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Old Posted Jun 11, 2019, 3:26 PM
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Hatman Hatman is offline
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Amtrak runs one train in each direction - the Southwest Chief - over the railroad corridor. Virgin is going to want to run many trains a day between LA and LV. How can all those trains follow immediately behind the "one" Amtrak train?
It's the multiple passenger trains per day service that has prevented access to more passenger trains per day over this corridor. X-train, or whatever it will be called, are wanting to run one round trip per week - a Friday departure from LA and a Sunday return to LA. It's definitely far easier to talk UP or BNSF to add one round trip passenger train per week - it will be an entirely different manner talking about adding multiple round trips per day. I do not see that happening over a crowded freight rail corridor.
I agree it would be silly to have only one VTUSA train go into LA per day, following behind the Southwest Chief (which is often late anyway).

What I meant was that VTUSA would run many trains per day into LA using the same scheduled running speeds between stations as the Southwest Chief. Not all VTUSA trains would be able to continue to LA - at least not initially - but even if they could only manage to run trains past Victorville ever 2-3 hours it would still be far superior to not running any.

This is why I think it is critical to work with BNSF Railway instead of UP or Metrolink, because BNSF is the most like VTUSA in terms of pushing new technologies. BNSF was among the first Class I railroad to implement Positive Train Control, and they seem to be the most aggressive in pushing for the optimizations allowed by it. For example, in a full PTC scenario, a VTUSA would be able to follow more closely behind a 'hotshot' intermodal train than it could by relying on Block Signals alone - and by doing this would not add significantly to the overall traffic on the line.

A new third track between Los Angeles and Fullerton has recently added capacity that can be utilized.

BNSF also owns the line through Cajon pass, which will be a critical area to get priority in since freight trains slow down as they climb that grade. The line is currently tripple-tracked, so there is usually a passing track available, and PTC will allow more of that capacity to be used by passenger trains.

Also, I do not expect BNSF to do this out of charity. They are a business, just like VTUSA. I expect VTUSA will be able to pay BNSF a fair price for access to their tracks; heck, they could even have Victorville be a crew-change point where BNSF engine crews take over and drive the train the rest of the way into LA (BNSF operates Metra commuter trains in Chicago and Sounder commuter trains in Seattle when those trains run on BNSF rails). The point is that, so long as BNSF is earning just as much money by running/allowing these new passenger trains as they do from running freight trains, they will have all the incentives they need to make space for VTUSA.

Last edited by Hatman; Jun 11, 2019 at 3:43 PM. Reason: Adding links for sources
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