Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:15 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:-Does the East Bronx service even need to reach Penn? It's been a long time since the NH and NYW&B had an East Bronx terminal. I imagine the market is there for this service whether or not it crosses the East River into Penn, or even the Hell Gate for that matter. It's a huge market. Penn should be the ultimate destination, of course, but the intermediate market/reverse peak is vital, bringing from the East Bronx to Westchester and Fairfield Counties (NY & CT respectively).

Minor quibble but- the NYNH&H/NYW&B never had a terminal in the East Bronx. The station was in the South Bronx-- just about as far south as you can physically get, right by the Willis Avenue Bridge. When the NYW&B was being planned & built in the years before WWI there was a belief that the commercial center of gravity in Manhattan would continue to migrate north, as it had been doing for the last 100+ years: meaning a station at 133rd & 1st would be well positioned, not out in the middle of nowhere.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:19 pm

The entire Hellgate Line should be at least three tracks so that way Amtrak trains can pass Metro North trains.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:22 pm

With Harold still being rebuilt,and ESA slowly getting done,it will be awhile before MN operates into NY Penn.
There needs to be 3rd rail installed beyond (CP)Gate and the phase break between the Amtrak and MN power grids to allow the M-8's
to changeover to LIRR 3rd rail power,along with a substation to power that 3rd rail tied into LIRR's power grid.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby vince » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:09 pm

The Metro North and Long Island Rail Road third rail are incompatible.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:57 pm

Doesn't matter, M8s have contact shoes that can accommodate either setup.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:27 pm

BM6569 wrote:Should a new Pelham Bay bridge be a 3 track span instead of 2?


I'd say 4. Not sure what it was originally. Hell Gate was originally 4, but now 2 pax, 1 freight, one removed and used for access, equipment, etc. I think.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby krispy » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:30 pm

Pelham Bay under the NH/NYW&B had 6 tracks with 3 movable spans. I don't have the link but Otto co-authored a book regarding the NYW&B and I believe it has a lot of info regarding the branch in it's heyday. I think they had a page supporting it so take a look there. Also there is a ton of info on the branch on the NHRHTA forums, with info provided by some of the operators who worked those bridges.

It boggled my mind when I saw how much used to be there, the amount of stations, yards, shops along that branch, and all with cat wire. It was a trip when I learned why they called the two tracks that came down to Fremont (by Fresh Pond) were called 5 and 6 Main, and that at one time SS 3/Bungay/Oak Tower had 8 main tracks going through it, 4 for the Hellgate, and 4 to go to the terminal at Harlem River. As Jeff mentioned on the Hellgate there's two for Penn (3 and 4 Main, or NH1 and NH2 when I worked Harold) and one for Fremont/Pond. Originally one of the freight tracks was cut back to a site of a derailment in the Conrail era ("swamp switch") and what was then Market Tower (took over for the closed Oak Tower), as there was no need for more than 1 track for the LI traffic. There had been a switching point in the very early period of the NY Connecting RR where the tracks split off going to Fremont or Penn (Bowery Bay), but after that closed it was just two to Penn. They block now from Pelham Bay to Gate, which was put in when they closed Market, and then Gate to Harold.

Two tracks is more than enough, even if they do put back some service via MN. Only time there was conflict when I did Harold was that Fast Mail train which was usually late and would show up in the midst of the LIRR rush hour. If PSCC could cross them at Gate it wasn't bad, but it was a pain if we had to cross them from NH 1 to Line 2 in the middle of the rush hour. They do plan to replace Pelham Bay as the bridge is old with a elevated row, and adding a third or more track wouldn't be worth the cost. If they do island platforms for the new stations and put in a new interlocking at old Market or at some point nearby, it would be easy to run around a local.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:52 am

No third main? Let's not hope Amtrak gets stuck behind a local then. Not doing a better build out for higher capacity seems short-sighted IMO.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby EuroStar » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:18 am

I cannot blame Amtrak for asking for what will basically end up being a full third main between New Rochelle and Hellgate Bridge. They do not want to be stuck behind locals and given that this is a problem in Connecticut where the MTA dispatches the line, for Amtrak having an exclusive track for their non-stopping trains just makes sense. While a forth track might never become necessary, they will do well if they preserve the space for such (and not put platforms or other equipment there the way it was done with that one station in Connecticut) and use it as access road. I have not heard of the DEIS for this coming out any time soon, so PSAS is still just a concept, even if it is more concrete concept than it was 3 years ago.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:25 am

Once it pasts the closest stop, certainly two tracks is still enough. I think that's Hunt's Point?

It would make sense to me to have a third main. There's plenty of room, especially past the former Westchester junction near 180. I'm pretty sure Amtrak is going to want station platforms off the main, though, so perhaps the platforms will be island platforms, with the third main and a fourth track for those, for potential meets?
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby krispy » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:56 am

Don't get hung up on a 3rd track. Gate to Pelham Bay to Shell is a short distance for dispatching (keeping in mind these are the existing interlockings) and more than enough for a few extra stations. I don't know what they plan to build at the moment, but even if they went crazy and rebuilt what they had in the NYW&B era, it's still pretty good, although if they did add something at the vicinity of old Mar Let's say you want to take the existing 3rd track from Pelham Bay to the freight yards and make it a main track - now you have to keep it to a certain standard for passenger rail, add PTC and restrict freight movement for a pax train with a few bodies for Co-op City. I think the fellas at Shared Assets may say NO. All of this stuff is huuuuuuge bucks, and Amtrak and the MTA both have to fight for every penny. Given a boss has to look at what he has to use to run his budget for the next few years, and then expect them to have an extra track?

That's why it may (or may not) happen. Railroading ain't cheap, and while the spigot at Albany is flowing at the moment, things can change real quick. At some time the bill will come due and I feel for my kids and their peers when it does.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby BM6569 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:24 pm

"The east Bronx dream of long-promised Metro-North Rail commuter service into Manhattan is being threatened by Amtrak, the owner of the rail tracks, in its demands that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority cough up the funds to make infrastructure improvements on the system before a signed contract is forthcoming, according to borough officials."

"At the top of that laundry list is the Pelham Bay Bridge, an Amtrak owned train bridge that’s currently in a severe state of disrepair.

According to the MTA, Amtrak is trying to have the MTA foot the bill for refurbishment of the Long Island City train yard and the Pelham Bay Bridge, a draw bridge over the Hutchinson River, along with negotiating other financial responsibilities, such as repairs of the Amtrak trestle that crosses over Bronxdale Avenue. The bridge only has a 10-year life expectancy remaining, according to Amtrak estimates."

https://www.bxtimes.com/stories/2018/42 ... 19-bx.html
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby ConstanceR46 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:44 pm

Hold on. I'm pretty sure they just redid Sunnyside's platforms like last year.
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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby DutchRailnut » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:51 pm

except Metro North would not be stopping there .
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Metro-North Penn Station Access Study (PSAS)

Postby ConstanceR46 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:31 pm

What i mean is Sunnyside Yard, they've apparently already been fixing it as evidenced by redoing the yard plats
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