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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by DutchRailnut
my understanding is extension went in due to CDOT having to upgrade bathrooms .
  by Erie-Lackawanna
Backshophoss wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:59 pm MBTA is attempting to recall the MBB's back,not sure if to put the MBB's on the Greenville shuttle service,or back on Northside service
to ease a "car Shortage"
I’m guessing that MBTA won’t be in such a rush to call those cars home any time soon...ridership may be significantly down permanently, and if it does rebound, ConnDOT will have had plenty of time to buy a shiny new fleet to replace those cars.

  by daybeers
DutchRailnut wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:44 am now we get to design , compatibility , RFP , actual purchase, and then construction.
my guess ?... 5 to 8 years for first car.

and what is interesting is currently CDOT owns 49 cars in MN pool plus 20 or so Mafersa cars for SLE plus Hartford leasers they want to double fleet size ??
The first three parts are already underway.

Why wouldn't CDOT want to increase service in the future? And just because Amtrak owns the Springfield Line doesn't mean it needs to be the service operator for the Hartford Line. It's confusing having two operators with different amenities and policies and the state knows that.

I believe the lease was extended.
  by njtmnrrbuff
Daybeers, there is still a lot of single track along the north end of the Springfield Line so that's part of the reason why CDOT can't add too many more trains north of Hartford or at least past Windsor Locks. A few pairs of Ctrail Hartford Line trains that used to go as far as Hartford now go as far as Windsor Locks. Much of the south end of the Springfield Line is double track between Mill River Interlocking in New Haven and Hartford. However, I think the last mile or so of the Springfield Line before entering Hartford Station from the south, there is single track with a freight siding which I think may be restored for passenger use in the short term, hopefully. CDOT wants Amtrak to move it's Hartford Station to a tunnel which will have double tracks finally at the station but that won't be happening probably until after the highway infrastructure project in Downtown Hartford begins.
  by daybeers
Oh yes, I'm fully aware of the infrastructure constraints, but there could still be more trains as it is, especially when talking about the other lines these cars will be used on. And these cars will be in use for decades, so they're planning ahead.

I really do hope that freight siding gets upgraded soon. It would make a lot of difference.
  by Riverduckexpress
As discussed in the Waterbury Line thread, the Connecticut State Bond Commission approved the $300 million in bonds for new CDOT railcars today - except that 60 cars will be purchased, for Shore Line East and the Hartford Line only. State budget director Melissa McCaw said that the description that 72 cars would be purchased for Waterbury, Danbury, Hartford and Shore Line East (see page 21) was a "mistake".

Here's an article about it: https://www.rep-am.com/local/capitol-re ... ury-lines/
The State Bond Commission voted Thursday to approve a bond allocation for $300 million to finance the purchase that had initially included the Waterbury and Danbury lines.

Before the vote, Melissa McCaw, the state budget director, reported that the 60 new cars are being purchased for only the Shore Line East and the Hartford Line.

She said the Waterbury and Danbury lines were included in error on two bond commission agendas, and the agendas also incorrectly stated that 72 replacement cars would be purchased.
But if you'd rather hear it straight from the horse's mouth, here's the video link to today's State Bond Commission meeting: http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=17312 The railcar order is discussed from 34:20 to 47:50.

When questioned, McCaw and CDOT Commissioner Giulietti stated that the order is 60 cars only because of limited transportation funding available, and that the Hartford Line and Shore Line East were the highest priorities for new railcars, due to the Hartford Line's leased railcars needing to be returned to Massachusetts, and Shore Line East's "significantly antiquated" fleet. Giulietti repeated that the New Haven Line needs M8s so much that there are none left for SLE. He did say that the Waterbury and Danbury Branches could get new cars from an option order down the line, and didn't mention anything about a future MTA order for new railcars.

On a related note, the CT Rail Commuter Council had a meeting last night which is where the news about the "mistake" first broke. The agenda for the meeting focused mostly on SLE, including discussion on the M8s, but we'll have to wait until the Council posts the meeting minutes for details.
Last edited by Riverduckexpress on Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Jeff Smith
Great synopsis... not sure I'm buying the "mistake". Now that I think about it, perhaps the reason it's CTRail only is that they did not reach agreement with the MTA on funding share for pool service. Even though CTDOT pays 100% of branch line costs, the fleets are still shared.
  by DutchRailnut
the funding of those 72 cars would be fully Connecticut , but you can't order cars that will not be compatible with next MN fleet and may or may not fit in tight clearances in GCT and cause another maintenance headache in Harmon. the push pull pool is to be made up of same cars and engines.
why!! cause maintenance and cycling to shop is done at Metro North facilities and not at SLE shops , and the contracts are not going to change for that.
  by nomis
Local Politicians show their disappointment in the loss of "their" 12 cars, and everything becomes a spin to Tolls in CT.

https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/ ... -branches/
Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O’Leary said he is disappointed but not completely surprised because the CT2030 plan had always anticipated highway tolls as part of the funding mix.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, charged Lamont dropped the Waterbury line as political retaliation because she and a number of Naugatuck Valley legislators opposed highway tolls
“I believe this is not coincidental,” she said.

The legislature’s bipartisan Waterbury Rail Caucus protested the governor’s decision, saying, “The Waterbury rail line is once again ignored and this is unacceptable.”

Rep. Gerald Reyes, D-75th District, and other caucus leaders said long-term improvements to the Waterbury line are critical to realizing the economic potential of mass transit and the Naugatuck Valley.

“We are just as vital as any other rail line in the state of Connecticut, and I’m just perplexed as to why we’re overlooked again,” Reyes said.
  by Jeff Smith
Dutch, the 60 ordered are SLE/Hartford Line only, not pool. Not arguing whether they SHOULD be compatible, but they don't have to be. As for Waterbury, they're not going to GCT anyway; none of these are. Again, not a should, but a don't have to. I haven't seen any plans for SLE or Hartford Line service to GCT, and wouldn't expect any for all the reasons that have been discussed ad nauseum on here (capacity, etc.). They're NOT ordering pool coaches (yes, Waterbury would be pool, but that was the mistake in the bonding request).
  by DutchRailnut
the 72 cars canceled are pool cars , the 60 funded are SLE/hartford line.
as for Waterbury you never know if in future there will again be trough service, and cars heading to Harmon will always go via GCT as its two different crew districts.
  by NH2060
DutchRailnut wrote: Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:56 am the 72 cars canceled are pool cars , the 60 funded are SLE/hartford line.
as for Waterbury you never know if in future there will again be trough service, and cars heading to Harmon will always go via GCT as its two different crew districts.
Thanks for the clarification. My impression was that it was a 132-car pooled fleet for complete replacement of all current rolling stock for only intra-CT services including the branch lines with 72 being the base order and 60 being the options. But the dedicated 60/72 deployment and funding split explains everything.
  by DutchRailnut
Metro North is not looking at single level cars , the new push pulls will most likely be MLV or equivalent.
all for two simple reasons (1) trains have length limitations due to platform length specially in diesel territory.
(2) yards have constraints as to how many cars fit on the tracks. for example Danbury only room for one 8 car, one 7 car and one 6 car , plus two 3 car mini's , Wassaic has same constraints as does Poughkeepsie unless the take over CSX yard .
with new engines they want to be able to run 9/10 car trains were there is room in yards.
  by njtmnrrbuff
I'm sure that whatever MNR chooses to order for push pull cars, CDOT will order those same cars for the New Haven Line branches given the fact that they will operate all around the MNR EOH system.
  by DutchRailnut
correct and that is when new bond issue will be raised, it was mistake in suggesting that it would be all same .