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

  • 560 posts
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 38
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I rode the service on the first official day as far as Meriden and I must say that overall, I thought that it was decent but there is room for improvement. What I liked was the concept of adding more rail service to Central Connecticut because there are many people that live and work in many of the communities along the SPG Line, especially Hartford, Springfield, and New Haven. There are many universities within easy reach of the train line. The new stations are beautiful. The ride is fast as well.

What I want to see improved is many things. The equipment is outdated. It rides bumpy, the bathrooms aren't available basically. The equipment needs to be clean. It sounds like the State of Connecticut has issues with managing money and if they weren't broke, than they could have bought brand new equipment which they should have done. Any trips that I need to take on the SPG Line for the next few years, I will probably use Amtrak.

There needs to be more double track along the SPG Line. I know that much of it is probably a few years off but certain stretches of double track should have been implemented before the service began. For example, Hartford Station should have had the second track since that is probably one of the busiest stations along the route. In fact, probably many of your 9 to 5 commuters will be using Ctrail to get to their jobs in Hartford.
  by Traingeek3629
 
If someone needs to go to the bathroom urgently while riding, the conductors must have keys, right? I mean, you can't have people urinating in their seats on public transportation.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:There needs to be more double track along the SPG Line. I know that much of it is probably a few years off but certain stretches of double track should have been implemented before the service began. For example, Hartford Station should have had the second track since that is probably one of the busiest stations along the route. In fact, probably many of your 9 to 5 commuters will be using Ctrail to get to their jobs in Hartford.
For once CDOT did something intelligent instead of pissing away tax money - Hartford was not reconfigured in any meaningful way because they need to figure out what is happening with the ancient, dilapidated viaduct over 84 when they redo 84. No sense in double tracking and then having to rip it up in a few years when 84 construction starts.
  by Ridgefielder
 
GirlOnTheTrain wrote:
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:There needs to be more double track along the SPG Line. I know that much of it is probably a few years off but certain stretches of double track should have been implemented before the service began. For example, Hartford Station should have had the second track since that is probably one of the busiest stations along the route. In fact, probably many of your 9 to 5 commuters will be using Ctrail to get to their jobs in Hartford.
For once CDOT did something intelligent instead of pissing away tax money - Hartford was not reconfigured in any meaningful way because they need to figure out what is happening with the ancient, dilapidated viaduct over 84 when they redo 84. No sense in double tracking and then having to rip it up in a few years when 84 construction starts.
Minor point of correction-clarification.

The viaduct in Hartford actually doesn't go over I-84. I-84 crosses the tracks on its own viaduct. Twice, in fact-- the first time ~1,000 yards timetable south of Union Station, the second time ~100 yards timetable north of the station. When the Yankee Expressway was built through Hartford in the 1950's/60's they followed the NYNH&H alignment into town, but the highway was routed over to the west side of the tracks to avoid either demolishing the station or separating the station from downtown. They demolished some old Central New England Railway terminal buildings on Spruce St. instead, I believe.

The railroad viaduct carries the tracks over Asylum and Church streets. That structure dates from the late 1880's construction of the current Union Station.

Both the railroad and the highway viaducts are at the end of their useful lives and need to be replaced. The most recent plan calls for moving both the railroad and the highway into a trench slightly west of the current alignment, with the tracks staying west of the road all the way through Hartford. A new station would be built on Asylum Street and the current station building would be re-purposed.

It's similar in both intent and scope to what Providence, RI did in the mid-1980's. The project is going to massive, disruptive and take years, but when it's done it should be a big improvement for Hartford. Meantime-- yeah, for once Connecticut didn't p*** away tax money and kept the tracks through Hartford status quo.
  by Traingeek3629
 
Waterbury has been a disaster, if the same thing happens in Hartford with I-84 the state will lose jobs but CTrail will get some extra ridership.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I agree about Waterbury. That city has so many issues. Fortunately there is a brt route that connects to Ctrail at Hartford but that’s only good if you are heading to SPG. If you need to use Ctrail to NHV from Waterbury, then you go to Meriden.
  by BandA
 
The only interior shot of a MBB coach that I have seen appeared to show the original upholstry. The foam padding was shot like 10 years ago (probably Urethane which has ~~10 year life). I hope I am wrong.
  by Train322
 
Related to restoring a second track as a temporary solution, the Hartford rail viaduct was reported to be in such bad shape that they don't think it could take the weight of more than one train.

Overall - south of Hartford, the work they did was excellent. It's just that they have old rail cars. The service and reliability would be better with new equipment. In that sense, the state wasted $'s. Better to pay more now and avoid the cost of repairs and downtime by getting new rail cars.
  by Traingeek3629
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:I agree about Waterbury. That city has so many issues. Fortunately there is a brt route that connects to Ctrail at Hartford but that’s only good if you are heading to SPG. If you need to use Ctrail to NHV from Waterbury, then you go to Meriden.
I meant if the I-84 project in Hartford is as bad as it was in Waterbury CTrail will get extra ridership but Hartford will become even more dead than it already is.
  by Traingeek3629
 
It looked pretty decent seeing as it was Week 1. There weren't any times when the train pulled up and 1 person got off. Seems like people are using the CTrail hartford line.

On an unrelated note, it looks like CTrail is using the SLE mafersa's for trains to Springfield and the MBBs for Hartford.
  by FLRailFan1
 
I might be mistaken, but it loks like from the pictures that CTRAIL looks like it has a Guilford livery. Or did Guilford let them use a loco...I mean...the New Haven is iconic and historical, but Guilford?? I'd use the old Connecticut Central livery before Guilford.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Traingeek3629 wrote:On an unrelated note, it looks like CTrail is using the SLE mafersa's for trains to Springfield and the MBBs for Hartford.
I have seen both the MBBs and Mafersas in Springfield too at different times, so maybe one of the MBB trainsets is down for repairs. I do know there was a breakdown on one of the MBB trainsets on Sunday of opening weekend.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Interesting way they put this on Hartford Line Alerts:
(Update) Due to a police action Amtrak Train # 432 which was scheduled to leave New Haven at 9:25 is being delayed until further notice.

Amtrak Hartford Line Train #432 scheduled to arrive in Springfield at 10:46 pm is experiencing delays of 30-35 minutes in service.

The reason for this is because 432 is the last train of the night and its connection train 132 was heavily delayed north of Philly due to a trespasser incident in the area (along with quite a few other trains tonight.)
  by Traingeek3629
 
lordsigma12345 wrote:
Traingeek3629 wrote:On an unrelated note, it looks like CTrail is using the SLE mafersa's for trains to Springfield and the MBBs for Hartford.
I have seen both the MBBs and Mafersas in Springfield too at different times, so maybe one of the MBB trainsets is down for repairs. I do know there was a breakdown on one of the MBB trainsets on Sunday of opening weekend.
I had watched a youtube video of CTrail during the AM rush, 4401 had Mafersas and 4452 and 4454 had MBBs.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 38