• 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 photobug56
The super cynical side of me; Transport For London has needed a number of years to do the testing phase for the Elizabeth Line, and they, by most judgements, have some idea of what they are doing. Though the EL is a lot longer. But I figure that everything ESA takes many times longer and more money to do than the EL.

Plus I've got this picture in my mind, the first time they turn on the third rail, of this massive ball of fire sweeping the entire length of ESA! I know how absurd that is, it's just all the stories I've heard about what's gone on during the construction. I really want this to work well and come in by the end of next year as per the latest projections.
  by photobug56
One side thought; TFL has produced piles of videos of their test trains on the Elizabeth line; I hope MTA does the same.
  by R36 Combine Coach
photobug56 wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 5:34 pm Wouldn't that qualify as major construction?
Unless MTA is not building it (Amtrak responsibility).
  by lpetrich
I tracked down references to this announcement and I found:
Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of Major Construction of East Side Access
Third Rail to be Electrified and Non-Passenger Test Trains to Begin Operating This Summer

Project Focus Shifts to Testing and Commissioning of Project Systems Such as Power Communications, HVAC, Security, and More
Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of Major Construction of East Side Access Project - YouTube

Including the 17 182-ft escalators, the 300-railcar Queens yard, and a full upgrade of Harold Interlocking, all with 97 new track switches, 295 overhead-cable poles for Amtrak, 5 new steel RR bridges, and 8,445 ft of retaining wall.

Overall, 40 mi of new track, 13 mi of new tunnels, 44 ventilation fans, 550 mi of cable, 975 security cameras, 15 signal-display overhead gantries, and 14 trackside huts with signal-system components.
  by lpetrich
Photos: Major Construction Completed At East Side Access, Still On Schedule For 2022 - Gothamist
As it says, lots of pictures.

"About half the Long Island Rail Road trains will be diverted to Grand Central Terminal."

Major Construction of East Side Access Completed; Grand Opening Set for Next Year – NBC New York
All major construction of the East Side Access project is complete -- with the grand opening taking place next year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.

“We still have some systems work to do -- electrical systems, etc. -- but all the construction is complete," Cuomo said.

Cuomo went on to say that the project will not only change Grand Central, but another important New York City transportation hub.

"It reduces dramatically the number of trains going into Penn, which first of all is a good thing because Grand Central is a much more pleasant experience than Penn, right now – until we do the new Penn," he said. "But reducing the number of trains going into Penn is very important because one of the major problems we have at Penn is we don’t have enough track capacity."
  by photobug56
Does any of the new equipment work?

1. The escalators - MTA's record here is abysmal, IMHO.
2. Elevators - same thing.
3. I'm assuming that most of the actual track has had work trains and geometry cars over it. Has any electrical testing been done of the 3rd rail or signal equipment? I do get that testing all this takes a while - personally I'm wondering how many years it will take in real life.
4. What do they have for backup power if there is a blackout to get people out of the deep hole station? They chose to build this super deep, maybe they had to for the way they chose to do this, but how would most people, especially handicapped get out in a blackout?
5. And has anyone heard ANYTHING yet on what access people in diesel country will have to GCT other than speculation?
  by Pensyfan19
How about BEMU service from Grand Central to Oyster Bay, Patchogue/Speonk and Port Jeff?
  by photobug56
Single decker on single track to PJ? Not enough passenger capacity, IMHO. Battery wise, if it runs with 3rd rail AND charges west of Huntington and charges at PJ it might make it. Speonk seems unlikely.
  by photobug56
And safely exits a train station at their destination. And vice versa. Like a full day of the escalators all running properly - which would probably set a new MTA record! :-) Oh, and the elevators!
  by MattW
Pensyfan19 wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:28 am How about BEMU service from Grand Central to Oyster Bay, Patchogue/Speonk and Port Jeff?
Why not a DEMU like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_769 With the updated FRA crash standards making for somewhat lighter vehicles (right?) could something like this now be feasible on US railroads? These seem smaller than the M9s being ordered, could they, or the next M10, be a DEMU like these? I know the LIRR wants more bilevels, but DEMUs would allow more fleet commonality, and maybe even such things like Ronkonkoma trains separating the first two cars to continue to Greenport for a one-seat ride without running a whole train. And, if they're built with the same profile as the current M trains, could serve ESA from diesel territories.
  by photobug56
What IMHO would best serve LIRR until if and when they electrify and double track the PJ line and others (Oyster Bay floods easily as I understand it so electrification may not make sense past a certain point) are double deckers's that could fit into the tunnels for ESA - if that's possible. In 1996 LIRR officials told me that they were buying double deckers that were about 3 inches too tall to fit. The C3's. Not enough of them, as they admitted early on. If DD's could fit everywhere, haul them with electric locos and dual mode locos as appropriate. More capacity, hopefully less squeezing.

You'll never want a commuter railroad to reconfigure a train mid run - dropping or adding cars. Too much time to do and test brakes, etc.

As to single level trains serving diesel country, not enough car or track capacity that way. Especially on a line like the PJ line which (ignoring COVID) badly needs more capacity, not less. It poorly, IMHO, serves outside rush hour, het alone Stony Brook U.
  by Pensyfan19
Is there any reason as to why the ESA tunnels were made too short for C3s?
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