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Amtrak in Houston


cspwal

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This morning came out with a proposed new route map by 2035 with the current proposed funding increase, and it seems to include "new services" in the Texas triangle

Amtrak-Connects-Us-Map.png

 

New service (presumably much more frequent) to San Antonio, and new service to Dallas via College Station. 

I wonder how they think they'll do that - using existing lines?  Will they pay UP or BNSF to upgrade them?  Will they keep the Amtrak shack or are they planning on consolidating with TCR?

 

I know one of the big bottlenecks in Houston for trains is a crossing downtown called tower 26 that is super busy; can they pump more trains through there without laying more track?

 

Just wanted to start a discussion about this I'm sure there's people who know more about the Houston train network]

 

Edited:

H8dFeic.jpg

from the fact sheet pdf http://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Amtrak-Connects-US-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Edited by cspwal
to fix broken image:
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I would guess that instead of just making the Sunset limited more frequent, it's a seperate train (maybe the Alamo Flyer or something) that would be daily (or more frequent) service.  And hopefully faster, though that would take a lot of track work I think

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2 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

The Dallas/College Station/Houston line IS the TCR.  Think they already announced that they would be integrating with Amtrak schedule system...or something.   

Looks like it's using existing UP line...

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22 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

The Dallas/College Station/Houston line IS the TCR.  

I don't think so.  At least the line they drew on their map does not look like the routing of the TCR.  As BeerNut said, it looks very much like the UP line.

Edited by Houston19514
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5 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

Y’all sure could be right. It’d be interesting for Amtrak to run a parallel service to TCR. They would be servicing a different market, I suppose. 

In a fantasy world it would be similar to Japan where you have more stops available on the slower train but that train would share a train station to have access to HSR.  Would make more sense if there was an actual HSR network.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Current Amtrak shack is located across the 45 overpass from PostHTX.

I’d like to see the Amtrak station moved to PostHTX, which would be a nicer location (compared to under a freeway overpass) and could still use the existing heavy rail tracks. Since the loading dock is being transformed into covered patio spaces, convert the loading dock area behind Post HTX into a European style train shed that can support Amtrak operations and connect directly to the food hall/shopping and collaborative areas of Post HTX, adding a new audience to help support Post HTX growth and success. This provides vendors at Post HTX with more sales opportunities in the form of train travelers and gives the city better gateway to welcome train travelers to and from Downtown. And if the city eventually uses the existing heavy rail tracks for commuter rail, this could be the station connection to downtown. Think Denver’s Union Station. 

Edited by tigereye
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  • 1 month later...

Amtrak sets sights on Texas Triangle, frequent Houston service

Quote

The national rail system’s new plan for expanding service, released Thursday, identifies potential routes to create or expand nationwide by 2035. The Texas Triangle, involving Houston, Dallas and San Antonio — and including Austin and Fort Worth — receives significant attention. Three daily round-trip trains are planned between Houston and Dallas, in addition to three between Houston and San Antonio.

 

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12 minutes ago, Texasota said:

It's a good start. 3 round trips per day is enough to be useful *if* they can keep the timing consistent and the speed decent (if not true high speed). That's a very big if though. 

I wish they also proposed more trains between Houston and New Orleans though. Why is everyone trying to get me to go to Dallas? I don't want to go to Dallas.

I feel ya on this one.  I used to go to New Orleans quite a bit for work and even took megabus a few times because it was so cheap.  Every time I looked at taking the train to New Orleans the travel time and on time performance made me nope out.   I can deal with it taking a little longer but several hours longer and not knowing when you would get there is unacceptable.  

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On 5/29/2021 at 7:53 AM, BeerNut said:

I can deal with it taking a little longer but several hours longer and not knowing when you would get there is unacceptable.  

you: hello, your website says between 8 and 10 hours of travel time, when should I plan on arriving in New Orleans?

Amtrak: yes

you: ???

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7 hours ago, samagon said:

you: hello, your website says between 8 and 10 hours of travel time, when should I plan on arriving in New Orleans?

Amtrak: yes

you: ???

If that's an overnight, sleeper train then I'm onboard (pun intended) with that.  Could be useful after spending the weekend on Bourbon street.

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^^Doing just that after July 4th weekend.  Chosen this option a couple times in the past.   It does take a little longer, but it is FAR better than trying to drive though a hangover.   Plus...it's beautiful scenery, a served meal, you can take the edge off with your own bottle of wine (or whatever)...and relax.    Works coming home...but, I always choose drive or fly from Houston to NOLA.  Doesn't make sense to arrive at 11pm, or later.   

