Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: Tadman, Kaback9, nick11a, ACeInTheHole

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Wed May 10, 2017 12:01 am

andegold wrote:Why would Suffern need an overpass? As you stated there is currently an underpass connecting the two sides and, if I'm not mistaken, a fence separating the tracks the full length of the current platforms. Passengers certainly walk around the fence at both ends but that has never been sanctioned. Why would the underpass be any less usable for high platforms than it is for the current low platforms?


No reason to put in high level platforms unless going for full ADA accessibility. They'd need to add wheelchair ramps to the platforms and the underpass (not sure if there's space for that) or have an overpass like Ramsey Route 17 has.
trainbrain
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 7:11 pm

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby EuroStar » Wed May 10, 2017 10:53 am

I suspect that in the future full ADA compliance will be the norm. The best they could do at Suffern now is to swing track 1 towards the road, build a center platform between the two tracks and provide an elevator down to the street underpass. Many years from now they could put the track through what is now the eastbound platform and the side platform next to it reconfiguring the parking. They might even be able to provide access to that third platform via a ramp without expensive elevator. Compared to the other stations, the need for elevator and the moving of the track make this one quite a bit more expensive.

As for Route 17, I suspect the long term plan is for the expresses to NOT stop there.
EuroStar
 
Posts: 396
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Middle of Nowhere

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Wed May 10, 2017 1:34 pm

Route 17 has room for a 3rd bypass track in between the two platforming tracks. A lot of that stations ridership is attracted due to the Port Jervis express trains stopping there, but the majority of trains are local service. Ramsey Main Street, Allendale, and Mahwah do not have any room for a 3rd track.

Suffern could probably get a wheelchair ramp down into the underpass utilizing the current terrain and the same is true for going up back into the parking lot. No need for a bypass track there as there are only 2 revenue trains that pass through and don't stop there (50 and 59).
trainbrain
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 7:11 pm

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby SecaucusJunction » Wed May 10, 2017 2:31 pm

If they ever decided to put the third track back in, to save money and room at Suffern, the could end that track right before the station platform and keep just 2 tracks there since all of the trains stop there anyway. Route 17 was designed for the long term to be a relief valve for NYS commuters who couldn't park or couldn't get a train west of Suffern. Unless the plan changed since the platforms were built where they are, the express should stay for the long term.
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.
SecaucusJunction
 
Posts: 2988
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:40 pm
Location: NS Watchdog

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby EuroStar » Wed May 10, 2017 3:51 pm

trainbrain wrote:Route 17 has room for a 3rd bypass track in between the two platforming tracks. A lot of that stations ridership is attracted due to the Port Jervis express trains stopping there, but the majority of trains are local service. Ramsey Main Street, Allendale, and Mahwah do not have any room for a 3rd track.

The space for the third track exists at those stations, but the platforms need to be relocated. This used to be 4 tracks railroad. Notice how far back the old station buildings are.

SecaucusJunction wrote:Route 17 was designed for the long term to be a relief valve for NYS commuters who couldn't park or couldn't get a train west of Suffern. Unless the plan changed since the platforms were built where they are, the express should stay for the long term.

Who knows what the plan will be 30 years in the future, but my impression is that the station has not been a hit with NYS commuters. Is there any hard data where the ridership comes from? My impression is that it is primarily Ramsey, Upper Saddle River and Mahwah commuters who prefer the expresses over the locals for the obvious reasons. I remember hearing at one point that the parking garage was quite underutilized to the point that a portion of it was rented out to an autodealership for car storage. I cannot identify any NYS town that would naturally prefer driving to Route 17 over the available alternatives, especially with the really low cost parking offered now by the Metro-North stations further west.

Do you happen to know if NYS/Metro-North gave any money for Route 17 station? If not, I would venture to guess that NJ thought that they could "steal" the commuters from stations further west and for the most part that does not seem to have happened even though I am sure there are a few NYS commuters who board at Route 17.
EuroStar
 
Posts: 396
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Middle of Nowhere

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Thu May 11, 2017 10:46 am

RR17's ridership is according to Wikipedia about the same as at Ramsey Main Street. You'd think it would be significantly higher due to the size of the parking garage. Parking at Sloatsburg, Suffern, Mahwah, and Ramsey Main Street sucks. Not enough space, while Tuxedo and all stations to the west have large parking areas. It could have been intended to solve parking issues at those stations. No reason anyone would opt to drive to RR17 who normally catches the Port Jervis Line further out as there is easy parking at all those stops. I normally use Tuxedo, but occasionally will use Suffern if I could miss the train I'm trying to catch but there's a long wait till the next Port Jervis train.

