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  #1381  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2018, 7:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
It could run as a closed train between Buffalo and Detroit and then perhaps not require a customs check. At least in a sane world. That would also have the advantage of actually hitting Buffalo's main station.

Erie would be the main loser (but perhaps a corridor train between Cleveland and Buffalo could be added... not sure how much demand there is in that corridor.).

That’s what I was thinking of, but I’m also basing the reroute off of my Cascades experience a few years ago. Our border crossing took maybe 10 or 15 minutes in 2015. I figure that could probably be transplanted over to the MI/Canadian border, with Customs agents based at MCS and whatever town the train would be at on the other side, probably Buffalo.

Plus, the goal of rerouting the LSL was to connect the major cities of lower MI to the East Coast. There was a preliminary schedule put out a couple years ago for a planned reroute, calling in Dearborn, AA, Battle Creek (MI Line crew change point, no choice on that one), and Kalamazoo. The reroute had the train headed up the NS from Toledo but they couldn’t get to Detroit proper without logistical problems. My reroute plan allows for the same stations, PLUS Detroit proper.
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  #1382  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2018, 2:52 AM
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This is a link to a thread on railroad.net regarding turning the long-distance coaches into “slumber coaches” designed for overnight travel. It was started in 2016 but has recently gained a lot of interest with the upcoming equipment purchase. Sample diagrams included.

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewt...?f=46&t=163284
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  #1383  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 2:11 AM
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Originally Posted by NSC1109 View Post
That’s what I was thinking of, but I’m also basing the reroute off of my Cascades experience a few years ago. Our border crossing took maybe 10 or 15 minutes in 2015. I figure that could probably be transplanted over to the MI/Canadian border, with Customs agents based at MCS and whatever town the train would be at on the other side, probably Buffalo.

Plus, the goal of rerouting the LSL was to connect the major cities of lower MI to the East Coast. There was a preliminary schedule put out a couple years ago for a planned reroute, calling in Dearborn, AA, Battle Creek (MI Line crew change point, no choice on that one), and Kalamazoo. The reroute had the train headed up the NS from Toledo but they couldn’t get to Detroit proper without logistical problems. My reroute plan allows for the same stations, PLUS Detroit proper.
Seems like a waste to operate through Canada without stopping in a few major cities like Windsor, London, or Hamilton. The train won't get slots on CN/CP track without the strong support of VIA, and why should they support a train that makes no stops?

If you want to connect Michigan to the East Coast and connecting at Toledo (or Chicago) is too hard, why not partner with VIA to bring their Toronto-Windsor trains into Detroit? Apart from setting up customs and moving the Windsor station, the expense would be negligible, would not require additional slots on Canadian trackage and Detroiters could transfer to the Maple Leaf at Hamilton. Plus Detroit could essentially free-ride on Canada/Ontario's efforts to improve speed and reliability rather than relying on Amtrak's broken-dreams budgeting.
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Last edited by ardecila; Aug 10, 2018 at 2:25 AM.
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  #1384  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 4:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Seems like a waste to operate through Canada without stopping in a few major cities like Windsor, London, or Hamilton. The train won't get slots on CN/CP track without the strong support of VIA, and why should they support a train that makes no stops?

If you want to connect Michigan to the East Coast and connecting at Toledo (or Chicago) is too hard, why not partner with VIA to bring their Toronto-Windsor trains into Detroit? Apart from setting up customs and moving the Windsor station, the expense would be negligible, would not require additional slots on Canadian trackage and Detroiters could transfer to the Maple Leaf at Hamilton. Plus Detroit could essentially free-ride on Canada/Ontario's efforts to improve speed and reliability rather than relying on Amtrak's broken-dreams budgeting.
Don't count on VIA. VIA is dependent on Canadian federal government funding, which has been trending downward. There is presently a study underway but its focus is to speed up service between Toronto and Montreal via Ottawa. Nevertheless, the current Ontario government has claimed to support rail improvements between Hamilton and Niagara Falls. I never fully believe these grandiose ideas that always seem to be more political talk than action. Nevertheless, the GO Transit rail network centred on Toronto is slowly expanding. GO Rail service has expanded to Kitchener-Waterloo and will soon reach Stoney Creek, which is the first step beyond Hamiliton and towards Niagara Falls. The Ontario government is also working towards all day service on most of its GO rail lines, which will allow much more convenient connections within Ontario than VIA can offer.

