Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, Jeff Smith, FL9AC

njt/mnrrbuff
Posts: 3508
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Tue May 21, 2019 6:34 pm

Guys, cancelling the contract with NJT is the last thing that should be on the planning radar, despite the issues that they have been creating. The Pt. Jervis Line automatically feeds into the Main & Bergen County Line and those trains have to end up in Hoboken anyway. They pass through NJ for several miles and even make stops there.

Whatever cross Rockland to Westchester County rail that there would be, if it ever happens, would really be meant for transporting people between communities along the I-87/I-287 corridor, especially from Rockland County to White Plains to work or shop. I doubt that they would be connecting to MNR's Harlem Line to bring them down to the city. That's going too far out of the way when coming from the west to go south. People who are coming from Rockland County east of where the Garden State Parkway interchange is and west of Nyack might still want to get to Tarrytown and then take the Hudson Line down. One of the issues with running light rail is probably when you get to Tarrytown, if you want to serve the downtown area and MNR station, it is making the route less direct. In general, it would be extremely expensive to build the Trans Rockland-Westchester rail line. Fortunately, Hudson Link runs many buses. I hope that the ridership is improving on them. I know that starting out, it was low.

R36 Combine Coach
Posts: 5480
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Tue May 21, 2019 6:41 pm

Even if the contract with NJT is cancelled, MNCR could still operate intrastate between Port Jervis and Suffern (much like the RDC shuttles of the 1980s).
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

njt/mnrrbuff
Posts: 3508
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Wed May 22, 2019 6:54 am

All that would do is add travel time to the schedule since passengers would have to connect at Suffern to their NJT train. Plus, for any sort of regular shuttle service to operate at Suffern, probably a dedicated track would have to be built and I don't think NJT has the money to do that right now. It's not in the short term plan.

Someday, I would love to see some more of the Pt. Jervis trains run express through NJ, with the exception of maybe making Secaucus, and Ramsey Route 17 Stations. People who live out in the sticks along the Pt. Jervis Line already have a long enough ride to begin with.

It's very unfortunate that the original Pt. Jervis Line got discontinued as it served many downtown areas. I believe that that was a very slow route, even though it might have been shorter on a map. While the present route is faster, many of the stations are in the middle of nowhere.

That long siding and mid-storage yard can't happen soon enough either. With the population booming along the Pt. Jervis Line, especially around Harriman and Goshen, any service augmentations would be welcome. If you live along the Pt. Jervis Line in many towns, you don't have many other alternative rail options. Your only other option would be to take Coach USA Shortline and they run a pretty comprehensive bus service from certain towns along the Pt. Jervis Line into Manhattan. Getting to the Hudson Line from a Pt. Jervis Line community or close by the Pt. Jervis Line is a schlep, unless if you live along 84 as it gets closer to the Beacon Bridge. Even when you get to Suffern, you still have a ways to travel to get across the Cuomo Bridge. When you are sitting in a lot of traffic on the Thruway or 59, you would have wished that you could have just boarded a train or bus in Suffern.

Dcell
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:14 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by Dcell » Wed May 22, 2019 8:44 am

NY riders will always be second class citizens to NJT. That’s how it’s always been and always will be because the MTA has zero alternatives to paying NJT to provide service to Hoboken. Zero.

njt/mnrrbuff
Posts: 3508
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Wed May 22, 2019 11:15 am

Of course, being that the Pt. Jervis Line is operated by NJT, NY State riders won't get the same amount of attention that riders get at Suffern and south of the border. For now, that's the way that it goes. If and when the sidings are ever built, many of the trains won't be extended all the way to Pt. Jervis. Pt. Jervis and Otisville might not see much improvement in the service but for good reasons-the ridership serving those two stations is probably below that of stations at Middletown-Town of Walkill and points east. I believe that much of the daily commuting begins in Middletown and as the trains make their way, they pick up more passengers at the rest of the stops. I can also imagine that by the time some of these trains get to Harriman, they are packed, especially three car sets. I'm sure that there are passengers who might commute daily from Pt. Jervis and Otisville Stations but that's very far for daily commuting. Plus, probably many people who live out there and work in the city only have to go into their office a few times a week.

R36 Combine Coach
Posts: 5480
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Thu May 23, 2019 12:20 am

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:It's very unfortunate that the original Pt. Jervis Line got discontinued as it served many downtown areas. I believe that that was a very slow route, even though it might have been shorter on a map. While the present route is faster, many of the stations are in the middle of nowhere.
ShortLine is basically the replacement for the original Erie Main Line, with service along the Route 17 corridor: Middletown, Goshen, Chester, Monroe. In a sense, these towns might have gotten a service upgrade with one seat ride and frequent express service.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

Dcell
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:14 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by Dcell » Thu May 23, 2019 7:33 am

It’s a shame Cuomo stopped the proposal to add a train line to his fathers bridge. yes, the bridge could be expanded to add the rail line in the future but we all know that will never ever happen. So PJ service will stay as it is.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22266
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by DutchRailnut » Thu May 23, 2019 8:14 am

