Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, Jeff Smith, FL9AC

njt/mnrrbuff
Posts: 3508
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:49 pm

Yes, off peak service during the week on the Danbury Branch has improved, but in general, many people who live in and around Danbury still prefer to drive to either Brewster or Southeast for more frequent service. Throughout the day, there are many instances where the trains will run at least twice an hour. Plus you have a more direct trip. Yes, that is probably true though about heading door to door from your house in Danbury to Grand Central by way of driving to either Brewster or Southeast and then taking the Harlem Line down. It's about an hour and a half train ride from either Southeast or Brewster to Grand Central in general. If you travel during the peak hour, you could probably do a trip from that area to Grand Central in about an hour and twenty minutes.

If you are traveling from Danbury to Grand Central or vice versa, it is almost the same amount of time on a through express train over switching trains in South Norwalk. Sometimes, taking two trains from Danbury to Grand Central Terminal might take a little longer than two hours. I'm sorry to say this but if I lived in Danbury, especially west of the downtown area closer to the State Line, I'm driving to either Southeast or Brewster to get the train there if I wanted to head to the city.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22267
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by DutchRailnut » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:18 pm

a connection with Danbury will not mean a increase of service and as we noted it would not be much of time improvement either.
also not that as for other station such a connection would not be a winner either time or connection wise . so how many people is Her Mayor talking about ??
psst tellya , just a few in big scheme of things .
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22267
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by DutchRailnut » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:20 pm

ohh and did I forget to mention that waiting list for parking at Harlem stations is year or more at twice price of parking at Danbury Branch ?
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

Ridgefielder
Posts: 2692
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by Ridgefielder » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:09 pm

hrfcarl wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:They'd have to build a couple hundred feet of new track on the Brewster end to connect the lines, presumably right around here https://goo.gl/maps/dCus8LaLj5G2


Using the google map linked above, would it be easier to make the connection from the HRRC line to Southeast instead? While not as big as Brewster, Southeast is start of electrified service, the connection would require less curving and the Wassaic diesel shuttles could extend to Danbury. Is there any place in between that would be worth while to add a station?
That was actually what I was thinking- a connection that would take a train from WB on the Maybrook to NB on the Harlem a few hundred yards south of the Southeast station. It seems to me like that is the only thing that would be remotely workable on the Brewster end without disruptive land-taking or building a new bridge over the Croton.

An intermediate station near the intersection of Route 6 and Saw Mill Hill Rd. would probably have a chance at picking up some ridership from people in Ridgebury who are currently driving to Southeast, at least if the parking is free.

If such a service were to operate as an extension of the Wassaic shuttle there might be some people riding inbound to Danbury. I'm guessing that there are plenty of people who live in eastern Putnam and Dutchess counties and work at Danbury Hospital, Boehringer Ingelheim, the Mall, the various businesses in the old Union Carbide building, etc.

A decently-timed transfer at Danbury could also attract some Upper Harlem <-> Norwalk/Stamford ridership.

It's not the most far-fetched thing I've heard of.

hrfcarl
Posts: 524
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:35 pm

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by hrfcarl » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:06 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:An intermediate station near the intersection of Route 6 and Saw Mill Hill Rd. would probably have a chance at picking up some ridership from people in Ridgebury who are currently driving to Southeast, at least if the parking is free.

If such a service were to operate as an extension of the Wassaic shuttle there might be some people riding inbound to Danbury. I'm guessing that there are plenty of people who live in eastern Putnam and Dutchess counties and work at Danbury Hospital, Boehringer Ingelheim, the Mall, the various businesses in the old Union Carbide building, etc.

A decently-timed transfer at Danbury could also attract some Upper Harlem <-> Norwalk/Stamford ridership.

It's not the most far-fetched thing I've heard of.
While one would hope the shuttle extension and a possible stop between Southeast and Danbury would attract ridership vs driving to these counties and stations, the impression I got was for this connection to open options for getting to GCT when there is a disruptions on one of these branches over time savings to NYC, which is why I ended my previous post with the question if this flexibility is worth the cost?

