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Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Apr 27 19:03:09 2012

Bergen Record

NJ Transit spends $408M on locomotives built specially for scuttled tunnel

Thursday April 12, 2012, 12:33 AM
BY KAREN ROUSE | STAFF WRITER | The Record
Governor Christie killed the Hudson River rail tunnel nearly two years ago, but New Jersey taxpayers will still pay more than $408 million for locomotives built specially for the project.

NJ Transit purchased 26 of the locomotives in 2008 and nine more in July 2010, just months before Christie scuttled the project. Eight of the engines, the first of their kind in the United States, have already been delivered.

The ability of the dual-mode locomotives, specially designed by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, to operate seamlessly on both diesel and electric rail lines was a key selling point of the tunnel project: It would allow Main, Bergen and Pascack Valley line commuters to ride directly into Manhattan without having to transfer.

The engines, about double the cost of a diesel locomotive, are another example of the costs that linger when a project of this size is canceled. Also paid for are land deals on each side of the Hudson River totaling more than $100 million including $95 million paid upfront by the Port Authority for a 10-year lease on a Manhattan waterfront parcel deemed critical to the project.

And the locomotives, at $8.5 million to $10.2 million a pop, have some questioning why the agency isnt cutting its losses.

The last nine have not been built yet. Thats why were hoping they would cancel them, said Jack May, vice-president of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, which advocates for stable fares and transit use. These locomotives cost an awful lot of money.

NJ Transit officials, however, made it clear at Wednesdays board meeting that all 35 locomotives will be delivered.

NJ Transit Spokesman John Durso said the first 26 locomotives cost $10.2 million each, while the last nine cost $8.5 million each. A diesel locomotive is about $5.3 million, he said.

The 35 locomotives were capital budget purchases paid for with a mix of funds from the states Transportation Trust Fund and federal dollars, Durso said. Those figures do not include an additional $13.8 million in engineering assistance on the locomotive order.

Executive Director Jim Weinstein said that while the Access to the Regions Core tunnel may have been the impetus for the multimillion-dollar purchase, users on the Montclair-Boonton, Raritan Valley and North Jersey Coast lines will benefit when all 35 locomotives are operating in May 2013.

But not riders from North Jersey.

When the tunnel project was canceled, so was the construction of a rail loop that would have allowed the new locomotives to run on diesel in Bergen County and switch to electric for the trip through the tunnel, eliminating the need for a transfer at Secaucus Junction or Hoboken.

Diesel trains cannot operate in the tunnel because the fumes create a hazard.

Kevin OConnor, vice-president and general manager of rail at NJ Transit, said 60 percent of NJ Transits system is diesel, including the Main, Bergen, Pascack Valley and Raritan lines.

OConnor said the agency currently has 90 diesel locomotives. Of those, 33 are new PL42 models purchased in 2005. The remaining 57 are older locomotives that have been built and rebuilt since the 1980s and 1990s, he said.

Theyre pretty much beyond their useful life, he said.

The new dual-mode locomotives will replace 35 of those older diesels and be used on the Montclair-Boonton, North Jersey Coast and the Raritan Valley lines, OConnor said.

ARC was more than 15 years in the planning and a year into construction when Christie abruptly shut it down in October 2010. With NJ Transit rail service into New York operating at capacity, the project offered hope of relief with the construction of a new pair of rail tunnels under the Hudson River that would have doubled the number of NJ Transit trains that could carry commuters into New York. But Christie claimed estimates showed the project had ballooned as much as $5 billion over its $8.7 billion budget.

A report released Tuesday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows estimates had actually fluctuated and Christie relied on the higher numbers in making his decision.

Ironically, some of the biggest critics of Christies decision to kill the mass transit tunnel agree the locomotives should stay.

David Widawsky, a former Port Authority employee and one of the original 1995 officials behind the ARC project, said, the only reason NJ Transit even pursued the concept of dual-mode locomotive was ARC. The whole purpose was to give people a one-seat ride, he said.

The only alternative would be to convert the entire system to electric, something that is too costly, he said.

He said it makes sense for NJ Transit to hold onto the nine additional dual-mode locomotives because the agency has to constantly replace aging equipment. The contract allowed for up to 63 more to be purchased.

To their credit, they have found some usefulness on the Coast Line, the Montclair-Boonton.

Martin Robins, director emeritus at the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers and one of the original planners of the tunnel project, said the dual-mode locomotives would have been put to the best use with ARC but that they can have independent utility.


(1153367)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Chris R16/R2730 on Fri Apr 27 19:10:43 2012, in response to Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Apr 27 19:03:09 2012.

There is absolutely no way they can consider replacing dedicated locomotives like the GP40's with these things. As a straight diesel, they will not perform nearly as well as the older models. They should cancel the additional engines after the base order. That's more than enough to provide 2 for every possible additional train which can be squeezed into the current Penn Station.

(1153374)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Joe V on Fri Apr 27 19:48:21 2012, in response to Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Apr 27 19:03:09 2012.

