Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

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Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby braves » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:57 pm

When Amtrak finishes it's track work at NY Penn Station Memorial Day weekend at that time, why not bring some peak direct Raritan Valley Line trains to NY Penn Station & keep the few trains on the NEC & NJCL that were cut to & from NY Penn Station after the track work started the way they are after Memorial Day.

This could finally give peak Raritan Valley Line riders one direct ride service to & from NY Penn Station & reduce overcrowding at Newark when riders have to switch trains to get to & from NY Penn Station.
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby TDowling » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:05 am

This may not happen for a while, from what I understand. While it would be nice for central NJ commuters, track capacity and the already overcrowded Penn Station preclude any kind of substantial improvement to ny nj one seat service, at least for the foreseeable future.
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby EuroStar » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:52 am

You will not see peak service on the Raritan line to Penn before the new tunnels are built. Politically it is impossible to take slots away from the existing lines. It is a can of worms because if they do it then the other lines will want the same (the Secaucus loop is actually cheap by itself).
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby necrails » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:49 pm

One of the things that bothers me most is the assertion that it just cannot be done due to .......fill in the blank. This has been put forth so many time it has become the 11th commandment. How about we let someone without a vested interest in the outcome look at the issue and see if there are alternatives. We fail to be creative when we are told the outcome.
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby 35dtmrs92 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:20 pm

As an occasional NJCL rider, I think that braves is definitely on to something. From my last look at ridership figures and anecdotally, ridership on that line especially railroad west of Matawan seems to have declined in recent years, in stark contrast to RVL use increasing. Politically, Monmouth County and the municipalities around the Coast Line ROW don't even give rail service the time of day, which in my mind lowers the political cost of replacing a NJCL run with a RVL run. Plus, extending at least some rush hour RVL service to Manhattan will cut the dwell time of the RVL consists at Newark and the dwell time of the connecting trains, in addition to eliminating the conflicting maneuvers inherent in turning a consist at Newark, at the most critical times for the system.
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:55 pm

Well, despite the 79 mph between Aberdeen-Matawan and Long Branch, the local trains take a very long time, especially from anywhere beyond Long Branch to Newark and New York. Traveling for two hours and twenty five minutes from Bay Head to NYC on a local train with a distance of about 75 miles is a no no to many people's preference. This is why there needs to be more express service for those continuing below Long Branch.

As for the RVL, it's not a bad line speedwise. There is a lot of nonstop 79 mph without speed restrictions once you get west of Aldene. Rush hour RVL service to NY Penn isn't happening anytime soon, not because of of a lack of ridership but because of capacity issues into and out of NY Penn during rush hour. NJT is not just going to cut trains from the NWK Division's other lines during rush hour just to have rush hour RVL service. It wouldn't be fair to riders of other lines. The South Amboy locals aren't going anywhere anytime soon nor will the Jersey Avenue(New Brunswick expresses). If you live in the RVL service area and don't want to use that line, then drive to a station on the NEC. I know people who do it. I have a friend who lives in Branchburg and whenever he takes the train to the city, he drives to New Brunswick. I also have another friend who lives in Dunellen right by the train station but I think he might drive to Edison for direct service to the city.
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby ThirdRail7 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:40 pm

necrails wrote:One of the things that bothers me most is the assertion that it just cannot be done due to .......fill in the blank. This has been put forth so many time it has become the 11th commandment. How about we let someone without a vested interest in the outcome look at the issue and see if there are alternatives. We fail to be creative when we are told the outcome.




Someone with a vested interest did look over this. We've had this discussion in multiple threads. The one thing that is constantly left out is it the ALP-45s do NOT have the stamina and power in diesel mode to ferry enough equipment in order to maintain the necessary seats needed for connecting passengers. In other words, it is hard to stuff 10 cars of electric passengers into a 7 or 8 car connection train.
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby necrails » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:46 pm

I am not sure i understand your response regarding 8 or 10 car trains. I am not aware of other threads so I remain puzzled why their cannot be some creativity. Weekends I understand are one way, my question is how many trains can be safely passed through the tunnel during the directional window? What is the safe following distance or time between trains traveling in one direction? I get the tunnel has to be verified as clear when the direction changes, just wonder if there really is room on weekends or if it has been decided already. For example, if the NJCL train is one, M & E is number 2, NEC takes up 2 more slots and Amtrak has 2 more is that total capacity or can there be additional traffic? What volume of traffic did the tunnel see back when it was PRR only?
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby lensovet » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:17 pm

the tunnels are at capacity on both weekdays and weekends, end of story. furthermore on weekends the tunnels are run in 30-minute blocks, so if a train misses its slot it has to wait 30 minutes.
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby EuroStar » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:57 am

ThirdRail7 wrote:Someone with a vested interest did look over this. We've had this discussion in multiple threads. The one thing that is constantly left out is it the ALP-45s do NOT have the stamina and power in diesel mode to ferry enough equipment in order to maintain the necessary seats needed for connecting passengers. In other words, it is hard to stuff 10 cars of electric passengers into a 7 or 8 car connection train.


How many cars are the current Raritan sets? If they are no longer than 8, then you are fine. I see no reason why the sets that will go to Penn need to be no longer than the current sets unless you are projecting 20-30% increase in ridership. So I see the abilities of the ALP45s as a non-issue. The slots in the tunnels are a much bigger issue because the people whose direct train to Penn you eliminate will complain to their elected officials, while the people who would gain service will remain mostly silent. It is the way human psychology and politics work -- losses are perceived as very painful, while the gains are underappreciated.
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby necrails » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:21 pm

the tunnels are at capacity on both weekdays and weekends, end of story. furthermore on weekends the tunnels are run in 30-minute blocks, so if a train misses its slot it has to wait 30 minut.........Well that certainly cleared things up, thanks for the detailed and informative response.
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby andrewjw » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:42 pm

necrails wrote:the tunnels are at capacity on both weekdays and weekends, end of story. furthermore on weekends the tunnels are run in 30-minute blocks, so if a train misses its slot it has to wait 30 minut.........Well that certainly cleared things up, thanks for the detailed and informative response.

It was very polite of him to summarize the past few pages of posts for you and answer your questions that have already been answered repeatedly. If you scroll up, you can see the exact calculations showing how many trains can pass through when only one tunnel is operational: six slots each way per hour, each direction concentrated into one half of the hour. This is emphatically the current usage and capacity of the weekend tunnels. There can be no additional traffic. When PRR ran the tunnels, they were usually both open, and they (contrary to popular belief around here) were not running more tph than we are currently. (Have NJT NEC frequencies ever been as high as they are now?)
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Re: Direct peak Raritan Valley Line to NY Penn Station.

Postby andegold » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:55 pm

NEC frequencies have been cut back over the past five to seven years. (Not talking about weekend service.) Back in 1997 and 1998 there evening rush hour Clockers (39XX) at least twice and even three times an hour until 10:00 pm. They were slowly cut back to what I believe is now one an hour after 7:00 pm. Rush hour service is much better for the outer zones than it was when Amtrak ran the Clockers but peak volume has come and gone.
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