New York City Stations/ West Side line ?

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New York City Stations/ West Side line ?
Posted by nanaimo73 on Sunday, April 29, 2007 9:43 AM
Which Station in New York City is better situated for Amtrak passengers from upstate New York traveling to the city, and not connecting to the Northeast corridor ? 
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Posted by conrailman on Sunday, April 29, 2007 12:44 PM
Penn Station in New York City.Cool [8D]
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Posted by Modelcar on Sunday, April 29, 2007 8:27 PM

....Does Amtrak still enter Grand Central....?

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Posted by nanaimo73 on Sunday, April 29, 2007 9:33 PM
Not since 1991. I was just wondering which station was better situated for business travelers and tourists.
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Posted by jclass on Sunday, April 29, 2007 10:21 PM
I think it depends on where in the city you want to get to.
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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, April 30, 2007 6:35 AM

....Is there any info to report on proposed "station" change from the "old Pennsylvaina" unit over to the Post Office building....?

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Posted by PBenham on Monday, April 30, 2007 4:09 PM
 Modelcar wrote:

....Is there any info to report on proposed "station" change from the "old Pennsylvaina" unit over to the Post Office building....?

Dead for now. Politics. Need I say more?Banged Head [banghead]
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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, April 30, 2007 9:08 PM

PBenham:

Thanks for update.....That's too bad.  Thought that sounded like it had been resurrected back a couple months or so ago....Don't remember where I might have heard that.

 

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Posted by Moon on Monday, April 30, 2007 9:48 PM
First of all, all Amtrak trains use Penn Station in New York City, so you don't have a choice. Whether Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal is better located for a particular traveler, just depends on where that traveler's final destination is. Both stations connect to the subway system. Penn Station also connects to the LIRR and NJ Transit. Only Metro-North serves Grand Central Terminal. You can get from one station to the other by subway.

Regarding Penn Station vs. the Farley Post Office Building, both are over the station platforms, so the trains themselves are not affected by the use of the Farley Post Office Building as passenger concourse. There will just be additional escalators to the platforms. Right now, I believe the plan is for New Jersey Transit to have its concourse and ticket offices in the Farley Post Office portion of the station. Amtrak will stay where it is.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 10:23 AM
Strange as it may sound, the stations with the best options are located across the Hudson.  Newark Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal both connect with PATH, providing convenient connecting service to either Midtown or Lower Manhattan.
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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 1:53 PM

Except that PATH does not run north of 32nd Street, nor to any borough other than Manhattan, so most would have to take the subway in addition anyway.   Here are some suggestions:

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts:   Penn  -   IRT train 1 north direct

Central Park   Penn  -  C train north direct

Carnegie Hall     Penn    Either of above and 1 block walk east from 57th St. exit of Columbus Circle Station

Empire State Building       GCT    walk south

UN     CGT   walk east (or 42nd st crosstown bus)

City Hall       GCT    4, 5, 6 train south

If you come into NY on Empire Service or the Lake Shore and want to arrived at GCT, easy to make a connection at Croton Harmon, and Metro North service is very frequent, with almost streetcar-subway train headways during rush hours.

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Posted by jclass on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 9:42 PM
You can also get to Long Island destinations through Penn, can't you?
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Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 6:33 AM
To get to GCT from an Amtrak train from Albany-Rensselaer, you merely have change to a Metro North train at Croton-Harmon.  Looks like you need to puchase an MN ticket for this portion of the trip.  I think that when Amtrak first moved over to Penn Sta, that MN would honor your Amtrak ticket stub for Croton to GCT, but I can't find anything about that in the  latest timetable.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by Modelcar on Thursday, May 03, 2007 7:31 PM

.....To Long Island destinations from Penn Station:  That's the way it used to be but I can't speak for now.....

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Posted by PBenham on Friday, May 04, 2007 4:12 PM
 Modelcar wrote:

.....To Long Island destinations from Penn Station:  That's the way it used to be but I can't speak for now.....

