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(Chicago Trib)   Illinois Amtrak train sets a record by going over 110 mph. Officials concede that Amtrak trains have been clocked at higher speeds, but this one was different because it actually stayed on the tracks   (articles.chicagotribune.com) divider line 39
    More: Spiffy, Illinois Amtrak, Amtrak, Illinois, Union Pacific, Illinois Department of Transportation, Policy Center, environmental legislation, safe zone  
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918 clicks; posted to Business » on 25 Oct 2012 at 3:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-25 11:16:18 AM
Scotty, bring it up to .5 EURRAILS.
 
She can't handle it Cap'n. 
 
2012-10-25 11:49:22 AM
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-10-25 12:09:19 PM
Wooo, they made it to Japan in 1960. Now we just need to go 9mph faster to make it to Japan in 1964.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinkansen

Yes, I know Acela sometimes goes faster. It's the sometimes that is the problem.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acela_Express

Here are the speeds of the other countries. Actually, that's kinda bad, says a few countries have been trying to work on faster speeds since the 1930's. So it can be done.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail
 
2012-10-25 03:05:59 PM
And it was still 45 minutes late.
 
2012-10-25 03:14:55 PM
The GOP governors of Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida returned to Washington millions of dollars that their states were awarded for high-speed rail. The governors cited expected cost over-runs and a perceived lack of ridership as their reasons against investing in fast trains. Quinn and other governors quickly scooped up the extra funds.

Morons.

Increased internal travel via trains needs to happen. It's pretty easy to take a train engine and convert it over to hydrogen or electricity as the power source (install hydrogen cells, run an energized line overhead) since the train engine already uses electricity to drive the wheels. Meanwhile installing regenerative braking on say a 747 doesn't get you much. Basically you can build the rail lines, run the current engines on it (the GE Genesis can take bio diesel currently). Then as we figure out where we're going next the engines can be replaced.

Eventually hopefully they'll go back and make all those crossings overpasses or underpasses. That is the real issue in terms of top speed currently.

/the train starts braking a mile before it reaches an obstructed crossing, however since it was doing 110 mph I bet it doesn't stop before it reaches that crossing
//the main reason rail travel sucks is the freight lines own the rails and Amtrak suffers as a result
///Chicago to Saint Louis is 298 miles, so if you did a direct one is sub 3 hours, if you toss in half hour stops at Spingfield and Bloomington you're at ~4 hours for the trip.
 
2012-10-25 03:22:40 PM
what sucks about train travel is i'm in south carolina and if i want to go almost anywhere i have to go through washington dc. its usually twice as long and twice as much as the bus. to get to florida or the west coast i have to first go to dc. only if i go to the gulf coast like through atlanta to new orleans is amtrak anything less then a joke.
 
2012-10-25 03:29:48 PM
Dagny Taggart would be proud.
 
2012-10-25 03:54:38 PM

ha-ha-guy: Increased internal travel via trains needs to happen. It's pretty easy to take a train engine and convert it over to hydrogen or electricity as the power source (install hydrogen cells, run an energized line overhead) since the train engine already uses electricity to drive the wheels. Meanwhile installing regenerative braking on say a 747 doesn't get you much. Basically you can build the rail lines, run the current engines on it (the GE Genesis can take bio diesel currently). Then as we figure out where we're going next the engines can be replaced.


Agreed. Once the tracks are in place, converting a passenger train to an alternative fuel source is so much simpler than converting the cars on the roads to an alternative fuel source. If you only have to build one hydrogen fueling station in St. Louis and one in Chicago, compared to hydrogen stations on every exit up and down I-55, it's a lot easier to make the switch.

ha-ha-guy: Eventually hopefully they'll go back and make all those crossings overpasses or underpasses. That is the real issue in terms of top speed currently.


That would be nice, but not really practical in places like table-flat Illinois. Plus, ballpark cost per overpass is $30-50M each, so if you're talking a significant number, you're going to double the budget of the project at least. Gates will work for now - let Darwin handle the idiots. And a passenger train of what, about 10 cars or so moving at over 100 MPH? How long is that actually going to take to clear a crossing?

ha-ha-guy: //the main reason rail travel sucks is the freight lines own the rails and Amtrak suffers as a result
///Chicago to Saint Louis is 298 miles, so if you did a direct one is sub 3 hours, if you toss in half hour stops at Spingfield and Bloomington you're at ~4 hours for the trip.


