• Cuomo proposed High Speed System in NY

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by RRspatch
 
mtuandrew wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:10 pm In response to your question of why CSX would want to sell the Water Level Route:

Money.

I don’t think Jacksonville would want to sell the entire route. I do think they want to monetize as much land as they could, and that they want to reduce their high tax burden, and that they are under pressure from their Board to create as much extra profit as possible (even in a one-time windfall.)
They wouldn't have to sell the "entire" route. The New York Central used to be four tracks wide between Albany and Cleveland. When NYC CTC'ed the line back in the late 50's/early 60's the took up two tracks, mostly the two outer tracks. Have New York state restore the two outer tracks. The two northern tracks go to CSXT and the the southern tracks get used to passenger rail. This is probably the EASIEST route to add passenger capacity anywhere.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I doubt that MNR will let Amtrak run at 100 mph on their railroad. It would be nice if the 90 mph running was brought back though along the stretches of MNR’s Hudson Line that used to be 90 mph.

A second platform should be built at Syracuse Station. Given that it has very high ridership and multiple tracks, a second platform would enable two trains to serve the station at once. I think there is enough room on the other side to build a second platform. It would be great to add high level platforms at other stations too-Utica, Amsterdam(good if station ever moves back downtown), and Rome. Buffalo-Depew can also use high level platforms.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:37 pm
Tadman wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:33 am You know what would be really amazing? A carrier, any carrier - Amtrak, Metro North, keolis, Virgin Trains, etc... - buys a few sets of Siemens HrST similar to Brightline. They market them as something like "Empire Acela". Make them look shiny, make them look fast, make them look exclusive. Nothing over the current speed limits, a few less stops maybe, and food and service similar to Acela. Great fast wifi is a must. Also perhaps a decent amount of tables.

I bet they sell the heck out of it between Albany and NYP.

People don't know how fast their train goes, they care if it's clean, modern looking, on time, and reasonably time competitive. That's why Acela does well even if it's technologically a dog and hampered by frequent commuter operations on the same route.
That's precisely what I hoped the Turboliners would deliver, before the RTL-III program blew up. I agree that the Brightline sets would be ideal. The only thing they lack (as with the Turbos) is active tilt, but I don't know how much would be gained from it. I think more important is to run consistent, reliable schedules at the existing speeds (which are already respectable from New York to Albany and Schenectady) and maybe bump the 79 mph stretches upstate to 90 mph where feasible.
Like I said, bring Brightline aboard!

Your point on the RTL's is spot on: if they're building Acela 2.0 / Avelia in Hornell, why not have NYS tack on to the order, but change out the power cars from catenary to diesel? You would need that last mile third rail option as well; throw in a "slug" behind the power cars if you must.
  by electricron
 
He is the Governor. Instead of making a political campaign proposal, why doesn't he introduce legislation in the State Legislature? Talk is talk, doing is doing; taking real concrete actions will always be more powerful than just talk.
  by Jeff Smith
 
What Andy wants, Andy gets. He's been pretty effective at pushing through his infrastructure priorities (see: TZB, LGA, L Line Canarsie Tunnels, Airtrain, SAS).

Although I wish he'd pay more attention to the next phases of SAS, and accelerate Penn Access so it will be ready when ESA comes on line.
  by SST
 
Two years ago I took Amtrak to NYC. Nice ride all the way with some serious water levels east of Utica. Made me wonder how soft the ROW might be. [Same trip as finding the signage in the ditch}

My complaint was on the return leg. We made excellent time out of NYC. West of Albany I could see we were moving faster than most cars on the Thruway. Nice to see we were going faster than the competition. Then we hit the Syracuse region. Only several miles or so east of Syracuse we stopped for lengthy delays 6 times....all on the east side. Added at least an hour to the trip. After leaving the SYR station, we "flew" home to Buffalo with no further delays.

What's the point of investment if you're not going to fix the problems.
  by Jeff Smith
 
From your mouths to the Governor's "experts" ears.
  by east point
 
Good proposals. Agree that 2 north tracks to CSX and south 2 to NY State. But MNRR intransigence about HrSR can be easily overturned by state telling MNRR to get on board ! Let Amtrak do 125 on MNRR !
  by RRspatch
 
Hudson2640 wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:32 pm

I agree. Best way to do that is to add a third track back to the Water Level Route. Especially between Syracuse and Rochester as I find this is where the majority of the delays tend to come from. But good luck trying to increase the speeds on CSX or Metro North. Neither has an incentive to do so unless the state pays a kings ransom.

