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 shadyjay
I love this in the FAQ section of the WALK Bridge web site:
(CP243 refers to the numbered Catenary Post supporting overhead power lines at that location.
  by Jeff Smith
Uh-oh: https://www.facebook.com/mtamnr/?fref=nf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
New Haven Line Service Update: Train service to New Haven has resumed with significant delays due to single tracking and train congestion as a result of the failure of a draw bridge in the vicinity of South Norwalk to close properly. Currently there is only one track available for service over the draw bridge.
Limited service from New Haven to New York/Grand Central Terminal has also resumed with significant delays up to 90 minutes due to single tracking over the draw bridge.

There will be no inbound (to NY) train service at South Norwalk, Rowayton, Darien and Noroton Heights Stations. Customers using those stations should go to Stamford for train service to Grand Central.

For Danbury Branch customers, shuttle train service is being provided between Danbury and Merritt 7 Stations due to overhead wire damage. Shuttle bus service is being provided from Merritt 7 to Stamford Station for inbound train service and bus service is being provided from South Norwalk to Merritt 7 Station for connecting train service to Danbury.

Customers are strongly encouraged to seek alternate transportation at this time.
Metro-North Railroad Walk Bridge In Norwalk Stuck Open, Causing Train Delays

Metro-North is warning riders to expect delays after a mechanical failure of the Walk Bridge in South Norwalk.

Norwalk police say the drawbridge was stuck in an open position around 3 p.m.As of 5 p.m. the railroad had restored limited service. The railroad warns riders to expect significant delays.

According to Metro-North, currently only one track is running over the drawbridge. The single line tracking and train congestion is causing delays. There is no inbound service to New York from South Norwalk, Rowayton, Darien and the Noroton Heights Stations.
  by Bill D
Here is a video clip I made while passing the disabled train last evening. The pantograph on 9300 was torn off. This train was short turning at South Norwalk due to the Walk bridge failure. As you can see, the train stopped just west of the Washington Street bridge, fouling the crossovers between tracks 1 and 3. The train that I was on (6548) bypassed Darien and Westport stations, as we were running on track 2 and westbound trains were using track 4. Passengers for the missed stops were advised to get off at South Norwalk and Fairfield to transfer to a westbound train.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/billonthe ... ateposted/
  by Jeff Smith
The Hour
Trains on schedule after another Walk bridge problem
The “mechanical difficulties” were problems related to closing the 119-year-old swing bridge over the Norwalk River, Meredith Daniels, Metro-North spokeswoman said Saturday.

Two Metro-North and an Amtrak train were delayed because of a problem in the mechanicals of opening and closing the bridge.

The problem happened shortly after 10 p.m. and was resolved about an hour later when the ancient bridge was safely closed.

At midnight there were still residual delays of up to an hour, also forcing delays on the Danbury and Waterbury branch lines.

At 12:38 a.m. Saturday, Metro-North tweeted, “New Haven Line Service is now operating on or close to schedule. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.”
  by Jeff Smith
Bridge opening restrictions for "extreme" weather: The Hour

"Extreme" is considered above 85F. I live near Savannah. That ain't extreme, but I understand the engineering principle and caution given the bridge's age.

Also of interest is the number of times it opens.
Heat stroke for Norwalk Bridge

When the mercury climbs, don’t expect the Walk Bridge in Norwalk to open for passing vessels.

Out of caution, the state Department of Transportation has chosen to keep the 119-year-old railroad bridge closed in hot weather— temperatures above 85 degrees — to avoid potential malfunctions that could disrupt Amtrak and Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line trains.

“The Walk Bridge was restricted from opening yesterday and today because of the heat. That restriction will be lifted at 9 p.m. tonight,” DOT spokesman Judd Everhart said Friday. “Going forward, we will not open the bridge when temperatures are above 85 degrees.”
The DOT has been cautious about opening the bridge after it failed twice in spring 2014, prompting state, regional and federal officials to assemble money and begin planning its replacement. Design work is 30 percent complete and the state hopes to begin the estimated billion dollar project in 2018.
Devine Bros., which moves heating fuel, concrete, and mason and landscaping materials by barge to its facility at 38 Commerce St., hasn’t had its traffic interrupted yet, said company President Thomas Devine.

“We got barges in this week so were pretty much set. It didn’t affect us in any particular way,” Devine said of the bridge being closed Thursday and Friday. “I would imagine they would close only during the height of the heat during the daytime. I don’t see any reason it would be closed at night.”
In 2013, the DOT opened the Walk Bridge 270 times, or roughly 22 times a month on average. In 2014, the bridge was opened only 66 times. From January through July 2015, it was opened 79 times, according to the DOT.
  by Scalziand
Ridgefielder wrote:Guess my bigger question is- why did they rule out a lift span? Is the bedrock unsuitable for the needed tower footings? Acquiring property and building a temporary bridge doesn't exactly sound like the cheap alternative.

Also- the blog post from Nancy on Norwalk says the temporary bridge would be north of the current structure, but the properties cited in the Hour article as being potential CDOT acquisitions are on the south side of the tracks. And they're all on the east bank of the river-- but I don't see how it would be possible, without an extremely tight radius curve, to get the line onto a temporary structure without demolishing either the IMAX theater or part of the Aquarium on the west bank.
A lift span looks like the most logical from me too.

