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 Noel Weaver
One of the biggest reasons for moving the change over point east was the
fact that there are a number of overhead bridges west of the original Mt.
Vernon Station and old SS-20. Especially in the winter when salt was used
on these bridges, the water and salt would leak through and ground out
the lines.
This was not anything new, these problems occurred back in the New
Haven Railroad days and had gone on for many years.
Often grounds would occur even when there were no trains in the area.
Noel Weaver
  by Head-end View
Guys, thanks for the update. I didn't know about that project. Tom: that Mt. Vernon cut that you mentioned; isn't that where a major collision happened in about 1988 between 2 deadheading trains? Is the point that Noel made about the bridges and salt the reason that catenary maintenance was difficult in that area? Even with the new changeover location the news article was still way off base, with the state line being at least 10 miles from the change point.

  by DutchRailnut
Lately the source of news info (ConnDot) has been very confusing. from the wrong discription of M8's ( one M8 to two M7 configuration), its two M7's and unpowered trailer feeding the two M7's under catenary, the entire combination would still be a M8.
To life expectency of M2/M4/M6. The puchase price of the VRE fleet, reported as 60 million $ for 38 cars but actually 15.5 million $$ for 38 cars. maybe Mr Harris and Mr Fox are starting to feel the heat with investigations and audits under way, and their new Boss Mrs Rell not as friendly to their bullshit.
Last edited by DutchRailnut on Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by DutchRailnut
Ok corrected the R :-)
Conndot is a lost cause they have no Idea were their cars or locomotives are, their motive power inspector in past was more interested in why the roll of toilet paper in cab car was only half full, but when confronted about shoebeam defects high tailed it out of terminal.
When a FL-9 went missing for almost two years Conndot knew nothing. The rebuilt of M2's is being done to cars rebuilt by MK just a few years back.
They bought 10 SPV's from MNCR but failed to follow tru on rebuilding them, now cars are going to NYS&W historical society.
They bought the PAtrain equipment from Pittsburgh spend money on fixing it and just a few years later retired the fleet.
The Danbury signal system has been in planning since 1989 but money keeps on getting diverted to other petprojects, so improvement of service is nill and safety is still depending on how a Form M is filled out. studies On electrification of Danbury ?? why not just hand the consultants a milion dollar check, nobody will electrify at 200 million plus $$$.
Improvements to Danbury yard ?? 1.2 milion but first consultants to help railroad design yard tracks ??? leaving no money for project after consultants are done.

  by 7 Train
The rebuilt of M2's is being done to cars rebuilt by MK just a few years back.
I thought the M-2's were never rebuilt and were running on their original 1971 parts.

  by DutchRailnut
no a bunch of cars were rebuilt by Morrison Knudson in 1988/1990

  by 7 Train
Or are you talking about the M-4 and M-6, which were built in 1988 and 1992, respectively?

  by DutchRailnut
Last edited by DutchRailnut on Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by DutchRailnut
No Im talking about the M2's, as engineer for Metro North I do know the difference. and by way the M4's were built by Tokyu car company the M6's by M.K.
  by Ol' Loco Guy
The people at CDOT are strictly a road and bus crew. Their knowledge of rail operations, equipment, etc. is shall we say-minimal. Fortunately, they have little control over the day to day operations of MNR in the state of CT.

Yet, when it comes to long-range issues such as equipment, they probably do more harm than good.

In the old days, a decision on new equipment would have been a straight transaction between the railroad and the carbuilder.

Today, there are probably a few too many fingers in the new car pie-MNR,CDOT, a CDOT consultant, perhaps NYSDOT, the MTA itself-and who knows what.

If the state of CT was really smart, they would leave these equipment decisions up the folks who actually run and maintain the equipment-MNR.

  by Nasadowsk
CT stinks at roads too. Tons of really poorly designed interchanges, slow roadwork, overbuilt, overdesigned, and generally not very good in the end anyway.

Their bus system around Hartford was great though. It never stopped running, even in really bad snow. The employees were great, too.

Frankly, the M-8 idea is about the best MN could expect, unless they wanted to go to a 4 car EMU, where you'd have an M-7 based cab car, a pantograph/inverter/power car, an transformer/power car and an M-7 based cab car. But even that might not be feasable, and it'd mean a minimum of 4 cars on a train, plus even heavier demands on the transformer.

Going to locomotives? No AC/DC locomotives exist, high shoe currents would be a safety issue, acceleration would be a big ? mark (likely requiring two locos per train), you'd have single point failure spots, and it's questionable how much more economic in the long therm it'd be (from what I've heard, it wouldn't be much - on the order of maybe 1-2 million in savings a year - but the equipment would be far slower.).

The M-8 concept isn't ideal, but the best that can be hoped for under the existing FRA rules, and frankly, it sounds like they'll be basically M-7s towing a substation, so there should be good parts cominallity, which will reduce costs. Sure it'd be nice to have all cars powered, but there's really no way as it stands now.

  by JayMan
I don't know the M-8 doesn't sound bad considering they'll be quite a bit of horsepower per triplet -- the downside would be the lack of dynamic brakes in the trailer cars that will require extra brake maintenence.

  by Nasadowsk
Let's see.....

10,000 hp at 750V DC, assuming 100% efficiency (ha!) is 10,000 amps at the shoe.

Do you have any idea how much current that is?

Even 4,000 or 5,000 amps at the shoe is a huge number to deal with. Arcs at those currents and 750 volts are dangerous. Things can get welded to other things...

(I'm ignoring MN's third rail being less than 750V, plus line drop issues, for now. As current increases, the third rail voltage will go down, thus you need even MORE current to get the same amount of power. This is basically why third rail sucks in the first place, and substation spacing's so close)

If it wasn't for the DC third rail requirement, this would be trivial, and you'd probbably see the New Haven Line worked with ALP-46s or such. But high power third rail electrics are not very common anywhere, and even the 1.5kv and 3kv catenary units overseas tend to be quite derated on those systems Vs AC.

The problem isn't technology, it's the laws of physics.