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  #401  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2021, 1:14 AM
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I really don't know where you are getting those assumptions, including the notion that "California can not afford to spend more than $8 Billion to date for CHSR"... That's a good one...
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  #402  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2021, 11:55 AM
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I really don't know where you are getting those assumptions, including the notion that "California can not afford to spend more than $8 Billion to date for CHSR"... That's a good one...
https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local...252445418.html
"The conspicuous absence of money for high-speed rail in the $262.6 billion budget bill approved Monday by state legislators in Sacramento could have major consequences for construction work of the bullet-train line in Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley.
The budget bill sent by the state Assembly and Senate to Gov. Gavin Newsom late Monday includes billions of dollars for transportation across the state.
But it does not include more than $4 billion sought by the California High-Speed Rail Authority and Newsom to advance work on the high-speed rail project that has been under construction in Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties for for seven years.
"If new Proposition 1A funds are not approved, the Authority will be forced to suspend most construction activity and with that most of the 1,000 weekly construction jobs will be eliminated,” the state rail agency stated in its latest business plan. “Additionally, funds will be redirected to costs related to closing construction sites and, later, to delay claims."
Both houses of the Legislature are controlled by Democrats, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, has called for the state to redirect high-speed rail money to urban transportation projects."


Just because you have the bonding authority from a referendum does not mean you have the ability to spend that money, spending requires Legislature allocations which change year by year.
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  #403  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2021, 9:01 PM
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Amtrak hopes to bring rail services back to Phoenix area


By Giavonna Heath
KPNX-TV
July 27, 2021

"PHOENIX — Amtrak is looking to return to the Phoenix area after 25 years away, CEO Bill Flynn said Tuesday during a roundtable discussion with Valley politicians and business leaders.

Amtrak wants to expand services to Phoenix, Tempe, Coolidge, Goodyear and Buckeye, among others striking Phoenix from the list of populous cities without passenger rail service. The city has been without it since 1996; the closest place to hop an Amtrak train is Maricopa in Pinal County..."

https://www.12news.com/article/news/...e-0a6c21ebde24
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  #404  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2021, 12:05 AM
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Amtrak hopes to bring rail services back to Phoenix area.
"For passengers of the possible Amtrak service, a trip would take two hours, 25 minutes to get from Phoenix to Tucson, and a little over three hours from Buckeye to Tucson. There would be three daily round trips, officials added."

Buckeye is miles 30 west of downtown Phoenix, Tucson is 116 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix. That's a total of 146 miles.
Assumptions and math follows.
2 hours and 24 minutes is the same as 2.4 hours.
86/2.4 = 35.8 mph on average.
116/3 = 38.6 mph on average

Is 3 round trips enough service?
Are average speeds lower than 40 mph fast enough?

Last edited by electricron; Jul 29, 2021 at 1:16 AM.
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  #405  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2021, 1:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
"For passengers of the possible Amtrak service, a trip would take two hours, 25 minutes to get from Phoenix to Tucson, and a little over three hours from Buckeye to Tucson. There would be three daily round trips, officials added."

Buckeye is miles 30 west of downtown Phoenix, Tucson is 116 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix. That's a total of 146 miles.
Assumptions and math follows.
2 hours and 24 minutes is the same as 2.4 hours.
86/2.4 = 35.8 mph on average.
116/3 = 38.6 mph on average

Is 3 round trips enough service?
Are average speeds lower than 40 mph fast enough?
I'm not sure where you got the 86 from just based off your own numbers.
Shouldn't it be:
116/2.4 ~ 48 mph
146/3 ~ 49mph
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  #406  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2021, 10:36 PM
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While the text of the five-year spending bill (aka the "bipartisan" infrastructure bill) has yet to be finalized, broad investment figures have been released, including:

$110 billion for roads, including $40 billion for bridges and $17.5 billion for major projects;
$66 billion for rail;
$39 billion for mass transit;
$11 billion for safety;
$7.5 billion for Electric Vehicles (EVs);
$17 billion for ports; and
$25 billion for airports.

