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Old December 22nd, 2016, 05:10 AM   #6601
G5man
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Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
I agree with most, but not all, of the things posted there.

Western Connecticut needs more curve straightening, and more capacity than he recommends. His plan, as far as I can tell, would cut into the commuter rail capacity when the need is to have a major increase in commuter capacity.
Except Western Connecticut simply doesn't have the ROW to do significant curve straightening. I am not sure how this would cut capacity for commuter rail exactly. Turf battles cause half the capacity issue especially with the turn around times being ridiculously long. Due to making Penn Station a turnback rather than a through station, that ends up using a lot of track space. Your next bottleneck becomes circulation if that frees up which probably reconfiguring the space is inevitable but adding tracks may not really be necessary.

Track additions are simply expensive and if you can have better operational efficiency and better utilization of existing assets you can do a lot for a little. Instead there is a heavy focus on heavy capital without fixing the operational issues.
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 06:35 AM   #6602
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Except that the New Haven Line sends 15 trains into GCT every morning between 7:00 and 8:00. And still has complaints of massive overcrowding. Clearly, there is a desire for more capacity for commuter service, and Connecticut is planning accordingly to increase service as much as possible. Basically, you have two massively growing markets competing for the same space. There's (barely) room now, but in the future there won't be. For the same reason, NJ Transit and Amtrak are looking at a six-track program through much of the state and Maryland is planning to expand to four tracks through its entire length to try and have "metro-like service" between DC and Baltimore and northern Maryland.

Also, the Hudson Tubes need replacement simply from a safety and structural perspective. The massive additional capacity is a very nice bonus.
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 09:07 AM   #6603
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Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
Except that the New Haven Line sends 15 trains into GCT every morning between 7:00 and 8:00. And still has complaints of massive overcrowding. Clearly, there is a desire for more capacity for commuter service, and Connecticut is planning accordingly to increase service as much as possible. Basically, you have two massively growing markets competing for the same space. There's (barely) room now, but in the future there won't be. For the same reason, NJ Transit and Amtrak are looking at a six-track program through much of the state and Maryland is planning to expand to four tracks through its entire length to try and have "metro-like service" between DC and Baltimore and northern Maryland.

Also, the Hudson Tubes need replacement simply from a safety and structural perspective. The massive additional capacity is a very nice bonus.
Ya there is Growing demand and while some things can be done cheep other things need more money, also are you talking about the north river tubes because those are the ones that go into Penn the Hudson tubes are for Path
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 01:54 PM   #6604
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Track additions are simply expensive and if you can have better operational efficiency and better utilization of existing assets you can do a lot for a little. Instead there is a heavy focus on heavy capital without fixing the operational issues.
Firstly, I think people are confusing the NEC Future program as an actual Capital Program...it really isn't: it's just a cohesive wish list identifying all of the existing/future shortcomings/needs while establishing priorities. Essentially, doing the work that something like 6-7 states should have been cooperating with one another to do, for some time now.

At the moment, the most pressing priority is increasing capacity, since we know - as it already has been - will only continue to cause issues, down the road; upgrading the vast majority of the corridor to 4 tracks and replacing critical infrastructure (B&P/Hudson Tunnels, etc) are high priorities as it assists in making most of the broader institutional and service alterations also identified in the study (i.e. "Metropolitan" service, faster Inter-City service, through-running, clockface headways, etc).

Secondly, in respect to this, the study has been looking at actual coordination in scheduling, service-planning (yes, including through-running), and routing to also meet this end. I spoke with some people working on this way back when they were still working on the first draft, and this was of particular concern to them (i.e. it's been baked into the study from the beginning).

Now, whether we see significant consolidation of services (e.g. LIRR & NJT, Metro North & LIRR, NJT & SEPTA through running) is dependent upon each constituent agency, local & state governments as well as institutional changes and long-term technological/infrastructural upgrades. At the very least, finally allowing passengers to buy a ticket from origin to final destination could ease some pain (also a priority indicated by the report).

