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

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  by NIMBYkiller
Isn't this supposed to be tied in with the 287 project?

  by JoeG
This has been talked about for at least 30 years. When I first noticed the project, the idea was supposed to be for a high-speed rail link to Stewart. I don't remember the proposed route, but it would have cost billions--nothing was done. Rep Kelly's proposal is more affordable, but it would mean a Stewart-NYC trip of around an hour and a half. This is probably too slow to attract many passengers. If the link to Stewart were built, it might have a market among passengers in in Rockland and Orange counties. Sure, its prospects would improve with a new (high speed) Piermont Branch and a Hudson River crossing linking it with the Hudson Line. This project is being officially talked about and studied. Aside from money problems, it would have major NIMBY opposition in Rockland. I think the earliest it could happen would be 2025.

  by joshuahouse
By which time the three metro airports will be very very busy, even more then now. Who knows, if the ice caps were to actually melt (i suppose they must eventually, but not that soon by my book) It would be convently above the new ocean line :)

  by Otto Vondrak
I have no idea what good it would do to have a rail link to Stewart Airport. It's not a practical rail route and it's not on the way to anywhere useful that people would give up their cars.

  by Nester
As part of the "Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005", Congresswoman Sue Kelly says she lined up 100 million dollars in federal funding for a rail link to Stewart Airport, that would presumably come from the Pt. Jervis Line.

While I know that the MTA looked at six or so trans-hudson options a few years ago, some of which included a link to Stewart, but I know nothing a dedicated link to the PJ line being decided upon by any agency.

Personally, until a consensus is reached on the future of the Tappan Zee bridge, which may or may not include a rail link, this is premature. A ride from a Stewart Airport station to Hoboken would be at least 90 minutes. The same ride to NY Penn Station would be at least 100 minutes or so when you factor in the change at Secaucus.

Does anyone have more information on this project? Additional funding sources? Other planned ROW improvements?


Sue Kelly Press Release

  by drewh
Well I can't speak for the new plan as I haven't seen anything yet, but I've got an old 1972 copy of the MTA capital programme. This is a 125 page bound book detailing status of all properties and improvements scheduled. Does the MTA still own Stewart and Republic airports?? They did in 1972.

Anyway as quoted from the above in 1972:
A key ingredient in Stewart's development as a transportation centre is a high-speed rail link into mid-town Manhattan. Such a link has been contemplated since the Airport's acquisition, and its engineering design is nearing completion. A 2.5-mile spur directly into the proposed terminal area will connect with the Erie Lackawanna Railway's Graham freight line. When modernized, this line will permit direct access to Manhattan's Pennsylvania Station via main line tracks and a new connection at Secaucus, New Jersey. The use of high-speed self-propelled gas turbine/electric passenger cars is planned thus permitting operation over both electrified and non-electrified trackage and a total elapsed time including intermediate stops of 58 minutes for the 60-mile distance.
Shame this never came into existence 30 years ago. There were some great projects discussed in the above book, many of which we are still waiting for:
2nd Ave subway.
Many Queens & Brooklyn subway extentions.
PATH to EWR & Plainfield.
JFK rail link to NYP (at least we got Airtrain to Jamaica now).
63rd St LIRR/Subway tunnel & LIRR East Side Access (we got the tunnel and subway service).
People Movers across mid-town Manhattan to replace buses.
New cars and rehab of SIRT (Staten Island Rapid Transit). Done, but I understand its in desparate need again.

  by Nester
The MTA no longer has operational control of Stewart Airport. Control of the facility was handed over to the NYS DOT in 1982. The NYSDOT started the process of privitization under an FAA program in '96, and in 1999, National Express Group was given a 99-year lease to operate the airport.

Yes, many of those ideas listed were (and still) are much needed in NY.

Is there any way I could make a copy of that capital plan? Please PM me for more information.


  by Lackawanna484
The 2.5 mile distance from the "freight only Graham Line" (1972) to Stewart sounds pretty short. I'd guess it's more like 7-8 miles to the logical terminal area

  by AMoreira81
I don't want to throw cold water on this, but this falls under the category of "Is this necessary"? (This could be better spent on double-tracking part of the Southern Tier Line (once the MTA gets ownership of it from NS) through to Harriman or Wallkill, because there is a potential market for people to Woodbury Premium Outlets (where a real shuttle could then be run, and then more frequent service to Harriman could be run.) (NOTE: Additional tracks do not necessarily mean additional platforms, as stations like Sloatsburg could simply get planks to help passengers alight from the trains.)
  by mkm4
Nester wrote:Does anyone have more information on this project? Additional funding sources? Other planned ROW improvements?
This is from the Stewart Airport Master Plan Update Study(pdf)
Commuter Rail: Extension of Metro-North Railroad (MNR) commuter rail to the SWF passenger terminal is recommended. Such a rail extension was the subject of an initial MNR feasibility study of Transit Access to SWF. Although the actual rail alignment would be determined by MNR as part of a future analysis, the Master Plan incorporates one potential north-south alignment connecting to the existing Port Jervis Line, near Salisbury Mills. The commuter rail would provide access to northern New Jersey, where a connection to New York City’s Grand Central Terminal (GCT) is available.

