Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby benboston » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:47 pm

Arlington wrote:In Boston, the Fairmont line should be at the top of the list for Electrification and would permit an alternate route from RTE to BOS if there's ever trouble in the SW Corridor trench or at BBY (it would not serve BBY)

If we ever get HSR from HFD to PVD it would be redundat with NHV-PVD


Why would there be HSR from HFD to PVD, and what route would be taken?
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby BandA » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:12 pm

There's a thread somewhere. Basically, the present Shore Line route is too curvy and has too many bridges over navigable waters. We are talking about an actual High Speed Rail route. But we are getting off topic...
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:09 pm

I don’t know why you’d do this unless you were a billionaire that wanted to become a millionaire, but you could theoretically reactivate the CR Southern Secondary between Lakehurst and Winslow. I’m not even sure if there are rails anymore.

Otherwise, you have Amtrak ex-PRR and you have CSX ex-Reading. The NS route between NWK and PHL goes via Reading, and that isn't a reasonable detour. Better to have a bus bridge or a lot of propjet shuttles between KEWR and KPHL.
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby BandA » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:40 pm

...but to answer the question,people have speculated partly along highway median, partly on unbuilt highway ROW, partly on former ROW of the [Airline | Midland | New York & Boston RR], and I think some virgin construction. Take a ruler and draw a line from Hartford to Providence, and ignore the elevation changes, lol, there is nothing official.
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby R&DB » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:02 am

mtuandrew » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:09 pm

I don’t know why you’d do this unless you were a billionaire that wanted to become a millionaire, but you could theoretically reactivate the CR Southern Secondary between Lakehurst and Winslow. I’m not even sure if there are rails anymore.


This route is not really viable for several reasons. From NYP to the CR Southern Secondary the only route is the NEC to Rahway and then NJT to Red Bank. From Red Bank to Lakehurst is FRA Class 1 or lower. (Though still in use for a once a week freight) Lakehurst to Woodmansie was just rebuilt, but no traffic. From Woodmansie to Winslow, rails do exist on most of the route, but there are 10" diameter trees growing between them. There is no connection at Winslow to access NJT Atlantic City Line. From Winslow to PHI the only route is via the Delair Bridge and back onto the NEC.

Great idea but only for South Jersey railfans who still yearn for the return of the Blue Comet.
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby Ken W2KB » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:11 am

R&DB wrote:
mtuandrew » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:09 pm

I don’t know why you’d do this unless you were a billionaire that wanted to become a millionaire, but you could theoretically reactivate the CR Southern Secondary between Lakehurst and Winslow. I’m not even sure if there are rails anymore.


This route is not really viable for several reasons. From NYP to the CR Southern Secondary the only route is the NEC to Rahway and then NJT to Red Bank. From Red Bank to Lakehurst is FRA Class 1 or lower. (Though still in use for a once a week freight) Lakehurst to Woodmansie was just rebuilt, but no traffic. From Woodmansie to Winslow, rails do exist on most of the route, but there are 10" diameter trees growing between them. There is no connection at Winslow to access NJT Atlantic City Line. From Winslow to PHI the only route is via the Delair Bridge and back onto the NEC.

Great idea but only for South Jersey railfans who still yearn for the return of the Blue Comet.


Well, I suppose given the fantasy of funding of many hundreds of millions of dollars or likely billions the overall bypass project would cost becoming available, a direct rather than reverse move connection where the Lehigh Line crosses the NEC could route passenger trains east and thence south on the Chemical Coast (ex CNJ) Line thus eliminating the need to remain on the NEC until Rahway. What's a few hundred million here and there, pocket change. ;-)
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:51 pm

R&DB and Ken: that’s more or less what my thought was re: the Chemical Coast. In Philadelphia it gets tricky, but let’s say you cross the Delair, hang a left onto the old PRR Richmond branch (unsure of its proper name, but the old main) at Frankford Jct, follow it to the end of track at Clearfield St., then build a half-mile of track to the ex-RDG Port Richmond Branch so you can connect to SEPTA rails.

Now just use the PATH tunnels with subway-sized equipment, and there’s your NEC-less route from Manhattan to Philadelphia :P
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby R&DB » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:30 pm

mtuandrew » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:51 pm

R&DB and Ken: that’s more or less what my thought was re: the Chemical Coast.

As long as we're dreaming, let's re-open the old CNJ Jersey city terminal and run ferry boats? What do they need all that grass west of the terminal for anyway? Chemical Coast easily accessed from Oak Island yard. :wink:
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:12 pm

R&DB wrote:
mtuandrew » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:51 pm

R&DB and Ken: that’s more or less what my thought was re: the Chemical Coast.

As long as we're dreaming, let's re-open the old CNJ Jersey city terminal and run ferry boats? What do they need all that grass west of the terminal for anyway? Chemical Coast easily accessed from Oak Island yard. :wink:

:P sure, we can cover all the bases!

