• 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

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
METRA cars, be they acquired new or from a predecessor road, are all Gallery.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Randall, my knowledge has been expanded!

Now, with the - let's just accept it - permanent loss of business METRA and likely every other rail commuter agency has suffered, just how many of these new METRA cars will be delivered and placed in revenue service.

Based on an hour of "railfanning' I did at Riverside during May (hotel room was not ready) "body count" does not appear to be any stronger on Metro-North than METRA.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 6:41 am Mr. Randall, my knowledge has been expanded!

Now, with the - let's just accept it - permanent loss of business METRA and likely every other rail commuter agency has suffered, just how many of these new METRA cars will be delivered and placed in revenue service.

Based on an hour of "railfanning' I did at Riverside during May (hotel room was not ready) "body count" does not appear to be any stronger on Metro-North than METRA.
METRA I think has older equipment, so I would think the intent here is to replace, not add. I would not expect any options to be executed on METRA's contract. Any purchases will have their intent shifted from expansion to replacement.
  by ElectricTraction
 
RandallW wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 4:27 amAren't the new METRA and VRE cars bi-levels and not Gallery cars?
Interesting, it looks like they are. It appears, at least on the surface that if they wanted to, they could both share the low-level design used by commuter lines in the South and West.
Arlington wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 10:17 amThey don’t, but it’d sure be nice to buy highly standard EMU equipment. Swapping in a 60hz-only module would be fine if it saved a little weight and cost
Exactly. It shouldn't be too hard to have the space/capacity for the 25hz transformer, and spec the MBTA version with a 60hz-only transformer. In theory, 25hz-capable standardized cars could through-run between MBTA, CDOT, MN, NJT, and SEPTA, although operationally, it probably makes more sense for MBTA to have a captive fleet and for thru-running to be limited to MN, NJT, and maybe SEPTA.
daybeers wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:29 pmHighly disagree; it's wonderful to have to use the high-level platforms that are much more accessible for all.
The mini-high at NLC was never designed for commuter/regional rail. It was for an occasional Acela stop, everything else was designed to continue using the low-level platforms, or the crossing as SLE used to use. There are several cars worth of low-level platforms, and only a short mini-high on the 1 Track.
High-levels need to go away in most places. Build gauntlet tracks. Trap steps for high-level equipment are notoriously steep and dangerous, especially in winter.
I think you mean low-levels, in general I agree on standardization for high-level lines, and it should be pursued on all high-level systems in most places, but there are oddball exceptions like NLC at the end of the line with limited high-level platforms.
ExCon90 wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:40 pmGauntlet tracks are expensive -- I think starting at 7 figures for each end, and they have to be interlocked just like crossovers, plus maintained after that. Maybe OK if it's only a few, but a whole string of stations would really run up the tab. The cars that NJ Transit bought for the EL served only low-level stations and had doors that extended all the way down to the bottom step -- I assume that did a lot to keep ice and snow out.
It's not relevant to NLC, as the Shore Line uses mostly removable platform edges that could, in theory, be used for high/wide loads, and AFAIK, have never been used since 1999/2000 when the line was electrified and high-level platforms were installed. Normal freight operations operate at Plate C clearance, which clears the normal platform edge.

Gauntlet tracks are primarily used on freight-heavy lines where routine freight operations don't want to run right up against high-level platforms at Plate C/F/H clearance, and the commuter trains have to bend inwards to the platforms. Old Saybrook and the Hartford Line has gauntlet tracks for high and wide freight that AFAIK, have never been used. I don't know how many locations have the need for regular use of gauntlet tracks like the NJT Raritan Valley Line at Union and Roselle Park. In most cases, high level platforms can have swing-down edges that theoretically a crew could manually undo and swing down for high-and-wide loads like a transformer or something, but stay in their regular position for normal local freight operations with wooden edge boards so that if a car that's leaning to the platform side or has other mechanical issues scrapes it, the platform can be easily repaired. There are other solutions like power retractable/tiltable edges as well.

It may be worth the cost to do gauntlet tracks and interlockings for the few places that really have significant freight traffic, like SEPTA West Trenton and Norristown Lines, which need some serious station rebuilds anyway. If space isn't available for gauntlet tracks, then power retractable platform edges might work as well. Or these few stations could be left as low-level and everything else made high-level, which will still improve service to the low-level stations by reducing travel times along the line.
  by daybeers
 
ElectricTraction wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 6:26 pm The mini-high at NLC was never designed for commuter/regional rail. It was for an occasional Acela stop, everything else was designed to continue using the low-level platforms, or the crossing as SLE used to use. There are several cars worth of low-level platforms, and only a short mini-high on the 1 Track.
There are mini-highs on both track 1 and track 2, they're just offset. It's much easier to use the high-level with a bridge plate than dealing with steep, slippery steps that are unreliable, especially in the winter.
  by ElectricTraction
 
daybeers wrote: Mon Jul 11, 2022 10:41 pmThere are mini-highs on both track 1 and track 2, they're just offset. It's much easier to use the high-level with a bridge plate than dealing with steep, slippery steps that are unreliable, especially in the winter.
I don't think 2 is a mini-high, I think that's an actual high-level platform. 1 has the little mini-high for Acela, everything else AFAIK was using the low-level in front of the station up until SLE switched to the M-8s.
  by west point
 
