Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

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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daybeers
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by daybeers » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:06 am

I was planning on going to the meeting but got hit with a cold. All better now thankfully!

These upgrades look great but how much is it expected to cost? Why don't they just speed up the process for the start of construction for the new station?

Bit about the CT River Bridge is too bad. I'm afraid this will mean kicking the can further down the road.

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JcPinCT
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by JcPinCT » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:29 am

daybeers wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:06 am
These upgrades look great but how much is it expected to cost? Why don't they just speed up the process for the start of construction for the new station?
The upgrade project is budgeted for $5 million, which includes some track work for the future new Windsor station. CTDOT would not share the budget split between the station and track work at the meeting as to not interfere with the project’s public bidding process.

The question regarding building the new station instead of upgrading the existing one was asked at the meeting and answered as the (greater amount of) funding hasn’t been secured for its construction. The new Windsor station’s design phase is funded and proceeding.

MY SPECULATION is that once the existing Windsor (and Windsor Locks?) station(s) is/are upgraded to ADA compliance, CTDOT will target future Hartford Line funding requests first for the construction of the North Haven, Newington, West Hartford and Enfield stations in an effort to increase ridership. The new Windsor station would come after that. We’ll have to wait and see.

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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:36 pm

The situation with the Connecticut River Bridge is probably sort of similar to adding a second track on the existing viaduct at Hartford Station, except, probably the Connecticut River Bridge will stay. Hopefully a second track will be built over it as that would be one less bottleneck even if it is less than a mile. It will be great to have the other parts of the SPG Line double tracked again and that would help add more trains to the schedule. I hope that they speed up double tracking the parts that can be in the short term. Yesterday, a friend and I took a drive along Rt. 5 and we observed the lower Springfield Line in many areas up until Wallingford. We passed the site of where the old North Haven Station used to be and it looked like a very convenient location, very close to many highways as well as close to the borderlines of several towns. It looks like the former North Haven Station was very close to Quinnipiac University. Hopefully when North Haven Station opens up, ridership will be very good, although I am sure that many people who live very closed to the proposed station site may still drive either New Haven or West Haven for Metro North service. More people who use North Haven would use it for trips to points north on Ctrail. Enfield Station would be great if you live along the Springfield Line along the Connecticut/Mass border. If you are visiting the Connecticut Trolley Museum, Enfield would be a good stop to get off at although Windsor Locks isn't terribly far away and if the station there ever relocates closer to downtown, it will be even closer to the museum.

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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by gregorygrice » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:47 pm

Current plan is for the bridge to remain single track with double track on both ends. It has already been determined that it cannot support 2 tracks.

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shadyjay
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by shadyjay » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:24 pm

Could this work for the Conn River bridge....

... instead of installing an interlocking to go from single to double (and vice versa) on either side, why not lay the second track over the bridge and just permit one train to be on it at a time, via the signal system? The current track on the bridge is in the #2 location (the former NB track), with the rest of the mainline at present on either side in the #1 location (the former SB track). Unless the #1 portion of the bridge can't structurally handle the addition of a second track.

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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by andrewjw » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:05 am

gregorygrice wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:47 pm
Current plan is for the bridge to remain single track with double track on both ends. It has already been determined that it cannot support 2 tracks.
Sorry, I'm missing the background on this. What changed to prevent this? Structural decay, or change in loading gauge, or what?

shadyjay wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:24 pm
Could this work for the Conn River bridge....

... instead of installing an interlocking to go from single to double (and vice versa) on either side, why not lay the second track over the bridge and just permit one train to be on it at a time, via the signal system? The current track on the bridge is in the #2 location (the former NB track), with the rest of the mainline at present on either side in the #1 location (the former SB track). Unless the #1 portion of the bridge can't structurally handle the addition of a second track.
This sounds pretty similar to the "gauntlet track" solution on the Bordeaux Railway Bridge. They're also pretty common on European tramways.

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JcPinCT
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by JcPinCT » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:16 am

andrewjw wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:05 am
gregorygrice wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:47 pm
Current plan is for the bridge to remain single track with double track on both ends. It has already been determined that it cannot support 2 tracks.
Sorry, I'm missing the background on this. What changed to prevent this? Structural decay, or change in loading gauge, or what?
According to CTDOT, the CT River bridge's historical design can no longer accommodate a second track with enough clearance for two trains.

