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 SecaucusJunction
It makes a lot of sense actually. I couldn't believe there was no eastbound counterpart to the train when it started. Seemed like such a waste. Even a few minute tweet of the westbound schedule would allow it to run easier. East of suffern, it could express back on roughly the same schedule it runs now.
  by trainbrain
Here's the problem with that. The service to return people to the Port Jervis stations isn't good enough to warrant having 49 run as a revenue move back. The people who took that train would need to take 67 or 41 back, because they'd get in too late for 65. Both are fully local and there's a 3 hour gap between them.

I'd like to see 67 made express and run earlier, around 9:30. A new train, numbered 69 would leave Hoboken around 11:15 and run express. 41 could stay when it is.
  by TDowling
Metro north was thinking a while back about running an express train between 65 and 67. I don't know what happened to that proposal.

As far as running 49 back as a revenue run, how much could it possibly cost mnr to make a few stops instead of deadhead. seems to me the cost benefit analysis is favorable, even if only for people who aren't making a return trip.
  by trainbrain
That's different than what I was thinking of. I would like to see 67 moved up about half an hour and made express, and another express added after it numbered 69 that left at 11:15-11:30. That departure would be perfectly timed for evening sporting events and Broadway shows. Along with this, 49 would make a revenue run back. Also, I realized that it is also possible to run 49 all the way to Port Jervis and still get the set back to Hoboken. It would run on approximately the same schedule as weekend train 80, and meet 51 at Otisville, 53 at Campbell Hall, and 55 at Harriman. It would make it to Sloatsburg before 57-59-61 come 15 minutes apart.

Not sure where they'd get the set for an additional late evening express. It would probably have to be a deadhead that was before 68 using the set from 51 or 55.
  by pnaw10
I'm not as familiar with the logistics of the PJL as others here, but are these myriad proposals considering labor requirements?

It's not simply a matter of whether the trains will make it to "Siding X" in time for a train in the opposite direction to pass. Real-life schedulers also have to consider federal "Hours of Service" laws (and perhaps any union-mandated items) that limit how many hours engineers and other train crew members can work in any given day. The federal laws put the responsibility on the railroad -- not the employees -- to make sure these limits are followed. There are some rather hefty fines if a railroad should violate Hours of Service.

Long-distance railroads (Amtrak, freight trains) are accustomed to putting people up in hotels as needed, to give employees their mandatory rest period before returning to work... but I would imagine local/commuter railroads like NJT and MNR generally avoid that expense, since their territories (and train runs) are short enough to get people back to their home terminal before their shifts end.

So, the fact that "Train X" only makes it part way up the line to "Station Y" before deadheading back to another terminal, might not be as "random" as it seems or due entirely to ridership -- it could be partly due to labor-related requirements. I don't know for sure, but just throwing it out there as a possible factor.
  by Jeff Smith
Speaking of PJ and yards....: Record Online
Metro-North to unveil plans for new rail yard, sidings in region

GOSHEN - After more than four years of silence, Metro-North Railroad is poised to spell out the specifics of its plan to build the midpoint yard and passing sidings necessary to boost train service on the Port Jervis line.

The railroad, which began its West of Hudson Regional Transit Access Study in 2008, will hold an open house about the plan from 4 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen. The last open house was held in 2012.
Elisa Van der Linde, Metro-North's assistant director of long-range planning, has previously identified the potential sites for the yard as being in the general vicinity of the railroad's stations in Harriman, Salisbury Mills and Campbell Hall.

As of now, with yards in Port Jervis and Hoboken, N.J., 95 miles apart and few sidings, the rail line is the equivalent of a one-way street. Trains can't travel in both directions at the same time and they can't turn around until they reach a yard.

Neuhaus said Metro-North put the cost at more than $150 million in 2012 dollars and predicted construction would take seven years to complete.
  by Jeff Smith
http://www.mta.info/news/2017/02/01/met ... astructure" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Public agency exception:
MTA Metro-North Railroad has announced that it will hold an Open House in Goshen, N.Y., on February 15 to share details on a proposal for capital improvements that will enable enhanced train service on the Port Jervis Line.

The Open House will be held at the Harness Racing Museum, 240 Main Street in Goshen, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Metro-North staff will be available to explain Metro-North’s proposal and answer questions. Staff will make presentations at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each presentation will be followed by an opportunity for dialogue between the public and railroad officials, who will be seeking input on the proposal.

After an extensive study to find ways to improve transit mobility and accessibility between Orange County and New York City, Metro-North identified locations along the Port Jervis Line to build passing sidings for trains as well as a new train yard mid-way along the line, and details of those proposed investments will be the subject of the Open House.

The Port Jervis Line is primarily a single track railroad for 65 miles in New York State between Sloatsburg and Port Jervis. This means it operates primarily as a “one-way street,” with limited opportunity for trains to pass each other along the Line. The line’s sole passenger train yard is located in Port Jervis, 95 miles from the Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey, meaning Metro-North has no available yard between these points for storing and servicing trains. These constraints limit the number of trains Metro-North can operate during the peak, off-peak and reverse peak periods.

The Port Jervis Line currently carries 10 trains to Hoboken between 3:50 a.m. and 1 p.m., but just two trains are able to operate in the reverse direction during this time. After 1 p.m., the reverse dynamic is in place, with 11 Orange County-bound trains operating between 1 p.m. and 3:10 a.m. and just three trains operating in the reverse direction. The addition of a mid-point yard and passing sidings is envisioned to allow for more frequent peak and off-peak service, and will also introduce reverse commute service.

The capital improvements are expected to allow Orange and Rockland County residents to further benefit from longer term capital projects, such as a future trans-Hudson crossing, which could provide the opportunity for a future one-seat ride to New York City and improved transit connections to Stewart Airport.
  by TDowling
I really don't understand why it is necessary to add another yard when one exists in campbell hall. This seems like the perfect midpoint. I realize government bureaucracy seems to stultify any kind of agreement between NS and MNR but this is really a waste of taxpayers money IMHO.
  by rhallock
The Campbell Hall yard is used entirely for freight service now. It would have to be expanded considerably to service passenger trains. There was a proposal to start trains in Walden and have them go via CH, but I would be very surprised to see that happen.
  by TDowling
How much freight does the yard possibly hold though? Every time I see it on the train it is empty.
  by Backshophoss
Is Campbell Hall yard the staging location for the NS local freight?
Does MN use a track or 2 in that yard for MW equipment staging?
  by SemperFidelis
Just my rather uninformed 2 cents but...

Since every tuime I ride the line the train really starts filling up at Middletown, wouldn't it make sense to put the yard there and have as many more trains as possible serve the city and then build a decently long passing siding somewhere east of there to facilitate meets?

I guess Middletown is the first station heading east where taking the train is somewhat time competetive because west of there every train I've ridden is not well populated.
  by TDowling
Yes it would be beneficial. But is it really worth spending hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars to do that
  by SemperFidelis
In my opinion, yes, but I don't want to get started on politics and taxes. I can admit that I am well off the reservation (mostly to the left, but sometimes to the right) on most issues.
  by SecaucusJunction
I'd assume MTA has to either build a new yard themselves or pay NS/MNJ to purchase the yard in Campbell Hall... and that's only if they would be willing to sell any of it. I believe the H70 pulls through the yard every night to wye the power. I've also thought that Middletown would be a great location for a yard, but I'm not sure if they'll go out that far. If they could ever come up with the funds, a spur to the airport and the town of Newburgh would seem to be a good option. I know when they had studied it in the past, the ridership numbers projection from that town were pretty good, especially with the future of the ferry to Beacon in question. Most likely more than they are willing to spend though.
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