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

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dowlingm
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by dowlingm » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:06 pm

A non opening Portal is immediately a massive increase in nominal throughput - could NJT turn a certain number of trains at Secaucus to claim the additional capacity?

In the alternative, and admittedly this is *quite* the reach, is it anything other than madness to propose building a third track and curve onto the NYSW Northern Branch to allow some NJT single level diesel service to operate to a platform beside Tonnelle Avenue HBLR?

EuroStar
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by EuroStar » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:47 pm

Couple of interesting facts from the latest Gateway Program Development meeting:
1. There are optical cables "attached to the Portal Bridge" that are "the main lines into NYC and provide data transmission for Wall Street". Some of these cables are being relocated for by the preliminary work. That was news to me. I have to ponder where the fiber optic cables cross the Palisades and the Hudson river. If it is the existing tunnels under the river that would be just WOW!
2. 60% of the water in Jersey City is provided by an 1860 cast iron water main pipe that crosses the Northeast corridor tracks. That is definitely something that adds to the project cost as clearly they need to take all precautions possible to avoid damaging the pipe during construction given that the new approaches to the bridge will need to cross the pipe too.

east point
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by east point » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:19 pm

EuroStar wrote:Couple of interesting facts from the latest Gateway Program Development meeting:
1. There are optical cables "attached to the Portal Bridge" that are "the main lines into NYC and provide data transmission for Wall Street". Some of these cables are being relocated for by the preliminary work. That was news to me. I have to ponder where the fiber optic cables cross the Palisades and the Hudson river. If it is the existing tunnels under the river that would be just WOW!
2. 60% of the water in Jersey City is provided by an 1860 cast iron water main pipe that crosses the Northeast corridor tracks. That is definitely something that adds to the project cost as clearly they need to take all precautions possible to avoid damaging the pipe during construction given that the new approaches to the bridge will need to cross the pipe too.
Cannot speak to item 1 exact routing. However the routing of the fiber optic cable can be very important. Do believe that the actual routing over Portal is either underwater or parallel to the elevated 69 kV lines . Someone post a good picture of the bridge including the high voltage lines. If they were in a duct in a North River tunnel bore they probably were immune to salt water during "Sandy" ? Or they might be in one of the PATH tubes ? Speculation only as this is certainly classified .

The water line is being protected by a new heavy equipment bridge over the water line. That is part of the preliminary work contract that is now being done. The bridge over the water line will be or has been done so heavy equipment can access the river to build the work dock. Then of course the cranes and all heavy equipment to build the portal bridge itself will cross the water line bridge !. What will not be known is all the lost underground "stuff" that will be buried along the consstruction roadway being built. Just hope nothing critical is damaged !

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STrRedWolf
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by STrRedWolf » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:24 pm

EuroStar wrote:There are optical cables "attached to the Portal Bridge" that are "the main lines into NYC and provide data transmission for Wall Street". Some of these cables are being relocated for by the preliminary work. That was news to me. I have to ponder where the fiber optic cables cross the Palisades and the Hudson river. If it is the existing tunnels under the river that would be just WOW!
WOW is right. If those lines go via the Hudson River tunnels, having those tunnels collapse means at minimum heavy latency, at most a good chunk of connectivity failure, but ether way our entire economy takes a hit.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

east point
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by east point » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:41 pm

Amendment to post. Probably there are multi parallel fiber cables across the Hudson with instant switching between cables. They might even be run in parallel seamlessly ?

Greg Moore
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by Greg Moore » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:33 pm

Yes, there's a number of routings across the Hudson, most likely through all tunnels (road and rail) and the GWB. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some microwave links.

The system is multiply redundant and would have fairly decent switching capabilities.

The higher end trading companies generally have their own links. It's a small price to pay against the possible losses of a broken connection.
Check out QuiCR, Quick, Crowdsourced Responses for businesses.

Jenny on a M2
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by Jenny on a M2 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:19 am

Greg Moore wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there's some microwave links.
There are. I've personally only dealt with the private links for work, but I recall seeing microwave antennae of both types on Verizon's building at W53rd and 10th so I'd bet one of those links is for public redundancy.

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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by Ken W2KB » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:31 pm

There are several existing submarine high voltage electric transmission cables between New Jersey and New York under the Hudson, up to 345,000 Volts. Compared to that, I would think that a submarine fiber cable would be feasible, no need for use of existing tunnels. Perhaps they already are some?
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Nasadowsk
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by Nasadowsk » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:35 pm

Ken W2KB wrote:There are several existing submarine high voltage electric transmission cables between New Jersey and New York under the Hudson, up to 345,000 Volts. Compared to that, I would think that a submarine fiber cable would be feasible, no need for use of existing tunnels. Perhaps they already are some?
Maybe up near the Tappen Zee? The NYSE's big data center is over by Rt17 and Mahwah, afterall.

Oh wait, I'm not supposed to say that, am I? I mean, it's marked on Google maps...