Of course, there is a Detroit River rail tunnel that could connect Windsor to Detroit (as I am sure it did in the past) and there is a Canada-US agreement for customs pre-clearance for trains that already exists at a number of Canadian airports. I am sure there are many details still to be worked out to bring customs pre-clearance to a reality. The great delays for customs is the number one reason why cross-border rail service is not likely to be improved anytime soon.
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  #1385  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 7:43 PM
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  #1386  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2018, 6:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila
Seems like a waste to operate through Canada without stopping in a few major cities like Windsor, London, or Hamilton. The train won't get slots on CN/CP track without the strong support of VIA, and why should they support a train that makes no stops?

If you want to connect Michigan to the East Coast and connecting at Toledo (or Chicago) is too hard, why not partner with VIA to bring their Toronto-Windsor trains into Detroit? Apart from setting up customs and moving the Windsor station, the expense would be negligible, would not require additional slots on Canadian trackage and Detroiters could transfer to the Maple Leaf at Hamilton. Plus Detroit could essentially free-ride on Canada/Ontario's efforts to improve speed and reliability rather than relying on Amtrak's broken-dreams budgeting.
1). The Cascades operates between Vancouver and Bellingham, WA without making any stops for Burnaby, Surrey, and New Westminster. A rerouted LSL would provide a single seat trip to the East Coast without having to change from Amtrak to VIA and then back to Amtrak. At the same time, it's not just hard to connect in Toledo or anywhere else along that route; it's a bloody pain. Trains get in early in the morning or late at night. There's no corridor connection, meaning you have to drive. It's a crappy situation. There was a sample schedule put out in 2016 for a planned reroute via Dearborn along the Michigan Line and those station stop times were a lot better than the current times. Right now, 449 makes 6 stops between 12-7 AM. Those stops and their annual riderships as of 2017 are:

Bryan: 5,825
Sandusky: 10,009
Cleveland: 53,528
Elyria: 7,104
Toledo: 56,275
Total: 132,651

Replacement stops as outlined by the reroute timetable found here:
http://railroadfan.com/gallery/album...51/DADS122.jpg

Detroit: 62,168*
Dearborn: 72,656
Ann Arbor: 146,613
Jackson: 23,373
Battle Creek: 42,301
Kalamazoo: 115,231
Niles: 17,526
Hammond-Whiting (IN): 11,321
Total: 491,189

*Detroit isn't on the original reroute paperwork, as it would require a lengthy reverse move. However, since it would be included in a Canada reroute, I have incorporated those numbers here.

As you can see, the Michigan Line would have almost 3 times as many potential riders than the current routing. Factoring in the Indiana stops, which amount to another 66,924 passengers, you only get up to 199,575. That still puts the Michigan Line at almost 2.5x that of the current route. Factor in the Canadian running (in the neighborhood of 4.5 hours compared to the almost 6 hours on the current route) and it could give the LSL a major boost in service. However, the schedule would need to be altered in order to try and make the Canada portion occur overnight, that way you aren't having to drop off/pick up passengers who are already tired and you have available capacity on CN/CP.

The other issue is that if VIA were to extend to Detroit, equipment would have to carry PTC. As of 5/4/18, there has been no mandate for PTC installation in Canada. I doubt VIA would be willing to install the needed components on their equipment just for one cross-border stop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post

...Of course, there is a Detroit River rail tunnel that could connect Windsor to Detroit (as I am sure it did in the past) and there is a Canada-US agreement for customs pre-clearance for trains that already exists at a number of Canadian airports. I am sure there are many details still to be worked out to bring customs pre-clearance to a reality. The great delays for customs is the number one reason why cross-border rail service is not likely to be improved anytime soon.
The Detroit River tunnel is already used to connect CP to NS so that CP from eastern Canada has access to Chicago without having to travel around the lakes. I think there is also Customs preclearance on the Cascades service. I doubt it would be too difficult to transplant that to Detroit and Niagra Falls.
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  #1387  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2018, 12:51 AM
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The Montreal-New York does not have customs pre-clearance. I am not sure how it would work going north bound with numerous stops in New York state. It was about a one hour delay at the customs stop and someone ended up being kicked off the train by Canadian customs. It looked like they were taken to a detention centre in Canada rather than returned to US customs.
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  #1388  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2018, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
The Montreal-New York does not have customs pre-clearance. I am not sure how it would work going north bound with numerous stops in New York state. It was about a one hour delay at the customs stop and someone ended up being kicked off the train by Canadian customs. It looked like they were taken to a detention centre in Canada rather than returned to US customs.
The solution would seem rather simple: anyone who gets off before Canada wouldn’t need preclearance. You would just need a list of people actually going to Canada.

That is, if I’m understanding your post correctly.
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  #1389  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2018, 9:49 AM
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Isn't that in the process of being ironed out -- for like a decade, now?
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