Danbury Branch Extension Study

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: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby Backshophoss » Tue May 01, 2018 8:48 pm

What was CP Fairgrounds passing siding on the Maybrook is now a SWAMP,and may have become "protected wetlands" since the HRRC takeover,
and has been allowed to rot in place,there will some NMBY's that will fight any reactivation of that part of the Maybrook line. :( :( :(
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed May 02, 2018 9:16 am

Yup; AFAIK, HRRC has left west of Danbury to rot since there's no online business. The only time it's been used in recent memory was the Danbury washout move. I think there was some talk about a new customer around Chuck's Steakhouse (is that still there?) in the area of Route 7.

The original study included most of this, if not all, including an extension to Newtown. None of it showed promise. And nothing will happen until broke CT can find the money to purchase the remaining ROW from Danbury west to state line, and north to New Milford, the most logical extension, since that's the last stretch of the Berkshire that's HRRC owned.
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby Train322 » Wed May 02, 2018 8:51 pm

Just saying - wouldn't widening a lane on 84 and having express bus service be cheaper than resurrecting a rail line?

The problem is money. I thought that the US would invest in infrastructure.
The lane widening would actually need to be in NY state.
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby NaugyRR » Thu May 03, 2018 11:21 am

Jeff Smith wrote:Yup; AFAIK, HRRC has left west of Danbury to rot since there's no online business. The only time it's been used in recent memory was the Danbury washout move. I think there was some talk about a new customer around Chuck's Steakhouse (is that still there?) in the area of Route 7.

The original study included most of this, if not all, including an extension to Newtown. None of it showed promise. And nothing will happen until broke CT can find the money to purchase the remaining ROW from Danbury west to state line, and north to New Milford, the most logical extension, since that's the last stretch of the Berkshire that's HRRC owned.


Chuck's is still there, Jeff
http://www.chucksdanbury.com/
I haven't been in a few years, but the food's always been pretty good.

Personally I would like to see the DRM get access to the trackage out behind the mall. I think short excursions would do wonders for them, and maybe working with the mall to provide shuttle trains from the center of town.
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu May 03, 2018 1:00 pm

DRM is a great idea! But HRRC has shown they are no longer excursion friendly, as witnessed by their tossing of BSRM.

Obstacles:

-Access to the track from their yard, aka Yard Limits and trackage rights. I don't believe Housy comes through there anymore, but P&W does. And MNRR I think uses that one ladder track as needed. And it would involve a reverse move; not a huge problem for an excursion.
-Lack of rolling stock that actually rolls. It's been a static museum for a long time... I think they only have the one Budd car that does the turntable trip. They'd need a few.
-Lack of experience; again, they're a static museum primarily. Do they have the volunteer base that actually has experience out on the "hot iron"?
-HRRC. MA was able to wrangle something for BSRM; can CT do the same?
-Insurance

These aren't impossible. I don't know what BSRM's status is along the Berkshire anymore, but perhaps a partnership could work?
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby NaugyRR » Thu May 03, 2018 2:37 pm

Those are certainly realistic and not unreasonable hurdles, and I don't disagree with you at all.

I think if the mall and adjacent businesses were to provide some corporate sponsorship and partnership then this would have the ability to clear some of the hurdles with dollar signs (insurance, infrastructure, etc.)

I'm sure just running the Budd car in the start would be fine, at least to see if the service would be feasible and to give the public a taste of what was being offered. Start off by offering an hourly, maybe ninety-minute shuttle between downtown and the crossing adjacent to Chuck's with a shuttle to the mall. If it becomes popular, explore restoring the track immediately behind the mall for a closer walk across the parking lot, and if that becomes a reality then I think an extension to the park and ride off of 202 wouldn't be a complete foamer's dream.

The college is across the swamp from the mall too, so I wouldn't see the harm in approaching them to explore providing rail access to downtown for their students.

I think if the HRRC hurdle could be cleared, then Metro-North and P&W might be willing to let this be a thing. The crew experience can be gained, and equipment could be repaired.