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I suspect Amtrak is even going to try more NOLA service for now because of how congested the rails are in downtown, specifically the at grade crossing just east of where the Amtrak station is.  The trains stopped in the East End are often waiting for a green at that junction.  The San Antonio & Dallas trains wouldn't have to go through it, so they try to do more service

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1 hour ago, Naviguessor said:

^^Doing just that after July 4th weekend.  Chosen this option a couple times in the past.   It does take a little longer, but it is FAR better than trying to drive though a hangover.   Plus...it's beautiful scenery, a served meal, you can take the edge off with your own bottle of wine (or whatever)...and relax.    Works coming home...but, I always choose drive or fly from Houston to NOLA.  Doesn't make sense to arrive at 11pm, or later.   

What's a one way ticket from nola to here run?

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7 minutes ago, august948 said:

What's a one way ticket from nola to here run?

$35-$60 for a reserved seat and $300ish for a 2 person private room. 

Also, I am absolutely going to ride the whole Texas Triangle in one day if it is possible. Looks like it should take about 15 hourish?

Edited by wilcal
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13 minutes ago, wilcal said:

$35-$60 for a reserved seat and $300ish for a 2 person private room. 

Also, I am absolutely going to ride the whole Texas Triangle in one day if it is possible. Looks like it should take about 15 hourish?

Sounds like a good weekend trip

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Just now, cspwal said:

Sounds like a good weekend trip

Yeah, my own real hesitancy is the timing/delay thing and that we usually go with another couple and that based on the timing, you kind of "waste" a day. If I was going by myself I would totally consider it though.

The train there runs 12:10-9:40pm on Friday and the return train is 9am-618pm and doesn't run on Sunday, so you don't get home Monday night. My preference is to try to do a Friday morning early departure to eat a late lunch in NOLA and then come back Sunday after lunch. I actually just booked a trip for 2.5 weeks from now as there was a good price at the new Kimpton there.

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23 minutes ago, august948 said:

What's a one way ticket from nola to here run?

It's $46 for Seat on The Sunset Limited.  The seat is fine for napping or reading but, we generally spend most of the time in the Sightseer Lounge Car.  Sometimes the Park Service has volunteers onboard who ride onboard and point out points of interest enroute.  

Just now, Naviguessor said:

It's $46 for Seat on The Sunset Limited.  The seat is fine for napping or reading but, we generally spend most of the time in the Sightseer Lounge Car.  Sometimes the Park Service has volunteers onboard who ride onboard and point out points of interest enroute.  

Departs NOLA, Union Station at 9:00am and is scheduled to arrive Houston at 6:15pm*. 

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  • 9 months later...
21 hours ago, hindesky said:

At Oliver St crossing north track, I saw it on the south track heading west bound but here it is heading eastbound. I'm guessing the north track veers northward towards Chicago.

UBZOj92.jpg

 

It doesn't.  The track to Chicago diverges in San Antonio.  From Houston, you can only go east or west on Amtrak, unless you take an Amtrak bus to Longview and join the Chicago-bound train there.

https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/Maps/Amtrak-System-Map-1018.pdf

I've done the Sunset Limited between Houston and Los Angeles once, the Cascades a bunch of times (Seattle ↔︎ Vancouver), the Coast Starlight several times (Seattle ↔︎ Portland), the Empire Builder more times than I can remember (Chicago ↔︎ Milwaukee, Saint Paul, Seattle), and the Chicago ↔︎ Saint Louis run more times than I can remember (I remember it being called the Cardinal back then, but now it's just called "Illinois Service," and Cardinal is used for something that goes to New York).

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20 hours ago, editor said:

 

It doesn't.  The track to Chicago diverges in San Antonio.  From Houston, you can only go east or west on Amtrak, unless you take an Amtrak bus to Longview and join the Chicago-bound train there.

https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/Maps/Amtrak-System-Map-1018.pdf

I've done the Sunset Limited between Houston and Los Angeles once, the Cascades a bunch of times (Seattle ↔︎ Vancouver), the Coast Starlight several times (Seattle ↔︎ Portland), the Empire Builder more times than I can remember (Chicago ↔︎ Milwaukee, Saint Paul, Seattle), and the Chicago ↔︎ Saint Louis run more times than I can remember (I remember it being called the Cardinal back then, but now it's just called "Illinois Service," and Cardinal is used for something that goes to New York).

