New York City Stations/ West Side line ?

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, June 29, 2007 4:28 AM
GP40 says it well!
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, June 29, 2007 10:17 AM

A question that hasn't been answered is how do you pick which routes are going to be through-routed through the downtown stations?  You would still have a fair number of riders who would need to change trains somewhere.  Also, is through-routing cost-effective and how would you re-negotiate labor contracts and seniority districts?  After all, Metro North, LIRR and NJ Transit probably all are separate crew districts.

Question:  How many of the passengers who say that GCT is not their final station are only taking the subway to lower Manhattan?

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 Saturday, June 30, 2007 5:59 PM
 GP40 wrote:
 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 70s and early 80s 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 death-knell 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

I'm not unaware of "PATH to Plainfield".  It was anything but a "very serious and almost implemented plan".  You say it would have been a death-knell for passenger service at Roselle?—(actually, it would have restored service to Roselle, but that's not the main issue)—in fact, it would have killed all service between Plainfield and Raritan, if I understand correctly, never mind between Plainfield and Phillipsburg or Plainfield and West Trenton/Reading Terminal.  It also would have been quite vulnerable during winter storms—note the problems that LIRR and Metro-North experience during the winter, with their third-rail systems (LIRR's system is identical to PATH's).

The PANYNJ doesn't have a "virulent anti-rail bias", otherwise they never would have built the Airtrains at EWR and JFK, nor funded NJ Transit's Waterfront Connection (among other projects), nor even taken on the operation of the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad.  What the PANYNJ are, to be more accurate, would be territorial especially when it comes to their port facilities; and if the state governments didn't permit it to have the excess of autonomy it has, then they would have been able to implement practical rail projects like having the NYCTA and LIRR enter JFK and the H&M enter EWR.  "PATH to Plainfield", however, is without the realm of practicality.

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 Meadowlands, Metro-North combined with NJ Transit) in NJ but he is also talking about combined Metro North and LIRR service through Penn Sta. Riverdale to Port Washington.  

A new era requires new thinking

That's not "new thinking".  That's pie-in-the-sky nonsense.  If France had to rely on such thinking, they never would have been able to implement their TGV network as quickly.

Through service via a city center does not make the city center any more viable.  Phiadelphia has had it since the early 80s, and that city is declining.  Philly was better off when the PRR and Reading divisions were separate; the regional rail had more trains, more lines, and didn't need to rely on electrification to start up new service.  I already noted this.

Through-running Metro-North's Hudson Line and LIRR is impossible.  Utterly impossible, without a massive reinvestment in conversion of electrification systems.  The money for that is not there.  The West Side Line belongs to Amtrak, and the MTA would have to pay Amtrak for its use, as well as figuring out what kind of electrification system to use (currently, it has no electrification at all—it's all-diesel from just outside Penn Station to the bridge over the Harlem River).  Can't use dual-mode, because that means that Metro-North would need to invest in retractable and reversible third-rail contact shoes for its P32AC-DMs—even more money—and it's possible that the Manhasset Viaduct would not be able to take the weight of those dual-mode locos.

I'm well aware of the proposal (for that's all it is) regarding special trains from the New Haven Line to the Meadowlands.  That's contingent upon the new spur into the Meadowlands being built, which it is (but this spur was supposed to have originally been part of a larger project, that being restoration of commuter rail on the former NY Central West Shore Line, up to West Haverstraw at least, the spur thereof connecting that line to Hoboken via Secaucus Junction).  This would create havoc with the High Line, since Secaucus was never meant to be a permanent location to turn trains.  This also would require NJT or Amtrak equipment to be used, unless the new M8 were to be built with 25 Hz capacity (and that might result in that MU weighing more than the old MP54).

Don't throw out catchphrases like "compete globally" unless you know what that means.  The only way we can do that now is to bring all of our heavy industry and manufacturing back to US shores and eschew all imports.  Being a "financial center" is meaningless unless you have the means to create wealth.  (But this is a separate matter.)

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Posted by JT22CW on Saturday, June 30, 2007 7:00 PM
 CSSHEGEWISCH wrote:
A question that hasn't been answered is how do you pick which routes are going to be through-routed through the downtown stations?  You would still have a fair number of riders who would need to change trains somewhere.  Also, is through-routing cost-effective and how would you re-negotiate labor contracts and seniority districts?  After all, Metro North, LIRR and NJ Transit probably all are separate crew districts.
One thing at a time.  We have to focus upon disparate electrification systems and infrastructure first.  Then, it's necessary to forge new interstate compacts for such service—which raises the question as to where the federal government is, an entity that was created to handle such things.  (Remember, the PRR never did this when they owned the LIRR, nor did they expand on it when the New Haven RR was part of the Pennsylvania Group.  Penn Central certainly never pushed any such initiatives forward; in spite of their poor fiscal state, if there were any merit, they would have done so, correct?)
Question:  How many of the passengers who say that GCT is not their final station are only taking the subway to lower Manhattan?
Can't be very many, if the new place for jobs is on the east side.  Funny thing is, even when Lower Manhattan was far busier, there was no call for converting the West Side Line, which extended as far south as St. John's Park Terminal (southern edge at Spring Street), from freight to passenger.
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Posted by GP40 on Wednesday, July 4, 2007 2:37 PM

JT22CW wrote:  "The PANYNJ doesn't have a "virulent anti-rail bias", otherwise they never would have built the Airtrains at EWR and JFK, nor funded NJ Transit's Waterfront Connection (among other projects), nor even taken on the operation of the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad.  What the PANYNJ are, to be more accurate, would be territorial especially when it comes to their port facilities; and if the state governments didn't permit it to have the excess of autonomy it has, then they would have been able to implement practical rail projects like having the NYCTA and LIRR enter JFK and the H&M enter EWR.  "PATH to Plainfield", however, is without the realm of practicality."

