• 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.

Moderators: Tadman, nick11a, Kaback9, ACeInTheHole

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  by JoeG
 
I keep making that mistake! Right, Nick, they would not go to Secaucus. The NYP passengers would have to change at Newark or Dover to a Midtown Direct train. I'm too used to my daily commute thru Secaucus.

  by nick11a
 
JoeG wrote:I keep making that mistake! Right, Nick, they would not go to Secaucus. The NYP passengers would have to change at Newark or Dover to a Midtown Direct train. I'm too used to my daily commute thru Secaucus.
Haha. No problem Joe.

  by Tri-State Tom
 
Cut-off service would likely take one of 2 forms....

1) Trains beginning/ending runs at Dover with transfers to/from Morristown line/Montclair-Boonton line trains.

or

2) Trains beginning/ending runs at Hoboken with transfers to/from Morristown line/Montclair-Boonton line trains via stops at Dover and Newark-Broad Street stations.

Nice avatar there nick....those days almost here again, eh ?

  by nick11a
 
Tri-State Tom wrote:Cut-off service would likely take one of 2 forms....

1) Trains beginning/ending runs at Dover with transfers to/from Morristown line/Montclair-Boonton line trains.

or

2) Trains beginning/ending runs at Hoboken with transfers to/from Morristown line/Montclair-Boonton line trains via stops at Dover and Newark-Broad Street stations.

Nice avatar there nick....those days almost here again, eh ?
Yeah, they are. Scary- but cool for train pictures. When it snows, I'll be out on the nearest rail line photographing whether it be the NEC or MnE.

  by sullivan1985
 
nick11a wrote:
Tri-State Tom wrote:Cut-off service would likely take one of 2 forms....

1) Trains beginning/ending runs at Dover with transfers to/from Morristown line/Montclair-Boonton line trains.

or

2) Trains beginning/ending runs at Hoboken with transfers to/from Morristown line/Montclair-Boonton line trains via stops at Dover and Newark-Broad Street stations.

Nice avatar there nick....those days almost here again, eh ?
Yeah, they are. Scary- but cool for train pictures. When it snows, I'll be out on the nearest rail line photographing whether it be the NEC or MnE.
Never photographed any other line but the Main and the Bergen under snow... I should really get out there... NEC in snow conditions would be pretty awesome. The vacum behind those trains can start up a snow storm of its own...

  by nick11a
 
Nothing like standing on the westbound platform on New Brunswick and seeing an Amtrak train coming around the bend heading across the Raritan Bridge and all you see is the engine and a huge cloud of smoke. It is like watching a comet. Then as it passes you, the entire platform and yourself are engulfed in it. It is way cool.

  by Lackawanna484
 
It seems to me even the Pennsy politicians are back-pedaling on the Cut-Off project and completion dates

NJ's been luke-warm at best. My suspicion is NJT has many, many things ahead of the Cut-Off on its plate. The oadbed and bridge aren't going anywhere, so sit tight.

  by Idiot Railfan
 
The Cut Off was originally conceive, planned and built in a fraction of the time the reopening of it has been discussed.

Granted, the DL&W didn't have to contend with environmental studies ("just fill in that marshland!"), demographic studies ("Are there people there? They'll ride!") or construction safety rules ("A guy fell into the concrete mixer? That's only two this week. Not too bad!") but at the same time they didn't have the technology and equipment available today.

  by JoeG
 
It seems that the main thing the modern technology and equipment does is reduce the labor required for a construction job. As for speed...the first transcontinental railroad, and the first New York subway, were each built in 4 years. As for building construction, it's interesting that the amount of time needed to build a commercial office building in NY hasn't changed much sine the 1920s. However, the time needed to build public facilities has grown tremendously. Compare the amount of time to build a school to the amount to build an office building. (Schools don't seem much more complicated than office buildings.) Even if you set aside the time for all the environmental approvals, the construction time for public projects is amazingly long. NJT is, of course, slow as molasses in January, but the NY MTA is no faster.

  by cjvrr
 
The main reason the Cutoff and office buildings were/are constructed so quickly is due to the fact they are privately funded. Years ago it wasn't the case for the public sector but no public funding use must be justified and tracked to the Nth degree.

