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Commuters, Car Culture and the Jenny Plan.


Commuter Rail

Welcome to our Commuters WebSite



Here's a preview of some of the exciting projects we have put together for you:

Our feature articles are "The Commuter" and "Car Culture" .

Included is a current events section that talks about ridership increases.

See our section on COMMUTER TRAINS.

Now it is getting harder and harder to park at commuter railroad stations!

We have interesting articles on Amtrak's Secret Business and a Communist comparison.

Find out about the Jenny Plan and who was Alfred Jenny?

We have stories on "Public Support of Private Railroads" , Commuter cars on Penn Central (ex-NEW York Central) , commuters reach out , and why did commuter trains loose money?

Our current events include Metro-North New Haven Line on track for new cars , Danbury Line electrification and Metro North Commuter RR tracks through Glenham .

Don't miss our reference section .

Commuter Statistics: Metro North Railroad

Commuter Statistics for 2006

Woodbury Commons is Only Typical (Unfortunately)

Old Penn Central and New York Central Commuter Cars

2007 Commuting Cost Study by the Government

All about new light rail (our list may be outdated...but theirs isnt) light rail in France (We already cover Nice) See a 1965 study of the capacity of the New York Central Railroad's electrified route from Woodlawn to Grand Central Terminal, including the terminal facilities.
by Edward Karl Morlok, Jr.

Take a ride on the North East Corridor.

The woes of the New Haven Railroad.

Read all about Harlem River Passenger Service

Yes, we have lots of material on the Second Avenue Subway! and on New York City's subway tunnels.

Grand Central Terminal and the New York City Subway .



See KC Jones BLOG about Railroad History Take a quiz on Which One of These People Hurt New York City the Worst?
Nice Tramway Line 2
FRANCE: NICE WILL OPEN TRAMWAY LINE 2 in YEAR 2017!
In a surprise move, Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi changed his mind about running Line 2 up the Promenade des Anglais and instead went with a plan that provides an 8.6 kilometer "tram/metro" with 3.6 kilometers below ground. It will cost €'450,000,000 and carry 110,000 - 140,000 daily passengers. It will run between Gare de Riquier and new? Gare Multimodal Saint-Augustin.
Boulevard Rene Cassin / Avenue Californie at the Champion/Carrefour food market has a tramway in its future.
Fifty-three years after the closure of the Tramway de Nice et du Littoral, the Tramway de Nice began to serve its Northern and Eastern sections. 2007 saw the completion of Line 1 serving the North-South needs of the city. Line 2 now addresses the East-West needs. See a presentation on the Nice, France tramway extensions including a movie based on Deputy-Mayor Estrosi's Tramway Line 2 presentation September 26, 2011.. This WebSite will be updated continuously until completion of Line 2 in Year 2017.

Find out about truth and Fairpromise

Corsica Ferry
English

Traveling in Europe?
You will probably need to make a FERRY RESERVATION.


Réservation Ferry en français
Stop by and see our Reservations Center.
Corsica Ferry
French
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Did auto, oil conspiracy put the brakes on trolleys? 2011 Update

E. Jay Quinby was a naval commander during World War II who was still stationed in Key West, Florida, in January 1946 when he "kicked"a 37-page manifesto to home plate in Washington, D.C. En route, his manifesto detailing a deliberate conspiracy to eliminate electric-powered mass transit in the name of gasoline-powered profits, was kicked to the "bases"of hundreds of mayors, city managers, transit operators, transit engineers, congressmen and newspapers all over America. "This is an urgent warning to each and every one," Quinby cautioned in the opening paragraph of his document, "that there is a careful, deliberately planned campaign to swindle you out of your most important and valuable public utilities–your electric utilities (street car systems)! Who will rebuild them for you?"...

In many cases, lines eliminated were still heavily patronized, with expensive hardware in place (often brand-new), which went to the scrap yard not long after.

It seems to me that when people found it more convenient to drive to work in the 20s, say, they didn't find traffic to be unmanageable. They didn't pay a penalty for abandoning mass transit. Now we do pay a penalty for driving, and there's no cost-effective way to see if we would use alternatives. You can't build a "temporary" light rail line into the neighborhood to see if people will use it.

When people began driving, the trolley lines were found to be an impediment to driving. Tracks were usually located in the center so autos had to stop for passengers, unlike buses that pull to the curb. So as the number of drivers increased so did the complaints and demand to get rid of the trolleys. Thats why most lightrail designs today are configured to avoid the need for passengers to cross traffic. The old systems would have required a massive rebuilding, and the less expensive and route flexible buses were seen as a definite improvement.

