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MTA Commuter Rail (Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, Staten Island Railway)


TimmyC62
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Thanks to Transit Geek for suggesting a new thread dedicated to New York MTA's non-subway rail services.

 

Took a late Metro-North ride last night (12:07 departure from Grand Central to New Haven, Nov 4, 2017), and was surprised to catch an older consist, as I've only ever rode the newer Kawasakis - I believe I was in the first car, 6349. Oddly, 6349 seems excluded from the Metro-North rolling stock list in the wiki: https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/Metro-North_Commuter_Railroad Regular Wikipedia indicates it, despite the dated appearance,  is part of the 1996+ purchases. Anyone know how regular it is for these older consists to operate on the New Haven route?

A bumpy ride, being the first car - seems these older sets don't have synchronized brakes or have really stiff horizontal suspension, and every time we decelerated it felt like the cars behind us bumped into ours with quite a jolt!

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  • 3 years later...

 https://www.newsday.com/long-island/transportation/electric-powered-trains-lirr-1.50217680

 

51126376130_8e2fb3c4b8_c.jpgLIRR Diesel Regions Map by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, on Flickr

 

51126582960_8106b3718f_c.jpgLIRR to Test Electric Railcars on Diesel Branches by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, on Flickr

 

51125694239_4432bc6404_c.jpgLIRR to Test Electric Railcars on Diesel Branches by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, on Flickr

 

51125853268_3e321db792_c.jpgLIRR to Test Electric Railcars on Diesel Branches by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, on Flickr

 

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LIRR paying $860G for feasibility study on battery-operated commuter trains

By Alfonso A. Castillo

Updated April 19, 2021 6:00 AM

Long Island Rail Road officials are taking the first steps toward possibly introducing the first battery-operated commuter trains in North America — a move they said could revolutionize how rail service is provided on tracks that are not electrified.

The LIRR has entered into an agreement with train manufacturer Alstom to conduct a feasibility study on operating "battery-electric multiple units," or BEMUs, throughout its system — potentially replacing, in some areas, the reliability challenged, inconvenient and environmentally unfriendly diesel trains it has operated for decades. Diesel-territory commuters, accustomed to having to transfer trains to complete their trips, could, more frequently, get one-seat rides to Manhattan and back.

Such a move also would negate the need to further electrify the railroad's tracks, the LIRR said.

"This changes the dynamics for how we look at our capital program needs in the future," LIRR president Phillip Eng said in an exclusive interview with Newsday. "This is an opportunity to really look at a technology that could address this in a manner that is achievable, fundable, and the cleanest form of service that we can think of."

The railroad’s vision is for its electric trains to run on third-rail power, where available, then seamlessly switch to battery power where it’s not. Charging stations located at the end of branches would re-energize train batteries between runs. The lithium ion batteries used by Alstom take about 10 minutes to charge.

The study will cost $850,000 and will be funded out of the LIRR’s operating budget, Eng said. The study will include simulations of battery-powered train trips and is expected to last until the end of this year.

If determined to be feasible, the next step would be for the LIRR to equip a pair of M7 electric cars, which make up the majority of the railroad’s fleet, with a battery and test it on a non-electrified branch. LIRR officials expect they would use the Oyster Bay line, which would have to be fitted with a battery charging station at its terminal.

If that pilot project is successful, the railroad would then look to retrofit enough electric trains to serve portions of its diesel territory, which includes stations east of Huntington to Port Jefferson, east of East Williston to Oyster Bay, east of Babylon to Montauk, and east of Ronkonkoma to Greenport. LIRR officials have not determined the cost of such a wide-scale conversion but said it likely would be funded in future capital programs. Future fleets would be designed with batteries built in.

It likely would cost less and come together more quickly, they said, than the alternative long sought by commuters living in diesel territory: electrification of tracks. Although the LIRR is studying electrifying the Port Jefferson Branch, officials said it likely wouldn’t happen in the next 20 years, and could cost $3.6 billion.

Battery-powered trains already exist in other parts of the world, including Alstom's "Talent 3" train, introduced in Germany in 2018. But bringing the technology to the LIRR — the busiest commuter railroad in North America — comes with unique challenges, experts said.

"Battery technology has been tested and proven and is in service, but on a much smaller scale, in terms of the size of the vehicle. So the Long Island Rail Road is really going into unchartered waters here," said William Vantuono, editor-in-chief of Railway Age magazine, who noted that some light rail systems and street cars in the United States already use battery power. "If this works, it could work very well. But they have to proceed very carefully."

