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Would there be any reason to rebuild the New York and Westchester and Boston?

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Would there be any reason to rebuild the New York and Westchester and Boston?
Posted by Bonas on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 4:54 PM

http://nywbry.com/images/nywbry_system_2006.gif for route map

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=New+York+Westchester+and+Boston&view=detail&mid=202919C142375367B647202919C142375367B647&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, June 13, 2013 6:52 AM

Thought of a new idea for a possible YES!     Why not shift traffic toNew York from Portchester through Mount Vernon to the NYW&B allowing more and higher  speed Amtrak service on the Corridor?

The trains would operate directly to Penn Station without going through Shell interlocking, since the NYW&B RofW goes under the Woodlawn - Shell line, already grade separated.   In fact, possibly Amtrak could use the route to avoid congestion at Shell without the need to build flyovers.   Dyer Avenue to E. 180th, NYVTA couldl use the outer tracks and Amtrak and Metro North the inner two trafks, since there is a four-track RofW.

A fkyiver south of the Dyer Ave. Station would be needed for reversing No. 5 subway trains without crossing Amtrak-MN tracjs.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, June 13, 2013 6:53 AM

It was a waste of capital when it was built and the same would apply now.  The NYW&B was an attempt to cut into the New Haven's service area and it duplicated existing services.  Ridership never amounted to much at any time of its existence.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, June 13, 2013 7:13 AM

But the problem of  too much patronage,  the problem of congestion, never did exist during the NYW&B's lifetime.  Use of its RofW could relieve congestion where it is greatest.   A lot less expensive fix than others proposed.   I also favor electrifying Newark - West Trenton to provide an alternate Newark - Philadelphia route through West Tremton.

The NYW&B lacked patronage because one had to change to a subway or elevated train to get to one's destination, and the journey on either took even more time than the ride on the NYW&B.   

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Posted by oltmannd on Thursday, June 13, 2013 8:07 AM

daveklepper
I also favor electrifying Newark - West Trenton to provide an alternate Newark - Philadelphia route through West Tremton.

This is a reasonable way of buying time for the existing NEC and impending capacity crunch - at least south of Newark.

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

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Thursday, June 13, 2013 8:59 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

It was a waste of capital when it was built and the same would apply now.  The NYW&B was an attempt to cut into the New Haven's service area and it duplicated existing services.  Ridership never amounted to much at any time of its existence.

Not exactly. The NYW&B was a subsidiary or the New Haven. The New Haven did not want to be a monopoly and thus some under tighter regulation, so they built this line to compete with them. Clever, no?

Dumb Idea. They should have made it to extend their reach and their customer base.

Oh Well...

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Posted by Bonas on Thursday, June 13, 2013 3:34 PM

http://www.simon.com/mall/the-westchester

Well there is a Huge Mall at the end of the line. The head building of the Mall resembles the former NYW&B Station that was here. When the line was built there was a real estate bust and the great depression. The NYW&B was built on real estate speculation much in the same way other streetcar suburbs where built. (See Shaker Hts Van Swerigians)

http://www.nywbry.com/nywbrr/station_westchesteravenue_whiteplains.php

Mall pic below

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Posted by John WR on Thursday, June 13, 2013 3:37 PM

daveklepper
I also favor electrifying Newark - West Trenton to provide an alternate Newark - Philadelphia route through West Tremton.

This is a fascinating idea, Dave.   I have heard many proposals for restoring service on the West Trenton line but they have always been to provide commuter service along the line.  Such service existed until New Jersey Transit took over commuter service and abandoned it but the line still exists.  

But would you have Amtrak or New Jersey Transit undertake this service?  And would it be high speed or not?  Right now SEPTA provides service between West Trenton Station (in Ewing, New Jersey) and Philadelphia.  It is convenient for many people but it is pretty slow.  

Could you expand on your idea a little?

John

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Posted by John WR on Thursday, June 13, 2013 3:40 PM

oltmannd
This is a reasonable way of buying time for the existing NEC and impending capacity crunch - at least south of Newark.

I don't mean to disagree with you, Don, but I wonder just how impending this crunch is.  South of Newark there are 4 tracks what can carry a lot of trains.  Of course there are a lot of trains.   I just don't know.  But it does seem to me that any crunch will not come until there are new tunnels under the Hudson River.  

