Thursday, June 26, 2008

2008 New York State Rail Plan Vol. 2

I had planned to do the guiding principles portion of the charrette report today but those plans were nixed when I failed to bring my thumb drive home with me. Instead I'll plow further on in the rail plan in order to cover as much as possible within the public comment period ending July 18.

Chapter proves to be significant and interesting (read Chapter 2 only if interested in archaic state policy and federal funding bickering) as an overview of the current local rail situation. Starting with quick hitters such as, 'Amtrak operates over 782 route miles in New York, of which 732 route miles are operated under trackage rights over three freight railroads and one commuter railroad,' the chapter jumps into intercity, commuter, and freight charts showing 4-6 year upward trends in each. The Amtrak and MTA/LIRR charts are embedded.

After a brief history lesson on the railroads of New York, including the formation of the MTA as we know it today, industrial developments such as the creation of Amtrak (and its accompanying idiosyncracies), deregulation, local freight assistance, short lines, heavy load cars, and intermodal freight are touched on. Additional sale, consolidation, splitting, and abandonment developments of the last 20 years are profiled.

Finally, a comprehensive rail needs survey has been developed and initiated by the DOT. Each of the major Class I railroads operating in New York as well as Amtrak and Short Lines/Regionals will be asked for dollar estimates to perform four unique work scopes. The major categories are as follows:
  • Maintain Existing Conditions (Status Quo)
  • Develop State of Good Repair (SOGR)
  • System Enhancement (Includes work to develop, increase, or improve service without significant alterations to the rail network)
  • System Expansion

Tomorrow is my first Critical Mass ride and Saturday is blocked for the Broad Street Aqueduct workshop. I hope to find some time during the rest of the weekend to report on the workshop as well as put together my intended charrette installment.

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