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

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  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Very sad news about the fire in Enfield. Going forward, we have to wonder if the Enfield Station will still be built there and how much parking will be available.
  by daybeers
 
I was at Wallingford yesterday and noticed tons of small shavings about 1-2" long of the yellow plastic mold that's bolted into the concrete on the high-level platform had come off and were cramming into the space between the mold and the platform and on the ballast below. I imagine that's not good for the environment. I'd assume it would be caused by freights since they never use the gauntlet track that cost a fortune to build.

4461 and 4462 were canceled yesterday due to problems with the GP40 I think. CT just needs to put its big pants on and electrify the line so it can use EMUs instead of push-pull diesels slower than they were twenty years ago. Utterly ridiculous they are spending money on a forever refurbishment program for them and the CTDOT P40s. I rode behind a rebuilt P40 a week or so ago and I noticed no difference in performance, acceleration, and it was still loud as all hell. Could easily shave 20-25 minutes off the schedule by electrifying, double tracking, replacing the Connecticut River Bridge, realigning Hartford, and getting rid of speed restrictions in New Haven. The state needs to do this now so the state doesn't fall apart when I-84 is closed through Hartford.
  by gregorygrice
 
daybeers wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 1:03 pm I was at Wallingford yesterday and noticed tons of small shavings about 1-2" long of the yellow plastic mold that's bolted into the concrete on the high-level platform had come off and were cramming into the space between the mold and the platform and on the ballast below. I imagine that's not good for the environment. I'd assume it would be caused by freights since they never use the gauntlet track that cost a fortune to build.

4461 and 4462 were canceled yesterday due to problems with the GP40 I think. CT just needs to put its big pants on and electrify the line so it can use EMUs instead of push-pull diesels slower than they were twenty years ago. Utterly ridiculous they are spending money on a forever refurbishment program for them and the CTDOT P40s. I rode behind a rebuilt P40 a week or so ago and I noticed no difference in performance, acceleration, and it was still loud as all hell. Could easily shave 20-25 minutes off the schedule by electrifying, double tracking, replacing the Connecticut River Bridge, realigning Hartford, and getting rid of speed restrictions in New Haven. The state needs to do this now so the state doesn't fall apart when I-84 is closed through Hartford.
All easier said than done. Though I will say some of the things listed, such as electrifying the line are kind of pointless in this point of time. Also the GP40s have no issue accelerating quickly when working properly, but areas around some of the stations have speed restrictions that must be followed. Wallingford and Meriden are the two big ones.
  by daybeers
 
Why do you say electrification is pointless? Amtrak can't use the Shore Line forever and it's slow and curvy. There used to be a ton of service using the Inland Route.

They're still diesel push-pull trains for 3 cars, which stopped being a thing around the world 30 years ago because they're so inefficient.
  by Train60
 
daybeers wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 1:03 pm I was at Wallingford yesterday and noticed tons of small shavings about 1-2" long of the yellow plastic mold that's bolted into the concrete on the high-level platform had come off and were cramming into the space between the mold and the platform and on the ballast below. I imagine that's not good for the environment. I'd assume it would be caused by freights since they never use the gauntlet track that cost a fortune to build.

4461 and 4462 were canceled yesterday due to problems with the GP40 I think. CT just needs to put its big pants on and electrify the line so it can use EMUs instead of push-pull diesels slower than they were twenty years ago. Utterly ridiculous they are spending money on a forever refurbishment program for them and the CTDOT P40s. I rode behind a rebuilt P40 a week or so ago and I noticed no difference in performance, acceleration, and it was still loud as all hell. Could easily shave 20-25 minutes off the schedule by electrifying, double tracking, replacing the Connecticut River Bridge, realigning Hartford, and getting rid of speed restrictions in New Haven. The state needs to do this now so the state doesn't fall apart when I-84 is closed through Hartford.
About 5 years ago I heard a senior person at CTDOT say that the cost to electrify the Hartford Line route (Amtrak's Springfield Line) was in the neighborhood of $500M. Last year I saw a list floating around that put this price at $1B ($1,000M). I'm not sure how or why the estimated cost doubled.

You made a number of good points. In addition to posting them here I'd suggest that you submit a set of comments to CTDOT through the 2021 CT Rail Plan Update which is now under way.

Info can be found on this link, https://portal.ct.gov/DOT/Publictrans/O ... -Rail-Plan
  by daybeers
 
Well, CTDOT projects cost way more than they should since they're in bed with AECOM all the time which skyrockets costs. I think CTDOT is well aware of my views, but yes I am waiting for the draft to come out.
  by gregorygrice
 
The state is already aware of pretty much everything he stated. None of those ideas are new. Double tracking, Hartford area improvement and Conn River Bridge improvement are all things that have been in the works. Nothing happens overnight.
  by BandA
 
Train60 wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:06 pmAbout 5 years ago I heard a senior person at CTDOT say that the cost to electrify the Hartford Line route (Amtrak's Springfield Line) was in the neighborhood of $500M. Last year I saw a list floating around that put this price at $1B ($1,000M). I'm not sure how or why the estimated cost doubled....
Price doubling in 5 years is equivalent to 15% annual inflation.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
There's really no need to electrify the Springfield Line. It's not at the top of Amtrak's list of priorities. The dual powered diesel/catenary locomotives that Amtrak will be buying will be running on the Springfield Line. I am still waiting to hear about the brand new equipment that will replace the MBB cars on Ctrail Hartford Line trains. It would be very nice if CDOT can buy Chargers for the Ctrail operations and run them on Ctrail Hartford Line. While the Geeps might look nice from a railfan perspective, they have been around for a very long time. The P40s have been around for a pretty long time and are slow loaders. Let's keep current with the motive power and get something that can accelerate fine.

As for infrastructural improvements on the Hartford Line, yes, more double track would be good. Hartford Station improvements have been needed for a while but sadly, until the highway project in Downtown Hartford begins, construction on the brand new Hartford Station and right of way isn't going anywhere. If only could that second track on the existing viaduct at Hartford Station not have been ripped up. It would be nice to see the Connecticut River bridge replaced or even rehabilitated with a brand new bridge that can allow a little faster speeds.
  by Train60
 
gregorygrice wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:38 pm The state is already aware of pretty much everything he stated. None of those ideas are new. Double tracking, Hartford area improvement and Conn River Bridge improvement are all things that have been in the works. Nothing happens overnight.
Its really doesn't matter if the ideas are new or not. What matters is that people (citizens, elected officials, stakeholders, business leaders, etc.) speak up when they want something to change. The chances of something happening increase when people speak up.
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