Penn Station turnaround for Empire Connection?

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troffey
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Penn Station turnaround for Empire Connection?

Post by troffey » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:40 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:17 pm
mtuandrew wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:22 am
Ok, thanks, that answers my question about whether the US is the only country still using legacy power. Guess those two will be buying heavy transformer-equipped power for a while too.
Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Germany are all 15kv 16 2/3rd.

All other AC systems out there are 50 or 60Hz, save for Amtrak's 25hz. I think there's an Austrian one that's 25hz, but only a few kM long. Might be three phase, too.

I have a nagging suspicion that at least in some instances, notably Germany, the transformer is a space heater that has the side effect of dropping voltages. I've seen pictures of the Class 103's main transformer. I can't accept that that thing was rated anywhere near what's claimed of it.

The stuff works though. *shrug*

But, the European legacy systems are not only huge (Germany at one time had even nukes that generated native 16hz traction power), but plenty of 'legacy' equipment that can't change frequencies. I saw some DB Class 111s at Stuttgart last October. Very interesting noises as they pull out... SBB and BLS still runs some antique stuff, SJ might too.

I've yet to hear a good reason beyond the sunk cost fallacy why the NEC can't be at least incrementally converted to 60Hz traction power (and yes I've read that 'paper' from someone at Amtrak back in the late 70's - was a cute argument except that all modern AC rail equipment runs a unity power factor, rendering the guy's excesses to retain 25hz moot).

I'd be curious what the cost savings by not having to absorb the losses in frequency conversion alone would be...
Nasadowsk,

I can't find any sources, but I thought I had read an Amtrak plan to for exactly that incremental plan. The reasoning, IIRC, was the cost of ordering custom equipment for ongoing maintenance and upkeep since 25hz is not a commercially utilized frequency.

As you are probably aware, but others might not be, it's worth noting that DC third rail works well in tunnels because of the clearance. But speaking purely from the electrical equipment and supply aspect, AC catenary is significantly more effective. The inability to transform DC current as well as the power loss throughout third rail makes them very substation heavy, so I can't imagine NYS running more third rail (especially at grade) if it can be avoided. I understand the political opposition to overhead, but it makes more sense...

ThirdRail7
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Re: Penn Station turnaround for Empire Connection?

Post by ThirdRail7 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:22 pm

EuroStar wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:02 am
And that is why through-running is done practically everywhere in Europe with no ill consequences. Thank you for scaremongering. It does help though that the Europeans generally keep their stuff well maintained and do not pinch pennies on capital improvements.
This is exactly my point. This isn't Europe. You have an assortment of cash strapped, state agencies with various infrastructure issues and now, someone wants to introduce multiple, specialized pieces of equipment to allow them to cross into each others problems.

What.you call scaremongering (I know some people are afraid of the truth ) is not only a reality, it is an eventuality.
EuroStar wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:02 am

Anyway, through running in NYP does not mean that every train needs to run through. You can get meaningful benefits by running through every fourth train, while still turning the rest the way it is done now. This gives you enough robustness to take a hit from events such as yesterday, without collapsing the service. You can probably go as far as through running every other train and still have enough robustness in the schedules.
So, you want the three agencies to order equipment that can operate on two different voltages of catenary, two different types of third rail and non electrified territory simultaneously or spend billions to at least a narrow down the types of territory....to benefit roughly 25% of the operation?
EuroStar wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:02 am

The other thing you need to do is to allow the dispatchers to make certain routing decisions on the spot, specifically short turn trains in the case of a disruption such as yesterday. The short turns will end up replacing the "missing" through-runs. For example if we had through running New Haven-Trenton and yesterday happened, at some point the Trenton originating train set is "missing" and cannot make its run east of NYP, but you have the set that came from New Haven and cannot go to Trenton anyway, so just short turn it on the day of the disruption and you have solved the major rush hour issue. Yes, a few people who ride through get inconvenienced in having to disembark at NYP when they usually do not need to do that, but they could not go west until the fire issue is resolved anyway. The issue of crews not ending where they started is easily solvable by having the through-runs always change crews an NYP (which with current union rules you will need to do anyway).
And when these trains that can no longer run through show up, and their crews aren't around (more about that later), where are you storing all of this backed up, equipment? In your proposal, are all of these trains going to be the same size? A stranded 12 car set doesn't do much good if you replacing it with a 6 car set. There are also large infrastructure issues since space is typically at a premium. You are talking about the Number 1, the Number 2 and the Number 3 commuter agencies in the entire United States, and soon they will all meet in NYP. There isn't a ton of capacity to just have things sitting around.

