• Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

  • 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 Arlington
 
"because the beaches of Montauk" for Long Island beyond Penn is like saying "because the hot springs of Clifton Forge" for Virginia beyond DC.

Don't look at lines on a map, look at work related O&Ds
  by Rockingham Racer
 
The could probably run two Cannonballs, from what I've read. The first one sells out long all season long before the first run ever goes east.
  by MattW
 
I admit I'm not from the region and don't necessarily have the best handle on travel patterns, but I just don't see a need. I could see a coordinated express service, maybe even bookable via Amtrak (like the Atlantic City Line). But the trains are LIRR, and still take LIRR tickets too. Time them with certain Regionals and Empire Service trains, but also as guaranteed connections (like the Springfield Shuttles right?).
  by Arlington
 
Rockingham Racer wrote:The could probably run two Cannonballs, from what I've read. The first one sells out long all season long before the first run ever goes east.
But it isn't like the LIRR is short of equipment for running non rush service to Montauk. If NY has $ for NYC-Montauk transit, it already has all the tools it needs and doesn't need Amtrak.

That electrification ends beyond Babylon, and that the 2nd track ends beyond Sayville says that Montauk is a problem of general lack of weekly demand, not that it is crying out for Amtrak cannonballs.

And if the theory is that Amtrak will somehow build a business case for an extra track or crossing elimination, all that is going to be way more compelling west of Bablylon, not east.
  by Patrick Boylan
 
DutchRailnut wrote:One thing Amtrak has to consider is what services are available at turn around point.
I doubt they will get a bunch of car cleaners and mechanics all way in Montauk.
but the trains sure will need servicing after a 3 hour trip.
How do they clean trains at isolated end points now? For example Rutland Vt which is 4 hours.
  by DutchRailnut
 
probably outside contractors, but that will not be allowed on MTA property were a unionized cleaning force is available.
big difference here is, there is a passenger carrier already there, in other places there is not.
  by eolesen
 
Bigger question is why assume they'd need cleaning?

If a set of single level cars can run overnight from NYC-CHI without cleaning mid-trip, surely they can survive a 200 mile round trip turn, even if there is 4-8 hours of dwell time at Montauk.

My thought is that this might be a way to carve the diesel portion of the network away from MTA. Amtrak does run some quasi-commuter services that are state sponsored, and this might be better run as a state service vs. commuter service.

If MTA isn't operating east of Babylon or Ronkonkoma, MTA's workrules wouldn't necessarily apply.
  by Patrick Boylan
 
I'm not a labor lawyer and don't pretend to be one on TV either, but I bet labor laws say the existing union has something to say about what happens if the service east of Babylon or Ronkonkoma changes hands.

Dutch, then how do the existing LIRR Montauk trains get serviced that makes you think Amtrak couldn't do something similar?
  by DutchRailnut
 
no service changes hands, Amtrak is studying to run trains on LIRR, not replacing it.
  by Patrick Boylan
 
But eolesen's talking about a hypothetical if Amtrak takes over.
And you didn't answer my question, how do the existing LIRR Montauk trains get serviced that makes you think Amtrak couldn't do something similar?
  by DutchRailnut
 
other than overnight cleaning at outlying points I believe fueling etc is done at west end of island .
and there is no hypothetical cause any suggestion of a service takeover by Amtrak would be trigger of biggest MTA strike you would ever see.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Jeff:

This topic about Amtrak possibly serving Long Island in the future should be included in the LIRR
Forum for more exposure there. The discussion may get even more lively...

Everyone: I remember past thought about running Empire Service trains to Long Island points in
the past - coming to mind is Port Jefferson to Albany using dual mode Turboliner equipment.

I only see Amtrak operating to the easternmost extent of LI and supplementing existing services
to Montauk and/or Greenport with Empire or NEC trains to Albany or west or south to Philadelphia
and Washington. A one or two trains per day each way service for starters to see if the demand is
there for a higher-fare premium service to the East End of Long Island...MACTRAXX
  by Arlington
 
Will somebody explain the *business case* for going to Montauk? Not just "there is a single track there...," but a real, "there is an unmet need for rail service" discussion?

One more analogy? Service beyond the population centers (western LI) out beyond Babylon to Montauk strikes me as bad an idea as extending the Empire Service beyond Buffalo, on a branch westward to Dunkirk/Fredonia. Just because you could branch off and go to Dunkirk, is not a business case for terminating/originating a train there..
  by eolesen
 
Good point, but it's harder to convince a state agency to stop spending money on loss making services than it is to start them up.
  by Arlington
 
^ But if NYState had this supposed appetite for more/new service to empty parts of the state, they already have the MTA as a fully capable operator on state-owned tracks to Montauk. Conclusion: it is not the addition of Amtrak that will tip the balance in favor of enhanced Montauk service.

You only need Amtrak if you need to make a one seat ride to somewhere in non-State-owned territory (eg the NEC or CSX), like Virginia needing Amtrak to connect Roanoke to the NEC or someplace the MTA can't go, like Mass needing Amtrak on its State owned tracks to Northampton MA (beyond the MBTA's charter).

If Amtrak is seeking access to one seat markets on LI, my business cases can be built on making additional NEC-style profits and squeezing LGA markets in Queens, Nassau and westernmost Suffolk.
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