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    Default Keystone Corridor Upgrade

    Posted on Tue, Jul. 20, 2004




    Amtrak’s Phila.-Harrisburg line to get $145 million rehab

    By Jere Downs

    Inquirer Staff Writer


    Amtrak passengers from Philadelphia to Harrisburg could enjoy a shorter, smoother ride by 2007. That is when a $145 million rehabilitation announced today is expected to be complete, said Amtrak president David L. Gunn.

    If congressional support of Amtrak continues, the project will turn the current two-hour, bumpy trip into a 105-minute ride, Gunn said. Express trains will make the run in 90 minutes, he added.

    Amtrak and the Pa. Dept. of Transportation will each pay half the cost to smooth 72 miles of track, upgrade signals, rehabilitate the electrical power system -- reversing decades of neglect on the once-grand Main Line of the venerable Pennsylvania Railroad.

    Just last week, a House funding subcommittee offered only $900 million for Amtrak's operation in 2005, half of the $1.8 billion Gunn sought to continue long-needed capital improvements on the nation's passenger railroad. To counter the instability of Amtrak's funding, Gov. Rendell has pledged $100 million upfront to sustain the Keystone Corridor initiative.

    Today's announcement by Rendell and Gunn at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station minted the latest version of the project. Work on the corridor in a similar agreement forged under Gov. Ridge and former Amtrak president George Warrington stalled in 2001 amid Amtrak's federal funding crisis and near shutdown that summer.
    02-24-2005, 11:35 PM
    http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/local/9198396.htm
    Amtrak & Pennsylvania Plan Major Track Upgrades Between Lancaster & Philadelphiatle

    Train schedules to be adjusted starting March 7

    WASHINGTON - Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will begin the next phase of major track improvements on the Harrisburg - Philadelphia Keystone Corridor this spring. Consequently, train schedules will be adjusted beginning March 7 between Lancaster and Philadelphia.

    To advise passengers of the track work and impact on schedules, Amtrak is posting notices in all stations along the route and on board Keystone trains.

    As part of the on-going Amtrak and PennDOT jointly funded program, the construction, upon completion, will reduce running times and improve ride comfort between Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

    Scheduled to start in March 2005, the work will focus on two areas: Lancaster to Parkesburg and Paoli to Philadelphia. The improvements being made are:

    *
    Installation of 80 track miles of new concrete ties
    *
    Installation of more than 40 new track switches
    *
    A new signal system between Lancaster & Harrisburg
    *
    Upgrade of 16 existing bridges & culverts
    *
    Upgrade of overhead electrical wires (catenary)
    *
    Upgrade of electrical substations to support use of electric locomotives

    When the project is fully completed, tangible benefits will be: an increase in train frequency, trip times shortened by up to 15 minutes between Harrisburg and Philadelphia and up to 30 minutes between Harrisburg and New York. The program benefits extend to all users - Amtrak, SEPTA and freight traffic- and provide benefits to the region through reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality.

    In order to support the various construction activities, single-tracking in certain segments of the line between Lancaster and Parkesburg as well as Paoli and Philadelphia will be necessary. Train schedules have been modified slightly to minimize or eliminate the delay resulting
    06-27-2005, 02:59 PM
    http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...3&ssid=180
    From June 27 to September 2, the main track renewal production gang (including the large Track Laying Machine which installs the concrete ties) will be working on Track 1 to rebuild the track between Parkesburg and Lancaster. Schedules have been adjusted so trains need not pass each other along this segment of the of the Corridor. Train schedules have been modified slightly to minimize or eliminate potential delay from these construction outages...In the fall of 2006, Amtrak will also be able to offer all-electric powered train service, with Harrisburg - Philadelphia trip times of between as little as 90 minutes (express) and 105 minutes (standard). Today, trip times range from 115 to 125 minutes. Currently, Amtrak operates diesel locomotives between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

    Ridership on the Harrisburg-Philadelphia-New York Keystone Service has continued to grow in recent months. For the first six months of FY ’05 (beginning Oct. 1, 2004), ridership is up 13%, or 60,000 passengers, (514,000 v. 454,000 for the same period one year ago.)
    http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...09091&ssid=180
    10-03-2005, 01:10 PM
    announced new schedule changes effective Oct. 3...

