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Passenger Trains > Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today


Date: 06/21/13 13:48
Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: Milepost_130

The morning of June 21, 2013 was spent just south of the small town of Odell, Illinois.

Image 1: At 8:11 AM, Amtrak's northbound train 300 has just negotiated the number 24 turnout at South Odell, CP X085. This train is lead by Amtrak 66, a GE P42DC "Genesis" locomotive, painted in Phase II of Amtrak's 40th Anniversary paint scheme. On the rear of this train is Amtrak 69, another GE P42DC "Genesis" locomotive. Shortly after this image was recorded, Union Pacific's hotbox detector at MP 80.2 declared, "Train speed: 107 MPH (172 kph)."

Image 2: Same train as image 1, passing MP 84.

Image 3: Around 8:35 AM, Union Pacific's hotbox detector at MP 80.2 announced the imminent arrival of Amtrak's southbound train 301 with the automated comment, "Train speed: 109 MPH (175 kph)." At 8:39 AM, Amtrak train 301 appeared at the E 2400 N Road overpass.








Date: 06/21/13 13:57
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: hsr_fan

How is work progressing beyond the 20 mile or so segment where they're allowed to do 110 mph? Hasn't much more of the line already been upgraded?



Date: 06/21/13 14:08
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: Milepost_130

I am no expert regarding Amtrak / Union Pacific Railroad's plans for continued development of the former GM&O main line in Illinois to "high(er) speed" service. That said, among the immediate impediments to extending / expanding 110 MPH territory are the numerous diamonds (crossings with other railways) north of Dwight and south of Pontiac.



Date: 06/21/13 14:19
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: cutboy2

Conductor last March told us more double track this summer. No buses this year. If US Congress House of Reps. has its way, this could be all we get!!



Date: 06/21/13 15:48
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: hsr_fan

The money already spent was supposed to deliver many more miles of 110 mph running. My understanding is that the track upgrades have already been completed along much of the route.



Date: 06/21/13 19:40
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: ts1457

hsr_fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The money already spent was supposed to deliver
> many more miles of 110 mph running. My
> understanding is that the track upgrades have
> already been completed along much of the route.

Here is the website for the project:

http://www.idothsr.org/

It's a bit difficult to figure out exactly where the project stands. My interpretation coincides with yours as far as the track upgrades for 110 mph, however it sounds like the faster running won't be extended to most of the route until 2015. The big bugaboo in my view is that we have to have the second track added where there is only one before UP will allow additional trains. Even when fully implement, UP will allow only eight higher speed round-trips, plus the Texas Eagle. That will definitely be a constraint on the success of this corridor.

Does anyone know if any grants have been provided for the second track yet? I don't see any.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/13 19:54 by ts1457.



Date: 06/21/13 20:41
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: slingshot2

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> hsr_fan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The money already spent was supposed to deliver
> > many more miles of 110 mph running. My
> > understanding is that the track upgrades have
> > already been completed along much of the route.
>
> Here is the website for the project:
>
> http://www.idothsr.org/
>
> It's a bit difficult to figure out exactly where
> the project stands. My interpretation coincides
> with yours as far as the track upgrades for 110
> mph, however it sounds like the faster running
> won't be extended to most of the route until 2015.
> The big bugaboo in my view is that we have to have
> the second track added where there is only one
> before UP will allow additional trains. Even when
> fully implement, UP will allow only eight higher
> speed round-trips, plus the Texas Eagle. That will
> definitely be a constraint on the success of this
> corridor.
>
> Does anyone know if any grants have been provided
> for the second track yet? I don't see any.


Sadly, the UP should have never gotten the opportunity to control the success or failure of Chicago - St. Louis HSR. Every time someone reminds us of the UP limitations on the number and timing of passenger service I harken back to something Railway Age wrote about back in September of 1989:

Railway Age 9/1/1989

The "new" SP reaches out

Evidently SP was not satisfied with just one route into Chicago, because on Aug. 3, it announced an agreement to buy the 282-mile St. Louis-Chicago line of the bankrupt Chicago, Missouri & Western. SP will pay $22 million in cash and assume $7 million in CM&W debt to the State of Illinois. The bankruptcy judge responsible for CM&W's case has referred the matter to the ICC and requested an expedited hearing.



Date: 06/21/13 21:05
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: ts1457

slingshot2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sadly, the UP should have never gotten the
> opportunity to control the success or failure of
> Chicago - St. Louis HSR. Every time someone
> reminds us of the UP limitations on the number and
> timing of passenger service I harken back to
> something Railway Age wrote about back in
> September of 1989:
>
> Railway Age 9/1/1989
>
> The "new" SP reaches out
>
> Evidently SP was not satisfied with just one route
> into Chicago, because on Aug. 3, it announced an
> agreement to buy the 282-mile St. Louis-Chicago
> line of the bankrupt Chicago, Missouri & Western.
> SP will pay $22 million in cash and assume $7
> million in CM&W debt to the State of Illinois. The
> bankruptcy judge responsible for CM&W's case has
> referred the matter to the ICC and requested an
> expedited hearing.

