona-downtown.html

This article is long on rhetoric and short on substance. As a passenger advocate I generally am in disfavor of detouring a train to serve a market.  ex. the Empire Builder. However the Phoenix market is so big that it cannot be ignored forever. Until the proposed routes are published by the Az DOT much of this is speculation. This market is larger than Atlanta and may be larger than the Orlando - Tampa combined market.

1. Using the old Sunset route thru Phoenix will add approximately 45 miles to the Eagle (?) route.

2. . There appears to be 3 - 4 sidings from  the Gila Line  to Phoenix and the number of UP freights a day on that line is unknown. (approximately 80 miles)

3. The Phoenix line.from Phoenix to Wellton is approximately 127 miles and much of it is embargoed. Further the signal system was was decommissioned.

4. If the Phoenix line is used or at least the ROW then a completely rebuilding including curve easing and bridge rebuilding would be called for.

Anything more at present needs to wait for the Az DOT report..

 

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Posted by desertdog on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 6:43 PM

It concerns me that anyone (read: the political types) would seriously consider any routing other than the present UP Phoenix Sub.  It would be a real waste of money that could well be used elsewhere.  I agree with you that the current ROW needs much improvement. Along with the Salt River bridge and the right angle curves, there are hundreds of grade crossings as well as a university campus to contend with. 

At least the jointed rail is being replaced east of Phoenix.  That's a start.

John Timm

 

blue streak 1

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/05/17/20100517amtrak-phoenix-arizona-downtown.html

This article is long on rhetoric and short on substance. As a passenger advocate I generally am in disfavor of detouring a train to serve a market.  ex. the Empire Builder. However the Phoenix market is so big that it cannot be ignored forever. Until the proposed routes are published by the Az DOT much of this is speculation. This market is larger than Atlanta and may be larger than the Orlando - Tampa combined market.

1. Using the old Sunset route thru Phoenix will add approximately 45 miles to the Eagle (?) route.

2. . There appears to be 3 - 4 sidings from  the Gila Line  to Phoenix and the number of UP freights a day on that line is unknown. (approximately 80 miles)

3. The Phoenix line.from Phoenix to Wellton is approximately 127 miles and much of it is embargoed. Further the signal system was was decommissioned.

4. If the Phoenix line is used or at least the ROW then a completely rebuilding including curve easing and bridge rebuilding would be called for.

Anything more at present needs to wait for the Az DOT report..

 

 

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Posted by locomatt63 on Sunday, May 23, 2010 11:54 AM

Hello Desertdog, I have found some VERY INTERESTING information as to what ADOT and MAG are sort of planning here is the link and you also may find alot more info by looking all of this over:

http://www.bqaz.gov/pdf/Existing_AZ_Railroads.pdf

http://www.bqaz.gov/rail_plan.asp

Matthew Stull
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Posted by desertdog on Sunday, May 23, 2010 12:12 PM

Matt,

 

Given its location, I find the proposed Buckeye Yard particularly interesting.  There does not seem to me to be enough local business that far west of the Valley to justify its existence--at least not for the next several years.  I could only see it having value as part of reopening the line all the way to Wellton for eastbound traffic into the Phoenix metro. 

 

John Timm

 

locomatt63

Hello Desertdog, I have found some VERY INTERESTING information as to what ADOT and MAG are sort of planning here is the link and you also may find alot more info by looking all of this over:

http://www.bqaz.gov/pdf/Existing_AZ_Railroads.pdf

http://www.bqaz.gov/rail_plan.asp

 
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, May 23, 2010 5:26 PM

desertdog

 

desertdog

Given its location, I find the proposed Buckeye Yard particularly interesting.  There does not seem to me to be enough local business that far west of the Valley to justify its existence--at least not for the next several years.  I could only see it having value as part of reopening the line all the way to Wellton for eastbound traffic into the Phoenix metro. 

 

 Your analysis is correct. There certainly appears to be a lot of thought going on by UP as to use of the Welton branch of the Phoenix sub by rebuilding and expanding Buckeye yard.  Az says their preferred plan will come out in summer of 2010 so expect it around Sep 30?. The AZ preliminary plan notes HSR to LAX and San Diego. Thouogh SAN 50 miles closer and could connect to SAN -- LAX HSR (108 miles) California would need to put it along I-8 and that may be more expensive due to terrain.

It certainly appears that Azis interested in acquiring the Welton branch for restored Sunset and they do address the large freight useage from Arlington east thru Phoenix to Picacho.

The mention in Az study to use the old AT&SF Peavine seems very iffy and still would not serve Prescott. The idea of going up I-17 to Flagstaff seems more realistic and would be the first step for the front range HSR;  PHX  -- ABQ  --  Pubelo  --  DEN proposal.

