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

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  by Travelsonic
 
Perhaps this would be better asked in the New York Central oriented subforums, I dunno...

I started a project to remake Grand Central Terminal in Trainz (including building custom models/splines, etc, instead of relying on prefabricated stuff), and had a few questions regarding the terminal track-side/platform areas, and the Park Ave tunnel. I am a wee bit of a detail freak, and want to get things as close as possible. (damn the frame rates, more detail I tell ye!! :P )

- How wide are the platforms? (or rather, what are the widths, which platforms are one width, which ones are another width, etc if in fact my thinking is right that the platforms are not all of a uniform width)

- How high is it from the roadbed to the ceiling on the upper level platform areas? How high is it from the roadbed to the ceiling on the lower level platform areas?

- Exactly how far below street level is the roadbed for the Park Ave. tunnel + the upper level? Exactly how far below street level is the roadbed for the lower level tracks?

- What is the gradient of the track ramps (is that even the right term?) connecting the upper and lower levels? I've been struggling with this one for a while,

- For the Park Avenue tunnel, what is the height from the roadbed to ceiling at the point right when all 4 tracks first enter the tunnel? For tracks 4 and 3 when they branch off? (though, based off pictures I've seen, the clearance looks to change slightly immediately after the old 72nd street tunnel heading south), for tracks 2 and 1?

Any/all help is appreciated - and I would definitely make a thread in Railroad Computer Gaming & Railroad Simulations subforum tracking my progress. :D
  by JamesRR
 
Check out this book - lots of detail about the construction of GCT, including amazing photos. Even gets into things like stress loads, beam types, etc.

The Port of New York: A History of the Rail and Terminal System from the Grand Central Electrification to the Present - Volume 2
by Carl Condit

I believe Condit worked for the NYC Railroad and has inside info on GCT.
  by Travelsonic
 
Checked out the book on Amazon, seems to be getting sorta expensive, but probably worth it if I can't find the details I need anywhere else.
  by Travelsonic
 
Pardon the double post, I realized that the upper/lower level track diagrams on the Wikipedia article for Grand Central terminal have measurements - it looks like ... platform width, then platform length? Not 110% sure... problem is, a lot of them seem hard to make out (not due to the scale of the image per-se, but due to a combination of how dark the lines are for the platforms, as dark as the writing for the numbers I am looking at, as well as the size of the numbers causing parts of the aforementioned numbers to blend in with the lines for the tracks and platforms. Ugh.
  by JamesRR
 
I believe the book I mentioned has specs for the platform widths/lengths, or at least, averages. I don't have access to the book right now. But the author goes into very specific detail. It also has diagrams of the construction. There are many types of diagrams out there, some just show the levels without markings, others are marked.

One tricky thing about GCT are the elevations. (I actually asked about this in an earlier thread a few years ago). The 'upper level' loop tracks are actually at the level of the lower level concourse. The lower level tracks sit below the level concourse in elevation. And thus, the lower level loops (now OOS) sit at the same level as the lower level tracks.

What this means is that the Upper Level platform tracks (38-42) become descending in grade once they break off the ladder at the north end of the terminal. They get lower to ultimately be at the grade of the lower level concourse (they are sitting lower than the other upper level tracks). Subsequently, when the upper level loop wraps around to the east side, and goes into the yard tracks, those yard tracks rise to meet the ladder again further north. So there are really 3 track levels in the terminal.

So, it's a complex terminal in every aspect. There's another book called Grand Central Terminal (Architecture in Detail) by Kenneth Powell, published by Phaidon Press. Also has good diagrams, including a profile of how the loops are stacked. I think it's also OOP, but you could dig around looking for it.

Some other books with engineering detail:

Grand Central Terminal: Railroads, Engineering, and Architecture by Kurt C. Schlichting
Grand Central, the World's Greatest Railway Terminal by William D. Middleton
Grand Central Terminal (Architecture in Detail) by Kenneth Powell
  by roysmith
 
JamesRR wrote: What this means is that the Upper Level platform tracks (38-42) become descending in grade once they break off the ladder at the north end of the terminal. They get lower to ultimately be at the grade of the lower level concourse (they are sitting lower than the other upper level tracks). Subsequently, when the upper level loop wraps around to the east side, and goes into the yard tracks, those yard tracks rise to meet the ladder again further north. So there are really 3 track levels in the terminal.
I know this is an old thread, but I'm just discovering it now.

I've always wondered why the last few tracks on the eastern side of the upper level (um, tracks 11-13, maybe?) are a few feet lower than the rest of the tracks Looks like maybe 3 or 4 feet. What's the story with that?
  by DutchRailnut
 
they use to be yard tracks but were converted to low level platform for some of lightweight trains the NYNH&H rr ran like roger williams, john quincy adams and daniel webster.
they needed access to lower parts for engine starting etc.
track 12 was removed for platform , after the trainsets were no longer scheduled for GCT they raised platform to current height.
the stairs and until recently just a freight elevator, were big pain in tuckes, in old days any handicapped or otherwise able people were escorted via old crew facility to lower level.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Travelsonic wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:23 am - How high is it from the roadbed to the ceiling on the upper level platform areas? How high is it from the roadbed to the ceiling on the lower level platform areas?
Have you found an answer to this question? A thread in the Amtrak section has me wondering about Superliner service to GCT...
  by Kilgore Trout
 
I don't know an exact number but I recall reading somewhere that it isn't tall enough for catenary due to necessary vertical clearance between the train and wire, and then above the wire.
  by Allouette
 
Kilgore Trout wrote:I don't know an exact number but I recall reading somewhere that it isn't tall enough for catenary due to necessary vertical clearance between the train and wire, and then above the wire.
That ship sailed in 1906, before New Haven made its then-risky decision to go with high-voltage AC. Clearances were fine for NYC&HR's needs.
  by jamoldover
 
Per Metro-North's 2019 ETT, the maximum height clearance allowed between 97th St and the end of track at Grand Central is 14'10".
  by jamoldover
 
One potential source for at least some of the measurements you're looking for (specific elevations of platforms/tracks/concourses) might be the Syracuse University collection of Marcel Breuer projects - he was retained by Penn Central to design a tower that would have been built on top of the terminal, and there are a number of architectural drawings (including cross sections) of the proposal that show exact elevations. Here's a link to the specific project - there are almost 100 drawings available to browse online. https://breuer.syr.edu/project.php?id=534
  by MACTRAXX
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 3:56 pm
Travelsonic wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:23 am - How high is it from the roadbed to the ceiling on the upper level platform areas? How high is it from the roadbed to the ceiling on the lower level platform areas?
Have you found an answer to this question? A thread in the Amtrak section has me wondering about Superliner service to GCT...
RW: Somewhere in the MNCR Forum topics was mention that the Bombardier Multilevel cars built for
NJT can be operated into GCT with some minor modifications or changes - that reply was from Dutch Railnut
when he was participating in RR.Net's Forums...Search the MNCR Forum Archives for those postings...

Amtrak Superliner equipment is too tall for GCT tunnel clearances - and are built for low-level platforms only...
MACTRAXX
  by Kilgore Trout
 
jamoldover wrote: Thu Sep 29, 2022 3:43 pm Per Metro-North's 2019 ETT, the maximum height clearance allowed between 97th St and the end of track at Grand Central is 14'10".
Aha! According to Wikipedia, Superliners are 16'2", and some Googling reveals that NEC catenary is around 15'-15'6" on average. I knew that Superlines are banned from catenary territory with either no or extremely limited exceptions, so figured it was a good proxy for other kinds of tight height restrictions.