Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:34 pm

you can lobby till cows come home, but if there is no money so its hard to lobby for it.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:39 pm

http://web.mta.info/mnr/MilePosts/17060 ... epost.html

Down to the Wire!

Work on replacing the New Haven Line's catenary system, a project funded and managed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, is in the last stretch, with final completion expected in mid-2018.

For all you New Haven Line customers out there, this is cause to celebrate. But those of you who ride those "other lines" may ask, "What is catenary anyway, and why do we need it?"

The State of Connecticut does not allow third rail operations, so our New Haven Line trains are powered by overhead wire called catenary, like the kind once seen on trolley cars. (The switchover from third rail to catenary happens in the vicinity of Pelham. Also, trains on the Danbury and Waterbury branch lines use diesel locomotives.)

When we started this final phase of the project in 2014, we broke down the 10.1 mile distance into two segments, from East Norwalk to Green's Farms, and from Bridgeport to Milford, in addition to working on our Bridgeport Yard.

In May, all of the overhead wire and the systems that support them above tracks 3 and 1 along both segments, were completed.

This month marks the beginning of the last phase of this project in which we replace all the old wires with the new system above tracks 2 and 4. That final portion of work will start first with the Bridgeport to Milford segment, and both segments should be completed by mid-2018.

While we are working, only one track will be taken out of service continuously during daytime, non-rush hours and at night, without impacting train service and virtually invisible to you, our customers.

The catenary that we are replacing was originally installed in 1907 — 110 years ago! When this Connecticut-side catenary work is completed, we will have replaced the original "fixed termination" catenary (which can sag or contract due to temperature changes) with a state-of-the-art constant tension system that better accommodates temperature extremes. (The New York State portion of the line was completed in 1995.)

In addition to making our operation safer and more reliable, the new catenary will reduce wear and tear on the pantograph itself because of flexible registration arms that come out and float the catenary back and forth within a six-inch tolerance above the track — so it doesn't get worn down in one spot.

In 2014, we completed catenary work in the seven-mile stretch between Southport and Bridgeport, allowing us to route peak-period trains on all four tracks in this area for the first time in four years.

We also replaced open deck railway bridges in Bridgeport and Fairfield, and complicated wire work at the Southport and Bridgeport interlockings — sections of track, signals and switches allowing trains to cross from one track to another
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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby georgewerr » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:49 am

Do I understand correctly This means all Catenary from Boston to NY are now constant tension and NJ is the only place with the old system.
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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby Arlington » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:27 pm

Only half the tracks (2 out of 4) have the new cat. Work on the other two doesn't finish until 2018.
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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby gokeefe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:57 pm

It's still pretty impressive nonetheless. This has been a 20+ year project.
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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:26 am

Arlington wrote:Only half the tracks (2 out of 4) have the new cat. Work on the other two doesn't finish until 2018.


Only 2 out of 4 contiguously have the new cat end-to-end. All 4 of them have long had it for a majority of the distance, which is why the project's in last stages of closeout now. 2018's just the last time any schedules have to be stressed by temp platform bridge plates at a local stop reaching across the OOS local tracks to the express tracks. Those things murder the dwell times at local stops when MNRR has to crawl in to precisely match doors to bridge plates...then occasionally have to back up when they overshoot by a few too many inches. That's 10 years of cheap station-stop delays of that sort which'll at long last be coming to an end and restoring a little bit more schedule resiliency from variable dwells.
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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby Patrick A. » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:50 pm

This in addition to the capacity gains by having all tracks available sans speed restrictions either from construction or temperature extremes. Another big item checked off to bring the line back to a state of good repair, movable bridges up next.
I have lived to ride on the M8.

Complete Constant Tension on the New Haven Line ETC: Mid-2018
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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:30 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
Arlington wrote:Only half the tracks (2 out of 4) have the new cat. Work on the other two doesn't finish until 2018.


