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Date: 06/15/19 14:22
First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: PC1974




Date: 06/15/19 16:14
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: justalurker66

PA has a couple of years to fix the problem. If people in the state care about passenger rail they will get it done.

As for Indiana ... only 14 more Hoosier State trips to go.



Date: 06/15/19 16:20
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: ProAmtrak

Yeah but if it heats up, watch Railcity chime in hitting the panic button like crazy like he did like 5 years ago now?



Date: 06/15/19 16:23
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: ts1457

No worry! Three years is an eternity.



Date: 06/15/19 22:18
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: jp1822

PA could use more money for passenger rail, not less, just saying. It's going to pan out and be fixed to current levels eventually, but the path to get there is going to be hard I am afraid. 

- PA needs to fund a second train west of Harrisburg. That's the biggest priority. 
- Funding needs to be finally coordinated between NJ and PA regarding corridor service to Stroudsburg/Scranton or Lackawaxen/Honesdale/Scranton.  
- PA really needs a north-south train - or multiple ones.  
- Wishful thinking: SEPTA should be running to the Lehigh Valley from Philly - running further north to Wilkes-Barre and Scranton would be ideal but that would likely involve Amtrak north of the Lehigh Valley. 
- Wishful thinking: SEPTA should be running a train to Reading/Pottsville from Philly.
- Amtrak likely needs to be funded to do either a Harrisburg to Williamsport or further north (the Buffalo Day Express?) train or something north from Pittsburgh.  



Date: 06/16/19 05:46
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: Lackawanna484

Pennsylvania has long been a user of local solutions. So, the suburban counties don't want to fund Septa local
buses.


No different than NYC city subways ending at the Nassau or Westchester county lines.

Posted from Android



Date: 06/16/19 07:03
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: abyler

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> - PA needs to fund a second train west of
> Harrisburg. That's the biggest priority. 

We need a minimum of four trains per day from Pittsburgh to Philly, just like Buffalo to Albany, not one or two.

> - Funding needs to be finally coordinated between
> NJ and PA regarding corridor service to
> Stroudsburg/Scranton or
> Lackawaxen/Honesdale/Scranton.  

That's a nice thought, but have you looked at the projected ridership vs. costs?

There is also the political issue that Scranton will not get rail service unles something is done for Reading, York, Lehigh Valley, Erie, and State College.  That's the reality of voting power in the legislature.

> - PA really needs a north-south train - or
> multiple ones.  

On what route?  There are no decent routes north-south. If it were fixed up, Philly-Quakertown-Easton-Portland-Stroudsburg-Scranton would probably take 4 hours or so when it can be driven in 2.  Same problem Erie to Pittsburgh.

> - Wishful thinking: SEPTA should be running to the
> Lehigh Valley from Philly - running further north

There is no decent route to Allentown from Philadelphia.  Getting to Center Valley from Philadelphia would suffice for the commuter market.

> to Wilkes-Barre and Scranton would be ideal but
> that would likely involve Amtrak north of the
> Lehigh Valley. 

There is no decent route to Wilkes-Barre from the Lehigh Valley.

> - Wishful thinking: SEPTA should be running a
> train to Reading/Pottsville from Philly.
> - Amtrak likely needs to be funded to do either a
> Harrisburg to Williamsport or further north (the

Is there actually a market for a train from basically nowhere to nowhere?

> Buffalo Day Express?) train or something north
> from Pittsburgh.  

Buffalo to Washington is one of those markets that disappeared back in the 60's wtih the coming of the Rust Belt.  NY, NJ and PA no longer have 25% of the population of the US.  This is the biggest problem of passenger advocates.  They are lost in the 1966 or 1952 Official Guide when it comes to looking at what routes should be oeprated, instead of looking at the travel patterns of today and tomorrow.



Date: 06/16/19 08:36
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: Duna

abyler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

 This is the biggest
> problem of passenger advocates.  They are lost in
> the 1966 or 1952 Official Guide when it comes to
> looking at what routes should be oeprated, instead
> of looking at the travel patterns of today and
> tomorrow.



That's the nature of advocacy vs. objective analysis.

In short: "train!"



Date: 06/16/19 08:48
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: joemvcnj

I don't equate Albany - Buffalo with Harrisburg - Pittsburgh. The latter is too slow and less populated. They can probably justify 2 trains per day to PGH, though one needs to have thru cars to Chicago on the rear of the Capitol Ltd. No additional train miles required . The PIP said that would break-even financially and improve the Capito Ltd's various ratios.

