Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

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goodnightjohnwayne
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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by goodnightjohnwayne » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:00 am

Nasadowsk wrote:In this day and age, an operation the size of NJT shouldn't be running diesels except as shuttles on lightly traveled lines...
The costs of electrification are prohibitive, so for many lines, like Port Jervis, it's clear that the choice is between continued diesel operations or no service at all.

This is precisely what happened in the early 80s when SEPTA shift to an all electrified operation - they simply abandoned service beyond the wires.

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JamesRR
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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by JamesRR » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:41 am

As ludicrous as it sounds, NYP needs a makeover the way Grand Central was rebuilt into its current form. It's maxed out now. Everything about it is inadequate. It works fine when it works. But when one thing goes wrong, the cascade effect is very great on all of the service there. There need to be more tracks, wider platforms, and a more streamlined way to reach trains. And that is a MASSIVE project. Beyond the scope of what gets conceived nowadays.

Bringing Metro-North in will only add more headaches, too. Regardless of what slots open up when the LIRR adds GCT service, it's still going to be a logistical nightmare.

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by MudLake » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:02 pm

JamesRR wrote:As ludicrous as it sounds, NYP needs a makeover the way Grand Central was rebuilt into its current form. It's maxed out now. Everything about it is inadequate. It works fine when it works. But when one thing goes wrong, the cascade effect is very great on all of the service there. There need to be more tracks, wider platforms, and a more streamlined way to reach trains. And that is a MASSIVE project. Beyond the scope of what gets conceived nowadays.

Bringing Metro-North in will only add more headaches, too. Regardless of what slots open up when the LIRR adds GCT service, it's still going to be a logistical nightmare.
It is getting makeover of sorts. Though not formally part of Penn Station, capacity is being increased if you include the platforms and tracks NJT is adding.

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by goodnightjohnwayne » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:59 pm

JamesRR wrote:As ludicrous as it sounds, NYP needs a makeover the way Grand Central was rebuilt into its current form. It's maxed out now. Everything about it is inadequate. It works fine when it works. But when one thing goes wrong, the cascade effect is very great on all of the service there. There need to be more tracks, wider platforms, and a more streamlined way to reach trains. And that is a MASSIVE project. Beyond the scope of what gets conceived nowadays.

Bringing Metro-North in will only add more headaches, too. Regardless of what slots open up when the LIRR adds GCT service, it's still going to be a logistical nightmare.
The real problem is the the mismanagement of the current infrastructure. There's plenty of capacity, but the levels of utilization are very poor.

walnut
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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by walnut » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:43 pm

I have been thinking about the problem of how to redo the whole Penn Station (including track level) from a logistics standpoint. The "classic" approach might be to try and keep it in service while the station is rebuilt. This would be utterly complex and very expensive.

So I want your feedback on this crazy idea: Completely close Penn Station for 60 days and rebuild the entire track level during that "window." Then reopen the stations in phases.

- Step 1: complete East Side Access for LIRR to Grand Central and a new Macy's station for NJT. These don't "replace" Penn Station capacity, by they do offer perhaps 30%-50% or more of the existing capacity. This means that during the closure of the station you only need to accommodate 50-70% of the daily users.

- You would start by tearing out a lot of the above grade super structure while keeping the station operating. Get as far as you can without impact train operations and station function. This is exactly the way that Madison Square Garden was built in the first place.

- Step 2 -- during the closure you do keep the "through operation" for Amtrak at Penn Station -- but trains don't stop. In other words, you can still take a train from Philly to Boston. But Philly to New York will run to Hoboken. And Boston to New York will run to Grand Central. Thus, all the Amtrak travel options are still available. You could even, maybe, have a skeleton Amtrak station at Penn most of the time, but most of the station will have to be closed under this concept.

