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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » NYP-WAS Acela Non-Stop....Again

   
Author Topic: NYP-WAS Acela Non-Stop....Again
Gilbert B Norman
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It's been tried by both Penn Central and Amtrak, and has never worked. But here we go again:

Business Insider

Also aired by CBS Radio News.

Fair Use:
  • Amtrak on Thursday announced a new, non-stop express service between New York and Washington D.C. with no intermediate stops.

    The special Acela Express will run once per day in each direction beginning on September 23, the railroad said, making the trip in just two hours and 35 minutes. That's nearly a half hour quicker than the other 32 Acelas that run between the cities each day.

    Roger Harris, Amtrak's chief marketing officer, said the new trains are only a sliver of what the national railroad hopes to offer in the future as new trainsets arrive and infrastructure upgrades are finished. But it wasn't easy.

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yukon11
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I can't help wondering if new Acela Express, DC to NYC, could become a popular alternative to flying.

Air time between DC and NYC is around 1 hr & 10 min. The new Acela will take 2 hr & 35 min. However, with the air flight, you have to factor in the time to and from airports as well as the time involved with the TSA hassle. I think the difference would be insignificant. I would much rather take the Acela Express.

Richard

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George Harris
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Many bad, but good sounding, ideas seem to have something of a 25 to 30 year cycle, in that the guys that got burned have retired so they are no longer in a position to say, hey been there, done that, and it did not work. Seems that it has not been near that long since this was tried before.
There are some where changes in technology which make it possible that the idea will work when tried again, but I do not think this is one of them

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Gilbert B Norman
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Richard, even a five stop Acela @2:45 NYP-WAS, is "downtown to downtown" speed competitive with flying. It also provides a solid window in which those who must work can get things done.
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TBlack
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Air travel experience keeps getting worse; maybe we're at a tipping point?

Another point: AMTRAK currently sells tickets BOS - DC as BOS - NYP; NYP - DC. The Acela cost is $400 one way - 6.5 hrs. Airfare roundtrip can be had for $350-400 - 1.25 hr.

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palmland
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Valid point, T Black. Amtrak isn’t competitive BOS-WAS but good to see them try again NYP-WAS especially with run up to the election. I guess the non stop train is as much a marketing tactic as it is practical. Bet they add some amenities to make it seem exclusive for the well heeled business traveler.
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Gilbert B Norman
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Corner bet; SIX MONTHS
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TBlack
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Gilbert,
You lost me?
TB

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Gilbert B Norman
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The nonstop will be gone within six months of whenever they start it.
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yukon11
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Mr. Norman, you may be correct with regard to "six months", but I would like to see it work.

I have to agree with Mr. Palmland in that it may be a marketing tactic. I think, for the non-stop service between DC & NYC, they will have to offer a significant upgrade in the overall experience for business class travelers, including on-board food and Club Acela experience.

Here is a critique, on the Acela Express, from last year:

https://is.gd/4Vvg0K

I didn't realize that the new service will only
save you around 15 min. getting to your destination. Also, the cost seems quite high.

I hope it does work, but it may well be, as George puts it, a case of "been there, done that and it didn't work".

A famous quote:

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" (attributed loosely to Einstein, Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, and old Chinese proverb, and others).

Richard

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George Harris
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About as much time has been squeezed out of the north east corridor as can be done without major alignment work. North of New Your that means most of it, particularly New York to New Haven. South of New York is much better, but at the least it is really curvey in the Philadelphia area, and going through Baltimore. A straight line across Baltimore would be fairly practical but it would not be cheap and would not go through Penn Station.
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palmland
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Well, the solution is obvious for Baltimore. CSX and MD apparently have most of the funding and interest in working together again to rebuild Howard St tunnel. Just upgrade the existing interchange at Bayview (northside) and add one at the overpass near Halethorpe (southside) and use Camden and Mt. Royal stations. Use that route for Acelas. Just kidding, George.

Speaking of that, I believe Howard St tunnel was double track when B&O had passenger service to NY but there was a gauntlet track too for clearances?? Wonder if the rebuild we go for double track.

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Vincent206
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I'll take the bet for "over" 6 months. Regardless whether or not the new non-stop makes money, Amtrak is rolling out the new Avelia Liberty trainsets in 2021. Avelias are touted as being able to cut 15 minutes off the current trip times and Amtrak will be testing the market for faster high speed service on the NEC with the new-again NY-DC nonstops.

I could imagine Amtrak looking at the future and envisioning a schedule that offers both a nonstop Avelia departure every peak hour as well as a local Avelia departure. The nonstop departs at :00 and the local leaving at :30.

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