The rail alignment would cross Route 207 on an aerial structure, and continue on a viaduct over Breunig Road to a new rail station near the passenger terminal. The rail station location is integrated into the roadway improvements to support commuter activity and improve accessibility for airport passengers and employees.

Rail Layover Yard: To support a potential rail line extension and station, a rail layover yard would be provided immediately northwest of the rail station. The layover yard layout would be positioned along "A" Street, adequately separated from other proposed terminal facilities.
Existing buildings in this area would be removed to enable the development of the rail facilities.

Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Environmental Review: In addition to the SWF rail feasibility study, MNR, in coordination with the NYSDOT and NYSTA, is conducting an alternatives Analysis/Environmental Impact Statement (AA/EIS) of the I-287 corridor from Suffern to Port Chester. The study will identify the most cost-effective solution to meet the long-term local, regional, and interstate mobility needs in the corridor, as well as the structural needs of the Tappan Zee Bridge. If this study determines that a commuter rail crossing of the Hudson River is a viable solution, a one-seat ride between SWF (utilizing MNR’s Port Jervis Line) and Grand Central Terminal (GCT) on Manhattan’s East Side would be possible. The provision of a highspeed, one-seat commuter rail service to GCT would greatly improve transit access between SWF and New York City, and would be directly consistent with the goals and objectives of improving transit access to SWF.

  by mkm4
The original MNCR study is here.

  by drewh
The commuter rail would provide access to northern New Jersey, where a connection to New York City’s Grand Central Terminal (GCT) is available.
What connection might this be??? None I'm aware of. In fact there is not even a connection to NYP. Only connections are PATH at Hoboken and Secaucus for NJT to Penn.

  by pnaw10
mkm4 wrote:The original MNCR study is here.
THANK YOU for finding this! I've been looking all over the place for it, for some reason I thought it was on the Tappan Zee Bridge website.

I think Alternatives 3 and 4 are the best, assuming that the Tappan Zee Bridge is rebuilt brand new. Adding railroad lines to a bridge that's going to be built anyway should be cheaper than building a completely separate, dedicated railroad bridge or tunnel. I also very much like the idea of running the line along I-287 and beyond, so it can make connections with all 3 major Metro-North lines. Both options are pretty much equal -- the only difference being whether the SWF express runs would get to GCT via the Hudson or Harlem Line. There are pros and cons to both sides.

The only thing I question is the line from West Nyack to Newburgh. I realize that trackage is already in place, but what kind of service would this be? Assuming most direct trains would originate at Stewart, I'm guessing that the Newburgh trains would simply be a shuttle to West Nyack, as opposed to running trains direct from Newburgh to GCT. (Running direct service from GCT to both SWF and Newburgh would just add more traffic to the lines involved, perhaps unnecessarily.)

Will there be any stops between Newburgh and West Nyack? If not, why bother? Just have trains to Stewart continue on into Newburgh on a new track. No sense in running trains up and down two long, parallel lines that end just a few miles from each other when you can just extend the dominant line by a few short miles and still serve the same audience. It would save on wear and tear, as well as fuel costs (assuming we're talking diesel service here). However, I would accept Newburgh-West Nyack service if there are intermediate stops along the way.

Overall, I think Alternatives 3 and 4 are the best, as they both help reinforce the argument for a brand new Tappan Zee Bridge to replace the old one. They both propose to run along I-287, which could help relieve some of the congestion there... and they provide a suburban connection between the three existing MN lines. (Great for someone who, for example, lives in Poughkeepsie, but works in White Plains.)
One final comment in response to what the MTA wrote: Stewart Airport is viewed by NYSDOT as a regional reliever, rather than a fourth airport for New York City.
Yeah, suuuure... we'll see how long that idea lasts once there's one-seat high-speed rail service from GCT to SWF. :wink:

  by drewh
Stewart Airport is viewed by NYSDOT as a regional reliever, rather than a fourth airport for New York City.

Yeah, suuuure... we'll see how long that idea lasts once there's one-seat high-speed rail service from GCT to SWF.
High-speed service a la NY State and US Govt via MN still translates to 1 hour+ service with multiple stops from GCT.

With EWR at 20 mins, and JFK at 45 mins, who is going to opt for Stewart considering there are far less flights and no discount carriers??

Westchester residents already have HPN so they will probably not use Stewart - though grant you no rail service to HPN. Maybe this is off topic, but have there ever been plans to extend MN to HPN??
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