• Binghamton NY - New York City NYC Passenger Rail Discussion

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

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  by hrfcarl
 
Yes the Poconos-Scranton-Binghamton route via the Lackawana Cutoff would be better, but does not have tracks. The Port Jervis route does have tracks, as mentioned, and thought with NYS&W & CNY using this trackage it would be in better shape (thought good for between 25-40mph). I also wanted to used an existing train set, so the divesion of 1 in each direction Empire Service.

The idea was to try and test thru service via Binghamton to at least serve the universities along the route I gave at the least cost to set up, instead of just doing a study. If ridership shows some sort of interest, then maybe a justificaion to restore Lackawan Cutoff. Since no existing link to Port Jervis line and trackage west of that point is in such poor shape, this test would cost too much to put in motion, so not worth it.

Thanks for info.
Last edited by hrfcarl on Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by ANDY117
 
kemay59 wrote:
BR&P wrote:I guess the myth of Binghamton losing its air service was just another case of those obsessed with bringing back passenger rail dreaming up reasons which actually are not real. I usually enjoy a good debate but I think Andy's right. No matter how much logic from how many people, we keep coming up with far-fetched things like moving the ghettos from the cities to suburbia, and loss of airline service when apparently that's not even remotely accurate. There have been many topics locked up for no apparent reason - I'd say in this case we have pretty good reason!

Either that, or create a "fantasy railroading" like fantasy football, and move this thread to that new forum! :wink:
FACT CHECK:

Direct air service between Binghamton and New York City was discontinued by Delta in 2007. No other airline has offered direct flights from Binghamton to any of the New York City metro area airports since then. See http://www.flybgm.com/flights/airlines.
And for good reason! Talking to the employees at the time, no one flew on those flights. They were hardly ever near capacity, and it's way more expensive than driving. That's why Delta pulled out, they switched between hubs during their tenure here, and JFK was the worst. Ithaca now has a flight on Continental Connection operator Commutair to Newark 3 times a day, and US Airways Express operated by Piedmont Airlines 3 times a day to LaGuardia (formerly Colgan Air). I doubt it will ever come back, but we'll see what happens now that Delta has taken over Northwest and is planning on getting a much bigger share of the NYC pie.

Other than being cheaper and having a more pleasant ride, how would rail service compete with being in NYC in half an hour? Much as I'd love to take the train there, I don't see it happening any time soon. The CNY is in no shape for HSR, and going via Scranton isn't much better. Unless NY gets serious about this, it's going to stay like this. You can make all the studies you want, but that doesn't improve the tracks!

But that's just my $0.02.
  by PassRailSavesFuel
 
hrfcarl wrote:Not sure if this was asked already and considering this thread is SOOOO many pages long now I do not have time to check, so here goes:

Can an Amtrak train depart NYP and get on the Port Jervis line? IF YES, what would take to divert 1 Empire Service up the Port Jervis branch, continue along the Southern Tier to Binghamton, then up thru Cortland to Syracuse and terminating in Buffalo/Niagara? Of course there should 1 reverse train as well. This would not be a commuter service, maybe call it the Empire College Service. A real test to see if such service is really needed/wanted.

Thanks.
If you have a great restaurant in Albany...why would you move it to Port Jervis? It's time to grow the business, and add service and connections which will grow ridership and income of the company. Erie has been downgraded many times. But you'd be surprized what can happen if you want something. We have alot of roads to nowhere, and I guess that's OK. Trains are good for the area they go to. Just like the roads. Airlines are a point to point service, and will be gone in a few years anyway.One of the answers to the Erie issue is TILT TRAINS.
  by Noel Weaver
 
The answer to transportation in this area is buses on NY - 17. If they are concerned about traffic into New York the buses could connect someplace out of town with existing commuter rail service. I doubt if there is even enough business to fill a buses. Better to have 6 bus trips a day in each direction spread out over a day than one train a day at a set time.
Noel Weaver
  by PassRailSavesFuel
 
Noel Weaver wrote:This stuff has been discussed, discussed and discussed some more. If this was a practical rail route the discussion would
make sense but it is a slow speed light density freight route with a questionable future west of Port Jervis at best.
As for taking one train off its present route to run through this mess would make even less sense, Albany is one of the top
stations on the entire Amtrak system and to reduce service there even by one train to run through a dog patch area would '
be ridiculous and will not happen.
Noel Weaver
Albany, is a top station. Because it's new! And there ARE trains to it. It seems to have some kind of pay parking.New York state has made the investment in the service. You are right, we should not be moving the few trains we have. But it's time to grow the business and put more trains on and open new markets. That includes Albany-Binghamton to Buffalo with other connections Scranton- Syracuse and more. The podunk trains of Amtrak provide most of the company income. Because "Podunk" does not have and won't have good or any air service, in some places bus service either. (most people won't ride a bus anyway) I just returned from a trip to the Big "E" in Springfield via the "Lake Shore Limited" I see now that the train has direct service again Chicago-Boston. It has three times the riders east of Albany!!!! People like one seat rides. They do not like to change trains. Most of the riders were going to Springfield which I guess was "Podunk" compared to Boston. And they were not train nuts. My sleeper was sold out east of Erie. Many people were buying rooms for the day! The new times at Toledo and Cleveland have killed the business there. One of the reasons the railroads of the northeast went bankrupt was because of this corridor commuter service that they ran. The old annual reports told the story again and again. Because of these short hauls the freight for most of them was a looser too. Isn't Albany smaller than Rochester or Buffalo?
  by Noel Weaver
 
