North East Corridor (NEC) speeds, new stations and state of repair

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And does the theoretical, new line HAVE to be downtown? France's TGV calls some major cities' stops TGV, and they are not in the city itself, at all. Valence, is one of them.
Valence has 64,000 inhabitants, so not exactly a major city. Not even by French standards. Even if you try to make a "metroplex* out of it and start adding to this the smaller towns and villages in its broader catchment area, you would struggle to find 140,000 inhabitants.

In bigger cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Strasbourg etc the TGV invariably does serve centrally located stations.
 
And does the theoretical, new line HAVE to be downtown? France's TGV calls some major cities' stops TGV, and they are not in the city itself, at all. Valence, is one of them.
Depends on how much money one wants to spend. Station does not have to be downtown, but can be if there is willingness to spend gobs of money to bring it downtown. Typically it involves tunneling under the town to build a new station under an existing station, somewhat similar to what has been done at Grand Central Terminal by LIRR.
 
Depends on how much money one wants to spend. Station does not have to be downtown, but can be if there is willingness to spend gobs of money to bring it downtown. Typically it involves tunneling under the town to build a new station under an existing station, somewhat similar to what has been done at Grand Central Terminal by LIRR.
In the French cases what is often done is that the high-speed line will by-pass the town, but have connections to classic rail lines on either side of the town so that trains serving the downtown station use the old line for a short section. There are only very few examples in France of high speed lines being built into downtown or even inner suburban areas. Obviously the Japanese and Chinese pursued a different philosophy here.

In Spain in some cases downtown stations have been abandoned entirely in favor of new stations located directly on the high-speed line. Orihuela comes to mind for example. In Barcelona the high speed line approaches central Barcelona almost entirely on new-built lines, although the geometry was rather constrained. The approach from the south is in a tunnel under the classic rail line and to the north the alignment is in a new tunnel but its geometry was dictated by the need to stay under streets wherever possible and weave its way around the numerous older metro, rail and highway tunnels. The result is that although the line can be called new-build, the speeds on the urban part are not higher than they would have been had one of the old lines been used instead. The urban section of the new line is thus provided more for capacity reasons than to actually bring high speed all the way to the station.

The graph below shows the speed profile of the Madrid (Atocha) - Barcelona - La Jonquera high speed line (source Wikipedia).

Velocidades_máximas_Madrid-Frontera_Francesa.jpg
 
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I guess the high speed railways took a page from Interstate Highways...new construction bypassed most cities, and either had a
"business loop", or a stub, or a beltway, or all to serve the bypassed city....
 
I guess the high speed railways took a page from Interstate Highways...new construction bypassed most cities, and either had a
"business loop", or a stub, or a beltway, or all to serve the bypassed city....
Though interstate highways didn’t bypass most cities.

They had in interesting system where depending on the city’s size the highway would either go directly through its downtown, or bypass it altogether. Every large city has/had an interstate through its core. Some cities were more successful than others at protesting this.
 
In the French cases what is often done is that the high-speed line will by-pass the town, but have connections to classic rail lines on either side of the town so that trains serving the downtown station use the old line for a short section. There are only very few examples in France of high speed lines being built into downtown or even inner suburban areas. Obviously the Japanese and Chinese pursued a different philosophy here.

In Spain in some cases downtown stations have been abandoned entirely in favor of new stations located directly on the high-speed line. Orihuela comes to mind for example. In Barcelona the high speed line approaches central Barcelona almost entirely on new-built lines, although the geometry was rather constrained. The approach from the south is in a tunnel under the classic rail line and to the north the alignment is in a new tunnel but its geometry was dictated by the need to stay under streets wherever possible and weave its way around the numerous older metro, rail and highway tunnels. The result is that although the line can be called new-build, the speeds on the urban part are not higher than they would have been had one of the old lines been used instead. The urban section of the new line is thus provided more for capacity reasons than to actually bring high speed all the way to the station.

The graph below shows the speed profile of the Madrid (Atocha) - Barcelona - La Jonquera high speed line (source Wikipedia).

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You mean it's going ~75 km/hr when it hits the Barcelona station? Wow, one needs to be very careful and quick getting off the train! :)
 
You mean it's going ~75 km/hr when it hits the Barcelona station? Wow, one needs to be very careful and quick getting off the train! :)
Those are highest permitted speeds. Going through a platform track in a creepy underground place such as Barcelona Sants at 75km/h is still pretty hairy though.

I guess Barcelona is so important though that nobody will want to run trains through without stopping anyway. Except freights maybe. I don't know if there is a bypass line for freight, but then I'm not sure if any freight is going via the high speed line at all.
 