- Step 3 -- the Ferry "bridge." For 60 days we are going to have a flotilla of ferries. We are going to borrow every catamaran ferry in the world we can for that period and run a major ferry operation between Hoboken and Manhattan. On the Manhattan side we are going to have a "Super BRT" that runs across the island. Two streets will be closed to all other traffic and buses will take over. The lights will devote green time to buses at the Avenues. The net effect of this is that commute times for most commuters will increase by no more than 15 minutes for 60 days during the "ferry bridge" Of course, some customers will use the new deep cavern station. On the LIRR side, a super shuttle operation will use subways and will involve a similar logistical situation.

- Step 4 -- Free transit. Yes, that is right. NJT is free for 60 days to Hoboken to compensate you for your lost time from having to take a Ferry or Path across the water. Similar arrangements for LIRR. This will help reduce the pain.

- Step 5 -- gut Penn Station. Rip it all out -- fast. This means having a fleet of waste barges docked at the river, and closing two streets to traffic so that dump trucks can continuously transport the waste. It can then be carted to NJ, ground up and reprocessed as aggregate for reconstruction. Recycling, so to speak.

- Step 6 -- "the Miracle" Using round the clock construction, build a new working station in 45 days at track level. All the niceties can come later, but this entails the tracks, signals, power supply, platforms, and a temporary mezzanine. The design will have to account for opening in phases, but the goal is to open a phase one station within 60 days (or a similar time frame).

- Step 7 - Reopen the temporary station. It now has a better operating pattern, but the actual station superstructure is not complete. Spend the next year finishing the actual station complex above the brand new "basement."


The potential advantage of a scenario like this is that you get a lot done quickly, and then life returns to normal. You only live with construction for a year, instead of, say, three or four. You don't have to constantly shuffle train schedules and platforms, etc. as you rebuild the guts of the station. Over and done and then you focus on the superstructure.

Rapidfire construction is not a new idea. It is used, for example, during times of war. The enemy blows up the bridge -- you build a new one in a jiffy. What Penn Station would entail is a massive heavy lift to tear it out and rebuild it as quickly as is physically possible.

Okay, hack the idea to pieces!

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by george matthews » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:14 am

So I want your feedback on this crazy idea: Completely close Penn Station for 60 days and rebuild the entire track level during that "window." Then reopen the stations in phases.
This is what is called in Britain a blockade.

60 days is unlikely to be enough, even working day and night.

I think what is needed at track level is a great deal more than can be achieved in a short blockade. The plans for Birmingham New Street - a similar type of situation - would cost hundreds of millions and perhaps billions. Which is why of course it doesn't happen but keeps getting deferred.

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by Ridgefielder » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:58 am

MudLake wrote:
JamesRR wrote:As ludicrous as it sounds, NYP needs a makeover the way Grand Central was rebuilt into its current form. It's maxed out now. Everything about it is inadequate. It works fine when it works. But when one thing goes wrong, the cascade effect is very great on all of the service there. There need to be more tracks, wider platforms, and a more streamlined way to reach trains. And that is a MASSIVE project. Beyond the scope of what gets conceived nowadays.

Bringing Metro-North in will only add more headaches, too. Regardless of what slots open up when the LIRR adds GCT service, it's still going to be a logistical nightmare.
It is getting makeover of sorts. Though not formally part of Penn Station, capacity is being increased if you include the platforms and tracks NJT is adding.
I think it's misleading to think of the THE tunnel project as part of Penn at all. Better to think of it as a replacement for all those stations on the Jersey side of the river that have closed over the past 50 years-- the NYC's Weehawken terminal and the three Jersey City stations-- CNJ, ERIE, PRR. As I understand it, NJT is not looking to actually move any service out of Penn; they're just going to create new services that use the new 34th Street station (or whatever it's going to be called).

Agree with JamesRR: they need to do a complete rebuild. How they could do that-- and where they could find the $$$$$$$-- is another story.

goodnightjohnwayne
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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by goodnightjohnwayne » Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:37 am

walnut wrote:I have been thinking about the problem of how to redo the whole Penn Station (including track level) from a logistics standpoint. The "classic" approach might be to try and keep it in service while the station is rebuilt. This would be utterly complex and very expensive.

