The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

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ThirdRail7
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by ThirdRail7 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:27 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:Is anyone seriously arguing riders on the former Erie Lackawanna lines are going to demand the Raritan Line riders not have one-seat service, that they should cancel the new service, until they, the former EL lines, get it too? I don't see that happening.


Umm. No. Where did anyone even suggest that?

Tommy Meehan wrote:The fact is, NJ Transit has already spent a huge amount of money constructing Secaucus Jct. This gives the Bergen, Main and Pascack riders a much better connection to Midtown Manhattan than they had previously. (PATH from Hoboken.) It's a much better connection than the one Raritan Line riders use, changing at Newark. I've used both and Secaucus is much superior. And it's well-used. On weekends the Main-Bergen trains I've ridden from Hoboken are pretty much empty until they get to Secaucus Jct. Then they fill up.


That also wouldn't give them as good of a connection as a one seat ride. Long Branch was improved when they extended electrification from South Amboy and Matawan. Does that mean passengers from west of Long Branch don't' still want a one seat ride since Long Branch was modified and transferring there is superior to Matawan an.or South Amboy?

Additionally, the Raritan Valley Line trains were never supposed to operating into NYP unless ARC was built (and even that was stretch.) This is because the NEC Transportation Plan-Proposed Track Configuration (1998) called for Raritan trains to operate to Secaucus and use the planned layover facility there. Indeed, the other plan was for passengers to have a same platform transfer outside of Harrison as mentioned in the Raritan Valley upgrade delayed thread.

Why do I think this matters?

Please allow a brief fair use quote from Doblin: Right locomotives on the wrong tracks:



This week, the transit agency unveiled one of these new locomotives. Despite the death of ARC, it decided to go ahead with the purchase of 35 of them.

NJ Transit’s logic is that these locomotives can be used on existing lines. That is true. But if NJ Transit was committed to locomotives that, for want of a better expression, could go both ways, why wasn’t it equally committed to tracks that could go both ways? A rail loop is needed to connect the Bergen, Main and Pascack Valley lines to the tracks that go into Manhattan. If NJ Transit has the locomotives to take once-diesel-only lines into Manhattan, why not build the loop?

New Jersey and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey each were committed to $3 billion ARC investments. While the fed’s $3 billion was project-specific, the state controlled its own investment and controls half of the voting power of the Port Authority. I don’t have a clue of what it costs to build a rail loop, but I would venture, it isn’t $6 billion.

No doubt, NJ Transit will counter that capacity inside Penn Station is maxed out. It shares platforms with Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad, and it shares limited tunnel slots with Amtrak. This is a zero-sum game where commuters in places like Summit and Millburn get some and commuters in Ridgewood and Clifton get zero.

There aren’t any new slots at Penn Station. But commuters on the Bergen, Main and Pascack lines are no less worthy of a coveted one-seat ride. If NJ Transit is buying locomotives for rail connections that do not exist, why not make those connections happen?

I e-mailed an NJ Transit spokeswoman, asking whether it could take away two or three morning slots from all other midtown-direct trains and offer very limited one-seat ride options on the Bergen, Main and Pascack lines if a loop were constructed.

“Our Raritan Valley Line customers transfer at Newark Penn Station for service into Penn Station New York,” was the response. I replied that it was very interesting information, but it did not answer my question. A few hours later, I received this:

“In the fourth quarter of FY10: We carried 46,650 passenger trips on Midtown Direct Service to New York. We carried 8,900 passenger trips on Main/Bergen Line trains into New York. We carried 1,800 passenger trips on Pascack Valley Line trains into New York. With limited resources, we provide the service where there is the demand.”

Again interesting, but it isn’t relevant. Fewer commuters on the Bergen, Main and Pascack lines go into Manhattan on NJ Transit, but maybe it has nothing to do with “demand” but rather that they have to make a train transfer in Secaucus or continue on to Hoboken to reach Manhattan by the PATH or ferry.

It’s a conundrum commuters on the Morris and Essex line don’t have. I may have missed one scanning a train schedule online, but I counted 17 midtown-direct trains on the Morris and Essex line arriving in Penn Station between 5:40 a.m. and 8:58 a.m. Is it asking too much to take a few of those slots and spread them among the Bergen, Main and Pascack lines during the morning rush?

