• 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 west point
 
Why can't the 60 Hz be extended to where the present 3rd rail ends ? Cannot recall exactly how all that worked. have not been there since way before Hell Gate was converted to 60 Hz.
  by ElectricTraction
 
west point wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 3:07 amWhy can't the 60 Hz be extended to where the present 3rd rail ends ? Cannot recall exactly how all that worked. have not been there since way before Hell Gate was converted to 60 Hz.
The break between the NH and PRR systems was moved south at some point, and now Amtrak has the small 60hz system in NYC that is mostly ex-New Haven with a bit of PRR south to the phase break to 25hz.

I'd guess that they don't want the phase break in the middle of HAROLD interlocking, so they have it just north near GATE.
  by Jeff Smith
 
I've suggested before that they use Sprinters or ALP's, including the 45-DP which can run off both the Danbury and Waterbury branches, and possibly the Hartford line. However, it looks like they're going to run a pretty hefty schedule, which would require a pretty hefty fleet purchase, both motive power and coaches, just for the one line. Now, they may have to do that anyway, because I doubt the M8 fleet is sufficient to cover both NYP and GCT.

The 8's weren't built with the equipment necessary for the overhead power change. IIRC, it was due to the weight penalty. So they settled on the over/under shoes. It still provides a good amount of flexibility, but they won't be capable of through running. I'd imagine once ESA is done, a lot of space will be freed up in the LIRR yards on the west side, or if they dead-head back to New Rochelle.

I think push-pull is the answer, but it depends upon fleet issues and needs.

The break was moved south because MNRR retired the old Cos Cob plant and went with commercial power. That left the Hell Gate (Harlem River) line swinging in the breeze.
  by west point
 
It would be very interesting how much MNRR has saved by going to 60 Hz instead of 25 Hz. The costs of conversion taken in to account.
Not having to update Cos Cob or converter stations which would have some power loss;; lighter cars using 60 Hz;, higher efficiency transformers for CAT power ; specific 60 Hz parts probably lower replacement costs; and so forth

Then we now have the necessity of dual frequency or other problems going to Penn Station will slightly increase operating cost for that segment? Since Penn is a longer run not as much revenue per operating mile as would expect to be some NYP & GCT ? That with maybe slightly higher operating costs probably not more than 10% ?
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I believe that right now, there is presently a surplus of M8s around so probably in the future, there will probably be enough to cover the Penn Station trains. Close spacing between stops on the Hellgate Line will certainly suggest that using M8s as best, although the Sprinters have good acceleration too.
  by ElectricTraction
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 12:22 pmHowever, it looks like they're going to run a pretty hefty schedule, which would require a pretty hefty fleet purchase, both motive power and coaches, just for the one line. Now, they may have to do that anyway, because I doubt the M8 fleet is sufficient to cover both NYP and GCT.
The challenge in NYC is that most of the equipment is bespoke, so you have to figure out what's going to run where and then you have the MTA/CDOT ownership issue. If there were extra M-8s after buying push-pull cars for Penn Access, technically they'd be perfectly happy running on the Harlem or Hudson Lines, but that would require MTA to buy out CDOT's ownership of x number of cars (and then pool them).

I also don't know how old the various cars are and where they are in their replacement cycles. If all the various projects were done at once that should be done, including expansion of electrification and substations on LIRR as well as capacity and substation improvements on the Harlem Line, as well as converting the Hudson Line to 25kV overhead wire from Highbridge to Albany, then I'd move the M-8s over to the Hudson, about 2/3 of the those M-7s would get soaked up by the Harlem, and about 1/3 of the Hudson M-7s would get sent to LIRR, which would still need several hundred more M-11s. But by the time those transitions and expansions happened, even if they were started today, some of that equipment may already be worn out. There are also projects with much smaller effects, like electrification of the Danbury Line, which could use M-8s to replace Mini Bombs, and the Maxi Bombs would be split between push/pull for Penn and M-8s for GCT. SLE should be pooled, at least for locos, with a Penn fleet.
The 8's weren't built with the equipment necessary for the overhead power change. IIRC, it was due to the weight penalty. So they settled on the over/under shoes. It still provides a good amount of flexibility, but they won't be capable of through running. I'd imagine once ESA is done, a lot of space will be freed up in the LIRR yards on the west side, or if they dead-head back to New Rochelle.
Yup, weight for the Park Ave Viaduct. I don't know if some M-8s could be retrofitted, but building an EMU with 25/60hz overhead capability isn't that hard. Through running is just far more efficient than terminal operations. There is no practical way to through run with LIRR, it would be a waste to have M-8 style cars with 25hz transformers, as they would be very expensive, heavy, and require more maintenance, but for the New Haven Line, where there is an easy solution, it makes total sense.

