Amtrak Grand Central Terminal Operations

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Amtrak Grand Central Terminal Operations

Postby M&Eman » Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:17 am

When was last time Amtrak was forced to route its ex-New York Central routes (and possibly New Haven) to GCT? When was GCT last used in regular, everyday service? Why was there incentive to build the Empire Connection?
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Amtrak - GCT vs Penn Station

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:52 am

The move from Grand Central Terminal to Penn Station took place for a
number of reasons:
1. New York State wanted the move as a convenience to the passengers
from upstate using Amtrak trains to New York and then going further by
train who had to endure a transfer by subway, bus, taxi or foot.
2. Amtrak wanted the move to enable them to concentrate their New
York City operations at one location, Penn Station and the ease of
servicing their trains. They saved considerable money in the operation of
the Albany trains as they did not have to maintain a servicing facility at
GCT with people there too.
3. It is one mile shorter, a little bit faster and less subject to delays.
I believe the patronage increased after this change took place.
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Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:24 am

I believe they moved out in 1991/2 they had several times that Empire corridr trains had to be diverted to GCT due to Spuyten Duyvil swing bridge being stuck and in 2004 when a barge with NYCTA red birds hit the bridge.
No NEC trains were ever diverted to GCT in my 22 years with MNCR
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Postby M&Eman » Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:00 am

DutchRailnut wrote: No NEC trains were ever diverted to GCT in my 22 years with MNCR


Wait, the trains can't be diverted anyway, since the Shore Line went all-electric, there is no NEC equipment with third rail capabilities.
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Postby Tadman » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:15 pm

I've heard there's catenary somewhere on the ex-NYC system that was installed due to AEM7's pinch hitting for ailing FL9ers. Not sure how extensive it is or if that could allow a train on NEC to reroute into GCT. Probably not.
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Postby Wdobner » Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:41 pm

Tadman wrote:I've heard there's catenary somewhere on the ex-NYC system that was installed due to AEM7's pinch hitting for ailing FL9ers. Not sure how extensive it is or if that could allow a train on NEC to reroute into GCT. Probably not.


I'm pretty sure you're likely referring to a small section of catenary which was built along the Empire Connector, the track just northwest of NYP which carries trains from Penn Station to the former Central Hudson line. To the best of my knowledge the catenary wasn't placed on NY Central track, or if it was it was just a small part of the former West Side freight line.

You can see the connection I'm referring to here on these two pages from an Urban Exploration group: http://nycexposed.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=HellsKitchenTunnels
http://nycexposed.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=HellsKitchen2Thekittyconnection

You can also see that same track in this view from Live.Local.com:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=40.757285~-73.999583&style=o&lvl=2&scene=1470629

Note that the tunnel appears to curve to the west, away from New York Penn station. It actually does curve back to the east underground, coming in to the north side of NYP's 'A' interlocking.
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Postby shlustig » Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:38 am

IIRC, the only occasions for the diversion of Amtrak Shore Line (NEC) trains into GCT were as the result of a major distruption between New Rochelle and Penn Station.

2 such instances were a derailment at Pelham Bay and the head-on collision on the western Hell Gate approach.

The standard move on the now-Metro North side was to send light engines to SHELL and swap power there. This was also done on the very few instances when we were short of power at New Haven and used a GG-1 from NH to SHELL.
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Amtrak @ Grand Central Terminal

Postby Antonio Luna » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:06 pm

So I read somewhere that Amtrak used to run out of Grand Central Terminal.
What trains ran out of there exactly? When did Amtrak leave GCT? I been looking around for info but have not found any.

Thanks in advance. I'm also new to these forums and decided to sign up and join in on the discussions.

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Re: Amtrak @ Grand Central Terminal

Postby MNRR_RTC » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:14 pm

First of all, welcome aboard. From what I was told, the only Amtraks out of GCT were the Hudson line trains going to Albany and beyond. The service out of GCT was discontinued when the west side connection was built allowing the Amtrak trains to leave directly out of Penn Station. This was before my time in Metro-North, so the info that I have is limited. Hopefully, others will be more precise.
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Postby Tadman » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:17 pm

I think the last was 1991, and any train using the NYC routes up the Hudson (Empire, Adirondack, LSL, Maple Leaf) was based out of GCT. All ex-PRR and NH runs to New Haven and Philly (and beyond) were out of NYP. LD trains not operated by NYC, PRR, and NH were not continued by Amtrak (IE Erie, Rdg, B&O) and I don't think Amtrak has ever operated anything out of their terminals across the river.
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Postby travelinjack » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:25 pm

As a little interesting note, mile post locations from Boston to New York were based on the distance to Grand Central.
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Postby Antonio Luna » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:41 pm

Thanks for the Info guys. One other question. What exactly is the west side connection? Are these alternate tunnels in and out of Penn station?

I thought the only tunnels in and out of New York were the original ones built in the early 1900's.
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Postby travelinjack » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:45 pm

He may be talking about the line Amtrak uses coming off Metro-North Railroad at New Rochelle though the Bronx and Queens.
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Postby MNRR_RTC » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:47 pm

There is a track connection that runs along the west side of Manhattan. It runs along up to Spuyten Duyvil where it crosses a bridge and connects to the Metro-North Hudson Line. It is known as the "westside conection". The tunnel that leads to the westside connection is along side the tracks that lead to the Hudson tunnels to New Jersey and points west from there. It has been over 2 years since I was actually qualifed on the characteristics, so most of the info I am giving you is from memory.
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Postby Greg Moore » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:54 pm

Tadman wrote:I think the last was 1991, and any train using the NYC routes up the Hudson (Empire, Adirondack, LSL, Maple Leaf) was based out of GCT. All ex-PRR and NH runs to New Haven and Philly (and beyond) were out of NYP. LD trains not operated by NYC, PRR, and NH were not continued by Amtrak (IE Erie, Rdg, B&O) and I don't think Amtrak has ever operated anything out of their terminals across the river.


Actually there has been at least one (and I think two) cases since then that Amtrak has run out of GCT due to damage at the Spyten Duyvell Bridge.
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