Are high platforms possible in all locations?

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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby EuroStar » Mon May 22, 2017 7:57 am

trainbrain wrote:Elevators and ramps are the big expense regarding ADA accessibility.

Elevators are expensive, no question about it, but compared to them ramps are dirt cheap -- concrete, rebar and railing. I do not understand why they are not used more often. For example, Pennsauken Transit Center got elevators, but given the location they could have gotten away with ramps. They had enough real estate around there as there is almost nothing around. I believe I heard that Lyndhurst is supposed to get ramps if the station platforms are ever rebuilt to high level exactly for cost reasons, but why ramps are not used more often is a puzzle to me. Obviously not all stations have the space for ramps, but many do. While ramps need to be shoveled during the winter, that seems to be a minor expense compared to maintaining two elevators at a station.
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Mon May 22, 2017 10:33 am

Elevators are a pain in the ass to maintain and always get vandalized when out in the open like at railroad stations. Ramps have no moving parts and just need to be cleaned periodically.

Arthur Kill station on the Staten Island Railroad has an overpass using ramps instead of elevators.

Suffern has an underpass and if done right there'd be zero need for elevators to make it accessible. I don't think Plauderville has elevators and I'm not sure if Ridgewood has them. Ramsey Route 17, Paterson, and Westmont definitely have them.
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby EuroStar » Mon May 22, 2017 12:38 pm

Ridgewood has elevators. By extension, I am guessing a three track Suffern station will have them, a two track station could get away with ramps going back and forth up an embankment.

A quick search seems to reveal that an ADA compliant ramp needs slope no higher than 1:12, that is one inch per every foot of length. The minimum width of the ramp is 36". No slope should have a rise bigger than 30", that is you need a flat portion after each 30" raise or every 2.5ft of rise. A ramp rising from a road under the tracks to the high platform will require 8 such slopes (give or take 20' total rise) with 7 flat areas of say 8 feet each. The length of such a ramp approaches 20*12+7*8=296 feet. 300ft is a long ramp.

On the other side stations with grade crossings next to them need ramps to go up only a few feet, which is probably why it worked so well at Plauderville.
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Mon May 22, 2017 12:54 pm

Most Port Jervis Line stations could probably be built to ADA standards without using elevators. I'm also guessing that if the line becomes 3 tracks all the way from Ridgewood to Suffern that they will need to remove most grade crossings for safety reasons, and because there will be too many times the gates would come down and block the roads, being a problem for local traffic. I'm also guessing Hoboken will never get high level platforms because it's a big station and very expensive to do, and because it has pretty long turnaround times, faster loading and unloading don't really matter (and much of a train's passengers get on a Secaucus anyways).
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Mon May 22, 2017 3:23 pm

trainbrain wrote:I'm also guessing Hoboken will never get high level platforms because it's a big station and very expensive to do, and because it has pretty long turnaround times, faster loading and unloading don't really matter (and much of a train's passengers get on a Secaucus anyways).

HOB is grandfathered/exempt due to its historic status, so manual operated lifts are used. Mini-highs seem to be unique to the Hoboken Division and SEPTA (*though a few MBTA stations on Green Line, Mattapan shuttle and commuter rail have them, as San Francisco's Muni F-Market PCC line). MNCR has no mini-highs on its east of Hudson diesel branch lines and would simply build all new high level stations instead (Danbury, Bethel, Waterbury and the Wassaic extension for example).
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Mon May 22, 2017 5:13 pm

Do any NJ Coast Line stations have mini highs? There's gotta be some on the southern (diesel) portion.

Some of the stations on the Morris/Esssex lines I would think would be next to get high levels. Probably just start with the highest ridership stations that are cheapest to modify.

On the Main/Bergen line, the highest ridership station without high levels is Radburn at 1,400 followed by Rutherford with 1,100. Those would be the next ones to upgrade IMO.
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Mon May 22, 2017 6:57 pm

trainbrain wrote:Do any NJ Coast Line stations have mini highs? There's gotta be some on the southern (diesel) portion.

None. Elberon, Asbury Park and Point Pleasant Beach are all new built high level stations.

Here's the complete list of mini-high platforms: (excluding MNCR Port Jervis and Pascack Valley)

Rutherford
Glen Rock (Borough Hall)
Ramsey (Main Street)
Hackensack (Essex Street)
Westwood
Montvale
Montclair Heights (1998 new build)
Mountain View
Towaco (1999)
Boonton (1995)
Denville (1996)
Mount Olive (1994 new build)
Hackettstown (1994 new build)
Lyons (2001)
Morristown (2004)
Madison (2006)
South Orange (2004)
East Orange (2004)

Total: 18. Unless date given, mini highs added in mid 90s to existing stations.

In the case of Morristown, Madison, South Orange and East Orange, mini-highs were apparently used due to the historic status of the elevated Lackawanna main line stations and viaducts and full high level platforms could compromise the historic design and integrity.
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Mon May 22, 2017 7:26 pm

I believe Middletown, Campbell Hall, Salisbury Mills, and Harriman all have mini highs. Port Jervis, Otisvile, Tuxedo, and Sloatsburg are not accessible at all.

Since Kingsland and Lyndhurst stations are very close together (less than 3/4 of a mile apart), I wonder if doing a full rebuild of one of the stations and closing the other would be a good idea. It would cut down on running times by a few minutes as instead of two low level stations, you have one high level station and high level platforms reduce dwell time. I believe Garfield will be closed once the parking facility at Westmont is finished.
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Mon May 22, 2017 8:52 pm

trainbrain wrote:Since Kingsland and Lyndhurst stations are very close together (less than 3/4 of a mile apart), I wonder if doing a full rebuild of one of the stations and closing the other would be a good idea. It would cut down on running times by a few minutes as instead of two low level stations, you have one high level station and high level platforms reduce dwell time. I believe Garfield will be closed once the parking facility at Westmont is finished.