Instead of flyover at shell. Start a flyover betweem NH tracks 1 & 2 at end of station platform and join Amtrak somewhere past shell on the abandoned tracks foot print ?
  by lpetrich
 
It is now under construction. Groundbreaking ceremony held for Metro-North Penn Station access project - YouTube - some politicians shoveled some dirt: Gov. Kathy Hochul, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Richie Torres.
Groundbreaking for Metro-North Penn Station access - YouTube
Gov. Kathy Hochul called Eastern Bronx a "transit desert", saying that much of it will be within one mile of one of the new stations. Stations that will make high-paying jobs in Manhattan much more accessible.

The stations:
  • Co-op City
  • Morris Park
  • Parkchester
  • Hunts Point
A transit desert no more, officials tout Bronx benefits of Penn Access Project at groundbreaking – Bronx Times
The stations are expected to open in 2027.

Penn Access will transform Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line from two to four tracks in the East Bronx and Westchester. The line will then connect the New Haven line in New Rochelle to the new Bronx Metro-North stations, before ending up at Penn Station.
At the NY state governor's site:
Governor Hochul Announces Groundbreaking for Metro-North Penn Station Access Project to Bring Four New Stations to the Bronx | Governor Kathy Hochul
  by lpetrich
 
ICYMI: GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING FOR METRO-NORTH PENN STATION ACCESS PROJECT TO BRING FOUR NEW STATIONS TO THE BRONX - lots of politicians and administrators praising the project, but also some details, like
In addition to four new ADA stations, the project will turn the existing 2-track railroad into a largely 4-track railroad, with over 19 miles of new and rehabilitated track work. This expansion to a 4-track railroad will provide service flexibility to support the increase in Metro-North and Amtrak trains expected to operate through the area and allow for workarounds in the event of a service disruption.

The additional service necessitates an expansion of Metro-North's New Rochelle Yard in Westchester, along with modernization of signal, power and communication infrastructure. This will consist of four new interlockings, five new substations, reconfiguration of the Pelham Bay interlocking and upgrade of two existing substations.

The project also includes rehabilitation work to repair and strengthen the following four bridges to carry additional train traffic: Bronx River Bridge, Eastchester Road Bridge, Bronxdale Avenue Bridge and Pelham Lane Bridge.
What schedule?
One of the first project elements to take place will be the construction of the Leggett interlocking, one of the four new interlockings. The Leggett interlocking will be located south of the proposed Hunts Point Station. Construction of actual passenger rail stations is expected to begin 2024. The anticipated completion date for the Penn Station Access Project is 2027.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Still have to add a third track, and extend DC from Sunnyside. It's a step in the right direction though. Farther down the road the Pelham Bay Bridge has to be replaced. That may allow some infill stations, perhaps at Pelham Wood and City Island.

Now if they could connect the Bay Ridge branch to the LIRR main line and run to Jamaica, that would be impressive lol. Grade issues, though. Still, the Bay Ridge is being studied by the City.
  by ElectricTraction
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Wed Dec 14, 2022 11:32 amStill have to add a third track, and extend DC from Sunnyside. It's a step in the right direction though. Farther down the road the Pelham Bay Bridge has to be replaced. That may allow some infill stations, perhaps at Pelham Wood and City Island.
There's really nothing between the Pelham Bay Bridge and New Rochelle.
Now if they could connect the Bay Ridge branch to the LIRR main line and run to Jamaica, that would be impressive lol. Grade issues, though. Still, the Bay Ridge is being studied by the City.
That would be a cool connection, but it would be technically quite challenging. IMO, the better option is to build TriBoroRX as FRA heavy rail ticketed like commuter rail (which needs to use proof of payment, but that's a whole different issue) using 25kV AC electrification from Bay Ridge all the way to two stations serving Co-Op City in the center of I-95. It is quite feasible if 2/3 of the trains from Bay Ridge were terminated at 30th Ave, with 1/3 continuing on to the HGL via an interlocking at Oak Point. The station at Astoria-Ditmars is probably not feasible, but most of the rest of the various connections with transit are.

What that gets you is a line that includes a transfer station between the Bay Ridge Branch and both the LIRR Main Line and the Port Washington branch. I think it's feasible to add two additional tracks for a restored Rockaway Beach Branch on LIRR and fan them out for island platforms serving both RBB and Main Line trains to transfer with the HGL trains. I'd think that most of the trains on the HGL would be TriBoroRX, but at that point it would be technically feasible to run trains from New Haven to the transfer station where LIRR Main Line trains would go to Jamaica.
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