MNRR Hudson Line Electrification

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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F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

If they go to Albany, the third rail is getting ripped out north of Spuyten Duyvil, 25 kV overhead is getting strung where only 3 substations can cover the entire near-150 miles, and MNRR will be ordering New Haven Line MU's to run the Hudson out of GCT & NYP and sending it surplus-to-(Harlem)-requirement 3rd rail-only MU's to retirement or LIRR repurposement.

All of that...including the SD-CH re-electrification and rolling stock purchase...are less expensive and less painful than building new substations every 6 miles to poke north of Croton-Harmon. 750V DC just doesn't scale well at intercity distances. If Albany ever gets truly serious about funding NYSHSR, there'll be enough MNRR pot-sweetener for the electrification change and rolling stock to get their cooperation. Blind opposition from the MTA isn't a fait accompli if the effort to do Keystone-or-better service all the way up the Hudson is deadly serious about treating the whole corridor's needs...commuter and intercity. It's just that Albany thus far is really half-arsing it on the NYSHSR studies, and interagency turf warrage is NY politics' favorite sport. Passive-aggressiveness isn't a terminal condition. It's just that if nothing changes...nothing changes and of course change-resistant fiefdoms are going to butt heads.

fredmcain
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by fredmcain »

F-Line,

Your comments jibe with what I thought I'd heard/read back in the 1980s. High voltage catenary to Albany (to be used by Amtrak - not M-N). Like the former New Haven locomotives, they would presumably be equipped with under-running third rail shoes for 750vdc collection south of Croton/Harmon. Bear in mind, this plan that I believe I remember predates the Amtrak move into Penn Station. Since the third rails in Penn Station are over-running instead of under-running that will muddy the water a bit more.

Regards,
Fred M. Cain,
New Haven Railroad fan
Not afraid to use my own name

NH2060
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by NH2060 »

fredmcain wrote:F-Line,Since the third rails in Penn Station are over-running instead of under-running that will muddy the water a bit more.
That wouldn't necessarily be an issue since the catenary extends for about a few blocks north of the tunnel entrance. So even if the Hudson Line weren't to go completely 25kv overhead SD-Croton they could still extend the wires to SD, have the locos switch to the 3rd rail and then switch again at Croton.

Backshophoss
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Backshophoss »

The 3rd rail ends at Croton North,now an abandoned station.
Back in the NYC days there were RDC trips that turned at Peekskill back to Croton-Harmon during the AM/PM rush.
In the early PC days,a pair of RS-3's would tow a set of EMU's to Peekskill or Poughkeepsie,the only lighting was on battery power
after clearing the 3rd rail at Croton North.

Amtrak would need to tap 1 of the Penn station feeders to extend north to a substation placed half way to DV movable bridge
to extend 12.5 kv 25 hz power to the bridge,then invest in some ALP45DP's(built by BBD,unlikely to happen)

By now Siemens has some designs of a Dual powered Charger in the works,that will become the answer for Amtrak,MN and LIRR
in the near future.
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SRich
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by SRich »

If 25 kV~ 60 Hz is al real option, why not buy just a few new ACS-64 and then electrify the empire connection with 12.5 kV~25Hz and then after the break power the overhead with 25 kV~ 60 Hz. You can get rid of the Dual Power (Electro-Diesel) loc's, and MN can use the more M8 on the Hudson line with higher speeds (up to 100 m/h).

The only thing is the Amtrak of NY state should buy the leased line from CSX to Albany, so ownership is not a problem in the electrification in the near future...
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Ridgefielder
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Ridgefielder »

SRich wrote:If 25 kV~ 60 Hz is al real option, why not buy just a few new ACS-64 and then electrify the empire connection with 12.5 kV~25Hz and then after the break power the overhead with 25 kV~ 60 Hz. You can get rid of the Dual Power (Electro-Diesel) loc's, and MN can use the more M8 on the Hudson line with higher speeds (up to 100 m/h).

The only thing is the Amtrak of NY state should buy the leased line from CSX to Albany, so ownership is not a problem in the electrification in the near future...
Not sure there's overhead clearance on the Empire Connection for 25kV catenary.

Backshophoss
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Backshophoss »

The Empire connection already has 12.5 kv 25 hz catenary installed .
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by DutchRailnut »

Empire tunnel yes, and a itty bitty piece of Empire connector.
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

The way it would go if ALB were electrified and MNRR ran the Hudson with New Haven Line dual-input MU's is that there'd be a 25 Hz/12.5 kV to 60 Hz/25 kV phase break installed on the Empire Connection at the end of the current electrification. Amtrak would go across the phase break on-wire just like the 25/60 Hz break on the Hell Gate; MNRR would switch from overhead to LIRR over-running third rail at the phase break just like New Haven Line Penn Station Access will to avoid having to run on 25 Hz.

It would not induce any dependencies on modding the electrification in Penn Station or the Empire Tunnel. Other than maybe extending the existing wires + third rail anywhere several hundred feet further from the portal to whatever city block serves up space for installing the lineside phase break infrastructure. Otherwise the electrification attached to Penn doesn't need any modification whatsoever, and only the new stuff from the Empire portal to ALB gets done at 60 Hz/25 kV for the sake of scaling most track miles off fewest/widest-spaced substations. The first 25 kV substation doesn't even need to be located at the phase break itself, so it would not require third rail and 25 Hz overhead to be extended all the way to the swing bridge. The phase break can be a normal paralleling station well downwind from the first full 25 kV sub miles north on the Hudson main (say, on the land inside of Spuyten Duyvil Jct.).


