Metro North to Penn Station

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John Bobinyec

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I wonder how much traction this will get since Penn Station seems to be overloaded and it also seems like NJ Transit and LIRR would like to put even more in there.

jb
 

John Bobinyec

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Sorry - apparently this proposal is to grant access to Penn Station for the New Haven Line trains.

jb
 

afigg

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Extending Metro-North service to NYP has been in the talking stages for a long time. The only news here is that Gov. Cuomo has stated his support of the plan. The primary focus has been on extending some New Haven line trains to NYP with new stations in the Bronx with Hudson Line service through the Empire connection also in the plans. There is an on-going EIS study on what upgrades are needed, where the new stations would go, and the costs.

The MNRR extensions are tied to the East Side Access project which is expected to shift many LIRR commuters and trains to Grand Central. The shift is expected to free up capacity at NYP for MNRR to run some New Haven and Hudson service over the Amtrak access tracks. The MNRR extensions would not happen until after ESA is completed, which is currently scheduled for circa 2019, so any change is years away. Amtrak, however, may be able to get MNRR and MTA to pay for upgrades to the New Rochelle line and a major part of the cost of the replacing the Pelham moveable bridge.

The MNRR extension to NYP would improve connections and transit options in the NY region. But the politicians in Long Island may work to block the extension, despite the fact that their consituents will benefit from ESA, one of the most expensive transit projects ever.
 
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Andrew

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1. Cuomo claims that Hurricane Sandy funds can finance this. Is this true?

2. How many additional riders would use Metro North if the new stations get opened?
 

afigg

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1. Cuomo claims that Hurricane Sandy funds can finance this. Is this true?

2. How many additional riders would use Metro North if the new stations get opened?
I think it would be a real stretch of the purpose of the Sandy relief and mitigation funds to use them to fund the Penn Station Access project for Metro-North. Maybe parts of it, such as replacing the Pelham Bay moveable bridge with a higher elevation fixed span bridge and track upgrades would be reasonable, but new stations? That is a stretch. But odder things happen in politics and federal funding all the time.

As for the project, MTA has a project webpage with a series of presentations from 2013 if you want more info: Penn Station Access Study. (Google is your friend) The presentations stated that the EIS was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013. No sign of the EIS on the website, so it is not published yet. The issue for Amtrak service is whether, or perhaps more accurately, how often MNRR New Haven trains running on the Hell Gate line will slow down NYP-BOS trains.

One thought occurs to me is whether Amtrak should consider stopping some Regionals at one of the new Bronx stations, if the project moves ahead and the stations are built. Could provide better service to BOS for people in north Manhattan and the Bronx.
 
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Nathanael

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The underlying goal of most of this is to relieve pressure on the NYC Subway.

Currently all commuters from LIRR to Manhattan end up at Penn and more than half of them head back to East Midtown on the subway -- "East Side Access" is, at great expense, spreading the LIRR arrivals out, and eliminating a bunch of short subway rides.

Similarly, currently all commuters on Metro-North to Manhattan end up at Grand Central and around 40% of them head to West Midtown on the subway. Running half the Metro-North trains on the Hudson and New Haven lines to Penn Station spreads the Metro-North arrivals out and eliminates a bunch of short subway rides. "Penn Station Access" would also allow for commuter stations at Coop City (which is a dense area poorly served by public transportation) and on the far Upper West Side (which will also relieve subway traffic a little by preventing some "backtracking" movements by Metro-North riders), and possibly a few other places.
 
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Andrew

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The underlying goal of most of this is to relieve pressure on the NYC Subway.

Currently all commuters from LIRR to Manhattan end up at Penn and more than half of them head back to East Midtown on the subway -- "East Side Access" is, at great expense, spreading the LIRR arrivals out, and eliminating a bunch of short subway rides.

Similarly, currently all commuters on Metro-North to Manhattan end up at Grand Central and around 40% of them head to West Midtown on the subway. Running half the Metro-North trains on the Hudson and New Haven lines to Penn Station spreads the Metro-North arrivals out and eliminates a bunch of short subway rides. "Penn Station Access" would also allow for commuter stations at Coop City (which is a dense area poorly served by public transportation) and on the far Upper West Side (which will also relieve subway traffic a little by preventing some "backtracking" movements by Metro-North riders), and possibly a few other places.
I highly doubt that "half" of all Hudson and New Haven trains would terminate at Penn Station...
 
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Nathanael

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The underlying goal of most of this is to relieve pressure on the NYC Subway.

Currently all commuters from LIRR to Manhattan end up at Penn and more than half of them head back to East Midtown on the subway -- "East Side Access" is, at great expense, spreading the LIRR arrivals out, and eliminating a bunch of short subway rides.

Similarly, currently all commuters on Metro-North to Manhattan end up at Grand Central and around 40% of them head to West Midtown on the subway. Running half the Metro-North trains on the Hudson and New Haven lines to Penn Station spreads the Metro-North arrivals out and eliminates a bunch of short subway rides. "Penn Station Access" would also allow for commuter stations at Coop City (which is a dense area poorly served by public transportation) and on the far Upper West Side (which will also relieve subway traffic a little by preventing some "backtracking" movements by Metro-North riders), and possibly a few other places.
I highly doubt that "half" of all Hudson and New Haven trains would terminate at Penn Station...
Well, if the trains were split by suspected destination of the riders, the number would be 30-40% to Penn Station.
 
