Northern Illinois complains about Amtrak expansion plans

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Posted by Buslist on Monday, July 31, 2017 7:57 AM

BLS53

Wikipedia just refreshed my memory. The Turboliners were also used between Chicago and St. Louis. I remember seeing one at St. Louis Union Station. One of my last visits, before the station was closed and turned into a shopping mall.

The Turboiners were certainly modern looking, and projected an optimistic future for Amtrak. Too bad they didn't work out.

 

This was also back in the day before Amtrak had set up its own crew structure. Trains were operated by host railroad crews, in the Chicagon - St.Louis case ICG. As it turned out the lack of crew protection and the frequent grade crossings on the route resulted in crews frequently refusing calls on them. Don't know if there was ever a grade crossing incident with them. 

There were 2 orders of the French built versions (with the usual rivet counter spotting differences). The concept was successful enough mechanically that the design was repeated in a US built version for use on the Empire Service. A more robust cab design was employed to increase crew protection. A fairly recent rebuild of a couple of these is/was the subject of a lawsuit. Perhaps Mr. Carlton can fill us in on the details.

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Posted by Topekasub on Tuesday, August 01, 2017 6:43 PM

Although a seperate, but paralell market, I would think extending the C&NW line North from Kenosha to Milwaukee would take some of the pressure off the current ex-Milwaukee Raod line that Amtrak uses.  There again, a third track was removed that would have made through intercity trains faster.  On the Milwaukee Road line, I don't know how much longer they can ignore the expansion of Western Lake & Kenosha counties?  Metra or Amtrak should be looking at stops in Gurnee & Pleasant Prarie.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 6:44 AM

I'm not sure but I believe that the former C&NW passenger line north of Kenosha would require a fair amount of upgrading before Amtrak could operate service on that line.  Metra couldn't operate such a service because of statutory restrictions, both state and Federal.  At any rate, how would you get service on that line into Chicago Union Station?

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 9:18 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

I'm not sure but I believe that the former C&NW passenger line north of Kenosha would require a fair amount of upgrading before Amtrak could operate service on that line.  Metra couldn't operate such a service because of statutory restrictions, both state and Federal.  At any rate, how would you get service on that line into Chicago Union Station?

 

No doubt the line north of Kenosha would need work.  The service would be essentially an extension of commuter service to better serve a large employer. Metro areas extend across state lines.  So must commuter services, as Metro North does through New Haven, CT, as Metra does now to Kenosha and the South Shore Line always has.  Since it would be a commuter service not operated by Amtrak, OTC is fine.  And it's only 2 short blocks to CUS.

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

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 10:14 AM

Topekasub

Although a seperate, but paralell market, I would think extending the C&NW line North from Kenosha to Milwaukee would take some of the pressure off the current ex-Milwaukee Raod line that Amtrak uses.  There again, a third track was removed that would have made through intercity trains faster.  On the Milwaukee Road line, I don't know how much longer they can ignore the expansion of Western Lake & Kenosha counties?  Metra or Amtrak should be looking at stops in Gurnee & Pleasant Prarie.

Yes Milwaukee has looked at that because they wanted service to the South Shore cities like they used to have to St. Francis, Oak Creek, etc via ex-C&NW.    They had discussions with METRA on extension and despite one or two of the Illinois participants saying it was against METRA's charter........they found a way around the Charter limitation.....I believe they got tentative agreement from METRA for an extension to Milwaukee's Amtrak station.     They had wanted to suppliment Amtrak service on the CP not replace it and I think it was to lease METRA equipment North of Kenosha with non-METRA crews taking over but I can't remember what the whole convoluted proposal was.     METRA would have been dispatch I believe......not sure.    The proposal did in fact go dead because the startup costs were something like $200+ million or so (they wanted the track brought up to METRA maintenence and signalling standards and this was before PTC) and this cost was prior to lease payments or crew salaries.     So the proposal was put on the shelf.    I think you might be able to Google remnants of the documentation as they called the KRM Commutter train proposal.

http://archive.jsonline.com/newswatch/126116213.html

Additionally and allegedly, Amtrak wants long term to restore, Milwaukee to Green Bay, WI passenger train service.    Originally they had targeted the ex-C&NW airline to Fond Du Lac and Fox River Valley to Green Bay but now all they have left is CN for the most part from Duplainville, WI connection.........unless they lay track.    So it seems the Milwaukee-Green Bay trains are waaaaayyyyyy off in the future.

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 10:20 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
Metra couldn't operate such a service because of statutory restrictions

People have said that in the past and when money is involved and you have someone willing to write a check..........those restrictions are not insurmountable.

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Posted by Gramp on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 12:54 PM

CMStPnP

Additionally and allegedly, Amtrak wants long term to restore, Milwaukee to Green Bay, WI passenger train service.    Originally they had targeted the ex-C&NW airline to Fond Du Lac and Fox River Valley to Green Bay but now all they have left is CN for the most part from Duplainville, WI connection.........unless they lay track.    So it seems the Milwaukee-Green Bay trains are waaaaayyyyyy off in the future.

Train speed would have to be so slow through the Fox Cities.  It just wouldn't make sense to do it.  Appleton's focus now is making preparations for being a quiet zone.  

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Posted by schlimm on Thursday, August 03, 2017 11:50 AM

CMStPnP
Yes Milwaukee has looked at that because they wanted service to the South Shore cities like they used to have to St. Francis, Oak Creek, etc via ex-C&NW.    They had discussions with METRA on extension and despite one or two of the Illinois participants saying it was against METRA's charter........they found a way around the Charter limitation.....I believe they got tentative agreement from METRA for an extension to Milwaukee's Amtrak station.     They had wanted to suppliment Amtrak service on the CP not replace it and I think it was to lease METRA equipment North of Kenosha with non-METRA crews taking over but I can't remember what the whole convoluted proposal was.     METRA would have been dispatch I believe......not sure.    The proposal did in fact go dead because the startup costs were something like $200+ million or so (they wanted the track brought up to METRA maintenence and signalling standards and this was before PTC) and this cost was prior to lease payments or crew salaries.     So the proposal was put on the shelf.    I think you might be able to Google remnants of the documentation as they called the KRM Commutter train proposal.

Thanks!!

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

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, August 03, 2017 6:38 PM

Gramp
Train speed would have to be so slow through the Fox Cities.  It just wouldn't make sense to do it.  Appleton's focus now is making preparations for being a quiet zone.  

I spoke to a club in Chicago and asked their charter group why they do not do fan trips anymore Chicago to Oshkosh.   They stated that CN not only has ripped out the siding they used to use to store the train, the capacity of the line is stretched now due to past line rationalization by..........guess who? <lol>.

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