Northeast corridor curves that prevent High Speed Rail?

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Tlcooper93

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Stuck at 80 mph between New Rochelle and New Haven? Wow, you were really going fast. If only all the trains would go that fast on that stretch. I've been on Acelas where the average speed is under 50 mph.
I should rephrase.
I’m not sure what speed we were going, but it felt ever so slightly faster than a commuter train at times. So 80 seemed appropriate.
 

JontyMort

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That ROW might admit maybe 20mph higher in select stretches, but in general it will not have 100pmh service no matter how hard we dream about it, except maybe for a few miles in the extreme eastern end of it near New Haven.
Is the New Haven main line still quadruple track all the way from New Rochelle to New Haven, and are the tracks paired by direction (I imagine so)?
 

jis

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Is the New Haven main line still quadruple track all the way from New Rochelle to New Haven, and are the tracks paired by direction (I imagine so)?
They had cut it down to three tracks at the eastern end but were supposed to be working on restoring it to four tracks. I don't know what the status of that is tight now. As I recall when they cut it down to three tracks they took the trouble to build the westbound platform of a station on the ROW for the fourth track. So they will have to or have torn that down and rebuilt a platform making way for the restoration of the fourth track. Haven't been that way in a while to see what the current state is.
 

John Santos

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They had cut it down to three tracks at the eastern end but were supposed to be working on restoring it to four tracks. I don't know what the status of that is tight now. As I recall when they cut it down to three tracks they took the trouble to build the westbound platform of a station on the ROW for the fourth track. So they will have to or have torn that down and rebuilt a platform making way for the restoration of the fourth track. Haven't been that way in a while to see what the current state is.
Many of the station platforms, at both Amtrak and commuter rail stations, have what is clearly a temporary extension built out over the tracks. These are a series of steel platforms, each about 10-15 feet long, extending out from the permanent concrete high-level platforms and supported on a steel scaffolding over the track closest to the platform. The temporary platforms are about a car-length apart, so a train stopping on the second track can line up its doors with them. I'm pretty sure these platforms have moved from side to side and from station to station over the last 15 years or so. I've always assumed they were so they could do track maintenance on the outside tracks while still allowing access to the stations, and as the work was finished, they would move the platforms to the next section of track. At the rate of progress, I would guess they should be done in no more than 20 or 30 years and all 4 tracks will once again be open. Maybe?
 

jis

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I am not talking of temporary platforms. At Milford the space for the fourth track is where the new platform was placed. They have to tear that down and build a new platform further back to make space for the restoration of the fourth track.

The new station at West Haven is built with four tracks extended from New Haven Yard. Before that three tracks continued all the way to the start of the New Haven Yard.
 

west point

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Even if the line west of New Haven becomes 4 MT the whole route will not be unimpeded for many years. That is because of the many draw bridge replacements that have to be done. For Example" The Walk bridge now under construction already only has 3 MTs open. What is happening the second track from the north is closed so one of the tower supports for the new lift bridge can be constructed. The other tower support also under construction will be ~ 25 feet north of the present north track. Note this occurring on both sides of the waterway simultaneous .

Once towers and lift bridge is complete the CAT for north tracks will be removed from the swing bridge. As well the 2 north tracks will have to be closed 2 - 3 months so they can be relocated and raised so they can align with the new lift bridge. Then install CAT connections for the lift bridge. Then the new lift bridge will be set for rail traffic on the 2 north tracks. The new lift bridge will be above the swing bridge's old 2 north tracks.

Then NRR has to do all this all over again for the 2 south tracks building another lift bridge. Then the other 3 antique bridges located elsewhere that need replacing are on the plate. It will depend on how much funding can be acquired and when for their replacement that will determine when all the route from New Rochelle - New Haven becomes a complete non impeded 4 main tracks. Any where from 6 - 40 years.

There are also a few fixed bridges that need replacing that will be much easier.
 

JontyMort

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I am not talking of temporary platforms. At Milford the space for the fourth track is where the new platform was placed. They have to tear that down and build a new platform further back to make space for the restoration of the fourth track.
The equivalent here in Britain was the ex-LNER east coast electrification in the 1980s. On one section they decided they could reduce four tracks to two in conjunction with the wiring. Guess (1) where they put the masts and (2) how long it took for them to realise that restoration of four tracks would be desirable.
 

JontyMort

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OK, I was going to stick in my two cents from a European perspective, but will do so on the HSR thread. But first, a question. To what extent is the NEC, in reality, one line or two? My hunch is that it is really “DC to New York” and “Boston to New York” spliced together for (admittedly perfectly good) operational reasons. Is there actually much traffic that does (say) Philadelphia to New Haven, or indeed the full DC to Boston?
 