In any case, the NEC Future program exists as a comprehensive identification of all existing wants - while setting priorities to establish actual needs.
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 04:56 PM   #6605
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I think that NJT/MNR through running is much more likely than anything involving LIRR, given the technical issues and track configurations at Penn Station (MNR and LIRR have different types of 3rd-rail systems). As it stands, MARC and VRE are looking at some through-running. It helps that VRE is not a heritage system at all, and MARC is not bogged down by its past through Conrail like the others. What I'm really hoping for is SEPTA/NJT cooperation. God knows a cheaply-priced, well-marketed, Clocker service would take off like mad. And reopening the West Trenton Line with through services into Philadelphia would have plenty of ridership, especially if it was extended to Penn or Hoboken.
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 10:52 PM   #6606
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Again...as I said - and repeat whenever I talk about through-running - it is a long-term vision.

They've explicitly highlighted the potential for rationalizing routes between NJT/LIRR and LIRR/MNR.

Technical and institutional issues withstanding. That goes without saying, which is among the reasons the study projects such a large amount of investment.

My understanding is that they envision the new "Metropolitan" services fulfilling a similar niche as the "Clocker" service did.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 05:36 AM   #6607
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
Firstly, I think people are confusing the NEC Future program as an actual Capital Program...it really isn't: it's just a cohesive wish list identifying all of the existing/future shortcomings/needs while establishing priorities. Essentially, doing the work that something like 6-7 states should have been cooperating with one another to do, for some time now.

At the moment, the most pressing priority is increasing capacity, since we know - as it already has been - will only continue to cause issues, down the road; upgrading the vast majority of the corridor to 4 tracks and replacing critical infrastructure (B&P/Hudson Tunnels, etc) are high priorities as it assists in making most of the broader institutional and service alterations also identified in the study (i.e. "Metropolitan" service, faster Inter-City service, through-running, clockface headways, etc).

Secondly, in respect to this, the study has been looking at actual coordination in scheduling, service-planning (yes, including through-running), and routing to also meet this end. I spoke with some people working on this way back when they were still working on the first draft, and this was of particular concern to them (i.e. it's been baked into the study from the beginning).

Now, whether we see significant consolidation of services (e.g. LIRR & NJT, Metro North & LIRR, NJT & SEPTA through running) is dependent upon each constituent agency, local & state governments as well as institutional changes and long-term technological/infrastructural upgrades. At the very least, finally allowing passengers to buy a ticket from origin to final destination could ease some pain (also a priority indicated by the report).

In any case, the NEC Future program exists as a comprehensive identification of all existing wants - while setting priorities to establish actual needs.
So news headlines are making it seem like this is a huge cost which then ends up becoming a no can do given the long-term improvements. In reality, it would be nice to see a state of good repair list and top capacity improvement projects that give the best bang for the buck in order to establish public trust. The constant tension catenary is the first step in that given that can get the speeds up on the corridor and improve reliability. B&P Tunnel is a must but we have got to stop scope creep that creates high costs for minimal additional benefits.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 12:44 PM   #6608
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So news headlines are making it seem like this is a huge cost which then ends up becoming a no can do given the long-term improvements. In reality, it would be nice to see a state of good repair list and top capacity improvement projects that give the best bang for the buck in order to establish public trust. The constant tension catenary is the first step in that given that can get the speeds up on the corridor and improve reliability. B&P Tunnel is a must but we have got to stop scope creep that creates high costs for minimal additional benefits.
That's the fault of media organizations...

As I said, before, it's been clear from the beginning that this is merely an attempt to coordinate corridor improvements between all the relevant stakeholders. The projected cost isn't as relevant as is what improvements are being recommended and at what priority: not everything in the plan will come to fruition nor does it need to.

What matters is that any future improvements are comprehensive in scope and inclusive of long-term demand. This plan only attempts to get us closer to a corridor-level development plan rather than one that is piece-meal.

The best way to look at it is relating as many of the identified needs/wants along to corridor to one another so they are all achieving similar ends (e.g. not building a new tunnel at one point with only 2 tracks, when 10 years down the line we know everything feeding into it should be 4).
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 01:53 PM   #6609
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That's what makes media coverage of infrastructure projects in this country so unhelpful. They treat each announced project as if it's a single thing without any other improvements to related infrastructure. A $151 billion project is painted as some new trains and a single rail line in one part of the country, when in reality it's a lumping-together of many interrelated projects which so happen to have a standout feature. You could argue that's a problem with the way these things are presented, but it really drives home the current absence of investigative journalism in mainstream media. They ought to be dissecting the information to help the public better understand these things.