Another item had proposed 2 bypasses.    Flagstaff around to the south and Yuma to the north might provide significant time savings for BNSF and Up respectively. Az is somewhat unhappy with all the tractor trailer traffic that just goes thru and does not stop.

Other forther out bypasses were to NW of Phoenis from Peavine -  Welton branch - Gila (sunset route), for freight traffic and removing freight from downtown Phoenix.

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Posted by locomatt63 on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 7:44 PM

I was out and about last weekend, decieded to go to downtown and check the UP yard see what was happening, not mucch going on, at least most of the stored locomotives have departed and you can see a bit more in the yard. I saw 2 (UPATCHED) SP/SSW units, plus a SW1500 (think) UPY 1336. Then followed the west Phoenix line westbound and got as far as Buckeye, AZ before turning around to head home. From what I could see and take some pics of, between PHX and Buckeye, most of the signals WERE WORKING some showing green aspects (eastward) and red aspects (westbound). I hope to return near that area and continue further west all the way to Wellton in the near future... The freight by-pass that went around the PHX station has been removed, now only single line in front of Union Station. Would be really nice to be able to board in PHX for my trip to Michigan Thursday, or return from Michigan via the Texas Eagle to Union Station on the 20th rather than Maricopa.
Matthew Stull
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Posted by diningcar on Saturday, June 12, 2010 1:53 PM

If ( a big if ) UP has an interest in serving Buckeye and the developing west Phoenix area with freight service to and from California it would take HUGE $$ to rehab the former line to Welton.

A more logical and less costly plan would be to connect Buckeye with Gila Bend with a new RR. This would be thirty miles +/- and would be less expensive , both initial cost and future maintainance, than to rehab the Welton line. This would also accomodate HSR through Phoenix and make a better taxpayer investment, assuming taxpayers would also participate in rehabbing the Welton line.

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 9:54 AM

diningcar

If ( a big if ) UP has an interest in serving Buckeye and the developing west Phoenix area with freight service to and from California it would take HUGE $$ to rehab the former line to Welton.

A more logical and less costly plan would be to connect Buckeye with Gila Bend with a new RR. This would be thirty miles +/- and would be less expensive , both initial cost and future maintainance, than to rehab the Welton line.

 

<cut>

I dunno.  To build a new road from Buckeye to Gila would require boo-koo environmental impact approvals, objections  from "NIMBY's" and could well be tied up for years in expensive litigation.

The Welton line on the other hand is not really abandoned.  Only the Roll-Arlington segment is "out of service" and even that has been used for car storage in recent years.  Furthermore, the UP as done extensive track work east of Arlington in the last couple of years and even raised track speeds!  They are also maintaining the automatic block signal system east of Arlington as well as on the Welton-Roll segment.  Something might be cooking here but what?

You're right, though,  that the Welton-Arlington line would need a lot of repairs before they could run at 40MPH never mind 60 or 70.

The last response on this thread was some time ago.  Has anything happened in the last few years on the "Buckeye yard expansion"?

Regards,

Fred M Cain

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Posted by MikeF90 on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 3:27 PM

diningcar
A more logical and less costly plan would be to connect Buckeye with Gila Bend with a new RR. This would be thirty miles +/- and would be less expensive , both initial cost and future maintainance, than to rehab the Welton line. This would also accomodate HSR through Phoenix and make a better taxpayer investment, assuming taxpayers would also participate in rehabbing the Welton line.

We discussed this several years ago and agreed it would be difficult to implement. However, the impact would be much lower if UP built on the AZDOT SR-85 ROW during any future widening - San Diego to Phoenix road traffic will drive this.

@locomatt63, please recheck this link http://www.bqaz.gov/rail_plan.asp as it comes up 'server not found'.

Google Map links ---> Sunset Route overview, SoCal metro, Yuma sub, Gila sub, east of Tucson, BNSF Northern Transcon and Southern Transcon

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 8:13 AM

Mike,

There is actually an active "plan" (if you can call it that) to revive the West Phoenix line (Arlington-Welton).  You can read about it here:

http://azmag.gov/Portals/0/Documents/EDC_2010-12-21_AGD.pdf?ver=2017-04-06-111023-563

You have to scroll down quite a ways to get to it (around page 18).  This plan ALSO mentions building a new line Buckeye-Gila.  It's impossible to make out which plan will win out or even if any plan will come to pass.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 9:31 AM

Here is another online document I found today.  This one is ONLY six years old (the aforemention Maricopa document was seven years old). Smile

A big heads up. This is a HUGE document.  Disussion of the West Phoenix line begins on page 47 and more info on page 110.

https://azdot.gov/docs/planning/state-rail-plan.pdf?sfvrsn=0

There are also some other interesting ideas contained in the document such as passenger service on the Nogales branch. Tucson-Phoenix rail passenger service is also mentioned but many of you are aware of that already.

Regards,

Fred M.Cain

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