Can Amtrak bar NJ Transit from Northeast Corridor if state withholds rent?

Governor Chris Christie (best known for George Washington Bridge) posed this question and NJ.com covered the story.

NJ Transit pays Amtrak $93 million a year so that more than 400 of its trains can use the Northeast Corridor, but Gov. Chris Christie wants to stop making the lease payment until he gets answers to maintenance questions after an April 3 derailment in Penn Station…
NJ Transit paid $62 million for maintenance for 2016, in a lump sum payment after executing a contract with Amtrak in February, spokesperson Nancy Snyder said. That payment wasn’t late under the agreement, she said.

NJ Transit officials are waiting for an invoice from Amtrak for this year’s $74 million maintenance payment. That bill will be reviewed and, once any discrepancies have been reconciled, NJ Transit will make arrangements to pay, Snyder said. Amtrak officials said NJ Transit makes monthly rent payments.

At the same time, NJ.com reported Amtrak officials are citing mechanical issues with an NJ Transit train as the cause for the incident that stranded 1,200 passengers for several hours in the Hudson River tunnels between New Jersey and New York on Friday night.

“Amtrak has determined that the incident involving NJ Transit Train 3850 last Friday was not caused by Amtrak infrastructure, and that the preliminary cause appears to be a NJ Transit mechanical problem involving the train’s pantograph (power collector),” said Mike Tolbert, an Amtrak spokesman in a statement on Monday.

Then a story from Bloomburg: After three passenger-train mishaps in the past month underscored the fragility of New York City rail travel, Amtrak Chief Executive Officer Wick Moorman said the only solution is the $23 billion Gateway tunnel project.

“The fundamental problem is: What is plan B?” Moorman, 65, said in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. “I don’t know.”

Then WABC-TV chimed in: Recent train disruptions in New York that caused cascading delays between Boston and Washington, D.C., have refocused attention on a multibillion-dollar tunnel project that could have ameliorated future problems if it hadn’t been canceled by Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2010.

Whether Christie feels any pangs of remorse over the decision was left unanswered Wednesday at a news conference to urge President Donald Trump’s administration to honor a pre-existing commitment to fund a new tunnel project.

Patrons Upset With Trump Administration Over AMTRAK Long Distance

The current California RailPAC Newsletter is just CRAWLING with upset riders over Washington’s handeling of long distance AMTRAK.

Pictured above, this is the eastbound California Zephyr stopping at Colfax on April 20th. One passenger got off and 13 got on including one person with a sleeper. The Zephyr this time of year runs with 3 coaches and 2 usually full sleepers. Think what they could do with more cars!

The DesMoines Register: Tell Congress to choo, choo, choose rail service. On my way home from Sacramento, Calif., last month, I saw scores of passengers board Amtrak’s California Zephyr at Osceola, Ottumwa and Mount Pleasant. And this was on a Thursday in March! Even though the train bypasses Iowa’s largest cities, it remains very popular. Yet the Donald Trump administration wants to kill the Zephyr as well as every other long-distance train. We should be improving rail passenger service, as candidate Trump said on the campaign trail.

But his administration’s budget team, giving in to the Heritage Foundation and its like, wants to eliminate service to the national system while continuing lavish subsidies to highway and air travel. Ironically, the proposed cuts would hurt the very regions which supported Trump last November.

If you don’t want to lose your Amtrak service, write or call your representatives in Congress. As author Peter Lyon wrote: “Passengers of America unite! You have nothing to lose but your trains!”

A local meeting coincides with efforts by Gov. Jim Justice and both Democratic and Republican state lawmakers to increase Amtrak passenger train service in the state and with President Donald Trump’s budget proposal to slash funding for Amtrak in “fly-over states, ” including West Virginia.

Amtrak is a federally-funded passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the United States.

The Cardinal, an Amtrak train which runs between Chicago and New York, currently provides service in Prince, Hinton, White Sulphur Springs and other stations in southern West Virginia on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

The “troops” are not happy campers!

