Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire Conne

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EuroStar
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by EuroStar » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:33 am

DutchRailnut wrote:Keystones operate of catenary ( little secret: no gaps)
MN would run of third rail just like LIRR (little secret: big big gaps in third rail)
The LIRR operates with cab cars into Penn all the time and Amtrak makes no fuss about it. Yeah, third rail gaps can strand a train, but it happens rarely and in many cases it can be mitigated by engineering design of signal locations. Do you think that something like this would be a problem if Andrew "the Boss" Cuomo wanted this to happen? I don't think so. He just made Amtrak fold on the replacement of a very old bridge that is on its way to become the next Portal in terms of trouble caused. This is nothing in comparison.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:37 am

LIRR does not run cab cars into NYP all their dual mode trains are double ended.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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EuroStar
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by EuroStar » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:04 am

In my view the decision to put the Hudson Line Access on backburner was about money, the much smaller political clout of the Hudson Line Riders, the LIRR's insistence on converting the Atlantic Branch to a shuttle and a little bit about NJT/ARC/Christie.

The details will never be known for certain as in who and when took what decisions, but with the MTA persistently short on capital funds and the politicos in Albany not willing to shell out much, when something had to be cut, the one that had less political power and the lower prospective ridership got axed. it was not necessarily the more expensive option that got cut as I have been trying to point out. Politically this might even be the correct decision because even if the New Haven Line Access is delayed and over budget if it gains its projected ridership it will make the case for the Hudson Line access to be implemented too. Going the other way around and building the Hudson Line access first and hoping that it turns out to be an enormous success and then being able to justify the New Haven Line access is certainly riskier proposition.

The other big problem that nobody brought so far is time slots into Penn and the platforms there. This is the one thing that even Cuomo cannot steamroll. If there are not enough timeslots then you cannot do the Hudson Line access. In all likelyhood, once ESA opens there will be enough timeslots for only one of the lines, either the New Haven Line or the Hudson Line, but not both. And if that is the case, then the New Haven Line is clearly the one that should get them. The main reasons why there will not be enough slots into Penn are two. First, the LIRR is converting the Atlantic Branch to a shuttle, so all the trains that currently go to Brooklyn need to end somewhere else and that somewhere else is the ESA and Penn reducing the total slots that LIRR can free up. Second, the cancellation of the ARC and its deep cavern left NJT dependent on Penn as a terminal for at least the next half century, so NJT cannot reduce its number of timeslots in Penn the way it would have with ARC. That reduction would have been small, but meaningful.

If there are not enough timeslots at the platform at Penn for the Hudson Line, the only solution will be Penn South. I personally do not see Penn South ever happening, but Hudson Line access to Penn might give a stake for NYState in Penn South that would have otherwise being missing and eventually give that project a push a few decades from now. It is just too bad that by then I would have been pleasantly resting six feet under for a long time and won't see it.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by EuroStar » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:14 am

DutchRailnut wrote:LIRR does not run cab cars into NYP all their dual mode trains are double ended.
I did not know that this is what they do, but even with that. If there was a will in the powers to be to make Hudson Line access happen, it would have happened as it only means a few extra dual-modes to be purchased.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by Ridgefielder » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:59 pm

EuroStar wrote:The details will never be known for certain as in who and when took what decisions, but with the MTA persistently short on capital funds and the politicos in Albany not willing to shell out much, when something had to be cut, the one that had less political power and the lower prospective ridership got axed. it was not necessarily the more expensive option that got cut as I have been trying to point out. Politically this might even be the correct decision because even if the New Haven Line Access is delayed and over budget if it gains its projected ridership it will make the case for the Hudson Line access to be implemented too. Going the other way around and building the Hudson Line access first and hoping that it turns out to be an enormous success and then being able to justify the New Haven Line access is certainly riskier proposition.
There just isn't as much demand, in my opinion. The West Bronx already has frequent MN service into GCT. And Inwood, Washington Heights, and the Upper West Side, which don't have MN service, have very good subway links, with both the Broadway IRT (1-2-3) and the 8th Ave IND (A-B-C). Totally different situation than the East Bronx, which has no MN service and lousy subway connectivity.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by Rockingham Racer » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:50 pm

Parkchester is served by the #6 Pelham Bay Line, though.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:08 pm

Honestly, the project to bring Metro North Hudson Line trains down the Westside Connection isn't that important. The Westside of Manhattan is served by robust transportation connections, whether bus or subway. In the far reaches of Manhattan, the subway routes are close enough to each other that people have multiple subway options.

As for the Hellgate Line, it parallels the 6 train route in many sports, but even that's not sufficient enough to get people to and from the city fast. In terms of traveling from the East Bronx to Midtown Manhattan, in general, it is a schlep. It takes longer than it does to travel from Yonkers to Grand Central Terminal on MNR.

The West Bronx has good Metro North service to and from the city. I have used Riverdale Station many times and plenty of people use the train to and from that station. Riverdale is huge and the transportation options from that section to Midtown are pretty evenly spread out. There are probably many people who use the express buses when they travel to the Westside. Those buses run along the roads the parallel the Henry Hudson Parkway. The 1 train basically borders Riverdale and Fieldston. I have family friends who live along the Henry Hudson Parkway and their is a bus stop outside their door basically. When they take Metro North, they use Spuyen Duyvil since it is on the way to Midtown. They live about midway between Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil stations. People who live in Riverdale who want to travel to the Westside fast without having to take Metro North can just get the 1 train. Remember that the 1 train is slow and if the Broadway express trains are running, you can switch at 96 street. I have done that a lot. I attended Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry and when heading to the city, sometimes I would switch to the 1 train at Marble Hill.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by GirlOnTheTrain » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:18 am

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Remember that the 1 train is slow.
You can get from Van Cortlandt to 42nd Street in 40 minutes. Granted, taking MNRR to Grand Central from Spuyten Duyvil or Marble Hill saves you about 20 minutes...but to say that the 1 train is slow is laughable. Make that same ride on the A and you'll wish you were on the 1 when you crawl between 125 and 59. Before 168 closed to 1 service and I would do customer service there, every time I would tell people take the 1 over the A.