Leave it to that pandering asshole Marty Robins to makes excuses for NJT.
Why does he always get quotes ? What did he ever accomplish other than opening that silly Voorhees School ?

(1153376)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by NJCL2308 on Fri Apr 27 19:57:06 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Chris R16/R2730 on Fri Apr 27 19:10:43 2012.

There are no additional trains that can be squeezed into Penn.

(1153377)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by merrick1 on Fri Apr 27 20:01:04 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by NJCL2308 on Fri Apr 27 19:57:06 2012.

Off peak and weekends?

(1153383)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Joe V on Fri Apr 27 20:22:42 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by merrick1 on Fri Apr 27 20:01:04 2012.

Shoulder rush and weekdays midday - maybe, which is also when there is less commercial need to do it.

Weekends: forget it, Amtrak often is single-threading thru 1 tube.


(1153550)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Chris R16/R2730 on Sat Apr 28 13:40:50 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by NJCL2308 on Fri Apr 27 19:57:06 2012.

What I meant is extending existing trains past their electric terminals. Service on the Boonton line and west of Dover can be achieved by extending trains which currently terminate at Dover or MSU. Same thing on the NJCL. Doing this keeps the number of trains the same, but adds direct service to NYP from the diesel lines.

The RVL is screwed. Any RVL service into NYP would require cutting a train elsewhere.

(1153559)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Joe V on Sat Apr 28 13:56:49 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Chris R16/R2730 on Sat Apr 28 13:40:50 2012.

Well yes, but that adds train miles, which NJT is loath to do.

What I could see on weekends is the 4 Rahway locals (and deadheads in the opposite direction) get the axe - turn their slots over to RVL trains. They now run with 2 eight car sets of Arrows. Then it is also zero-sum in operating costs - abolish the 2 Arrow jobs, add 1 RVL.

But they would be stuck with the exact time slots, and do not know if that works operationally with the single tracking constraints on the Lehigh Line or gives a reasonable amount of time to relay in Raritan.

This all assumes the locos work. From what a birdy in Amtrak mgmt told me is that the engines have oscillation problems and would run on Amtrak trackage at restrictive speed - basically an E44/E60 issue. Since in reality NJT trains don't get over 40 - 50MPH east of NWK anymore or for any great distance anyway (regardless of what they're supposed to do), that may not be an issue.

(1153607)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by WillD on Sat Apr 28 16:37:58 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Chris R16/R2730 on Sat Apr 28 13:40:50 2012.

Service on the Boonton line and west of Dover can be achieved by extending trains which currently terminate at Dover or MSU.

That assumes those things could cope with the Montclair line grades. What the other ALPs have done to the schedule is bad enough, but tossing the DPs up there for the WORMs could be truly disastrous unless they schedule them as diesel runs.

So, 35 locomotives and the better part of a half billion dollars down the drain and all we'll have to show for it might be a few runs from Penn Station to Bay Head.

(1153620)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Joe V on Sat Apr 28 17:30:06 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by WillD on Sat Apr 28 16:37:58 2012.

I smell a kick-back with BBD.

A few guys on trainorders.com say the CN has banned them from their trackage due to a derailment in revenue service. They were never to be assigned to the CPR lines out of Windsor station.

They needed new diesels, no question about that, but 35 could have been had for $175M, and the balance spent on infrastructural needs. But that would have meant Alstom or BLI - no kickback there, which is why I suspect it with BBD.


(1153668)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Sat Apr 28 22:23:26 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Joe V on Sat Apr 28 17:30:06 2012.

A few guys on trainorders.com say the CN has banned them from their trackage due to a derailment in revenue service.

Congrats. Now AMT* is stuck with a white elephant and a line it can't operate because the train needed is banned from operating on its tracks. AMT is probably going to end up electrifying much earlier than expected, and NJT and AMT are going to be stuck with locomotives they can't even dump on the used market. I hope they have the right to sue BBD in their respective contracts...

*Supposedly, the only reason that AMT ended up with the units in the first place was because NJT's large purchase ended up subsidizing the costs for them. AMT wanted them, but only NJT was willing to place a large enough order for BBD to even consider the idea...

Windsor station

Why must you use the name that the white man gave to it? Vive Gare Lucien-L'Allier!

(1153671)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 28 22:29:36 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Sat Apr 28 22:23:26 2012.

AMT is probably going to end up electrifying much earlier than expected

No, they weren't expecting to electrify. And electrification is contingent on frequency when new-build; the frequency of Repentigny-Mascouche line trains still doesn't warrant it.

Supposedly, the only reason that AMT ended up with the units in the first place was because NJT's large purchase ended up subsidizing the costs for them. AMT wanted them, but only NJT was willing to place a large enough order for BBD to even consider the idea

Baloney. They wouldn't have cost as much as they do, if that were the case.

Why must you use the name that the white man gave to it?

What the blazes is wrong with you? No, you aren't funny.

And that's aside from the fact that French people are white themselves.

(1153682)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Sat Apr 28 23:57:21 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 28 22:29:36 2012.

No, they weren't expecting to electrify.

