• MOM Rail Service

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: lensovet, nick11a, Kaback9

  by JohnFromJersey
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Fri Feb 25, 2022 8:18 am JFJ and AM: I can see overhead wire for an LRT or a River Line-type service using DMUs for a MOM service.
Third rail brings about its own problems that would need to be solved such as the number of substations
that would be needed - on the LIRR as example each station needs a substation at or nearby - trains draw
their highest amount of amperage and current starting up from a station and/or stop. PATH and most other
heavy rail transit third rail applications are "closed" systems with no grade crossings and secured trackage.

The proposed use of third rail could bring along another problem - this could just be another reason that
NIMBYs would be against a MOM rail line being aware of the opposition the route has already faced...
MACTRAXX
Unless they ran double-tracked like they want to do with the GCL, freight would get screwed over. They are trying to make the Southern and Freehold lines be able to handle 286K/Plate F cars, and adding overhead wire on the existing track would kill those plans. They would have to use DMUs, which aren't that fast at accelerating, or have to install a second track which I am not sure if its possible in some areas.
  by Bracdude181
 
Any passenger trains on the Central NJ freight lines run by NJT is going to kill freight trains off. The only way it won’t is if the freight and passenger trains are run by the same company.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Fri Feb 25, 2022 2:08 pm Any passenger trains on the Central NJ freight lines run by NJT is going to kill freight trains off. The only way it won’t is if the freight and passenger trains are run by the same company.
Or have the entire thing be double-tracked, freight gets one and passenger/commuter gets the other. This would be pretty difficult when you get to places like Jamesburg and Freehold.
  by Bracdude181
 
Maybe, but for customers who are already there that would mean freight trains having to cross the passenger ROW. There’s a lot that can go wrong there. Especially for big customers like Woodhaven who can take over an hour to completely service. For passenger ops that ain’t gonna fly during rush hour!
  by ApproachMedium
 
Too much thinking inside the box. if your putting in double track, both services would use it. The ability to have bi directional traffic with two tracks makes the system versatile. Each service having a dedicated track would cramp any ability to get around because you would STILL need passing sidings.
  by Bracdude181
 
Or they could do what Brightline is doing, having areas where multiple customer tracks connecting to the main within close proximity are connected to one siding, allowing road freights and passenger trains to pass by while the local serves the customers. I believe CalTrain also does something similar.

But again, if this whole thing is run by NJT it’s not gonna matter. For the most part they want nothing to do with freight, and they will get rid of it one way or another if they are running the passenger trains.
  by ApproachMedium
 
You mean, what the PRR did and had for nearly 100 years?
  by Bracdude181
 
@ApproachMedium Are you referring to the part of my post about the sidings or NJTs freight policy?
  by JohnFromJersey
 
ApproachMedium wrote: Fri Feb 25, 2022 9:33 pm Too much thinking inside the box. if your putting in double track, both services would use it. The ability to have bi directional traffic with two tracks makes the system versatile. Each service having a dedicated track would cramp any ability to get around because you would STILL need passing sidings.
It depends which hypothetical scenario happens. If it's LRT, freight trains, by federal law, cannot run on LRT tracks when LRT consists are using them, and vice versa. The only way around this would be to have them time separated, which would surely do a number to the customers of this line if they can only receive cars late at night, or to have them run on different tracks at the same time, like the GCL proposal would do.

That being said, this line doesn't have consistent daily freight usage at this moment, so LRT being added wouldn't change much. Hell, forget consistent daily usage, it barely gets consistent weekly usage! But that is probably going to change with things like an upgraded and new Raritan River Bridge, a connection between Freehold and Farmingdale, sand trains for the Hudson River Tunnels, and the murky future of the Southern from Woodmansie-Winslow

If it was simply heavy commuter rail it wouldn't be too much of an issue. Ideally, like Bracdude said, freight and passenger should be run/operated by the same operator, much like how UP/BNSF run some (government paid) commuter trains out west on their freight lines. Or how the PRR and CNJ did things from their inception right until their demise.
  by Bracdude181
 
@JohnFromJersey Regardless of wether it would be light rail or heavy commuter rail, NJT trains on the freight lines are going to majorly impact freight operations, possibly resulting in them completely disappearing.

NJT has some sort of fee for freight trains to use lines where passenger trains operate, a fee that from what I hear is expensive. Its another reason why there’s so much less freight on NJTs network than there was 20-30 years ago.

As far as Conrail goes they pass that cost right on to the customer. For the 1.8 miles between Perth Amboy and South Amboy the cost is something that most of the customers out of Browns can deal with. But the farther down NJT the freight must go, those costs add up FAST. Many smaller customers won’t be able to afford the extra cost if NJT begins running on the Central NJ lines.

And no, C&D won’t change this.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Sat Feb 26, 2022 6:49 pm @JohnFromJersey Regardless of wether it would be light rail or heavy commuter rail, NJT trains on the freight lines are going to majorly impact freight operations, possibly resulting in them completely disappearing.