    From October 3 to mid-December, the main track renewal production gang (including the Track Laying Machine which installs concrete ties and welded rail) will be working on Track #2 to rebuild the track between Paoli and Bryn Mawr. The crews will replace wooden ties with new concrete ties and lay continuous welded rail.

    The project begins on Track #2 at Paoli Station and continues east toward Philadelphia - covering portions of Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties and includes communities such as Paoli, Devon, Wayne, Radnor, Villanova, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Ardmore, Merion, Overbrook, West Philadelphia and University City. Work on Track #2 to 30th Street Station will be completed in 2006, when work will begin on Track #3....

    When the Keystone Corridor project is complete, scheduled for the end of 2006, Amtrak will be able to offer all-electric powered train service, with Harrisburg - Philadelphia trip times of between as little as 90 minutes (express) and 105 minutes (standard). Today, trip times range from 115 to 125 minutes. Currently, Amtrak operates diesel locomotives between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Also, train frequencies between those cities are expected to climb from the current 11 weekday round trips to 14 round trips upon completion of the project.

    Ridership on the Harrisburg-Philadelphia-New York Keystone Service has continued to grow in recent months. For the first 11 months of FY '05 (beginning Oct. 1, 2004), ridership is up 17%, or 142,000 passengers, (971,000 v. 829,000 for the same period one year ago.)
    http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...20102&ssid=180
    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre
    New Service started today. The 7:25 am westbound gets you to lancaster in 59 min.
    10-30-2006, 09:41 AM
    03-06-2007, 09:56 AM
    HARRISBURG, Pa. - Ridership on Amtrak's Keystone Corridor between Harrisburg and Philadelphia was up sharply following the start of more service on Oct. 30, 2006, proving once again that if train frequency is increased, riders will follow. In January 2007, the latest month for which statistics are available, Keystone Corridor ridership reached 73,604, up 17.8 percent from January 2006, before the upgraded service went into effect. On-time performance of Keystone Corridor trains also improved to 87.8 percent in January, according to Amtrak statistics.

    Amtrak, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the Federal Transit Administration funded the $145 million upgrade of the Keystone Corridor. It increased the number of weekday roundtrips from Philadelphia to Harrisburg from 11 to 14 and also reduced the running time between the two cities. Performance problems plagued the new service initially, drawing the ire of passengers and PennDOT. Those issues now appear to have been solved.
    http://www.trains.com/trn/default.aspx?c=a&id=1591
    04-23-2008, 05:03 PM
    Nonstop service from Harrisburg International Airport to LaGuardia Airport in New York City will end on April 6, airport spokesman Scott Miller said today.
    Miller said Colgan Air has decided to end the service, which it began in September. Colgan Air is a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. A Colgan official was not immediately available for comment.
    Miller said the Colgan flights from Harrisburg to New York were about 25 to 30 percent full on average. Colgan's target was about 40 percent full.
    Miller also cited the impact of frequent flight delays because of air congestion problems in the New York City region. This meant that people could take the Amtrak train from Harrisburg to New York and get there almost as quickly as by air, but at less cost.
    Also, the lease has run out on some of the planes Colgan uses throughout its system, Miller said. With fewer planes, Colgan had to decide which markets were best, and Harrisburg did not make the cut
    http://blog.pennlive.com/business/20..._from_har.html
    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced the launch of a new Web site on Thursday for the Keystone Line, which runs between New York and Harrisburg by way of Philadelphia.
    The Web site, www.CatchTheKeystone.com, provides schedules, ticket information, station hours and train amenities for the 12-stop rail route which provides 90-minute service between Harrisburg, Lancaster and Philadelphia and a direct connection to New York City.
    Ridership along the 104-mile line has increased since $145 million in improvements two years ago, made through a joint effort of the State of Pennsylvania, Amtrak and the Federal Transit Administration. Ridership climbed from 891,764 in 2005-6 to 1,127,518 in 2007-8. Ridership this July was up 26 percent, over the same period last year.
    In addition to the Web site, an advertising campaign featuring “monsters” to avoid taking the train will be rolled out to promote the use of the rail line and new Web site
    http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelp...l?surround=lfn
    But that spot, Mount Joy's train station, isn't quiet very often.

