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 republic
 
Does anyone know if this is back on this year, or if it will ever be on again?
  by Terminal Proceed
 
No its not on - no money in the budget and its highly doubtful you will ever see it again any time soon

kevin
  by Otto Vondrak
 
republic wrote:Does anyone know if this is back on this year, or if it will ever be on again?
Don't listen to Terminal Proceed. They ARE having a Harmon Open House! But it's a secret! So secret THEY HAVEN'T ADVERTISED ONE IN ABOUT EIGHT YEARS.

;-)

-otto-
  by lirr42
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:Don't listen to Terminal Proceed. They ARE having a Harmon Open House! But it's a secret! So secret THEY HAVEN'T ADVERTISED ONE IN ABOUT EIGHT YEARS.
Hey, hey, hey, in an e-mail from MN last year they said they were reconsidering it on a year-to-year basis. They made it sound like will return when the finances make it possible. When that will be, nobody knows.
  by Terminal Proceed
 
Like I said - Don't hold your breath.
  by Trainer
 
It's interesting how MNCR believes that during tough times they cannot afford to run railfan-focused events while Amtrak and others understand that they cannot afford not to.
  by truck6018
 
Trainer wrote:It's interesting how MNCR believes that during tough times they cannot afford to run railfan-focused events while Amtrak and others understand that they cannot afford not to.
Comparing Metro North to Amtrak is comparing apples to oranges. That fact the both are railroads is where the comparison ends. Amtrak being a long distance carrier means the same people aren't necessarily relying on them the same way daily commuters rely on Metro North to get them in and out of Manhattan day in and day out. Don't get me wrong, there are those that do. But in all, it's a totally different type of ridership and operation.

Of late, there have been numerous audit from the state looking at Metro North's finances and to see where the $$$ is going. If an event like this were going to happen I think sponsorship would have to come into play. Aside from finances there are other logistics to consider to put on the open house.

The last few years of service additions means more demand on the rolling stock and right of way. This makes shop space a precious commodity for inspections and repairs of the stock. Laying up the personnel for the event also means repairs and inspections not getting done. It's not just the day of the event either. Fleet would have to figure out before hand what stock can be laid up for the days leading up to, during and after. Personnel likewise, and hope there are no hiccups on the daily operations during that time.

It wouldn't be fair to those that ride the rails every day if an open house means trains are not going to run.
  by RearOfSignal
 
The last thing MNR is worried about is the open house, if anyone has been paying attention to the news or this forum over the past year it would be obvious. This is a working(sometimes) railroad, not a Chuck E Cheese for railfans. To say that the railroad should be more focused on railfan events when its employees are being killed on tracks and trains are derailing and side-swiping and the tracks are in abysmal condition is crazy.

Beside didn't everyone have their fill from the train day celebration in May in GCT. That was much better than the Harmon open house would have been.
  by truck6018
 
RearOfSignal wrote:To say that the railroad should be more focused on railfan events when its employees are being killed on tracks and trains are derailing and side-swiping and the tracks are in abysmal condition is crazy.
Well said.
  by njt/mnrrbuff
 
With the increase in off peak rail service, you might as well just watch, photograph, and ride the regularly scheduled trains. The event isn't even just for the sake of railfans; it's also to demonstrate the jobs of railroad employees. I wouldn't mind seeing at least one type of rail equipment on display if they were to ever have an event, which probably wouldn't happen anytime soon.
  by alewifebp
 
Perpetually underfunded SEPTA does have a limited invitation open house. It seems to be primarily an event for employees, and they let some railfans come along for the ride, so to speak. If you are creative about it, it is possible, even under funding pressures. It's understandable that MN might want to hold off on that right now. Alternatively, the opposite might be true. Show off the hard work and dedication that MN employees stand for is good PR.
  by RearOfSignal
 
alewifebp wrote:Perpetually underfunded SEPTA does have a limited invitation open house. It seems to be primarily an event for employees, and they let some railfans come along for the ride, so to speak. If you are creative about it, it is possible, even under funding pressures. It's understandable that MN might want to hold off on that right now. Alternatively, the opposite might be true. Show off the hard work and dedication that MN employees stand for is good PR.
Commuters don't care about PR, they care about safe, clean and punctual trains. Railroads are like umpires in baseball nobody cares about them until they screw up, and when they don't screw up they don't get praised, people just say 'well that's their job.'
  by pnaw10
 
alewifebp wrote:Show off the hard work and dedication that MN employees stand for is good PR.
Not to be a party pooper -- as I'd love to see the Open House return as much as any other railfan -- but there are plenty of other, cheaper ways for MTA to show off the work and dedication of its employees. The MTA website is constantly updated with photos and videos of workers maintaining tracks. Even though it seems the subway gets most of the attention, there have been full albums and articles devoted to Metro North.

Perhaps instead of staging a traditional Open House -- which requires significant expense in adding extra staff, closing down tracks, running shuttle buses, etc., the railroad might consider a "virtual" Open House online. Different areas of the shops could be showcased in terms of photos and videos on the MNR website. You would see all of the same things you'd see at the Open House, except it would be online rather than in person. It would probably be much cheaper and more secure to produce an online effort than an open-to-the-public event. (Secure, because you could limit what's visible in photos/video, and there's no possibility of people "wandering" into areas they shouldn't be exploring, innocently or otherwise.) And since it would be online, it could be viewed anytime -- railfans wouldn't have to worry about whether they can make it on "that one day" of the year.

On the one hand, I think the Open House was a good way to educate the public on the "behind the scenes" of the railroad, and all the things you normally don't see every day. It's a good way to show what it takes to keep things moving along, and it shows taxpayers and farepayers what their money is used for -- there's also a point where the cost (again, in public dollars) for an Open House outweighs the benefit. An online version might be a more sensible way to showcase these talents without incurring thousands of dollars in overtime or the inconvenience of closed yard tracks and bringing the shops' functionality to a complete halt for a weekend so they can be "on display." A virtual open house could be photographed/recorded in segments, in such a way that there is very little or no disruption to regular operations.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
RearOfSignal wrote:This is a working(sometimes) railroad, not a Chuck E Cheese for railfans.
omg best quote ever. thank you.

Folks, the days of fun railfan events are over. This is a state transit agency, not Steamtown. Should the powers that be ever decide to resume tours or any facility, it would be delightful. But I think it's pretty much a dead issue now. Most of the folks who promoted those events were railroaders and they have all retired and moved on. Don't expect anything railfan-oriented to come down Metro-North's tracks any time soon.

-otto-
  by Noel Weaver
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:
RearOfSignal wrote:This is a working(sometimes) railroad, not a Chuck E Cheese for railfans.
omg best quote ever. thank you.

Folks, the days of fun railfan events are over. This is a state transit agency, not Steamtown. Should the powers that be ever decide to resume tours or any facility, it would be delightful. But I think it's pretty much a dead issue now. Most of the folks who promoted those events were railroaders and they have all retired and moved on. Don't expect anything railfan-oriented to come down Metro-North's tracks any time soon.

-otto-
I really like the "Rear of Signal" quote but I agree with all of this.
Noel Weaver