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There is a nice page on the Dock Bridge Rehabilitation Project. Dock is currently a lift bridge across the Passaic River next to Newark Penn Station. In course of its rehab, it will be converted to a fixed structure and all the mechanism for lifting will be removed. The counter weights will be permanently fixed in the locked down position and most of the lifting cables will be removed. The Miter Rails will be removed and replaced with through welded rails across the bridge.

https://www.amtrak.com/about-amtrak/new-era/infrastructure-projects/dock-bridge-rehabilitation.html
 
There's some chatter on reddit that after evening rush, the NER trains from NYP to NHV are beating scheduled times, sometimes dwelling at NRO or NHV for ten minutes to reset. Keeping the schedule padded an Acela conspiracy? 🧯Kidding, obviously NYP - NRO is under significant construction.
 
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There's some chatter on reddit that after evening rush, the NER trains from NYP to NHV are beating scheduled times, sometimes dwelling at NRO or NHV for ten minutes to reset. Keeping the schedule padded an Acela conspiracy? 🧯Kidding, obviously NYP - NRO is under significant construction.

Happens to Acela trains all the time also. There's padding at NHV so I've sat there 10-15 minutes several times.
 
I’m sure this has been covered repeatedly and I’m sorry for asking again, but with this mornings NEC delay I was curious—what portion of the NEC actually has constant tension catenary? I know the Boston / CT area does and the Brunswick / Princeton area does, but how about other areas on the NEC around NYC?

With all the track work going on the last 2 decades, have they been installing it piecemeal or keeping the old designs (ie will the portal north and areas outside the new Hudson tunnels in NJ use the new or old design?) Can you have sections of constant mixed with variable or is that a disaster?
 
I’m sure this has been covered repeatedly and I’m sorry for asking again, but with this mornings NEC delay I was curious—what portion of the NEC actually has constant tension catenary? I know the Boston / CT area does and the Brunswick / Princeton area does, but how about other areas on the NEC around NYC?

With all the track work going on the last 2 decades, have they been installing it piecemeal or keeping the old designs (ie will the portal north and areas outside the new Hudson tunnels in NJ use the new or old design?) Can you have sections of constant mixed with variable or is that a disaster?
I believe CT only has constant tension east of New Haven.
 
I’m sure this has been covered repeatedly and I’m sorry for asking again, but with this mornings NEC delay I was curious—what portion of the NEC actually has constant tension catenary? I know the Boston / CT area does and the Brunswick / Princeton area does, but how about other areas on the NEC around NYC?
Metro North New Haven Line is all Constant Tension. A short segment of the Hell Gate Line adjacent to what used to be Shell interlocking is Constant Tension. Other than that the only other Constant Tension in the NYC suburban area is the new Constant Tension in sections between Jersey Avenue and Hamilton on the NEC in NJ, and NJTransit Jersey Shore Line between Matawan (exclusive) and Long Branch.
With all the track work going on the last 2 decades, have they been installing it piecemeal or keeping the old designs (ie will the portal north and areas outside the new Hudson tunnels in NJ use the new or old design?) Can you have sections of constant mixed with variable or is that a disaster?
I think Amtrak has generally decided to stick with variable tension if speeds do not exceed 130mph in a section. So I would guess that all the new/modified trackage between New York Penn and Newark will not be Constant Tension, including Portal Bridge(s), new Sawtooth Bridge, new Swift interlocking and new layout of Secacus Jct.

But of course, we will know for sure only when it actually is installed. The posts can be used interchangeably for Constant Tension or not, so just looking at the posts by itself does not settle the issue.
 
Metro North New Haven Line is all Constant Tension. A short segment of the Hell Gate Line adjacent to what used to be Shell interlocking is Constant Tension. Other than that the only other Constant Tension in the NYC suburban area is the new Constant Tension in sections between Jersey Avenue and Hamilton on the NEC in NJ, and NJTransit Jersey Shore Line between Matawan (exclusive) and Long Branch.

I think Amtrak has generally decided to stick with variable tension if speeds do not exceed 130mph in a section. So I would guess that all the new/modified trackage between New York Penn and Newark will not be Constant Tension, including Portal Bridge(s), new Sawtooth Bridge, new Swift interlocking and new layout of Secacus Jct.

But of course, we will know for sure only when it actually is installed. The posts can be used interchangeably for Constant Tension or not, so just looking at the posts by itself does not settle the issue.
That’s a bummer, because it sounds like the issues that happened this morning will continue as long as we have the variable tension installed on hot days.
 