Amtrak has never had 2 Pittsburgh-only trains, except for a brief period when the Three Rivers terminated at Pittsburgh after they killed the Broadway, where they saw the need to run thru coaches. Now they have killed the entire market west of Harrisburg 

Above 2 trains, it needs to run to at least Ohio to gather enough markets and city pair permutations to overcome the lack of speed.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/19 09:54 by joemvcnj.



Date: 06/16/19 08:52
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: Lackawanna484

BrightLine will or may link a rapidly growing metro area with an already large and very congested south Florida sprawl.

Posted from Android



Date: 06/16/19 10:32
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: jp1822

The BEST that PA will ever get is possibly another frequency west of Pittsburgh and funding for the Keystone trains. All else, as I had mentioned in my post - WISHFUL thinking. 

The Lehigh Valley of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton has professed it wants rail service RESTORED, but the NIMBY’s will NEVER allow it - from Philly to the south or NJ to the east. I am VERY familiar with this market there (vacation destination, colleges galore, commuter trafffic, etc,) and worked on studies for it. The last option considered entry from NJ on Norfolk Southern, but that’s DOA. The best bet would have been to preserve the Quakertown to Bethlehem line so the private railroads would not have to be dealt with - or minimized. The route that could have been used from the Philly is still preserved as a ROW from Quakertown to Bethlehem, but I can NOT ever see restoration. And that’s too bad, considering the college market it could tap into, let alone the commuter market and day travel. In passing through Philly 30th Street Station, I have heard numerous requests at the ticket counter - how do I get a train to the Lehigh Valley. Well, it left the station over 30 years ago. 

Restoration of SEPTA to Reading has been on the table for years. As I posted - wishful thinking. This corridor is growing by leaps and bounds, even at the intermediate point of King of Prussia. SEPTA even had a proposal to electrify the route. 

I am so tired of hearing about the NYC to Scranton corridor. What I really meant - fund it or drop it. Come to a decision. I’d use another expression, but trying to keep it G Rated. The project has lost steam with a  LOT of sunk costs. It’s a commuter route at best, with NJT spending a small fortune to buy the Lackawanna Cutoff from Port Morris to the Delaware River. THey restored a small portion of the route, but they’ll have to do more work on it in the future cause that work has now languished. Then comes a plan to extend the NJ Transit/Metro North trains from Port Jarvis to Scranton via Lackawaxen, Hawley, Honesdale. Enough! Costs are huge, but the ridership is positive. 

This  was VERY much on my mind when I posted. Hence why I had listed options that covered these points - and noted as wishful thinking:

“There is also the political issue that Scranton will not get rail service unles something is done for Reading, York, Lehigh Valley, Erie, and State College.  That's the reality of voting power in the legislature.”

The routes I had suggested covered “wishful thinking” service to these areas, as you won’t get one approved without the other. State College would need a shuttle service to/from the Pennsylvanian, I mentioned the Buffalo Day Express not only to relieve traffic between Baltimore to Harrisburg, via a route that would hopefully serve, or skirt, York. In addition to towns/cities north of Harrisburg that are expanding, a train operating north of Harrisburg would also tap into a college market with millenials to draw from for patronage, let alone allow those in north-mid state (from the Interstate 80 corridor) to get to a mid-point to access train service. PennDOT also had approved a study for rail passenger service north/south of Harrisburg within the last three years - perhaps to appease those members representing said region in the legislature. Not sure how far north of Harrisburg train service could potentially run and still pickup descent ridership. Perhaps just to Williamsport. 

Any north-south route in PA will also tap into a college market, equaling millenials, which is a group Amtrak is trying to attract. Was thinking more of those lines than the “Official Guide” - have only seen a cover of one, never the inside contents. That’s largely before my time. 

Again, because of the political climate in PA and limited funding, best you’ll ever get - a second frequency west of Harrisburg and continued funding of the Keystone Corridor. 


