Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

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Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby TDowling » Sun May 22, 2016 11:36 pm

I know MTA pays NJT to operate on the Port Jervis line, but which of the two agencies determines if/how many stops will be made in NJ by Port Jervis trains? I know it is probably a moot point given the probable Great Notching of Garfield Station, but all PJ trains except the 1240am from Hoboken include the new Wesmont station in the schedule. In the interest of revenue and ridership, I think it would be better if Wesmont as well as Rt 17 were included in some of the Port Jervis locals and less-utilized stations like Mahwah and Ho Ho Kus were skipped.
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby EuroStar » Mon May 23, 2016 12:49 pm

As of right now, Wesmont has lower ridership than Garfield and Mahwah which are the lowest ridership stations on the line, so how about NO at this time? If Wesmont gains enough ridership then your question deserves consideration, but as of right now that is not the case.

Furthermore people do not seem to understand what occurred with Great Notch. Great Notch was the first stop after MSU. It was never a busy stop, but after the NYC direct trains reached MSU and the parking garage was built people had no reason to use the station even if they lived next to it -- why change trains when you could drive 5 minutes and be on a direct train to the city? Only a few commuters who had jobs in NJ (probably Newark or Jersey City) were left. Mahwah has a similar problem -- why take a local (or even a semi-express) when you can do a short drive and take an express from Rt17 or Suffern? The time savings more than compensate for the driving even for people living close to the station(there are other costs such as the parking at Rt17). I do not know what the future of Garfield station holds, but this sort of dynamic is missing, so it is not clear that the outcome will be the same -- at the end of the day, they did not reduce service to Garfield when Wesmont opened.
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby CentralValleyRail » Mon May 23, 2016 7:44 pm

The full parking lot isn't opened yet being a reason. Garfield's parking lot has been closed for months. in time it'll be getting a great notching..
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby SecaucusJunction » Mon May 23, 2016 10:13 pm

MTA has no interest in their trains stopping at Wesmont. Ideally there would be no Port Jervis locals. Hopefully that's what eventually happens. The only reason they stop at Rt 17 is because it was a relief for overcrowded parking lots along the PJ line. It will be interesting to see what happens when they expand service and build the midpoint yard.
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Thu May 26, 2016 8:49 pm

ShortLine Bus does the same with its Orange County service; most trips are express on NJ Route 17, though Ridgewood Park/Ride is a stop for some.
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby TDowling » Fri May 27, 2016 10:34 pm

Thanks all. Does anyone know the logistics of who exactly determines if and how many stops a pjl train makes in nj? In other words, Does the mta in essence pay NJT to have a pjl train skip stops in nj and thus cover whatever lost revenue incurred by skipping said stops?
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby SecaucusJunction » Fri May 27, 2016 11:02 pm

I believe NJT and MTA share the cost of running trains that make stops in both states
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby TDowling » Fri May 27, 2016 11:10 pm

Oh I see. I guess the number of stops it makes in jersey hinges on scheduling logistics and not on financial logistics.
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Sat May 28, 2016 10:24 am

There are Pascack Valley Trains that MN wanted, that NJT did not...so therefore they skip the NJ stops.
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby SecaucusJunction » Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:14 am

Substitute busing in effect off peak next week across the entire line and next weekend west of Middletown. I feel bad for the riders of the line who keep getting bus service instead of the train. Definitely not a good way to try to increase off peak service.
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: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:15 am

not doing upgrades and maintenance would far exceed current amount of suck, the riders experience.
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby trainbrain » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:31 pm

SecaucusJunction wrote:MTA has no interest in their trains stopping at Wesmont. Ideally there would be no Port Jervis locals.

I've always thought that all Port Jervis Line trains should be express. The ride is long enough on an express, and forcing everyone to sit on a local through NJ definitely turns some away.

That being said, maybe the money just isn't there to make all Port Jervis trains express, but there are some seemingly easy scheduling changes that would eliminate some of the local runs.

Right now, 62, 67, and 41 are fully local in NJ. 42, 45, and 68 are mostly local, and 66 is semi express. 45 and 62 could be made express with the addition of one Suffern round trip. The new train would make all local stops on the Bergen Line to Suffern (replacing 45). Then it would become 1170 and go back to Hoboken. Currently, this trip uses the set from 1109, so the rotation would need to be changed by cutting 1109 (redundant west of Waldwick with 1151) to Waldwick, and then return as a new run to Hoboken making all Main Line stops (replacing 62)

67 and 68 could also be made express with the addition of a Suffern round trip. A train would depart Hoboken at about the time 67 does and make all Main Line stops to Suffern, then return as the last inbound Bergen Line trip of the night (replacing 68). 67 and 68 could both go express.

