• Metro-North New Haven Line Penn Station Access

  • This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.
This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

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  by Backshophoss
Amtrak has over time spent $$$$ on maintaining the ex-PRR power Grid including rebuilding Rotary Converters and adding some
static Inverters into the mix,and pushed the wire voltage in to the 12.5-13 kv level at 25hz.
To redo the entire grid to 25 kv will require replacing many bridges/overpasses for proper clearances around the catenary(air gaps around )
At best Amtrak could upgrade to 12.5 kv 60 hz after replacing EVERY insulator on the catenary,and upgrading the entire power grid.
PC/CR/MN went the 12.5 kv 60 hz route due to the ex-NH Cos Cob power plant was failing and Rotary Converters could not keep up with
the power needs of the then new M-2's
The cost of making 25hz power was not cheap,CL&P in Conn and Con ED in NY kept raising the rate per kw/hr on PC/CR.
After the conversion to Comm power,the mg sets on the M-2's were swapped for inverters,ending the possibilty of M-2's into Penn station
if "barefooted"(no 3rd rail shoes on)

That also ended the use of GG-1's and Metroliners to New Haven.
  by DutchRailnut
you don't, just circuit breakers and such, not much was changed during MN switchover.
  by Jeff Smith
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:...
Harlem's the only one shut out of NYP because the Port Morris Branch doesn't join the Hell Gate until after all of the Bronx intermediates, depriving Harlem of most of the new reverse-commute ridership that New Haven's tapping. NYP alone isn't compelling enough for the track miles on the diversion if it can't hit those high-growth spots in the Bronx, so there isn't enough of a "WOW!" hook for bringing Harlem to the party.
In addition to that, Melrose platform was extended over the former connection from the Harlem line to Port Morris, Port Morris has tight curvature which I think was problematic for passenger cars/clearances, and the connections are/were both in the wrong direction. At Oak Point the connection is in the north/easterly direction, and at Melrose, the connection came north from the Mott Haven Wye. Neither were problematic for freight service, but for passenger, both would require a reverse move. I'm not sure if there's room for a connection heading south from the Harlem, but I'm pretty sure the connection at Oak Point would be problematic as the Hell Gate Bridge approach is already fairly elevated over the connection, which passes underneath the NEC.

Now, if you want to get to into fantasy stuff, notwithstanding the curvature/clearance issues and the fact the connection never saw a day of passenger service, reconnecting at Melrose could lead to interesting intra-Bronx service, and if a southerly connection could be made from the Harlem, likewise.

The RPA also has plans for their RxLINK? I think it is to bring service from Brooklyn and Queens (and potentially LGA) over this connection to Melrose and possibly Yankee Stadium. Shorter subway cars might manage the curve, but you'd have to get across the Hell Gate too (which only has room for one more track).
  by Backshophoss
Believe the "given" is CSX will not allow passenger service across the Oak Point Link into "their" yard
  by DutchRailnut
oak point link is a yard track, no signalling pretty much a given that FRA will not allow passenger moves in absolute dark territory.
  by ExCon90
They've been in continuous operation for years--I think they're grandfathered. The Oak Point thing is a startup; a whole new world.
  by Ridgefielder
Thought I posted this yesterday but I guess I didn't... anyway, the only place a Harlem-Penn Station connection would touch Oak Point would be in the Oak Point yard itself. Penn Station access for the Harlem Division would have to use a resurrected Port Morris branch. Remember, the Oak Point Connection joins the ex-NYC Hudson Division at High Bridge to the ex-NH Harlem River branch at the location of the former NH/NYW&B terminal at Harlem River. It passes directly under the Harlem River lift bridge; it's separated from the main into GCT by about 40' in elevation and there's no possible way to connect the two without tearing down a bunch of buildings and moving the Major Deegan Expressway.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
I think the original PSA studies described how the angle of intersection between the Port Morris and the Hell Gate would be modified for run-thru without excessive destruction. IIRC it wasn't that huge a deal.

