CTDOT: Hartford Line

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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BM6569
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by BM6569 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:15 pm

Is it all single track from Hartford to Springfield?

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

Post by gokeefe » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:20 pm

No, there are passing sidings and (I think) some actual double main line track.
gokeefe

Train322
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Train322 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:28 pm

Double track from just north of Hartford to just south (1/2 mile?) south of Windsor Locks. This includes a 4 mile section in Windsor that is new. (fall 2018)
Double track in Mass to just south of the state line.

Traingeek3629
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Traingeek3629 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:30 pm

Train322 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:15 pm
I would have thought the morning train from New Haven should be extended to Windsor with a bus connection to Day Hill Road.

Lots more needed to get this line up to the level it needs to be. And as mentioned, coordinate the schedule so we know at ten minutes past each hour or past each even hour, the train leaves.

It is confusing.
Also, any chance they add a late train to connect with the 11:26 MN train from GCT?
Need to have a later than 7pm out of GCT way to go.
1. I totally agree. It seems like a nobrainer to have 4452 get up there sometime around 7:45 and go back down at 8. While the northbound leg would only get a handful of passengers past Hartford (if they get a shuttle to Bradley, I could see it being better used) the southbound leg would get 30 or so passengers between the two stops.

2. Clockface schedules are a pipe dream on this line. The northbound weekend schedule does okay with it, but the frequency still varies a lot.

3. It is disappointing you can't leave GCT later than 7:30 (or 7 on Sundays). If you take Amtrak, you can push it up by about 30ish minutes, but that costs 40$ and requires a reservation.


Other Things:

Is it really rocket science to tighten that midday gap a little? Move 4406 up 15 minutes, 4458 back 5 minutes. There. It's not ideal, but it's a little better.

Move 4404 back 10 minutes to get it to Hartford before 9. It'll still connect with 2190 and 1504.

Could CTrail work with MNR to make 1587 leave 5 minutes later? Then, they would make 4463 10-12 minutes earlier, giving it a connection.
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Traingeek3629
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Traingeek3629 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:16 pm

Is there any chance Amtrak/CTrail would provide an extra Valley Flyer to handle the busy "student rush" in Northampton? 6 and 8 AM trains are a little early for a lot of students on those days and we've all seen the Vermonter the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
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gregorygrice
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by gregorygrice » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:33 pm

Traingeek3629 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:16 pm
Is there any chance Amtrak/CTrail would provide an extra Valley Flyer to handle the busy "student rush" in Northampton? 6 and 8 AM trains are a little early for a lot of students on those days and we've all seen the Vermonter the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Nope.

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

Post by johnpbarlow » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:06 am

Q: have any of the gantlet tracks at the high level platforms ever been used? Photos I've seen of these tracks show them to be rust covered. I guess these would only be used should there be a special wide freight load shipment?

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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by gregorygrice » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:58 am

johnpbarlow wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:06 am
Q: have any of the gantlet tracks at the high level platforms ever been used? Photos I've seen of these tracks show them to be rust covered. I guess these would only be used should there be a special wide freight load shipment?
They're all "OOS", as they would only have to be used in an extremely rare situation.

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

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:59 am

If you are in the Northampton area and want more rail options, I would either get up very early and take the Valley Flyers or find a way to get to Springfield for more rail options. If your home is closer to NYC, it might even pay to get a ride to Springfield and do Ctrail to Metro North. The Vermonter is going to be jammed packed that day and I wouldn't be surprised if that train is overbooked. The Amtrak shuttles that run from New Haven to the Knowledge Corridor Region will likely be using CDOT owned equipment that is used on Ctrail operations.

Traingeek3629
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by Traingeek3629 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:01 pm

Heritage Unit Phase III 145 seems to be running regularly on the Hartford Line. I saw it in person yesterday, leading 464 through Berlin, and it was reported on 475 earlier today.
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GirlOnTheTrain
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by GirlOnTheTrain » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:57 pm

That thing's been hanging around on the line for at least the last month.
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twropr
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Re: Amtrak NEC Inland, Springfield Shuttle/Regional/Greenfield Route

Post by twropr » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:52 pm

When the CTrail trains turn at Windsor, do they hold at the station or do they go up to Hayden?
Are all the Amtrak shuttles still two cars?
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daybeers
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by daybeers » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:49 am

Clockface schedules are not a pipedream on the Hartford Line. It's really not that difficult when you have enough crews, equipment & utilization, track capacity, but most of all, willpower. They could be running several more trains if they wanted to, but it's only been about a 17 months since service launch. They're still gaining riders and publicity.

They're adding several trains for the Thanksgiving period. On Tuesday 11/26 and Wednesday 11/27 (schedule), there will be 21 trains in each direction, meaning 42 total, plus 2-3 freights most likely. That's the most service this line has seen in many years. I'm not as well versed in the historical service levels of the line, so does anyone else know? Will that day be the most service ever? Sunday 12/1 has four extra trains, meaning 30 total instead of the normal 26. There is also a special schedule for Friday 11/29 with the connecting train time changes.

Amtrak #479 is always late. It seems to lose time between Springfield and Windsor Locks especially, probably due to CSX (what a surprise), but also down to Hartford. I thought it would be fixed with the new schedule effective 11/11 which pushed it 5 minutes later, but I guess CTDOT messed up because the Amtrak schedule, also effective the same day, shows the old times. A new schedule saying "Revised 11-14-19" in the corner was uploaded to the website, but the one with connecting train information wasn't updated, or the thousands of paper schedules already out there. That's incredibly frustrating and confusing for passengers.

I will be calling CTrides at 877-287-4337 tomorrow to explain my frustration on this issue, the gaps in the schedule, why some of the quiet zones in Meriden and Wallingford are seemingly not working (there are black trash bags over the displays that blink to signal to the engineer they're functioning, and where the heck the smartphone app is that they've promised for so long. I encourage you to do the same

I believe the Hartford Line is great so far but there's no reason for it not to be fantastic.

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

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:58 pm

I'd like to see the speed limit raised through Wallingford. It's relatively straight through there even though there might be a small curve just south of the station.

It's good that there will be additional Ctrail trains running to Hartford from New Haven given that there are several universities in Hartford as well as near the other towns along the Springfield Line down to New Haven.

lordsigma12345
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Re: Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS

Post by lordsigma12345 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:52 am

Traingeek3629 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:16 pm
Is there any chance Amtrak/CTrail would provide an extra Valley Flyer to handle the busy "student rush" in Northampton? 6 and 8 AM trains are a little early for a lot of students on those days and we've all seen the Vermonter the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
No chance of anything extra north of Springfield. I'm not sure they can operate anything else on the Pan Am territory without having to address PTC and there's no way the state is going to invest in that until they know for sure the Valley Flyer is going to permanently continue. If the state causes PTC requirements to kick in with added passenger service on that line they are responsible for all the costs INCLUDING outfitting all of Pan Am's locomotives with the PTC equipment- and based on the wording of the contract it sounds like Pan Am may also have the right to require an I-ETMS overlay if the state wants to put in Amtrak's usual ACSES system. The answer is if the Vermonter is sold out and the Valley Flyer doesn't work, try Springfield. Although the state owns the line, Pan Am retained an exclusive freight easement over the line as well as several other rights as conditions of the sale of the line. The state could fire Pan Am as the operator/maintainer/dispatcher of the line but their other rights related to freight and PTC are irrevocable.

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