NYSW Passenger Service Restoration

Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

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JoeG

Post by JoeG » Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:58 pm

I find it hard to see who the riders for a restored NYSW service would be. The railroad was cheaply built, with lots of curves. You would have to change its alignment to have fast service, which would be extremely expensive. I'd love to see any railroad reconstructed and restored to passenger service, but the NYSW, like the NYOW, seems like a poor candidate in terms of potential traffic and potential train speed. If the train is slower than driving, it will have a hard time competing.

cjvrr
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Post by cjvrr » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:37 pm

Wanted to address one of Arti's other comments.

From what I remember in its early stages NJT had looked at restoring the connection between the NYS&W and the Greewood Lake Branch to run commuter trains east on the Susquehanna then taking the connection to go directly south on the Greenwood Lake Branch. This would have cut off Pompton Lakes, Oakland, Franklin Lakes, and Midland Park from having service. Hawthorne is already served by NJT.

Bergen County was fighting for train service to those areas, and they do have a higher concentration of people than points west of Butler. I worked for the Bergen County Planning Dept. for a time in the early 1990's and they had done a vast amount of work on ridership numbers, and had locations mapped out for stations and park / ride facilities between Hawthorne and Riverdale. I know this information was shared with the NJTPA, because funding for most of these studies came from the NJTPA (North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority). I would assume that NJT was also copied on that work and may have decided to alter the route because of it.

Chris

BlockLine_4111
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Post by BlockLine_4111 » Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:12 pm

Misconceptions about this project

1. NJT must own the line
2. Line has to be all welded rail
3. Last stop on line must be Sparta
4. Terminous yard must be in/near Sparta

But what is true is that signal improvements and installation are needed.

NJT doesn't need to own it and they can run well on stick rail (maybe not those pre-WW2 100lb. sections). Go through Vernon and beyond (i.e. Port Jervis).

n01jd1
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Post by n01jd1 » Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:42 pm

The rail around Bergen Transfer is dated 1953 although it would not surprise me that older rail exists in the area. The problem with 4 bolt rail is that it is prone to "end bent rail" a result of the smaller joint combined with light weight of the rail not being up to the task of handling the weight of today's equipment. This was a problem faced by the Western Maryland back in the 60's and 70's even with a well maintained railroad. Now you make the problem even worse on the NYSW that is not the best maintained peice of railroad. Prior to the resurfacing that took place last year, I noticed that the ballast was starting to get fouled in a lot of locations creating the "mud pump" effect under numerous rail joints which results in a lot of low joints. This not only increases the rocking action of the locomotive and cars, but causes increased stress on the rail joints as well which causes angle bars (railjoiners) to crack creating dangerous conditions which I actually saw once at Pool Hollow road. I saw a track crew a few days later replacing the angle bars on the joint and try to hand tamp the ballast under the joint. Not sure how long the repair lasted.

BlockLine_4111 wrote:Let me clarify a little. Some of the rail including that in pompton lakes, parallel to Colfax Ave & West Oakland Avenue, is 100 lbs. and pre-dates WWII. Some of it, in shabby locations, will flex under the weight of a 160 lb. person. I am amazed how these six-axle locos pulling autoracks and doublestacks doesn't crash through someone backyard.

Irish Chieftain

Post by Irish Chieftain » Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:05 pm

Joe G wrote:I find it hard to see who the riders for a restored NYSW service would be
Drive on NJ route 15 during early morning and evening rush hours, i.e. connecting to I-80. Another corridor would be NJ route 23 also connecting to I-80 or US 46.

Curves and grades affecting speed of service would not be a detriment during rush-hour, especially if the trains are moving far faster than the traffic on the aforementioned highways.

Sirsonic
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Post by Sirsonic » Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:06 pm

NJT does not need to own the ROW, however, they will not move foward with the project unless they do.
Proven Theory #2 - If you don't work for the railroad, you don't know more than the people who do, no matter how many years you've hung around the tracks, or how well you think you understand railroading.

Rest in peace Jtgshu.

