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Passenger Trains > Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle


Date: 03/12/19 05:35
Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: Lackawanna484

NY Daily News says priority 1 should be fixing the current tunnels.

It's a multi part argument.


https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-edit-gateway-20190311-story.html

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Date: 03/12/19 06:17
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: joemvcnj

"Repair the existing tunnels now, without shutting them down, then dig new tunnels and upgrade existing bridges"

Just do this and that at the snap of the fingers. Right. They are looking for (MTA-NYCT) Canarsie tunnel type solution. Even they are to be closed in a month or so in their entirety on weekends and there are still silica dust risks, The civil engineers have determined the Amtrak tunnels are in far worse condition, especially the concrete lining and benchwalls, and that won't work. I will trust their professional judgment.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 07:54 by joemvcnj.



Date: 03/12/19 07:22
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: ronald321

The New York Daily News is a Conservative organization which normally objects to government spending on ideological grounds.

And, no way in hell would they support a big spending project for Amtrak.



Date: 03/12/19 07:25
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: PRSL-recall

Airnet-21 at https://www.airnet-21.com/  could very well be the answer. There do appear to be some prominent individuals behind it. My own expectation though is that Amtrak will come out against it because it would become harder to hide distinctions (less fuzzy math) between the NE Corridor and national network if they are totally out of right-of-way and track maintenance issues and strictly in the business of operating trains.

I really do think that the rail advocacy world needs to embrace this more. If there are good legitimate reasons why it is not the answer we should be hearing them.



Date: 03/12/19 07:36
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: joemvcnj

Given Amtrak's disparaging of it national network, which is what they were created to run, currently budgeted for, and told to support it in the current year law, I am all for ripping the NEC away from them and they should have zero say in the matter. The NEC is an expensive toy they can no longer be trusted to obsess with nor to continue to corrupt their accounting in favor of. We did not ask their permission to hand it to them in 1976 when the PC collapsed, so to reverse it does not require their approval either. As it is, they have already been thrown off the leadership of the Gateway project.

It is time to separate the genuine rail advocates who support the physical service from the Amtrak fans.

P.S: - I use the term toy to relate it to the juvenile behavior of Amtrak's top management having something they should not possess. .



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 09:48 by joemvcnj.



Date: 03/12/19 09:21
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: ronald321

Joemvcnj

Well said--and I agree -- with one tiny exception --  that the NEC is an expensive toy

Expensive--yes, indeed.  A toy--no way

Those Hudson tubes carry roughly 200,000 people PER DAY
and Amtrak carried 12,173,643 people on the NEC in 2018 on the NEC

This makes the NEC the most important operation Amtrak operates.

I know you realize this -- just don't want people to think the NEC is a few people playing trains.  The NEC is a very big deal.

 



Date: 03/12/19 10:22
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: Lackawanna484

One of the isues surrounding the miracle cure for the Canarsie subway tunnel was Governor Cuomo's decision to throw out expert opinion and analysis, and go with a couple of folks who read about the tunnels. And sent a whole hour looking at it.

How well that turns out is anyone's guess



Date: 03/12/19 11:02
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: joemvcnj

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One of the issues surrounding the miracle cure for
> the Canarsie subway tunnel was Governor Cuomo's
> decision to throw out expert opinion and analysis,
> and go with a couple of folks who read about the
> tunnels. And sent a whole hour looking at it.
>
> How well that turns out is anyone's guess

They have taken delivery of about 2/3rd of the R179 cars that were to replace the 272 R32 (222) and R42 (50) cars, except possibly save 50 R32's for service expansion given 2nd Avenue subway or lengthened C trains.

BUT, not a single one has been retired. The R42's are stored at Pitkin and East New York Yards. The R32's have a low utilization rate, no longer run on the J, confined to the A & C. All of this shows a lack of confidence in Cuomo's solution in avoiding complete shutting of the L down for a year, in which case they need maximum flexibility and to leave all options open, given the old cars are married pairs, not 4 and 5 car sets.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 11:34 by joemvcnj.



Date: 03/12/19 15:31
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: MSE

You have the Daily News confused with the Post. The Daily News is extremely liberal. 

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The New York Daily News is a Conservative
> organization which normally objects to government
> spending on ideological grounds.
 



Date: 03/12/19 16:13
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: joemvcnj

I have a pretty good idea who the blind author is of the Daily News article since the Newark Star Ledger has a couple of idiot reporters who regard him as their goto man and often quote him.  I am not saying who, but he has zero credibility and hated throughout the engineering departments of Amtrak, NJT, and MTA, especially the LIRR. 



Date: 03/12/19 16:17
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: Lackawanna484

MSE Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You have the Daily News confused with
> the Post. The Daily News is extremely
> liberal. 
>
> ronald321 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The New York Daily News is a Conservative
> > organization which normally objects to
> government
> > spending on ideological grounds.
>  


If the paper offers a different opinion from what you know must be correct, they're the enemy!

The NY Daily News is the long time voice of labor in NY, on the left side of the spectrum, but they occasonally get some things right, anyway.



