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Passenger Trains > Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011


Date: 05/31/11 00:42
Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: GenePoon

Riding Amtrak's Wolverines any time soon? Take a good book. You'll have time to read it.

Due to track condition, speed limits are being reduced on the Norfolk Southern portion of the route east of Kalamazoo.
Unless/until the Wolverine schedules are restrung, this should take the Wolverines' on-time performance to something around zero.


NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION
DEARBORN DIVISION
OPERATIONS BULLETIN #38
DEARBORN, MI – May 26, 2011
SUBJECT: Timetable Speed Change on MH Line
ALL CONCERNED

The following Speed Restrictions are effective June 1, 2011.

(Sorry, the columns don't line up no matter what I do, account Trainorders formatting)

MP FROM TO TRACK MI. FRT PSGR
MH 28.1 51.9 Single 23.8 25 30
MH 51.9 72.7 Single 20.8 40 60
MH 78.6 94 Single 15.4 40 60
MH 96.2 98.8 Sig.Sdg 2.6 25 25
MH 113.3 114.4 Single 1.1 40 60
MH 116.2 118.7 Main 1/2 2.5 40 60
MH 121.7 124.4 Main 2 2.7 40 60
MH 124.4 132 Single 7.6 25 30
MH 132 139.9 Single 7.9 25 50

For reference:

MP MH 28.1 is CP-Ipsi
MP MH 51.9 is CP-Lake
MP MH 72.7 is CP-East Jackson
MP MH 78.4 is CP-Hill
MP MH 98.9 is CP-99
MP MH 124.4 is CP-Custer
MP MH 139.9 is CP-Comstock

As examples of how much slower the new speeds are: CP-Ipsi to CP-Lake formerly had passenger train speeds of from 60mph to 79mph, with
short segments at lower speeds, no lower than 40mph.

CP-Lake to CP-East Jackson had maximum passenger train speeds from 70mph to 79mph.

MH 78.6 to MH 94 had maximum passenger train speeds from 70mph to 79mph, except 1.8 miles at 65mph.

MH 124.4 to 139.9 had maximum passenger train speeds from 60mph to 70mph.

Remember Rex Roy, the Detroit News columnist who wrote that opinion piece, "Detroit to Chicago still best in a car?" On June 1, he'll see it getting
even better compared to Amtrak, by more than an hour in reality...even if the timetables don't get changed.

-GP



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/11 01:10 by GenePoon.



Date: 05/31/11 03:30
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: inCHI

This came up as an issue back in winter, when the Jackson-Ypsi portion was initially put down to 30 mph or 25 mph. I thought already at that point the rest basically went from 79 mph to 60 mph. Or, put another way, I thought these restrictions were already in effect. I last rode in Winter and they make for a painful ride to Detroit. I was about to buy a ticket for July... and probably still will. But this is insane. Go 90+ in one part only to go 30 elsewhere.



Date: 05/31/11 04:34
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: ts1457

GenePoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Riding Amtrak's Wolverines any time soon? Take a
> good book. You'll have time to read it.
>
> Due to track condition, speed limits are being
> reduced on the Norfolk Southern portion of the
> route east of Kalamazoo.
> Unless/until the Wolverine schedules are restrung,
> this should take the Wolverines' on-time
> performance to something around zero.

I can't find any news reports of Michigan slow speed rail. Isn't Michigan lined up to acquire the track and fix it with mostly Federal funds? Any hang-up's? Does anyone has a timeline for when everything should start happening?



Date: 05/31/11 05:13
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: joemvcnj

NS is doing to the Michigan Line what Conrail did to the Fort Wayne Line: pull off whatever they can, fill up the Water Level Route to beyond what can be handled, let the track in Michigan go, quietly allow the Water Level Route track to deteriorate (we all know the crossovers are rough and they have too many derailments), and act like victims.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/11 05:14 by joemvcnj.