It can be done- with the usual warnings that good old MTA might get it into their peabrains to mess things up!
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Posted by espeefoamer on Sunday, May 06, 2007 3:58 PM
One can transfer from Amrtrak's NYP Boston line to Conn Dot trains to GCT at Stamford or New Haven Conn.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 12, 2007 5:10 PM

While there have been plans for sending Amtrak trains to both GCT and Penn Station, I'd like to see Amtrak start sending trains to the brand new station being built in Lower Manhattan. And it's not just an idea; construction has already started.

http://mta.info/capconstr/fstc/index.html

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 12, 2007 6:15 PM

Lower Manhattan? Do you mean the WTC, or Fulton St? I don't think it would work though. With the size of the centers the MTA is planning, a large scale station might not be possible, especially under the WTC. And what with the financial distric and tourist attractions being where they are, a large scale station would be necessary...

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 12, 2007 10:00 PM

Well, as you, as such an expert should know, the PATH WTC station is seperate from the future Fulton St. Transit Center. It would probably route near the WTC area because it's just an open lot, for the most part. There will always be objections for mourners of 9-11, but if we could route Amtrak trains from upstate down to Downtown, then the massive crowding at Penn could be slowed down. And think of it this way:

Penn to GCT: S shuttle transfer to 1,2,3,A,C,E (I'm not listing all of the scenarios, but there is no direct route to Penn)

Penn to WTC: 1,2,3,A,C,E,R,W direct route (NO TRANSFER) 

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Posted by JT22CW on Friday, May 25, 2007 11:42 PM
 Gavriel609 wrote:
While there have been plans for sending Amtrak trains to both GCT and Penn Station, I'd like to see Amtrak start sending trains to the brand new station being built in Lower Manhattan. And it's not just an idea; construction has already started.

http://mta.info/capconstr/fstc/index.html

That is not a train station.  Read the link again; it is a transit center (i.e. bus transfer) that will incorporate six existing subway stations.

There are no plans to send Amtrak back into GCT.  Amtrak operated out of GCT for twenty years, and left in 1991 for good.

Back on topic:  Hoboken Terminal used to be the main station for trains coming from upstate New York.  Trains operated out of Hoboken bound for Binghamton, Ithaca, Elmira and elsewhere.  If those areas were to again be served by train, it would be purely logical to send them back into Hoboken again, which would assure rapid startup insofar as railway equipment (i.e. all-diesel operation, with no complications like dual-mode or engine changes from diesel to electric and vice-versa).

Anyway, may as well list some of the old NYC waterfront stations, to illustrate what was lost:

  • CRRNJ Terminal (CNJ, LV, RDG, B&O); still standing, but no tracks.
  • Exchange Place Terminal (original was New Jersey RR; PRR took over later.  Hosted CNJ and LV trains, as well as some Erie and NYSW at one time.)
  • Erie Terminal (Jersey City, Pavonia); NYSW operated into this terminal also.  Current location has Newport Mall built on the approaches to the former station.
  • West Shore Terminal (original RR was called the New York, West Shore and Buffalo, backed by the Pennsy; NY Central got it in a deal after complaining about too much competition).  NY Central, New York, Ontario & Western.  "Port Imperial" ferryboat terminal for NYC Waterway built on location.
  • East 108th Street, Bronx.  New York, Westchester & Boston (which only made it as far as White Plains).
There are but two active waterfront terminals left, those being Hoboken (NJ Transit now) and Long Island City (LIRR diesel services).
 PBenham wrote:
 Modelcar wrote:
Is there any info to report on proposed "station" change from the "old Pennsylvaina" unit over to the Post Office building....?
Dead for now. Politics. Need I say more?
A lot more needs to be said.
  • This was not a "station change" but a concourse change, in spite of the misnomer "Moynihan Station".
  • Amtrak now has the main NYP concourse on the upper level to themselves since NJ Transit moved into their new concourse just above and to the south of the LIRR concourse.
  • Amtrak was not actively involved in this at any time; George D. Warrington flirted with the idea, and David Gunn backed away from it. Warrington, after going to NJ Transit, was courted by the concourse proponents in an attempt to make it a NJT concourse (which would have made two for NJT, which they cannot afford).
  • The chief political opponent of this project is Sheldon Silver, but for his own reasons.
  • The place would serve better in its original function (a post office); and besides, there are plans in place to move MSG (yet again), so if enough people lobbied for it, a replica of the original NYP building could be built. (As for converting a post office into a RR concourse, imagine them converting the post office on Market Street in Philly into a new concourse for 30th Street Station. Wouldn't work out too well, would it?)