abyler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jp1822 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > - PA needs to fund a second train west of
> > Harrisburg. That's the biggest priority. 
>
> We need a minimum of four trains per day from
> Pittsburgh to Philly, just like Buffalo to Albany,
> not one or two.
>
> > - Funding needs to be finally coordinated
> between
> > NJ and PA regarding corridor service to
> > Stroudsburg/Scranton or
> > Lackawaxen/Honesdale/Scranton.  
>
> That's a nice thought, but have you looked at the
> projected ridership vs. costs?
>
> There is also the political issue that Scranton
> will not get rail service unles something is done
> for Reading, York, Lehigh Valley, Erie, and State
> College.  That's the reality of voting power in
> the legislature.
>
> > - PA really needs a north-south train - or
> > multiple ones.  
>
> On what route?  There are no decent routes
> north-south. If it were fixed up,
> Philly-Quakertown-Easton-Portland-Stroudsburg-Scra
> nton would probably take 4 hours or so when it can
> be driven in 2.  Same problem Erie to
> Pittsburgh.
>
> > - Wishful thinking: SEPTA should be running to
> the
> > Lehigh Valley from Philly - running further
> north
>
> There is no decent route to Allentown from
> Philadelphia.  Getting to Center Valley from
> Philadelphia would suffice for the commuter
> market.
>
> > to Wilkes-Barre and Scranton would be ideal but
> > that would likely involve Amtrak north of the
> > Lehigh Valley. 
>
> There is no decent route to Wilkes-Barre from the
> Lehigh Valley.
>
> > - Wishful thinking: SEPTA should be running a
> > train to Reading/Pottsville from Philly.
> > - Amtrak likely needs to be funded to do either
> a
> > Harrisburg to Williamsport or further north
> (the
>
> Is there actually a market for a train from
> basically nowhere to nowhere?
>
> > Buffalo Day Express?) train or something north
> > from Pittsburgh.  
>
> Buffalo to Washington is one of those markets that
> disappeared back in the 60's wtih the coming of
> the Rust Belt.  NY, NJ and PA no longer have 25%
> of the population of the US.  This is the biggest
> problem of passenger advocates.  They are lost in
> the 1966 or 1952 Official Guide when it comes to
> looking at what routes should be oeprated, instead
> of looking at the travel patterns of today and
> tomorrow.



Date: 06/16/19 11:48
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: Lackawanna484

Pennsylvania congressman Joe McDade was a.long time champ of the NY to Scranton run.

With Dean Gallo and Rod Frelinghuysen, he could open money spigots.


That's all gone, now.

Posted from Android



Date: 06/16/19 16:01
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: abyler

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't equate Albany - Buffalo with Harrisburg -
> Pittsburgh. The latter is too slow and less
> populated. They can probably justify 2 trains per

????

Buffalo-Albany - 294 miles, 5 hours 10 minutes.
Pittsburgh-Harrisburg - 249 miles, 5 hours 20 minutes

Pittsburgh - 2.6 million
Johsntown + Altoona + State College - 0.57 million

Buffalo + Rochester - 2.3 million
Syracuse + Utica - 0.96 million

> day to PGH, though one needs to have thru cars to
> Chicago on the rear of the Capitol Ltd. No

Why?  Literally the best ridership under Amtrak on this line was in the mid-1990's when they ran two day trains to Pittsburgh and stopped pricing off local traffic in favor of through traffic.

> additional train miles required . The PIP said
> that would break-even financially and improve the
> Capito Ltd's various ratios.

The PIP didn't bother to study any sort of multi-frequency operation on this line.

> Amtrak has never had 2 Pittsburgh-only trains,
> except for a brief period when the Three Rivers
> terminated at Pittsburgh after they killed the
> Broadway, where they saw the need to run thru
> coaches. Now they have killed the entire market
> west of Harrisburg 

There was no need for through coaches.  They did that because they were running M&E through.

Actually, the Pennsylvania basically selss out every day west of Pittsburgh.  Its hardly killed off.

> Above 2 trains, it needs to run to at least Ohio
> to gather enough markets and city pair
> permutations to overcome the lack of speed.

Still not clear how you see a lack of markets and speed here.



Date: 06/16/19 19:05
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: joemvcnj

By equate, I meant population density.

There was plenty of need for through coaches. Transfers at midnight and 5am are major inhibitors of thru traffic. The mail cars were switched separate from the 2 coaches. It added to station work. When it became a thru train to Chicago, ridership dropped because Water Level Route cities were bypassed to Chicago.

The PIP was concerned with the poor performance of the Capitol Ltd. It was the weaker half of the combined Bway Ltd.

State College is not on the route. Population of Syracuse and Rochester far exceeds Altoona and Johnstown. Amtrak west of Harrisburg is very slow. Water Level Route is fairly straight, flat, and at 79 MPH.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/19 19:12 by joemvcnj.



Date: 06/17/19 06:06
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: Lackawanna484

I wonder if some of the problem is that people don't always travel from city center to city center. People who travel from Monroeville PA (east of Pittsburgh) to the Valley Forge or Conshohocken area, for example.  Both are growing suburban office and research facilities.  The train would be redundant, and require doubling back.



Date: 06/17/19 09:53
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: joemvcnj

Major flaw of western PA service is lack of dedicated feeder buses. There should be Monroeville-Greensburg, State College-Tyrone, and Harrisburg-Williamsport. If they did that, they could justify 2 frequencies. Expecting people to double-back, make their own Trailways connections, or call Uber doesn't work. 

