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

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35dtmrs92
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Re: NEC Portal Bridge Thread - Operation, Replacement Etc.

Post by 35dtmrs92 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:49 pm

Is that metal sorting facility on the west bank of the river supposed to come down, or is there enough room between the existing westbound main and the building for the new track to avoid it?

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Re: Portal Bridge Amtrak and NJT Status and Replacement Discussion

Post by Jeff Smith » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:31 am

Long-stalled $1.6 billion rail project showing signs of life: Tri-Cityherald.com[/b]
...

Recent comments by federal transit officials indicate that a $1.6 billion project to build a new bridge over New Jersey's Hackensack River is making progress toward clearing a hurdle currently standing in the way of its receiving the federal funding needed to begin construction. Last year, the project was disqualified from a federal grant program in a dispute over how much money New Jersey was putting up.

The Portal North bridge, slated to replace a 109-year-old swing bridge that occasionally becomes stuck after it opens to allow boats to pass under, is a component of the larger Gateway project that also includes a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. The tunnel project also has been stalled by funding disputes with the federal government.
...
It is the farthest along of the Gateway-associated projects, having completed design work and received environmental approval in 2013.

What it lacked was federal funding. Last year, the Federal Transit Administration gave the project a low rating that disqualified it from a key federal grant program, despite the fact the state had committed $600 million through a bond issue backed by the state's gas tax. New Jersey is seeking roughly $811 million in grant money.

Last week, acting FTA Administrator K. Jane Williams told members of a House transportation subcommittee that New Jersey Transit, which is overseeing the project, is "making progress" toward being able to petition for a higher rating this fall, pending state and board approval.
...
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SouthernRailway
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Re: All Things Portal Bridge: Amtrak and NJT Status and Replacement Discussion

Post by SouthernRailway » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:20 pm

Thanks for the update.

Last weekend, the NJT train that I was on stopped short of the Portal Bridge for a while because it was single-tracked at the time.

Then the train lost power. In 95 degree heat.

If that's what commuting around NYC is like due to the state of the area's commuter railroads, I'll pass.

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

Post by gokeefe » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:36 pm

And sadly others simply cannot ... NJT is not optional for many people who use it. At least the project is moving forward.
gokeefe

west point
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Re: All Things Portal Bridge: Amtrak and NJT Status and Replacement Discussion

Post by west point » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:08 pm

In our opinion there will be power failures along the whole NYP - WASH corridor until the CAT is all made constant tension and conversion of the 25 Hz to 60 Hz. Have not seen the figures lately but there was at one time less than 90% power to the CAT from what AMTRAK bought. That is a real waste but full conversion probably will not save power costs returns for 25 - 40 years ?

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

Post by Backshophoss » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:08 pm

DO YOU have the $$$$$$$$ needed to rebuild every overpass/bridge on the NEC??
That's one part of process to change to commercial power on the old PRR grid,and there's much more to be done at the tunnels
for proper air gapping at the new voltage!
Amtrak has invested into the current system already.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

west point
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Re: All Things Portal Bridge: Amtrak and NJT Status and Replacement Discussion

Post by west point » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:43 pm

It is not necessary to covert the PRR section to 25 Kv 60 Hz. We believe because of the larger gap needed for 25 Kv that any conversion will be at the standard of 12.5Kv 60 Hz that MNRR uses. Of course all CAT hardware work will be built for 25 Kv as is now being done north of Trenton. Pictures of the present CAT replacement will show that that hardware is 25 Kv capable. The clearance problems under some bridges and tunnels will have to wait. Replacement of the B&P tunnel notes that clearances in the new bores will be sufficient for 25 Kv. Just going from 12 Kv 25 Hz to 12.5 Kv 60 Hz will increase power capacity by about 8 %

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

Post by Backshophoss » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:41 pm

You still wind up rebuilding every overpass/bridge on the NEC for 12.5 kv 60 hz, Again Amtrak has invested in the current system
and has put in new static inverters in NJ for 13 kv 25 hz.
How do you replace 3 rivers power generating station that creates 25 hz power?
SEPTA and NJT will need to upgrade their yard trackage to the new NEC voltage.
You will need to REPLACE every substation on the NEC,for 12.5 kv 60 hz power.
IT:S VERY EXPENSIVE TO CONVERT THE NEC not worth the 8% purported gain.