It all started in 1922 with an Idea by a man whose name was Alferd P. Sloan Jr. He was a General Motors Exceutive who conceived a plot to destroy his compitation and sell GM Cars and Yellow Coach Buses. Both Division were in trouble as most people at the time lived in neighborhoods in cities and towns,and used public transportation. The few people who wanted cars had them and people prefered the clean trolleys and interurbans to the primitive smoking auto buses of the time. To sell more you have to get rid of your competition. Along the way he picked up allies,corperations which would benefit from the sale of more internal combustion engines,ie Goodyear,Firestone,Delco,Kelly, Standard Oil, etc? Together in the 1930's they convinced(bribed) congress to pass an act to forbid Electric Utilties from owning Transporation Lines.

Let's get beyond the generalities and look at specifics: How many of the following "PCC cities" had any connection with NCL? Birmingham, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Johnstown, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Washington, Montreal, and Vancouver? The answer is none, of course, yet for whatever reasons (some, like DC, political), each abandoned all or (in the case of Boston) most of their rail systems. No, it wasn't all evil NCL. There were numerous other reasons. (And in fact, evil NCL retained heavy-volume car lines in such cities as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Los Angeles, some of which survived into the public ownership era.).

Boston and San Francisco - both non-NCL organizations. Boston lost no more than 15 to 20% of it's trolley lines between 1940 and 1950, certainly not most, but also added lines, during and after 1922-1949 (the years of the conspiracy up to the verdicts in the case) with the Mattapan High-Speed Line (1929) and the Riverside Line (1959). It is interesting to note that both are along private right of way. Both are still in place, and PCC's reportedly will continue to run once again on the High Speed Line shortly, following line improvements. In fact, the 40's are considered to be the height of electric transit in the Boston area. The loss of East Boston trolley service was in large part due to the opening of the Sumner-Callahan tunnels for autos into previously isolated East Boston-1940, and electric rapid transit extensions (Orient Heights-1952 and Wonderland-1954) with pantograph equipped subway cars with trolley dimensions (to fit through the old trolley tunnel under the harbor). San Francisco's system thrived as well, with the exception of some trolley lines being converted, and a somewhat successful attempt to rid the city of cable cars, prior to cable activists protestations. (Cable cars being more akin to trolleys than busses). Replacements in both SF cases were often trackless trolleys, due in part to their hill climbing/descending abilities.

Nobody will seriously argue that NCL wasn't aggressive in replacing streetcars with buses. But during the late '40s and '50s, bus substitution was carried on industrywide, regardless of a specific company's ownership or control. NCL was neither unique nor, in some cases, the worst offender. And whatever its policies, NCL was really a minority player among large-city transit systems. NCL largely specialized in smaller cities where streetcar operation already was a lost cause. It may be instructive to list the major cities that NCL controlled vs. all such cities. You'll find that NCL really wasn't the huge influence that many people think.

So why did everybody convert? Sometimes there were strictly local factors, such as political attitudes -- Manhattan and Washington being egregious examples. But more often, it was a lethal combination of common industry ills, such as:
- Huge postwar capital needs, to rehabilitate and replace rolling stock, track, and electrical distribution systems. (Sure, many cities had modern PCCs, but not nearly enough to replace equipment dating to the 1920s and earlier.)
- At the same time, cities were spreading outward, necessitating even more capital investment for line extensions.
- And, of course, thanks to accelerating auto use, ridership was nosediving, and nobody could predict how far down it might eventually go.
- All of this combined to make large, long-term capital investments highly risky, and even if the transit companies themselves were optimistic, their moneylenders were not. (Overall, in fact, the industry's financial performance had been declining since World War I, something that left the moneylenders even less impressed.) In this unstable and uncertain environment, buses were the best financial hedge, since they could be depreciated faster and, if need be, be resold relatively easily.

- Besides all that, streetcar operation had several well-known economic disadvantages, e.g.:
-Maintenance of track and electrical distribution systems
-At least some degree of responsibility for costs of repaving and street upgrading.
-Usually, responsibility for snow clearing within the track areas
-Usually too, taxes on all the fixed plant

And the reasons go on. In Baltimore, for example, the demise of the streetcar was hastened not just by NCL, but by an extensive and radical redesign of the city's street traffic patterns, which would have required enormous expeditures to relocate routes -- even if a hostile city traffic commissioner had allowed it. Many other cities had similar situations as postwar vehicle traffic demanded widening, repaving, and realigning streets -- and, at the same time, as the public (and thus the politicians) became impatient with streetcars "obstructing" freer traffic flow.

Not everything had to do with NCL: The much loved, by some people, Mayor of New York, LaGuardia viewed trolleys as old-fashioned and exerted pressure on the several operators within the city to motorize. The trolleys outlived him by a few years, but not many. Washington, DC went all bus at the direction of Congress which got miffed at Capital Transit's reaction to a strike. This is the same institution that is now trying to take us out of our cars and back onto the bus or trolley. Twin City Rapid Transit (Minneapolis-St Paul) was a victim of a hostile takeover and its assets plundered. Some of the plunderers were hauled into court and did jail time.

