Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:45 pm

We have to remember that in the period of early diesels (road switchers) a way or a turntable was not considered important at least not on the New Haven nor the New York Central either. I seemt to think the B & A had a wye at NA Junction, occasionally the New Haven sent up a steam engine from Danbury that was too long for the 75 foot turntable at Pittsfield so they had to send the engine up to NA Junction for the B & A to turn it on their wye. As information there was also a wye at Chatham that could be used to turn the FL-9's that came up from NWP on the Harlem. I don't know if there is still a wye at Chatham today or not.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:48 am

Ridgefielder wrote:
scoostraw wrote:
Greg Moore wrote:It does look like with some land acquisition and effort one COULD put in a wye east of Pittsfield proper here:

https://goo.gl/maps/LR6iw88mcWo

It's not developed and I'm guessing land would be cheap enough.

Is that the North Adams branch? That was my thinking as well.

Although one could get really radical and do something like just run the power around the train and flip the seat backs in the coaches.

Power isn't a hood unit. You need to turn it. And that can't be done anywhere on the Pittsfield side of the mountains, since the NH's turntable and engine house have been gone since probably the mid-1970's. Unless they're going to deadhead all the way to Springfield (not happening) or down to Canaan, CT on the Housy (also not happening) the train is going to operate with power on both ends out of Rensellaer. Same as they did with the Vermonter when it was operating via Palmer and the CV.

Amtrak could really use some double-ended locomotives.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:52 am

Noel Weaver wrote:We have to remember that in the period of early diesels (road switchers) a way or a turntable was not considered important at least not on the New Haven nor the New York Central either. I seemt to think the B & A had a wye at NA Junction, occasionally the New Haven sent up a steam engine from Danbury that was too long for the 75 foot turntable at Pittsfield so they had to send the engine up to NA Junction for the B & A to turn it on their wye. As information there was also a wye at Chatham that could be used to turn the FL-9's that came up from NWP on the Harlem. I don't know if there is still a wye at Chatham today or not.
Noel Weaver

There definitely was room for a wye at NA Junction, but it's odd that there doesn't seem to be any evidence of it left today. The fact that the area where the east leg would have been remains undeveloped indicates that it still may be railroad property.

As far as I know all FL9 powered Harlem trains ran with 2 units, and the power was run around the train at Chatham. I don't think the trains were wyed, but I am not 100% sure about that. They certainly could have been.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:52 pm

Interesting information on the Housatonic, but that routing is DOA, in spite of efforts every so often to promote it. There’s a topic on it in the New England forum. There’s a history of bad blood, too. CT only recently completed a study that stretched 30 YEARS! looking at variations of service above Danbury and basically closed it with a “yeah, maybe someday “. That topic can be found in the MNRR/CtDOT forum.

One minor note: Housy wanted to run their service via the Maybrook over to Southeast or Brewster. THAT I think would be possible, since western CT seems to have an affinity for the Harlem line, and would be useful in taking cars off 84/684. But you’re still left with ALL the other issues everyone has been through.

In short, it’s interesting info but will never happen. So let’s stick with what’s ACTUALLY happening, which is via Albany.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:28 pm

Believe it or not, that's what I was doing.

I've been trying to find a place for Amtrak to turn around in Pittsfield. :)
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:31 pm

USE a Metroliner cab car or NPCU and run it as push-pull service,Pittsfield-Albany,change at Albany to go to NY Penn! :wink:
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:11 am

scoostraw wrote:Believe it or not, that's what I was doing.

I've been trying to find a place for Amtrak to turn around in Pittsfield. :)


Much appreciated, I know! You moved it nicely back. It was the other asides, and it was fine anyway as a comp discussion.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:33 am

Backshophoss wrote:USE a Metroliner cab car or NPCU and run it as push-pull service,Pittsfield-Albany,change at Albany to go to NY Penn! :wink:

I agree this would work.

It just seems that Amtrak is hamstrung by not having bi-directional equipment. Hence my mention of double-ended locomotives. I am not a big fan of cab cars except in territories where the lines are grade separated.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby hs3730 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:00 pm

They can avoid a cab car (and minimize backward running from the passenger perspective) by doing the following:

NYP-PIT: Upon arrival in ALB, attach a P42 at the south end to pull it to PIT. Passengers ride backward to PIT. Keep the P32 at the north end.
PIT-NYP: Upon arrival in ALB, detatch the P42 from the rear. Wye the train north of the station as is done with all trains which turn in ALB. Trip takes slightly longer, but no backward running at all.

