Port Jervis Potential Yard Locations

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Port Jervis Potential Yard Locations

Postby TDowling » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:44 pm

What if anything is preventing metro north from using the yard at Campbell Hall as a midpoint yard for the west of hudson improvements?
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Retitled
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby EuroStar » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:54 am

Demand. There is not enough passenger demand to justify spending the money on the yard now. I am no insider who owns that yard, probably NS, so leasing it in addition to the line itself is probably easy. The issue is that the need for midpoint yard is not there yet. The yard is a long term need that is pretty much guaranteed to happen only if Gateway and the Bergen Loop at Secaucus get built (even then the demand might not materialize, who knows?). Only then there might be a chance that demand grows enough to justify the number of trains necessitating the midpoint yard. Even then the yard might not happen quickly because the trains might not materialize due to peak hour capacity limitations of the two tracks between Suffern and Ridgewood. Off-peak it will be fine, but during the peak hours you cannot have too many expresses without bumping into the NJ locals in that segment. Funding that segment will be a major political pain point because NJ has no benefit in funding a middle track for trains that do not stop, while NY will find it difficult to fund track work located out of state. Also even though Secaucus to Ridgewood is kind of 4 tracks (2 Main +2 Bergen), they have less capacity for expresses than 4 tracks lying side by side because with 4 tracks you can dedicate the middle two to expresses while with the existing split line configuration you need locals to run on each of the tracks of each the Bergen and Main line.

The only thing Metro-North should do now is just keep the property available and make sure nobody pulls the tracks even if they are just rusting for the next 30-40 years, so that when the time comes the NIMBYs cannot claim that the yard was not there.
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby SecaucusJunction » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:39 pm

As far as I know, the midpoint yard was included in the funding for MTA 2015-2019 capital projects. As far as location, I've heard of locations from Harriman to Middletown.
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby EuroStar » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:36 am

SecaucusJunction wrote:As far as I know, the midpoint yard was included in the funding for MTA 2015-2019 capital projects. As far as location, I've heard of locations from Harriman to Middletown.


You are right. It was in there, but I am still very puzzled why. It is not as if they need to run another 4-6 daily round trips -- the demand is not there. I also cannot imagine that cutting some of the existing trips short and not sending them to Port Jervis saves operationally enough money to justify the cost of yard. All that might change with Gateway, but that is 20 years away, so why do this now?
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby DanD3815 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:57 pm

What makes you think the demand isn't there? The PJ line can absolutely benefit from added service and the line has always been growing and in demand despite the hit it took during hurricane sandy.
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby MTASUPT » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:07 pm

Should they wait to build a yard until the Gateway is done? There are ways to improve travel time into Secaucus/NYP currently and reduce the amount of Deadhead travel. Also if you haven't been west on the Tier lately there is a growing market from Port Jervis to Calicoon which can bring reverse weekend travelers to the region. There are some states that wait to build to improve their transit system and put 10lbs in a 1lb bag....At least NY/MN/OC are looking ahead.
"Intelligent management of Railroads must be based upon exact knowledge of facts. Guess work will not do..." VPO NYC 1963
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby EuroStar » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:55 pm

Don't get me wrong -- I am happy to see things getting built, but I am also trying to be realistic.

As recently as two weeks ago one of the pm peak hour express sets was 3 cars only and while full there were only a handful of people standing. Also some time ago MN needed to make parking practically free in order to wrestle some ridership back from the buses. The line is also a prisoner of NJTransit -- if the NJ track is slow there is nothing MN can do about it. Recent example include Midland Ave crossing speed reduction and the temporary slow orders at Radburn. Also, what do you think a strike by NJTransit will do for the ridership? MN cannot run its trains with NJTransit on strike. Additionally, in my opinion, given the distance/travel time the only way to attract more ridership is with more expresses -- extending couple of slow NJ locals won't tempt people to take the train. Where they can squeeze any additional expresses during the peak demand is unclear while doing it off-peak makes for questionable return on investment. Basically I do not see what the yard is getting them now or during the next 20 years (if/when Gateway opens then the situation is different).

I would love to see improvements on this or any other line, but I just do not see the benefits. That is all. What benefits do you see that can be realized without Gateway and/or upgrades of infrastructure in NJ?
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby DanD3815 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:25 am

Frequency alone will help, especially in Orange County, NY. One problem with the PJL is how sporadic the schedule can be. Just recently they fixed the big hole they had in the westbound afternoon schedule and with the added yard capacity and the idea of double tracking the PJL will increase the frequency of trains that can be run on the line. If you give Orange County a better schedule, a more frequent schedule, then the line will benefit from it, riders will come. Yes gateway would help even more with the loop, but just the added frequency and options traveling to and from orange county would help greatly. There is still a large number of people who travel across the Hudson to Beacon because of more options with the frequency of the hudson line. Giving OC riders more option on the PJL will help that along with their new parking prices. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there room left on the main line for an express track that can be put in? (im referring to the space left at Ramsey Rt 17) that could benefit the PJL as well. The holes in the schedule aren't that hard to overcome, it will just take an extra train or two and then a better weekend schedule. A midpoint yard would help and running trains up to Harriman or Campell Hall or even Middletown would be beneficial as well.
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby SecaucusJunction » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:43 pm

Yes frequency of service and not having any trains make every stop up the main line would help a lot. The new afternoon train ran 3 cars long but was basically full on its first week of service. The only time there would be congestion in NJ would be during rush hours. Off peak, when more service is needed, there is plenty of space. East of Waldwick is already 3 tracks. Hopefully the new yard and increased double track in NY gets done sooner rather than later.
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby EuroStar » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:26 am

I have not been on that new train, so I do not know how full/empty it is. I am not disputing your claim that it is full even though at 100 people per car the capacity of that train is 300 people or more. My assertion was that in the pm peak the Harriman express(there is only one that skips all stops to Harriman) recently was only 3 cars and there were not many standees.