The scale of the Penn Access operations is a LOT bigger than the original proposals, which is great, but also means that there are much larger operational efficiencies to be gained by through-running with NJT. I looked at the numbers, and I think something like 1/3 of NJT trains could through run with MN.
The break was moved south because MNRR retired the old Cos Cob plant and went with commercial power. That left the Hell Gate (Harlem River) line swinging in the breeze.
But how did the PRR/NH break end up so far south? Did the New Haven always power the Hell Gate Bridge itself? On second though, it makes logical sense, as the New Haven operated down the Bay Ridge branch, so the break was probably always around present-day GATE.
west point wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:24 pmIt would be very interesting how much MNRR has saved by going to 60 Hz instead of 25 Hz. The costs of conversion taken in to account.
Probably a lot. But the conversion of the PRR system is not analogous to the NH or Reading systems, the former of which has been converted, the latter of which has not. The NH and Reading systems were just split-phase autotransformer systems, they didn't have high voltage transmission. The PRR system is basically it's own power grid, probably the largest or one of the largest in the US when it was built in the 1930's, complete with high voltage transmission and substations.
Then we now have the necessity of dual frequency or other problems going to Penn Station will slightly increase operating cost for that segment? Since Penn is a longer run not as much revenue per operating mile as would expect to be some NYP & GCT ? That with maybe slightly higher operating costs probably not more than 10% ?
Other than the increased capital expenditures for the third rail extension and future 25hz capable equipment for through-running, the electricity cost to use the PRR system wouldn't be any more than on the MN system, except for the various agreements on how to account for power cost and rates between Amtrak and commuter railroads versus MN owning their system and selling power to Amtrak. Whatever conversion losses are incurred on the PRR system are probably more than offset by higher power costs in CT anyway. Any loco-hauled electrics that are anywhere in the Northeast are most likely going to be 25hz capable, even ones running on the MBTA, so as to keep compatibility with the whole corridor, and/or to make a single model across multiple agencies.
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:33 amI believe that right now, there is presently a surplus of M8s around so probably in the future, there will probably be enough to cover the Penn Station trains. Close spacing between stops on the Hellgate Line will certainly suggest that using M8s as best, although the Sprinters have good acceleration too.
I don't know what the actual acceleration numbers look like for EMU vs. push-pull electric, but people often cite the NJT push-pulls as being really slow and adding schedule time over the Arrows. The problem with those, however, is they they often have 10-12 cars with one locomotive, when they should have one locomotive per 6 cars, especially with those heavy MLs. Horsepower wise, 14,000ish HP on a 12 car train is plenty, but I don't know how quickly they can convert that all to tractive effort from a stop versus a 12,000HP EMU set.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The acceleration of an ALP46 and ALP-45DP is fine but with a 10-12 car train, it’s a small issue. Arrow IIIs can do the job with acceleration on trains that are making stops extremely close to each other. If MNR does ever run Charger sets on the Hellgate Line, that might not make much of a difference with acceleration, even if the replacement of the Shoreliners is some sort of multilevel.
  by Ridgefielder
 
ElectricTraction wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:16 pm The challenge in NYC is that most of the equipment is bespoke, so you have to figure out what's going to run where and then you have the MTA/CDOT ownership issue. If there were extra M-8s after buying push-pull cars for Penn Access, technically they'd be perfectly happy running on the Harlem or Hudson Lines, but that would require MTA to buy out CDOT's ownership of x number of cars (and then pool them).
M-8's run on the Harlem Line. I've ridden them. And the CDOT Shoreliners/P32AC-DM's/BL20GH's all operate agnostically in pool service. The equipment isn't captive to CT.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
 
