Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

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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Patrick A.
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Patrick A. » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:08 pm

This push for electrification as a top priority for NEC branch corridors (Empire Corridor, Springfield Line, Danbury Branch) ignores the many less arduous improvements that could be made at a fraction of the cost of electrification. Raising running speeds through improvements either in signaling, track geometry, additional track, bi-directional/high-level station platforms) should all be exhausted prior to any iota of institutional dollars or energy is focused on electrification. Some ideas for the Empire Corridor:

-High level platforms at RHI, HUD (easily saves 5 minutes of dwell time) accessible from all tracks (eliminates potential bottleneck)
-Double track Empire Connection in Manhattan and upgrade to higher operating speed running if possible (bottleneck reduction, running speed improvement)
-Reconfigure Empire/Spuyten Duyvil interchange to reduce conflicts with MNRR (eliminates potential bottleneck)
-Make all grade crossings HSR compliant, if not already

The express runs from NYP-ALB are already at 2:30, close to a 60 mph average speed, definitely beats the car. If you can squeeze another 10-15 minutes with the above improvements, the locals could be clocked at 2:30 as well. Plus all of the above would reduce the risk and severity of en-route delays, thereby making the service more reliable and attractive than it already is.

Let's get to a state of good repair and optimize what we already have first before sinking capital into pie-in-the-sky ideas.
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Railjunkie
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Railjunkie » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:09 pm

High level platforms at HUD and RHI are not going to happen, Conrail tried to remove the canopy at RHI and was stopped cold. As for I believe the Hudson station is on some form of historic registry. Adding a bridge to access high level platforms would take an act of congress. We wont even bring the freight siding into the conversation its still active by the way.

Dwell times for both RHI and HUD are two minutes, if we are there longer its for heavy travel, ADA, or just waiting on time.

The Empire connection is double tracked, MAS of 60mph. The only two spots that are not, CP12 to Innwood and Empire through the tunnel to NYP. All of about 1.5 miles out of 10. I dont see how one could reconfigure CP12 to relieve a supposed bottle neck. Ive taken a couple of minute hit waiting for a MNRR train to clear, no biggie there.

I know Amtrak re did all the crossings on the Hudson HSR compliant Im not sure. As long as they work when Im coming.

Express out of ALB still makes two RHI and HUD we had trains back in the day that only stopped in Harmon and I think the running time was 2:10. The trip can be done in 2:20 with all the stops and a good run down MNRR I average 2:30 making all the stops and 2:25 with added fat and D stops at night.

Jeff Smith
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Jeff Smith » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:51 am

Back to electrification: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... 9;size=125" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

See page 31.

Apparently, there was a plan afoot back in 1973 to electrify to Peekskill:
Extending Electrification and Increasing Power

A study was begun early in 1973 to extend electrification from Harmon to Peekskill. It will also cover the power requirements to enable the new Metropolitan cars to operate at full capability, and the replacement of obsolete elements of the present power system for savings in operating and maintenance costs. Preliminary planning and engineering will also be included.

A related, second study is also being made at the same time. It will determine the feasibility of changing the present automatic, wayside signal system to a modern cab signalling and train control system. The new Metropolitan cars were designed to accommodate this equipment at a future date.
...
A very interesting link; lots of stuff system-wide. Obviously, the extension never happened. Interesting to note that they were aware the Metropolitan's needed more power; when the Harlem north of NWP was electrified they apparently had already forgotten this fact.
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DutchRailnut
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:36 am

not really forgotten, but at time there were almost no trains longer than 6 cars, and no one expected the electrification to open up region as it did.

they never expected to run trains within 6 minutes of each other either so signal system is designed for 6 minute headway.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Jeff Smith
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:15 am

A(nother) new push (from an article on multiple Putnam County Topics): https://www.pcnr.com/articles/zuckerman ... or-putnam/
...
He called on the MTA to electrify the Hudson Line due to its surge in popularity between Croton-Harmon and Poughkeepsie: “Such remediation will provide a redundant capability given the unreliability of the locomotive fleet.”
...
Next stop, Willoughby
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jonnhrr
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by jonnhrr » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:51 pm

Re third rail, London to Dover in the UK is 67 miles and is third rail, so 3rd rail to Poughkeepsie would be comparable. A lot of substations admittedly, but less of an issue with NIMBYs objecting to wires.
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Traingeek3629
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Traingeek3629 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:08 pm

One word on full Hudson Line Electrification, SPG Line Electrification, and Danbury Line Electrification: Stupidity.

