• Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

  • 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

  by ExCon90
 
I don't see room for hourly service. Where would they find slots through the East River Tunnels in rush hour? Every Amtrak train would displace an existing LI train with a much greater capacity, crowded as it is with commuters originating at NYP. Maybe file this away until all the related Gateway work is completed and those who come after us can then take another look. Who knows -- maybe by then there won't be rush hours any more.
  by RandallW
 
How many Amtrak trains through or originating at NYP don't already use a slot through the East River Tunnels at the start or end of their journey?

Put another way, if this changes a train's movement through the East River tunnels from a non-revenue to a revenue move, and if those tunnels are the capacity constraint, then this proposal only improves the utilization of those tunnels.
  by NaugyRR
 
Pure fantasy, and I know this is going to get a ton of hate, but I think running some Empire Trains to Jamaica for a more direct JFK connect would be beneficial. Obviously not now with the current train configurations, but once the push-pull Airo sets come online and have the ability to change ends, and turn and burn rapidly.
  by ExCon90
 
I don't think Jamaica has a place to stash the Amtrak equipment between arrival and departure unless Tracks 4 and 5 could be used outside of rush hours. Also, only trains terminating at NYP could be extended to Jamaica, leaving lots of gaps in the hourly pattern. I can't help feeling that Amtrak trains destined to Jamaica would be pretty empty leaving NYP; the time taken up by the Jamaica round trip would be better spent in preparing the equipment to head back from NYP to Washington quickly.
  by west point
 
Many Amtrak regionals that terminate at NYP are being scheduled to not use East River tunnels due to tunnel 1 scheduled to be refurbished due to SANDY. That is one reason ACS-64s now at both ends of regionals.
  by NaugyRR
 
I was thinking specifically Empire Trains, since they're already going that direction. The Regionals already serve Newark Airport directly, I think it would be cool for Hudson Valley passengers to have easier access to JFK in a similar fashion.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Naugy, who has rails other than NYCTA, to JFK?
  by MACTRAXX
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:15 am A lengthy opinion piece on Amtrak to Long Island: PedestrianObservations.com

See my post below...and delete this one...
Somehow my post "broke apart" - I was able to correct the error...MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Thu Apr 04, 2024 10:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:15 am A lengthy opinion piece on Amtrak to Long Island: PedestrianObservations.com

What does the author get right? Or do you disagree with the conclusion?
Intercity Trains and Long Island

Amtrak wants to extend three daily Northeast Corridor trains to Long Island. It’s a bad idea – for one, if the timetable can accommodate three daily trains, it can accommodate an hourly train – but beyond the frequency point, this is for fairly deep reasons, and it took me years of studying timetabling on the corridor to understand why. In short, the timetabling introduces too many points of failure, and meanwhile, the alternative of sending all trains that arrive in New York from Philadelphia and Washington onward to New Haven is appealing. To be clear, there are benefits to the Long Island routing, they’re just smaller than the operational costs; there’s a reason this post is notably not tagged “incompetence.”

The Northeast Corridor has asymmetric demand on its two halves. North of New York, it connects the city with Boston. But south of New York, it connects to both Philadelphia and Washington. As a result, the line can always expect to have more traffic south of New York than north of it; today, this difference is magnified by the lower average speed of the northern half, due to the slowness of the line in Connecticut. Today, many trains terminate in New York and don’t run farther north; in the last 20 years, Amtrak has also gone back and forth on whether some trains should divert north at New Haven and run to Springfield or whether such service should only be provided with shuttle trains with a timed connection. Extending service to Long Island is one way to resolve the asymmetry of demand.

Such an extension would stop at the major stattions on the LIRR Main Line. The most important is Jamaica, with a connection to JFK; then, in the suburbs, it would be interesting to stop at least at Mineola and Hicksville and probably also go as far as Ronkonkoma, the end of the line depicted on the map. Amtrak’s proposed service makes exactly these stops plus one, Deer Park between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma.
...
JS and Everyone - This Pedestrian Observations page was sent to me previously...Native Long Islander reply:

These so-called "experts" think as example that the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville should have
a fourth track in some manner through the recently-completed 10.1 mile Main Line Third Track Project area...

There is NO room for a fourth track on a majority of the route without taking outside properties and undoing
just-completed station construction on one side of the ROW...Any changes of this magnitude will not only cost
billions of dollars more...This will no doubt rile up again the NIMBY opposition that had delayed the Third Track
Project for decades until the "compromise" was reached eliminating the dangerous Main Line grade crossings
being the best example along with good political work under former NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo - who was
very good for infrastructure projects and improvements during his time in office...

With the increased LIRR service implemented just over one year ago the "Long Island Main Line Corridor"
(coining a name for the route) does NOT need any Amtrak service extension - and again what could be the
more lucrative route would be the Montauk Branch with LIRR stations Babylon, Patchogue, Westhampton,
Southampton, East Hampton and Montauk - experimental and seasonal at first - to see if riders will take
advantage of through NYS Empire Corridor service provided that a plan can be worked out with the LIRR...

NR and Everyone: The LIRR has frequent service between Penn Station and Jamaica that can be shown
by downloading the City Terminal Zone Penn Station-Jamaica Timetable...The lowest cost for this ride
is the $5 Off-Peak City Ticket (the only exception is AM Peak westbound between 6 AM and 10 AM and
eastbound between 4 PM and 8 PM weekdays when the $7 Peak City Ticket fare is in effect) valid only
on the day of sale prepaid (Ticket Office, TVM or LIRR Ticket App) before boarding...

