AmeriStarRail and the Grand Junction Railroad

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Palmetto

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Correct. Metro-North never ran commuter trains on the Hell Gate Line. The New Haven Railroad did, and some of the stations on the line are coming back with the advent of Metro-North serving Penn Station from the New Haven Line, branching off it at New Rochelle.
 
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Palmetto

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Back to Boston. I am all for the North-South Rail Link. When the big dig was done, there was a provision made for two railroad tracks there, correct? The problem is both ends, especially on the South Station side. How do you access the thing from a track or two at South Station. A civil engineer would have a field day with it, I think!:) The plan under discussion here involves a change of directions to get to Maine, although, once again, the tracks are in place, using the Grand Junction and the wye behind the Boston Engine Terminal to get to the MBTA Haverhill Line and then on to Maine from there. I hate changing directions when on a train [as you might have guessed] and that's what the Ameristar plan proposes in Boston. There exist a couple of potential ways to handle an Amtrak Regional train up to Maine. But right now, absent the North-South Rail Link, using the Boston and Albany to the Grand Jct seems to be the only way. Or the former State of Maine route, and it doesn't have to be on an overnight schedule, IMO.
 

jis

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MNRR to Penn Station Project info:


Now that is fascinating. I vaguely recall that service, but never delved into the details. Is that the only Metro North train to ever use the Hell Gate Bridge? I imagine that they had to qualify several crews over the Amtrak route from Shell to NYP, as well as the operation of the ALP-45's. I'm guessing there was a road foreman and/or trainmaster aboard those specials, too....
Coming to think of it, I don't think they ever operated with an ALP45. They always operated with ALP46s. I have no info on what staffing was required for it, other than that all T&E staff changed at Penn Station.
 

Tlcooper93

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Back to Boston. I am all for the North-South Rail Link. When the big dig was done, there was a provision made for two railroad tracks there, correct? The problem is both ends, especially on the South Station side. How do you access the thing from a track or two at South Station. A civil engineer would have a field day with it, I think!:) The plan under discussion here involves a change of directions to get to Maine, although, once again, the tracks are in place, using the Grand Junction and the wye behind the Boston Engine Terminal to get to the MBTA Haverhill Line and then on to Maine from there. I hate changing directions when on a train [as you might have guessed] and that's what the Ameristar plan proposes in Boston. There exist a couple of potential ways to handle an Amtrak Regional train up to Maine. But right now, absent the North-South Rail Link, using the Boston and Albany to the Grand Jct seems to be the only way. Or the former State of Maine route, and it doesn't have to be on an overnight schedule, IMO.
As far as change of direction, with AmeriStar's proposed fleet, it wouldn't be a big hassle. Direction changes are commonplace in Europe, and it may feel like that if I had to guess.

During the Big Dig, any plans for including the beginnings of a NS link in the project were scrapped due to inadequate funds (From what I've researched, but if I'm wrong, please say so). I personally don't think a link with only two tracks is worth it, but I'm no expert in dispatching and time slots for maximum usage of tunnels. The new administration could maybe (and that's a big maybe) provide more federal support for such a project, but there are more pressing rail issues to support.

Honestly, I don't see a N-S Link ever happening. There just isn't enough popular support for it, and the S Station expansion project actually fixes a host of problems as is, for a much cheaper price tag (or better yet, electrify the entire MBTA network).
As for the AmeriStar Plan, it is my personal guess that none of the people planning for this project have ever visited Cambridge and viewed the state of the railroad, the Charles River Bridge, or any of the grade crossings (some of which include the busiest roads in the state).
 

jis

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Is it possible that they might have used Amtrak T&E crews between NHV and NYP, since they were all already qualified?
No they did not. That would not be permitted by existing Union agreements, unless they used Amtrak equipment apparently, and no one wanted to pay Amtrak to do this. It was an NJT/MNRR joint operation using NJT equipment. Actually most of the facilities used were MNRR and NJT. The only Amtrak part was New Rochelle to Secaucus, and then I guess deadhead to/from Hudson yard.

I am sure @Dutchrailnut, if he sees this can fill in on the Union issues.
 
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