This is a total foamer dream, but again, I don't think it's completely unreasonable.
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu May 03, 2018 4:05 pm

NaugyRR wrote:I'm sure just running the Budd car in the start would be fine, at least to see if the service would be feasible and to give the public a taste of what was being offered. Start off by offering an hourly, maybe ninety-minute shuttle between downtown and the crossing adjacent to Chuck's with a shuttle to the mall. If it becomes popular, explore restoring the track immediately behind the mall for a closer walk across the parking lot, and if that becomes a reality then I think an extension to the park and ride off of 202 wouldn't be a complete foamer's dream.

The track actually isn't adjacent to the parking lot. The Still River is between it and the mall. You'd need a fairly substantial bridge. Would make more sense to put the stop on Segar St. near Chuck's.
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu May 03, 2018 4:40 pm

DRM is totally out of picture, not one piece of equipment is road worthy and most of it was moved on a one time only waiver due to non-compliance .
no HRCC is not going to let them on their track with 5 crossings and open right of way , the insurance would be prohibitive. add to that that each and every move would need to cross Metro North tracks .
did I forget crew licencing, medical, credible rules and safety classes etc
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby ConstanceR46 » Fri May 04, 2018 10:49 pm

What qualifies as road-worthy? The Budd car is active, a lot of stuff is serviceable.
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat May 05, 2018 6:18 am

just because something run in yard does not mean it is roadworthy, the RDC for example has had no truck work or certified brake work done in over 30 years. as part of FRA package all brake valves need to be serviced every 3 years , all brake cylinders need to be rebuild every 3 years, all rubber parts like gaskets, brake packing cups, O rings , snubber rubbers on radius rods etc need to be replaced every 3 years , same with any of locomotives, no cerifiable maintenance, no black boxes, no ditch lights.
Most of equipment has severe wheel defects .
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby CRail » Sun May 06, 2018 1:45 pm

How many museums and tourist operations run equipment that was at one point not roadworthy? The percentage of them is somewhere in the 100s. Railroads themselves sideline equipment, cannibalize it, and then reactivate it when funding avails itself. Museums are no different. Operating arrangements with surrounding railroads is the one preventive hurdle. Crew qualifications and equipment status can be attained from within. Naturally this has never been done because that stuff costs money and there isn't a reason to do it as long as they're captive.
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon May 14, 2018 11:28 am

Mostly the same, seems a bit better written: WestfairOnline.com

Fair-Use/Relevant:

...
The project would essentially combine bus and train service in one location by adding a bus terminal with 12 berths on one end of the DTC and the Metro-North train station at the other. The work would involve developing two underused parcels of land; one is owned by the city and contains a skate park, which would be moved to another location. The other is owned by utility Eversource, “so we don’t have control of that,” Calitro said, “but we are in initial discussions with them.”

A raised pedestrian bridge over the train tracks would provide easier access between the two modes of transit, Calitro said, and would include an elevator in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition, the HARTransit bus and shuttle station now at Main Street and Kennedy Avenue would be moved to the DTC.

Calitro said that efforts are being made to maintain as many current arrival and departure times for Metro-North trains as possible. At the same time, extending Metro-North service to the Harlem Line in New York state — Danbury sits on its New Haven Line — is another idea being kicked around. If that were to be okayed, riders could save in excess of 30 minutes in commuting time; it now takes roughly two hours to make that trip.

An in-depth ridership study will be undertaken over the next few months as the city and Goody Clancy wrap up their study. According to Metro-North, average weekday ridership to and from Danbury in 2016 was 2,356, with an average Saturday ridership of 444 and average Sunday ridership of 405.
...
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby ConstanceR46 » Mon May 14, 2018 1:01 pm

I'd like the sound of that if Beacon Line Reactivation proposals weren't floated every couple years.

On that note, what became of the Housatonic's passenger plan?
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon May 14, 2018 1:09 pm

DOA; everyone is now looking at service on the B&A via Amtrak and Albany.
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Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Postby Backshophoss » Mon May 14, 2018 6:23 pm

AS long as HRRC has the "stranglehold" of the Maybrook Line in Conn,NOTHING will happen!
HRRC needs to go away!
Most of HRRC's management is former Guilford management,"leave scorched earth behind" ie abandonment. :(
Last edited by Backshophoss on Mon May 14, 2018 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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