If that third track is ever added between Waldwick and Suffern, it would require rebuilds of Allendale, Ramsey Main Street, and Mahwah to fit the third track in. Suffern would just stay 2 tracks because everything stops there anyways. I'm guessing they would make it ADA accessible if increasing service to it with an additional track. Having a third track and the second Port Jervis Line yard would require at least some express trains to skip RR17 because they'd need to use the express track to get around local trains in the same area. I'm guessing any express trains that use the local track would continue to stop there. There are also some deadhead and freight moves that could use the express track throughout the course of the day.
trainbrain
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 7:11 pm

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby mohawkrailfan » Thu May 11, 2017 11:52 am

Is there a technical reason South Orange's high-level platforms can't be finished, or is it just money?
Make a little noise at the flag location.
mohawkrailfan
 
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:13 am

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby SecaucusJunction » Thu May 11, 2017 12:02 pm

For a slightly higher investment, they could install switches on each side of Route 17 to switch back and forth from the express track to the local.
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.
SecaucusJunction
 
Posts: 2988
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:40 pm
Location: NS Watchdog

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby EuroStar » Thu May 11, 2017 1:16 pm

I need to disagree with the idea that two platform tracks at Suffern will suffice. The reason why you need three here even more than at Ridgewood is so that the express coming from PJ can pass the local that starts at Suffern without blocking the opposite direction. Current practice is that if the PJ express is late, the local stays in the yard until the express actually passes thus delaying the local. If you can platform them separately you avoid that problem. With only two tracks at the station if the express is really late you could platform the local first, then send it on its local track and then platform that late express before sending it down onto that future middle track. Most of the time (one hopes) the delay is small enough that you could not do that though -- platforming the express first will delay the local while platforming the local first will add to the delay of the express. Current situation is even worse because the dispatcher has to make a choice whether to delay the local until the express passes or whether to make the express crawl behind the local until Waldwick. The need here will be very similar to what already exists at Poughkeepsie (2 platforms, 3 station tracks plus the option of another platform and another track) where the Metro-North expresses play the role of the locals and the Empire Service from Albany plays the role of the expresses.

I doubt new switches are in the cards anywhere between west of Waldwick yard and Suffern. Look at the spacing of the existing interlockings. It is an indication of what is considered reasonable to maintain. With three tracks at Suffern station all you need is a universal interlocking west of the station before the yard. The universal interlocking east of Waldwick yard already exists, so the most one could expect to see is another universal one west of the yard, but even that is not strictly necessary.
EuroStar
 
Posts: 396
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Middle of Nowhere

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby EuroStar » Thu May 11, 2017 1:25 pm

mohawkrailfan wrote:Is there a technical reason South Orange's high-level platforms can't be finished, or is it just money?

Mainly money and priorities. Harriman could benefit from reduction of boarding times saving 60-90 seconds per trip for commuters further west, but there was the talk of moving the station close to the outlets, so that might be an impediment. Sloatsburg and Tuxedo won't give you the same return in time saved as the ridership is much lower, so the time savings will be much smaller, maybe 15 seconds each. Interestingly enough I have not seen any proposal that double tracks through any station that currently does not have two tracks already the cost of such stations is substantial with the need for overpasses and elevators.
EuroStar
 
Posts: 396
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Middle of Nowhere

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Thu May 11, 2017 2:40 pm

EuroStar wrote:I need to disagree with the idea that two platform tracks at Suffern will suffice. The reason why you need three here even more than at Ridgewood is so that the express coming from PJ can pass the local that starts at Suffern without blocking the opposite direction. Current practice is that if the PJ express is late, the local stays in the yard until the express actually passes thus delaying the local. If you can platform them separately you avoid that problem. With only two tracks at the station if the express is really late you could platform the local first, then send it on its local track and then platform that late express before sending it down onto that future middle track. Most of the time (one hopes) the delay is small enough that you could not do that though -- platforming the express first will delay the local while platforming the local first will add to the delay of the express. Current situation is even worse because the dispatcher has to make a choice whether to delay the local until the express passes or whether to make the express crawl behind the local until Waldwick. The need here will be very similar to what already exists at Poughkeepsie (2 platforms, 3 station tracks plus the option of another platform and another track) where the Metro-North expresses play the role of the locals and the Empire Service from Albany plays the role of the expresses.