Only 2 out of 4 contiguously have the new cat end-to-end. All 4 of them have long had it for a majority of the distance, which is why the project's in last stages of closeout now. 2018's just the last time any schedules have to be stressed by temp platform bridge plates at a local stop reaching across the OOS local tracks to the express tracks. Those things murder the dwell times at local stops when MNRR has to crawl in to precisely match doors to bridge plates...then occasionally have to back up when they overshoot by a few too many inches. That's 10 years of cheap station-stop delays of that sort which'll at long last be coming to an end and restoring a little bit more schedule resiliency from variable dwells.

...for all of maybe 6 months until construction starts on the WALK bridge replacement. :wink:
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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby zhaos » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:48 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
Arlington wrote:Sorry if this has been asked, but neither the first 8 pages here or the MTA page say what the practical upside is when completed. Mostly just 100-year replacement with a bit of reliability in temp extremes and a bit of capacity due to power upgrades?


Well, it's just the cat, not the supply, that this project is about. CDOT's done quite a bit of outright power upgrades and power reliability upgrades to the source separately during the decade-long duration of this project. And they used the track outages during this project to replace more than a dozen undergrade bridges in the project area, refinish a bunch of overgrade span abutments and decks, and renovate some station platforms while the temp bridge plates were out in force. There was a lot of extracurricular going on in the coattails from this project that weren't directly part of the project. Definitely much more where that came from still needs to be done, but they threw a kitchen's sink worth of other SGR work between the margins and got their money's worth out of the ground time the track outages afforded their maint crews. The aggregate improvements go a lot further than just new overhead.

In addition to old components being old and shot, the switch to constant-tension cat is a big deal for reliability. Too many heat-related speed restrictions and brownouts with wire sag during summer, too many downed wires during winter. Too many intermittent track outages on any given day because a wire problem needed to be tended to. It was a very real and everpresent OTP drag for a line with such incredible traffic densities. And it would've prevented them from ever increasing train capacity making this new supplemental M8 purchase to run 10-car trains on the Stamford locals and New Haven expresses, because every extra pantograph per consist touching that bouncy old wire would've exacerbated the brownout problem and effectively imposed a cap on consist length that got shorter and shorter during summer heat and winter deep freeze. No matter how robust the juice was at the source, those +60-94 additional cars were never possible without full cat renewal.

On other parts of the NEC we mainly hear about constant-tension upgrades being coached in terms of Amtrak speeds and reliability therein. This isn't going to make Amtrak go faster on the New Haven Line because traffic density on all 4 tracks in the limiter for Amtrak on the New Haven Line...but pound-for-pound C-T matters more here than in 150 MPH territory down in the Jersey swamp by keeping everything in that incredible traffic density moving more reliably with MUCH lower daily potential for wire-related speedos. We've already seen the positive effects with each new segment that's completed.


Is the density you're referring to mainly during peak service for the line? Off-peak on the New Haven line is 4 Metro-North trains per hour per direction west of Stamford and 2 trains east of Stamford right? And then Amtrak adds in two or so trains an hour per direction.
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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:19 pm

zhaos wrote:Is the density you're referring to mainly during peak service for the line? Off-peak on the New Haven line is 4 Metro-North trains per hour per direction west of Stamford and 2 trains east of Stamford right? And then Amtrak adds in two or so trains an hour per direction.

More than that. First, remember that those trains east of Stamford all run through to 125th St. & GCT. Second, weekday off-peak these days is generally half-hourly both east and west of Stamford.

Eastbound the :04 trains are the classic Stamford-first-then-all-stops-to-New-Haven that have been running since at least the beginning of MN. There are also now :34 departures that make Stamford, Darien, South Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield and then all stops to NH. Westbound, the :44 departures from NH make all stops to Stamford, while the :23 make all stops to Fairfield, then Westport, S Norwalk, Darien and Stamford.

So that's 4 MN revenue runs/hour east of Stamford, 8 west. And that's not counting Amtrak, the non-revenue moves to position equipment, and the time the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury shuttles spend on the main.
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Re: Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Postby andrewjw » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:36 pm

You will note zhaos said "per hour per direction", while you counted trains traveling both directions - so you reached the exact same numbers.
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