• "Pocket Track" at Summit

  • 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

  by nick11a
 
Well, this is pretty big news. It seems a "Pocket Track" is in the works for Summit and will be up and running within 4 years. It really does make a lot of sense to put it here, considering how bottle-necked Summit can get during Rush Hour. The Summit infrastructure really has been in need of upgrading for a long time. The slow speed switches are a real killer in so many ways. It would be nice if they upgraded those switches/signals there, but it sound like this new project may well be independent from the present interlocking. We'll have to wait and see.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/0 ... rt_m-rpt-1
  by 25Hz
 
How far west?
  by nick11a
 
No details yet, but I would have to presume that it past the cutout making it located at the point where the Morristown Line and the Gladstone Branch split.
  by 25Hz
 
That's the conclusion i came up with as well. Hmm, can;t wait to see some diagrams.
  by twropr
 
Back when I lived in NJ (during the late EL days) there was a yard across from Summit Tower where MU's that originated/terminated at Summit were staged. Is it still there? I'm wondering if the pocket track, in some ways, would take the place of that this yard used to do?

Andy
Jacksonville, FL
  by ACeInTheHole
 
twropr wrote:Back when I lived in NJ (during the late EL days) there was a yard across from Summit Tower where MU's that originated/terminated at Summit were staged. Is it still there? I'm wondering if the pocket track, in some ways, would take the place of that this yard used to do?

Andy
Jacksonville, FL
yes the yard is still there but the access to it from the westbound track (if the train has to stop at the station first( is terribly time consuming, trains have to switch over to the eastbound track and then reverse in if they want to use the yard.. Which creates conflict with the frequent Gladstone services that often use the same interlockings (with a higher priority because they have a schedule to keep where as the turning Summit locals are usually deadheads..) and risk getting in the way of peak hour services in general. Summit locals pull a bit west of the station, stop and switch ends, then switch to the eastbound track and head back east, the yard is not used in any way for turning trains , unless in emergency where a dead train is strung out across one of the interlockings at either end of the platform (as a midtown direct set was a few years ago across the west end one..) and the turning sets need to clear the way for Gladstone services that need to use the one remaining unblocked interlocking to change to the wall track and Gladstone Branch. The pocket track would as nick said likely be down where the Gladstone Branch splits off.
Last edited by ACeInTheHole on Tue May 14, 2013 12:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by Thomas
 
How fast would trains be able to operate on the pocket track? Also, are interlockings in Summit also being upgraded?
  by nick11a
 
Thomas wrote:How fast would trains be able to operate on the pocket track? Also, are interlockings in Summit also being upgraded?
I hope NJT would upgrade the Summit.... but there have been no plans released publicly as of yet. I would hope that NJT would make the pocket track long enough and with appropriate switches to allow either medium and/or limited speed into/out of it.
  by TSTOM
 
nick -

" I would hope that NJT would make the pocket track long enough and with appropriate switches to allow either medium and/or limited speed into/out of it. "

The ONLY place I know of to build this 'pocket track' is adjacent to the Gladstone single-track next to the NJT MOW storage facility. In LACKAWANNA days this area was indeed double-track from the junction WEST to near the New Providence station.

Doubt the speeds on such a track would be more than SLOW.
  by bleet
 
I don't understand how creating a pocket track allows for longer trains. Right now the trains NJT turns in Summit are already longer than the 6 cars mentioned in the article.

Now if along with the pocket track they are going to move the interlocking and lengthen the platforms as was part of the NJT long range plan, then I get it...but the article didn't mention that.
  by nick11a
 
TSTOM wrote:nick -

" I would hope that NJT would make the pocket track long enough and with appropriate switches to allow either medium and/or limited speed into/out of it. "

The ONLY place I know of to build this 'pocket track' is adjacent to the Gladstone single-track next to the NJT MOW storage facility. In LACKAWANNA days this area was indeed double-track from the junction WEST to near the New Providence station.

Doubt the speeds on such a track would be more than SLOW.
Well, maybe they'll have the track a little longer there and maybe they'll re-install the second track on the Gladstone Branch over Passaic Avenue and maybe they'll have medium switches there to allow a medium approach into the track. Maybe not. :-)
  by Passaic River Rat
 
The six-car limitation being discussed applies to trains turning on the Wall Track in the station. This keeps both M&E tracks open and maintains access to the Gladstone Branch. Not every train turns on this track, but some have to.

A longer pocket, along with reconfiguring the interlocking, would accomplish the same without the six-car limitation. I.e. eastbound M&E trains could be switched onto the current Gladstone Single track near West Summit while a train turns on what is now two main.
bleet wrote:I don't understand how creating a pocket track allows for longer trains. Right now the trains NJT turns in Summit are already longer than the 6 cars mentioned in the article.

Now if along with the pocket track they are going to move the interlocking and lengthen the platforms as was part of the NJT long range plan, then I get it...but the article didn't mention that.
  by nick11a
 
Just for clarity, longer trains than 6 cars have and do turn at Summit. This has been done in a few creative ways, most commonly:

1) Put the longer train into Summit Yard where it isn't blocking any of the main tracks nor interlocking access
2) Sending it past the station on Track 1 past the signal and turning it around there right on the main

Also, I was thinking about it.... the catenary is rather low in Summit. Would this be a factor in the switch speeds? I mean, with the lower catenary, would they maybe want to keep the speeds down to slow speeds (not exceeding 15 MPH) through the interlockings for safety? As I recall, when the H-02 used to come through Summit, boxcars would have very little clearance to the catenary. Going through the switches, the boxcars woud sway a bit.
  by 25Hz
 
nick11a wrote:Just for clarity, longer trains than 6 cars have and do turn at Summit. This has been done in a few creative ways, most commonly:

1) Put the longer train into Summit Yard where it isn't blocking any of the main tracks nor interlocking access
2) Sending it past the station on Track 1 past the signal and turning it around there right on the main

Also, I was thinking about it.... the catenary is rather low in Summit. Would this be a factor in the switch speeds? I mean, with the lower catenary, would they maybe want to keep the speeds down to slow speeds (not exceeding 15 MPH) through the interlockings for safety? As I recall, when the H-02 used to come through Summit, boxcars would have very little clearance to the catenary. Going through the switches, the boxcars woud sway a bit.
The dynamic vehicle profiles for applicable car and locomotive types that will use and pass through the areas in question are a major bullet point in any engineering/design work when changing track configurations anywhere on any railroad especially with overhead lines.... ;)

For example the choice to anchor the contact wire from one side vs another, or from both sides, and to do it with wires or arm/beam would be one thing they would look into if there was a question of the top of a freight car or locomotive not maintaining the proper safe distances. Then you gotta figure out what is practical given the exact location of those support points. Then you have to maintain a proper tension on the wires and keep an eye on it in hot weather to further ensure the safe distance.
  by nick11a
 
Yes, they've built themselves into a hole in Summit. To get more clearance in Summit, they'd have to lower the roadbed.