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 RearOfSignal
Since when did stopping at lowered gates and flashing lights become "a way of life"? I always thought is was common sense, regardless of track speed.
  by Jeff Smith
http://www.lohud.com/article/20120808/N ... alley-line
...“New Jersey Transit is working with Metro-North to identify equipment and slots to accommodate service,” NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyde r told The Journal News on Wednesday. “The discussions continue.”

As part of the largest service expansion in its history, Metro-North is planning to add a new weekday rush-hour train leaving Spring Valley around 8 a.m. There will also be a new peak afternoon train that will run Monday through Thursday but it’s time is not known. On Fridays and holidays, Metro-North will offer a mid-afternoon “getaway” train.


Randy Glucksman, who represents Rockland on the Metro-North Commuter Council, said county riders needed a mid-afternoon train because there’s currently a two-hour gap in the afternoon for service between Hoboken and Rockland.

“That’s the train we need,” Glucksman said.

The West Nyack man was also pleased that the morning train would be toward the end of the rush hour. He initially thought they were going to bring back an early morning train that was eliminated in June 2010.
  by Jeff Smith
http://www.lohud.com/article/20121001/N ... ck_check=1
Starting Oct. 15, the suburban rail agency will add a weekday morning rush-hour train for commuters and one in the early evening to bring them back to the county from Mondays to Thursdays. Metro-North will also begin offering an early afternoon “getaway” train exclusively on Fridays.

The new morning express train, No. 1618, will depart Spring Valley at 7:59 a.m. Monday through Friday, stopping at Nanuet at 8:05 a.m. and Pearl River at 8:10 a.m. before heading south to two key transportation hubs in New Jersey. It will arrive at Secaucus Junction at 8:44 a.m. and Hoboken at 8:56 a.m.

About 900 people take the train from the three Rockland stations on the Pascack Valley line.


Anders said a new evening train would replace a local train that also was eliminated in 2010.

The express train, No. 1639, will leave later — 7:20 p.m. from Hoboken and at 7:30 p.m. from Secaucus — but will improve travel time, arriving in Pearl River at 8 p.m., Nanuet six minutes later and Spring Valley at 8:12 p.m.
  by Jeff Smith
Someone needs a Snickers. But he has some points: RocklandTimes.com
County Executive’s Corner “Severe Shortcomings”

Last week NJ Transit surprised Rockland County commuters with yet another unfair and unwarranted elimination of services. NJT announced that two of Rockland’s express trains on the Pascack Valley Line would be cut to facilitate the installation of PTC (Positive Train Control) with not a peep of protest from Metro-North.

While I fully support PTC installation and look forward to the day it will help safeguard our commuters, it cannot come at the expense of already underserved PVL riders. NJT’s lack of planning and near panic to meet the minimum Federal deadlines should not constitute an emergency for our riders.

Over the past two years, Rockland County’s PVL commuters have endured more service disruptions than would ever be allowed to occur on Metro-North’s East of Hudson service. Since 2010, we have already permanently lost two trains through service cuts. We have endured chronic cancellations and delays, poorly coordinated temporary busing, late customer notice and extremely limited service schedules – all of which have a severe effect on Rockland commuters. Yet PVL commuters pay essentially the same fare as Hudson Line commuters for the privilege of riding the most unreliable service in the entire Metro-North system.

To be blunt this entire situation is an outrage. It is Metro-North’s job to ensure that its West of Hudson customers are provided with the service to which they are entitled and for which Metro-North is paying NJT. In the face of Rockland County’s $40 million annual value gap, one would think that MTA and Metro-North would prioritize service from Rockland County. Instead, we are, once again, the first to be sacrificed.
  by Jeff Smith
More unhappy PV customers, and NJT issues: LoHud.com

Brief, fair-use SNIPS:
Rockland Pascack Valley Line commuters feel the burn from NJ Transit's sorry state
Left in a sorry state after years of declining resources and a bleeding of talent on top of equipment shortages and failed safety tests, NJ Transit announced it was canceling the 7:59 a.m. to Hoboken and the 7:20 p.m. to Spring Valley — two of the four daily express trains to and from Rockland — in order to install train safety technology.
In February, New Jersey's Acting Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said NJ Transit was 37 cars short of being able to provide full daily service, leading to train delays and cancellations.

Then, Gov. Phil Murphy was announcing a plan to get more cars back in service. It included putting 20 cars back into service that had been out of service for upgrades, leasing cars from Maryland Area Rail Commuter and hiring a private contractor to help ease the service backlog. Gutierrez-Scacetti said the rail yards were full of cars, leaving little room to get work done.

That has led NJ Transit to dispatch as much equipment as they can on a daily basis, leading to inconsistent length of cars on the Pascack Valley Line. Sometimes trains have three cars, sometimes four.

