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 west point
 
It would seem that the Hartford passenger station situation has to be completely resolved and whatever station construction needed is within 2 years of completion before all plans to electrify are dusted off. Contract could be let when station mods are within a certain completion date .completion. We have no idea how many tracks , platforms. and storage pocket tracks will also be under construction. Then consideration of electrification can be examined as passenger traffic will have changed from now to what traffic is 10 years hence ?

Now first items will be the long lead electrical items such as switch gear and transformers. If the USA electrical grid ends getting up major improvements then the electrification may have to take a back seat. AS well if the reports of Acelas-2s having voltage problems on the PRR 25 Hz systems are true then what electrical gear is available may need to go to beefing up the PRR CAT distribution.
  by daybeers
 
Y'all are wild if you're turning down electrification for a line owned by Amtrak with minimal freight traffic that substantially reduces dwell time in New Haven while creating a cleaner, quieter, more efficient and less harmful system. You do know there will be at least three new stations, right?

La la land if you think we can continue push-pulling diesel trains of three cars in 2021 and still have a habitable place for the kids born the last few years. Giving examples of badly-run North American commuter rail systems is not an argument. Metra is an awful system. It costs a fortune, uses ancient cars that require steps in the frigid feet of snow, mostly runs on freight railroads that are sick of it, and is extremely slow, and subsidizes suburbia. The LIRR's diesel sections have most of the same issues. The fact that the MBTA hasn't electrified their network yet is absurd, but they slowly seem to be working on studying it :wink:

Why does the Hartford reconfiguration have to be done first? Can't they electrify at the same time?

Not sure why NH2060 was all about facts offending people. It's just not true that the cost of electrification would not provide a substantial cost-benefit ratio that is difficult to calculate. You know the current trainsets run for hours on end while laying over at the terminals?
  by NH2060
 
The cost of electrifying the entire line would cost at least $500-600 Million and that’s not including the necessary rolling stock.

CT does not have that kind of cash laying around for such an expenditure right now and Amtrak is definitely not interested in spite of the projected injection of greenbacks from DC.

And why should they when the current setup works well enough as a feeder service to the existing NEC.

If there were already wires strung up like there were for the Keystone prior to 2006 and Shore Line East prior to now -before both got or will get almost full electric train service- then yes absolutely why *not* go electric? But in this case -as with the Danbury Branch- it’s more feasible to stick with diesel power.

And by the way for all the hysterical “the world’s going to end in 10 years because of cLiMaTe cHaNgE!” nonsense you should know that converting every remaining diesel/steam railway line in the world to electric power won’t do ONE DARN THING (even if you got China to stop polluting the environment at a higher rate than the US does). There isn’t even “catastrophic climate change” occurring that’s just a load of baloney drummed up by the mainstream media, lobbyists, and globalist politicians with an agenda to push and bank accounts to fill with $$$. And even if you did electrify everything how do you know it’s not being powered by hOrRiD eViL fossil fuels? States like woke “green” CA buy a lot of their power from other states that get their electricity from coal, natural gas, etc.

For goodness sake we have Tier 4 compliant diesels that can accelerate and decelerate faster with a 3-5 car train. I think that’s good enough.
  by BandA
 
NH2060 wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:18 am The cost of electrifying the entire line would cost at least $500-600 Million and that’s not including the necessary rolling stock.
And there is no offsetting cost saving as electric locomotives seem to be as expensive or more expensive than diesel. You can add some new technology by adding a lithium battery to the diesel engine for regenerative braking, perhaps bumping peak power. OTOH, if somebody insists on running multi-units instead of push-pull, EMUs at least exist while FRA DMUs are special unicorns. If the trains are certain to be only 3 cars long they can order a fleet of lower-power diesel locomotives.
For goodness sake we have Tier 4 compliant diesels that can accelerate and decelerate faster with a 3-5 car train. I think that’s good enough.
Yes, focus should be on emission control and energy-efficiency and ask China to stop increasing coal-fired power plants.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
That's right-all we need is a Tier 4 level diesel that can accelerate faster. Many commuter railroads have purchased Chargers like Coaster and MARC. Coaster uses all multilevels while MARC uses a mixture of bilevels and single levels. The Chargers have very good acceleration and I haven't heard of any reliability complaints from MARC's and Coaster's. I can imagine that the Brockville Units that Tri-Rail uses has Tier IV capabilities.

CDOT should seriously look into buying Charger or even Brockville Units that are similar to those of Tri-Rail(just make sure that they are good for 110 mph). Maybe CDOT could look into purchasing HSP-46 units. The P40s are tired and worn out units that were originally designed to handle Amtrak long distance trains that don't stop for miles in the teens to even the hundreds.
  by NH2060
 
I don't see the likelihood of any MP32 or BL36 engines being procured by ConnDOT with their options for Metro-North's Charger order baked into the latter's procurement contract. And the HSP46 was a failed endeavor that will never see another buyer; I'm sure the brass at the T are in a continual state of face palming themselves for buying them.

It almost for certain will be a Charger variant if for no other reason than for fleet and parts compatibility/commonality. Metro-North has already placed an order for 27 dual mode units with up to 32 additional units for MNR, 66 for LIRR, 20 for NYSDOT/Amtrak, and 20 for CTrail.

http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents ... 0Final.pdf

Now considering the BL20GHs only entered revenue service in 2008 and with their recent rebuild going on right now those are likely to stay in branchline service on MNR for quite some time to come. The GP40s were recently given a rebuild as well as the P40s which will give them up to another 15 years of service life. So which locos -if any- the Chargers would replace is anyone's guess. Since they will be dual modes they may not end up replacing any units at all and be used on any current and expanded one seat ride services to/from GCT.