    Dozens of trains come and go each week, most of them crowded with passengers. And more people are getting on and off the trains in Mount Joy.

    The station is seeing its ridership totals skyrocket, and as the number of riders continues to grow, local officials like borough manager Hiester, his predecessor, Terry Kauffman, and Main Street Mount Joy manager Stacy Rutherford hope to make the station even more of a town hub.

    State transportation officials have notified Mount Joy that a proposal to make the train platform handicapped-accessible has been moved forward on the state's funding schedule, and could begin this fall.

    The Mount Joy station, which actually is more of a platform, is down some steps at East Henry and North Market streets, just a block off Main Street (Route 230).

    The good news for Mount Joy comes as train ridership at the three main stations here, in Lancaster, Elizabethtown and Mount Joy, continues to grow.

    The Lancaster Amtrak station on McGovern Avenue is the third-busiest station in the state, while Elizabethtown is the sixth-busiest and Mount Joy's is number eight, out of the 24 stations in Pennsylvania.

    For the 2007-08 fiscal year, the Mount Joy station had 53,828 riders, up 17 percent from the previous year's 46,109.

    The Lancaster station had 484,102 riders in 2007-08 (up 63,578. or 15 percent), while E-town had 90,644 riders, a whopping 22 percent jump).

    With gas prices rising and the much-publicized economic slump on people's minds, people are riding trains more than they did a few years ago, and "PennDOT is seeing the need to do these stations sooner," as Hiester said.

    Added Kauffman, former borough manager and Lancaster County commissioner, who's now the borough's special projects manager, "I don't think there's any question that our community embraces the train station."

    Rutherford, who's in charge of boosting both Mount Joy's main business district and citizen awareness of the town, noted that the borough "is very fortunate to have this train station located within the downtown.

    "The question is, how can we maximize this asset, and better connect the riders to what the downtown has to offer?

    "Because we have some great independently-owned restaurants, and with the retail that is surrounding them, we are excited about this opportunity" with the train station, she said.

    Planned projects at the other two stations, in Lancaster and E-town, have been heavily publicized in recent years.

    The winning bid could be awarded soon for the project at the E-town station, with groundbreaking possible by late summer, officials have said.

    Various improvements, including elevators and larger platforms, are to be completed in E-town's year-plus project.

    Meanwhile, the Lancaster station is about to break ground on its $12 million upgrade, which will include a new bus terminal, extra parking spaces, new shops, air conditioning and an overall face-lift.

    In Mount Joy, the renovations include making the platform compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, and are expected to be done by 2011.

    The renovations call for a new 500-foot platform and a "walkover" that would allow riders to go from the parking area to a new ramp and stairs.

    The final project cost is expected to be anywhere from $3 million to $3.5 million, with federal funds to cover 80 percent, the state 16 percent and Mount Joy the other 3-plus percent, or only some $68,000 from the borough's capital reserve funds.

    Even before the last two years, ridership to and from the Mount Joy station had been increasing steadily for several years.

    One recent report on train ridership states that "the state's investment in the (cross-Pennsylvania) Keystone Corridor is delivering strong returns for the state."

    And, depending on the specific final design of their project, Mount Joy officials could still save a large amount of its final cost, officials said.

    Borough officials have asked those from the county, including the county transportation authority, to help facilitate the new overall project.


    Staff writer David O'Connor can be reached at doconnor@LNPnews.com or 481-6033.
    http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/238917

    continues
    A $12 million upgrade to the Lancaster Amtrak station is scheduled to begin next month. It will add a bus terminal, shops and air conditioning to the station.

    Also on the table for the Lancaster Amtrak station is a $12 million parking structure near the station for commuter use.

    Last week's approval of the federal economic stimulus package is expected to bring in $8 million for renovations to the Elizabethtown Amtrak station, including a platform.

    Meanwhile, Lancaster Airport is poised to restart commercial air service after an 18-month hiatus.
    LancasterOnline.com:News:Better transportation headed this way
    Last edited by eldondre; 07-01-2009 at 12:07 PM.