As example a fare agreement between Amtrak and MTA for the LIRR to honor Amtrak tickets to Jamaica
for an extra fee could be studied for those connecting at NYP for JFK...

https://mta.info/agency/long-island-rai ... timetables
(City Terminal Zone-Manhattan Timetable)

The JFK Airtrain fare is $8.50 collected only at Jamaica Station and Howard Beach (NYC Subway A Train)
on entry and exit using Metrocards, OMNY cards and other payment cards and apps...
https://jfkairport.com/to-from-airport/air-train

RW: Amtrak trains that travel through East River Tunnels that originate/terminate at NYP are going to/from
Sunnyside Yard either to be "looped" or to enter the yard itself...With Line #2 being shut down for long term
maintenance there will be less moves to SSYD with the new push-pull service plan in effect...

On the subject of Amtrak trains terminating at Jamaica Station? My reply is NO - Not Necessary...
for what would be only an 11 mile extension with ample LIRR service already available...

MACTRAXX
  by NaugyRR
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2024 8:30 am Mr. Naugy, who has rails other than NYCTA, to JFK?
The AirTrain has a direct connection with JFK from Jamaica. My line of thought was cutting out an additional seat for Empire Service riders that would want to fly out of JFK. I do know a lot of people along the route usually fly out of Albany, Bradley, or Westchester, but JFK opens up a slew of more direct and international flights (Bradley to Dublin, for example, is only seasonal).

For example, if I wanted to fly out of JFK instead of BDL or ALB like I usually do, I could catch the train in Rhinecliff, get off at Jamaica, and go direct to the AirTrain.

In order for me to take the train now I would have to travel RHI - NYP, catch LIRR to Jamaica, then take the AirTrain. (Or Metro-North Wassaic to GCT, LIRR to Jamaica).

Either way, running a few Empire Trains to connect direct with the AirTrain would cut out the LIRR transfer.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I stand enlightened, Mr. Naugy.

I only thought it connected with Duke Ellington's train at Howard Beach, which is where I once during '15 rode it to JFK.

I had no idea it also connected with the LIRR at Jamaica, but it seems like the other participants in this discussion did.
  by NaugyRR
 
No worries Gil, I wasn't trying to come off as snobby when I posted that lol.

I've personally only been to JFK twice on a roundtrip to Disney with my grandparents about twenty years ago. Getting there my uncle dropped us off around 3AM, coming home my grandparents (both Bronx natives that transplanted decades prior) somehow remembered enough to get us home via the subway from Howard Beach back to GCT and eventually Dover Plains. I only remember it being late, I was tired, and it was my first real exposure to the NYCTA.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
So long as we're swapping flight stories here (after all, aren't we discussing plane to train transfers?), mine was during '15 to visit with my Niece, who resided in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn. She said "oh just fly into JFK and take a cab". Well, even though my usual United had no service to JFK (and very limited today) I flew Jet Blue and took a taxicab to my hotel. Only problem, first I knew nothing of what an Outer Borough taxicab was, but I quickly learned when I got in the first one available which was Yellow ("can't take you; only Manhattan"). Well the Green ended up in a almost 2hr traffic jam and $70 meter and tip.

There HAS to be a better way, and "The Duke" and Airtrain on the return - even if Airtrain seemed a $$$ ripoff - proved to be the case.

Now to close more on subject, since KSWF has "never really taken off" as an intended fifth NY area airport, and KALB appears to have puddle jumpers (save of course charter flights for the NCAA women), I can see the need for Hudson Valley, especially East Shore, train to plane options. Even if you're able bodied, handling luggage (and kids) can be "sport".
  by edflyerssn007
 


With the increased LIRR service implemented just over one year ago the "Long Island Main Line Corridor"
(coining a name for the route) does NOT need any Amtrak service extension - and again what could be the
more lucrative route would be the Montauk Branch with LIRR stations Babylon, Patchogue, Westhampton,
Southampton, East Hampton and Montauk - experimental and seasonal at first - to see if riders will take
advantage of through NYS Empire Corridor service provided that a plan can be worked out with the LIRR...
So I think there are actually two ways Amtrak to LI could work. And it's actually a combination of Amtraks idea of Extended South of NYC only NEC trains to Ronkonkoma AND Sending Empire Service Train Extensions to Montauk. I get that it is a bit of a criss cross, but MANY of the business types go to the Ronkonkoma line for the one seat ride into Manhattan. If some care is taken, having extensions on certain trains during the summer, like the LSL, Maple Leaf, and Adirondack to Montauk or Greenport would def bring in interest. This would do well if a first class service is offered, such as open lounge cars, especially with those that have a bit more $$$ to spend. You may need an extended stop at PENN to restock the train, for that evening crowd. There's no shortage of those types going out to the forks in the summer. The Cannonball packs out every Friday. And even the 1pm semi-express does as well. I watch hundreds stream out at Montauk each summer day. Surely some of them would be willing to pay for a nicer seat than a C3.

The Empire Trains should run express from Penn to Babylon and continue in the stations listed above. You don't want these trains getting bogged down at Jamaica. I think this combination would be good for tourism. There's one additional group of trains that I'd want to include and that's winter trains to the Pocono's once Scranton is up and running. This would add about 10-12 trains per day each direction BUT Long Island is in desperate need of the enhanced service. There's going to be a lot of Amfleets coming available as the AIRO's come online and these cars can be used for these trains. They probably don't even need a significant refresh for this service other than a DEEP clean.
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