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Thread: New York - New Jersey - Connecticut | Regional Rail

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    Default New York - New Jersey - Connecticut | Regional Rail

    Various Transit & Regional Projects along with photos from Day trips around the system...

    Metro-North's Danbury Line improvements getting back on track


    New Milford's old train station on Railroad Street, now houses the New Milford Chamber of Commerce. Friday, January 9, 2015. Photo: Carol Kalif

    Susan Tuz
    Published 6:18 pm, Saturday, January 10, 2015

    After years on the back burner, plans to improve commuter rail service to Danbury, and perhaps extend it as far north as New Milford, might be picking up steam.

    While some improvements, including signalization, have recently been made to Metro-North's Danbury Line, bigger enhancements, like electrifying the branch line, remain in limbo -- frustrating not just commuters but also local leaders who see improvements as the key to economic growth.

    Many officials believe electrifying the Danbury Line is long overdue, and when it is finally done, it will decrease road congestion and make it easier to bring workers to employment centers.

    "I will be working to get this issue back on track," said state Rep. David Arconti Jr., D-Danbury. "Now is the time to strike, so to speak, and to resurrect the recommendations for the Danbury Branch Line. The governor has made it very clear that transportation and transportation infrastructure will be a top priority for his administration in his second term."

    Municipal officials in the newly formed Western Connecticut Council of Governments also are making Danbury line improvements, including electrification, a priority in 2015.

    Their starting point is the state Department of Transportation's feasibility study on electrification of the line, a document that generated much interest when it came out in 2006, but has since been all but shelved.

    The study cited the need to relieve traffic congestion on the Route 7 corridor by making rail service more frequent and running times faster. It also recommended double-tracking, improvements to track geometry and other changes in addition to electrifying the line from Norwalk to Danbury.
    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/...#photo-7368399

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    New Canaan Branch gets new rail cars for peak commuter departures
    By Aaron Marsh on January 13, 2015
    The departures that will run the M-8 cars are the 7:32 and 7:58 a.m. trains leaving from New Canaan and the 5:13 and 5:29 p.m. trains leaving from Grand Central. The state Department of Transportation expects the new trains will boost ridership by 44% over the next 15 years, and Malloy said it’s one step in making Metro-North reliable and able the meet regional demands.

    “Currently, we’re running about 2,500 people Monday-Friday,” Malloy said of the New Canaan Branch. “We see that growing.” The areas around the branch’s stations such as Glenbrook and Springdale also are growing, he noted, and the governor said juicing up the entire rail system and the neighborhoods it reaches is “all part of the effort to unwind the damage that’s been done by two generations of underinvestment in transportation.”
    http://www.ncadvertiser.com/43006/ne...er-departures/

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    Elmhurst LIRR stop not a slam dunk


    Photo By Christopher Barca

    Passenger trains serving Elmhurst stopped along the tracks over Broadway until 1985, when the LIRR station there was razed. However, the MTA has proposed building a new, $40 million station in the bustling neighborhood by the end of the decade.

    by Christopher Barca, Reporter


    Nearly 30 years after Long Island Rail Road passenger trains last stopped in Elmhurst, the MTA has laid out plans to construct a new stop in the bustling northwest Queens neighborhood.

    However, area elected officials and civic associations who have pressed for a station for years shouldn’t consider the $40 million plan as set in stone just yet.

    The MTA’s Capital Program Review Board rejected the agency’s 2015-2019 capital budget last Thursday, leaving the futures of the dozens of projects laid out in the program, including the proposed Elmhurst station, up in the air for now.

    According to the MTA, $4 million would be spent on the station’s construction in 2016 and $36 million would be spent in 2018, adding up to a total of $40 million.

    The stop would be along the Port Washington Branch and feature elevators between the 12-car platform and the street in order to be fully ADA-compliant.

    The station would also contain staircases, platform shelters and ticket-vending machines.

    The former Elmhurst station was closed and razed in January 1985.
    http://www.qchron.com/editions/centr...c5b607b87.html

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    State approves bond funds for work on new CT rail stations

    By Shelton Herald on January 13, 2015
    On the New Haven Line, new stations will be added in Bridgeport (to be called the Barnum Station, a second station in the Park City) and Orange, plus enhancements to the existing Merritt Seven Station on the Danbury Branch of the New Haven Line.

