Fordham Service Questions (GCT - Fordham and New Haven Line)

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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Yellowspoon
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Re: GCT to Fordham (or vice versa)

Post by Yellowspoon » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:35 pm

O.P. Here. Until now, all my MN experience has been GCT to/from Connecticut.

My original intent was to have a larger selection of Fordham-to-GCT trains as the Harlem lines runs two per hour, but if I were able to use a Stamford Local, that would make four trains per hour. I guess I'll just stick to Harlem trains.

On a seperate note: When doing research on fares, I noticed that MN has service from 125th to GCT, none of which are on Connecticut bound trains. Only about 15% of the Harlem or Hudson trains allow service between 125th and GCT. Why bother at all? A LEX express is just as fast, and since the service from GCT to 125th is so intermittent, it hardly seems worth the effort.

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Re: GCT to Fordham (or vice versa)

Post by truck6018 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:55 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:
City Tickets are NOT valid on New Haven Line trains between GCT, Harlem-125th and Fordham. They are for use on Harlem Line trains only...
City Tickets are valid on Harlem and Hudson Line trains.

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Re: GCT to Fordham (or vice versa)

Post by MACTRAXX » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:03 pm

Truck:

I know that...I was specifically referring GCT to or from Fordham here - Harlem Line...

I specified in my post that City Tickets were valid to Zone 2 stations in both the East and West
Bronx on both the Harlem Line (as far as Wakefield) and Hudson Line (as far as Riverdale) to or
from Grand Central Terminal or Harlem-125th Street. Is that clear enough for you?

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Re: GCT to Fordham (or vice versa)

Post by pnaw10 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:19 am

Yellowspoon wrote:On a seperate note: When doing research on fares, I noticed that MN has service from 125th to GCT, none of which are on Connecticut bound trains. Only about 15% of the Harlem or Hudson trains allow service between 125th and GCT. Why bother at all? A LEX express is just as fast, and since the service from GCT to 125th is so intermittent, it hardly seems worth the effort.
First of all, there's no way you can be going from 125th to GCT and be Connecticut-bound at the same time. Opposite directions :-D I know what you meant, though.

The policy is such because Metro-North is intended to get commuters into the city or out of the city, not so much for getting commuters between points within the city -- that's the job of the subways and the buses. Regarding the New Haven not allowing any GCT<==>125 traffic, same story as the policy at Fordham: the New Haven Line was originally run by the New York, New Haven & Hartford RR, while the Hudson and Harlem Lines were run by New York Central. Although NYNH&H had a deal with NYC to share the trackage rights from Mount Vernon to GCT, the deal prohibited NYNH&H from competing with NYC. That's why NHL trains skip most Bronx stations, and any stops at Fordham are only intended for people going to/from Connecticut, not further into NY City. Even though the original railroads are gone now and MTA operates Metro-North, there is still some distinction due to the state-level funding invested in MNR. New York covers the cost of equipment for the Hudson and Harlem Lines. As for the New Haven, I recall it being a 30/70 split (or something similar) with Connecticut picking up most of the tab -- and rightfully so, as the line and its passengers live mostly in Connecticut. As a result, CDOT doesn't want "its" equipment dollars being spent on people who are only traveling between NY stops that are also served by the Harlem Line.

Getting back to the general lack of "legal" service between GCT<==>125th... as MACTRAXX noted, the fare for this short, 4-mile trip up Park Avenue is "$7.75 Peak; $5.75 Off Peak; On-Board fares: $14 Peak; $12 Off Peak." Cheaper and faster than a cab ride... but by comparison, the (4) and (5) lines of the subway can run from GCT to 125th (one block east of Metro North) in the same amount of time (10-11 minutes) for just $2.75 around the clock, 7 days a week. Not to mention, the subway runs much more frequently.

Presuming most New Yorkers want to reach their destination as quickly and cheaply as possible, the subway wins -- not many people would want to pay double or triple the fare on top of dealing with the scattered track layout when the only benefit is having a cushioned seat versus a plastic one. Not to mention, the MetroCard you use to get on the subway can be used to make free transfers to other subway lines or bus lines... Metro North tickets don't include free transfers. It would be silly for someone to get on MNR at 125th to GCT, only to have to pay even more to get on the subway to continue downtown, when they could have just paid one subway fare for the entire trip.

One could argue that MNR purposely outprices the subway, in order to prevent intra-city passengers from overcrowding MNR trains. It would be pretty stupid if a Poughkeepsie-bound semi-express left GCT overcrowded, only to see 90% of the passengers get off at 125th and then the train is mostly empty the rest of the way. If you Google the history of MNR, you'll find the predecessor railroads originally had more stations within the city (including a few within the Park Ave tunnel, which now serve as emergency exits), but those were eliminated over time, especially as subways and buses became more prevalent uptown and into the Bronx, and even moreso as people started moving out to the suburbs. (If you think a local takes a long time now, imagine several more stops once you hit the NY City border.)
.

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Re: Fordham Service Questions (GCT - Fordham and New Haven L

Post by Jeff Smith » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:40 pm

Lots of good info in the merged threads.
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Re: Fordham Service Questions (GCT - Fordham and New Haven L

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:11 pm

Once again, NH line service in the Bronx, specifically Fordham, comes to the fore: History leaves Bronx Metro-North commuters hanging at Fordham station: NY Daily News
...

