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Old 02-18-2019, 01:59 PM
 
Location: In the heights
21,170 posts, read 22,669,823 times
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I'm just curious as to how much greater peak frequency the Main Line can handle and what are the current constraints on the infrastructure and what projects can be reasonably be done to lift some of those constraints a bit.

A rough breakdown for common capacity limits are:

- terminal capacity which is how much room at terminal berths there is to unload and load trains to head back from the terminals

- yard capacity as in places to store and maintain traincars

- track capacity which is how many more trains can be run on the tracks safely; this is a few things and it can be the maximum potential track capacity if everything is in a state of good repair or track capacity taking in things like slow zones for tracks that need work

- the related bottlenecks at certain junctions

- competing "slots" from other services such as any freight line and Amtrak services

- funding / demand limits as in there aren't enough funds or demand to run and service any more trains even if the infrastructure is in place

- rolling stock limits, related to funding capacity, which is there simply aren't enough trainsets at the moment even if the fixed infrastructure can allow for more

I'm curious as to what are the limits on the current system and what can be done to lift the lowest / closest constraints to run more.

Is peak frequency for Main Line train service already constrained at its hard infrastructure capacities which are the first four of terminal, yard, and track capacities or specific bottlenecks? If so, what and is where is that limit coming from?

I ask because there are coming developments that can conceivably mean a much greater number of trains in CT running from New Haven to Greenwich, but it's unclear to me by how much if any as I don't know what the current constraints are and how close to those constraints current peak frequency trains are running.

I know that there's the plan floated for Penn Station Access which is when LIRR finishes its Grand Central terminal, some trains will be diverted to Grand Central and LIRR for various reasons won't be fielding enough trains to fill both is new Grand Central terminal as well as its current slots at Penn Station so some slots at Penn Station are projected to be given to New Haven Line trains which will be especially helpful for job access to the new Hudson Yards developments. However, that's not much of a win for people living off the New Haven Main Line if terminal constraints aren't the current nearest peak frequency limit the trains are hitting as then that means New Haven Main Line trains headed to Penn Station must necessarily take away from New Haven Main Line headed to Grand Central.

There's also the new M8 rolling stock that's slated to debut for Shore Line East trains which are electrified units and thus would be allowed to go into the terminal station(s) in Manhattan, but again, if both the use of diesel and terminal constraints aren't the current nearest peak frequency limit the trains are hitting as then that means Shore Line East trains running on the Main Line trains headed to Penn Station must necessarily take away from New Haven Main Line headed to Grand Central.

Much more in the longer-term will-it-ever-happen timeline, there's the proposed electrification of the Danbury branch which would also allow Danbury branch trains to run on the Main Line down to the Manhattan terminal(s).
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
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I rather go to Grand Central than Penn Station
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:06 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPt111 View Post
I rather go to Grand Central than Penn Station
Sure, it's definitely a nicer station. The Penn Station access bit is helpful because it means not having to transfer to already crowded subways such as the 7 at Grand Central during rush hour if your job is in one of those fancy new Hudson Yards buildings which, by the time of the earliest possible completion of Penn Station, will be a massive employment and retail center. The question is if there's the overall capacity for running both the current level of peak service to Manhattan and this additional service or if it must necessarily take away from Grand Central-bound service.

For CT though, the best thing about the Main Line being able to have much higher frequencies and SLE lines going further down the line within CT is that it means a lot more frequent service between CT stops.

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 02-18-2019 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:13 PM
 
1,854 posts, read 772,577 times
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From what I understand the current limit is trackage and speed restrictions on the line. The track is some what speed limited due to curves bridges etc. But there are currently additional speed limits due to saftey concerns. So the first steps would seem to be repairs to return to full operational speed then adjustments to ROW for greater speed. I guess at some point in the rolling stock may be come the limiting factor.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
25,367 posts, read 41,145,981 times
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You are asking a lot of very detailed complex question that I doubt anyone here could answer. Only a seasoned rail professional like the new Commissioner of DOT can answer. Given his extensive rail background I am sure service on the New Haven line will be optimized and if possible expanded as long as we have sufficient money to fund it. Jay
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
15,029 posts, read 18,516,091 times
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From what I understand, it would be tough to add more trains to the schedule. But more cars can be added to the trains. I know a few express trains I take are shorter trains that could absolutely use more cars. I thought more cars are coming this year?

The speed restrictions are largely due to aging tracks. Some of these are a century old, and the trains are slower than they were decades ago. The actual trains are capable of 100MPH. It’s sad that a relatively small investment (I’ve seen it quoted at around $100 million) could shave 10 minutes off the trip. Our country is just not willing to invest in infrastructure like others are. Very sad.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:54 PM
 
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15% of FFC works in NYC, so IMO if that % is rising, more cars or trains will be required.

In a few months, in all likelihood, just as one example, 100 riders minimum/day would be added simply due to Ct losing Diageo to NYC.

We either need to add FFC employment opportunities, or prepare to need more Metro North cars per day taking Ct residents to NYC jobs.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:45 PM
 
Location: In the heights
21,170 posts, read 22,669,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stylo View Post
From what I understand, it would be tough to add more trains to the schedule. But more cars can be added to the trains. I know a few express trains I take are shorter trains that could absolutely use more cars. I thought more cars are coming this year?

The speed restrictions are largely due to aging tracks. Some of these are a century old, and the trains are slower than they were decades ago. The actual trains are capable of 100MPH. Itís sad that a relatively small investment (Iíve seen it quoted at around $100 million) could shave 10 minutes off the trip. Our country is just not willing to invest in infrastructure like others are. Very sad.
I guess the question is why is it harder to add more trains? Is it track capacity being impacted by slow zones and deteriotating track conditions where fixing the tracks is the closest constraining factor?

There are some very real potential advantages CT can take advantage in the coming years with the new additional potential terminal berths and the potential for SLE cars to go into the Manhattan terminals that donít allow diesel. So are track conditions the first ceiling this all hits or even with what there is now do the trains not yet hit the ceiling i.e. more trains can be run right now during peak hours save for easily attainable issues like rolling stock being not in sufficient quality and/or not enough funds or projected demand to run a higher peak.

CT is about to have some advantages that are basically unthinkable in most of the country with existing infrastructure with a second terminal berth in a major employment center and the advent of new traincars. It may be somewhat wasted if there are other constraints that may be relatively easy to deal with, but itís unclear to me what is being done or wher those constraints are. Essentially, every express or local train that can easily be added to the Main Line is an opportunity to improve the draw of every commercial, residential, and retail center along the path so is that getting prepped adequately for the projects underway or are there factors kneecapping such which should be addressed as soon as possible.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:43 AM
 
14 posts, read 6,564 times
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OP may want to post this on the "nyctransitforums" web site
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:43 PM
 
117 posts, read 30,905 times
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I would think a comparison of today's schedule with that of one from before WW1 would give insight on how many trains could be handled. Also, consider there were freight movements during the day while most long distance trains ran after evening rush hour service.
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