Those documents would be on the PSA site in the archives section...oldest scoping study docs on there.
  by Jeff Smith
Nothing substantial to report: NYC.GOV

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/planning/do ... 102718.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://dcp.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascad ... 261853ae86" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Some observations:

-I saw no mention of Amtrak. Did I miss something? They're kind of, um, crucial?

-$695m is budgeted in the proletariat's five year cap plan for build. It's 2018.

-If they're waiting on ESA, they may be waiting a while. Remember, LIRR made a deal with the devil to get ESA, and that was PSAS. Madison Yard is long gone.

-Do we really need to wait on ESA? Couldn't they be doing track design, grading, signal design, all that?

-Pelham Bay Bridge needs to be replaced no matter what. Amtrak wants to pay as little as possible. And it's their ROW!

-Does the East Bronx service even need to reach Penn? It's been a long time since the NH and NYW&B had an East Bronx terminal. I imagine the market is there for this service whether or not it crosses the East River into Penn, or even the Hell Gate for that matter. It's a huge market. Penn should be the ultimate destination, of course, but the intermediate market/reverse peak is vital, bringing from the East Bronx to Westchester and Fairfield Counties (NY & CT respectively).
On September 26th, 2018, the Bronx Metro-North Area Study Working Group convened to discuss planning around the proposed Parkchester/Van Nest Station and prepare for the public event in October 2018. The meeting was well attended by elected officials, local institutions, and community stakeholders among others.

The public is invited to participate in a workshop/open house scheduled for Saturday, October 27th at St. Raymond's Elementary School from 10am -1pm (Enter at corner of E Tremont Ave and Purdy St.) The interactive self-paced event is an important opportunity for the community to join city agencies to plan around future Metro-North service – share your local expertise, hear from your neighbors, contribute your ideas to improve Tremont Avenue, plan for the station area, consider what the service means for jobs, health, housing, youth and more. See the PDF Document flyer for the public workshop and open house.

Metro-North service is coming to the east Bronx following the completion of the Penn Station Access project and related work. Four new Metro-North stations will be located at Hunts Point, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park, and Co-Op City. Thoughtful, holistic planning around each of the stations is critical to ensuring these stations are integrated into the fabric of the neighborhoods they will serve and will mean the difference between merely establishing new service and ensuring the service is a transformative and positive force in the lives of Bronx residents and their economy.

The Bronx Metro-North Study (BMNS) will look closely at each of the station areas to ensure maximum benefits accrue to the borough as a result of this unprecedented investment in transportation infrastructure and new service. BMNS will lead to short-term and long-term recommendations and improvements around the proposed stations, including safety and access improvements such as crosswalks, sidewalks, and wayfinding elements; better coordination with existing and planned subway and bus service. BMNS will also evaluate land uses and economic development opportunities at Morris Park and Parkchester/Van Nest.

Close coordination among the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Department of City Planning (DCP), the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) —together with the Bronx Borough President’s Office and other key city agencies and stakeholders — will be critical to ensuring the stations are thoughtfully integrated into the fabric of the neighborhoods they will serve.

For an overview of the study, study background and information, and station area overview, please visit our brochure page.

In 2017, New York State committed nearly $695 million in its 2015–2019 capital budget to make the new stations and new Metro-North transit service in the East Bronx.

To prepare for these new stations, in 2014, after a three-year planning process, the Department of City Planning released a milestone report -- Sustainable Communities in the Bronx -- on regional rail and transit connections in the borough. That report included recommendations on numerous improvements to existing Metro-North stations throughout the Bronx. Work around those existing stations continues and promises improvements to the commuting experience of Bronx residents, providing a comfortable, fast, and convenient connection to major job and cultural centers not currently available to Bronx residents.