(The building stands out like a sore thumb anyway)

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STrRedWolf
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by STrRedWolf » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:16 am

Nasadowsk wrote:Maybe up near the Tappen Zee? The NYSE's big data center is over by Rt17 and Mahwah, afterall.

Oh wait, I'm not supposed to say that, am I? I mean, it's marked on Google maps...

(The building stands out like a sore thumb anyway)
Doesn't really matter. You nuke NYC, and most of the economy goes (most, because some exchanges are in Chicago).
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?

daybeers
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by daybeers » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:02 pm

Not sure if this was already posted or if anyone had seen this interesting opinion article.

Backshophoss
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by Backshophoss » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:29 am

NY Daily News doesn't quite understand that the current bridge is too old and costly to maintain,like Walk bridge in Norwalk Ct,if it opens for
barge traffic,it may not lock back up when closed,and the delays would multiply fast!
The river should be closed to barge traffic and the bridge straight railed, but the Coast Guard protests the closure for 1-2 remaining barge
customers beyond Portal Bridge! :(
There's a need for a second bridge to line up with the Gateway tunnels to NY Penn.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

EuroStar
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by EuroStar » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:09 am

The article is old and while it contains some true facts it is quite weak in the arguments it makes. Recently the Gateway Development Corporation released a set of "mythbusters" that reveal that most of the typical complaints to be unreasonable. You can read those here http://www.gatewayprogram.org/content/d ... chment.pdf. The writer has no understanding that a four track bridge is quite difficult to build and that such bridges are rare for a reason, most of the time there are two two-track bridges next to each other. He also does not get the fact that four tracks over the river do not resolve the problem that there are only two tracks east and west of the bridge(s). It is also incorrect that the bridge does not open. It does and there is already an agreement with the Coast Guard for openings to not happen during rush hour. The problem really is that when the bridge opens outside of rush hour and gets stuck it takes hours to fix and the delays spill over into rush hour.

If the railroad was private, they could try to buy out the one-two barge customers up the river and be done with that, but the state (or Amtrak as a state entity) cannot really do that. Even then the Coast Guard is unlikely to allow welding the existing bridge in place. For example, while there has been no river traffic up the Passaic River for decades, the Newark Drawbridge on the Morris&Essex line is still required to be movable.

The one fact from the article that is unfortunately true is the requirement for 10% capacity increase for the federal funding. They are trying to fudge this by using an old baseline with fewer MLV cars, and that is likely to end up being the reason why the Trump Administration will deny the funds. While it is true that with a fixed bridge they might claim capacity increase through the higher seeds allowed on the new bridge and as a result more trains, the capacity is constrained east and west of the bridge and that will not allow for the 10% increase to be realized by completing this project alone.

Ryand-Smith
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by Ryand-Smith » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:29 pm

EuroStar wrote:The article is old and while it contains some true facts it is quite weak in the arguments it makes. Recently the Gateway Development Corporation released a set of "mythbusters" that reveal that most of the typical complaints to be unreasonable. You can read those here http://www.gatewayprogram.org/content/d ... chment.pdf. The writer has no understanding that a four track bridge is quite difficult to build and that such bridges are rare for a reason, most of the time there are two two-track bridges next to each other. He also does not get the fact that four tracks over the river do not resolve the problem that there are only two tracks east and west of the bridge(s). It is also incorrect that the bridge does not open. It does and there is already an agreement with the Coast Guard for openings to not happen during rush hour. The problem really is that when the bridge opens outside of rush hour and gets stuck it takes hours to fix and the delays spill over into rush hour.

If the railroad was private, they could try to buy out the one-two barge customers up the river and be done with that, but the state (or Amtrak as a state entity) cannot really do that. Even then the Coast Guard is unlikely to allow welding the existing bridge in place. For example, while there has been no river traffic up the Passaic River for decades, the Newark Drawbridge on the Morris&Essex line is still required to be movable.

The one fact from the article that is unfortunately true is the requirement for 10% capacity increase for the federal funding. They are trying to fudge this by using an old baseline with fewer MLV cars, and that is likely to end up being the reason why the Trump Administration will deny the funds. While it is true that with a fixed bridge they might claim capacity increase through the higher seeds allowed on the new bridge and as a result more trains, the capacity is constrained east and west of the bridge and that will not allow for the 10% increase to be realized by completing this project alone.
Isn't there 1 oil barge that does a run up the river? I thought they were the only customers.

electricron
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by electricron » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:25 pm

Ryand-Smith wrote: Isn't there 1 oil barge that does a run up the river? I thought they were the only customers.
Whether it is just one, a dozen, or a hundred customers, the Surface Transportation Board frowns on leaving customers without service. It rarely allows customers to be abandoned, short of bankruptcy being the cause of the disruption.

How many are helped or hurt may be considered, with economic impacts also being considered with a private project, but not with a public project. Suppose you or your company had just invested a billion dollars on a factory with access to cheap transportation, and the government wanted to cut your preferred transportation link completely off without compensation, how would you feel about It? Principles count out in the real world, because once government takes an action to kill a business, it sets the ground work to kill all further businesses in a like manner, because a precedence would have been set.

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