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 DutchRailnut
 
Cost vs benefits do NOT outway the investment of Taxpayer money.
Are Commuters willing to pay $330 million price tag ??
  by Clean Cab
 
I can't imagine where they get a figure of $330 million to put overhead wire on a 24 mile single track line??? Are they planning on using gold catenary wire???

When Amtrak installed overhead overhead wire from New Haven to Boston (156 miles), the original budget was $400 million. After cost over runs and delays the final cost was $660 million, or twice the proposed cost on electrifying the Danbury Branch. Go figure!!!
  by Jeff Smith
 
There was something in the News-Times today, too, pumping the idea. Once upon a time I probably liked the idea, but have since learned why it offers poor bang for the buck. If they would just stop studying the branch and implement some of the more common sense ideas, and extend it to New Milford already...

For $330m, they could but the HRRC ROW and upgrade the line to Pittsfield for better speeds and a lot fewer derailments.
  by Ridgefielder
 
The EGE wrote:Ridgefielder, would you mind explaining why this is a bad idea? (I'm not terribly familiar with the branch.) Is it merely too low a level of service to justify electrification, or something more?
It's a huge expense for an absolutely tiny incremental gain in speeds. Without massively rebuilding the line to eliminate curvature and grades, simply stringing wire is only projected to gain something like 3-4 minutes over the current ca. 48-minute running time between Danbury and Norwalk.

Problem is the locals who don't know much about rail operations see the remains of the 1920's-era NYNH&H electrification (installed as an efficiency move to eliminate a Stamford engine change for Danbury through service), look at the service patterns on the electrified Shore Line and New Canaan Branch and think "Aha! We need an electric railroad! That will improve service 1,000%!"
  by Trainer
 
My understanding is that they stopped maintaining the old electrification because dropping trees and branches kept shutting down the branch. The Danbury branch is closely surrounded by trees on both sides and NIMBYs wouldn't let the railroad trim the trees properly to maintain good service. Many things have changed over the years, but NIMBY resistance to tree-trimming probably has not.
  by Clean Cab
 
Somehow I can't picture an M8 trying to climb the hill out of Branchville during slip/slide season!!!
  by Ridgefielder
 
Trainer wrote:My understanding is that they stopped maintaining the old electrification because dropping trees and branches kept shutting down the branch. The Danbury branch is closely surrounded by trees on both sides and NIMBYs wouldn't let the railroad trim the trees properly to maintain good service. Many things have changed over the years, but NIMBY resistance to tree-trimming probably has not.
Nope. The electrification came out in the early 1960's when the NYNH&H was in deep financial trouble. Company found it cheaper to operate the service (much, much less service then than there is now, btw) w RDC's and FL9's than maintain the electric infrastructure. Rumor had it they waited until they could get a good price for copper scrap before tearing down the wires.
  by Clean Cab
 
The wire was cut down in 1964, The NHRR needed to raise cash so they sold the wire for scrap and eliminated the substations. This did ease the strain on Cos cob power plant, but only slightly.
  by TCurtin
 
Clean Cab wrote:Somehow I can't picture an M8 trying to climb the hill out of Branchville during slip/slide season!!!
That's a good operational reason against electric operation up on the branch.

However, the most cogent reason is that electric operation almost certainly would not offer any operational improvements over the present equipment. The current diesel equipment is modern, and identical to Metro North equipment in other places (i.e., Upper Harlem, Poughkeepsie). I have previously read opinions on this forum that electric operation would reduce running time; however that is not true.

As much as I like electric operation (and having grown up in Danbury in the 50s I well remember New Haven's electric operation up there and rode it a number of times) it's just not the way to go on the Danbury line today.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Thoughts on the proposed partial electrification to Merrit 7 (or Wilton)? Is there space in Dock is it to store a few M sets? I believe I saw in the signal thread that the remaining catenary north of SoNo was reenergized; not sure if this is still the case. Just wondering if it makes sense (and Merritt would have to have high platforms installed, I think).
  by Clean Cab
 
Three words to discourage electrification that I know Dutch Rail Nut will agree with.....................

Wall Street Tunnel!!!!
  by Ridgefielder
 
Electric to Merritt makes zero sense so far as I can see. I don't have the actual passenger load figures but from what I've seen riding the train it sure doesn't seem like the most heavily-used station on the line. And I'd imagine you'd have to put in a siding for at least temporary storage if you're going to turn a train there.

If I was asked to pick one-- Wilton or Merritt-- as a terminus for electric operations I'd say Wilton, hands-down. But that doesn't change the fact that I think the whole idea of electrification is nonsensical.
  by DutchRailnut
 
Clean Cab wrote:Three words to discourage electrification that I know Dutch Rail Nut will agree with.....................

Wall Street Tunnel!!!!
it had wire in it before, and could easely have it again.
  by Clean Cab
 
Hasn't the overpass beyond the old Wall St Station been rebuilt since the wire came down? The ceiling looks too low for overhead wire.
  by DutchRailnut
 
the road is still on same level and its basicly a single thickness slab over two walls.
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