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/columnists/d ... 6ictp.dpuf


The track profile at Secaucus is set up to accommodate the Bergen Loop. That little stub track at the west end of the platform is there, waiting for the connection. As the writer of the article mentioned, you don't really need ARC or Gateway to build the loop and you can't even say "the Raritan Valley passengers transfer at NWK if you start offering one seat rides.

We haven't even touched on the Bay Head passengers yet. Nor have we touched on the Boonton Line. What is to stop the communities along those lines from asking for a one seat ride? They don't even need a loop. All they need is a few slots and an Alp-45...and they may soon call for both.

Which is why I say: If I rode the Raritan Line, I would quietly accept what is given while hoping for more because there are only so many slots at NYP and as LIRR42 mentioned, the low moans and rumblings could break out into a full shouting match and the Raritan riders as the new kids on the block will have more to lose.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by Regardie » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:09 am

ThirdRail7 wrote:
Tommy Meehan wrote:
ThirdRail7 wrote:....The Raritan passengers should tread lightly and not make too much noise...


The Raritan riders can make all the noise they want. They're paying for it. We all are. Without us (the citizenry) there'd be a lot of railroaders out of work.

Just sayin'. :-)


Not sure if you're following the context of the conversation, so I'll start again just for you.

The Raritan riders can try to insist and push for additional service. However, other riders from other lines are also starting to push. As a matter of fact, they started pushing a few years ago. As quick (and it wasn't all that quick) as those slots were created for Raritan travel, they can disappear for the reason you mentioned. Just as the Raritan riders are paying, so are passengers on the Main, Bergen and Pascack Valley Lines. They asked a few years ago to allocate money for the Bergen Loop even if the ARC tunnel was cancelled and Gateway is never built. This is because they are well aware of the presence of a the ALP-45dms....amd as you mentioned..they are paying for it...and as the Raritan riders sing, soon others will clamor for the use of the dual modes and they will want to know as I predicted years ago:

What about us? What makes them special? Where is the service I am paying for?

Moths are attracted to light if you understand what I am saying.


As I stated in another thread about the single seat ride on the RVL, NJT has found the cheapest way to appease the mayors along the RVL by extending the 5 off peak trains into and out of NYP. It really doesn't help the majority of commuters on the line like building the Hunter flyover would, or extending the platforms to handle the now 7 MLVs trainsets, or fixing the outbound Cranford platform so you don't have to walk forward to exit, or any of the other capital intensive projects. What NJT did was find some space in the off peak schedule where they could look like something was happening and found some money in the operating budget to make it happen.

Everything else, including the Bergen loop, costs real coin and the coin doesn't exist right now. Wouldn't it have been nice to have the Bergen loop in place for the Super Bowl? Direct service from NYP to the stadium, if they couldn't make it happen for that, it is not going to happen until Gateway is much further along.

Now can we move the Bergen loop discussion into it's own thread and get it out of the RVL?

Back on topic, I saw a 42 on a RVL consist yesterday so 45's are not on all the consists yet.

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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by Patrick Boylan » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:39 am

Regardie wrote:
ThirdRail7 wrote:
Tommy Meehan wrote:
ThirdRail7 wrote:....The Raritan passengers should tread lightly and not make too much noise...


The Raritan riders can make all the noise they want. They're paying for it. We all are. Without us (the citizenry) there'd be a lot of railroaders out of work.

Just sayin'. :-)


Not sure if you're following the context of the conversation, so I'll start again just for you.

The Raritan riders can try to insist and push for additional service. However, other riders from other lines are also starting to push. As a matter of fact, they started pushing a few years ago. As quick (and it wasn't all that quick) as those slots were created for Raritan travel, they can disappear for the reason you mentioned. Just as the Raritan riders are paying, so are passengers on the Main, Bergen and Pascack Valley Lines. They asked a few years ago to allocate money for the Bergen Loop even if the ARC tunnel was cancelled and Gateway is never built. This is because they are well aware of the presence of a the ALP-45dms....amd as you mentioned..they are paying for it...and as the Raritan riders sing, soon others will clamor for the use of the dual modes and they will want to know as I predicted years ago:

What about us? What makes them special? Where is the service I am paying for?

