• Penn Station Emergency Repairs: Trackwork, etc.

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by JimBoylan
 
As reported about 5 weeks ago, Metro North has found a way to get Amtrak locomotives through the Park Ave. tunnels, by using tracks that do have some side clearance. While it may now be a lost art, long ago it was possible for Amtrak employees to be trained and qualified on new territories, like the route to Grand Central.
  by Patrick A.
 
So to summarize the issues pertaining to Amtrak moving Empire Service to GCT:

1) Amtrak P32 Issues: 3rd Rail Shoes, No Forward Escape Hatch
2) GCT Slots and turning availability (unless cab cars are used for push/pull)
3) MNRR Crew Availability
4) MNRR P32 Pool Availability (to mitigate problem #1)

By rough count, it appears there are a maximum of 26 unique Amtrak trains /day which run between NYC-Albany in either direction. That would be a lot of capacity that would be taken off-line in the event these trains are precluded from entering NYP (due to trackwork) and GCT (operational challenges). Replacing with buses probably would not be feasible given traffic and capacity required.

Perhaps the best option is to transfer at Croton-Harmon and have MNRR run a special into GCT. Based on timetables, the ride in from CRO on an express is ~:50, possibly ~:45 without stopping at 125th. The transfer would be an inconvenience, but probably is the 'least worst' option given the other outstanding operational challenges. This of course presumes MNRR has the equipment and slots to accomodate these specials.
  by Jeff Smith
 
If you're going to do that, you might as well have Amtrak run Charger's or other diesel-only Gennies (P40's?) the entire corridor to CH, and just change/add engines there to MNRR P32's and not even switch coaches. Least impact.
  by Backshophoss
 
Believe the Amtrak P32's can enter/exit GCT via the center two track tunnel(Mains 1 and 2),they cannot be sent in/out the
2 single track tunnels(Mains 3 and 4).

In a NY Times article,Amtrak is planning on 44 days worth of track outages.
Fair use Quote,per regs:
"Commuters Groan as Amtrak Plans for 44 Days of Penn Station Repairs"
"The plan presented by Amtrak outlines 21 repairs and their locations.
But it did not explain how the work will affect train schedules during track closings.
The work plan appeared to indicate that at least 2 track at a time would be
closed off during the periods of July and August."
Amtrak with NJT and LIRR are still hashing the plans out at this time.

National print edition did not show what's to be done. :(
  by east point
 
During times of track work there may be another option. Tracks 1-9 appear that they will not be accessible from the north river tunnels. Track 1-4 would be accessible for Empire trains but that would require Amtrak restoring the 3rd rail to be powered. Have no idea if that is even possible. Then at least Empire trains could be turned if in push pull configuration. The onger distance trains could at least use track5 for LSL, etc.
  by Railjunkie
 
This is all very interesting stuff, a few things if I may. First we could/can go into GCT with pilots, useing track 2and 1 through the Park Ave tunnel. Towing us in with MNRR Gennies wont work there just isnt enough of them for our service and theirs. IF Albany got the 3rd rail shoes flipped on all 18 dual modes that would take care of one issue. However rough guess your looking at about a couple of weeks time on that. Second they could get us qualified from CP12 south however your looking at 50 to 60 engineers regular and extra board plus at least that may conductors. It would be considered new work and everyone should have the chance. (Most likely it would be less but..). I'm not sure how many trips, tests and your final ride figure a week or two per. Lastly on the GCT thing there are not enough Amtrak 32s to run a full schedule of push pulls and as Dutch has stated there just no room at the Inn.

