Work on increasing speed limits on the NEC

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jis

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Speaking of the NJ Speedway, I noticed that they have restarted work on installing constant tension catenary between CP Clark and what looked like to the eastern boundary of CP Fair. They are installing new posts and cross bars. When done they will be able to extend 150mph to somewhere between CP Ham and CP Fair from CP Clark.

This will leave just a few miles of tracks east of CP Midway where they have the work partially done before they abandoned it due to shortage of funds resulting from spectacular mismanagement which the OIG has written up since. Maybe now they will complete that too.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Speaking of the NJ Speedway, I noticed that they have restarted work on installing constant tension catenary between CP Clark and what looked like to the eastern boundary of CP Fair. They are installing new posts and cross bars. When done they will be able to extend 150mph to somewhere between CP Ham and CP Fair from CP Clark.

This will leave just a few miles of tracks east of CP Midway where they have the work partially done before they abandoned it due to shortage of funds resulting from spectacular mismanagement which the OIG has written up since. Maybe now they will complete that too.
I noticed those support bases and posts, mostly laying on the ground next to the support base. Still waiting for the posts, etc to come to Davis.....
 

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This is awesome news. Will have to get down there soon while trying to avoid the high fares 🥵

Will these sections be good for 165 on the new Aveila or just the sections in MA?

Also where exactly are these CPs?
 
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jis

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This is awesome news. Will have to get down there soon while trying to avoid the high fares 🥵

Will these sections be hood for 165 on the new Aveila or just the sections in MA?

Also where exactly are these interlockings?
No. Only 150mph in NJ AFAIK. 160mph up north. No 165mph.

Do those sections have no grade crossings?
Right. Anywhere that speed higher than 110mph is allowed has no grade crossings. So no grade crossings between NY and Washington DC.
 

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I remember seeing a grade crossing somewhere between NYP and WASH (maybe MD) sometime during 1960s. It was a manual crossing with at that time the gate operator was on the ground west of the tracks. I bet a historian can tell us when the last crossings were eliminated.

Wonder if the timetables will be shortened or if these sections will just be used when needed to recover lost time from elsewhere?
 

AmtrakBlue

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I remember seeing a grade crossing somewhere between NYP and WASH (maybe MD) sometime during 1960s. It was a manual crossing with at that time the gate operator was on the ground west of the tracks. I bet a historian can tell us when the last crossings were eliminated.
What I’m finding with Google search is the last grade crossings between NYC & DC were eliminated in the mid 80’s
 

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I think all the grade crossings between Boston and PVD were eliminated when the NEC was electrified. In the town I grew up in, one near my best friend's house in the second grade, was just blocked off. It was a dead end street, and to reach the two or three houses on the other side of the tracks, they extended the road to another street not far away through the woods.

That 2nd street had the other grade crossing, a hundred feet from where it ended at a major street parallel to the tracks. They blocked that street as well, making it a dead end with a turn-around area just before the tracks, and built a whole new street through a hilly wooded area to place where the natural elevation made it easier to build a bridge over the tracks, connecting to the major street. Then they built a bunch of McMansions and several new local streets in the woods. I think some developer made a lot of money because the original street went through a swampy area that was probably not buildable, but the new street gave access to dozens of buildable lots.

The only remaining grade crossings on the NEC are in Eastern Connecticut, near New London, and maybe one or two in southwest RI.
 

jis

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They are now in the process of eliminating some of the remaining grade crossings on the NEC North. AFAIR the worst remaining ones are all in Connecticut.

There are a few that will probably never be removed and those are around New London CT station in an area with a PSR of 30mph or something like that, due to sharp curves.
 
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daybeers

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There are 11 grade crossings left in the 20.4 miles between Miner Lane in Waterford and Palmer Street in Stonington, all in CT. I don't see how any of these will be closed because they all provide sole access to residential or marine areas or are in the 30mph section in New London.

The real solution is the bypass New Haven-Hartford-Providence.
 

jis

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Here is the current grade crossing closure plan in Connecticut. One can call it a "Grade Crossing number reduction plan":


Incidentally Miner's Lane itself is on the list of crossing to be closed.

Rerouting through Hartford - Providence will happen in the next century if ever. ;) We'll be lucky if we finally manage to get just the mess that is Hartford sorted out in a decade.
 

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There are 11 grade crossings left in the 20.4 miles between Miner Lane in Waterford and Palmer Street in Stonington, all in CT. I don't see how any of these will be closed because they all provide sole access to residential or marine areas or are in the 30mph section in New London.

