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 radio
Thanks, shadyjay. I moved to NoH in 1989, and had heard there was a station there, but I never saw the platforms. Now the mystery is solved!
  by The EGE
Correct - that station closed sometime in the last decade before A-day. The newer station at Devine Road opened in 1980 as part of the state's attempt to make the line more commuter-rail-like - the same project that saw the purchase of the ill-fated SPV-2000 railcars. It and Enfield closed in 1986 due to low ridership. (Full disclosure: I wrote that Wikipedia article and found all the citations.)
  by DutchRailnut
No they will use SLE equipment .
  by BandA
So they won't be responsible for track, dispatch, row maintenance or equipment?. They will be responsible for the operating crew? and cleaning? and maintenance of the stations that aren't Amtrak stops?
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
BandA wrote:So they won't be responsible for track, dispatch, row maintenance or equipment?. They will be responsible for the operating crew? and cleaning? and maintenance of the stations that aren't Amtrak stops?
It's the same as Keolis for MBTA commuter rail, but on a much smaller scale. Keolis runs the commuter trains on the Providence Line, but it's under Amtrak dispatch and MOW using state-owned equipment. And since the RR union contracts are well-regulated, most front-line jobs are 'portable' across contracts much like many veteran T conductors have had Amtrak, MBCR, and Keolis at the top of their paychecks over the years without needing to change jobs (though in this case the ranks are going to be filled by mostly new hires because it's a pure service expansion).

Station management can be split different ways depending on task. On the T it's usually a separate non-Keolis vendor collecting parking fares and plowing the lots, while some stops are town-control. You may even see CTransit pick up the slack if the station in question is a multimodal hub (future West Hartford stop, for instance, since that's going to be integrated with the current busway stop)...similar to how the regional transit districts in Massachusetts manage a lot of the I-495 belt stations.

It's not an unusual setup at all. The choice of bidder is the only eyebrow-raiser, given that this is a bunch of the same cast of characters who looted the last politically-larded T ops contract.
  by Jeff Smith
http://nhhsrail.com/pdfs/nhhs%20rail%20 ... 0final.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Newsletter Snips (Fair-Use Exception: Government and News Release):
...I am also pleased to report the final stages of Hartford Line station construction. Wallingford and Meriden stations will be completed this fall with State Street station following by years end and Berlin station in early 2018. Existing Amtrak service passengers will be able to utilize the new stations prior to Hartford Line service launch next spring.
-James P Reddeker
Windsor double-tracking expedited:
Hartford Line Service Launching May 2018

A new date has been set for launch of the CTrail Hartford Line service. Previously scheduled for January 2018, the service will now launch in May 2018. This is a result of the recent allocation of $50 million in state funding to install four additional miles of track between Hartford and Windsor.

Postponing the service launch until this additional construction is complete will ensure a seamless launch for the new service and its riders, without the need to implement service outages or other schedule disruptions.

When the Hartford Line service launches next year, 17 round trips between New Haven and Hartford will operate each weekday; 12 of these 17 roundtrips trains will continue on to Springfield. Travelers in New Haven, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford and Windsor will board trains every 45 minutes during the morning and evening peak hours, and approximately every 90 minutes during off-peak periods. Hartford Line trains will operate at speeds up to 110 mph, reducing travel time between Springfield and New Haven from an average of 89 minutes to 81 minutes, a savings of 8 minutes.

The service provides direct or connecting service to New York City, Boston and Vermont. With this level of direct and connecting service linking the region, municipalities along the Hartford Line will become magnets for growth – ideal places to live and to relocate businesses that depend on regional markets and travel.
New Station Design:
Design Continues for New Hartford Line Stations

2017 marked the start of design and environmental permitting for new CTrail Hartford Line stations in North Haven (intersection of State and Devine Streets), Newington (intersection of Willard and Francis Avenues), West Hartford (intersection of Flatbush and Newfield Avenues), and in Enfield (between Main and River Streets). Windsor and Windsor Locks are current stops along the existing rail line, however station facilities will be relocated. Design for all new stations is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Planned improvements at stations generally includes high-level platforms on both sides of the tracks, as well as the installation of elevators, stairways, an overhead pedestrian bridge to cross the tracks, canopies covering approximately 200 feet of platform length, and surface parking for approximately 100-200 vehicles. Specific to Windsor, a two-level parking deck will be constructed, located behind Town Hall to accommodate approximately 100 rail customers.