Hoo boy. Now the rumor is that the state is considering taking the IMAX theater to make room for the temporary bypass span.

http://www.thehour.com/news/article/Sta ... 188366.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by MNCRR9000
http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/A-c ... 301435.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Could it really cost $1 billion to replace the 562 foot long Walk Railroad Bridge in South Norwalk? Or is there a cheaper alternative that state Department of Transportation is hiding from us?
This 120-year-old swing bridge sometimes refuses to close, stranding thousands of Metro-North Railroad and Amtrak riders. Any problems it suffers affects commuters from Bridgeport to Greenwich and travelers throughout the northeast corridor. It is crucial to the US economy. And hey, it’s your tax dollars, whether you live along the New Haven line and commute daily or call Danbury home and never set foot upon a train.
But, vital as it is, the plan to replace the Walk Bridge, has ballooned from $600 million to $1 billion, thanks to added rail yards and such.
And that’s just the first of four such century-old bridges on the line that face replacement, with cost estimates that range from $500 million to $780 million. Whatever happens at Walk will be precedent for the others.
http://patch.com/connecticut/norwalk/no ... sen-duff-0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
NORWALK, CT — The city has recently a few extra weeks time from the state to complete its Environmental Assessment of the Walk Bridge project, state Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) announced.

A public hearing, originally scheduled for October, will now be held in mid-November, with the public comment period closing approximately two weeks later, according the state Department of Transportation.

“The Walk Bridge is an important project for our region’s transportation system and it is important that the City, residents, businesses and other stakeholders have an opportunity to study, understand and weigh-in on the project and its proposed impact,” said Duff in a statement. “I want to thank Commissioner Redeker and the Department of Transportation their assistance and responsiveness on this issue.”

The DOT is undertaking the Walk Bridge project to address the deteriorating railroad bridge over the Norwalk River in Norwalk. As one of the oldest movable bridges in the country, the Walk Bridge is a critical transportation link on the Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston carrying four tracks of Metro-North Railroad, Amtrak and freight service.

“I want to thank Senator Duff for his hard work and for taking the initiative in contacting the DOT on the City’s behalf,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling in a statement. “I am very pleased that Commissioner Redeker has heard this request and granted the extension. It is critically important that we thoroughly examine and review the impact analysis and respond appropriately. Additionally, this extension will allow the public and other stakeholders more time to evaluate the proposal.”

“We want to ensure that everyone has ample opportunity to comment on the Environmental Assessment and voice their opinions on this very complex project,” said CTDOT Commissioner James Redeker. “We have tried to listen to all stakeholders and found the request to postpone the public hearing and extend the comment period very reasonable.”
  by Jeff Smith
Public discussion: The Hour

Two track operation for two years. Ouch.
The hearing began with a 30-minute project overview led by James Fallon, DOT manager of facilities and transit. He prefaced his remarks by noting that Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line, which relies upon the Walk Bridge, carries 175 trains with 125,000 passengers daily. Ridership will double by 2030, he said.

Chris Brown, senior project manager with HNTB, the consultant firm engaged by the DOT, said more than 70 alternatives were considered before five feasible bridge types were put forward for final consideration. Repairing the existing 120-year-old or replacing it with a fixed bridge was deemed unfeasible.

“With a low-level and a fixed-level bridge, you do meet the needs of having a resilient structure,” Brown said. “However, it doesn’t meet the needs because of the limits of (marine) navigation.”

The DOT’s preferred design is a 240-foot vertical lift bridge, which would cost $460 million and take about four years to build. Constructing a new dockyard and upgrading the tracks and catenary wire boost the overall project cost to about $1 billion.

The preferred design provides for the shortest construction schedule — about four years — and would leave Amtrak and Metro-North Railroad with two-track operation for two years, according to DOT officials.
  by DutchRailnut
hmm so putting catenary over two more tracks in dock yard is going to cost more than bridge ?? ehh no something wrong with those figures.
  by Jeff Smith
The planning continues, with collateral damage in East Norwalk: The Hour
Rail bridge projects spell traffic nightmare in East Norwalk

As part of the broader project, the Connecticut Department of Transportation intends to replace the Osborne Avenue, Fort Point Street and East Avenue bridges along Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line.

A preliminary report prepared by the DOT’s engineering consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff, shows Osborne Avenue closed, Fort Point Street regulated to alternating one-way signalized traffic and East Avenue closed to northbound traffic at their respective bridges.

Northbound traffic would detour onto Route 136/Winfield Street, Strawberry Hill Avenue and Fitch Street before returning to East Avenue north of the bridge.

The proposed traffic detours for the Walk Bridge program would go into effect from 2020 to 2023, according to Norwalk Department of Public Works officials. They’ve asked the DOT to rethink the plan.
http://www.walkbridgect.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Jeff Smith
Slightly older news: The Hour
Walk Bridge replacement might not start until 2019
The DOT had hoped to start work in mid-2018.

“We are now projecting late 2018/early 2019 for the start of construction,” said DOT spokesman Judd Everhart.
The DOT has proposed replacing the current structure with a 240-foot vertical lift span bridge at a cost of up to $460 million. Track-and-signal upgrades together with the construction of a new rail dockyard bring the total cost of the project to approximately $1 billion.

The DOT cannot proceed into final design of the new bridge until it completes its assessments as required under the National Environmental Policy Act and Connecticut Environmental Policy Act, according to Everhart.
  by Jeff Smith
Delays.... Progressive Railroading
Connecticut DOT delays two New Haven Line projects

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) will begin two New Haven Line projects in October instead of July as originally planned.

The delay is needed to align the planned activities for the projects with other active projects in the area, department officials said in a press release.

One project involves building a new four-track interlocking on the New Haven Line between South Norwalk and Westport.
See also: Dock Yard Improvement Expansion and Electrification
  • 1
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10