The real solution is the bypass New Haven-Hartford-Providence.
The inland route bypasses Providence and eastern CT. It does add Hartford, Springfield (depending on route) and Worcester. It has its own speed problems (ancient, winding track) and many grade crossings. But those crossings are probably easier to alleviate than the ones on the CT coast.

It also bypasses the FASTEST section of the NEC, in Rhode Island south of Providence.

I don't think there is an alternate route between New Haven and Providence. Perhaps there is a little-used ROW between Hartford and Providence, though, but there wouldn't be any additional cities, unless they go all the way north to Worcester, but if they did that, they lose Providence.

As a second route, the inland route makes sense. As a replacement, it does not.
 

daybeers

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It has its own speed problems (ancient, winding track) and many grade crossings
This is the problem with the old inland route New Haven-Hartford-Springfield-Worcester-Boston. It's also capacity constrained. This is why it's an interim solution.

The route Hartford-Providence has to be the long-term solution. High-speed trains will only stop in Hartford and Providence; maybe UConn will have enough pull to get Regionals to stop there which would be a huge deal for them. Fancy viaducts and tunnels will likely be required due to the hilly territory.

The long-term viability of the Shore Line is very questionable due to climate, storm surge, wetlands, bridges, and slow speeds. It's far from a high-speed route. No stops Hartford-New Haven could easily be done in 25 minutes. There are talks of electrification already.

It wouldn't be a replacement, but I imagine most trains will be switched over to the new route.

Here is the current grade crossing closure plan in Connecticut. One can call it a "Grade Crossing number reduction plan":
Interesting; thanks for the article. We'll see what happens there with public opposition.

Back to the original topic: where are the CPs referenced above?
 

jis

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CPs in the area discussed by Acela150 and me above:

Fair - Trenton station is within this CP (56.4) [mentioned]
Ham - between Hamilton and Trenton (55.7) [mentioned]
Clark - just west of Princeton Junction (48.7) [mentioned]
Nassau - defunct at Princeton Junction used to be a universal crossover (47.1)
Midway - at Monmouth Junction between Princeton Junction and New Brunswick, universal crossover (41.3) [mentioned]
County - at Jersey Avenue NJT station universal crossover (32.8) [mentioned]

Between Midway and County there are two new interlockings name IIRC Adams and Delco (west to east)

East of County for future reference, are:

Edison - near Edison NJT station (28.1) used to be entrance to Stelton Yard which was associated with an Army Base during the war.
Lincoln - Metuchen - universal crossover. The NJT station is in the middle of the interlocking (26.0)
Menlo - west of Metropark station (23.3)
Iselin - east of Metropark station (22.8)
Union - just west of Rahway NJT station, where North Jersey Coast Line service splits off from the NEC, universal crossover (19.7)
Elmora - Elizabeth, Elmora Ave. (14.7) just west of Elizabeth NJT station
Lane - just east of North Elizabeth NJT station, almost universal crossover (12.3)
Haynes - Haynes Ave. just west of Newark Airport station (11.3)
Hunter - right under the Rt 21 overpass where NJT Raritan Valley service splits off from the NEC (10.5)
Cliff - between Hunter and Newark Penn Station (9.7)
Dock - Newark Penn Station and the Passaic River Lift Bridge are within this CP (8.5)
Rea - just east of Harrison PATH station, the west end of Hudson Yard (around 8.2)
Hudson - the east end of Hudson Yard, where the Reverse Kearny Connection to Hoboken splits off from the NEC (7.8)
Swift - under the NJ Turnpike overpass where the NJT Midtown Direct service joins the NEC (7.2)
Portal - at the Hackensack River Bridge (6.0)
Erie, Lack and Allied - all related to Secaucus Jct. station (covering 4.2 to roughly 5.5)
Bergen - last CP in NJ (3.7)
A - west end of Penn Station NY (0.2)

That pretty much covers all CPs on the NEC in NJ and one in NY.
 
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Acela150

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No. Only 150mph in NJ AFAIK. 160mph up north. No 165mph.
As it stands now the Cab Signals and ACSES are being updated for the 160 MPH territory on the Shore Line.

"County" is west of New Brunswick at MP 32.8
"Midway" is 8.5 miles west of County at MP 41.3
"CP Clark" is not shown in the NEC timetable, but Princeton Junction is at MP 55.7, so a little west of there.
So, about 23 miles of speed upgrades.