John

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Posted by schlimm on Thursday, June 13, 2013 3:59 PM

John WR

oltmannd
This is a reasonable way of buying time for the existing NEC and impending capacity crunch - at least south of Newark.

I don't mean to disagree with you, Don, but I wonder just how impending this crunch is.  South of Newark there are 4 tracks what can carry a lot of trains.  Of course there are a lot of trains.   I just don't know.  But it does seem to me that any crunch will not come until there are new tunnels under the Hudson River.  

John

John WR
Between New York and Washington the line has 4 tracks (although there are 6 tracks in some places).

Oltmannd:  "There are two tracks from Penn to Newark, four south to Wilimington (almost), then three with some stretches of two south of there."

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

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Posted by Bonas on Thursday, June 13, 2013 6:47 PM

Diverging tracks here could we stay on the subject of the NYW&B?

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, June 13, 2013 9:33 PM

Looking at Google's satellite imagery, it appears that some of the White Plains Branch ROW was built over. Rebuilding it wouldn't make that much sense, as White Plains Branch riders could take Metro North's Harlem Line, and the West Chester's Branch the NEC.

Here is a map of the NYW&B  

http://nywbry.com/images/nywbry_system_2006.gif

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, June 15, 2013 3:20 PM

The old NYW&B main thru the Bronx parallels the NEC south of 'Shell, which itself went from 4 tracks down to 2 (Am-)trak's and in some places a 3rd track for the occasional freight, so the NEC is not expansion constrained in this area.  Above Shell, ATK ultimately plans a new ROW for HSR, so no need to reconstruct the Port Chester branch.  The White Plaines branch might have been a candidate to rebuild as a single track and operated like the New Caanan branch feeding into the Woodlawn line.  However, it sounds like encroachments onto the old ROW may put it out of reach.

I'm more of a fan of the NYC Putnam Division, but I am not inspired to start a thread to see it that should be rebuilt.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, June 15, 2013 4:42 PM

Well, maybe the NYWB  wasn't as popular as it should have been, but it did have its fans.  Several months ago there was an article about the 'road in "Railfan and Railroad"  magazine where the author (who was to young to remember it)  said a great way to get his grandfather, father, and most of his older male relative started on tirades was to bring up the abandonment of the NYWB.  He said it was VERY entertaining, to say the least!

There's a website for fans of the NYWB, just found it by accident.  It's www.nywbry.com.  Looks good, I'll be checking it out.

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Posted by John WR on Saturday, June 15, 2013 6:22 PM

Two tracks to Newark?  Well sort of.   The choke point really is the North River Tunnels.  Then two tracks continue from them in North Bergen.  At some point, and I don't know the exact point, the two tracks become more as they head into Newark Penn Station and then going out become 4.  

Newark Penn Station definitely has more than 2 tracks.  

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 16, 2013 12:21 AM

R-lght on.   With two additional Hudson River tunnels, the two-track portion of the line to Newark would be made four track.   There are six tracks at the PATH Harrison Staiton, four NEC and two PATH.  I  think, not certain, there are eight tracks at Newark, six for NRC (Amtak and NJT) on the main level, one PATH on the main level, and one PATH on the upper level.    The 4-track NEC from 2 tracks begins east of the Kearney crossover and connections with the old DL&W main line, unnless it has been extended to Secaucus and its 4-tack upper-level station.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 16, 2013 3:24 AM

1.  Rebuilding the NYW&B, not including the White Plains branch since the Harlem Division can be expanded to handle future growth, can provide six tracks NY - Portchester, if one includes both GCT and Penn tracks.  Whether  Metro North or Amtrak or both would use the extra two tracks is an operating deicsion, which will impact the way junctions are constructed, but not impact the feasibility of the basic idea.  However, all trains using the NYW&B RoW would be to and from Penn Station.

The same is true for making the route through Bound Brook, West Trenton, and Downingtown a bypass   Here, however, I would run a regular through Amtak NY - Harrisburg service, removiing the need to change ends at 30th Street, providing a direct Harrisburg - Phily City Center and NY - Phily City Center service, essentially moving all NY&Newark - Philadelphia riders from the NY - Washington service.   West Trenton and Downingtown would get Amtrak service, but the fares to Philly and between NY-Newark and W. Trenton would encourage people to use SEPTA and NJT service.   NJT service to W. Trenton would be mu or electric pushpulls.