It would be interesting to know the equipment of each snag that has happened. Seems that it is a large number of NJ Transit trains have been involved. Now were most of the snags 10 or12 car EMUs? Could it be 5 or 6 PANs set up some kind of standing wave that would enable a snag? Could be that would happen at only certain conditions? Too few incidents with too many variables. Wire Temp, wire spacing,, PAN speeds, number of PANS, PAN pressure on wire, equipment, trains on other tracks,
 
https://www.northjersey.com/story/n...-plan-repairs-northeast-corridor/74072161007/
In depth article on NJ Transit's discussions with Amtrak over recent delays and stoppages. The middle of the article is all about the summer of 2017, but surrounding it are issues like spending money on catenary and signals vs. the Dock Bridge ("not a major cause of delays" says NJT); a new joint working group for planning emergency repairs; not keeping riders informed; and NJT lending Amtrak track and wire workers. Unclear is some business about NJ not committed enough on funding, and moving around funding:

Gardner said Amtrak needs firmer financial commitments from New Jersey to capitalize on hundreds of millions in federal grants for larger-scale projects.

Should NJ Transit’s annual payments to Amtrak be used for what it considers to be state-of-good-repair work, like upgrading catenary and signals? Or, as Amtrak’s Gardner and Williams have said, will more money be needed from New Jersey because some of NJ Transit’s annual state-of-good-repair money is going to construction payments on Portal North Bridge?

Then a bunch of up close and personal concerns from NJT about NJ riders being upset, and front-line workers getting the guff. Don't recall ever hearing such talk from Amtrak. Sure one's local and one's national, but it also sounds like the multi-block-sized edifices of D.C. vs. rough and tumble Jersey.

Constant tension catenary is not mentioned.
 
That’s a bummer, because it sounds like the issues that happened this morning will continue as long as we have the variable tension installed on hot days.
Pantograph failures can happen independent of the kind of catenary. I have seen panto failure due to metal fatigue or just poor maintenance practices, the latter incidentally NJT is quite well known for.
https://www.northjersey.com/story/n...-plan-repairs-northeast-corridor/74072161007/
In depth article on NJ Transit's discussions with Amtrak over recent delays and stoppages. The middle of the article is all about the summer of 2017, but surrounding it are issues like spending money on catenary and signals vs. the Dock Bridge ("not a major cause of delays" says NJT); a new joint working group for planning emergency repairs; not keeping riders informed; and NJT lending Amtrak track and wire workers. Unclear is some business about NJ not committed enough on funding, and moving around funding:





Then a bunch of up close and personal concerns from NJT about NJ riders being upset, and front-line workers getting the guff. Don't recall ever hearing such talk from Amtrak. Sure one's local and one's national, but it also sounds like the multi-block-sized edifices of D.C. vs. rough and tumble Jersey.

Constant tension catenary is not mentioned.
NJTransit sits in the NEC Commission and has approved all of the projects and priorities. So now it is a bit rich of them to sing from a different sheet to the press. Why did they not raise hell if they were so sure that something else should have been done in a different order. It is not like Amtrak can just go and prioritize things whichever way they want ignoring the Commission since they cannot get a penny of the Appropriated funds unless the Commission approves. It is of course quite possible that NJT is not aware of these things. Afterall they are famous for parking trains in a swamp just before a big storm and having them all flooded.
 
Were it not for the huge upcoming Murphy fare hike, who stated a few months ago that "NJT's problems are mostly fixed" (IOW, I hired 300 engineers, otherwise I stuck my head in the sand) while bad-ordered equipment stuffs the MMC yard complex, they would not be "singing" quite so loudly.

Perhaps panograph maintenance is a hidden cause of their, and only their, detesting of EMU equipment for 40 years.

Now he admits problems are coming from different sources. NJT Mechanical problems with their trains (28.1%) and Engineering Infrastucture issues (27.9%) rank higher than Amtrak issues (23.7%) as percentage of cause for delays, at least that was in the April Board presentation.
 
Were it not for the huge upcoming Murphy fare hike, who stated a few months ago that "NJT's problems are mostly fixed" (IOW, I hired 300 engineers, otherwise I stuck my head in the sand) while bad-ordered equipment stuffs the MMC yard complex, they would not be "singing" quite so loudly.

Perhaps panograph maintenance is a hidden cause of their, and only their, detesting of EMU equipment for 40 years.

Now he admits problems are coming from different sources. NJT Mechanical problems with their trains (28.1%) and Engineering Infrastucture issues (27.9%) rank higher than Amtrak issues (23.7%) as percentage of cause for delays, at least that was in the April Board presentation.
It was NJT Mechanical Department which forgot to maintain the return current brushes which caused overheating of a bearing as all that current was trying to flow through the bearing instead of the normal path through the brush, causing a bearing to overheat and fail causing a derailment holding up traffic for a day, which is a bit more serious than some catenary pulled down by a broken pantograph, which also NJT specializes in.
 
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