The criminal conspiracy here WAS a form of restraint of trade. As has been pointed out by others, the conspiracy ( ie the illegal "enterprise") was NOT the wholesale "bustitution" of streetcar systems that. but for NCL would not have been bustituted when they were bustituted. The conspiracy involved the requirement imposed by NCL on the new bus systems that they purchase GM buses, Firestone Tires, and Standard Oil products. This is what GM and the other defendants were convicted of, and the court found this to be so egregious that the defendants were fined a whoppng one dollar. So much for the conspiracy. And in hindsight, I suspect that though, these actions of NCL probably hastened the demise of the streetcar, primarily by creating the situation in which there were so many surplus serviceable streetcars from the bustituted systems that those systems that retained streetcar found no need to continue to order more expensive new equipment when there was plenty of good used equipment available at bargain prices, thus driving the car builders and parts suppliers out of business, continuation of the streetcar as the primary mode of urban public transportation was doomed because of social and economic circumstances of the day, as much as the actions, or intentions of NCL and its backers. Petrolium based fuels were cheap, the country was not concerned with air pollution from motor vehicles, and the bus was considered to be more flexible than the fixed rail streetcar. By the time the problems surrounding the use of fossil fueled vehicles as the primary mode of transport became evident, the streetcar, except for a few notable exceptions was long gone. NCL hastened, but did not cause, this circumstance.

Additional Reading on this subject:

Read more on the Car Culture.

Read more on the destruction of the Los Angeles trolley and interurban system.

A great reference is Revisiting the Great American Streetcar Scandal, by Al Mankoff– Vol. 4, Summer 1999

and The Great American Streetcar Myth

Please read "The Streetcar Conspiracy" by Bradford Snell and "The Conspiracy Revisted Rebutted" by Louis Guilbault. I do not have links and will not tell you about Amazon or Borders and Noble because those people would not even give me the time of day.

See our Ominous Weather Home Page (it is about a lot more than weather)
HOW DOES COMMUTER RAIL DIFFER FROM LIGHT RAIL AND HEAVY RAIL?
V XI-GBC a.k.a.
The best-known bar car V XI-GBC a.k.a. Five Eleven Gentlemen's Bar Car
Bought this picture many years ago at the Springfield MA train show.
See Penney Vanderbilt's Blog for more about railroad bar cars.

THE COMMUTER

Most railroad passengers today are commuters. Its not as glamorous as long distance or high speed passenger travel. Its not very profitable to railroads. As a matter of fact, most commuter trains are operated by governments or public authorities.

Several books have been published on commuter railroads. "Show Me the Way to Go Home" is a 1959 book by Jerome Beatty, Jr. This book tells hundreds of amusing stories about commuting.

Once a train hit a detrained passenger and delayed hundreds of passengers for 60 minutes. The passenger couldn't even get a refund on his commutation ticket because it was not "extenuating circumstances" (while waiting for the ambulance, he could have gone to the ticket agent). Another train hit a rock alongside the track and delayed homeward passengers for 80 minutes. This of course caused innumerable cold dinners, etc.

Most commuters don't talk to one another or get overly friendly with one another. Even bridge players may not even know their partner's last name. The only thing they have in common are the trials and tribulations of the day's commute.

Commuters are sometimes proud of their dishonesty. Using someone else's ticket is a favorite fraud. Getting an extra day or two on an expired one by holding a thumb over the date is popular. There used to be many people who were quite adept at cheating on their tickets and avoiding fares. Many conductors overlooked expired tickets in exchange for gifts at Christmas. A true commuter's children never admit to being twelve. One girl didn't pay full fare until she was married and pregnant.

There were always problems with non-smoking cars even when there were still smoking cars on commuter trains. A while back a commuter asked the conductor if he could smoke

"No," was the reply, "this is not a smoking car."

"Well, that's funny," said the commuter. "Then where did all the smoke and cigarette butts come from?"

"From the people who didn't ask questions." answered the conductor as he moved on.

Bar cars always seem full. I have never figured out how a 7:05 train has a full bar car at 6 PM.

Bridge and other card games have special rules and rituals. Even the kibitzers have alternates. Players used to rent boards and cards from the conductors. Sometimes they use the poster advertisements from the cars for a board. The time limit effects the psychology of the game. The rules are bent and modified according to whichever railroad the game is being played on. There is even a proper way for four players to sit to balance the board. The "Spuyten Duyvil three club" is just one of the special phrases associated with commuting bridge. This means the geographical point on the commuters' route that the losers begin to mentally total up the score, calculate the number of hands remaining to be played, and direct their bidding along lines that, under the most optimistic conditions might conceivably overcome their opponents' lead.

There is a big problem about what do the train crews do between morning and evening. Conductors hang around the trainmen's room in the terminal. The engineers hang around their own room. Etc. Etc. There they have lockers, tables, chairs, reading material, television sets and bunks.

The conductors equipment consists of a watch, a switchkey for phone boxes and switches, and a ticket punch. Every ticket punch is a little different. Some might produce a design like a half star while others are more unique and do something like an outline of a state or the United States. When a conductor punches a ticket it is as though he puts his fingerprints on it.

