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 fordhamroad
-with all the talk about stimulus packages, and plans for heavy spending by the Federal government to jump start the economy next year, what projects ought to be presented for federal aid, which would improve Metro North? I suppose one criterion would be how ready preparations are for an early start. I suppose several modest sized projects would do better in competition than one massive one.
-remember the example of Robert Moses, who got the lion's share of WPA grants for New York during the 1930's often by being the first to apply with clear and realizable projects.
-I would start with a suggestion to apply for a joint Metro-North/Port Authority of NY project for development of Stewart airport, and rail connections to it.
-another possibility might be for modest expansion of car fleets to better service the growing rail business.
-are there shops which need rebuilding?
-are there branches which need extending?
-are there stations which need renovating? What would members recommend?

  by AEGUY63
I dont think we should jump the gun yet, Let's wait until he actually is inaugurated and able to do what he says. Sure it would be nice, but all anyone can do is speculate now.
  by Otto Vondrak
I prefer that we discuss facts and not fantasy projects and dream "wish lists." As such, there's nothing on the table at this time.
  by fordhamroad
-Discussion is always optional. Fantasies are only fantasy till someone does them. Then they are examples of wise forethought and planning. Robert Moses got his grants by being ahead of the curve. Elliot Sander has proposed doing some of the things which were previously denounced as foaming on this forum. I desist.
- This forum is your playpen, and you may play whatever games you like.

  by Otto Vondrak
fordhamroad wrote:This forum is your playpen, and you may play whatever games you like.
No offense, but I don't like to think of it as a playpen, and I don't like to play games here. No disrespect is meant to you or your ideas... but I also feel its premature to discuss fantasy wish-lists of capital projects that don't even exist yet. If you want to discuss the projects outlined in the Metro-North Capital Budget, feel free. Many of the things that have budget lines may prove to be fantasy yet!

  by L'mont
As for wish lists? It's vast, but personally I'd like to see an east/west rail line, perhaps incorporated with the new TZ bridge and White Plains.
  by Otto Vondrak
L'mont wrote:As for wish lists? It's vast, but personally I'd like to see an east/west rail line, perhaps incorporated with the new TZ bridge and White Plains.
Don't you know all jokes start with "Knock-knock?" We already happen a Tappan Zee Corridor thread ongoing if you want to continue that discussion there.

  by RearOfSignal
Not really Federal Grant worthy, but I would like more signage at 125th street and Fordham and a PA system that actually works. Something along the lines of what they have in the NYC Subways; signs that hang from the platform roofs, showing the different lines and what stops are along it. Then again people don't really need signs anymore, their IPods have all the pertinent information. :wink:
  by pnaw10
fordhamroad wrote:I suppose one criterion would be how ready preparations are for an early start. [...] Robert Moses [...] first to apply with clear and realizable projects.
Out of the things you listed, some are already happening, and others are definitely not "clear and realizable" in the short-term window you're implying (by choosing many small projects rather than one massive project).

- There are already studies in place for an extension to Stewart Airport. It can't and won't move along any faster than it already is happening.
- Car fleet expansion is already taking place with the addition of the M7's and M8s. The factory can't make them any faster than they are.
- Shops that need rebuilding? Have you been to Croton-Harmon lately? They've been in the middle of rebuilding it for quite awhile now.
- Stations that need renovating? They've done many in the past few years, they've been working on many this year, and it's safe to assume they'll continue updating stations where needed.

And the biggie: extending branches is by no means a quickly-realizable goal. As we've seen from any project that goes on in MTA land, there's always a massive maze of red tape... feasibility studies, environmental studies, public comment where the NIMBYs and treehuggers get to put their negative spin on things... yada, yada, yada. And God forbid even just one tiny step is missed... someone will find it, file a lawsuit, and you can add more years to delaying the finished product (if there ever is one).

Back when Robert Moses was around, there were fewer regulations. There wasn't even an EPA until 1970. He'd apply for the money, get the money, and the parkway or highway got built in a very timely fashion. There were a few exceptions, but for the most part, the guy got his way. If today's regulations were in place during the 1930s, a good number of those parkways and expressways probably would have never happened. There's just too much silly red tape today. I don't think it's accurate to use Moses' accomplishments from the 1930s as a basis for expectation of how much progress we should expect in 2009.
  by 4266
The case could be made that regulations exist today in large part because Moses got his way most of the time. Most of those projects he built had absolutely no regard for the socio-cultural let alone environmental consequences that followed. We should all be thankful that one man no longer has the power to screw things up on such a mass scale. Its not as if Moses was such a huge supporter of transit after all.
In fact, some of the latest Obama "infrastructure spending stimulus" rhetoric has me a bit worried. Anybody else see a red flag when he mentioned spending on the level of the Interstate Commerce Act of the 1950s? So far all he's mentioned are highway projects, which is exactly the WRONG direction in my opinion!
  by Noel Weaver
Anything that is going to get tied up in court because of NIMBY's is not a project that is needed right now to jump start the
What is needed is more parking, garages if necessary, more equipment on the New Haven Line, Signals on the Danbury and
maybe even the Waterbury Branches, bridge rehabilition especially on the New Haven Line and additional control points to
allow more flexibility in operations. One more thing in Connecticut and that would be to put back track three between New
Haven and Devon, its removal made no sense at the time and makes less today with the number of trains using this line.
Station improvements on both the Danbury and Waterbury Branches would help too.
Noel Weaver
  by DutchRailnut
Whats wrong with Danbury branch stations ???
  by the danbury hatter
its probably unrealistic at this point but id like to see passing lanes on the danbury branch so that there can be north and south bound trains at the same time, get trains running more frequently
  by the danbury hatter
when using government money to renovate stations would that be down by conndot or by the town that the station resides in cause each town that has a station might not care about the railroad and use its money for something else, like the city of danbury wants to use there money to get better science labs in the high school and nothing related to rail