Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfield)

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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby kilroy » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:16 pm

"Failure to Yield"
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:04 pm

"Trying to beat the train" car lost "Duh O" :P


"Flagger, what flagger?!" after hauled away to Hospital or Jail.
Last edited by Backshophoss on Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:08 pm

If its flagged crossing, the car would not be beating train.
and would it have this much damage ??
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:20 pm

NaugyRR wrote:
Fishrrman wrote:Insofar as passenger service is concerned:
Better to extend the Harlem line up to Hillsdale, and have connecting bus service to Great Barrington, Pittsfield, and Chatham.

The "rail trail people" would fight it, however!


There's nothing really around between Wassaic and Hillsdale, aside from Millerton and to a lesser extent Amenia.

Millerton can't even figure out its parking situation without trains, and traffic suuuucccckkkssss during peak times with parallel parking on both sides of the street and no one knowing how to use a crosswalk/people just swinging car doors open without looking first. Having the train stop in the center of town would just exacerbate that on a massive scale.

Then the stretch between Millerton and Hillsdale is just miles, and miles, and miles, of nothing. And once you get to Hillsdale, more nothing. You've got Hudson to the west on 23 which is already served hourly by Amtrak, Barrington and Egremont and some ski areas to the east but nothing I can see really generating passenger numbers to justify the amount of infrastructure creation and the stupid amount of money in eminent domain purchases of private properties and farms, not to mention reclamation of the popular rail trail (which people, including myself, actually use). Not to mention you'd either need new equipment or need to assign more dual modes to the extended service, 'cause I don't think the Brookvilles would be up to the task.

And then there's the fact that extending Metro-North into Columbia County would subject the residents there to the not-so-popular MTA tax, which would most likely be even less popular there.

In all honesty, if we're really going down the fantasy-land hole... well, instead of relaying the Harlem north of Millerton, you'd better off rebuilding the old CNE from Millerton over the hill through Lakeville and Salisbury to the Housy at Canaan and running your Berkshire Hills service to Pittsfield that way. At least you'd hit all the population centers and avoid the 20+ miles of twisting track that follows the river from Lime Rock to Kent.

Won't happen in any of our lifetimes but it makes more sense than building a line through the amazingly-vacant spaces of eastern Columbia County. (And seriously, there's *nothing* there, as I discovered a few years ago on a nighttime drive up 22 to Vermont. Even Hillsdale's not much more than a couple gas stations and a supermarket.)
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby NaugyRR » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:57 pm

Even that would be a bit of a stretch, and would still exacerbate Millerton's already crap traffic situation.

Most of the old CNE RoW has been built over with residences, businesses, and farm lands, including property owned by some pretty wealthy businessmen/women and celebrities. It'd be a pretty hardcore eminent domain battle, that's for sure, haha.

That's not even to mention the infrastructure needed, like re-bridging the RoW across 41 in Lakeville and reinstalling the diamond in Canaan. Plus running trains from Millerton to Canaan would involve a reverse move on the wye to get them facing north again. Trains would need to run towards Specialty Minerals, then reverse down the southeast leg of the wye onto the Housy's tracks before heading north.

Like you said, it ain't happenin' in our lifetimes. Passenger service in this area (other than Amtrak and Metro-North) is going to be nothing more than excursions, fan trips, and ghosts in the woods.

And yeah, 22 is boring as hell, haha. When I first started at the dealership they had me run some tractor tires up to a dealership in Granville, NY, which is right on the Vermont border. My boss even told me, "You go north on 22 and drive for two-and-a-half hours", he sure wasn't kidding. When you start seeing the ALCo's in Eagle Bridge and then leave them behind, you know you're getting up there. It's just MILES of total nothing outside the towns that dot the route.
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby ericofmaine » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:59 am

Yeah, I went to High School in Granville... MILES and MILES of nothing.

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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:31 pm

NaugyRR wrote:Even that would be a bit of a stretch, and would still exacerbate Millerton's already crap traffic situation.

Most of the old CNE RoW has been built over with residences, businesses, and farm lands, including property owned by some pretty wealthy businessmen/women and celebrities. It'd be a pretty hardcore eminent domain battle, that's for sure, haha.

That's not even to mention the infrastructure needed, like re-bridging the RoW across 41 in Lakeville and reinstalling the diamond in Canaan. Plus running trains from Millerton to Canaan would involve a reverse move on the wye to get them facing north again. Trains would need to run towards Specialty Minerals, then reverse down the southeast leg of the wye onto the Housy's tracks before heading north.

I mean, if we're talking about a project this big and disruptive, the least of your worries would be diverging from the original CNE alignment near the Blackberry River and looping around south of the lumberyard to effect a north-facing junction with the Housy main line near the depot. Same goes on the Millerton end- no reason you'd have to follow the CNE/ND&C/P&E alignment, you could cross 44 and link up with the Harlem south of town. Thus avoiding screwing up traffic downtown.

