• The East Side Access Project Discussion (ESA)

  • Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.
Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by Pensyfan19
Ok. Thank you for the information regarding the 7 train. It is still possible to order these single level coaches and dual mode (most likely Siemens Chargers) to be made low enough for ESA clearance. These new diesels could also be used as Atlantic Terminal Brooklyn protects as the LIRR rarely uses SW1001s for that region since they are the only diesels low enough to fit through those tunnels. The new single level cars will likely be the same length as the M9s in order to fit through the tunnels, so car length should not be an issue.
  by photobug56
I scanned through the first of the documents. Some of it contradicts what I was told by LIRR officials during the tunnel tour given to members of the LIRR ESA Citizens Task Force in 1996.

So what I'm trying to understand now;
1. Will diesel country passengers have a quick easy GCT access to a train that will have enough seats most of the time? Inbound in the morning, outbound in the PM. If I could step off a PJ train and within a minute be seated on a GCT train, that would be semi acceptable. I say semi, because I can't imagine this working smoothly most of the time, that if you arrived at Jamaica, you'd have that quick easy transfer with a seat easy to find and get into. Certainly does not happen now much of the time with PJ trains versus Penn.
2. Note that it would have been nice if they ever had a decent compliment of PJ Penn direct trains. 2 more actually during rush hour EB 5:45PM or so, maybe 6:30PM or so. And inbound a train arriving 7:45 and 8:15 or so. These are not exact times, just an idea of what would help.
3. It would be nice to know if it is truly practical for the C5 cars could be designed to fit via ESA. The DM needed seems to be easier since it would not be as tall. It would also help if the DM's didn't need 2 locos per DM train into Penn or GCT. Clearly from what was thought of in that document along with what LIRR has said about M9A procurement, they only plan to buy electric cars to go into GCT.
4. In general, it's clear that years ago and today LIRR/MTA has considered diesel country service as mostly unimportant despite a heavy population now and more so in the future. If LIRR could have direct trains to Penn and GCT averaging about 70MPH, then commuting from out east would be a lot quicker and easier. Nassau is badly overcrowded, western Suffolk getting there, yet service average speeds in the 30's or worse on some trains, maybe 40 on a few, just doesn't cut it. One of the reasons MN is considered to be a much better commute is that their trains typically run much faster than on LIRR.
  by njtmnrrbuff
With the addition of the 3rd track on the Main Line, it would help provide every express trains to move at full speed up and down the Main Line during the rush hour. 40 percent of the LIRR trains presently use the Main Line between Hicksville and Floral Park-this includes not only the trains that run directly to NYP, but also ending at the other terminals. It will be interesting to see how frequently LIRR trains will run to GCT and where will their Nassau and Suffolk County origins be. The further east you get on Long Island, the fewer daily commuters there will be. You are not going to get many people commuting from Southampton or East Hampton to Midtown Manhattan five days a week each way. That takes way too long. You may get people commuting to an office a few times a week and then spending the other days working from home. The LIRR Greenport extension of the Main Line-this is a very slow stretch of track and I am very surprised that the MTA decided to restore off season weekend service out there. Once you get west of Ronkonkoma, then we are taking speeds of up to 80 mph but those local trains take time given the number of stops that they make. There will probably be many of those trains continuing onto GCT during the rush hour after East Side Access opens up.

MNR just runs a little more reliably than LIRR. They have a better on time record, especially on the Harlem and Hudson Lines. On the New Haven Line, it's not as good as the other two but not terrible. Having East Side Access will enable a person to travel from Westchester County to Long Island without having to go to NY Penn Station.
  by Backshophoss
Have you ever consider moving to upper Westchester or lower Putnam county?
Along the Hudson or Harlem lines of MN?
Both ESA and the Atlantic Branch are restricted clearance to MU's ONLY!
  by photobug56
photobug56 wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 3:52 pm Move to Westchester, etc.? Can't afford to. Plus we've planted roots on Long Island in Historical societies and the like, and we have family here. Long Island wasn't a 'good' choice but at the time necessary. My then future wife and I had no idea of just how awful LIRR was, especially in diesel country, but it was where she was working.

When the 3rd track opens up, it will not solve the problem of the constantly breaking down switches, signals, locomotives, train doors, M's, etc. It will however make it easier to get around broken down trains, which will help. Beyond that, it's not actually clear whether LIRR will redo any schedules to take good advantage of the additional tracks, even though that's a big reason for it being done. There will be some help also from no longer having to deal with the several at grade crossings. But will actual train speeds improve? For instance, the DM pulled train from PJ to Penn alleged arrival time 7:20AM. For my part of the run, 1:02 to go 40 miles on a train that is capable of what, 75?

Both for ESA and 3rd track, it will be interesting to see what LIRR does in terms of any service improvements (if any). Will the improvements be spread out based on real need or political interference? Reading comments here it's obvious that some of you don't believe that LIRR needs to accommodate riders from farther east - but those who believe that may not understand that the closer you are in the more expensive it tends to be to live. I'm not talking about the Hamptons. In fact I think they get far better service than they should, like how LIRR guts PJ trains for a few days a week to provide better and increased service to the every weekend in good weather drunk spoiled brat parade to the eastern beaches and drinking houses. I'm talking about, on the PJ line, towns of Huntington, Smithtown, and Brookhaven, with piles of workers and students going back and forth daily.

