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

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  by Ken W2KB
henry6 wrote:Wasn't this base to become a major NY area passenger airport in some plans floated back in the 70's and 80's? Are those plans dead or are they being revived by this idea? And the rail connection: to the West Shore track (ok, CSX River Line) or rebuild the Erie branch and connect to the Port Jervis Main Line?
The announced plan is as a reliever for Teterboro. Beyond that, it could happen. Maybe a first step. PA has stated it thinks a fourth passenger airport is needed.
  by isaksenj
This is an idea that's been batted around every now and again, with nothing much more than talk involved. Nice idea, but I'd be hard-pressed to make anything near a viable business case for it.

The nearest active rail to Stewart is the northern end of the former Erie Newburgh Shortcut (Newburgh Jct. to Newburgh waterfront, with a north-facing connection to the River Line). That line stub-ends at Vails Gate Manufacturing, adjacent to the point where NY 94 crosses under the NY Thruway in Vails Gate. The portion of the branch south of there, to Newburgh Junction on the Graham Line was abandoned in 1954, if I recall correctly. Not exactly useful.

The O&W's Cornwall Extension at Little Britain was actually the closest rail ever got to the Airport terminal -- just outside the current periphery of the Airport, proper near NY Route 207, and more than a mile and a half from the Terminal building. Of course, that went away in 1957.

Neither of these routes are useful, even if they were still available. Extending east about 8 miles from the Maybrook Yard site might be feasible, as the airport's Buffer Zone abuts the former rail yards. However, the intervening area covers lots of wetlands, plus one would have to consider the absurdity of a "go west to come east" looping of a connection all the way to Campbell Hall for a connection to the Graham Line.

Aside from the issue of establishing a right-of way through a rapidly-developing area, the big issue is, frankly, "why?"

I use Stewart frequently for business travel. I like the notion of arriving for my flight a half-hour early, getting through TSA checks in about 10 minutes (on a bad day) and at 10 miles from my house, it is a heck of a lot easier than going to Newark or Albany.

Having said that, the retrenchment of airlines from Stewart has been, well precipitous in the last year:
--United Express discontinued service last year.
--Southeast Airlines went belly-up.
--Delta discontinued service at the end of August.
--Independence Air cut back to three roundtrips per day to Washington, and is pulling out altogether by November.
-- ...and we won't even go into the Pan-Am fiasco (Guilford's Boston-Maine Airways) which ended after three flights, union busting, and the lifting of their flight certification!

All that's left after that, as of now?
Three roundtrips to Chicago on American/American Eagle
Two round trips daily to Detroit on Northwest
Seven round-trips by USAir/Piedmont Airlines to Philadelphia (prop-job)
Charter airline Allegiant Air is to start discount service to Florida (essentially replacing Southeast Air) at the end of October.

Annual passenger counts at Stewart, for periods ending August 1:
2005: 40,872
2004: 50,003
2003: 41,706
2002: 33,267
2001: 44,861
2000: 51,544

http://www.recordonline.com/archive/200 ... ithers.htm

There is a booming cargo business for FedEx and DHL, but that's not likely to be feeding rail traffic anytime soon.

Local bus company Leprechaun Lines runs a bus connection to the Beacon train station on the Hudson Line, for all of $1.50 fare each way.


Almost all of the ridership is between the Route 17K Park-and-Ride and the train. Most passengers I've ever seen on the 17K-to-Stewart section? 3 -- and I was one of them!

SAFETEA-LU has money for a rail link, according to a press release from the Airport and Congresswoman Su Kelly:


I'll be REALLY interested to see how they propose to do it...and what route they recommend.

  by JoeG
I saw an article about convincing corporate jets to use Stewart instead of Teterboro. I don't remember where the article was, but it mentioned providing helicopter shuttle service to NYC. To convince these planes to go to Stewart, they would have to do something like that. The high-powered executives and rich people who use Teterboro aren't going to be willing use Stewart and then sit on a bus and/or a train for more than an hour (maybe much more) to get to NYC.
Right now, train to Beacon and then shuttle bus beats anything likely using the PJ line. Maybe they could have people check their luggage at GCT, but that wouldn't impress private jet users.