Also it's $151 billion over decades in a $2 trillion-annually economy--dimes on the dollar for an expense with a greater-than-one multiplier. I mean really, no more should need be said.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 06:04 PM   #6610
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
I think that NJT/MNR through running is much more likely than anything involving LIRR, given the technical issues and track configurations at Penn Station (MNR and LIRR have different types of 3rd-rail systems).
Not as difficult as you might think. IIRC LIRR and MNR actually have the same electrical setup, and there are (albeit untested) designs for shoes that can handle both under- and over-running third rail out there.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 10:57 PM   #6611
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Not as difficult as you might think. IIRC LIRR and MNR actually have the same electrical setup, and there are (albeit untested) designs for shoes that can handle both under- and over-running third rail out there.


One major difference is the over paddle third rail on LIRR and the under paddle third rail on MNRR.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 03:52 AM   #6612
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Northeast corridor Five-Year Capital Plan 2016 - 2020

Link ---> pdf
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Old December 27th, 2016, 11:35 PM   #6613
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The really smart thing would be to build an entirely new line capable of running 220mph trains every 5 or 10 minutes on a dedicated right of way without a single level crossing and no connections to other railways, much like the japanese Shinkansen network. Then you americans could forget all your old NEC-crap-railway.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 02:00 AM   #6614
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You are new so I'll ignore the crass nature of your remark. Just don't do it in the future.

To answer your question, you are looking at some of the most expensive real estate in the world, with rather difficult terrain. Constructing a completely new line (which is proposed for the long-term, by the way) would literally cost as much, if not more, than a new manned lunar program.

And much of the NEC is actually very well built. Yes, there are many difficulties to deal with, but at the same time, a major investment in the current system would help this dirt-encrusted diamond in the rough shine like it should. And there's always the commuter trains that still need the corridor no matter what. The systems need to be rebuilt for them anyways.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 05:38 PM   #6615
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Very funny, but there is no need for you to mock my low post counter, thats rather childish.

The line wouldn't "shine like it should" by still not offering really competitive travel times. But it would by constructing a brand new line.

How can Japan afford to build Shinkansen lines all the time and now build a mostly subterranean Maglev line but the US not even afford a true HSL?
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Old December 28th, 2016, 06:01 PM   #6616
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Very funny, but there is no need for you to mock my low post counter, thats rather childish.
I am not mocking you. I am simply trying to get you to act politely and maturely in this forum. Since you are new here, I don't think its quite fair for me to hold you to the same standards of etiquette that I would with longer-time users. Different forums have different standards of etiquette after all, so when someone enters a new forum there is always a period of adjustment.

Quote:
The line wouldn't "shine like it should" by still not offering really competitive travel times. But it would by constructing a brand new line.
Actually, it can offer competitive travel times on multiple segments of the market even now. There are trains that make the trip from NYC to Washington in 3 hours. That's more than fast enough to compete with anybody. And NYC to Boston is 4 hours. With some work on the chokepoints in the southern segment and some bypasses in Connecticut, it will be easy to bring down travel times significantly.

Quote:
How can Japan afford to build Shinkansen lines all the time and now build a mostly subterranean Maglev line but the US not even afford a true HSL?
Japan isn't deadlocked by certain interests controlling certain political aspects. It has the will to actually invest in infrastructure. The US can easily afford to build HSR from a strictly monetary perspective. The problem is that the political will to do so is blocked by special interest groups that benefit from not having an HSR system.
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Old December 29th, 2016, 11:02 AM   #6617
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Then they need to work on reducing the influence of those special interest groups.
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Old December 29th, 2016, 11:20 AM   #6618
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That special interest group (and the party that supports it) pretty much just got elected president, so good luck with that.
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Old December 29th, 2016, 04:37 PM   #6619
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That special interest group (and the party that supports it) pretty much just got elected president, so good luck with that.


Ya we're hoping that that the great Yam supports the whole fast trains thing because "Chinese trains are so fast" and national pride and such
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Old December 30th, 2016, 12:17 PM   #6620
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Ya we're hoping that that the great Yam supports the whole fast trains thing because "Chinese trains are so fast" and national pride and such
In any case, the benefit of having a Cabinet (Administration, USDOT, FRA, etc) friendly to the idea of passenger rail the last almost-decade has meant many localities have been seriously studying their options, whether at state or regional levels.

What remains to be seen is how quickly/dramatically the focus of the federal transportation agencies shifts and whether that would have much of a chilling effect on the existing momentum.

My guess is not much...
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