Commuter trains are idle 21 hours a day and all weekend. Before public ownership, local governments were killing the railroads with property taxes while the state governments were killing them with regulation. For instance, the New York Central was forced to build a new bridge over the Harlem River at Park Avenue. There was nothing wrong with the bridge. Then the City of New York raised the property taxes because the bridge was now more valuable.

Station parking very difficult. Westport Connecticut has no station, it is really in Saugatuck.

In 1958 the New Haven tried to replace the bar car to Noroton Heights (the 5:11 pm from Grand Central). The old car was decrepit and all they wanted to do was put on a better car. The patrons liked the current car. They even had sort of a club--- V:XIGBC (5:11 Gentlemen's Bar Car). The president of the New Haven had been a guest on the car so the members assumed they had some clout. Also the club owned a share of stock (cost $13.26) which made it the only bar car in the country to own a piece of the railroad. Finally the club and the railroad compromised on another old car.

In the summer the New Haven's NEPTUNE to Cape Cod was really a giant commuter run on Friday nights. There was music on the bar car (Dan the accordion man). The train split with half going to Hyannis and the other half to Woods Hole. It returned Sunday night.

Many commuter railroads had private bar cars. There were four on the New Haven, four on the DL&W, three on the Hudson Division of the Central, one on the train from Pawling, and 15 on the Jersey Central. There are none now because of no more private ownership. The usual procedure was that the railroad charged an annual rental on the car. For ice-cooled cars they also charged for ice. The club would guarantee a certain number of passengers (or the equivalent dollars). Attendants and bar supplies were extra of course. Many of the clubs had a "no women" rule.

Commuters are not a cross-section of the population. They represent a cross-section of the creative brains that converge on the metropolitan areas. Commuters are executives, artists, stockholders, publishers, etc. If a trainload of them where to disappear, it would be a calamity. Railroads have not always appreciated the impact of their passengers. It usually hits them hard when a newsman or announcer screaming about poor service turns out to be a commuter.

Several years ago, a radio station WOR early morning announcer was determined to commute from Fairfield County to New York on New Haven train #55. This was an accommodation train that left Springfield at 2:10 AM. To eliminate on-air complaints, the railroad finally gave him the telephone number of the Norwalk tower. He could then check 55's progress each morning.

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com
Powered by WebRing.

The highway system is the most communist institution in America and you fail to realize it


° government owned
° government operated, maintained and policed
° heavily subsidized by the government
° inefficient: planning not based on economic principles, but on political contributions and might
° uses taxpayer money for projects to benefit special interests (highway to new developments, etc)
° never made money; private railroads put most toll roads out of business; only exception is the New York Thruway, which then reinvests its earnings in some REAL losers like the Barge Canal
mass transit (before they went broke) and the railroads just are opposite

Remote Workers Do


Ever wonder how your telecommuting colleagues really live? Turns out, many of them actually do work in their pajamas. They also tend to love their work-life balance – to the point where they’d take a pay cut to maintain the status quo.

We have some fascinating facts from separate surveys by CIO Insight Magazine and Staples (office supplier who sells furniture). CIO Insight survey addresses out of office employees in general while the Staples survey is more focused on those who work from the home (and, of course, concerned with their office furniture, which most employers ignore with their remote workers). The top item on the wish list for a home office is a more comfortable chair!

We have our own survey results from LinkedIn. Some of our questions are similar to those asked by CIO Insight and Staples, but some are different. We used three LinkedIn Groups involved with EDI/Electronic Commerce/Supply Chain and one “neutral” Group (university alumni).

Who was Alfred Jenny?

Not a lot appears on the Internet regarding Alfred Jenny. He travelled with Eisenhower during World War 11 as his transportation advisor. He immigrated from Switzerland to bring Swiss technology here. He clearly was way ahead of his time. Why did they not use his plan?

Which One of These People Hurt New York City Public Transit the Most?

Click on the picture to find the correct answer.
If you get the wrong answer, you will still see a good story!
Bear Mountain Bridge
Richard Nixon Robert Moses Jay Leno Adolph Hitler

Commuter Territory can be scenic too!

Save the ACMU
ACMU 1100-series cars rolling through Mount Vernon
1100 cars at Mount Vernon
RailwayStation.com has provided a

1942 Quiz Book on Railroads and Railroading.


Here's some interesting questions and answers:

What is suburban or commuter traffic?



In the larger cities railroads provide frequent train service to and from outlying residential districts or suburban communities. This is called suburban or commuter traffic, and those who use the trains regularly are known as commuters. Suburban trains carry large numbers of commuters to and from the downtown business and shopping districts. They also carry many passengers for short distances in the outlying districts. Special suburban or commuter tickets are sold for ten rides or more; some railroads sell monthly suburban tickets. In such cities as New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco, suburban traffic is very large.

