Hartford Line CtDOT New Haven-Springfield - NHHS (Before Launch of Service)

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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Stephen B. Carey
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:29 pm
Location: Hartford, CT

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Stephen B. Carey » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:42 pm

Just to get my thoughts in on the matter, as someone who lives along the Springfield Line in Hartford, I would say that electrifying it at this point would be a waste of money. What I personally would like to see is a low cost alternative to Amtrak such as SLE that would allow people such as myself to take advantage of metro-north service without having to go all the way to New Haven. If this service shows growth and promise like I believe it will then I could see electrification, but up until then I do not think you will see any money put forth for something like that .

Because if the lack of service I really do not ride the Springfield Line very often even though I live so close, it's really a shame.

Noel Weaver
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Noel Weaver » Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:14 pm

The Long Island Rail Road operates 18 plus round trips between Huntington and Port Jefferson on a line that is single track
with CTC and diesel operated. It can be done here too with additional controlled sidings much closer together. They do not
need to be 100 plus cars long for freight trains, just long enough to meet commuter trains with.
With today's diesel and push pull equipment, electrification would be a total waste of money.
Noel Weaver

workextra
Posts: 1024
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:56 pm

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by workextra » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:45 pm

Noel Is correct. With the correct placement and building of passing sidings bidirectionally signaled it would be much more efficient as a starting measure then rushing to electric service and double tracking. The LIRR under used many of it's sidings on the Port Jeff branch and even Montauk where they could have been signaled and meets established, Yes signaling every siding between Hunt and Jeff seems like over kill and it is to some degree, but it allows for more operation and less waiting time for trains meeting other trains. I don't really know this line too much but from what I am reading here Starting with Diesel commuter service and low platforms is the way to go. ADA should be satisfied enough with a "high spot" platform approximately the length of one car with a wheel chair ramp/lift or both if it's in high demand. This will also cut cost and keep operations ADA friendly. I believe LIRR made a mistake going all high in diesel territory. A ADA high spot platform similar to NJT is all they needed, with the right protocols and special instructions this could be done very safely and be very cost effective means of starting a new/res erected commuter route. In this operation "Less is More" The less you spend recklessly the more you have for equipment and operation.

Swedish Meatball
Posts: 257
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:58 am
Location: Stonington

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Swedish Meatball » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:35 pm

The first thing that Connecticut should do is to purchase the tracks outright from Amtrak. Amtrak has to be losing a ton of money on this line. The Vermonter which is subsided by Vermont is the only viable train. Connecticut has to control it's own destiny and not be held hostage by Amtrak and Congress over funding.

trainwreck
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 4:08 pm

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by trainwreck » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:46 am

The Springfield line is signaled in both directions all the way. The Fry switch needs to become dispatcher controlled, making the running track Hart to Fry into a real siding. It'd probably need to be upgraded too, I think it is 10 mph. Never used it all that much.

MTACOP
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:43 pm
Location: New Haven

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by MTACOP » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:15 pm

What I hear around New Haven is Metro North will eventually operate commuter trains on the Springfield once the M-8's arrive and are used for the SLE. Metro North will then provide the SLE service too. Years ago when Mr. Forbes was in ConnDOT Rail Amtrak tried to play hardball suggesting ConnDOT buy the line, and he said they would just use their track rights and if pushed just use the Airline instead to Hartford.

However it all plays out I'm pretty sure that Amtrak would be willing to get rid of the Springfield and MNR would provide the commuter service.
Expectate Nullum Venum

workextra
Posts: 1024
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:56 pm

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by workextra » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:21 pm

Whoever operates this service (C-DOT via MNCR or C-DOT via Amtrak), are still going to have to tackle the problem that it's still a "long distance" ride into New York (Penn or GCT) The ride is not going to be comfortable sitting in M2's M8's. I know this is not the most important issue here, but There will need to be better seating and a food service car[s] of sorts.
I am not very familiar with this line but how many stations can be located on the line up to Springfield?

Noel Weaver
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:27 am

MTACOP wrote:What I hear around New Haven is Metro North will eventually operate commuter trains on the Springfield once the M-8's arrive and are used for the SLE. Metro North will then provide the SLE service too. Years ago when Mr. Forbes was in ConnDOT Rail Amtrak tried to play hardball suggesting ConnDOT buy the line, and he said they would just use their track rights and if pushed just use the Airline instead to Hartford.

However it all plays out I'm pretty sure that Amtrak would be willing to get rid of the Springfield and MNR would provide the commuter service.
Mr. Forbes did his share of bluffing and hard ball over the years but the scheme of using the Air Line to get from New
Haven to Hartford was so impractical that I could not even laugh at it. This would be like going from point A to point B
by the way of point X (Middletown). Two reverse moves would have also been involved at Middletown and Hartford.
As to whether Amtrak or Metro-North actually operates this proposed service remains to be seen but my guess is that
Amtrak can and will provide the service at lower cost than Metro-North will and would probably be the operator of choice
for this service if it ever gets out of the starting gate.
Connecticut is complaining about the expense of a new MU shop in New Haven, that is nothing compared with the
expense of purchasing the railroad from New Haven to Springfield. They should stick with Metro-North from New Haven
and west and let Amtrak continue with passenger service east of New Haven.
Noel Weaver

RearOfSignal
Posts: 2553
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:31 pm

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by RearOfSignal » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:50 am

The new BL20-GH's do have ACSES capabilites as will the new M8's so one does wonder.
Hurry up and wait at the signal!

