Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

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Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby JPoland » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:00 pm

That the corridor is under NYSDOT state control. The Capital Distrct Transportation Commitee has discused this at there last meeting. The Idea is to build a park and ride in Colonie next to the tracks and have a parking Garage next to the new Station in Ssh. Also they would offer discount 10 ride tickets on existing Amtrak Trains and discount tickets to CDTA Monthly Passholders. Cars would be borrowed from Metro North or double deckers bought and fixed up from Chicago Metra. Just hot air for now but Sch Downtown is trying to fix up and trying the get yuppies to live there despite Sch is loaded with Drug Rehab Houses and parolees is a bit of a challege. What my fellow CDTA riders say that there is a need for high speed light rail connecting the Tri-fecta of Albany-Troy-Sch and that the bus system is slow as mollases.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:47 am

Interesting, but I think it would be a more successful venture if commuters wound up in Albany and not Renssalaer. Pretty low chance of that happening AFAICT.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby rhallock » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:43 pm

Has there been a passenger train to Troy since early 1958? Lot of potential for college students.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:50 pm

I don't think so, most of the work locations today are not that close to railroad tracks and neither are the colleges. Unfortunately I think buses would do better here in this case.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby J.D. Lang » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:49 pm

rhallock wrote:Has there been a passenger train to Troy since early 1958? Lot of potential for college students.

I used to board trains in the early 60's at Albany Union station and they had a dedicated bus to and from Troy to connect with some of the trains at Albany. It was listed in all of the NYC timetables at the time. A lot of RPI kids did use it.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby B&M 1227 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:47 am

Some thoughts in no particular order...

negative thoughts-
I think there is potential for this to be a success, but the likely scenario is it will be a novelty that eventually wears off. Look at Syracuse OnTrak for upstate failed commuter service.

The vast majority of those that can afford to regularly commute by rail live in the sprawling suburban wasteland that stretches around the tri-city area, not close enough to the corridor to lure consistent riders.

The idea of bike-rail-bike or bus-rail-bus to go door to door may be exciting for the first few trips, but I think eventually the regular commuters would fall back into automobiles.

Albany/Schenectady doesn't suffer from highway gridlock, and even with city traffic, a door to door trip between ALB and SDY is likely to be similar in a car compared to a train.

The millennial demographic attending college in the cities will likely contribute to a fair share of the ridership, but not enough alone to justify the service.

if it gets off the ground-
a SUNY/Crossgates/87 & 90 Park-and-Ride stop is an absolute must.

a South Schenectady stop at the 890/Rt7 junction probably has some potential.

it would be cool if an Albany proper stop was feasible, but the NYC main skirts around the city and doesn't really duck through much of anything. Rensselaer it must be.

troy...
I'd really like to see Troy get service but the investment commitment for almost no guaranteed success (at least the Water Level Route already has 110mph double track and two stations), puts it dead in the water. Even if they were to pursue it, the South Troy Industrial is in deplorable shape, and even if you could get to the very northern end of it, you're still landing outside the city center, RPI, and Russel Sage. Maybe a 787 park and ride/intermodal terminal off the Colonie Main, or the stub of the Troy & Schenectady by Green Island, could gather some more downtown Troy ridership, but in addition to upgrades on the CP they'd have to completely reconfigure the D&H/NYC junction in ALB... Or bite the back up move on the connecter... no.

let's be optimistic-
The only way this service will succeed is if they develop good enough multimodal hubs to run the trains to and through. Rensselaer is good, and Schenectady is okay/needs improvement. A SUNY/Crossgates/Albany International Airport stop will succeed if you can get frequent enough bus service to all those locations as well as some of the suburban sprawl surrounding it.

Lastly, if someone else is willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money for it... Upgrade the South Troy Industrial, bust through downtown Troy to a new Green Island bridge. Follow the Colonie Main to Mechanicville, before swinging down to SDY on the D&H, and back to ALB on the NYC.
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How we watch that little engine as it stalks across the plain; was there ever music sweeter, was there ever sight completer, than the coming of the train?
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby lvrr325 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:51 pm

Ontrak was just a scam to gain control of a line Conrail didn't want to sell. In the end it never really went to the places it was supposed to, which is why it failed.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby sd80mac » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:04 am

lvrr325 wrote:Ontrak was just a scam to gain control of a line Conrail didn't want to sell. In the end it never really went to the places it was supposed to, which is why it failed.



I thought that the bridge situation killed it off...
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby lvrr325 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:54 pm

That would be never going where it was supposed to have gone, yes.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby JPoland » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:15 am

Ontrak only ran 3 days a week and No morning service
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby lvrr325 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:38 pm

I recall it running weekdays, but only March through December, it shut down for three months in the winter. Which, of course, is when someone is more likely to need a warm conveyance. It connected the edge of SU with downtown and the mall, but didn't run when kids might be likely to use it to go to those places.

I mean, I never rode it myself even for a round trip and I lived right there, heck I even rode the cab of one of the last Conrail jobs down to Geddes St. to switch the customer there.

But, it got NYS&W control of the portion of the DL&W Conrail didn't want to sell, so Walter could pull his stacks off the Tier and away from CP Rail. That was the whole purpose of it.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby CP4743 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:38 am

A good start would be starting one or 2 of the early morning Amtrak trains to NY at Schenectady. But first they need to build the new station as the current set up at Schenectady is less then ideal. They should also look at starting one or 2 of the early morning NY trains from Saratoga. The problem is that the bidirectional turbos allowed for this to easily be done but the conventional sets do not. They could always add and take off an extra engine on the rear at Rensselaer to accommodate these moves.

A commuter train down the CP from Saratoga through Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, Mechanicville, Waterford, Cohoes, Watervliet, and Menands, ending in downtown Albany would be interesting but would require many park and ride stations and more importantly, CP to allow it.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:43 pm

CP4743 wrote:A good start would be starting one or 2 of the early morning Amtrak trains to NY at Schenectady. But first they need to build the new station as the current set up at Schenectady is less then ideal. They should also look at starting one or 2 of the early morning NY trains from Saratoga. The problem is that the bidirectional turbos allowed for this to easily be done but the conventional sets do not. They could always add and take off an extra engine on the rear at Rensselaer to accommodate these moves.

A commuter train down the CP from Saratoga through Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, Mechanicville, Waterford, Cohoes, Watervliet, and Menands, ending in downtown Albany would be interesting but would require many park and ride stations and more importantly, CP to allow it.


I agree with the idea of a couple of morning Amtrak trains out of Schenectady and/or Saratoga Springs, I think they would do all right. I don't think Saratoga-Albany commuter trains would work simply because as I stated earlier there are no railroad tracks at or close to many work locations. Direct buses would be a much better bet and at much less cost too.
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby AgentSkelly » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:59 pm

I always thought that Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail would be a natural route; I know there is demand; for the most part yes, Park and Rides would be needed but for most destinations in downtown cores, the existing CDTA routes are OK. A Saratoga Springs-Schenectady-Albany route would be good too.
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?
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Re: Albany-Schenectady Commuter Rail may be possible now...

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:50 am

Noel Weaver wrote: I don't think Saratoga-Albany commuter trains would work simply because as I stated earlier there are no railroad tracks at or close to many work locations. Direct buses would be a much better bet and at much less cost too.


They already exist: NX Express. I rode them for years from Clifton Park to Albany, and they were great.
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