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 Steamboat Willie
You do realize how much of a pain it is to cross over east bounds for the Devon transfer right? Also, it is easier for crew/equipment swaps done at Bridgeport station verses how it is now.
  by NH2060
naugatroll wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:ISo it seems Barnum would almost be a replacement Devon.
Wasn't the logic on a permanent Devon transfer to keep the Waterbury branch on the branch, since main line slots to run to Bridgeport are at a premium? Making the transfer at Barnum doesn't exactly eliminate that herdle.
It was/is the logic.

Though I wonder if saying that slots are at a premium is a simpler way of saying: "The real problem is that once the Waterbury shuttle gets to Bridgeport it has to park and change ends/switch tracks in a less than ideal spot making the task of adding additional frequencies difficult and having a different arrangement for turning shuttle runs would open up more frequency opportunities". MNR has added so much extra service on more heavily traveled stretches of ROW in the past 5 years that fitting in more Waterbury trains in the actual slots can't alone be the problem. Service between Bridgeport and Devon Jct. is about/less than half of what it is west of Stamford with the same number of tracks.

Perhaps CDOT saw that trying to do Devon Jct. and Barnum Ave. and any other stations that might be under consideration would be too much $$$ for same amount of gain. Therefore reconfiguring Barnum as a "mini Stamford" type station to allow WTBY runs to terminate, etc. while still allowing plenty of room for extra frequencies would save big bucks on the cost of building a Devon Jct. station. Let's face it building two stations for say $xx Million to $xxx Million with one of them only used a transfer stop for a lower ridership branchline doesn't exactly make sense from a financial standpoint.

One way they could accomodate the WTBY is to create a dead end "pocket track" of sorts in the middle of the ROW with its own platform similar to what Iarnrod Eireann did for some of the commuter rail stations as part of the Kildare 4-tracking project as seen from above here @ the Hazelhatch & Celbridge station:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hazel ... 8d9b68c7a0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Jeff Smith
A station with island platforms for the turn is definitely less disruptive. A pocket is even better (if it's not maxi-bombs that works at Norwalk, only disrupting the one track briefly; aside: GET some Budd DMU's!). But I like this idea; it does kill two birds so to speak.

My idea for Waterbury was a Devon transfer, isolating the branch and running it to Hartford under CTDOT or another operator not MNRR, but #BuswayBoondoggle screwed that up. Short platform on each side with an overpass over the main line; you just catch a main-line train, transfer only, limited stops.

Hey, I'd like to see SLE running New London - Waterbury; that gives a worthwhile intrastate connection. Let them transfer at Fairfield Metro. So they'd have to cross-over for "inbound" service.

Don't want MNRR running it? Run Waterbury - New Haven using Berlin as a branch of the "Hartford" line. Reverse at New Haven; they're using push-pull right?

Excuse me while I go wipe foam off my face.
  by Jeff Smith
Older news, but it does seem to indicate Amtrak would be accommodated: CT Post

Brief, fair-use quote:
Cost of new train station triples to $146 million

After initially courting the state to help build a $48 million Metro-North Railroad station and 1,000-space parking lot for Bridgeport’s East Side, officials have now decided it should also accommodate Amtrak’s high speed rail, at a cost of $146.1 million.

That means building center island platforms, rather than just side platforms, to help juggle trains traveling at different speeds to different destinations and avoid bottlenecks.

“You have to take a step back and look at the Northeast (rail) corridor and New Haven Line in particular and recognize the strategy is operating more like Manhattan subway service, with local (trains) on the outside and express on the inside,” said David Kooris, Bridgeport’s economic development chief.
  by Jeff Smith
CT Post

TIGER grant for station design:
$10 million for proposed Barnum train station in Bridgeport
The highly competitive grant from the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery fund will be used to design a $146 million Barnum Station on the former Remington Arms factory property.
State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton and a ranking member of the transportation committee, said she wonders where the rest of the money for the Barnum station will come from.
“There is no question you have to fix what is broken,” Boucher said. “We have 108-year-old rail bridges. You should fix that first before you build and anything new. And more stations slow the trains down.”
The proposed train station features two center island platforms to serve local and express Metro-North and Amtrak trains. The station includes about 1,000 parking spaces, and is projected to open in 2018.<SNIP>
A couple of observations:

-$146 MILLION! for a station?
-Nice to see one of the politico's actually questioning priorities, and using common sense.
-Speaking of "slow the trains down" there have been what, 3 added stations east of Bridgeport in the last couple years? Not counting the temp Devon Transfer, soon to close. Now, given that the design calls for island platforms, the cost obviously includes operational design improvements to smooth traffic flow, and move Amtrak out of downtown, and allow easier transfers to Waterbury branch trains. THAT is what seems to be the ultimate goal of the station.
  by NH2060
Well when you think about it $146 Million for what will essentially be a complete reconstruction of that section of the mainline sounds reasonable. Tracks 1 and 4 will be re-aligned on new elevated or raised structures (with the adjacent streets relocated and/or closed) and 10(?) car platforms + pedestrian bridges will be installed in between Tracks 3 and 1 + 2 and 4. Basically a scaled down version of Stamford.