Eng acknowledged that sufficiently charging a battery in order to move a packed train for several miles — without having to stop a train to recharge — is a challenge. Patrick Jacob, director of business development and sales for Alstom, said his company already has built battery-powered trains that can travel up to 60 miles on a single charge. But he acknowledged that, unlike those trains, which were built to run on batteries, the LIRR’s trains would be retrofitted with the technology.

"If I was a betting man, I would like to think this would work," Jacob said. "But we don’t know what we don’t know."

Other questions to be addressed in the study, Eng said, include: Where would the batteries be placed — under a car or on the roof? Would some seats have to be removed to make space for the batteries? How would the batteries affect acceleration? How would they perform in extreme temperatures?

LIRR Commuter Council Chairman Gerard Bringmann said that even if they were only used on a limited basis, battery-powered trains could bring huge benefits to riders, including by freeing up diesel trains and coach cars to be used on other lines. For years, the railroad has struggled with having enough diesel coaches to meet demand for summer service to the Hamptons, even borrowing some from a Maryland commuter railroad.

"This would give the railroad a hell of a lot more flexibility," said Bringmann, who commutes on the Port Jefferson Branch. "Honestly, I really don’t see a downside to it."

 

 

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https://www.amny.com/transit/gov-kathy-hochul-takes-first-lirr-to-grand-central-a-year-ahead-of-east-side-access-completion/

51645137130_3a5f23874d_c.jpgLIEAST211101 by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, on Flickr

51643336482_0fe288e9c7_c.jpgGovernor Hochul and MTA Leadership Take LIRR Ride Direct to Grand Central by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, on Flickr

51644817004_594fa254ee_c.jpgGovernor Hochul and MTA Leadership Take LIRR Ride Direct to Grand Central by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, on Flickr

51643336562_27a3440e4d_c.jpgGovernor Hochul and MTA Leadership Take LIRR Ride Direct to Grand Central by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, on Flickr

DSCF3506-2048x1365.jpg

 

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Test run: Hochul takes first LIRR ride to Grand Central a year ahead of East Side Access completion
By Kevin Duggan

Posted on October 31, 2021

The concept of a Long Island Rail Road trip to Grand Central Station is no longer a trick, but rather a “real treat” that New York commuters will finally begin to enjoy next year, according to Governor Kathy Hochul. 

On Halloween Sunday, Oct. 31, Hochul rode the first passenger Long Island Rail Road train into a new station deep below Grand Central Terminal — marking a milestone in the long-delayed East Side Access Project set to open to the public next year.

Hochul took a test train with transit and union leaders from Jamaica, Queens, to the new tracks about nine stories below Madison Avenue and 46th Street around 8 a.m. Sunday, and the trip took about 27 minutes. 

“This is how I celebrate Halloween, I come out and say this is a real treat for the New York City region and Long Island,” Hochul told reporters during a press conference after alighting. “This is the greatest region on the earth, and it deserves to have the best transportation networks as well.”

The $12 billion transit infrastructure expansion is scheduled to wrap by December 2022, offering a new 350,000 square-foot concourse — a little more than seven football fields big — and four new platforms with eight tracks underneath Grand Central for the LIRR.

The iconic Beaux-Arts train hub has been limited to Metro-North Railroad trains and subways, and LIRR commuters have to detrain at Penn Station or other stations in Brooklyn and Queens.

The new terminal is 140 feet below Park Avenue and straphangers will have to descend 182-foot long high-rise escalators between the concourse and the mezzanine.

Trains come in from the Harold Interlocking — North America’s busiest passenger railroad intersection in Queens — through an East River tunnel at 63rd Street, construction of which started more than 50 years ago — all the way back in 1969 under then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

The project stalled for decades but was revived in the 1990s and construction started on both sides of the East River in 2006.

“People have been talking about East Side Access for generations,” said MTA acting Chairperson and CEO Janno Lieber. “Now it is close to becoming a reality.”

Lieber took over the project when he became the agency’s head of construction and development in 2017. 

Earlier this month, the MTA’s 21-member board green-lit the creation of a new subsidiary with fewer than 10 staff to oversee the revenue from 25,000 square-foot of private retail in the space, while unionized LIRR workers will still conduct train operations, according to the board’s monthly meeting documents. 

Before Sunday’s ceremonial debut, MTA workers rode the very first test trains through the tubes last week, according to an agency spokesman.

East Side Access promises to increase LIRR capacity going into Midtown Manhattan by 45% and shave off about 40 minutes off commutes roundtrip.

Pre-pandemic, the MTA estimated the new facility would serve some 162,000 riders, but many office buildings in Manhattan’s business district remain largely empty due to more remote working options and a resurgence of COVID fueled by the Delta variant earlier this year.