Rhinecliff is much smaller than Rochester and Buffalo but it generates far more use than either Rochester or Buffalo do.
Albany - New York is what is considered a corridor service and it is very competetive with any other means of transportation
between the two cities. There is a lot of travel between the state's largest city and it capital and the railroad handles the
majority of this business that uses public transportation.
Albany probably handles more passengers than all of the stations west of it do combined although I haven't checked the
figures lately.
You can't grow a business when there is little or no business in the first place and little potential for business either and
that is the case here. If passenger service on this route had any chance the Erie Lackawanna would have made something
of it back in the 60's, they tried, their trains were very decent to ride with good accomodations, good food, comfortable
equipment and generally on time too. I rode both lines in question more than once and even then people just did not ride
the train for the most part.
Noel Weaver
  by Steamtown Observer
 
Noel Weaver wrote:The answer to transportation in this area is buses on NY - 17. If they are concerned about traffic into New York the buses
could connect someplace out of town with existing commuter rail service. I doubt if there is even enough business to fill
a buses. Better to have 6 bus trips a day in each direction spread out over a day than one train a day at a set time.
Noel Weaver
This has been my thought for years. Have a bus run up Route 97 from Port Jervis and stop at the towns the Erie would have. Run to Binghamton if you can. Kind of the MTA version of Amtrak's dedicated bus connections. I think we will have empty busses, but who knows? You could do this as an experiment for a year and it would cost less than the next study the state will do.

On the other hand I think there might be a market for Summer only weekend rail service to Callicoon as Jimmy Wilson of the NY&GL has proposed or to Honesdale as the Morristown & Erie has proposed.
  by goodnightjohnwayne
 
Noel Weaver wrote: The answer to transportation in this area is buses on NY - 17.
That's precisely what exists today. I would imagine that additional buses are used during peak demand in the upstate college town, when students are arriving and departing en masse. The real problem is that this sort of patronage is highly intermittent - to the extent that bus charters might be the optimal solution.
Noel Weaver wrote: If they are concerned about traffic into New York the buses
could connect someplace out of town with existing commuter rail service. I doubt if there is even enough business to fill
a buses. Better to have 6 bus trips a day in each direction spread out over a day than one train a day at a set time.
Noel Weaver
The problem with connecting to commuter rail is that a one seat bus ride would be quicker, especially since it would be hard to coordinate bus service to coincide with the commuter trains. Instead of leaving the upstate campuses at inconvenient hours just to connect to early morning commuter trains, it seems more likely that the buses leave at the most convenient hours in an attempt to miss the commuter traffic.

Who in their right mind would want to get up in the wee hours of the morning to get on a bus that would drop them off at Port Jervis for a long, expensive train ride into Penn Station?

I think it's far more likely that bus patrons would prefer to leave in mid morning or early afternoon on a cheaper, one seat ride to the Port Authority Bus Station?
  by PassRailSavesFuel
 
Noel Weaver wrote: You can't grow a business when there is little or no business in the first place and little potential for business either and
that is the case here. If passenger service on this route had any chance the Erie Lackawanna would have made something
of it back in the 60's, they tried, their trains were very decent to ride with good accomodations, good food, comfortable
equipment and generally on time too. I rode both lines in question more than once and even then people just did not ride
the train for the most part.
Noel Weaver
What killed the Erie-Lackawanna long distance service on this corridor was the removal of mail service to freights and trucks. EL never had the ridership of the Empire Corridor. What really made a difference was the increaseing of the fares time and time again. Loss of connections, and no longer accepting credit cards. High labor costs, and equipment replacement issues. In the late 1960's the cars were getting 20 years old. Today gas is not 30 cents a gallon. Amtrak just finished a record breaking 6 years of ridership growth. Top loading trains for income and ridership include the " Empire Builder" which serves area much more "Podunk" than southern NY. 1000 miles of nothing between MPS and Spokane.
Things are different today. One of the reasons the "Delaware Valley Corridor" towns are the way they are today is the rail service is gone. I can't believe there is so much talk of buses on this list. Bus riders are a different market. Most people just won't ride them. That's why when the highway lobby converted streetcars to buses they lost half their ridership. There was one more thing that killed the EL. They were just plain slow. With say 150 reverse curves on the "Delaware Valley Corridor" ?????? The engineer got alot of use of the brake valve. Talgo could handle that very, very well. Labor agreements have changed. The oil, for the highway mail service is killing the Post Office! Air travel is in a slow decline.
  by goodnightjohnwayne
 
PassRailSavesFuel wrote:Labor agreements have changed.
Actually, that might be true for the Class I freight railroads, but very few labor efficiencies have been realized in passenger and commuter operations in comparison. Labor costs are still very high for passenger railroads. It's worth repeating that a newly hired "assistant conductor" makes more than veteran pilots on some regional airlines.