AMK0123
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:30 pm

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by AMK0123 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:35 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:ohh and did I forget to mention that waiting list for parking at Harlem stations is year or more at twice price of parking at Danbury Branch ?
There is currently no wait for a pass for parking in the Village of Brewster. In fact a family member walked into village hall and got two passes last week for the tri-state lot (off Railroad Ave /Marvin Ave) I don't know what the prices are for MTA lot parking in Danbury but Brewster village was just over $100, for permit. Southeast parking is currently full however, on any given weekday there is still a few spots in the MTA lot, (Southeast has lot on right when you come down Independent Way and MTA lot is on the left. And while there is nothing more than I'd like than to see a train back on the Maybrook I think between no straight in approach into Southeast station, dealing with HRRC east of the state line, and the amount of $$$$ to do the rehab, I don't see this taking off... I do see eventually MTA and the t/o Southeast working out a plan to take over the Southeast parking lot for a larger train yard (more trains equals more service) and putting in a parking structure on the other side of the train tracks... Also, the village of Brewster has plans that have been in the works for years now and according to numerous people I have spoken to they are looking to start work by end of year. Part of that plan for rehabbing the Main Street calls for a parking structure to go in behind Bob's Diner. So, in theory there should be plenty of parking available in the future and still a shorter commute by either driving or taking a bus to Southeast or Brewster from Danbury.
Also, not to add more too this but I did watch a East Fishkill town board meeting about a month or so and they did bring up (during a meeting on changing the towns current zoning) about a future commuter station in Hopewell that would connect into Beacon and the Hudson Line.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22267
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:37 pm

right soon after santa clause s coming.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

radioman2001
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:11 am

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by radioman2001 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:13 am

Last year there was talk of resurrecting the old Maybrook line. Not because of commuters, but for an aggregate company in CT looking for a shorter route to the city and South. There was a lot of activity about it, and I had to go out and scout for some radio sites for coverage, but that has all died down now. I looked at a lot of the line and it is in REALLY bad shape, It would take a lot of money to get back up to standards. There is one Track Supervisor at Brewster Yard who owns they ROW right now, nobody can go on it without his permission.
Also last year there a lot of hoopla about bus service starting from Danbury to Southeast. Have not seen one yet.

Quote"
Also, not to add more too this but I did watch a East Fishkill town board meeting about a month or so and they did bring up (during a meeting on changing the towns current zoning) about a future commuter station in Hopewell that would connect into Beacon and the Hudson Line.

This has been brought up time and time again since 1995. Been to meetings that far back (member of town FD) about how it would effect firefighting with trains running on those tracks again. There was talk of putting pipes under ROW at crossings for hose lines etc. West of Hopewell to the Hudson Line might be feasable but you can't get from Stormville or anywhere East into Hopewell because of damaged bridges and washouts. The last time any equipment ran on that section of line was when they brought some New Haven rail cars into the MTAPD training facility off of Philips Road I think in 2014-15.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22267
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:54 pm

The Danbury to Brewster bus has been in Service for years.
http://www.hartransit.com/routes/shuttl ... y-brewster" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

expbusop
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:13 pm

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by expbusop » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:36 am

Story in todays News Times, Mayor Boughton looking to have Danbury pony up money for a study of a fast-track concept using the Maybrook Line from Brewster to Southeast. He spoke with MNR President Rinaldi and CTDOT Commissioner Giuiletti.

Ridgefielder
Posts: 2692
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by Ridgefielder » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:35 am

Here's the News-Times story.

https://www.newstimes.com/local/article ... 800926.php

Key points:
The idea of reopening the old Maybrook rail line that runs parallel to Interstate 84 for commuters between Danbury and Southeast, NY., apparently gained traction Thursday, after Boughton told Giulietti that Danbury would pay for a study of the fast-track concept
The idea [is] to open the 14 miles of the Maybrook line between Danbury and Southeast, where Manhattan-bound commuters would connect with Metro-North’s Harlem Line.
Giulietti, who rose from working in Danbury’s railyard to being president of Metro-North for three years until 2017, said the Maybrook fast track already had support from the top elected official in Putnam County, N.Y.
This was news to me:
In Danbury, for example, the city has completed a $250,000 study that recommends ways to attract investment and stimulate residential development, in part by building a $27 million transit center at the Danbury train station.