Coronavirus infections are down to 1.38% across the city, according to the latest data, Hochul predicted that commuters will return in greater numbers by late 2022 thanks to the additional transit option and increasing vaccination rates in the Big Apple, which stand at 67% as of Oct. 31.

“By the time this is done and people see that they can have a much better commuting experience than they had pre-pandemic, that’ll also be an enticement to say ‘I’m going back to my job in Midtown,'” said Hochul. “In a matter of one year, I really believe that there’ll be a dramatic sea change in people’s attitude about where they want to do their work and it will be back in the city.”

 

 

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Apologies if this is a dumb question, but do the LIRR, MNRR, PATH & NJT all have track connections with each other, as well as with the rest of the North American rail network? If so, where are each of those connections located? i.e. LIRR & MNRR operate out of different terminals (Penn station vs. Grand Central), and even with the LIRR being extended to Grand Central, it would be below the current Grand Central station, rather than sharing the existing station with MNRR (like Penn station, which is shared by LIRR, NJT & Amtrak). Also, have there ever been instances of LIRR rolling stock running on MNRR or vice versa (given that both systems use(d) virtually identical M3/M7 units)?

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2 minutes ago, New Yorker 2001 said:

PATH don't share tracks IIRC, it's basically a Subway or like SIR. LIRR and MNRR share tracks with freight trains, so they have connections with places outside of NY and same with NJT.

yeah PATH don't. There might also be a connection outside the city if I recall correctly? 

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4 hours ago, New Yorker 2001 said:

PATH don't share tracks IIRC, it's basically a Subway or like SIR.

4 hours ago, DCTransitFilms said:

yeah PATH don't. There might also be a connection outside the city if I recall correctly? 

So PATH does have track connections to other systems even if it doesn't share tracks with other trains? PATH and especially SIR are indeed basically subways despite being classified as commuter rail; the M3–9s on LIRR and MNRR are also somewhat similar to a subway. As far as I know, even the NYC subway itself has at least a couple track connections to the rail network, so it'd be surprising if any of those commuter rail systems didn't (except the SIR).

4 hours ago, New Yorker 2001 said:

LIRR and MNRR share tracks with freight trains, so they have connections with places outside of NY and same with NJT.

4 hours ago, New Yorker 2001 said:

I believe so, if they have freight, they have to,

Actual mainline freights like UP or CSX, or mostly just local work/maintenance trains owned by MNRR/LIRR themselves?

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18 minutes ago, 81-717 said:

So PATH does have track connections to other systems even if it doesn't share tracks with other trains? PATH and especially SIR are indeed basically subways despite being classified as commuter rail; the M3–9s on LIRR and MNRR are also somewhat similar to a subway. As far as I know, even the NYC subway itself has at least a couple track connections to the rail network, so it'd be surprising if any of those commuter rail systems didn't (except the SIR).

Not sure. I think there might be one between Newark and Harrison but I'm not too sure.

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PATH is regulated as a commuter railroad under Federal Railway Administration jurisdiction.  The MTA Staten Island Railway is also considered a railroad and traditionally operated freight service, but the FRA has granted certain waivers (for instance, it is not required to meet Positive Train Control requirements).  

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On 1/29/2022 at 11:57 AM, RailBus63 said:

PATH is regulated as a commuter railroad under Federal Railway Administration jurisdiction.  The MTA Staten Island Railway is also considered a railroad and traditionally operated freight service, but the FRA has granted certain waivers (for instance, it is not required to meet Positive Train Control requirements).  

Will that change though once the R-211S cars arrive to SI?

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2 minutes ago, RailBus63 said:

Doubtful - I assume the R211S cars will fully meet the waiver requirements. 

Hmm, interesting. In other news, the MTA Long Island Railroad President Phil Eng has announced that he is stepping down from the Railroad. He's been in charge since May 2018, back in the Andy Byford era.

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10 hours ago, MVTArider said:

MTA Metro North 9710 and 9734/9735 spotted at the KMM plant in Lincoln, NE last week. I'm guessing these are M9As? Couldn't find any info. on this particular series.

52152895660_9de8e3b951_t.jpg  52152896170_249930134a_t.jpg

These are still M8.

Metro-North/CDOT is running M8 on the Shore Line East and will be removing the MBB coaches. Using electric trains for SLE has been in planning for years now, and these 9700s help augment the M8 pool. They are not dedicated specifically for this, but MNRR/CDOT have actually set aside other M8 for SLE. They needed to remove 3rd rail shoes from these SLE sets because there's a bridge that kept knocking the shoes off.

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