Were would it go, GCT is at its limit for train count, and dumping passengers on overfull trains on Harlem Hudson or New Haven lines would not serve a purpose either.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

njt/mnrrbuff
Posts: 3508
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Thu May 23, 2019 8:35 am

R36 Combine Coach, you are right about that. Downtown Middletown sees excellent bus service to NYC and many of the buses take an hour and a half. An express train to Secaucus Junction plus transferring to a NYP bound train takes an hour and forty five minutes to two hours. It looks like in towns like Goshen, the bus takes an hour and a half to get to Midtown. If you live in Goshen and want to take the train, drive over to Harriman. It looks like the travel time on many of the trains over taking the bus isn't terribly far off. The bus is a little faster, especially from Middletown to Midtown. I have never ridden the Pt. Jervis Line during rush hour but from what I have heard, the trains empty out and fill at at Middletown-Town of Walkill Station.

Dcell, for the rail line across the Cuomo brige to ever happen if it ever does, a few tiers of service would have to be in place. 1. Suffern to Portchester with a stop in Tarrytown along the Thruway. 2. Suffern to Tarrytown, serving both the MNR Station and Downtown. 3. Tarrytown MNR and Downtown Tarrytown to Pt. Chester. For a trans-Rockland/Westchester County train to stop in both Downtown Tarrytown and MNR station would add too much travel time to the schedule. I don't even know how much room there is to built the tracks down the hill. Its very hilly from Downtown Tarrytown to the MNR Station. While I would love to see a train running that is meant to transport people from Rockland to Westchester County, that would be very expensive. Even if NY State can provide more buses that run end to end on Hudson Link, that may be a start.

Refer to what DutchRailnut said about capacity into and out of Grand Central Terminal.

R36 Combine Coach
Posts: 5480
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Thu May 23, 2019 8:25 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:Dcell, for the rail line across the Cuomo brige to ever happen if it ever does, a few tiers of service would have to be in place. 1. Suffern to Portchester with a stop in Tarrytown along the Thruway. 2. Suffern to Tarrytown, serving both the MNR Station and Downtown. 3. Tarrytown MNR and Downtown Tarrytown to Pt. Chester. Even if NY State can provide more buses that run end to end on Hudson Link, that may be a start.
More buses, could help. I could see Suffern-Spring Valley-Tarrytown-White Plains-Stamford regional express bus service connecting all of MNCR's lines (a successor to I BUS).
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

njt/mnrrbuff
Posts: 3508
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Thu May 23, 2019 8:51 pm

That would be nice, but if Connecticut doesn't want to chip in, then terminating in Pt. Chester is still fine. People can transfer to the New Haven Line for the rest of the trip to Stamford.

TDowling
Posts: 528
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:36 pm
Location: West Point, NY

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by TDowling » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:21 pm

If you understand that Orange and Rockland are located above New Jersey and, at least in a political sense as it pertains to the RR, influenced by NJ because of this geographical location, then you understand why the current situation works. If this were Erie Lackawanna days, geography would not have mattered, as railroads were not contingent upon state/federal govt funding.

Also, keep in mind that since the Main Line through Monroe and Goshen is no longer in service, Harriman pretty much bears the brunt of the commuters from the ML towns. I often wondered how much the railroad actually saved in the long run by switching to the Graham Line.

EuroStar
Posts: 746
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Middle of Nowhere

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by EuroStar » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:15 am

TDowling wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:21 pm
I often wondered how much the railroad actually saved in the long run by switching to the Graham Line.
In the long run the savings have probably been negative if you include the present Metro-North operations. Wasn't the decision taken by a private company that needed to stem immediate losses? You cannot expect the private railroad to have taken the decision accounting for state sponsored operations decades into the future. Those state sponsored operations however have suffered greatly compared to the alternative universe in which the passenger operations stayed through the town with much better ability to attract people who could walk to the stations (and these days people from Transit Oriented Developments which would have sprung close to the stations in those towns).

Backshophoss
Posts: 6323
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:26 pm

Conrail killed off the old EL main,as there was 0 freight customers,NY State funded the move via Harriman/Middletown before MN was created.
The Graham Line was more freight,back when the New Haven was active at Maybrook,that went to seed after the bridge burned under PC
ownership,
Back then the Port Jervis service was rush hour only with CR as operator,After some heat from NJT,NY's MTA,then MN handled the service
from the state line to Port Jervis, but is still a "step child" to NJT and they ,not MN operate the service.
Back in the EL days,as NJDOT funded the service then,EL still had old Stillwell passenger cars with E-8's for the Port Jervis runs!
NJDOT would not allow the U-34ch and Comet 1's west of Suffern yard!
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

TDowling
Posts: 528
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:36 pm
Location: West Point, NY

Re: Port Jervis Line Operation by NJT: time for a change?

Post by TDowling » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:47 pm

Backshophoss wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:26 pm
NJDOT would not allow the U-34ch and Comet 1's west of Suffern yard!
Is this true? I have seen pics from the 70s and 80s showing the Comets and U boats on the old Main Line in Chester.

Return to “MTA Metro-North Railroad and CtDOT Passenger Rail”