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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DutchRailnut
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by DutchRailnut » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:10 pm

From Commuter Council meeting : SLE M8 testing status
Negotiations continue with Amtrak. ConnDOT requires access rights to test trains. The
request is still with Amtrak after about a month. There are two parts to the request:
access to track and insurance. Once the request is approved by Amtrak, it will need
signatures from DOT. So, bottom line: They are not yet at next level of testing. Also
testing software for PTC.
What’s the plan for pulling cars from MN? The plan is still being formalized. Looking at
options with MN. Looking at both diesel and electric. Hartford needs four train sets.
SLE has 14 sets. Might look at a service provider to lease equipment.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Jeff Smith
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:28 pm

doesn't sound like they, um, planned this too well.
Next stop, Willoughby
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DutchRailnut
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by DutchRailnut » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:33 pm

no but they are studying it, planning is not a strong forte by ConnDOT.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Riverduckexpress
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Riverduckexpress » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:42 pm

One of the tracks at Guilford is not electrified, right? Aside from that, what other infrastructure needs to be modified/expanded before the M8s can run?

DutchRailnut
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by DutchRailnut » Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:20 am

straightening out New London.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Rockingham Racer » Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:24 am

And that would be a biggie.

ebtmikado
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by ebtmikado » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:02 am

DutchRailnut wrote:straightening out New London.
Track 6 platform could be an option, or a couple mini-highs west of the crossing.
Lee

Ridgefielder
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Ridgefielder » Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:52 am

Already is a mini-high WB, west of the State Street crossing.

DutchRailnut
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by DutchRailnut » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:57 pm

even mini highs only work on straight rail , the quarter point doors just don't get close enough to platform (gap) if curvature is over a certain degree.
even slight curves like Fordham and Rye are problem, curvature in New London is way tighter.
make yourself a scale floor diagram and but that against a curved platform , the overhang in curve will screw up the gap at incredible rates.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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NH2060
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by NH2060 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:13 pm

Don't forget Syosset. The curvature @ Fordham and Rye is nothing compared to that.

A high level could work well enough on both sides where the ROW runs along South Water Street if Track 6 were to either be extended westward to just east of the crossing at the end of South Water Street or cut back to just north of the existing station. Not perfect, but it's as straight as you'll get @ NLC.

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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:54 am

Wasn't CDOT's plan for SLE to construct a cheap/quick-fix high platform for 2-3 cars south of the Water St. grade crossing on top of where the current 150 ft. low island is located? That should be fine for gapless quarter-point doors...or, easily afford enough slack space on the park side of the tracks to do quick track realignment that knocks a couple degrees off the curve so it's very nearly tangent and most definitely gapless. With how short CDOT goes with its default SLE platform lengths that should be plenty for their needs. Nobody expects a permanent fix for NLN like full-regulation 1000 ft. NE Regional platforms in our lifetimes, but that's not the goal here since CDOT doesn't even build platforms long enough to unload every car. "Good enough" for them isn't that high a bar.


Doubt NLN's all that time-sensitive for M8's anyway. If/when they're phased in it'll be Old Saybrook first, and probably no pokes to NLN until they've subsumed the entire OSB schedule without need for diesel substitutes. Divvying up the diesel equipment pool only requires low-margin math if you're balancing starter Hartford Line schedules vs. full-blown OSB and NLN Shore Line East schedules. If it's just Hartford Line and NLN for some indefinite period going forward until either/both schedules substantially increase there's still a slight surplus of push-pull equipment to play with.

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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:28 pm

Jaap's going to kill me for bringing it into this thread, but I'm partially agreeing with what he's said in the past. With diesel sets going to the Hartford line, why not just do what CtDOT does best and pick up some cast-offs that run under the wire, i.e. AEM-7 toasters? As Jaap has pointed out elsewhere, there is now a shortage of coaches to match the power; Comet III's would be a possibility. Forget the M8's; even with the extra ordered, the retirement of the (99%) prior EMU fleet of 2-4-6's didn't leave enough for what I'm now going to call WoNH (west of NH). The M8's may test there, but it seems like there's just not enough to fulfill full SLE service levels, NLN serve notwithstanding.

Speaking of NLN, Comet III's could be a hi platform solution with a center door and end doors, which would work on curves.

Bonus: they can be used for NYP runs when that finally happens. Of course, by then they'll probably be dead, but for now they could work on the relatively short SLE runs rather than the whole NEC runs. And bookend them so if one craps out, you can MU them for motive/HEP, and not worry about push-pull.
Next stop, Willoughby
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DutchRailnut
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:01 pm

OK lets repeat this, CDOT has 18 engines , more than enough to cover shoreline(4 sets), and springfield(4 sets)
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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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 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:28 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:Jaap's going to kill me for bringing it into this thread, but I'm partially agreeing with what he's said in the past. With diesel sets going to the Hartford line, why not just do what CtDOT does best and pick up some cast-offs that run under the wire, i.e. AEM-7 toasters? As Jaap has pointed out elsewhere, there is now a shortage of coaches to match the power; Comet III's would be a possibility. Forget the M8's; even with the extra ordered, the retirement of the (99%) prior EMU fleet of 2-4-6's didn't leave enough for what I'm now going to call WoNH (west of NH). The M8's may test there, but it seems like there's just not enough to fulfill full SLE service levels, NLN serve notwithstanding.

