Danbury Branch - History, Electrification, Studies

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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Clean Cab
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Post by Clean Cab » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:26 am

Note to CDOT.................

Stop studying and start spending money on real improvements like better protection at grade crossings, a cab signal system, some new engines for "Mini-Bombs", longer platforms, ticket vending machines and so on.
I'm stuck on a sandbar on Cape Cod, and I couldn't be happier!!!

Penn Central
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Post by Penn Central » Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:04 pm

There are TVMs at Danbury, Wilton and South Norwalk. Construction has begun on the cab signal system and new locomotives are on order from Brookville. Three out of four ain't bad.

Need better protection at crossings? I think that all we need are drivers who will stop and obey traffic laws. I never heard of an incident at a crossing where the train was at fault. The best protection is to eliminate the crossings all together. That's expensive.

Clean Cab
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Post by Clean Cab » Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:42 pm

The cab signal system maybe in the works, but in reality is years away from activation. Don't even get me started about how long it has been postponed!!!

New locomotvies from Brookville? If they're anything like those two yellow disasters, CDOT had better ink a deal with a big bus compamy ASAP!!! CDOT had the chance to purchase several used F-40s from Amtrak, but instead opted to stick with their fleet of exhausted FL-9s, F-10s and FL-9ms.


I can no longer just stand by and watch the powers that be fritter away time and money on non essentail projects. The Danbury Branch has been neglected far too long. Of all of MN's territory, it has had the second least amount of modernization. First of course if the Waterbury Branch.

As to making drivers respect grade crossings? How? By stationing armed guards with "Shoot to kill" orders at each crossing? Ain't gonna happen pal!!

There is no excuse for not having full protection quadrant gates in use on ALL crossings on ALL railroads!! How many more people must die or be mamed or be disabled by such tragedies? Not to mention the emotional toll it takes on the engineers and conductors on the unfortunate trains.

Just think how many crossings could have been upgraded with $2 million!!!
I'm stuck on a sandbar on Cape Cod, and I couldn't be happier!!!

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shadyjay
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Post by shadyjay » Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:45 pm

It doesn't matter if you have 4-quadrant gates - there's still going to be some people in such a rush to try to beat the train. Two words: Acela and Waterford.

CDOT no doubt about it overstudies everything to death. While they do it big time with railroads, they also do it with highways. I don't know how many studies they've done to I-95. Anyone with 1/4 of a brain who passes I-95 during any morning/evening rush hour or on any weekend knows there's a problem. Enough studying - do something about it!


So my suggestion to CDOT is this:
forget the studies. have representatives of DOT ride the trains and talk to people. draw up some conclusions/solutions that way. get all railroads that would be involved talking first before assuming that a certain railroad will let you run trains up their tracks.

-Jay H.

DutchRailnut
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Post by DutchRailnut » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:53 pm

Shadyjay, CDOT does have inspectors ride trains and inspect stations platforms, parking, restrooms etc but their own bosses ignore them.
Anything CDOT files within CDOT is useless and never looked at.
Govenor rell wanted station inspectors , not knowing that the reports from current inspectors are ignored.
CDOT is the most inept organization where prides overide the needs of passengers , any studies of actual branchlines are a total waste.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Noel Weaver
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Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:19 am

I suspect that the means of a study are already available to CDOT in the Metro-North organization. Just get a few senior engineers and conductors, add in some trainmasters and road foremen and a few higher officals and maybe a few from the engineering department and you should be able to find out just as much from a much better source and at less cost.

The idea of paying some outfit to put in people to study the railroad who know little or nothing about the railroad in the first place just does not fly
with me. The best railroad brains are within the Metro-North organization itself.
Noel Weaver

Fred G
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Post by Fred G » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:00 am

ConnDOT sure likes to spend a lot of money to woo that up around 200 more passengers a year that seems to be the net result of each study.
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Fred

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Tadman
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Post by Tadman » Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:46 am

As far as grade crossing protection, I've suggested elsewhere and will suggest here the standard tadman gradecrossing plan (STGP)

1. Any stopping on tracks at any time is a $5000 fine.

2. Stopping on tracks with gates down or going around without RR or police direction: $5000 + weekend in jail

3. Causing an accident between train and car: revocation of drivers license for 1+ years.

There's no need for railroads to spend lots of money when they have the legal right to cross with priority over road traffic.
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northjerseybuff
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Danbury Branch Study (Ext to New Milford, Electrification)

Post by northjerseybuff » Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:43 am

State to discuss expanding rail service to New Milford
By Mark Langlois - THE NEWS-TIMES

DANBURY -- Expanding railroad service to New Milford is on track to be the topic of Tuesday's public hearing in Danbury.
Improvements proposed for the line, which will be called a "centralized traffic control system," would allow more trains to run on the Danbury line at the same time.