Tlcooper93

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OK, I was going to stick in my two cents from a European perspective, but will do so on the HSR thread. But first, a question. To what extent is the NEC, in reality, one line or two? My hunch is that it is really “DC to New York” and “Boston to New York” spliced together for (admittedly perfectly good) operational reasons. Is there actually much traffic that does (say) Philadelphia to New Haven, or indeed the full DC to Boston?
Yes, there is a sizable amount of traffic that travels through NYC. I do it quite frequently, and each time, many people stay on the train through the 20 minute layover at NYP.

There is a sizable contingent of people traveling from New Jersey destination to places in CT and RI.

There is usually a crew change at NYP but that’s about it. Most trains continue through as if nothing happened.

If there wasn’t through traffic, why run a sleeper train from BOS-WAS??
 
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OK, I was going to stick in my two cents from a European perspective, but will do so on the HSR thread. But first, a question. To what extent is the NEC, in reality, one line or two? My hunch is that it is really “DC to New York” and “Boston to New York” spliced together for (admittedly perfectly good) operational reasons. Is there actually much traffic that does (say) Philadelphia to New Haven, or indeed the full DC to Boston?
Historically, it was two railroads, The Pennsylvania and the New Haven, connecting in New York, when the Hell Gate Bridge opened in 1917. When the successor, Penn Central acquired the New Haven in 1969, it became one railroad, although ownership of portions went to Amtrak, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts....
 

JontyMort

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Yes, there is a sizable amount of traffic that travels through NYC. I do it quite frequently, and each time, many people stay on the train through the 20 minute layover at NYP.

There is a sizable contingent of people traveling from New Jersey destination to places in CT and RI.

There is usually a crew change at NYP but that’s about it. Most trains continue through as if nothing happened.

If there wasn’t through traffic, why run a sleeper train from BOS-WAS??
Yes, there is a sizable amount of traffic that travels through NYC. I do it quite frequently, and each time, many people stay on the train through the 20 minute layover at NYP.

There is a sizable contingent of people traveling from New Jersey destination to places in CT and RI.

There is usually a crew change at NYP but that’s about it. Most trains continue through as if nothing happened.

If there wasn’t through traffic, why run a sleeper train from BOS-WAS??
Thanks for the reply. I suppose one might say that 66/67 are special cases, but it’s interesting to see the introduction of sleeping cars.
 

Tlcooper93

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Thanks for the reply. I suppose one might say that 66/67 are special cases, but it’s interesting to see the introduction of sleeping cars.
In this case it’s the re-introduction. Sleepers ran the route until 2003. They were pulled, for alleged equipment shortages, and then re-introduced this April.

65-67 are not so much special cases, but rather identical to daytime trains which happen to run at night with a sleepers car in the consist.
 
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JontyMort

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Historically, it was two railroads, The Pennsylvania and the New Haven, connecting in New York, when the Hell Gate Bridge opened in 1917. When the successor, Penn Central acquired the New Haven in 1969, it became one railroad, although ownership of portions went to Amtrak, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts....
Yes, that much I did know. The New York Connecting Railroad was a joint venture between the Pennsylvania and the New Haven from the beginning, wasn’t it?

Always amazing to think that the original Pennsylvania Station was built to last till doomsday but actually lasted... about 50 years.
 

Tlcooper93

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...with Viewliner II stock?

Is the LSL likely to get V II by September, do you think?
As of now, the only routes running VIIs are the Silver services. Not sure when LSL will get Viewliner IIs.

I took the BOS-WAS sleeper train the back in April. You can dig around for my review in the forum. The VIs are showing their age.

Pretty short-sighted of Amtrak to order only 20 or so new sleepers. Viewliners are really old, and will need to be replaced.
 

jis

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If both the Silvers are equipped with VL-IIs that leaves 5 for shop and contingency, which would suggest that at most another train that requires only two consists might get it i(Cardinal or 65/66/67) if Amtrak becomes so bold as to break their apparent 20% shop+contingency rule.
 

MARC Rider

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OK, I was going to stick in my two cents from a European perspective, but will do so on the HSR thread. But first, a question. To what extent is the NEC, in reality, one line or two? My hunch is that it is really “DC to New York” and “Boston to New York” spliced together for (admittedly perfectly good) operational reasons. Is there actually much traffic that does (say) Philadelphia to New Haven, or indeed the full DC to Boston?
There's some through traffic, but my experience is that when the train arrives in New York, it empties out. Maybe a quarter of the people in the car stay on. And then more people get on and refill the train after the departing passengers clear the platform. It's sometimes that way in Philly, too, although a larger percentage of passengers are riding through Philly.
 

