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Acela improvements

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I was wondering what is in the works to improve Acela service that that it can keep a sustained 125mph+ along its route. I know there are many problems northeast of NYC but are they making any plans to increase speeds?

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I was wondering what is in the works to improve Acela service that that it can keep a sustained 125mph+ along its route. I know there are many problems northeast of NYC but are they making any plans to increase speeds?

 

Tie replacement continues, and new CWR is being put down in several areas. Also from a reliable source to remain unnamed, i've heard that the wire between newark penn and new brunswick may be worked on and upgraded as early as 2010, with the sections between new brunswick and trenton, and newark and nyp coming after, then continuing into philadelphia down into delaware. The source for this information is an amtk worker, so i believe them. They said it had to do with a huge increase in funding expected by the end of 2009 combined with the stimulus funding passed not too long ago.

 

I hope they are right and this does happen, because it's the wire and the tracks that are keeping it slow.

 

- A

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The tracks are fine. Its the wire thats the problem, I have heard the same things as you in terms of whats planned but I think a real thorn is the Elizabeth S-curve, its gotta be straightened out somehow. As for the Acela sets they are all getting a refurbishment, one set at a time, there is one set out there with 2009 and 2032(I think) thats been done already. Keep your eyes peeled for it you will know its been refurbished as the power cars have all new paint and the newer logo.

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The tracks are fine. Its the wire thats the problem, I have heard the same things as you in terms of whats planned but I think a real thorn is the Elizabeth S-curve, its gotta be straightened out somehow. As for the Acela sets they are all getting a refurbishment, one set at a time, there is one set out there with 2009 and 2032(I think) thats been done already. Keep your eyes peeled for it you will know its been refurbished as the power cars have all new paint and the newer logo.

 

I actually saw that set at was on jan 20!

 

As for the curve, the only thing i see in the way, are some buildings that could be demolished and rebuilt, or moved. Nothing a year of construction wouldn't cure. See this is where countries like france & germany etc have an advantage. Oh man, we need this fixed! Japan: はい、すぐに! France: Oui, rapidement! Germany: ja schnell! USA: What? Change for improvement?! No wai!!!

 

- A

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The express tracks between Metuchen and Metropark still has wooden ties. Also, they should bolt onto the existing catenary poles the arms that provides constant tension instead of removing the existing catenary poles and replacing with new ones. Amtrak should at least convert the express tracks to constant tension catenary to increase speeds.

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The express tracks between Metuchen and Metropark still has wooden ties. Also, they should bolt onto the existing catenary poles the arms that provides constant tension instead of removing the existing catenary poles and replacing with new ones. Amtrak should at least convert the express tracks to constant tension catenary to increase speeds.

 

One of the interlocking got a 100% concrete setup, but i believe that was done on a saturday evening to avoid impacting service.

 

Yes, the ties need replacing bigtime there, as well as on the trenton local tracks where the ties are cracking apart. They may want to re-align several of the switches to allow greater traversing speed. I would say that we are 15% ready for a 140 mph service between boston and DC. The tracks north of NYC obviously pull that % up by a lot.

 

As for bolting onto existing support towers, maybe. Some of the towers are 60-80 years old and really should at least be sandblasted and anti-oxidizing primer applied. Some of them need new footings, and a few, need to just be yanked and replaced. Would be treated on a case by case basis.

 

I like the truss style towers, the beam towers are not nearly as interesting. also the ones with the transmission lines offset from the footings on the side are cool as well, and could easily be changed over. Anywhere where there is a beam across can be instantly changed over, where there isn't a crossing beam one would have to be installed. I believe that the older towers should be spliced onto new footings before this is done. Anchors should also be refreshed.

 

- A

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The express tracks between Metuchen and Metropark still has wooden ties. Also, they should bolt onto the existing catenary poles the arms that provides constant tension instead of removing the existing catenary poles and replacing with new ones. Amtrak should at least convert the express tracks to constant tension catenary to increase speeds.

 

I like the plan for Constant Tension wire using the existing poles it could work. There are plans for concrete ties in that area, the only problem is you have Amtrak, NJT, and local freight, so everything is kind of tough to do in that area with out slowing things down more.

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This just in! (will make a dedicated post in a sec)

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090311/ap_on_go_co/congress_spending

 

According to this...

 

Generous above-inflation increases are spread throughout, including a $2.4 billion, 13 percent increase for the Agriculture Department and a 10 percent increase for the money-losing Amtrak passenger rail system.

 

It's only "money losing" because it has to prop up an antiquated infrastructure along with being the only entity that maintains the NEC's ROW.

 

Anyways.......... Looks like my source was right on the money with this (pun intended).

