MattW wrote: ↑Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:07 pm
Amtrak is for moving people long distances. That doesn't mean there isn't a short distance market. I mean if you really want, we can make all NEC service under Amtrak and now you'd have three tiers of service: Local, Regional, and Acela. While yes, some people would like NJT or SEPTA to run the Clockers again, but that's not necessarily needed. I don't see why it's a bad thing to bridge the gaps by simply connecting existing nearby commuter services.
It is not a bad if the existing gaps are really as small as some suggest. But some of these gaps are really quite large.
MBTA southernmost station on the NEC is at Wickford Junction. Platform on spur track connected only to the north.
Shore Line East easternmost station is on the NEC at New London. Just three platforms for all 3 tracks.
Shore Line East westernmost station is on the NEC at Stamford.
MTA North has a station at Stamford.
MTA North southern most station is not on NEC at Grand Central Station. It does not go to Pennsylvania Station. You have to ride the MTA subway between them. LIRR does go to Pennsylvania Station, but it does not go to any MTA North stations, yet.
So, the only commuter rail transfers available at Pennsylvania Station is between LIRR and NJT.
Southern most station on NEC for NJT is at Trenton
Northern most station on the NEC for SEPTA is at Trenton
Southernmost station on NEC for SEPTA is at Newark, 2 platforms for 4 tracks
Northern most station on NEC for MARC is at Perryville, 2 platforms for 4 tracks
So, as it is today, there are three large gaps between commuter rail agencies on the NEC.
(A) MBTA to Shore Line East. Who should the State of Rhode Island do business with, MBTA or CDOT? To actually bridge the gap, Rhode Island would have to come to contracture agreements with both transit agencies. Good luck getting that done.
(B) MTA North to NJT. This is the easiest to do as MTA North trains can get to Pennsylvania Station under the catenary. All they need are trains being diverted away from Grand Central or more trains to service Pennsylvania Station, assuming there are platforms and tracks available at the already "at capacity" Pennsylvania Station.
(C) SEPTA to MARC, Who should the State of Delaware do business with, SEPTA or MARC? To actually bridge the gap, Delaware would have to come to contracture agreements with both transit agencies. Good luck getting that done.
Meanwhile, Amtrak already bridges all those gaps with two faster train services, both Acela and Regional.