"It shouldn't be very hard for them to go find the other four cars and an engine," Glucksman said. "It's just an abuse of NJ Transit. They've gotten away with it in the past and they think they can get away with it. We have to stop it now."
According to MTA documents, through March, 159 trains have been more than 15 minutes late and 53 trains have been canceled on the Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines. The annual goal for those lines is to have 300 or fewer trains more than 15 minutes late and 60 trains canceled.

The average late train is 21 minutes behind schedule.

Meanwhile, Pascack Valley Line ridership dropped nearly 6 percent in 2017.
  by johndmuller
I thought these west of Hudson services were financed by the MTA, including the cost of the rolling stock, either by owning it directly or paying for it as if they owned it. So how could it be up to NJT to cancel these runs without some sort of collaboration with MNRR?

Probably MN agreed somehow or other.
  by njtmnrrbuff
NJT operates the whole service on the PVL and in fact, all of Metro North’s West of Hudson services. These routes southernmost terminus is Hoboken Terminal. It’s very annoying though about the crew shortage and cancelled equipment situations.
  by EuroStar
There is only one way that the service on the PVL and PJL can get better and that is for the MTA to take control of the expresses away from NJT. NJT has been eating its capital base without much reinvestment and that is beginning to show. It will get quite a bit worse though. They are short cars. They are short engines. They are short maintenance personnel to keep whatever equipment they have in revenue service. Until recently they lacked enough engineers and they could still use a few more in order to cut overtime. The new governor promised NJT extra money. It is not going to show up -- the new taxes he wants are not going to happen, at least not all of them and whatever extra money shows up from the ones that pass will go to other "priorities".

The MTA needs to bite the bullet and spend the $1B+ that is needed to:
1. Restore the connection from Spring Valley to Suffern so that the expresses do not end at Spring Valley, but can get Campbell Hall -- see 2 below as for why.
2. Build the mid-line yard at Campbell Hall and establish a maintenance center there for all West of Hudson equipment, also overnight all equipment there.
3. Run the PVL and PJL expresses itself by paying NJT access fees (the MTA effectively pays these fees now, they are just not called that).
4. Pay NJT to lay over equipment at Hoboken or buy space from NS or buy a portion of the old Boonton line and just lay over the equipment there (the MTA effectively pays fees now to lay over the equipment at Hoboken now too, the fee is not explicit though).

By doing this MTA will control the equipment, crews and for the most part the schedules. They will still be at the mercy of NJT dispatching, but that cannot be avoided without a bridge over the Hudson and a connection to the Hudson line and that is a proposition that is a way way more expensive. Cancellations will become much rarer and on top of that both Rockland and Orange Counties will have no reason to complain that they are not getting enough out of the MTA for the taxes they pay. Until this happens people can complain and whine, but nothing is going to change.

The locals can be left to NJT with whatever agreement can be worked out -- it is not as if NJT can easily cut the service at the border. The MTA should continue paying NJT something for the locals at Spring Valley and Suffern anyway, but the expresses where the MTA ridership is will be much improved.
  by Jeff Smith
Rockland County Executive p'od, threatens to leave MTA: Lohud.com

We have heard this before, but you have to wonder where Emperor Cuomo is. Brief, fair-use:
Day threatens to pull Rockland out of MTA over canceled trains

Rockland County Executive Ed Day is threatening the Metropolitan Transportation Authority with the nuclear option.

At a news conference called by U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey to address New Jersey Transit's cancellation of half the Pascack Valley Lines' express trains, the county executive threatened to leave the MTA entirely if public transportation to and from the county does not improve.

"I'm not of a mind anymore to just go along," Day said. "Everything's on the table."

Day also demanded, and Metro-North Raiload later confirmed, that it would be cross-honoring Pascack Valley Line tickets on all lines and the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry. Metro-North, which is run by the MTA, said it would be working with NJT to get the canceled trains up and running as soon as possible.
Lowey, a Democrat whose district includes much of Westchester County and all of Rockland, said PTC installation was "incredibly important" but choosing between running trains and installing the technology was a false choice.

"Frankly, I'm outraged," she said.
  by TDowling
This is all just a bunch of bureaucratic nonsense. The Erie Railroad, to which the lines originally belonged, never relied on fiduciary or geopolitical negotiations between New York and New Jersey in order to operate.
  by ExCon90
The Erie wasn't receiving money from any public source. AFAIK the first instance of that was after the EL merger, when negotiations with the NJ Highway Department--as it then was--resulted in some sort of subsidy.
  by SecaucusJunction
What is their other option if they leave MTA? No service?
  by Jeff Smith
They'd have to contract directly with an operator, instead of through the MTA.
  by R36 Combine Coach
Jeff Smith wrote:They'd have to contract directly with an operator, instead of through the MTA.
Wouldn't be hard, as it could be done through NJT directly. NJT owns the entire PVL up to and including Woodbine terminal facility.
  by Jeff Smith
And, given NJT's rep, anyone else.