Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby hs3730 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:08 pm

The 24 for a brief time went from downtown Troy to the (current) Amtrak station. Around when they renumbered it the 224, they rerouted it to use 787 and I90 to get across instead of the Dunn, thus bypassing the Amtrak station. Reverting the routing would be all that is needed to restore convenient bus service to Troy. As it stands now, they have to take the 22 to the 214, crossing the Hudson twice to get to the Amtrak station, kinda silly.

Things like that reroute, by the way, are why buses have trouble attracting patronage compared to trains. With no sunk costs they're at a service planner's whim away from disappearing, making it foolish to rely on if you have other alternatives.
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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:43 pm

A local bus involving two different lines will not provide a
reasonable service to conect to Amtrak trains at Rensselaer. Try waiting on a street corner in downtown Albany in ten degree weather. You would have to run a nonstop or very limited stop bus crom maybe two or three locations in Troy direct to the Rensselaer station. Trains and buses can work together hand in hand and this is a good example.
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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby Engineer Spike » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:18 pm

About 10-15 years ago, there was talk about commuter rail to Saratoga County. This might have just been some state senator, or assemblyman making noise. One of the sticking points was whether it should run via Schenectady, or via Mechanicville. Either way, it is getting very close to a necessity. I know first hand. We had a genius superintendent, who thought the Albany yard job ought to work 0800-1600, instead of 0630-1430. It was a struggle in both directions.

D&H did have commuter runs to Albany. The Northway killed it, and likely D&H's worsening financial plight. The choke point to driving is the limited number of Mohawk River bridges. There are only 3. Maybe Ft. Edward could be used to help out the Glens Falls area. Another route out to Amsterdam, or even Glenville, near the I890, and Route 5 interchange. This could help those from out in the Mohawk valley, and the I88 corridor.
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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:12 pm

Engineer Spike wrote:About 10-15 years ago, there was talk about commuter rail to Saratoga County. This might have just been some state senator, or assemblyman making noise. One of the sticking points was whether it should run via Schenectady, or via Mechanicville. Either way, it is getting very close to a necessity. I know first hand. We had a genius superintendent, who thought the Albany yard job ought to work 0800-1600, instead of 0630-1430. It was a struggle in both directions.

D&H did have commuter runs to Albany. The Northway killed it, and likely D&H's worsening financial plight. The choke point to driving is the limited number of Mohawk River bridges. There are only 3. Maybe Ft. Edward could be used to help out the Glens Falls area. Another route out to Amsterdam, or even Glenville, near the I890, and Route 5 interchange. This could help those from out in the Mohawk valley, and the I88 corridor.


Ayup. The original plan was go to through Schenectady. But then the state rep whose district included Waterveliet started to make noises that the trains should go through there instead. (There's good arguments for either route).
So, rather than work together and compromise, they basically fought until it died. I'm not sure how successful it would have been, but I think with the right investment it could have been very worthwhile.

Personally, I'd have funded both routes and built a commuter station along I-90 near SUNYA with transfers to CDTA busses.
I think there's a lot of merit to such a route.
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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby Engineer Spike » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:01 pm

I think that the all D&H route would be best. The traffic always slows in Clifton Park. There are ample locations near Elnora, and Usher’s to put parking lots. The only problem is where to put a station in Albany. The industrial area near Huck Finn’s, or down by Kenwood yard. Either place would require shuttles to the downtown area. They’d need it anyway, since many people commute to other than right downtown. A bus hub would be needed.

Schenectady service could extend out towards Glenville/Scotia. This could be separate from Saratoga Country service. Even better yet would be a complete system, with direct Albany, and Schenectady service. Route 50 is near capacity. Ballston Spa is near gridlock all day. Many Ballston, and Saratoga residents go to Schenectady too.

Right now, all CDTA bus service to Saratoga runs out of Schenectady. I’m surprised, especially with Malta’s recent growth, that direct Albany service has not been implemented.
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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:37 am

Would there be any room to connect a wye track on the west side of the Hudson bridge permitting direct movements between Albany-Rensselaer and the D&H northbound to Mechanicville? Right now you've got the abandoned Old Central Warehouse with its freight siding going straight off the viaduct into the second floor of the building. If that building were razed (note: I don't know Albany well enough to ascertain if that's a historical structure) do the grade difference and curvature agree enough for connecting a tight northbound wye track between lines? That route used to be used decades ago by the Adirondack when D&H was still involved in operating that train, but it required the same cumbersome backup move that CSX uses for the Rensselaer-Troy freight local. Anything they could shiv in there to run directs would open up service to a lot more population density hugging the west side of the river through Waverliet and Cohoes to Mechanicville and let the state mix up the ALB-hub route variety if more frequencies are planned across-the-board to Saratoga and VT...or just ALB frequencies in general because of the way that D&H route connects Albany, Schenectady, and Mechanicville in a continuous loop pinging back to ALB.

The dense grade crossings clusters really suck on that route so it wouldn't be fast enough for truly heavy commuter-lite use, but it's fully signalized with CWR and CP hasn't let its condition go completely to the dogs so wouldn't cost a fortune to tart up as a useful secondary route for spreading the service options around the Cap District if you could feasibly solve for that direct wye connection at the river.
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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby scoostraw » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:28 pm

From the looks of it, other structures would need to be razed as well as the warehouse.
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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby Railjunkie » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:14 am

There was a connection on the south side known as Bull Run, which was the way into and out of the the old Albany train station. I think with the new track arrangements that switch has been pulled. Im pretty sure the CP pulled there end also. It was seldom used maybe once a year and I think the last time was for a Toys for Tots train.

The freezer warehouse would have to come down for a north leg to connect to the CP, big bucks thats why that thing is still standing. However before we go building a wye to connect to D&H/CP lets worry about LAB bridge the old girl is well over 100 years old. As a friend of mine who worked as an operator for the NYCRR says it was a piece of crap back in 50s and its worse now.

As for CSX and its local to Troy, down the hill out of West Albany yard over LAB around the north leg of the wye and on to Troy. The only back up move is out of West Albany.
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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:26 am

Railjunkie wrote:However before we go building a wye to connect to D&H/CP lets worry about LAB bridge the old girl is well over 100 years old. As a friend of mine who worked as an operator for the NYCRR says it was a piece of crap back in 50s and its worse now.


Mr. Junkie, as I recall, DPM's plan (May '59 TRAINS) to redevelop NYC passenger service facilities at UNOWARE (I can't spell it, nor can Excel :P ) called for that passenger only bridge to be chopped down. Apparently it wasn't.
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Re: Idea for Albany NY (ALB) Expansion

Postby Railjunkie » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:36 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
Railjunkie wrote:However before we go building a wye to connect to D&H/CP lets worry about LAB bridge the old girl is well over 100 years old. As a friend of mine who worked as an operator for the NYCRR says it was a piece of crap back in 50s and its worse now.


Mr. Junkie, as I recall, DPM's plan (May '59 TRAINS) to redevelop NYC passenger service facilities at UNOWARE (I can't spell it, nor can Excel :P ) called for that passenger only bridge to be chopped down. Apparently it wasn't.



LAB was the freight bridge. Madien Lane which is long gone was a little further south, the newer of the two and served as the main crossing for passenger trains. I787 now covers what was once a NYCRR yard and the approaches to Albany Station and the Madien lane bridge, except for the D&H/CP main line out of Kenwood yard.

There is an excellent photo either in the New York Central tab or New York state tab on how things looked back in the day.
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