Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by Jeff Smith
 
The overcrowding during peak here seems dangerous to me. While a third track is needed, yes, how would you do it? Make one of the side platforms an island platform? That would have to be on the BRP side I would think, with extra support work. Do the Main and Hamilton bridges have any clearance issues? And there is the matter of the NB BRP ramp to Main.
  by johndmuller
 
MTA's plan doesn't look like they considered working in a 3rd track. So either they do not have any short/medium range plans for three-tracking or else they think that they can just tack on everything they need for a 3rd track on the west (downtown) side, which I suppose is possible, but . . .

There's not enough info to tell what they really have in mind, but what it looks like is merely a renovation basically of what they have now, without any particular accommodations for the future.

While they might be able to just tack on a third track and 1 or 2 more platforms, it really seems like a complete redo might be better. While the current clearance on Main and Hamilton seems to be passable, it might be nice if it were higher; I think that the exit ramp is OK as is, but there is room to move it a little if necessary.

It just seems funny to do a fairly extensive reno without doing something to improve the design viz a viz adding a 3rd track in the future. For example, they could narrow the island platform a bit and add a new platform on the west/downtown side which would eventually become a second island platform with a future 3rd track beyond. I really don't understand why they went with a side platform on the east side in the first place, when putting one on the west would have made more sense.
  by njt/mnrrbuff
 
It would have been nice to have the third track extended to North White Plains but I believe that it’s on the tight side at Scarsdale. The center island platform at White Plains is narrow for a station with very high ridership.
  by Jeff Smith
 
From the page: http://web.mta.info/mnr/wp-reno/wp-reno.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

PHASE 1:
March 2018 to Fall 2018
Abatement and painting of walls and bridges, construction of new canopies, and sidewalk improvements including signage at Main St., and Hamilton Ave. entrances;
Closure of southern end of main platform leading to Main Street and Hamilton Avenue, installation of new platform canopy and new amenities such as benches, trash bins, USB charging ports, ticket vending machines, lighting, speakers, and digital information displays;
Abatement of stairs and tunnel, with west entrance improvements at Mott St./north tunnel entrance.
top

PHASE 2:
Fall 2018 to Summer 2019
Closure of north end of main platform, replacement of canopy, expansion of waiting room and new bathrooms;
After completion of northern end, closure of middle section platform, including ticket office;
Demolition and reconstruction of an expanded waiting room, ticket office, on-platform vendor space and HVAC for enhanced customer comfort.
top

PHASE 3:
Fall 2019 to Winter 2020
Closure of side platform; demolition/reconstruction with new heated platform and canopy;
Installation of new side platform elevator, and heating elements in main staircase;
Demolition and expansion/reconstruction of the lobby including walls, ceilings and floors, with installation of improved HVAC in the lobby;
Installation of an information dashboard;
Installation of new sidewalk between Hamilton Ave. and the lobby entrance;
Extension of middle and side platforms at the north end of the station.
top
  by johndmuller
 
Not too exciting, is it? When "usb charging ports" and "enhanced customer comfort" are bullet points, it indicates a fairly minimal effort. OTOH, much of the stuff is basic reconstruction and redecorating, which isn't all bad, unless it comes with a big budget to a favorite contractor.

Kind of disappointing though, if one is hoping to see some indication of future plans to expand or reconfigure the station for a 3rd or 4th track.
  by Backshophoss
 
IF all the bridges are 2 track,that's not easy or cheap for a 3rd track at White Plains,there was space at White Plains for an Express car/LCL freight car
spur back in the NY Central days.
  by Ridgefielder
 
There's space for 3 tracks (and possibly 4) on the bridges in White Plains. I think the Central future-proofed them just like they did the Pondfield Road overpass in Bronxville, which was built with room for 4 tracks back in 1915.

The problem is that the station structure itself takes up the room for the trackbeds of the extra tracks. Not sure how you'd fix that.
  by Traingeek3629
 
Oh god...One platform at White Plains? That won't be pretty.
  by johndmuller
 
They could build "Up" to find more space, by putting a 3rd or 4th track on a new upper level with its own new platform(s) and extending the stairs, elevators &/or escalators up an additional level as necessary. I don't believe that there are any physical impediments to this plan aside from the probable need to reinforce things for the extra weight. This plan might not be the best from the point of view of pedestrian flow, as the current level could get overcrowded due to people just passing through, but I suppose it could be made to work.

A single new track could possibly be added by putting the center track right next to the Northbound track, sliding over the center platform to the west and adding the new track cantilevered or otherwise suspended immediately to the west of the existing structure. Moving the center platform might not work with the locations of the stairs, etc. in the existing layout on the ground floor and so could require a redo of this current project. Also, it is seemingly convenient/good to have the ability to have a shared platform for the two peak direction tracks. In order to accommodate that with this design, one would have to run the tracks here "backwards" for evening commute, with the southbound track on the east; you might want a flyover to accomplish that. so it might just be better to live without that convenience/goodness - it isn't as important for the evening commute anyway as it is for the morning commute, where one might want to have the ability to take whichever train came in first.
  by Traingeek3629
 
Two track levels would be even more of a waste than building a new bridge with room for three tracks.
  by Ridgefielder
 
johndmuller wrote:They could build "Up" to find more space, by putting a 3rd or 4th track on a new upper level with its own new platform(s) and extending the stairs, elevators &/or escalators up an additional level as necessary. I don't believe that there are any physical impediments to this plan aside from the probable need to reinforce things for the extra weight. This plan might not be the best from the point of view of pedestrian flow, as the current level could get overcrowded due to people just passing through, but I suppose it could be made to work.

