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 Backshophoss
 
At a news conference(heard on the WCBS stream)Gov Malloy said that regular service will return this wed(05/22/'13) for tomorrow,
the shuttle/bus/train will continue,praised the state for how well today's commute went.
  by lstone19
 
MNCRR9000 wrote:That's impressive that MNRR will resume full service by the Wednesday morning commute. Originally they were predicting that it would be a couple weeks before service would resume.
I'm not impressed. In the old days, a Roadmaster was expected to get what he needed to get the line reopened and get to work as soon as allowed. Get some track down and trains moving, albeit slowly, as soon as possible. In contrast, in late 2011 when CN piled up a train on the diamonds where my Metra line crosses it, Metra was back up and running in under 24 hours. But they did it by doing the bare minimum to get the line re-opened with some outside the box thinking initially running through the interchange yard which was less damaged than the main tracks. Delays obviously but a more-or-less normal rush hour the next morning.

With both this and when the Port Jervis line was wiped out by Irene, Metro-North has seemed to initially announce ridiculously long repair times only to quickly bring that back to a more realistic (but still long) time sometime later. Call me a cynic but I'm thinking that this is deliberate to make them look good and have people say how impressed they are when they miraculously get things reopened faster than first announced.
  by lirr42
 
Sorry, but all these people that keep dredging up "the old days" and how "they" did it "back then" should just give it a rest. There's a reason things are done this way now.

If this was "the old days" there wouldn't be any FRA crash test standards, and we wouldn't be talking about 72 injured, we'd be talking about 72 dead and a lot more injured. The M8's did their job perfectly, nobody was killed. How would the folks on the train "back then" fare if one plowed into another? Not well.

Additionally, the most important part of the NTSB's role is figuring out how to prevent this from happening again. What good is getting the whole mess cleaned up quickly overnight if we're going to have the exact same derailment again next week? Information collected from this derailment might very well prevent a derailment someplace else, saving lives. The NTSB doesn't do its job for the fun of it, it actually serves a purpose, one that is often scoffed at.
  by Tommy Meehan
 
Apparently it's going to be restored electric service too, which is a bit surprising. I thought it might be diesel service for a couple days. According to the Metro-North site there was catenary damage. Link to page But they expect to have it repaired.

They're are going to operate some test trains first, naturally, that might be...late tomorrow night?

I also got a kick out of a photo on the Times site. Of the 120 buses put into shuttle service, some were from NY City Transit. Sure enough, there was an NYCT bus in the Times photo, taken at the Bridgeport staging area Monday morning. It was signed, "Subway Shuttle," probably the closest they had. Looks like it's a Nova LFS Articulated, too. Those are nice vehicles. :)
  by Amtrak7
 
lirr42 wrote:Sorry, but all these people that keep dredging up "the old days" and how "they" did it "back then" should just give it a rest. There's a reason things are done this way now.

If this was "the old days" there wouldn't be any FRA crash test standards, and we wouldn't be talking about 72 injured, we'd be talking about 72 dead and a lot more injured. The M8's did their job perfectly, nobody was killed. How would the folks on the train "back then" fare if one plowed into another? Not well.

Additionally, the most important part of the NTSB's role is figuring out how to prevent this from happening again. What good is getting the whole mess cleaned up quickly overnight if we're going to have the exact same derailment again next week? Information collected from this derailment might very well prevent a derailment someplace else, saving lives. The NTSB doesn't do its job for the fun of it, it actually serves a purpose, one that is often scoffed at.
Agreed. When people compare cleanup times they should look at the job as starting Sunday night, since that's when MNR could start work in earnest. A little over 48 hours to rebuild.
  by Clean Cab
 
MN track, C&S and ET crews have been working non stop since Saturday night to get the tracks back in service ASAP. I think we should all give them a "Well Done" for all their efforts.
  by JamesRR
 
If they actually get service restored by Wednesday morning, it will be nothing short of impressive.

The RR was wise not to promise anything too soon, because there are often unknowns involved and if they failed to meet a deadline, they'd get a lot of flack for it.

I agree with those who've said comparing today to the past is futile. Throwing track down just to restore service isn't wise. This line is already running at 1/2 capacity due to the overhead wire work, and it's used by MN and Amtrak trains. A lot of traffic. So doing it right makes more sense.