Date: 03/12/19 16:33
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: another_view

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Given Amtrak's disparaging of it national network,
> which is what they were created to run, currently
> budgeted for, and told to support it in the
> current year law, I am all for ripping the NEC
> away from them and they should have zero say in
> the matter. The NEC is an expensive toy they can
> no longer be trusted to obsess with nor to
> continue to corrupt their accounting in favor of.
> We did not ask their permission to hand it to them
> in 1976 when the PC collapsed, so to reverse it
> does not require their approval either. As it is,
> they have already been thrown off the leadership
> of the Gateway project.
>
> It is time to separate the genuine rail advocates
> who support the physical service from the Amtrak
> fans.
>
> P.S: - I use the term toy to relate it to the
> juvenile behavior of Amtrak's top management
> having something they should not possess. .

Goodbye NEC - Goodbye LD trains!

Better be careful what you wish for, if Amtrak loses the NEC there is no hope, the NEC will survive user different stewardship, it is a core part of the transportation solution in those areas, the states will simply put thier services out for bid, the LD services will fail quickly when the full cost and low return is realized.



Date: 03/12/19 16:45
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: jp1822

This "opinion" claims that the federal funding is not looked on kindly because the new tunnels and Portal bridge would not cover enough "new capacity." But the problem is the infrastructure was never built to handle this high amount of curent capacity - it's too much and has completely stressed the infrastructure out and to the limit. The two line ROW can't be properly shutdown and repaired because that would create the worst single track ROW, severely delaying trains at rush hour to the point the whole NEC would be at a standstill. 

And frankly, the Gateway project could greatly increase capacity, as long as there are additional tracks and platforms created at NYP and sufficient access to Sunnyside or turning trains directly at NYP.

- Run ALL Raritan Valley Line trains to NYP
- RESTORE one-seat ride trains to NYC for North Jersey Coast Line Trains (all Bay Head trains get dual modes and run to NYP)
- Ensure a sufficient amount of M&E trains are running through to NYP
- RESTORE those NJCL and NEC corridor trains that were cancelled out due to crew shortages and the like

And that's absent of trying to get any of the Bergen County trains to NYP 



Date: 03/12/19 17:09
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: PRSL-recall

another_view Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Goodbye NEC - Goodbye LD trains!
>
> Better be careful what you wish for, if Amtrak
> loses the NEC there is no hope, the NEC will
> survive user different stewardship, it is a core
> part of the transportation solution in those
> areas, the states will simply put thier services
> out for bid, the LD services will fail quickly
> when the full cost and low return is realized.
Only thing is losing the NEC would remove all doubts about how "profitable" it is! If Airnet-21 was to become a serious proposal, Amtrak would still have NEC trains but only operational costs. Much less of a hiding place. That's why I have a sneakin' suspicion that they would despise Airnet-21. Also as far as LD is concerned it's in Congress' hands. The "flyover states'" delegations are not likely to be happy with NEC only.



Date: 03/12/19 17:16
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: joemvcnj

another_view Wrote:
>
> Goodbye NEC - Goodbye LD trains!
>
> Better be careful what you wish for, if Amtrak
> loses the NEC there is no hope, the NEC will
> survive user different stewardship, it is a core
> part of the transportation solution in those
> areas, the states will simply put their services
> out for bid, the LD services will fail quickly
> when the full cost and low return is realized.

You don't understand the subject matter at all and you are totally wrong in what the outcome would be

Airnet-21 removes the NEC INFRASTRUCTURE from Amtrak, place its ownership under another USDOT entity. Amtrak remains the operator of the NEC trains. The NEC states have nothing to do with it and are not authorized to place such trains under bid - they are not their trains. Such NEC assets removed from Amtrak will not be included in LD fully allocated costs, which overstates their operating deficits by 40%. 

Alleged profit from the NEC would no doubt be reduced; some of NEC capital cost would be properly categorized as operating expenses; LD train losses would be reduced on paper; cross subsidies from the NEC to LD would go on. I see nothing wrong with the concept of cross-subsidies. The rest of the country would still pay for NEC residual capital costs, still far greater than LD train losses, though get nothing directly in return. It has been this way since 1971. Dining cars are the least of this.

Learn the differences between fully allocated and avoidable costs rather than spout Amtrak dogma. Everybody knows Amtrak cost accounting is creative art and they do not follow GAAP accounting standards.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/19 05:55 by joemvcnj.



Date: 03/13/19 13:40
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: Jishnu

Following GAAP or not is not going to address the core issue of inappropriate allocations based on random algorithms that is not documented. GAAP says how accounts are to be presented. There are gaps in GAAP that you can drive trucks through when it comes to the sort of issues we are dealing with at Amtrak.



Date: 03/13/19 13:42
Re: Opinion: Fix Gateway Boondoggle
Author: Jishnu

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have a pretty good idea who the blind author is
> of the Daily News article since the Newark Star
> Ledger has a couple of idiot reporters who regard
> him as their goto man and often quote him.  I am
> not saying who, but he has zero credibility and
> hated throughout the engineering departments of
> Amtrak, NJT, and MTA, especially the LIRR. 

Said blind authour is also reputed to be pretty blind to all facts that are inconvenient to his theories and story board, so they are ceonveniently ignored.



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