M8's and Shore Line East

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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Clean Cab
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Clean Cab » Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:35 pm

Currently SLE trains are either 3 or 4 cars plus one engine. The seating on the ex-VRE cars is close too those of an M8. I've heard that if M8's ever do operate on SLE, they would be through trains to GCT. So that would mean they'd need at least 6 cars to make all the SLE stops and the additional MN express stops. I've not heard of anything recently that would indicate a total replacement of push/pull trains. I'd guess the push/pulls would do what they currently do, connect with MN trains in New Haven.
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NH2060
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by NH2060 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:48 pm

Train322 wrote:What would be the shortest train length for SLE?
With the heavy demand west of New Haven, can they simply run two car trains?

Would it make sense to reduce the current four car SLE trains to three or two to save on wear and tear, fuel and such?

Also, what needs to be done to use M8's for SLE?

Testing?
Wire at Guilford?
New London platforms?

thanks
1) Depending on how the sets are rotated perhaps a 2 car set would be better for midday Mon.-Fri. and weekend service. Given the uptick in ridership (esp. to New London on weekends) though I think 3 cars will stay as the bare minimum length consist.

2) All SLE trains from at least the late 1990s until 2006 had 3 cars with the exception of a Bombardier set that had MNR/ConnDOT coach "Naugatuck" in the consist and an SPV set that had a 4th car for a time. And of course the OpSail 2000 and 2006 US Open Mamaroneck-Old Saybrook specials which were 5 cars; I was fortunate to have ridden both. Since then ridership has risen quite a bit hence the addition of a 4th car on certain trains; this began sometime in the fall of '06 with the AM thru trains to Stamford. Those consists at the time had 3 VREs and 1 Bombardier cab. I rode those trains for several weeks during that time and boy did they fill up at Branford.

3) Yup the siding @ Guilford needs wiring, New London needs either a new high level platform or some bridge plates for the wide gaps, and oh yes they need to past muster on the Shore Line.
Clean Cab wrote:Currently SLE trains are either 3 or 4 cars plus one engine. The seating on the ex-VRE cars is close too those of an M8. I've heard that if M8's ever do operate on SLE, they would be through trains to GCT. So that would mean they'd need at least 6 cars to make all the SLE stops and the additional MN express stops. I've not heard of anything recently that would indicate a total replacement of push/pull trains. I'd guess the push/pulls would do what they currently do, connect with MN trains in New Haven.
Presuming that any thru trains would use the slots of trains currently in operation I see either:

a) The Stamford SLE trains + MNR connections will be replaced with GCT-Old Saybrook/New London M-8s with the diesel sets used elsewhere on SLE or the Hartford Line.

b) The GCT-New Haven diesel expresses will be replaced with M-8s and extended to OSB and/or NLC, with either the SLE expresses to Stamford continuing as they do now or being re-routed to the Hartford Line becoming Stamford-Hartford/Springfield express runs.

c) Both the NHL diesel express and SLE express runs + MNR connections will be replaced with GCT-Old Saybrook/New London M-8s.

Clean Cab
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Clean Cab » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:18 am

M8's on SLE will only be used for trains going through to GCT and possibly Penn Station. There are no plans to use M8's on shuttle runs between Old Saybrook (and New London) to New Haven.
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ebtmikado
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by ebtmikado » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:01 pm

The CDOT P-40s and GP-40s, along with the Mafersa coaches are going to the Springfield Line.
M-8s will will be on all the Shore Line East jobs.

Lee

DutchRailnut
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by DutchRailnut » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:12 pm

How are they gone unload in New London, the doors will be 3 feet away from platform.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Train322
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Train322 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:03 pm

Only people who can jump will be allowed to travel to New London.

More $'s need to be spent.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:14 pm

The platform situation at New London has to be taken care of eventually regardless of what cars SLE uses. It just doesn't have to be taken care of right this second. A full schedule expansion from Old Saybrook to NLN can't happen until the CT River Bridge is replaced, and total SLE throughput is still limited to Old Saybrook in the interim by the last couple stations still pending construction of their 2nd track side platforms. Those construction projects are going to take another 4-5 years to all settle up before the SLE has another schedule gear it can reach for, can send everything to terminate at NLN, and start contemplating new infill stations between Old Saybrook and NLN.

Moreover, NHHS is going to have a skeletal schedule at its debut. The double-track north of Hartford isn't funded yet, and the new and/or relocated stations won't all be open for business by the time the first commuter train rolls. The line is not going to see its full-blown 32 trains per day schedule until at least 2020. So the daily equipment needs and train lengths are going to be pretty meager from 2016-2020 when it's working up slowly from that small launch schedule.


This all buys quite a bit of time to figure out the New London platform situation, figure out what track-shifting alignment allows for a gapless full-high long enough for the average SLE consist, and commit the funds. Clearly if the expectation is that all or virtually all SLE service will be extended to NLN and substantially increased overall, they aren't going to be able to get by forever with bridge plates, stepstools, and extra manual labor from the conductors and station staff. There must be a hands-free accessible platform if the station is going to serve a full schedule's worth of commuter rail traffic. It's non-optional on push-pull or on EMU.

But it's also not very time-sensitive here in 2014/2015. It's going to take the rest of this decade to build that newer CT River bridge that opens up more slots by virtue of vastly fewer openings. It's going to take the rest of the decade to double-up the remaining platforms (because CDOT is CDOT and nothing ever happens within +1 years of on-time). It's going to take the rest of the decade to get a stimulus grab to install those 1-2 small passing sidings Amtrak specs in the NEC Infrastructure Improvements Master Plan for intercity vs. commuter passing opps. And CDOT has to build a layover yard out there if it expects a full-density schedule to be able to turn further east than Old Saybrook. It's not going to be instantaneous.