I'm thinking that the CM&W was SP's first entry into Chicago. What am I missing?

The UP-SP merger would have been a good time to get back the old Alton Route Chicago-St. Louis for a publicly-owned corridor, but no one was willing to force the issue with money. I think we already had had one round of big spending for passenger upgrades in this corridor with very little lasting results. We are now on the second round which I fear will benefit UP more than railroad passengers. Planning for a third round with the ultimate 220 mph service is underway. This the level of service you really need to make a noticeable increase in rail market share, but the public will likely have had it with more spending.



Date: 06/21/13 21:31
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: slingshot2

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> slingshot2 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Sadly, the UP should have never gotten the
> > opportunity to control the success or failure
> of
> > Chicago - St. Louis HSR. Every time someone
> > reminds us of the UP limitations on the number
> and
> > timing of passenger service I harken back to
> > something Railway Age wrote about back in
> > September of 1989:
> >
> > Railway Age 9/1/1989
> >
> > The "new" SP reaches out
> >
> > Evidently SP was not satisfied with just one
> route
> > into Chicago, because on Aug. 3, it announced
> an
> > agreement to buy the 282-mile St. Louis-Chicago
> > line of the bankrupt Chicago, Missouri &
> Western.
> > SP will pay $22 million in cash and assume $7
> > million in CM&W debt to the State of Illinois.
> The
> > bankruptcy judge responsible for CM&W's case
> has
> > referred the matter to the ICC and requested an
> > expedited hearing.
>
> I'm thinking that the CM&W was SP's first entry
> into Chicago. What am I missing?
>
> The UP-SP merger would have been a good time to
> get back the old Alton Route Chicago-St. Louis for
> a publicly-owned corridor, but no one was willing
> to force the issue with money. I think we already
> had had one round of big spending for passenger
> upgrades in this corridor with very little lasting
> results. We are now on the second round which I
> fear will benefit UP more than railroad
> passengers. Planning for a third round with the
> ultimate 220 mph service is underway. This the
> level of service you really need to make a
> noticeable increase in rail market share, but the
> public will likely have had it with more spending.


You're right ts but remember that the CP SOO was offering their Chicago - Kansas City line for sale at the same time. Anschutz wanted both routes. The same RA article spells it all out and can still be read at High Beam if you sign up.

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-7999591.html



Date: 06/21/13 21:35
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: ts1457

slingshot2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>> You're right ts but remember that the CP SOO was
> offering their Chicago - Kansas City line for sale
> at the same time. Anschutz wanted both routes. The
> same RA article spells it all out and can still be
> read at High Beam if you sign up.
>
> http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-7999591.html

Thank you for the clarification.



Date: 06/22/13 08:03
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: floridajoe2001

Personally, I'm very disappointed with the Chi-StL project. So much money has been spent; and so far, none of it has benefited ticket buying passengers--same old schedules, etc.

Thinking about the UP, it dawned on me that there are only TWO through rail routes left--and the UP controls both of them (GM&O and CEI). The other two routes (IC and WAB) are gone, having been basically severed in the middle. I have no point to make; other than I hadn't realized this before.

Joe

PS: The rebuilt track in these pictures look great; but then comes the cold realization of that passing track. This is "Old Time" railroading not befitting the fast, corridor concept. It's troubling to see new "passing tracks" being built in Illinois; while on the Surfliner route, they are working to eliminate these bottle necks.



Date: 06/22/13 16:42
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: jo-tower

You have to rebuild the sidings before you build the rest of the double track.



Date: 06/22/13 16:42
Re: Amtrak Lincoln Service Trains at Odell, IL Today
Author: slingshot2

floridajoe2001 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Personally, I'm very disappointed with the Chi-StL
> project. So much money has been spent; and so
> far, none of it has benefited ticket buying
> passengers--same old schedules, etc.
>
> Thinking about the UP, it dawned on me that there
> are only TWO through rail routes left--and the UP
> controls both of them (GM&O and CEI). The other
> two routes (IC and WAB) are gone, having been
> basically severed in the middle. I have no point
> to make; other than I hadn't realized this
> before.
>
> Joe
>
> PS: The rebuilt track in these pictures look
> great; but then comes the cold realization of that
> passing track. This is "Old Time" railroading not
> befitting the fast, corridor concept. It's
> troubling to see new "passing tracks" being built
> in Illinois; while on the Surfliner route, they
> are working to eliminate these bottle necks.


And to remember that the Alton - GM&O was double track between Chicago and St. Louis into the early sixties just adds more insult to what has happened. Here's a good slide from IDOT's recent presentations on the status of the route:

http://www.idothsr.org/pdf/girard%20siding%20pm_presentation_052113.pdf

Just look at IDOT's slide 13 and see how much the taxpayers are shelling out thanks to UP having control of what the State or the Feds could have owned for only $22 million back in '89 and not had any Class 1 today dictating the terms and what has to be done first before the public ridership gets properly served.



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