So I want your feedback on this crazy idea: Completely close Penn Station for 60 days and rebuild the entire track level during that "window." Then reopen the stations in phases.

- Step 1: complete East Side Access for LIRR to Grand Central and a new Macy's station for NJT. These don't "replace" Penn Station capacity, by they do offer perhaps 30%-50% or more of the existing capacity. This means that during the closure of the station you only need to accommodate 50-70% of the daily users.

- You would start by tearing out a lot of the above grade super structure while keeping the station operating. Get as far as you can without impact train operations and station function. This is exactly the way that Madison Square Garden was built in the first place.

- Step 2 -- during the closure you do keep the "through operation" for Amtrak at Penn Station -- but trains don't stop. In other words, you can still take a train from Philly to Boston. But Philly to New York will run to Hoboken. And Boston to New York will run to Grand Central. Thus, all the Amtrak travel options are still available. You could even, maybe, have a skeleton Amtrak station at Penn most of the time, but most of the station will have to be closed under this concept.

- Step 3 -- the Ferry "bridge." For 60 days we are going to have a flotilla of ferries. We are going to borrow every catamaran ferry in the world we can for that period and run a major ferry operation between Hoboken and Manhattan. On the Manhattan side we are going to have a "Super BRT" that runs across the island. Two streets will be closed to all other traffic and buses will take over. The lights will devote green time to buses at the Avenues. The net effect of this is that commute times for most commuters will increase by no more than 15 minutes for 60 days during the "ferry bridge" Of course, some customers will use the new deep cavern station. On the LIRR side, a super shuttle operation will use subways and will involve a similar logistical situation.

- Step 4 -- Free transit. Yes, that is right. NJT is free for 60 days to Hoboken to compensate you for your lost time from having to take a Ferry or Path across the water. Similar arrangements for LIRR. This will help reduce the pain.

- Step 5 -- gut Penn Station. Rip it all out -- fast. This means having a fleet of waste barges docked at the river, and closing two streets to traffic so that dump trucks can continuously transport the waste. It can then be carted to NJ, ground up and reprocessed as aggregate for reconstruction. Recycling, so to speak.

- Step 6 -- "the Miracle" Using round the clock construction, build a new working station in 45 days at track level. All the niceties can come later, but this entails the tracks, signals, power supply, platforms, and a temporary mezzanine. The design will have to account for opening in phases, but the goal is to open a phase one station within 60 days (or a similar time frame).

- Step 7 - Reopen the temporary station. It now has a better operating pattern, but the actual station superstructure is not complete. Spend the next year finishing the actual station complex above the brand new "basement."


The potential advantage of a scenario like this is that you get a lot done quickly, and then life returns to normal. You only live with construction for a year, instead of, say, three or four. You don't have to constantly shuffle train schedules and platforms, etc. as you rebuild the guts of the station. Over and done and then you focus on the superstructure.

Rapidfire construction is not a new idea. It is used, for example, during times of war. The enemy blows up the bridge -- you build a new one in a jiffy. What Penn Station would entail is a massive heavy lift to tear it out and rebuild it as quickly as is physically possible.

Okay, hack the idea to pieces!
It's worth remembering that the PRR managed to demolish old Pennsylvania Station and build the current complex while simultaneously maintaining service.

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by george matthews » Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:59 am

It's worth remembering that the PRR managed to demolish old Pennsylvania Station and build the current complex while simultaneously maintaining service.
Did they touch the track level? That's the bit that needs most work.

goodnightjohnwayne
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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by goodnightjohnwayne » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:45 am

george matthews wrote:
It's worth remembering that the PRR managed to demolish old Pennsylvania Station and build the current complex while simultaneously maintaining service.
Did they touch the track level? That's the bit that needs most work.
The real problem is that the current capacity is poorly managed. Capacity isn't an issue. Management is an issue, and by extension, there are labor issues that stem from bad management. When a train arrives late and uncleaned from Sunnyside Yard, it isn't a capacity issue, it comes down to bad management and bad labor relations.