A Milford Commuter's Idea



A Milford, Connecticut attorney, Joseph H. Cooper, who commutes daily to work in New York City proposed a hostile takeover of Metro-North Commuter Railroad. Along with 95,000 other commuters who normally travel between New York City and Fairfield or New Haven counties in Connecticut or Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties in New York, he was angered by two recent wildcat strikes.

He feels neither the unions nor management have any vested interest in keeping the commuter-customer content, satisfied - let alone happy and well-served. Commuters seem to be only funders who constitute the system's major source of revenue (other than state subsidies).

Cooper feels that if commuters had rights as shareholders, they would have at least some say, if only through proxies. Managers and union members ($40,000/year before overtime conductors) profit even if the commuters are not well served. There are no financial penalties for poor performance.

Cooper's idea is to get a group of train-riding investment bankers to form a syndicate that will take over Metro-North and spin off the New Haven, Hudson and Harlem lines to their respective commuter-investor groups. It would be viewed as a hostile takeover (would the Long Island Railroad act as a White Knight?) but at least the investor would get something for his or her leveraged buyout.

Monthly commutation charges would be pegged to debt-service requirements. Single fares could accumulate in a sinking fund. It might come to pass that improved reliable service would result in debt retirement. Bar-car revenues alone might pay for a big hunk of operating costs. Special transit bonds would be issued to fund the deal.

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com
Penn Central New Haven Railroad New York Central Railroad

Interested in Penn Central? New York Central? Pennsylvania Railroad? New Haven Railroad? or in the smaller Eastern US railroads? Then you will be interested in "What if the Penn Central Merger Did Not Happen". You will also enjoy "Could George Alpert have saved the New Haven?" as well as "What if the New Haven never merged with Penn Central?"

Metro-North New Haven Line on track for new cars

New M8 trains

How many: 350 cars (100 to expand the fleet, 250 replacements)

Estimated cost: $3 million per car, or about $1.05 billion

Why so expensive: Dual power, third rail and catenary line

Who pays: Connecticut, 65 percent; Metro-North Railroad, 35 percent

Proposals due: April 13

Bid awarded: End of 2006

Arrival date: First cars, end of 2008 or early 2009

These cars will have sealed traction motors and electrical systems housed inside the cars, to keep them going during and after storms. They'll also have large, bright windows, headrests for everyone and vacuum-sealed holding tanks to keep toilet odors at bay.

What they won't have are the armrests that catch and rip M7 passengers' coats and pants pockets, costing the railroad more than $30,000 for repairs and riders' goodwill.

But the best news for New Haven Line riders — an average total of 55,818 on weekdays — may be that the new cars will be six inches wider than the line's current M2 model, built in the 1970s.

The new cars likely will have close to 100 seats, fewer than the M2's 124 because some space will be taken by electrical components and a handicapped-accessible bathroom. As a result, the railroad will have to buy more cars, both to replace the existing, tired-out rolling stock and to expand the fleet.

Proposals for the next generation of New Haven Line trains are due April 13. The three interested bidders are Bombardier, which designed the M7s; Kawasaki and Siemens.
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Jenny Plan

NEW YORK CITY TERMINAL and NEW JERSEY UNION TERMINALS

Listening to an all-news radio station, I constantly hear of long delays in New Jersey to New York City commuting. I wonder why better rail links to Northern New Jersey were never developed. Upstate New York, Connecticut and Long Island have excellent links while New Jersey-New York rail is "underdeveloped" and relies on constantly clogged automobile bridges and tunnels.

With the aid of a Yale University librarian, I decided to explore why this situation exists. I discovered that many ideas had been proposed over the years. The most interesting was a 1935 proposal (updated in 1946) by L. Alfred Jenny, a consulting engineer who began his career on the Grand Central Terminal project.

The plan consisted of a modern electrified railroad connecting the various railroads in New Jersey and bringing these lines into a compact union passenger terminal in mid-Manhattan.

The first link in New Jersey, outside of the tunnel portal at Bergen, would have been at New Durham, serving the Northern Railroad of New Jersey (Erie), the West Shore, and the New York, Susquehanna & Western. The estimated number of commuters was 4.2 million annually as well as 1.5 million other passengers.

Another link would have been a new railroad across the Hackensack Meadows to Kingsland on the DL&W Boonton Branch. It would also have connected with the Erie main line at Meadows. It was estimated 4.2 million commuters and 1.2 million others would use this connection each year.

The final link would have gone south across the Hackensack Meadows to a point southeast of Newark. It would have connected the Newark branch of the Erie, the DL&W main line, the B&O, Lehigh Valley and Central RR of New Jersey. This connection would have drawn 9.6 million annual commuters and 7.7 million others.

A transfer station at North Bergen would have allowed superior connections between Northern New Jersey and Southern New Jersey. Included in the plan was electrification of existing railroads in New Jersey. For instance, the West Shore would have been initially electrified to Dumont; the Erie main line to Paterson; and the NYS&W to Hawthorne. The 10.4 million "other" passengers planned for were the long haul types who began disappearing after 1946. Even included here were the trickle of passengers that the Ontario & Western still carried to the Catskills. The 18 million commuters would be a low estimate for today.

