Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrification)

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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby rohr turbo » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:32 pm

I'm not arguing for electrification of the branch, but I do want to understand a technical point raised by tcurtin.

Wouldn't EMUs be better than diesel-hauled for grades and slippery conditions? Due to more powered axles.
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:54 pm

no, cause EMU's do not have sanders and are way lighter .
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:14 pm

One can't really judge how MU's would handle the Danbury Branch because outside of the dink with its one or two cars MU cars were not normally part of the operation on the Danbury Branch. One advantage of MU's would be that each car is a locomotive with traction motors so wheel slip problems might not be as serious as with a single MU or Budd Car or a locomotive without sand. Having said that, the power on the branch was shut off in think in 1961 or so under the worst management that any railroad anywhere in the US ever had. It was a gross mistake, we knew it but the head boss was too stupid to know it. It was a mistake when it happened but it would be just as much a mistake to try to restore it in these days as well. Present diesel power does an adequate job, maybe not quite as good as the motors were but still adequate and the cost and benefits of restoring electric operation in this case can not be justified. The older motors would often do a better job on the Danbury Branch than the FL-9's that replaced them. Incidentally the very last trains to have electric equipment to Danbury was 140 and 143 on Saturday out of New York with a combo and two coaches. This took place during the last couple of months of electric operation on the branch. The dink was the last weekday job to have electric equipment, one MU motor car, a 4400 in warmer months and an old green MU during the winter months.
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:16 pm

ok so much for history channel, now back to 2017 :-)
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:47 pm

Now now, I appreciate the history lessons! :)
It would be more useful to extend service to New Milford before stringing wire but we know our dear friend Gail just won't let electrification go....
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby NaugyRR » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:26 am

Speaking of New Milford, if (and this is a big theoretical if) service was extended north, how would layovers be handled? Would trains deadhead back to Danbury for storage?
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:10 am

He who knows all things Danbury (cough, Dutch, cough) knows better, but as I recall, there was a siding track at the station at one point. Not sure if the station track was on the main, or a siding. While it would be useful for turning, there are no servicing facilities there (fuel, cleaning, etc.), and I'm sure New Milford wouldn't want a diesel there idling all night. Danbury has the storage, so.....

How did they handle it at Dover Plains before the Wassaic extension? I know there were one or two storage tracks... Wassaic solved that with a new yard in the middle of nowhere.
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby NaugyRR » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:42 am

It's been a long time since I've been to New Milford (like back when Lenny used to cut my hair at the barbershop across from the station, and going to the station for super cool Christmas train displays long), but if memory serves me right, I believe there is a siding there, but whether it's active/connected ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

As far as how things were handled pre-Wassaic, I have no idea. I was only 9 when the extension opened, and didn't start riding the trains until a few years afterwards. Another question for our experienced resident railroaders. I want to say that trains were stored in Dover based on some pictures I've seen on Emily's Harlem Line site, but I'm not totally confident on that. Didn't some trains run up to Tenmile River prior to the Wassaic extension? I could see them deadheading back to Dover for storage, but deadhead trains from Dover back to Brewster seems like a long haul.

Before I drag this too far off topic, in a perfect world where the HRRC plays nice, has there been any interest from the folks in Kent in Danbury service? I'm sure most are perfectly content driving over the hill to Wingdale/Dover/Wassaic, but wasn't there some big hooplah when that McGinnis P32 pulled into town however long ago?
Last edited by NaugyRR on Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:47 pm

I went to one of the meetings for the Housy does passenger nonsense in Falls Village a couple years ago and someone in a position of authority in Kent basically said that they had no interest in service running through town because everyone crosses the state line to the Harlem line and will continue to do so.
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:05 pm

I've read that in the Housy passenger thread, too. It only really makes sense to New Milford for intrastate commuters (Danbury/Merritt/SoNo/Stamford). Until CtDOT buys that 15 miles (they own the rest of the Berkshire n. of New Milford already) between NM and Danbury, and fix it up for 59mph (Class IV?) nada happens. Shame.
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby NaugyRR » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:13 pm

It is a shame, traffic on 7 suuuuccckkksss at times, especially around the 84 interchange. I'm at the point where I'd rather go 22 to 202 to get to Danbury than deal with 7. I think having commuter rail to New Milford would at least alleviate that a little bit.
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:47 pm

A couple of items here;
Harlem trains to and from Dover Plains did not tie up there but were deadheaded or operated back to Put. Jct. to tie up. When they extended the line to Wassaic it changed things a bit, they built a lay up yard there and today the trains tie up at Wassaic.
At New Milford the main track was/maybe still is next to the station and platform. I don't think they could lay up overnight at New Milford with NIMBY problems and probably a huge expense to create a suitable facility. Having said that, I think a commuter extension to New Milford is an excellent idea, this part of Connecticut has shown some growth and could continue to grow if it has adequate transportation. Probably it would not cost any more to extend the commuter service to New Milford than it would to expand US-7 which is a nightmare through this area. Connecticut can't afford everything that they need but in this case passenger service to New Milford would be an improvement over the "cowpath" that represents US-7 through this area. We'll have to study and talk more about it before anything worthwhile happens though.
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:43 pm

Noel I suggest you take a trip up to New Milford and look at what super 7 and improved 7 looks like to New Milford.(lets just say its a friggin big wide cow path)

Now on other hand on your way back check what is left of HHRC and specially the bridges and abutments .
it will take many many millions of $$ just to support old bridges, add to that a signal system, platforms, parking lots, and a layover yard.
Deadheading trains from Danbury would not be an option.
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:11 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:Deadheading trains from Danbury would not be an option.

Why not?
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Re: Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrificatio

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:16 pm

on single track it would take single train about 15 minutes to reach New milford, then change ends and 19 minutes back with stops , not enough time for next rush hour train.
plus add the over 30 minutes to jobs already being close to 16 hours with rest.
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