And not to repeat myself, but what I would really like to see is if they decide to configure one of the island platforms as a "full width platform" that then turns into a "half width platform + pocket track" for the Waterbury Branch so that branchline trains terminate and originate their runs at a more "centralized location" in the middle of the ROW. A number of stations on Iarnrod Eireann's (Irish Rail) Cork-Dublin mainline were rebuilt to such specifications as part of the Kildare Route Project. This permits short-turn trains to start and end their runs without crossing over the entire ROW to access the station at any given time.
  by dowlingm
NH2060 wrote:A number of stations on Iarnrod Eireann's (Irish Rail) Cork-Dublin mainline were rebuilt to such specifications as part of the Kildare Route Project. This permits short-turn trains to start and end their runs without crossing over the entire ROW to access the station at any given time.
Huh. Never looked that closely at Hazelhatch before - I had no idea it has (for a short distance) 5 parallel tracks!
  by Jeff Smith
Public Meetings/Draft Proposal: CT Post
Report: What to expect with new Bridgeport rail station
The new station
This site is located between the Seaview Avenue and Pembroke Street. On a typical weekday, about 175 passenger trains operate over this segment.

There are to be two platforms, each 900 feet long, to accommodate up to a 10-car train. One platform would serve Tracks 1 and 3 and one would serve Tracks 2 and 4 to enable two-track express and two-track local service through the station.

The platforms would be center island platforms, with the two inside tracks (1 and 2) would providing express service for Amtrak, MNR and SLE trains, and the outside tracks serving local trains. This would create the opportunity for new express service stopping at New Haven, Barnum, and Stamford.

The island platforms would allow easy cross-platform transfers between local and express trains at these three key stations. By eliminating the need for cross-overs, train speeds would be able to increase (or trains could maintain speed), reducing commuter trip times even on local trains.
http://www.barnumstation.com/default.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

January 2, 2017
Environmental Impact Evaluation Prepared

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has prepared an Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE) for a proposed new commuter rail station to be located along the New Haven Main Line in East Bridgeport, Connecticut. A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, February 7th at the Great Oaks Charter School (510 Barnum Avenue, Bridgeport). Doors will open at 6:00 PM for review of displays (technical staff will be on hand to answer questions). A formal presentation highlighting the project and findings of the EIE will start at 6:30 PM. The public is invited to attend the meeting and provide comments on the EIE. In the event of heavy snow, the meeting will be moved to February 14th (same time and location). Weather updates will be posted at http://www.wtnh.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

The hearing location is accessible to persons with disabilities. Deaf and hearing impaired persons wishing to attend this hearing or persons speaking a language other than English wishing to attend this meeting and requiring an interpreter must make arrangements by contacting the Department of Transportation's Office of Communications at 860-594-3062 (voice only) at least five working days prior to the hearing.

The Environmental Impact Evaluation was published in the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality Environmental Monitor on January 3, 2017 in accordance with the regulations in the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act. Written comments may be submitted to Mr. Mark Alexander at the address or email listed below and will be received until the close of business on February 21, 2017.

Written comments on the EIE should be sent to:

Mark W. Alexander, Transportation Assistant Planning Director
Connecticut Department of Transportation
2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, CT 06131
860.594.2931 | [email protected]

The Environmental Impact Evaluation may be accessed at the link below.
  by Steamboat Willie
Ambitious ideas. With all of the capital work going on and the upcoming replacement of Walk bridge, along with PTC commuting on the NHL is going to be an absolute nightmare. As if it isn't painful enough.
  by Jeff Smith
Project deferred: CTPost.com

Bridgeport’s East Side train station plans halted
In a letter to the Council on Environmental Quality, the state Department of Transportation announced Tuesday it was tabling the long-awaited project, which would have created a Bridgeport rail station between Seaview Avenue and Pembroke Street.

“CTDOT has since determined that it is not in a financial position to undertake the proposed project, and has decided to defer the project in CTDOT's Capital Plan 2019-2023” according to the letter, confirming the state could not afford to make the project happen in the next few years.
  by DutchRailnut
good its going the way of the bar car.
  by Train322
This is a good thing. It would be much less expensive to just improve bus service from the existing station (if the funds exist).
CDOT should focus on immediate needs with the budget they have.
If Fed Funds exist, great (I thought that infrastructure was a priority of the Trump regime).
  by njtmnrrbuff
From the start, I didn't see the point for this second Bridgeport station. CDOT should continue to focus more on improving the infrastructure on the New Haven Line, which I saw they they will be doing. As a result, travel time will be added to MNR trains on the New Haven Line and I have a feeling that Amtrak will be impacted too. CDOT should also focus on getting the ball rolling with those sidings on the Waterbury Branch.

Its probably not a bad idea for Bridgeport to improve their bus service to and from the existing transportation center. I also remember seeing somewhere that Amtrak was going to stop at the Barnum Station if the project ever happens. Even if that station gets constructed, there is no need for Amtrak to stop there. It's close enough to the Downtown Bridgeport Station. That's where all of the different modes of transportation meet(MNR, various buses, the Pt. Jefferson Ferry).
  by Backshophoss
This was a waste of time,effort,and $$$$,now,lets design a new station at Devon,and get the Waterbury mini's OFF the mainline!
With platforms on both sides of the mainline!
  by njtmnrrbuff
Eventually MNR will have to run many departures of super express service from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal and vice versa daily. The more stops that get added between Stamford and New Haven, the greater the travel times will reduce.
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