Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Backshophoss
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:39 pm

Water tunnel #2,way too many subway lines,water mains,sewer lines, steam lines,and Con Ed's electric lines,NY Telephone lines,and
Cable TV lines.

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by NIMBYkiller » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:24 pm

Where exactly is water tunnel #2 located?

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by Greg Moore » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:06 pm

I don't think it's Water Tunnel #2. I believe it's Water Tunnel #1

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:35 pm

water tunnel #1 is problem , no digging or blasting within 150 feet in either direction , up down or sideways, maybe even more. the water tunnel has never been turned off .
and unless replacement tunnel is completed they won't even try.
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east point
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by east point » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:56 pm

The last we read corrections welcome
Water tunnel #3 is going to be routed thru lower Brooklyn back to lower Manhattan. The last we heard once #3 in service to lower Manhattan the NYC water department will connect 3 to 1 and then isolate each section starting at south end and rebuild each #1 section one at a time. So until #1 is rebuilt around NYPS nothing rail can be built near #1. A very important problem is that many of #1 gate valves were not exercised in the past. NY water is reluctant to operate the valves now as they might not reopen ? We Imagine 2 sections at a time will need to be drained so each valve between the sections can be replaced. Maybe more valves will be installed ?
Last edited by east point on Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

east point
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by east point » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:51 pm

Clarification ==========
The last we read corrections welcome
The Until water tunnel 1 is rebuilt and in service from lower Manhattan to somewhere north of NYPS no Amtrak RR track work can be completed anywhere near WT #1 . Water tunnel 1 is below any contemplated Amtrak work but as posted by others NY will not allow any work within a certain distance ( 800 feet ?) Seems NY suspects that any RR work above might collapse WT 1 ? We do not know if WT $1 is lined or just drilled thru bedrock ? These restrictions really hamper Amtrak's long range plans as Amtrak cannot extend the proposed Penn Station south tracks including tail tracks east of Macys until WT #1 is rebuilt with liner. Then those tracks & the proposed East River train bores 5 & 6 can be built connecting to Penn south. Also some of the present lower number tracks can connect These problems were the reason that the original cancelled proposed tunnels from NJ would have permanently terminated at Macys because those tracks were at or very close to the elevation of WT #1.

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by EuroStar » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:02 am

Simultaneous failure in both tunnels just occurred this Friday (quote is from https://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servlet ... SE_ID=3236):
At 11:32 p.m. NJ TRANSIT train 3886, heading toward Penn Station New York (PSNY), reported losing power in the South Tube. The crew reported that there was wire down in the tunnel and a piece of the structure which connects the train to the overhead power line punctured the roof of the 8th car of the train. None of the approximately 1,100 customers on board was injured. At 12:17 a.m. an LIRR rescue train was dispatched from PSNY with Amtrak Police and FDNY on board. The rescue train arrived at the disabled train in approximately 10 minutes. At 12:51 a.m., all customers had transferred to the rescue train. Members of the FDNY searched the disabled train to ensure all customers had exited. At 1:14 a.m., the rescue train arrived on PSNY Track 15 where it was met by MTA police. ...

At approximately the same time as the initial incident, NJ TRANSIT train 3297, heading west from PSNY toward Bay Head, NJ in the North Tube, reported losing power. Power was quickly restored in the North Tube and the train continued west. The crew reported that as they exited the tunnel they lost power again and struck an object that was hanging in the overhead wire. At that time, the train stopped. A diesel locomotive was dispatched from Newark to rescue the train with approximately 500 customers on board. There were no reports of ill or injured passengers on the train. To allow the locomotive to connect to the train, Amtrak crews had to first remove the damaged wire. At 1:46 a.m., the locomotive connected to the train and proceeded to Secaucus. ...
It is good that this occurred on a Friday and it seems to be mostly back to normal today, but also it is bad because most people will not hear about it and it will be business as usual in Washington with the EIS for the new tunnels stuck in infinite review...

Isn't it a little pathetic that LIRR has to come to rescue? They likely deemed the train unmovable and that is why they did not use Amtrak's rescue engines. Also my money are on corroded structures carrying the catenary even though there is a shot that there was something bad with NJT's pantographs. Nevertheless, I imagine the pantographs are the one part of the equipment which will always be maintained well even with NJT's lack of ability to maintain state of good repair.

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:00 am

Does LIRR rescue train mean DM30AC or M7?

EDIT: sorry, dumb question, I didn’t remember that the DMs don’t fit in the tunnels.

EuroStar
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by EuroStar » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:33 am

Now you are confusing me. I thought the tunnels under the Hudson and the East River are pretty much of the same dimensions, so anything that fits on one side of NYP automatically fits on the other. Am I missing something on that? I do not know what was used. My guess will be M7s, but theoretically there is no reason why it could not have been a diesel with LIRR C3s.