Date: 05/31/11 05:23
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: ts1457

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> NS is doing to the Michigan Line what Conrail did
> to the Fort Wayne Line: pull off whatever they
> can, fill up the Water Level Route to beyond what
> can be handled, let the track in Michigan go,
> quietly allow the Water Level Route track to
> deteriorate (we all know the crossovers are rough
> and they have too many derailments), and act like
> victims.

I don't have any problem with NS running a BUSINESS that has to worry about profit and loss, but has Michigan come up with its share for acquiring the route and making the HSR upgrades?



Date: 05/31/11 05:26
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: MEKoch

I don't know about letting the Water Level Route "go", but NS has no incentive to keep the Michigan line up to 79 mph. Once freight railroads decide to basically downgrade a line to 25 mph or so, the costs of passenger train operation become the passenger operator's expense. In this case with Federal money on the way, NS will spend no money. A cold hard business decision by NS.



Date: 05/31/11 05:37
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: andersonb109

Until they do something about the Porter to Chicago section, speeds in Michigan won't make any difference. Last time I rode, I don't remmeber the track being all that bad.



Date: 05/31/11 05:41
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: ts1457

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Until they do something about the Porter to
> Chicago section, speeds in Michigan won't make any
> difference. Last time I rode, I don't remmeber the
> track being all that bad.

Chicago-Porter was funded in the first go around. I'd like to know how that project stands.



Date: 05/31/11 06:54
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: Lackawanna484

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> andersonb109 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Until they do something about the Porter to
> > Chicago section, speeds in Michigan won't make
> any
> > difference. Last time I rode, I don't remmeber
> the
> > track being all that bad.
>
> Chicago-Porter was funded in the first go around.
> I'd like to know how that project stands.


The Chicago-Porter project seems to be caught in a slow work through among competing political interests, Amtrak, NS, and several agencies, per release from the Michigan Association of Rail Passengers. It depends on the Englewood project, which is the subject of several points of view, slowly being worked through.

The Englewood project will be done first, and the Porter project "could follow later this year or next year" according to Joe Szabo. He's in an unusual situation as being the fed money dispenser and a former mayor of a town with irons in the fire, and a veteran Chicago politician.

I'm sure it will get done, what could possibly go wrong with a spigot of federal money, several competing plans, and many Chicago area politicians all in it up to their elbows?

The same people got the 1990s improvements of the Chicago - St Louis corridor upgraded, at huge expense, didn't they? <G>

http://www.marp.org/?p=2982



Date: 05/31/11 07:33
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: floridajoe2001

Yes, it's very hard to get anything done in America (especially in rail), but we have to keep plugging.

The NS is perfectly within their rights to do this, but it will hurt Detroit passenger trains severely (nobody wants slow trains). This is an opportunity for Joe Boardman to show leadership and ask Ray LaHood for additional funds to maintain the track to passenger speeds. This should be just a normal cost of doing passenger business whenever freight conditions change.

Of course, the second this would happen, the nay-sayers would scream "wasteful spending", or maybe "79mph track will burden our grand kids", and this makes it more difficult for Amtrak to overcome problems like this.

Maybe this time, they will ignore the nay-sayers and forge ahead and fund this track to 79mph (or higher) standards. What are our chances 50-50? The anti-spending crowd is pretty strong nowadays.

Joe



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/11 07:34 by floridajoe2001.



Date: 05/31/11 12:28
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: caprail

If you look at the attached fact sheet, you'll see that Chicago to Detroit is getting about $600 million total from the High Speed program - that should certainly take care of any slow orders. I don't know what the status is of purchasing the remaining NS trackage, though.

http://www.fra.dot.gov/rpd/downloads/HSIPR_Midwest_South_Region_Investments.pdf



Date: 06/01/11 05:27
Re: Speed reductions on Wolverines eff. 01JUN2011
Author: joemvcnj

What will the end product look like ? We have split ownership between NS and Amtrak, slow zones to various degree on NS portions, some portions going from NS to Amtrak, some going to high speed.



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