Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffalo

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Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffalo

Postby gaspeamtrak » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:28 am

Can anybody tell the how progress of the NEW station track at Albany is coming along?
Also how far along is the second track to Schenectady coming along? Thanks! :-)
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Re: Tracks at Albany-Rensselaer station and to Schenectady

Postby Mike S. » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:48 pm

Not sure about the 4th track at ALB, BUT the FRA money was awarded to NYS to build the 2nd track from ALB to SDY...since its shovel ready-ish....i'd imagine work could begin as early as this summer.
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Amtrak Empire Service (NYS) Improvements Albany - Buffalo

Postby Station Aficionado » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:43 am

I think someone hinted at this a couple of weeks ago, but it's now official:http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Amtrak-leasing-track-corridor-2223867.php
In what's being called an "historic" agreement, Amtrak plans to lease 100 miles of track and right-of-way between Poughkeepsie and Schenectady from CSX Corp., essentially taking control of the corridor.

Under the agreement, expected to take effect early next year, Amtrak would be responsible for operations, maintenance and for capital improvements along the rail line.

I would hope this would expedite the redoubling of the Albany-Schenectady segment.
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby brettj22 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:47 am

Any chance Hyde Park sees train service again now?
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby BobLI » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:59 am

Hyde Park train service? Never will happen. No infrastructure and no $$$$ !!!!
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:09 am

brettj22 wrote:Any chance Hyde Park sees train service again now?


I'd say chances are about 0. Or perhaps worse than that, at least by Amtrak.
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby Ken W2KB » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:14 am

BobLI wrote:Hyde Park train service? Never will happen. No infrastructure and no $$$$ !!!!


Also only about 8 miles from Poughkeepsie and 12 from Rhinecliff, both of which are relatively close to Hudson River bridges facilitating passengers to/from west of the river . Too close spacing for Amtrak to add Hype Park.
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby travelrobb » Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:08 pm

I've seen other discussions, such as this 2009 thread on RAILforum where it's been said that Amtrak already leased and maintained the Hudson sub from CP 125 to CP 169 at Amsterdam. A very precise Wikipedia entryy says that 35.9 miles between Stuyvesant and Schenectady are "operated and maintained by Amtrak, but owned by CSX," while Amtrak owns outright the 8.5 miles between Schenectady and Hoffmans, as well as the Port Road Branch from Rensselaer to the B&A main.

The CSX Albany division timetable makes no mention of any of this. And the news today suggests that something is qualitatively different about the relationship between Amtrak and CSX on the Hudson sub -- more than just extending the lease from CP 125 to Poughkeepsie. Does anyone know what distinguishes the new lease from the old "lease"? Was it really leased prior to this agreement?

Also, news reports are now saying five daily CSX trains operate on the line. But it's commonly said that there are just two CSX trains running on the Hudson line today, from Selkirk to Oak Point and back. Can anyone account for the discrepancy?
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:16 pm

Little confused as to what's meant by "lease" here if Amtrak's gaining full control of ops and infrastructure. Does that mean everything is changing hands except the real estate and operating charter? Does CSX still retain some sort of right of first refusal for major decisions with their retained ownership control? Article's not clear as to extent of the power changing hands, only the criteria.
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby mamaroneckrailfan » Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:22 pm

Is there any chance that the line will be electrified or am I just dreaming? (By electrification I mean catenary from Penn. to Albany, not an extension of the third rail)
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:30 pm

mamaroneckrailfan wrote:Is there any chance that the line will be electrified or am I just dreaming? (By electrification I mean catenary from Penn. to Albany, not an extension of the third rail)


Right now, about Zero. I mean it only took what, about 90 years to electrify New Haven to Boston and that has more traffic.

I would love to see it happen and then an Acela a day up to Albany.

(Probably do ALB-NYP-WAS, leave ALB at 7:00 AM, arrive NYP 9:20, leave at 9:30 and arrive at WAS at 12:17, in time for an afternoon lunch.)

But, I wouldn't hold my breath.

I do have an idea though on how to finance it. There has been talk for years of bringing in more power to NYC from upstate or even Canada. They need a ROW. My suggestion, a public/private partnership where the Empire line is used as the ROW with catenary provided for trains.
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby Adirondacker » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:36 pm

Greg Moore wrote:... There has been talk for years of bringing in more power to NYC from upstate or even Canada. They need a ROW. My suggestion, a public/private partnership where the Empire line is used as the ROW with catenary provided for trains.


HVDC undersea cable in the middle of the Hudson was the plan, last I heard. NIMBYs would be out in force if you suggested hanging 765kV lines on the shores of the scenic Hudson.
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby Railjunkie » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:52 am

Hopefully by March all will be said and done. There are still a few things that need to be worked out such as the LAB operator, and were the dispatchers will be located Albany or NY. Plenty of space in Albany but... Have been told by our RFE's to expect 3 to 4 work trains aday once spring hits for the second track project and the new track layout for the Albany station.

Amtrak did indeed maintain between CP125 (stuyvesant) and CP 169 (hoffmans). But it was owned by CSX. To the best of my knowledge CSX has given total control to Amtrak. Including rules(NORAC) scheduling ect.
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:56 pm

Adirondacker wrote:
Greg Moore wrote:... There has been talk for years of bringing in more power to NYC from upstate or even Canada. They need a ROW. My suggestion, a public/private partnership where the Empire line is used as the ROW with catenary provided for trains.


HVDC undersea cable in the middle of the Hudson was the plan, last I heard. NIMBYs would be out in force if you suggested hanging 765kV lines on the shores of the scenic Hudson.


As you mention the NIMBYs were out in force when transmission reinforcement into NYC was proposed two or three years ago. The would be no need to locate an underground cable in the Hudson, much more expensive and difficult to repair and unless trenched, subject to damage from anchors, sunken watercraft, etc. The enviros would oppose the construction, dredging, etc. in the river. The cable could certainly be buried in the railroad right of way which would likely engender the least opposition. But it would cost at least 10 times more than conventional overhead, thus significantly negating the advantage of less expensive energy. Moreover, New York State reliability rules require that 80% of NYC energy sources be in-city generation. A DC cable might qualify if from a dedicated generator given that electrically the generator would be in-city even if hundreds of miles away. AC couldn't be wheeled that far without reactive support so likely would not qualify; been some years since I've read the qualifications.
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Re: Empire Corridor Lease-Poughkeepsie-Schenectady

Postby mamaroneckrailfan » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:44 pm

Greg Moore wrote:I would love to see it happen and then an Acela a day up to Albany.

(Probably do ALB-NYP-WAS, leave ALB at 7:00 AM, arrive NYP 9:20, leave at 9:30 and arrive at WAS at 12:17, in time for an afternoon lunch.)


The problem with running trains between Albany and Washington is that both routes enter/leave Penn. from the west side, requiring the train to reverse. I don't know how many extra electric locomotives there are to spare from the NE Regional, but using those on trains between New York and Albany would seem ideal in the event that the track is electrified.
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