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Longest Commuter Rail Trip?


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#1 reefgeek

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 10:25 PM

Okay, I know I will come off sounding like one of the very few cranks on this board, but here goes:

Whar's the longest trip one might take by commuter rail? (in the US, not some 3-day nightmare in China...) How big a masochist would you need to be? I started thinking about NJ Transit from Philly to Port Jervis, then I thought there must be some service south of Philly. But Port Jervis is a dead end, so I guess if you cheated a little and jumped over to Grand Central you could get out to Montauk or Waterbury CT?

Is this even in the runnning or is there something longer that could be ridden somewhere else?

I know scheduling enters into this, I once had the idea to leave from my workplace in East Rutherford and make the run up to Port Jervis but found I would need a hotel to wait for the return...

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#2 MattW

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 11:48 PM

Well, if you didn't mind changing services, you could do New London-GCT via Metro North, GCT-NYP via subway, NYP-Trenton via NJT, Trenton-Newark, DE via SEPTA. When they close the MARC gap between Perryville, MD and Newark, DE, you could do that trip, then transfer at Newark to WAS via MARC, then transfer to VRE all the way to Fredericksburg, VA. And if they close the New London-Providence gap, you could go all the way from Haverhill, MA to Fredericksburg, VA without driving, flying, or Amtrak.
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#3 AlanB

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 11:53 PM

you could do New London-GCT via Metro North,


Metro North starts at New Haven, not New London. You'll need Shoreline East to get from New London down to New Haven.
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#4 Shawn Ryu

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 12:45 AM

I really dont see them closing New London-Providence gap.
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#5 rrdude

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 08:52 AM

Well, if you didn't mind changing services, you could do New London-GCT via Metro North, GCT-NYP via subway, NYP-Trenton via NJT, Trenton-Newark, DE via SEPTA. When they close the MARC gap between Perryville, MD and Newark, DE, you could do that trip, then transfer at Newark to WAS via MARC, then transfer to VRE all the way to Fredericksburg, VA. And if they close the New London-Providence gap, you could go all the way from Haverhill, MA to Fredericksburg, VA without driving, flying, or Amtrak.

That is kind of amazing thou, that one could go that far on nothing other than commuter rail. Wouldn't earn to many AGR points tho
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#6 Train2104

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 08:58 AM

There are ways to bypass both gaps. For the MD gap, take DART bus to Glasgow and transfer to a Cecil County The Bus to Elkton and then another The Bus to Perryville. For the CT/RI gap, take a SEAT bus to the RI border, walk across the border, get a Westerly Dial-A-Ride reservation which will take you to the Warwick Mall for RIPTA bus service.

There's been talk of extending commuter rail to close both gaps, but the MD one is at least 6 years way and the RI one at least a decade away.

Haverhill-Fredericksburg will involve a couple of overnights due to that fact that many of these services have limited hours (north of New Haven and south of Wilmington)

Edited by Train2104, 10 April 2011 - 08:59 AM.


#7 jis

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 09:05 AM

Okay, I know I will come off sounding like one of the very few cranks on this board, but here goes:

Whar's the longest trip one might take by commuter rail? (in the US, not some 3-day nightmare in China...) How big a masochist would you need to be? I started thinking about NJ Transit from Philly to Port Jervis, then I thought there must be some service south of Philly. But Port Jervis is a dead end, so I guess if you cheated a little and jumped over to Grand Central you could get out to Montauk or Waterbury CT?

Montauk is I believe the longest commuter service out of New York. And BTW Montauk trains, or more precisely trains that connect to the Montauk train at Jamaica depart from Penn Station and not Grand Central. There is no direct way to get to Montauk from Grand Central. You could take the 7 to Hunterspoint Avenue and get from there to Montauk on weekdays I suppose.

I really dont see them closing New London-Providence gap.

The Rhode Island and the Connecticut DOT guys at the Boston NARP meeting apparently thought otherwise :) But what would they know?

Edited by jis, 10 April 2011 - 11:37 AM.


#8 AlanB

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 11:04 AM

Here's a trip report on how to conquer the NEC by commuter rail.
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#9 reefgeek

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 11:26 AM

Thanks everybody, what a well-informed bunch! The idea is really attractive to me as a lark...now to see if I can interest Michael Palin...:lol:

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#10 Shawn Ryu

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:57 PM


Okay, I know I will come off sounding like one of the very few cranks on this board, but here goes:

Whar's the longest trip one might take by commuter rail? (in the US, not some 3-day nightmare in China...) How big a masochist would you need to be? I started thinking about NJ Transit from Philly to Port Jervis, then I thought there must be some service south of Philly. But Port Jervis is a dead end, so I guess if you cheated a little and jumped over to Grand Central you could get out to Montauk or Waterbury CT?

Montauk is I believe the longest commuter service out of New York. And BTW Montauk trains, or more precisely trains that connect to the Montauk train at Jamaica depart from Penn Station and not Grand Central. There is no direct way to get to Montauk from Grand Central. You could take the 7 to Hunterspoint Avenue and get from there to Montauk on weekdays I suppose.

I really dont see them closing New London-Providence gap.

The Rhode Island and the Connecticut DOT guys at the Boston NARP meeting apparently thought otherwise :) But what would they know?


I know they are working on extending Providence MBTA line to Wickford Junction, but how far is Wickford Junction from CT/RI border? Is there people commuting from New London or Mystique all the way to Boston?

