• Lackawanna Cutoff Passenger Service Restoration

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

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  by CarterB
 
photobug56 wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:59 pm There are a number of reasons to do this all the way to Scranton. The idea is not just to help some commuters here and there, but provide an alternative to driving along an entire corridor. Not just commuters but also vacationers and tourists. The highway corridor is badly oversaturated and being so must generate a lot of air pollution. But if you look at this station by station it will never happen.

It helps that this new study shows that the 'roadway' can be done at a rather decent price. Of course, you also need rolling stock and crews, and ongoing maintenance of it all. You'll also need connecting buses in the Poconos to get people to the resorts - something that Martz Bus (Trailways) might want to take on to replace the revenue they lose when a train takes away their many passengers to NYC. I had many rides years ago between NYC and Scranton (my home town) after I moved to NYC - and it wasn't fun - plus the rides could be very long.
And even with extension to Gap or Scranton, still excruciatingly long. And where to put "tourist's" overstuffed luggage, skis, strollers, pets? And how does the "mobile generation" get around once there? It ain't the 40s or 50s era now.
  by photobug56
 
The cars need luggage space, of course. LIRR C3 cars do but these will need more. WiFi would be important. There would have to be connecting buses for the resorts.
  by JoeG
 
The Phoebe Snow made Hoboken-Scranton in 3 hours 15 minutes. This included 58 minutes Hoboken-Dover. No NJT train makes Hoboken-Dover in anywhere near that time.

I have no idea if Martz actually meets its published schedules, but it claims 3 hours or 3 hours 15 minutes Scranton-ny.

Sure, a train ride is nicer than a bus ride, and bad weather affects buses more than trains.

But right now it looks like even with a restored Cutoff, Martz probably beats projected train times via the Cutoff.

If you want the Cutoff restored you have to actually show that it will be consistently faster than Martz. Not likely, especially the was njt has been running lately.
  by CarterB
 
photobug56 wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:24 pm The cars need luggage space, of course. LIRR C3 cars do but these will need more. WiFi would be important. There would have to be connecting buses for the resorts.
Dream on!!
  by amtrakowitz
 
JoeG wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:26 pm The Phoebe Snow made Hoboken-Scranton in 3 hours 15 minutes. This included 58 minutes Hoboken-Dover. No NJT train makes Hoboken-Dover in anywhere near that time.

I have no idea if Martz actually meets its published schedules, but it claims 3 hours or 3 hours 15 minutes Scranton-ny.

Sure, a train ride is nicer than a bus ride, and bad weather affects buses more than trains.

But right now it looks like even with a restored Cutoff, Martz probably beats projected train times via the Cutoff.

If you want the Cutoff restored you have to actually show that it will be consistently faster than Martz. Not likely, especially the was njt has been running lately.
Comparing NJT to its predecessors in terms of present- day service looks like an apples/oranges comparison to me. Not only do almost all trains terminating at Dover go to NY Penn instead of Hoboken, but I cannot find any trains that make just three station stops between Dover and any eastern NYC-area terminus; these services are more comparable to the former Lackawanna MU service, and NJT no longer operates the Tom Taber Express to provide some kind of benchmark for a super-express of sorts to/from Dover.

There are tailbacks on I-80 that typically extend as far west as Exit 25, and there is no bus lane that would permit bus service to skirt these tailbacks. Snowy days are worse and, of course, fraught with associated dangers. A rail service would be less vulnerable to such occurrences, and also a welcome alternative.
  by JoeG
 
I didn't do a rigorous search but it looks like Midtown Direct trains Dover-NYP expresses (such as they are) take around 1 hour 23 minutes or longer. Of course they go to NYP instead of HOB which makes them more comparable to Martz. So the 3 hour 15 minute trip on the Snow, which left from HOB, is roughly comparable to Martz's schedule. But if we use NJT's current times, we have to add 25 minutes to the Snow's time to approximate the time a new train would take if it ran the MD route or stopped at Dover for its passengers to transfer to the MD train. So the 3 hour 15 minute time turns out under modern conditions to take almost 4 hours. Does Martz do that badly on a regular basis?
I assume the lack of more express service on the M&E, and the slow times in general compared to Lackawanna days, is due to congestion. If that is not the sole cause, maybe we need to resurrect some Lackawanna men to see what they might suggest. It was once suggested to me that NJT managers get bonuses based on ontime percentage. So they have incentive to pad the schedule. If this is true, they need to change the system of compensating managers.