The terminal in Manhattan was to have been bounded by 49th Street, 50th Street, 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue. This site is now part of Rockefeller Center (Exxon Building). At the time of this proposal, that area was somewhat less developed and thus a bargain. The terminal was designed to be underground on two levels. Incoming trains would unload on the lower level, then proceed over loop tracks to the upper level for departure. Each level was to have had 14 tracks with 7 platforms long enough to hold from 10 to 14 cars. By combining shorter trains on the New Jersey side in order to reduce the number of trains, two one-track tunnels were anticipated. Escalators and stairways would bring passengers up to a concourse. Short connections would have been provided to 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue and Broadway subways.

It was planned to bring short freights through the tunnels during off-peak hours and connect with the New York Central West Side Freight Line.

A future add-on would have been a subway connection to Grand Central Terminal then to Fifth Avenue and downtown to the Battery. It could even have been extended under the Hudson River to Jersey City. A station at 33rd Street would have given direct connection to Long Island trains.

The 1946 cost was projected at $117,840,000 to be financed by a combination of Public Authority, the railroads, and the public. Railroads had always paid a premium to enter New York. When the B&O ran passenger trains into Penn Station, it paid $720,000 per year. By 1946, the B&O was using busses which cost almost as much.

Other ideas and developments went on during the first half of the century.

The George Washington Bridge was originally designed to have two tracks on the upper level with car lanes on each side. This rail line would have connected to the Eighth Avenue (IND) subway and continued to Paterson.

As part of the development of Grand Central, a study was made of bringing the West Shore through a tunnel. This project was abandoned. The McAdoo brothers, New York City subway builders, had a franchise for building a rapid transit line from Passaic to Times Square. They envisioned a West Shore transfer station at New Durham, NJ. This project was also abandoned.

The Port of New York Authority presented a plan in 1920 for bringing freight into New York by means of automatically controlled small cars. Many criticized this plan as impractical and as not trying to solve the passenger problem. Jenny submitted a plan in 1921 for a rapid transit loop which would intersect all the New Jersey railroads from Jersey City to New Durham then tunnel to mid-town New York, proceed to the Battery and return to Jersey City. New Jersey created the "North Jersey Transit Commission" to study the commuting problem. In 1927 this commission was abolished and the Port Authority took over its activities. Needless to say, nothing came of this.

During this era, a Mr. G. Lindenthal, who held a bridge franchise from the 1890s, pushed for bridges at 23rd Street and later at 57th Street. The Port Authority opposed him because of competition with their projects. Other New Yorkers did not want the 20 story height and the huge ramps because of real estate values. The War Department wanted a 200 ft. clearance but Lindenthal found this impractical and unsuccessfully offered to provide telescopic masts for all vessels that would have to pass under the bridge.

During this period much basic data was accumulated, many meetings were held, reams of reports were written but no real action was taken. A bill to create an authority to build tunnels died in 1940 in the New Jersey Legislature.

Many have said that adequate rail lines from New York City to New Jersey were never built because of Robert Moses. His attitude was that there was more profit in charging automobile tolls than in actually having to perform a service (run trains). This attitude continues to the present with the management of the Port Authority.

Even if a rail crossing was constructed, the situation in Northern New Jersey rail-wise is not a good one. NJ Transit still thinks of itself as a bus company first. While New York State passengers press to raise 79 mph track to 90 mph, the Pascack Valley Line struggles along at 27 mph! Elimination of the Erie Main Line in favor of sole reliance on the Graham Line forces passenger rail and freight rail to share a single track. It also forced a fast growing segment of the population onto busses.

Proposals for a rail commuter connection are still being made. The PATH railroad is at 100% capacity. Albert Cafiero of the Transit Committee of Bergen County has proposed a tunnel into the Lincoln Center area continuing into Grand Central Terminal. He would have a connection to Amtrak's West Side Connector to provide a backup for the Park Avenue Tunnel.

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com

Jenny Plan

REVISED JENNY PLAN: Access To and Through the New York City Metro Area

ATTOMA (Access To and Through Our Metro Area) was prepared for New Jersey Senator Gerald Cardinale by Albert F. Cafiero and is adapted from the work of Col. Alfred Jenny. After his involvement in the building of Grand Central Terminal, Col. Jenny developed his comprehensive concept during the period from 1910-1950.

Modifications to the plan, which was proposed by Col. Jenny in 1961, have been made necessary by the "uptown creep" of the Midtown Central Business District, by the destruction of the Jersey Central Railroad's Newark Bay Bridge and by an increasing need for access to Newark and Kennedy Airports.

