TSTOM wrote:As is obvious, the LACKAWANNA erected 2-track catenary supports from the junction West to the New Providence station. Thus, that'll save NJT some expense in reconstructing this track and stringing wire above.
I still don't get the need/desire for any extended platforms nor the practicality of doing same.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but the Westbound platform easily hosts 8 Comets ( not 6 from the article ) as does the Eastbound ( center ) platform. The Wall track seems to be able to host 6 and a half Comets and 8 Arrows. Neither platform can physically be extended on the West ends and the Westbound platform can't be extended on it's East end. The Eastbound ( center ) platform can be extended on the East end by destroying 25 to 35% of the present storage yard and realigning trackage. But is all this REALLY all that critically necessary here at Summit ?
I can see the need/desire for newer / higher speed switch plants on West end of the station for a tad more speed needs. But this so-called 'pocket track' is gonna be about a HALF MILE West. Isn't a train gonna occupy / likely tie-up / block some other train moves getting out there and then crossing over to this thing and ditto coming back ?
For decades the LACKAWANNA / E-L ran MORE rush-hour trains thru here than NJT does today and most were 8-10-12 car MU sets mixed in with 4-car MU locals that often 'turned' at Summit. They didn't have the apparant operational 'problems' that NJT claims it has here. Why is that ?
Color me skeptical. Methinks this might be a case of NJT needing to spend budgeted project money rather than perhaps
coming in UNDER budget for the fiscal year....running the risk of a lower budget approval the following year. There's gotta be a more pressing project elsewhere .
Sounds like you miss the Lackawanna. I probably would too, if I was alive during that time period.
Now, we get into an area of debate. So, let's go. This may sound like a defense of NJT... I don't really mean it to sound that way. In my opinion, this is "the way it is"... just like Bruce Hornsby and the Range.
The infastructure at Summit hasn't really seen any major upgrades in quite some time. Yes, it was converted to high platforms, yes the catenary and electrical systems were redone, yes better signaling has been put into place and cab signals have been introduced.... but by and large, this has been done over a railroad infastructure (tracks, switches etc.) which haven't really been upgraded all that much. In the meantime, railroad rules have evolved... esepcially over the last half century. The modern world and the more "safety concious" have refined and added more rules to ensure safety. In most cases, these rules have created more restrictions than freedoms.
What I mean to say is that some of the regular every day train moves through Summit during the Lackawanna Days wouldn't be something that NJT would want to do each day in and day out. Yes, more trains went through Summit and probably went through Summit faster back then, but in today's world, safeties and precautions have slowed it down. How do you combat this? Improve the infastructure to allow faster moves while not sacrificing safety, and that is what they want to do here.
I know it has been said many times here, but it is true: a lot of rules and a lot of procedures were added "in blood" meaning accidents created change. The infamous accident of the train crashing into a Spaghetti accident quickly led to cab signals being installed all across NJT. This creates a much safer environment... however, in most cases, cab signals slow down the operation of trains. Engineers must comply with them and often, cab signals are brought down in advance to ensure that rules aren't being violated. Back then, an engineer could operate the train a little more freely and push the limits of the rules.
Another thing mentioned here is that "The Goold Ol' Days" may not have been as good as people remember. Yes, facts are facts: trains ran faster to Hoboken from Gladstone in the steam engine days than today. But don't tell me that it was safer back then than it is today. In these days of increased liability and insurance costs, safety comes first (but not always because of safety, but because of liability!) Say what you want about NJT, but don't say it isn't a safe railroad.
Sorry for the long post.