This leaves out the political and funding issues. The MTA can't even align the LIRR, Metro-North, the NYC subway system and the Staten Island railroad, which they are responsible for. LIRR and Metro-North were on completely separate pages regarding East Side Access, and now broke NJT is would share, specialized equipment with them?

In my opinion, there are other solutions to this . 4 out of the 5 boroughs of NYC are on islands. The fifth borough has water on three sides. Take the trillions that people want to throw at Penn Station, through running and the surrounding infrastructure and use it to subsidize the ferries and other underutilized assets. The "Summer of Hell" was anything but that. Have bus lanes and ferries expand. Increase capacity at Hoboken, Weehawken, Tarrytown and places of that nature run a ferry directly to the Hudson Yards subway station. Do the same things at Hunterspoint Ave. Ferries should ring the area and real, bus lanes and bike lanes should be expanded.


EuroStar wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:02 am

I do have to give you that NJT and Amtrak are particularly terrible on scheduling/dispatching and infrastructure respectively, because they could not run even to New Brunswick/Jersey Avenue during the fire yesterday.

It would be hard to make it to Jersey Ave since the catenary power was removed in that section due to the fire. The nearest complete interlocking is back at Metuchen, which would have required a reverse move. Which is what they did for a few train, but then that pesky Federal Hours of Service law closed in on NJT. You see, that time of day, most of the crews are starting to run out of hours. The fresh crews for that line were beginning their day at Morrisville when the disruption began....on the other side of the outage and were trapped. Additionally, a great deal of the equipment for that line also comes from Morrisville and day turns. Sure, they had equipment in SSYD, but why steal equipment from another line if you don't have the crews to support them? So they continued to operate on the viable lines.
I want my road foreman!

Jeff Smith
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Re: Penn Station turnaround for Empire Connection?

Post by Jeff Smith » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:35 am

Those are good arguments. Th e comparison to Europe, which is basically one set of infrastructure, is not apt. But I do think some through running could occur, and could occur now. The issue as I think you identify it is it worth it. Probably my fault, but we've gotten away from the original issue; Empire Trains.
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electricron
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Re: Penn Station turnaround for Empire Connection?

Post by electricron » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:33 am

Jeff Smith wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:35 am
Those are good arguments. Th e comparison to Europe, which is basically one set of infrastructure, is not apt. But I do think some through running could occur, and could occur now. The issue as I think you identify it is it worth it. Probably my fault, but we've gotten away from the original issue; Empire Trains.
Why expect three difgerent transit agencies - NJT, LIRR, & MTA North - to coordinate and do something the one transit agency that uses similar equipment - Amtrak - will not do; and it doesn't have to coordinate with anybody but itself?

Nasadowsk
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Re: Penn Station turnaround for Empire Connection?

Post by Nasadowsk » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:02 am

Jeff Smith wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:35 am
Th e comparison to Europe, which is basically one set of infrastructure, is not apt.
One set?

Swiss trains have to change power at the German border, because neither country can agree on a pantograph type (even though they're the same voltage/frequency). Nevermind situations like France (two incompatible pan/voltage specs), the Netherlands (can't decide what voltage they're converting to), Spain (different track gauge)...And let's not get started on the dozen or so cab signal systems in use (2 in Germany and 2 or 3 in France alone - is Crocodile still in use?). There are over 50 different operators of passenger trains in Germany alone.

Where is this magic, unified, monolithic European rail system, again?

ThirdRail7
Posts: 4139
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Re: Penn Station turnaround for Empire Connection?

Post by ThirdRail7 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:38 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:02 am

Where is this magic, unified, monolithic European rail system, again?
How is the funding? Is it cobbled together?
I want my road foreman!

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