    Barnum Station will be on the East Side of Bridgeport, between Bridgeport Hospital and East Main Street. The city’s existing train station is in downtown Bridgeport, and will remain operational as well.
    http://sheltonherald.com/57428/state...in-bridgeport/

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    Construction underway on commuter rail line to Sussex County


    By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
    Email the author
    on January 14, 2015 at 8:19 AM, updated January 14, 2015 at 8:23 AM

    Construction has begun on the first commuter train line to Sussex County in decades as rails are being installed that will extend service to Andover.

    The first 4.25 miles of track have been installed on the former Lackawanna Cutoff, as part of the first phase of the project to restore 7.3 miles of track between the Port Morris rail yards and Andover Township, said William Smith, NJ Transit spokesman.

    The cutoff would connect to NJ Transit's existing Morris & Essex lines at Port Morris Junction in Roxbury, and to Mid-Town Direct service to New York in Dover.

    This spring, NJ Transit plans to take bids to build a station and high level platforms in Andover, and to do more track construction and work on the Roseville Tunnel, Smith said. Passenger service could start in four years, depending on factors such as how weather conditions affect construction, he said.

    That 7.3 mile section is the first part of a grander plan to eventually expand service on the remainder of the 31-mile abandoned rail line through Sussex and Warren counties, all the way to Pennsylvania. In 2008, it was estimated the plan would cost $551 million.

    "Where the project goes after Andover will be subject to future discussions with the authorities in Pennsylvania," Smith said.

    But restoration of the rail line into Sussex has some perhaps unlikely opponents – environmentalists who usually support mass transit.

    NJ Transit currently has applications for permits to build sections of the rail line in freshwater wetlands and flood hazard areas, said Larry Hajna, a Department of Environmental Protection spokesman. The line was abandoned in the 1970's and the tracks were torn-up in the mid-1980's.

    The Sierra Club's state chapter opposes the project because it will open up environmentally sensitive areas in the Highlands region to sprawling development, said Jeff Tittel, chairman. The project received federal environmental approvals in 2008.
    http://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/...l#incart_river

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    Waterbury line upgrades a priority, commissioner says

    By Paul Hughes

    HARTFORD -- The state Department of Transportation is doing its best to accelerate the design and installation of a signalization system for the Waterbury rail line, DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker told state lawmakers today.

    Sen. Robert Kane, R-Watertown, questioned Redeker about the status of planned upgrades to the Metro-North branch line running between Bridgeport and Waterbury during Redeker's confirmation hearing.

    Redeker said it is “insane” that trains currently can only run in one direction at a time.

    “So, we have to fix it. We're committed to it, and it is the first time we made that commitment,” he told members of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee.

    The signalized line would allow north- and southbound trains to safely pass each other, and it would permit DOT to add rush hour and off-peak trains to a line that has been long neglected.

    The DOT is adding pull outs to permit train traffic to flow in both directions.
    http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2015/...9487310863.txt

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    Branch lines may benefit from Malloy’s transportation plan

    By by Jeannette Ross on January 25, 2015
    “Each of the branch lines has been through extensive studies,” Mr. Redeker said. They include Danbury, New Canaan and Waterbury.

    The emphasis will be on expanded service and improved service. Although they are secondary to the main passenger line, he said the branch lines offer “extraordinary opportunities” for development and will be a “major focus” of the plan.

    Budgeting will have to begin almost immediately to “build the capacity within the Department of Transportation to do the things we have to do,” Mr. Malloy said.

    As for where the money will come from, he was not specific. “We are not focused on funding now,” but did indicate there may be public partnerships and design-build opportunities. To a question about paying for the plan with tolls, he said, “There are many ways to pay for transportation improvements,” adding a toll is essentially a tax on motorists.

    “We have to make the investment,” he said, or “continue to complain” about the state of transportation.

    “We are paying for a lack of investment over two generations,” Mr. Malloy said.

    “I didn’t get elected or re-elected to stand around and do what everyone else has done.”

    Among the state officials present at the gathering was Wilton state Rep. Gail Lavielle, who said she agrees with the governor in that “it has to be looked at as a big plan.

    “Infrastructure projects are long-term and the funding is also long-term,” she said, adding they are ripe for bonding. “When you issue bonds [for infrastructure] the project outlives the life of the bond.

    “To reduce the conversation to tolls or the [transportation funds] lockbox is a fallacy,” she said.