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Posted by John WR on Sunday, June 16, 2013 8:02 PM

daveklepper
I would run a regular through Amtak NY - Harrisburg service, removiing the need to change ends at 30th Street, providing a direct Harrisburg - Phily City Center and NY - Phily City Center service, essentially moving all NY&Newark - Philadelphia riders from the NY - Washington service.  

Certainly this could be done, Dave.  But I hope I don't have to hold my breath waiting for it to happen.  Not even with dual fuel locomotives that could convert from electric to diesel as they leave the Northeast Corridor line.  A lot of people want New Jersey Transit to restore commuter service to West Trenton but NJT isn't considering it as far as I know.  

John

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, June 16, 2013 10:55 PM

Looking at Google Earth it is apparent there has been much encroachment onto the old ROW by the New England Thruway (I-95) and other development between New Rochelle and Port Chester.  Thru the Bronx much of the old ROW is used for a subway line, and the previously mentioned plan to mix Amtrak and subway tracks on the same ROW is a real head-scratcher, when you consider that the existing NEC thru the Bronx can be expanded back to 4 tracks.

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, June 17, 2013 6:42 AM

John WR

oltmannd
This is a reasonable way of buying time for the existing NEC and impending capacity crunch - at least south of Newark.

I don't mean to disagree with you, Don, but I wonder just how impending this crunch is.  South of Newark there are 4 tracks what can carry a lot of trains.  Of course there are a lot of trains.   I just don't know.  But it does seem to me that any crunch will not come until there are new tunnels under the Hudson River.  

John

The capacity crunch is the justification for a "new NEC spine".  According to Amtrak's projections - even with improvements to the existing NEC - somewhere in the next quarter decade or so, the NEC will be full.

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

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, June 17, 2013 8:53 AM

I agree the four tracks, including the tunnels, Penn Station - Kearney must have prioritiy.   I am simply looking to the far future, as an alternative to a totally new alignment.   Once Amtrak paid for the electrification, Newark - Bound Brook - West Trenton (with of course imrovements to track layout), NJT will want to run electric commuter trains, because then it will be more economical than subsidizing the bus service that now exists.  It also assumes increase it commuter business as well as corridor business.

There are places where the corridor could even be expanded to six tracks between the Pelham Bay drawer bridge and New Rochell.   But that doesn't really help, because the choke point is the flat Shell junction and the limitation of only four tracks in that area without a lot of house and road demolitions.  Flyoevers EAST of the station and maximum use of track 5 in NR Station for trains to and from Penn could help even the existing situaition.  But use of the NYW&B removes Penn trains from that choke point.   Again, though, this is a lower cost alternative to a whole new line.  Someone can check, but I believe there are, and there certainly were, MN locals that run only as far as Portchester during the rush hours.  This too is long-term future.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, June 17, 2013 10:16 AM

One of many questions for this route is :   Will  clearances for this route allow for full bi - level and 25 Kv CAT without major work ?

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Posted by Bonas on Monday, June 17, 2013 1:55 PM

Direct Subway trains to the Westchester Mall yes, You have to distinguish between Heavy Metro Rail like subways and commuter rail. If Simon Malls would support it and there would TOD along the line then yes. If anyone here is good at google maps could draw a line on a google map and post it here  that would be helpfull to compare where the ROW is and whats on it.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 6:39 AM

Rapid Transit (L/Subway) and Commuter Rail are distinctly different and operation of both on the same tracks is not practicable.  Consider that the high-level platforms at certain CA&E stations that also handled Chicago Rapid Transit trains had a platform extension that had to be flipped back to allow conventional freight equipment to clear the station platform.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 8:03 AM

