The St. Louis Regional Freightway

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
quincunx wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:02 am
framer wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:10 pm
Will this in any way help speed-up Amtrak from Alton to Downtown?
I doubt it, unless it helps get the freight trains out of the way.
Doesn't it though? At least at this one choke point, anyway. Amtrak no longer needs to wait if another train crosses in the other direction, and they no longer need to idle across the bridge.

-RBB
rbb wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:54 pm
Doesn't it though? At least at this one choke point, anyway. Amtrak no longer needs to wait if another train crosses in the other direction, and they no longer need to idle across the bridge.

-RBB
I don't know that it will make much direct difference to Amtrak, but it will be a big deal for other reasons . . .

In terms of Amtrak I don't believe they use the Merchants with any regularity, and MacArthur doesn't face the same limitations. And even after the rebuild most of the track in and around the gateway will still be restricted speed or little better, as everything between downtown and Alton will still be within switching limits on both possible routes.

However, it will make things better for the freight railroads that, for routing reasons, are obliged to cross Merchants. And it will give us more flexibility. And it will allow work on the MacArthur to go forward without causing disruptions. (To freight.) . . . (I can only imagine what things were like when there were seven tracks crossing the Mississippi in St. Louis and not functionally three. And quite a lot more miles of main-line on both sides of the river to boot. Of course . . . there were regular passenger trains then too. Meaning not Amtrak. And generally more lines going in and out of town to more destinations.)

Bottom line? This is a freight project. Amtrak is not a priority here. They don't have a share in TRRA, and thus they don't even have a vote. And TRRA wasn't (directly) a party to Amtrak and so they don't have the same agreements with them as the freight roads. Amtrak is strictly a tenant. But the freight lines who actually own the TRRA want it so they will get it. And if Amtrak is willing to pay the fees to cross they will be welcome to, just like everyone else.

It might occasionally help them incidentally just a little. But honestly? It also might not, since the freight railroads might just push more traffic through St. Louis as a result. (That is kind of the point.) I expect they have some strategic plans in mind. Railroads don't pay for bridges they don't need. And the freight railroads don't need Amtrak . . .
symphonicpoet wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:15 am
And if Amtrak is willing to pay the fees to cross they will be welcome to, just like everyone else.

Railroads don't pay for bridges they don't need.
If only this applied to highway users and builders.
rbb wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:54 pm
quincunx wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:02 am
framer wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:10 pm
Will this in any way help speed-up Amtrak from Alton to Downtown?
I doubt it, unless it helps get the freight trains out of the way.
Doesn't it though? At least at this one choke point, anyway. Amtrak no longer needs to wait if another train crosses in the other direction, and they no longer need to idle across the bridge.

-RBB
I think the more significant news as it relates to Amtrak's Lincoln Service but not completely sure is Chicago CREATE landed a $132 Federal INFRA grant to push some much needed improvements getting freight trains through Chicago while helping to get METRA/Amtrak trains out of city or vice versa. Same grant program that TRRA applied for.

http://www.createprogram.org/
Update on the effort to bring containers to river vessels:

http://stlouiscnr.com/departments/assoc ... dium=email
The project summary for 2019 is out.

Only skimmed through it myself (so I don't know if there's much new stuff on there), but it's good to see the progress on a lot of the projects.
I am genuinely surprised to see the phrase "road diet" included in this. It's . . . probably a good idea, since they're talking about a section of Hall Street that's really way too broad for the amount of traffic it gets but what's there is indeed mostly high in the axle count. Probably much more sensible to make a couple of very good lanes that will last a while rather than a bunch of lighter ones that will go bumpy fast. Not sure how much a bike path is really needed just exactly there since that's two blocks from a pretty spiffy existing one, but I'll tell you what, I would NOT want to ride a bike on Hall with the traffic that's there. Sure, there's plenty of space. But those trucks are big and they book through there. So, yeah, that makes really good sense. Huh! Road diet for a freightway! Neat, huh?
Looks like the region picked up a couple FRA grants that are part of the St. Louis Regional Freightway and a plus for Lincoln Service as well with Lenox interlocking upgrade

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... ent-grants

— Illinois: Reconfiguring the Lenox Interlocking in Mitchell, approximately 16 miles northeast of St. Louis, to increase speeds and operating flexibility. Four lines intersect at the site, with six railroads operating approximately 46 trains per day; the project will reduce Amtrak trip times by 3 minutes and reduce freight delays and crossing-gate activation time by more than 2 hours per day (up to $5.08 million)

— Missouri: Replace the Broadway Truss of the Terminal Railway Association of St. Louis’ MacArthur Bridge across the Mississippi River, a more than 100-year-old structure and the nation’s second longest railroad bridge. In addition to avoiding a projected closure of the bridge because of fatigue, the work will increase horizontal clearance, ending the diversion of oversized loads on a 317-mile reroute (up to $7.17 million).
The loss of Lenox Tower will, of course, make me more than just a bit weepy, but it's good to see investment in crucial infrastructure that will help our city.