If you RTFA, you'll notice that they're building a separate line through the Union Pacific corridor from Chicago to St. Louis. It was on the second page, though, so you might've missed it:

FTFA: The total cost to complete the Illinois work between Chicago and St. Louis, including constructing a second set of tracks to separate freight and passenger trains, is projected at about $4 billion, and most of those funds have not been identified.
 
2012-10-25 03:56:24 PM
a record speed in Illinois during modern times

That's just sad
 
2012-10-25 04:03:46 PM
IS THIS A HOLDUP? IT'S A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT!
 
2012-10-25 04:18:51 PM

lucksi: a record speed in Illinois during modern times

That's just sad


No, not really: at one point trains could go really fast in Illinois because it was an empty flat wasteland... oh...

Never mind.
 
2012-10-25 04:33:52 PM

ha-ha-guy: //the main reason rail travel sucks is the freight lines own the rails and Amtrak suffers as a result


You say that like it is a bad thing. The use of rail for freight is much more efficient than using them for people. Compared to Europe a higher percentage of freight in the US travels by train, rather than long haul trucking.
 
2012-10-25 04:35:46 PM

phyrkrakr: If you RTFA, you'll notice that they're building a separate line through the Union Pacific corridor from Chicago to St. Louis. It was on the second page, though, so you might've missed it:

FTFA: The total cost to complete the Illinois work between Chicago and St. Louis, including constructing a second set of tracks to separate freight and passenger trains, is projected at about $4 billion, and most of those funds have not been identified.


It was more of just a general comment about why rail travel in America currently sucks. I can drive the Detroit to Chicago route quicker than I can do it via train currently, because the train ends up stuck on a siding as some freight train rumbles by.

The other thing a lot of people miss is that you can build a big train station downtown. It doesn't have that big of a foot print in that you really only need two big ass parking structures, the station, and a corridor wide enough for 6 to 12 rail lines. The rail yard itself can be further out from city center. It's hard to build a large airport with 6 runways and hangar space for the planes downtown. Most airports spring up ~45 minutes from city center (the city eventually grows out to meet them in a lot of cases). Whereas with rail travel you remove that travel and all the energy wasted hauling people to and from airports.

In theory if you have say a railyard on the outskirts of Chicago, you can form the trains up and haul them to the station via an electric switcher at 15 mph or whatever. Passengers board, then when they depart Chicago the regular engine takes over and off you go. The whole moving between the yard and station should only cost you a couple dollars in electricity since you can plug right into the city's grid at multiple points and avoid significant loss to resistance.
 
2012-10-25 04:36:24 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: ha-ha-guy: //the main reason rail travel sucks is the freight lines own the rails and Amtrak suffers as a result

You say that like it is a bad thing. The use of rail for freight is much more efficient than using them for people. Compared to Europe a higher percentage of freight in the US travels by train, rather than long haul trucking.


No it's a good thing, but Amtrak also clearly needs its own high speed lines for busy corridors.
 
Xai
2012-10-25 05:10:52 PM
You know what is really sad? US trains in the steam era used to regularly go faster than this (although never officially)
 
2012-10-25 05:12:29 PM
I might actually ride the train regionally instead of flying if it were always this fast.
 
2012-10-25 05:16:16 PM
Congrats, Amtrak, you're basically keeping up with the fastest steam engine currently in operation.
 
2012-10-25 05:32:37 PM
Casey Jones you better watch your speed
 
2012-10-25 05:37:23 PM
"One eleven,'' a happily surprised Quinn announced shortly after letting out a "Wooo!'' at 110 mph.

Woooooooooo!


www.pjgrady.co.uk
 
2012-10-25 05:39:08 PM

dbirchall: Congrats, Amtrak, you're basically keeping up with the fastest steam engine currently in operation.


I'm guessing that the tracks themselves are a limitation as well, and Amtrak doesn't own those.
 
2012-10-25 05:39:32 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: I might actually ride the train regionally instead of flying if it were always this fast.


I did Ann Arbor to Chicago and back for an interview. That worked really well. Catch the UM bus down from Northwood, walk to station, get on train, get out at Union Station, walk to hotel. Total time: 6 hours.