Rail Passengers was able to obtain specifics of the $66 billion in funding for rail:

Northeast Corridor (NEC) Grants – $6 billion – for procurement and deferred maintenance on the NEC.
Fed-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail – $36 billion –
NEC set-aside – $24 billion –
Funding for capital projects to repair, replace, or rehabilitate assets to improve performance and address maintenance backlog.
Amtrak National Network (NN) – $16 billion – to modernize and upgrade the NN, including all 15 long-distance routes and 28 state-supported routes.
Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) – $5 billion – competitive grant program to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of intercity passenger rail and freight rail; leverages local and private sector funds.
Railroad Crossing Elimination Program – $3 billion – competitive grant program to eliminate railway-highway grade crossings.
Restoration & Enhancement Grants – $50 million – grant program to initiate, restore and enhance passenger rail service; eligible projects include restoration of discontinued service, additional frequencies, extension of existing service, and establishment of new service.

Disappointingly, the bipartisan infrastructure framework (BIF) rail title stipulates that the $66 billion in rail funding includes the $34.2 billion passed by the Senate Commerce Committee as part of the Surface Transportation Investment Act (STIA) of 2021. This means the BIF only includes an additional $32 billion over what would’ve been authorized as part of the normal reauthorization cycle -- well below the $74 billion originally proposed by President Biden as part of his American Jobs Act. This stands in sharp contrast to the highway section, where the $110 billion for roads and bridges will be included as part of the larger $303.5 billion in Highway Trust Fund contract authority passed by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
https://www.railpassengers.org/happe...e-falls-short/
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  #407  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2021, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
"For passengers of the possible Amtrak service, a trip would take two hours, 25 minutes to get from Phoenix to Tucson, and a little over three hours from Buckeye to Tucson. There would be three daily round trips, officials added."

Buckeye is miles 30 west of downtown Phoenix, Tucson is 116 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix. That's a total of 146 miles.
Assumptions and math follows.
2 hours and 24 minutes is the same as 2.4 hours.
86/2.4 = 35.8 mph on average.
116/3 = 38.6 mph on average

Is 3 round trips enough service?
Are average speeds lower than 40 mph fast enough?
There is a giant rail yard between Phoenix and Tucson which slows down and often stops passenger rail service between the two. Any useful service would have to create a way to skirt this obstruction, either with new bypassing track or a priority way through it.
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  #408  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2021, 4:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Klippenstein View Post
I'm not sure where you got the 86 from just based off your own numbers.
Shouldn't it be:
116/2.4 ~ 48 mph
146/3 ~ 49mph
I had a long day yesterday, i also can not figure out where 86 miles came from.
Subtracting instead of adding after getting it correct earlier in the post???
Your numbers look better. Thanks for the correction.
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  #409  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2021, 1:28 AM
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The $66 Billion earmarked for passenger rail in the infrastructure bill, would all of that go to Amtrak ?
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  #410  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2021, 2:43 AM
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The $66 Billion earmarked for passenger rail in the infrastructure bill, would all of that go to Amtrak ?
No. This White House link describes how the money will be distributed.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-...tructure-deal/
"$22 billion would be provided as grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements."
That last $8 Billion for safety can be spent on any railroad, not just Amtrak.
The $12 Billion for intercity partnership grants for outside the NEC.
$24 Billion partnership grants for NEC specifically.
$22 Billion grants for Amtrak specifically.

The $22 Billion grants for Amtrak will be allocated $7+ Billion per year for the next three years. Not sure about the rest, but it will not be all $66 Billion being allocated in next year's or this year's budget, it will be spread out over a few years.
$46 Billion for Amtrak and the NEC should eliminate all of Amtrak's backlog of projects needed for the "state of good repair", tunnels, bridges, stations, track and signaling upgrades, etc.
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  #411  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2021, 2:47 AM
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There is another $5B in competitive grant money for mega-projects. I would expect some of this will be spent on the Gateway tunnel replacement and the Baltimore tunnel replacement.
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  #412  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2021, 2:40 PM
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There is another $5B in competitive grant money for mega-projects. I would expect some of this will be spent on the Gateway tunnel replacement and the Baltimore tunnel replacement.
Interested to see how these totals compare to the $8B from Obama's ARRA stimulus a decade ago, factoring in inflation/construction cost escalation and accounting for the various set-asides in the new bill. Probably about 2x-3x the size when comparing apples-apples.

