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Amtrak from Charlotte to Atlanta - Tilt!

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  • Member since
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  • From: Atlanta
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Amtrak from Charlotte to Atlanta - Tilt!
Posted by oltmannd on Monday, April 10, 2023 7:34 PM

I turned my Excel Train Performance Calculator onto my favorite Amtrak bad-boy, the Crescent.

Electrification doesn't get you much.  This route just sucks so bad!  But, tilt equipment will help!

https://blerfblog.blogspot.com/2023/04/amtrak-charlotte-to-atlanta.html

 

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

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 10:10 AM

There are a number of routes where 'negative cant deficiency' would greatly help timings.  That was a basic premise of the British APT, and the pendulum trains that followed it.  Atlanta-Chattanooga-Nashville is a place where tilt would almost be necessary even at 79mph track speed. 

The 'catch' is how you implement tilt on double-level sleepers, or conventional 'legacy' equipment (I believe the PRIIA spec cars were designed to accommodate tilt, but I don't remember the degree).  Clearance to possibly-wobbling stack equipment on the adjacent track is a consideration here.

Remember that unless the tilt system translates the carbody sideways as well as tilts it, the actual geometry between wheel and rail is less favorable for stability, not more: the effect of tilt then being solely on passenger perception or comfort.

Another 'catch' is that many of the lines that would benefit from tilt are also occupied by heavy freight, which would have to be delayed or rerouted to allow even the 60mph speed mentioned.  It might not be 'worth' the capital and maintenance expense to implement full tilt if you have to operate 'one-speed,' at PSR-optimal speed to boot, for too much of the trip...

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Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 6:05 PM

I'd just forget about the legacy equipment, particularly Superliners.  Nobody rides them to get anywhere fast.  The Crescent really isn't fixable - but the route is.

This would have to be new trainset, purpose built tilt stuff like Talgo.  And, you'd need locomotives to go with.  The F59s flunked 8" underbalance testing on BNSF Cascade route.

If you electrified the route, the speed disparity between passenger and freight narrows, but you'd still have to put back a lot of the double track if you were going to run several passenger trains a day.

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

  • Member since
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  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, April 22, 2023 6:10 PM

Don:  There was an aricle years ago about when SOU RR double tracked the whole route from ATL - Alexandria.  One article point was that ICC required fares to be reduced by fewer miles between those 2 stations because SOU eliminated some curves.  How much more distance could be eliminated with the easing of the many curves between ATL - CLT?  We know that NC DOT certainly has reduced the curves and enroute times CLT - GRO - and on to Raleigh. 

It is ~ 258 miles now between ATL - CLT with best scheduled time of 5:20.  Once in a while when late leaving either station made up time as low as 4:45 mainly Gastonia <> CLT the best contributor.

So, to get reliable under 4 hours would take tilt trains operating up to 90 MPH.  As well much track as 2 Main tracks to pass slower freights. Do not 2 MT faster track but take a newer route that eliinates curves between faster streaches. limit curves to 1 degree or less except not practicle. Now all this elimination can take say 10 years with a goal of 10 -15 miles a year geting slow sections to say 90 MPH.

In those 10 years you get a 90+ MPH route with just a few locations that cannot be eliminated such a Foremost and Brookhaven (n Druid hills rd underpass) in ATL area. Wth 80 average and no adjustment for reduced distances maybe scheduled 3:20 - 3:30. Then tilt trains can be assigned to other slow routes. Crescent and probably Texax Crescent can benefit with normal single level new cars.

EDIT:  with ~~86 miles of curves averaging 9 miles a year should not take so long?

  • Member since
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  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, April 22, 2023 8:13 PM

The Berf Bog points out that the ~~ 130 miles between Spartanburg and north of Gainesville has the most speed restrictions.  ~~2:45 scheduled time.  A look at the open railway map shows the high degree curves involved.  That is especially around Clemson and what appears hopeless is Greenville - Spartanburg. Was worried about the bridge over Lake Hartwell but approaches are close to straight.  

EDIT: Greenvills - Clemson - Gainesville ~~ 101 miles 1:58 scheduled.  Mostly undeveloped land along route .  If that could become 90 MPH then 1:20 including stop at Clemson.  Average 10 miles a year.  Wonder if SOU / NS has engineering plans to do same.  Scale out which is a wag reduces distance to just over 90 miles??

  • Member since
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  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, April 22, 2023 9:11 PM

The route from CLT airport to Gastonia and additional  ~~ 15 miles on to Kings mountain may become an interest for NCRR to extend some Piedmonts CLT <> Kings mountain.  As crow flies much shorter so some curve easing would be possible.  Could FRA small starts be a possibility?

It appears SC has the bulk of slow curves.  The government of SC does not appear interested .  The only  attraction would be major events at Clemson  University.  See no way for SC to support  31 miles improvements SPB <> GRV 0:41 minutes. ?

Taccoa - Cornelia - might need some work ??

 

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