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 njtmnrrbuff
I agree about Stamford being the busiest station between NHV and GCT. For one thing, there are more Metro North trains that terminate at Stamford than at New Haven, even during the week. There are people who might live east of Stamford and along the New Canaan Branch who don't mind driving to Stamford for more rail service, especially getting an express train. With the New Canaan Branch running hourly service outside of rush hour, and having to change trains at STM when heading off the New Canaan indicates that people don't mind getting into their cars and driving to Stamford for more options. During most times of the day on weekends, MNR has four trains an hour that head to the city with two of those trains starting out in Stamford.
  by Ridgefielder
Jenny on a M2 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:16 am Stamford's definitely the busiest station between GCT and NHV; might even be busier than NHV as well. Platform monitors and loudspeakers abound.

Can't help with your operations questions as I am just a lowly commuter. :wink:
I wouldn't be surprised to find out Stamford is the busiest station between GCT and Boston South Station, to be honest. What with the Stamford Locals it certainly sees more trains in a day than does New Haven.
  by Erie-Lackawanna
In 2018, the number of average weekday boardings of Metro-North trains (only) at Stamford Station was about 15,200. That's boardings; if you want to know total MNR ridership in the station, assume everyone who boarded eventually debarked there as well, so double the number. Roughly 30,000 pairs of feet traverse the station on their way to or from a Metro-North train at Stamford station on an average weekday.

Stamford Station is the busiest among all Metro-North stations not including Grand Central Terminal. New Haven, in contrast, is 15th among all MNR stations.

These numbers do not include Amtrak riders unless they transferred to/from a Metro-North train. To that point, if you looked up Amtrak's ridership data for Stamford, you couldn't just add that number to the MNR number above, because there is no way to know from this data how many riders were transferring between the two carriers.

  by BranchRider
The new Track 7 Platform is taking shape this month in Stamford. The Platform surface is in place and the anchor locations for the catenary towers are apparent. The connection back to track 5 is still not obvious, but that elevator and access is finally complete on that side of the tracks.

I asked a conductor about the use of the track and he said yes that its a branch track but what they are going to use it for is a mystery for now. Anyone have new news on that?

The Branch runs hourly service off-hours but runs larger train sets than required. A 2-car train would be sufficient most mid-day periods and a 4 car train would be generous even during shoulder periods. A conductor told me one night that they have to run 4 cars for policy, something about tripping the signals at the grade crossings.

There was some talk of a relaunch of the Springdale passing siding but given the length of the branch and the cost cuts its unlikely to materialize.

Getting branch service to 30 minutes would do a world of difference to the line usage.
  by DutchRailnut
2 car trains are no longer allowed due to signal shunting issues and due to PTC concerns
  by checkthedoorlight
In the lore of Metro North history, the one fallacy that never seems to go away is that the New Canaan shuttle is only a 2 car train. This hasn't been the case since 2002, when Stamford was last reconfigured and track 5 became a through track that could hold 10 cars. There has NEVER been a 2 car M8 shuttle anywhere in the system, and the M2s are long, long gone.

In addition, the midday shuttles are part of rotations of GCT-New Canaan direct trains. 1712 comes down from GCT with 7 cars in the morning and stays on the New Canaan shuttle until it runs back to GCT as 1775.
  by BranchRider
That makes sense regarding the 4 car trains and the grade crossings, there are a number of them. The "Branch Platform" 7 seems long enough to handle 5+ Cars. The stairways down to the roadway seem strangely placed.

I'm surprised this isn't press on this nearing completion. Would it change the setup of the branch? ie would they be able to run more often, whether they be 4 car or 7 car trains?
  by DutchRailnut
without a siding in middle, no they would not be able to increase amount of trains
  by Jeff Smith
One would hope the siding would be the next priority.
  by BranchRider
The Springdale stop seems to have so much potential being adjacent to the industrial site. I was just reviewing the feasibility study and it highlights that adding a platform at Springdale would be helpful in that the waiting train could use its time in station.

I wasn't sure based on the crossing at Largo drive and the crossing south whether there would be enough room to run a 6-7-8 car passing siding. Seems like if costs of the switches are the same, it would make sense to make it reasonably long to accommodate a peak train serving as a shuttle.

Its also unclear if the signalization is complete. I walked by the tracks on Grove street and it appears that the switches into the bulk track are now fully automated.

I'm shocked at how little press the new platform for branches is getting down in Stamford. The 2030 plan has no money for New Canaan Branch, despite the 2,500 daily ridership being order of magnitude larger than the other branches.
  by NH2060
The space between the Omega Drive and Largo Drive crossings could easily accommodate a full 8 car platform (in this case a 4 car length extension of the existing platform) before running the risk of obstructing the crossing. However some other things to take into account include:

1) The crossing signals at at least one if not both crossings would still be activated while a train is in the station.

2) Adding a second track and platform would require the switches to be placed at the outer ends of both crossings which -when taking into account more frequent service being provided by 2 trains traveling in opposite directions compared to current service patterns- would keep the crossing gates down longer.

3) One of the prerequisites of any capacity enhancements at Springdale is that the traffic flow at neighboring grade crossings isn't adversely effected.

So depending on how much car traffic uses both crossings at peak travel periods it would appear that one of the crossings would have to be relocated or closed in order to accommodate the passing track + platform.
  by Jeff Smith
Any updates?
  by excitebike
Last week the platform on the Atlantic St. bridge was poured. Looks like no progress on the track itself; they still have to move all the catenary supports out of the way.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by BranchRider
Thanks for these great photos! Looks like the foundations for the new Cat towers are in.

The connection to this platform from Platform 5 is going to be tricky. I'm hoping they don't have people go down to street level and back up to the platform.
  by Jeff Smith
Thanks! It looks like the track will directly parallel track 5, and the track 7 platform will NOT be an island platform? Am I seeing that right? And I agree, the transfer may be tricky.