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Andrew

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Suppose that Hudson Line trains do, in fact, one day run into Penn Station. Would these trains likely be current seven car coaches with a locomotive

OR

will the MTA likely run 8 double decker coaches with two locomotives (similar to Port Jefferson service)?
 

afigg

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I highly doubt that "half" of all Hudson and New Haven trains would terminate at Penn Station...
Well, if the trains were split by suspected destination of the riders, the number would be 30-40% to Penn Station.
According to the CT presentation from March 2013 on the MTA website, the proposed plan is to run 6-10 peak hour New Haven Line trains to NYP, 4 trains/hour reverse peak direction, and 2 trains/hour off-peak and weekends. But the EIS may have revised those numbers.
Of the proposed 4 stations in the Bronx as of the 2012 presentations, the Hunts Point MNRR station would be adjacent to the 6 Line Hunts Pt station, although with a pedestrian path under the elevated highway. Quoting the slide bullet, the station features include: "Transfer location between the NYCT 6 Line and the New Haven Line creates a new transit hub." Which strikes me as creating a possibility for the station to become an Amtrak stop for faster Boston trips for those living along the 6 Line rather than going to NYP and then making the slow trip through the East River tunnels and Queens.
 
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Andrew

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I highly doubt that "half" of all Hudson and New Haven trains would terminate at Penn Station...
Well, if the trains were split by suspected destination of the riders, the number would be 30-40% to Penn Station.
According to the CT presentation from March 2013 on the MTA website, the proposed plan is to run 6-10 peak hour New Haven Line trains to NYP, 4 trains/hour reverse peak direction, and 2 trains/hour off-peak and weekends. But the EIS may have revised those numbers.
Of the proposed 4 stations in the Bronx as of the 2012 presentations, the Hunts Point MNRR station would be adjacent to the 6 Line Hunts Pt station, although with a pedestrian path under the elevated highway. Quoting the slide bullet, the station features include: "Transfer location between the NYCT 6 Line and the New Haven Line creates a new transit hub." Which strikes me as creating a possibility for the station to become an Amtrak stop for faster Boston trips for those living along the 6 Line rather than going to NYP and then making the slow trip through the East River tunnels and Queens.
But no word on Hudson Line frequency into Penn Station?
 

jis

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The current proposal has nothing to do with Hudson Line. That is a different project with a different EIS, and a different set of stations to be built and to be run with very different equipment and likely to cost much more that this one for NH Line.
 

SubwayNut

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The Hudson Line also has vastly lower ridership to the New Haven Line (the busiest commuter railroad in the country). It will be interesting to see how they handle the off-peak service (right now 2 half-hourly Stamford locals, and 1-2 New Haven Expresses with the locals connecting to expresses in Stamford) does local serve into GCT get split and becomes just hourly (the other rerouted to Penn) or is the off-peak service a new train (a 3rd local to Stamford or a peak stations express to New Haven, making the busiest stops throughout the corridor)?

The new Bronx stops will mainly target reverse peak commuters (get on an AM reverse peak New Haven Line train and you will see what I mean) as well as those going from the Bronx north (one will be near a concentration of major hospitals that's transit poor and better train service I'm sure will take some employees out of there cars)
 

AlanB

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The new Bronx stops will mainly target reverse peak commuters (get on an AM reverse peak New Haven Line train and you will see what I mean) as well as those going from the Bronx north (one will be near a concentration of major hospitals that's transit poor and better train service I'm sure will take some employees out of there cars)
Yes, reverse peak service on all MN lines is so high that MN is now charging peak fares going north in the morning rush hour.
 

Deni

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I've been hoping for this project to get going for so long. I used to have to do some work at Einstein Med School in Morris Park. I remember standing on Morris Park Ave and Eastchester waiting for the bus to get to the subway watching Amtrak trains go by across the street, at the very spot where the new station will be, and be so annoyed they hadn't done this yet.
 

Dutchrailnut

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Cuomo says 2025 , I say somewhere within two decades of that date . rebuilding Pelham draw to 4 tracks ?? just look at timeline for bridge at South Norwalk ??
adding extra tracks and stations , sorry guys but I may be pushing up daisy by then.
 

PVD

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Cuomo says 2025 , I say somewhere within two decades of that date . rebuilding Pelham draw to 4 tracks ?? just look at timeline for bridge at South Norwalk ??
adding extra tracks and stations , sorry guys but I may be pushing up daisy by then.
Isn't the bridge in CT not NY? (not that we win any speed awards either) But the TZ and Kosciusko were not bad projects from a time standpoint...
 

jis

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Of course, but the poster compared it to the project at S Norwalk, which is not.....
Yeah. That is ConnDOT though still managed by MNRR.

I suspect any construction on the Hell Gate Line will be carried out by Amtrak, since it is their property. It will be funded by MTA I suppose.
 

PVD

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I think you are probably right. The Electrical Industry Training Center I do some teaching for has a great track and signal simulation lab, complete with sections of track and 3rd rail, we regularly prepare members for the NYC TA Subway Track Cert, MTA LIRR and Amtrak both have similar 3rd rail. Every once in a while you get work on MN property which is under running, but I'm sure this extension will be LIRR/Amtrak standard. We'll have to crank out another few classes if this gets going...
 
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jis

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I think you are probably right. The Electrical Industry Training Center I do some teaching for has a great track and signal simulation lab, complete with sections of track and 3rd rail, we regularly prepare members for the NYC TA Subway Track Cert, MTA LIRR and Amtrak both have similar 3rd rail. Every once in a while you get work on MN property which is under running, but I'm sure this extension will be LIRR/Amtrak standard. We'll have to crank out another few classes if this gets going...
Yes the Harold to Gate Third Rail will be LIRR over running third rail. Actually it will run past Gate and Sunnyside Jct. to the foot of the viaduct to allow for space to transition between thrid rail and overhead. The new rolling stock being acquired for this service has new type of third rail pickups which work on both under and over running third rails so that they can access Penn Station and all levels of Grand Central using third rail power.
 
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