The Cutoff was built for moving coal and passengers when there were no other convenient means to transport these goods. The market justified the expense. Office buildings work the same way, in most cases you won't build it if you don't have a tenant.

Governments must justify the expense to everyone, including taxpayers, environmentalists, NIMBY's, etc. School's and other government buildings are even thougher. How much space do we need? How can we justify building the space we need 10 years from now to the taxpayers now? Not an easy task and everyone has an opinion, right, wrong or indifferent.

Most road construction projects at NJDOT take an average of 10 years from initial thought to project completion. And each step of the way they need to justify the need for the project. Project scoping, initial design, final design, and construction each need to be justified and then funded. When the pool of money for these projects run dry they get back burnered. Property acquisitions can also add years to a project's time frame.

The County gov't level doesn't have as many hurdles as the State and Federal levels, but you must still justify the costs and have a consensus of opinion. I would say we have a three year average start to finish on most projects. When state and federal money is involved it often doubles our time schedules. At a local level one negative opinion can and does kill some projects. But also note if a developer with deep pockets comes in and wants to make improvements to a signal or intersection, they can usually get done within one year or less.

From all signs NJDOT will be in real trouble in the next five years. They have spent more money than has been generated and the money generated from the transportation trust fund, which was supposed to help the funding, will be used almost entirely to pay the interest on the current loans. Not sure how this effects NJT, but I am sure it will in some way.

It still is a market drive economy, if a company found that they could make money reconstructing the Cutoff it would have been done already.

Sorry to ramble on.

  by Ken W2KB
 
Good ramble, though. :wink: Also the extensive permitting and environamental impact statements required today.

  by Lackawanna484
 
cjvrr wrote:The main reason the Cutoff and office buildings were/are constructed so quickly is due to the fact they are privately funded. Years ago it wasn't the case for the public sector but no public funding use must be justified and tracked to the Nth degree. loans
Taber mentions the Cut-Off in his 20th century book. It helps when the governor, and the politicans are on your payroll. Makes things a lot easier. The railroad presented its alignment, and the state agreed, immediately.

None of the enviro nonsense, safety reviews, alternate alignments, snail habitats, or owl refuges. Draw a line, put 200 foot of rock and soil on it, blast a tunnel, or build a viaduct, lay ties and rails. repeat for 25 miles.

The chief engineer needed soil, and saw a hill. Buy it, and move it. They did. Within days. They created lakes in the "borrow pits," many of which still exist.

Safety was minimal, workers lives were cheap and easily replaced. Same as on the trains...

  by sullivan1985
 
Lackawanna484 wrote:My suspicion is NJT has many, many things ahead of the Cut-Off on its plate. The roadbed and bridge aren't going anywhere, so sit tight.
Agreed... NJT does seem to be kind abusy one day, and as if now, the demand is still not looking strong enough for the people to be begging for an alternate form of transit.

But every year, more and more people are flocking to the country side of NJ and PA and one day, the Cut-Off will happen. Maybe sooner or later than the expected 2010 that transit told us on its project page, but it will happen...

  by rvrrhs
 
Lackawanna484 wrote:Safety was minimal, workers lives were cheap and easily replaced. Same as on the trains...

Ah...... the good old days. :wink:

  by rvrrhs
 
sullivan1985 wrote:
Lackawanna484 wrote:My suspicion is NJT has many, many things ahead of the Cut-Off on its plate. The roadbed and bridge aren't going anywhere, so sit tight.
Agreed... NJT does seem to be kind abusy one day, and as if now, the demand is still not looking strong enough for the people to be begging for an alternate form of transit.

But every year, more and more people are flocking to the country side of NJ and PA and one day, the Cut-Off will happen. Maybe sooner or later than the expected 2010 that transit told us on its project page, but it will happen...
Remember, the cost will just keep escalating, so we're all better off spending 2010 dollars than 2020 dollars on such a huge project. What's the difference in cost on constructing the new Hudson River tunnel between when it was originally conceived and now? How much more would it cost now to build a twin to the Goethals Bridge than to have done it back in the 1930s when they built the first one? How much more will it cost to build the additional on/off ramps from I-78 to the GSP, the ones they didn't build in the 1960s when they were expecting to run I-278 from Springfield to Elizabeth?
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