• Electrification for Trolley Museum of New York (Kingston)

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: Miketherailfan, rob216

  by farecard
 
Having been in the pipeline industry; I can tell you the cathodic protection issue is a real tough nut. We were no where near an electrified line, so we were only worried about other sources. I can't see how pipelines anywhere near the NEC survive.

Wikpedia will explain some of the issues
  by n2xjk
 
Our grant guru has secured another state grant to meet the 10% local match required for our ~$780,000 federal grant, which will bring the project total to about $860,000. Again, this project won't string wire, but it will rebuild about 4000' of track (roughly half of the entire waterfront line) to light rail standards which will support electrification in the future.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
n2xjk wrote:Our grant guru has secured another state grant to meet the 10% local match required for our ~$780,000 federal grant, which will bring the project total to about $860,000. Again, this project won't string wire, but it will rebuild about 4000' of track (roughly half of the entire waterfront line) to light rail standards which will support electrification in the future.
What exactly are "light rail standards?" We strung wire at the New York Museum of Transportation, and the only thing we did differently was add rail bonds between the joint bars. Other than that, it is conventional railroad track. We've been running trolleys since 2001.

http://nymtmuseum.org/

-otto-
  by polybalt
 
What exactly are "light rail standards?"
Many, not all, modern light rail lines have design standards that require carefully insulating the running rail from earth ground to a greater extent than what naturally occurs with standard ballast, wooden ties, and cut spikes. To meet these standards requires all sorts of expensive things like insulated fasteners, rubber boots at grade crossings, etc.

The issue is to reduce stray currents that can damage buried metallic utilities. It may make sense in certain locations where the LRT line is new and the utilities have been there for years. If the LRT predecessor streetcar line was there first, you can argue the utilities have to take care of the problem themselves.

Of course the LRT lines run multiple-car trains, each car drawing maybe 1500 amps, on 15 minute headways all day 365 days/year. It is very hard to understand how any museum trolley line, which just runs one or two cars primarily on weekends drawing maybe 100 amps each can be a real problem to the buried pipes, but there is a special issue in Kingston (I think related to ownership of the right-of-way) which required a formal consultant study and sign-off, and a very expensive track reconstruction was recommended and apparently needs to be implemented before electification can happen. In general Museums don't need to worry about stray current problems and don't.
  by n2xjk
 
Peter summed it up well. With the density of gas pipelines in the vicinity of the tracks, electrolysis issues are the 800lb gorilla in the room anytime TMNY plans for electrification. Track bonding alone does not suffice in our situation. We need to isolate rail and add return feeder cables, among other things. Most trolley museums haven't had to face electrolysis mitigation to this degree due to their rural location or having electrified before gas lines entered the neighborhood. The $800,000+ grant we have coming will be just one step of many before we can lurch a car forward at notch 1.
  by Noel Weaver
 
Here is what I posted last year about this:
not to put a damper on this but I think the cost is way too high and I also think there are better ways for the governments
involved to spend funds.
Sorry but this is the way I feel.
Noel Weaver

I don't feel any different about this now. It is a gross waste of government funds when other museums and railroad
operations have to get along as best they can. If New York State has money like this to thorw around they should use it
on a railroad that goes somewhere and where it will honestly do some good.
If I still lived in New York State, I would write letters to my representatives opposing this one.
Noel Weaver
  by n2xjk
 
I would argue that TMNY's KIngston Point stop surrounded by the waters of the Hudson River is one of the most scenic a trolley museum in the US can offer. Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day, fall colors, bright blue sky, 65 degrees with a breeze and white caps on the water.

It's because our waterfront route does go somewhere, combined with Kingston's increasing focus as a tourist destination and artist community are key factors in our success in receiving a number of state and federal grants.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
So most of the cost of this project is to mitigate stray voltage from a possible electrification that might happen in the future?

Pardon me for sounding incredulous, I'm just having a hard time with the cost of the project versus the length of track...

-otto-
  by Tim Lesniak
 
The Trolley Museum of New York is a great little niche in the village of Kingston. It is a wonderful attraction in the area. They have a nice international collection located inside their shop and storage building. My problem is that the few times that I have been there are to dismantle equipment because they were scrapping it and we could use the parts. Now, I am not complaining about getting the parts and sometimes preservation entails parting out one car to restore another car. I would highly disagree with spending that amount of money on these mitigation issues when there are so many other things that the museum could use, especially since that would not even install the overhead lines. I see plenty of other areas where gas lines, water lines, and the like are run under or across electrified railroads and there are none of these measures taken. Just about every grade crossing that an electrified railroad makes will result in crossing some sort of underground utilities. So, I still don't understand why all of these measures are being taken. For the amount of money that is being granted to the museum, it could be much better used for many other upgrades that railroads in the state of New York need.
  by n2xjk
 
The fact is, anywhere on the Kingston Waterfront, any track to be eventually electrified must meet standards that minimize electrolysis to a high degree due to the density of the gas pipelines in the area. I wish it would cost less too, but I'm also glad we are finally going to cross the first major hurdle to running electric cars here. We can't thank enough for the support we've received from the City of Kingston, State of New York and our federal representatives to make this possible.