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:31 pm

Eurostar: the East River tubes are a little larger (more square & taller, I think) than the North River tubes. LIRR push-pull equipment (the DE/DMs and the C3s) doesn’t fit, but the M-series will. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? :P

If the third rail had been down too, either Amtrak would have had to back a Regional set down the tube or NJT would have needed to find a push-pull set powered by an ALP-45DP.

east point
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by east point » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:02 pm

Wonder if the CAT hanger fell out of the ceiling of the tunnel bore ? That is certainly one possible reason. The consequences of this incident could have been much worse. Maybe time for the NTSB to investigate? Certainly the FRA !

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JamesRR
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by JamesRR » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:40 pm

As someone who rode an Arrow III though the tunnel a few hours earlier, it is frightening. To have a piece of the catenary puncture through the ceiling.

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by MACTRAXX » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:59 pm

Everyone: 9/10 4:45 PM

Just saw a video showing the object that penetrated the roof of car #1505 - an Arrow Three MU.
This video was shown on ABC7 as part of a report about this past weekend's tunnel problems...
Arrows were the equipment on NJT #3886...

This looked to me like the lower portion of a broken pantograph that likely snagged the low wire
inside the tunnel and broke off causing the damage to this car. At some point the train "shot the
line" knocking out the overhead power line in the tunnel.

Using a set of LIRR MU cars as a rescue train was a good move in response to this incident which
allowed the NJT MU train to be evacuated "nose to nose" - in this case there was no motor in the
way that would have required the evacuees to walk on the bench wall catwalk inside the tunnel...

Train #3297 to Long Branch (change to #4397 Long Branch-Bay Head) likely again had problems
with the pantograph on this train's motor...Was the cab car or motor in the lead westward? From
what was written the object that was struck was outside the tunnel between the Tonnelle Avenue
overpass and the Secaucus Junction Station causing the train to stall out after the wire was down.

This was the coincidence of two unrelated overhead wire/pantograph problems occurring at almost
the same time knocking out both tracks simultaneously. All in all a bad night that shows us all how
fragile than this crucial infrastructure can be - and how bad replacement tunnels are needed ASAP
so these two now 118(!!!) year old tunnels can be closed and extensively rebuilt...

MACTRAXX
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ryanov
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by ryanov » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:35 pm

I wonder if there's any way those two things could be related? I went into NY on Saturday afternoon and they were using only the north tube, and maintenance crews were working right by Tonelle Ave on the south tube. Seems a little coincidental.
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EuroStar
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by EuroStar » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:57 am

ryanov wrote:I wonder if there's any way those two things could be related? I went into NY on Saturday afternoon and they were using only the north tube, and maintenance crews were working right by Tonelle Ave on the south tube. Seems a little coincidental.
While I am not privy to the investigation, it is unlikely to be coincidental. In most places the catenary and contact wires for both tracks is supported by the same structure. That is, there are two masts on each side of the two tracks with cross span wires that support the catenary and the contact wire. Sometimes instead of cross span wires there are K-frames (K laying on its flat side) between the two masts. Cross span wires seem to be the dominant way of installation in Europe, but in the US the K-frames are preferred in spite of their higher cost. When cross span wires are used damaging the wiring system on one of the tracks pretty much guarantees damaging the wiring system on the other track too. That is because the pantograph of a train in motion will break all the cross span wires for quite a distance. With a K-frame, typically the pantograph gets broken while the K-frame survives (and so does the wiring on the other track). Most of the old work on the NEC is with cross span wires and I believe the area next to the entrance of the tunnels also uses them.

With that in mind, I will now speculate on what happened. The information released so far is consistent with the train going into Penn in the south tube damaging the cross wires (or the K frame) supporting the contact wires for both tracks just before the tunnel entrance. The pantographs are spring loaded, so once the resistance of the contact wire is gone they shoot up to the maximum height possible. Entering the tunnel at that maximum extension is guaranteed to break of the pantograph. On an Arrow set, that actually means breaking multiple pantographs. With that in mind it is not surprising that some piece actually went through the roof of a car. I personally have not been able to identify from the images published in the media where the piece that penetrated the roof came from. On the images it seems to be L angle piece of steel, but most pantographs have round steel for their arms. When the cross wires( or the K-frame) were damaged, the contact wire in the South Tube shorted and the over-current protection devices turned off the power. In a situation like this the same is very likely to happen to the contact wire in the North Tube because at that point it was likely sagging. That is why the west bound train lost power -- the over current device for that track tripped too. The dispatchers probably restored power in the North Tube immediately as per protocol not knowing what had happened (or the extent of it). The westbound train was able to continue, but once it exited the North Tube it hit the already damaged cross wires (or K-frame), insulators and other accessory catenary structures that were not properly positioned any more). At that point the westbound train might have also broken its pantograph or at the very least caused additional damage to the contact wire on the westbound track in the vicinity of the tunnel entrance. The need for Amtrak to remove the wires before a diesel could bring the train to Secaucus is consistent with such additional damage.

The one thing that I will not venture to speculate on is whether the initial cause was defect on the train that was going into Penn or by defect on the catenary/contact wiring. However, none of it is likely directly related to the Sandy damage to the tunnels. Most likely it is lack of maintenance on the train (and its pantographs) or lack of maintenance on the catenary/contact wiring.

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