At the same time depending on where "in line" ConnDOT is in the queue -and what happens to the global supply chains thanks to the current labor shortage-induced chain reactions and a possible economic fallout they might not get any new locos delivered for another 5 to 10 years. They've still got to build the Amtrak, VIA Rail, and additional Brightline units (including options), followed by Metro-North, LIRR, and NYSDOT. And by then ConnDOT might ask "hey can you build us another 20-30 straight diesels?" Unless they want 100% fleet commonality and equip SLE and the Hartford Line with dual modes anyway.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Yes, the BL20s will probably be in service for a while longer. It's only 2022. Yes, they have had their reliability issues but that probably stems from poor maintenance at the CDOT owned maintenance facilities. There is no way that CDOT will put them on Ctrail Hartford Line operations. I don't think they are even geared for 100. I believe the BL20GH units often don't go faster than 75 a lot of the time.

The SPG Line, yes, would certainly see some sort of Charger variant for Ctrail trains. In fact, as part of the order to replace the Amfleet Is, Ex-Metroliner Cab Cars, and P42s on Amtrak trains in the Northeast including the trains that run on the SPG Line, Amtrak will be ordering Charger variants. Hopefully if that is the case, proper maintenance will be executed for these CDOT owned Chargers. We don't want to see what has been happening with the Chargers assigned to the Amtrak state supported trains that run in the Midwest.

As for the current diesel engines that are assigned to Ctrail operations, that probably makes sense that the Geeps and the P40s could be around for that amount of time, although they are at the age of retirement. I think CDOT though can move onto replacing the diesel locomotives for Ctrail trains. Btw, with future plans to implement M8s on Shore Line East service, that would certainly enable more diesels to run on the Hartford Line operations.
  by cle
 
Diesel or any locos pulling 1-3 consists is laughable. And a waste of firepower. Rather than foaming about locos or comparing ourselves to worse US commuter railroads - which tend to be low frequency, long-consists and peak flighted (this is a bit more nuanced, and with 3 hubs + connections) - let's take a leaf out of the Swiss or Japanese or Scandis - or Italians, anyone really - and see what they would do in this instance.

Best practice in rail does not come from the US, except for commercial profitability of freight.
  by BandA
 
Remind me again, what is the price of an electric locomotive vs. a diesel locomotive? And the fuel economy of a locomotive-hauled diesel train vs 500 Prius? And the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
  by nomis
 
Recent acquisitions of motors for the Northeast...
  • Sprinters for Amtrak were $6.657 mil each for 70 units (in 2010 dollars) and with the spare parts and facilities upgrades at the same time brought it up to $8.041 mil each.
  • Sprinters for Septa were $8.555 mil each (in 2015 dollars) for 18 units.
  • The Bombardier ALP-46A for NJT were $8.388 mil each (in 2008-2009 dollars) for the 36 units and spare parts.
On the diesel side, and Tier 4 compliant ...
  • Chargers for the States (ie. Midwest, Cali, Wash, MARC) come out to be $7.031 mil each (in 2014 dollars) for the initial 32, and I believe the additional exercised options of 32 for other agencies.
  • Chargers for Amtrak Long Distance were $11.333 mil each (in 2018 dollars).
  • And the Dual Mode (thrid rail) Chargers for NY Centric services are $12.403 mil each for the initial order for Metro North (in 2020 dollars).
  • The EMD F125 Spirit were $7.5 mil each (in 2012 dollars) for Metrolink, the only taker.
Fuel and Electrical costs an arm and a leg no matter how you slice it, sometimes even the kitchen sink if Amtrak wants to fleece MARC.

To answer your final question, 11 meters per second. NI

Bringing this back to Hartford Line and CDOT centric thoughts, rebuilding the Geeps and P40's for East of New Haven Services was fiscally prudent last decade. Even if CDOT had to purchase new, the breakeven of a newly procured Tier 4 locomotive is still a better bet currently, over the capital costs of 62 miles of new catenary and the slight price savings of a motor. There are more economical steps to increase service frequency and make the catenary pill easier to swallow, especially once the Hartford bottleneck is addressed.
  by scratchyX1
 
BandA wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:43 am Remind me again, what is the price of an electric locomotive vs. a diesel locomotive? And the fuel economy of a locomotive-hauled diesel train vs 500 Prius? And the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
African or European?
but seriously , in any other country, those would be DMU/EMU
  by scratchyX1
 
Why are electrics more expensive that diesel electric?
I'd assume less moving parts in electric.
  by kitchin
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:58 am Why are electrics more expensive that diesel electric?
I'd assume less moving parts in electric.
The electric motor in an electric is more powerful than the electric motor in a diesel-electric. Maybe that's it. Or transforming the power in an electric is an expensive part. So an electric has lots of copper, heavier motor bearings, and...?

But when you compare to lower costs internationally, the main cost might be engineering and project management. Talking out of my hat here, but somebody else will pipe up.
  by cle
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:56 am
BandA wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:43 am Remind me again, what is the price of an electric locomotive vs. a diesel locomotive? And the fuel economy of a locomotive-hauled diesel train vs 500 Prius? And the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
African or European?
but seriously , in any other country, those would be DMU/EMU
This is the point. Not types of locos (pulling 1-3 cars, lol) - but multiple units. We have them on the NH line, so it's not so outlandish. Sets of 4 car units could be enough.

Bi-mode ones to begin with, if feasible to cross-work with Waterbury and for the Flyers, but up to Springfield should be wired. Useful for SLE also (pure EMU ones) - if only CT considered that they seemingly have the bones of a network, with a strategy, economies of scale and vision which supported that. And some solid demand centers distributed across it, and existing rail users too. It's not such a revolution, just better, fairer ticketing, procurement and that vision.
  by scratchyX1
 
MN is prototyping battery /electric mus, should be logical for cdot to do same
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