JT22CW, obviously you have never attended any PANYNJ pulbic hearings RE: rail or talked to any objective observer who has watch the doings of the Port for the past 50 years or PA planners and engineers (of the record of course) on the real attitude the PA has towards rail and mass transit in particular.

1. This "virulent anti-rail bias" started back in the 1920's when the PANY just started and they tried to fullfill thier original mission of building a Cross Harbor Freight Railroad Tunnel. Sounds familiar ??? All the Class 1's that operated in and around the harbor at the time rebuffed them big time and wanted no parts of it. Because RR's being RR's at that time (to some extent even now) wanted to maintain total and absolute control over thier franchises and facilities and not share anything if they can help it. They thought that they would be the only viable means of land transportation forever so why cooperate. Meaning maintaining the expensive, labor intensive and numerous systems of car ferrys and lcl lighter barges. All the RR's that rebuffed the Port went bankrupted within a generation.   

2. The only reason and I do mean the only reason that the Airtrains at EWR and JFK wrere built was that the airlines were complaining to the FAA and threatening lawsuits (which they would of won,) was that the PA wasn't doing a darn thing with the fees they had collected from FAA mandated "Airport Improvement Surcharge" on every ticket on every flight from those airports. They had to build something and their leases at those airports were about to expire at the time. Even Rudy Guiliani made a very credible threat to bring in another airport operator to JFK when that lease was set to expire. If they they were not as anti-rail as you claim then they would built extensions for either the LIRR or NYCTA or both directly into the JFKTerminals. And either a branch of the NEC or Path extension directly into the EWR terminal. Something that every major world city now has or is being built. Even Paris has a TGV station in the heart of Charles DeGuille Airport.Chicago and San Francisco has one rapid transit links into their airport. It is a matter of fact that the Newark Airport PATH extension was already laid out.

3. The only reason and again I do mean the only reason that the PA bought the H&M RR was that was one of the conditions that New Jersey board members(read the Governer of NJ) would go along with the building of the World Trade Center. Remember it was built on the site of the old Lower Manhattan H&M terminal.

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Posted by GP40 on Wednesday, July 4, 2007 3:51 PM
 JT22CW wrote:
 GP40 wrote:
 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 70s and early 80s 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 death-knell 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

I'm not unaware of "PATH to Plainfield".  It was anything but a "very serious and almost implemented plan".  You say it would have been a death-knell for passenger service at Roselle?—(actually, it would have restored service to Roselle, but that's not the main issue)—in fact, it would have killed all service between Plainfield and Raritan, if I understand correctly, never mind between Plainfield and Phillipsburg or Plainfield and West Trenton/Reading Terminal.  It also would have been quite vulnerable during winter storms—note the problems that LIRR and Metro-North experience during the winter, with their third-rail systems (LIRR's system is identical to PATH's).

The PANYNJ doesn't have a "virulent anti-rail bias", otherwise they never would have built the Airtrains at EWR and JFK, nor funded NJ Transit's Waterfront Connection (among other projects), nor even taken on the operation of the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad.  What the PANYNJ are, to be more accurate, would be territorial especially when it comes to their port facilities; and if the state governments didn't permit it to have the excess of autonomy it has, then they would have been able to implement practical rail projects like having the NYCTA and LIRR enter JFK and the H&M enter EWR.  "PATH to Plainfield", however, is without the realm of practicality.

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 Meadowlands, Metro-North combined with NJ Transit) in NJ but he is also talking about combined Metro North and LIRR service through Penn Sta. Riverdale to Port Washington.  

A new era requires new thinking

That's not "new thinking".  That's pie-in-the-sky nonsense.  If France had to rely on such thinking, they never would have been able to implement their TGV network as quickly.

Through service via a city center does not make the city center any more viable.  Phiadelphia has had it since the early 80s, and that city is declining.  Philly was better off when the PRR and Reading divisions were separate; the regional rail had more trains, more lines, and didn't need to rely on electrification to start up new service.  I already noted this.

Through-running Metro-North's Hudson Line and LIRR is impossible.  Utterly impossible, without a massive reinvestment in conversion of electrification systems.  The money for that is not there.  The West Side Line belongs to Amtrak, and the MTA would have to pay Amtrak for its use, as well as figuring out what kind of electrification system to use (currently, it has no electrification at all—it's all-diesel from just outside Penn Station to the bridge over the Harlem River).  Can't use dual-mode, because that means that Metro-North would need to invest in retractable and reversible third-rail contact shoes for its P32AC-DMs—even more money—and it's possible that the Manhasset Viaduct would not be able to take the weight of those dual-mode locos.

I'm well aware of the proposal (for that's all it is) regarding special trains from the New Haven Line to the Meadowlands.  That's contingent upon the new spur into the Meadowlands being built, which it is (but this spur was supposed to have originally been part of a larger project, that being restoration of commuter rail on the former NY Central West Shore Line, up to West Haverstraw at least, the spur thereof connecting that line to Hoboken via Secaucus Junction).  This would create havoc with the High Line, since Secaucus was never meant to be a permanent location to turn trains.  This also would require NJT or Amtrak equipment to be used, unless the new M8 were to be built with 25 Hz capacity (and that might result in that MU weighing more than the old MP54).

Don't throw out catchphrases like "compete globally" unless you know what that means.  The only way we can do that now is to bring all of our heavy industry and manufacturing back to US shores and eschew all imports.  Being a "financial center" is meaningless unless you have the means to create wealth.  (But this is a separate matter.)

