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120 new bi-levels for various location

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Posted by araneyman on Monday, August 15, 2011 6:04 PM

All the previous comments are by very knowledgeable railfans.  

My input in on the Northwest Corridor (Cascades) between Vancouver, BC, Seattle, Wa, Portland, Or and Eugene, Oregon.

This currently is Amtraks 8 busiest route and boast Talgo's, Seattle Sounders, Amtrak Superliners (Empire Builders from both Seattle and Portland which marry up in Spokane for the trip east as well as the Coast Starlight Superliner train from Seattle through Portland to Los Angeles.)

Currently there are 5 Talgo Trainsets (plus and addition 6-car spare set used when cars are out for maintenance and when train sizes are increased.      Oregon has just ordered 2 additional Talgo Trainsets which were added on the tail end of Wisconsin's 4 train order which I hear has been cancelled due to budget cutbacks leaving Oregon's abuilding.

Starting this September, Amtrak will start an almost 3/4's of a Billion dollar upgrade of the Portland-Seattle-Vancouver route. This route is served by BNSF trains as well as UP trains by trackage rights from Portland to Seattle. The line as it stands is not friendly to high speed trains due to many road crossings and the Napavine Hill. During the days of steam, Northern Pacific had to use 4-8-4's, Great Northern had to use 4-8-2's, and Union Pacific used 4-6-6-4's as UP's 4-8-4's couldn't make the curve at the east end of the Steel bridge from Albina Yard to Union Station. All the roads on the west coast burned Oil in their steam loco's.

It remains to be seen what will be done South of Portland to Eugene as the 4 Talgo's and the 2 Superliner trains daily use the UP (EX Southern Pacific) line now.  The plan was to move these to the ex: SPOKAND, PORTLAND, AND SEATTLE line (Previously Oregon Electric running interurban sleeping car service between the 2 cities. I think funding for this is on hold, again due to budget cutbacks.

 

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Monday, August 15, 2011 7:02 PM

I think you have it backwards with the "history" precedent.  Acela is the premier tier of NEC service; and tickets are very much demand-priced.  The second tier of service for economy travel comprises the older Amfleet and Horizon cars that may fluctuate in number of cars more by hour of day and day of the week on the Regionals.

The two Hiawathas would shuttle between Milwaukee and Chicago 7 days a week and be substituted for required inspection and necessary maintenance by a small pool of equipment  for the fleet of corridor trains based in Chicago.

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Monday, August 15, 2011 7:18 PM

I didn't realize there were so many Talgo sets in the Cascade service. 

From what I've read; the money (TARP funds?) is available to Washington for a shorter inland bypass south of Tacoma that bypasses single-track tunnels and the limited capacity along the Sound.

As for Wisconsin, I read a report that Wisconsin and Talgo had settled for the previously committed contract for two trains - better to get something than nothing out of it - and it was kept out of the headlines to protect the guilty.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, August 15, 2011 8:54 PM

HarveyK400

I didn't realize there were so many Talgo sets in the Cascade service. 

From what I've read; the money (TARP funds?) is available to Washington for a shorter inland bypass south of Tacoma that bypasses single-track tunnels and the limited capacity along the Sound.

Actually the funds and design contracts have been awarded. The Defiance bypass will save 8 - 15 minutes for Cascades and Coast Starlight trains.  Here is an overview. This is all part of the Lakewood extension of Sounder trains south of Tacoma. It will mean a new station for Amtrak in Tacoma as well.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/rail/pnwrc_ptdefiance/

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Monday, August 15, 2011 9:18 PM

Thanks, but not too much detail - at least a map of the Lakewood cut-off and photos.  Single track surprised me.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 5:16 AM

HarveyK400

Thanks, but not too much detail - at least a map of the Lakewood cut-off and photos.  Single track surprised me.

There will be a 2-1/2 mile passing siding at Lakewood.

 http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/920DF69E-7998-420A-9F34-AD606386A1A5/0/PtDefianceBypassSEPASupplementalInformationforAdoption.pdf

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120 new bi-levels for various location
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, August 19, 2011 9:23 PM

HarveyK400

I'm do not understand your reference to Saint Louis.  The route from Alton to the Mac Arthur Bridge would support 110 mph Talgo and 80 mph bi-level speeds with some changes eliminating existing diverging route turnouts.  Easing curves might allow 110 mph for bi-levels too.  MHSRA anticipates that the expansion of HSR service will require a new Mississippi River crossing, probably adjacent to the existing bridge.  That seems a long way off the way things are going.

Well you understand the situation. I have not heard lately but some of the Alton - St. Louis route is close to restricted speed + owned by several RRs?
Apparently, track conditions deteriorated since the last State-funded rehabilitation in the early 1990s. 
Except for Mac Arthur Bridge, I think UP owns the route.

Ironically Amtrak announced today it is terminating 2 Stl - Chi round trips for 4 days at Alton to do major up grades of route Alton - STL. Had not heard that it was going to be done. maybe that will speed up the trip Alton - STL ??

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Saturday, August 20, 2011 2:51 AM

blue streak 1

 

Ironically Amtrak announced today it is terminating 2 Stl - Chi round trips for 4 days at Alton to do major up grades of route Alton - STL. Had not heard that it was going to be done. maybe that will speed up the trip Alton - STL ??

That's been the SOP Alton - Dwight for a work window.  Usually buses substitute and Eagle rerouted; and here there are multiple tracks?

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