 

I believe they will get additional funds 2 other times this year, bringing their 2009 total to ~10 billion dollars. :eek:

 

This is it folks, amtrak finally receiving enough funds to upgrade the NEC and other routes. *fireworks display + parade + jet fly-over + all horns sounding at the same time*. :tup:

 

:cool:

 

- A

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Excellent, glad I made this post. 15% towards a 140mph corridor is a start and my main worry was that work just wasn't ongoing--obviously I'm wrong about this. Hopefully these progressive changes (and time gains) will get press until someday we can have an under 4 hours trip between DC and Boston (which, will never beat the Paris-Marseille TGV because that only has three stations on the route). And when Amtrak starts beating air travel then we'll really see things pick up.

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If FRA was smart, they should've diverted stricter rules for freight trains instead of passenger trains. That way, freight trains can be limited during the day for higher passenger train speeds. Regarding equipment, FRA should trim down the freight locomotives and long trainsets so the Acela trainsets could've been built lighter with Jacobs bogies.

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If FRA was smart, they should've diverted stricter rules for freight trains instead of passenger trains. That way, freight trains can be limited during the day for higher passenger train speeds. Regarding equipment, FRA should trim down the freight locomotives and long trainsets so the Acela trainsets could've been built lighter with Jacobs bogies.

 

\:P Could I get a little translation of that? Jacbobs bogies = ? And, what you're saying is regulate freight trains to make them have to be lighter and shorter so that the Acela can be? Why does the Acela have to be heavier since freight trains are?

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\:P Could I get a little translation of that? Jacbobs bogies = ? And, what you're saying is regulate freight trains to make them have to be lighter and shorter so that the Acela can be? Why does the Acela have to be heavier since freight trains are?
Jacobs Bogies in other words meant articulated trainsets or cars jointed by one truck. FRA mandated that the Acela trainsets have to be as heavy as a freight train so that if a head on crash should occur, the Acela trainset would still be standing. This is also why the LIRR M7s are so heavy as well.

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US trains are heavy and sturdy vs being light and having more of a crumple zone. If you ever noticed, the vestibule on other trains is a bit longer, owing to greater force arresting ability.

 

I agree the standards should be changed.

 

- A

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If HS trains in the US were to use their own right of way they could be light, but even then the FRA still seems to have some problems from what I have read. You also have to remember that the Acela sets could become alot heavier if they ever add cars to the sets. They were built after all to handle more than just the 6 cars they currently run with.

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Correct, they can run on schedule with one operational power car.

 

- A

Then the Acela should've been built like the Swedish X2000. After all, it was one of the European trainsets along with the ICE-1 that passed the FRA regulations.

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Uh..no it didn't.

 

They had to get waivers to run the thing along with the ICE-1 and Flexliners. FRA rules state that a HS trainset has two have to power cars not a power car plus trailer. That is why the ICE like design won out. The reason given is something to do with in a crash the trailer would not hold up well, at least with a power car in front you have some what of a buffer.

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So where _does_ one stay up to date on this? I'm paying attention to DE in the stimulus which is trying to get a third line between Wilmington and Newark in some areas (although, Amtrak alreay has the ROW so it won't change that so much... just make SEPTA service better). But, how is it that you know where the bottle necks are? I'm also curious about the average speeds in different areas.

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Dont forget, if you want to increase the speed you also have to add more safety measures. When Amtrak run 135mph between County and Ham there is aces put in place. Someone keeps talking about the elizabeth curves, listen just face it that curve is never going to get done. There are so many places Amtrak can up the speed if constant tension wire were put in place. I would say the faster the trains go the more people that would flock to Amtrak.

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So where _does_ one stay up to date on this? I'm paying attention to DE in the stimulus which is trying to get a third line between Wilmington and Newark in some areas (although, Amtrak alreay has the ROW so it won't change that so much... just make SEPTA service better). But, how is it that you know where the bottle necks are? I'm also curious about the average speeds in different areas.

 

I was recently on the DART website for summer bus schedules, and I saw that there was a plan from Del Dot to purchase 4 new Silverliner V cars. I never knew that, this does not depend on the stimulus package. There was also plans to do some work in Dover... not like I dream of Amtrak trains ever coming back here again... :cry:

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Delaware sponsors a % of the R2 as does amtrak. As i said before, :septa: and amtrak have a co-operative agreement for track and wire and other upkeep, similar to (NJT) and amtrak, especially prominent in this is trenton station, which is owned by (NJT) but has amtk tracks and wires running through it, and also they have a ~2% :septa: inclusion for upkeep of the layup track, signals, and track 5 related stuff. Amtrak operates the signals and the wires.

 

There is considerable debate between amtk & (NJT) about increasing acela service to the state's capitol, as well as between DE and amtk about returning some service the the station you mentioned which is also the capitol of that state.

 

It really isn't as straightforward as you'd think. There are a lot of funding inclusions and co-responsibility and mixed funding & ownership situations.

 

- A

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All you really have to do is look at the annual budgets. It can be daunting to look though all the budget proposals and the finalized & approved versions, but the answers are in there. :)

 

- A

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