East of Waldwick is 3 tracks, but in my opinion given the way our current politicians behave and extrapolating into the future you will not get a third track west of Waldwick in your or my lifetime. Even though the right of way is there as are all bridges, the incentives for the politicos are not there. Why would a NJ politician throw support behind a third track when it will be used by NY trains to speed by his NJ constituents? Why would a NY politician agree to spend what would be on the order of $100MM for track work outside of NY state? Even then, good luck with the 5+ years of litigation by NJ residents trying to delay and cancel the project given that there is no benefit for them. Yes, they left all that space in the middle of Route 17 station for a third track, but that was because the transportation planners/engineers knew what they were doing so as not to preclude future expansion, not because they were certain that third track would be funded by the politicos.

As for double tracking in NY. Yes it can be done. Yes, politically it is much easier. Yes, they allowed for it during the recent upgrades to PTC. What does it buy you? There are very few meets north of Suffern. Nothing that is a problem now or cannot be solved with another 2-3 mile siding. There is no need for trains passing each other either (other than the case of a train breaking down). If you double track through a station you need to build a second platform which will trigger ADA compliance, so elevators will be in order. That makes the double tracking a very expensive proposition in terms of cost-benefit right now. If ridership doubled from current (or better from 2008) levels, then it becomes much more defensible. I will give you this much: if it was double tracked, then that new train which gets to Middletown by 4:20 would actually be able to make a revenue run back to Hoboken. Right now it deadheads back to Hoboken because otherwise it will get in the way of the pm peak hour expresses north of Suffern.

And as a side note, it is my understanding that the ridership still has not recovered to its 2008 peak.

And again do not take me the wrong way. I would love to see improvements on the line in both NY or NJ. I just do not see them as realistically happening any time soon.
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:43 pm

How much of the Campbell Hall Yard still exists? Does MN use this land as a storage site for track materials?
Or is this site under NS control?
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby SecaucusJunction » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:51 am

The current freight yard is operated by East Penn/M&NJ. I forget whether they own or lease it but the passenger yard would have to be constructed elsewhere. I always thought around Red Onion might be the place it could be built.
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby TDowling » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:48 pm

EuroStar wrote:
As for double tracking in NY. Yes it can be done. Yes, politically it is much easier. Yes, they allowed for it during the recent upgrades to PTC. What does it buy you? There are very few meets north of Suffern. Nothing that is a problem now or cannot be solved with another 2-3 mile siding. There is no need for trains passing each other either (other than the case of a train breaking down). If you double track through a station you need to build a second platform which will trigger ADA compliance, so elevators will be in order. That makes the double tracking a very expensive proposition in terms of cost-benefit right now. If ridership doubled from current (or better from 2008) levels, then it becomes much more defensible. I will give you this much: if it was double tracked, then that new train which gets to Middletown by 4:20 would actually be able to make a revenue run back to Hoboken. Right now it deadheads back to Hoboken because otherwise it will get in the way of the pm peak hour expresses north of Suffern.



Double tracking from Sloatsburg to Harriman instead of from Sloatsburg to Salisbury Mills would make more sense because its cheaper plus the MTA wont need to worry about building a second platform in stations other than SLoatsburg and Tuxedo, which I assume can easily be done given their small size and in-town location. The other stations dont really need a second platform.

Also, how is the MTA going to double track Moodna and Woodbury Viaducts?
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby DanD3815 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:40 pm

http://m.recordonline.com/article/20160223/NEWS/160229763

I don't believe the plan was to double track the moodna viaduct, but go right up to it.
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Re: potential yard at Campbell Hall?

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:23 pm

TDowling wrote:
EuroStar wrote:
As for double tracking in NY. Yes it can be done. Yes, politically it is much easier. Yes, they allowed for it during the recent upgrades to PTC. What does it buy you? There are very few meets north of Suffern. Nothing that is a problem now or cannot be solved with another 2-3 mile siding. There is no need for trains passing each other either (other than the case of a train breaking down). If you double track through a station you need to build a second platform which will trigger ADA compliance, so elevators will be in order. That makes the double tracking a very expensive proposition in terms of cost-benefit right now. If ridership doubled from current (or better from 2008) levels, then it becomes much more defensible. I will give you this much: if it was double tracked, then that new train which gets to Middletown by 4:20 would actually be able to make a revenue run back to Hoboken. Right now it deadheads back to Hoboken because otherwise it will get in the way of the pm peak hour expresses north of Suffern.



Double tracking from Sloatsburg to Harriman instead of from Sloatsburg to Salisbury Mills would make more sense because its cheaper plus the MTA wont need to worry about building a second platform in stations other than SLoatsburg and Tuxedo, which I assume can easily be done given their small size and in-town location. The other stations dont really need a second platform.

Also, how is the MTA going to double track Moodna and Woodbury Viaducts?

Wasn't the whole line double tracked back in Erie-Lackawanna days?
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