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

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  by njtmnrrbuff
 
That is true about the M8s being able to use the high level platforms at NLC. If the Acelas use the high level platforms in NLC, then the M8s should be able to as well. It would be great to see those M8s operate on as many Ctrail SLE trains as possible. What is the minimum number of cars that they can run? It seems that six car trains for SLE would be overkill. I rode a SLE train a few weeks ago on a Saturday morning and that train wasn’t close to being half way full.
  by Silverliner II
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:59 am That is true about the M8s being able to use the high level platforms at NLC. If the Acelas use the high level platforms in NLC, then the M8s should be able to as well. It would be great to see those M8s operate on as many Ctrail SLE trains as possible. What is the minimum number of cars that they can run? It seems that six car trains for SLE would be overkill. I rode a SLE train a few weeks ago on a Saturday morning and that train wasn’t close to being half way full.
Given that normal SLE consists are 3 to 4 cars, the M8's, at a minimum, would likely run 4-car sets.
  by MattW
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:59 am That is true about the M8s being able to use the high level platforms at NLC. If the Acelas use the high level platforms in NLC, then the M8s should be able to as well. It would be great to see those M8s operate on as many Ctrail SLE trains as possible. What is the minimum number of cars that they can run? It seems that six car trains for SLE would be overkill. I rode a SLE train a few weeks ago on a Saturday morning and that train wasn’t close to being half way full.
The difference though between the Acelas and M8s is the position of the doors. The Acelas have doors at the ends of the cars which puts them closer to the platform on the curve, the M8s have doors at the "quarter point" which puts the doors farther from the platform in a curve.
  by Silverliner II
 
MattW wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 9:05 am The difference though between the Acelas and M8s is the position of the doors. The Acelas have doors at the ends of the cars which puts them closer to the platform on the curve, the M8s have doors at the "quarter point" which puts the doors farther from the platform in a curve.
And that door positioning on the curved platform is why I heard that the M8's would only be able to run on trains to Old Saybrook.
From what I heard a good while back, the ultimate operating plan when all was said and done was that all the Old Saybrook trips would be M8 and the New London trips would remain diesel-hauled push-pull sets. The two Stamford trips would both be among trips terminating at Old Saybrook while the New London trips would originate/terminate at New Haven.
That was also all very pre-pandemic as well. It's anybody's guess what will happen now.
  by The EGE
 
Is the gap really so far that bridge plates aren't feasible? NLC is the terminus, so it's not like dwell times are an issue.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Overall, dwell time for the M8s in NLC shouldn't matter that much as likely many of the SLE trains will terminate there. Yes, if they happen to use the high level platform closest to the downtown area, of course, they will probably have to block the grade crossing at the station for a minute or two. It probably doesn't matter much as there probably isn't much auto traffic crossing that grade crossing. If it might matter, than SLE trains could also board at the high level platform closest to the Thames.
  by The EGE
 
Track 6 (closest to the Thames) is often used for SLE; it even has a tiny semi-permanent bridge plate structure. About 2 dozen catenary poles would be needed to electrify the track, which is currently diesel-only.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Track 6 should be electrified. That would certainly enable M8's to stop at that platform to drop off and discharge passengers. I'm not surprised if Ctrail M8 consists would be four cars. That is about right for SLE. I believe that there are married pairs of M8's so that makes sense if three car M8 consists can't be formed.
  by dha10001
 
According to the NEC Commission, Track 6 electrification work for SLE will be underway this fall. That certainly suggests that there is a plan for electrified SLE service beyond Old Saybrook in the future. With relatively low passenger volumes, I wonder if they could handle loading and unloading through a single door with bridge plates on track 6. When I recall taking SLE from New London, I believe track 6 loading would be through a single door as well.

I heard in some unexpected context, I think an ENO center webinar, that M8s *will* be put into service for the Stamford direct trains. That stuck with me because it was, to my ears, the first time a high-ranking DOT official has confirmed a plan to operate the M8s on SLE, rather than just test them. 6 car sets make sense for those trains.

I hope the M8s are fully utilized across SLE. I'd much rather Siemens' limited manufacturing capacity be spent building new trainsets for Amtrak than for SLE, where M8s can feasibly and superiorly operate the service.
  by Traingeek3629
 
By this fall, do you mean 2022 or 2021?
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Well the Fall of 2021 is almost over so I think in Fall of 2022 is a possibility for the electrification of Track 6 in NLC. As for 6 car SLE M8 Sets-I agree that they should run on the Stamford Direct trains given the fact that those trains are geared toward those commuters who work in Stamford during the week. Not only would you have people traveling from Stamford to stations east of New Haven. There might be travelers who are traveling to Bridgeport and Milford who might want to take an express train that doesn't start out at Grand Central Terminal.
  by dha10001
 
Traingeek3629 wrote:By this fall, do you mean 2022 or 2021?
Yep, fall 2021. "Winter" technically begins on December 21 this year, which concurs with what I usually hear, which is when someone writes "Winter 20XX", winter refers to the first few months of the new year. Anyway, 2022 may be a a milestone year for CTrail / SLE.
  by robelybasis
 
Does anybody know the status of the 66/94 (idk which) additional M8s coming into service and what they will be used for. Was SLE use planned with these cars and how many cars of the fleet will be earmarked for SLE?
  by Silverliner II
 
robelybasis wrote: Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:45 pm Does anybody know the status of the 66/94 (idk which) additional M8s coming into service and what they will be used for. Was SLE use planned with these cars and how many cars of the fleet will be earmarked for SLE?
I would personally not be surprised if all of them go into the Metro-North pool with the current fleet, and SLE would just be allocated trainsets as needed and rotate them in and out of the others for maintenance purposes at New Haven. CDOT owns half the M8 fleet anyway, so this additional order may have ownership divided up as well.
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