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Posted by martin.knoepfel on Sunday, May 27, 2007 2:56 PM

I looked at the project for the new Trans Hudson Express (THE) line. They plan another stub-end-terminal adjacent to Penn Station. Wouldn't it make more sense to continue tunnels turning north into the lower lever of Grand Central. This would make it possible to offer through seamless service for commuters. To build equipment that is able to run under catenary and with third rail is quite easy today, even with different voltages.

Another possibility would be to transform the LIRR-tracks at Penn Station into a through-terminal with the possibility to allow Long-Island-New-Jersey thrains for communters. Why force people to change trains if there is not need to do so.

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Posted by JT22CW on Sunday, May 27, 2007 5:45 PM

Ah yes, the  defunct (since September 2003) Alternative G part of "Access to the Region's Core" (which I regard as a misnomer, since it implies lessened importance to Lower Manhattan).

Through service is overrated, since all passengers disembark at Manhattan anyhow.  SEPTA's CCCT (in Philadelphia) is a prime example of trying to fix what was not broken (virtually all passengers disembark at Center City, but they had to build a tunnel to run trains through which cannot permit diesel operation, close the 13-track Reading Terminal and replace it with the four-track Market East station, and cut commuter rail back to the electric territory only to try to restart the diesel services two decades later). 

All tracks at NY Penn apart from Tracks 1 through 4 have a through-station configuration.  Given the interstate nature of commuter rail that serves NY Penn, trying to establish unorthodox train operation would not be worth it to serve a bare minority of passengers.  The PRR certainly saw no value in it when they owned the LIRR, otherwise they would have changed that railroad's electrification from third rail to overhead wires and operated MP54s and GG1s in through service (the PRR, however, did operate through service with the New Haven RR via the Hell Gate Bridge, a pattern that Amtrak retains).

As for the dual-electrification thingy, yes, the New Haven RR operated both locomotives and MUs for years in and out of GCT, and Metro-North operates Cosmopolitans in that manner today; but that increases maintenance costs.  If the NHRR had their druthers, I suspect they would have built overhead wires all the way into GCT; and I suspect that there still is a way to do that.  (If that's done, though, would Amtrak try to switch Boston-Washington service off the Hell Gate line?)

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 5:03 AM

You are absolutely correct.   It is politics, unwillingness to share, mind your own business, and I want exclusive rights to what I have ---thinking that prevent the technologically possible through services:

 New Haven - Trenton - Philadelphia      Conn Dot-Metro NOrth, New Jersey Transit, SEPTA

Poughkeepsie (or Albany) - Ronkonkama and Patchogue, L. I.     Metro North, Amtrak, LIRR

 

Amtrak or New Jersey Tranist through service to lower Manhattan, the World Trade Center, on Hudson Manhattan - PATH tracks is impossible because the old H&M/PATH line has platforms for nine-foot wide cars, sharp curves, and too low overhead clearance for anything like standard railroad equipment.   Even North Shore interurban equipment wouldn't fit.   The only other rapid transit line in the USA with similar equipment is Boston's "Blue Line".    What I would do is run a third-rail PATH-type electrification out to High Bridge, extending PATH's service to replace the diesel NJT Raritan Valley diesel service.

 Most inbound NJT NE Corridor trains and all inbound A,trak trains have across the platform (through fare gates) transfer at Newark.

 

The best way to transfer from Grand Central Terminal to the Long Island Railroad today is to take the "7" train from GCT to Woodside.   Done that often.

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Posted by JT22CW on Thursday, June 07, 2007 12:25 AM

 daveklepper wrote:
What I would do is run a third-rail PATH-type electrification out to High Bridge, extending PATH's service to replace the diesel NJT Raritan Valley diesel service
Nobody would ride PATH equipment for that distance (over 55 miles).  Not to mention, you've cut off the Lehigh Valley from passenger service permanently.  (Would you think that Conrail Shared Assets would permit PATH operation on the Lehigh Line through Hillside, Union and Roselle Park in New Jersey?)

BTW, PATH railcars are slightly longer and slightly narrower than Boston Blue Line cars.  Low-voltage third rail necessitates a substation every two miles, which is why it is not being used on surface new-build electrification.