41 and 42 could be made express, but it would be less beneficial and more costly than 45, 62, 67, and 68.

On weekends, 75 and 81 could be made into semi express runs because they are completely redundant with 1719 and 1735 west of Ridgewood respectively. The rest of the locals (70, 74, 76, 78, 82, 69) would be much harder to get rid of without major scheduling changes.

Edit: Can someone tell me why 49 has Ramsey Route 17 listed as a stop to receive passengers only? Doesn't make much sense to that they wouldn't let people off there.
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:52 pm

why ask scheduling questions , be concise or e nut . MTA .org has links
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby EuroStar » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:11 am

trainbrain wrote:I've always thought that all Port Jervis Line trains should be express. The ride is long enough on an express, and forcing everyone to sit on a local through NJ definitely turns some away.

The thing that turns the most people away is the change at Secaucus. If the loop ever sees the light of day, that would be 10 minutes per trip right there. And that is a gain on every train and trip, not just a few off-peak trains with insufficient ridership.

trainbrain wrote:That being said, maybe the money just isn't there to make all Port Jervis trains express, but there are some seemingly easy scheduling changes that would eliminate some of the local runs.

The money will be there if the ridership was there. Those off-peak trains just do not have enough riders to justify paying the "express" costs through NJ. As locals their cost to Metro-North is much smaller. Think about it: extending a local means that MN pays only the costs of operation beyond Suffern plus something in terms of equipment because that makes the set unavailable for an immediate run back to Hoboken.

The gold standard of MN for local/express service is the Hudson Line weekend schedule. With 4 tracks to Croton and 2 north of there to Poghkeepsie it is easy to run local from north down to Croton, then express from there to GCT with the local train departing immediately after the express. Same on the way north with the local arriving at Croton a bit before the north bound express. There are many reasons why that cannot be made to work well on the former Erie line. The only place where an express can pass a local is between Ridgewood and Waldwick. Everywhere else you just cannot pass a local that is in front of you even though theoretically there are for tracks between Ridgewood and Hoboken. That forces you to play schedule games by sending the express first and then the local immediately after it. If that was the only thing to consider problem would have been solved. You need to make sure that you about balance the NJ locals from Suffern going on each the Main and Bergen lines or certain local station pairs one east of Ridgewood and one west of Ridgewood would always require transfers which then you need to at least approximately time. You also need to make sure that the timings of your train meets west of Suffern are such that opposing directions trains do not end up waiting for each other. Then there are the badly designed plant at Waldwick. They seem to use only one track in the yard, but the line becomes double tracked before the yard and a train leaving the yard and going east to Hoboken blocks all tracks during the switching -- your schedule needs to time things there too. Now add to that the fact that Suffern to Ridgewood does not have enough ridership to justify dedicated NJ expresses for them you end up having to dance around semi-expresses stopping at some other local Bergen stops (where the ridership actually is). There are probably a few more considerations which I cannot think of and that is how you end up vary far from the ideal operating model.

trainbrain wrote:Edit: Can someone tell me why 49 has Ramsey Route 17 listed as a stop to receive passengers only? Doesn't make much sense to that they wouldn't let people off there.

NJTransit did not want to pay, so Metro-North made them do it in order to not subsidize NJ trips. MN wanted the stop due to the high school ridership --students from NY attending the Bosco school there and going home in the afternoon. You can take the train and get off there, but make sure you have a ticket to Suffern.
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Re: Scheduling question for Port Jervis Line

Postby trainbrain » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:30 pm

That makes sense with NJT not wanting to pay for MNCR's express train, and MNCR didn't want to pay for the full cost of the train while subsidizing NJ riders.

If that yard is ever built at Campbell Hall/Salisbury Mills, something will have to be done to allow more express trains through the NJ portion. From looking at Google Earth, there should be room to build a bypass track between Passaic and Clifton without altering the stations, and the said track could be built all the way to Lyndhurst if that station and Delawanna are widened. Only the peak period trains really have scheduling conflicts with the locals, so there wouldn't need to be 4 tracks anywhere.

One of the Waldwick issues looks pretty simple to fix, by extending the 3rd track past the yard, almost to Allendale. That allows express trains, and through trains to Suffern to pass terminating local trains. However, it doesn't solve the problem of the trains going into service at Waldwick blocking all 3 tracks. I don't think building a flyover would be cost effective, but it would definitely solve all the issues.

Personally, the Secaucus transfer doesn't bother me as much as spending an additional half hour slogging through 15 local stops. Say I, or anyone for that matter wants to go into the city outside of rush hour. Do I change my travel times to take a fast train that runs when it isn't convenient for me, drive in and deal with the traffic and parking headaches, or take a train that runs at a convenient time, but gives me a scenic tour of suburban NJ, when I just want to get to NYC.
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