I've had them on Hudson trains to Croton during slip slide season. Didn't help that it was after working an overnight double...had to quadruple check I was on the right train and didn't wander over to a New Haven Line track out of exhaustion-induced delirium, ha.
  by Ridgefielder
 
A set pulled into Bronxville early one morning a couple months ago and I think everyone on the platform, self included, did a double-take.
  by amtrakowitz
 
Riders venturing north could shave up to 75 minutes each way off their daily commute, while those headed into the city on the New Haven Line from Connecticut could save 40 minutes. A dozen trains will be added to the New Haven Line’s rush-hour schedule. …
I have to wonder just how congested they want the New Haven Line to get and still “save” all of this time while getting in the way of Amtrak and the freight trains that use the Hell Gate line. Will speeds be increased on the NHL to the point where Amtrak could decrease Acela times between NYP and BOS to less than three hours each direction?
Upgrades will be made along Amtrak’s under-used Hell Gate right-of-way, which will carry New Haven Line trains down Manhattan’s West Side into Penn Station. Trains traveling south will split after New Rochelle, with some taking the existing route to Grand Central Terminal and others heading to Penn Station. …
Not very specific, particularly the “under-used” bit, plus no mention of average speeds is made. And they make this sound like LIRR is taking most of their trains out of NYP once ESA opens (if ever; ESA is already twelve years late and over three times the cost). What is also unclear is if MN is supposed to make any use of West Side Yard.
  by west point
 
IMO the uses of only the present tracks on the line from New Rochelle - Gate is going to cause Amtrak to take unplanned delays . The ideal would be for 4 main tracks on as much as possible for the whole route. But the few locations that only 3 tracks are possible will be better. I cannot see why the 4th track ( one removed ) is not restored where it was removed and have CSX use it when CSX has a freight train. CSX does not have that many freights which IMO would be a waste of good ROW for the service.

There is no way to know what passenger demand will be. Any guesses can be off to a low of 40 % to 200 -300 % more. To not restore that track before service starts will end up causing major delays later. The present CSX track can be used to restore the 4th track and expedite CAT installation. After service starts and if demand go sky high the 2 MTs over Hell Gate will really slow trains down and increase construction costs.

Could make a snide remark about rising costs but ---------------------
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. West Point, I think before any mass transit agency looks too far into the future nowadays, they must determine what permanent effect the post-COVID era will have on the patterns of their ridership. It would be pointless to spend anyone's $$$, be it Joes's infrastructure (he will get something even if not the full $1.3T he wants) or local (CT&NY) to lay four tracks across HGB until such is determined. It will probably take several years to map the new commuting patterns, i.e. who goes in and how often, and only then can the region's mass transit needs be properly evaluated.

Also, what about Chessie's and (the Short Line that operates) LIRR's freight serving Oak Point?

Sgt. Smith, yes, the New Haven's M-8's can run run on the NYC's Hudson and Harlem Divisions, but somebody will be looking at an "Article 15" and on up, as to why was the second batch ever ordered. It just seems like too much the waste to have ordered these expensive dual mode MU's if they end up in regular service on the NYC.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:18 am Mr. West Point, I think before any mass transit agency looks too far into the future nowadays, they must determine what permanent effect the post-COVID era will have on the patterns of their ridership. It would be pointless to spend anyone's $$$, be it Joes's infrastructure (he will get something even if not the full $1.3T he wants) or local (CT&NY) to lay four tracks across HGB until such is determined. It will probably take several years to map the new commuting patterns, i.e. who goes in and how often, and only then can the region's mass transit needs be properly evaluated.

Also, what about Chessie's and (the Short Line that operates) LIRR's freight serving Oak Point?
I believe the bulk of the traffic between Oak Point and mainland points to the north & west comes in via the Oak Point Connector, which links the yard with the ex-NYC at Highbridge in The Bronx and replaced the old NYC Port Morris Branch. The only exceptions I can think of are the P&W "stone train" and the CSX local that switches the small handful of customers (Tulnoy Lumber in The Bronx, Endico Foods in Mt. Vernon, Marval Industries in Mamaroneck) that remain on the Harlem Division and the New Haven main in Westchester. There certainly isn't enough to provide any meaningful interference with passenger traffic on the Hell Gate Route.
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