The NYW&B RoW where used by No. 5 subway trains is a  four track RoW, and Amtrak and Metro North trains would use only the middle two tracks, keeping the 5's on the outer two.   The  overhead clearances are identicle to those on the New Haven Line.   The track spacing is slightly more generous, would even allow fencing between two tracks withoiut any clearance problem.   Also, remember that the 5 line uses the 8-1/2 ft. A-Division IRT cars and not the B-division 10ft.wide BMT-IND cars.  There would be absolutely zero use of the same track by both opperations.  Of course, the same condition exists currnetly Kearney-Harrison-Newark with the NEC (Amtrak and NJT) on the middle four tracks and PATH on the outer two.   The 180th Street station would be exclusive Metro North, since the 5 flyhover is north of the station, wiith the elevated subway station alongside on the west.   Possibly the Pelham Bay Park station, with its express platforms, would also have Metro North service, but all other station would remain for subway service only.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 9:15 PM

The Dyer Ave (No. 5) line is largely triple tracked as seen on Google Earth, and in some places uses all 4 tracks as shown in this photo link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morris_Park_-_IRT_Dyer_Branch.jpg

Also, in the 3/4 century since the NYW&B was abandoned, it is hard to believe that all new construction over the subway line maintained the old vertical clearances.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 9:28 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
Rapid Transit (L/Subway) and Commuter Rail are distinctly different and operation of both on the same tracks is not practicable.  Consider that the high-level platforms at certain CA&E stations that also handled Chicago Rapid Transit trains had a platform extension that had to be flipped back to allow conventional freight equipment to clear the station platform.

You must not be from New York.  We had an answer to that issue many years ago, and it wasn't that idiotic European excuse 'mind the gap'  

Modern platforms with 'screened entrance' lining up with the doors would be still more capable, although there might have to be some care getting the doors at the same spacing, or the openings/fillers of the right additional width...

I would be very interested in your reason for thinking that 'conventional freight equipment' might need to clear the platforms on a rebuilt NYW&B/Dyre Avenue line...  ;-}

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 9:58 PM

Bonas

...If anyone here is good at google maps could draw a line on a google map and post it here  that would be helpfull to compare where the ROW is and whats on it.

Not quite what you wanted but it's a start.  The following link is for a historical topo map that shows the White Plains end of the line at the southeast corner of the map:

http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.asp?fname=wtpl38se.jpg&state=NY

Unfortunately the site does not have the maps to the south at that scale.  They do have a 15 minute map that continues south, but it was surveyed 10 years before the NYW&B was built.  I included it because it shows the other RR lines in the area, and because it shows the relative emptiness of the area thru which the line was built:

http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.asp?fname=harl00ne.jpg&state=NY

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Posted by alloboard on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:21 AM

Rapid transit and regional rail are impractical because of time share. Rapid transit operates very frequently every 3- 5 minuites which would disrupt regional rail operations.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 3:52 AM

1. Note that New York's rapid transit system, the NYCTA, and the Metro North Railailroad are both subsidiaries of the NY State's MTA.  

2.   The last time I rode the Dyar Avenue line was 18 years ago, but that was 43 years after rapid transit service began.  It began with renovated 2nd Avenue elevated cars in 2-car shuttles, using the old NYW&B platforms at E180.  The flyover and operation by Lexington Avenue subway trains came after the war.  At the time, I noted that the construction over the tracks DID retain the higher than normal vertical subway clearance.  Another location on NYCTA where this has been done is on the Sea Beach Line in Brooklyn.  

3.   The third and fourth tracks that exist were left over from NYW&B, and although now equipped with 3rd rail, they are entirely unnecessary for the operation of the line.   Regular service uses the local tracks only.

4.   If there were a clearance issue, Metro North trains (but probably not Amtrak) could use third rail, and by the time this idea is implemented, the dual sprung shoe should be available.   Subway third rail and LIRR third rail, and PATH third rail, and SIRT third rail are all the Wilkesbarre & Hazelton interurban design and close enough to be interchangeable.    

5.   The NYCTA's rapid transit is one that is far closer to regular railroad practice than most other North American rapid transit lines.   I rode the demonstration R-32 Budd stainless steel train from Grand Central Terminal to Mott Hven Yard, and the only modificaitions were the underrunning NYCentral third rail shoes.  The South Brooklyn handled interchange frieght over streetcar, subway, and elevated lines in Brooklyn.  If some short stretch of track had to be shared, and I don't know any reason why this would be necessay, the sharing would not be a problem if the subway rolling stock met FFRA crashworthy standards.

A lot less expensive than anything Boardman has proposed!

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