This I agree with, although it would require rebuilding the entire station.

However if there's 2 platform tracks and 3 tracks immediately past the station, couldn't they let the local board on the inbound and put the express on the outbound and then onto the middle track upon departure.

With 3 platforms I envision this layout:

Track 1: Closest to the parking lot with a side platform on the parking side.

Track 2 and 3: On the street side of the station with an island platform between them.

Track 1 would function as a pocket track for terminating local trains.

Track 2 would be used for inbound Port Jervis trains.

Track 3 would be used for outbound Port Jervis trains.

If track 1 were blocked, local trains could terminate on track 2 or 3 and then do a Y turn back onto track 1.
trainbrain
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 7:11 pm

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun May 21, 2017 1:27 am

TDowling wrote:Just my two cents; the dearth of high platforms in [i]any[i] given location on the system is due in part to its ridership numbers, in addition to geographical constraints that necessitate the use of public transportation in places like Westchester and Long Island. IOW, MTA territory most likely requires the use of these platforms due to high ridership.
The real reason MNCR and LIRR are high level dates back to the early 70s, when the M-1 and M-2 equipment were introduced. All electric territory stations were rebuilt to high level for the new cars. LIRR's diesel stations held out until the C-3s were introduced in 1999. Even today, a small handful of Danbury and Waterbury branch line stations are low level.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
User avatar
R36 Combine Coach
 
Posts: 4872
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Sun May 21, 2017 11:30 am

All MTA electric cars can only use high level platforms and this is correct that it dated back to the 70's with the M1's. LIRR C3's can only use high level platforms also, while MNCR shoreliners can use both. The Wassaic extension was done in 2000 which was after the ADA act, so all stations needed to be high level. All of NJT's equipment can readily use both low and high level platforms, so there is no need to update to high level platforms unless ridership warrants it, which is why most of the NEC line has them as well as the important stations on the other lines, as well as those that were new or rebuilt after the ADA act. On the line I use most often (Main/Bergen/Port Jervis), Ramsey Route 17, Ridgewood, Plauderville, Wesmont, and Paterson have them. Ridgewood has the highest ridership, so it received high levels I think around 2009-2010. Plauderville was recently rebuilt and Wesmont is a brand new station, and all new stations have had high level platforms since the ADA act. Paterson was rebuilt I believe around 2002 when they rebuilt the nearby viaduct from single track to double track. That was when the low platform only Comet 1's were retired. Ramsey Route 17 was built in 2004, so it has them for the same reason.
trainbrain
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 7:11 pm

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun May 21, 2017 2:41 pm

trainbrain wrote:All new stations have had high level platforms since the ADA act.
Hackettstown and Mount Olive (1994) were built new and are low level with mini-high only. The new Montclair Heights station was built 1998 with mini-high as well, as was the present low level Boonton station (replacing the 1905 station in 1995). Madison (2006 renovation) is the last mini-high to date, all later new build stations and renovations are full high level.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
User avatar
R36 Combine Coach
 
Posts: 4872
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Sun May 21, 2017 8:45 pm

I stand corrected. In the 90's they still had the low platform Comet 1's, so that's why those stations were built with mini highs (all the cab cars had traps so they would always have at least one accessible door). Since those were retired in 2002 by the Comet 5's there was no need for low level platforms to be built at any new stations and the marginal cost to put in full high levels probably isn't that much. Elevators and ramps are the big expense regarding ADA accessibility.
trainbrain
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 7:11 pm

PreviousNext

Return to New Jersey Transit NJT Rail and Light Rail LRT

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests