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 Tom Curtin
Pardon me, I clicked "submit" too soon . . . Disregard the last post and read this:

Yes, they do seem to prefer that, even though it seems odd to me since the door to door elapsed time is about the same down to the minute. I guess the driving force is that people like options --- and there are more options on the Harlem, with hourly service all day and half the night, and something like every 20 min. in the rush hour . Let us not forget there are hordes of people who are so crazy for options that they actually commute into the city by car! --- a form of insanity that I have never been able to understand

  by benltrain
How far and until when was the line electrified?

In any case, Gennies and Bombardier coaches should be fine for a long time. Once the line can carry an hourly midday shuttle with at least one full car, then they should start thinking about it.

  by Dieter
Tom is right. And you don't have to see the ridership numbers on the Danbury Line, if you count the number of Connecticut license plates in Northern Westchester and Putnam railhead parking lots.

Nutmeggers even deal with the winter conditions for more options, as people from Yorktown do for more trains at Harmon. If you rely on the Danbury Line's present schedule and miss a train in the morning, you can really get hosed if you have early appointments in Manhattan.

If there was service every 30 minutes through the day to Danbury, it would free up a lot of seats on the Harlem. Imagine the revenue lost in parking alone to Connecticut municipalities with the present service, not to mention ticket revenue to CDOT.

Danbury used to be "Too Far" which made real estate in that area cheap. No more. The numbers are finally there, or have been projected. Demand for commutable housing has forced the hand of Hartford, and finally there will be a major initiative. It's really something to see finally after so many decades, isn't it?

  by Tom Curtin
How far and until when was the line electrified?

From June 1925 through January 1961, from South Norwalk to Danbury

  by jacksons
"If you build it they will come". Pantographs for everyone!!!, I'm tired of "wet leaf delays" :wink:

  by DutchRailnut
Well wait till you get MU cars on branch without sanders, can you say bus commuter, better get use to that one Jacksons.
Last edited by DutchRailnut on Tue May 02, 2006 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by jacksons
We have landed vehicles on Mars, performed "gender re-assignment" operations and wet leaves still stop a train.

  by DutchRailnut
We lost a few on mars too, and nobody but NASA knows if its all real or hollywood.
Leaves are amazing and cause problems all over world, including my Home country which has no hills or mountains. every year 2/3 of MU fleet is shopped for wheels.
I have sat on Danbury branch with a 298 000 locomotie and two cars and in notch 2 all 4 axles where spinning at 120 mph but locomotive was going backwards, and that was with sanders operating.

  by jacksons
Amaizing !

  by Long Island 7285
In that situation what do you do. If you back to far and go through a signal you catching hell for that. If you stop the train Will it just "slide" any way?
How do you handle it?

  by DutchRailnut
Ive come into Branchville coming of the hill and got into station at about 5 mph, thought I had things under control till I saw all passengers shaking their head like ooops he is not gone make it, the passengers were right train slid 6 cars past platform.
On Branchville hill we had MofW run a highrail truck with pipes and funnels for sand and have two guys just pour sand on rail before first train, third train still slides by.
These days waterworld helps but unless someone uses Agent orange before leafs fall it will never stop.
pictures from 40 years ago do not show half the trees that are there now on branch.
  by Tom Curtin
Dutch wrote:
These days waterworld helps but unless someone uses Agent orange before leafs fall it will never stop.
pictures from 40 years ago do not show half the trees that are there now on branch.
I enjoyed that comment. As a frequent rider on the branch for decades (my first trip was 1950 as a toddler) and a daily commuter for several years more recently, I will attest to the above.

For those who don't know: Most of the line it is kind of a roller coaster. "The hill" going north out of Branchville is not the steepest place on the branch, but is a sustained grade of about 1.1 - 1.2 percent for 2 1/4 miles.

I can comment about the tree growth because of an experience I had myself. In the book In the Shore Line's Shadow * there are a couple of photos of New Haven passenger trains on the hill; and in the more recent book New Haven Passenger Trains * there's another one taken south of the hill, at Old Mill Road underpass south of Georgetown. All three of these were taken by the famous photographer Kent Cochrane in 1948 or so. A few years ago I went out one day to attempt to duplicate these shots with contemporary Metro North trains. Now, I'm no Kent Cochrane with a camera, but "then and now" photo pairs are fun to have. I will tell you it can't be done (even by Kent, if he were still around!). Even in the winter the tree branches dominate your photos. In the summer, well--- forget it.

* Both of those books can be obtained from the NHRHTA book store. See http://www.nhrhta.org

  by Dieter
Since the removal of telephone/telegraph poles along rail lines, we're now seeing trees allowed to grow closer to tracks than I have ever seen in my lifetime.

  by the missing link
I bring pruners or a limbsaw w/ me when i'm out taking pictures, maybee some "commando" work is in order. Oops, did i say that? The interest in the electrification thing seems to be poping up again, it was discussed in another topic, doesn't seem to want to die. Soooo, the steel on the old cat poles is still very good. They are 8x8 H column 1/2" thick, some 12x12's on curves. The channels riveted on the base are pretty shot, particularly right at the cement. I don't see why they couldn't box them with another 2-3 ft of cement like the lattice bridges on the mainline. They wouldn't need the guy wires or backstays you see in the old pictures. The angles and other stock on the mainline bridges are 3/8" thick, and 13 years older. But of course, we know how much the goverment loves to spend money. If they beefed up the existing poles as I described, they would be good for at least another 50 years. They could put new ones here and there for the constant tension pulleys. Even with the labor, how much could a plywood box and a yard of mud cost, really! But in respect for the professionals who do the running there described, mutts don't seem to be practical. From New Milford, the roadbed is still wide enough for the double track that WAS there up to the 1920's. An idea for a new stop would be at Berkshire Junction up by Federal Road. There's already a park 'n ride lot there no-body uses. Half hour frequency? They only need 1, maybee2 of the through trains to originate and terminate there. It's still the sticks up there, everyone uses a car to get around. The bus service they do have is adequate for the public need. Sorry. Yes , I wish I could go back in time on the Pittsfield runs. I'm just happy to count my blessings we still have the FL-9's.

  by njtmnrrbuff
It would be ideal to have a park n ride lot near where I-84 goes over the line. I guess that's where Berkshire Jct is. Why have a park n ride lot if no one uses it, especially if it's along a railroad that might be used for commuter service in the future. More and more people are moving up to New Milford and that area. I would support the extension of the Danbury branch to there as well as expanded service on the branch.
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