• 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 sullivan1985
 
No single engine train on NJT or Amtrak would be able to make that climb, unless the grade started to climb right out of ST, which would require rebuilding everything for about 1 mile in each direction of the river, which would only cause years worth of delays.

Portal does need to be replaced, but it's going to be a movable bridge guaranteed.

  by Don31
 
Fixed spans are allowed over navigable waters if the span is, IIRC, 130 feet or something like that. The plans I've seen call for two 2-track spans, starting near Swift and ending near Secaucus Junction.

  by Jishnu
 
Don31 wrote:Fixed spans are allowed over navigable waters if the span is, IIRC, 130 feet or something like that. The plans I've seen call for two 2-track spans, starting near Swift and ending near Secaucus Junction.
Yes indeed, the plans call for two two track fixed span bridges of an appropriate height that meets all legal and laws of physics and engineering requirements. As I recall it does not have to be as high as the NJ Turnpike Extension bridge to meet legal requirements, but I don't know what the exact height is.

  by Irish Chieftain
 
Those will be quite expensive spans, to be sure. Does DC have any money earmarked for that? If not, expect a long wait.

  by Tom V
 
Irish Chieftain wrote:Those will be quite expensive spans, to be sure. Does DC have any money earmarked for that? If not, expect a long wait.
Forget the Feds, the Port Authority could and should fund this project.

  by DutchRailnut
 
Jishnu you speak of plans, but are there any plans to replace portal ???
as far as I know only railfan speculation and no plans or budget.

  by Olton Hall
 
The plans to replace portal have been around for some time now. They are not final plans but near final. Amtrak doesn't have the money for the replacement project and none are in the immediate future either. The environmental permitting process for a project of this sort would take 10 years minimum to get approval. The Coast Guard has lowered the vertical height requirements for many of the navigable water ways in NJ.

  by Don31
 
Olton Hall wrote:The plans to replace portal have been around for some time now. They are not final plans but near final. Amtrak doesn't have the money for the replacement project and none are in the immediate future either. The environmental permitting process for a project of this sort would take 10 years minimum to get approval. The Coast Guard has lowered the vertical height requirements for many of the navigable water ways in NJ.
10 years is overstating it a little Olton. We're doing the Goethals Bridge EIS now and construction is scheduled to start in 2008 I believe.

  by Don31
 
DutchRailnut wrote:Jishnu you speak of plans, but are there any plans to replace portal ???
as far as I know only railfan speculation and no plans or budget.
I've got the drawings on my desk Dutch. Preliminary, true, but drawings nonetheless.

  by Steve F45
 
Beeing i worked for njtpd i should know this, but where is the portal bridge?

  by Don31
 
You work for NJTPD and you don't know Portal??? I can't believe that!

Its the swing bridge over the Hackensack River.

  by Irish Chieftain
 
Forget the Feds, the Port Authority could and should fund this project.
Why? It doesn't benefit them. The PA has never funded anything related to Amtrak yet.

  by Tom V
 
It has nothing to do with Amtrak, 90% of the trains crossing over the span are NJ Transit riders. Also the Port Authority might have some interest in eliminating the swing bridge as it also slows barge traffic which probably originates at a Port Authority terminal.

  by Olton Hall
 
Don31 wrote:
Olton Hall wrote:The plans to replace portal have been around for some time now. They are not final plans but near final. Amtrak doesn't have the money for the replacement project and none are in the immediate future either. The environmental permitting process for a project of this sort would take 10 years minimum to get approval. The Coast Guard has lowered the vertical height requirements for many of the navigable water ways in NJ.
10 years is overstating it a little Olton. We're doing the Goethals Bridge EIS now and construction is scheduled to start in 2008 I believe.
Each Project is different when it comes to EIS. I worked on one project that took 3 years for the EIS and another bridge 4 miles upriver that is expected to take another 8 years to complete the EIS and has been at it for 3 years already. Anything in the Meadowlands has more piles of paper that need to be created that no one will read.

To answer the one question as to why Amtrak has anything to do with Portal replacement. Portal Draw is owned, operated, and maintanied by Amtrak. They've been wanting to replace the bridge since the days of Penn Central RR.

So people know, bridge replacement projects can drag on for years. I worked on one project in 1990. I noticed it went out to bid for construction last month. That got stuck in "historical" issues.

  by Bay Head Local
 
Well when they do replace Portal how are the trains going to get into Secaucus and NY during construction?
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