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 NH2060
IF a commuter rail option is picked up how many more trains could theoretically be squeezed onto the Hudson Line and into GCT? There can't be much room left for service levels over the new TZ Bridge that match those of even the Harlem Line north of NWP. If NYS is willing to dish out how much more dough in the future for a rail option having, say, 20 or fewer round trips doesn't seem to make adding MNR into the mix worth the while. Unless they plan to route them into Penn Station once ESA is complete and *by the MTA's own claim* there will be slots opened up for MNR service.
  by Tommy Meehan
This quote is from a Nyack Patch article from May 2011. I don't think much has changed, though.
At a workshop at Clarkstown Town Hall last night...officials noted that commuter rail across the Hudson would not materialize until about a decade after the new bridge is completed..."We'll equip the bridge with the room and strength to later accommodate mass transit," explained Mike Anderson, who works for the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT)."But there is no schedule at this point for implementing commuter rail," he continued.

Currently the bridge is not scheduled to get rail -- if it actually happens -- until about 2030. The interesting thing is, the bridge is currently scheduled to be completed in 2019. That's the same year ESA is scheduled to open. So the decade following that -- the 2020s -- could see some real changes to the region's commuter rail network. Such changes are predicted by everyone from the MTA to the Regional Plan Association.

People can speculate if they want but right now I think it is impossible to predict exactly how these changes may occur.
  by Jeff Smith
I realize that the issue of rail over the new TZB is moot at the moment, however, I wanted to share a video of the installation of the girders over the Hudson Line. Nothing really else to add to the issue at this time. The video link was on the Metro North's Facebook page.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-WrhBZ ... e=youtu.be" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Jeff Smith
Apparently, there's been a post-mortem: Record Online

It's not very complimentary to former MNRR head Howard Permut or George Pataki. It does reinforce what I thought was one of the main benefits of the rail line: elimination of NJT from operating MNRR WOH trains. It also points out, much to the probable disappointment of those who supported rail (myself included), the problems with rail along the corridor.
In the wake of the HOV debacle, Pataki proposed building a new bridge with a commuter rail line in the Tappan Zee corridor to eliminate congestion. Plotch maintains that Pataki was “clueless” about the difficulty and the expense of constructing an east-west rail line and that there was no “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment because nobody at the Thruway Authority or DOT wanted to do battle with Metro-North and the MTA.

This vacuum made it possible for Howard Permut, Metro-North’s vice president and then president, to press his case, a job that Plotch claims he did ruthlessly with “cooked books” about ridership projections and cost estimates. Permut’s overarching goal was to free Metro-North from dependence on NJ Transit to operate its west-of-Hudson trains and to get the Thruway Authority and the DOT to pay for it.

Permut’s outsized influence dragged the planning process out, long after the public came to realize that transit didn’t have to be a train. By the time of his forced retirement from Metro-North two years ago, after a series of fatal accidents, public sentiment was solidly – and belatedly - behind BRT.
  by Jeff Smith
Not really "new" news, but in the news. Not quite sure the description of how it would work is accurate, either.


The Journal News | LoHud.com
TZB: 5 things we learned at the public meetings

What about rail?

Residents in both Tarrytown and Nyack had questions about the possibility of train service between the two villages. While rail was is not included in current plans, the bridge was designed with the possibility of adding it in the future.

David Capobianco, the design compliance engineer with the New York state Thruway Authority, elaborated on exactly how that would work.

"The foundation for the bridge was designed to take the full load of a passenger train," Capobianco said at Tuesday night, noting Metro-North was involved in the plans for rail service.

He said there is enough space between the north and south spans for two sets of tracks to sit and that an overhead line to provide power to the train could be hung from between the two towers.

Service could be either light rail or commuter rail, like Metro-North.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
Anything to improve the gridlock would be nice. Couple that span with having to put up with the Saw Mill (even in the offpeak direction) and it's enough to drive anyone batty.

Of course I hope to be onto greener pastures by the time the new bridge is built let alone an inch of rail is laid across it.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.lohud.com/story/opinion/201 ... 626211001/

Opinion piece to LoHud:
With the impending implementation of congestion pricing in Manhattan — which will hit Rockland residents’ wallets — it’s time to revisit the Rockland-Westchester rail link. According to the New York State Assembly, congestion pricing will add a minimum of $15 billion to the 2020-2024 MTA Capital Program, with 10 percent of those funds earmarked for Metro-North projects. The original estimate of adding rail to the Cuomo bridge was around $5 billion. Assuming two-thirds of the congestion pricing money is used for this project ($1 billion), we are nearly 20 percent of the way toward funding this project. With the other 38 cents per dollar we don’t get back from the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District being rerouted to come back to us for this project, we are likely able to fund at least half the cost.

