• All Things Portal Bridge: Amtrak and NJT Status and Replacement Discussion

  • 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

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  by Thomas
 
But is it likely for Amtrak to build up the lobbying power to get the Project done?
  by ThirdRail7
 
Not that likely which is why NJT is being Aggressive. They have picked up the slack in the reins!
  by Hawaiitiki
 
Are new Portal Bridge approaches(I know they're being built much very higher above the water) related at all to the massive, and I mean massive, amount of earth that has been piled up on the south side of the NEC for the past six months between Secaucus Transfer and the Portal Bridge. I know this is wishful thinking, but nobody on this forum has been able to provide any sort of explanation of what is actually going on.
  by ryanov
 
Surprised I am the first to comment on the fire at Portal.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014 ... ansit.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Looks like a small one this time.

MODERATOR'S NOTE: Added 2014 to thread title to differntiate this fire from the previous one.
  by 25Hz
 
Just a matter of time before it happens again resulting in further usage restrictions. Replacement cannot come fast enough!
  by quadrock
 
A friend of mine was leaving Midtown right around this time. He said that Penn Station was a mess with a ton of people lined up on the sidewalk. He ended up taking a very crowded PATH train to Newark.
  by morris&essex4ever
 
I read somewhere that construction of the replacement bridge(s) would be complete by 2017. At this rate, construction might not start by 2017.
  by Matt Johnson
 
There are supposed to be two new bridges to replace the one. Maybe it'll take a good fire that destroys the bridge entirely to get the replacement project moving! And no, I'm not advocating arson, just expressing my frustration with our ineffective leadership that doesn't do anything until it's a crisis.
  by 25Hz
 
Meghan wrote:
25Hz wrote:Just a matter of time before it happens again resulting in further usage restrictions. Replacement cannot come fast enough!
Could you elaborate a little bit, please?

What does replacement have to do with being shut down briefly because of a brush fire alongside? If there are fire apparatus working along side the track there are going to be delays and the new bridge will not change that.

Meghan :wink:
I can elaborate! If a fire damages any part of the structure, or is near enough to possibly cause damage (a la harlem river bridge) they will not let trains over it till it is inspected. this would be a disaster for people that rely on that route & have few or no other options, its not like we can suddenly make room for 5000 carpooling cars somewhere in NJ, and dont get me started on PATH when there's an issue in/out of NYP. Then, if there is damage found, even if trains are allowed back on, there will be speed restrictions and trains per hour restrictions, and since they still open the span, it may take longer to do that if its still able to. This thing is apparently being held together by the collective hopes that it wont fail till funds are solidified to replace it, and not much else.

You might ask how a fire could damage it if its in the grass a bit away from the tracks. One word: wind.
  by morris&essex4ever
 
A new bridge or 2 will probably not eliminate the need for a temporary speed restriction when there are fire apparatus operating nearby or a heavy smoke condition.
  by Matt Johnson
 
Two highly elevated new bridges will certainly improve the odds over one deteriorated swing bridge. It'd be nice also to get rid of the bottleneck and speed restriction (Portal bridge used to be 80 mph, now it's down to 60 mph on the two track bridge. Track speed is 90 otherwise, and believe it or not, trains do actually get up to 90 sometimes right around Secaucus Junction before having to hit the brakes.)
  by 25Hz
 
Meghan wrote:Thank you. I'm am very familiar with the operating and safety rules. Brush fires in the Meadowlands are a regular occurrence and this one was near enough to the track (think track - not Portal Bridge per se) to require either Fire Department use of the access road or for the smoke to create a visibility issue. The bridge is a landmark. Other than being in the immediate neighborhood, the fire had nothing to do with the bridge. Now let me rephrase the question. How will a new bridge eliminate the need for a temporary speed restriction when there are fire apparatus operating nearby or a heavy smoke condition?

:-) Meghan
The new bridges will be higher, and the access roads will not be akin to a sidewalk next to a busy street.

And, you wanna talk visibility? Ok, lets talk visibility. Have you ever ridden at the head end in absolute dumping snow at night? That is the worst visibility issue we see here in the northeast for trains. The headlights reflect off the falling snow back towards the train & the cab & it looks pretty from trackside but its scary for the train operator because there could be an obstruction they cannot see, and on grade crossings, you can have various debris from the road pushed out between the rails by snow plow trucks. Thankfully the trunk of the NEC which NJT uses has no grade crossings. They run trains pretty much full speed in that kinda weather unless there are drop pan orders or slow orders due to temperature & its effect on the catenary, or icing, or both. ;)
  by kilroy
 
And the new bridge will improve vidibility, even in a snow storm? That seems to be your argument.
  by nomis
 
There's another fire in the meadowlands currently, looked to be far away from the NJ portal of the tunnels. It seemed to be located near the cell phone towers in the meadows by the east turnpike toll plaza.
  by kilroy
 
And it still shut down the NEC for a while. Better get that bridge built soon. That'll stop the fires I'm sure.

Better yet, let's get those hovercats running on the NEC.
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