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    People in or near Mount Joy "are telling us they want this," Mark Hiester said, glancing around at the now-quiet spot down below the heart of his town.
    ...
    But that spot, Mount Joy's train station, isn't quiet very often.

    Dozens of trains come and go each week, most of them crowded with passengers. And more people are getting on and off the trains in Mount Joy.

    The station is seeing its ridership totals skyrocket, and as the number of riders continues to grow, local officials like borough manager Hiester, his predecessor, Terry Kauffman, and Main Street Mount Joy manager Stacy Rutherford hope to make the station even more of a town hub.

    State transportation officials have notified Mount Joy that a proposal to make the train platform handicapped-accessible has been moved forward on the state's funding schedule, and could begin this fall.

    The Mount Joy station, which actually is more of a platform, is down some steps at East Henry and North Market streets, just a block off Main Street (Route 230).

    The good news for Mount Joy comes as train ridership at the three main stations here, in Lancaster, Elizabethtown and Mount Joy, continues to grow.
    ...
    For the 2007-08 fiscal year, the Mount Joy station had 53,828 riders, up 17 percent from the previous year's 46,109.

    The Lancaster station had 484,102 riders in 2007-08 (up 63,578. or 15 percent), while E-town had 90,644 riders, a whopping 22 percent jump).

    ...
    Rutherford, who's in charge of boosting both Mount Joy's main business district and citizen awareness of the town, noted that the borough "is very fortunate to have this train station located within the downtown.

    "The question is, how can we maximize this asset, and better connect the riders to what the downtown has to offer?

    "Because we have some great independently-owned restaurants, and with the retail that is surrounding them, we are excited about this opportunity" with the train station, she said.

    Planned projects at the other two stations, in Lancaster and E-town, have been heavily publicized in recent years.

    The winning bid could be awarded soon for the project at the E-town station, with groundbreaking possible by late summer, officials have said.

    Various improvements, including elevators and larger platforms, are to be completed in E-town's year-plus project.

    Meanwhile, the Lancaster station is about to break ground on its $12 million upgrade, which will include a new bus terminal, extra parking spaces, new shops, air conditioning and an overall face-lift.

    In Mount Joy, the renovations include making the platform compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, and are expected to be done by 2011.

    The renovations call for a new 500-foot platform and a "walkover" that would allow riders to go from the parking area to a new ramp and stairs.

    The final project cost is expected to be anywhere from $3 million to $3.5 million, with federal funds to cover 80 percent, the state 16 percent and Mount Joy the other 3-plus percent, or only some $68,000 from the borough's capital reserve funds.

    Even before the last two years, ridership to and from the Mount Joy station had been increasing steadily for several years.

    One recent report on train ridership states that "the state's investment in the (cross-Pennsylvania) Keystone Corridor is delivering strong returns for the state."

    And, depending on the specific final design of their project, Mount Joy officials could still save a large amount of its final cost, officials said.

    ...


    Staff writer David O'Connor can be reached at doconnor@LNPnews.com or 481-6033.
    LancasterOnline.com:News:Mt. Joy train station work may begin this fall

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    Someone needs to send them a memo to let them know they are supposed to be complaining about train access, in particular parking.

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    It's been talked about and anticipated for more than 10 years, and now the time for talk and anticipation is over.

    On Monday, ground will be broken for the long-awaited $8.5 million makeover of the aging Lancaster train station.

    Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray will take part in turning the first ceremonial shovel of dirt at the 11 a.m. event
    ...Gray said he and his wife are frequent rail travelers, using trains to go to Philadelphia Eagles football games, New York City and Harrisburg if he has a meeting he can schedule to coincide with train times.

    "I'll take a train to Harrisburg rather than drive," he said. "When you get done with the mileage, parking and what not, it's actually cheaper to do that."
    LancasterOnline.com:News:Train station project finally on track

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    One application was for $27.45 million for preliminary engineering on four projects to upgrade tracks, signals and power between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, to add a third express track between Atglen and Paoli, and to remove three grade crossings in Lancaster County...
    A second application was for $750,000 to study ways to improve rail service between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, including additional tracks and electrification of the route.
    ...
    PennDot said in its application that the planned improvements between Philadelphia and Harrisburg could increase the top operating speed on the route to 125 m.p.h. from 110 m.p.h....

