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Amtrak launches procurement for Sawtooth Bridges replacement project

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Amtrak launches procurement for Sawtooth Bridges replacement project
Posted by samfp1943 on Thursday, November 23, 2023 9:00 AM

see linked @  https://www.progressiverailroading.com/amtrak/news/Amtrak-launches-procurement-for-Sawtooth-Bridges-replacement-project--70694

Found the above linked article in Progressive Rail [ on -line  edition] dated: 11/21/2023

FTA:"...Amtrak, in coordination with New Jersey Transit, has begun the procurement process for the Sawtooth Bridges replacement project in the Northeast Corridor (NEC).

The project involves modernizing and expanding 1.9 miles of the NEC in Kearny, New Jersey, that was built in 1907. The project, which includes replacing and expanding the Sawtooth Bridges, is a part of the Gateway Program to preserve and expand the corridor's busiest section.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently awarded the project a $133.32 million grant to fund early construction activities.

Owned by Amtrak, the Sawtooth Bridges carry more than 400 Amtrak and NJ Transit trains per day over tracks used by NJ Transit, Port Authority-Trans Hudson and Conrail trains. When completed, the new four-track NEC structure will double track capacity. The age and current condition of the Sawtooth Bridges restrict train speeds to a maximum of 60 mph..."

 

 

 


 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 23, 2023 10:07 AM

West of Newark Penn-Sta.  Six tracks cross the river there.  If one double-track structure is replaced by a four track, there will be eight.

I doubt this will be done.  Probaly two of the  three double-track bridges will be replaced by one four-track.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, November 23, 2023 7:16 PM

Once the project is complete will that allow full access to Hoboken if access to NYP is constrained or completely down?

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Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, November 24, 2023 1:04 PM

blue streak 1

Once the project is complete will that allow full access to Hoboken if access to NYC is constrained or completely down?

  B.S.1:  I am posting a map of the NJ Transit System. Linked @  https://content.njtransit.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/maps/RSM_Geographic_110123.pdf

Admittedly, it is a public access site, and has a lot of their public Info and propaganda(?).          It does lay out the NJT System; It seems that the Hoboken Statioin will continue to be a stub-end affair. Most likely, will continue toi rely on a service to NYC by River Ferry boats(?).   

The 'Plan' presented; mentions the initial project's 'seed' money, and sort of lays out the final expectations; as well as, what is anticipated to be'the route' for the achievment of the final result.  with many of these multi-agency, and political entities' achievements; the result will come in several years, and after a proper amount of "political knashing of teeth" ,and its' attendant "'gris-gris" .        

 

 


 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, November 24, 2023 7:40 PM

blue streak 1
Once the project is complete will that allow full access to Hoboken if access to NYP is constrained or completely down?

Probably not.  In a pinch you might be able to cross over at Secaucus/Lautenberg and reverse essentially along the Midtown Direct route back onto ex-EL trackage, then cross under and proceed to Hoboken, but I can't imagine this in practice.  You could of course terminate at Secaucus and transfer passengers but there is no dedicated high-speed connection from the PRR North River Tunnel line east out of Newark to go to Hoboken, and I doubt the four-tracking project will see any need for one.

Exchange Place of course has been gone since the early Sixties, and the property has been expensively redeveloped with the railroad approach taken out to where it would be cost-prohibitive to try to restore it.  I do not know if the 'improved' route to a cross-harbor freight tunnel would offer anything meaningful for 'alternative connection' around to the east end of NYP via the Connecting Railroad.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, November 27, 2023 8:16 AM

There certainly is a high-speed connection, and some diesel Jersey Shore trains from Bar Head and possibly some Rariton Valley NJT trains use it to begin and end runs at Hoboken.  It uses what is called the "Reverse Kearny Connection."  When I rode it in 1994, eshewing the chartered buses between one AGO convention recital site and another, it was single track and without catenary.  Is the Newark - Penn Station still 25 Hz or is it now 60Hz?  

Of course, PATH provides a high-capacity Manhattan - Newark connection.

 

 

The train I rode was diesel-hauled and had come from Bay Head.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 10:06 AM

samfp1943

 

 
 

Admittedly, it is a public access site, and has a lot of their public Info and propaganda(?).          It does lay out the NJT System; It seems that the Hoboken Statioin will continue to be a stub-end affair. Most likely, will continue toi rely on a service to NYC by River Ferry boats(?).   

 

The connection between Hoboken and Manhattan has long been provided by PATH.

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 Friday, December 1, 2023 1:02 AM

Right.  And Honoken has direct one-seat service to both Herald Square  ("33rd St. Sta." actually at 32nd) and the World Trade  Center.  Newark, PATH only the latter; change at Journal Sq., Jersey City for Herald Sq.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, December 1, 2023 1:20 AM

Of course, if New Jersey access to-and-frrom Penn Sta. were blocked, PATH probably would add a  Newark - HeRAld Square service.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 1, 2023 7:03 AM

Can someone provide a track chart through the Sawtooth scope of work?

As I recall the "Kearny Reverse Connector", there is access out of Newark to Hoboken via the electrified ex-Lackawanna* (Morristown line?), but to provide reverse service westbound any train has to cross something like 4 tracks, at grade, on crossovers.  Scheduling this safely with the anticipated congestion might require effective CBTC.  Remediating that with something like a flyover might cost more than the option is worth, even if it facilitates taking first one, then the other North River Tunnel out of service for remediation as soon as Gateway is open.

