Why no big plans to speed up times on 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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pbj123
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Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:43 pm

Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by pbj123 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:22 pm

Before certification there were plenty of stretches on the New Haven Line where experienced engineers drove their trains in excess of the speed limits. And there are plenty of areas where the speed could be increased if the tracks were maintained to a higher standard. But there are so many improvements to bridges ( movable and ballast deck) and I believe the constant tension catenary project is still yet to be completed and, if PTC is not yet operational, the use of the cab signal system to enforce civil speed restrictions just makes it impossible to take any time out of schedules. As Ducth alluded, all it would take is money and the will to do it. But never say never, Acelas would never use their tilt on MN,until they did, and the possibility of MN trains running to Penn Station would surely encourage more co operation between AMT and MN.

Noel Weaver
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:15 pm

Speed limits and speed restrictions are put there for a good reason. Years ago we might have cheated a little bit in a few places but it was routine and there were not plenty of stretches where we did so. As I and others have said there are too many curves, restricting bridges and other places where the speed limit was the speed limit and that was that. I could say more on this but that is enough for now.
Noel Weaver

BenH
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by BenH » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:50 am

Current and recent studies relate to this topic.

"CT DOT taps leading engineers to assess New Haven Line"
https://www.railwayage.com/news/ct-dot- ... aven-line/
RailwayAge | May 5, 2017

New Haven Line Capacity and Speed Analysis Study | Scope of Work (Condensed) – Draft (PDF)
http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/New_Haven ... _Scope.pdf
CTDOT | January 2017
(apparently part of the first item)

Unlocking the Full Potential of the New Haven Line (PDF)
http://library.rpa.org/pdf/RPA-Getting- ... -Track.pdf
RPA | 2014

DutchRailnut
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:31 am

yup CDOT likes to study and pay big bucks for such studies and then it dies.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Penn Central
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by Penn Central » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:55 am

Metro-North lowered the top speed on the New Haven and Hudson lines from 90 to 80 because of inspections that were required to maintain level 5 certification were not justified by the very small time savings. The only 90 mph on the New Haven Line was from New Rochelle to Harrison and the time savings was less than a minute.

DutchRailnut
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by DutchRailnut » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:08 pm

distance cp217 to Harrison curves is about 5 miles, minus distance to accelerate/decelerate your talking less than 4 miles .
difference between 80 and 90 mph is 5 seconds per mile so total savings were about 20 seconds at what price????
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:36 am

Yes, by lower the speed limit from 90 to 80, you aren't saving time on the schedule. In order for time to be shaved off the schedule for the trip on the New Haven Line, the bridges over the Miamus, Norwalk, Saugatuck, and Houstatonic need to be replaced.IIt would also be good to bring back the fourth track in certain spots as well.

Traingeek3629
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by Traingeek3629 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:49 am

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Yes, by lower the speed limit from 90 to 80, you aren't saving time on the schedule. In order for time to be shaved off the schedule for the trip on the New Haven Line, the bridges over the Miamus, Norwalk, Saugatuck, and Houstatonic need to be replaced.IIt would also be good to bring back the fourth track in certain spots as well.
The whole line must have four tracks for optimal efficiency. This includes through milford station.
TRAIN APPROACHING, PLEASE REMAIN BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:22 am

Yes, Milford Station needs to get its fourth track back. It's a rather busy station and even without the fourth track can slow down everything else when a train is doing it's station work at Milford. The whole New Haven Line on weekdays, especially during rush hour is very busy with Metro North trains, even the outer zone. If you live between Stamford and the city, then you literally have a European level of frequency, even on weekends. If you live in Greenwich, then you have express service not just during rush hour but during off peak hours and on weekends. Greenwich is one of the only towns west of Stamford that has express trains stopping their throughout the day.

DutchRailnut
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:08 pm

have any of you buffs ever stood at milford and timed the trains ??? there is absolutely no need for 4th track at any time of day.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Train322
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by Train322 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:09 pm

As Dutch said - Milford has no need for a fourth track.
Also - ever notice that the westbound platform was constructed where the fourth track used to be.
It would be insane to tear down the old station and move the platform and ...........

The rail line runs through a hi density area and the cost to straighten sections would be prohibitive - way too much to save a few seconds here and there.

The cost to just keep the line running is high (S Norwalk bridge as an example).

DutchRailnut
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:32 pm

I believe headway on each track is 4.5 minutes , or 13. 3 trains per hour for each track ?
anyone ever see nearly 40 trains per hour pass trough Milford??????
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

Ridgefielder
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by Ridgefielder » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:27 am

Train322 wrote:As Dutch said - Milford has no need for a fourth track.
Also - ever notice that the westbound platform was constructed where the fourth track used to be.
It would be insane to tear down the old station and move the platform and ...........

The rail line runs through a hi density area and the cost to straighten sections would be prohibitive - way too much to save a few seconds here and there.

The cost to just keep the line running is high (S Norwalk bridge as an example).
Not saying this should be done, but be aware that the station setup at Milford was specifically designed so that restoration of a 4th track would not require wholesale destruction/rebuilding/realignment. The platform itself can be moved back off the trackway, and space was deliberately left for another track on the bridges over High St. and River St. The abutments of the High Street bridge were even designed to carry a lengthened WB platform over the road, as you can see here: https://goo.gl/maps/g4gsU1F1bcD2. It's a rare example of future-proofing on the part of ConnDOT.

RearOfSignal
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by RearOfSignal » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:45 pm

When PTC is fully implemented it will slow down train operations considerably. In fact some things that are operationally possible now, will no longer be possible. The rules reflecting these changes will be put into practice gradually over next several months. So there really is no need to worry about speeding things up at all!
Hurry up and wait at the signal!

daybeers
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Re: Why no big plans to speed up times on New Haven Line?

Post by daybeers » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:08 am

RearOfSignal wrote:When PTC is fully implemented it will slow down train operations considerably. In fact some things that are operationally possible now, will no longer be possible. The rules reflecting these changes will be put into practice gradually over next several months. So there really is no need to worry about speeding things up at all!
Would you mind elaborating on what will cause the slowdown? How much time are we talking here?

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