Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Roadgeek Adam
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by Roadgeek Adam »

mtuandrew wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:24 pm
Yeah I know, TR7. Figured I’d try :P that’s the only locale I could see a suburban-in-New-York-City station being added on the Empire Connection.
And it wouldn't be worth it. I don't know if ridership would be there for a discharge/pickup only stop at 125. I know Metro-North has the thoughts of stops at 62 and 125. There also just isn't room for a passenger stop there either with the Henry Hudson Parkway right next to it. You'd have to do it at 138 and even then, there's a garden there that would violate Section 4F unless it's replaced.
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by mtuandrew »

At 125th it looks like MNRR must be planning a “rooftop patio” station where Dinosaur BBQ is, because they really don’t have many options. It would be a tiny, narrow station regardless, and difficult to build a platform more than 3 car lengths without getting deep into the park south of St. Clair Place.

Is that worthwhile? Best ask MTA about that, because I don’t see Amtrak building a stop out of the kindness of its metaphorical heart. If Amtrak had it available though, I could see them stopping there on some NYP-ALB-only Empire Service trains.

Duke87
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by Duke87 »

STrRedWolf wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:25 pm
Oh, and you're not actually IN DC. No, you got to take a subway into DC proper and that's another half hour spent. So that's nearly four hours there, and you have to endure LaGuardia Airport (I've heard horror stories).
Taking a train to Union Station is more convenient than taking a plane to DCA if your destination is in the middle of DC, but if it is in some outlying area - which for many travelers it will be - not so much. Also LGA is a perfectly functional airport that I've never had any issues with and don't get why everyone hates on it so much.


At any rate, yes, Amtrak's purpose is not to provide local service so there really is no need for them to have more stations on the tracks in the NYC area on which they are already operating. Other trains serve those stations.

Running Amtrak out to Long Island would be an interesting untapped market for them though - eliminate the need to change trains at Penn, possibly even get there a bit faster since your Amtrak service will certainly make fewer stops than an LIRR local will.

The problem is the North River tubes being at capacity during peak hours. And honestly, NJ Transit sorely needs extra peak hour capacity through there more than Amtrak does.

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STrRedWolf
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by STrRedWolf »

Duke87 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:12 am
The problem is the North River tubes being at capacity during peak hours. And honestly, NJ Transit sorely needs extra peak hour capacity through there more than Amtrak does.
Everyone's in agreement with that. The whole NEC just needs to be four-tracked DC to NYP.
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ThirdRail7
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by ThirdRail7 »

Duke87 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:12 am
And honestly, NJ Transit sorely needs extra peak hour capacity through there more than Amtrak does.
Once they find some more engineers, that is! :P
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DogBert
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by DogBert »

SouthernRailway wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:24 pm

Same for people in Long Island City: why in the world would they go into Manhattan to get to NY Penn to take Amtrak, when LGA is right nearby?
Depending on time of day, it's faster to get to Penn from LIC than LGA, even via taxi. I did this just last night. Besides, as ugly as Penn is, LGA is far, far worse at the moment. The location of the taxi stand has shifted two or three times this last year. The traffic bogs down the buses. It literally took me twenty minutes trapped on a bus to get from one terminal to the other a few months ago.

There's nothing quite like that 'welcome back to hell' vibe you get stepping out of an LGA terminal and being greeted by a wall of honking cars, cops yelling at traffic, and shady hustlers trying to direct unsuspecting tourists to their non-existent uber. I've flown through LGA probably a dozen times these last two years, and this has been my experience every. single. time.

Give the choice the other day, train to DC or fly, Train was the best option. Friendly service, cafe car, no TSA bullshit. (even with pre-check, I'm not a fan).

As for the rest, I don't see Sunnyside station happening in the next twenty years. The deck above it is not likely to get built anytime in the next decade. It is facing some very large opposition. The EDC's "plan" is severely lacking.

