Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby EuroStar » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:58 am

The line will never be a DMU as that is not cost effective relative to just restoring it for heavy rail as long as the diesel lines to Spring Valley and Suffern continue to operate.

The political capital needed to reopen the line is not there. The only context in which it might happen is if service to Spring Valley was to be increased beyond what the yard there can handle. This however cannot happen without more double tracking in NJ, however such double tracking is dead for at least the next 20 years as NJ's ridership of the line is not growing fast enough to justify spending money on the double track while NJT is trying to find money for the light rail to Englewood.
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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:16 am

I believe NS still has the freight rights to the Suffern Industrial, but there's no on-line business. The PV thread in NJT, I think, notes that many if not most or all of the crossings have been paved over, including the one lumber yard just off the NJT Main Line.

AFAIK there are also portions that have been cleared and converted to rail trail use on that stretch. I'm not sure if they pulled up rails for the trail, or if the ROW was wide enough for a trail next to rail (similar to the Maybrook between Hopewell Junction and Dykemans).

MNRR owns it, so they could conceivably rebuild it, but at what cost and against what community opposition? Would Monsey want or need a station? When MNRR reactivated the Harlem above Dover Plains to Wassaic, they had to throw in the towel on the remaining OOS stretch to Millerton due to community opposition.

And, they'd have to negotiate with NJT to operate the service, and NJT would have to contend with community opposition downstream on the PV.

The flip side to the NIMBY argument is Rockland and Orange are always on the "MNRR doesn't provide enough service to us" bandwagon. Is a reactivation with one new station between Suffern and Spring Valley enough? Does demand warrant the connectivity?

In the Wassaic extension, part of the attraction was getting the yard out of downtown Dover Plains and putting it in the middle of a farm field in Amenia (Wassaic), plus expanding Park and Ride opportunities you didn't have in DP, and keeping folks from driving all the way to Southeast. I'm not sure if Woodbine is at capacity, or how it constrains PV operation, or if Suffern Yard has the capacity to take over Woodbine.
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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby SecaucusJunction » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:16 am

There are still several customers on the Suffern Industrial. The local serves them a few times per week.
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.
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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:12 pm

As for any sort of rail between Suffern and Spring Valley, I would vote for diesel light rail. In fact, if that were to ever be restored to light rail, I would suggest running it as far as Downtown Nyack and keep it as close to Rt. 59 as much as possible. There are not just many homes, but probably many office parks and plenty of shopping centers close by. I also don't mind seeing the TOR and Hudson Link bus service improved a little. I have ridden the TOR 59 bus route a few times from Spring Valley to Suffern and vice versa and have to say that it seems to be a good route. It would be nice if not all of the 59 buses went a little out of their way to serve Rockland Community College. It seems like that adds time to their schedule.
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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby airman00 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:23 pm

I have always felt he re-activation of the Piermont Branch is a sorely needed rail option! Now based on what we know, just a thought... MNRR owns the row and NS has trackage rights and NJT runs service on lines adjacent to the remnants of the branch. Why can’t Metro North, NS, and NJT all come together on a plan to reactivate this line. They all split the cost and maintenance of rebuilding the line, and you could even apply for federal or state transportation funds, to help defray the cost. As far as nimby’s go, ignore them. Listen as a railroad company, MN, NS, NJT are autonomous and do NOT need “local approval” to rebuild this line, only DEP approval. There is, was, and has always been WAY, WAY, WAY, too much catering to nimbys. A few anti-rail people shouldn’t dictate railroad policy. Now I will admit that sometimes railroads haven’t always been the best neighbors but still... Anyway, something else to consider is approaching Beckerle Lumber in Spring Valley for a reactivating of rail service too as that would definitely get NS interested. So just my 2 cents...
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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby pateljones » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:58 pm

Was the wash out in Monsey ever repaired? I dont believe so, and if not, it never ever will be fixed as now there is too much opposition to train service after so many years without. The line should be sold in pieces to adjacent property owners for their use.
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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby Hawaiitiki » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:20 am

pateljones wrote:Was the wash out in Monsey ever repaired? I dont believe so, and if not, it never ever will be fixed as now there is too much opposition to train service after so many years without.


The Right of Way was never formally abandoned. (someone correct me if I'm wrong) MetroNorth has the legal right to rebuild the rails and run service with little to no community input. Repairing the washout, which is not substantial, may/may not require EPA approval but thats about it.

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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby JoeG » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:37 pm

A few years ago there were complaints about engines idling in Spring Valley yard. It was pointed out that if the Spring Valley-Suffern track was restored, the trains could be stored in Suffern, which had room. But the people who live along the Piermont, between Suffern and Spring Valley, who have considerable political clout, didn't want the track re-activated. To no one's surprise their wishes prevailed. This situation is not likely to change and will prevent the Piermont from being re-opened.
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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby pateljones » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:13 am

I also remember those residents being loudly opposed to restoring train service there. I think we will never again see service along this branch all the way along it. Metro North has many many higher priorities and Piedmont Branch is way at the bottom of the list and likely is not even on the list. It is sad and each passing year makes it more unlikely to ever happen.
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Re: Piermont Branch (Orig Erie Main) aka Suffern Industrial

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:43 am

If anything drives reactivating the branch, it would be NJT wanting to close Woodbine Yard, and/or increase PV service and needing Suffern Yard. I don’t think MNRR, as noted, has it anywhere on their priorities list, and won’t unless there’s a demand upstream from Suffern to commute somewhere along the PV. And unless they decide to add rail to the TZB Prince Cuomo’s Dad memorial bridge, which is unlikely if necessary for all the traffic to WP and Stamford. And even that would probably mean tunneling and using the 87/287 ROW to avoid community opposition.
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