1. There is only one thing wrong with your Philadelphia argument RE; Cross city rail tunnels. Philadelphia! It is not New York, London

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Posted by JT22CW on Thursday, July 5, 2007 3:03 AM
 GP40 wrote:
 JT22CW wrote:
The PANYNJ doesn't have a "virulent anti-rail bias", otherwise they never would have built the Airtrains at EWR and JFK, nor funded NJ Transit's Waterfront Connection (among other projects), nor even taken on the operation of the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad.  What the PANYNJ are, to be more accurate, would be territorial especially when it comes to their port facilities; and if the state governments didn't permit it to have the excess of autonomy it has, then they would have been able to implement practical rail projects like having the NYCTA and LIRR enter JFK and the H&M enter EWR.  "PATH to Plainfield", however, is without the realm of practicality.
JT22CW, obviously you have never attended any PANYNJ pulbic hearings RE: rail or talked to any objective observer who has watch the doings of the Port for the past 50 years or PA planners and engineers (of the record of course) on the real attitude the PA has towards rail and mass transit in particular.

1. This "virulent anti-rail bias" started back in the 1920's when the PANY just started and they tried to fullfill thier original mission of building a Cross Harbor Freight Railroad Tunnel. Sounds familiar ??? All the Class 1's that operated in and around the harbor at the time rebuffed them big time and wanted no parts of it. Because RR's being RR's at that time (to some extent even now) wanted to maintain total and absolute control over thier franchises and facilities and not share anything if they can help it. They thought that they would be the only viable means of land transportation forever so why cooperate. Meaning maintaining the expensive, labor intensive and numerous systems of car ferrys and lcl lighter barges. All the RR's that rebuffed the Port went bankrupted within a generation

Absurd, with all due respect.  You've just blamed all of the railroads' woes across the entire USA on the Port Authority.  Was the PA responsible for all of the abandonments and relinquishing of passenger service as well?  Was Amtrak a side-effect of the PA being tough on the railroads?  Was the PA at fault for the NYC takeover of the IRT and BMT?  Was the NYSW the only railroad that didn't "rebuff" the Port Authority, leading to its survival today?  (Was the bankruptcy of the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee due to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey?)

Railroads were not so intransigent; they were highly competitive, but they didn't go so far as to exclude every other road from their facilities.  If that were so, then the PRR and CNJ would never have shared the New York & Long Branch RR; the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines would never have come into existence; and there would never have been "Union Stations" in places like New Haven CT and Washington DC.  The Port Authority never wanted to build that freight tunnel, otherwise they would not have weaseled out of it, even to this day.

2. The only reason and I do mean the only reason that the Airtrains at EWR and JFK wrere built was that the airlines were complaining to the FAA and threatening lawsuits (which they would of won,) was that the PA wasn't doing a darn thing with the fees they had collected from FAA mandated "Airport Improvement Surcharge" on every ticket on every flight from those airports. They had to build something and their leases at those airports were about to expire at the time. Even Rudy Guiliani made a very credible threat to bring in another airport operator to JFK when that lease was set to expire. If they they were not as anti-rail as you claim then they would built extensions for either the LIRR or NYCTA or both directly into the JFKTerminals. And either a branch of the NEC or Path extension directly into the EWR terminal. Something that every major world city now has or is being built. Even Paris has a TGV station in the heart of Charles DeGuille (sic) Airport. Chicago and San Francisco has one rapid transit links into their airport. It is a matter of fact that the Newark Airport PATH extension was already laid out.
Not correct either.  FAA Airport Improvement Program funds must be competed for; they are not earmarked.  The airlines could never force the Port Authority to spend such funds on a rail link; in fact, the Port Authority would have to have been the entity to make the first move to apply for the use of such funds to build such rail systems.

Giuliani doesn't have the power to evict the PA from the airports within NYC.  If he wanted to make a move in that direction, he would have had to get Albany and Trenton involved.

Bloomberg tried to wheedle the Port Authority into extending the Airtrain into Lower Manhattan, even offering the LIRR's Atlantic Avenue branch and one of the subway tunnels under the East River as a sacrificial right of way. 

FTR, the TGV stop at Charles de Gaulle Airport is a RER stop (commuter rail).

3. The only reason and again I do mean the only reason that the PA bought the H&M RR was that was one of the conditions that New Jersey board members(read the Governer of NJ) would go along with the building of the World Trade Center. Remember it was built on the site of the old Lower Manhattan H&M terminal
Not necessarily.  The PA is pretty autonomous, and they could have chosen another site for the WTC quite readily.  The H&M takeover was most likely a favor instead of a compromise.  (Was the PA responsible for the H&M's bankruptcy too?)

There is only one thing wrong with your Philadelphia argument RE; Cross city rail tunnels. Philadelphia! It is not New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin or Paris
That's a poor rebuttal. Cities share one key element—they are the destination of commuter rail passengers. Longer-distance trains are the only ones that ought to have the focus of "through service", if any.

Pari
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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, July 5, 2007 5:21 AM

Minor correction to a good and thorough analysis:

The New York Westchester and Boston's Southern Terminal, up to 1931 shared with the New Haven Railroad's New Rochelle - Harlem River Shuttle, was on East 133rd Street, not East 108th.   (No E. 108 in The Bronx!), actually on E.132nd.   Yes, at one time there was a water ferryboat connection to Manhattan there.   In fact at one time the sleepers of the Federal Express were handled on a car ferry from there to the Pennsy's Greenville New Jersey piers, then came the Poughkeepsie River Bridge, and then the Hell Gate.   Most people arriving at the NYW&B terminal continued south via the 3rd Avenue El, possibly the 2nd Avenue as well, since the station was served by both lines.   But many had gotton off at East 180th Street and changed to the IRT Lexington Avenue Line (now the 5 Train) at that point.

There was a direct across the platform transfer from the 11000V AC catenary track used by both the Harlem River Shuttle and the NYW&B and the third rail 600V DC track used by the  "Westchester Connection" shuttle of the 3rd Avenue El.   This ran south to the 129th Steet station, served by 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue Locals, but not rush hour expresses!  So many people just hiked the one block walk over to the 133rd Street 2-tracks-on-2-levels station and boarded a southbound 3rd Avenue or 2nd Avenue Express at that station.     Around 1935 the across-the-platform transfer was discontinued, and a covered walkway built between the NYW&B terminal and the 133rd Street El Station, used for the very few remaining years of the NYW&B.   The track was left in and used until well into the postwar period for delivering new IRT subway cars.   I rode a fan trip on the track around 1950.    I think the track connection survived until the demise of the 3rd Avenue El sourth of 149th Street, about 1963.

