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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by NIMBYkiller
Odds are by the time this thing is even finalized her opinion wont even matter anymore
  by Jeff Smith
http://www.nyjournalnews.com/apps/pbcs. ... 20326/1035

My favorite quote:
Proposed project costs range from $500 million to $14.5 billion.
That's a heckuva range. I believe the $500m is the no-build option. I believe by law they are required to include this in the EIS (supposed to include service enhancements, rehab possibilitites, etc., used as a benchmark).

It seemed like a well-written article. Maybe that's because it wasn't bythe INFAMOUS Caren Halbfinger? :-D

Looks like the details will be forthcoming, but of course, as Mr. Weaver points out, that's a lot of money, top-side is what ESA is costing. PA is committed to THE, MTA to ESA and 2nd Ave Subway, and NYS is debt-ridden (hey, want something done? Let's pass a BOND ISSUE!

Maybe Hillary can find it in the federal budget somewhere, and do something for NY citizens before she bolts for greener pastures. That is what you all elected her for, right?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for this. This is just a heads-up for the technical details that will be forthcoming if the option is commuter rail with MNRR running it. I suggest if you're interested, to check the TZB web-site for meeting dates and times, and sign up for the newsletter.
  by Dcell
Assuming a high-level bridge were to be built for commuter trains, anyone know the approx. distance across the Hudson River? Any place either north or south of the existing bridge where the river narrows and it makes more sense to built a RR bridge?

  by JoeG
The project planners have already explicitly ruled out a bridge in a different location. We are stuck with a new bridge in the same location as the old. If the bridge were to be moved, the connecting Thruway and I287 would have to be moved--huge cost increases and Nimby outrage, etc.
Incidentally, I'd always wondered why they put that bridge across the widest part of the river. The way that happened was, in the early fifties the PA had just built the lower deck of the George Washington Bridge and was worried that there wouldn't be enough traffic to fill it (!) (As an aside, that lower deck was originally supposed to be for railroad tracks.)
So the PA opposed the new Thruway bridge. However, the PA's jurisdiction only extends to a 25 mile radius from the Statue of Liberty. The TZ Bridge was built just outside of that 25 mile radius, so the PA wouldn't be able to stop it.
  by Dcell
Thanks, Joe. I've heard that explanation of how the Tappan Zee was built just outside the PA's 25-mile limit of operation. The irony now is that there have been newspaper articles within the past two weeks about allowing the PA to operate Stewart Airport. Stewart is well outside that 25-mile limit and would require revisions by NY and NJ to the PA's 25-mile limit. If someone were really thinking this through, they would require the PA to pay for part of the cost of building a new Tappan Zee raod/rail bridge.

  by JoeG
I suspect that if the project ever does go forward, the PA will be paying for part of it one way or another. Both states figure out ways to get the PA to pay for all sorts of stuff. After all, it's a real golden goose, between airport revenues, port revenues, and ever increasing tolls.

  by pnaw10
If the necessary approvals are made to allow the PA to assume control of Stewart Airport, there is a very REAL chance the PA could be roped into at least partially funding a new Tappan Zee Bridge.

I predicted before, that Stewart Airport would become more popular sooner or later. Extending Metro-North's west of Hudson service there is the main reason why, and now, the PA takeover is another reason. The demand for a one-seat ride from NYC to Stewart will increase dramatically... thereby increasing the importance of having train service on the TZ Bridge.

After all, if rail service makes the airport more easily accessible to more people, then air carriers will do more business. In in turn the PA can make more by either raising port fees, or when carriers request to fly more flights out of there.

Still, I can't see how they'll be able to cleanly get a railroad line from the riverbed in Tarrytown up to the same level as the bridge. The more I think about it, the more I believe rail via bridge would have to branch off from the Harlem Line rather than the Hudson. If they want it from the Hudson, they'll have go via tunnel, so the "branch" track can dive parallel with the Hudson Line tracks, then turn the curve to get across the river underground.

  by NIMBYkiller
I'm with you. I am not seeing a Hudson connection to a bridge. And about Stewart Airport, they have a history of small airlines that last only a few years, if that long, and then go bust. Even with the rail link, I'm a bit sceptical of it's ability to be a big draw. Have there been any estimations as to how long it will take the train to make the trip? You can bet that if Stewart does become more popular, Coach USA is going to pounce.

  by Otto Vondrak
Let's gently steer this conversation off the Thruway and back onto the rails.


  by Fred Rabin
I don't think Stewart can function as major airport without fast rail connections. Why not construct a a railroad bridge in the vicinity of the Beacon-Newburgh bridge to tie the airport to the Hudson line? Of course, this would not solve the Tappan Zee problem.

  by Otto Vondrak
While your idea is interesting, the subject is the Tappan Zee Corridor.


  by NIMBYkiller
That's exactly why a bridge up there shouldn't be done. A goal of this project is cross westchester to serve White Plains. We can't throw up new rail bridges all over. We're lucky they're even talking about rail here. The only reason this has a fighting chance of getting done is because a new bridge MUST be built to replace the existing span. The bridge up by Beacon, AFAIK, doesn't need to be replaced. And even that bridge would still require some distance to get trains up to bridge level. Sorry, but it looks like you're going to have to wave bye bye to any hope of Tappan Zee rail on the Hudson.

  by JoeG
I believe the tunnel has been ruled out, because of cost. Unfortunately at the moment the leading candidate is some kind of bus system, since a new rail line would cost so much. If they go for rail, I think the most practical thing is Harlem Line and New Haven line connections, with a station over the Hudson Line and elevators down for passengers. (I had said escalators in an earlier post but I think the height might be too much for escalators.)
Since the PA just bought the lease to Stewart, its development might get a boost, but a rail link is problematical. There is a big elevation difference between the airport and the Metro North line, and once you got to MN you would still be faced with a slow ride to NYC. A bus shuttle to Harriman might be more practical, though it would provide too slow a trip to NYC.
A Newburgh bridge has been proposed, mostly, I think, by NIMBYs who do not want the TZ improvement. I think Newburgh would be a distraction from the much-more-valuable TZ rail line. Don't forget, Newburgh would do nothing for the I287 corridor in Westchester. If Stewart ever makes it big, the question could be reconsidered; hopefully, by then trains will be running on the new TZ bridge.

  by SecaucusJunction
Couldnt they just build a station on the MN line south of the airport and then have sort of a light rail... or monorail type thing to escort people right to the terminal? Seems practical to me. I think there is a need for a rail link if this airport is gonna be big.

  by JoeG
Well, Secaucus, they could build a light rail or monorail to a station on the Port Jervis line....but then what? A slow ride would await them once they got off the light rail or monorail. From EWR you take Air Train to an NEC station; its a couple of minutes to downtown Newark and a half hour or so to NYP. At JFK, you take the Airtrain to the Jamaica station of the LIRR (15 min), then you can get a LIRR train to NYP (20 min.) If Stewart is supposed to be the 4th NY major airport, it has to do better than a short ride to a long, slow train ride. Since I don't see it doing better, I don't see it being a great success, except maybe by attracting Orange County and other upstate residents. It doesn't seem likely to attract NYC residents or business people, or those wanting to visit NYC>
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