(ADMIN NOTE: New Topic: https://railroad.net/viewtopic.php?f=216&t=171479) In regards to ESA allowing access from LIRR to MN without going via Penn, sure. It might save about 40 minutes a day typically. But for someone in diesel country needing to go to say White Plains, instead of being say, a 6 hour round trip via Penn, LIRR, 2 subways, maybe it's now only 5 1/4 hour round trip. We don't just need the extra capacity of the 3rd track plus ESA, we also need direct connections from LIRR to MN. Imagine, for instance, changing to a train at Jamaica that use the Hellgate Bridge to connect you to points north of the city, or at least a transfer point in the Bronx to each of the MN lines. Right now, lots of Long Islanders have to commute to North of the city, and the only way is by a 3 or 4 AM drive by car, leaving by 2 or 3PM to go home (and even that's really late for heading towards Long Island).
  by Jeff Smith
I was a little bored, so I created a new forum, and had to duplicate a post. Enjoy.
  by lpetrich
MTA | Capital Programs East Side Access - Publications

I checked on that, and the FTA Quarterly Reports have not been updated in 2019 or in this year. I checked on the FTA's site, and I couldn't find anything recent there either. What's been going on with the project? How far has it gotten?

From the expected progress from the last one at ESA's site, the Q4 2018 report, I conclude that everything outside of the Harold Interlocking should be done or very close to done, except for integrated testing. Much of Harold should also be done or very close to done.
  by lpetrich
LIRR major projects still on track | Newsday - 2020 Apr 22

Only 9 positive cases out of a construction workforce of 700.
As for East Side Access, McCarthy said there were times when work had to halt at East Side Access due to some positive coronavirus cases among contract workers that required temporary closures and cleaning. But now, work continues in the cavern beneath Grand Central Terminal, and workers are using GoPro cameras to allow project managers and others to inspect the work and keep an eye on the project from afar.

“It’s moving forward,” McCarthy said Wednesday. “We don’t want to lose time. We’re allowed to work as long as we’re doing it safely, and that’s how we’re proceeding.”
I found this article on some of the construction:
East Side Access goes high-tech with pre-fab power | Real Estate Weekly
The United States’ largest pre-fabricated traction power substation has been installed in Long Island City, Queens, as part of the East Side Access Program,

The pre-fabricated structure spans over 250 feet in length. It consists of 20 sections with each section over 45 feet wide and weighing up to 96,000 lbs.

E-J Electric Installation Co. installed the substation for the Long Island Railroad.
With three separate 3-MW units.
  by lpetrich
East Side Access - A Modern LI

Locking In East Side Access: Major Tunneling Operations at Harold Interlocking - A Modern LI
Four tunnels, three to the Amtrak/LIRR tracks, and one to the yard. The article doesn't state their progress, however.

Signaling Progress: East Side Access Tunnels Get Critical Signal Hardware - A Modern LI - installation has started, and it will include positive train control.

White Pearl Marble Will Provide Exquisite Finish in the Future LIRR Passenger Concourse at Grand Central Terminal - A Modern LI - something of an indulgence, it seems to me, but even the most expensive marble will likely be much cheaper than the main parts of the construction.

East Side Access Achieves Another Major Milestone at Mid-Day Storage Yard - A Modern LI - last December. Was not very clear about it -- installation of signaling?

New Tunnel Approach Structure Completed for East Side Access Project - A Modern LI - last November. Done for Tunnel D - it's a long ramp.
  by lpetrich
See It Happen: Nearly Two Miles of New Main Line Track Installed in Busy Harold Interlocking Rail Junction for East Side Access Project (Video) - A Modern LI - last October. Time-lapse video of installation of some of it. I notice that the switches have concrete ties as well as the ordinary tracks.

East Side Access Powers Up Substations - A Modern LI - last October. There is a hierarchy of electric-power substations. Three bulk substations receive electricity from the grid, and they power the other substations: eight traction ones (for powering the trains) and eleven facility ones.
  by Jeff Smith
Nice links, thanks!
  by cle
Is there a proposed timetable yet, or service pattern (trains per hour to each terminus?) - assuming relatively clock-face off-peak, but how about the peaks?

And the corresponding increases or changes to the existing services, due to these GCT ones?
  by photobug56
LIRR has said nothing that I'm aware of. In 1996 I asked LIRR and was told that people would switch at a to be built Sunnyside station. Needless to say that is not happening. LIRR is making changes at Jamaica to have a high percentage of Jamaica to Brooklyn trains via the new track(s), which may make it easier to setup easy across the platform transfers between trains that go to GCT and ones that don't. But not a lot of details yet. And if it's not mostly across the platform transfers, then it might not be worth the effort.
  by cle
Surely the business casE was predicated on 'X tph' created net new - or diverted, with the paths for those reallocated to 'Y uplift' - or whatever.

At Jamaica, will there be a dedicated GCT track (as with Brooklyn, basically) - I'd also hope for a $2.75 Brooklyn swipe fare to help boost usage, and then free integration with the subway there, especially to reach lower Manhattan. Ostensibly, make it a subway shuttle?
  by njtmnrrbuff
Passengers who are changing at Jamaica to go from points east to a station on the Atlantic Branch shouldn't have to pay a lot of money to have to walk on a bridge across several tracks to make their connections. I think considering the MTA subway fare for any part of the trip on the Atlantic Branch is a good idea.
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