What is NEEDED NOW is the Gateway tunnels and Portal Bridge,Forget about the power upgrade for now
NOW is the time to start putting in sheet pilings to allow digging bridge support foundations!!!!!
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

west point
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Re: All Things Portal Bridge: Amtrak and NJT Status and Replacement Discussion

Post by west point » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:21 pm

Backshophoss wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:41 pm
You still wind up rebuilding every overpass/bridge on the NEC for 12.5 kv 60 hz, Again Amtrak has invested in the current system
and has put in new static inverters in NJ for 13 kv 25 hz.
How do you replace 3 rivers power generating station that creates 25 hz power?
SEPTA and NJT will need to upgrade their yard trackage to the new NEC voltage.
You will need to REPLACE every substation on the NEC,for 12.5 kv 60 hz power.
IT:S VERY EXPENSIVE TO CONVERT THE NEC not worth the 8% purported gain.

What is NEEDED NOW is the Gateway tunnels and Portal Bridge,Forget about the power upgrade for now
NOW is the time to start putting in sheet pilings to allow digging bridge support foundations!!!!!
1. 12.5 Kv is close enough to 12 Kv that there will not need any rebuilding of overpasses and bridges as the present Amtrak system can take the slightly higher voltage. Remember the PRR CAT has already been thru 2 voltage increases. 11.0 Kv to 11.5 Kv by PRR late 1940s and 11.5 Kv to 12.0 Kv by Amtrak in the 1980s. Just to confuse further the voltage tolerances are + / - 10% of the nominal voltages.
2. We would imagine that conversion will take many years if ever thereby exceeding the static inverters to become obsolete. Note they are installed in the PHL - NYC line.
3. The Safe Harbor generating station is equipped with both 25 Hz single phase generators and 60 Hz 3 phase generators. Amtrak has first call on all power generated there. If Amtrak phases out 25 Hz the 25 Hz generators can be replaced with 60 Hz generators dedicated to Amtrak.
4. You are assuming SEPTA and NJT will have to upgrade to the new voltage. Not so they will have to upgrade to the new frequency if their equipment has not been upgraded as stated in number 5.
5. Since the 1980s Amtrak has only purchased substation equipment and transformers that are dual frequency capable. 25 Hz transformers now built can handle 60 Hz quite well. Remember the problem MNRR has for their M-8s that have only 60 Hz transformers that will not work on 25 Hz and will have to buy 25/60 Hz transformers for the M-8s if they want to go to NYP.
6. We agree that Portal and Gateway needs first crack but Amtrak will continue replacing the 25 Hz only equipment as it goes to final breakdowns. Conversion in our opinion is probably 40 years in the foreseeable future. However NJT already has most yards on 60 Hz and all its rolling stock smoothly transistions from 12 Kv 25 Hzz to 12.5 Kv 60 Hz. However the NJT 25 Kv 60 Hz requires older equipment to be manually changed outside of the cars. Locos no problem.
7.

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

Post by Nasadowsk » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:28 am

west point wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:21 pm
1. 12.5 Kv is close enough to 12 Kv that there will not need any rebuilding of overpasses and bridges as the present Amtrak system can take the slightly higher voltage. Remember the PRR CAT has already been thru 2 voltage increases. 11.0 Kv to 11.5 Kv by PRR late 1940s and 11.5 Kv to 12.0 Kv by Amtrak in the 1980s. Just to confuse further the voltage tolerances are + / - 10% of the nominal voltages.
MN went from 11kv to 13.8kv in the 80's, no issues. They even retained the old floating beam crap into the 90's. I've heard it climbs as high as 15kv in places, but never confirmed it.
2. We would imagine that conversion will take many years if ever thereby exceeding the static inverters to become obsolete. Note they are installed in the PHL - NYC line.
Assuming the signals and substations can handle it, it's just pulling new feeders in and flipping the switch. It can / should be done in segments.
4. You are assuming SEPTA and NJT will have to upgrade to the new voltage. Not so they will have to upgrade to the new frequency if their equipment has not been upgraded as stated in number 5.
All of SEPTA's and NJT's equipment can change frequencies on the fly.
5. Since the 1980s Amtrak has only purchased substation equipment and transformers that are dual frequency capable. 25 Hz transformers now built can handle 60 Hz quite well. Remember the problem MNRR has for their M-8s that have only 60 Hz transformers that will not work on 25 Hz and will have to buy 25/60 Hz transformers for the M-8s if they want to go to NYP.
Forget 25hz M8s, the M8s are way too heavy as it is.
6. We agree that Portal and Gateway needs first crack but Amtrak will continue replacing the 25 Hz only equipment as it goes to final breakdowns. Conversion in our opinion is probably 40 years in the foreseeable future. However NJT already has most yards on 60 Hz and all its rolling stock smoothly transistions from 12 Kv 25 Hzz to 12.5 Kv 60 Hz. However the NJT 25 Kv 60 Hz requires older equipment to be manually changed outside of the cars. Locos no problem.
Portal needs replacement, but it needs to be better thought out than 1.6 (or is it 1.8 this week?) billion for a bridge that's got a football field long moveable portion, and itself is barely 3 football fields long. NJT's inability to get federal funding is because they proposed it as a capacity improvement, which is a laughable argument at best.

