Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

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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JoeG
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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by JoeG » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:49 pm

Unfortunately I agree with Adam. Aside from the practical problems that have been thoroughly spelled out in this thread, the biggest obstacle is that Westchester just doesn't want it. Westchester thinks that it will only benefit Rockland (and maybe Orange) but will cost Westchester in terms of land taken and of railroad infrastructure that various NIMBYs will object to.

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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by Roadgeek Adam » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:47 pm

Besides, all that money that could be invested in that could go to the Gateway Tunnel and the projects attached to help WOH service.

People in Tallmans, Monsey, Blauvelt, Orangeburg, West Nyack and Nyack can go to another station if they are so in need of commuter rail.
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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:55 pm

Mr. Roadgeek, even if the four track Portal and Gateway provide adequate access to Penn, where's the capacity at Penn to handle those trains you note, as well as those from the CNJ lines, at Penn.

Lest we note, the capacity there, and Portal/Gateway, is "finite".

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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by JoeG » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:41 pm

In the end, there has to be a completely new set of tunnels (or maybe a bridge) and a new station, probably near Grand Central. Penn Station, even in its original grand form, was never meant as a commuter station and never had good pedestrian traffic flow. Grand Central is much better but it and the 4 track Park Avenue access are also maxed out.
There was once a plan to build a massive bridge across the Hudson at 57th st, and a big terminal. Gustav Lilienthal, who designed Hell Gate Bridge for the Pennsy, was supposed to design it. Of course it never happened. Maybe it should be revived.

Why would we expect that rail infrastructure designed and built in the beginning of the 20th century would be adequate and congruent with current and future needs more than a century later?

Lest anyone think I am indulging in funny cigarettes or other intoxicants, I fully understand that no massive rail infrastructure will be completed, or even started, in my lifetime. I don't even know if I'll see the Gateway tunnels started.

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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:07 am

As flawed as NJT's ARC was, it at least did provide its own terminal (part of the flaws, I suppose). The one thing LIRR ESA has going for it is that it has its own terminal as well, even if it is part of the old Madison Yard. And it's still part of GCT for that reason. Remember, ESA was originally envisioned as a separate terminal east of Lexington Ave. around the original tunnel portal around 60th St. I want to say it was going to be around 1st Avenue at the bottom of Yorkville.

Penn South could be the additional capacity WoH needs, and let's remember that capacity strains should ease after ESA opens. Of course, MNRR Penn Access, Amtrak, NJT will have something to say about any capacity created.

Nah, my idea for TZB was always Cross-Westchester corridor. Transfers would have been incidental, not the main benefit.
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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:52 pm

Suburb to Suburb rail service is a rarity but slowly but surely, it is starting to increase. In a few years, DART will run a suburb to suburb service from Plano to DFW Airport. While it won't cross any bridges like the Tappan Zee, the route demonstrates what suburb to suburb rail service is.

If anything ever runs across the Hudson River from Rockland to Westchester Counties, it would definately be considered suburb to suburb service. There would be absolutely no way that there would be trains heading from Rockland to Grand Central Terminal directly. The current NJT lines that serve Rockland and Orange Counties will always be meant to serve Hoboken with a transfer at Secaucus for those wanting to head to Manhattan. Time will tell whether if the loop gets built at SEC.

Even if light rail doesn't get built from Rockland to Westchester, than there should be a true bus rapid transit route. Keep the bus lanes separate from car lanes on the whole journey if possible. Look at Los Angeles's busways as examples-the buses run on dedicated roads for buses. The Orange Line runs for miles across the San Fernando Valley. It doesn't serve Downtown LA.

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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:07 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:52 pm
Suburb to Suburb rail service is a rarity but slowly but surely, it is starting to increase.
A growing percentage of LIRR ridership is such "intermediate" fares (outside City Terminal Zone) and such like local service on the Danbury Branch (to Norwalk/Stamford/Greenwich). Even in Morris County on the low density Boonton Line there is local ridership, for example eastward riders from Dover get off at Boonton for day shifts, return west in the PM peak. (The local midday shuttles between MSU and Mount Olive were cut about 10 years ago)
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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:14 am

I mean rail routes that don’t touch main cities, especially NYC entirely but yes, there’s plenty of suburb to suburb commuting by train in the Greater NYC area. There’s many people who might live in the Oranges on NJT and work in Morristown very close to the train station so they will take the train.

