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Biden infrastructure plan and Amtrak

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 1:52 PM

Gramp

Why would one think anything's going to change?  It's the same mumbo jumbo. A bunch of people who've spent their lives wheeling and dealing to where they're incapable of getting things done. 

I am one of those that thinks Amtrak needs a constant chaperone to save it from itself.    So I agree in part your going to need an Amtrak partner like a state DOT or a Citizens group to get these corridors done.    I still remember when the WisDOT sponsorship of the Chicago to Milwaukee trains was in it's infancy.   Even though WisDOT was paying a large portion of the costs.......Amtrak tried to cut corners on it's end by constantly subbing in cars that were scheduled to go to the shop on the theory that Chicago to Milwaukee was such a short run.....if they broke down......not a big inconvienence for Amtrak.     The Mayor of Milwaukee caught onto that and hired via the City Budget a "train monitor" to ride each train and report back to the Mayor on items not working on each train (hilarious but also true).    Finally, city, state and Amtrak agreed on a fixed consist of equipment in good repair to resolve the issue and the "train monitor" became history.

It is just so sad the city had to hire a train monitor in the first place BUT....that is Amtrak and it's management.

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Thursday, April 8, 2021 1:50 AM
I'm not sure Amtrak needs a Chaperon. It's a political plaything for people that never wanted it to succeed. It needs a body guard to protect it from the bad men trying to hurt it. Not to say that left to it's own devices it would make nothing but great choices, but it's barely allowed to make any choices right now.
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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, April 8, 2021 8:03 AM

CMStPnP
 
Gramp

Why would one think anything's going to change?  It's the same mumbo jumbo. A bunch of people who've spent their lives wheeling and dealing to where they're incapable of getting things done.  

I am one of those that thinks Amtrak needs a constant chaperone to save it from itself.    So I agree in part your going to need an Amtrak partner like a state DOT or a Citizens group to get these corridors done.    I still remember when the WisDOT sponsorship of the Chicago to Milwaukee trains was in it's infancy.   Even though WisDOT was paying a large portion of the costs.......Amtrak tried to cut corners on it's end by constantly subbing in cars that were scheduled to go to the shop on the theory that Chicago to Milwaukee was such a short run.....if they broke down......not a big inconvienence for Amtrak.     The Mayor of Milwaukee caught onto that and hired via the City Budget a "train monitor" to ride each train and report back to the Mayor on items not working on each train (hilarious but also true).    Finally, city, state and Amtrak agreed on a fixed consist of equipment in good repair to resolve the issue and the "train monitor" became history.

It is just so sad the city had to hire a train monitor in the first place BUT....that is Amtrak and it's management.

When one exists on a 'starvation' budget bad choices get implemented just to get the organizaion to tomorrow.  It is easy to preach from the ivory tower it is harder to make things work when a organization has one hand and 4 fingers of the other hand tied behind its back.  

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, April 8, 2021 5:47 PM

BaltACD

 

 
CMStPnP
 
Gramp

Why would one think anything's going to change?  It's the same mumbo jumbo. A bunch of people who've spent their lives wheeling and dealing to where they're incapable of getting things done.  

I am one of those that thinks Amtrak needs a constant chaperone to save it from itself.    So I agree in part your going to need an Amtrak partner like a state DOT or a Citizens group to get these corridors done.    I still remember when the WisDOT sponsorship of the Chicago to Milwaukee trains was in it's infancy.   Even though WisDOT was paying a large portion of the costs.......Amtrak tried to cut corners on it's end by constantly subbing in cars that were scheduled to go to the shop on the theory that Chicago to Milwaukee was such a short run.....if they broke down......not a big inconvienence for Amtrak.     The Mayor of Milwaukee caught onto that and hired via the City Budget a "train monitor" to ride each train and report back to the Mayor on items not working on each train (hilarious but also true).    Finally, city, state and Amtrak agreed on a fixed consist of equipment in good repair to resolve the issue and the "train monitor" became history.

It is just so sad the city had to hire a train monitor in the first place BUT....that is Amtrak and it's management.

 

When one exists on a 'starvation' budget bad choices get implemented just to get the organizaion to tomorrow.  It is easy to preach from the ivory tower it is harder to make things work when a organization has one hand and 4 fingers of the other hand tied behind its back.  