Moths are attracted to light if you understand what I am saying.


As I stated in another thread about the single seat ride on the RVL, NJT has found the cheapest way to appease the mayors along the RVL by extending the 5 off peak trains into and out of NYP. It really doesn't help the majority of commuters on the line like building the Hunter flyover would, or extending the platforms to handle the now 7 MLVs trainsets, or fixing the outbound Cranford platform so you don't have to walk forward to exit, or any of the other capital intensive projects. What NJT did was find some space in the off peak schedule where they could look like something was happening and found some money in the operating budget to make it happen.

Everything else, including the Bergen loop, costs real coin and the coin doesn't exist right now. Wouldn't it have been nice to have the Bergen loop in place for the Super Bowl? Direct service from NYP to the stadium, if they couldn't make it happen for that, it is not going to happen until Gateway is much further along.

Now can we move the Bergen loop discussion into it's own thread and get it out of the RVL?

Back on topic, I saw a 42 on a RVL consist yesterday so 45's are not on all the consists yet.

This is a reasonably long thread, please forgive me if I missed it, and forgive my long ingnorance if they now use 2 tracks between Cranford and Hunter, but the times I rode, decades ago, I think I remember they used only 1 track. It seemed to me the only places where there wasn't room for 2 tracks was the ends, the ramps at Cranford and Hunter, otherwise the stretch between Cranford and Hunter looked like there was at least room for 2 tracks, and center platforms.
Am I misremembering, or did it happen that my particular trips were at times when they didn't need to have trains pass, and so they ran single track so they wouldn't have to fool around with crossing over? At least one of them was a peak round trip, which is the time when I'd otherwise expect 2 trains to pass.
Of course as Regardie notes, even restoring the second track would cost real coin.

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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by nick11a » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:07 am

There were (and I would assume, still are) trains that head into Newark Penn and stay on Track 4/5 for a layover in the station on 5 before heading back west. This was on weekends as I recall.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by whitelotus » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:19 am

"Which is why I say: If I rode the Raritan Line, I would quietly accept what is given while hoping for more because there are only so many slots at NYP and as LIRR42 mentioned, the low moans and rumblings could break out into a full shouting match and the Raritan riders as the new kids on the block will have more to lose.


That is certainly one way to view the situation. Another option would be to ask, "And why shouldn't the other lines that have no, or limited, one seat rides have some, or more?" The simple approach is to allot space by ridership. If the RVL is 10% of ridership, then 10% of the slots would seem fair. I recognize that's way to simplistic, given all the issues related to current conditions, expenses, maintenance, delayed projects, etc. But, it does not seem unreasonable to have "some" spots, which they now do. Better would be fewer spots at better times, i.e., peak morning and evening.

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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by philipmartin » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:47 pm

A little light reading, picked from @transit.
http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articl ... 4303070121

pumpers
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by pumpers » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:13 pm

Tommy Meehan wrote:...
The fact is, NJ Transit has already spent a huge amount of money constructing Secaucus Jct. This gives the Bergen, Main and Pascack riders a much better connection to Midtown Manhattan than they had previously. (PATH from Hoboken.) It's a much better connection than the one Raritan Line riders use, changing at Newark. I've used both and Secaucus is much superior.

Why do you think Secaucus is a better place to transfer than Newark? The connection times to NY are similar - generally under 10 minutes at peak times. Is it because you just have to go up or down instead of down and up in Newark? Secaucus might have better escalators, although they are long and you do have those darned turnstile gates. Lot of choices to grab a quick snack or drink in Newark too.
JS

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BigDell
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by BigDell » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:33 am

The other potential answer could come when the Farley Post Office, located across 8th Avenue from the existing Penn Station, is converted to the future Moynihan station. That would double the width of the existing Penn Station and allow riders access to eight tracks to be used by Amtrak, NJ Transit and the Long Island Railroad



Slots slots slots... it's all about slots. I didn't even know that the "Moynihan Station" option was still on the table! Is that a "for real" or is it still "vaporware" (as we say in the tech industry)?
Truth is they really can't do much in terms of increasing the one-seat rides the way things stand currently yes?