I'm also of the mindset that Amtrak doesn't need more stops here. LIRR, MNRR, Subways... there are plenty of options, and Penn is pretty centrally located. The faster Amtrak can be, the better off the majority of travelers will be.

JohnI1222
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by JohnI1222 »

My question is since there are only two New York state stops on the Northeast corridor why aren't there more trains stopping in New Rochelle including Acela. People in the Bronx and other towns in Westchester have to go to Stamford or Penn.

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quad50cal
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by quad50cal »

SouthernRailway wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:24 pm
Say I live in Oyster Bay (or anywhere in Long Island), and I have to go to Boston or Washington.
A low cost option of convoluted transfers and dual modes wouldn't be of much utility. The FRA's NEC Future program investigated improving NEC service for Long Island. Their conclusion was that the best way to generate a marked improvement for Long Island would be constructing a second NEC spine that would run through Long Island with a station each for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk.

Despite the prohibitive cost, the enormous catchment area of such a routing made it the FRA's preference for a high funding environment.To put it into perspective, the population of Suffolk County, New York alone is nearly twice the population of Suffolk County, Massachusetts (Boston Metro Area). Of course, it's all academic since as of now even the basic no build option they drew up is struggling along with assumptions like the Portal bridge replacement being held up by an obstructionist DOT.

ExCon90
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by ExCon90 »

JohnI1222 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:38 am
My question is since there are only two New York state stops on the Northeast corridor why aren't there more trains stopping in New Rochelle including Acela. People in the Bronx and other towns in Westchester have to go to Stamford or Penn.
I haven't been to New Rochelle in quite a while, but it used to be strictly a side-platform station with platforms for Tracks 3 and 4 but not 1 and 2 (the center mains), a situation similar to MetroPark, New Brunswick, and Trenton, resulting in entanglements with Metro North trains; if there are still no platforms on 1 and 2, I suspect MN simply will not allow Amtrak to make additional stops--and likely not even if there are.

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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by SouthernRailway »

quad50cal wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:06 pm
SouthernRailway wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:24 pm
Say I live in Oyster Bay (or anywhere in Long Island), and I have to go to Boston or Washington.
A low cost option of convoluted transfers and dual modes wouldn't be of much utility. The FRA's NEC Future program investigated improving NEC service for Long Island. Their conclusion was that the best way to generate a marked improvement for Long Island would be constructing a second NEC spine that would run through Long Island with a station each for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk.

Despite the prohibitive cost, the enormous catchment area of such a routing made it the FRA's preference for a high funding environment.To put it into perspective, the population of Suffolk County, New York alone is nearly twice the population of Suffolk County, Massachusetts (Boston Metro Area). Of course, it's all academic since as of now even the basic no build option they drew up is struggling along with assumptions like the Portal bridge replacement being held up by an obstructionist DOT.
To whom?

I'd be interested in seeing Amtrak's air-rail market share for NY-BOS and NY-WAS trips, segmented by locations of riders' offices and homes. I'm guessing that Amtrak has much lower market share among people who live in Long Island than people who live in Manhattan, since the total trip time, for people who live in Long Island, is much shorter if they fly. Adding an Amtrak station nearer Long Island than NYP would help improve this market share. At least I think.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by Rockingham Racer »

ExCon90 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:05 pm
JohnI1222 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:38 am
My question is since there are only two New York state stops on the Northeast corridor why aren't there more trains stopping in New Rochelle including Acela. People in the Bronx and other towns in Westchester have to go to Stamford or Penn.
I haven't been to New Rochelle in quite a while, but it used to be strictly a side-platform station with platforms for Tracks 3 and 4 but not 1 and 2 (the center mains), a situation similar to MetroPark, New Brunswick, and Trenton, resulting in entanglements with Metro North trains; if there are still no platforms on 1 and 2, I suspect MN simply will not allow Amtrak to make additional stops--and likely not even if there are.
The platform on the track 4 side also serves track 6, next to the wall. Operationally, it's not unusual for a westbound Amtrak NER stopping a NRO to make its stop on the track 4 side. That way, they are already to go directly to the Pelham Bay line, instead of tying up Shell by crossing all tracks.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by Rockingham Racer »

JohnI1222 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:38 am
My question is since there are only two New York state stops on the Northeast corridor why aren't there more trains stopping in New Rochelle including Acela. People in the Bronx and other towns in Westchester have to go to Stamford or Penn.
I agree. There's a lot of people in Lower Westchester that could use this station to go to New Haven, and east.

