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 Tadman
Not many people commented on Noel's post, but I feel I should second his opinion - much heavier traffic is possible with Diesel and CTC. Compare the SPG route to Amtrak's Hiawatha and the Port Jeff LIRR line. Then think about what lines outside NEC are electrified and why - Montreal (CN), Chicago (CSS; ME), Keystone (AMTK&SEPTA). These four routes are extremely busy and have dense station-spacing - Metra Electric has stations within sight of each other.

The money to electrify SPG, if it existed, would be better spent elsewhere. I know this forum well enough to say that we could come up with 15 better uses for the money within a few minutes.
  by Ridgefielder
In terms of getting more bang for the buck: what about running MN Hartford-New York through service via Waterbury and the Highland through New Britain and Bristol? Would increase NY-HFD service, AND might be easier to pitch to the General Assembly (I'm assuming state funding) as it would cut congestion on I-84 and restore passenger service to some towns that have been lacking it since the '60's.
  by shadyjay
More bang for the buck would involve upgrades to the existing Springfield Line - minor at first (some new sidings), then major (double tracking entire route, new stations, etc). The Highland Line from Waterbury to New Britain is (at best) a 10mph rr owned/operated by Pan-Am Railways (Guilford). Just getting that line up to passenger speeds would outweigh the costs of non-electrified improvements to the Springfield Line. Not to mention that from New Britain to Newington Jct, the tracks are gone, though the ROW is intact. Plus, since Waterbury-NB is owned by Pan-Am, you have to deal with them. And if you look at a map, the line is quite curvy in Bristol and doesn't exactly follow I-84 completely.

I say lets improve the Springfield Line first. Service could begin relatively quickly - tracks are there, currently used by Amtrak trains at speed. Some stations there. Some passing sidings. Work from there.
  by bwparker1
UPDATE: The website as advertised is dead, and the meetings appear to be to present the finding that there was NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT. Good work. Looks like about a 5-6 year delay, as the project started in 2002. Amazing....

Meetings are being held on 12/8 in Springfield, 12/9 in Hartford, 12/11 in Windsor and 12/16 in North Haven.

Website is http://www.nhhsrail.com with all pertinent info, including dates, times locations, etc.

Attached ad was in today's Hartford Courant.

As much as I love rail, I CANNOT believe they are performing an Environmental Assessment on an active rail line with passengers. Yet, I CAN believe it... more $$$$ and time down the drain on this one.....

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Last edited by bwparker1 on Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by shadyjay
Still don't understand why they can't start out with a "bare bones" system...
existing stations, existing parking, and such
It's all in place. Just replace the 400-series Amtrak shuttles with CDOT trainsets and increase their frequency. Get the line up and going, then worry later about the 1000-car parking garage in Windsor... etc... etc....
  by TomNelligan
bwparker1 wrote: As much as I love rail, I CANNOT believe they are performing an Environmental Assessment on an active rail line with passengers. Yet, I CAN believe it... more $$$$ and time down the drain on this one.....BWP
Don't forget that one of the main purposes of government is insuring steady employment for consultants. Plus the hearings will give the local NIMBYs a chance to claim that the big awful trains will scare away their tree frogs or something. After all, it's only been a continuously active rail line since the late 1830s.
  by CVRA7
The Environmental Assessment does not seem to be as bad as I first had feared.
I have it from a good source that the review includes an evaluation of such things
such as what is included in the current operation (trackage, signaling, crossings, bridges, etc)
and will recommend needed improvements such as additional trackage and other upgrades.
The person I talked with about this is one who has been familiar with the line on a professional basis
for over 25 years and is genuinely interested in improving conditions.
  by Engineer Spike
This environmental impact review is BS! What is the environmental impact of 1,000,000,000,000 cars on I-91? How about the fact that trains have been running on the line since a B.C. date?
  by DutchRailnut
New Haven-To-Springfield Rail Line
State Hoping To Break Amtrak Impasse
By DON STACOM | The Hartford Courant
January 13, 2009
Despite acknowledging that a frustrating impasse with Amtrak has stalled plans for a New Haven-to-Springfield commuter rail line, the state's transportation chief said he's not ready to ask Connecticut's congressional delegation to step in — yet. "We're hoping that with a new president at Amtrak, they'll be more responsive to our requests," transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie told the General Assembly's transportation committee on Monday. "We'll know soon enough. They haven't been that forthcoming thus far."
rest of story at : http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-ra" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... 1680.story
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:55 pm, edited 2 times in total. Reason: Re-titled
  by Noel Weaver
I know there is a track project on this line taking place this winter. It was taking place in November, 2008 when I was in
the area and was supposed to go all through the winter if possible.
I can't believe that Amtrak is standing in the way of commuter service or increased service on this line. More than likely
Connecticut does not have or is not willing to put up the necessary funds to increase the service. There is ample capacity
on this line for much more service than is presently operated.
Sometimes it is easier to place blame than to face reality and I think this is the situation here.
Noel Weaver
  by railaw
This issue is about a (potential) CDOT line, which of course is quite involved with Metro-North. And of course SLE topics are allowed here, which is the closest analogue of the NHHS line. If the funding is from the same source, they're at least somewhat related.

I think the interpretation that Conn. is not willing to pony up and is blaming Amtrak seems about right, especially considering all the cost problems/ lack of funds that has been discussed regarding Metro-North projects, etc.

It makes me think that the answer to my questions re SLE New London service is something other than was proffered to the WTNH reporter. But with so many good reasons why not to extend service, why would they give a false one? Well, I guess that's a different thread.

I'm glad to know that official people are still talking about NHHS even if the talk is that it's not happening yet.
  by BiggAW
It's a whole lot more than a fantasy. It's been "studied":


Like others have said, its the sister service to SLE, and would have connections to the MN New Haven Line.

Glad to see someone's working on it. :)
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