FWIW, Amtrak calls the Chicago - St Louis route “Lincoln Service”.  Illinois services are a category of services to downstate cities that includes the Lincoln Service, among others.  The Lincoln Service is a rebranding of the former Statehouse route.  Pretty sure it was never called the Cardinal.

The line from Chicago to Washington/NE has had the Cardinal name since 1977.

 

Edited by Houston19514
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  • 1 month later...

One thing that leaps to mind is emergence of Marfa as a hot travel destination, I even know several Houstonians who have vacation homes there. But it's a 9 hour drive, and flights to El Paso  or Midland-Odessa still mean 3 hours in the car to get there once you land, and between driving to Hobby and being in the airport before your flight on top of the flight time, I'm not sure how much time you really save over driving. I've always thought someone operating a Beech King Air between the Sugarland or West Houston airport and Marfa's municipal airport on Friday and Sunday afternoons would be pretty popular, though I'm not naive about the business prospects of such a venture (especially at current fuel costs).

Being able to hop on an Amtrak in downtown Houston and ride to Alpine, then take a 30 minute ride share to Marfa (or Fort Davis) would be great, problem is the current schedule sucks. You get on the Sunset Limited in Houston at 7:00 PM and don't get to Alpine til 10:30 the next morning. Seems nuts that it takes 15 and a half hours by train to go a distance you get get to by car in 9, and costs more than an airplane ticket. Sure, part of the problem is the UP line the Sunset takes isn't a (mostly, except for the insanity of lane changes in San Antonio) straight east west shot like I-10, after San Antonio it heads southwest to Del Rio and meanders along the Mexican border for a while. But it doesn't help that even before that, it takes over 5 hours for the train to get from Houston to San Antonio (a 3 hour car ride), and then you sit at the San Antonio station for almost 3 hours, and make two more stops after that before you get to Alpine. And sure, freight trains having priority on the lines and so Amtrak probably having to pull over onto sidings to let them pass plays a role. I wonder if AmTrak has ever looked into contracting with freight lines like UP and BNSF to add capacity, slap a couple of passengers cars onto a freight consist, especially on routes and second express schedules where it wouldn't make sense for AmTrak to dedicate a whole train. Passenger-freight mixed consists used to be more the rule than the exception in this country once upon a time. The pull cost to the freight line for another car or two would be nominal but they would get a little more revenue from Amtrak, it would save Amtrak a lot of money while opening more revenue to Amtrak. I guess the problem would be scheduling, freighters don't and can't run on schedules that are friendly to passengers and be optimized for freight, and freighters that would normally unload at the big railyard in El Paso, or even heading all the way to LA, having to stop, even briefly in a small town like Alpine they normally bypass, or Marfa they normally run through, would cause backups on the lines. And if there is anything this country doesn't need right now, it's another thing that would disrupt supply chains. So in the end I guess it is just a pipe dream.

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47 minutes ago, Reefmonkey said:

One thing that leaps to mind is emergence of Marfa as a hot travel destination, I even know several Houstonians who have vacation homes there. But it's a 9 hour drive, and flights to El Paso  or Midland-Odessa still mean 3 hours in the car to get there once you land, and between driving to Hobby and being in the airport before your flight on top of the flight time, I'm not sure how much time you really save over driving. I've always thought someone operating a Beech King Air between the Sugarland or West Houston airport and Marfa's municipal airport on Friday and Sunday afternoons would be pretty popular, though I'm not naive about the business prospects of such a venture (especially at current fuel costs).

