Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal’

Ceremony Marks Start of NOLA Station Project

September 10, 2019

A ceremony held recently marked the ceremonial start of platform rebuilding at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal.

The $6.643 million project will bring the boarding platforms in the terminal to ADA standards as well as expand the canopy covering the platform.

Other work will upgrade the air, water and other systems, place fences and gates to improve security, and create facilities to permit trains to be used for evacuation.

Funding for the project is split among a $3.7 million federal grant, $2 million in matching funds from the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Building Commission, and $943,000 from Amtrak.

New Orleans is terminus of three Amtrak long-distance routes linking Chicago (City of New Orleans), Los Angeles (Sunset Limited) and New York (Crescent).

FRA Grants to Benefit Passenger Rail

August 27, 2019

The Federal Railroad Administration has announced the awarding of more than $272 million in grant funding to 10 rail projects through its State of Good Repair Program.

Several of those projects will benefit passenger rail.

The Michigan Department of Transportation was awarded up to $23.3 million for a rehabilitation work on the state-owned line between Kalamazoo and Dearborn that is used by Amtrak’s Wolverine Service and Blue Water trains.

The project entails rebuilding rail, crossties and track surfaces, and replacing two railroad bridges in Jackson.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation received $15.1 million to rehabilitate and upgrade an interlocking plant in Philadelphia at the junction of the Amtrak-owned Keystone Corridor and Northeast Corridor main lines.

Work will include slope stabilization and reconstruction of retaining walls, rehabilitation of an existing but underutilized track, and switch and signal reconfiguration.

Chicago commuter agency Metra will receive $17.8 million to construct a new grade-separated, double-tracked rail bridge over Milwaukee Avenue north of the Grayland Metra Station on Metra’s Milwaukee District-North Line in Chicago.

The city-owned New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal will receive $3.7 million to complete final design for upgrading station platforms and train service capabilities.

The platform modifications will bring the platforms into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, increase platform height to provide level boarding for Amtrak’s Sunset Limited and City of New Orleans, and improve the step height for boarding the Crescent.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation was awarded $41.2 million to replace and upgrade Tower I interlocking, a major rail network junction at the entrance to the Boston South Station terminal area.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation received $76.9 million for the Piedmont intercity fleet and infrastructure investments project.

The project involves the acquisition of 13 new passenger coaches for use in the Piedmont service and an expansion of the Charlotte Locomotive and Rail-car Maintenance Facility.

New Jersey Transit received $18.4 million for platform D improvements at Newark Penn Station. The project includes repairing and/or replacing Platform D slabs and joints, reconstructing platform edges, installing new tactile strips and timber rub rails, repairing the overhead canopy and upgrading lighting.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation was awarded $12.5 million for a major rehabilitation of the Amtrak station in Providence.

The Washington State Department of Transportation was awarded $37.5 million to procure three new consists for use in the Amtrak Cascades service.

The project will replace the three Washington state-owned Talgo VI trainsets: two used in current service and one damaged in the December 2017 derailment.

The loss of the damaged trainset reduced the Amtrak Cascades schedule from six to four daily round trips.

The project will enable WSDOT to meet existing and anticipated passenger demand, and allow Washington to retire its Talgo VI trainsets.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation was awarded $25.7 million to replace deteriorated, outdated passenger cab-baggage and coach cars used in the Chicago–Milwaukee Amtrak Hiawatha service with three single-level cab-coach cars and six single-level coach cars.

End of Track at NOUPT

June 24, 2019

 

Depending on your perspective, this is either the end of the route of Amtrak’s City of New Orleans or the first few feet of the route north to Chicago.

The view is from the rear car on No. 58, which is boarding at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal.

The photo was made in March 2012.

CONO Passengers Back on the Bus to NOLA

May 18, 2019

Passengers riding Amtrak’s City of New Orleans are back on board a bus due to flooding in the South.

In a service advisory Amtrak said passengers will ride a bus between New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi, until further notice.

The advisory said Canadian National has closed the route used by Nos. 58 and 59 due to a planned emergency flood control endeavor.

It is the second time this year CONO passengers have had to ride a bus between New Orleans and Jackson due to flooding.

Amtrak said train service will be reinstated as soon as possible.

Affected are passengers traveling to and from the intermediate stations in Hazlehurst, Brookhaven, McComb, Mississippi; and Hammond, Louisiana.

Passengers departing from New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal are being advised to arrive at the station by 12:15 p.m. to board the charter buses.