In addition to improvements around existing stations, the report also identified the need for greater planning around four stations planned for the East Bronx: Co-Op City, Morris Park Ave, Parkchester/Van Nest, and Hunts Point. BMNS will act as the next phase of the Sustainable Communities study.
  by Jeff Smith
ADMIN NOTE: cross-threaded into LIRR and Amtrak in case anyone's head explodes with "what is this doing in LIRR! Amtrak! Anderson Sucks!"
  by njtmnrrbuff
This project has been very important for a while. If you are traveling from a lot of the E. Bronx to Midtown Manhattan, then it’s not a fast ride on any of the current public transportation options. Most of the sections, you have to take the subway, or a bus to a subway. Sections like Co-op City, the most direct mode of public transportation is the express bus which, give or take, takes 45 min to an hour. Co-op City is huge and the blocks closest to the Hellate Line aren’t where a lot of the commerce is. Plus the majority of people living in Co-op City aren’t within walking distance of where the proposed train station would be.

Jeff, that article that you posted should have mentioned that the proposed new route is presently owned by Amtrak. I’m surprised that the author didn’t mention that.
  by Terrapin Station
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-o ... story.html

ADMIN NOTE: added quote; fair-use exception for opinion piece from public officials
The East Bronx is in desperate need of more transit options. Westchester County is eager to get more people into its own commercial hub. Gov. Cuomo and the MTA have a plan to provide for both: Penn Station Access will be a Metro-North rail connection tying four new East Bronx stations to both Penn Station in Manhattan and to job centers to the north in Westchester County and Connecticut.

There is across-the-board support for this critical project — among Bronx communities, Westchester County residents and elected leaders at the county, city and state levels. The only thing standing in the way of the project moving forward is Amtrak, which needs to let the MTA commence work on the tracks they control.

It is long overdue for Amtrak to get on board.

For the past few decades, we have watched the Bronx undergo a vibrant transformation. Between 2010 and 2017 the population of the Bronx grew by over 6%, making it the fastest growing county in the state. Economic development and job creation are on the rise, yet there are still major transit deserts in the east Bronx.

Transit inequity both undermines the Bronx's future and limits who can access the counties north and east of the Bronx. The border between Westchester County and the Bronx is shared, but currently there is no easy way for residents to access this corridor via public transportation.

When borough residents cannot readily reach jobs in Manhattan or in Stamford, Conn., we deny them economic opportunity. When Westchester residents cannot easily access Montefiore-Einstein and Jacobi Medical Centers, we limit these information and technology hubs in terms of job growth and innovation.

The Penn Access project will cut in half the time it takes a Co-op City resident to commute to Manhattan — or to New Rochelle.

It is also more obvious than ever that we need another route on and off Manhattan in the event of emergencies. As everyone remembers, during Superstorm Sandy, Metro-North service was compromised between Manhattan and the northern suburbs, causing harm to both the local and national economy.

This project makes a lot of sense for taxpayers at large. They would get a major new project by using Amtrak's existing underutilized rail line through the Bronx, rather than trying to build a new line from scratch. That will speed construction and hold down costs — assuming everyone works together.

Right now, that is not happening.

Amtrak has much to gain from Penn Station Access; the MTA has already agreed to rebuild an enormous amount of Amtrak's existing infrastructure along the line — tracks, signals, power systems. The MTA and Metro-North team have even agreed to share the cost of replacing the Pelham Bay Bridge — a 100-year-old structure nearing the end of its useful life.

But Amtrak apparently wants more — not just a new railroad, but "access fees" Amtrak does not collect from other regional commuter railroads, a commitment to foot virtually the entire bill to replace Amtrak's 100-year-old bridge, and millions of dollars more.

That price is just too high.

Already on the Long Island Rail Road's East Side Access project, Amtrak is getting $1 billion worth of improvements from the MTA for free, while it has been responsible for big schedule delays and budget increases on the project.

For some families in the Bronx and in lower Westchester, Penn Station Access will mean the difference between economic isolation and prosperity. We cannot continue to let Amtrak hold this capital project hostage.

Diaz is Bronx borough president. Latimer is the Westchester County executive.
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