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
Do you think that would be better run as a shuttle from Southeast? Using either push-pull or DMU? In your example track wise they’d only need to create a connection in the right direction , remove a track at Danbury by the museum for a high-level platform, and build out other stations. But I like your idea; faster via the Harlem.
  by Traingeek3629
Probably as a DMU (assuming Metro-North has DMU's by the time this would ever happen) shuttle with rush hour direct service. Does CT still have that archaic law banning third rail?
  by R36 Combine Coach
Likely never repealed, otherwise the New Haven Line would not need special dual-mode MUs.
  by jamoldover
The need for the New Haven Line to have dual mode MUs has nothing to do with whether or not third rail is legal in CT. It has to do with the fact that 100 years ago, the New Haven Railroad made the decision to use AC technology for their longer-distance, higher-speed trains, whereas the New York Central (who controlled the line the NH used to get to New York City) decided to use DC technology running with third rail.

Using DC third rail requires more electrical substations, it can't be used at higher speeds the way overhead wire can, and is more prone to problems in winter conditions. The New Haven Line is never going to be converted to third rail, whether it's legal or not...
  by NaugyRR
Traingeek3629 wrote: Fri May 05, 2023 9:06 pm I thought I already posted this in here, but they should run it as a branch of the Harlem, Southeast-New Milford. Stops in the mall area, other side of Danbury yard, Federal Road area, Brookfield, and New Milford. I figure it'd be about a 35-40 minute run - 2 hours and a couple minutes from New Milford to New York is not bad and is likely about 20 minutes faster than what it'd take to run that via the Danbury Line. The tradeoff is access to Norwalk/Stamford, but transfers could absolutely be made at Danbury. And plenty of people would commute down to White Plains.
I would rather do that than drive to the mall to be honest, great idea. Jump on a train in Wassaic and do a day trip to the Danbury Fair. It'd take longer but it'd be far more relaxing than dealing with 22 and 7.
  by NH2060
Well they could always route half the trains via the Danbury Branch and the other half via the Maybrook Line :wink:

RE: electrification, the documents posted so far on the project don’t appear to imply any form of electrification extension from Brewster. Even a Woodlawn/Pelham style changeover from 3rd rail to catenary isn’t seriously considered (unless I overlooked something). The plan appears to involve using either diesel shuttles between Danbury and Brewster with rush hour dual mode consists or 100% dual mode consists throughout the day.

As for the issue of 3rd rail systems being illegal in CT, keep in mind when that legislation was enacted the 3rd rails used in CT were exposed and in the center of the track between the rails (basically a real life Lionel 3 rail track) and unfortunately too many pedestrians and livestock came in contact with it which resulted in the legislation now on the books since the early 1900s. With the political climate in CT being what it is - and the fact that the 3rd rail that could be used is safer than what was in use in CT in the late 1890s - I don’t think it’ll be hard at all to get that law repealed.

In which case next time someone says “electrify the Danbury Branch”, the counter argument of “the trees will take out the overhead wire if there’s a bad enough storm” will be useless so… best not give the politicos in Hartford any ideas :P