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 YamaOfParadise
It really is probably best to push this back a few years; as much as I will defend the concept itself, it is non-essential for the near future. They just need to focus on getting the Springfield Line up and running, and not pushing out in several new directions at once.

I imagine they can at least make some progress on this in the meanwhile without service extensions, though, at least by trying to get the various parties involved/affected on board.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Westerly station has to be renovated with full-high platforms, ADA upgrades to the egresses, restoration of the 3rd track, and outfitting of the MoW yard behind the station into a layover before any of this can happen. Amtrak owns the station and most needs the 3rd track if commuter rail is coming; RIDOT (for homegrown service and as station host for SLE) is going to be the primary user and most needs the ADA and environmental cleanup of the MoW yard. It has to be a joint funding effort between those two, and there's nothing CDOT can do to influence it since they're on the other side of the state line. So forget the hand-wringing about trainsets and state budget deficits in this current fiscal year, because they're going to have to wait their turn indefinitely for the two parties on the other side of the state line to take care of the terminal station.

Right now the ongoing HSIPR grant award in Rhode Island is for finishing up the Kingston station ADA and tri-track upgrades within the construction time limit set by the grant. And right now the #2 commuter rail-related funding priorities RIDOT's actively seeking kickoff $$$ for is building the new Pawtucket station and integrating the RIPTA bus network there (Pawtucket being a big bus hub) and at the other stations that opened in the last 8 years. They need all that to strengthen the existing MBTA service's backbone before they're ready to do Westerly, so it will take time. Probably looking at a TIGER award within 1-2 years after Kingston finishes, then a design-build process, and a renovated Westerly ready to accept CDOT service by 2020-22. And no sooner. This will not be a fast-starts extension, so I don't know why we're worrying so much about FY2016 and equipment assignments in 2016.

By 2020 the diesel roster mass replacement order on MNRR/LIRR will be inked, and CDOT will have figured out what size fleet its share is going to be. ESA will be within couple years of completion by then with reliable estimates available on when project starts can get moving on Penn Station Access, and CDOT will made its decision on whether a supplemental order of EMU's has to be made. And the CT River Bridge replacement will have been done by then, which is a prerequisite for being able to run any sort of meaningful schedule increases past OSB to NLN. Those are the kinds of events that have to churn along before we can peg probable project starts for an SLE poke across the border: design-build and procurement extracurricular that times around end of decade...on BOTH sides of the state line. It makes little sense to worry about current conditions, current fleet numbers, or CDOT getting too far ahead of itself when there's no mechanism that even lets it get too far ahead of itself. Just about the only thing it can act on now is the perfunctory study, and starting a rainy-day piggybank fund for the required Mystic rebuild. Whoop-de-doo...another study. The economy and intra-state train ops are not going to collapse because the Dept. of Studies About Studies is doing another study regarding an area of transit demand.
  by 35dtmrs92
Conn River bridge is to be done by early 2020s? I have not seen news indicating appropriation of funding, unlike WALK.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
35dtmrs92 wrote:Conn River bridge is to be done by early 2020s? I have not seen news indicating appropriation of funding, unlike WALK.
Design work pre-dates the WALK announcement by couple years. EIS and prelim design were completed in 2014: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0699" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. FRA spent last year culling the comments on the bascule vs. lift options, will issue its final decision to Amtrak this year, then Amtrak has a 2-year deadline and funding to complete final design with Army Corps committing an expedited turnaround on the final design's environmental review. The holdup is the $400M appropriation for the actual construction. 3-year construction schedule, so if Congress can get its act together construction starts can begin as early as 2019 with '21 or '22 completion. Tack on a year's delay for every year of additional gridlock with opening the fed pursestrings. That's the only uncertainty; schedule pace is more or less locked-and-loaded.

Since Amtrak owns that bridge they're responsible for vast majority of the funding, unlike CDOT-owned WALK. It did get newspaper coverage back when the EIS was out for public comment but because of zero abutters to the construction zone, more negligible CT taxpayer involvement, and general agreement on managing the boating impacts during construction there wasn't a whole lot of hullabaloo. New London Day has some articles about it from 2014 still up, but if it got much play in the Courant or NH Register those stories have long since been sent to the paywalled archives.
  by Jeff Smith
Resurrecting this, but not for any of the nonsense up-thread: ProvidenceJournal.com

The study, which U.S. Sen. Jack Reed initiated with language in a federal appropriations bill, looked at four scenarios to bring more trains to the airport, including starting a new Rhode Island commuter railroad and extending Connecticut’s Shore Line East service into the Ocean State.
The current Green train station was built with three tracks, including one served by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter trains, as well as space for a fourth track, which would be needed for regular Amtrak service.

Extending Shore Line East — which runs commuter trains between New Haven, Connecticut, and New London, Connecticut — into Rhode Island was estimated to cost up to $215 million in new rail infrastructure and trains, plus more for annual operating expenses.

The price tag of starting a new Rhode Island commuter rail service was pegged at between $135 million and $285 million, plus operating costs.
  • 1
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8