Speaking of NLN, Comet III's could be a hi platform solution with a center door and end doors, which would work on curves.

Bonus: they can be used for NYP runs when that finally happens. Of course, by then they'll probably be dead, but for now they could work on the relatively short SLE runs rather than the whole NEC runs. And bookend them so if one craps out, you can MU them for motive/HEP, and not worry about push-pull.
CDOT's not going to need to do that.

-- They've got the extra P40's; Amtrak's got 13 more operable P40's in storage that become completely expendable for cheap when the state-sponsored Charger order releases the Midwest P42's back into general circulation as reinforcements for the national fleet. That's way cheaper than getting Toaster remans in there and squaring the service-and-maint agreements. It's one thing if SEPTA and MARC need to borrow some to tide them over until their Siemens locos come in way at the back end of AMTK's order, but SLE is too damn small and too far from one of Amtrak's primary AEM-7 maint shops for a lease deal to have the slightest appeal to anyone.

-- I'm pretty sure there aren't many Comet III's left. NJT has cleaned out a lot of its boneyard(s) for scrap over the past year. All those stored Arrows, Geeps, and F40's have been hauled off the property; the Comet I's & IB's are long gone. Since interest in secondhand flats is almost nil at the moment, there's no compelling reason for them to have kept the III's.

-- Coach shortage isn't quite so acute issue at the moment, as the 33 Mafersas are more than SLE needs right now. The MTA will have done the RFP for its first batch of MultiLevel replacements for the Shoreliners within 2-3 years, and they'll have freer hand to borrow blue-paint Shoreliners to plug gaps at that point.

-- CDOT's going to have lots of fleet mgt. options to chew on around the MTA's MLV order. They can go whole-hog and purge their own flats for MLV's in-tandem with the MTA. Or they can go cheaper and do a swap-a-thon when the back end of the MLV order is arriving and pick up the MTA's Shoreliner III's and put them through light overhaul, ditching their I's/II's and the Mafersas in the process.

-- M8's to New London kind of doesn't make sense until the Connecticut River Bridge gets replaced. Design funding was appropriated, then Amtrak's got an FRA deadline sometime this year to submit its final design to the FRA for approval. Remainder is waiting for construction funds to be appropriated. The Obama Admin. had this one earmarked several years ago (before Congress flipped) for an accelerated design-build, so while it's very unlikely now that the funding will move in timely fashion they would be able to commence quickly--with 2-year construction schedule--whenever it is approved. There's not going to be any NLN service increases until that project happens, because what's the point when they're looking at 2 years of construction-related capacity pinches. An M8 introduction only makes sense to OSB for now. NLN is just too small a share of the schedule to bother with until that bridge is completed and the new span offers new slots for the taking. It'd be such a small drain on the diesel fleet to segment EMU's on the west side of the river and save a couple diesel sets for NLN in the interim that overthinking short-term equipment acquisitions is a waste of energy.

-- It's pretty much established that CDOT's going to need a supplemental EMU order when PSA opens. Malloy's already name-dropped that in the public meetings for his big transpo bill. Even if ESA slips push PSA's debut to 2025, the obligatory 5-year wait from funding + RFP to vehicle delivery means that first action on the M10 supplemental order would have to happen by 2020. That's not very far away, so we'll know in not too many more years whether or not they're in go-for-it mode on relief for the EMU fleet. And in terms of SLE expansion, the South Lyme infill and any talk of Mystic and Westerly is going to time no sooner than that. Because of the bridge construction, and because RIDOT is still chasing TIGER grants to get Westerly ADA'd and expanded before it can bring its own MBTA-mercenary trains down there. That's all a 2020 convergence. So even in the most gung-ho optimistic expansion push...you probably aren't going to see that big increase in service past OSB until CDOT's made up its mind on whether to pursue some M10 reinforcements. Likewise, Hartford Line service ramping up from starter schedule to full-blast follows a 5-7 year plan, so the demands on diesel fleet numbers converges to the same timeframe as thumbs-up/thumbs-down executive decision on the supplemental EMU's.


We're overthinking this. The equipment 'gap' isn't as daunting as it sounds the way events line up. The great big MLV order and glut of Shoreliner surplus serendipitously times with the CT River bridge's likeliest construction window that's a prerequisite for any substantial NLN service increases. Additional expansion on the east end and cresting Hartford Line equipment demands time serendipitously with when they have to make the go/no-go decision on a supplemental EMU buy 4-6 years in advance of PSA. So this situation where they have to triage a thinly-spread M8 fleet and/or thinly spread diesel fleet only has to take into account the next 4-5 years of the static SLE schedule and 3-5 years of a very meager Hartford Line starter schedule before other fleet procurement events grind well into motion (esp. the explosion in new/old coach availability). I don't think the strain on resources is anywhere near as severe as we're making it out to be given the way that sequence of events lines up.
Last edited by F-line to Dudley via Park on Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jeff Smith
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Re: M8's and Shore Line East

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:29 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:OK lets repeat this, CDOT has 18 engines , more than enough to cover shoreline(4 sets), and springfield(4 sets)
So what are you saying?
Next stop, Willoughby
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