NJT has some sort of fee for freight trains to use lines where passenger trains operate, a fee that from what I hear is expensive. Its another reason why there’s so much less freight on NJTs network than there was 20-30 years ago.
If there were two or three tracks, they could have separation of freight and commuter rail and that wouldn't be an issue. Or, they could have C&D/whoever operates on the Southern and FIT crew NJT trains on those lines, and then when they got to Trenton or Red Bank or New Brunswick or whatever, crews would switch. In this arrangement whatever company that does this would also have to have their dispatchers handle passenger rail too
Bracdude181 wrote: Sat Feb 26, 2022 6:49 pm
As far as Conrail goes they pass that cost right on to the customer. For the 1.8 miles between Perth Amboy and South Amboy the cost is something that most of the customers out of Browns can deal with. But the farther down NJT the freight must go, those costs add up FAST. Many smaller customers won’t be able to afford the extra cost if NJT begins running on the Central NJ lines.

And no, C&D won’t change this.
That's probably why, amongst other things, they are doing the Farmingdale-Freehold reconnection. Not entirely sure how many former customers would start getting service again after prices decreased, since a lot of customers left NJ as a whole; Bel-Ray and that company across the tracks from Collingswood come to mind.

I still maintain my position that the Raritan River Bridge + Freehold-Farmingdale reconnection will lead to something bigger than attracting a few more customers to the line and sand trains.
  by Bracdude181
 
I am not sure. The new bridge over the Raritan River won’t allow for Plate F due to clearance further north, and I recently discovered that NJT restricts all freight cars to 263,000 pounds of lading regardless of whether or not the infrastructure can handle the weight “as a matter of policy” (coughBScough) in a 2010 South Jersey rail freight study.

The whole freights sharing trackage thing wouldn’t be so bad if NJT was more open minded. Instead it’s “get rid of everything so we don’t have to worry about this and that”

C&D have higher prices than Conrail so customers around here would start paying more regardless.

Also NJT still wants to burn them at the stake over what they got up to on their network last year, so I doubt they’d get the freight rights over any new NJT trackage.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Sat Feb 26, 2022 10:43 pm I am not sure. The new bridge over the Raritan River won’t allow for Plate F due to clearance further north, and I recently discovered that NJT restricts all freight cars to 263,000 pounds of lading regardless of whether or not the infrastructure can handle the weight “as a matter of policy” (coughBScough) in a 2010 South Jersey rail freight study.
They are mostly going for 286K cars, not exactly Plate F. Plate F is still getting there but 286K cars are the standard.

In those same freight rail studies, north of the Raritan River bridge is rated and uses 286K cars, and that's an NJT line. Not to mention that a lot of the rails that carry container trains and whatnot out of the ports are also used by NJT, so I don't think all NJT rails forbid 286K cars unless there's something in ink that says otherwise
Bracdude181 wrote: Sat Feb 26, 2022 10:43 pm The whole freights sharing trackage thing wouldn’t be so bad if NJT was more open minded. Instead it’s “get rid of everything so we don’t have to worry about this and that”
And that seems to be one of many reasons why NJT is going into the ground, compared to what it was in the 1990s and 2000s.
Bracdude181 wrote: Sat Feb 26, 2022 10:43 pm C&D have higher prices than Conrail so customers around here would start paying more regardless.

Also NJT still wants to burn them at the stake over what they got up to on their network last year, so I doubt they’d get the freight rights over any new NJT trackage.
Conrail is owned by large companies (CSX & NS) and is technically backed by the government (tracks are state-owned). Of course, they will be "cheaper," but we all see what this "cheaper" has yielded in terms of maintenance. We will see if C&D will A) cost customers more and B) if so, will it be worth it? If they raise costs BUT improve the tracks, have a consistent schedule, etc, then I'd say those price raises are worth it.
  by Bracdude181
 
C&Ds maintenance is just as bad as Conrail. Crossings held together with duct tape, rotten track, destroyed engines, etc. Their scheduling is better but everything else is just as bad if not worse than Conrail.

Getting back to topic, This is why if MOM ever does happen I’d want to see someone other than NJT do it. Even without the freight issue, NJT brings it own set of problems to the table.

If MOM is run like the Coast Line, then it will just be another endless cycle of broken engines, late/cancelled trains, crumbling infrastructure, c o n s t a n t PTC failures, etc. The RV line and Northeast Corridor trains have similar problems. Especially the corridor! Trains break down left and right on that line!
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Sun Feb 27, 2022 5:24 am C&Ds maintenance is just as bad as Conrail. Crossings held together with duct tape, rotten track, destroyed engines, etc. Their scheduling is better but everything else is just as bad if not worse than Conrail.

Getting back to topic, This is why if MOM ever does happen I’d want to see someone other than NJT do it. Even without the freight issue, NJT brings it own set of problems to the table.

If MOM is run like the Coast Line, then it will just be another endless cycle of broken engines, late/cancelled trains, crumbling infrastructure, c o n s t a n t PTC failures, etc. The RV line and Northeast Corridor trains have similar problems. Especially the corridor! Trains break down left and right on that line!
Having a different company run operations on MOM instead of NJT, especially if they use their own equipment, sounds like it could be a logistical nightmare. Unless Amtrak wants to run trains down here like they briefly ran trains from Philly-AC, I can't think of any company that would do it. If a different company ran MOM operations, they would absolutely probably not be allowed to go further than the first stop after meeting up with the NEC and/or Coastline.

The state would also have to pay the said company to do this service, as there's no way they would make a decent return on it, and that might make some politicians and voters lose their marbles. Maybe we can petition Brightline to do it!
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