Danbury Branch Extension Study

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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Postby benltrain » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:09 pm

it would make no sense whatsoever, as there are a small number of trains. electrification to poughkeepsie would be a better use of money.
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Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:38 pm

Different Budget, Poughkeepsie is MTA money.
Danbury is 100% CDOT money.
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Postby benltrain » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:53 pm

good point! is CDOT more electrification-oriented
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Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:06 pm

CDOT is full of plans but no money to execute the plans, and with the budget being dominated for years to come to pay for the M-8's there will only be plans, and nothing more.
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Postby the missing link » Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:24 am

this topic was brought up before. mentioned was that the mu's don't have the traction to make the hill in inclement weather or fall leaves. would it make more sense to have locomotive hauled trains as the new haven did? two 2 car sets like the new cannan dink passing halfway for more frequent service? just some ideas. yes the cost would be a major issue,but what about actual feasibility? as a local i think it's a disaster whats being done to rt. 7,not just to the environment. it will only bring more traffic and accidents with the nature of people "pushing the envelope" as bad as they do already. remember the tanktruck that blew up last winter? how high does the price of gas have to go to get people to appreciate what they have(the D&N)? unless they have common sense to commute to new york(lots of people drive anyway), the attitude is who cares,only poor people ride trains.
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Postby benltrain » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:30 am

considering the current ridership levels on the danbury branch, i don't think that anybody cares that much about route 7's status (including its environment)
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Postby DaveP » Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:21 pm

What about current ridership levels on the branch? And how does that relate to widening projects on Route 7?
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Postby MACTRAXX » Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:25 pm

I realize this branch was once electrified-Was it 1962 when the NH "pulled the plug"? As for CDOT-electrified thru service W and E of New Haven is more a priority am I right? MACTRAXX
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Postby benltrain » Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:09 pm

DaveP wrote:What about current ridership levels on the branch? And how does that relate to widening projects on Route 7?


sorry, I mean to say it seems many more people do care about route 7 than the underused Danbury branch. i don't believe electrification is necesarry, because of these low ridership points.

people don't care about the environmental advantages of the train. this is what i think i meant, albeit a bit irrelevant.

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Postby DaveP » Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:55 pm

benltrain wrote:sorry, I mean to say it seems many more people do care about route 7 than the underused Danbury branch. i don't believe electrification is necesarry, because of these low ridership points.


Care to enlighten us on Danbury Branch numbers? Or are you just assuming the numbers are low?
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Postby benltrain » Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:02 pm

personal observation in addition to reports from other railfans who i talk with or whose websites i visit.
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Postby the missing link » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:00 am

the commuter trains going in and coming out are pretty full. the important aspect in selling the public on transit is the single seat ride. the shuttles serve a public need the local bus cant provide, but i don't see where both services are integrated. the shuttles run half full at the very most, most other times about 15 -35 people with about a dozen between intermediate stops. no hard data, just my observation.
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Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:13 am

It is not correct to state that one type of equipment can't make the grades on the Danbury Branch. Anything can run that line provided that it is in
decent or OK shape and all systems working. The two times that I had trouble on that branch were both with wet rail and FL-9 power, once with a
pair with no sand in leave season in the late fall and the other time with a single FL-9 with a grounded traction motor so it was running on three
traction motors, on that one we got as far as Wilton but the engine would not sufficiently load to get us around the curve just north of Wilton Station
and when we tried to use all four motors, we got immediate ground relay action so we had to wait for a GP-9 from Danbury to tow us up the hills to
Danbury.

As for MU's, any New Haven MU whether one of the old green ones in the winter time or a 4400 the rest of the year basically had no problems making the trip on this line in either direction. After the wires were killed and the Budd RDC cars took over the shuttles, we still had very little trouble with them. I remember going to Danbury one evening with either the 43 or the 47, can't remember which, and one engine kept shutting down. The engine died leaving Wilton bound for Danbury so I kept going and made it out of Wilton and also up the hill from Branchville to Topstone with a slight loss of time but we kept moving and made it all the way to Danbury.

Having said all of the above, I will further say this, the wires should never have been pulled down but they were. At this point, it would not really make sense to put them back up although if the demand increases to a point where much more service is needed, I think it would justify putting the wires back up.

This line really needs a decent CTC type signal system with cab signals more than anything else.
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Postby the missing link » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:58 pm

so if the wire was up, would a 2 car m? dink be practical?some of the existing poles unfortunately are rotted at the base and will have to go. a signal system like the upper harlem/wassaic extension would be great. how much does it cost metro north to set a new catenary pole, somehow 200 million dolars to redo the wire seems steep.
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Another useless Danbury study

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:01 am

Another useless Danbury study, untill Conndot starts to talk to Housatonic railroad there is no use to have these exercizes in futility.
Just Conndot hot air with no substance.
http://www.newstimeslive.com/news/story.php?id=1011617

DANBURY -- The state is negotiating its next step in an effort to improve the Norwalk/Danbury rail line with an eye toward perhaps extending it to New Milford and adding trains to make it more convenient for commuters.

We're looking at a user survey and at an area survey of people who don't use the train but might," said Carmine Trotta, assistant planning director of Intermodal Planning at the state Department of Transportation
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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