    Many legislators have complained of repeated raiding of special transportation funds — collected through gasoline taxes and commuter rail tickets — by this and past administrations, but the funds taken in the past biennium amount to about $120 million, she said. Tolls are projected to raise about $60 to $80 million a year, she added.

    “That’s nothing. Just to fix the Metro-North bridges and catenaries and a few other projects would cost about $3.6 billion,” she said.

    When Mr. Malloy presents his plan, Ms. Lavielle said the questions that need to be asked are:

    • What do we need?

    • How much will it cost?

    • How long will it take?

    • What do we do first?

    For her part, she believes “you have to give serious consideration to where you have the highest usage, and with 39 million riders a year [on the commuter rail lines] that’s pretty high usage to me.”

    Ms. Lavielle said she was “thrilled” to hear Mr. Malloy mention the Danbury branch line. “He seems to be calling attention to it and that’s a good sign.”

    The last estimate to modernize the Danbury line was “in the $300-million” range,” she said. The New Canaan line would cost much less.

    Ms. Lavielle said she has submitted two rail bills, one to extend the Danbury branch to New Milford and one to modernize and electrify the line.
    http://www.thereddingpilot.com/21146...ortation-plan/

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    Northeast Rail Corridor to get new New Jersey stop with its own transit village


    By Hank Kalet
    New Jersey commuters wanting easy access to the Northeast rail corridor could have a whole new neighborhood to consider.

    On the grounds of the former Johnson and Johnson plant in North Brunswick construction is underway on a major transit village that, if all goes well, will have its own train station on the Northeast corridor.

    The project is called Main Street North Brunswick, which is on Route 1 between Princeton and New Brunswick. When finished it will boast 1,875 housing units, a hotel and spaces for offices and retail stores. All this will be anchored by the new NJ Transit station.

    But the billboards celebrating Main Street North Brunswick may seem curious to some, given that they share space with recently opened Costco and Target stores – big-box stores not normally associated with successful downtown areas – and because North Brunswick lacks a traditional downtown. The township, like many in central New Jersey, is dotted with housing subdivisions and shopping centers, along with a large industrial zone.
    http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/l...ransit-village

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    Well I haven't been keeping up; didn't know they started this already. Big relief to people who are sick of trekking to other stations. Btw if you're not particular, cheap gas @ Costco, you don't have to be a member but you can't pay cash. Debit card and I think credit cards only. Nice as it is, that could get annoying after a while.

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    Local lawmakers push to upgrade Danbury, New Canaan rail lines

    Posted: Friday, February 13, 2015 8:15 pm | Updated: 9:45 pm, Fri Feb 13, 2015.

    By ROBERT KOCH
    Hour Staff Writer
    "Commuters have suffered under unacceptable conditions as unnecessary obstacles are thrown before the workforce we depend on as the engine of our state economy," O'Dea said. "These bills will take us through the critical first steps of changing those conditions, and providing the necessary investments which will ensure safety, reliability and efficiency."

    In 2006, ConnDOT launched the "the Danbury Branch Electrification Feasibility Study" to evaluate the feasibility of electrifying the Danbury Line as well as other alternatives to improve service. The alternatives ranged from electrifying the line from South Norwalk to Wilton to extending and electrifying the line to New Milford. Estimated costs in 2010 dollars ran from $237 million to $495 million.
    http://www.thehour.com/news/norwalk/...8f84b2ed6.html

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    Officials tout benefits of Danbury line extension

    Dirk Perrefort
    Updated 9:05 pm, Friday, February 13, 2015
    DANBURY -- A proposal to provide passenger trains from Danbury to Massachusetts is gaining traction and experts now say the service could bring millions of dollars in economic benefits to the region.

    While passenger service along the Housatonic Railroad's existing freight line -- from Danbury through to New Milford and Kent -- was proposed more than five years ago, the plans have sparked renewed interest in recent months as more officials throw their support behind it.

    Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is expected this week to unveil his new transportation strategy that will call for major infrastructure improvements, and state lawmakers anxious to have expanded passenger service in the region have clamored to offer several bills that would study and move forward such propositions. The proposed legislation calls for passenger service to be expanded to New Milford or farther north to Canaan.

    "It's not simply about highways and bridges," Malloy said during a recent news conference in Danbury. "It's also about increased bus service in the Danbury region, and a more modern service. It's about additional improvements to the Danbury (rail) line and an extension of the Danbury line beyond where it currently terminates."
    Read more at http://www.newstimes.com/business/ar...on-6080522.php

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    That would be a great first step to get rail into Western Mass.