Amtrak has a few places where trains are wyed with passengers aboard for LD trains. They also do it for the two Empire Corridor trains just before entering NFL (if they are on time / early) or just after departing it (if the inbound journey was late and they didn't get a chance to turn it before departure time).
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby scoostraw » Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:10 pm

hs3730 wrote:They can avoid a cab car (and minimize backward running from the passenger perspective) by doing the following:

NYP-PIT: Upon arrival in ALB, attach a P42 at the south end to pull it to PIT. Passengers ride backward to PIT. Keep the P32 at the north end.
PIT-NYP: Upon arrival in ALB, detatch the P42 from the rear. Wye the train north of the station as is done with all trains which turn in ALB. Trip takes slightly longer, but no backward running at all.

Amtrak has a few places where trains are wyed with passengers aboard for LD trains. They also do it for the two Empire Corridor trains just before entering NFL (if they are on time / early) or just after departing it (if the inbound journey was late and they didn't get a chance to turn it before departure time).

Yup that will work. And it's probably exactly what they will do.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:03 pm

hs3730 wrote:They can avoid a cab car (and minimize backward running from the passenger perspective) by doing the following:

NYP-PIT: Upon arrival in ALB, attach a P42 at the south end to pull it to PIT. Passengers ride backward to PIT. Keep the P32 at the north end.
PIT-NYP: Upon arrival in ALB, detatch the P42 from the rear. Wye the train north of the station as is done with all trains which turn in ALB. Trip takes slightly longer, but no backward running at all.

Amtrak has a few places where trains are wyed with passengers aboard for LD trains. They also do it for the two Empire Corridor trains just before entering NFL (if they are on time / early) or just after departing it (if the inbound journey was late and they didn't get a chance to turn it before departure time).

The Vermonter wyes to get into Springfield Union Station. Same will be true of the shuttles extending to Greenfield, since the platform tracks at SPG are on the B&A.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:50 pm

Remember the "host" RR is CSX here,they will say NO!! Train #'s 448/449 get delayed on the B&A on a regular basis.
They won't be happy dealing with a push-pull shuttle running between Pittsfield -Chatham - Albany.
This will require NYSDOT and MassDOT to help fund the service.
Figure on MN "donating" some Shoreliner I's(5 coaches,3 cab cars) to NYSDOT to equip the service when MN's MLV-II's go online.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Greg Moore » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:11 pm

Why would I figure that when the plan is outlined to use existing Amtrak sets and in theory MassDOT sorta plans on funding this (I say "sorta" because I think right now it's promises to write checks, not actual checks).

That said, yes, I can see CSX saying no, but right now it's 2 trains a week and my understanding is that their New England traffic has been dropping, and in theory with scheduled trains, I think it's feasible to squeeze in two trains.

Unless I die soon, I actually expect to see this in my lifetime.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:09 am

If CSX hasn't been part of the discussion until now, this whole idea and the planning for it are a big waste of everyone's time and psychic energy. And I've asked on here two times in this thread if CSX is part of the discussion, no one has answered, so apparently no one knows.
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Re: Pittsfield - New York City Service Study (via Albany)

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:23 am

I decided to look at the document in question and the first thing I found was:

The following persons were invited to participate in the Berkshire Flyer Working Group as
members:


Maurice O’Connell, CSX Transportation

Further discussion appears to suggest that Option 1A (or which is express service) would be simpler than Option B (construction of a wye in Schodack to bypass Albany) because Option B would require new negotiations with CSX for use of the additional trackage AND the construction of new signals to govern the new interchange.

Why I do find interesting BTW which I missed before is that the study does cover (at a very high level) the suggestion of a wye track built in Pittsfield at the location I suggested. It estimates the cost at $2-$5M but notes it would involve negotiations with CSX as well as the Housatonic Railroad Corp. (The image appears to also include storage tracks, but wye leg itself appears to avoid the wetlands. (page 60 btw)

Towards the end (page 134) Appendix E the study has CSX Passenger Train Access Principles. This appears to be a fairly generic and on-committal statement from CSX itself that has no specifics to this case.

So from the study itself, it appears that at least one CSX representative was involved, but beyond generic statements, there's no more details.

Again with a total of 2 trains a week planned, for 20 weeks a year, I think there's a greater chance than some here do.
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