All Things Portal Bridge: Amtrak and NJT Status and Replacement Discussion

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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JLo
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Post by JLo » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:54 am

They use minisubs with torpedos.
Jeez, I hope they are Russian models.
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Ken W2KB
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Portal Bridge regulation change (NEC in NJ bet. NWK and NYP)

Post by Ken W2KB » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:03 am

Regulations

For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

PART 117--DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1; [Section] 117.255 also issued under the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 Stat. 5039.

2. Section 117.723 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:

[Section] 117.723 Hackensack River.

* * * * *

(c) Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(1) of this section, the draw of the Amtrak Portal Bridge, mile 5.0, at Little Snake Hill, need not open for the passage of vessel traffic Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Additional bridge openings shall be provided for commercial vessels from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m.; 9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. to 8 p.m., if at least a one-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge. At all other times the draw shall open on signal.

* * * * *

Dated: September 25, 2005.

David P. Pekoske,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.

[FR Doc. 05-19952 Filed 10-4-05; 8:45 am]
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

Ken W2KB
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Portal Bridge operating regulation change -

Post by Ken W2KB » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:04 am

~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

pgengler
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Post by pgengler » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:11 am

What was the rule for opening the bridge before? I recall hearing that this was pretty much the rule already, though it may have been a "test period" by the Coast Guard to see how well this policy would work.
Phil Gengler

Overheard in NY Penn: "All aboard! Get on the train if you're coming with us!"

Ken W2KB
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Post by Ken W2KB » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:22 am

The existing drawbridge operation regulations allow the bridge to remain closed to vessel traffic, Monday through Friday, from 7:20 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m., daily. So the good for trains, bad for boats time, was expanded.

The new rule was being tested for about the last 18 months under a special waiver.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

timz
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Post by timz » Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:51 pm

So before 18 months ago the bridge always had to open on signal?

Ken W2KB
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Post by Ken W2KB » Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:15 pm

No. For several years at least, it did not have to open during the specified shorter rush hour slots. The morning and afternoon closed periods were lengthened by the new rule. (Except, as still is the case under the generic regulations, for federal government vessels and emergencies it must open on signal at any time.)
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]

ryanov
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Portal Drawbridge

Post by ryanov » Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:42 am

I was on the last MidTOWN Direct train, NYP-bound, and it was diverted to Hoboken because "There's a problem with the Portal."

Anyone know what the problem was?
|=| R. Novosielski |=|

SecaucusJunction
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Post by SecaucusJunction » Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:17 am

I got to Penn Station at 11:35 in hopes to catch either the 11:51 Coast Line train or 11:56 NEC train to Secaucus. Upon arriving at the big board, I saw that both were marked "Delayed". I walked over to the NJT area of the station to find that, of course, there was no one to let me know where to go. I walked around further and saw 1 security guard with at least 100 people around him trying to tell people where to go.

Unfortunately, according to him, NJ Transit hadnt told him anything and he suggested that the people take the PATH train to get to Newark because the trains would be running west from that spot. I asked him what to do if I wanted to go to Secaucus and he told me that he didnt know. During the mass confusion that followed, I was trying to tell people how to take the PATH train back to NJ but no one really knew what to do. So, I knew that I would never make it to the PATH to Hoboken to get my train but since he said it would be a delay of somewhere between 10 minutes and 4 hours, I decided to head that way anyway.

The line to get to the PATH Station at 33rd St was down the road but moved rather quickly. About 90 percent of the people at the PATH station were jumping the turnstyles even though there were repeated announcements not to do so. The train was probably as crowded as it could be as you would have needed a shoehorn to fit anyone else in by the time it made its NY stops. No one knew where to go as they were told at Penn Station that the PATH train was going to Newark... Unfortunately it was only going to Journal Square.

We got off in Hoboken along with a lot of others and caught the next train to the Bergen County Line. BUT, and here is where it goes downhill, people at NJT were telling passengers to board that train to Secaucus to get to Newark and points west. What they didnt tell them was that the trains werent running because the bridge was out west of the station.

So a crowd of people got off the train at Secaucus and I'm sure they are probably still there at this moment. The trains still werent running as we passed because not one person got on at Secaucus.

I've heard about these lack of communications at NJT before but since I'm not a terribly frequent rider, this is my first real encounter. Its pretty sad when I have to tell people where to go to get out of New York because the people working for the railroad dont know. If I didnt know my way around the system, I would still be in New York trying to find anyone who knew what was going on.

Jtgshu
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Post by Jtgshu » Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:23 am

I can only speak for what was going on in NYP, as that is where I was, but the drawbridge got stuck at probably about 1045 - my eastbound was one of hte last over it (we heard "once you eastbounds clear, I gotta open teh bridge, I got a boat sitting here"). 7883, 7285 and 7885, 7287 and 7887 and the Dover trains that leave (don't remember the numbers) never left the station - '83 and '85's were loaded up and ready to go, and were held a while, but then about 1130 or so, all NJT trains were told to unload our passengers, and to send them to the PATH station, and that they would be crosshonoring the tickets.

There were NUMEROUS annoucements about going to the PATH station, and that all NJT and amtrak westbounds were indefinately delayed. the 8th Ave concourse was like a ghost town, there was no passengers around.

The first train to leave was the scheduled 1234 to Dover, followed by the 1237 to LB and the 1242 to Trenton. - these were boarded adn left the platforms about 15 minutes late, and were held another 10 minutes or so on teh X tracks for very delayed Eastbounds to enter the station -

Newark Penn was a madhouse of people, but everyone was calm and orderly, the crew went around and made constant annoucements on the train and platform, and it wasn't that bad in Newark - no incidents that im aware of on my train tonight

As for Portal, it apparently was stuck in the wide open posiition tonight, and once they got it closed, couldn't get a good lock on it, which was the second round of delays to the first trians out of NYP.

When it rains it pours - thats the railroad...........
On the RR, "believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see"
John, aka "JTGSHU" passed away on August 26, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion to railroading at railroad.net.

Tom V
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Post by Tom V » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:52 am

It's time to start the fixed span replacement for Portal, no need to wait for "THE" tunnel project.

How much would a new 4 track span cost, $100 Million ?..

The Port Authority gave NJ Transit $150 Million to build the Meadowlands sports complex rail spur, they also gave NJ Transit money for the new Bi-levels. A fixed span replacement is a higher priority!

DutchRailnut
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Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:09 am

If Portal is over a navigable waterway, you won't be allowed to build a fixed span; the new bridge would need to be movable. Boats have rights over trains; the waterway was there before the railroad ;-)
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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7 Train

Post by 7 Train » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:31 am

The Turnpike next door to the Portal has a high level fixed span.

Irish Chieftain

Post by Irish Chieftain » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:32 am

It's also got a grade that trains wouldn't be able to climb without stalling, most likely.

DutchRailnut
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Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:33 am

yes but what is option for railroad to go that high ?
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

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