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    So the State of Connecticut is planning on pumping tens of billions into its infrastructure over the next few decades. Here's a list of Projects that were included in the plan which i'm sure will grow aswell.


    CONNECTICUT’S BOLD VISION FOR A TRANSPORTATION FUTURE

    Rail

    Metro North / Western Connecticut


    ELECTRIC FLEET REPLACEMENT
    Future life-cycle replacement of existing electric fleet for use on New Haven Line
    (NHL), Connecticut’s share.
    $1,250,000,000

    DIESEL FLEET REPLACEMENT
    Replace existing diesel locomotives and coaches for use on New Haven Line (NHL).
    $300,000,000

    MAINTENANCE FACILITY AND YARD IMPROVEMENTS
    Rehab and improve existing rail maintenance facilities and yards on New Haven Line
    (NHL), including New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford (finish catenary replacement).
    $1,460,000,000

    COMMUNICATIONS AND SIGNAL UPGRADES
    Upgrade rail communications and signals on New Haven Line (NHL) to reach state
    of good repair. Upgrades include positive train control (PTC), network infrastructure
    upgrades, communication and signal system replacements and rail communications and
    signal improvements for mainline and branch lines.
    $1,120,200,000

    CATENARY REPLACEMENTS AND POWER UPGRADES

    Life-cycle replacement of superstructures and wiring (includes substations) due to age
    and condition. Danbury Dock Yard is also included.
    $700,000,000

    FIXED RAIL BRIDGES - STATE OF GOOD REPAIR
    Rehab and or replace all fixed rail bridges on New Haven Line (NHL) to attain state of
    good repair. This includes all fixed rail bridges on mainline and branch lines.
    $2,175,000,000

    MOVABLE RAIL BRIDGES - STATE OF GOOD REPAIR
    Rehab and or replace all movable rail bridges on New Haven Line (NHL) to attain state
    of good repair.
    $2,825,000,000

    RAIL TRACK PROGRAM
    Improvements and upgrades to existing tracks on New Haven Line (NHL) including
    concrete tie repair, interlocking, drainage, track, ties, rail and road bed.
    $1,680,000,000

    EXISTING STATION AND PARKING IMPROVEMENTS
    Improvements and upgrades to existing stations and parking on New Haven Line (NHL),
    including mainline and branch line improvements.
    $1,500,000,000

    ELECTRIC FLEET EXPANSION
    Expansion of existing electric fleet for use on New Haven Line (NHL).
    $265,000,000

    DIESEL FLEET EXPANSION
    Expansion of existing diesel locomotives and coaches for use on New Haven Line
    (NHL), including mainline and branch lines.
    $230,000,000

    NEW RAIL MAINTENANCE FACILITIES AND YARDS
    ON BRANCH LINES

    Construction of new rail maintenance facilities and yards on New Haven Line (NHL)
    branch lines will allow for expanded branch line rail service to and from mainline.
    $100,000,000


    NEW RAIL MAINTENANCE FACILITY AND YARD FOR
    INTERCITY RAIL SERVICE

    A new intercity maintenance facility and storage yard in New Haven will allow for the
    expansion of existing inter-city rail service to and from Washington, DC.
    $500,000,000

    NEW CANAAN BRANCH LINE IMPROVEMENTS

    Significant improvements on New Canaan branch line service between Darien and
    New Canaan to increase frequency and enhance service to and from mainline.
    Improvements include Springdale siding, platform, and station improvements.
    $45,000,000

    ELECTRIFY DANBURY BRANCH LINE
    Electrification of existing Danbury branch line service between South Norwalk and
    Danbury would allow for extended one–seat ride service on New Haven Line (NHL).
    $400,000,000

    EXTEND RAIL SERVICE FROM DANBURY TO NEW MILFORD
    This includes all of the estimated capital costs associated with extending rail service
    from Danbury to New Milford without electrification.
    $450,000,000

    ELECTRIFY EXTENDED RAIL SERVICE FROM DANBURY
    TO NEW MILFORD
    This includes just the estimated electrification costs associated with extending rail
    service from Danbury to New Milford.
    $540,000,000