Stations are far enough apart that EMU time savings would be minimal, and that combined with the fact that most EMUs don't reach 100+MPH would mean that at least on the SPG and Hudson lines, this would probably counter the 2-3 minute time savings and make this a huge boondoggle. The Danbury Branch has relatively low ridership and when you think of all the NIMBYs who would pitch a fit, it makes it worthless. When (if) the SPG Line gets new railcars, dwell times will likely be reduced, as faster acceleration and automatic doors would doubtlessly be features.
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andrewjw
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by andrewjw » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:56 pm

Dwell times are not the only reason to electrify. The post you reply to mentions another reason - reliability. DMs are more failure prone by design because they need to have both a diesel and an electric, and the fleet is smaller so it is harder to handle failure.

R36 Combine Coach
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:01 pm

Traingeek3629 wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:08 pm
Danbury Branch has relatively low ridership and when you think of all the NIMBYs who would pitch a fit, it makes it worthless.
The wire shouldn't have been deactivated in 1961, in retrospect.
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Backshophoss
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:21 pm

The Catenary to Danbury was feed off of the mainline Substations,had only 1 feederline to the end,passenger service to Pittsfield
was down to weekend service(Fri NB/Sat RT by RDC/Sun SB back to NYC) and covered by the FL-9's.
The reason was to not do a power change at S Norwalk,so that's why Danbury branch got wire back in the day.
Remember the NH was Bankrupt when the wire was removed.

Voltage drop on the branch might have been an issue,as Cos Cob was the only generating station(Van Nest was gone)
could have been 9 kv 25hz. at Danbury.
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MattW
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by MattW » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:52 pm

andrewjw wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:56 pm
Dwell times are not the only reason to electrify. The post you reply to mentions another reason - reliability. DMs are more failure prone by design because they need to have both a diesel and an electric, and the fleet is smaller so it is harder to handle failure.
Plus environmental concerns, noise and exhaust.

DutchRailnut
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:57 am

Betya commercial power might be more polluting than newer generation diesels.
natives are really not looking favorable at sight pollution with poles and wires and 12,5 KV hanging within 18 feet of ground .
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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nkloudon
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by nkloudon » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:55 am

>>A lot of substations admittedly, but less of an issue with NIMBYs objecting to wires.

I would think the NIMBY's would be more opposed to third rail. After all, there is the danger of electrocution to children playing on the tracks!

Backshophoss
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Backshophoss » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:48 pm

3rd rail beyond Croton North,forgetaboutit!!! Not worth the $$$$$$$$ to install.
The Harlem line to B north was hard enough to pull off.
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Ridgefielder
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Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Ridgefielder » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:17 pm

Backshophoss wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:21 pm
The Catenary to Danbury was feed off of the mainline Substations,had only 1 feederline to the end,passenger service to Pittsfield
was down to weekend service(Fri NB/Sat RT by RDC/Sun SB back to NYC) and covered by the FL-9's.
The reason was to not do a power change at S Norwalk,so that's why Danbury branch got wire back in the day.
Remember the NH was Bankrupt when the wire was removed.

Voltage drop on the branch might have been an issue,as Cos Cob was the only generating station(Van Nest was gone)
could have been 9 kv 25hz. at Danbury.
Going to reinforce what was said here, as someone who grew up along the Danbury Branch and knows the area well.

The only reason the Danbury Branch was electrified back in 1923 was to eliminate an engine change for the Danbury through trains, and move the changeover for Pittsfield service. After the wire went up on the Danbury they were able to consolidate steam locomotive servicing and shut down facilities in Stamford. Unlike on the rest of the West End of the New Haven, the yards and sidings on the Danbury were never wired, nor was the short branch up the hill from Branchville to Ridgefield Center. Freight remained under steam. It was an economy move for passenger service, pure and simple.

If it had never been electrified, nobody would be talking about electrifying it today. Instead half the locals who know zero about railroad operations see the old Cat poles, see the old pictures, hear stories about how the Berkshire carried a diner and parlor cars "back in grandpa's day" and think stringing up 20 miles of 12.5kV wire will magically give us the Danbury Acela. [end of rant]

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