Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

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STrRedWolf
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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by STrRedWolf » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:25 pm

east point wrote:Almost All LIRR passengers are very familiar of changing trains at Jamaica. They could almost as easily change to Amtrak at NYP!
An argument can be made considering the current state of overcrowding at NYP. That may change with the expansion into the post office.
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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by mtuandrew » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:31 pm

Has there been a demand study performed in regard to the destinations of Long Island passengers? Amtrak to the Island is a much easier sell if they tend to go up the Hudson Valley than it is if most passengers go toward Philly and Washington, or if most of them just go to New York and no farther. It’s not like Amtrak is so short on yard space at Sunnyside that they have to send sets out to remote locations.

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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:51 pm

think a study would be part of a plan .
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by mark777 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:14 am

Dutch: DE/DMs operate at 80 mph in electrified territory wherever there are no speed restrictions. 65mph on diesel territory, even less on the mainline east of KO.

mtuandrew : Actually, what I was getting at is more in the way of, "leave it the way it is now." BUT, you have a point that actually could and will hold water if say Amtrak and the MTA wanted to cooperate with each other an perhaps set up something similar to what airlines do which is known as joint ventures and code shares. You could have something in the likes of say having some LIRR trains having an actual connecting Amtrak train at Penn to Albany or Buffalo and vice versa. You may even have a system in which passengers could either purchase an Amtrak ticket at say Ronkonkoma along with their LIRR ticket and have it as a single thru ticket to their destination. This already exists in Spain where you can purchase a ticket in Madrid on Spain's AVE and actually be able to transfer to SNCF's TGV at Barcelona or Figueres and travel to Paris. You can be even more creative and make better use of the longer center tracks at Penn (tracks 14 to 9) and have an LIRR train pull up on the same track to an Amtrak train and have passengers switch on the same platform. Could we do this during peak hours? probably not, but there are usable slots during off peak hours where this might work. This is a way more viable option than bringing Amtrak onto LIRR tracks. I will keep adding that LI is a dead end. Not just only geographically, but demand wise. Amtrak to Montauk makes even less sense than if it were to go to Ronkonkoma. The Cannonball runs at the max (12 car bi-level coaches) on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There is no counterpart on Sundays. Amtrak would basically be operating a train in one direction and do what the LIRR already does, deadhead an empty 12 car train back west. Demand is not there westbound on Friday night. Amtrak also does not have equipment that would be well suited for a high capacity Cannonball train which if anyone has ever been on starting on Memorial Day, is packed beyond sensible limits. Amfleet I and II cars are not laid out for high capacity and are set up for inter city operations, not commuter service. Again, forget the Acela because you wont see wires above any LIRR tracks east of Harold. So essentially, the most viable solution would be trying to create a joint venture or to schedule trains where passengers could transfer with little down time through Penn. Lets not forget that at the end of the day, we are talking about Amtrak here. Amtrak is rarely funded proportionally, and while some states have joined the band wagon in funding state sponsored train service to be operated by Amtrak, few of them (except the west coast), have dared to spend the big bucks in purchasing new "current" equipment that could enhance rail service and perhaps better compete with airlines within shorter more regional corridors. Amtrak on LI would be redundant. Redundancy is not cost effective.

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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by Greg Moore » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:32 pm

Hmm, appears there to be progress: https://www.constructionequipmentguide. ... rity/43872" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by DutchRailnut » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:50 pm

consider source ?
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:08 pm

Messrs. Moore and Dutch: that’s a word for word reprint of the Amtrak press release of Feb 1, 2019. I think that website is a news aggregator and not a primary source.

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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:45 pm

Don't be surprised if the study falls through. Having said this over and over and with reason, the money could be used elsewhere rather than having to bring Amtrak to the major employment centers on Long Island. I don't mind seeing a seasonal train running to the beaches on the south fork of Eastern Long Island but to see Amtrak run as far as Ronkonkoma is not worth the money. I remember that VIA actually had one of their corridor trains that was heading to Montreal start out in Aldershot. I'm not sure if that's the case but I'm not surprised that VIA had that train originate in Toronto as there are plenty of GO Transit trains serving Aldershot.