    WATERBURY BRANCH LINE IMPROVEMENTS
    Improvements to Waterbury branch line service between Bridgeport and Waterbury to
    increase frequency and enhance service to and from mainline. Improvements include
    completion of signalization, grade crossings, sidings, and station improvements.
    $350,000,000

    TRACK IMPROVEMENTS BETWEEN MILFORD AND NEW HAVEN
    Restore four–track capacity between Milford and New Haven to increase capacity and
    enhance service on New Haven Line (NHL).
    $300,000,000

    FULL CAPACITY NEW HAVEN LINE SERVICE
    Realign Connecticut’s existing tracks and stations between New Haven and New York
    to provide significant frequency and speed enhancements on New Haven Line (NHL).
    This project would result in a two–track local and two–track express service on the
    mainline, with center island platforms at key locations between New Haven and New
    York. It includes communications and signal enhancements.
    $2,000,000,000

    NEW STATIONS AND PARKING
    Construction of new stations and parking on New Haven Line (NHL). Includes
    construction of new stations in Bridgeport (Barnum), Orange, and a new parking garage
    in New Haven with pedestrian connections.
    $200,000,000

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    The train was late by 30mins so I did some Photography while I was waiting

    Trenton Transit Center


    Northeast Corridor at Trenton Transit Center
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    Northeast Corridor at Trenton Transit Center
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

    SEPTA Trains


    SEPTA Silverliner V at Trenton Transit Center
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    SEPTA train crawling into Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    SEPTA Silverliner Meet at Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    SEPTA & Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

    Amtrak Trains at Trenton Transit Center

    AEM-7 # 948 pulling Westbound Amtrak Regional Train # 129 to Washington DC


    AEM-7 # 948 pulling Amtrak Regional Train # 129 arriving at Trenton,NJ
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    AEM-7 # 948 pulling Amtrak Regional Train # 129 arriving at Trenton,NJ
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    Amtrak Regional Train # 129 arriving at Trenton,NJ
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

    AEM-7 # 924 pulling Eastbound Amtrak Regional train # 148 to Springfield,MA


    AEM-7 # 924 pulling Amtrak Regional train # 148
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

    Eastbound Amtrak Keystone Train at Trenton


    Eastbound Amtrak Keystone Train at Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    Eastbound Amtrak Keystone Train at Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    Eastbound Amtrak Keystone Train departing Trenton with Cities Sprinters # 609
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

    Amtrak AEM-7 # 944 pulling Eastbound Silver Star # 92 to New York


    Amtrak AEM-7 # 944 pulling Silver Star # 92 arriving at Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    Amtrak Silver Star # 92 at Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    Amtrak Silver Star # 92 departing Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

    New Jersey Transit


    New Jersey Transit ALP45DP # 4534 at Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    New Jersey Transit ALP45DP # 4534 at Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    Northeast Corridor at Trenton Transit Center
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    Westbound New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor train arriving at Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


    Westbound New Jersey Transit train meets Eastbound Amtrak Regional train # 148 at Trenton
    by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

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    Sell $3B in real estate to fund new Hudson River rail tunnel, top Dem tells Port Authority


    By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
    Email the author
    on March 17, 2015 at 1:45 PM, updated March 17, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    NEWARK -- State senate president Steve Sweeney called on the Port Authority to sell at least $3 billion in real estate to help fund construction of a new Hudson River rail tunnel.

    Sweeney, who made the public call at a Newark Penn Station press conference today, said he spoke to Port Authority chairman John Degnan about the idea.

    "He recognized the need," Sweeney said. "We need to send a message to Amtrak and the federal government we're willing to work to come up with a funding component."

    Sweeney was flanked by leading Democratic lawmakers and transportation experts who all called on the Port Authority to sell real estate to help fund Amtrak's Gateway Tunnel project. Sweeney and other speakers stressed the need for new tunnels after Amtrak revealed the old tunnels were damaged by flooding from Hurricane Sandy and would have to be shut down, one at a time for one year for repairs.

    "This proposal is seed money," said State Senator Paul Sarlo, chairman of the senate transportation committee. "By divesting real estate, it provides the seed money for Gateway."

    Sweeney said he did not have specific Port Authority properties in mind to be sold, but he identified the 1 World Trade Center building in a press release. Sarlo said he would look to Port Authority commissioners to identify property to sell.

    But Port Authority Commissioner Ken Lipper said the bi-state agency had a more pressing need for any funds raised through the sale of its assets, including the World Trade Center.
    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...l#incart_river

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