 

So true Balt.  I wonder how many industries do well with an uncertain capital flow,  mandates for senseless services and dependent on other companies' infrastructure?  Survival with fairly minimal subsidies for 50 years may now take a better direction. 

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Posted by Gramp on Thursday, April 8, 2021 10:45 PM

Second verse... same as the first...

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 8, 2021 11:18 PM

One quick media spot that I noticed said that Antrak was going to do a lot of power work.  Search of internet could not find any other specific mention of that report.  So I went to the infrastructure asset line plan.  It was not very clear but Amtrak seemed to think that the whole CAT structure NYP - WASH is in bad condition.

The high voltage power poles. Difficulty of getting the power company that has 3 phase power lines on top to co-ordinate.  the poles themself;  the unfortunate practice by PRR installing all tracks on a common wire hanger from outside to outside.  That  practice many times allow a pan that snags one wire may pull other CAT wires down shutting down a whole electric section .

The need to install more support poles for constant tension CAT.  That is the standard is now 3 poles minimum for every 2 present PRR poles.  That would be normally no problem just install a new pole between every present pole.  Except many of the present poles that hold the 169 Kv or power company 3 phase wires need replacing.

So the price tag for getting CAT in a state of good repair is over $2.0 Bilion. Track time seems to be the constraining metric on an active RR.   Obtaining  enough power with all the transformers, CBs lighting protectios etc  seemed to be in a fairly good SOGR.

Amtrak Infrastructure Asset Line Plan FY20-24

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, April 9, 2021 1:05 AM

I expect them to do much what they've done on the NEC just east of the New York-Connecticut border: erect all-new support architecture, cabling, etc. at different spacing between the existing towers, then track by track take down the existing wire, temporarily supporting the transverse hangers as appropriate if necessary) and string good constant-tension catenary.  The tower wirk can be conducted by multiple crews in multiple areas to speed the work, and parts of it (for example, setting bases for the new towers) could be done on an accelerated basis long before actual towers or structure are started.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 5:27 PM

charlie hebdo
I do not know whether it has been discussed on not and I doubt if you or anyone else here is party to those discussions.   This whole plan is really just an outline of where Amtrak wants to go with adding new services,  obviously corridors not LD lines,  at least according to the Amtrak map.  It's easy to miss the point by getting embedded in details. 

What I personally do not like to see in the Amtrak new corridor proposal space and which will turn me Anti-Amtrak in a second is Amtrak competing head to head with a private company like Brightline.    If it's cooperation and pooling of resources then OK but if we end up seeing too distinct rail passenger lines put down between Las Vegas and Los Angeles and one built almost exclusively with taxpayer money using Amtrak..........that would be enough for me to turn against Amtrak.   Especially if we see that behavior replicated in other corridors.    We all know Amtrak would lose in each corridor that was attempted as Brightline management is far smarter and more nible than Amtrak management.    Why waste the taxpayers money to find out which we already know?

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/infrastructure-funding-joe-biden-las-vegas-la-california-high-speed-rail-amtrak/2576439/

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 5:30 PM

BaltACD
When one exists on a 'starvation' budget bad choices get implemented just to get the organizaion to tomorrow.  It is easy to preach from the ivory tower it is harder to make things work when a organization has one hand and 4 fingers of the other hand tied behind its back.  

Perhaps this is a THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW scenario.   However, WisDOT is paying for pretty much everything now including new equipment on this specific corridor.    So there is no excuse for this happening now.   If it is happening now.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 6:01 PM

CMStPnP
 
BaltACD
When one exists on a 'starvation' budget bad choices get implemented just to get the organizaion to tomorrow.  It is easy to preach from the ivory tower it is harder to make things work when a organization has one hand and 4 fingers of the other hand tied behind its back.   

Perhaps this is a THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW scenario.   However, WisDOT is paying for pretty much everything now including new equipment on this specific corridor.    So there is no excuse for this happening now.   If it is happening now.

A organization cannot go from 9.5 digits in the grave to surmounting Mt. Everest one day to the next.

When Staggers was enacted in 1980 - it took the carriers the better part of a decade to understand Staggers and also understand how to utilize what Staggers allowed.

Organizations that operate under one set of rules and realities cannot convert to the full and effective use of a new more open, more financed reality overnight.  All the institutional learning has to be unlearned and relearned in the new enviornment.

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