Once you get to Hoboken, there are limited effective options for getting Penn Station-level traffic to Manhattan.  Perhaps a Dunkirk-level provision of various watercraft to do ferry duty?  Unless there is some additional construction of PATH facilities, it would not be easy to implement additional 'shuttle' service between Hoboken Terminal and Manhattan points -- and I tremble to think of what might be involved with trying bus shuttling through the Holland Tunnel, even if implementing draconian rush-hour toll pricing on the Holland and Lincoln Tunnel traffic.

*(Which as I recall is 25kV 60Hz as rebuilt, so not directly compatible with at least some of the commuter equipment...)

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, December 1, 2023 11:25 PM

blue streak 1

Once the project is complete will that allow full access to Hoboken if access to NYP is constrained or completely down?

 
After reading the EIS found that this connection is planned by NJ Trasnsit.  EIS states that the swatooth building of 4 tracks will be designed so the "Harbor to West bound connector " can be built,  When it is complete then NJT has aaability to route all the NRC trasffic to / from Newark Penn Stastion to Hoboken if it somehow cannot continue to NYP.
 
Although somewhat vague that connector appears to be planned to pass under all 4 NEC tracks so trains can join the NEC toward Newark Penn.   No interferrence to trains on the NEC 2 inneer tracks.  Will just join on the north NEC track. 
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 2, 2023 7:57 AM

daveklepper
Of course, if New Jersey access to and from Penn Sta. were blocked, PATH probably would add a  Newark - Herald Square service.

We had a discussion about this about a decade ago, which started when someone mentioned the Waterfront Connector as an alternative from Newark to Hoboken.

One dramatically cost-effective approach would be to design and build a quick way to get a motorman from one end of the platform to the other for one of those 'round-robin' trains going from Newark to Hoboken.  Substantial savings over having to keep 'two motormen' on those trains at the necessary increased frequency to accommodate NEC traffic would pay for nearly any alternative in a short time, and then it would offer a quick enhancement for any train that would be 'well patronized' at the time...

I note with some amusement that many of the arguments for adopting 'through running' at NYP would also apply for PATH trains serving increased volume at Hoboken (from a presumed NEC connection)...

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 3, 2023 3:38 AM

Again, there is a single-track "Reverse Kearny Connection." with regilarly scheduled Bay Head - Newark - Hoboken diesel pulled or pushed service.  Possibly from Rariton Valley as well.  Weekdays  at least, unsure of weekends.  Someone can check the  timetables and report.

Immediately after the WTC-Pentagon Terror, PATH did run frequent Newark - Herald Square service, and repeated this after Sandy flooding, since both times the Exchange Place - WTC tunnels were out, first with the WTC station destroyed and the second with the tunnels flooded.  To save train reversal time on pocket tracks or at terminals, two engineers for entire trips are not the only solution.  Drop-back assignments are possible, the engineer taking the  following train, or hostler motormen may be used. In Newark, the hostler would take the  train to the pocxket tracks west of the  station, while the engineer walks throgh the train to the east end, then the hostler wsould ride the  cab east the station, while the engineer takes the train eastbound.

For Herald Square, the hostler would board at 14th or 23rd Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

street. 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 17, 2023 1:42 PM

As of Monday 12/18/23, New Jersey Transit shows no through service from Hoboken to anywhere on either the North Jersey coast.

There is connecting service via Secaucus Junction/Lautenberg, but that doesn't count for our purposes.

That there is a 'reverse Kearny connector' is not in question, although I'd like to know what it is 'officially' called, and see a track chart (or annotated satellite picture) of the precise routing.

It will be interesting to see how they provide the promised 'connector' westbound from Hoboken to Newark without crossovers at grade.  There is no real room for a 'flyunder' where I think this is, and a flyover a la North Brunswick will be awfully far up in the air with heavy access grades...

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, December 18, 2023 5:17 AM

Before the Covid cut-backs,  there wsere several Jersey Shore trains to-and-from Hoboken.

What about Rariton Valley trains?  Does the current time table show any to and from Hoboken?

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 18, 2023 7:37 AM

daveklepper
What about Raritan [note sp.] Valley trains?  Does the current time table show any to and from Hoboken?

It took some time to locate, but there is ONE train on this line that shows as Hoboken direct.  That is 2406, leaving Raritan with no High Bridge bus connection just after 5am weekday mornings and arriving just after 7.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given what we know, there is no scheduled train from Hoboken back to Raritan -- you have to go via a change at Lautenberg.

https://content.njtransit.com/sites/default/files/RVL-WKDY-111223.pdf

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 4:02 AM

The NEC over ex-DL&W main is quite east of the Sawtooth bridges, weat of Harrison PATH Station.  The fact that NJT is coupling the direct-Hoboken project with bridge replacement suggest that the new bridges will be so configired as to have the over-and-under stuff wikll be just east of the  bridges.  If memory is correct, currently there are six gtracks through Harrison PATH Station, the most northern and southern, with third rail and (at leat at one time if not now) catenary, used mostly or entirely by PATH, and the center four by NJT, Amtrak, and Conrail-Shared-Assets, the northern two usually westbound, and  te southern two usually eastbound.  I may be wrong, but I believe that when Harrison Station was  rebuilt, possibly even before, there was left space for one or two additional tracks.  One or two of the southern catenary-only tracks would  be for trains to-and-from Hoboken.  

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