  by rhallock
The Graham line, which has passenger and freight service, is only about 2 miles from the start of the Stewart property at route 207. It is about the same distance from the airport as the Newburgh branch remnant, and few if any houses would have to be taken to build a connection (which would cross the old O&W right of way enroute.) The connection would leave the Graham line about a mile north of the Salisbury Mills-Cornwall station. Back in the 70's when the whole jetport thing got started, the proposal was to build this connection which would encircle the entire jetport complex and also connect with the ex- New Haven line at Maybrook. Construction would not be a big problem- it is whether there really is a need for it.

  by steamboy
Deju vu all over again. Stewart AFB was my first duty assignment in the AF, arriving there in Feb 1966. I was there until July 1968 before leaving for Vietnam, and remember the news articles relative to a jetport that would relieve the air congestion in metro NYC (and Newark). If my memory is corrrect, they wanted to put a light rail passenger service from Stewart to NYC.

I really enjoyed my time there, except for the riots in Newburgh.

  by fordhamroad
-once again the perennial topic of using Stewart as the fourth major NY area jetport has been raised by the Port Authority. Although Stewart lies outside the Port Authority's 25 mile circle, it does fall under the MTA, which also controls rail lines.
-if anyone actually begins to develop Stewart air field, what would be the current possibilities for providing rail access to New York City?
-one line might somehow connect with a rebuilt Tappan Zee bridge, link up via Hudson Division Metro North to Grand Central.
-another option might be to route trains Metro North/NJ Transit to the New Jersey connection to an additional third tunnel to Penn Station.
-granted, all of this is future stuff. But decisions on including Stewart as a destination may affect the priority and development of either route. Which might be better?


  by DutchRailnut
this subject was beat to dead here:
  by fordhamroad
-Dutch, well discussed but not quite beaten to death. Most of the comments referred to the airport as is, rather than what it would be if it became a fourth jetport for NY. London is an example of remote airports well connected to the city center by rail. Dulles was built without rail connections in Washington, and now they are trying to accomplish that because of the heavy traffic. Denver is an example of an airport that was built too far out of town, which might be the fate of Stewart.
-although talk has centered of a future connection via the Tappan Zee bridge to the Hudson line of Metro North, I found even more interesting the Port Authority's suggested possibility of access to midtown NY via the Jersey side and a new proposed tunnel to Penn Station.
- I wonder if the second route would be shorter, or might provide other transit benefits, generate a better volume of traffic etc?
-the Hudson line route would be a totally NY State operation, Metro North & Thruway etc. The second might involve the Port Authority, State of New Jersey and other players as well. I suspect we might see some debate on the subject, once New Jersey overcome its present budgetary woes, and once New York gets a new (and presumably Democratic) governor.

  by NJTRailfan
Now that Elliot Spitzer is NY governor I guess we can expect that rail link from SWF to the NJT/MN PJ line to be built. Did he say when he would start construction if he was elected?
  by blockline4180
Not only that but it spells doom for NYSW/DO current CEO.

  by pablo
Do explain please...

Dave Becker

  by Idiot Railfan
pablo wrote:Do explain please...

Dave Becker
That CEO had a lot of influence with Republican legislatlors and officials in New York state. Too much, according to some. One newspaper has described him as the Jack Abramoff of New York state.

He may now be on the outside looking in, and Spitzer has pledged to get tough on that kind of lobbying
  by Irish Chieftain
Figured I'd start up a new thread on this, since the original one was moved to the Metro-North forum by (I would guess) this site's creative director. Certainly germane to the NJT discussion, since NJT would be the operator — the only way NJT would not be the operator is in the case of a Tappan Zee rail link being built and Metro-North running direct service between Port Jervis and Grand Central Terminal, in the hypothetical case of the Piermont Branch (or a new parallel rail line to that line being built) being connected to such a link. (And frankly, WOH discussion is more germane to this forum than to the Metro-North forum in general.)

Of course, personally I regard it as jumping the gun to assume that the new NYS governor would have a capital project of this particular nature as being at the forefront of his political agenda. Unless someone can fill in the blanks…?

  by JLo
Ironically, the biggest supporter of such a link, Rep Sue Kelly, lost yesterday. Here is a blurb from her website about the proposed link.

  by Steve F45
If this link were to be built to GCT, i'de assume it would be an electrified line correct? Woudnt' this make the njt line to port jervis redundant? Who would want to take a train from port, to hoboken then have to transfer on the path or even get off at secaucus to make it into penn? Most would want to sit on teh train and just ride it to gct, right?
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