The St. Louis Regional Freightway

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
mjbais1489 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:48 am
Would this speed up Amtrak rides at all?
Not directly, no. And probably not much. Amtrak presently uses the MacArthur. But if it helps relieve congestion that could improve matters at least a little. The project would increase capacity and remove speed restrictions across the bridge. Traffic has been way down and congestion hasn't been much of a problem lately, but traffic patterns are hardly written in stone. The worst delays are going into Chicago, but every bit helps. Perhaps more importantly, allowing traffic to move away from the MacArthur could make it easier to make improvements to that bridge, which also has some speed and weight issues and which will also need upgrades or even a similar replacement soon enough. But honestly, this is more about local freight customers and national network issues. Even if it wouldn't help Amtrak here much, it might help reduce congestion elsewhere, since it would be easier to shift traffic here. And losing the bridge would certainly hurt shippers here and elsewhere. Possibly including delays to Amtrak if there were too much traffic trying to get across the MacArthur.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:52 am
mjbais1489 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:48 am
Would this speed up Amtrak rides at all?
Not directly, no. And probably not much. Amtrak presently uses the MacArthur. But if it helps relieve congestion that could improve matters at least a little. The project would increase capacity and remove speed restrictions across the bridge. Traffic has been way down and congestion hasn't been much of a problem lately, but traffic patterns are hardly written in stone. The worst delays are going into Chicago, but every bit helps. Perhaps more importantly, allowing traffic to move away from the MacArthur could make it easier to make improvements to that bridge, which also has some speed and weight issues and which will also need upgrades or even a similar replacement soon enough. But honestly, this is more about local freight customers and national network issues. Even if it wouldn't help Amtrak here much, it might help reduce congestion elsewhere, since it would be easier to shift traffic here. And losing the bridge would certainly hurt shippers here and elsewhere. Possibly including delays to Amtrak if there were too much traffic trying to get across the MacArthur.
To add to this is would only shave off a couple minutes but I guess every one counts. Between Alton and STL is really bad also, along with the Chicago-Joilet portion. I think it takes an 50 minutes to an hour to get from Alton to St. Louis. I can drive it faster than that. The study they did said to upgrade the tracks in those two areas is a huge cost so it probably won't happen anytime soon.

Last time I took Amtrak they used Merchants instead of MacAurther. That was probably 2 years ago though, it was the first time they used it instead (when I was riding). I don't know if they still do or not sometimes.
In my experience, and I'm sure it changes all the time, the Lincoln Service used to use MacArthur on the northbound trips and Merchants on the southbound trips. However that was reversed in October.

Speaking of which, do we know if Amtrak has introduced their faster schedule on the Lincoln Service yet?
aprice wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:26 am
In my experience, and I'm sure it changes all the time, the Lincoln Service used to use MacArthur on the northbound trips and Merchants on the southbound trips. However that was reversed in October.

Speaking of which, do we know if Amtrak has introduced their faster schedule on the Lincoln Service yet?
90mph begins this summer

110mph sometime in 2019
ImprovSTL wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:33 am
90mph begins this summer

110mph sometime in 2019
Ughh, they originally stated January 2018. But I'll take this summer. I'm sure PTC is just taking longer to set up than they expected. But it's all worth it.
For anyone else reading along, The Lincoln Service currently has a top speed of 80 mph on most legs with a top speed of 110 on one or two legs of the trip. Personally when I've tracked the speed, it's topped out at 108. Which is fun and all if you don't think about trains on the rest of this planet.
Big inter-modal facility coming to Metro East:

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... 678de.html
framer wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:11 pm
Big inter-modal facility coming to Metro East:

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... 678de.html
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if indeeds become something substantial. Kansas City Southern is the smallest of the class I railroads, comes to north of St. Louis and then treks to the south to reach the metro east and not much traffic into the area relative to the other carriers for which i believe is correct on all accounts.

At same time BNSF and UP have large logistic inter modal hubs in KC and outside Chicago. In addition, I always thought that at some point KCS will get gobbled up by either East Coast road looking for its Gulf chemical/NAFTA business or one of the Canadian railroads looking to become a true NAFTA railroad
I believe Decatur also has a sizeable multi modal facility; and with ADM and Tate & Lyle as it's primary backers, it has the market demand to expand. I can't see Jerseyville really competing with Chicago, St. Louis, or even Decatur here.
chaifetz10 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:40 am
I believe Decatur also has a sizeable multi modal facility; and with ADM and Tate & Lyle as it's primary backers, it has the market demand to expand. I can't see Jerseyville really competing with Chicago, St. Louis, or even Decatur here.
It is interesting to note how much agri commodities are being shipped via containers these days.