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:37 am

Well, even if the Connecticut River Bridge remains single track, the fact that the majority of the Springfield Line will be double track will help every bit, especially for allowing more trains to run all the way to Springfield.

Ridgefielder
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Ridgefielder » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:40 am

JcPinCT wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:16 am
andrewjw wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:05 am
gregorygrice wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:47 pm
Current plan is for the bridge to remain single track with double track on both ends. It has already been determined that it cannot support 2 tracks.
Sorry, I'm missing the background on this. What changed to prevent this? Structural decay, or change in loading gauge, or what?
According to CTDOT, the CT River bridge's historical design can no longer accommodate a second track with enough clearance for two trains.
That seems odd. The current span was built in 1904-5 I believe. There are plenty of other double-track bridges on the former New Haven that date to that era and are still in service with two tracks. The Conn River bridge on the NEC at Old Saybrook, for one.

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JcPinCT
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by JcPinCT » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:26 am

Ridgefielder wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:40 am
JcPinCT wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:16 am
According to CTDOT, the CT River bridge's historical design can no longer accommodate a second track with enough clearance for two trains.
That seems odd. The current span was built in 1904-5 I believe. There are plenty of other double-track bridges on the former New Haven that date to that era and are still in service with two tracks. The Conn River bridge on the NEC at Old Saybrook, for one.
I believe it has to do with certain freights that run/will run on this line. Gauntlet tracks were installed at the new Hartford Line stations on their east platforms to allow certain freights to clear the passenger platform. Likewise, the existing Windsor station upgrade will include platform edges on the east platform that can fold down to allow those freights to clear the platform.

While you can leave sufficient clearance between tracks when designing and constructing new tracks/structures, the same may not hold for a 100+ year old bridge.

The EGE
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by The EGE » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:18 pm

For reference, here's what the bridge looks like from the east end.

Image

Ridgefielder
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Ridgefielder » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:23 pm

JcPinCT wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:26 am
I believe it has to do with certain freights that run/will run on this line. Gauntlet tracks were installed at the new Hartford Line stations on their east platforms to allow certain freights to clear the passenger platform. Likewise, the existing Windsor station upgrade will include platform edges on the east platform that can fold down to allow those freights to clear the platform.

While you can leave sufficient clearance between tracks when designing and constructing new tracks/structures, the same may not hold for a 100+ year old bridge.
Gauntlets are common enough in high level territory to prevent swaying freight cars from striking the platform edge and taking out divots. But the tracks on that structure don't look markedly closer together than on, say, the Thames River bridge in New London, which was built in 1919 and also hosts both freight and passenger. The Farmington River bridge, 6 miles farther south, was built in 1867 (!) and still carries double track.

Seems more likely to me that the Conn River structure itself can only bear the weight of one train at a time.

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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by gregorygrice » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:38 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:40 am
JcPinCT wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:16 am
andrewjw wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:05 am
gregorygrice wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:47 pm
Current plan is for the bridge to remain single track with double track on both ends. It has already been determined that it cannot support 2 tracks.
Sorry, I'm missing the background on this. What changed to prevent this? Structural decay, or change in loading gauge, or what?
According to CTDOT, the CT River bridge's historical design can no longer accommodate a second track with enough clearance for two trains.
That seems odd. The current span was built in 1904-5 I believe. There are plenty of other double-track bridges on the former New Haven that date to that era and are still in service with two tracks. The Conn River bridge on the NEC at Old Saybrook, for one.

You're comparing this bridge to bridges that are/have been maintained to higher standards. Also note the NEC bridge in Old Saybrook is scheduled for replacement sometime in 2020-2021.

The bridge can't support two tracks anymore due to the way it has been maintained and there really is no reason to double track it since it'll be doubled tracked on both sides. Current and future traffic doesn't warrant it.

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JcPinCT
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by JcPinCT » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:54 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:23 pm
Seems more likely to me that the Conn River structure itself can only bear the weight of one train at a time.
At the 7/25/19 Windsor Station Upgrade public meeting, the CTDOT rail design engineer specifically stated train clearance as the reason the state can't double track the existing Conn River Bridge. I'll go with his answer.

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shadyjay
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by shadyjay » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:10 pm

Perhaps because of the high and wide route and the curves leading to/from the bridge, where a leaning freight car could foul the adjacent track. That could be.

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