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Posted by GP40 on Thursday, July 5, 2007 4:36 PM

In response to JT22CW comments: 

How do get the that I am blaming the PA for the demise of American mainline railroading?? I just wanted to make the point the PA was created in response to long range need that is still exist even to today and that the players at the did not percieve it and the tables were turned on those players within a generation by such factors as the Interstate Highway System etc.

Cooperative efforts such as the NY&LB and PRSL were the exceptions to the rule not the rule.

You know I forgot about the the Suzie Q, God bless them. Always kind of under the radar screen but still in find a way to survive even thrive.   

Giuliani did have the power. Both LGA and JFK are still owned by the City of New York.The lease of JFK was at the time was about to expire and the Mayor's office and others had proven that JFK had been short changed in the way of services and capital expenditures as compared to Newark Airport.  If Giuliani were allowed to run and win for a third term the PA probably would have lost their lease of JFK and another operator would have been selected.

One man's favor is a another man's compromise. Yes it was a condition for the WTC. Yes the PA is pretty autonomous but it is foremost politcal and has to answer to its political masters the two governers of NY and NJ. The Twin Towers were at first to built one in lower Manhattan and the other just across the Hudson River in Jersey City. so yes the H&M purchase and refurbishment with the PA series of cars and other long overdue upgrades was a condition of the building of the WTC as it was built. And NO I don't blame the PA for bankruptcy of the H&M. Where did get that idea? 

You prove my point NYC is a big commuter destination like the cities I mentioned. That is why cross city communter rail tunnels work those cities sorry to say not so much in Philadelphia.

What you say is true what I am saying that existance of the FL9's left the idea in the MTA's brain trust that dual mode locos are not some fantasy like wrap drive but a very viable and desirable reality. Give them credit they tried once in replacing the FL9 in kind with new technology before getting the P32AC-DM's, the never to mentioned again FL9AC "Starships" .If  gave the college try twice it means that they had faith in the concept.  Now NJ Transit, Caltrans and the agency tha runs Montreal's commuter rail operations are giving dualmode locos a more than serious look. 

MNRR can indeed initiate service to Rhinecliff it is within the MTA tax base catchment area (Dutchess County). It just that operationaling it is problematic the only space for a storage yard is north of there and out of the MTA catchment area. BTW Wassaic is 82 miles from NYC but the terminal and yard falls within the the MTA catchment area.  

I just reconfirmed with my MNRR source the M8's will indeed have 3 voltage capability and ACSES. Not in order to run to Boston but to run to New London when they take over the service form SLE and to run to Penn Sta. from New Rochelle.  

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, July 13, 2007 4:12 AM

Again, technical arguments against through service simply don't hold up.  Both LIRR and Metro North are part of the MTA, and for a long time some consultants have advised that the two plus the subway system be combined under MTA Rail Operations with MTA bus operations being the other organization (and the two coordinating).   OIbviously there is cultural war, not a technical problem, with this idea.  But the existing Amtrak type dual modes could provide the service by using LIRR third rail in Penn Station and in all tunnels and diesel elsewhere.  And the FL-9 dual sprung shoes were not a problem until maintenace, mostly of the third rail, particularly at breaks in the Park Ave Tunnel and GCT approaches, fell down.  

The 49% to and from GCT refers to Metro North commuter tickets sold, and people traveling on  by subway (or bus or taxi) are included in that figure.   I meant final destination on Metro North, not on the total commute, sorry for the misunderstanding.

There is a technical paper on how such through service drastically improved commuter train usage in Glascow, but I don't have my finger on it.

 Equally important is the direct one-seat, and same platform transfer, rides for LIRR and Hudson Div. riders to the GWBridge buses, Columbia University Complex, and Lincoln Center and adjacent areas.

A fleet of dual-third rail or dual-mode LIRR-Metro-North locomotives (or mu cars) would also be useful for special event traffic surges on both railroads.   And except for the type of third rail and easily bridged cab signal automatic train control differences (Amtrak equipment can handle both), there aren't other technical problems.  Voltage of both systems is the same (Hudson Div and LIRR) and both are DC.

 

The new 3-voltage New Haven Line cars could easily run over New Jersey Transit without problems.

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Posted by JT22CW on Thursday, July 19, 2007 6:29 PM
 daveklepper wrote:

Again, technical arguments against through service simply don't hold up

They seem to hold up well against your failure to debunk them, with all due respect.
Both LIRR and Metro North are part of the MTA, and for a long time some consultants have advised that the two plus the subway system be combined under MTA Rail Operations with MTA bus operations being the other organization (and the two coordinating).   OIbviously there is cultural war, not a technical problem, with this idea
There is a massive technical problem with that idea; the only way to resolve same is massive conversion of electrical infrastructure on both right of way and rolling stock.  The "MTA Commuter Railroad" idea is dead and buried.

I would not regard the arguments of consultants worth consideration.  They are solely about the paycheck.

But the existing Amtrak type dual modes could provide the service by using LIRR third rail in Penn Station and in all tunnels and diesel elsewhere.
What service?  There is no service proposed.
And the FL-9 dual sprung shoes were not a problem until maintenace, mostly of the third rail, particularly at breaks in the Park Ave Tunnel and GCT approaches, fell down.  
This is based on what, exactly?  If you maintained them, please let us know.

The FL9 was a monster built to be too many things to too many railroads.  They were even built with overhead third-rail pantographs to draw power from the (now inactive but still in situ) overhead third-rail in the GCT approaches.

