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

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  by lordsigma12345
 
Article posted this weekend:

https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/loc ... 87251.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There is some information incorrect in it:
"Rich Andreski, the Chief of Public Transportation for the Connecticut Department of Transportation told NBC Connecticut’s Shyang Puri that some of the problems are due to more than 20 miles of track the service is sharing with Amtrak. “A second track has already been partially installed from Hartford to Windsor, and that work will continue through the fall,” he said."

What he must have meant is the problems are due to the more than 20 miles of SINGLE track. It shares the entire line with Amtrak. The two primary problems likely are 1) the single track spots and 2) the Amtrak dispatchers still trying to learn the most effective way to dispatch the trains along the line to prevent them from interfering with each other and from freight interference. Not going to blame the crews here because most of the trains are departing their endpoints on time (except of course when northbound shuttles are waiting for a late regional but that isn't the crews call) and are usually hitting delays at the choke points on the line. This will all change a bit once the additional double track comes online, although the remaining single track areas are still going to be problematic.

The big choke points delaying the trains seem to be:
1) Southbound trains near the MA/CT state line.
2) Hartford station
3) Northbound trains getting held up exiting New Haven Union station or at the interlocking waiting to enter the line.
  by daybeers
 
Ouch. I really wish they would just connect that double track at Windsor. Isn't it just a switch they have to put in, or is it more?
  by Traingeek3629
 
I like that they are thinking for the future, but the I-84 project in Hartford won't be done until at least 2025 and by then there should be at least four more stations along the line, and if I remember correctly by that time there will be 25 daily trains, making that bottleneck worse.
  by lordsigma12345
 
If they got it so the only choke point was Hartford station it would be an improvement. Double track from the state line down to Windsor Locks station and get the bridge improvements done. The existing double track north of the state line also likely needs some attention as part of the next phase but presumably Massachusetts would be on the hook there. With improvements you could probably get 110 mph operation on the segment between the bridge and the big Springfield curve. A speedier arrival into Springfield would be helpful also (faster speeds on the segment between the big sharp curve and the interlocking at the Sweeney yard.
  by lordsigma12345
 
http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut ... story.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

First week ridership:
10,719

This includes all ridership: trips on CTrail trains, CTrail riders on Amtrak trains, and Amtrak ticketed riders.

I would hope they are not including Vermonter ridership between SPG and NHV in this statistic - although the Vermonter is not that popular for Springfield and Hartford as its usually more expensive than the other options (due to it being the only train to points north) so even if they are it wouldn't skew it too much.

Just for reference:
April ridership on the Amtrak New Haven - Springfield service line was 23,400 which averages out to about 5850 riders per week. That service line has seen a steady recovery in ridership since January when a full train schedule was restored (buses went away.)

So using that reference point alone the additional CTrail and Amtrak trains added 4869 riders.
  by shadyjay
 
daybeers wrote:Ouch. I really wish they would just connect that double track at Windsor. Isn't it just a switch they have to put in, or is it more?
Pretty sure there won't be an interlocking there where the switch is now, so it should just be a matter of yanking out the switch and "straight-railing" the two mains.
lordsigma12345 wrote:If they got it so the only choke point was Hartford station it would be an improvement.
Or you could eliminate the Hartford choke point pretty easily. As an interim solution, lay the #2 track back in its place through the station. Just modify the signal system to only allow one train at a time on the viaduct. And I guess you would have to put in a high level platform, or at the very least, upgrade the platform that's there. But wait... is there even elevator access to the Track 2 platform?
  by Traingeek3629
 
lordsigma12345 wrote:http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut ... story.html

First week ridership:
10,719

This includes all ridership: trips on CTrail trains, CTrail riders on Amtrak trains, and Amtrak ticketed riders.
So using that reference point alone the additional CTrail and Amtrak trains added 4869 riders.
Is this weekday ridership? Or is it the weekend too?
  by dieciduej
 
shadyjay wrote:Or you could eliminate the Hartford choke point pretty easily. As an interim solution, lay the #2 track back in its place through the station. Just modify the signal system to only allow one train at a time on the viaduct. And I guess you would have to put in a high level platform, or at the very least, upgrade the platform that's there. But wait... is there even elevator access to the Track 2 platform?
Funny you should mention it, but I was at Hartford taking picture of the new Hartford Line service, this past Saturday. Looking at the abandoned second track I would say no way. I noticed the underlying steel girders had Crack Weld markers in several places. So double tracking would be dangerous and costly.
Hartford Station.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Traingeek3629 wrote:Is this weekday ridership? Or is it the weekend too?
Last Monday until yesterday.
  by daybeers
 
shadyjay wrote:
daybeers wrote:Ouch. I really wish they would just connect that double track at Windsor. Isn't it just a switch they have to put in, or is it more?
Pretty sure there won't be an interlocking there where the switch is now, so it should just be a matter of yanking out the switch and "straight-railing" the two mains.
Wait, I'm confused. Where does the double track end going north from Hartford?
shadyjay wrote:
lordsigma12345 wrote:If they got it so the only choke point was Hartford station it would be an improvement.
Or you could eliminate the Hartford choke point pretty easily. As an interim solution, lay the #2 track back in its place through the station. Just modify the signal system to only allow one train at a time on the viaduct. And I guess you would have to put in a high level platform, or at the very least, upgrade the platform that's there. But wait... is there even elevator access to the Track 2 platform?
I don't believe there is elevator access, but firstly, you'd have to replace all the very broken wood ties on the second track side of the viaduct, build a high-level platform, and put in new track, and by that point, I feel like that money could've been better spent on design and/or construction of new stations or more double tracking, considering they're likely going to have to rip up the whole viaduct in a few years anyway.

P.S. I was at Hartford middle of last week, and there was a man in a suit who came jogging up the stairs to the other platform that's fenced off. Not quite sure how he got up there and why he was able to, he very quickly realized his mistake and appeared on the correct platform not too long after. :-D
  by lordsigma12345
 
daybeers wrote: Wait, I'm confused. Where does the double track end going north from Hartford?
At the moment everything north of Hartford is single track except:
1) The Hartford freight yard itself
2) The passing siding in Windsor/Windsor Locks.
3) The double track from Enfield to Springfield station.

The new track once tied in will make the portion from the Hartford Yard to just south of Windsor locks station double tracked. The siding becomes part of the new track.
  by Backshophoss
 
an reminder,Hartford station and Amtrak mainline(s) thru the city of Hartford will get rearranged when the I-84 construction starts
Reportedly all trackage to be in a Trench with a new station/intermodal(bus) hub.
Old Hartford station to be re-purposed.
  by lordsigma12345
 
I guess I identified one slowdown point along the line where some delays have occured that I was unsure about. Apparently at the state line where it goes from single to double track if a southbound train is on track 2 (track further from the CT river) or if a northbound train is being directed to track 2, the switch requires a slow speed while if its track 1 it does not. Guess it makes sense since the single track segment is mostly in the alignment of historic track 1. At tight points in the schedule where trains can potentially conflict at the single track they seem to usually prioritize the northbound train and direct the southbound train to track 2 from Springfield where they can hold it at the state line if necessary.
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