Whereas flying would've been 3.5, but I would have had to miss class. And when thisComputer Audio overview - PDF warning is class, that matters.
 
2012-10-25 05:54:36 PM

ha-ha-guy: It was more of just a general comment about why rail travel in America currently sucks. I can drive the Detroit to Chicago route quicker than I can do it via train currently, because the train ends up stuck on a siding as some freight train rumbles by.

The other thing a lot of people miss is that you can build a big train station downtown. It doesn't have that big of a foot print in that you really only need two big ass parking structures, the station, and a corridor wide enough for 6 to 12 rail lines. The rail yard itself can be further out from city center. It's hard to build a large airport with 6 runways and hangar space for the planes downtown. Most airports spring up ~45 minutes from city center (the city eventually grows out to meet them in a lot of cases). Whereas with rail travel you remove that travel and all the energy wasted hauling people to and from airports.

In theory if you have say a railyard on the outskirts of Chicago, you can form the trains up and haul them to the station via an electric switcher at 15 mph or whatever. Passengers board, then when they depart Chicago the regular engine takes over and off you go. The whole moving between the yard and station should only cost you a couple dollars in electricity since you can plug right into the city's grid at multiple points and avoid significant loss to resistance.


Ok, I got ya. And yeah, that is a big pain in the ass. One of the reasons I'm more than a bit peeved with DNR in Missouri is that the MKT line was shut down, torn up, and converted to a bike path instead of making a dedicated KC-STL passenger line.

As far as downtown footprint, the major problem with urban rail travel will always be intersections. Slowing down so you don't kill people is what causes the most rail delay. I don't have the link handy, but I remember reading an article about how Chicago is the black hole where trains go to die. The numbers were something like six hours from the powder river basin to Chicago, six hours to go from one side of Chicago to the other, and then six hours to Pennsylvania or wherever the train was going. The average speed of a train that had to go from one side of Chicago to the other dropped from like 65-70 MPH to 15-20 MPH (numbers from fuzzy memory, take with grain of salt).

Anyway, yes. Passenger rail on dedicated lines to urban centers is awesome. More, please.
 
2012-10-25 05:57:07 PM
Bring back the Black Beetle!

www.instablogsimages.com

/183.85 mph, 1966
 
2012-10-25 06:25:56 PM

8 inches: Dagny Taggart would be proud.


Who is John Galt?
 
2012-10-25 07:05:34 PM
Yawn:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaXr3CH4WUw
 
2012-10-25 07:55:16 PM
the milwaukee road hiawatha could hit 140 in the 1940s going across Iowa.

in the 1940s

progress?

farm3.staticflickr.com
 
2012-10-25 08:20:37 PM
I call bs
Amtrak on that run stops for every dang stop and yields to freight. Unless the freight had derailed... Hmmm
 
2012-10-25 10:38:17 PM

wildlifer: I call bs
Amtrak on that run stops for every dang stop and yields to freight. Unless the freight had derailed... Hmmm


This

Amtrac from Central Illinois into Chicago is painful. Sometimes the train actually goes backwards and then sits for a half hour for a freight train to get by.
 
2012-10-25 10:44:16 PM

starlost: what sucks about train travel is i'm in south carolina and if i want to go almost anywhere i have to go through washington dc. its usually twice as long and twice as much as the bus. to get to florida or the west coast i have to first go to dc. only if i go to the gulf coast like through atlanta to new orleans is amtrak anything less then a joke.


When I visit family in Ohio I take the bus from Binghamton, NY to Syracuse, Amtrak from Syracuse to Cleveland, and the bus again from Cleveland to Columbus. Less than $100 each way and more comfortable than sitting on the bus the whole way. There was talk some years ago of adding a line from Columbus to Louisville (and perhaps on to Memphis or across the mountains to Atlanta) via Columbus and Cincinnati, but Ohio's teabagger governor put a stop to those rumors.

High-speed rail would be nice, but what the country needs is more trains, not faster trains. Look at the national Amtrak map: Tennessee and Kentucky virtually empty, and a general paucity of east-west lines generally, especially south of the Mason-Dixon line. Upgrading existing Class 1 rail lines and building new stations would connect more new passengers, create a lot more jobs, and have a more immediate impact than a few high-speed lines in areas that already have intramural rail service.It would also be an alternative to the type of hub system that inconveniences so many air passengers these days.
 
