Future LIRR Speculation

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Future LIRR Speculation

Postby edflyerssn007 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:04 pm

What future projects do you think the LIRR should be looking at? I think expanding electrification with the arrival of M9's should be one of the first major projects taken up. I know there's talk of electrifying out to Port Jeff, but what about on the south side, possibly to Sayville or Patchogue. I personally also think that the Montauk should be double tracked at least to Patchogue, but possible even as far as Speonk to enable more service. If electrification can take place soon on the Port Jeff, then all that diesel equipment can be used to facilitate better and more frequent East End service on both the Ronkonkoma and Montauk branches. What are everyone thought's on these ideas, and what ideas do you have to expand and increase service on the railroad?
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:27 pm

I am definately for extending the third rail east of Babylon to maybe Speonk since there is a yard there and a lot of the NYC daily commuting ends there. The problem with having it end in Patchogue, even though many trains end their runs there is a new yard would have to be built in Patchogue and it seems that there isn't much room in the village as there are buildings and developed land along the right of way. If the Montauk Line were to at least get double tracked as far as Patchogue, it would be beneficial if that station gets a platform on the opposite side as well. It seems that Patchogue generates plenty of ridership not just because it is a large village but the ferry terminal to the eastern end of Fire Island is very close to the depot.

The extension of electrification from Huntington to Pt. Jefferson would be nice. It would also be good if there were some speed increases. It seems like there are many stretches of straight track with a lot of curves as well.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:13 pm

EF7,Buff and Everyone:

I do not see any significant LIRR projects in the near future until ESA and the Floral Park-Hicksville
Third Track Project get either completed or are well under way respectively.

What we should see is small improvements such as Central Branch electrification, closing the 3.3
mile gap between the end of double track on the Montauk Branch at Y Interlocking east of Sayville
to Patchogue and perhaps an add-on order for enough M9 cars to permit retirement of remaining
M3 cars. The MTA has or will have so much money tied up in these two major projects that any
future improvements - such as a Huntington-Port Jefferson Electrification - will have to wait until
there will be new funding in the future.

MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby quad50cal » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:14 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:will have to wait until there will be new funding in the future.

If there was ever a time to speculate, now would be the time. Drafts of the 2020-2024 MTA capital plan are rumored to be around $60 billion - twice the amount of the 2015-2019 plan.

I don't think anyone can deny that fixing the NYC Subway has become an unavoidable political necessity, but they can't just appropriate 39 billion for NYC subway/buses/B&T without giving LI and Lower Hudson Valley something of value. Quite a lot fits into the rumored 21 billion for LIRR/Metro North's NY lines even after subtracting currently planned obligations rooted in the 2015-2019 plan.

https://www.amny.com/transit/mta-repairs-spending-1.22448049

MACTRAXX wrote:so much money tied up in these two major projects that any future improvements - such as a Huntington-Port Jefferson Electrification - will have to wait

They don't have a choice in electrifying Huntington-Port Jefferson. The current layup track setup is not going to support ESA service levels, they need an electric yard on the branch and the only possible remaining locations are east of Huntington. Previously proposed locations that were west of Huntington are now being or have been developed for other purposes.

edflyerssn007 wrote: then all that diesel equipment

On diesel equipment, I'm really mystified by people that believe that there will be an enormous order for dual modes that will dwarf the current diesel equipment fleet. It would be a very bitter pill for current diesel commuters to have the opening of ESA be accompanied by a massive order for a diesel fleet that will never enter GCT in their 25-30 year lifespan.

MTA Twenty-Year Capital Needs Assessment 2015-2034 wrote:the LIRR envisions future extensions of electrification on the Port Jefferson Branch, the Main Line, and the Montauk Branch
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby rr503 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:54 pm

quad50cal wrote:
MACTRAXX wrote:will have to wait until there will be new funding in the future.

If there was ever a time to speculate, now would be the time. Drafts of the 2020-2024 MTA capital plan are rumored to be around $60 billion - twice the amount of the 2015-2019 plan.
<snip for space's sake>


About the subway, not all of that money is needed. Especially given the archaic way CBTC is installed/operated in NYC, the technology serves more as a (costly) obfuscatory force rather than one that actually fixes anything. What really needs to happen at NYCT is a pretty much zero cost proposition: new management. The myopia, operational ignorance, and lack of creativity is what caused this crisis, not the bloody signals. I don't think I need to remind folks here that 30+tph on each track was once the norm on the subway, back when we knew how to run trains...but I digress.