It's worth noting that the Moynihan station proposal doesn't really add capacity but a larger waiting area, albeit one with potential less convenient and efficient access to the platforms. Arguable, the only current program that would add capacity is the East Side Access that's putting LIRR trains into Grand Central, a facility that is very much underutilized.

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by M&Eman » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:26 am

Ridgefielder wrote:I think it's misleading to think of the THE tunnel project as part of Penn at all. Better to think of it as a replacement for all those stations on the Jersey side of the river that have closed over the past 50 years-- the NYC's Weehawken terminal and the three Jersey City stations-- CNJ, ERIE, PRR. As I understand it, NJT is not looking to actually move any service out of Penn; they're just going to create new services that use the new 34th Street station (or whatever it's going to be called).
Well by 2030, almost as many trains NJT will be using Penn as are using it now, but that is after years of service increases on current lines. A good chunk of the current service is being moved out. Current NEC and NJCL trains will stay in Penn, but come 2017, all of the Morristown Line and Montclair-Boonton trains will be moved to the new station. Additionally, the new station will accommodate dual-mode trains from Raritan/High Bridge, Bay Head, WORMS territory, and the Erie Lines as well as new electric service on the Gladstone Branch. So the immediate effect of ARC will be about 30% less NJT trains in NY Penn.
"The Erie only sells 1 way tickets on the NJ&NY because it only has a 99 year lease on the line."

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by Ridgefielder » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:09 pm

goodnightjohnwayne wrote:
walnut wrote:I have been thinking about the problem of how to redo the whole Penn Station (including track level) from a logistics standpoint. The "classic" approach might be to try and keep it in service while the station is rebuilt. This would be utterly complex and very expensive.

So I want your feedback on this crazy idea: Completely close Penn Station for 60 days and rebuild the entire track level during that "window." Then reopen the stations in phases.

- Step 1: complete East Side Access for LIRR to Grand Central and a new Macy's station for NJT. These don't "replace" Penn Station capacity, by they do offer perhaps 30%-50% or more of the existing capacity. This means that during the closure of the station you only need to accommodate 50-70% of the daily users.

- You would start by tearing out a lot of the above grade super structure while keeping the station operating. Get as far as you can without impact train operations and station function. This is exactly the way that Madison Square Garden was built in the first place.

- Step 2 -- during the closure you do keep the "through operation" for Amtrak at Penn Station -- but trains don't stop. In other words, you can still take a train from Philly to Boston. But Philly to New York will run to Hoboken. And Boston to New York will run to Grand Central. Thus, all the Amtrak travel options are still available. You could even, maybe, have a skeleton Amtrak station at Penn most of the time, but most of the station will have to be closed under this concept.

- Step 3 -- the Ferry "bridge." For 60 days we are going to have a flotilla of ferries. We are going to borrow every catamaran ferry in the world we can for that period and run a major ferry operation between Hoboken and Manhattan. On the Manhattan side we are going to have a "Super BRT" that runs across the island. Two streets will be closed to all other traffic and buses will take over. The lights will devote green time to buses at the Avenues. The net effect of this is that commute times for most commuters will increase by no more than 15 minutes for 60 days during the "ferry bridge" Of course, some customers will use the new deep cavern station. On the LIRR side, a super shuttle operation will use subways and will involve a similar logistical situation.

- Step 4 -- Free transit. Yes, that is right. NJT is free for 60 days to Hoboken to compensate you for your lost time from having to take a Ferry or Path across the water. Similar arrangements for LIRR. This will help reduce the pain.