Port Jervis
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:11 pm
Location: Warwick, New York

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Port Jervis » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:09 pm

Patrick A. wrote:Dutch,
I think the money problem will be solved soon enough. With the $14.4 billion Amtrak appropriation passing the House and Senate by supermajority status and with local Congressmen (Shays D-CT and Neal D-MA) supporting the creation of the NHV-SPG commuter line in remarks on the House floor, it would seem likely that progress will commence sooner rather than later especially with the Democrats likely to sieze power along with a potential President who is very supportive of Amtrak and Commuter Railroads. Highways are no longer the answer, and I think Capitol Hill and the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW are beginning to see that Railroad investment is warranted.

Patrick
Amtrak has so many needs that no amount of realistic funding increase will get them to upgrade a minor branch line soley for another agency's usage. If Connecticut wants to upgrade the Springfield line, Connecticut will have to pay for some, if not all of it. Which is a shame, because I could see significant demand for SLE service to at least Hartford.
Hoboken rules, Midtown Direct drools!

Patrick A.
Posts: 621
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:52 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Patrick A. » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:09 pm

It will be a sticky situation, but I do recall that in the Congressional stipend provided for Amtrak, Shays and Neal placed a requirement for Amtrak to allocate funds for the NHV-SPG line. I agree that CT should pay for some of the costs, however as Dutch will tell you, the Nutmeg state is in quite the budgetary crisis in terms of transit funds. Thus I think the value of the line will have Amtrak ( through the Feds) will be paying for the upgrades, perhaps ensuring that Amtrak will operate the service much like it does for SLE under the CTDOT. There isn't a doubt in my mind that within the next five years, commuter service will be launched on a broader scale, and that the Springfield Line will be double tracked for the majority of its length.

Patrick
I have lived to ride on the M8.

Complete Constant Tension on the New Haven Line ETC: Mid-2018

Noel Weaver
Posts: 9630
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:47 am

Patrick A. wrote:It will be a sticky situation, but I do recall that in the Congressional stipend provided for Amtrak, Shays and Neal placed a requirement for Amtrak to allocate funds for the NHV-SPG line. I agree that CT should pay for some of the costs, however as Dutch will tell you, the Nutmeg state is in quite the budgetary crisis in terms of transit funds. Thus I think the value of the line will have Amtrak ( through the Feds) will be paying for the upgrades, perhaps ensuring that Amtrak will operate the service much like it does for SLE under the CTDOT. There isn't a doubt in my mind that within the next five years, commuter service will be launched on a broader scale, and that the Springfield Line will be double tracked for the majority of its length.

Patrick
I agree that Connecticut has funding problems but EVERY OTHER STATE also has financial problems of one sort or another.
If Connecticut wants the Springfield Line upgraded, they will need to provide the bulk of the fianacing for it. Why should
my taxes from Florida go for this when we need rail project here just as bad as they need this in Connecticut and maybe
even more than Connecticut.
It would help a lot if Connecticut saw fit to jack up the gasoline tax by a couple of cents per gallon and use that money for
mass transit projects, it would help here in Florida too, but both states are reluctant to do that so status que just
continues.
Noel Weaver

Fred G
Posts: 566
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:35 pm
Location: OSB, CT

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Fred G » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:49 am

shadyjay wrote:
DutchRailnut wrote:Stop dreaming, CDOT does not even have money to start service on springfield line.
second electrification runs around 7 million or more per mile
Third no high level stations another few million CDOT does not have
so stop dreaming drink a glass of water.
Springfield Line commuter rail will happen in a few years - pretty sure of that. Electrification, that I can see as a dream right now. Damn, that water tastes good.
According to the CDOT NH-H-S commuter rail final report http://www.ct.gov/dotinfo/cwp/view.asp? ... 95670&PM=1, all stations would get at least one high level platform, plus new parking lots. Seems a little overkill to me with immediately going with high level platforms when the low level ones are there and in daily use. Granted, the loading/unloading process is slower, but it can be done. SLE has been low from 1990 until a few years ago, and now all but 2 stations are high level.

Perhaps starting service with low level platforms at existing stations would be the way to go, and then increase your service from there. Electrify in 2015-2020 or so :-D
Work with what we have, show ridership and build a case for expansion.

BTW, it's only one SLE station (Westbrook) that's low level now; the new station at Madison opened up a few weeks ago.
Last edited by Fred G on Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Clean Cab
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:18 pm
Location: South Dennis Massachusetts

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Clean Cab » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:51 am

If the funds were available and I'd love to see it happen. But let's keep the goals down on earth. Let's start with cab signals on the Danbury Branch, upgrade the stations on the Waterbury Branch and pay for the M8s.
I'm stuck on a sandbar on Cape Cod, and I couldn't be happier!!!

Darien Red Sox
Posts: 544
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:14 am
Location: Darien, CT

Re: Electrify the Springfield Line?

Post by Darien Red Sox » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:43 am

There is a lot of stuff that needs to be done first including:
1. Finish replacing the catenary on the New Haven branch
2. Get the M8 payed for!!
3. Update the stations on the Springfield Line
4. Start running electric trains on SLE and free up that equipment for use on the Springfield Line
5. Start commuter service on the Springfield Line
5. Make inprovements to the Danbury and Warterbury schedules
6. Buy the trackage on both the Springfield line and the NEC north of New Haven
After all of that is done first off the state won't have the money and second when the commuter service goes into being the planed frequency of trains will not justify the electrification. With electrification would come the need for electric equipment replacing the SLE equipment that the state plans on using which was just rebuilt and still has useful life.

I read last year that the commuter service is scheduled to start in the later part of 2009 or early 2010 but don't know if this has been delayed b/c of the M8s
Some people complain about the traffic on I95, If you have a problem with traffic and the rails go where you are going, TAKE THE TRAIN!!!

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