• Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

  • This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.
This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

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  by ElectricTraction
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:23 amHopefully they'll keep at least one track open for the reverse commute, but I have a feeling that will not happen in the future. (I also think they need to three-track the Babylon branch, but that's getting off-topic)
They need to restore the line between Garden City, Levittown, and Farmingdale, and untangle the QUEENS Interlocking mess that they just made worse with Elmont. That would take pressure off both the Main Line and the Babylon Branch. They're building a new goober with the bad track arrangement in Mineola for the OB branch, which adds yet another thing that needs to be fixed.

No line should be throated, it has a lot of bad effects on equipment and crew utilization and reverse-peak service alike. Gateway will be three tracks for a while after completion as the existing tunnels are taken out of service one at a time for refurbishment, which should allow for decent reverse traffic, and then things really open up when they get to the full four tracks several years later.
Arlington wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 12:58 pmThe NY Daily News is throwing all kinds of other projects in as a way of ensuring that, when they're all done adding, it looks like a number that can sound "too much"
Do we have a good estimate of what it should cost? We know that NYCTA, MN, and LIRR are often 5-10x over what capital projects should cost, is there any reason to believe that Amtrak isn't way out of control on cost too? I hate to have to sort of agree with the NY Daily News of all things, but NY is the epicenter of out of control infrastructure cost, so it's reasonable to question these multi-billion dollar numbers.
  by Arlington
 
I think the MTA’s terrible tunnel costs (and a sense that PANYNJ would not do better) is how Amtrak came to be the lead on this effort—it had the greatest freedom to hire cheap tunneling

To be “fair” to MTA, what keeps killing them on costs vs Europe is not tunnel-vs-tunnel (though they are several multiples) it’s Station-vs-Station, with the MTAs “price per tunneled mile of new system” being clobbered by Taj Mahal stations: cavernous, multilevel, with crazy expensive vertical circulation

Excluding Penn South (which is not Amtrak’s project) and the Portal Bridge (which really is a separate need) Gateway really is just a tunnel
  by ElectricTraction
 
Arlington wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 3:11 pmTo be “fair” to MTA, what keeps killing them on costs vs Europe is not tunnel-vs-tunnel (though they are several multiples) it’s Station-vs-Station, with the MTAs “price per tunneled mile of new system” being clobbered by Taj Mahal stations: cavernous, multilevel, with crazy expensive vertical circulation
They are doing the same thing on LI with way overbuilt stations.... but even then, comparing like-for-like, they are several multiples over Europe on a per-mile or per-platform-foot or per-whatever basis.
  by west point
 
Boardman fired ? Is that really true or just another NY daily news "fact" ?
  by kitchin
 
There was study on why infrastructure costs more in the U.S. It came down to tunnels mainly. And it excluded NYC. Who knows, one study. Maybe Musk sponsored it!
  by Ken W2KB
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 3:26 pm
Jeff Smith wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 10:35 am Enjoy: https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny- ... story.html
I note opinion in the URL and know already it's crap. Doesn't matter the slant. (I could argue that NYDN's not all that great to begin with but I'd be repeating myself)
>>>"using 1910 technology to bury electrical cables in concrete bench walls."<<< Being very familiar with state of the art electric utility underground transmission circuit design and construction, in any location where there is risk of mechanical damage, protective concrete is used. The risk of damage from a derailment in the tunnel is real, and the best preventative measure is to utilize "1910 technology" by protecting the cables in concrete bench walls.
  by alewifebp
 
And I'd argue, given the state of several high profile infrastructure projects in Europe, they are not happening any faster or without huge price tags. Stuttgart 21 or Berlin Brandenburg come to mind as two examples, but more exist. And just up the block In NYC, it took over a year just to be able to get the TBM in the ground for the Second Ave Subway extension. And that was only to add a few extra stations, and some of the work had already been done.
  by ElectricTraction
 
kitchin wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 6:51 amThere was study on why infrastructure costs more in the U.S. It came down to tunnels mainly. And it excluded NYC. Who knows, one study. Maybe Musk sponsored it!
Excludes NYC? NYC has the most extreme problem, that's the first place anyone should be looking into the problem!

