Future LIRR Speculation

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby Liquidcamphor » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:15 pm

Just remember to keep the tone and content of this thread civil. There are some interesting comments but please respect each others ideas.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby SwingMan » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:28 pm

rr503 wrote:
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...


This isn't any of those places though. You can gather up all the facts from all over the world, but we are not talking about any of those places. The shot there at the end tells a lot about your lack of actual experience on trains. All your opinions are just based on numbers on a website or a casual visit here or there to these places.

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.


Buying single level MUs would require basically doubling the current fleet to meet the needs that the current bi-levels handle, but the platforms were not built for single levels passenger equipment, locomotive hauled or EMU. Sinle level trains require more cars per train, those trains are much longer than the platforms in most locations. And none of those equipment you mention come close to meeting the height restrictions, none of them, and as far as I know (without looking) are third rail powered.

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.


The State has an obligation to provide services that will help the needs of the most people they can. Whether a train has 10 people on it or 1000, you are helping someone get to their job that might not have otherwise been able to.

As for the DMUs, if they were the answer for here, or NJT (Aside from the River Line), or Metro North, it would've been here already. Why not? Because the reality is what looks good on a piece of paper or another place does not conform with the real world.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby rr503 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:50 pm

SwingMan wrote:The State has an obligation to provide services that will help the needs of the most people they can. Whether a train has 10 people on it or 1000, you are helping someone get to their job that might not have otherwise been able to.


Incorrect. The LIRR is a subsidiary of the MTA, a public benefit corporation, or a body tasked with providing the best possible service to the rider/taxpayer at the lowest cost. If you see part of that role as acting as a jobs generator, power to ya -- just don't come running to complain about higher fares. I, for one, see the LIRR not so much as a body that creates growth, but as one that engenders it. By providing cheap and accessible public transit to LIers, the railroad frees up capital and time that can be reinvested by its users in other pursuits, generating growth. I see the massive upwards pricing pressure exerted by overcrewing as a threat to that. People will opt for less efficient modes of transport if the railroad becomes dysfunctional and/or overpriced.

As for the DMUs, if they were the answer for here, or NJT (Aside from the River Line), or Metro North, it would've been here already. Why not? Because the reality is what looks good on a piece of paper or another place does not conform with the real world.


Need I remind you that this is the railroad that bought the DE/DMs? I would hardly hold the LIRR as some shining example of fleet planning.

It's also worth noting that they did a study of DMUs that recommended their implementation -- this was maybe 2012 or 2013. The roadblock back then was the lack of FRA-compliant DMUs, but with new regs/products, that whole ballgame has changed.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby workextra » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:24 am

On the DMU topic.
LIRR really could be an industry leader with and FRA compliant DMU. (Long shot of course)
2 options I propose for a friendly discussion here would be to use the M9 car body and maybe loose some seats in the F end For some relocation of components. Put the engine under the say A car and other components in the B car. And run a married pair but diesel.

The other would be the same concept but as a triplet or a quadruple, this would increase seating capacity as there’s more space under the car. But has the greater down fall as you loose 1 car now you lose 3 or 4 opposed to the married pair.
I’d also design these with sand tanks with roof fill hatches.

So you have the now M9 car body generation FRA Compliant, and a 2-4 car possible married set with either an A-B, A-C-B, or A,C,D,B configuration the middle cars in the triplet or quadrupllet configurations each containing Diesel engines.
Either way these cars must provide for low platform access.
DMUs would benefit on the lighter trains but the heavier diesels need loco haul.

Have fun tearing this apart.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby newkirk » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:27 pm

workextra wrote: On the DMU topic.
LIRR really could be an industry leader with and FRA compliant DMU. (Long shot of course)
I propose for a friendly discussion here would be to use the M9 car body.....................


Is this what you mean ?
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby BuddR32 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:24 am

Why is the low platform access a must?
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby freightguy » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:22 am

Wow, isn’t this thread usually posted April 1st of each year as a joke?
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby BM6569 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:37 am

If the results of the Rockaway Beach Branch come back as viable then you will probably see that factored into the next Capital Plan
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:30 am

Nasadowsk wrote: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.

So to play this out, how about contracting with Amtrak to hit the east end once you’ve built out third rail as far as practical (that is, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, and the Central?) Let them know far enough in advance to buy some extra P32 replacements and regional coaches, and you’ve entirely solved your LIRR diesel conundrum.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby rr503 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:10 pm

BM6569 wrote:If the results of the Rockaway Beach Branch come back as viable then you will probably see that factored into the next Capital Plan


Assuming they select a LIRR alternative, which, in my opinion would be a flawed choice (beyond the fact that the RBB is a questionable investment in and of itself).
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby MattW » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:17 pm

SwingMan wrote:
rr503 wrote:
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...


This isn't any of those places though. You can gather up all the facts from all over the world, but we are not talking about any of those places. The shot there at the end tells a lot about your lack of actual experience on trains. All your opinions are just based on numbers on a website or a casual visit here or there to these places.

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.


Buying single level MUs would require basically doubling the current fleet to meet the needs that the current bi-levels handle, but the platforms were not built for single levels passenger equipment, locomotive hauled or EMU. Sinle level trains require more cars per train, those trains are much longer than the platforms in most locations. And none of those equipment you mention come close to meeting the height restrictions, none of them, and as far as I know (without looking) are third rail powered.

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.


The State has an obligation to provide services that will help the needs of the most people they can. Whether a train has 10 people on it or 1000, you are helping someone get to their job that might not have otherwise been able to.

As for the DMUs, if they were the answer for here, or NJT (Aside from the River Line), or Metro North, it would've been here already. Why not? Because the reality is what looks good on a piece of paper or another place does not conform with the real world.

But yesterday's reality is not necessarily tomorrow's. As was pointed out in this thread, the American DMU market really hasn't existed, largely due to FRA regulations regarding vehicle weight. Now that that's changing, it opens up possibilities that didn't exist during NJT and MNRR's last fleet acquisitions. Even on those roads though, where would DMUs even fit in? MNRR could use them on Danbury and Waterbury maybe. Maybe open up some new branches...somewhere. NJT...I don't know of any of their lines that would justify DMUs except the RiverLine. Even the LIRR really only has Greenport and Oyster Bay. Unless the DMUs were actually DEMUs with third-rail capability for run-through service from electrified territory/NYPS/ESA.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby edflyerssn007 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:16 am

newkirk wrote:
workextra wrote: On the DMU topic.
LIRR really could be an industry leader with and FRA compliant DMU. (Long shot of course)
I propose for a friendly discussion here would be to use the M9 car body.....................


Is this what you mean ?


Is there more info available about that proposal that I can research?
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby mjd13076 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:51 pm

How about resurrecting Port Jeff to Wading River? Population has exploded out there since the 1930s and congestion is getting pretty heavy. A majority of the line’s footprint is still there, albeit now a part of LIPA’s (or PSEG) equipment.
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Re: Future LIRR Speculation

Postby Kelly&Kelly » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:53 am

It would be great to see this happen. Decisions of this nature are made by the State which owns the railroad, in a political way. If a public uprising demands such an expansion, and the uprising gets publicity from the rather limited Long Island media, the concept could get attention. Since the State manages to lose perhaps $5 - $10 on every ride, there's no fiscal incentive here. Expansion costs would be enormous -- perhaps the biggest Suffolk public works projects since the SW Sewer District.

We'd love to see the reconstruction of the line, but in a virtually bankrupt state and county, we wouln't expect anything soon.
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