There is a technical paper on how such through service drastically improved commuter train usage in Glasgow, but I don't have my finger on it
Be careful of argumentum ad verecundiam.  Which service are you talking about?  Looks to me like the vast majority of trains to/from Glasgow still terminate at Glasgow Central.
A fleet of dual-third rail or dual-mode LIRR-Metro-North locomotives (or mu cars) would also be useful for special event traffic surges on both railroads.   And except for the type of third rail and easily bridged cab signal automatic train control differences (Amtrak equipment can handle both), there aren't other technical problems.  Voltage of both systems is the same (Hudson Div and LIRR) and both are DC.
Yet you do not address how to go from one system to the other via the unelectrified West Side line.  The two systems were not designed to run together.
The new 3-voltage New Haven Line cars could easily run over New Jersey Transit without problems
Please don't say "without problems".  These are a first of their kind; and they've got a lot of hardware on board, to perform tasks that they would not do on a daily basis.  Neither tthe earlier Cosmopolitans nor the "washboard" and earlier New Haven MUs had to do what will be expected of the M8.

Technical issue:  The M8s will never run over the New York Connecting Road into Penn Station.  They will, like the earlier Cosmopolitan fleet, have fixed third-rail contact shoes.  Unless a yet greater expense (and extra maintenance job) is executed, that being using retractable third-rail contact shoes, and a greater expense beyond that, which is being able to run on 25 Hz lines (Metro-North catenary is 60 Hz), the cars will not even be able to run on the NYCR.  Expectations for running east of New Haven are specious at best; unless of course all platforms on the Shore Line East are converted from low to high.  I predict "hangar queen" status for these monsters.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 3:23 PM

JT   Just what is the massive technical problem?    There are two basically different electrical systems for railroads and rapid transit in NY.   One is the 600-650V DC electrification used by the NYC, the subways, and the LIRR.   Except for the third rail shoe problem, which I will get to in a moment and which the EMD boys had SOLVED on the FL-9, all three systems are compatible.   Want proof?   When the first mass production Budd stainless steel subway cars were introduced, the R32's around 1962, the Budd people as a publicity stunt ran press familiarization trains between Grand Central Terminal and a temporary platfrom at Mott Haven Yard with these R-32's.   And prototype subway cars have typically demonstrated their speed capabilities on the LIRR.

The story of the FL-9 third rail shoes is something like this.   The double sprung shoe required that both types of the third rail be within the engineering tolerances that were given to EMD in the design stage.  As track maintenance declined, during the "Bad Years"  (See the New Haven Historical Society's Book "Diesels to Park Avenue".) these standards were not kept.  But even worse, track maintainers would cut out a section of third rail in the Park Avenue Tunnel without putting in the require ramping rails and the end of the cutout sections, or at least not putting them in properly.  An FL-9 would come along and have its shoes literlly ripped off by the restart of the third rail.

New Haven Line equipment has on occasion been used for all-third rail passenger use on Hudson and Harlem LInes, seldom, but it has been done.   And they used to regularly visit the Harmon shops.

The other basic system is the high-voltage catenary AC system.   With modern electronics, it is easy to design locomotives that work equally well on 60 Hz and 25 Hz AC, and three different voltages, 11,000, 12,500, and 25,000, are only a slightly more complex problem.   The cost of the locomotives or MU cars would be reduced if one could get rid of 25 Hz, still used from Harold Tower and Sunnyside Yard to Washington Union Station.  A transformer at a given capacity is about twice as heavy and costly for 25 Hz as for 60 Hz, but once designed for 25Hz, it can easily also handle 60 Hz.   (Remember that the audio transformers in high fidelity amplifiers had to be efficient from 20 Hz to 15,000 Hz!   I used to design all kinds of transformers for Mystic Transormer Co. in Winchester at the same time as I was a part-time B&M test engineer, so I commuted either on the locomotive or in one of the wood open platform coaches still in use on B&M suburban trains, during my MIT senior year.)

Remember that the Euopreans do this sort of stuff routinely and reliably.   A typical TEE had to encounter four different electrical systems.

Note that the commuter car designs used by Metro North and the LIRR are nearly identacle.

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Posted by JT22CW on Thursday, July 26, 2007 2:56 AM

 daveklepper wrote:
JT   Just what is the massive technical problem?    There are two basically different electrical systems for railroads and rapid transit in NY.   One is the 600-650V DC electrification used by the NYC, the subways, and the LIRR.   Except for the third rail shoe problem, which I will get to in a moment and which the EMD boys had SOLVED on the FL-9, all three systems are compatible.   Want proof?   When the first mass production Budd stainless steel subway cars were introduced, the R32's around 1962, the Budd people as a publicity stunt ran press familiarization trains between Grand Central Terminal and a temporary platfrom at Mott Haven Yard with these R-32's.   And prototype subway cars have typically demonstrated their speed capabilities on the LIRR.
I think you misunderstand.  The technical problem lies in attempting to create an on-the-fly switchover system between over-running and under-running third rail, especially for MUs and straight-electric locomotives, to permit continuous run-through operation from one to the other.  No such thing exists at present, and no such thing will exist at any time in the future either.  I already acknowledged that Amtrak P32AC-DMs (and their former FL9s that operated into NYP) would be the only locomotive capable of running a train through from the Hudson Line into LIRR territory and vice-versa (via NY Penn, that is); but to achieve the pipe-dream of through-running between Metro-North and LIRR in particular, with MUs, that technical problem must be surmounted as I described.
The story of the FL-9 third rail shoes is something like this.   The double sprung shoe required that both types of the third rail be within the engineering tolerances that were given to EMD in the design stage.  As track maintenance declined, during the "Bad Years"  (See the New Haven Historical Society's Book "Diesels to Park Avenue".) these standards were not kept.  But even worse, track maintainers would cut out a section of third rail in the Park Avenue Tunnel without putting in the require ramping rails and the end of the cutout sections, or at least not putting them in properly.  An FL-9 would come along and have its shoes literally ripped off by the restart of the third rail
So would MU contact shoes.  How does this apply uniquely to the FL9?
New Haven Line equipment has on occasion been used for all-third rail passenger use on Hudson and Harlem LInes, seldom, but it has been done.   And they used to regularly visit the Harmon shops.
What's the maintenance toll on the equipment when so used?
The other basic system is the high-voltage catenary AC system.   With modern electronics, it is easy to design locomotives that work equally well on 60 Hz and 25 Hz AC, and three different voltages, 11,000, 12,500, and 25,000, are only a slightly more complex problem.   The cost of the locomotives or MU cars would be reduced if one could get rid of 25 Hz, still used from Harold Tower and Sunnyside Yard to Washington Union Station.  A transformer at a given capacity is about twice as heavy and costly for 25 Hz as for 60 Hz, but once designed for 25Hz, it can easily also handle 60 Hz.   (Remember that the audio transformers in high fidelity amplifiers had to be efficient from 20 Hz to 15,000 Hz!   I used to design all kinds of transformers for Mystic Transormer Co. in Winchester at the same time as I was a part-time B&M test engineer, so I commuted either on the locomotive or in one of the wood open platform coaches still in use on B&M suburban trains, during my MIT senior year.)
That's not the chief problem, as already noted.  Even if NJ Transit had stayed with 3 kV DC as installed by the Lackawanna Railroad instead of converting to 25 kv 60 Hz AC, they could have bought ALP-44s that could switch on the fly between that and 11.5 kV 25 Hz AC—the defining characteristic is catenary wire, where pantographs permit minimal physical interference.  Even Arrows could have been converted to switch on the fly; if the TGV can switch between 1.5 kV DC and 25 kv 50 Hz AC, there's no reason any electric trains cannot.