    The state also is seeking to increase the top speed of passenger trains between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh to 110 m.p.h. from the current top speed of 79 m.p.h. With additional tracks and electrification, PennDot said, the current 51/2-hour trip time could be reduced by two hours, and eight round trips could be offered daily, up from the current one....

    The state in 2006 completed a $145 million upgrade to the Philadelphia-Harrisburg portion of the Keystone Corridor, allowing state-subsidized Amtrak trains to make the one-way trip in about 1 hour and 40 minutes. (supposed to be 90 minutes fr anyone who's counting)

    With the faster trips and additional trains, ridership between Philadelphia and Harrisburg has increased by 26 percent in the last two years, state officials said.
    Pa. asks U.S. for $28million for high-speed rail | Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/25/2009
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    Maybe I'll actually visit Pittsburgh for the first time!

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    I didn't understand that article. Is the money to figure out how to improve the tracks, or to actually do the work of improving the tracks?

    "One application was for $27.45 million for preliminary engineering on four projects to upgrade tracks, signals and power between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, to add a third express track between Atglen and Paoli, and to remove three grade crossings in Lancaster County."

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    I didn't understand that article. Is the money to figure out how to improve the tracks, or to actually do the work of improving the tracks?

    "One application was for $27.45 million for preliminary engineering on four projects to upgrade tracks, signals and power between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, to add a third express track between Atglen and Paoli, and to remove three grade crossings in Lancaster County."
    A little of both... Preliminary engineering is the first stage in the process where the initial plans are developed and designed, not to a level ready for construction, but enough to study feasibility, prepare for environmental reviews, and create the proposals for the final engineering and construction phases.

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    here's the environmental assessment for track 2, seems like the plan is ready to go if it gets funding
    http://planthekeystone.com/assets/do...Assessment.pdf

    a 20 minute trip time reduction is pretty significant. it's already 15-25 minutes faster than driving (excepting time to and from the station) from Harrisburg but this would make it 35-45 minutes faster, enough to offset travel time to the station for a much larger amount of people. it would also mean that Lancaster city is a shorter commute from Philly than Doylestown.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
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    While the recession has left most businesses' sales riddled with holes, Lancaster's Amtrak station seems bullet-proof.

    Ridership here got stronger again, despite a sour economy that cut it regionally and nationally.

    Local ridership grew 1.8 percent in the year ended Sept. 30, an Amtrak spokeswoman said Tuesday.

    That capped a five-year surge of 47.6 percent, lifting the number of annual riders here to 492,629.

    The local uptick contrasted with a 7.6 percent dip in passengers in the Northeast and an 8.7 percent drop nationally.

    "In the Northeast corridor, there's a lot of business travel, and many companies have cut their travel budgets," said Karina Romero.

    "In Lancaster, you have more commuters. People still have to get to work," she explained Tuesday.

    The Lancaster station, which is undergoing a $12 million renovation, is a major terminal for the rail company.

    Of 520 Amtrak stations in the country, the Lancaster station is the 22nd busiest.

    Among Pennsylvania's 24 Amtrak stations, Lancaster is third busiest, trailing Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

    Philadelphia had 3.68 million passengers in the latest fiscal year; Harrisburg, 539,167.

    Passenger counts at the McGovern Avenue station have jumped since train service was improved in October 2006.

    The $145 million project added trains to the Harrisburg-Philadelphia line, which serves Lancaster, shortened travel times and smoothed the ride.

    Ridership at the Lancaster station (defined as the sum of all passengers who board or get off trains here) leaped immediately, rising 14.2 percent from fiscal 2006 to fiscal 2007.

    It's kept climbing since, albeit by smaller increments.

    With the latest increase in fiscal 2009, ridership here has nearly doubled — up 89.2 percent — in seven years. The local station had a mere 260,586 passengers in fiscal 2002.
    LancasterOnline.com:Local Business:Amtrak ridership here still growing
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    It's crazy to see how much the Keystone line is improving, yet changes are rarely made on SEPTA's lines (with the exception of the taking-forever R5 Lansdale improvements). I think it would be relatively easy to triple-track the RDG mainline from Wayne Junction to 2,000' north of Melrose Park, remove at-grade crossings on much of the RDG side, or add improved signaling/automated train control to allow for shorter travel times.

