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 JayMan
I have a question: Why doesn't the CDOT buy some spare electric locomotives, such as some AEM-7s, or electric locos from anywhere that has 'em for the Shore Line East and scrap the GP-40's they are presently running? Assumedly that'd be easier to operate and maintain in the electric territory in which SLE operates and would remove the restriction of running through trains to Stamford in summer. There has to be some reason why this isn't feasible, or would have been done already. My guesses are:

1. There are no spare electric locomotives available (e.g., the AEM-7s Amtrak has replaced with HHP-8's don't work)
2. ConnDOT doesn't have the $$$ purchase new or used equipment (or more precisely Mr. Rowland won't shell out the bucks).
3. AEM's and other electric locos aren't compatible with the coaches (SPV's and SL's) that SLE uses (not likely).

Barring one of the above, clearly this would be beneficial from an operational point of view for the SLE. I would image the cost of running electric loco's in all electric territory would be much cheaper than using ancient and decrepit engines that their running now – unless of course AEM-7's are in no better shape, and any used locos that could be acquired from anywhere fare no better. In any case, these would be a better solution (that is until we can get some M-8s' or remanufactured M-4's out here).

In addition, I think the cars that the CDOT is getting from VRE should be kept for future use on the Springfield line, providing they still work by them. That will save having to buy new coaches for the line, when and if it opens.

The Waterbury Branch: DMUs. Since the operating cost on this branch is so high, and considering that they only run a few cars, wouldn't it be much more cost effective to run DMUs than running a locomotive. As much as I hate those Colorado Rail Cars (the damn things look like buses on rails), they'd work fine. You'd only need one per consist and have it haul a regular coach, as I've seen. But let me guess, no $$$ to invest in new equipment, even if it (might) save money in the long run.

  by shadyjay
It would be great to have SLE fully integrated with Metro North. Unfortunetly, I don't see Rowland investing in railroads - even after the I-95 incident. That would of course take away $$$ that could be spent on his cottage :wink:

I doubt any AEM-7s are available for ConnDOT to use. Amtrak has a shortage already - that's why the Keystone (PA) line is still operated with diesels under wires. However, I don't think their shortage is as bad as in recent years since I heard long-distance trains now change to electric at WDC, instead of Philly.

The ideal thing would be to retrofit (if possible) the M-6s with the proper equipment necessary to operate east of New Haven on the Shore Line. Or better yet, make sure the new M-8s will have this equipment installed. Of course, this is far off since I don't believe anything's been ordered and probably won't be for a while.

The next ideal thing would be to have GE or EMD create a catenary/third rail electric locomotive, painted in NH colors, pulling a string of Bomb cars from Saybrook to Grand Central.

If we go with the M-8 solution, then the equipment protecting SLE service could then head over to the Springfield Line. And yes, an RDC-type thing would be fine for the Waterbury branch. But really it's only one trainset required to protect that line (right?). I can't see ConnDOT or Metro North ordering a single car for the line when there's several Fs kicking around and a couple of coaches.

-Jay Hogan

  by 7 Train
My opinion is to have a HHP-8 derivative that can run on both third rail into Grand Central or via cantenary over the Hell Gate Bridge into NY Penn.

  by DutchRailnut
ok there are no spare electric locomotives anywhere in USA that would fit the picture. second a new ALP-46 is in the 4.6 million $$ range not something you would want to invest to move only 1600 passengers a day.
the GP40ph's Conndot runs are in great shape and fit for the job, if they need to be replaced a single mode Genesis is available for about $90k.
besides making M4 and M6 capable of automatic voltage changes the biggest hurdle is the converting each triplet from cab/atc to ACCESS cabsignaling, a requirement for running east of New Haven.

as far as DMU's mncr would like to keep things compatible and DMU's are not in the picture. the cost of running a rebuilt FL-9 and two coaches is not that much higher than running a DMU and cabcar.
it would need a long time to offset the $3 million cost of a new Colorado DMU.

Rebuilding the SPV's "no way" besides the Conndot ones are only coaches and the MNCR cars are going to NYS&W historical Society in next few weeks also as coaches.

Running into Penn ?? no option as MNCR has no running rights on Hellgate or into Penn and Amtrak would need to give equal expansion slots to LIRR and NJT.


  by crij
Actually Dutch,

Running the SLE to the Penn is more likly then to Grand Central. The reason for this is that the SLE is actually run by Amtrak, not MTA.

I could be wrong, but I don't think Amtrak has running rights to Grand Central.


  by DutchRailnut
SLE trains are operated east of New haven by Amtrak crews, west of New Haven MNCR crews operate their trains.