Original NH Catenary Replacement Progress

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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MACTRAXX
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Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:21 pm

Otto: Nice M4 pic! I for one liked the MNCR "meatball" M-and I personally disliked the MTA "Pac-Man" logo from day one. I always liked the red striping on the NH line MUs also. Have those bow-tie experimental cat poles near Glenbrook been replaced yet? MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DutchRailnut
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Post by DutchRailnut » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:59 pm

The replacement portals are standing but only track 3(new) catenary is hanging from new portals, 124 are still hanging from the Bowties.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Howiew
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Post by Howiew » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:20 am

Is it possible for someone in that area to take some pictures for us poor upstate folks?
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DutchRailnut
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Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:42 am

Why I like Otto's picture posted above.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Howiew
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Post by Howiew » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:20 am

DutchRailnut wrote:Why I like Otto's picture posted above.
So do I. I also have some when it was still the New Haven.
But would like to see pictures of the catenary replacement project in not just that area. But few other areas.
It will be end of a era when the last of the floating beam catenary comes down. Served the railroad for about a 100 years.
It's a testament to both the Westinghouse and New Haven Railroad engineering staffs for the entire electrification project. Plus the crews who first installed the electrification and the wire crews through the years who maintained it.
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DutchRailnut
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Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:41 am

I only see it as a testament of how NY and CT underfunded their Transportation infrastructure.
Lucky that has changed since Metro North was created.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Pbolo714
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Post by Pbolo714 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:52 am

i like the photo too.

any photos of the old triangular catenary?

Fred G
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Post by Fred G » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:59 am

Here are some additional photos of the Glenbrook area with the curved masts: Pages 1 and 2 of this album

Here's a shot through the railfan window
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mncommuter
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Post by mncommuter » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:35 pm

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this might not be a popular thing to say in this forum, but I find all these cats and wires really ugly! (although of all of them, the curved ones are kind of cool looking)

I can't imagine the beautiful vistas of my Hudson line ruined by all that. Luckily I don't have to.

What's the advantage of cat anyway? It seems like there's so many more problems with it. You almost never hear of a problem with the 3rd rail messing up a morning commute. Isn't it more reliable?

Nasadowsk
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Post by Nasadowsk » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:02 pm

Technically, catenary beats third rail hands down:

* Current collection is reliable at speeds exceeding 200mph. Third rail gets dicey above 80-90mph, and useless shortly after.

* Catenary allows higher voltages. Higher voltages mean lower losses. Third rail effectively means a sub station every mile. And even then, losses get really obnoxious at high current levels.

* The higher voltage means lower current. This means less arcing.

* You can't gap with catenary (unless you're Amtrak ;) )

* Third rail is vulnerable to leakage paths, and dirt. Garbage near the rail can easily start a fire. Unless the ROW is kept clean, fires happen a lot. It was a HUGE problem for the NYC/PC/Conrail in/out of GCT for many years.

* Third rail arcing can ignite the train. This actually has happened a few times with the LIRR's DM fleet.

* Locomotives on third rail are difficult because of the high current draw.

* Third rail sucks in the snow and ice.

* Substations are more numerous with third rail, and need to be built with special high speed breakers (due to the DC). In addition, fault currents can reach 6 figures, easily. Catenary running at commercial AC frequencies uses standard, off the shelf, breakers and protection relays. The substation designs aren't radically different from regular power systems.

I won't mention the obvious safety issues with third rail. And third rail cost a LOT more than catenary.

Oh yeah, and newer designed catenary systems are hardly intrusive - the New Haven's is because it was old, carried transmission lines, and spanned 4 tracks. Look at photos of Tumbler Ridge, BM&LP, recent European lines, etc. Or NJT's Coast around Red Bank.

mncommuter
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Post by mncommuter » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:18 am

Thanks for the info, Nasadowsk.

MP 0.1
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Start/end of catenary

Post by MP 0.1 » Sun May 13, 2007 12:55 pm

Just curious, why was the start/end of the wire moved to Pelham, and how did MN decide the exact spot?

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Rockingham Racer
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Post by Rockingham Racer » Sun May 13, 2007 1:19 pm

This is total speculation on my part, but when the third rail ended at about 238th St., trains were on uphill grade and not moving very fast, having diverged off the Harlem at Woodlawn at 30 MPH. Maybe it was hard to recover track speed?

DutchRailnut
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Post by DutchRailnut » Sun May 13, 2007 3:05 pm

Almost right that was one of reasons but main reason was if a train did not make changeover or a pantograph stayed up, The train would stop before or at woodlawn, this blocked interlocking untill the train was removed.
with the Catenary having very low spots between CP212 and Mt Vernon east it was decided to get rid of that area by putting in third rail.
The switchover is now just west of Pelham on a reasonably level piece of railroad end if a train breaks down no interlockings are blocked.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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MP 0.1
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Post by MP 0.1 » Sun May 13, 2007 5:42 pm

Asked & answered, thank you both.

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