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Moynihan Train Hall to Open Jan 1

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I’m not sure if the new proposal warrants a new thread but I see that the Governor has a plan for adding new tracks at Pennsylvania Station. The idea has merit. Personally I think he’s tired of his job and wants to leave his name on some projects before he leaves office. My take. Carry on.

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4 hours ago, Trainmaster5 said:

I’m not sure if the new proposal warrants a new thread but I see that the Governor has a plan for adding new tracks at Pennsylvania Station. The idea has merit. Personally I think he’s tired of his job and wants to leave his name on some projects before he leaves office. My take. Carry on.

Penn South is extremely expensive but to be honest it may be the only way to get things done. Through-running as proposed by countless entities always had the problem of the Penn platforms being unable to clear off passengers at maximum through capacity. The current footprint definitely has the space for wider platforms with less tracks, but it presents a chicken and egg problem where getting from A to B would result in reduced capacity during the interim works when they'd have to shut down platforms and tracks to reconfigure things.

I did see some whinging about it resulting in the demolition of the historic Gimbels', but the Manhattan Mall transformation already gutted that building, so I don't think we're losing much in terms of historical things since not much of the original thing is left around.

Of course, because it requires the wholesale demolition of several blocks of Midtown, I expect it to take about as long as either Moniyhan did from start to finish, or PABT replacement.

Edited by bobtehpanda
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On 2/22/2021 at 1:54 PM, bobtehpanda said:

Through-running as proposed by countless entities always had the problem of the Penn platforms being unable to clear off passengers at maximum through capacity.

Aren’t the platforms at Philly 30th St just as narrow?

Can’t remember if SEPTA and PATCO are doing thru-running now, or will with the new Philly transit plan, but now Penn is getting a train every 2 minutes with the long disembarking stop before going to Sunnyside or Hudson Yards - with those Ops slowing outbound traffic, wouldn’t eliminating those switches by having (for example) Port Washington Trains continue to NJ, or Montclair trains continue to Country Living (Garden City) or Far Rockaway?

Just seems that unifying LIRR and NJT could reduce track switching frequency and free up capacity - but I’m looking at it from the perspective of more vehicles get through a section in less time when there are fewer slower vehicles and slowdowns ahead of them.

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27 minutes ago, Deucey said:

Aren’t the platforms at Philly 30th St just as narrow?

Can’t remember if SEPTA and PATCO are doing thru-running now, or will with the new Philly transit plan, but now Penn is getting a train every 2 minutes with the long disembarking stop before going to Sunnyside or Hudson Yards - with those Ops slowing outbound traffic, wouldn’t eliminating those switches by having (for example) Port Washington Trains continue to NJ, or Montclair trains continue to Country Living (Garden City) or Far Rockaway?

Just seems that unifying LIRR and NJT could reduce track switching frequency and free up capacity - but I’m looking at it from the perspective of more vehicles get through a section in less time when there are fewer slower vehicles and slowdowns ahead of them.

SEPTA does through-running, PATCO is completely separate. But nothing at like a regional-rail like frequency. And with much wider platforms: 

JGbRbTQ.jpg

Compare to Penn:

1-01-Platforms.jpg

From experience, a 12-car train can easily take 3-4 minutes to completely clear the platform of passengers, maybe longer if some grandma or otherwise encumbered person is on the narrow stairwells. You can't really run a reasonable frequency with that kind of dwell time. Having 2 12-car trains berthing at high frequency at one of these platforms is asking for trouble.

Track capacity is certainly a problem, but less than one might think. From the LIRR perspective West Side Yard is essentially a through-run destination. Sunnyside Yard is for the NJT. But the problem is really track paths; both railroads run lopsided schedules in favor of the peak direction, and for through-running to work each railroad would need to give up some peak slots, which will probably happen over each agency's respective dead bodies. Even then, a new two-track Hudson tunnel is pretty much required, but due to the lack of track paths and huge dwell time you would probably need Penn South anyways.

If Penn already had wide platforms and reasonable dwell times, that would be one thing, but we don't live in that world, and getting from A to B without something that looks like Penn South or Macy's Basement would be very painful.

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