Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

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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JoeG
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by JoeG » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:22 pm

There will never be railroad tracks across the bridge. Westchester does not want it. Some of Rockland does, but back when it looked like there might be rail, all kinds of Rockland folks were already being NIMBYs about station locations. I think if somehow they provide for possible future rail, it will eventually be used for extra lanes that may be called busways....or just more lanes. Don't forget, the George Washington Bridge was built so a lower level of railroad tracks could be built. Of course we got extra car and truck lanes instead.
It's depressing. Lack of money is only part of the story.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Ridgefielder » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:00 pm

JoeG wrote:There will never be railroad tracks across the bridge. Westchester does not want it. Some of Rockland does, but back when it looked like there might be rail, all kinds of Rockland folks were already being NIMBYs about station locations. I think if somehow they provide for possible future rail, it will eventually be used for extra lanes that may be called busways....or just more lanes. Don't forget, the George Washington Bridge was built so a lower level of railroad tracks could be built. Of course we got extra car and truck lanes instead.
It's depressing. Lack of money is only part of the story.
Remember, though, the GWB lower deck came into being as a highway in a far, far different era. I think we can all agree that the political climate (at least hereabouts in the NY area) is a lot less car friendly today than it was in 1961.

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JoeG
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by JoeG » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:01 pm

Ridgefielder,

You might be right about attitudes toward cars, but the other factors I mentioned are still true. And NIMBYs are stronger than ever. A few years ago, NJT wanted to rehab the piece of the Piermont branch between Spring Valley and Suffern so it could close Woodbine Yard in Spring Valley, which is surrounded by a residential neighborhood, and use the Suffern yard for the Pascack Valley Line trains. No go! This eminently sensible plan was defeated by the the NIMBYs in Monsey.

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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:49 pm

A few years ago while researching something else, I found some articles in a Passaic (NJ) newspaper archive (on microfilm at the Passaic Public Library) from the late 1920s when the GW's rail connection was still on. It was interesting because it's very hard to find information about it. The new line would've been operated by Public Service IIRC and extended west some distance into Bergen County on a grade-separated right-of-way. The planning was far enough along that they were also talking about what type of cars to buy and considering local stops versus faster schedules. The bridge opened in mid-1931 and I think it was the onset of the Depression that killed the rapid transit more than any other single factor.

Both Rockland and Westchester County's county executive (Vanderhoef and Astorino) lobbied pretty hard for the rail option to be included on the new TZ bridge. Their support seemed to go way beyond the knee-jerk variety done just for appearances. For that matter, I think Governor Cuomo was for the rail option too. He says the state just doesn't have the money. They don't even have the money to build the no-frills bridge yet. They think they can get it but they don't have it.

I've lived in Westchester most of my life, for a number of years right near the bridge (which I've crossed hundreds probably thousands of times), and in Tarrytown at the public hearings last summer most people were for rail not against it. There may be some opposition in Rockland but there was a lot of support too.

Again, just like with the GWB, I think it was mostly the cost that killed the rail option (for the time being, hopefully), not local opposition.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by northjerseybuff » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:59 pm

Rockland should focus on bringing the Northern branch up from NJ as another way to get rail into the county. While still a challenge, it may be easier than the TZB and if/when NJT commits to going north in NJ, NY may feel it may have a chance to act. Light rail to Nyack may work
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JoeG
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by JoeG » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:07 pm

The Northern Branch would be great but it wouldn't serve the same needs as transit on the I287 corridor, and it would not help people wanting to get to Midtown.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by amm in ny » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:40 pm

As someone who lives in Westchester, near the bridge, I've seen no evidence of any opposition to rail on the bridge. If anything, there's frustration that it isn't in the current plan and fear that Albany will arrange things so that it will be impossible in the future. (Nobody here has any trust that Albany will consider anything except how to better line their own pockets.) Rail transit on the bridge (and ultimately, on the I-287 corridor) is seen as one way to alleviate the horrendous traffic in Westchester County.