This plan is competing against "ARC" (Access to the Region's Core) which Mr. Cafiero feels should be reexamined with a more critical eye. He states the ARC Plan is inadequate, too expensive and myopic. The "Access to the Region's Core" study, has designated Alternative "AA" as their "Preferred Alternative." (Under AA two trans-Hudson tracks would go to Penn Station). However, they have neglected to address future transit needs resulting from the continuing "Uptown Creep" of Manhattan's business district. Furthermore, AA is a closed ended proposal which cannot be easily modified to accommodate foreseeable needs of future development. In short, ARC's proposal is already obsolete.

To the "preferred" Alternative AA, they have now added 11 variants (mainly to connect Penn Station with Grand Central) in an attempt to find some workable solution. It is critical that these variants are not only compared among themselves, but with Alternative BB (a 50th Street Hudson Crossing) and also with the updated version of the Jenny Plan (discussed below).

In this light, it would be advisable to revisit the "JENNY PLAN" before any further studies are undertaken. The updated JENNY PLAN enables loops coming from both NJ and Queens to the North of Midtown. These loops would connect to a common Spine Line running in a deep tunnel, with limited stops, to downtown Manhattan where they would split to go to both Brooklyn and Jersey. Such a plan could be implemented in stages, with success feeding upon success.

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com
Original Plan (my data) Revised Plan (Mr. Cafiero’s plan)
Most interesting was a 1935 proposal (updated in 1946) by L. Alfred Jenny, a consulting engineer who began his career on the Grand Central Terminal project. The plan consisted of a modern electrified railroad connecting the various railroads in New Jersey and bringing these lines into a compact union passenger terminal in mid-Manhattan. This proposal is an adaptation on the work of Col. Alfred Jenny. Col. Jenny who was involved in the building of Grand Central Terminal developed his concept during the 1910-1950 period. It is to be noted that the accommodation of three tracks, from West of the Hudson, was included in the original planning of Grand Central Terminal. Modifications to the original plan proposed by Col. Jenny have been made necessary by the UPTOWN CREEP of the Midtown Central Business District.
The first link in New Jersey, outside of the tunnel portal at Bergen, would have been at New Durham, serving the Northern Railroad of New Jersey (Erie), the West Shore, and the New York, Susquehanna & Western. The estimated number of commuters was 4.2 million annually as well as 1.5 million other passengers. New Starts, Restore Service on West Shore and NYS&W in Bergen, Passaic and Rockland Counties. Northern Branch light rail now with possible conversion to heavy rail after 63rd Street tunnel is completed.
Another link would have been a new railroad across the Hackensack Meadows to Kingsland on the DL&W Boonton Branch. It would also have connected with the Erie main line at Meadows. It was estimated 4.2 million commuters and 1.2 million others would use this connection each year. Bergen Direct Connector to New Tunnel& Corridor for present and new rail services from Bergen & Passaic.
The final link would have gone south across the Hackensack Meadows to a point southeast of Newark. It would have connected the Newark branch of the Erie, the DL&W main line, the B&O, Lehigh Valley and Central RR of New Jersey. This connection would have drawn 9.6 million annual commuters and 7.7 million others. A transfer station at North Bergen would have allowed superior connections between Northern New Jersey and Southern New Jersey. Included in the plan was electrification of existing railroads in New Jersey. For instance, the West Shore would have been initially electrified to Dumont; the Erie main line to Paterson; and the NYS&W to Hawthorne.
The 10.4 million "other" passengers planned for were the long haul types who began disappearing after 1946. Even included here were the trickle of passengers that the Ontario & Western still carried to the Catskills. The 18 million commuters would be a low estimate for today. Downtown Jersey City Tunnel to Newark Airport to connect with the NE Corridor Line.
The terminal in Manhattan was to have been bounded by 49th Street, 50th Street, 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue. This site is now part of Rockefeller Center (Exxon Building). At the time of this proposal, that area was somewhat less developed and thus a bargain. The terminal was designed to be underground on two levels. Incoming trains would unload on the lower level, then proceed over loop tracks to the upper level for departure. Each level was to have had 14 tracks with 7 platforms long enough to hold from 10 to 14 cars. By combining shorter trains on the New Jersey side in order to reduce the number of trains, two one-track tunnels were anticipated. Escalators and stairways would bring passengers up to a concourse. Short connections would have been provided to 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue and Broadway subways. It was planned to bring short freights through the tunnels during off-peak hours and connect with the New York Central West Side Freight Line. A new tunnel would cross the Hudson River in the neighborhood of 63rd Street to connect in a Wye with the Spine Line as well as with LIRR coming from the east through the East River 63rd Street Tunnel. This would provide direct access to GCT and Lincoln Center for both the LIRR and NJ Transit. Part of this Phase would be a connection with the West Side Line to provide access to the rail Yards north of 125th Street to provide midday storage for NJ Transit, LIRR and Metro North. Trains would come from NJ stop at Lincoln Center and continue to GCT. Trains from Queens would also Terminate at GCT. Empty equipment would lay over in the 125 Street yards.
A future add-on would have been a subway connection to Grand Central Terminal then to Fifth Avenue and downtown to the Battery. It could even have been extended under the Hudson River to Jersey City. A station at 33rd Street would have given direct connection to Long Island trains. Continue the Spine Line with trains stopping at new platforms beneath the Lower Level of GCT to another Wye at 33rd Street. LIRR trains could return to Queens while NJT trains could return to NJ via Penn Station. Reverse direction travel would also apply for both lines. Same as Phase I, but some trains would continue in the deep tunnel to the 33Rd Street tunnels. NJ Transit trains would bear right returning to NJ via Penn Station. LIRR trains could bear left to return to Long Island City or terminate at Penn Station.