Once again- just because this is technically feasible doesn't mean I think it will happen. Or should happen. There are dozens of other routes that should be higher-priority than the Berkshire-- Waterbury-Hartford via the Highland, restored Inland Route service between New York and Boston, an "I-495 Belt" running Providence-Worcester-Lowell, Fall River/New Bedford service, etc. etc.
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby NaugyRR » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:50 pm

Fair points on all counts Ridgefielder, it wasn't my intention to come off as argumentative, just to provide counter-points.
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:57 am

Housy would love that. A Wassaic Union station they can get MNRR to pay for and run their "passenger service" LOL.

As unlikely as we're being, and before we piss off "Dutch" LOL, who actually ran over the route, the more likely would be a connection over the Maybrook, with the construction of a loop at Dykemans or in Brewster so you don't have to change ends.

Fun to talk about, anyway.
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:32 pm

NaugyRR wrote:Fair points on all counts Ridgefielder, it wasn't my intention to come off as argumentative, just to provide counter-points.

Didn't sound argumentative to me at all, no worries! Just harmless musings here all around, I think. No need for anyone to get fired up. :-)
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:44 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:Housy would love that. A Wassaic Union station they can get MNRR to pay for and run their "passenger service" LOL.

As unlikely as we're being, and before we piss off "Dutch" LOL, who actually ran over the route, the more likely would be a connection over the Maybrook, with the construction of a loop at Dykemans or in Brewster so you don't have to change ends.

Fun to talk about, anyway.

I really do think the path of least resistance would be GCT via Danbury and South Norwalk. Am thinking a summer-weekend-only through service like the Cape Flyer), plus maybe a connecting train at Danbury at other times. Basically NH operations ca. 1965, after they lost the mail contract. Getting the Maybrook in the mix would involve some very pricey construction in the Village of Brewster, since I believe the former site of the Putnam Jct. connection between the Maybrook and the Harlem Division has been built over.

I just don't see that happening under current HRRC ownership, though. They're not willing to put up enough of their own $. Nor do they seem competent enough for anyone to trust them operating a passenger train at passenger train speeds.
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby J.D. Lang » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:06 am

Nothing happens until CDOT buys the Danbury cluster from Housatonic. That won't happen until Lamont gets his 30-30-30 first. :-D

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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:06 pm

and even then MTA is not going to build in Brewster for CDOT.
Its not going to make room for Connecticut trains on Harlem.
And HRRC can not run passenger trains anywhere on Metro North due to labor agreements.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:12 am

And then there’s the capacity issues downstream if they’re new frequencies, or additional equipment and longer turns if you extend current trains.

Housy owns the track between New Milford and Danbury (NH Berkshire division), and Danbury and State Line (NH Maybrook Line). They sold the MA Berkshire as everyone knows to MA. They’d willingly sell I think but CT is broke unless Lamont wants to start a GoFundMe lol. But if they’re serious, buy one of All-Earth’s former DART RDC’s and run it from New Milford already! Or from Pittsfield on the weekends. Change crews in Danbury. Or contract MNRR to run it. Although I’m sure they’re not interested, but maybe we can get the van Dorp’s to volunteer! Yes, I know Jaap lol I’m kidding!

As for a Harlem-Housy connection, I took a look at the current Harlem and New Haven schedules. Peak from Brewster North (sue me Southeast) is usually less than an hour and a half. Danbury through trains are right around 2 hours for the later two (1819 and 1831) which only stop at SoNo and Stamford on the main (125 is D only), so there’s nothing left to cut. How many minutes could you save? Could you save thirty? How many from Danbury drive to SE for the city? That drive has to be a half hour by the time you park and walk.

I think the market for any Maybrook connection, which would have to be CtDOT funded 100% and they’re broke, would be White Plains and Westchester County. The 84-684 interchange has been jammed since I lived in Danbury way back in 1997. Any Berkshire - NYC is either going to be NH or Albany. Housy can run a shuttle from Pittsfield because the only thing happening is the pilot train they say they’re going to test on the B&A from NYP. Or they can just meet MNRR in Danbury.

In any case it’s just so much foam, with the exception of a meet of the pilot train in Pittsfield, or 448/449. And if you ask me, New Milford is an easy case to make.
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Re: Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfi

Postby J.D. Lang » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:20 am

Housy can run a shuttle from Pittsfield because the only thing happening is the pilot train they say they’re going to test on the B&A from NYP.

They may get more business now because of this:

https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/ ... les,561315

although they probably shouldn’t include it in any of their promotional brochures if they or others want to run a shuttle from Pittsfield to the Berkshire towns. Call it the highball Limited. :wink:

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