PassRailSavesFuel wrote: The oil, for the highway mail service is killing the Post Office! Air travel is in a slow decline.
1. Many factors, mainly labor issues, benefit costs, excessive regulation and decreasing mail volumes are effecting the Post Office. Fuel prices are not at the forefront of the well publicized woes at the USPS.

2. The airline industry is effected by overall economic trends to a far greater degree than Amtrak. It should be clear to anyone that air travel is indispensable for overseas travel and will continue to dominate intercontinental travel. It should be fairly obvious that there can be no shift back to ocean liners for international travel. Equally, it's painfully obvious that while long distance trains might double or triple their passenger volumes in the next decade or two, airline travel will not be abandoned for passenger rail. After all, who in their right mind would want to waste the better part of a week crossing the Atlantic by ship? By the same token, who in their right mind would be willing to pay the cost per mile of an Acela ticket to take a couple of days to get from coast to coast? Air travel is here to stay - even in the Northeast Corridor.
  by goodnightjohnwayne
 
PassRailSavesFuel wrote: Things are different today. One of the reasons the "Delaware Valley Corridor" towns are the way they are today is the rail service is gone.
Actually, passenger rail has very little impact on overall economic development in Upstate NY. Looking back at the entirely misguided route selection of the Erie, it was clear even at the time that this area was never going to develop along the same lines as the Hudson and Mohawk valleys.

PassRailSavesFuel wrote: I can't believe there is so much talk of buses on this list. Bus riders are a different market. Most people just won't ride them. That's why when the highway lobby converted streetcars to buses they lost half their ridership.
The electric traction industry was in decline long before gasoline powered buses were practical and widespread. It's worth noting that there was a genuine and widespread public dislike of the privately owned streetcar and interurban lines, something that modern revisionists seem to conveniently ignore. Many of these lines had gone through at least one bankruptcy, victimizing local investors in process. The revisionists also choose to forget that most streetcars were jerky, rough riding and posed the additional danger of boarding and discharging passengers in the middle of the street.

Looking back to the 1920s and 30s, bus lines did experience a brief period of great prosperity, bringing service to a number of markets that previously were without public transportation, even in the heyday of the failed electric traction craze. It wasn't until the post WWII era that these services entered a rapid decline and bus travel was viewed less favorably.
  by PassRailSavesFuel
 
To my friend, JohnWayne..... The bus industry lost many routes because of the same reason the passenger rail routes disappeared.Many of the companys were bankrupt just like the airlines.They lost the mail and express business! The last Super Scenic buses the "dog" ran. Were converted to express buses with the few seats remaining on the main floor of the bus.(these were split level buses made to compete with the railroad dome car)I saw them, I rode them. In the winter you froze, in the seats behind that curved glass on the second floor. Since there are always loser routes. These routes and connections fed into the main corridors. And when they lost these connections that was the end. Many routes today operate on grants $$$$ from the government, that we as railfans just don't hear of or pay attention to. It really doesn't matter if anyone gets on the bus. It's part of the national system, and Uncle Sam pays for it! Why should we look at the trains any differently? They would be good for the towns just like road,and air service. But unlike the airlines, the buses do have some kind of future.
  by PassRailSavesFuel
 
PassRailSavesFuel wrote: The oil, for the highway mail service is killing the Post Office! Air travel is in a slow decline.
1. Many factors, mainly labor issues, benefit costs, excessive regulation and decreasing mail volumes are effecting the Post Office. Fuel prices are not at the forefront of the well publicized woes at the USPS.
2. The airline industry is effected by overall economic trends to a far greater degree than Amtrak. It should be clear to anyone that air travel is indispensable for overseas travel and will continue to dominate intercontinental travel. It should be fairly obvious that there can be no shift back to ocean liners for international travel. Equally, it's painfully obvious that while long distance trains might double or triple their passenger volumes in the next decade or two, airline travel will not be abandoned for passenger rail. After all, who in their right mind would want to waste the better part of a week crossing the Atlantic by ship? By the same token, who in their right mind would be willing to pay the cost per mile of an Acela ticket to take a couple of days to get from coast to coast? Air travel is here to stay - even in the Northeast Corridor.[/quote]
Fuel prices are not at the forefront? Let's see. They replaced a mail train of 20 or more cars with one or two engines with perhaps 50 trucks with 50 drivers and 50 fuel tanks that get really bad mileage per ton of mail. That's cheaper? Decreasing mail volumes are an issue. That's why passenger rail makes sense for mail today. We didn't have snail mail until it went by truck! Postage was 3 cents delivery to many places in hours not days or weeks.
Airlines? The last routes will be overseas routes. But I thought we were talking about Binghamton USA. Air routes in Europe, where there is good rail service, are already being abandoned. Even in the Northeast Corridor with poor service, Amtrak is king. Airlines are a hopeless business.
  by Noel Weaver
 
NOPE!!! Same circus, different clowns.
Noel Weaver
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