Image
Oct 2, 2010 at Kingston Point
  by Noel Weaver
 
I could attest to the scenic wonders of the Branford ROW just as much with its ride over trestles, theough the swamps and woods and the wide variety of cars that operate over this line as well. We started out back in the 40's and when I first got involved in 1957 we had little, a couple of cars that were more or less suitable for the public to ride in, a portion of the line that could be used blocked by an inpassable bridge and lack of wire on one end, a diesel electric power plant that dated back to WW-II days and lots of luck. We didn't get any government grants, we put in our own funds, got out and did things to attract riders, ran fantrips and did other things to raise funds, put in lots of hours and money out of our own pockets in order to try to accomplish something. Eventually over a period of many years Branford has come to a point where it is not only an asset to the area in which it is located but is an attraction that off of its members can be proud of.
Warehouse Point in Connecticut and Seashore in Maine also started up the hard way and worked from the ground up with a lot of hard work on the part of their members too, no federal dollars at these places either.
I resent this infushion of federal funds (my tax dollars as well as others) for something like this which runs a mile or two in the city of Kingston. If it were local money I would feel that it was warranted but not US funds, sorry about that. If I still lived in New York State I would be writing many letters trying to get this stopped before it got out of hand. My opinion it is a waste of government funds that can be better utilized elsewhere.
I'll bet the New York Post, Newsday or maybe other newspapers as well would have a field day with this one.
Noel Weaver
  by District D RTC
 
$800,000 for 4,000 feet of track and it DOESN'T indclude electrification????? ARE YOU EFFFIN KIDDING ME!!!!

***MODERN*** NEW CONSTRUCTION LIGHTRAIL does indeed range in price from $1.7-million per mile to $179 million per mile -
but assuming no land-acquisitions, special construction (bridges, tunnels, etc) and no money for stations, parking, intermodal connectivity or new railcars the cost is $2.2-million a mile currently!

Lets look at the relatively new Kenosha, WI streetcar - which is IN STREET (which adds costs) was build for approximately $2-million per mile INCLUDING 5 restored and refurbed PCC cars.

The riverfront trolley folly in Kingston is a WASTE of money - do the math at home along with me:

A mile = 5,280 feet.
Therefore
A mile that costs $2,000,000 is a PER FOOT cost of: $378.79 per foot. Just to double check - $378.79x5280=$2,000,011.20.
That being said - $779,200 for 4,000 feet of track is a PER FOOT cost of: $194.80, more then half of the cost of the Kenosha line. The differences: The Kenosha line serves as a MEANS of transportation in downtown, not just a little joy-riding museum. Also - the Kenosha project includes 17 stops (most only consist of signage and curb paint but at least 4 had shelters and raised boarding areas. Also there is a car house and approximately 4 turnouts including one electrified passing siding. Oh, and six city blocks of INstreet trackage, THIRTEEN (13) 'grade crossings) plus ....... How much does the $779,200 include? New turnouts? A new car house?? New stops/shelters??? New signage at 15+ locations along the route????? Or does it (more likely) include a rocks-off jolly for each member of the board at taxpayer expense........

http://heritagetrolley.com/artcileBring ... tcars7.htm

Sorry Kingston GET REAL! Your price is ludicrous. Look at all the other museums doing more with WAAAAAAY less.

I completely agree with Noel Weaver here and I AM a voter in NYS.........and we're taxpayers in Ulster County in my family....

Please don't anyone read me as anti-rail or anti-streetcar/trolley/lightrail... I'm just anti WASTING OF MONEY. Imagine what the NYMT could do with $800,000......................or BERA............or hell Bob Diamond's now defunct Brooklyn Group..........

Oh - and I'm fairly certain that DOWNTOWN Kenosha, WI is no more of a
rural location
then Kingston Point and the Strand. And exactly how many pipelines are you folks claiming there to be? There is a JET FUEL pipeline crossing under PATH, AMTK(NEC) and NJT(M&E) all electrified in Kearney, NJ - WTF makes your situation so special as to need all the extra money? I don't care if your pipelines are carrying the most precious thing yet in this thread (the hopes and dreams of people who did nothing with what they had for 20+years) but it STILL doesn't increase costs the way you guys are making it sound.......
Last edited by District D RTC on Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
If electrification is such an obstacle due to the pipelines in the area, why not concentrate on offering a conventional railroad ride? Get more converted trolley cars if you like the motif. It just seems like an awful lot of money to upgrade an isolated two mile segment of track for an electrification program that *might* happen someday. I am not sure that this is the best use for $800K.

That said, I wish you guys the best of luck!
  by District D RTC
 
If electrification is such an obstacle due to the pipelines in the area, why not concentrate on...
I'm sorry but If in 20+/- years of existence they still haven't done anything except get that annoying little Johnstown car which can't even run on 1/2 of the line.......I don't feel they're responsible / worthy enough to receive ANY taxpayer funds....
  by n2xjk
 
While I was away at the ARM conference this past week I see there's been some rain on our parade in this forum. Kingston is benefiting from a 'perfect storm' of funding initiatives that combine and intersect in many ways to leverage each other. Economic development, tourism, job stimulus, environmental protection, urban development, 'green' initiatives, intermodal transportation, coastal management, etc, are all in play along the Kingston Waterfront. The TMNY tracks are poised to be the backbone connecting the whole Kingston Waterfront with possibilities to extend the line into new development areas.

If you feel this doesn't justify the level of state and federal support flowing into the area, so be it. We'll still work as hard as we can to get the most from these programs now and in the future.