NYP third rail is available and working as intended, but for us to use tracks 1-4 that would require us to fire up the diesel or be towed in. Equipment still needs turning back out through "A" then swung for higher rail. The LSL will fit on track 5 if its 8 pieces or less and then its a tight squeeze and the curve in the platform becomes and issue boarding and alighting. As was suggested by NaugyRR and most likely what will happen is they will combine trains. Its been done before and it will be done again.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Backshop, As a Times reader with more than 65 years standing (I was reading it when I was eight; my Father expected both my Sister and I to select an article away from the Sports page and be prepared to recite upon such at Sunday Dinner), I'm sorry there was difficulty with the link. Nevertheless here it is:

http://nytimes.com/2017/05/02/nyregion/ ... sings.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Allow me to add a Fair Use quotation that I found interesting:
We are going to take a hard look at whether the full 19-day and 25-day rail service curtailments are absolutely necessary,” Senator Gordon said in a prepared statement. “But it also seems logical to ask why Amtrak wants to start shutting down tracks on July 7, rather than taking advantage of the four-day Fourth of July weekend to start the work.

“And why not schedule some of the work for the last week of August, when so many people take off from work heading into Labor Day weekend? We know those are big travel weekends for Amtrak, but N.J. Transit commuters shouldn’t have to bear the full brunt
Guess the needs of the tenant are supposed to come first.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:
We are going to take a hard look at whether the full 19-day and 25-day rail service curtailments are absolutely necessary,” Senator Gordon said in a prepared statement. “But it also seems logical to ask why Amtrak wants to start shutting down tracks on July 7, rather than taking advantage of the four-day Fourth of July weekend to start the work.

“And why not schedule some of the work for the last week of August, when so many people take off from work heading into Labor Day weekend? We know those are big travel weekends for Amtrak, but N.J. Transit commuters shouldn’t have to bear the full brunt
Guess the needs of the tenant are supposed to come first.
Says a man who has apparently never been anywhere near the departure gate for a North Jersey Coastline train at 4 p.m. on a summer Friday.
  by BandA
 
Can they muster a full work crew over July 4 and Labor Day, then get them to put extra overtime the rest of the week at peak efficiency? Perhaps the managers & supervisors who would also have to work have no appetite to work on those days. Everybody deserves some time off.
  by east point
 
It may be many MOW workers that will be assigned to the various functions of this work have already marked off for the 4th July weekend. AS well as labor day/ Since they may be higher seniority that would leave low experience employees to do very specialized work.

We have had bad experiences of getting seats on Amtrak during both the July 4th and Labor days weekend. That may be reason Amtrak want the full platform lengths during these holiday periods. That would especially be true for Empire trains that are severely limit in lengths even if using track 5/
  by Backshophoss
 
At this point in time,the plans are still in flux untill all 3 RR's come to an understanding,that Senate "critter" never set foot in Penn,
and doesn't understand that there needs to be some room to do the work needed.
Both NJT and LIRR have limited options to reroute some trains to alternate terminals,not so sure if MN will allow a limited amount of
Empire service trains into GCT.
The given is all 3 RR's need to share the "pain" of disruption,untill the work is done.
  by Railjunkie
 
Fresh from the downtown rumor mill. Looks like the Empire tunnel will be closed during this first bit o rehab. There will be 3 trains each way in out GCT crewed by Amtrak T&E. We will need 9 or 10 engineers for this portion. As for the rest of the service it could be out to New Rochelle and a tow into Penn. Amtrak T&E for this also. The bad part is there is no one with current qualifications in the Albany crew base to GCT, however Im sure there are enough who will be more than willing to pick up this section of RR. Figure 6 weeks or so start to finish.



Disclaimer: This info was passed on to me by the union and is nothing but rumor until its in writing which may be as early as tomorrow.
  by STrRedWolf
 
I'm kinda wondering how that would work. That would mean tracks 6 and 7, plus the connecting switch, go first... unless they plan on putting in some more switches between 1A and 3A to let the Empire Service (edit: not Builder) swing out to station tracks 1 through 8 (right now it's a bit limited, maybe 6 through 8).
Last edited by STrRedWolf on Thu May 04, 2017 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Backshophoss
 
So, MN is willing to help out,a "good" sign for now.
Figure that the Lake Shore Ltd,Maple Leaf,and the Adirondack are doing the New Rochelle "Detour" route?
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