Building our own rail link to Manhattan will add much-needed redundancy and capacity into our public transportation infrastructure and will free Rockland residents from being held hostage by another state’s troubled mass transit agency. It’s time our state officials stop being short-sighted and invest in our infrastructure before it’s too late.
  by DutchRailnut
what part of no more room at Inn does Rockland not understand , there is no room for more trains into GCT, the tunnel is at capacity.
  by Backshophoss
That was lost when the New TZ Bridge was built,so Rockland and Orange are stuck with NJT to Hoboken.
Installing a new Jct between N White Plains and White Plains for the WOH service would overload the lower Harlem line into GCT
Rebuilding the Put from Easview to BN tower for WOH would create a 2 seat ride with a transfer at Marble Hill to the Hudson Line.
Building a "Direct connection" to the Hudson line with a livable grade from the bridge to a Dobbs Ferry Jct point would be
way too much $$$$$$$ to fund.
  by Jeff Smith
All good points. I think I've made the point before, but rail would be useful more for Cross-Westchester than for GCT/NYC bound, maybe even through to Stamford, along the platinum mile.

As Dutch notes, simply no capacity into GCT. Backshop notes expensive connections to Hudson and Harlem (at White Plains) lines are expensive and have same issue, although even as expensive as Hudson would be, a connection to Hudson could possibly use the Empire Connection, although that's nowhere NEAR on the horizon while they still sort out ESA, and later PSA fr om the NH.

The one thing you said reminds me of something I think I posted WAY up thread, even before I started as admin; the possibility of the old Put corridor. I don't remember if I suggested the actual Put, or using the Thruway corridor/median, which solves all of the issues with the old ROW being a trail, grade crossings, narrow, etc. etc.

An 87/287 routing just seems natural to me, although there are certainly topographical/geological issues with grades, tunneling required, and so on. And I think the TZB was built with the capacity to add rail or BRT at a later date.

Honestly, and I hate to say it, true BRT is probably the way to go, or LRT. The rest is a fantasy; There are many more priorities with what to do with the congestion pricing spending. Gateway, 2nd Avenue, you name it. It's a fun fantasy, though.
  by GojiMet86
A reactivated West Shore line would have been nice, the idea being to have people take the WS than driving over to the Hudson lines or highways, but CSX would have a huge problem with commuter trains running in the busy freight corridor. Hoboken would be the terminal, but PATH is getting stuffed as it is.

In my own fantasy land (of course), there would be a tunnel branching off by Tonnelle Avenue, following the HBLR from underneath, and straight into Midtown. My observation is that most people who take the Coach USA/NJT Rockland/Bergen buses go to Midtown, not Downtown.
  by njtmnrrbuff
If this service is advertised as going from Rockland to Westchester Counties, than it is meant to do that. I have not been liking what I have been hearing about the Hudson Link buses. First, the fact that the buses have to share many lanes with other traffic, when there is a lot of traffic, then the buses aren't going anywhere for a while. It would have been very nice for the buses to have their own dedicated lanes. I just got back from Pittsburgh and rode the BRT routes out there and was impressed. I enjoyed how once you leave Downtown Pittsburgh, the BRT routes operate on true dedicated roads for buses. Back to HudsonLink, do those buses stay on 287 a lot of the time in both Westchester and Rockland Counties or do they take 59 and 119 on a lot of the journey? I'm asking that because I know that 287/87 can have standstill traffic. I have sat in it before and when it's bad, then you aren't moving for some time.
  by daybeers
Jeff Smith wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:46 am Honestly, and I hate to say it, true BRT is probably the way to go, or LRT. The rest is a fantasy; There are many more priorities with what to do with the congestion pricing spending. Gateway, 2nd Avenue, you name it. It's a fun fantasy, though.
I agree here, unfortunately. While I'm not too familiar with the transportation issue in Rockland other than service doesn't exist, I do know a bit about the new TPZ bridge. I think LRT would be great because, if priced right, it would attract the higher incomes of the surrounding area more than a BRT would, though would that be worth it if it didn't really connect anywhere? Where would it go?
  by Jeff Smith
While this of course is not a bridge/car/toll topic, there is a relevant portion here: NyackNewsAndViews.com
Despite the short notice, this first set of meetings will prove extremely important in laying the foundation for how this new Toll Advisory Panel will operate and review toll rates. I have sponsored legislation (S.4664) since 2017, which is a road map for how the Panel should work, and it’s my hope the Toll Advisory Panel will consult this bill so regular meetings are established and concrete goals are set. One such goal is working with the Traffic Mobility Board to understand how Rockland commuters could be impacted by congestion pricing. Any congestion fee is regressive and unfair to Rockland commuters who are underserved by transit. The Governor has said if you take the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, you will not be double-tolled, but if you take the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge then you will be double-tolled. This is unfair to our residents and any bridge toll should be subtracted from the toll fee into the city because double-tolling is wrong.

A second goal of the panel should be completing a cost analysis and potential timeline of completion for a high-speed rail across the new bridge, paid for with funding collected through congestion pricing. We have to make sure we make the investments throughout the MTA region if were going be successful. A high-speed rail would generate new revenue, eliminate traffic, and reduce pollution. It is a project that would benefit commuters greatly and make Rockland an even more attractive place to live and work.
  by Roadgeek Adam
There's a better chance an army of demented ostriches take over the bridges than the rail option ever being built.

This is a waste of time by politicians.
  • 1
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 46