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 Jeff Smith
https://www.cthousegop.com/wp-content/u ... 3-2020.pdf

Items of note:

-Proposed increase in service to 30m headways peak, and 1 hour off-peak
-Permanent Devon transfer station
-Study extension to Thomaston and Torrington
-Central Connecticut extension over PAR (Berlin/Bristol)
-High level platforms
-Signal/Cable installation complete 12/20 testing complete 6/21
-Derby siding completed 8/19
-Beacon Falls siding to be completed 4/20
-Relocate Naugatuck station
-Rehab old Waterbury station (Rep-Am building) to provide indoor waiting area)

An interesting picture of an ALP-45DP is in the PP!
  by Jeff Smith
http://web.mta.info/mnr/pdf/03-29-20_Wa ... ing_v3.pdf
Substitute buses will operate between
Waterbury and Bridgeport for all trains
starting the morning of Monday, April 6
until further notice.
All buses will be disinfected throughout the
course of the day.
Customers will be seated in a manner to
maintain appropriate social distancing.
See highlighted area of schedule for bus times.
Service is being changed in support of the
signalization project.
  by NH2060
Interesting that Thomaston and Torrington are indeed "on the table". Might be more doable in the short term compared to the Highland Division even as a pilot project since the Naugy has the RMNE in regular use and would need just some temporary stations and the Highland is in relatively poor shape requiring an even more thorough top to bottom rebuild just to run anything (though it passes through a higher constituency of potential riders).

'Course I wonder what the RMNE would think about Metro-North/CTrail kinda taking over their business :wink:
  by njtmnrrbuff
I am kind of surprised about Thomaston and Torrington being considered. I think Waterbury is a fine spot to end the trains as heading up to Torrington would involve having to upgrade the tracks to handle mainline passenger speeds similar to that on the Waterbury Branch. That's true-if the MNR Waterbury Branch was extended to Thomaston and Torrington, that may affect ridership on the Naugy RR. There might be other solutions to the equation here. One of them might be to have the Naugy RR excursion trains head down to the Waterbury MNR Station to meet up with select Metro North trains. Another solution and this could happen in concert with the Naugy RR meeting select MNR trains at Waterbury-improve the existing local bus service between Torrington and Waterbury. It looks like where Torrington is located, which is a little more in the northwestern part of the state but not super close to the NY State Border, people living in Torrington who want to use MNR might head on over to the Harlem Line. Torrington is huge. I could see somebody who lives along the western fringe of Torrington driving to the Harlem Line maybe using Wassaic or another station like Harlem Valley-Wingdale. It looks like the roads that connect Torrington and any of the towns served by the Upper Harlem Line aren't direct. I could even see people who live in Torrington in the western end driving to Southeast given that there's more direct service to GCT. I'm sure that there are people who live in Torrington who get a train in Waterbury or even drive further down Rt. 8 to a station on the New Haven Line. I don't think many people would feel comfortable about leaving a car at the Waterbury Station as that's not the best neighborhood. Waterbury is a rough city.
  by Backshophoss
Thomason is a dream for now,Depending on PAR's mood and ESPN chipping in some cash,Bristol has the better shot to get service.
Also a possible Amtrak Detour route if the Hartford viaduct collaspes.
  by njtmnrrbuff
Personally, I wouldn't have the MNR Waterbury Branch serve Bristol. What I might do is maybe just expand the Ctransit bus service connecting Waterbury to Bristol and Hartford. Bristol is far enough away from NYC. It's almost midway between Waterbury and Hartford. It looks like on a map that the right of way that serves Waterbury and Bristol takes a big loop in Bristol and it might add a lot of time to the train schedule east of Waterbury.
  by Backshophoss
i-84 from bristol to waterbury is a hilly,rotton mess,the 3rd lane added ,congested to boot
Waterbury -Bristol train would be better than a bloody bus.
  by njtmnrrbuff
Maybe what would be a good idea for rail from Waterbury to Bristol-just have a diesel light rail route running from Waterbury to Hartford. It would stop in Bristol-the loop of tracks would probably have to be eliminated in Bristol. It looks like the right of way also continues to New Britain. If light rail doesn't work, then extend the busway from New Britain to Waterbury so that way the buses aren't sitting in too much traffic. Yes, I-84 between Waterbury and Bristol is hilly. I can imagine the traffic, especially those people commuting from the Hartford area to Waterbury and back.
  by Jeff Smith
I spit on the busway lol.

