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

  by Noel Weaver
i ran one or two detours over the Maybrook Line via Stevenson and although it worked, it took a lot of time, involved single track and a couple of extra trains will cause a lot of congestion. It is slow running as well. It could improve but it will take plenty of dollars that Connecticut does not have as well as time.
Waterbury on the other hand could and probqbly should have a couple of through trains to and from New York. I think a couple of through trains would boost the ridership on this entire line. There is enough population between Derby and Waterbury to support more and better service and there are enough reasons for a one day trip to New York as well. There is not much in Bridgeport for anybody to go to but New York has lots to do.
Noel Weaver
  by njtmnrrbuff
I'm not too surprised if the Maybrook Line is very slow. Several years from now, it might be a good line to run a suburb to suburb rail service, even a route maybe running between Harford and Danbury.

As for the Waterbury Branch, and in fact, with the diesel branches of MNR in general, yes, running locomotive hauled trains on the shuttles might be a waste. Running DMUs is the answer. Many of the stops on the Waterbury Branch are relatively close to each other. The same with the Danbury. It seems that single level DMUs might be able to handle the grades on the Danbury Branch. As for the through trains on the Waterbury Branch, it would be nice to have that service return. Three each way during the rush hour might be stretching it a little too far but I could see maybe starting out with two each way.
  by DutchRailnut
more advise from the unknowing ... really..
  by Backshophoss
MN has plenty of experience with RDC's and the SPV's in the past,then figured out it was better off with the "mini" push pull sets for the
branch "shuttle" services,along with the Harmon-Poughkeepsie,and Brewster North("Southeast")-Wassaic off peak services.
The Devon-Bridgeport-East Bridgeport Yard and return moves are the waste,time to bring back Devon as a station/transfer point.
  by twropr
I read that Metro-North has been installing welded rail on the Waterbury Branch. Are there plans to install CTC (and ultimately PTC) on this line?
  by DutchRailnut
It has had welded rail since early 90's, no stick rail anywhere on MN other than Beacon line.
even yards are welded rail.
Yes even Waterbury branch is getting PTC as per FRA mandate.
  by Jeff Smith
theseaandalifesaver wrote:SNIP... i'm honestly surprised MN still runs to Waterbury.
Lord knows they've tried to shut it down in the past.

I would agree on the mini's, except for the fact that they break down an awful lot and need to be replaced anyway. CtDOT's going to have to pony up for their replacements, and they may well decide to go a different direction than MNRR, even though they currently pool equipment, as they search for Hartford Line and SLE equipment. Maybe three cars isn't a waste on the Danbury, but it is on Waterbury.

The main thing, as Backshophoss says, is to make a Devon Transfer permanent, and eliminate Bridgeport as a transfer. Or, to do that, you could run a thru semi-express down to SoNo and a pocket track (this could work for turns to Danbury, too). Or Stamford. Hell, while we're at it, why not New Haven? That would be perfect for the PacMan theme CtDOT is running now on its Hartford/SLE.
  by Jeff Smith
GirlOnTheTrain wrote:They haven't used SLE sets since the crew base moved to Stamford.
I think the one time I was up there a few years back, I caught the SLE set in Waterbury. Now it's PacMan, maybe CtDOT should have MNRR run a through train from Waterbury via Devon to New Haven or New London?
  by GirlOnTheTrain
Rode DMUs (Class 156) in Scotland, all the way from Mallaig to Glasgow (175 miles or so) on the West Highland line. Sat there thinking "these would be nice on the Waterbury branch but this will never happen."

They also had been recently redone, so I was surprised to learn they were as old as I am!
  by njtmnrrbuff
Yes I remember MNR and CDOT using SPV cars when they could run under their own power and they were unreliable. That was a major turnoff for many people, especially the Waterbury Branch passengers. Today, the Waterbury Branch passengers still continue to get forgotten and hopefully when the new equipment rolls on the branch, passengers will be happy.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:28 pm Yes I remember MNR and CDOT using SPV cars when they could run under their own power and they were unreliable. That was a major turnoff for many people, especially the Waterbury Branch passengers. Today, the Waterbury Branch passengers still continue to get forgotten and hopefully when the new equipment rolls on the branch, passengers will be happy.
Equipment is not the Waterbury's problem. Craptastic frequency is.
  by njtmnrrbuff
I have had hit or miss experiences with the cleanliness of the equipment on the Waterbury Branch but I haven't ridden it in just under a decade. Yes, it would be great if the branch had those sidings which would enable more frequencies. Of course, hopefully enough equipment would be ordered when expanded operations on the Waterbury Branch happens.
  by Jeff Smith
So with the RFI (CDOT RFI for "Service ready" cars (was: CDOT Rail Fleet), specifically for the Waterbury Branch and Hartford Line (https://biznet.ct.gov/SCP_Documents/Bid ... _FINAL.pdf, I thought I'd resurrect this topic.
The leased trailer and/or control coaches are for potential use in passenger rail service in Connecticut and into Massachusetts, including on the Waterbury Branch Line (Stratford to Waterbury, CT) and/or Hartford Line service (New Haven, CT to Springfield, MA).
I find the phraseology interesting. First, they are limiting the potential area of operation to Waterbury and Hartford. Including Hartford would seem to limit those from pool service, much as the SLE fleet is not available for pool service, even if operated west of New Haven by MNRR. Yet, Waterbury IS included in pool service.

They also specify Stratford, and not Bridgeport.

My opinion has always been that Waterbury service should be truncated to a permanent Devon Transfer station (see: New Haven Line Devon Transfer Station to Waterbury, nothing expensive or elaborate, transfer only with platforms on the wye and each side of the main line with an overpass. This would also provide transfer opportunities in both east and west directions.

It seems to me that Waterbury, if reduced to this type of operation, can be withdrawn from the MNRR agreement and potentially put out to bid. The cars needn't be pooled anymore in that case. I could even envision a passenger service east of Waterbury to Hartford.

I wonder if Mr. Guillietti is thinking the same thing.
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  by Jeff Smith
A couple items of note (one a little dated):

https://www.cthousegop.com/rebimbas/wat ... committee/
HARTFORD – Members of Connecticut’s Waterbury Rail Line (WRL) Caucus and area legislators praised the Transportation Committee’s decision to take up their proposal to improve the infrastructure and service on the Waterbury line.

Current stops along the branch include Derby-Shelton, Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, Naugatuck, and Waterbury, with future expansion to Thomaston and Torrington. The plan calls for both short-and-long term improvements between now and 2030.

“On behalf of my co-chairs, State Senators Joan Hartley and George Logan, and everyone who supported this proposal, I would like to thank members of the Transportation Committee for taking up this important concept that will transform public transportation in the valley,” Rep. Rebimbas said. “If this plan is successful, the enhancements will improve commutes for thousands in our region, not to mention reduce traffic on highways and local roads. We also see this as a good investment for the entire state as many businesses have cited transportation a major issue. Investing in our rail system will improve Connecticut’s long-term economic outlook. I look forward to seeing this bill move forward with widespread support in the legislature.”

The bill, An Act Expanding Service on the Waterbury Rail Line, seeks considerable improvements to both rail service and infrastructure, including more rail cars and locomotives, additional trains during peak hours, and the creation of the Waterbury Rail Line Improvement Plan to identify and prioritize key projects to improve WRL operational efficiency and usage.
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