• The East Side Access Project Discussion (ESA)

  • Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.
Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by checkthedoorlight
and just for the record, since this wasn't addressed yet, Amtrak's P32's have third rail shoes which flip up. When a train bound for the Hudson line leaves the Empire tunnel and the engine is now in diesel mode, the engineer presses a switch which flips up the third rail shoe, so that when they reach the Hudson line, the shoe will not get ripped off when it encountered MNRR's opposite type of third rail. I'm not sure if the Empire Connection has one of these (but I'd be surprised if they didn't), but near Manitou station going south, there is a tiny, un-powered section of third rail which is firmly planted in the ground, which is designed to rip off any third rail shoes which are not properly aligned for the electric territory.

Metro-North's MUs and P32s do NOT have retractable third rail shoes, so the only way they can run on LIRR or Penn Station is to have their shoe removed at a shop. This would of course cause them to need to be towed (and before anybody gets any bright ideas, remember that the M2's are not compatible with the catenary south of Gate interlocking)

  by Jumpshot724
O cool. So I'm guessing that P32acdm were bought by Amtrak just for services in/out of NYP or are there other places they need/use them too?

  by DutchRailnut
other than Amtraks 18 P32acdm's for New York state services, Metro North has 30 (including 4 CDOT units) for commuter service.
  by hrfcarl
While I understand the basic idea behind ESA (LIRR access to east side of Manhattan), what I do not understand is: If this new termial reroutes few or no LIRR traffic from NYP, why the need for new level at GCT? Why not make ESA a station stop for LIRR at GCT with the tunnels continueing under Park Ave turning under NYP east access tunnels to a new level at NYP - say about 15-20 tracks? Maybe dedicate one of the tunnels and 4-5 tracks for MN & Amtrak. There should be connector tubes to current NYP east & west access tunnels for Amtrak & LIRR use and connector bubes at Park Ave access tunnerls for Amtrak & MN use. The 2 tracks in the 63rd St tunnel will still be use exclusively for LIRR electified trains, since that is all that will fit. If the this new lower level at NYP has enough tracks, then maybe some/all LIRR trains can go there freeing up space for NJT. This gets 4 railroads involved to share the costs.

  by RedSoxSuck
Because there is absolutely NO need for that. The purpose of ESA (and THE tunnel, for that matter) is to ADD capacity to the respective railroads, NOT to provide alternate destinations. It is already costing SEVERAL BILLION dollars for ESA, why would you add several more billion dollars to that when you would not get any real additional return?
  by hrfcarl
I have read where NJT wants to build a 4-8 track terminal under 34th street near NYP for more capacity. I have read articles where people are asking if MN can reach NYP for west side access without the need of subway and increase capacity. ESA is adding tunnels under Park Ave on the north side of GCT, so why not continue those tunnels under Park Ave on the south side of GCT and turing under the NYP's East Side access tunnels to a new level under the crowded NYP? (Maybe only need 2 or 3 tunnels - 2 for LIRR and 1 for MN - until turn to NYP) Adding 15-20 additional tracks at NYP would not add capacity?

LIRR, NJT & MN all want additional space and access. Right now, each of the 3 RRs have their own plans, with each costing BILLIONS. What I am proposing combines all 3 which should allow for cost sharing and could even get Amtraks attention (share tunnel with MN as they do at GCT).

  by jlr3266
You throw millions of dollars around like it is just a small step up, yet there are no commanding reasons to do this. The railroads do not care about neat, while you are at-its. Each has its own agenda and needs.

The point of ESA is two-fold. NYP is at capacity and Long Island growth is increasing. A large portion of LIRR riders have a final destination on the East Side. ESA adds capacity without adding to local transit volume. Some will argue that the Lex will be overcrowded until the 2nd Ave Subway is complete, but the reality is that the bulk of the job growth is walking distance to GCT. If you still have to ride the subway why would you go to the new GCT instead of NYP?

There are no demands that require MN to go to NYP. It's a nice-to-have and political wet-dream. Is it feasible? Yes, but not needed.

Amtrak has no money. Nothing. Getting their attention serves no purpose since the only activities Amtrak gets involved in these days is figuring out how to get other railroads to pay for things.

  by checkthedoorlight
When ESA is implemented, how are the east ends of these lines going to handle the extra service? Since supposably NONE of the runs to NYP are going to be cut, these lines are going to need extra trains, and Babylon, Ronkonkoma, Huntington and Far Rock are running at or very close to 100% capacity, and Long Beach, Hempstead, West Hempstead and Port Washington (all of which are limited by a single track section at the terminal) don't have room for many other slots.

  by hrfcarl
"The railroads do not care about neat, while you are at-its. Each has its own agenda and needs."

They all have the same basic need (more track space), but agendas are the problem. MTA controls both LIRR & MN, so getting them in line should not a problem. Give NJT additional track space at NYP and they may see the light and join. While not contributing $, Amtrak could benefit from ESA connecting to NYP as well. So instead of looking for the neat solution, the 3 commuter RRs have their own plan, costing billions each. And why should they care, it will be the riders and tax payers who pay!

ESA could have been modified to add capacity at NYP with a new terminal level, while adding ESA for LIRR & WSA for MN with a station at GCT. In the 35+ years since the 63rd St tunnel was built, the current ESA is the best plan they could come up with?

  by jlr3266
The Feds can only give out money from a fixed pot. Getting funding what you need over being rejected for what would be nice is a big factor in management decisions in all industries.

Long term ESA capacity improvements relies on the 3rd Track Project.
  by hrfcarl
That is what is most fustrating about the entire process. The Feds have a fixed pot, so instead of trying to get the LIRR, MN (both under MTA) and NJT to coordinate their efforts and fix the problem of capacity at NYP plus provide access between GCT & NYP, they make them compete for funds. So instead of getting the most bang for the buck, the Feds (and thus the tax payers & riders) could end up spending 3x as much. Where is the accountability and coordination?

  by jlr3266
Welcome to the public sector....

  by cpontani
Isn't Amtrak a big part of the problem at NYP? They own the place, but in percentage of riders, what do they contribute compared to LIRR/NJT? 20%? (complete guess)

One reason people may want to go to GCT AND take the subway would be if they lived on a smaller line (say Hempstead), and want a one-train ride into Manhattan because the time of that train is convenient to them. Who knows if they want to avoid Flatbush or a change at Jamaica for whatever reason...

It seems that the answer to whatever proposed increased terminal space in Manhattan is a deep-bore tunnel. If you're down far enough, you can pretty much go anywhere you want. Of course, it's beaucoup bucks to do anything of that sort, let alone how slowly those tunnel boring machines work.

If the P32acdm's have retractable shoes, then there's no reason one could be built for the M7/M8/etc. if you wanted to have a small dedicated fleet down the West Side into NYP...

Sorry if it's a little off-topic, I always hear how there's no room for the catenary in GCT, but what did the LIRR do to make the tunnels to NYP clear for the C-3's?
Last edited by cpontani on Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by checkthedoorlight
The roofs of the C3s are grounded, so the catenary just scrapes along it

  by Crabman1130
checkthedoorlight wrote:The roofs of the C3s are grounded, so the catenary just scrapes along it
If the roofs are grounded wouldn't that cause a short? Maybe they are insulated?
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