The only objection that I've heard expressed is that adding rail to the plan might prevent the bridge from being replaced at all.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Jeff Smith » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:39 am

I still think Piermont is the answer; connects PJ and PV, helping NJT, and provides an MNRR operated route from Suffern across to the Hudson.

I'm not sure how much jsut a Hudson connection would help alleviate traffic in Westchester unless you go cross-county with it. What bugs me is that i see billions invested in systems and connections across the country that would come near to the benefit that some NY Metro projects would have.

And, this goes way back; road and train crossing requirements are different. You don't often see rail on the same bridge as road. Wouldn't a separate rail crossing make sense? It wouldn't even have to be at the same location as the TZ.

Edited: I meant "wouldn't".
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by khansingh » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:42 pm

It would have to be high enough to permit river traffic to pass under it, or it would have to be moveable. While we're spit-balling, what about a tunnel?

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:03 am

The height should be the same as the current TZ bridge,Don't think you bring an Aircraft Carrier up the Hudson river
(or a supertanker as well),Just ease the grade up to main span from the Nyack side.
ie: GET rid of the dip to shore level on that side.
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by DutchRailnut » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:12 am

I think the studies have brought solutions to all these suggestions, and no one called Railroad.net for additional input.

as for tankers, seizable tankers do run up to Albany, last week a tanker (near size of Exxon Valdez) ran aground near Stuyvesant.
http://gcaptain.com/stena-primorsk-runs-aground-hudson/
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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:42 pm

A tunnel was considered and then dropped
The tunnel would have stretched seven miles and required "extensive shoreline and in-water work," reports said...The concept was dismissed for a number of reasons, mainly due its cost and effect on the region's environment. Experts noted the tunnel "would take longer to construct at a higher cost..."
The quote is from an article in this local news source.

If and when they build the Metro-North connection from the bridge to the Hudson Line there will be a tunnel. But for trains only, looping east and then south from a connector off the bridge's east end to a junction with the Hudson Line somewhere between today's bridge and Irvington.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:53 pm

That Tanker got a mention on the oil train thread in the PAR forum,Lucky to not have the NYDEC crawling around on board.
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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:27 pm

The local paper in Westchester and Rockland County, The Journal News, periodically reports updates on the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project including the ongoing effort to keep the transit options alive. This report concerns the establishment of a task force to devise economical yet effective transit options for the new bridge. As Rob Astorino the Westchester County Executive has said numerous times, without transit the new bridge will essentially "be obsolete the day it opens."
The state has already pledged to create an express bus lane during peak hours on the new crossing, which will be designed so railroad tracks can be added between the two spans at a later date and built strong enough to carry the additional weight of trains
At this point in time advocates for transit on the bridge can do little more but try and keep the options on the table. The state does not have enough money to add rail to the new bridge now -- they don't even have the money in place yet to build the new bridge without rail -- but hopefully the idea can be kept alive until the day comes when the money can be found.

At least riders of the Tappan Zee Express bus service should find their travel time to and from the Metro-North station at Tarrytown reduced a bit when the new bridge opens.

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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:19 pm

Adirondacker wrote:Connect to what? From what? Why would someone drive to the Suffern station, get on the cross Tappan Zee line and change at White Plains? Yes there is a lot of employment, retail and entertainment in both Westchester and Rockland. It's not at the train stations. And there isn't a whole lot of housing at the stations either.
Tommy Meehan wrote:We already discussed all of this in a forty page thread in the Metro-North forum. Why try and rehash it on the Amtrak forum in a thread about Gateway?

Here's a link to the old thread: Link. Go there and bump it up.
Ta-dah! :-)

Actually in White Plains there is quite a bit of employment and housing in the area around the Metro-North station. However, the cross-county rail line was not planned to connect to the station I don't believe. It's been a while now but it was going to be located in the median along I-287. That turns into an office park corridor east of White Plains, the so-called Platinum Mile.

The closest the line would've come to the Metro-North station in White Plains was where 287 crosses over the Harlem Line about 0.60 miles north of the station. There would have to be a van service to get workers downtown.

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