Phase III Complete the Spine Line downtown to the Financial Center and run into two underwater tunnels, one to connect with NJ Transit in Hoboken, and the other to the LIRR at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Adds to Phase II the options of continuing downtown to the Financial District with NJ Transit returning via Hoboken and LIRR returning via Brooklyn.

Phase IIIB. If a four way interchange is built at 33rd Street, trains from Penn Station and Long Island City could also reach the Spine Line at 33rd Street and continue Downtown to the Financial Center tunnels.

Phases II, III & IIIB would also accommodate trains in the opposite directions and would be built to accommodate all three lines in any direction including running trains from New Jersey to Long Island and Westchester. Trains from the West Shore and all other rail lines coming from Bergen and Rockland Counties would have direct access to New York City and possibly Newark.
The 1946 cost was projected at $117,840,000 to be financed by a combination of Public Authority, the railroads, and the public. Railroads had always paid a premium to enter New York. When the B&O ran passenger trains into Penn Station, it paid $720,000 per year. By 1946, the B&O was using busses which cost almost as much. No clue!
Stamford Connecticut Interstate 95 and train station Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station
DeSoto Taxi The Driver's waiting for a fare--notice the "availability" of the cab, by the white lite-lit Medallion on the cab roof!
Is Mass Transit available to you!!!
Hummer How many gallons of foreign oil does it take to fill this thing?
Trains can be powered by electricity generated by home-grown coal.
1937 Twin Coach bus Politicians and their asphalt-lobby friends think "Busways" are the answer!
Not really! Get serious about mass transit.
There are many train stations in Connecticut. Some have been rebuilt. Some are no longer used and have been converted to other uses. Some have restaurants in them or close by. More Connecticut Train Stations

We have found even more on Connecticut's railroad stations! Click Here or on any of the pictures to see lots more (previously unpublished) information and pictures of Connecticuts train stations.
More Connecticut Train Stations More Connecticut Train Stations More Connecticut Train Stations
Grand Central was owned by the New York Central Railroad

Do you know who owns Grand Central now?
If you said Metro North Railroad, or its parent company, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, then you are wrong.
Nor is it Donald Trump, Disney or WalMart.
Find the answer and find out a lot of interesting facts.
Danbury Branch Electrification Feasibility Study Website. The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) launched this Study to evaluate the feasibility of electrification of the Danbury Branch and other possible alternatives to improve service on the Branch. This website provides important information about the development of this study, as well as the opportunity for the public to get involved.

Greater Danbury's Regional Transportation Plan.
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Our HAND TOOL WebSite is intended in aiding you to locate HAND TOOL suppliers. You may search by product or by manufacturer. We add both products and manufacturers, so keep checking back. In addition we are a full service MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operational Supplies) supplier. If you are in the construction or farming business, we are your source.

REFERENCE

Regional Railroads
Commuter Railroads
Definition of a commuter from Answers.com
New Jersey Transit: Itinerary Planning
Vancouver Virtual Transit Center
CAT
Coalition for Appropriate Transportation
US local passenger systems
Passenger Car Photo Index
This WebPage is maintained for historical articles only.
For an up-to-date listing of North American Commuter Rail and Transit Systems, please visit our TRANSIT WebPage www.ominousweather.com/Transit.html
Rich Neighbor Commuter Check Trips 123
New York City Transit Planning NYC wrecker formerly at Harmon

New York Central Harmon Wrecker at New York Central Museum in Elkhart, Indiana

Ominous Ecology

Greenland's ice caps are melting! Find out more about Global Warming at our Ominous Ecology WebSite.

Metro North Commuter RR currently owns the tracks through Glenham.
Metro North Commuter RR currently owns the tracks through Glenham.

The ND&C RR (Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad) established an operation that survived through good times and bad for over 25 years until it was absorbed into the Central New England Rwy and later became part of the New Haven RR. Still later 11 miles of the old ND&C line became part of the ill fated Penn Central, next Conrail, then the Housatonic RR and currently Metro North.

After many years and many different names, these tracks are still in service and owned by Metro North MTA. There is no regular train service on this “Beacon Branch” but they are keeping the line open for possible future use.

To see more about this historic rail line, once a part of the Central New England Railway in New York State and the New Haven Railroad, click here
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This mailing list is for all railfans out there to mainly discuss general railroad/model railroad questions.
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