Historic Service Restorations

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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:40 pm

NYC's W30th street Branch,passenger trains went only to 30th street,only freight and express went farther south.
Believe there was 1 passenger special that went up on the High line using MU cars for the "Grand Opening" of the High line,
towed by switchers.
Most of the Express trains were started at 30th street,and picked up cars at 72nd st(DO) before rejoining the Hudson Mainline at DV.
Believe any passenger service was of a "shuttle" between DV and 30th street.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:48 pm

Backshophoss wrote:NYC's W30th street Branch,passenger trains went only to 30th street,only freight and express went farther south.
30 Street is where the USPS Parcel Post facility is located along with a spur on the line. Was that were passenger cars ended?
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:17 pm

30th street was where the 3rd rail ended,had a 2 track station for passenger service,yard was mostly express,mail cars and freight.
The area was changed when the High Line was built,passenger service had ended.
West 30th Street was then all Express.Mail and Freight traffic,including Car Float interchange with other RR's along the Hudson River.
What is now LIRR's West side Yard ,was NYC's west 30th street yard site at surface level.to become the "Hudson Yards" Developement
overbuild.

The "mandate" that Amtrak had to move everything to NY Penn and Sunnyside Yard out of GCT brought back the West 30th St branch
to a passenger only route,NO freight rights from a possible total abandonment under Conrail.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby gokeefe » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:33 am

I find it interesting that it is so uncommon for Amtrak to restore service on any route or segment that was discontinued in the pre-war era. This topic has seen quite robust discussion and the only comparable to Rockland is the Ethan Allen Express to Rutland.

The Rockland extension truly is a unique event for Amtrak. Interesting to consider all of this as efforts move forward on reactivation.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby Ridgefielder » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:49 pm

gokeefe wrote:I find it interesting that it is so uncommon for Amtrak to restore service on any route or segment that was discontinued in the pre-war era. This topic has seen quite robust discussion and the only comparable to Rockland is the Ethan Allen Express to Rutland.

The Rockland extension truly is a unique event for Amtrak. Interesting to consider all of this as efforts move forward on reactivation.

In a way it makes sense when you consider the nature of the pre- vs post-WW2 train-offs.

The service that was discontinued in the 1920's and 30's was mostly marginal branch-line stuff that couldn't compete with automobiles even given the modest-- by modern standards-- road improvements of the time. Think, for instance, of the dozens of southern New England services that the NYNH&H replaced with buses after WW1.

The post-war train-offs of the '50s and '60s, on the other hand, were primarily driven by competition from airlines and the interstate highway network.

Those are two different animals. Local-road congestion is never going to get bad enough for anyone to consider restoring, say, the Ridgefield Branch shuttle between Branchville and Ridgefield Center. Congestion on I-95 and at Logan and LaGuardia, on the other hand, actually is bad enough to have driven large numbers of people back to the rails.

Also, there's an important difference between the upcoming restoration of Rockland service and Whitehall-Rutland.

New York-Rutland service in the old days ran Troy-Johnsonville-Hoosic Jct-North Bennington on the B&M, then headed north on the Rutland. If the B&M passenger main between Troy and Johnsonville were still intact, that would have been the logical route for a resuscitated Rutland train. However that line has been gone for ~50 years. That leaves no choice but to use the D&H.

Boston-Rockland, on the other hand, is a straight-out restoration of what was once, a very long time ago, a premier summer service. The great historian Samuel Eliot Morison (1887 - 1976), in his history of Mount Desert Island, wrote about taking that very train as a boy on his way to his family's summer house on the Maine coast in the 1890's.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby shadyjay » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:55 am

Ridgefielder wrote:New York-Rutland service in the old days ran Troy-Johnsonville-Hoosic Jct-North Bennington on the B&M, then headed north on the Rutland. If the B&M passenger main between Troy and Johnsonville were still intact, that would have been the logical route for a resuscitated Rutland train. However that line has been gone for ~50 years. That leaves no choice but to use the D&H.


