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 J.D. Lang
 
I've seen the express bus going thru Torrington a few times and those few times that I've seen it it's been empty. Along with the parking in Waterbury that I mentioned CTDOT needs to get some new equipment ASAP. They need to invest in the rail service that they presently provide.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
That's a little surprising that that express bus through Torrington has been empty. There are 9-5 jobs in Waterbury but many of them are probably during the week. CDOT is in the process of ordering brand new equipment for their Ctrail services and the MNR NHL diesel branchline shuttle services.
  by Jeff Smith
 
I don't think Torrington is a good idea myself; that's some tough territory. Maybe Thomaston, but not Torrington. If you're going to do that you might as well reclaim and rebuild to Winsted for connection to a rebuilt CNE. By the way, that's sarcasm LOL. To be sure, I could see Thomaston, but that's it.

I don't think Waterbury parking trumps New Milford service. Improving Waterbury parking is not that big of a nut to crack... that should be easy. Getting service to New Milford is much more needed than parking at Waterbury, and would simplify and expand operations in many different directions possibly.

Mr. Malone, completely agree on Waterbury, and the fact is it's almost ready with signalization/PTC and sidings. I would say that an extension to Hartford via Berlin would be nice.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:07 pm It looks like where Torrington is located, which is a little more in the northwestern part of the state but not super close to the NY State Border, people living in Torrington who want to use MNR might head on over to the Harlem Line. Torrington is huge. I could see somebody who lives along the western fringe of Torrington driving to the Harlem Line maybe using Wassaic or another station like Harlem Valley-Wingdale. It looks like the roads that connect Torrington and any of the towns served by the Upper Harlem Line aren't direct. I could even see people who live in Torrington in the western end driving to Southeast given that there's more direct service to GCT. I'm sure that there are people who live in Torrington who get a train in Waterbury or even drive further down Rt. 8 to a station on the New Haven Line. I don't think many people would feel comfortable about leaving a car at the Waterbury Station as that's not the best neighborhood. Waterbury is a rough city.
Torrington is not "huge" - you can drive across town in about 20 minutes. In the time you would waste driving on Route 4 over to Wassaic you can shoot down Route 8 to Waterbury, Naugatuck (where the parking lot is the town cop hangout) or Fairfield Metro via Bridgeport - or Southeast if you're so inclined. Hell, when I lived in Goshen I drove to Danbury a lot... *shrug*

150% extend Danbury to New Milford before you spend a dime extending the Waterbury to Torrington (or Thomaston). All you need to improve Waterbury parking is a constant MTA PD presence - since Waterbury PD can't be bothered to hang out there. Even then you still have to wait until the passing sidings come on line and improve frequency before people think it's a viable alternative to mainline New Haven service.


The fact that you're "shocked" the Torrington-Waterbury express bus runs empty shows that you haven't got a clue about Northwestern Connecticut in the slightest. Very few people are commuting to Waterbury from Torrington, they're all heading over Avon Mountain toward Hartford. For the handful of people who do need to get to Waterbury, Torrington is so devoid of public transportation to begin with that nobody is considering a bus down Route 8 to get to work. Get in your car and you'll be in downtown Waterbury in 25 minutes. There is *RARELY* any traffic on Route 8 north of Waterbury, and if you are so inclined, you can get off 8 and entirely avoid the disaster that is 84 if you need to go elsewhere in the city. Did it for many moons when I worked in Cheshire.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
My knowledge of NW Connecticut is limited. I'm not shocked on purpose. It's been several decades since I have been to Torrington-my relative who had the house there with her late husband hasn't had that house there for decades. It does seem that many of the jobs closest to Torrington are located in Hartford and I could see more people commuting there than Waterbury.

At the very least, let's keep the Waterbury Branch where it presently ends obviously in Waterbury. What might be a good idea at Waterbury Station is to have a center island high level platform providing connections from MNR to the Naugy Railroad-not all of these trains have to come down all the way to the Waterbury MNR Station. Many people riding the Naugatuck RR and visiting the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston will drive and that's fine. In the Philadelphia area, Septa will be extending its Elwyn Line past Elwyn to Wawa with a some West Chester RR connections available. Somebody else mentioned if MNR were to be extended to Torrington, that may affect the business of the Naugatuck Railroad. At Waterbury Station, it would be nice to have an indoor waiting area larger than the shelter on the platform. When more trains start running to the Brass City, then the indoor waiting area should be expanded.
  by Jeff Smith
 
So apparently cars for the Waterbury line are off the table:

https://twitter.com/NaugatuckDTC/status ... 8855682049

https://twitter.com/Waterburyline/statu ... 1985841153
Sadly, at tonight’s Council meeting, CDOT indicated that the 12 cars for the Waterbury Branch have been cut from tomorrow’s Bond Commission meeting.
  by NH2060
 
Well branch advocates were claiming that 24 cars and 8 engines were needed long term so I don’t know what good only 12 new cars were going to do.