Like I already noted, the state commuter agencies are operating commuter rail patterns established by the private railroads.  (This is why you have NJ Transit operating to Port Jervis NY via the Erie's former main line, and Metro-North operating deep into Connecticut out of Grand Central Terminal.)  Nobody's going to fix what isn't broken, at this point.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, June 07, 2007 12:12 PM
 daveklepper wrote:

New Haven - Trenton - Philadelphia      Conn Dot-Metro NOrth, New Jersey Transit, SEPTA

Poughkeepsie (or Albany) - Ronkonkama and Patchogue, L. I.     Metro North, Amtrak, LIRR

Through New Haven-Trenton-Philadelphia service is already provided by Amtrak.

Through Poughkeepsie-Ronkonkoma/Patchogue.  Why???

One-seat service to a Central Business District by eliminating a transfer point will generate additional passengers.  One-seat service through a Central Business District is a waste of time and money.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 10, 2007 9:50 AM

Sorry,  Wrong.   The New York area has plenty of jobs in the suburbs, and look at the growth of Metro North and LIRR reverse commuting for the facts.   That is why Shore Line East extended first to Bridgeport and then to Stamford.   Much of the rush hour car traffic in the NY area is suburb to suburb commuting, and one seat rides are one way to get this traffic onto public  transit.   This was the main argument for the Center-City Philadelphia tunnel where nearly all trains are through routed.   New York has lots of experience with suburb to suburb operaiton, because that is the way the entire subway system is run except for:  1, 6, 7, C, Q, W.   In a sense 1, is sort of suburb to suburb because most of the traffic at South Ferry is off the boat from Staten Island.   Glasgow, Scottland was another case, and so is Paris' Reigonal Express System.   Both switched from stub-end commuting to through and gained riders as a result.

Suburb to suburb rail also opens up new employment possibilities for people and thus strenthens the overall economy.

A commuter operation from Poughkeepsie to Patchogue and Ronkonkoma would also give Hudson riders West-Side access and allow construction of three stations convenient to Lincoln Center, Columbia University-Union Theological Seminatry-Jewish Theological Seminary, and the GWBridge, with extension of IND Washington Heights subway service over GW Bridge and relocation of the bus terminal in Edgewood a logical next step.    Lincoln Center patrons could go directly to their suburban train after a concert, opera, or play.    Columbia U. anad its two nearby religious schools would generate the same kind of commuter traffic that the New Haven and Harlem lines get from Fordham University, and it is considerable.   West side access for Hudson commuters is best served by through service because through service reduces platform requirements at Penn.   One train with slilghtly longer dwell time replacing two.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Sunday, June 10, 2007 10:18 AM
Perhaps what I should have asked is Poughkeepsie-Patchogue/Ronkonkoma, How?  While both lines are third-rail electric, keep in mind that Metro North operates with an underrunning third rail while LIRR operates with an overrunning third rail.  Also, for suburb-to-suburb operation through a CBD, you would have to operate hub-and-spokes which would mean that most passengers would still have to change trains (see Jamaica at rush hour), so why go through the expense of through trains?
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by JT22CW on Sunday, June 10, 2007 9:56 PM

 daveklepper wrote:
Much of the rush hour car traffic in the NY area is suburb to suburb commuting, and one seat rides are one way to get this traffic onto public transit. This was the main argument for the Center-City Philadelphia tunnel where nearly all trains are through routed
Referring to the CCCT, that argument has fallen through.  The vast majority of passengers there get off in Center City, as though there were no CCCT.

And let me remind the board that Penn Station in Manhattan was originally supposed to be a stub-end terminal, not a through station.  The PRR originally did not wish to burrow under Bergen Hill and the Hudson River; they had a plan to branch off the New Jersey Railroad at Rahway NJ and build a line through Staten Island, over the Narrows, and through Brooklyn and Queens, entering through the East River Tunnels along with the LIRR.  None of these "through-running" dreams would exist had the PRR gone with that plan.