The only compelling reason for changing the frequency inside Penn from 25 Hz to 60 Hz is to enable MNRR run-thrus to New Jersey (Secaucus, Newark, whatever) via the New Haven Line, in which case a change to grid frequency at same 12.5 kV solves the problem of lack of 25 Hz transformers on New Haven Line MU's. Changing out the circuit breakers to change overhead frequency would probably be less costly than extending the LIRR third rail into Jersey, but that's a whole other proposal and a whole other set of political turf wars apart from the current PSA proposal. And it obviously wouldn't have any Hudson Line coattails whatsoever since New Haven's the only one that points the right direction into Penn for reaching Jersey.

Ridgefielder
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Ridgefielder »

DutchRailnut wrote:Empire tunnel yes, and a itty bitty piece of Empire connector.
Yes. I wasn't thinking of the tunnel so much as the ~4 miles (90 blocks) between the tunnel and the place where the tracks come out at grade level for good near Grant's Tomb at W122nd St. & Riverside Drive. The track is in a mid-block trench between 34th & 59th, then in a series of tunnels, semi-tunnels and such from there to 122nd. There are literally dozens of overpasses and buildings built over the trench in that span. Maybe there's enough clearance for 25kV under every single structure... but I wouldn't want to bet on it.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

Ridgefielder wrote:
DutchRailnut wrote:Empire tunnel yes, and a itty bitty piece of Empire connector.
Yes. I wasn't thinking of the tunnel so much as the ~4 miles (90 blocks) between the tunnel and the place where the tracks come out at grade level for good near Grant's Tomb at W122nd St. & Riverside Drive. The track is in a mid-block trench between 34th & 59th, then in a series of tunnels, semi-tunnels and such from there to 122nd. There are literally dozens of overpasses and buildings built over the trench in that span. Maybe there's enough clearance for 25kV under every single structure... but I wouldn't want to bet on it.
You only need +2.5 ft. over the tallest railcar for safe electrical clearance under a 25 kV line. An MLV bi-level is 14.5 ft. tall and the tallest thing you can cram into Penn, so 17 ft. is needed on the Empire Connection for 25 kV. 17 ft. Is the height of a Plate F boxcar. As the West Side spent most of its history as a freight-only line, there's a good chance it's already Plate F. Or if not, short by so little that simple trackbed undercuts will do the trick. The newer air rights cover-overs are recent enough to be built to modern Amtrak- and NYSDOT- spec clearances, and were fine from Day 1.

fredmcain
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by fredmcain »

I honestly don't know what you guys are talking about. I was completely unaware that there is *ANY* 25K volt catenary strung over the "Empire Connection". If that is true, then that could back up my vague memory about a long-term, back burner plan to eventually electrify the Amtrak line to Albany. I think there WAS a plan like that 30 years ago. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any info about when "Googling" for it.

Another possibility is that some catenary was strung in the tunnels leading to Penn Station that's energized at 11K volts to allow N.E. Corridor or NJ Transit equipment to back up in there should the need ever arise. They may have designed it to allow it to be converted to 25K volts should the need ever arise. That would make sense, too, since there WAS once a plan to eventually convert the entire N.E. Corridor to 25,000 volts 60 cycle. But it's my understanding that those plans have been shelved or at least pushed way, way, off onto a back burner. They may have even fallen off the back of the stove onto the floor! :)

Regards,
Fred M. Cain,
New Haven Railroad fan
Not afraid to use my own name

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

Regular old Penn Station 25 Hz/12.5 kV--not 25 kV--cat is strung up to MP 1.2 of the Empire Tunnel just for accessing the small wye track. Ends same place the third rail does. Hz vs. kV may be where the confusion is.

Yes, there was that old AMTK plan to convert 25 Hz/12.5 kV to 60 Hz/25 kV...abandoned as you said when they opted to refurb all the 25 Hz infrastructure instead. That doesn't have any bearing on the Empire Connection.

If Albany electrification is eventually pursued, brand new 60 Hz/25 kV electrification would be constructed from MP 1.2 of the Empire Connection to Albany. But...the existing 25 Hz/12.5 kV fed out to MP 1.2 through the Penn/Sunnyside substation would stay exactly the same and MP 1.2 (or thereabouts) would become the West Side's equivalent to the Hell Gate's 25 Hz/60 Hz phase break at MP 5.3. Amtrak's panto-only vehicles would switch voltage + frequency on-the-fly at that spot, and MNRR dual-input MU's would switch between 60 Hz/25 kV AC overhead and 750V DC third rail on that spot...in roughly mirror image to how they're going to change at the Hell Gate phase break.

fredmcain
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by fredmcain »

F-Line,

Duh. 25 cycle - not volts. I gotchya. My bad.

Yeah, that make perfect sense.

Regards,
Fred M. Cain,
New Haven Railroad fan
Not afraid to use my own name

Railjunkie
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Railjunkie »

The wire on the Empire connection extends about 2 or 3 car lengths past CP Empire, which is the entrance to the tunnel itself. There is no wire hung on the wye and you would still need another 3 to 4 hundred feet hung to be able to access it. They dont use the wye for anything other than storage NOTHING gets turned there. Best you could do is turn and engine.

If you can find it look up the NYCS RR plan to hang wire Croton to Buffalo I believe the study was done in the 30s. NYC didnt do it then when labor and material was cheap and NIMBYs were not even thought of yet. Why do we need wire to Albany? Who is going to pay for it? There are a few communities along the way that would fight it tooth and nail. Not to mention the tree huggers who would be upset that man has moved a mountain of stone and dirt to hang un sightly cat poles.

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