Being able to hop on an Amtrak in downtown Houston and ride to Alpine, then take a 30 minute ride share to Marfa (or Fort Davis) would be great, problem is the current schedule sucks. You get on the Sunset Limited in Houston at 7:00 PM and don't get to Alpine til 10:30 the next morning. Seems nuts that it takes 15 and a half hours by train to go a distance you get get to by car in 9, and costs more than an airplane ticket. Sure, part of the problem is the UP line the Sunset takes isn't a (mostly, except for the insanity of lane changes in San Antonio) straight east west shot like I-10, after San Antonio it heads southwest to Del Rio and meanders along the Mexican border for a while. But it doesn't help that even before that, it takes over 5 hours for the train to get from Houston to San Antonio (a 3 hour car ride), and then you sit at the San Antonio station for almost 3 hours, and make two more stops after that before you get to Alpine. And sure, freight trains having priority on the lines and so Amtrak probably having to pull over onto sidings to let them pass plays a role. I wonder if AmTrak has ever looked into contracting with freight lines like UP and BNSF to add capacity, slap a couple of passengers cars onto a freight consist, especially on routes and second express schedules where it wouldn't make sense for AmTrak to dedicate a whole train. Passenger-freight mixed consists used to be more the rule than the exception in this country once upon a time. The pull cost to the freight line for another car or two would be nominal but they would get a little more revenue from Amtrak, it would save Amtrak a lot of money while opening more revenue to Amtrak. I guess the problem would be scheduling, freighters don't and can't run on schedules that are friendly to passengers and be optimized for freight, and freighters that would normally unload at the big railyard in El Paso, or even heading all the way to LA, having to stop, even briefly in a small town like Alpine they normally bypass, or Marfa they normally run through, would cause backups on the lines. And if there is anything this country doesn't need right now, it's another thing that would disrupt supply chains. So in the end I guess it is just a pipe dream.

I do this to Alpine alot. I like that this is overnight, but I do not enjoy the 4+ hour pause in San Antonio...

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11 minutes ago, Avossos said:

I do this to Alpine alot. I like that this is overnight, but I do not enjoy the 4+ hour pause in San Antonio...

I've thought about doing it myself at least once, as a leisurely train ride experience, not as an efficient way to get out to the Marfa-Alpine-Fort Davis area. I imagine the pause in San Antonio is done as much to let freight traffic by as anything else, but I guess it also gives you a few hours of daylight to view the scenery on the most picturesque part of the trip that you wouldn't otherwise get if they didn't pause and you were pulling into Alpine at 6 AM. What's the trip like, I mean experience in the train? Do you splurge for a sleeper compartment, or sleep sitting up? If sleeper, are the compartments clean and nice? Overall is the train clean and nice, or dingy and shopworn? Is there a dining car? If so, what kind of food do they have, and is it decent?

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The stop in San Antonio is to add cars from the Texas Eagle from Chicago to go to LA on the sunset limited. It’s a ridiculous waste of time and resources since the thru passengers have to get off the train 

Also there’s a 15 min scheduled stop for gas outside of San Antonio before the 5 hour layover 

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Wow, that's nuts, cspwal, both of those. The stop in San Antonio is like midnight to 2:45 on the schedule I've seen, so really, they wake up all the sleeping through passengers and make them get off? And then the gas stop just before that - a typical locomotive can hold about 4,000 gallons of diesel and gets 480 miles to the gallon, typically uses about 3 gallons a week, and you're telling me they can't wait to fuel it when they're turning it around in Los Angeles or Louisiana? 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, TrainTrak said:

480 ton-miles-per-gallon.  not the same as 480 mile per gallon.

at 150 tons, an Amtrak train should get about 3 miles per gallon.

My mistake, I should have known, even with a diesel-electric being extremely efficient and all that mass and Newton's 1st law once it gets going, 480 did seem awfully high to me. But still 3 miles a gallon with a 4,000 gallon capacity is 12,000 miles between refueling, and New Orleans to Los Angeles is only about 2,000 miles, or am I getting those figures wrong too?

Edited by Reefmonkey
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Food is good not great. I would not travel in this way other than the sleeper. Too much time to be sitting in one position and the dining car is only available for sleeper passengers.

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Diner car is available to everyone, though you have to pay if you’re in coach. And I typically am moving between cars constantly unless I’m sleeping, though I wouldn’t want to be on there too long. 
 

I haven’t ridden it between Houston and NOLA, so if there’s no fuel stops between Houston and NOLA filling in San Antonio makes sense, just not a separate stop from the station 

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3 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

My mistake, I should have known, even with a diesel-electric being extremely efficient and all that mass and Newton's 1st law once it gets going, 480 did seem awfully high to me. But still 3 miles a gallon with a 4,000 gallon capacity is 12,000 miles between refueling, and New Orleans to Los Angeles is only about 2,000 miles, or am I getting those figures wrong too?

The engine pictured above in the thread is a GE P42DC and has a 2,200 gallon tank.

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20 hours ago, cspwal said:

Diner car is available to everyone, though you have to pay if you’re in coach. And I typically am moving between cars constantly unless I’m sleeping, though I wouldn’t want to be on there too long. 
 