MARC Rider

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Historically, it was two railroads, The Pennsylvania and the New Haven, connecting in New York, when the Hell Gate Bridge opened in 1917. When the successor, Penn Central acquired the New Haven in 1969, it became one railroad, although ownership of portions went to Amtrak, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts....
My recollection is that during the last days of the PRR and Penn Central, they ran about 4 through trains a day between Washington and Boston via Penn Station and the Hell Gate Bridge. The New Haven ran many more trains between New York and Boston out of Grand Central Terminal. So even back in the "good old days" the through traffic was less than the Boston-New York, and Washington-New York traffic.
 

jis

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My recollection is that during the last days of the PRR and Penn Central, they ran about 4 through trains a day between Washington and Boston via Penn Station and the Hell Gate Bridge. The New Haven ran many more trains between New York and Boston out of Grand Central Terminal. So even back in the "good old days" the through traffic was less than the Boston-New York, and Washington-New York traffic.
Due to operational reasons in New York, now there are no New York originating Regional trains to Boston. All Boston Regional trains originate in Washington DC or further South. There are a few Acelas that originate in New York for Boston, though I don;t know if those still exist in these pandemic days.

But one thing remains the same from back then - change of crew in New York.
 

Tlcooper93

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Due to operational reasons in New York, now there are no New York originating Regional trains to Boston. All Boston Regional trains originate in Washington DC or further South. There are a few Acelas that originate in New York for Boston, though I don;t know if those still exist in these pandemic days.

But one thing remains the same from back then - change of crew in New York.
Theres one or two Acela trains that “terminate” at NYP. I’ve taken one pretty recently.
 
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jis

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Theres one or two Acela trains that “terminate” at NYP. I’ve taken one pretty recently.
Yes and the corresponding north/eastbounds originate in New York.

The key is that the train has to have cabs at both ends since train can be delivered to the platforms of Penn Station from Sunnyside only facing towards Washington DC. They have to reverse direction at Penn Station if arriving from Boston to get to Sunnyside and if departing to Boston they also have to reverse direction at Penn Station after coming in from Sunnyside. That is why only Acelas originate and terminate towards Boston in Penn Station, Regionals don't.
 
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JontyMort

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Yes and the corresponding north/eastbounds originate in New York.

The key is that the train has to have cabs at both ends since train can be delivered to the platforms of Penn Station from Sunnyside only facing towards Washington DC. They have to reverse direction at Penn Station if arriving from Boston to get to Sunnyside nad if departing to Boston they also have to reverse direction at Penn Station after coming in from Sunnyside. That is why only Acelas originate and termina towarsds Boston in Penn Station, Regionals don't.
In normal times, the exception is that the last “daytime” Regional from Boston - train 179 - terminates at NYP at 1054 pm. Presumably at that time of night there is room/time to run the locomotive round or have some other arrangement to get it back to Sunnyside.

Since the ACS-64s can work in push-pull mode, this particular problem will presumably disappear with the arrival of the new Siemens sets to replace the Amfleets.
 
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jis

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In normal times, the exception is that the last “daytime” Regional from Boston - train 179 - terminates at NYP at 1054 pm. Presumably at that time of night there is room/time to run the locomotive round or have some other arrangement to get it back to Sunnyside.

Since the ACS-64s can work in push-pull mode, this particular problem will presumably disappear with the arrival of the new Siemens sets to replace the Amfleets.
Good points!

Even previously, there were the New England Expresses that originated and terminated in New York. They were assigned a separate engine at the other end to drag them into and out of Penn Station from/to Sunnyside. They were detached/attached at Penn Station.

Once Amtrak gets double ended train sets from the current RFP, all these issue will go away. It might even be possible to run through trains from Albany towards Washington DC, since reversal at Penn Station will become a non issue.
 

Tlcooper93

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In normal times, the exception is that the last “daytime” Regional from Boston - train 179 - terminates at NYP at 1054 pm. Presumably at that time of night there is room/time to run the locomotive round or have some other arrangement to get it back to Sunnyside.

Since the ACS-64s can work in push-pull mode, this particular problem will presumably disappear with the arrival of the new Siemens sets to replace the Amfleets.
Any idea of a timeline for those Seimens sets? Presumably they will have a higher top speed than Amfleets (hopefully a smoother ride too). Not that it would change times all that much given how much NERs stop. Any idea on whether that order will include sleepers? Doubt it, but i figured I’d ask.

It will be really exciting to see those on the NEC. Hopefully it will remind of all of Railjets in Austria.
 

jis

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Any idea of a timeline for those Seimens sets? Presumably they will have a higher top speed than Amfleets (hopefully a smoother ride too). Not that it would change times all that much given how much NERs stop. Any idea on whether that order will include sleepers? Doubt it, but i figured I’d ask.
They will have a max speed of 125mph just like the Amfleets.

Not exactly sure about the timeline, but I suspect delivery will probably be between 2024 and 2028 or some such

The order is for replacement of Amfleet Is. No Sleepers.
 
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