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 Traingeek3629
https://shorelineeast.com/images/docs/S ... 4x36R1.pdf

SLE: Most trips are cut down to about 65 minutes, a reduction of about 10 minutes on average from the current schedule. No new trains. 1634 now leaves New Haven at 4:40 (12 minutes later) and 1638 leaves at 5:18 (7 minutes earlier). Several of the listed "connections" are inaccurate.

https://new.mta.info/agency/metro-north ... /schedules

There's six new super express trains on the New Haven Line, three in the AM and three in the evening. AM Trains #3507, #3511, and #3537 arrive in GCT at 6:48, 7:22, and 9:33. PM trains #3542, #3546, and #3568 leave GCT at 4:16, 4:49, and 6:26. Same stops, Stamford is receive only. Trip time on these is an hour and forty minutes. #3537 and #3546 both have Shore Line East connections. Not sure why these were added to the schedule (especially the early AM ones) but I suppose having more express trains won't hurt. Service has returned to its pre-covid level of every half hour, all day long on the New Haven, and trip times seem to have been shortened by 2-4 minutes. Train #1402, which was introduced pre-Covid as an early morning Bridgeport-New Haven train, has returned. It makes leaves Stamford at 6:15am and makes all local stops to New Haven, arriving at 7:28am. Waterbury' has received its long-awaited service improvement, with 12 weekday round trips.


Construction schedule is going to cannibalize ridership. On weekdays, all service along the line is replaced by buses, one express and one local per train, with the following exceptions:

Southbound: Regional 141, Vermonter, Shuttle 479, and CTrail 4415. 479 and 4415 leave Springfield at 7:25 and 9:25 respectively, so not of much use to the average rider.
Northbound: Vermonter, CTrail 4466, Valley Flyer 494, Regional 148, and Valley Flyer 478. All of those except the Vermonter leave New Haven after 7 PM.

Valley Flyers 495 and 471 are running only Greenfield-Springfield. That'll be a bizarre operational situation, and I assume at least one train per weekday will need to be deadheaded at some point overnight. On weekends, service remains relatively similar to what it is now. Shuttles 450, 416, and 412 will be buses, but there's trains that run in a similar timeframe to those buses. Two CTrail roundtrips are replaced with buses north of Hartford.
  by hrsn
Not sure why these were added to the schedule (especially the early AM ones) but I suppose having more express trains won't hurt.
Growing BioMed and Yale-related activities in New Haven may be a reason, and I suspect there may have been some behind-the-scenes encouragement from these interests to secure at least a trial run of this service. (Remember the unrealistic 30-30-30? This is a nod to it.) In conjunction with the massively increased service at Tweed airport thanks to Avelo, this is a play to compete for on-site talent (e.g., lab, lecture hall) that would otherwise find New Haven "too difficult to get to."

I anticipate seeing these trains being touted to prospective scientists, researchers, professors, artists, etc.
  by hrsn
https://www.newhavenbiz.com/article/a-t ... olve-along

An article comparing the apartment markets in New Haven vs. Hartford. Excerpt:
“Between the medical school and university, Yale added about 8,000 jobs over the last eight or nine years,” said [Matthew] Nemerson, who is now vice president of strategic partnerships at Shelton energy technology company Budderfly. “That’s just a lot of people moving into the area.”

New Haven has a well-established network of bars, retail, restaurants and apartments that create the experience Millennials are seeking, Nemerson said. Hartford may be a bit behind that curve, but it could get to a similar place in the future, he said.
Faster travel times NY <-> NH makes New Haven a more attractive place to live/work/play.
  by daybeers
Traingeek3629 wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 10:05 pm Construction schedule is going to cannibalize ridership. On weekdays, all service along the line is replaced by buses, one express and one local per train
Yeah I'm pissed about the new schedule. No reason they can't do this work overnight. The line is 4 years old for god's sake, why didn't they do the canopy work in Hartford then?!?