[snip- cutting and pasting entire articles from other web sites is not allowed. Please link back to the original story- ov]

Tom Curtin
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New Milford

Post by Tom Curtin » Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:38 am

Let's face it, New Milford is NOT a NYC commuter town. As it stands, the best time on the Danbury commute to mid-town Manhattan would be house-to-work at least two hours. Work on Wall St. and add another half hour to the commute. Then add the New Milford run, and we're talking another half-hour minimum. Do that twice a day, and the 6 hours spent commuting is unreasonable.
Is the state serious? Te better idea would be to make the Danbury to New Milford run a Rails-to-Trails path
The foregoing is evidently some kind of blog post written in response to the NT article. The writer of the blog is evidently rather unschooled in the demographics of the territory. I don't know how many people commute New Milford-NY but I bet there are plenty. And commuters are going a good bit farther into the hinterlands than that too --- the success of The Harlem Line service to Wassaic speaks for itself (to give some Connecticut context to Wassaic, it is on a latitude roughly 5 mies north of Kent, CT!!) In addition, there are even more intrastate commuters from New Milford, i.e., going to places like Stamford, who are part of a market for rail service.

And oh yeah, regarding that Rails to trails cheap shot, I think the Housatonic Railroad, which is running a thriving freight service on the stretch of railroad in question, would take a rather dim view of this.

DutchRailnut
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Post by DutchRailnut » Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:41 am

Again did anyone notify the HRRC or is this another excersize in futility.
unless they make it worth their while CDOT or MNCR will not get trackage rights to New Milford
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

Gilbert B Norman
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Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:29 am

As both Messrs. Curtin and Railnut know, I have commented over at another railforum that Litchfield County CT is a "transportation wasteland'.

This is not just rail, it is any mode. The only highway improvement to speak of since WWII has been rebuilding CT 8 Waterbury-Winsted to interstate standards. Otherwise where is I-89 to replace US7? US7 BTW I don't think has had any meaningful improvements since The Depression when the impressive viaduct at Cornwall Bridge was built (OK; a new bridge at Gaylordsville, some lane additions around New Milford, and a traffic signal at Bulls Bridge :P ). Where is the Litchfield County International Airport (hope nobody thinks I'm advocating THAT)?

In short, any restoration of service N of Danbury ("The Berkshire' somehow survived until A-Day) is flying in the face of a 'we don't want it' mentality. Of interest, Connecticut recently enacted a $2.3B transportation improvement program impacting all modes. While of course most should be directed towards Fairfield and New Haven Counties as that's where the people are, these initiatives usually have to spread their largese about the entire state. I must wonder what Litchfiled will get...maybe, just maybe, it will be New Milford rail service unless the 'we don't want 'em up here' (that means affluent families earning income in New York, BTW) is heard in Hartford.

http://www.newstimeslive.com/news/story.php?id=1018189

Author's note: although my location shows Chicago area, I am from Connecticut and went to secondary (boarding) school in Litchfield County

Clean Cab
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Post by Clean Cab » Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:27 am

Instead of doing endless studies and dreaming of unimportant service expasions, why the heck can't CDOT get their act together and just put in the long delayed cab signal system on the Danbury Branch???????????????????
I'm stuck on a sandbar on Cape Cod, and I couldn't be happier!!!

Gilbert B Norman
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Post by Gilbert B Norman » Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:42 am

You indeed have a point, Mr. Cape Cod, and I totally concur that most of the $2.3B appropriation should go to Fairfield and New Haven Counties. After all "that's where the bodies are'.

But politics being such, Gov. Rell knows she "most spread the booty' about the State. This means underpopulated and "transportation overserved' Tolland County will get theirs.

So should Litchfield; but I must seriously question if they even want it.

But nevertheless, as a former resident, I commend Gov. Rell for a bold initiative we at the Forum all care about - she will get my "mental vote' come Nov 7 (OT; as far as my real vote out here, I'm sure I'd catch "Georgie's Girl' in as many lies as I have caught 'Boy King' during his term - those two clowns almost make me want to vote "GreenParty", but then my vote is too precious to me to simply throw away).

Penn Central
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Post by Penn Central » Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:54 am

Where would the riders from Litchfield County go? I think that's what needs to be determined. If they are looking for a fast ride to GCT, they might as well wait for the tooth fairy because it isn't going to happen. If they are going to ride to Stamford for in-state jobs, as many of the Danbury customers do now, then there might be some merit in service restoration. I haven't been on this board a long time, but this subject has been beaten to death. The FL-9 farewell trip brought up this topic the last time.

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