Now that GO Transit/Metrolinx is considering actual electrification with something resembling a plan, now AMT has become open to the idea as well, especially since the province uses inexpensive hydro power. Repentigny-Mascouche may run peak only service, but it seems that eventually, they'd like to have real levels of usable service.

And that's aside from the fact that French people are white themselves.

I've met Anglo Canadians who told Francophones to "speak white", so the notion of the Quebecois people not being white isn't that far fetched, especially in light of the discrimination they faces at the hands of the Anglo Protestant population.

Besides, white can always vary by the context that one uses it. I may have dark skin, but in certain contexts, I'm *white*.

(1153683)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by merrick1 on Sun Apr 29 00:22:25 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 28 22:29:36 2012.

"Why must you use the name that the white man gave to it?"

"What the blazes is wrong with you? No, you aren't funny.
And that's aside from the fact that French people are white themselves."

Well you do have to have to throw off the yoke of colonialist oppression You don' think all those Washington Streets and Madison Avenues in the US were originally named that do you?

The Quebecois may be white but see

(1153684)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 00:40:56 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by merrick1 on Sun Apr 29 00:22:25 2012.

Complete hooey.

(1153685)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 02:20:24 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Sat Apr 28 23:57:21 2012.

Doesn't mention Repentigny-Mascouche specifically in those electrification plans. If anything comes of it, don't be surprised to see the lines out of Almost-Windsor electrified and not anything new on the Gare Centrale side.

(1153690)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by merrick1 on Sun Apr 29 08:30:57 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 00:40:56 2012.

Quebec was like South Africa. The majority were oppressed by the minority. Of course Olag probably doesn't think Black and Coloured South Africans were oppressed either.

(1153703)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Kriston Lewis on Sun Apr 29 13:27:33 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Sat Apr 28 23:57:21 2012.

I've met Anglo Canadians who told Francophones to "speak white", so the notion of the Quebecois people not being white isn't that far fetched, especially in light of the discrimination they faces at the hands of the Anglo Protestant population.
In the grand scheme of things, they're still ahead.

(1153704)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Kriston Lewis on Sun Apr 29 13:27:50 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 28 22:29:36 2012.

Based on what I've picked up, white man is a separate entity from white people; one represents a small group that controls everything and another represents the rest of the citizenry.



(1153708)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 13:49:58 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Kriston Lewis on Sun Apr 29 13:27:50 2012.

Something funny in the water up there.

(1153758)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by AMoreira81 on Sun Apr 29 17:08:57 2012, in response to Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Olog-hai on Fri Apr 27 19:03:09 2012.

Many of the current locomotives in the NJT fleet are based on frames that are north of 40 yerars old, however. The F40PHs are from the early 1980s, but the rest are from between 1965 and 1973.

(1153765)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 17:33:32 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by AMoreira81 on Sun Apr 29 17:08:57 2012.

Many of the current locomotives in the NJT fleet are based on frames that are north of 40 yerars old, however

So what? That doesn't justify buying all of the ALP-45DPs one bit.

(1153767)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Apr 29 17:44:51 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 17:33:32 2012.

So their bought, canceling order would cost more than taking delivery.
So what is your solution ?? oops you got none.
just critisism on your part so what is new ???


(1153773)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Joe V on Sun Apr 29 18:35:27 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Apr 29 17:44:51 2012.

Out of 35, 7 are here. If we cancel the rest of the 28, the first 18 cost $10M, the next 9 cost $8M.
New diesels cost about $5M.
I find it hard to believe that even with cancellation penalties, they would not be better off cutting their losses right now.


(1153782)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 19:07:25 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Apr 29 17:44:51 2012.

So their bought, canceling order would cost more than taking delivery

Not at those prices.

(1153802)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Apr 29 20:03:52 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Joe V on Sun Apr 29 18:35:27 2012.

With a project this far along the penalty may exceed or match the outstanding units.
The Materials are bought, the steel is cut, etc etc.


(1153807)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Spider-Pig on Sun Apr 29 20:23:58 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by merrick1 on Sun Apr 29 08:30:57 2012.

Olog weeps for the fall of the NP.

(1153809)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 20:28:34 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Apr 29 20:03:52 2012.

. . . and they can be reworked into another type of TRAXX* unit if needs be. The Caterpillar prime movers can be used in different locomotives or even in boats.

* "TRAXX" still stands for "Trans-national Railway Applications with extreme flexibility" after all, emphasis on the last two words.

(1153810)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 20:29:10 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by merrick1 on Sun Apr 29 08:30:57 2012.

Propaganda.

(1153811)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 20:29:50 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Spider-Pig on Sun Apr 29 20:23:58 2012.

LOL!

(1153818)

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Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP

Posted by Dutchrailnut on Sun Apr 29 20:52:10 2012, in response to Re: Media finally questioning NJ Transit's profligacy vis--vis the ALP-45DP, posted by Olog-hai on Sun Apr 29 20:28:34 2012.

Yes they can be, but without extra money they won't.
So NJT is stuck with these pigs, and at cost.
Bombardier is not gone eat the loss.



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