I haven’t ridden it between Houston and NOLA, so if there’s no fuel stops between Houston and NOLA filling in San Antonio makes sense, just not a separate stop from the station 

Well - we are both right…

diner cars were only available for sleeper train ticket holders during some parts of COVID. They may have changed it back now.

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21 hours ago, cspwal said:

Diner car is available to everyone, though you have to pay if you’re in coach. And I typically am moving between cars constantly unless I’m sleeping, though I wouldn’t want to be on there too long. 
 

I haven’t ridden it between Houston and NOLA, so if there’s no fuel stops between Houston and NOLA filling in San Antonio makes sense, just not a separate stop from the station 

Amtrak's stations are in convenient places for travelers, like downtown Houston, or over near the Alamodome in San Antonio. These are not good places to have the large fuel depots with high capacity tanks for rapid fueling of locomotives with 2-4,000 gallon fuel capacities. Those kinds of facilities are found in large railyards in industrial areas on the outskirts of town. But like I said, given that the fuel range of a train is at least a couple times the distance between the two termini of the Sunset line (Los Angeles and New Orleans), they shouldn't really need to make a fuel stop en route, it would seem to me that it would make more sense to refuel the locomotives during turnaround at the termini. If somehow I'm really off on their range, the other option would be to switch to refueled locomotives while they are sitting in San Antonio. It doesn't take that long, and they have plenty of time from the sound of it.

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They do have fueling facilities at other stations.  The Texas Eagle gets fuel in St Louis and Fort Worth iirc, both at the station during a 30 minute stop.  I'm sure that it took some investment, but for 3 times a week train you really just need a pump and a tanker truck.  It's not like they're turning around 12 an hour or something

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/25/2022 at 2:06 PM, Avossos said:

Food is good not great. I would not travel in this way other than the sleeper. Too much time to be sitting in one position and the dining car is only available for sleeper passengers.

I almost like the food on Amtrak.  The steak I had on the Sunset Limited last week was quite good.  And the hamburger was excellent.

If you're a frequent Amtrak rider, you've probably noticed that the quality has slipped since COVID.  A lot of that seems to be down to inexperienced staff.  Also, the real plates and napkins have been replaced with disposable.  Hopefully that's temporary.

Is it fine dining?  No.  But you're on a train.  It's about on par with Applebee's or most other chain restaurants.

On 5/26/2022 at 12:00 PM, Avossos said:

Well - we are both right…

diner cars were only available for sleeper train ticket holders during some parts of COVID. They may have changed it back now.

As of last week, it was still no coach passengers in the dining car. 

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Amtrak's biggest problem has always been, and continues to be, being a guest on freight tracks.  And it's become worse since the supply chain crisis started.  For three reasons:

  1. Because of the increased demand, freight companies are running longer trains.  The longer freight trains often have to travel at slower speeds, depending on track conditions and the route.
  2. While there are plenty of cars to add to the end of a freight train, there are only so many engines to go around.  So the trains run slower because of that, as well.
  3. In an ideal world, the slow freight trains pull over to a siding to let the faster passenger trains pass.  But now the freight trains are often longer than the sidings, so they can't pull over.

The train I was on most recently had a selection of train-oriented magazines available for the passengers to read.  One that I picked up focused on the northeast, but had a section about Amtrak with information from across the nation.  It was very informative.

Riding Amtrak between Houston and New Orleans has three pain points:

  1. The bridge over the Neches River is packed with traffic.
  2. The Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi into New Orleans is packed with traffic.
  3. There are a couple of places between Lafayette and New Orleans where the train actually has to stop so the conductor can get out and manually throw a switch.  I don't know what the story is with this.  It isn't always the same place, so it doesn't appear to be a problem with an individual switch.  Maybe the freight company that runs the track didn't put the switch back into the right position, or the system that's supposed to do that automatically isn't responding. 
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On 5/25/2022 at 1:55 PM, Reefmonkey said:

My mistake, I should have known, even with a diesel-electric being extremely efficient and all that mass and Newton's 1st law once it gets going, 480 did seem awfully high to me. But still 3 miles a gallon with a 4,000 gallon capacity is 12,000 miles between refueling, and New Orleans to Los Angeles is only about 2,000 miles, or am I getting those figures wrong too?