Passengers waiting for a train at the Fordham station in the Bronx aren’t allowed to step into the New Haven trains when they stop at the platform. Instead of jumping in for a fast trip to Grand Central Terminal, they have to stand and watch as passengers get off. The same situation is true at the Harlem 125th St. station — although the subway’s proximity means most locals take city transit.

The “exclusionary policy” that prevents New Yorkers from boarding the Connecticut-based trains is rooted in a 19th century deal between two private rail companies, according to Stringer, who says it should be sent to the dustbin of history.
...
The New Haven line set up goes back to 1848, when the New York & Harlem and the New Haven railroad companies met at a junction in what is now Woodlawn.

The New Haven trains would pull into the station and let passengers off — but wouldn’t pick up any new riders.

By 1920, the Connecticut trains no longer stopped in the Bronx. But by the 1970s, a few New Haven trains began to stop at Fordham — but only to drop off riders.
...
Metro-North and Connecticut Department of Transportation split the costs of running the New Haven line, with the Nutmeg State putting up two-thirds of the bill, totaling $130 million last year, after fares are collected.

MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said that the agency will review the policy and discuss the arrangement with Connecticut.
...
A couple observations:

-IIRC, the original NYNY&HRR stop in the Bronx was Woodlawn. At some point, it switched to Fordham. It's in here somewhere.

-I wasn't aware that there was ever any gap in service from the NH to one stop (discharge inbound, receive outbound).

-The agreement was a result of NYC not wanting to share fares, and the NH not wanting to pay for the privilege.

Solutions? I'm not sure how much local Bronx service the Harlem offers (and not sure where most of it originates, but I assume NWP), but couldn't something be done with the NH, perhaps ending in New Rochelle for a turn of equipment? Or you could even turn it in Mt. Vernon East, which would allow all equipment to perform the service, and where passengers could transfer to the Stamford Local.

This would leave CT out of it.
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Re: Fordham Service Questions (GCT - Fordham and New Haven L

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:32 pm

There are plenty of Harlem Line trains that stop at Fordham and many of them originate in North White Plains and there are a reasonable number of seats once they get to Fordham. The New Haven Line trains, on the other hand, probably have very few seats after the train leaves Mt. Vernon East. The New Haven Line, in general, has the highest ridership in the Metro North section and the State of Connecticut contributes a lot to the service. As a result, Connecticut probably is using those excuses for the MTA not to allow passengers to travel on a New Haven Line train from Fordham to Grand Central Terminal. A few New Haven bound trains stop at Fordham but once they pull out of Grand Central heading east and after they depart Stamford heading west, those trains are very crowded.

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Re: Fordham Service Questions (GCT - Fordham and New Haven L

Post by Ridgefielder » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:46 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:Solutions? I'm not sure how much local Bronx service the Harlem offers (and not sure where most of it originates, but I assume NWP), but couldn't something be done with the NH, perhaps ending in New Rochelle for a turn of equipment? Or you could even turn it in Mt. Vernon East, which would allow all equipment to perform the service, and where passengers could transfer to the Stamford Local.

This would leave CT out of it.
I just looked at the schedule. There are 47 inbound departures from Fordham on a weekday, and the longest gap between trains appears to be the 40 minutes between #308 at 0638 and #312 at 0718. And as someone who frequently rides #312 in the morning I can tell you that there are more passengers getting off that train at Fordham than there are getting on.

The Daily News is trying to gin up a story out of nothing here.

truck6018
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Re: Fordham Service Questions (GCT - Fordham and New Haven L

Post by truck6018 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:56 pm

Ridgefielder wrote: The Daily News is trying to gin up a story out of nothing here.
Like that's something new.

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Re: Fordham Service Questions (GCT - Fordham and New Haven L

Post by 35dtmrs92 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:15 pm

No, with all due respect, there is a real issue here. Today's Fordham-GCT service seems to be an average of a train every 30-40 minutes. The low frequency combined with the need to board the right train likely drives away riders. Conversely, permitting Fordham-to-GCT riders to board CT-origin trains, which would roughly double the frequency and eliminate confusion, would likely spur greater ridership. I have ridden a few inbound trains that called at Fordham; I believe there is little reason to worry about Fordham riders fitting on board. Just like the Harlem Line trains, inbound CT-origin trains are also letting passengers off at Fordham; there would be no point of stopping otherwise. I find it difficult to believe that most inbounds from CT would have an issue with another 20-30 passengers getting on for a duration that most would be comfortable standing. Outbound, GCT-Fordham riders would probably add little to the already heavy loads on CT-bound trains and would be alighting early in the run. The trains don't have to attract legions of passengers for acceptance of Fordham<->GCT passengers on New Haven trains to be worth it. Even inducing a further 5 passengers per train on average (less than one passenger per car) would yield hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for little to no marginal cost in conductors or journey time.

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Re: Fordham Service Questions (GCT - Fordham and New Haven L

Post by truck6018 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:54 pm

It's nothing to do with train capacity, conductors or travel time. It has everything to do with CDOT and their policies. Metro North only operates the trains to CDOT's specifications.

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