Also will be interested to see if Republican states boycott the program like last time, or if they will go for their fair share of the money. The Midwest was the worst offender last time (apart from Illinois and Michigan) but there are promising rail corridors in other red states too. NOLA-Baton Rouge, Atlanta-Charlotte, etc. Brightline may try to seek partial Federal funding for their Tampa extension, especially if local leaders are forcing them to spend an extra $1B on a more costly route thru I-Drive area near Orlando.

It definitely helps that Biden is pushing this instead of Obama, if anyone can convince white working-class of the need for rail investment it is Biden. If he can't pull it off, there is no hope for at least another generation.
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  #413  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2021, 4:54 PM
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Amtrak’s Vision: Chicago — Detroit — Toronto

https://www.amtrakconnectsus.com/map...troit-toronto/

Quote:
.....

- Despite being 230 miles apart, the last time Toronto and Detroit had direct rail service was in 1967. The creation of a Chicago – Detroit – Toronto service will provide additional frequency between Chicago and Detroit and offer connections to Amtrak’s existing long distance and state supported routes as well as proposed corridors throughout the Midwest. — Chicago and Detroit are currently linked by the state-supported Wolverine service. In the past decade, Amtrak and the State of Michigan have upgraded speeds on much of the route. Faster 110 MPH service launched in 2012 between Porter, Indiana and Kalamazoo, Michigan; speed improvements between Kalamazoo and Dearborn are imminent. The Wolverine has also received upgraded equipment, with investments in new locomotives and railcars to enhance the customer experience. Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto have a combined metropolitan area population of 17.6 million people. The new route would link over 25 Fortune 500 companies to Toronto, the economic center of Canada.

- Chicago and Detroit face unique environmental and equity challenges due to their heavy reliance on cars. In 2019, Chicago was the second most congested city in the United States, with the average Chicagoan spending 145 hours in traffic, costing each driver $2,146. In Detroit, the initial pandemic lockdown reduced fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by 10 percent and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) by 30 percent, largely due to the absence of vehicular traffic. — Chicago and Detroit both have histories of inequitable auto infrastructure projects, destroying Black and immigrant neighborhoods for highway expansions. Over half the area of downtown Detroit is made up of surface parking lots, which have even replaced many of Detroit's historic buildings. A lack of investment in reliable public transportation alternatives has limited the potential for residents and the regional economy. Although Chicago and Detroit are currently served by Amtrak, improved frequency along the corridor, with connections to Toronto, will increase demand for rail travel and decrease traffic congestion.

Proposed Stations:

• Chicago, IL

• Hammond-Whiting, IN

• Michigan City, IN

• New Buffalo, MI

• Niles, MI

• Dowagiac, MI

• Kalamazoo, MI

• Battle Creek, MI

• Albion, MI

• Jackson, MI

• Ann Arbor, MI

• Dearborn, MI

• Detroit, MI

• Windsor-Walkerville, ON (NEW)

• Chatham, ON (NEW)

• Glencoe, ON (NEW)

• London, ON (NEW)

• Ingersoll, ON (NEW)

• Woodstock, ON (NEW)

• Brantford, ON (NEW)

• Aldershot, ON

• Oakville, ON

• Toronto, ON

.....



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  #414  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2021, 5:50 PM
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They are missing Metrolinx as a host railroad there

Travel time is better than I expected. It's not too far off driving actually, which is generally 8-9 hours. Seems to be giving only about 20-30 minutes to clear the border too, which is significantly faster than what the Maple Leaf did prior to the pandemic, which IIRC took about 2 hours at border control. Hopefully those faster travel times can be translated to the Maple Leaf as well which would result in some much better travel times there too. If they were really smart border control would board the train in Niagara Falls or Detroit and check passengers as they moved to Dearborn / Buffalo and had a van to ship anyone denied entry back to the border once they got to the next stop, in order to avoid slowing the train down.. but alas.