About the LIRR, I think future needs are fourfold: increasing service for non-conventional (read: off-peak and intra-island) commuters, creating a robust, high frequency network for 'inner ring'/in city stations, controlling operational costs, and (of course) increasing peak-direction service to sustainable levels. Long Island is currently in a death spiral fed by an aging population, NIMBYism, and disinvestment, so as unpopular as some of the following opinions may be, I think all options need to be on the table when talking about the RR, as it is the LIRR which holds the key to LI's future development. I think there not only needs to be a deep operations review (looking at regularized stopping patterns, clockface scheduling, the necessity of all conductors/off-board fare payment), but also one that examines larger planning priorities (should we be spending so much on new tracks and yards before we grade-separate key interlockings, what do we do about branch service, how do we facilitate cross-island travel, how do we integrate with NICE and SCT). I sure don't have the answers here, but I think all this needs to be looked at. The LIRR can't keep playing like it's some backwoods railroad of the 1890s. It needs to grow into the role of a regional rail provider, or suffer the consequences.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby Islanderh93 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:17 pm

I agree on PJ electrification, as the lack of a yard is a problem.
The Montauk Line is double track though unelectrified east of Babylon until Patchogue. Once signaling is finished east of Patchougue, I'd say they ought to get some sidings put in so they can increase train service frequencies. Though it's only single track to Speonk, it's probably no more harmful than the single tracks leading to the ends of the Port Washington, Long Beach or Oyster Bay lines as they seldom pad the schedule enough to need to send a train out as one arrives.

It would be nice to see track improvements on the line to Greenport, as the speed limits are low and the ridership pathetic out there. Throw in a siding or two and you could double service frequencies to coax people into actually using the train that rides through their town. I believe the state's working on a new Yapank station site, which sounds rational, but I'd also think a Holtsville stop would make sense too.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby workextra » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:55 pm

Port Jeff electricfication is a must It solves the yard issue.

Montauk Branch, they absolutely need to double track from Y to MP-S55. As a phase one but altimately at that point you doing around 20.8miles from MP-S50 to MP-S70.8 (SK1)
Due to flooding concerns absolutely do not extend electrification east of Babylon leave this route diesel. This thus requires disel equipment to be on campus and available to replace the MU service to port Jeff and even KO in the winter as weather requires.
Also either interlock all the sidings East of SK, or do something similar to the “Js-Brent” before the kondohble track was completed.

Mainline East.
I have heard that the LIRR does plan to electrify to riverhead and increase the MAS to possibly 65mph. (Except through the town) Not sure why not just make the MAS 80 to MP-G71.
This includes Medford and Yahpank getting longer platforms. Along with other improvements.
Again this plan is likely post ESA/Third track.
2025-2050
Maybe they should seriously consider the need to reconnect MR-PT. It’s a must, no more politics or excuses. Not having east end connections cripples LIRR. Makes it absolutely USELESS for use on LONG ISLAND!!!!
And as much as some communities might blow a gasket, the time is now to rebuild to wading river, and either connect it to riverhead as proposed a century ago, OR connect to the junction at MY, Land must be taken like it or not, pay the fair price or eminent domain it. But let’s not hide the facts. To make LIRR USEFULL and CONVENIENT for use on LONG ISLAND the EAST END connections must be made! Not doing this is setting yourself up for future failure.
Don’t comment to the above bias toward today’s current or past operations, this is solely about the future and hypothetical at that, look at a map, and understand the operational and customer service benefits this provides in addition to the local community benefits.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby ConstanceR46 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:37 pm

I do feel we need more east end infrastructure as NYC's just gonna continue to grow out and put more pressure on the East End.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby workextra » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:13 pm

Since this is a speculation based topic, I think we can actually have fun coming up with ideas and grand schemes.
I also think that though very far fetched. Some businesses located close but not close enough for rail service might benefit by partnering with the state/county/railroad to be relocated for direct rail access.
Passenger/freight. The “through” east end connections are a must.
I wonder how that would pass politically because regardless if they want to admit it? A lot of us already know it’s needed.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby ConstanceR46 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:27 pm

I get the feeling trying to put down train track through a bunch of rich, east-end NIMBYs would be sorta like taking a bat to 5 hornet's nests in a row, but all the hornets can do is mildly annoy you.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby rr503 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:46 pm

I think people overestimate the need for more East End investment. It's incontrovertible that what we have today -- trains every six hours, horrid reliability, dark territory -- is unsustainable, but I really don't see a need for more than once-every-60 mins service (or, hell, 120). Ten years ago, with exurban sprawl marching across Suffolk, this would have been a different story, but the fact is that the market has changed. People aren't looking to live three hours from their jobs anymore; they want to live closer in in denser communities. This is why I place such weight on investment in TOD, on investment in off-peak service, and on ensuring high frequency -- we need to be building for dense ridership closer in, and providing more incremental improvements to towns further out.