A more general note is St. Louis region access to essentially an ice free and lock free barge trip to the gulf is becoming a big plus as lock and dams repairs and replacements go nowhere & nothing really meaningful will help with POTUS infrastructure plan touted today (states and locals are on your own but will throw in some chump change and claim all the credit).
Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I think this is a great idea, which could be a huge boost for the area. Large-capacity, super-fast barges built to ship containers from New Orleans to the STL area, where they would be transferred to rail:

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/ ... 3f30c.html

Image
^ Interesting concept but with intermodal well established means of moving goods you wonder if it is viable it would have happened years ago. I just can't help to think about the fact that New Orleans/Louisiana has been trying to build out a major container hub for years as well as deepen the deep draft channel to no avail. Most of the containers headed to gulf go to Houston ever expanding Bayport facility with smaller amount of traffic to Mobile and Gulfport (both Mobile and Gulfport have expanded port facilities as well).

However, this plus side of this proposal allows for the real possibility of vessel to vessel transfer of containers without a large build out of dockside infrastructure or added cost to handle/rail to midwest. Just as some commodities are unloaded directly from barges and into bulk vessels.
Illinois approves funding for Chain of Rocks Bridge replacement:

www.thefreightway.com/illinois-governor ... t-project/
When i did MoDOTs 10 year plan, i put the Missouris half of the $ for this bridge in 2021. I dont know if its made it on its 5 year construction plan yet. its about $180-200M for the bridge alone.
The TIGER grants are now known as BUILD and significant increase over the last few years, $500 million to $1.5 billion. The proposals have to come together quick and submitted by mid July believe. The type of grants have also changed and location. Any thoughts on good proposals?

https://www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/03/14/ ... -highways/

Some of my thoughts.

- Not sure if Merchant rail bridge upgrade still seeking funds. Think it would be a good candidate for continue rail investment for the region
- Rail grant app specifically for Alton to downtown corridor in order to improve speed into downtown, fluid of Amtrak and freight service. track upgrades, straightening, added trackage.
- St Louis region as a waterway port is going to become more important as minimal investment upstream is going to end up in continue delays and a major failure at some point. St. Louis region lock free access to gulf is going to continue its grain tonnage as the lock system becomes more unreliable. Maybe a grant app to finally give a ship to barge to land container terminal a shot at happening.
- 22nd street interchange rebuild incorporating street grid, pedestrian improvements for west downtown. I think a grant app tied to NGA has a real possibility of succeeding beyond a lot of the freeway proposals that will come in
“To reflect the Administration’s Infrastructure Initiative, DOT intends to award a greater share of BUILD Transportation grant funding to projects located in rural areas that align well with the selection criteria than to such projects in urban areas. The notice highlights rural needs in several of the evaluation criteria, including support for rural broadband deployment where it is part of an eligible transportation project.”
dredger wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:14 pm
The TIGER grants are now known as BUILD and significant increase over the last few years, $500 million to $1.5 billion. The proposals have to come together quick and submitted by mid July believe. The type of grants have also changed and location. Any thoughts on good proposals?

https://www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/03/14/ ... -highways/

Some of my thoughts.

- Not sure if Merchant rail bridge upgrade still seeking funds. Think it would be a good candidate for continue rail investment for the region
- Rail grant app specifically for Alton to downtown corridor in order to improve speed into downtown, fluid of Amtrak and freight service. track upgrades, straightening, added trackage.
- St Louis region as a waterway port is going to become more important as minimal investment upstream is going to end up in continue delays and a major failure at some point. St. Louis region lock free access to gulf is going to continue its grain tonnage as the lock system becomes more unreliable. Maybe a grant app to finally give a ship to barge to land container terminal a shot at happening.
- 22nd street interchange rebuild incorporating street grid, pedestrian improvements for west downtown. I think a grant app tied to NGA has a real possibility of succeeding beyond a lot of the freeway proposals that will come in

Funding is in place for the last item, it will be in the East West Gateway Transportation Improvement Plan for 2019-2022 that should be out for public comment soon, and it should be added to MoDOTs later once all the agreements are signed.
this is the plan- http://www.modot.org/stlouis/major_proj ... xhibit.pdf