CONO Passengers Riding Bus Due to Flooding

March 3, 2019

Passengers aboard Amtrak’s City of New Orleans are riding buses between New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi, after host railroad Canadian Railroad closed the route due to flooding.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the busing will continue until further notice and that rail service will resume as soon as possible.

The buses will stop at the affected intermediate stations of, Hazlehurst, Brookhaven and McComb in Mississippi, and Hammond, Louisiana.

Northbound passengers are being asked to arrive at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal by 12:15 p.m. to board the buses, which will depart at 1 p.m.

No. 58 is scheduled to depart New Orleans at 1:45 p.m.

The City continues to operate normally between Chicago and Jackson with the equipment from No. 59 turning at Jackson to make up No. 58 on the same day.

It is the third time in the past four years that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened floodgates on the Bonnet Carre Spillway south of Hammond to enable waters from the Mississippi River to flow into Lake Pontchartrain.

CN crosses the spillway on a wood trestle and has closed the bridge as a precaution against times when open floodgates release heavy flows of water.

The Mississippi River isn’t expected to crest until mid-March due to extensive snow melt from the north.

With the Corps of Engineers planning to open more spillway gates, the busing of passengers for Nos. 58 and 59 could continue for some time.

In previous years Amtrak has turned the City at Hammond, but has chosen Jackson because it saves operating costs from not having to pay a crew to operate the train between Jackson and Hammond.

Train Time in New Orleans

June 30, 2018

Three times a day, Amtrak personnel announce the boarding of a train at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, the terminus of the City of New Orleans, Crescent and Sunset Limited.

The latter operates only three days a week, departing on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, but the City and Crescent depart daily.

Of the three trains, the City of the New Orleans is the only one to depart NOUPT in the afternoon.

In the photo above, it is March 2012 and passengers are waiting for the boarding announcement of No. 58 to Chicago and all intermediate stops.

Reminder of a Past Discarded Business Plan

May 9, 2018

I’m not sure why Amtrak hung onto these two express cars. I spotted them at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal in March 2012.

Amtrak got out of the mail and express business in the early 2000s and sold or otherwise disposed of many of the cars devoted to that service.

Perhaps these cars have not yet been sold and were awaiting a decision on what to do with them.

I recall a time when cars such as these were common sights on many long-distance trains.

Boarding CONO in New Orleans

March 16, 2018

The first call for boarding of Amtrak No. 58, the City of New Orleans, has been made at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal and the sleeper class passengers are the first allowed onto the platform to board their train.

They will shortly be in their assigned rooms, which are in the last car on the train today.

Further down the platform, station workers are stocking the dining and lounge cars. The first meal to be served will be dinner with initial seating coming somewhere in Mississippi. Passengers will watch the Illinois prairie roll by as they have breakfast the next morning.

Transition Time in New Orleans

February 3, 2017

noupt-december-13-1978

It is a time of transition for Amtrak at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal although that is not necessarily apparent in this image.

A year earlier the Chicago-New Orleans Panama Limited began showing up with a consist of Amfleet equipment. That was the first sign that Amtrak was moving to head-end power.

But the New York-New Orleans Crescent still has steam-heated equipment as does the the Los Angeles-New Orleans Sunset Limited.

I am at NOUPT on a December morning in 1978 to ride the Crescent to Washington, D.C. All of the station tracks visible in this image contain streamliner era equipment.

Some of that equipment will be rebuilt for HEP and last into the early 2000s as part of Amtrak’s Heritage Fleet, but much of it will be retired from Amtrak service.

The rolling stock that can be seen wears the Phase I livery that Amtrak applied used in the early 1970s. That will soon be giving way to a slightly new look.

But only those who follow the affairs of Amtrak closely will recognize that what they are seeing is the final years of an era.

The City of New Orleans in New Orleans

October 17, 2016

ic-new-orleans-march-20-2009

It is boarding time at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal for Amtrak’s City of New Orleans. It is not the only train to serve New Orleans nor is it the only train with a New Orleans angle to its name.

The New York-New Orleans Crescent also serves the Crescent City although it’s difficult to get a stronger connection than with the name the City of New Orleans.

Train No. 58 will depart at 1:45 p.m. and reach Chicago Union Station just over 19 hours later.

I’ve ridden Nos. 58 and 59 a few times in recent years. On some trips the sleeping car was at the end of the train but at other times it was behind the locomotive. On this trip the sleeper was toward the front.