Another thing that should be done is rebuild the Syracuse station. The current station is falling apart and sinking in certain spots (hence the bridge plates) and can only handle one train at a time. Trains 281 and 64 are due in close to the same time and one train is always waiting outside the station for at least 15 minutes for the other train to pass.
Looking at Google maps I see that Syracuse is built as an island platform. The north track, which is basically a siding between two control points, is used by Amtrak. On the south side of the platform is an empty track way which I assume was built for Syracuse On Track. It appears that On Track never quite made it to the station and stopped at the near by mall. Adding another track at Syracuse using the space provided for On Track would allow for meets there. As for going west to Rochester the under grade bridge just west of the station looks to be only two tracks wide. I assume the original NY Central bridge was removed and a new two track bridge put in place. Looking at the abutments from Google Street View it looks like there's room for a four track bridge.
  by rcthompson04
 
east point wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:25 pm Good proposals. Agree that 2 north tracks to CSX and south 2 to NY State. But MNRR intransigence about HrSR can be easily overturned by state telling MNRR to get on board ! Let Amtrak do 125 on MNRR !
MNRR is a state created creature. Failure to get on board can be dealt with by legislative action if needed.
  by rcthompson04
 
I used Google Maps to look at the entire route from Buffalo to Newburgh was surprised to see so much grade separation. Some of it appears to be relatively recent. Eliminating the remaining crossings where possible seems like a good start.

One concern I have is the condition of the abandoned portions of the ROW. Just looking at it from Google Maps some of it looks quite soft as NYC abandoned the outer tracks in most spots unlike the old PRR Main Line where in many spots space exists between the 2 remaining tracks. In many spots I am guessing you would be starting from scratch.
  by Tadman
 
SouthernRailway wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:59 pm
DeBlasio is my least favorite politician currently in office but would he even have anything to do with this? Hopefully not.
We should be so lucky if he's frozen out... To my knowledge he doesn't have any direct control but his type is known for having a few irons in the fire somehow, requesting favors or such or perhaps getting to name a few board members to a committee or authority. We all saw in AOC's case that she had no direct authority over the Amazon project but led such a negative PR effort that Amazon felt a lot of pressure and threw in the towel. If a private operator tried to get in on the Empire corridor, any politician with a microphone could lead a negative PR effort that could curb a good thing. Perhaps not a private train operator, but another attempt at private food service. We all saw what DiBlasio did to Dominos a few weeks ago. Those stores were franchise owned that he publicly berated.

TLDR if there's a facet of the new deal going forward that DiBlasio doesn't like, he's apt to make a lot of noise and it might kill the deal.
Matt Johnson wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:37 pm That's precisely what I hoped the Turboliners would deliver, before the RTL-III program blew up. I agree that the Brightline sets would be ideal. The only thing they lack (as with the Turbos) is active tilt, but I don't know how much would be gained from it.
You've got the right idea but think very simple. 90mph, cars and engines match, racy paint job, plush seats with tables, wifi, and power points, food via cart, power doors and traps for fast loading. No need for tilt, AC traction, 125/150mph, food service, etc...

Honestly they could do this with 25 well-rebuilt retired Jersey Comet cars and a handful of rebuilt Gennies.

I'll never forget a few years ago reading that a Connecticut commuter was admiring a NH-painted Gennie. The conductor told her that it was a 70 year old paint job. The commuter then asked why they were running 70yo trains. TLDR, the riders have no freaking clue as long as it's clean, on time, has wifi... etc.
  by electricron
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:03 am MNRR is a state created creature. Failure to get on board can be dealt with by legislative action if needed.
MNRR services 87 million passengers yearly, Amtrak services 30-31 million passengers yearly "nationally".
In New York, MNRR is the bigger dog - not Amtrak!
FYI, just to put Amtrak position in New York properly, LIRR services 89 million passengers yearly and NJT services 87 million rail passengers yearly, MTA subway services 1680 million passengers yearly.
That places Amtrak into 5th place by a large margin.
  by mtuandrew
 
Triple doors would definitely be nice, Tad. Doesn’t MNRR already own some Shoreliners that could be rebuilt to Amtrak Horizon standard? I’ve been advocating a rebuild program to make surplus Comets/Shoreliners/BTC-CTC cars into intercity equipment for a few years now. Beyond the inside improvements, wrap them in New York State Flag navy blue. No one else has cars that color, and they’d be unmistakable in a positive sense.

I do think new equipment is a good step though. Assuming NYSDOT has learned from the DE/DM-30 and the Turbo program, anyway.
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