The track crews/signal crews/etc. should be applauded for their fast efforts here.
  by Freddy
 
Anybody know how much was torn up in terms of footage and did any switches need replacing?
  by Tommy Meehan
 
Freddy wrote:Anybody know how much was torn up in terms of footage and did any switches need replacing?
In the link I posted earlier, MTA says
In Bridgeport, work to rebuild two sections of track totaling 2,000 feet continues at a brisk pace. The track itself, including the stone, ties, rail and fasteners, is the first order of business and that job is complete on one of the two sections. Next comes restringing the overhead catenary wire and appropriate connections to the substations. The signal system is the final component followed by vigorous inspection and a period of operating test trains over the rail.
Link

They don't mention switches and I didn't see any in the overhead shots of the roadbed.
Last edited by Tommy Meehan on Tue May 21, 2013 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by Clean Cab
 
There were no switches involved and about 1000' of track (on both track 2&4) that needed to be completely dug up and re-layed. There was less overhead were damage than originially thought and it appears that no critical parts of the signal system were damaged. All in all, MN really caught a few good breaks in an otherwise bad situation.
  by Tommy Meehan
 
Btw Metro-North says twice as many people rode the New Haven Line this morning as compared to Monday.
Metro-North saw nearly double the ridership in had on Monday when the ridership for the entire New Haven Line was down by 20 percent. That meant waits for buses were longer, parking lots were full and more people and more crowded parking lots.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Aaron Donovan said there were no major problems reported. "Ridership is up slightly over Monday on the buses," he said. "Other than that it is running as expected."
Link to news story.
  by glennk419
 
Tommy Meehan wrote:
Freddy wrote:Anybody know how much was torn up in terms of footage and did any switches need replacing?
In the link I posted earlier, MTA says
In Bridgeport, work to rebuild two sections of track totaling 2,000 feet continues at a brisk pace. The track itself, including the stone, ties, rail and fasteners, is the first order of business and that job is complete on one of the two sections. Next comes restringing the overhead catenary wire and appropriate connections to the substations. The signal system is the final component followed by vigorous inspection and a period of operating test trains over the rail.
Link

They don't mention switches and I didn't see any in the overhead shots of the roadbed.
In addition to the tremendous ongoing effort to get the railroad back in service, MTA is doing a great job of keeping the public advised of the progress and status, including posting some very enlightening photos. Kudos to the MTA team and a great lesson to some of the other agencies around.
  by Freddy
 
Thanks for the info and links guys.
  by lnj
 
WNBC is reporting that limited service to New Haven will resume beginning with the 3:07 p.m. departure from Grand Central Terminal. More info from the MTA is available here.
  by lirr42
 
Limited Amtrak and Metro-North through service to Bridgeport will resume this afternoon, earlier than planned. Metro-North says one of the two tracks through the derailment site has been returned to service.

From the MTA:
MTA wrote: Limited Metro-North Railroad and Amtrak train service will resume this afternoon between New York and New Haven, followed by regular service on Wednesday, MTA Metro-North Railroad, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Amtrak announced.

With one of the two damaged tracks rebuilt and returned to service, beginning with the 3:07 p.m. departure from Grand Central Terminal, Metro-North will operate about half of the regular eastbound PM peak service and regular hourly westbound service with the 4:23 PM train from New Haven. Metro-North will continue to operate on a regular schedule between Grand Central and South Norwalk in both directions.

On Friday, May 17, a Metro-North train derailed in Bridgeport and was struck by another train going in the opposite direction.

“We recognize the critical importance of both Metro-North Railroad and Amtrak to the regional economy,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “Although reconstruction and testing of the second track will not be completed until late tonight, enough work has been completed to allow us to operate this limited service in advance of resuming our regular schedule on Wednesday.”

The operation will require a reduced speed of 30 miles per hour, standard for all new track installations. Trains will only be able to use a single track for a distance of seven miles in the area around Bridgeport, CT. Metro-North expects there will be delays as a result.

Metro-North will reinstate regular weekday service to-from New Haven on Wednesday morning.

The track has been rebuilt from the ground up to current Federal Railroad Administration standards using all new materials. After the track was rebuilt, it underwent rigorous testing. The track was subjected to a stabilizer machine, which simulates heavy rail traffic using vibrations. This machine compacts the stone ballast and stabilizes the new track. All signal testing was conducted by Metro-North forces and observed by the FRA and the National Transportation Safety Board. Metro-North is actively supporting the NTSB, which is conducting a thorough investigation of the derailment and subsequent collision Friday night in Bridgeport.

The new track also was subjected to ultrasonic testing designed to detect internal defects in the running rail with no exceptions. In addition, the track geometry car was utilized over the new track to verify that the track is in the proper vertical and horizontal alignment.

The speed of the rebuilding effort was the result of the extraordinary efforts of hundreds of skilled people in multiple crafts working around the clock since Saturday night.

Service Plan
Limited train service resumes to New Haven at 3 PM on Tuesday, May 21 and for the remainder of the day. Customers should expect delays.

To New Haven
Regular train service from Grand Central Terminal (GCT) to South Norwalk station; with limited service to New Haven Station (representing 50% of regular service)
  • The first train is the 3:07 PM train leaving GCT and arriving in New Haven at 5 PM

To Grand Central Terminal
Regular train service from New Haven Station to Grand Central Terminal
  • The first train is the 4:23 PM train leaving New Haven and arriving in GCT at 6:17 PM

Regular train service continues on the branch lines.

For train information on which trains will run through to New Haven and which will terminate at South Norwalk, please refer to the schedules page at mta.info.
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