For the EE, I'd actually revive the DMU concept with the new FRA regs, and target general EE service (ie not summer weekends) more towards people traveling intra-island. One of the major roadblocks standing in the way of moving towards this sort of service (and in front of LIRR service experimentation in general) is the massive fixed cost of new train service because of the immense crewing requirements imposed by every train. Reduce the number of conductors, and then a whole range of possibilities open up. Point being, these issues are all linked...
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby SwingMan » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:37 am

Reduced crews? That would go over well..

DMUs? I don't think any major commuter railroad (at least in this region) has used any sort of DMU since the SPV-2000 almost three decades ago. It's one of those things that looks fantastic on paper to pencil pushers, but in reality is a nightmare for the people that work on them everyday and have to maintain them. The biggest problem with how the current setup (at least on the Main Line East of Ronkonkoma) is that you're "wasting" equipment. All it does is KO-GY all week then gets swapped out. For a railroad short of everything on the diesel side all the time for one reason or another, just being able to get a dedicated small fleet of equipment for that part of the railroad would help all around operations without disrupting the dynamic of this railroad.

The thing that everyone gets lost in when speculating is that inside the "beast" that is the LIRR is that there is way more underlying work needed to change what would seem like very simple operational ques. Electrification out to Port Jefferson? Fantastic, now where is the equipment to run that service? I'm looking at the MU Fleet and it isn't up to snuff to handle that. The M9s when fully on the property are going to be far from enough. I could see Jamaica-Brooklyn getting some sort of hybrid-Subway style car (almost going back to the days of the MP-41 if you will). A car built for high density service that can fit the LIRR's fare collection platform and attain high speeds. No bathrooms? Motored trailers? Things that this place has not seen since the Metropolitan era was unleashed.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby Nasadowsk » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:01 pm

SwingMan wrote:Reduced crews? That would go over well..


The rest of the world does just fine with 3, 2 and even 1 person crews on commuter and even regional trains. Redeploy the excess to run more trains...

DMUs? I don't think any major commuter railroad (at least in this region) has used any sort of DMU since the SPV-2000 almost three decades ago. It's one of those things that looks fantastic on paper to pencil pushers, but in reality is a nightmare for the people that work on them everyday and have to maintain them. The biggest problem with how the current setup (at least on the Main Line East of Ronkonkoma) is that you're "wasting" equipment. All it does is KO-GY all week then gets swapped out. For a railroad short of everything on the diesel side all the time for one reason or another, just being able to get a dedicated small fleet of equipment for that part of the railroad would help all around operations without disrupting the dynamic of this railroad.


Maybe the straight up answer is to dump diesel operation altogether? Once there's third rail out to Riverhead, Port Jeff, and somewhere on the OB branch, the justification for diesel operations basically goes away anyway. Other than a seasonal train to Montauk, and the two trains a day to Greenport. Ok, the Montauk thing is gonna be a problem (lease a fleet from someone for that?), but the 2 (or are we up to 3?) passengers a day east of Riverhead can learn to drive to Riverhead like everyone else does. And, Electrifying Port Jeff, Riverhead, and the OB line is something that should have been done 20 years ago. It's way beyond time to do it.

The thing that everyone gets lost in when speculating is that inside the "beast" that is the LIRR is that there is way more underlying work needed to change what would seem like very simple operational ques.


Excuses excuses. I'm sure if a pile of EMUs magically fell out of the sky and third rail appeared on those lines tomorrow, and the diesel fleet evaporated, they'd be able to make it work.

Electrification out to Port Jefferson? Fantastic, now where is the equipment to run that service? I'm looking at the MU Fleet and it isn't up to snuff to handle that. The M9s when fully on the property are going to be far from enough.


So, buy more MUs?

I could see Jamaica-Brooklyn getting some sort of hybrid-Subway style car (almost going back to the days of the MP-41 if you will). A car built for high density service that can fit the LIRR's fare collection platform and attain high speeds. No bathrooms? Motored trailers? Things that this place has not seen since the Metropolitan era was unleashed.


Something like DB's class 423 (or one of the variants of them, there's a lot), would be decent for Jay-Brkln, Babylon, and PW service - open gangway, high performance 4 car sets (couplable into 12 car trains, DB does it all the time), light weight (probably could be made alternate compliant easily), tops out at 87mph (I don't get the MTA's thing for ordering 100mph equipment for an 80mph railroad), high performance. Give it better seating, and it'd be fine. I bet the weight would be a wash in the conversion to DC (they're 16 2/3hz units - HEAVY transformers), though the HP might not be (4 car set is 3100hp, tha'ts gonna be tricky on third rail). Get past all those little stops every mile or so quickly.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby SwingMan » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:50 pm

Wow, you sure sound like the president this railroad has been looking for! Please, enlighten me some more since obviously you have all the answers.