HAM is at 55.7 PJC is at 47.1 CP Clark is at 48.7 and the signal is actually visble from PJC. However, CP Clark is just a signal and has no interlocking swtiches. CP Clark is controlled by CETC 8. It was added to the timetable recently.
 

jis

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I noticed those support bases and posts, mostly laying on the ground next to the support base. Still waiting for the posts, etc to come to Davis.....
I was under the impression that at least for now there was no funded plan to modify the catenary in Delaware beyond replacing all the suspension brackets to the new rigid type allowing speed upto 145 mph. At some point they should upgrade to constant tension between CP Ragan and CP Perry I suppose since that part or significant subsections can support above 145mph.
 
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Acela150

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Midway - Monmouth Junction between Princeton Junction and New Brunswick, universal crossover (45.3)
County - at Jersey Avenue NJT station universal crossover (32.8)

Between Midway and County there are two new interlockings name IIRC Adams and Delco (west to east)

Universal Crossovers are referred to as a "Complete Interlocking". Meaning that you can get from Track 1 to 4 and 4 to 1.

Adams is a 80 MPH Crossover and I believe that Delco is the same.
 

jis

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Universal Crossovers are referred to as a "Complete Interlocking". Meaning that you can get from Track 1 to 4 and 4 to 1.

Adams is a 80 MPH Crossover and I believe that Delco is the same.
Thanks for the terminology update!

Say what are the mile posts for Adams and Delco?

I suppose Adams is a 1 to 2 crossover (eastbound) and Delco is a 3 to 4 crossover (westbound)? These are basically to keep the NJT Outer Zone Expresses and possibly some NERs off of tracks 2 and 3 so that they don't hold up Acelas winding up to 160mph, right?

Also BTW, have they increased the max speeds on 1 and 4 beyond County to 125mph yet?
 
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AmtrakBlue

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I was under the impression that at least for now there was no funded plan to modify the catenary in Delaware beyond replacing all the suspension brackets to the new rigid type allowing speed upto 145 mph. At some point they should upgrade to constant tension between CP Regan and CP Perry I suppose since that part or significant subsections can support above 145mph.
Based on the locations of the concrete bases, these are for the realignment of the tracks for the Newark platform.

 
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jis

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Based on the locations of the concrete basis, these are for the realignment of the tracks for the Newark platform.

That makes sense.

When they do constant tension they install new posts because one of the things that goes with constant tension is also reducing the span length to something shorter than what PRR used originally. That is to reduce sideways deflection of catenary I suppose, and get a more stable catenary.
 
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Acela150

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Thanks for the terminology update!

Say what are the mile posts for Adams and Delco?

I suppose Adams is a 1 to 2 crossover (eastbound) and Delco is a 3 to 4 crossover (westbound)? These are basically to keep the NJT Outer Zone Expresses and possibly some NERs off of tracks 2 and 3 so that they don't hold up Acelas winding up to 160mph, right?

Also BTW, have they increased the max speeds on 1 and 4 beyond County to 125mph yet?

Not a problem. :)

DELCO is at 33.6 ADAMS is at 37.2

ADAMS is used to get Regional's and Keystone's off of Track 1 and around Transit after PJC. DELCO is to get trains from 3 to 4 and have trains make their stop on 4 at Jersey Ave.

As for the question about 1 and 4. They're still rated for 110 for now.
 

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That makes sense.

When they do constant tension they install new posts because one of the things that goes with constant tension is also reducing the span length to something shorter than what PRR used originally. That is to reduce sideways deflection of catenary I suppose, and get a more stable catenary.

CAT wire is not installed straight but side to side. That enables the contact portion of the pan to not wear out to replacement. Otherwise the CAT would wear a groove on the PAN contact surface.

The mathematics of CAT can become complicated. Any constant weight wire hangs by the attach points in a curve called catenary, I cannot find the formula. AS I understand it PRR variable tension poles are nominally 180 feet apart on straight track. The standard for constant tension is 120 feet. Believe the sag is 1/2 at 120 feet with no tension. Placing weights approximately 4000 # reduces the sag greatly between attach points. The weights keep a constant tension on wires expanding when hot . Weight distances are ~ 1300 feet apart with a no movement fixed hanger at mid point.

Weights may be closer depending on amount of temperature variation. That is why CAT wires have hangers that move laterally with the expansion and contraction of the CAT wires. I understand that they have a balance point temp where hangers are all supporting CAT straight down.

How does Amtrak replaces poles at say 120 feet or just a new pole between present poles spacing them 90 feet apart. That is a decision of engineering. PRR poles carry the 12.0 kV, the 169 kV single phase Amtrak transmission lines, and at some locations 3 phase electrical utility transmission 250+ kV wires. The PRR poles are steel buried directly into the ground with many rusting away below ground level. From time to time new poles are installed on concrete foundations at those locations in the ground keeping steel poles above ground water. Have no idea what spacings may happen at each location.
 
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