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, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by west point
I see what appears to be Hartford station interior in many TV ads or actual 1 hour series.
  by daybeers
There is no accessible way to get to Track 2.

Still pissed they can't do this overnight. Or even at all in the case of Windsor if they've redone things around there anyway.
  by west point
Work in the middle of the smmer high load season. Vermont is getting the royal s...w unless provisions with a time available to pass thru.. If there are structural issues ( Hartford ) or not the project should have been let with a 24/7 work schedule. Cost somewhat more but what the heck?
  by Jeff Smith
I think the viaduct could certainly support two or three tracks. They paved the one track because of falling debris. The inside track is useless now anyway as they don't use the original terminal. They could certainly use the outside track, though, if they would rehab the viaduct.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.nhregister.com/hartford/art ... 274603.php
Construction to suspend Hartford Line rail service for two months
DOT announced last week that the construction, which will take place from July 18 through Sept. 9, will focus on replacing the platform canopy at Hartford Union Station and replacing gutters to improve drainage and prevent flooding and standing water.

One other change will be a rail realignment, according to Josh Morgan, communications manager at the Connecticut DOT.

“The track will be moved several feet away from the embankment,” Morgan said. “It’s a safety enhancement, but it also makes the ride less bumpy for riders.”
  by ElectricTraction
What an incredibly lazy and short-sighted move to shut the line down for two months. NYC figures out how to phase work all the time on railroads, subways, etc. They could do half the platform at one, they could put the other track in, interlock it in the signaling system so that you can't have a train on both tracks at the same time and build an elevator, and there are probably a bunch of other solutions I can't even think of.
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:18 pmCtDOT's shared fleet with MNRR needs are a bit more complicated. For one thing at this time they require two types of traction power, whether going to either GCT or in the near future NYP.
They need to just electrify everywhere that needs direct service to GCT or Penn, which is Poughkeepsie, Danbury, Oyster Bay, Port Jeff, and Patchogue, and then make Speonk and Wassaic change trains somewhere. Waterbury should use DMUs.
North of New Haven, I do think electrification does have some utility, but of course, has extremely high costs in both installation and fleet. A Charger variant with Diesel and AD could work.
Springfield should either use DMUs or be electrified- it's debatable whether it's worth it, it's definitely right on the line one way or the other. It might be worth it to have increased Amtrak service directly from DC and points beyond up to SPG, move the switchover point up there, and then make the run up to Greenfield a DMU shuttle from SPG. Amtrak and CDOT could share an EMU fleet for CTRail and Amtrak shuttles, with Amtrak running their own equipment for the Vermonter and trains ending in SPG or taking the inland route to Boston. Long-distance dual-mode catenary/diesels would be useful for the Vermonter and Inland route trains, especially since the MBTA should electrify to Worcester, and there is no justification for doing Springfield-Worcester.
  by ElectricTraction
The history of Hartford Union Station is interesting... it hasn't really been a Union station per se since 1927.

Also, can't they just stick some more steel underneath the viaduct to support it and allow for two tracks through the station until they can figure out what the heck they're doing with the 84 mess and actually build the new station?
  by shadyjay
Can a second track be laid but the signal system modified so that only 1 train is in the station at a time? Or can the viaduct itself not support 2 tracks worth of rails and ties, plus one train of passengers?
  by Jeff Smith
With rehab it can definitely support two, and no need to have only one train in the station. You could also rehab the inside track for a freight bypass of the station.
  by Train60
Does anyone know exactly what work is going on during the shutdown of most weekday train service on the Hartford Line?

On June 27 CTDOT sent out an email blast that said,
"The renovations include replacing the roof on the historic platform canopy in Hartford Union Station, improving lighting on the boarding platform, and replacing gutters to improve drainage and prevent flooding. In addition, Windsor will undergo a slope stabilization project and maintenance of its communication and signal system."

Now (July 12th ) the Hartford Line website says,
"The renovations include replacing the roof on the historic platform canopy in Hartford Union Station, improving lighting on the boarding platform, and replacing gutters to improve drainage and prevent flooding. In addition, tracks in Longmeadow, MA will undergo a slope stabilization project and maintenance of their communication and signal system. With the completion of these two projects, riders will enjoy a safer and more efficient rail service and infrastructure."

Now it seems that slope remediation work has moved from Windsor, Conn. to Longmeadow, Mass. How could that be, unless it was a communication error.

There is also a lot of track material staged at the current and future Windsor Locks station sites which would suggest that Amtrak forces are getting ready start work at the new station imminently. This would be in additional to the station contractor who I hear is supposed to start work in August.

Would be great to know what exactly is going on -- meaning what do people know and what do they see (once the work starts next Monday.)
  by Jeff Smith
Double-tracking north of Hartford (PHASE 3B): FRA.DOT.GOV
Connecticut – Hartford Line Rail Program Double Track (Phase 3B) (Up to $104,866,500)

The proposed project includes construction to improve track, signals, and grade crossings in three segments totaling 6.2 miles of the Hartford Line between New Haven, CT, and Springfield, MA. Work will focus on segments in West Hartford-Hartford, Windsor-Windsor Locks, and Enfield to add double-track and expand rail capacity, allowing more frequent future service. Amtrak’s Northeast Regional, Vermonter, and Valley Flyer services use the route along with CTrail’s Hartford Line service and freight operations. Connecticut will provide $41,946,600 in matching funds.
  by BandA
$23,679,516.10 per mile of track?
  by lpetrich
From Google Maps, single-track segments:
  • (New Haven)
  • W of Temple St. - Ward St. (North Haven - Wallingford) - u.c.?
  • Hall Ave. - Parker St. (Wallingford)- u.c.?
  • N Plains Hwy - Gypsy Ln. (Wallingford - Meriden) - u.c.?
  • Hicks Ave. - Silver Lake (Meriden) - u.c. ?
  • Silver Lake - Norton Rd. (Berlin)
  • Park St.- Hartford station (W Hartford - Hartford)
  • Batchelder Rd. - SR-159 (Windsor - Windsor Locks)
  • E of SR-20 - Oak St.(Windsor - Windsor Locks)
  • Cannon Pond - W of Windsor Court (Enfield)
  • (Springfield, MA)
NHHS Double Track New Haven-Hartford-Springfield RR Line - Middlesex Corporation - "Middlesex provided civil, site, and structural improvements for the installation of 26 miles of second track between Hamden and Windsor, CT."

Hamden is very close to North Haven, so is the New Haven - Springfield Line now entirely double-tracked south of Hartford?

The CTfastrak busway was built close to the line south of Hartford Union Station, but there is still enough room for double tracking, it seems.
  by daybeers
@BandA I'm similarly confused on the cost.

Yes, the Hartford Line is entirely double tracked south of OAKWOOD interlocking at Oakwood Avenue in West Hartford. This project will extend it north to about PARKVILLE in Hartford until the station is relocated and viaduct rebuilt, but that's far in the future due to the highway and related projects.
  by Jeff Smith
I'd hate to see them leave the current, historic Union Station. However, it is a grossly-underutilized resource. The current waiting room is crap. The single-track is crap. They should bite the bullet and rebuild the viaduct. As for 84, their idea of rebuilding it and relocating the station is pie-in-the-sky that would cost billions.

And Hot Tomatoes was one of my favorite restaurants when I lived on Asylum Hill.
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