IIRC, the Silverliner fleet of SEPTA has a dormant automatic variable-tap transformer system, which was installed in anticipation of Amtrak possibly converting the former PRR between New York and Washington DC to 25 kV 60 Hz AC (whereupon SEPTA would presumedly retain 11.5 kV 25 Hz AC on their system).

Remember that the Europeans do this sort of stuff routinely and reliably.   A typical TEE had to encounter four different electrical systems
The TEE was typically diesel.  Even the electrified TEE trains didn't have to deal with going from under-running to over-running third rail, and most definitely not with MUs.  This is the unique and major obstacle in the NYC area infrastructure-wise.  Even if there were demand for through-running commuter trains (which there isn't, as far as I can see), that obstacle will remain a "doozy".

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, July 26, 2007 12:16 PM

First, the "technical problem'':   Withg the EMD-design shoe, there isn't any in going from underruning to overruning on the fly.   You should study the deisgn of the third rails.  Possibly you are thinking that the LIRR, subways, and Staten Island use a third rail located like the old elevated NY third rail and the very similar existing CTA third rail, which is fairly high, close to the running rail, and allowed a gravity shoe that slid up and down, but with very little toleration for sidewise devience, on the third rail.   It may have been planned or it may be luck, but the two third rail designes (and LIRR, the subways, PATH, and Staten Island. uise the same design, by intent), and NYC underrunning allow a center sprung (sprung to a horizontal position,to have pressure upward with deviation downward and pressure downward when forced upward) simple shoe design to workk on both.   So all that is needed is a short gap between the third raiils, not any longer than encountered at switches and possibly involving third rails on both sides with gaps staggered to allow continuous power, with the proper ramp on each end.   The ramp on an overruninng third rail is of course the opposite of a ramp on an underruning third rail.

There is really zero technical problem if the EMD design is used and if the tolerances on the drawings that were the basis for their design are adhered to.    Which they definitely were in the first five or so years of FL-9 operation, and the third rail pick-up performed reliably into both Grand Central and Penn.   So much so, that the practice of immediately switching to diesel after leaving the tunnels was not adhered to in practice until the electric performance became a problem later.   I was a reverse commuter from GCT to the N. White Plains Station and I could tell when the switch to diesel occured because of the noise level in the front coach.  When I lived in Boston earlier I rode the New Haven frequently, behind all the passenger electrics and the FL-9's into both New York City stations.   (Later, I had a cab ride New Haven - Penn in a GG-1.)

I spent most of my life as a New York City resident and I assure you West Side access for the Hudson Division, Manhattan Upper West Side Access for LIRR patrons, and LIRR-MN Hudson through service is very definitelly needed and would bring auto drivers into the rail commuter network.   So is Penn Station access for New Haven Commuters.   New Jersey Transit trains running unnoccupied through the East River Tunnels to reach Sunnyside Yard is wasted capacity in those tunnels and that capacity can be used for New Haven commuters to reach Penn Station and points beyond including Newark and Newark Airport.

For years Fordham was bypassed by all New Haven trains.   Only NYC Harlem locals stopped there.   Now it is the third busiest station on the NEW HAVEN line, in addtion to being the second busiest on the Harlem.   Columbia University and George Washington Bridge and Lincoln Center could do the same, taking all three together, for both the LIRR and the Hudson Division.

 

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Posted by JT22CW on Friday, July 27, 2007 10:56 PM
 daveklepper wrote:
First, the "technical problem'':   With the EMD-design shoe, there isn't any (what?) in going from underruning to overruning on the fly.   You should study the deisgn of the third rails.  Possibly you are thinking that the LIRR, subways, and Staten Island use a third rail located like the old elevated NY third rail and the very similar existing CTA third rail, which is fairly high, close to the running rail, and allowed a gravity shoe that slid up and down, but with very little toleration for sidewise devience, on the third rail.   It may have been planned or it may be luck, but the two third rail designs (and LIRR, the subways, PATH, and Staten Island. uise the same design, by intent), and NYC underrunning allow a center sprung (sprung to a horizontal position,to have pressure upward with deviation downward and pressure downward when forced upward) simple shoe design to work on both.   So all that is needed is a short gap between the third raiils, not any longer than encountered at switches and possibly involving third rails on both sides with gaps staggered to allow continuous power, with the proper ramp on each end.   The ramp on an overruninng third rail is of course the opposite of a ramp on an underruning third rail.