California did not give birth to or expand service on the Surfliners, San Joaquins, or Capitol Corridors simply by running more trains and expecting everyone to make their way to the stations on their own. 



Date: 06/17/19 12:33
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: abyler

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wonder if some of the problem is that people
> don't always travel from city center to city
> center. People who travel from Monroeville PA
> (east of Pittsburgh) to the Valley Forge or
> Conshohocken area, for example.  Both are growing
> suburban office and research facilities.  The
> train would be redundant, and require doubling
> back.

This is more of a flaw on the Pittsburgh end than the Philadelphia end.  The Philadelphia end has convenient suburban stops at Exton, Paoli, and Ardmore from which it is easy to reach the places mentioned.  The Pittsburgh end needs to restore the traditional suburban stop near the Wilmerding area.  I feel the trains should also run through to Sewickley, Beaver Falls, and New Castle just like Empire trains run to Niagara Falls.



Date: 06/17/19 12:47
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: abyler

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> By equate, I meant population density.

The population density is similar since the population is similar.

> There was plenty of need for through coaches.

Not to carry in-state traffic.  There is much, much more demand for in-state service than there is for through service to Chicago.

> Transfers at midnight and 5am are major inhibitors
> of thru traffic. The mail cars were switched
> separate from the 2 coaches. It added to station

I don't think there were any through coaches on the original Three Rivers, it was all local traffic.

http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19951029n&item=0018

> work. When it became a thru train to Chicago,
> ridership dropped because Water Level Route cities
> were bypassed to Chicago.

Not sure what you are referring to here.

> The PIP was concerned with the poor performance of
> the Capitol Ltd. It was the weaker half of the
> combined Bway Ltd.

The State and state residents don't particularly care about that.  We are much more interested in having more cross-state service.

> State College is not on the route. Population of

It's a 20 minute drive to the train, about as long as the drive from the outer suburbs of Buffalo or Rochester to their stations.

> Syracuse and Rochester far exceeds Altoona and
> Johnstown. Amtrak west of Harrisburg is very slow.

Yes, and the population of Pittsburgh is more than double the population of Buffalo, and Harrisburg-York-Lancaster is 50% more population than Albany and the route serves both Philadelphia, Newark, and New York areas at the east end, not just New York.

> Water Level Route is fairly straight, flat, and at
> 79 MPH.

The PRR route has curves and a grade from Altoona to Johnstown but is mostly 70-79 mph.  Check the employee timetable.



Date: 06/17/19 12:53
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: abyler

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Major flaw of western PA service is lack of
> dedicated feeder buses. There should be
> Monroeville-Greensburg, State College-Tyrone, and
> Harrisburg-Williamsport. If they did that, they
> could justify 2 frequencies. Expecting people to

Richmond VA somehow justifies 9 trains a day each way to/from DC without these feder buses.  Hampton Roads has 3 trains all by itself.  

> double-back, make their own Trailways connections,
> or call Uber doesn't work. 

How does the Empire Service manage to exist without feeder buses other than the Jamestown bus?

> California did not give birth to or expand service
> on the Surfliners, San Joaquins, or Capitol
> Corridors simply by running more trains and
> expecting everyone to make their way to the
> stations on their own. 

Oh really?

http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19791001&item=0050

http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19791001&item=0048
 



Date: 06/17/19 13:02
Re: First Indiana, Pennsylvania Next?
Author: Lackawanna484

abyler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I wonder if some of the problem is that people
> > don't always travel from city center to city
> > center. People who travel from Monroeville PA
> > (east of Pittsburgh) to the Valley Forge or
> > Conshohocken area, for example.  Both are
> growing
> > suburban office and research facilities.  The
> > train would be redundant, and require doubling
> > back.
>
> This is more of a flaw on the Pittsburgh end than
> the Philadelphia end.  The Philadelphia end has
> convenient suburban stops at Exton, Paoli, and
> Ardmore from which it is easy to reach the places
> mentioned.  The Pittsburgh end needs to restore
> the traditional suburban stop near the Wilmerding
> area.  I feel the trains should also run through
> to Sewickley, Beaver Falls, and New Castle just
> like Empire trains run to Niagara Falls.

I understand that, but the situation on the ground doesn't support the argument. No sane person will do this.

Driving from Monroeville to Pittsburgh or Latrobe adds time to a scheduled seven hour trip between Pittsburgh and Paoli (my suggestion for Valley Forge).  At Paoli, you still need an Uber etc for the last leg.  Compared to a four hours or less auto trip.



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