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 mncommuter
I was on the 7:18 pm to Poughkeepsie this evening, and got off at Croton-Harmon. There was an Amtrak train stopped at the station at the same time, which headed north about 30 seconds after the Metro-North train did.

I was curious if the Amtrak train would end up passing the MN train, so I sped up to Peekskill in time to see the MN train head north out of the station. At least 5 minutes passed before the Amtrak train followed behind on the same track. ( I believe it was the same track, I was viewing at a bad angle)

Isn't there a way the Amtrak train could have gotten ahead of the MN train, so it wouldn't have to slow down at MN every station stop? Or should they have been allowed to leave Harmon first?

I don't know the Amtrak schedule, and I assume it was running late, as they usually do, but what's the policy here? Can MN just say "Hey, you're late, and we don't care. You're on our tracks and you're going to have to follow us all the way to Poughkeepsie!" Or maybe there's a place and time further north where the Amtrak train was able to switch tracks and go around the MN train.......?

  by DutchRailnut
there are a few places for trains to pass, the amtrk train probably whasrunning on schedule and stays behind the mncr train.
runnin past the mncr train would probably leave the amtrak sitting in pougkeepsie for to long as it can not leave early.

  by mncommuter
Just looked this up on the Amtrak web site.
It must have been this train:

267 Empire Service
Penn Station (NYP)
7:10 pm

Croton-Harmon, NY (CRT)
7:53 pm

So if it was that one, it was running about 10 minutes late, and should have been ahead of MN 879, which gets to Harmon at 8:01

  by Lackawanna484
Do MetroNorth and Amtrak trains have the same maximum speed limits between Spuyten Duyvil and Poughkeepsie? I know that several classes of Amtrak power have higher limits than NJT power on the speedway south of New Brunswick.

  by DutchRailnut
yes speeds for amtrak and mncr are same

  by Terminal Proceed
I was the conductor on 879 tonite, and we did indeed pass 267 at Harmon.

Amtrak had police activity on board, some sort of disorderly customer who I believe was arrested by MTA Police.

They passed us at Beacon.

  by Rockingham Racer
Since we're talking one train overtaking another, here's a story. If the moderator thinks it doesn't belong here, he can do with it what he wishes.

Around 10 years ago, I was on # 49 in a sleeper on the east side of the train. Coming over the Spuyten Duyvil bridge, I spotted an MN Poughkeepsie train coming around the curve heading north like us. We ran side by side at track speed for several miles. One commuter who was reading her paper was shocked to look out her west-side window to see me four feet away. Anyway, we "see-sawed" with each other, one train gaining, then losing ground on the other. I think the lady and I passed each other about 5 times, and the last time I toasted her with a bloody mary in my hand. LOL!

The MN train had to make Tarrytown and perhaps Ossining, but caught up to us, and overtook us again at Croton-Harmon. We then ran left-handed for a good while, overtook the MN at Peekskill, and crossed over at CP 48.

So if the traffic is right, it's possible for Amtrak to get by an MN apparently.

I couldn't help but feel the engineers were "racing" each other for a while on the Lower Hudson. I don't expect anyone to comment on that statement in the interests of self-incrimination, but I'll bet it happens now and then there, and probably on the New Haven, too. Is there a rule that addresses this situation? Just curious.

Here's a question for the operating guys: How often does running side-by-side occur? Frequently? Off and on? Rarely? I can think of another situation on the then-NYC when I was at Marist College. Crossing the footbridge [long gone] to get to the boathouse, two speeders were heading south side by side at MP 74. Neither seemed to be making a stop at POK, as both were running at track speed.

  by DutchRailnut
The fact that both trains stayed next to each other suggest that neither engineer were speeding(racing) theyprobably worry who might be in other cab or train watching them.
Anyone speeding/racing is idiot, its not only the black box that rats you out, but also the seperate locomotive harddrive, the commuters with cellphones or GPS, the RTC tracking software, The CP point recorders etc etc etc.
Or a supervisor deadheading or traveling without telling anyone.

  by Rockingham Racer
Dutch, I thought you might come back on this one! Of course, I understand the inhibitors you mentioned to breaking the speed limit while running. If I'm not mistaken, radar guns are used on the NEC on a random basis.

In my example of "speeders" in POK above, I should have said "speedsters" or "express trains", which was all I meant.

My question still stands: does side-by-side running happen often over long stretches like the one I mentioned?

  by DutchRailnut
it happens sometimes but not very often, i get it maybe once or twice a year.