TCurtin
Posts: 342
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:12 am

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by TCurtin » Sat May 04, 2019 2:09 pm

THis whole thing (i.e., Maybrook line to the Harlem) is utterly ridiculous and we should stop expending intellectual energy on it.

First: Let's say you live in Danbury and drive to Brewster (or more likely, Southeast), park there, and get on a Harlem train. I would bet that if you took a stopwatch, timed the trip starting at your home, and ending in GCT, the elapsed time is approximately equal to taking a train from Danbury! When I lived in Danbury I timed it once just for the hell of it and found that driving to Southeast and getting on the Harlem took longer but I forget the precise difference. There are of course those who won't believe that but people like to believe all kinds of things that aren't true**


Second: CDOT has invested a lot on the Danbury line, to wit TCS signalling, more frequent service both on and off peak.

_________
*** This is why you can buy a fascinating book called The Dictionary of Misinformation

Ridgefielder
Posts: 2692
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by Ridgefielder » Mon May 06, 2019 12:15 pm

TCurtin wrote:THis whole thing (i.e., Maybrook line to the Harlem) is utterly ridiculous and we should stop expending intellectual energy on it.

First: Let's say you live in Danbury and drive to Brewster (or more likely, Southeast), park there, and get on a Harlem train. I would bet that if you took a stopwatch, timed the trip starting at your home, and ending in GCT, the elapsed time is approximately equal to taking a train from Danbury! When I lived in Danbury I timed it once just for the hell of it and found that driving to Southeast and getting on the Harlem took longer but I forget the precise difference. There are of course those who won't believe that but people like to believe all kinds of things that aren't true**


Second: CDOT has invested a lot on the Danbury line, to wit TCS signalling, more frequent service both on and off peak.

_________
*** This is why you can buy a fascinating book called The Dictionary of Misinformation
Tom- I'd imagine it varies greatly according to where you are in Danbury, which is actually a pretty big place area-wise.

If you live off Shelter Rock Rd. or up by Candlewood Lake-- for sure, it probably takes longer to drive to Southeast. But if you're anywhere west of downtown-- Lake Ave., or up by Richter Park-- I could easily see the all-in time via Southeast being shorter than that via the Danbury Branch.

As far as the whole proposal is concerned-- I don't know. I don't think it's anywhere near as dumb as the idea of re-electrifying the Danbury Branch that crops up every couple years. I don't really have a handle on how bad I-84 traffic is at rush hour but I do know that Danbury is about the only inland city in Connecticut that's grown substantially in the past ~40 years-- the population is up close to 40% since 1980-- so maybe another link is warranted.

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8535
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri May 10, 2019 12:19 pm

My thoughts, and I'm a big proponent of reusing the Maybrook/Beacon where it makes sense!

1. Danbury to GCT via the Maybrook is useless. As others have noted here, using current ROW, it would take more time.

1a. Even with new connections without reverse moves, it saves zero time.

2. Running it from the Upper Harlem (you'd still need a new connection) is interesting, but is there a demand?

3. Any real value is going to be non-GCT, like White Plains, North White Plains, and other intermediate destinations. 84 to 684 sucks.

3a. Intermediate: "Danbury Fair" stop could be valuable. Readily available parking, and it would help intermediate destinations on both the Harlem and New Haven (NH being intra-state CT).

Final point: CT studied extensions and improvements to Danbury for years! And they summed it up in one page "yeah, this would be nice to have". Both Newtown and Brewster service were ruled out. They couldn't even get an extension to NEW MILFORD! And that's what CT should be looking at: intra-state service. New Milford/Brookfield is a no-brainer (HRRC not-withstanding).

As for Beacon line service, that's a different thread LOL.
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

R36 Combine Coach
Posts: 5480
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Harlem Line Extension To Danbury?

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Fri May 10, 2019 3:56 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:If you live off Shelter Rock Rd. or up by Candlewood Lake-- for sure, it probably takes longer to drive to Southeast. But if you're anywhere west of downtown-- Lake Ave., or up by Richter Park-- I could easily see the all-in time via Southeast being shorter than that via the Danbury Branch.
Shelter Rock Road and SE Danbury is closer to Bethel station (the new station with park-ride).
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

Return to “MTA Metro-North Railroad and CtDOT Passenger Rail”