If you want to make a Scranton-Poconos-NY service work, you have to figure out a way for it to be faster than Route 80. If you can't do that, forget the project and stop wasting money on more studies.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The train being faster than 80 or even the same speed is key, even when there’s not much traffic. The same thing goes with the spots where the train would follow 380.
  by Backshophoss
 
You're going to be a mountain goat to Scranton NO SPEED RUNNNING HERE! :(
  by JoeG
 
I don't think anyone envisions high speed through the Poconos. But in Lackawanna days, the New York Central controlled the Lackawanna and didn't want the Lackawanna competing with it for passenger traffic so they kept the Lackawanna's speeds slower than they might have been.
if the cutoff were restored and the rest of the line to Scranton were restored to its former speeds (or better where possible), it seems reasonable that Sranton-NY or HOB should be able to at least match Martz. If that can't be done, the project doesn't make any sense.
  by amtrakowitz
 
JoeG wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:10 pm I didn't do a rigorous search but it looks like Midtown Direct trains Dover-NYP expresses (such as they are) take around 1 hour 23 minutes or longer. Of course they go to NYP instead of HOB which makes them more comparable to Martz. So the 3 hour 15 minute trip on the Snow, which left from HOB, is roughly comparable to Martz's schedule. But if we use NJT's current times, we have to add 25 minutes to the Snow's time to approximate the time a new train would take if it ran the MD route or stopped at Dover for its passengers to transfer to the MD train. So the 3 hour 15 minute time turns out under modern conditions to take almost 4 hours. Does Martz do that badly on a regular basis?
I assume the lack of more express service on the M&E, and the slow times in general compared to Lackawanna days, is due to congestion. If that is not the sole cause, maybe we need to resurrect some Lackawanna men to see what they might suggest. It was once suggested to me that NJT managers get bonuses based on ontime percentage. So they have incentive to pad the schedule. If this is true, they need to change the system of compensating managers.

If you want to make a Scranton-Poconos-NY service work, you have to figure out a way for it to be faster than Route 80. If you can't do that, forget the project and stop wasting money on more studies.
It would already be faster than I-80 through New Jersey during the critical morning and evening rush, and not as slow as some assert through the Pennsylvania part of the railroad; I confess I would be gratified by being on a train from the Poconos and looking out the window at Mount Arlington NJ at immobile traffic on the interstate knowing that I was about to bypass it in a timely fashion. Also, IIRC the portion of I-80 in New Jersey west of Exit 4 (Columbia) was built on a former railroad itself, the former NYSW, which has a top posted speed of 50 mph for all traffic.

Martz in Pennsylvania stops at park and ride facilities in East Stroudsburg and Delaware Water Gap that are not located close to the town centers as the railroad stations happen to be, and runs on PA Route 611 through Scotrun, Swiftwater, Mount Pocono and Tobyhanna, and also does not serve towns that the railroad runs through such as Analomink, Cresco, Gouldsborough or Moscow (most of these not listed as stops on any proposed rail service restoration, granted).

Also, the apples/oranges comparison continues. If the Port Jervis Line can run super-expresses, so could a train to/from Scranton, frankly. Martz makes one stop in New Jersey at Panther Valley, and none of the Scranton buses make that stop.
Last edited by amtrakowitz on Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by amtrakowitz
 
JoeG wrote: Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:01 pmI don't think anyone envisions high speed through the Poconos. But in Lackawanna days, the New York Central controlled the Lackawanna and didn't want the Lackawanna competing with it for passenger traffic so they kept the Lackawanna's speeds slower than they might have been.
if the cutoff were restored and the rest of the line to Scranton were restored to its former speeds (or better where possible), it seems reasonable that S(c)ranton-NY or HOB should be able to at least match Martz. If that can't be done, the project doesn't make any sense.
The Lackawanna actually tested ACF-built Talgo trainsets, presumably for high-speed service to/from Scranton and possibly Binghamton. This seems to match the NY Central's own high-speed passenger rail efforts exemplified with Talgos themselves, and also Train X et al. The only place that the DL&W would really be in passenger competition with the Central would have been Buffalo, where the DL&W's terminal was downtown and the Central was instead in Central Terminal further away from downtown. Therefore, there was at one time high-speed service envisioned for rail to and through the Poconos.
  by photobug56
 
Question - how did NY Central control Lackawanna?

It occurred to me that there may be some Talgo sets available - but can Talgo do dual mode to go into Penn?

BTW, since all the NEPA regional rail authorities believe in this, I think they would push for the inside PA rail improvements that would be needed. They might be able to market Scranton, etc. more for factories, call centers, etc. even more than Scranton already has if it becomes easier to get to Scranton.
  by Backshophoss
 
The 2 Wi sets are being reconfigured to work in the Cascades service in the PNW
You will not get any speed running on NJT or in Pa.
It's uphill mountain goating from the river to Scranton, NOT WORTH THE EFFORT!
  by JoeG
 
As far as New York Central control of the Lackawanna, I found articles as far back as 1893 talking about the Central's control of the Lackawanna. I tried to post a link but failed; you will have to google it yourself if you are interested.

I don't know how much of the Lackawanna stock ended up being owned by the Central, but various Vanderbilt relatives and associates were major stockholders. The Central had several members on the Lackawanna board. Right now I can't find the number but i think it was 3.
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