Saturday, May 26, 2007

Springfield image of Amtrak train and the capitol with a suggestion for faster trips

Sent from MWHSRA member Harvey Kahler, this picture of 80 or so people (some of whom are in the image) boarding a northbound train in Springfield, Illinois with the beautiful Capitol in the background.

Did you know how close the Capitol is to the Amtrak station? If you'd like to visit the Capitol, take Amtrak. Plus, the Abraham Lincoln Library is about three blocks directly behind the picture-taker, so if you want to visit the museum about the nation's most famous railroad lawyer, then take the train. Thanks to the new five-a-day schedule, you can take a day trip from either St. Louis, Chicago or anywhere else along the line.

Harvey also suggests (in an email which I've now posted to the blog without permission, as well as his photograph, by the way...) we find a way to create faster boarding at stations to keep the trains on time. He suggests evenly dividing up the crowd to board onto three cars instead of all going on one, to save four or five minutes. Those minutes do add up, as Harvey says "it takes 5 minutes of 110 mph running time to make up for every extra minute of station dwell time." I think what he means is that the difference between running 79 mph (what we do now between Springfield and Joliet) and 110 mps (which we can and should be doing between Springfield and Joliet with a few investments) is just as important as getting people on and off the train as quickly as possible. Makes sense to me.


Blogger Christopher Parker said...

The most elegant way to do this would be to give everyone seat assignments before boarding and then direct them to boarding locations before train arrival (an automated CD making boarding announcements would do that, perhaps activated by conductors calling via phone at unmanned stations). However this would take some modifications of Amtrak's ARROW computer system.

1:57 PM  

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