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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by bleet » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:25 pm

BigDell wrote:
The other potential answer could come when the Farley Post Office, located across 8th Avenue from the existing Penn Station, is converted to the future Moynihan station. That would double the width of the existing Penn Station and allow riders access to eight tracks to be used by Amtrak, NJ Transit and the Long Island Railroad



Slots slots slots... it's all about slots. I didn't even know that the "Moynihan Station" option was still on the table! Is that a "for real" or is it still "vaporware" (as we say in the tech industry)?
Truth is they really can't do much in terms of increasing the one-seat rides the way things stand currently yes?


I don't know where that first quote came from but the Moynihan plan -- yes it's still alive -- will do nothing to increase the capacity of the tunnels NOR will it 'double the width' of Penn Station. So it's irrelevant to increasing one-seat rides from RVR trains. It's not adding tracks or platforms or tunnels...Moynihan is simply adding access points to the existing platforms on the western end of the complex. Right now they are building stage one which is expanding the West End Concourse which all-in-all is a very minor upgrade.

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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by Tommy Meehan » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:39 pm

whitelotus wrote:Another option would be to ask, "And why shouldn't the other lines that have no, or limited, one seat rides have some, or more?" The simple approach is to allot space by ridership.


The problem is, of the lines that do not have one-seat service right now, none of them have the physical capability to directly reach Penn Station.

As to the track layout between Hunter and Cranford (Aldene), it is double-track. Both stations located on that portion of the line (Union and Roselle Park) have island platforms. I have noticed they often route all the Raritan Valley Trains on Track 1 (the westbound track) but I think it's because there is a lot of freight traffic moving on that segment. Keeping the freight on Track 2 (what would normally be the eastbound track) avoids a conflict at Aldene where RVL trains diverge. I think another reason is, there are gantlet tracks along Track 2 at Union and Aldene to avoid freight cars hitting the high level platforms. But during rush hour NJ Transit can use both tracks and does. In fact the last time I rode eastbound towards Newark (at the end of the evening rush) my train used the eastbound track and a freight passed us going west on the westbound track, following an NJ Transit train.

Why do I prefer Secaucus Jct.? Because it's not only closer to Penn Station it's a straight shot. Less chance of something going wrong. Get a drink or snack at Newark? I don't want a drink or snack, I want to get to New York! :-D

Seriously, I have nothing against Newark, I've been using Newark since it was still the Pennsylvania Railroad. I have spent many happy hours there train-watching. In fact I used to go there all the time. However for changing trains I prefer Secaucus Jct. which was built as a transfer station. Newark was not. Newark also seems noisier, more crowded, dirtier and, as someone said, you have to go down to go up.

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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by ThirdRail7 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:12 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:
whitelotus wrote:Another option would be to ask, "And why shouldn't the other lines that have no, or limited, one seat rides have some, or more?" The simple approach is to allot space by ridership.


The problem is, of the lines that do not have one-seat service right now, none of them have the physical capability to directly reach Penn Station.

As to the track layout between Hunter and Cranford (Aldene), it is double-track. Both stations located on that portion of the line (Union and Roselle Park) have island platforms. I have noticed they often route all the Raritan Valley Trains on Track 1 (the westbound track) but I think it's because there is a lot of freight traffic moving on that segment. Keeping the freight on Track 2 (what would normally be the eastbound track) avoids a conflict at Aldene where RVL trains diverge. I think another reason is, there are gantlet tracks along Track 2 at Union and Aldene to avoid freight cars hitting the high level platforms. But during rush hour NJ Transit can use both tracks and does. In fact the last time I rode eastbound towards Newark (at the end of the evening rush) my train used the eastbound track and a freight passed us going west on the westbound track, following an NJ Transit train.