I don't think trains get 3 miles per gallon. The numbers are hard to quantify, but it's probably less than one mile per gallon, and is dependent as well on how much power the train is using for heat, lights, etc.

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1 hour ago, Ross said:

I don't think trains get 3 miles per gallon. The numbers are hard to quantify, but it's probably less than one mile per gallon, and is dependent as well on how much power the train is using for heat, lights, etc.

MPG for trains is a pretty useless number and not often used.  A locomotive running down the tracks by itself will obviously get a lot higher mpg than one pulling a fully-loaded train.  FWIW, I think a fully-loaded train will get something on the order of 0.1 mpg.  The useful number that is used by railroads is ton-miles per gallon.

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On 6/11/2022 at 7:26 AM, editor said:

Amtrak's biggest problem has always been, and continues to be, being a guest on freight tracks.  And it's become worse since the supply chain crisis started.  For three reasons:

  1. Because of the increased demand, freight companies are running longer trains.  The longer freight trains often have to travel at slower speeds, depending on track conditions and the route.
  2. While there are plenty of cars to add to the end of a freight train, there are only so many engines to go around.  So the trains run slower because of that, as well.
  3. In an ideal world, the slow freight trains pull over to a siding to let the faster passenger trains pass.  But now the freight trains are often longer than the sidings, so they can't pull over.

The train I was on most recently had a selection of train-oriented magazines available for the passengers to read.  One that I picked up focused on the northeast, but had a section about Amtrak with information from across the nation.  It was very informative.

Riding Amtrak between Houston and New Orleans has three pain points:

  1. The bridge over the Neches River is packed with traffic.
  2. The Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi into New Orleans is packed with traffic.
  3. There are a couple of places between Lafayette and New Orleans where the train actually has to stop so the conductor can get out and manually throw a switch.  I don't know what the story is with this.  It isn't always the same place, so it doesn't appear to be a problem with an individual switch.  Maybe the freight company that runs the track didn't put the switch back into the right position, or the system that's supposed to do that automatically isn't responding. 

In the days when rail companies ran their own passenger services, passenger trains we're routinely given highest priority and freight trains pulled into sidings to let them through.  These days with Amtrak I don't know if that is always the case.

As for the turnouts, the turnout switch is typically manual except in certain cases.  On a freight line, it's normal for the train to stop so a conductor can get off and set the switches for the activity at hand. 

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21 hours ago, august948 said:

In the days when rail companies ran their own passenger services, passenger trains we're routinely given highest priority and freight trains pulled into sidings to let them through.  These days with Amtrak I don't know if that is always the case.

It was the case until recently.  The freight railroads get fined if the passenger trains are late.  I forget exactly what the metric is, but 80% if a figure stuck in my mind.

The problem is that there's so much demand that the freight companies can make money by just paying the fine now.  There isn't a financial incentive to care.  Just like how FedEx and UPS work parking tickets for their trucks into their accounting as just another cost of doing business.

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On 6/11/2022 at 10:14 AM, Houston19514 said:

MPG for trains is a pretty useless number and not often used.  A locomotive running down the tracks by itself will obviously get a lot higher mpg than one pulling a fully-loaded train.  FWIW, I think a fully-loaded train will get something on the order of 0.1 mpg.  The useful number that is used by railroads is ton-miles per gallon.

Here's some numbers:

  • Moving 1,770,545,245,000 ton-miles of freight
  • Consuming 4,062,025,082 gallons of diesel fuel (including freight trains and trains in switching yards, but excluding passenger trains)

The average works out to be 435.88 ton-miles per gallon of fuel.

Source: https://www.factcheck.org/2008/07/fuel-efficient-freight-trains/

 

I've read that the only shipping method that uses less fuel than trains is ships.  But while both use far less fuel, they don't have the same environmental standards as trucks.  Ships are notoriously dirty.

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  • 3 months later...

https://www.chron.com/news/local/article/texas-trains-to-San-Antonio-17500197.php

"Fans of rail transportation rejoice, or at least enjoy some reserved optimism. The Texas Department of Transportation made an official request last week to the Federal Railroad Administration for funding to expand service for travelers between the state's largest cities and beyond."

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If Amtrack is serious about expanding in Texas then they are going to have to updgrade their tracks and find a way to increase speeds of their trains. As of now a car trip is around the same as the train trip to San Antonio or Dallas if Amtrack adds the route. They must find a way to make the trip by train fater then car or Texans will continue to choose car over train to San Antonio and Dallas.

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