SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

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NH2060
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SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by NH2060 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:27 pm


DutchRailnut
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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by DutchRailnut » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:25 pm

hope the ridership is there, on days other than special events,but my hopes are not high for this service.
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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:29 pm

Hopefully, ridership figures will be high in some sort of capacity, especially for those wanting a cheaper rail option, such as college students. I wouldn't count on this service doing as well as other lines in the state. Many people who live in New London will either still continue to use Amtrak, drive, or even drive to New Haven and pick up Metro North there.

ThirdRail7
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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by ThirdRail7 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:20 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:hope the ridership is there, on days other than special events,but my hopes are not high for this service.
People didn't think weekend service to OSB would catch on, but it did. The real goal should be Mystic. There are a lot of hurdles, but I think that would be a worthwhile venture.
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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:44 pm

ThirdRail7 wrote:
DutchRailnut wrote:hope the ridership is there, on days other than special events,but my hopes are not high for this service.
People didn't think weekend service to OSB would catch on, but it did. The real goal should be Mystic. There are a lot of hurdles, but I think that would be a worthwhile venture.
I don't think there are any crossovers between the Groton Industrial Track and Westerly, so without a new one installed Amtrak's not going to be enthused about the schedule penalty of turning back wrong-rail at Mystic. Besides, if RIDOT gets South County commuter rail down to Westerly CDOT has put in the State Rail Plan that it wants to take SLE there for a direct transfer. Amtrak is due to renovate that station into a 3-tracker in anticipation of RIDOT stopping there, and there's a layover yard attached to it that makes an ideal turnback. RIDOT's proceeding fairly deliberately with its buildout. I don't think we'll be waiting past 2020 for the opportunity. The capital costs would be very little for CDOT because Mystic is pre-existing and Westerly + layover will be paid for by RIDOT and Amtrak. It's more or less an operating extension for CDOT, not a capital one...and RIDOT very much wants to entice them over for the beneficial transfer revenue, so the stakeholders are all willing.

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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by The EGE » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:08 pm

I-95 between New London and Old Saybrook is actually worse on summer weekends than weekdays. You've got a whole lot of beach traffic (heading to Rhode Island, Cape Cod, Mystic, Lyme...), plus you've got four major connecting roads (I-395 including CT-2 traffic, CT-9, CT-85, and US-1) all feeding in. Through Waterford and the 395 split, you've just got so many people going in too many different directions. Even the add-a-lane (which removes a badly needed inside shoulder) is not going to help.

And it's only going to get worse. CT-11, on the back burner for forever, is picking up momentum again. That'll add only more traffic and more jam-creating accident-inducing complexity to the badly-designed interchange where 95, 395, and US-1 all come together. (There's been at least 2 tanker crashes there in the past decade).

So weekend service to New London is a big thing. Like F-line was describing for RIDOT, it's an incremental thing. They're already updating the existing stations for accessibility. Now we get weekend service to New London, which means they're actually going to negotiate the ridiculous bridge rules which have been holding up SLE for over two decades. Then we'll start to see other things - full service to New London, and maybe M-8s when the platforms are ready. One at a time. As Connecticut realizes that 95 has hit its maximum realistic capacity, the bigger pieces of the pie will start to fall in place. We'll see serious talks about extending to Westerly, using platforms at Mystic and Westerly which Amtrak is already planning to raise.

Full service to New London, including weekend service, is also necessary for the possibility of any infill stations. South Lyme is already under consideration, and Niantic is an obvious choice as well. But they wouldn't be worthwhile on 5 weekday trains. With more weekday trains plus some weekend trains, though, then they become plausible.

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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:36 pm

In addition to the weekend service to New London, it would be nice to have more of the intermediate points served. There are a few problems.
1. A lot of the stations only have one side platform, such as Clinton. In the future, it would be nice if more stations would have platforms on both sides, in addition to Old Saybrook, and Guilford. Westbrook, I know is under construction.

2. The parking lots aren't big enough at a lot of the stations.

Yep, I-95 on the weekends can be a parking lot, not only between New London and Old Sybrook, but on other parts of the road, especially in New Haven. It would be nice for SLE to run to Mystic and Westerly, but I wouldn't count on that anytime soon. New London is a good endpoint for Shore Line East.

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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by Jeff Smith » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:10 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
ThirdRail7 wrote:
DutchRailnut wrote:hope the ridership is there, on days other than special events,but my hopes are not high for this service.
People didn't think weekend service to OSB would catch on, but it did. The real goal should be Mystic. There are a lot of hurdles, but I think that would be a worthwhile venture.
I don't think there are any crossovers between the Groton Industrial Track and Westerly, so without a new one installed Amtrak's not going to be enthused about the schedule penalty of turning back wrong-rail at Mystic. Besides, if RIDOT gets South County commuter rail down to Westerly CDOT has put in the State Rail Plan that it wants to take SLE there for a direct transfer. Amtrak is due to renovate that station into a 3-tracker in anticipation of RIDOT stopping there, and there's a layover yard attached to it that makes an ideal turnback. RIDOT's proceeding fairly deliberately with its buildout. I don't think we'll be waiting past 2020 for the opportunity. The capital costs would be very little for CDOT because Mystic is pre-existing and Westerly + layover will be paid for by RIDOT and Amtrak. It's more or less an operating extension for CDOT, not a capital one...and RIDOT very much wants to entice them over for the beneficial transfer revenue, so the stakeholders are all willing.
I think this is a great idea; an overlapping (or at least connecting) multiple corridor commute service. Nice to see CDOT has this on their plate.