2012-10-25 10:54:25 PM

RogermcAllen: wildlifer: I call bs
Amtrak on that run stops for every dang stop and yields to freight. Unless the freight had derailed... Hmmm

This

Amtrac from Central Illinois into Chicago is painful. Sometimes the train actually goes backwards and then sits for a half hour for a freight train to get by.


This. I'm an ISU alumni and took the train home once. Took farking forever because of freight trains, especially outside Chicago.
 
2012-10-25 11:42:10 PM

Cornelius Dribble: High-speed rail would be nice, but what the country needs is more trains, not faster trains.


I'd rather have faster travel between major urban centers than have extra trains connecting to places where nobody is. Upgrading existing corridors is going to be a lot easier than building all new ones.
 
2012-10-26 12:00:11 AM
Amtrak doesn't talk about it much, but standard diesel locomotives pulling passenger trains can top 100 fairly easily.

A long time ago, I was on a train running west from El Paso, and decided to figure out how fast we were going. Paced off the length of the car, looked at the cars ahead, figured out we were doing a good 105-110 MPH.

I talked to an engineer once who told me that the only thing holding most of the modern diesel-electrics from 125 mph is the software (limiters and monitoring).

And sanity, on standard tracks.
 
2012-10-26 02:49:15 AM

cirby: Amtrak doesn't talk about it much, but standard diesel locomotives pulling passenger trains can top 100 fairly easily.


The Cascades service from Eugene to Vancouver (via Portland and Seattle) uses Talgos that are rated for up to 124 mph, but unfortunately the track isn't FRA certified for those speeds. Currently it's limited to 79 mph for most of the way, but upgrades to signaling/switching equipment as well as the track itself (including new overpasses) is being worked on to get max speeds up to 110 and the trip time reduced by about 1 hour by 2025 or 2030. On time rates should be near 90% then as well.

On most corridors it's the FRA speed limits that are the problem, not the trains or the physical track. Without grade separation and adequate signals and switches you're just not allowed to run trains over 79 mph.

/sorry McFly
 
2012-10-26 06:32:02 AM
It's gonna take years before the effects of the GM lobby finally dissolves. Hopefully I'll get to ride a train one day.
 
2012-10-26 07:58:48 AM
"ABOARD AMTRAK TEST TRAIN - The fierce, unresolved debate over whether the U.S. can afford to invest billions of dollars on high-speed passenger rail seemed to fall by the wayside, at least temporarily, in the heartland on Friday when an Amtrak train reached 111 mph - a record speed in Illinois during modern times."



DURING MODERN TIMES!!! So in olden times, they were faster.

This high speed rail you have sold us is a technological marvel!!!!
 
2012-10-26 12:25:41 PM
Call me when a trip from Saint Paul to Lincoln doesn't have a 23-hour layover in Chicago.
 
2012-10-26 04:09:22 PM

RogermcAllen: wildlifer: I call bs
Amtrak on that run stops for every dang stop and yields to freight. Unless the freight had derailed... Hmmm

This

Amtrac from Central Illinois into Chicago is painful. Sometimes the train actually goes backwards and then sits for a half hour for a freight train to get by.


Heh, I just had to go up from Champaign for a conference on Monday and we did that... normally Amtrak is alright though for the time/cost. Taking the same trip on Sunday for the Bears game.

As someone who takes the Champaign->Union Station train several times a month, let me just say:
The GOP governors of Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida returned to Washington millions of dollars that their states were awarded for high-speed rail. The governors cited expected cost over-runs and a perceived lack of ridership as their reasons against investing in fast trains. Quinn and other governors quickly scooped up the extra funds.

...thanks dudes. We'll take it.
 
2012-10-27 01:14:24 AM

I sound fat: "ABOARD AMTRAK TEST TRAIN - The fierce, unresolved debate over whether the U.S. can afford to invest billions of dollars on high-speed passenger rail seemed to fall by the wayside, at least temporarily, in the heartland on Friday when an Amtrak train reached 111 mph - a record speed in Illinois during modern times."



DURING MODERN TIMES!!! So in olden times, they were faster.

This high speed rail you have sold us is a technological marvel!!!!


Remember back when you could book a supersonic flight from NYC to Paris? You can't do that anymore, either.
 
2012-10-28 03:43:00 PM
img256.imageshack.us
 
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