Quantcast

Gateway Project/NYP Capacity Improvement

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,905
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
While having as many transportation lines in one place has its merits, for easy transfer and connections, there may be a point where it is too much. I would assume that the PATH tunnels may also have to be replaced someday (they are even older than the PRR tunnels). Perhaps an alternative would be a new tunnel from Hoboken, or Jersey City to the World Trade Center area, to accommodate NJT trains rather than PATH, allowing one seat rides for most. Having more than one line is also helpful if one or the other has a major disruption. Perhaps the LIRR Brooklyn line could also be extended into a new WTC area terminal, shared with NJT. Even Amtrak might route a few regional's that way...
Unlike the North River Tubes into Penn Station, the PATH tunnels have been completely rebuilt during the 9/11 reconstruction. None of the tunnels really need the outer steel ring structure to be fiddled with. All of it has to do with the inner concrete linings which have decayed over time. That is what will be rebuilt in the North River Tubes when they can be taken out of service.

I do agree however, that focusing everything on Penn Station is wrong headed and completely opposite of what all large cities of the world are doing. The trend is to disperse arrival points to multiple ones around the city and then connect them together with local transit. Most European and Asian cities were originally set up that way and are just growing on that theme. None of them are getting rid of any of their dispersed city terminals unlike New York which got rid of most of them with great alacrity, and then landed themselves in the current soup.

Cities that were transit poor and have grown in the 20th and early 21st century have all used dispersed points of termination of services coming into the city and then connected those terminal together with local transit.

A prime example is New Delhi which had two terminal stations in 1947 and no local transit system, other than buses, to speak of, and it was a much much smaller city. Today it is a huge metropolis with a subway system imminently growing to 20 lines linked with subway systems in adjacent cities of Gurgaon and Ghaziabad, and with more than half a dozen terminal stations, with one peripheral station for lines coming in from each direction in addition to the city center terminals:

City Center: New Delhi Jn., Delhi Jn.
Peripheral: Anand Vihar (E), Hazrat Nizamuddin Jn. (S), Sarai Rohilla (W), Azadpur (N)
Others: Ghaziabad Jn. (E), Shakurbasti (W), Gurgaon (SW)

New York currently has four terminal stations Penn, Grand Central, Jamaica and Newark/Hoboken (though not much other than RVL really terminates in Newark, but it is a major connecting point to PATH). There is a serious need to offload Penn Station which has been burdened with everything that remains from the multiple trans-Hudson terminals that were accessed by ferries from New York and not already accommodated in Hoboken, though there has been a trend to shortchange Hoboken and try to load up stuff into Penn too.

In this context I do agree that ideally a south main branch from possibly west of Newark, perhaps taking off at CP Lane and following the Greenville Branch to the Hudson waterfront, through the Jersey City Area, onto WTC Terminal in lower Manhattan onto Brooklyn and then on to Jamaica would be desirable, though I don't see the political will for it yet. There could also be a connection to the Fresh Pond branch thus providing a link towards New England over the Hell Gate from this line. But as I said, all just dreamin'. A City like London would have been actively working on such already.
 
Last edited:

Andrew

OBS Chief
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
514
" I do agree however, that focusing everything on Penn Station is wrong headed and completely opposite of what all large cities of the world are doing. The trend is to disperse arrival points to multiple ones around the city and then connect them together with local transit. Most European and Asian cities were originally set up that way and are just growing on that theme. None of them are getting rid of any of their dispersed city terminals unlike New York which got rid of most of them with great alacrity, and then landed themselves in the current soup".

Jis, you make some great points! I doubt a new line will be built from south of Newark, NJ into Manhattan. But, wouldn't it make more sense to extend tracks from Hoboken Terminal into Houston Street where riders could connect to the 1 train?

Also, do you folks think it is possible mass transit ridership will never return to 2019 levels due to telecommuting?
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,898
Location
Palm Beach County
Also, do you folks think it is possible mass transit ridership will never return to 2019 levels due to telecommuting?
That's a very good question...hopefully not...
I think telecommuting is great for companies and employees. I can't really see a downside to it. Eliminating hours of commuting would save on energy, resources, quality of life for families...everyone. I can see office building's repurposed into residential complexes, too...
 

PaTrainFan

Service Attendant
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
209
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
That's a very good question...hopefully not...
I think telecommuting is great for companies and employees. I can't really see a downside to it. Eliminating hours of commuting would save on energy, resources, quality of life for families...everyone. I can see office building's repurposed into residential complexes, too...
Many companies are learning that employees can work from home and still be productive while the beancounters are realizing that they can reduce square footage, saving on the bottom line.
 