Here's a quote from the linked article per railroad.net policy:
When Gov. Dannel P. Malloyvisits New London this afternoon, it will be to celebrate what hopefully will become a more common occurrence in the state — an increase in transit service.

Mr. Malloy and legislative supporters succeeded in securing funding to expand Shore Line East weekend rail service to New London. It will begin next April, but riders can get a taste of it today and tomorrow with special trains from New Haven for the city's OpSail/Sailfest weekend.

Shore Line East began as commuter line east of New Haven to Old Saybrook, but advocates in New London pushed for years to extend the service to the Whaling City. The Shore Line East/One More Stop Coalition, representing nearly two dozen business, civic and environmental groups, succeeded in getting weekday service. With a $260,000 appropriation in this year's budget, there will be five weekend trains per day starting in April.

This is a big deal for southeastern Connecticut. It opens employment and economic development opportunities for residents of all the towns east of Old Saybrook. It will get cars off of I-95 — it never made sense to have huge weekend traffic jams on the highway while the rail lines were virtually empty. Fewer autos means cleaner air in the region. And, by most estimates of the cost of driving, it will be cheaper to take the train to New Haven than to drive.
Next stop, Willoughby
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lirr42
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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by lirr42 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:33 pm

If you do get interconnecting commuter services all the way up the corridor it would be great, and if you had the tolerance to take 5 trains and a subway-it would be cheaper than the Regional.

For example, to go from Newark, DE (SEPTA) to New London, CT (SLE) it would cost $60.75 (including the $2.25 subway fare from Penn to GCT in NY)
Depending on how far ahead you thought,
for TOMORROW, that trip would cost $103 on Amtrak,
for Wednesday, October 16, 2012, it would only cost $54, however.

So it's a tossup weather or not it's cheaper. To do that trip on Amtrak, it would require 2 trains (changing in New York). Plus only 1 possible trip combination shows up on Amtrak's website, leaving Newark at 2:44pm and arriving New London at 8:36pm.

A monthly on all of the respective railroads and the subway would run you a whopping $1,330, but still less than Amtrak's $1,854.

So maybe someday we can have commuter service up and down the corridor from WAS to BOS. And if there is some lunatic who wants to take 10 trains and a subway all the way there, then they could, and they could probably save some money too.

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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by Jeff Smith » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:38 pm

I was thinking more of a two-corridor type link, not someone going the entire route. Just someone on one end of an "anchor" looking to go to the far side, or the next anchor.
Next stop, Willoughby
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The EGE
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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by The EGE » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:47 am

The Connecticut to Boston market may open up with commuter connections. It's clearly a viable market - Regionals are packed headed from South Station but empty out in CT, and that's with fares that range from 34 bucks up for a one-way next-day ride. The section between New London and (now) Wickford Junction has the fewest trains on the entire NEC.

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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by Metro-Man101 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:59 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:In addition to the weekend service to New London, it would be nice to have more of the intermediate points served. There are a few problems.
1. A lot of the stations only have one side platform, such as Clinton. In the future, it would be nice if more stations would have platforms on both sides, in addition to Old Saybrook, and Guilford. Westbrook, I know is under construction.

2. The parking lots aren't big enough at a lot of the stations.

Yep, I-95 on the weekends can be a parking lot, not only between New London and Old Sybrook, but on other parts of the road, especially in New Haven. It would be nice for SLE to run to Mystic and Westerly, but I wouldn't count on that anytime soon. New London is a good endpoint for Shore Line East.
I don't think a lot of the Shoreline East Stations have ticket machines.

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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by runningwithscalpels » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:58 pm

Metro-Man101 wrote:
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:In addition to the weekend service to New London, it would be nice to have more of the intermediate points served. There are a few problems.
1. A lot of the stations only have one side platform, such as Clinton. In the future, it would be nice if more stations would have platforms on both sides, in addition to Old Saybrook, and Guilford. Westbrook, I know is under construction.

2. The parking lots aren't big enough at a lot of the stations.

Yep, I-95 on the weekends can be a parking lot, not only between New London and Old Sybrook, but on other parts of the road, especially in New Haven. It would be nice for SLE to run to Mystic and Westerly, but I wouldn't count on that anytime soon. New London is a good endpoint for Shore Line East.
I don't think a lot of the Shoreline East Stations have ticket machines.
What does that have to do with anything?
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NH2060
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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by NH2060 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:22 pm

Metro-Man101 wrote:
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:In addition to the weekend service to New London, it would be nice to have more of the intermediate points served. There are a few problems.
1. A lot of the stations only have one side platform, such as Clinton. In the future, it would be nice if more stations would have platforms on both sides, in addition to Old Saybrook, and Guilford. Westbrook, I know is under construction.

2. The parking lots aren't big enough at a lot of the stations.

Yep, I-95 on the weekends can be a parking lot, not only between New London and Old Sybrook, but on other parts of the road, especially in New Haven. It would be nice for SLE to run to Mystic and Westerly, but I wouldn't count on that anytime soon. New London is a good endpoint for Shore Line East.
I don't think a lot of the Shoreline East Stations have ticket machines.
None of them do and very likely won't for the foreseeable future. Only if either Metro-North were to ever take over SLE (which by then they'd probably have to re-name it something else lol) or if ridership increases after bi-directional service is implemented down the road would there be even any discussion of installing them.

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Re: SLE Weekend Service To New London To Begin In April 2013

Post by Jeff Smith » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:58 pm

I suppose Amtrak could put in QuikTrak. One thing I think would be nice would be a uni-ticket agreement with MNRR and Amtrak/SLE where you buy tix at either/or MNRR or Amtrak machine.
Next stop, Willoughby
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