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 Jeff Smith
 
So in another thread I started a discussion of Waterbury - New Haven rail service. Yeah, I know, pie-in-the-sky, right?

That pie has nothing on this idea...

As part of the interminable, decades-long Danbury Branch study, service on the Maybrook was studied. West to Southeast, and east to Newtown. It didn't find a lot of demand, especially Newtown. However, why not a service all the way down to Derby Junction, and Devon transfer?

The issue? Housatonic ownership, rail in terrible condition, and the need for in-fill stations. The line hasn't hosted a passenger train probably before Penn Central. But it does provide an alternative to back roads, 84 and 95, and so on.

Too bad the old CNE or was it the NYNE? isn't still around lol.

Here's the topic on Waterbury - New Haven, which while perhaps not likely, is a lot more realistic given that it has current passenger service; just using a different leg of the wye at Devon.

viewtopic.php?f=67&t=171892
  by Engineer Spike
 
I don’t know how Connecticut /NY commuter trends compare with the other cities. Traditionally the services were geared towards funneling people into the metropolis in the morning, and back home in the evening. Some, like my former employer BN even had fairly substantial service for people coming home in the late evening, after 2nd. shift, and also bringing people downtown for 3rd. shift.

The trend had been going toward non traditional commuters. A prime example is that some companies find it cheaper to conduct business in the suburbs. In my BN example, many offices were in Naperville. Here, lots of companies have set up in Stamford, for example.

In my time in Chicagoland, they were talking about service on the J. Of course this was long before CN bought it. This way someone who lived along one of the Milwaukee routes could take a train to somewhere along the Rock Island, for example. The T just bought the Worcester Route (WN&P). I don’t know how much the motivation was for future inter suburb commuters, and how much was to save it from further degradation under Guilford.

The big question now is whether companies will continue to allow remote working after the pandemic passes. My brother in law sets up telephone and computer networks for a large insurance company. He is being made redundant by the fact that less people work in the office. We will have to see how things shake down. When things return to normal, what percentage of the workforce will be required to physically be at a place of work.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:47 pmThe line hasn't hosted a passenger train probably before Penn Central. But it does provide an alternative to back roads, 84 and 95, and so on.
I believe regular E-W passenger service on the Maybrook through Danbury ceased in 1926. The New Haven replaced a lot of marginal services with buses in the mid-1920's. Service through Newtown might have held on a bit longer, but it would have been provided by Hawleyville-Bridgeport trains running on the original Housatonic main line through Stepney and Botsford (abandoned in the late 1930's). That line, actually, is the one that would have had a fighting chance of being a viable commuter route had it survived into the post-WW2 suburbanization of Fairfield County...
  by Jeff Smith
 
I was just looking at the Google Sat maps for the line. From Botsford to Stepney, most of it looks relatively intact, with a rail trail along much of it. But once you hit Stepney, it's long gone. The only way is if you could get it over to where 25 becomes a parkway south of Monroe. But all things considered, the Maybrook to a permanent Devon Transfer would work. It's kind of like the NYW&B; a line before its time.
  by NaugyRR
 
I've mentioned in a previous thread (I think the Beacon Line) that I feel a Danbury - Brewster Budd car would do well, especially with stops at the mall/college and the park and ride on 84. The CT stretch of 84 is just plain suckful; I live in NY state and will drive down 22 to Wingdale and cut over to 7 before even considering doing the Taconic/84 route to Danbury.

I think as a feeder route to the train station in Brewster it would be awesome. You'd give students going to school in Danbury, commuters headed for Southeast, and mall-goers an easy connection to the city via the Harlem Line. In addition, you also upgrade a very hand link for upstate equipment moves between the Harlem and New Haven Lines.
  by Ridgefielder
 
NaugyRR wrote: Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:48 pm I've mentioned in a previous thread (I think the Beacon Line) that I feel a Danbury - Brewster Budd car would do well, especially with stops at the mall/college and the park and ride on 84. The CT stretch of 84 is just plain suckful; I live in NY state and will drive down 22 to Wingdale and cut over to 7 before even considering doing the Taconic/84 route to Danbury.

I think as a feeder route to the train station in Brewster it would be awesome. You'd give students going to school in Danbury, commuters headed for Southeast, and mall-goers an easy connection to the city via the Harlem Line. In addition, you also upgrade a very hand link for upstate equipment moves between the Harlem and New Haven Lines.
What about east of Danbury, though? I could see running your hypothetical Budd car as far as Newtown. Heck, I could even see extending Danbury Branch service as far as Newtown. But I just don't know about those ~16 curvy miles of track between Newtown Center and Derby Jct. Just doesn't seem like the demand is there-- are people really commuting from Danbury to New Haven?

As noted above, the logical route for passenger service would have been the New York & New England mainline over Towantic Summit, parallel to 84-- but that has been a rail-trail since the 1930's.
  by Backshophoss
 
As long as HRRC "squats" on the Maybrook east of Newtown, consider it a lost cause,, unless Sperry needs a new test track for testing their cars and Hi-railer trucks from their shop.
  by Jeff Smith
 
NaugyRR wrote: Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:48 pm I've mentioned in a previous thread (I think the Beacon Line) that I feel a Danbury - Brewster Budd car would do well, especially with stops at the mall/college and the park and ride on 84. The CT stretch of 84 is just plain suckful; I live in NY state and will drive down 22 to Wingdale and cut over to 7 before even considering doing the Taconic/84 route to Danbury.

I think as a feeder route to the train station in Brewster it would be awesome. You'd give students going to school in Danbury, commuters headed for Southeast, and mall-goers an easy connection to the city via the Harlem Line. In addition, you also upgrade a very hand link for upstate equipment moves between the Harlem and New Haven Lines.
We've been talking about that in the Harlem and Hudson Lines Expansion topic: post1558363.html#p1558363

Here are a few other topics of note where this is discussed:

Housatonic thread: post1558588.html#p1558588

Maybrook reactivation: danbury-ct-i-84-traffic-can-maybrook-be ... 52133.html
  by Ridgefielder
 
The more I think of this, the more it seems like the only thing that would make sense would be an extension of Danbury Branch service through to Newtown. Stations would be at Newtown Center (at the location of the former NH station), Hawleyville, and on White Turkey Rd. by the entrance to the Duracell & Praxair headquarters buildings.

There are a decent number of people who live in Newtown and work down on the coast in Norwalk, Stamford etc-- I know of more than one that drives to Bethel to pick up the train there. Such an extension could both shorten their commutes and take more than a few cars off 84 & 7 through Danbury.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Not to mention 8, 25, the Merritt, and 95.
  by Backshophoss
 
Right now HRRC squats on the maybrok from Newtown to Derby Jct, ConnDOT needs to get control of that to reopen a detour route for freight and emergency use when the Walk Bridge project splits the New Haven main
into 2 segments.
AT THE VERY LEAST,get HRRC to allow P&W and MN to move on that segment
  by Jeff Smith
 
MNRR from what I read has never had overhead rights east of Danbury, unlike westward towards Southeast. But I agree, something should be negotiated.

P&W has rights, but HRRC can't or won't maintain the line without any online customers.

Yup, Hoss, CtDOT needs to buy it and rehab before WALK project starts.