There is really zero technical problem if the EMD design is used and if the tolerances on the drawings that were the basis for their design are adhered to.    Which they definitely were in the first five or so years of FL-9 operation, and the third rail pick-up performed reliably into both Grand Central and Penn.   So much so, that the practice of immediately switching to diesel after leaving the tunnels was not adhered to in practice until the electric performance became a problem later.   I was a reverse commuter from GCT to the N. White Plains Station and I could tell when the switch to diesel occured because of the noise level in the front coach.  When I lived in Boston earlier I rode the New Haven frequently, behind all the passenger electrics and the FL-9's into both New York City stations.   (Later, I had a cab ride New Haven - Penn in a GG-1.)

You make it sound so easy.  If it were that easy, it would have been put into practice long ago.  But it must not be so easy, since no modern railroad does it or appears to be able to do it, right?  You make it sound like Budd Cosmopolitans (M2, M4, M6) and the upcoming M8 would be able to run into NY Penn right now without any interference problems with the LIRR third rail.  (Every anecdote relayed to me by RR personnel insists that no such thing is the case.)

Forgot about the two recent Spuyten Duyvil bridge strikes?  Amtrak had to run into GCT with prime-mover on, and go around the loop.  This magical third-rail contact shoe design must be a dog, no matter how much you're hyping it, if it didn't translate to the Genesis.  Put them on MUs, and you multiply the possibility of things going wrong by 12, per train, at least (most MU trains are 12 cars long).

Revealing that you have had cab rides is bad form, especially online.  Keep that to yourself, I advise.

I spent most of my life as a New York City resident and I assure you West Side access for the Hudson Division, Manhattan Upper West Side Access for LIRR patrons, and LIRR-MN Hudson through service is very definitelly needed and would bring auto drivers into the rail commuter network.   So is Penn Station access for New Haven Commuters.   New Jersey Transit trains running unnoccupied through the East River Tunnels to reach Sunnyside Yard is wasted capacity in those tunnels and that capacity can be used for New Haven commuters to reach Penn Station and points beyond including Newark and Newark Airport
No, there's no such demand.  I lived in Elizabeth, NJ for eighteen years, and my late father was himself born in Brooklyn and lived in NYC for a long time; neither of us observed what you are asserting.  The chief destination remains NYC, including for automobile drivers.

Not a lick of consideration for railroad labor?  These are time-honored and still-valid running patterns.  Fixing what isn't broken will not work.

For years Fordham was bypassed by all New Haven trains.   Only NYC Harlem locals stopped there.   Now it is the third busiest station on the NEW HAVEN line, in addtion to being the second busiest on the Harlem
Trains stopping at Fordham are, except for three trains, Stamford locals.  And I suspect that people on the Stamford local would rather that the train doesn't make the stop.  Should we reopen 138th Street Station in the Bronx, too?
Columbia University and George Washington Bridge and Lincoln Center could do the same, taking all three together, for both the LIRR and the Hudson Division
How would the LIRR get to Columbia U's Washington Heights campus (it's on Broadway), Lincoln Center (also on Broadway) and the GWB?  Only way would to go via the subway, as it did in the past.  The LIRR would have to dispense with 85-foot cars, in that case; it can't run on Broadway since it doesn't have cars with the dimensions of the MP41 anymore.  The West Side Line is nowhere near any of those three locations; the closest it gets to the GWB area is running well below Riverside Park.  People can (and do) transfer to the IRT at Marble Hill from Metro-North, if that's where they want to go.

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Posted by GP40 on Sunday, July 29, 2007 10:46 AM

JT22CW, 

Dave is not suggesting that we put mainline LIRR equipment on the 7th Ave. IRT. What he is referring to is building local stops on the Westside Line that are near points of interest and to where there is increased commuer traffic from what is was in the past.  Example: before Robert Moses built Lincoln Center the area where it sits on now was a slum no two ways about it and nobody wanted to go there. Now in the early 21st century with Lincoln Center, Trump City and Mayor Bloomburg and his friends pushing real hard for developement of the Far Westside a commuter stop there makes more and more sense.

While you are right that NYC is still the final destination of choice for commuters it is where "within" NYC have the commuting destinations have changed. Some same as in the past but also some new ones has developed. Since I know that you have respect for past operational presidence. There were local stops alongs the present Westide Line when it was the old Hudson River RR and I believe the service lasted well into the 1940's.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, July 30, 2007 2:51 AM

Thanks for your support.   Again, that 49% figure of Metro North and the success of the Fordham stop prove me correct.   However, I must hasten to report that the West Side mu Hudson Division local service (electric) stopped in 1931, several years before the tracks were covered over by the  construction of the West Side Highway and the extension of Riverside Park.   An ERA fan trip, pulled by an R-class electric, ran around 1946, with dining car!

Regarding the dual-mode third rail shoe and the FL-9 problems in general, I have decided on a separate posting.   I worked for EMD summer of 1952, made one contribution to load regulartor technlogy (MIT SB EE Thesis) which went into the transition from the GP-7 to GP-9, and designed the circuits that converted the existing FT's to automatic transition, so they could mu with F-3's and later models in the lead.   JB is right in that is isn't easy or simple, but  the problems are straightfoward and I think worth solving in a straightforward manner.

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Posted by GP40 on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 10:04 AM

Well, I was off by nine years, "no biggy".

Since this is in line with the original thread, What as the southern terminus for this Hudson Div.  Westside Line MU service. Was it the St. John's Freight Terminal Building???? Did the service run on the High Line???  