Remote Doting

Max Meunier

there are no words
left to summon
once the mind surrenders reason

hearts succumb
in paper prisons
pining to be freed from treason

in this realm
of false ideals
we gaily taunt such daunting perils

sipping poison from the petals
trapped in penned epistles puerile

peppering the pages
ghostly voices
neither here
nor there

staring off into the wintry
void of whims most cavalier

waiting on a stranger’s rescue
with a somber song in tow

onward, through the shrouded garden
guided by a light unknown

vision hindered by such tender words
arrived from worlds away

crafted with astute precision
love inferred by lone hearts splayed

risking all despite the chance
of falling into false endeavor

blighted by promised romance
a fool is naught but fraught forever

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Electric Trolley Busses

Trolley buses are still with us in San Francisco, Seattle, SanRemo, Italy (pictured above) and many other places. They are quiet, have great pickup, don’t have any diesel exhaust and have low maintenance costs. I once asked a friend in the GE transportation products business in Erie, PA (where the GE locomotives are made) why there aren’t more trolley buses out there in many cities. He said that when one sells a trolley bus, he has to make his profit on the sale of the bus. There will be little profits in spare parts and maintenance supplies after the sale. But when one sells a diesel bus, he makes his profit on the maintenance supplies, so the initial selling price of diesel bus need not include much, if any, profit. Since everyone today buys on first cost, the diesels get all the business. Now that the price of oil is going up, and the availability of oil is subject to the whims of the Mid-East, the trolley bus may yet become very popular. It doesn’t pollute and the electrical energy to drive it can be produced economically, without pollution, from nuclear energy. In fact, it would be feasible to put wires over the interstate highway system and use electrically propelled tractors and buses rather than diesels. SanRemo, Italy (pictured above) and many other places. They are quiet, have great pickup, don’t have any diesel exhaust and have low maintenance costs. I once asked a friend in the GE transportation products business in Erie, PA (where the GE locomotives are made) why there aren’t more trolley buses out there in many cities. He said that when one sells a trolley bus, he has to make his profit on the sale of the bus. There will be little profits in spare parts and maintenance supplies after the sale. But when one sells a diesel bus, he makes his profit on the maintenance supplies, so the initial selling price of diesel bus need not include much, if any, profit. Since everyone today buys on first cost, the diesels get all the business. Now that the price of oil is going up, and the availability of oil is subject to the whims of the Mid-East, the trolley bus may yet become very popular. It doesn’t pollute and the electrical energy to drive it can be produced economically, without pollution, from nuclear energy. In fact, it would be feasible to put wires over the interstate highway system and use electrically propelled tractors and buses rather than diesels.

Find out more on electric propulsion

https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/electric-railroads/

New Haven Electric Locomotives

NYNH&HRR 11kvac/600vdc
1907-14 New York, New Haven & Hartford RR
1912 New York, Westchester & Boston RR
New Haven was 25Hz from Cos Cob.
NH under PC was 25 Hz from Cos Cob.
ConnDoT/MN was 25 Hz from Cos Cob, until they switched to 60 Hz.
In the New York City area, the catenary voltage changes from the ex-PRR 11kV/25 Hz to the ex-NH 11kV/60 Hz about 174st Street in the Bronx.
This oversimplifies.
MOST of NH trackage was fed from Cos Cob.
Some bits used commercial power but, I think from NYC RR, who used 25 Hz to run the rotaries that ran the third rail.
I’d have to check to see which powered NY Connecting.
That location was also the feed for the NY Boston, and Westchester RR.
As far as I know the substation still exists to this day.
Location is near the CrossBronx Expressway and the former NH tracks.
This location by the way fed from Market (hunts Point Yard) to possibly Port Chester and the connection to Williams Bridge on the Harlem Division of the NYC at the power change point (NR tower).
After the PC merger with New Haven, GG1s started going to New Haven.
At Shell (Saugatuck), operation is to COAST ACROSS the bridge and pick up the wire on the other side.
NH pans would not go above a certain limit and would run under the rewiring horns.
The PRR pans on the GG1 could, and DID go higher (high enough to be ABOVE the rewiring horns on the far side….

Find out more about electric locomotives
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/electric-railroads/

California: Connecting With High Speed Rail

This map from ACE shows the future connections with ACE to future High Speed Rail, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Caltrain and BART. The future ACE route will be on the UP right of way with a separate track for ACE passenger trains. The UP will be able to use this track when there are no passenger trains using it to relieve UP freight congestion in the San Joaquin Valley.

The D&H at one time connected with two railroads in Oneonta

The first was the Catskill Mountain Branch of the New York Central, later Penn Central; the second was the Southern New York Railway, an interurban which ran from Oneonta to Mohawk, NY, on the Mohawk River.

Another neaby railroad that did not connect was the Unadilla Valley.

See more on all three railroads
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/the-southern-new-york-railway/

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