The Naugy interchanges with Pan Am above Waterbury... they don't have rights beyond that, subject to Pan Am. The stretch between that interchange and Waterbury is Pan Am territory, so any extension would have to be negotiated. Naugy is NOT a passenger railroad, it is a tourist/excursion operation. They also have freight business. Would they be interested in commuter operation? I doubt it. They'd have to do it under contract with CtDOT, and with what equipment? I doubt their equipment would be certified for commuter equipment, at commuter speeds, even though it's fine for excursions.

The idea of service over the Highland to Hartford via the Berlin Wye is one I've always supported. I lived in Hartford for a year, and think that would be a useful service extension of what is now the "Hartford Line" under CTRail. One thing CtDOT has thankfully finally started considering is "Intra-Connecticut" service. Why not run a service Devon - Waterbury - Berlin - Hartford? Or Devon - Waterbury - Berlin - New Haven?

Lastly, a permanent Devon transfer station should allow transfers both West AND Eastbound, to New Haven.

I think an "around the horn" service like this would really help circulate traffic with the proper frequencies. Since they're in the process of acquiring equipment, I'd definitely look at Stadler DMU's for this type of service.

Lastly, would the Waterbury branch would be better served by a contract operator and truncated at Devon? I wouldn't sever the mainline of course
  by J.D. Lang
The one thing that Waterbury needs is decent on site secure parking. Someone like me who lives just west of Torrington would use Waterbury as a starting point for any trips involving a full day or two for that matter instead of driving all the way to NH. It would also make any Waterbury-Hartford or Waterbury-NH via Devon transfer more attractive for people living in or around the valley near Waterbury. I do like the Highland idea and the transfer at Devon but the parking needs to be addressed. It's a PITA to have to drag luggage from the municipal garage all the way to the station.
  by njtmnrrbuff
Here in New Jersey but further south, there is a diesel light rail route called the RiverLine which runs between Trenton and Camden, two of NJ's most dangerous cities. Ridership is quite good on the route, but unfortunately, the RiverLine doesn't go all the way to the the part of Trenton where the state offices and capitol are. It dead ends at the NJT Trenton Trenton Center and then you have to walk a little to get to the heart of Trenton-a walk I probably wouldn't do alone, given the very high crime rate. Between Trenton and Camden, it serves many large towns like Burlington.

I would definately support some sort of rail route running from Waterbury to Hartford but don't make the same mistake that NJT did by having the RiverLine stop short of where the state offices and capitol are in Trenton. The Waterbury Station is located in downtown very close to many state offices and other essential service buildings. Hartford Station is presently located very close to several state offices and the capitol.

It's not a bad idea to have a permanent Devon Station. If this does happen, there would have to be ample parking. Even though many people may be using it as a transfer point from the Waterbury Branch to the Main Line and vice versa, plenty of people who live along the branch drive and they will still prefer to drive to the Main Line for more service. I agree that having Devon Station would enable people to get to New Haven faster by train from anywhere along the Waterbury Branch rather than having to backtrack to Bridgeport. If Devon Station were to ever become permanent, I'm sure that that would give CDOT a good excuse with not having the Waterbury Branch trains run on the Main Line in revenue moves as the New Haven Line is already busy, even on the east end.
  by Jeff Smith
There is really no room at Devon for parking, other than for MoW vehicles. It would be purely a transfer station.
  by H.F.Malone
The track geometry between Waterville and Torrington is full of curves, many of them 4-5-6 degrees or more; there is even a 9-degree curve. Regardless of track condition (heavy rail, 100% new ties), there's still the matter of curves, which will slow the trip considerably. There are plenty of places where speeds much above 35-40 mph are just not possible. And just how crowded IS Route 8?

Extending the Danbury branch to New Milford should be a much higher priority. Better, safer parking in Waterbury should be up there on the list, also.
  by njtmnrrbuff
It's been several years since I have traveled on Rt. 8 between Waterbury and Torrington. It sounds like even in little traffic on 8, driving or even taking an express bus would be faster than the train running to Torrington. I don't see how ridership would be good enough on MNR north of Waterbury. Before the extension of the Danbury to New Milford, parking has to be improved at Waterbury Station. It should be safer as well. There should be security at the parking lot. I'm not sure if there is a lot of parking at many of the stations on the Waterbury Branch to be honest. While there might be people who walk to the stations, more will be driving to them-not only from the towns along the route but from surrounding towns. For example, you may have people driving from Oxford to Seymour. Waterbury Station is very close to many towns-Watertown, Wolcott, Bristol.
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