A single new track could possibly be added by putting the center track right next to the Northbound track, sliding over the center platform to the west and adding the new track cantilevered or otherwise suspended immediately to the west of the existing structure. Moving the center platform might not work with the locations of the stairs, etc. in the existing layout on the ground floor and so could require a redo of this current project. Also, it is seemingly convenient/good to have the ability to have a shared platform for the two peak direction tracks. In order to accommodate that with this design, one would have to run the tracks here "backwards" for evening commute, with the southbound track on the east; you might want a flyover to accomplish that. so it might just be better to live without that convenience/goodness - it isn't as important for the evening commute anyway as it is for the morning commute, where one might want to have the ability to take whichever train came in first.
It would be a lot cheaper to just relocate the station a block south to Bank & Martine, where there's plenty of room on the ROW for 3 platform tracks. Move the parking garage to the block bounded by Bank, Main and Hamilton and build a footbridge over Main St. to connect to the new station.
  by johndmuller
 
The ROW starts to curve just south of Main, so not ideal for a station.

The empty ROW down there is pretty much identical in width to the area occupied by the current station and as you know, they didn't seem to work well with that width. The footprint of the station including the bridges appears to be that of a 4 track ROW. They seem to have scrounged extra space on the north for a platform and there is space on the south where they could do the same. That leaves the space in the middle where the center platform is now - apparently about two tracks wide. This space could be reconfigured as one center track and one narrowish platform, which might be workable, but wouldn't be ideal either, as you'd want space for stairs, etc as well. It could be done, though, without needing to build anything extra but a cantilevered south-side outer platform - no major bridge reconstruction. This would presumably be the cheap option.
  by andrewjw
 
This brings to mind the layout of 42nd St PABT A/C/E station... the northbound and southbound island platforms not lining up.
  by Jeff Smith
 
I was out driving on Sunday, and went through White Plains. As I was passing the station, I noticed that the northbound outside platform had been removed. So I did a bit of research, and found this page that may have additional details:

http://web.mta.info/mnr/wp-reno/wp-reno.html
New side platform with radiant heat flooring for snow/ice control;
New replacement heated stairs from side platform;
New elevator at main entrance to side platform;
New bathrooms, ticket office, and food vendor space;
New and larger, glass-enclosed waiting area;
Upgraded main entrance;
New, expanded lobby, artwork, and newsstand;
Upgrades to the Main St. and Hamilton Ave. entrances, as well as the Mott St. tunnel;
New platform canopies with wood ceilings;
Addition of Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, electronic messaging, LED lighting, security cameras, and speakers throughout station.
top

Minimal impact on your commute

Service will continue throughout the duration of this three-year project. Look for the new train schedule issued to accommodate construction during off‑peak and weekend periods. Peak and reverse peak schedules will not change. Track and platform assignments for departing and arriving trains will change as the work progresses. In addition, some portions of the main platform will be closed briefly during construction.
PHASE 1:
March 2018 to Fall 2018
Abatement and painting of walls and bridges, construction of new canopies, and sidewalk improvements including signage at Main St., and Hamilton Ave. entrances;
Closure of southern end of main platform leading to Main Street and Hamilton Avenue, installation of new platform canopy and new amenities such as benches, trash bins, USB charging ports, ticket vending machines, lighting, speakers, and digital information displays;
Abatement of stairs and tunnel, with west entrance improvements at Mott St./north tunnel entrance.
top

PHASE 2:
4Q 2018 to 1Q 2020
Closure of north end of main platform, replacement of canopy, expansion of waiting room and new bathrooms;
After completion of northern end, closure of middle section platform, including ticket office;
Demolition and reconstruction of an expanded waiting room, ticket office, on-platform vendor space and HVAC for enhanced customer comfort.
top

PHASE 3:
1Q 2020 to 4Q 2020
Closure of side platform; demolition/reconstruction with new heated platform and canopy;
Installation of new side platform elevator, and heating elements in main staircase;
Demolition and expansion/reconstruction of the lobby including walls, ceilings and floors, with installation of improved HVAC in the lobby;
Installation of an information dashboard;
Installation of new sidewalk between Hamilton Ave. and the lobby entrance;
Extension of middle and side platforms at the north end of the station.
  by njt/mnrrbuff
 
I look forward to seeing the improved White Plains Station. By the way, I know that there have been proposals to extend the third track north of Crestwood to North White Plains which I think is a great idea, given the "subway style" scheduling of trains during the rush hour. If that were to happen, where would be the best spot to put the third track at White Plains Station?