Deni

Service Attendant
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
207
While having as many transportation lines in one place has its merits, for easy transfer and connections, there may be a point where it is too much. I would assume that the PATH tunnels may also have to be replaced someday (they are even older than the PRR tunnels). Perhaps an alternative would be a new tunnel from Hoboken, or Jersey City to the World Trade Center area, to accommodate NJT trains rather than PATH, allowing one seat rides for most. Having more than one line is also helpful if one or the other has a major disruption. Perhaps the LIRR Brooklyn line could also be extended into a new WTC area terminal, shared with NJT. Even Amtrak might route a few regional's that way...
Off topic, but when I was living in NYC I always wanted them to extend the PATH train farther north into Manhattan and cross back in to Jersey (like at North Bergan or Fort Lee, or both) to give Jersey commuters a one seat ride farther up into northern Manhattan and to give more areas of Jersey better transit into Manhattan.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,590
Location
Baltimore. MD
Many companies are learning that employees can work from home and still be productive while the beancounters are realizing that they can reduce square footage, saving on the bottom line.
This may be true up to a point. I have found Zoom conferencing to be stressful and find it hard to relate to the other people in the group. Which means that permanent exclusive telework would be bad for any kind of business that requires teamwork. Telework is really best for that part of the job that you can do on your own. In my case, that was conducting research and writing papers. Anything that involved group activities was always best done in person, though sometimes one could deal with the inferior substitute of a conference call or Zoom meeting. I also managed contractors primarily with telephone conference calls, but the contractor was in San Antonio, and I was in Washington. And I still needed to travel down there a few times a year to make sure they were doing what I wanted them to do. Then, of course, there are people whose work actually involves real physical things, and they have to be at a workplace, whether it's a store, server farm, warehouse, or laboratory, or factory.

Also, the current internet communication technology is horrible. I can't tell you how frequently I have to deal with Zoom freezes and "unstable internet connections," etc. And the video images are distorted and you can't really get the nonverbal cues.

I certainly hope that the cheapskate employers and their beancounters don't get the idea that the workers don't need to come to the workplace.
 

Andrew

OBS Chief
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
514
long story short is that new trans-hudson tunnels will be needed in the future but I think it would have been nice in the past if new tunnels were studied to branch off from Hoboken Terminal to Manhattan's West Side instead of Gateway; while I support Gateway, I question the obsession with wanting to add all new capacity into the current Penn Station. I suppose the argument in favor of Gateway is for redundancy during service disruptions?
 

me_little_me

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,661
long story short is that new trans-hudson tunnels will be needed in the future but I think it would have been nice in the past if new tunnels were studied to branch off from Hoboken Terminal to Manhattan's West Side instead of Gateway; while I support Gateway, I question the obsession with wanting to add all new capacity into the current Penn Station. I suppose the argument in favor of Gateway is for redundancy during service disruptions?
Read the book "Subway" by John E. Morris to see the 100+ year history of studies and plans for subways that never got started because someone came up with another alternative. The last thing NYC needs is another choice to delay it until 2200. A new tunnel now is worth 100 better alternatives later because later never comes in NYC.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,905
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Read the book "Subway" by John E. Morris to see the 100+ year history of studies and plans for subways that never got started because someone came up with another alternative. The last thing NYC needs is another choice to delay it until 2200. A new tunnel now is worth 100 better alternatives later because later never comes in NYC.
Unfortunately some folks think it is important to show the world how clever they are 🤷🏻
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
732
Location
MI
Zoom works really well, I am pleasantly surprised by how easy it has been to replace in person meetings with virtual.
Not a fan of the competing backgrounds, to see who can be the coolest, and people drinking coffee on camera, but for assembling people within and across organizations to get work done and in different time zones, it does the job.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,590
Location
Baltimore. MD
Zoom works really well, I am pleasantly surprised by how easy it has been to replace in person meetings with virtual.
Not a fan of the competing backgrounds, to see who can be the coolest, and people drinking coffee on camera, but for assembling people within and across organizations to get work done and in different time zones, it does the job.
Meh.
I guess Zoom is better than a telephone conference call, as you can actually see who is talking. My take is that it's OK for routine meetings, but if you want to accomplish something tricky and critical or if you want to develop working relationships, nothing can beat meeting face to face, in person. And it doesn't really work all that well, with any decent size group, you have people freezing, audio getting garbled, and my favorite, "unstable internet connection."

As far as drinking coffee off-camera, well, we all drink coffee in face-to-face meeting, too.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,163
Zoom has worked fine for me as well. I’d be fine with it becoming the “new normal.” Pros outweigh the cons big time.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,905
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Zoom has worked fine for me as well. I’d be fine with it becoming the “new normal.” Pros outweigh the cons big time.
It has worked fine for me too. But then I have been using similar technology to manage a project spanning three continents for the last eight or so years before I retired too. 🤷🏻

If you have inadequate technological platform supporting it, it does not work as well.