I would expect the WTBY cars to come up again in a later bond authorization as the plan is to buy up to 130 new cars altogether.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
That's not the news we want to hear about the twelve cars that were going to run on the Waterbury Branch. A reasonable amount of equipment capacity is needed. Not everyone commuting on the branch will be heading to NYC-even 9-5 commuters, unless if your office is in the same neighborhood as Grand Central. We not only don't know yet what will replace the Shoreliners. Not all of the Shoreliners are over 30 years old. The CDOT owned center door Shoreliners aren't the oldest in the fleet. I'm sure that CDOT can use them in the interim to run on the Waterbury and Danbury Branch if the branch doesn't get its new cars in the next few years. We have to remember that the increased rail frequencies on the Waterbury won't happen at once. 2025 is the estimated year for when all of the sidings will be up, allowing for more train service on the Waterbury Branch.
  by Jeff Smith
 
NYC/GCT has never really been a Waterbury branch priority, at least not in years. The biggest service priority was Stamford service, I believe. Again, intrastate should be the priority here, no one is talking about GCT service for Waterbury branch.

I can't recall on the fleet RFP for CTDOT, but were they considering DMU's, i.e. Stadlers? Perhaps that's the reason that they're not ready to go to bonding on those 12. As for the number, 12 would seem to me to be more than sufficient for the branch; it's the reliability and service level holding the branch back. Running three-car mini-bombs currently, that's 4 sets for twelve cars. I'd be willing to venture that only one car runs open anyway. 12 DMU's could run as six sets, which I would venture would be enough for increased service not accounting for any extensions. You could throw a couple sets over to Danbury as well. As noted, right now it's getting the passing sidings online, and increased reliability. Which definitely includes both power and coaches.

So to make short story long, it is disappointing, but perhaps it's to fine tune the request.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
There are probably many people who commute from the Waterbury Branch service area to jobs in Stamford. So many offices near the train station there and it's closer than Manhattan. As much as it would be nice to have a through train to Grand Central Terminal, I don't think the ridership would be good enough for that. In order to run a direct train from Waterbury to Grand Central Terminal, the train would have to skip a lot of stops on the New Haven Line, otherwise it would take a very long time to get into the city. Remember, infrastructure on the existing New Haven Line must be fixed but that is covered in a different forum. I believe that as of right now, push pull equipment is being planned for the new fleet. DMUs would work great on the Waterbury Branch though. When the high level platforms are built, the question to ponder is how many cars will they be able to accommodate. Would it be worth to make the platforms to accommodate a three car train or double that. I believe that CDOT wants to continue to have MNR run three car consists on the Waterbury Branch shuttles. I have heard and seen pictures of six to seven car Shoreliner sets running on the Waterbury Branch but that probably doesn't happen very much.
  by Jeff Smith
 
"Maxi-bombs" typically only run on Waterbury due to equipment failures or rotations. In the past, they've used SLE sets as needed.

You'll never need a platform that holds more than three cars.

Forget Grand Central; it's not a nice to have, it's a no need quit talking about it. I do think there was a time when the Stamford run ran as a local all the way to Stamford, and may have "turned" to be a Grand Central run, but that would not have been a mini. Not sure about that though. It had something to do with equipment turns.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
They haven't used SLE sets recently on the Waterbury and I think that was since the Comet IIs owned my the MTA that used to operate on NJT's Hoboken Division Lines were rebuilt to operate on the East of Hudson routes.

Whatever service improvements come to the Waterbury Branch will be beneficial. If people who live along the branch don't like the fact that there are no direct trains to Grand Central, then the solution is to drive to a station on the New Haven Line. People will still continue to do that, especially the ones who probably live closest to Derby Shelton-Stratford is a short drive away.
  by Riverduckexpress
 
Straight from the horse's mouth, here's the video link to today's State Bond Commission meeting where the $300 million was approved: http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=17312 The relevant portion is from 34:20 to 47:50.

State budget director Melissa McCaw and CTDOT Commissioner Giulietti stated that the description of 72 cars for the Waterbury and Danbury Branches, Shore Line East and Hartford Line (see page 21) was a "mistake" - that the order is actually supposed to be 60 cars only, for Shore Line East and the Hartford Line only - with those two lines being the highest priorities for new railcars in light of the state's fiscal constraints. Giuletti did state that the Waterbury and Danbury branches could receive new cars from an option order down the line. No mention of a new railcar order by Metro-North.

Here's a news article about it.
...
The State Bond Commission voted Thursday to approve a bond allocation for $300 million to finance the purchase that had initially included the Waterbury and Danbury lines.

Before the vote, Melissa McCaw, the state budget director, reported that the 60 new cars are being purchased for only the Shore Line East and the Hartford Line.

She said the Waterbury and Danbury lines were included in error on two bond commission agendas, and the agendas also incorrectly stated that 72 replacement cars would be purchased.
  by Backshophoss
 
The RFP for "ready to use" used equipment got zero answers,nobody is letting go yet.
Time is now to get an agreement with PAR for service to Bristol (ESPN) and Berlin(west)and with CSX or CSOR for the Berlin-Waterbury Switch
route as an Amtrak bypass if that viaduct colllases in downtown Hartford
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I feel very bad for the Waterbury Branch passengers hearing the news that they won't be getting their brand new passenger cars sooner than they want to. It seems that the Connecticut didn't keep consistent with saying what the original plan was which is a turn off to many people who use the Waterbury Branch and probably the Danbury Branch. MNR is still waiting for the decision on what will replace the Shoreliners which obviously dominate the Waterbury Branch. I know that the MTA is supposed to announce soon what will replace the Shoreliners.
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