Quote:
Originally Posted by Centropolis
Faster speeds on Amtrak route to Chicago delayed again
By Mark Schlinkmann St. Louis PostDispatch
Aug 30, 2019
ST. LOUIS — Longpromised faster rail journeys on the St. LouistoChicago Amtrak route have yet to become a reality, as an additional delay of several months was disclosed Friday.
Guy Tridgell, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation, said the agency now hopes that 90mph speeds will be in place for Amtrak from the Granite CityAlton area to south of Springfield by the end of the year.
IDOT last December had projected that to happen by this summer as part of a $1.95 billion, eightyear upgrade of the St. LouistoChicago corridor. As of now, passenger trains still are allowed to go no faster than 79 mph.
As for most of the rest of the route, Tridgell said, the 90 mph speeds are expected to be implemented sometime next year, along with resulting schedule changes.
The agency isn’t offering any particular target date on when a more significant increase — to 110 mph — will be reached.
https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/...367a558f1.html

After 10 years and spending almost $2 billion, Lincoln service trains are going to go just 10 mph faster over just 75 rail miles next year. The existing time per the schedule (use northbound to avoid the southbound padding) is 70 minutes.
The existing train averages mph over those 75 miles.
Math = 75 miles / 70 minutes x 60 minutes / hour = 64 miles / hour
At best, the new maximum average speed could be is 74 miles / hour.
To go 75 miles at 74 miles/ hour, it would take about an hour. or 60 minutes
More math = 75 miles / 74 miles / hour = 1.01 hours or 60 minutes.
Maximum time saved being 10 minutes. Math = 70  60 = 10
Remember that almost $2 billion mentioned earlier? Each minute saved will have cost the taxpayers $???? .
Math = $2 billion / 10 minutes = $200 million per minute.
To be fair, much of that $2 billion has been spent north of Springfield. So let's just half that cost for now, awaiting for higher speeds north of Springfield for a final calculation. So that drops the costs to around $100 million per minute saved.
Let's assume everyone riding the Lincoln service trains experiences this 10 minutes saving. The trains average riders per year. Per Wiki, these trains' ridership was 548,955 (FY16). Let's round that up to 550,000 to make the math easier to see.
Math = $100 million / 550,000 passengers = $182 per passenger. That's just for one year. Over 10 years that would be $18.20 per passenger. Over 20 years that would be $9.10 per passenger. Over 40 years that would be $4.55 oer passenger.
I don't care if Amtrak raises fares this much higher, Illinois subsidizes this much more, or a combination of both happens  this is what it has cost per passenger.
Was it worth it for 90 mph max speeds?
Would it be worth it for the planned 110 mph max speeds that could have tripled the amount of time saved?
It certainly would have if the promised speeds ever happen.
The question remaining to be asked, will the promised 110 mph ever become a reality?