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Metro-North 2008 Service Initiatives

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Metro-North 2008 Service Initiatives

 

With its ridership at record levels, MTA Metro-North Railroad continues to seek new ways to improve service for its diverse and growing customer base.

 

Today, approximately 49% of Metro-North's ridership is comprised of commuters to Manhattan. The remaining 51% of its customers are reverse commuting out of New York to suburban employment centers, traveling during off-peak hours, or taking day trips in the region without ever setting foot in Grand Central Terminal. This changing demographic makes Metro-North not just a commuter railroad, but a full-time means of transportation that is more vital to the region and its residents than ever before.

 

And the railroad continues to meet this challenge of providing more service in more time periods to more customers without significant staffing increases. For 2008, ridership is projected at 81.5 million — 1.9 million, or 2.4 %, above the 2007 mid-year projection of 79.6 million. The number of trains operated in 2008 is projected at 204,437 — an increase of 2,214 trains over 2007. Yet Operating positions per million riders are projected to decrease to 70.8 positions — 1.3% less than in 2007.

 

2008 Service Initiatives

  • On the Hudson Line: On weekends, additional express service will be provided with three new round-trip trains on Saturdays and two on Sundays.
  • On the Harlem Line: The frequency of peak-period service to customers traveling from Hartsdale through Scarsdale stations will be improved. Also a Wassaic shuttle train will be added. In the off-peak, a new round-trip train serving the Upper Harlem will be provided.
  • On the New Haven Line: A new off-peak round trip express train will be added for inner New Haven Line customers.
  • On the Pascack Valley: For the first time, off-peak and weekend service will be added to the line's schedule.

In addition to service upgrades, other improvements include:

 

Rolling Stock Investments

 

Metro-North Railroad has committed significant funding toward the continued revitalization of its fleet, purchasing new equipment and remanufacturing select cars, coaches and locomotives.

  • The purchase of 342 M-8 cars advances as the review of final design mock-ups takes place during the first half of 2008. During the latter part of 2008, first article inspection of components — including environmental testing — will be made, paving the way for the start of the full production of components. Delivery is expected in 2009.
  • The overhaul of 140 M-3 Car Fleet will continue through 2008 and be completed in early 2009.
  • The remanufacture of 104 End-door coaches for service in New York and Connecticut will be completed 2008.
  • The remanufacture of 31 Dual-Mode Locomotives will continue through 2008, and will be completed in 2012.
  • The 240-car M-2 fleet Critical System Replacement (CSR) and Component Replacement programs will continue through 2008.
  • The delivery of 11 new diesel locomotives for branch line service/work trains will conclude in early 2008.
  • Seven rebuilt F-40 locomotives will be put into service West-of-Hudson, with six to eight more to be rebuilt in the coming years.

Station Investments

 

Stations are not only the "front door" to the railroad. They are part of the communities we serve.

 

  • The Hudson Line Stations Improvement Project Phase II will see inbound platforms at Irvington, Hastings-on-Hudson, and Dobbs Ferry finished in 2008, completing improvement work at those stations. At that time reconstruction of the platforms and overpasses at Philips Manor, Scarborough, and Ossining work will commence, starting with the inbound platforms.
  • Yankee Stadium Station construction will continue through 2008 for an opening in April 2009.
  • The railroad will increase maintenance of the new ADA improvements on the New Haven Line.
  • Elevator door replacement will begin at Harlem and Hudson Line stations.

Shops and Yards Investments

 

The railroad can not maintain a state-of-the-art fleet in outdated shops. Facilities must continually be upgraded.

  • As part of Phase III of the Harmon Shop and Yard Rehabilitation III, construction of the Coach and Locomotive shops will continue through 2008 for completion in 2009.
  • Construction of the new Highbridge Yard Train Wash is set for completion in 2008. This will enable the railroad to continue with its 60-day car cleaning cycle, supporting the initiative to improve the customer environment.
  • A new Rail Impact Detection System will be purchased to measure the impact of a wheel to the rail. The railroad will use the impact detector to quickly identify and categorize damage to train wheels, which happens frequently during slippery rail season in the fall. Equipment will be removed from service based on severity of the measured wheel damage for correction. This allows the railroad to manage defects as they occur to improve equipment availability and reduce the number of "flats" in service.
  • Increased staff will be provided for the new New Haven Line Running Repair Shop.

Infrastructure Investments

 

The replacement of ties and rail, as well as interlocking/switches throughout our territory and the upgrading of ouraging power and signal systems with the latest technology will help enable us to increase service.

  • A major signal study that will help Metro-North design and start construction on a new signal system on all three lines in both New York and Connecticut will continue in 2008.
  • In 2008, construction will start on a new Operations Control Center (OCC) which includes the replacement of all control hardware and upgrades to the software providing our OCC with state-of-the-art rail traffic technology.
  • In support of the East Side Access Project, new signal equipment will be installed on the lower level of Grand Central to accommodate track configuration changes.
  • As part of the Shell At-Grade Project, 2008 will see the completion of the third and final interlocking at CP 216 in New Rochelle.
  • Design and construction for signal improvements along the Danbury Branch Line Construction will begin in spring 2008 with completion expected by mid-2010.
  • Construction on up to ten new substations to increase capacity and service on the Upper Harlem is scheduled to commence in 2008.
  • The railroad will purchase a pantograph monitoring system to monitor/measure the interaction of pantograph shoes and the catenary wire.
  • The railroad will install 35,000-40,000 wood ties, surface 200 miles of track, install 45 turnouts, and replace 3-5 miles of rail, in addition to installing 25,000 new concrete ties.
  • West of Hudson, the rehabilitation of the Woodbury and Moodna Viaducts will commence in 2008. Installation of 13.25 miles of new continuous welded rail and 61,000 wood ties will continue through 2008-for completion in 2009.
  • Also, signal upgrades will begin West of Hudson with the replacement of two old interlockings on the Port Jervis Line with solid state equipment.

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