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Do Empire Corridor trains leave from Penn Station?

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Do Empire Corridor trains leave from Penn Station?
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 7:47 AM

I had thought that Albany-bound AMTK trains left from Grand Central. But the timetable says only "New York." So does that mean Penn Station?

Do Hudson line AMTK trains use dual-power engines as far as Albany? And doesn't the third rail end at Poughkeepsie?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 10:00 AM

All Amtrak services out of GCT were switched to Penn Station by way of an extension of the former West Side Freight Line some years back.  All Amtrak dual-powers are changed out at Albany since that's a more convenient location.

At any rate, all dual-powers ran on diesel power as soon as they cleared the Park Avenue tunnel.  The locomotives were not designed to run on third-rail power beyond short distances and low speeds.

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 Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 12:18 PM

In 1990 would the Amtrak trains have been using Grand Central?

 

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 1:25 PM

Lithonia Operator

In 1990 would the Amtrak trains have been using Grand Central?

I found the info. They switched in 1991. So the answer is yes.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 8:45 PM

As I recall, the "Empire Connection" is the rebuilt West Side line from Spuyten Duyvil to Penn Station.

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 10:05 PM

The 3rd rail ends almost as soon as the connection exits Penn Station.  It is LIRR style over-running 3rd rail.  Even when it reaches the MetroNorth Hudson Division, the dual power locos are not equiped to use the NYC style under-running 3rd rail.  In a number of places, only 3 out of 4 tracks have 3rd rail to Croton-Harmon where 3rd rail ends.  I doubt that even the MN dual-power locos use 3rd rail much beyond GCT.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, November 4, 2021 5:53 AM

Third rail has a disadvantage of high current to the contact shoes which limit how many amps can be demanded.  However think about the return current thru the loco's wheels.  There is not much contact surface between the 8 wheels and the underlying rail.  

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, November 4, 2021 1:12 PM

Lithonia Operator
And doesn't the third rail end at Poughkeepsie?

To my knowledge the electrification has always ended just north of Croton/Harmon.  The commuter service is what ends at Poughkeepsie.

NYC had the amusing practice of running electric MU trains to Poughkeepsie.  Towed by locomotives.  In some cases Hudsons.

They also seriously considered electrification in the early postwar years.  But this was exclusively for sections west of Albany, notably Albany Hill, and involved catenary, which would be tremendously difficult to implement in the approach to GCT.  Dieseliners rapidly eliminated any strategic point to passenger electrification, and considering the situation in the ensuing two decades this was a blessing.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, November 4, 2021 1:51 PM

Third rail on the Hudson Line ends at Croton North while third rail on the Harlem Line was extended from White Plains North to Brewster in the early 1980's.

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 MidlandMike on Thursday, November 4, 2021 7:18 PM

Overmod
NYC had the amusing practice of running electric MU trains to Poughkeepsie.  Towed by locomotives.  In some cases Hudsons.

Do you have more info on that.  It was before my time.  In the early 1960s on the Harlem Division, trains beyond North White Plains (electric/diesel change point) were reconditioned coaches hauled out of GCT by T and P motors to NWP, where usually an RS3 would take over.  Trains that only operated over the electrified segment were either newer PS EMUs with 3-2 seating, or old unreconditioned coaches hauled by T/P motors.  There were no EMUs to spare.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, November 5, 2021 12:11 PM

MidlandMike
Do you have more info on that.

Staufer mentions it in Thoroughbreds, and I've seen it discussed in a number of places with respect to the early MUs -- I think we covered it in one of the discussions on how train heat was provided.

To my knowledge none of the postwar 'improved' Pullman-Standard MUs was used in locomotive-hauled extension to Poughkeepsie, but I was not there to see.

I am still delighted whenever I read about MU trains with a RDC appended to the back... Smile

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, November 5, 2021 10:37 PM

Overmod
I am still delighted whenever I read about MU trains with a RDC appended to the back..

I rode one of those trains about 50 years ago.  A couple of the PS EMUs dragging an RDC pulled into a GTC platform.  I got to ride thru a balloon track within the terminal which was necessary to keep the EMUs in the lead.  At North White Plains the EMUs cut off.  I had just enough time to hop off the train to make a pay-phone call to my folks to pick me up at the our station further up the line.  Then the RDC continued on its solo journey north.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, November 6, 2021 4:00 PM

Correction:   The MUs hauled by steam north of Harmon (now Croton-Harmon) ran only to Peekskill, not all the way to Poughkeepsie.  However, later, the RDCs hauled bt MUs to CrotON-Harmon, did run all the way to Poughkeepsie.