We've got a much wider construction cost problem with infrastructure in the US, it may be different problems in different industries, but NY just takes it to a comically ridiculous extreme.
  by kitchin
 
ElectricTraction wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 11:25 pm
kitchin wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 6:51 amThere was study on why infrastructure costs more in the U.S. It came down to tunnels mainly. And it excluded NYC. Who knows, one study. Maybe Musk sponsored it!
Excludes NYC? NYC has the most extreme problem, that's the first place anyone should be looking into the problem!

We've got a much wider construction cost problem with infrastructure in the US, it may be different problems in different industries, but NY just takes it to a comically ridiculous extreme.
The NYC area was excluded because it's a more or less obvious outlier on the high side. If they included NY then people would say the study was distorted by Second Avenue subway or whatever. Of course the Big Dig in Boston was no picnic either.

The point of the study was to compare U.S. costs to costs elsewhere. I don't know how good a study it was. The conclusion was that tunnels are the largest difference.
  by STrRedWolf
 
kitchin wrote: Wed May 19, 2021 4:31 am The NYC area was excluded because it's a more or less obvious outlier on the high side. If they included NY then people would say the study was distorted by Second Avenue subway or whatever. Of course the Big Dig in Boston was no picnic either.

The point of the study was to compare U.S. costs to costs elsewhere. I don't know how good a study it was. The conclusion was that tunnels are the largest difference.
I think it wouldn't of mattered if NYC was put in or not. Tunneling is expensive, period.
  by Arlington
 
And yet somehow the East Side Access TBMs were staffed (3 shifts with plenty of overtime) with ~24 people when all other deployments of the same model TBM took just ~12 people . Even among tunnels, NYC has a work rules + politicians collusion that we’d hope Amtrak as manager could avoid
  by ElectricTraction
 
kitchin wrote: Wed May 19, 2021 4:31 amThe NYC area was excluded because it's a more or less obvious outlier on the high side. If they included NY then people would say the study was distorted by Second Avenue subway or whatever. Of course the Big Dig in Boston was no picnic either.
I can't think of a good analogy, but NYC has far more mass transit than any other major metro area, so at least for the transit side of things it's very relevant. Maybe less so if factoring in highway construction, where it could be viewed as a unique situation with a relatively small amount of activity.
  by Ken W2KB
 
Arlington wrote: Wed May 19, 2021 9:43 am And yet somehow the East Side Access TBMs were staffed (3 shifts with plenty of overtime) with ~24 people when all other deployments of the same model TBM took just ~12 people . Even among tunnels, NYC has a work rules + politicians collusion that we’d hope Amtrak as manager could avoid
Indeed, we can hope, but over the course of my career, I have witnessed many examples of what on the surface appears to to free of political influence not being at all immune to same. How this would play out with Amtrak would likely be this: (1) Amtrak is a political entity as it depends on its very existence on federal and state funding, (2) those entities who advocate the "work rules" sense that Amtrak is circumventing the norm in NY/NJ for government sponsored projects, (3) those entities' government affairs personnel contact both state and federal elected representatives and strongly suggest that if Amtrak is not reigned in their members, family and friends, who vote, will take notice in the next election, (4) that is extremely convincing to elected officials, and (5) those elected officials and/or staff contact Amtrak with clear direction to act accordingly.
  by Ridgefielder
 
alewifebp wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 11:13 pm And I'd argue, given the state of several high profile infrastructure projects in Europe, they are not happening any faster or without huge price tags. Stuttgart 21 or Berlin Brandenburg come to mind as two examples, but more exist. And just up the block In NYC, it took over a year just to be able to get the TBM in the ground for the Second Ave Subway extension. And that was only to add a few extra stations, and some of the work had already been done.
London's Crossrail, a/k/a the Elizabeth Line, springs to mind. Approved in 2008, construction started in 2009; originally to open in 2018, now scheduled for sometime in '23/24; initial budget 14.8bn sterling, now at 18.7bn and counting...
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