In our house if you have to wait more than 20 minutes for a Metro-North train, down the hill to 238 to get on the 1 it is. (Spuyten Duyvil and 238 are equidistant walking-wise from us)
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by rr503 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:51 am

The real lost opportunity w/ Hudson line access was through running. Yes, cab signals and 3rd rail contacts, I know, but those would be comparatively small changes, and would have allowed us to at least see how a, say, Croton-Ronkonkoma service would shake out ridership wise under the umbrella of a single agency.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by jlichyen » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:10 am

"Under the umbrella of a single agency" is a nice dream. But merge MNRR and LIRR? Isn't there too much resistance in each organization to ever cooperate? Realistically speaking, what would need to change in the bureaucracy to make that happen?

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:15 am

not only in each railroad, but the Surface Transportation Board (STB) has denied permission to merge the two railroads.
In their opinion only reason for merge was to set up Unions against each other as there is no common territory or potential common territory.
Only thing MTA was allowed to merge was certain departments like purchasing, legal, engineering as cost saving measures.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by rr503 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:10 am

jlichyen wrote:"Under the umbrella of a single agency" is a nice dream. But merge MNRR and LIRR? Isn't there too much resistance in each organization to ever cooperate? Realistically speaking, what would need to change in the bureaucracy to make that happen?
DutchRailnut wrote:not only in each railroad, but the Surface Transportation Board (STB) has denied permission to merge the two railroads.
In their opinion only reason for merge was to set up Unions against each other as there is no common territory or potential common territory.
Only thing MTA was allowed to merge was certain departments like purchasing, legal, engineering as cost saving measures.
You'd need a set of effective managers, money, and time.

Dutch -- the reason the STB rejected the merger in the early 2000s was because it *was* largely a cost move. With stuff like this on the table, though, there's space for real benefit-side propositions; I think the STB would be less inclined to reject.

Generally, the MTA railroads need a shakedown. Some parts of their cultures are good (for example, the wealth of operational knowledge some in those agencies possess) but on the whole, they think they're operating railroads instead of transit services. Few regions with Nassau/Suffolk/Westchester/Fairfield level density have heavy rail transit which runs as infrequently and as expensively as LIRR/MNR/NJT. I love them as much as the next guy, but it's really time for some change.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by EuroStar » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:28 am

rr503 wrote:The real lost opportunity w/ Hudson line access was through running. Yes, cab signals and 3rd rail contacts, I know, but those would be comparatively small changes, and would have allowed us to at least see how a, say, Croton-Ronkonkoma service would shake out ridership wise under the umbrella of a single agency.
The benefit of through running is not in getting people from Croton to Ronkonkoma or elsewhere on Long Island. The benefit of through running if they went all the way in with electric service is sending those trains (or at least most of them) from the New Haven line up the Hudson. Not because anyone in Stamford wants to go to Croton via New York, but because you do not need to find yard space for them at Penn or one of its yards. While I have not seen service plans, I would guess that the New Haven Line trains are likely to turn at the platform.

Additionally, it is a minor benefit, but through running is somewhat faster than turning the trains on the platforms (not by a lot though). NJT tends to turn about 4 trains per dead end low numbered track at the station during peak hour for 15 minutes per train. I am not sure what the figures are for Grand Central and Metro-North, but I am doubtful that it exceeds 4 trains per hour per track. With through running you could be able to push the time spent at the platform down to 10 minutes for throughput of 6 per hour. You are likely to get to other limitations of the switching plant at Penn before getting to those 6 though.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire C

Post by rr503 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:29 pm

EuroStar wrote:
rr503 wrote:The real lost opportunity w/ Hudson line access was through running. Yes, cab signals and 3rd rail contacts, I know, but those would be comparatively small changes, and would have allowed us to at least see how a, say, Croton-Ronkonkoma service would shake out ridership wise under the umbrella of a single agency.
The benefit of through running is not in getting people from Croton to Ronkonkoma or elsewhere on Long Island. The benefit of through running if they went all the way in with electric service is sending those trains (or at least most of them) from the New Haven line up the Hudson. Not because anyone in Stamford wants to go to Croton via New York, but because you do not need to find yard space for them at Penn or one of its yards. While I have not seen service plans, I would guess that the New Haven Line trains are likely to turn at the platform.
Penn Access is as much about getting people from NY to CT as it is about getting them from CT to NY. Because of that bidirectionality, your yard needs are minimal.

Regardless, trains serve people, not the other way around. Operations are indeed important, but why are we sacrificing a useful through running service to some U shaped thing that only exists for facility’s sake? One of the big drivers of the relative stagnation of NY suburbs relative to the core recently is the fact they’re so damn hard to get to — here’s a chance to begin to fix that.

Really speaking, the NH runs should be continuing through to Nj, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Penn Station Access via Empire Conne

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:12 am

A new push: https://www.pcnr.com/articles/zuckerman ... or-putnam/
...
Zuckerman also called on the MTA to explore access to Penn Station: “Riders already on the Hudson River are not being given the option to go down the West Side of Manhattan. If Long Islanders can access Grand Central after an $11 billion investment in East Side access, a small investment through existing tracks should be worthy of exploration for Metro-North’s riders.”
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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