NJTRailfan
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Post by NJTRailfan » Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:04 pm

Chris,

Don't you think that Vernon home of Mountain Creek and the resorts would benifit from the rail service as Camel Back would once the cutoff comes on line? To heck with sparta. Run the service just don't have a station there. Can that work?

If not Vernon Valley then why not terminate service at Stockholm? I imagine there is room there for a good sized yard/facilties. Last I checked Stockholm doesn't have their heads stuck in the sand like Sparta does.

rcbsd45
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Post by rcbsd45 » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:15 am

Allow me to quote from my own column in a recent issue of the NYSW THS REFLECTOR, in which i cited an article on the project. Its dated from last year, and things may have changed, both politically and economically, but here's what i wrote in the magazine:
Officials in Bergen, Morris, Sussex, and Passaic counties first begain touting the return of passeneger service in late 1989 when the federal government funded a $225,000 study to identfy and address ways ways to relieve vehicular congestion on several commuter corridors. A $4 million contract was awarded in 1999 to a Morristown engineering firm for the preliminary designs of track upgrades, station locations, etc, with the intent of service staring in 2001.
Forward to the present day: One coprporate offical from Delaware Otsego, the NYSW Parent corporation, noted that the railroad and NJT had a handshake agreement a couple of years earlier. But government officals came back with an offer(to purchase the ROW outright)so low that it was easy to reject out of hand. In short, while the project is still on NJT's wish list, it almost certainly has dropped quite a ways down.
NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington has stated that at the present(and this was in early 2003) the agency's immediate priorities involve improving the exsisting infrastructure, and is reevaluationg all new projects, including the NYSW plan.
Though the project hasn't officially beeen scrapped, it would seem that the project is back at square 1. The Federal government, for example, has taken back $17 million of the $47 million allocated for the project. Some area politicians, such as State Senator Robert Littell(R-Sussex) and Assemblyman Alex De Croce(R- Morris) say the project is still needed and hold out hope for eventual implementation. At the present(April 2004), the overall outlook isn't too promising.
Hope this answers some questions.......
I know I'm getting old... My insurance company sent me only half a calendar this year!

Sirsonic
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Post by Sirsonic » Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:43 pm

Without commenting on the "right" price for the ROW, the NJT side of the story is the same, except that the NYS&W suddenly wanted much more for the ROW than NJT says it is worth. Either way, until both sides can agree, trains will not be running.
Proven Theory #2 - If you don't work for the railroad, you don't know more than the people who do, no matter how many years you've hung around the tracks, or how well you think you understand railroading.

Rest in peace Jtgshu.

NJTRailfan
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Post by NJTRailfan » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:37 pm

As much as I want this project to come on line I don't think it'll happen until the MOM and W Trenton comes on first.

Not to mention NYSW lowers it's asking price to a reasonable amount.

BlockLine_4111
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Post by BlockLine_4111 » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:59 pm

I wonder how long it would take to run from Campell Hall to Sparta w/2 stops in between @ Warwick and Vernon. Maybe 60 minutes +/- 5 ?

Could they do 60 MPH running on re-surfaced stick rail with new ties ?

trainfreak
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Post by trainfreak » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:39 pm

Lets say that NJT bought the NYSW ROW. Would the NYSW still have their normal frieght operations?
Jeff
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railtrailbiker
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Post by railtrailbiker » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:21 pm

That's the hang up in negotiations between NJT & NYS&W. Passenger service would be pretty disruptive to daytime freight operations and NYS&W wants to be compensated accordingly.

JoeG

Post by JoeG » Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:58 pm

Between Hawthorne and, say, Sparta, how many trains does NYSW run each day? My impression is, not many. You'd think they would be happy to get money from NJT, even if it isn't as much as they'd hoped to collect.

Arti

Post by Arti » Sat Apr 24, 2004 12:55 am

Between Hawthorne and, say, Sparta, how many trains does NYSW run each day?
My friends in Stockholm say that about 2/7 of train a day.

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