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 JcPinCT
 
CTDOT will host a public information meeting on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 6-8 p.m. in the Windsor Locks Town Hall Ella T. Grasso Conference Room 1st Floor 50 Church Street regarding the town's proposed Hartford Line replacement rail station. https://www.journalinquirer.com/towns/w ... aefc6.html

For those of you interested in future Hartford Line improvements, this meeting serves as an excellent opportunity to hear updates directly from CTrail representatives! Last month's Windsor station CTDOT public meeting was quite informative.

Windsor Lock's First Selectman Christopher Kervick shared the following related information with his constituents in a separate communication:

Bruce Olmstead, the Transportation Supervising Engineer for the Department of Transportation explained that due to the importance of the Windsor Locks station and the link it will provide to Bradley International Airport, DOT engineers and consulting architects produced a two phase design that provides the opportunity to open a station well ahead of northerly improvements to the line.

The design involves construction of a 500 foot elevated platform to the west (just north of the historic station) of the existing track, the construction and temporary use of what will become a utility building to house ticketing machines, a shelter for those transferring to the Bradley shuttle, and parking facilities. Initially, both northbound and southbound trains will utilize the new platform. Once the track improvements north of Hartford are completed, DOT will expand the structure to include a new northbound platform to the east of the tracks and the “up and over” feature to provide a passenger connection to both northbound and southbound platforms. All structures will be fully ADA compliant.

Olmstead noted, “This two phase station plan was designed to require a minimum of corrections when the second platform and connecting structure is built and it will allow the station to continue to operate during the construction of the full station.”
  by JcPinCT
 
I wasn't able to attend the Sep 19 meeting but it looked interesting based on the documents that CTDOT posted on the NHHS rail website.

https://www.nhhsrail.com/pdfs/proj%2032 ... sep_19.pdf

https://www.nhhsrail.com/pdfs/windsor%2 ... -19-19.pdf

Highlights include:
  • RECONSTRUCT ROUTE 159 FROM BRIDGE ST TO THE STATION
  • 1.5 MILES RECONSTRUCTION OF AMTRAK MAIN LINE
  • RECONSTRUCTION OF THE SUFFIELD WYE
  • RELOCATE EXISTING STATION TO DOWNTOWN
  • POTENTIAL BUS CONNECTION TO BRADLEY INT’L AIRPORT
  • CONSTRUCT A NEW MOW YARD AT THE CURRENT STATION
Reading through the linked slideshow, CTDOT mentions that some private property must be acquired in order to complete the project as designed. This will most certainly affect the 3-year project's start date (late 2020) and cost ($65m).
  by daybeers
 
I attended the meeting but haven't had a chance to write some notes here yet. JcPinCT, thanks for posting those CTDOT links! There is a lot of great information there so I won't repeat that, just add on to it.

It's true: CTDOT has no idea when they'll get the funding for finishing the double track north of Windsor, which is unfortunate. From the tone of the presenters, it sounded like it was going to cost a fortune (what a surprise). So, they're moving forward with a single high-level platform design with room for a pedestrian overpass and second platform further east closer to the CT River in the future once double tracking is complete. I can't imagine how much that will cost in the future for a completely separate project because this station is estimated to cost $65m including the MOW yard at the current station location, multi-use trail bridge, crossing improvements, etc.

-The whole station is graded so there is no elevation change, meaning no stairs and no elevators, between the new high-level platform and passenger drop-off and the Bradley Express bus, which is great and pretty cool in my opinion. Certainly will look interesting!
-165 parking spaces, including 15 for electric vehicles, which is far more than the other stations at one or two.
-On page 17 of the presentation, it shows the intended detour path that they'll have to utilize several times over the course of the project for large steps such as installation of the crossing gates and the drop-in of the precast concrete multi-use trail bridge across the Windsor Locks Canal.
-As mentioned before, construction is projected to start late 2020 with completion of the station in late 2022 and the MOW yard in late 2023. I hope they'll open the station before the rest of the project is finished, but that wasn't clear.
-I'm sure all of this work will involve extensive bustitutions (yayy!). I'll be watching for that to make sure they keep the ability to bring your bike, as the CTrail Hartford Line trains do now.
-This project will coincide with the Complete Streets project on Main Street.

Does anyone know how much the Wallingford, Meriden, and Berlin stations cost? I found these fact sheets for W, M, and B respectively, but I can't see how they all cost the same amount, and the figures are also low for U.S. infrastructure costs ($21m each).
  by Kilo Echo
 
daybeers wrote: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:21 am The whole station is graded so there is no elevation change, meaning no stairs and no elevators, between the new high-level platform and passenger drop-off and the Bradley Express bus, which is great and pretty cool in my opinion. Certainly will look interesting!
Similar to West Haven and Fairfield Metro? That is pretty cool. What will become of the historic station? (When last I saw it, the old station was festooned with patriotic swags.)
  by shadyjay
 
Let's hope with the Bridge/Main St improvements, the crossing is rebuilt to accomodate two tracks. The PDF slide for that crossing only shows one track. It would be in the best interest of everyone to install a 2-track crossing, then, when the time comes to double-track, all you have to do is connect the new 2nd track to the rails already laid in the crossing.

Or, will they realize that the new bridge wasn't built with that in mind and they'll have to tear it up when double track comes to the area? Hope not. If bustititions/track outages are needed, get it all done in one fell swoop.

I don't believe there are that many crossings on the northern half of the line that is currently single-tracked... Bridge St and IIRC one a little further south in Windsor Locks, then nothing until Haydens (but that's already in double-track territory). To the north, a crossing or two in Enfield, then you're back to 2 tracks.
  by JcPinCT
 
Kilo Echo wrote: Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:07 pm What will become of the historic station? (When last I saw it, the old station was festooned with patriotic swags.)
Current talk is of a welcome center and coffee shop. Windsor Lock's First Selectman Christopher Kervick shared the following info late August 2019 in regards to the new and historic stations.

"There will be a link between the two. The new platform starts just a few feet from the door of the historic station. If folks want a coffee before boarding the train, they may stop in. If folks want a canal trail map or to learn about the history of the canal before crossing through the station over to the canal trail they can get that and do that there. And the real secret weapon, there are no bathrooms at the new station (which makes sense because it is not staffed) but there will be bathrooms at the historic station which should be a good way to bring in patrons to the coffee shop/welcome center."
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I thought about doing a trip to the Connecticut Trolley Museum in E. Windsor this year and taking a train to get up there from the NYC area. I am thinking of putting that off for a few years so that way, I can wait until the Windsor Locks Station is moved back to Downtown Windsor Locks. When that happens, the distance from the WNL Station to the museum will be reduced.