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

  • 347 posts
  • 1
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 24
  by checkthedoorlight
 
Does the issue of New Milford being in Litchfield county come into play here? I'm pretty sure that MNRR is only allowed to provide service to Fairfield and New Haven counties, due to those residents paying for service through their taxes....
  by Erie-Lackawanna
 
In Connecticut, Metro-North can provide service wherever CDOT is willing to pay for them to do so, with the proviso that the service must be attached at some point to the New Haven main line.

New York State has geographic restrictions written into the law that created and funds the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, MNR's parent. Those restrictions do not apply to Connecticut.

Jim
  by Tom Curtin
 
CT DOT is conducting a series of presentations and hearings in the towns along the Danbury line this week , in which they're talking about "studying" (for the next 2-3 years!! They're good at that . . . ) five alternatives:
1. No build -- maintaining current system Current system management --
2. Improving the system without infrastructure improvements
3. South Norwalk to Danbury improvements -- minor alignment changes and electrification of Norwalk to Danbury
4. Danbury to New Milford extension -- extending line into New Milford and adding new train stations.
5. Partial electrification -- Electrification from South Norwalk to vicinity of Merritt Parkway in Norwalk with feeder bus/rail service to Danbury.

My comments:
I notice double-tracking which I have heard discussed previously, is not on the list. Thank God, as it is a waste.

RE #1 - well, we can live with that, I guess, but they will not achieve growth on the line without some investment, particularly as I described in my "RE #2" below.

RE #2 - Don't know what that means. I hope they mean installing TCS (which is many many many years overdue) with controlled passing sidings at Wilton, Branchville, and Bethel Lower.

RE #3 - Somebody in DOT claims they can save 16 min, running time by electrifying. That is a pipe dream, a complete hallucination. As anybody (such as me) who remember the once-electrified service provided by the New Haven Railroad on this line will tell you, emphatically, reduction in running time by electrifying just is not there. A couple of minutes, perhaps --- but that's all!!! I am no longer a CT resident but it would make me very angry if they spent taxpayer $$$ electrifying the branch.

RE #4 - Although I have no idea what a credible ---- repeat, credible --- estimate of ridership is (I have heard guesses all over the map) , I bet running to New Milford is probably a very good idea.

RE #5 - this is so totally stupid I won't grace it with a comment.
  by shadyjay
 
If the Danbury-So Norwalk line is electrified, and the line is extended north to New Milford, would a change of trains be required in Danbury? Would they (if they had the $$$) electrify up to New Milford? Would that interefere with freight traffic on the line?

My theory is that if you're going to electrify, then electrify from Danbury to South Norwalk. The northern terminus of electrification would be a Danbury-North station adjacent to / off I-84 near Federal Road. If service is extended to New Milford, and if electrification to that point is not an option, then don't electrify any of the line. Doesn't make sense to extend service a dozen or so miles north without wires, with everything south of there being electric. Thoughts?
  by MNRR_RTC
 
Sarge wrote:[ Back to New Milford and the Danbury branch, you mentioned cab signals. I thought Danbury branch was manual block? If I understand that term correctly, that is. Or are you just referring to the portion where Danbury branch hits the main line at South Norwalk?
Manual Block rules are in effect for the Danbury branch.
  by DutchRailnut
 
Correct but CTC and Cab signal is in the works (since 1989) but it is in the works, the project was to have started this year.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Gents- I think the real purpose of extending service to New Milford would be to provide service for people commuting from lower Litchfield/upper Fairfield to the Stamford/Greenwich area. Anecdotally, a lot of these guys are now driving to Bethel-- not Danbury-- or driving all the way.
  by Jeff Smith
 
The Danbury station is a pain to get to off the highway, unless you're already in Danbury. A Danbury North (I think that would be up Federal Road around Stew's? Dutch?) or Danbury West (not proposed, I would put out by Fair) would go a long way for a short distance. The folks who go all the way down to Bethel realize how much time that cuts off their commute, getting into Danbury, and cutting off that distance. As I remember, the Bethel station is fairly convenient, isn't it?
  by DutchRailnut
 
Lets not forget that State of Connecticut is broke and transportation dreams are on back burner for now.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Of course, CT only has money for studies, not for actual service. :(
  by DutchRailnut
 
With bill for 342 M-8's and a 130 million dollar shop, the budget is shot for years to come.
  by BiggAW
 
I just can't see new electrification anywhere- Danbury or Springfield or anywhere else. It costs big $$, and the SLE runs diesel under the wire now. They need to electrify THAT first, as the wires are there. Couldn't any performance gains from electric be had for a lot less $$ with different/ modified diesel equipment?
  by Patrick A.
 
SLE Service began before there were wires on the NHV-Boston part of the Shoreline, thus the reason why all diesel equipment was purchased and used. Also current MNR MU's are unable to operate past CHAPEL due to voltage differences. (I'm sure Dutch and CapeCodlocoguy can give specifics) The M-8's are ACSES ready and have the correct electrical equipment to operate past CHAPEL, so once cars come online you should see SLE being operated more by EMU's. In terms of branchline electrification, I would think signals, double tracking, ATC, etc. would be of a higher priority before catenary.

Patrick
  by BiggAW
 
True, but the point is, if they haven't got the electric equipment for SLE, forget about electrifying new territory just for commuter trains. It makes no sense. The only reason it makes sense for SLE is because Amtrak put the wires there for its trains. If the SLE is electrified, then they would have extra diesel equipment, so it would make even less sense to electrify, say, the Springfield line. Plus, it would make no sense to electrify that line, or the line to Danbury before it is full double track, 70mph or more (not sure what either is), and advanced signaling.

Otto, with the money they spent on that poster, a private operator would have gotten a Geep and two coaches. :D
  by Ridgefielder
 
Danbury branch is single-track, unsignaled. Meet sidings at Wilton and Branchville (don't know the line well north of Branchville- is Bethel Lower long gone, anyone?) Not sure of the speed limit but would be surprised if it were 70. Given the population density of the towns along the line, the (to be polite) strong "preservation" sentiment, and the geography of the Norwalk River valley, I think this line will be double-tracked some time after service resumes on the NY&NE mainline from Hawleyville to Waterbury :wink:
  • 1
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 24