Having said that, there are many job categories for which Zoom-like technologies are either sub-optimal or inadequate. It is unlikely that traveling to work will ever be entirely subsumed by Zoom-like technologies.
 
Last edited:

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,898
Location
Palm Beach County
If there are some technical shortcomings of teleconferencing, future technology will hopefully fix that, as it has anything that is new. As far as it versus face to face meetings, I think that once it becomes the "new normal", it will be just as effective, and maybe better, because less meetings might have to be canceled due to personal issues of one kind or another. And the flexibility to add other participants for just a brief message, when they might otherwise not be able to attend, and countless other advantages. Those that lament the days of getting away for food and travel at the Company expense will just have to get over it...
Just like they did for the "three martini power lunch"...😉
 

Andrew

OBS Chief
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
514
Does anyone else think a different terminal tunnel alignment and station should have been chosen instead of Penn Station?
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
732
Location
MI
As far as drinking coffee off-camera, well, we all drink coffee in face-to-face meeting, too.
You are so right, in all you said actually. I'm still pleasantly surprised by how well it has worked even given all the glitches. I think there are situations where the in person relationship building works better, and some where it's not necessary. Regarding the coffee comment, for all these years with in face to face meetings, that has never bothered me, in fact it's been a nice aspect of meetings, just like having pizza or cookies sent in. For whatever reason, eating or drinking on camera is magnified in weird ways, in a professional setting. So, now I just leave the camera off if I need caffeine during a meeting.
I also tried a Zoom "happy hour" with an old friend, we had our adult beverages and it was just the two of us, maybe because it was informal and not work related, it was very comfortable.
My view of Zoom meetings seems like it's in the minority, though. People I've talked to who were accustomed to spending many days on the road for meetings are itching to travel again.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,349
The PATH tunnel ores are interesting. The bores are so crooked that the PATH cars are much shorter than present subway cars. I would expect that new bores when built will have a much greater loading gauge. But what does PATH do. Run two separate sets of cars with different loading gauge or continue with their shorter cars. That is the situation in NY City as the IRT lines are a tighter gauge.
 

IndyLions

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
543
Location
Brownsburg IN
My view of Zoom meetings seems like it's in the minority, though. People I've talked to who were accustomed to spending many days on the road for meetings are itching to travel again.
The reason people are itching to travel may or may not have to do with the whole online meeting collaborative approach.

I frankly find online meetings to be pretty productive, and I enjoy greatly working from home. For me personally, my “itchiness” to travel is as much about the work environment variation and the “change of pace” aspect as it is anything else.

I enjoy the face-to-face element of it, but being in different places and a different work environment are a huge part of it. And even when I travel back to the same places regularly – I often do everything I can to see a little different part of that particular location than I did in a previous visit.

At this stage in my career, if it all possible I avoid suburban hotels and stay in an area where there are things to see and places to eat within walking distance of the hotel. That gives me an opportunity to still remain productive by working in a restaurant or a café or a public place or a train - but the change in environment invigorates me.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,905
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
The PATH tunnel ores are interesting. The bores are so crooked that the PATH cars are much shorter than present subway cars. I would expect that new bores when built will have a much greater loading gauge. But what does PATH do. Run two separate sets of cars with different loading gauge or continue with their shorter cars. That is the situation in NY City as the IRT lines are a tighter gauge.
Since there are no plans to replace or augment the PATH tubes at present, this is mainly a theoretical issue.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,905
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
The reason people are itching to travel may or may not have to do with the whole online meeting collaborative approach.

I frankly find online meetings to be pretty productive, and I enjoy greatly working from home. For me personally, my “itchiness” to travel is as much about the work environment variation and the “change of pace” aspect as it is anything else.
My itchiness to travel is mainly because I like to travel, and if attending meetings serves to fund some of it, or at least provide a tax deduction, so much the better :)
 
Last edited:

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,590
Location
Baltimore. MD
My itchiness to travel is mainly because I like to travel, and if attending meetings serves to fund some of it, or at least provide a tax deduction, so much the better :)
Most of my career involved lots of TDY (temporary duty) travel. It didn't usually bother me, because

1) I got out of the office and got to (sort of) be my own boss, yet I still got paid, and also had my expenses paid,
2) The work things I did on travel were much more interesting than going to meetings, writing memos, and doing other paperwork (including making travel authorization requests and travel expense claims),
3) I got to see a number of interesting places, often in a lot more depth than if I had visited as a tourist.

That said, I could do without the trips that involved, say, flying somewhere, having a meeting at the airport, and flying right home.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ziv
Top