    EDIT: Are they only ADA-ing the outer tracks at Ardmore? How will they load expresses and the like then?

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    Well, the Reading side was redone in the 80's, the Keystone Corridor was probably last overhauled 50 years ago or more. It was in despicable shape. Two main differences, SEPTA redid Reading on the cheap as a commuter line (even downgrading turnouts) the Keystone line upgrade is supposed to accommodate higher speed rail so, if it's funded, will ultimately result in real upgrades to the line but not just for SEPTA. I'm sure if it were SEPTA only, you'd still have wood ties. AFAIK, Ardmore will be outer platforms only. the only know I know that is supposed to be center island is Paoli. Ardmore is not a Keystone Express stop. that said, I'm sure you're right, a similar program could shave off some time for trips to the northern burbs. Keep in mind the next phase of the Keystone line has applied for federal funding through HSR. there are also intercity dollars available but unless the line is extended to Allentown, it's not eligible. Maybe someone should look at what it would take for higher speed trains via the Reading Main to Bethlehem Allentown.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    Well, the Reading side was redone in the 80's, the Keystone Corridor was probably last overhauled 50 years ago or more. It was in despicable shape. Two main differences, SEPTA redid Reading on the cheap as a commuter line (even downgrading turnouts) the Keystone line upgrade is supposed to accommodate higher speed rail so, if it's funded, will ultimately result in real upgrades to the line but not just for SEPTA. I'm sure if it were SEPTA only, you'd still have wood ties. AFAIK, Ardmore will be outer platforms only. the only know I know that is supposed to be center island is Paoli. Ardmore is not a Keystone Express stop. that said, I'm sure you're right, a similar program could shave off some time for trips to the northern burbs. Keep in mind the next phase of the Keystone line has applied for federal funding through HSR. there are also intercity dollars available but unless the line is extended to Allentown, it's not eligible. Maybe someone should look at what it would take for higher speed trains via the Reading Main to Bethlehem Allentown.
    What's so bad about wood ties? The concrete ties are spalling and failing barely into their design lives, causing great cost in replacing new and poorly engineered ties.

    How do you downgrade a turnout?

    It's amazing that Pittsburgh's Amtrak station isn't even in the top three in Pennsylvania. They really missed the train by not being on the route from Chicago to the NEC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    What's so bad about wood ties? The concrete ties are spalling and failing barely into their design lives, causing great cost in replacing new and poorly engineered ties.

    How do you downgrade a turnout?

    It's amazing that Pittsburgh's Amtrak station isn't even in the top three in Pennsylvania. They really missed the train by not being on the route from Chicago to the NEC.
    ah yes, the man who hates change of all kinds. those dastardly grade crossing removal projects and combustion engines. life was so much better when everyone needed a ferry. actually, kind sir, only some ties are failing, all are from the mid 90's. the problem lies not in the ties but in the concrete and affects far more than just rail ties. you are mistaken about engineering, the type of defect was not detectable at the time of installation.
    you downgrade a turnout by replacing it with a lower speed turnout which is cheaper to install.

    Pittsburgh has one train per day to Philly and NY, one to DC, one to chicago. Only the one to Philly is reliable but incredibly slow, slower than it was in the 1930's.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    ah yes, the man who hates change of all kinds. those dastardly grade crossing removal projects and combustion engines. life was so much better when everyone needed a ferry. actually, kind sir, only some ties are failing, all are from the mid 90's. the problem lies not in the ties but in the concrete and affects far more than just rail ties. you are mistaken about engineering, the type of defect was not detectable at the time of installation.
    you downgrade a turnout by replacing it with a lower speed turnout which is cheaper to install.

    Pittsburgh has one train per day to Philly and NY, one to DC, one to chicago. Only the one to Philly is reliable but incredibly slow, slower than it was in the 1930's.
    I tried to take the ferry to New Jersey yesterday but that dastardly ferry stopped for the season September 30.