One of the [still proposed?] plans for the Ethan Allen was to send it via the B&M to Hoosick Jct, then north, hitting North Bennington and Manchester, then continuing on to Rutland. It would better serve more of Vermont, especially the Rt 7 corridor, and once you get to Rutland, it would be a straight shot right to Burlington, eliminating what will most likely be a change-direction scenario when the existing route of the Ethan Allen gets extended to Burlington, a la the Vermonter's former Palmer shuffle. The only difference is that Rutland is a station stop. The VTR/ex-RUT line from Hoosick north to Rutland needs some work, with the B&M line most likely needing quite a bit of work.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby gokeefe » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:19 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:In a way it makes sense when you consider the nature of the pre- vs post-WW2 train-offs.

The service that was discontinued in the 1920's and 30's was mostly marginal branch-line stuff that couldn't compete with automobiles even given the modest-- by modern standards-- road improvements of the time. Think, for instance, of the dozens of southern New England services that the NYNH&H replaced with buses after WW1.

The post-war train-offs of the '50s and '60s, on the other hand, were primarily driven by competition from airlines and the interstate highway network.


Until I had to do the research for this restoration I would have completely agreed. What I have found is that the picture is somewhat more confusing. The Great Depression significantly affected the provision of coach service. There was an entire layer of underlying coach service between most points that complemented the more prestigious overnight services. These coach connections saw numerous discontinuances post-1929 and continuing to 1941 when some daytime coach services were restored due to the war. In some cases it is easy to overlook the discontinuance of through coaches because the trains themselves continued to run as two trains with transfer points in between. Thus in the timetables it may look as though service has remained unchanged but when you read the equipment notes the phrase "Must change trains in Portland, no through coaches" becomes increasingly common. The parlor cars were of course the exception to this rule.

Ridgefielder wrote:New York-Rutland service in the old days ran Troy-Johnsonville-Hoosic Jct-North Bennington on the B&M, then headed north on the Rutland. If the B&M passenger main between Troy and Johnsonville were still intact, that would have been the logical route for a resuscitated Rutland train. However that line has been gone for ~50 years. That leaves no choice but to use the D&H.


Thanks for this note. I had never realized that the B&M had more than one route out of Troy. I am of course familiar with the crazy quilt route network in New Hampshire but apparently the same tendencies applied on the western end as well.

Ridgefielder wrote:Boston-Rockland, on the other hand, is a straight-out restoration of what was once, a very long time ago, a premier summer service. The great historian Samuel Eliot Morison (1887 - 1976), in his history of Mount Desert Island, wrote about taking that very train as a boy on his way to his family's summer house on the Maine coast in the 1890's.


Interesting ... did he specify arriving in Rockland? If so do you recall if he also mentioned where he was coming from? There really isn't a lot of material out there on the Rockland Express which ran from Grand Central. Most people probably don't even realize that the Bar Harbor Express had a parallel service originating from NYG.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:41 pm

shadyjay wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:New York-Rutland service in the old days ran Troy-Johnsonville-Hoosic Jct-North Bennington on the B&M, then headed north on the Rutland. If the B&M passenger main between Troy and Johnsonville were still intact, that would have been the logical route for a resuscitated Rutland train. However that line has been gone for ~50 years. That leaves no choice but to use the D&H.


One of the [still proposed?] plans for the Ethan Allen was to send it via the B&M to Hoosick Jct, then north, hitting North Bennington and Manchester, then continuing on to Rutland. It would better serve more of Vermont, especially the Rt 7 corridor, and once you get to Rutland, it would be a straight shot right to Burlington, eliminating what will most likely be a change-direction scenario when the existing route of the Ethan Allen gets extended to Burlington, a la the Vermonter's former Palmer shuffle. The only difference is that Rutland is a station stop. The VTR/ex-RUT line from Hoosick north to Rutland needs some work, with the B&M line most likely needing quite a bit of work.


