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 Otto Vondrak
 
Someone wake me up -- when did SLE stop serving New London with its own trains? I noticed the timetable only lists a couple of trains that stop at New London that honor SLE monthlies... what brought this about?

-otto-

  by Clean Cab
 
It stopped 2 years ago. Not enough ridership to support the expense of operating SLE trains. However, SLE ticket are honored on certain Amtrak trains.

Hope you all got your SLE timetables that showed service to New London!! They'd be worth a few bucks on ebay!! :)

  by shadyjay
 
There is still one true SLE train serving New London... an evening train EB from NHV to NLD. The deadhead move WB is also listed as taking passengers.

I'm guessing part of the reason for lack of SLE service to NLD may have had to do with the boating issue and the number of trains crossing the drawbridges (Shaw's Cove, NAN, CONN). Amtrak increased its number of trains with the Acelas, so SLE suffered the consequences.

Guess they do have a point though... the rivers were there first BEFORE the railroad.

-JH

  by checkthedoorlight
 
I've ridden the one remaining SLE to New London once in each direction.

The time I took it from New Haven to New London, there was a fairly big turnout for service to New London. I assume that most of the riders take Amtrak to New Haven in the morning. However, the time I took it from New London, it was me and two other people. And to add to that, the cab signals failed and we were kicked off the train at Old Saybrook, and were picked up by an Acela......which managed to get to New Haven 5 minutes after the Metro North train set to connect with SLE left. I asked the conductor if I could stay on until Stamford, hoping to catch up with the train, but they said no because of the crew change. About a half hour later I saw that same SLE train chugging into New Haven, via the yard lead.

I figure the only reason they even run that New London to New Haven evening route is that it'd be no different from deadheading it back to New Haven.
  by Noel Weaver
 
The river or water may have been there before the railroad but the
railroad was there before the complainers.
Noel Weaver

  by 9C1LT1
 
Anyone know how many SLE trains still pass through Gilford CT daily? I was there last photographing F40's and SLE in 1999, before the overhead cat was finished, station was low level.

-Barry

  by TomNelligan
 
Mr. Shadyjay is correct that it was the drawbridge issue that led to the demise of most Shore Line East service to New London, not ridership as such. Amtrak has basically been forced by the loud and affluent local NIMBYs to restrict the number of trains through that area so that they can float their yachts in and out of the rivers without having to wait too long for bridge openings, and since the SLE trains had relatively light ridership they were dropped when Acela services were increased. There are no drawbridges between Old Saybrook and New Haven so it's not an issue there.

  by checkthedoorlight
 
besides the revenue runs, there are a bunch of SLE deadheads that will pass through Guilford, although very early and late in the day. Since SLE equipment is stored in New Haven and most morning runs begin at Old Saybrook and most evening runs end at Old Saybrook, there is quite a bit of deadheading to reposition trains at the opposite end. I don't know the actual times of these runs, but there have to be four deadheads between 430am and 645am going east bound, and four deadheads west bound between 745pm and 10pm.

The last time I was in Old Saybrook I observed one of the eastbound evening SLE sets dumping on track 2 and then continuing east and then returning on track 3 about 5 minutes later as a deadhead.

  by benltrain
 
from the looks of the schedule it seems they do a lot of deadheading... and make no local stops to keep the deadhead atmosphere.

  by Fred G
 
TomNelligan wrote:Mr. Shadyjay is correct that it was the drawbridge issue that led to the demise of most Shore Line East service to New London, not ridership as such. Amtrak has basically been forced by the loud and affluent local NIMBYs to restrict the number of trains through that area so that they can float their yachts in and out of the rivers without having to wait too long for bridge openings, and since the SLE trains had relatively light ridership they were dropped when Acela services were increased. There are no drawbridges between Old Saybrook and New Haven so it's not an issue there.
It was the CT Marine Trades Council, who feared the bridges being locked down for more trains, who did the most to limit the number of trains. At this point, the motor vehicle traffic between OSB and NLC isn't severe, but in the future it will be and hopefully the issue can be decided in a more favorable manner for commuter rail.