A couple of Amtrak Hartford Line trains recently have been SRO. This is exactly the wrong time to bustitute service. Ridiculous. Idiots.
  by hrsn
The line is 4 years old for god's sake, why didn't they do the canopy work in Hartford then?!?
It seems like the idea is to get some service going ASAP and then fix/upgrade later. The "refurbished" MBB cars were my first clue. But the canopy work is particularly short-sighted if the Aetna Viaduct plan gets built, rerouting trains to a new station.
  by BandA
Is the existing canopy so dilapidated it is dangerous?
  by 7express
I was on one of those Super expresses this evening #3546, the one leaving at 4:49. If you've read my posts on here from 10+ years ago, I was looking for something like this, but the train was completely empty. I think it was only a 4 car train as it was, I was in the second car from the back and leaving New York I think there were 3 other people in the whole car total, and maybe we got 5 or 6 on in Stamford, so look for about 20 people. I'm hoping it's still relatively early with the new schedules and people don't realize it exists.
  by Traingeek3629
Didn't see this until now, but SLE is running track work bustitutes for last weekend and this weekend on round trip, with schedule adjustments elsewhere. Annoyingly, the "adjusted schedule" that'll revert after August 15, is better than the existing schedule, and allows for improved connections and reduces long gaps in the schedule.

For example, eastbound departures from New Haven (temporary adjusted schedule is in bold)

5:10a -> 5:10a
6:55a -> 6:40a
8:26a -> 8:10a (connection cut from 24 to 8 minutes)
10:29a bus
12:35p -> 1:00p
4:30p -> 4:20p (connection cut from 15 to 5 minutes)
5:30p -> 5:50p (connects to semi-express #6540, reducing trip time from points west of NHV)
9:25p -> 9:25p

A four hour afternoon gap is cut to 3 hours and 20 minutes, there's better spacing between the late afternoon trains, and three connections are significantly improved. Sadly, CTDOT continues to shoot itself in the foot with regards to SLE.
  by dha10001
I took train #3542 the 4:16 super express to New Haven last Friday. It was well filled, especially for a summer Friday, yet was still very comfortable and uncrowded. I enjoyed the trip and it did have the relaxed, comfortable and peaceful feel I associate more with Amtrak than Metro North. We arrived in New Haven five minutes early despite many portions of the route restricting train speeds to 30-45 mph, especially between NYC and Stamford. Pelham, New Rochelle, Port Chester and Greenwich were particularly draggy. Plenty of room for improvement.
  by daybeers
Aside from the obvious infrastructure constraints, I think those slow speeds are a result of dispatching. Happens quite often at rush hour.
  by Traingeek3629
Hudson Line weekend service has been cut back to hourly, both on the upper and lower. Even at a twice-hourly frequency, the Poughkeepsie-GCT trains are absolutely jammed on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, particularly in the spring and fall. I never see crowded Lower Hudson trains on the tracking site, but the Upper Hudson ones are busy even in the offseason. Previously, service south of Croton was half-hourly for most of the day, and north of Croton was half-hourly for at least part of the afternoon/evening, with an extra SB or two in the morning.

With how strong tourism in the Highlands area is, this is going to lead to some "crush capacity" conditions. No, I'm not exaggerating - on a beautiful September Sunday in 2019, at a half-hourly interval, I witnessed two trains in a row leave BEACON standing-room only. I really hope they adjust this. Half-hourly on the Lower Hudson is mostly fine, ridership is weak there anyways.
  by Traingeek3629
One more bit of whining as a Yankees fan.

Inbound New Haven line trains get to Harlem-125 at :35 and :05 (from New Haven) and :01 and :29 (from Stamford). Outbound Hudson trains leave at :35 (Croton) and :01 (Poughkeepsie). Unless you get lucky with an early arrival, or they hold the outbound Hudsons until the inbound trains arrive, you're pretty screwed if you want to get to the stadium.
  by Train322
Here is why Hudson line weekend service is reduced
They did this last year for two weekends. Of course - they did it when I was going to a Yankee game.

Weekday service on the Hudson Line will see only minor adjustments.

Metro-North is replacing track switches near Morris Heights and Marble Hill, in the most capacity-constrained segments of the Bronx. This significant infrastructure work requires that weekend Hudson Line service be temporarily reduced to one local train and one express train hourly in each direction. Weekend schedules also accommodate projects including the Park Avenue Viaduct Replacement Project work happening near the Harlem River Lift Bridge, the Hudson Express Cable Project between Cortlandt and Manitou, and additional signal work and other state of good repair work occurring along the line
  by west point
Hope MNRR runs maximum length trains?