Since that was a two-state (NY and VT) study the NY side came out strongly against a full-on EAE reroute. Saratoga Springs badly wants its frequencies and retention of the one-seat to Rutland-via-SS. The ALB-Hoosick-Bennington route would be all-new service, and NY is fully willing to pay for it to gain a new intermediate stop at Mechanicville serving the US 4/NY 67 corridors. Since VTrans is already committed to (slowly) upgrading the lower Western Corridor, NY's bullish outlook on the two-route solution makes it pretty much a go. It's only a matter of whether it takes a full 10 years to do, or somewhere between 5-10.

The only unanswered service-related question with it is how the two routes ultimately get sliced/diced in VT. Right now the pending EAE Rutland-Burlington extension going live in 2019 is going to require a new revenue reverse move at Rutland with a Metroliner added to the consist. If the EAE stays in that configuration permanently, then the new route would terminate at Rutland and wye its way back to ALB while the EAE continues to handle Burlington with the cab car. However, re-truncating the EAE at Rutland and switching Burlington to the new route has obvious advantages for serving all intra-VT constituencies on one schedule and for eliminating the awkward mid-schedule Rutland reverse. So it's easy to predict which route configurations VTrans and Amtrak are going to prefer. Also, if you re-truncate the EAE at Rutland, swap Burlington to the new route, and do the short-money rehab of the NECR Burlington Branch for a +1 extension from downtown to the Essex Jct. stop on the Vermonter they can eventually ditch the cab car entirely and wye the Burlington trains @ Essex. The cab car, by contrast, must remain on the EAE even with a Burlington-Essex poke-'n-turn so long as Rutland's going to have that revenue reverse...another point in favor of trading Burlington over to the new route because both routes would ultimately be cheaper to run if neither eventually needed a cab attached.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:10 am

gokeefe wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:New York-Rutland service in the old days ran Troy-Johnsonville-Hoosic Jct-North Bennington on the B&M, then headed north on the Rutland. If the B&M passenger main between Troy and Johnsonville were still intact, that would have been the logical route for a resuscitated Rutland train. However that line has been gone for ~50 years. That leaves no choice but to use the D&H.


Thanks for this note. I had never realized that the B&M had more than one route out of Troy. I am of course familiar with the crazy quilt route network in New Hampshire but apparently the same tendencies applied on the western end as well.

The Troy & Boston Railroad was chartered in 1848 as the NY end of the Troy & Greenfield, which planned and started construction on the Hoosac Tunnel in 1855. The T&G defaulted on a loan from the Commonwealth in 1862. The Commonwealth then took over construction of the Hoosac with the idea that it would basically be a toll road accessible to any company that could build up to it. That spurred the creation-- in the mid-1870's-- of a second outfit called the Boston, Hoosac Tunnel & Western, which planned to build west from the Hoosac all the way to the Great Lakes, parallel to the New York Central.

The BHT&W only got as far as Rotterdam Jct. before they ran out of money. The survey west of there was used by the New York, West Shore & Buffalo. After a great deal of Gilded Age shenanigans between the T&G and the BHT&W the Fitchburg settled it by buying out both of them in 1887 (the NYC bought the NYWS&B the year before). The T&B alignment, which ran directly into Troy Union Station, became the passenger main. The BHT&W to Rotterdam Jct. became the freight main since it had better connections with both the D&H and the NYC.


gokeefe wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:Boston-Rockland, on the other hand, is a straight-out restoration of what was once, a very long time ago, a premier summer service. The great historian Samuel Eliot Morison (1887 - 1976), in his history of Mount Desert Island, wrote about taking that very train as a boy on his way to his family's summer house on the Maine coast in the 1890's.


Interesting ... did he specify arriving in Rockland? If so do you recall if he also mentioned where he was coming from? There really isn't a lot of material out there on the Rockland Express which ran from Grand Central. Most people probably don't even realize that the Bar Harbor Express had a parallel service originating from NYG.

In his History of Mount Desert Island-- a little ~120 page book that is more like a memoir-- Morison specifically mentions transferring from the Maine Central train to the steamboat at Rockland for the trip onward to Northeast Harbor. He was a lifelong Bostonian so I think it's safe to assume his train originated at North Station-- can't remember if he specifically says so, though, and I don't have access to the book right now.
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