Lots of room for improvements on those travel times too, especially on the Canadian side. The Canadian Feds seem to be indicating an intent to sink a good chunk of money into VIA, hopefully that can include some speed upgrades down to Windsor. There is no reason another 30-45 minutes can't be easily shaved off the Canadian side trip time, which currently takes 4:15 to clear about 230 miles.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this proposed service is that they plan to stop in Detroit at the old Michigan Central Station..
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  #415  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2021, 6:44 PM
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This must do a reverse move out of Detroit? I would have thought it made more sense to go from Detroit to Port Huron and Sarnia (anybody going to Windsor can get off at Detroit and take the bus. Anyone going to Chatham... well there probably aren't that many). But I guess that is a lot more rail that neither Amtrak or Via runs on so this is easier.
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  #416  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2021, 2:48 PM
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This must do a reverse move out of Detroit? I would have thought it made more sense to go from Detroit to Port Huron and Sarnia (anybody going to Windsor can get off at Detroit and take the bus. Anyone going to Chatham... well there probably aren't that many). But I guess that is a lot more rail that neither Amtrak or Via runs on so this is easier.
Take all the details in Amtrak Connect with a locomotive-sized grain of salt, but I believe the plan is to use new platforms at Michigan Central rather than a reverse move from New Center.

The master plan at MCS is kinda vague, but Ford's architect (Vishaan Chakrabarti of PAU) hinted at train platforms being part of the overall concept and they have the space even after building all the planned stuff on the viaduct level. Amtrak's announcement hopefully triggers some backroom discussions about formally adding the train platforms to the design.

I'm not sure if MCS would replace New Center or whether Detroit would end up with two Amtrak stations. One possibility is that Amtrak centralizes at MCS and terminates the Wolverine there, with the Detroit-Pontiac leg downgraded (or upgraded, depending on frequency) to a commuter train. This is somewhat similar to what happened in the Twin Cities, where the super-Amshack at Midway was replaced by St Paul Union Depot once the Green Line light rail opened to link it to Minneapolis. Ideally Detroit would open a streetcar down Michigan Ave to link MCS to downtown, but they could probably do this with buses at first.
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Last edited by ardecila; Sep 1, 2021 at 3:01 PM.
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  #417  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2021, 12:06 PM
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Amtrak project continues at Burlington’s waterfront

By WCAX News Team
Published: Sep. 8, 2021

"BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Another sign of Amtrak’s imminent arrival in Burlington next year -- crews put in new rails at the Flynn Avenue crossing last week.

VTrans says the College Street crossing remains closed as crews work on improvements in front of the ECHO Center. That’s expected to reopen next Friday.

The Ethan Allen Express train is being extended north from Rutland to Burlington with stops in Middlebury and Vergennes. Service is expected to begin later next year..."

https://www.wcax.com/2021/09/08/amtr...ns-waterfront/
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  #418  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2021, 4:23 PM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
Amtrak’s Vision: Chicago — Detroit — Toronto

https://www.amtrakconnectsus.com/map...troit-toronto/






Cool idea, way too many stops. 10 hours from Chicago to Toronto is not attractive at all when the all-in flight time is maybe 4 hours tops, but I guess you have to start somewhere.

As someone who takes the Wolverine somewhat often I wish they had some express trains that went Chicago -> Kalamazoo or Battle Creek -> Ann Arbor -> Detroit. The number of stops now is too high especially considering most of them are only a handful of people getting on/off.
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  #419  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2021, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kngkyle View Post
Cool idea, way too many stops. 10 hours from Chicago to Toronto is not attractive at all when the all-in flight time is maybe 4 hours tops, but I guess you have to start somewhere.

As someone who takes the Wolverine somewhat often I wish they had some express trains that went Chicago -> Kalamazoo or Battle Creek -> Ann Arbor -> Detroit. The number of stops now is too high especially considering most of them are only a handful of people getting on/off.
Why on earth would they stop at places like Glencoe & Ingersoll in Ontario?
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  #420  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2021, 11:31 PM
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If Chicago to Toronto had 18 round trips a day you could argue that 3 or 4 of them could be some sort of skip stop express. We're nowhere near that level of service and frankly being that it's not high speed rail, nowhere near that kind of demand.
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