 CSSHEGEWISCH wrote:
Perhaps what I should have asked is Poughkeepsie-Patchogue/Ronkonkoma, How?  While both lines are third-rail electric, keep in mind that Metro North operates with an underrunning third rail while LIRR operates with an overrunning third rail.  Also, for suburb-to-suburb operation through a CBD, you would have to operate hub-and-spokes which would mean that most passengers would still have to change trains (see Jamaica at rush hour), so why go through the expense of through trains?
Amtrak runs into Penn Station using the P32AC-DM Genesis (and the FL9s before that) via the West Side Connector (this line is not electrified between the tunnel in Hell's Kitchen and north of the bridge over the Harlem River, in Spuyten Duyvil).  The third-rail contact shoe for those Amtrak locomotives is/was set up to run on LIRR's over-running third rail, operating in full diesel mode while on Metro-North's Hudson Line (third rail contact shoe is retracted so as not to strike the under-running third rail and break off).  So it's physically possible for Amtrak dual-modes (at least) to run from the Hudson Line onto the LIRR's main line or to any rail destination within Long Island.  But through-running will not happen any time soon either with modified LIRR dual-modes nor modified Metro-North dual-modes.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, June 11, 2007 9:40 AM

I do not have the figures on SEPTA, but the interesting fact is that only 49% of Metro North rush hour passengers have Grand Central Terminal as their end destination in the morning and their starting station in the evening.   This fact may surprise you, but it is a fact, and you can check with Metro North.   I suspect a previous post really underestimates the amount of suburb-to-suburb commuting iin Phily.   For NY, I can tell you that I was a reverse commuter on Metro North from July 1971 through March 1996, living in Manhattan and working in White Plains near the North White Plains Station.

 The technical problem is easily solved if maintenance is good.   Until maintenace dropped, FL-9's operate well on third-rail power both into Penn Station and into GCT using double-sprung third rail shoes that operated equally well on both types of third rail.

Or the through service can be provided using diesel on Metro North like Amtrak's dual-service locomotives do.

I am certain there are a sizeable number of people who work at the Philadelphia Airport who ride through Center City on their daily commute.   Similarly people who work at Bryn Mawr College.  And note that nearl all those that must change trains stay on the same platform at either Market East or 30th Street Upper Level.

 

Another proof of what I am saying is the push to get a circular belt commuter operation around the Chicago suburbs.   In Chicago, of course, the obstacles to through service in the downtown area are tremendous, including the layout of Union Station and the seperation from the Northwest Transportation Center, so the circular belt is the only solution. 

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Posted by GP40 on Thursday, June 21, 2007 2:26 PM
 JT22CW wrote:

 daveklepper wrote:
What I would do is run a third-rail PATH-type electrification out to High Bridge, extending PATH's service to replace the diesel NJT Raritan Valley diesel service
Nobody would ride PATH equipment for that distance (over 55 miles).  Not to mention, you've cut off the Lehigh Valley from passenger service permanently.  (Would you think that Conrail Shared Assets would permit PATH operation on the Lehigh Line through Hillside, Union and Roselle Park in New Jersey?)

Like I already noted, the state commuter agencies are operating commuter rail patterns established by the private railroads.  (This is why you have NJ Transit operating to Port Jervis NY via the Erie's former main line, and Metro-North operating deep into Connecticut out of Grand Central Terminal.)  Nobody's going to fix what isn't broken, at this point.

JT22CW,

You are forgetting that in the late 70's and early 80's there was a very serious and almost implemented plan to extend the PATH to Plainfield NJ. The route was that it would have proceeded south from its current terminal in Newark Penn Sta. follow along the westside of the NEC then make a right turn west unto the old CNJ alignment at Elizabeth NJ. then onto Plainfield. See no interference with the freight traffic on the LV main in fact it would have  eliminated all interference with the freights altogether (from Aldene to NK tower) but it also would have been a deathnell for passenger service at Roselle.

But the PANYNJ being the PANYNJ killed the plan through their virulent antirail bias like extending the PATH into Newark Airport and letting MTA extend first the LIRR (or the NYCTA subways) into JFK airport.

Regarding to just sticking to the (over a century old)patterns set by the private RR's because they kind of work. Well there is a new thinking that is emerging  in people how have real power (just the pie in the sky planners and dreamers) that through service through the city center is essential for the region to compete not just nationally but globally in order to remain viable as a financial center. For instance not only is the new exec. dir. of the MTA Mr. Sander talking about running football game specials from New Haven, Conn. to the MeadowlandsMetro-North combined with NJ Transit) in NJ but he is also talking about combined Netro North and LIRR service through Penn Sta. Riverdale to Port Washington.  

A new era requires new thinking.

 

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