There was a proposal of replacing both stations with a new combined station right in between. Some of the Montclair stations are quite close as well.

If anything, Radburn might deserve a mini-high (heaviest station on the line). The historic 1930 station might prevent full high level construction.
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Re: NJT "Legacy" high-level platforms...

Postby MACTRAXX » Tue May 23, 2017 4:00 am

Everyone:

In this topic what needs to be mentioned is NJ Transit's "Legacy" high level platforms.
I feel that without them the entire system may well have remained with low level platforms.
To me "Legacy" platforms pre-date NJ Transit or NJDOT primarily and were constructed by
predecessor railroads-in this case PRR/PC and CNJ. Erie/DL&W/EL had none that I am aware of.

PRR or PC:

Penn Station-New York; Penn Station-Newark; Rahway, Metropark and Trenton on the NEC.
Avenel and Woodbridge on the NJCL.

CNJ: Elizabethport (now long closed) and Cranford on the RVL.

Another mention is that NJDOT built high-level platforms at Metuchen in 1978 before NJT
was founded in 1979 which can be added to this list. If anyone has any additions that I may
have overlooked please feel free to add them here. Just remember 1970s on back as a date
guideline before the days of NJ Transit which could determine what are "legacy" here...

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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby EuroStar » Tue May 23, 2017 6:33 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:If anything, Radburn might deserve a mini-high (heaviest station on the line). The historic 1930 station might prevent full high level construction.


For Radburn specifically, I certainly hope that they can eventually add a high level platform. The current station building is quite far from the tracks, likely because there were more than two tracks at one point of time. There is a small other stricture closer to the tracks on the west side, but it is still probably far enough for a 8ft wide high platform to fit in there. The covered waiting area for the east bound track is close and would need to be replaced, but it does look more modern to me, so it is probably not historic enough to keep.
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby EuroStar » Tue May 23, 2017 6:37 am

trainbrain wrote:Since Kingsland and Lyndhurst stations are very close together (less than 3/4 of a mile apart), I wonder if doing a full rebuild of one of the stations and closing the other would be a good idea.


I believe that the Lyndhurst replacement is planned between Kingsland and current Lyndhurst, closer to the parking lots. It will probably happen eventually when NJT finds the money, even though I am big fan of walk-to stations as opposed to drive-to parking lots.
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby EuroStar » Tue May 23, 2017 6:47 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:HOB is grandfathered/exempt due to its historic status, so manual operated lifts are used.

If and when NJT finally fills the Long Slip Canal Hoboken will get three new high level platforms and 6 new tracks on the newly acquired real estate. While I get the historic status of the train shed at Hoboken, it is in quite bad shape. I personally would prefer to see them take it apart platform by platform, raise the platforms and rebuild it on top of the raised platforms. Yeah, I get it: it is not exactly the original thing, but the original thing is falling apart and will need restoration eventually anyway. Crumbling concrete is everywhere. And rising the shed also gets you better catenary clearance plus opportunity to futureproof if the water level rises.
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Re: Are high platforms possible in all locations?

Postby trainbrain » Tue May 23, 2017 5:27 pm

EuroStar wrote:
trainbrain wrote:Since Kingsland and Lyndhurst stations are very close together (less than 3/4 of a mile apart), I wonder if doing a full rebuild of one of the stations and closing the other would be a good idea.


I believe that the Lyndhurst replacement is planned between Kingsland and current Lyndhurst, closer to the parking lots. It will probably happen eventually when NJT finds the money, even though I am big fan of walk-to stations as opposed to drive-to parking lots.


I can see on Google Earth about where the new station would likely go. There's a shopping center right next to the line that's exactly between the two stations with a huge parking lot that appears to be underutilized. There would be plenty of space to put a station and use the existing parking lot. A station in that location would still be within walking distance to many, and there'd be way more parking, so people from a larger radius would be able to use it. It's sort of a tradeoff between walk to station and drive to stations. Walk to stations serve the immediate community better, but have limited parking, so people from slightly further away can't use them. Drive to stations are usually less walkable, but can serve a larger geographic area and that means more ridership.

Right now, Kingsland and Lyndhurst have zero parking. A new station that was still in a walkable area, but with a decent sized parking lot would attract a lot of new ridership.
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Re: NJT "Legacy" high-level platforms...

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue May 23, 2017 8:25 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:In this topic what needs to be mentioned is NJ Transit's "Legacy" high level platforms.
I feel that without them the entire system may well have remained with low level platforms.
To me "Legacy" platforms pre-date NJ Transit or NJDOT primarily and were constructed by
predecessor railroads-in this case PRR/PC and CNJ. Erie/DL&W/EL had none that I am aware of.

Penn Station-New York; Penn Station-Newark; Rahway, Metropark and Trenton on the NEC. Avenel and Woodbridge on the NJCL.
Metropark was built by NJDOT 1971, not PC. Woodbridge elevated station was a 1939 WPA project. All the ACL stations were built new 1989 when service restored, however Absecon is a rebuild of an existing elevated station from 1938, a joint NJBPU (Board of Public Utilities) and WPA project.

Cranford was built high level as a new station 1929 by CRRNJ, perhaps as a flagship station for its main line. Roselle Park (elevated station) was built by NJDOT 1967 as part of Aldene.
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