Why do I prefer Secaucus Jct.? Because it's not only closer to Penn Station it's a straight shot. Less chance of something going wrong. Get a drink or snack at Newark? I don't want a drink or snack, I want to get to New York! :-D

Seriously, I have nothing against Newark, I've been using Newark since it was still the Pennsylvania Railroad. I have spent many happy hours there train-watching. In fact I used to go there all the time. However for changing trains I prefer Secaucus Jct. which was built as a transfer station. Newark was not. Newark also seems noisier, more crowded, dirtier and, as someone said, you have to go down to go up.


The Boonton Line and Lower Coast Line have the physical capability and could operate into NYP tomorrow if someone made it an issue. As a matter of fact, a Boonton tran can use two different routes to access Penn. All they would need is a dual mode and a slot.Your preference is your preference but if anything is going to impact Newark, it will definitely impact Secaucus, which has less tracks and less operational flexibility. There is no less chance of anything going wrong, particularly since you now have Raritan trains adding to the High Line and stattion congestion.
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by Tommy Meehan » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:53 am

The outer ends of the Coast Line and Boonton Line don't have one-seat service true. (Neither does the outer end of the Morristown Line.) I was thinking about the former Erie routes but yes I should have made that clear.

I still think selecting the Raritan Valley Line as the first diesel line to get Penn Station access was a wise move on the part of NJ Transit.

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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by ThirdRail7 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:09 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:The outer ends of the Coast Line and Boonton Line don't have one-seat service true. (Neither does the outer end of the Morristown Line.) I was thinking about the former Erie routes but yes I should have made that clear.

I still think selecting the Raritan Valley Line as the first diesel line to get Penn Station access was a wise move on the part of NJ Transit.



There is a plan afoot from what I understand, but imagine if you can only operate 3 or 4 rush hour trains into and out of NYP.

I could be wrong, but do those 3 or 4 trains become ridiculously overcrowded? In the blurry recesses of my mind, I remember the Midclowns having that exact problem. They were so popular, they had to extend the consist and eventually run more trains.

Anything is usually better than nothing, but is operating a few trains a "tease?"
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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by cobra30689 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:45 pm

Patrick Boylan wrote:This is a reasonably long thread, please forgive me if I missed it, and forgive my long ingnorance if they now use 2 tracks between Cranford and Hunter, but the times I rode, decades ago, I think I remember they used only 1 track. It seemed to me the only places where there wasn't room for 2 tracks was the ends, the ramps at Cranford and Hunter, otherwise the stretch between Cranford and Hunter looked like there was at least room for 2 tracks, and center platforms.
Am I misremembering, or did it happen that my particular trips were at times when they didn't need to have trains pass, and so they ran single track so they wouldn't have to fool around with crossing over? At least one of them was a peak round trip, which is the time when I'd otherwise expect 2 trains to pass.
Of course as Regardie notes, even restoring the second track would cost real coin.


As someone else mentioned, indeed the Lehigh Line is 261 and either track can be and is used. The Aldene ramp was designed and graded for a second track..... was never installed however. I don't recall what Hunter looked like back in the day, but now there is a second track up to High, then single track for about 1/2 mile up to NK and the Lehigh. Pretty sure the roadbed is wide enough for a second track, but without the flyover..... not going to get very far.

And being one of the Bay Head crowd (occasionally)..... if they want to bring the 3300-series NYP trains back...... make them run NYP->NWK->LB. Get them off the electrified section as fast as possible..... and the Woodbridge to Little Silver crowd can continue using the 3200's, or if they need to go west.... change at LB. 2 hours from the Lower Coast Line to NY is insane.

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Re: The Raritan Valley Line Thread…

Post by philipmartin » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:01 am

Listening to my scanner yesterday morning when the gasoline truck fire caused us to loose track five in Newark Penn Station, and signals in the area, they quit trying to run trains on the RV and had ones that were already eastbound reverse back to where they had come from.
Trains were taking an hour to get through the area. A westbound 3500 tore down the wire west of Newark at that time. We were cross honoring tickets with the PATH until a utility pole mishap put them out of business between Newark and Journal Square for a few hours.
I also picked up a scrap of information about an Alp 45 that had trouble transitioning between AC and diesel.
Last edited by philipmartin on Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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