Additional enhancements include platform snow melting systems, a passenger information display system, security cameras, and ticket vending machines. Design and environmental permitting efforts for these stations is estimated to cost approximately $20 million. The CTDOT continues to explore federal funding options with the intent of securing construction funding prior to completion of design.

Visit the Program’s website at http://www.nhhsrail.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; to stay informed and view the recently updated Interactive Program Map, shown at right, which
provides additional station specific information.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Relocate Windsor Depot...really? That hadn't been on the table before now, unless I missed something. The current stop is about as convenient and walkable as it gets, and has been spruced up with new TOD like the brand new apartment complex across the street. Doesn't have much parking, but the prospect of a double-deck parking garage seems overkill for downtown which works just fine as it is as an authentic village center that hasn't succumbed to an overdose of asphalt lots like so many comparable downtowns in CT have. You can even graft a full-high platform onto the historic depot building without difficulty or aesthetic compromises the way it empties onto the platform from a short flight of stairs, so it doesn't even make a lot of sense to flip the platform a block further away from Central St. if that's what their current thinking is. It's as centered on where the action is as it'll ever be, right where it currently is.
  by shadyjay
Judging by plans I saw a while back, they want to move it just south of its present location, I believe to this site off Mechanic St:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8504389 ... a=!3m1!1e3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I don't think passengers even have access to the original Windsor station anymore. Not that Hartford Line stations offer a station building, so to speak. They probably could've squeezed in a high level platform on the west side at the existing station site, but judging by GoogleMaps, it looks like it'd be tight to get one on the east side. And a location slightly to the south may permit the train to get "off the circuit" during station stops. Still, this new location does still seem quite central, and with an "up and over", there'd be further integration of the station with what's to the west side of the tracks.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Hmm...I wonder if that means the extremely low & narrow clearance rail bridge over Batchelder Rd. is going to be replaced. With the platform moving slightly south you'd need better access to Mechanic from the south as more of that block gets filled in with TOD, and definitely a sidewalk so you can get over to Broad St. by the Public Library and CTransit bus stop in front of the library. That Batchelder underpass is already an extremely dangerous prospect with the daily traffic surges that happen when Loomis Chaffee School lets out for the day, and all the students who squeeze in the middle of the road to walk in/out that direction.
  by Arlington
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Hmm...I wonder if that means the extremely low & narrow clearance rail bridge over Batchelder Rd. is going to be replaced. ... That Batchelder underpass is already an extremely dangerous prospect with the daily traffic surges that happen when Loomis Chaffee School lets out for the day, and all the students who squeeze in the middle of the road to walk in/out that direction.
Batchelder Rd Bridge is covered in Pages 12 thru 19 in the linked presentation, with underclearance to increase from 11'9" to 13'6" (13'6" is the max for normal truck height and the min for normal clearance, if I've understood correctly.)

Site says replacement started in June
Construction Update: Town of Windsor (June 7-16, 2017)

Beginning on Wednesday, June 7th and continuing daily through Friday, June 16th, Batchelder Road between Broad Street and Mechanic Street in Windsor will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic during the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. to accommodate construction at the Batchelder Road bridge.

Traffic personnel will be in place throughout the duration of the road closure. Signs, variable message boards and detour routes alerting the public of the closure will be posted on-site prior to the closure.

Please note that this schedule is subject to change.

For construction related questions, please contact Rich Angelicola, Resident Engineer, AECOM at (860) 867-6460.

This work is part of the overall upgrade of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line – now branded as the CTrail Hartford Line – scheduled to begin expanded service in 2018.

Future updates on the status and location of construction activities will be provided on the NHHS Rail Program website at http://www.nhhsrail.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, Facebook, Twitter and by email. To receive email updates, please register on the NHHS Rail Program website.
  by BenH
For interested parties in the Springfield, Ma. area --

Knowledge Corridor Transportation Conference
Springfield Union Station
We. October 18, 2017 | 7:30 am – 11:40 am | Free

Meeting Agenda (PDF)
http://www.pvpc.org/sites/default/files ... nda(1).pdf

Eventbrite | registration link
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-state ... 7396382587" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Train322
What is the parking situation at the various stations?
I thought that it would be free parking but saw permit only m-f 5am-10am signs in Berlin and pay or permit at other times.
Not sure how an occasional user can use the parking if it is only permit.
ALso, not sure about weekends.

Also, they seem to be using the new (east side) track.

My guess is if this line is pay parking, not as many people will use it.
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