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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by Publius Plunkett » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:47 pm

In the early 90's, there was a proposal for Amtrak to run their "Turboliners" on an Albany-Pt. Jefferson route. The idea had the backing of Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and with that said, was expected to actually happen. One of the issues were crew change necessities, because the Engineers union have a "Manning Rule" which I think is Article 24 of the BLE Agreement (I might be wrong with the Article number). At the time, the "Manning Rule" was sacrosanct and was broadly interpreted to mean that any train operated on the LIRR, required an LIRR Engineer on board. Amtrak balked at this, because in their words, "they operate their own trains all over the Country, why should it different on the LIRR?" The union issues diminished political support and the idea was dropped. It wasn't just a newspaper article. Amtrak wanted to start qualifying some of its crews, the unions entered the bickering stage, etc. That was the early 90's.

In the late 90's, the BLE "Manning Rule" reared its head again with the privatization of freight proposal. This time, the political backing was a juggernaut that wouldn't be stopped by a union. The BLE was told that in no uncertain terms, that they would be litigated into bankruptcy if they didn't give the MTA/LIRR relief from the "Manning Rule". And, in an agreement attached to the contract, relief was given from the "Manning Rule", "as it pertains to freight". The BLE didn't have a choice, because they could have lost the Rule in its entirety. Thus began the NYA era on the LIRR.

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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by WhartonAndNorthern » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:29 am

Right now I imagine it's just political posturing: politicians trying to score votes with a plan to "unify the state by rail." They're still in the "don't bother me with details" phase.

Labor-wise: Since instate service is state supported (funded) with state-provided equipment(notionally) and locomotives (new tri-service DM contract), the state could just say let our other state owned railroad (LIRR) crew the engineer and conductor positions eastward Penn Station. The governor has been treating the MTA as a state-owned railroad trying to leave his mark everywhere: spec'ing subway and LIRR paint jobs, micromanagement of the L train construction. He even had MTA Bridges & Tunnels (TBTA) patrol cars painted with "New York State" almost as if they were State Police cars.
I could also see it going the other way: Amtrak provides crews and LIRR is forced to give a concession on the Manning Rule in the next round of contract talks in exchange for keeping some of the more arcane work rules (like penalty pay for running a diesel and electric in the same day). If the politcos really want it and the study "justifies" it, they'll force it through.

On the technical implementation side, as others have mentioned, the third rail gaps into and out of Penn station will be the biggest issue. The state may very well have to pay to put a locomotive on each end or buy trainsets with 3rd rail shoes running the length of the train. The proposed MNCW/LIRR/AMTK dual-mode order wants some "gap proofing" such as energy storage in the design. I'm not sure if that will be technically feasible given space constraints and axle loading. (Aside: my personal thought is they should build a "gap tender," a small box car [< 40 ft, 2-2 axle configuration] for LIRR units with extra third rail shoes and batteries. Although if they have to go through the trouble of adding a "tender" I think they might as well "hide" a 25 Hz transformer and a pantograph in it. Stuck in a gap? Raise the pan!)

Assuming the new locomotives can't coast through a gap and the state doesn't want locomotives at each end, could they run the train back with cab car leading and then wye the train at Belmont or near Holban-Hillside? A reverse move's not unheard of for Amtrak. Maybe they could fit a wye in on the north edge of MacArthur Airport. The route would be ideal for a DP catenary/diesel unit (doesn't pass through West Side Yard, catenary available in all tunnels) or a dual cab diesel/third rail (run the power around the train). However, Amtrak's demanding future orders be standardized equipment and I don't see room for such unicorns.

Right now, the politicos are getting their name in the headlines and their pet consultants are getting a funded 'study.'

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Re: Amtrak to Long Island: MTA agrees to explore

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:12 pm

If a locomotive can’t coast through a gap, Amtrak Dispatch (PSCC? I forget the acronym) will just authorize the engineer to proceed under diesel. It’ll be noisy but much less noxious than the current Genesis power.

If Amtrak does opt for DEMUs as reports noisily indicate Amtrak (or some faction at One Mass) may want, gapping should be an almost nonexistent issue.

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