Steam-hauled MUs were rush-hour only.  Two trains south in the morning and two north in the evening.  But a Budd hauled by MUs could be on weekends and off-peak.

Don't know of any steam-hauled MUs on the Harlem Division.  MU-hauled single RDCs, yes.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Saturday, November 6, 2021 7:12 PM

[quote user="daveklepper"] Correction:  The MUs hauled by steam north of Harmon (now Croton-Harmon) ran only to Peekskill, not all the way to Poughkeepsie.  However, later, the RDCs hauled bt MUs to CrotON-Harmon, did run all the way to Poughkeepsie.

Steam-hauled MUs were rush-hour only.  Two trains south in the morning and two north in the evening.  But a Budd hauled by MUs could be on weekends and off-peak.

Don't know of any steam-hauled MUs on the Harlem Division.  MU-hauled single RDCs, yes./quote][quote user="daveklepper"] 

Did the RDC's diesels run in idle while in the tunnel and GCS?

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, November 6, 2021 8:37 PM

Electroliner 1935
Did the RDC's diesels run in idle while in the tunnel and GCS?

If I recall correctly, both the air conditioning and the brake compressor ran off one of the engines, and if memory serves the heat was from engine cooling water...

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, November 6, 2021 8:39 PM

In the Moynihan Train Hall, are Amtrak trains using newly-built tracks and platforms? Or is the MTH a gateway to access the same tracks and platforms that Amtrak was using below Penn Station?

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, November 6, 2021 9:41 PM

When steam hauled EMUs, were the wheels still connected to the motors so that they would spin?  How were the EMUs lit and heated?

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, November 6, 2021 9:58 PM

MidlandMike
When steam hauled EMUs, were the wheels still connected to the motors so that they would spin?

Yes, they were truck-mounted, with spur-gear drive.  No field excitation means little backdriving power or counter EMF.  As I recall these were relatively tiny motors and half the sets were composed of trailers.

The Pullman Standard car motors are so tiny you actually have to look closely to see they are installed.  Kentucky Railway Museum has one on the dead line in New Haven if you want to see...

How were the EMUs lit and heated?

I do not know, and I don't think we got any more of an answer than for the DD1-hauled trains to Manhattan Transfer after the flash boilers were taken out...

I suspect battery lighting.  Do not have any hard information on heat.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, November 7, 2021 8:12 AM

1.   All Railroad MUs have permanent gear connections, motor-wheel/axle.

2.    The Budd's engines idled, but did operate, when behind an MU train.  The mechanical transmissions did allow the wheels to be free to rotate independent of the diesels.

3.   Some of the older Central pre-WWII MUS may have had steam lines and heating, in addition to the usual MU-car electric heating.  Of course going north in the evening, I would doubt the steam line would be connected.   Time between Harmon and Peekskill is too short for the electrically heated MUs to cool a lot when power is not available north of Croton.  Coming south in the morning, another story, with the equipment overnight at Peekskill.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, November 7, 2021 9:34 PM

I wondered if the trains would have been stored at Peekskill, or hauled back to Harmon.  I looked at a 1947 topo map, and saw a rather small yard, but it did appear to have a turntable.  The TT distance from Croton-North (end of 3rd rail) to Peekskill is only 7 miles.

https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/ht-bin/tv_browse.pl?id=78d019d0baadcf145e1f205d0bbfc2b7

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, November 8, 2021 9:54 AM

If I recall correctly from an article in July 1965 TRAINS (the first issue that I bought), no equipment laid over at Peekskill.

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 Monday, November 15, 2021 1:42 AM

Regardless of what the article said, in the steam era, the MUs that were hauled by steam north of Harmon, definitely spent their nights and Sundays in Peekskill.  Not certain about the locomotives. I'll check on that.

Just what  era  did the Trains article discuss? 

The article would be correct for 1965.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Thursday, November 18, 2021 5:14 PM

How were they heated in the winter when not in electrified territory?

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