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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by Ridgefielder » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:29 am

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:52 pm
If anything ever runs across the Hudson River from Rockland to Westchester Counties, it would definately be considered suburb to suburb service. There would be absolutely no way that there would be trains heading from Rockland to Grand Central Terminal directly. The current NJT lines that serve Rockland and Orange Counties will always be meant to serve Hoboken with a transfer at Secaucus for those wanting to head to Manhattan. Time will tell whether if the loop gets built at SEC.
Completely agree. If anything *does* get built, it's going to be light- or heavy-rail rapid transit running down the I-287 alignment from say Suffern to White Plains or Port Chester. If you're running all the way to Port Chester then you probably put in a 1/2 mile stub to the North White Plains station so some service can operate Suffern-NWP with a transfer to GCT. And on the Port Chester end you reach the MN station and a connection by using the still-extant space on the New Haven ROW for the 2 tracks of the NYW&B.

Incidentally, having biked the South County Trailway from Dunwoodie to Ardsley many times, I can tell you that the Put must have been one hilly, twisty railroad. Hard to imagine any sort of fast running on that alignment.

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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:43 am

Running a 1/2 mile stub to NWP is probably not going to please many people since it would add time to the schedule. It would probably be better to improve any Bee Line routes that would run from NWP and connect with the inter county rail in White Plains. The White Plains Trans Center are where all of the important bus routes meet Metro North anyway.

I would love to see the bus first extend to Port Chester. That would allow direct connections for those people who connect to the New Haven Lime.

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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by Ridgefielder » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:34 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:43 am
Running a 1/2 mile stub to NWP is probably not going to please many people since it would add time to the schedule. It would probably be better to improve any Bee Line routes that would run from NWP and connect with the inter county rail in White Plains. The White Plains Trans Center are where all of the important bus routes meet Metro North anyway.

I would love to see the bus first extend to Port Chester. That would allow direct connections for those people who connect to the New Haven Lime.
In this (likely fantasy) scenario, NWP would be the terminus for some trains from either end of the line. Other service would run through w/out making the MN connection and stop at a different station in the City of White Plains, probably at either Lake Street or Westchester Ave.

Think of NWP service on the TZ-Cross Westchester line as being similar to Hoboken service on the PATH.

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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by Backshophoss » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:03 pm

There will not be ANY RAIL on the TZ bridge,Gov Cuomo made sure that option was gone .
WOH equipment will NOT clear the 3rd rail,so the I-87/287 median to the Put ROW at Eastview down to High Bridge was the best option
,if there was a rail provision on the New TZ Bridge.
A yard could have been built and a seamlees transfer platform(s)to the Hudson line service to/from GCT.
The grade from the median to the Put ROW needs to stay at 3.25 %. :wink:
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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by Paul1705 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:44 pm

I used to think, as per Will Rodgers, that "I never met a rail project I didn't like," but a Putnam Division revival of this sort was probably not one of them. Perhaps better than a ramp down to the Hudson Line but. . .

To back this up a bit: assuming that it could be even pass through the metrics required for FTA funding (probably with overestimated ridership and underestimated costs), was there really enough demand from Rockland and Orange to Manhattan to justify this? Philip Mark Plotch, in Politics Across the Hudson: The Tappan Zee Megaproject, concluded that there wasn't. He thought that the existing access via Secaucus and then to PSNY was enough. (Eventually, perhaps, Gateway will allow a one-seat ride.)

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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:29 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:34 pm
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:43 am
I would love to see the bus first extend to Port Chester. That would allow direct connections for those people who connect to the New Haven Lime.
In this (likely fantasy) scenario, NWP would be the terminus for some trains from either end of the line. Other service would run through w/out making the MN connection and stop at a different station in the City of White Plains, probably at either Lake Street or Westchester Ave.

Think of NWP service on the TZ-Cross Westchester line as being similar to Hoboken service on the PATH.
I envision an "East-West" service combining HudsonLink (former TappanZee Express) and I-BUS, a Stamford-Suffern intra-commuter.
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Re: Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

Post by Jeff Smith » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:52 am

That's what I think would be the most useful: a service along the 287 corridor to Rye or Port Chester and Stamford. Forget GCT and any connection to either the Harlem or Hudson lines, which are problematic if not impossible.

As for the TZB itself, it supposedly was built to accommodate future rail in between the spans using the existing supports, whether that's likely to happen or not due to cost (I think it would be far more useful than the Airtrain to LGA that Prince Andrew is pushing). The issue of course is not just the bridge, but the geography of the rail in both Westchester and Rockland. There's a reason it's difficult to get across Westchester; valleys and hills running north-south.

Heavy rail would be very expensive; light rail might work better traversing some of the topography, but it is not in MNRR's wheel house although I suppose it could be. And heavy is what you'd want if it's to go to Stamford, meaning lots of tunnels and viaducts. Big bucks. Will congestion pricing support that?

Very doubtful, but as I've also noted, it's a fun exercise.
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