Seriously though, this should show how difficult it would be to find more than one robust passenger route between any two towns. The C&A is half-gone, the RDG has a huge freight-only gap, the CNJ via Lakehurst is moribund AND very indirect, there haven’t been any interurban lines between the two for many decades, and there are no extant connections between the LV/CNJ at Allentown and any former RDG or PRR lines to Philadelphia. It’s a lot tougher to connect two dots on a map than we usually acknowledge.
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby MaRoFu » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:41 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
R&DB wrote:
mtuandrew » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:51 pm

R&DB and Ken: that’s more or less what my thought was re: the Chemical Coast.

As long as we're dreaming, let's re-open the old CNJ Jersey city terminal and run ferry boats? What do they need all that grass west of the terminal for anyway? Chemical Coast easily accessed from Oak Island yard. :wink:

:P sure, we can cover all the bases!

Seriously though, this should show how difficult it would be to find more than one robust passenger route between any two towns. The C&A is half-gone, the RDG has a huge freight-only gap, the CNJ via Lakehurst is moribund AND very indirect, there haven’t been any interurban lines between the two for many decades, and there are no extant connections between the LV/CNJ at Allentown and any former RDG or PRR lines to Philadelphia. It’s a lot tougher to connect two dots on a map than we usually acknowledge.


Yeah, due to the heavy loss of numerous railroads over the years, it has become much harder to create an alternative route for the NEC. The only one that is remotely viable is the West Trenton route, but the West Trenton Line is used by freight north of West Trenton. Not sure how much freight runs there but what I do know is that the portion of the RVL running on the LVR is still heavily used by freight. Once again many Amtrak trains are dual mode trains so electrification may not be necessary. There used to be a direct rail connection from the NEC north of Trenton to West Trenton via the old NEC but that line is gone. Oh, and the CNJ between Woodmansie and Winslow? Forget about it. The line has even been encroached in Elm by some farmer's backyard. Also the C&A route takes you to the current River Line as well, so it might not work out.
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:09 pm

At least when you get to Trenton, there’s a potential detour route to PHL via the NS Trenton Cutoff and the SEPTA West Trenton Line. No wire from Morrisville to Woodbridge of course, so Amtrak would have to MU an electric and a diesel, or borrow dual-modes to operate through both the North River and Center City Tunnels. (It does not now own such locomotives, MaRoFu, at least not the type which can operate on both overhead AC wire and diesel power.)
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:59 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:I've always supported the B&O/RDG main line as a alternate route between Washington and New York. There were once through trains on this corridor.


To my best knowledge, the Royal Blue Line remains intact, and could be "pressed" into emergency NEC service. While the B&O Jersey City-Wash service was done during '58, the Reading "Crusader" and "Wall Street" hung on to A-Day.

But it would be just that - extended catastrophic emergency.
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby BandA » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:47 pm

What would be the impact on highways if the NEC passengers had to be accommodated by bus? I.e. X number of buses per hour which take Y% of a lane which is already 110% of capacity...
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby CarterB » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:02 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
R36 Combine Coach wrote:I've always supported the B&O/RDG main line as a alternate route between Washington and New York. There were once through trains on this corridor.


To my best knowledge, the Royal Blue Line remains intact, and could be "pressed" into emergency NEC service. While the B&O Jersey City-Wash service was done during '58, the Reading "Crusader" and "Wall Street" hung on to A-Day.

But it would be just that - extended catastrophic emergency.


I would agree that the old Royal Blue or Crusader/WallSteet is the only one that would make any sense at all. Not a 'roundabout' off the path route.
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Re: Potential NEC alternative routes between NWK and PHL?

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:50 pm

BandA wrote:What would be the impact on highways if the NEC passengers had to be accommodated by bus? I.e. X number of buses per hour which take Y% of a lane which is already 110% of capacity...

I’m going to assume we mean a catastrophe like a structural failure of the Raritan Viaduct that allows some NJT service but not TRE or PHL. Conservatively at rush hour, that’s 4 Amtrak/direction/hour (appx 1 Acela, 1 LD, 1 Regional, one Keystone) averaging ~200 passengers, plus 5 NJT NEC trains at ~800 people apiece inbound, ~400 per hour outbound (both Trenton and Jersey Ave trains.) I count (200*8) + ((800*5)+(400*5)) = 7600 displaced passengers. Figure 400 of those passengers will switch to air shuttles and hope Amtrak will be able to shove 1 Regional/hour/direction onto CSX to accommodate another 600 people. I come up with 6600 people/hour very roughly - that’s something like 110 buses at 60 people/bus? Probably 90 inbound, 20 outbound in the morning departing from Trenton, Hamilton, and Princeton for Metropark, Secaucus, Hoboken/PATH, PABT, and NYP proper, plus local buses from Edison to New Brunswick and Jersey Avenue.

That also assumes everyone stays on public transit. If not, it probably means 110 buses plus 2000 passenger vehicles, (80+1900) = almost 2,000 additional vehicles per hour in the rush direction. Split those to 1,500 on the Turnpike, the other 500 vehicles by some combination of Rt 1, Rt 130, and Rt 206/27.

Does that sound like a reasonable estimate?
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