    What makes a lower speed turnout cheaper to install?

    Do you remember what I said about prudently and gradually switching over to new technology? Evidently someone didn't get the memo with respect to concrete rail ties. You still haven't told me what is so great about concrete rail ties. I know that they are standard now, but I would like to know why, especially in light of the fact that the company that made them went bankrupt when their product failed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    I tried to take the ferry to New Jersey yesterday but that dastardly ferry stopped for the season September 30.
    you weren't listening last week were you?
    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    What makes a lower speed turnout cheaper to install?
    price

    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    Do you remember what I said about prudently and gradually switching over to new technology? Evidently someone didn't get the memo with respect to concrete rail ties. You still haven't told me what is so great about concrete rail ties. I know that they are standard now, but I would like to know why, especially in light of the fact that the company that made them went bankrupt when their product failed.
    you'd be right except that concrete rail ties weren't new technology, they've been in use for decades. railroads are one industry that don't just hop whole hog onto new technologies. if "the rail company that made concrete ties wen bankrupt" there'd be no new ones would there? Obviously more than one company makes them. the problem was in the concrete, NOT the ties. that concrete could be anywhere. Amtrak had switched suppliers at the time, NOT technology. They'd been installing concrete ties for God knows how long, it was only certain ties that failed. concrete ties have longer life spans and I believe the rails move less on top of them, you'll need an engineer. while Amtrak's use of them may not impress you, BNSF uses them on all their mainlines, NS has begun using them, and of course foreign passenger railroads have been using them for decades. Amtrak may not be the best managed but those other companies certainly know more about their business than either your or I.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    you weren't listening last week were you?

    price


    you'd be right except that concrete rail ties weren't new technology, they've been in use for decades. railroads are one industry that don't just hop whole hog onto new technologies. if "the rail company that made concrete ties wen bankrupt" there'd be no new ones would there? Obviously more than one company makes them. the problem was in the concrete, NOT the ties. that concrete could be anywhere. Amtrak had switched suppliers at the time, NOT technology. They'd been installing concrete ties for God knows how long, it was only certain ties that failed. concrete ties have longer life spans and I believe the rails move less on top of them, you'll need an engineer. while Amtrak's use of them may not impress you, BNSF uses them on all their mainlines, NS has begun using them, and of course foreign passenger railroads have been using them for decades. Amtrak may not be the best managed but those other companies certainly know more about their business than either your or I.
    I had a vague notion that I should check the schedule before I headed out to the ferry, so I did and buried deep in the website there was language about the service shutting down on September 30; thankfully I checked before heading to Penn's Landing.

    You gave me a tautologous answer. I'll ask again: what is it that makes low speed turnouts cheaper to install, especially when replacing existing high-speed turnouts? It would seem to me to be more expensive to go backwards.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    I had a vague notion that I should check the schedule before I headed out to the ferry, so I did and buried deep in the website there was language about the service shutting down on September 30; thankfully I checked before heading to Penn's Landing.

    You gave me a tautologous answer. I'll ask again: what is it that makes low speed turnouts cheaper to install, especially when replacing existing high-speed turnouts? It would seem to me to be more expensive to go backwards.
    I gave you an accurate answer. Perhaps if lower speed turnouts were no longer manufactured it would be more expensive, but plenty of freight railroads use lower speed turnouts. higher speed turnouts are mainly used by passenger railroads, though not exclusively since freights can and do use them on their mains.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post

    You gave me a tautologous answer. I'll ask again: what is it that makes low speed turnouts cheaper to install, especially when replacing existing high-speed turnouts? It would seem to me to be more expensive to go backwards.
    I believe if you are replacing the entire section of track in the turnout area, then it's like starting from scratch. I don't know if the RDG was doing that, but if so, it could be a good deal cheaper to use a lower-speed turnout, even after associated costs like moving cantenary.

    Edited to add: It also saves quite a bit in materials, the faster the turnout is certified for, the more wear and tear done by each train that traverses over it, so a higher speed turnout requires better rails/frogs/joints than a lower speed one.
    Last edited by BenDee; 11-16-2009 at 11:58 PM.

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    Sorry for betraying my ignorance, but what is a turnout?

 

 

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