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.