I have seen pictures of that ERA fantrip from the St. John Freight Terminal Building. It kind of give a glimspe of what might of been. Imagine if they re-extended the Westline to its original Chambers Street terminal location. 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 1, 2007 4:06 AM
I think, but am not absolutely certain, that with the construction of the high line, the southern terminal was initially the St. John's Freight Terminal, but after a short time is was relocated to a location farther north, possibly near Pennsylvania Station.   I will try and get an accurate answer to this question.
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Posted by timz on Friday, August 3, 2007 6:44 PM

 daveklepper wrote:
the West Side mu Hudson Division local service (electric) stopped in 1931

In 1930 MUs ran (with revenue passengers?) down the West Side to where?

 daveklepper wrote:
I think, but am not absolutely certain, that with the construction of the high line, the southern terminal was initially the St. John's Freight Terminal

Waitaminnit ... the terminal of the MU passenger service? Which ended in 1931, before the High Line was built?

 

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Posted by timz on Saturday, August 4, 2007 12:06 PM

It seems the West Side wasn't electrified until 1931 -- and that was only as far south as 60th St, right?

The 1919 and 1934 employee timetables shows two passenger trains each way on the West Side: a morning round trip 30th To Spuyten Duyvil and back, and ditto in the afternoon. They're not in the 1938.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 5, 2007 7:29 AM

thanks for an authoritative answer.   I was wrong about l93l, then it was '34 or '35.   Possibly when Riverside Park was extended over the tracks and the West Side Highway built north of 72nd streetm the service was abandeoned, and this was 1935.

 

I understand the electrification extended down to 30th street for trains to the P. O. annex, and I suspect mu equipment was normal for the two daily trains each way.

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Posted by timz on Sunday, August 5, 2007 4:27 PM
 daveklepper wrote:
I understand the electrification extended down to 30th street for trains to the P. O. annex, and I suspect mu equipment was normal for the two daily trains each way.
Eventually third rail got down to 30th St or thereabouts, but in 1935 the line from 60th St to 30th St was still street running, on 11th Ave. They probably didn't have third rail in the street-- right?
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 19, 2007 4:07 AM
My understanding was that the entire line was grade separated by the time the elevated St. John's Park Terminal opened, but that some street trackage paralleling the new line remained in place to serve specific customers not served by the elevated line.  I think the electrification to 30th Street went into place with the grade separation.   I may be wrong, but that is my memory.   Indeed, I think some of the street trackage remained in place almost up to WWII and perhaps during the war.
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Posted by timz on Sunday, August 19, 2007 3:37 PM
If you can get to a library that has the NY Times on microfilm, you'll see that the elevated line from 30th St to the so-called St John's Park terminal opened in 1934, but the depressed line from 60th St down to 35th didn't open until June 1937. So all trains ran in the street on 11th Ave until then-- so no third rail south of 59th St until 1937 at least.
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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, August 20, 2007 10:20 AM
check the emloyees timetable running times.   on the street, 8mph top speed, preceded by horseman, 4 mh average, about 25 minutes between 30th and 60th street; grade seperated about 5 to 10 minutes.   i think i remember elevated structure in this aree, and the line may have gone from street to elevated earlier and then been depressed.
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Posted by timz on Monday, August 20, 2007 8:51 PM

 daveklepper wrote:
i think i remember elevated structure in this aree, and the line may have gone from street to elevated earlier and then been depressed.

You think maybe there was once NY Central elevated trackage between 36th St and 60th St? If you ever decide to hunt for evidence of that, better pack a large lunch.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 3:36 AM

Maybe, but again check the employees' timetable.

And on railroad matters I have learned to mistrust the Times.

There is the possibility of relocations from other alilgnments as well.   Before moving eleven years ago, I saw lots of historical photos of NC New York street operations.   Bt the only PASSENGER trains ever in photograhs on Manhattan streets were 19th Century behind steam or horses.

All the "oil-electric" photos were freights, and those showing the front of the train always had a Manhattan cowboy leading.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 5:17 AM

a bit of history.  my dad's downtown medical office was on west 29th street between 8th and 9th avenues.   mom, a registered pharmacists, served as nurse.   on occasion I would join them for a restaurant meal downtown, using the eighth avenue subway or the ninth avenue el while it still ran.   sometimes a last minute importan patient that required attention would delay them, and i would be footloose in the area for an hour or two.  so my memory of el structure of the west side freight line going north of 30th street is a real memory.

this was confirmed by a review of the march 2002 issue of trains, which showed the incline as originally constructed at 35th street, not 30th street.

but furthermore, it seems likely that the ''new'' cut was actually dug in part of the old r/o/w that may have been a surface alignment with grade crossings or an embankment with underpasses at critical streets.   and it would have been more logical for work to have proceeded south from 60th street, rather than building the el structure and leaving surface running betwen it and the 60th street yard.    another possiblity would have been an r/o/w  close to twelfth avenue which had to be relocated to make room for the access to the new elevated west side highway over twelfth avenue.  as a youngster i was told once that the west side highway structure south of 72nd street partially used the old freight elevated r/o/w structure, but i believe that was wrong, and the person who said that was confused with brooklyn's gowanus parkway using part of the old brooklyn 3rd avenue bay ridge line elevated structure, which it did.   that elevated line ran until 1940, and i did see it but not ride it.   rode the culver line which separated from the bay ridge el at 36th st and 5th avenue.

but you may be right about no mu and no third rail.   do check the running time in the timetables and that will settle the argument.

pardon my difficulty with this computer's caps key.

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Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 6:33 AM

The SEPTA commuter tunnel was not entirely a new idea.  The PRR had proposed a tunnel connecting Suburban Sta with Broadway in Camden. 

Also, don't discount the value of Reading-side commuters being able to detrain at Suburban Sta and 30th St., which is much closer to the growing office space center of the city. 

Finally, the tunnel gets rid of the capacity constraint and cost issues of stub ended terminals.

 Now, if SEPTA would just try to live up to the tunnel's promise...Smile [:)]

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

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