Gateway? Too expensive for too little. Get it down to 3-5 billion like it would be anywhere else, it's a slam dunk. At 12 to who-knows-how-much, it's a workfare project.

Elephant in the room: IIRC, more people take NJT's buses into NYC every day than the trains, and by a good amount (I've heard a factor of 2:1). Maybe the real transit answer is a new vehicular tunnel under the Hudson, plus a new PABT. The proposed PABT replacement is obscenely overpriced (billions, for a low rise building in NYC without selling the air rights.), for no real reason the PA can put forward. Then again, the PA built a 4 billion dollar subway station for 35,000 riders a day, so...

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

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:17 pm

We're talking about Portal, not catenary transmission type.
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SRich
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Re: All Things Portal Bridge: Amtrak and NJT Status and Replacement Discussion

Post by SRich » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:52 am

Will the new bridge be owned by Amtrak?
Greatings from the Netherlands

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

Post by EuroStar » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:04 am

For the next century or so it is of relatively little importance who will own the bridge. The more important issue is who will perform the maintenance. Amtrak will likely maintain all the tracks, ties, ballast and catenary on the bridge and the approaching structures given that they maintain the line on both sides of it. As long as the bridge and its supports do not get hit by a boat and no train derails badly on it, the only maintenance the bridge will require is some paint/sealant every 2-3 decades. The ownership question is really only important when it comes to heavy maintenance/repair and even then only in relation to the chicken game of who will pay for such heavy maintenance/repair.

This makes me wonder who owns the elevated structures in Secaucus Junction? I imagine that NJT or the state owns the station building itself, Amtrak obviously maintains the tracks/ties/ballast/catenary/switches on the NEC, but who owns the elevated structure on which the trains actually run through the station? My guess would be NJT or the state (Amtrak definitely owns the land as part of the right of way), but I do not really know.

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

Post by SRich » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:27 am

EuroStar wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:04 am
For the next century or so it is of relatively little importance who will own the bridge. The more important issue is who will perform the maintenance. Amtrak will likely maintain all the tracks, ties, ballast and catenary on the bridge and the approaching structures given that they maintain the line on both sides of it. As long as the bridge and its supports do not get hit by a boat and no train derails badly on it, the only maintenance the bridge will require is some paint/sealant every 2-3 decades. The ownership question is really only important when it comes to heavy maintenance/repair and even then only in relation to the chicken game of who will pay for such heavy maintenance/repair.

This makes me wonder who owns the elevated structures in Secaucus Junction? I imagine that NJT or the state owns the station building itself, Amtrak obviously maintains the tracks/ties/ballast/catenary/switches on the NEC, but who owns the elevated structure on which the trains actually run through the station? My guess would be NJT or the state (Amtrak definitely owns the land as part of the right of way), but I do not really know.
You are joking right :-D
First its doesn't matter with the bridge, but now the question about the structures…
:wink:
Greatings from the Netherlands

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

Post by EuroStar » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:20 am

The ban on lifting the Portal Bridge during rush hour will be made permanent.
The U.S. Coast Guard will permanently ban opening the ancient Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River in Kearny during the morning and evening commuter rush.

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