• The Defense Production Act and rail infrastructure.

  • 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 STrRedWolf
 
This isn't Biden specific, but...

What about using the Defense Production Act for infrastructure (rail) projects? If any of the rail lines go down... in pre-pandemic times, that would require emergency spending.
  by mtuandrew
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:41 am This isn't Biden specific, but...

What about using the Defense Production Act for infrastructure (rail) projects? If any of the rail lines go down... in pre-pandemic times, that would require emergency spending.
I suppose you could, for equipment & materials anyway. It would let the government supersede any private orders for TBMs, rails, locomotives, signal equipment, and the like.

The other two legs of this three-legged stool are land acquisition and construction personnel, assuming that the plans and project management are in place. Those aren’t covered under the Defense Production Act to the best of my knowledge.
  by eolesen
 
Assume the Hudson tubes fail. What's the national security risk of Manhattan losing rail service from one direction?

If it were to evacuate the city center, there's still ample rail access to the north and east, and PATH would still be available as well, which cuts into the argument that defense that NJ would be cut off from NY.

If you were talking about freight service to a deep water port, there'd be an argument. Passenger service only? Not really.
  by STrRedWolf
 
I would argue that evacuating all of Long Island and NYC would require shoving as many trains as possible out of Penn Station and Grand Central, north and south, away from the coasts.

A Bombardier Multilevel (NJ Transit/MARC) holds 132 per car on average. 10 of them under double diesel or electric, that's 1320 per trip out. 12 of those trains an hour, you evac nearly 16 thousand an hour out of one tube. And you know you'll get more with a crush load.

Two tubes, that's 32K an hour. Five (going both ways) gets you 80K. With the Ethan Allen (96K) and what you can do with Grand Central (4 tracks, probably faster speeds)? 160K an hour.

Amtrak Viewliners? 30, and I bet 50 on a crush load. 500 people at a time. 6K per hour per tube. 36K for the rail system, without LIRR. On top of PATH/NJT combo at Hoboken. On top of all the bridges and tunnels going all but one lane OUT. All of that, evacuating 8.4 Million people in NYC and another 7.8 Million in Long Island.

And that is if something worse than Sandy hit -- like a meteorite. Unlikely? Yes. But we've had near misses rather frequently lately.

Adding two more tubes to Penn bumps that evac number up to 192K an hour PLUS the bridges and bus/car tunnels PLUS the northbound car routes.

Taking one away drops it down 16K people. That makes evac *slower*.

What's better? Saving another 32K people an hour or leaving 16K an hour behind?

(edit to correct my math)
  by mtuandrew
 
But how does the Defense Production Act help with a sudden evacuation? You’d be better off commandeering existing equipment, like passenger and freight planes, ferries and other coastal ships, and commuter railroad equipment from around the country.

You could make an argument for restoring & improving a railroad signal system when capacity suddenly becomes an issue, rebuilding a line to a newly-critical port or base, and rerouting a railroad around (say) a catastrophic subsidence, contaminated area, or flood zone.
  by electricron
 
On Manhattan alone, there are 1.6+ million people living. At 16,000 evacuees per hour using trains, it would take 1,000 hours, or over 41 days. At 160,000 evacuees per hour, 100 hours or over 4 days. Is 4 days quick enough to evacuate Manhattan in a crisis?
And what about Brooklyn, Queens, and the rest of Long Island?
  by STrRedWolf
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:35 pm You could make an argument for restoring & improving a railroad signal system when capacity suddenly becomes an issue, rebuilding a line to a newly-critical port or base, and rerouting a railroad around (say) a catastrophic subsidence, contaminated area, or flood zone.
I'll argue a bit further, as capacity (pre-pandemic) was an issue. You can only do 12 trains per hour at 60 MPH per tube. During rush hour, the NJT trains were crush load. Amtrak is basically full around NYC (maybe not so much on with LD trains and at the dead of night). No signaling improvement is going to help that. The next step you can do is... build the tunnels. Of course... have a tube collapse, and the capacity issue becomes critical.

Maybe I'm looking at it wrong. Maybe the DPA could be used to get supplies, but the actual tunnels and building? That would be more a military issue (Army Corp of Engineers anyone?). (But then, I kinda want a lot of infrastructure projects "NOW" because the bill's past due).
  by eolesen
 
electricron wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:45 pm On Manhattan alone, there are 1.6+ million people living. At 16,000 evacuees per hour using trains, it would take 1,000 hours, or over 41 days. At 160,000 evacuees per hour, 100 hours or over 4 days. Is 4 days quick enough to evacuate Manhattan in a crisis?
And what about Brooklyn, Queens, and the rest of Long Island?
Yep, that's my point. If you're evacuating Manhattan, it's going to be like 9/11 -- people walking across the bridges and probably closing down the eastbound tube of the Holland Tunnel to allow foot traffic thru.

Even if the trains could run at the mythical capacity that STrRedWolf is suggesting, I'm sure that equipment reliability and staffing would be a bigger constraint than tube capacity.
  by NRGeep
 
Evacuating NYC or other major cities during Covid would significantly slow down the process as well with distancing required and much smaller train capacity.

Luckily we had no large WW1 foreign military invasions
in US cities during The Plague or no doubt there would have been even more millions killed by that hideous FLU.
  by Jeff Smith
 
I moved this over to NYC Area Wide.

Remember, in the outer boroughs especially, a lot of people still do have cars.

During 9/11, people walked the highways and bridges.

Then you've got a huge bus fleet.

DPA's not going to do anything immediate except possibly commandeer, and I'm not familiar enough with the statute to say that's where emergency orders would fall under.

It's an interesting discussion, though.

DPA could be a difference maker with the freight railroads, though. Although I'd be loathe to transport people in box cars; too reminiscent of Nazi Germany. But in an emergency pinch?

What powers, if any, did FEMA use for Katrina? They had what, one train set?
  by STrRedWolf
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:41 am What powers, if any, did FEMA use for Katrina? They had what, one train set?
One, it was offered by Amtrak. Both FEMA and Louisiana's version said no, not needed. We all know how *THAT* turned out.
  by scratchyX1
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:22 pm
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:41 am What powers, if any, did FEMA use for Katrina? They had what, one train set?
One, it was offered by Amtrak. Both FEMA and Louisiana's version said no, not needed. We all know how *THAT* turned out.
According to a relative who works for FEMA, they learned their lesson, and next time will use the option for evacuation.