Nasadowsk wrote:
The rest of the world does just fine with 3, 2 and even 1 person crews on commuter and even regional trains. Redeploy the excess to run more trains...[/quote]

Those railroads are not even comparable to the LIRR, NJT, etc. when it comes to the sheer amount of people on these trains. Not only are you going to lose even more revenue that would not be collected, you are also creating a safety hazard to thousands of people having one or even the mandatory two conductors on a train.

Maybe the straight up answer is to dump diesel operation altogether? Once there's third rail out to Riverhead, Port Jeff, and somewhere on the OB branch, the justification for diesel operations basically goes away anyway. Other than a seasonal train to Montauk, and the two trains a day to Greenport. Ok, the Montauk thing is gonna be a problem (lease a fleet from someone for that?), but the 2 (or are we up to 3?) passengers a day east of Riverhead can learn to drive to Riverhead like everyone else does. And, Electrifying Port Jeff, Riverhead, and the OB line is something that should have been done 20 years ago. It's way beyond time to do it.


Excuses excuses. I'm sure if a pile of EMUs magically fell out of the sky and third rail appeared on those lines tomorrow, and the diesel fleet evaporated, they'd be able to make it work.


So, buy more MUs?



Once a successful bi-level MU can be developed, sure I will be on-board with electrifying everything. You know what though? That does not exist, and I don't believe is possible. The diesel territory, sans the Port Jefferson Division, were not designed for single level passenger cars. The work will be done to Port Jefferson and Riverhead, that is a given, but to meet everything that the diesel fleet currently covers, plus adding frequencies for the ESA project and intra-island service, would require almost a duplicate order to the current fleet. Where to maintain those cars? Hillside is at capacity, and an east end maintenance facility is not happening. You're looking at a multi-billion dollar project, probably closing in on a trillion dollar project, just to get everything electric. I don't know, that doesn't sound like it's worth it to me.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby rr503 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:48 pm

SwingMan wrote:
Those railroads are not even comparable to the LIRR, NJT, etc. when it comes to the sheer amount of people on these trains. Not only are you going to lose even more revenue that would not be collected, you are also creating a safety hazard to thousands of people having one or even the mandatory two conductors on a train.


Incorrect. RER in Paris, Overground in London, and Sydney Trains in Sydney all operate heavy rail systems with vastly higher ridership than the LIRR with one or two crew members per train. The key? Turnstiles or scanners on the platform -- hardly some impossible investment. And it isn't like conductors are terribly effective today anyway...

Once a successful bi-level MU can be developed, sure I will be on-board with electrifying everything. You know what though? That does not exist, and I don't believe is possible. The diesel territory, sans the Port Jefferson Division, were not designed for single level passenger cars. The work will be done to Port Jefferson and Riverhead, that is a given, but to meet everything that the diesel fleet currently covers, plus adding frequencies for the ESA project and intra-island service, would require almost a duplicate order to the current fleet. Where to maintain those cars? Hillside is at capacity, and an east end maintenance facility is not happening. You're looking at a multi-billion dollar project, probably closing in on a trillion dollar project, just to get everything electric. I don't know, that doesn't sound like it's worth it to me.


I fail to see the logic here. We should spend loads of money on EMUs because...the platforms don't conform? The obvious solution here seems to be to fix the platforms. And, FWIW, successful bi-level EMUs do indeed exist. Look at Europe (whose trains we can get with the new FRA regs), METRA, whatever CalTrain is cobbling together, whatever Toronto has in store, and, of course, the NJT MLV EMU procurement.

DMUs? I don't think any major commuter railroad (at least in this region) has used any sort of DMU since the SPV-2000 almost three decades ago. It's one of those things that looks fantastic on paper to pencil pushers, but in reality is a nightmare for the people that work on them everyday and have to maintain them. The biggest problem with how the current setup (at least on the Main Line East of Ronkonkoma) is that you're "wasting" equipment. All it does is KO-GY all week then gets swapped out. For a railroad short of everything on the diesel side all the time for one reason or another, just being able to get a dedicated small fleet of equipment for that part of the railroad would help all around operations without disrupting the dynamic of this railroad.


The NY chauvanism is killing me! Toronto, Austin, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Dallas, Denton, Camden, all of Europe -- the list of successful DMU applications goes on and on.

A quick census calculation shows that 86% of workers living in the towns of Southold, EH, SH, Riverhead and Brookhaven commute within the island. Sure, those folks are harder to serve given the diasporization of jobs, but to focus all train service on the irrepresentative NY market is a waste. In fact, given this, an argument could be made that scoot service from, say, Hicksville or Babylon to Montauk would actually be more effective in serving commuter needs than a fleet of direct trains to NYC. The only way a service like that -- one which will probably have (relatively) low ridership density -- makes sense is with low cost equipment, which is why I speak so much of DMUs.
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