What I could see is M8's start infilling the Old Saybrook schedule when NHHS debuts, proportional to the % of the push-pull fleet that gets diverted for starter service. And then the push-pulls linger on all New London trains until 2020 or so when the NHHS schedule ratchets up and the New London platforms get solved. There'll easily be enough to cover that spread. It's not useful to talk in absolutes (i.e. "there will NEVER EVAR be M8's on SLE...", "there will ONLY be M8's on SLE...", "M8's on SLE will only go be for GCT"). Those proclamations don't account for the long half-decade timetable that it'll take for the SLE and NHHS fleet needs to even increase much. It's probably going to be an ongoing debate/dispute inside CDOT/MNRR that changes frequently, and probably morph into some sort of partial ebb and flow of both types of equipment that doesn't conform to any of the armchair quarterbacking we've done on this and other threads the last several years. Because these are equipment needs in constant evolution...and a very slow and drawn-out evolution at that. There's not yet any absolutes about what quantity of cars of what type are going to be needed when, so there's likewise no absolutes--or deadline pressure--to start testing the things in 2014 while the fleet owners have much, much more immediate things and sundry other crises monopolizing their attention.

It'll get resolved, but we might be looking at it from the wrong angle expecting a definitive up/down vote on M8's to SLE. Or expecting the internal scuttlebutt to stay in any way constant. They're not near a point of urgency where the SLE fleet plan has to be frozen. So why should they treat it like it's frozen, or needs to be frozen right this second?

BerndinMA
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by BerndinMA » Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:41 pm

Also going to be interesting how the Mass north of Springfield to Springfield commuter rail works. Also looking to be some type of Commuter rail Worcester to Springfield. Supposedly some of the better retiring MBTA locomotives are going into storage for these runs along with some of the tired MBBs from the MBTA for startup equipment. Will the MNCR/CDOT trains run interleaved service with the MDOT new Springfield service or will each run totally separate services on the south of Springfield in that time frame? MDOT has stored 2 retired locomotives for the service. I hear they want 4-8 more F40PH locomotives from the retiring 16 F40PHs.
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DutchRailnut
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:35 pm

yo Dude this is not bout the springfield line ......... just sayinn..
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Clean Cab
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Clean Cab » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:40 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:How are they gone unload in New London, the doors will be 3 feet away from platform.
Amtrak and SLE have "plans" (I hate using that word when CDOT is involved) to build a new platform in New London presumably west of the current NL Station. Don't hold your breath for this to happen anytime soon. M8 cars could spot and open just on door using the existing platforms, but loading and unloading would take forever. This is a classic example of putting the cart before the horse.
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F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:31 pm

"West"? I take it that would mean south(ish) of the State St. grade crossing where those two stubby low platforms currently sit, since that's the straightest area of track close enough to the station building and there's a decent amount of slack space on the ferry terminal side to: 1) lengthen both the side and the island platforms, 2) reconfigure as 2 side platforms so SLE and Amtrak stay out of each other's way, or 3) straighten the tracks slightly. That would work pretty well.

"West" / north(ish) at the Winthrop Blvd. crossing would make comparably less sense being further from the station building, having far less width to work with on platform construction, and being on the 3-lane part of Water St. that's much wider and busier to cross than quiet back alley S. Water.


Still, I can't imagine it's 100% physically impossible to construct gapless full-highs in front of the station building. The MBTA's Greenbush Line has stations with 800 ft. full-highs on pretty tight curves that don't have problems with platform gaps. Now, I don't know what the precise difference in degree of curvature is between that example I linked vs. NLN, but it's close enough that a little finessing to knock off a couple degrees ought to do it and keep a unified station at/across from the station building (and where the pedestrian overpass is going slated to go when the new museum parcel gets developed on the water-facing side of that block). It may require doing away with that runt of an island to go with a second side platform, track-shifting, and reconfiguring the crossovers so freights and any Amtrak expresses pass in the center. But the work involved seems to be more more about tackling the requisite design precision (and funding therein) rather than yes/no is it feasible at all. Unless there's just something different about the dimensions or door configuration of the Mafersa coaches, M8's, and (possibly) Amfleets that exacerbates the platform gap situation in a way the MBTA has no problems with at its sharp-curve full-highs with its bi-level and Shoreliner-clone single-level fleets.
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DutchRailnut
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by DutchRailnut » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:33 pm

MBTA has end doors, M-8 has quarter point doors, big big difference on curves.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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merrick1
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by merrick1 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:39 pm

Yawkey was built with two concave platform faces to minimize the gap with end doors. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... h_2014.jpg
That would not work with quarter point doors.

DutchRailnut
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by DutchRailnut » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:15 pm

and that platform is only 1/4 the curvature of New London
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Ridgefielder
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M-8 on the SLE

Post by Ridgefielder » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:22 pm

I was reading the Hartford Courant story posted in the Niantic Station thread and, buried 8 paragraphs in, came across this:
Late next year, Shore Line East is scheduled to get a fleet of low-mileage M-8 trains from the Metro-North New Haven line. Shore Line East's aging diesel locomotives and unpowered passenger cars will be transferred to the new Hartford Line.
http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut ... story.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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