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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by MACTRAXX »

Everyone:

In my opinion the current number of stations in the Greater New York Region in which Amtrak stops
at is sufficient for the current time. Both directions of the NEC and the Empire Service north have
strategic stations placed in which a trip all the way into NYP is not necessary.

SR: Residents of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties who live ON (NOT IN-pet peeve time from a
Long Island Native) Long Island can take the LIRR into Penn Station to connect with intercity rail
services as has been the case for 109 previous years as of this month.

A station at Sunnyside would be an interesting addition - for the LIRR East Side Access Project and
not Amtrak. Remember that this is just 3 to 4 miles from Penn Station. The East River Tunnels are
2.8 miles long from the tunnel entrance adjacent to the LIRR (and #7 Flushing Line) Hunterspoint
Avenue Station. The most logical rail route to LGA would be again an extension of the N Line from
Astoria which has been subject to extremely shortsighted (my opinion) NIMBY opposition.

A NEC intercity route across Long Island would be subject to a variety of problems with LIRR train
traffic congestion in Queens and Nassau Counties and possible NIMBY opposition in other areas
(Example: The LIRR Main Line on the North Fork between Riverhead and Greenport - 21 miles- has
had a 40 mph speed limit - residents are reluctant to allow an increase to even 65 mph which is
MAS in diesel territory) along with a bridge/tunnel between Orient Point and the New London, CT
area that alone is going to cost literally billions of dollars and take a period of multi years to build.

Any changes to stations will not occur (such as MNCR service to Penn Station) until the LIRR ESA
Project is completed and the major changes in LIRR services anticipated are established.

MACTRAXX
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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by SouthernRailway »

Mactraxx, you’re completely missing my point.

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Re: Why doesn't Amtrak have more stations around NYC?

Post by Jeff Smith »

Rockingham Racer wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:57 pm
ExCon90 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:05 pm
JohnI1222 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:38 am
My question is since there are only two New York state stops on the Northeast corridor why aren't there more trains stopping in New Rochelle including Acela. People in the Bronx and other towns in Westchester have to go to Stamford or Penn.
I haven't been to New Rochelle in quite a while, but it used to be strictly a side-platform station with platforms for Tracks 3 and 4 but not 1 and 2 (the center mains), a situation similar to MetroPark, New Brunswick, and Trenton, resulting in entanglements with Metro North trains; if there are still no platforms on 1 and 2, I suspect MN simply will not allow Amtrak to make additional stops--and likely not even if there are.
The platform on the track 4 side also serves track 6, next to the wall. Operationally, it's not unusual for a westbound Amtrak NER stopping a NRO to make its stop on the track 4 side. That way, they are already to go directly to the Pelham Bay line, instead of tying up Shell by crossing all tracks.
To add: Amtrak only uses tracks 2 and 4, as the rebuilt interlocking at "Shell" only allows Hellgate traffic to diverge from those two tracks (they removed tracks 1 and 3 from the interlocking). There is no longer a "designated" track 6; MNRR removed one track through the station by shifting/realigning track 2 to the eastbound inside platform. Track 6 remained (the one next to the retaining wall), but was redesignated track 4. MNRR locals typically platform on the old 6 (now 4), as well as eastbound Amtrak. Westbound Amtrak generally use track 2 (previously 4). It can change, of course, depending on peak times when there are more outbound MNRR expresses that are using track 2.
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