- Step 5 -- gut Penn Station. Rip it all out -- fast. This means having a fleet of waste barges docked at the river, and closing two streets to traffic so that dump trucks can continuously transport the waste. It can then be carted to NJ, ground up and reprocessed as aggregate for reconstruction. Recycling, so to speak.

- Step 6 -- "the Miracle" Using round the clock construction, build a new working station in 45 days at track level. All the niceties can come later, but this entails the tracks, signals, power supply, platforms, and a temporary mezzanine. The design will have to account for opening in phases, but the goal is to open a phase one station within 60 days (or a similar time frame).

- Step 7 - Reopen the temporary station. It now has a better operating pattern, but the actual station superstructure is not complete. Spend the next year finishing the actual station complex above the brand new "basement."


The potential advantage of a scenario like this is that you get a lot done quickly, and then life returns to normal. You only live with construction for a year, instead of, say, three or four. You don't have to constantly shuffle train schedules and platforms, etc. as you rebuild the guts of the station. Over and done and then you focus on the superstructure.

Rapidfire construction is not a new idea. It is used, for example, during times of war. The enemy blows up the bridge -- you build a new one in a jiffy. What Penn Station would entail is a massive heavy lift to tear it out and rebuild it as quickly as is physically possible.

Okay, hack the idea to pieces!
It's worth remembering that the PRR managed to demolish old Pennsylvania Station and build the current complex while simultaneously maintaining service.
The PRR didn't touch the track level much. But, what is really worth remembering is that the New York Central tore down the old Grand Central Depot and put up the current terminal in its place-- a project that involved removing millions of cubic yards of material, tearing down what was at one point the world's largest trainshed, and putting in the massive yard trackage still in use today-- without once suspending service.

Problem with running Boston to NY trains into GCT is the power. How do you get the final few miles over third rail territory from Pelham? I might be wrong, but I don't think Amtrak has any equipment capable of operating off NYC-style underrunning third rail.

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by M&Eman » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:46 pm

Another problem with that plan is that it would require a reconfiguring of HUDSON interlocking, including potentially the construction of flyovers, to allow enough capacity on the connection between the NEC and the Lackawanna trunk to Hoboken, as well as double tracking the connection. The current connection is single track and across the plant, limiting it to mostly equipment moves. While Hoboken itself could probably handle accomodating the entire NJT system plus some Amtrak trains, its operating formula would have to be completely redone, with trains essentially reversing out to the yards as soon as they unload, similar to the ARC operating plan. For logistic's sake it might be easier to terminate trains at Newark Penn with buses and PATH to bring travellers to Manhattan.
"The Erie only sells 1 way tickets on the NJ&NY because it only has a 99 year lease on the line."

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by walnut » Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:51 pm

Hmm -- excellent point.

Regarding keeping the station open as it is rebuilt -- the Pennsy also kept service in Philadelphia operating all through the "improvements" process, only suspending service for a few hours for the final switchover. But construction methods, regulations, and safety were all handled very differently back then.

I just wonder if trying to keep the terminal open the entire time makes it too expensive and too tortuous for the daily users. Would it be better to just endure a short suspension of business as usual. If the "blockade" goes on too long, the railroads would lose traffic as commuters make other arrangements. But if it is short enough, then things could get back to normal quickly.

Regarding the time required, I tend to agree that 60 days is too short (seemingly) but I suggested that limit because to go longer would risk the business, so to speak. So there would need to be a close look at whether a miracle could be performed. It wouldn't be necessary to build the new station in 60 days -- just the track system, platforms, and a temporary station.

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Re: Amtrak deal may revive Moynihan station

Post by Jeff Smith » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:34 am

Two modern words why you can't do it in 60 days: environmental remediation. Think of all the workers who helped clean up the rubble at the WTC and how some of them are sick now.

Also, GCT is not underutilized; I said that on here ONCE and got hammered, and rightfully so. Also, as pointed out to me, ESA is not going into GCT; it is going into a separate terminal being built in the old Madison Yards.

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