Edited by Shawn Ryu, 10 April 2011 - 10:58 PM.


#11 Spokker

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 12:14 AM

Longest commuter rail trip? Any trip in which some poor bastard jumps in front of the train.

Car accidents they can't clean up quickly enough. But train accidents? 3 hour delay. It's not like anybody has to get home or anything.

#12 steamtrain6868

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 01:12 AM

Has to be the South Shore South Bend to Chicago--- It was like 3 hours on the local at 80 miles.

#13 jis

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:15 AM

I know they are working on extending Providence MBTA line to Wickford Junction, but how far is Wickford Junction from CT/RI border? Is there people commuting from New London or Mystique all the way to Boston?

I don't know, and certainly no one goes to Mistique. Some may go to Mystic. :) All that I said is that the ConnDOT and RI DOT think that they will run service connecting New London with Providence at some point. If you disagree go and argue with them.

#14 AlanB

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 11:29 AM

Has to be the South Shore South Bend to Chicago--- It was like 3 hours on the local at 80 miles.


The LIRR's Montauk station is 117 miles from Penn Station and a total ride time of 3 hours and 16 minutes for the fastest train. Slower trains can take 3 hours 27 minutes.
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#15 the_traveler

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 06:08 PM

I know they are working on extending Providence MBTA line to Wickford Junction, but how far is Wickford Junction from CT/RI border?

Wickford Junction is about 20 miles from the CT/RI border as the crow flies, but crows don't fly straight in RI! (We have good beer in RI!Posted Image) But that will only be served by MBTA, and not at all by Amtrak. Wickford Junction is about 5 -10 rail miles north of KIN, but I have not heard of any extension plans to KIN.

And FYI: Many, many people commute from KIN to BOS every day. The (large) parking lot fills up for #66 about 6:20 AM and pretty much empties out after the 6:35 PM train from BOS arrives!

Edited by the_traveler, 11 April 2011 - 06:09 PM.

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#16 jis

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 06:24 PM


I know they are working on extending Providence MBTA line to Wickford Junction, but how far is Wickford Junction from CT/RI border?

Wickford Junction is about 20 miles from the CT/RI border as the crow flies, but crows don't fly straight in RI! (We have good beer in RI!Posted Image) But that will only be served by MBTA, and not at all by Amtrak. Wickford Junction is about 5 -10 rail miles north of KIN, but I have not heard of any extension plans to KIN.

And FYI: Many, many people commute from KIN to BOS every day. The (large) parking lot fills up for #66 about 6:20 AM and pretty much empties out after the 6:35 PM train from BOS arrives!

Apparently Wickford Jct will get a huge parking structure. According to the RI DOT guy the next step after Wickford will be Kingston, but in his words, let's get Wickford done first. :) RI also wants to add stations at Pawtuckett and two other places that I cannot remember off the top of my head.

OTOH, ConnDOT is toying with the idea of extending Shore Line East from New London to Mystic, but that needs a bit of trackwork and high level platform work at Mystic. Also this won't happen until after the second round of M8s arrive so it is a few years away. This will be fully electric service, unlike the MBTA service from the north. Meanwhile they are busy installing high level platform progressively at all Shore Line East stations, since M8s are incapable of operating from low level platforms, and that is the equipment that they plan to transition the NEC service to while cascading the diesel equipment to the Connecticut Valley Line.

Edited by jis, 12 April 2011 - 11:08 AM.


#17 Ryan

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 06:26 PM

Here's a trip report on how to conquer the NEC by commuter rail.

I've read that a few times before, what an awesome trip. One of these days I'll have the time to do something similar.
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#18 DET63

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:29 AM

I think I once posted a similar question: What is the longest trip one can take by train in the U.S. without using Amtrak?

I think I confined the trip to the Lower 48.

Edited by DET63, 12 April 2011 - 09:30 AM.


#19 Long Train Runnin'

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:02 PM

I think I once posted a similar question: What is the longest trip one can take by train in the U.S. without using Amtrak?

I think I confined the trip to the Lower 48.


Well there are 2 ways to look at it. I think Penn Station To Montauk is the longest single seat ride on a commuter railroad. I understand although its not convenient one could go from LA to San Diego by taking Metrolink from LA to Oceanside then transfer to a Coaster train from Oceanside to San Diego although from what I've heard the schedules don't exactly work out. Once in San Diego you can catch the light rail right from the station and ride the blue line right to the Mexican border.

EDIT I guess if you really wanted the full experince you could start in Oxnard and ride the Ventura county line into LA Union station. That would be a quite a long ride.

the mileage from OXN to SAN is 205

Edited by Long Train Runnin', 12 April 2011 - 12:07 PM.

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#20 Shawn Ryu

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 02:33 PM


I think I once posted a similar question: What is the longest trip one can take by train in the U.S. without using Amtrak?

I think I confined the trip to the Lower 48.


Well there are 2 ways to look at it. I think Penn Station To Montauk is the longest single seat ride on a commuter railroad. I understand although its not convenient one could go from LA to San Diego by taking Metrolink from LA to Oceanside then transfer to a Coaster train from Oceanside to San Diego although from what I've heard the schedules don't exactly work out. Once in San Diego you can catch the light rail right from the station and ride the blue line right to the Mexican border.

EDIT I guess if you really wanted the full experince you could start in Oxnard and ride the Ventura county line into LA Union station. That would be a quite a long ride.

the mileage from OXN to SAN is 205


From San Diego take the Coaster to Oceanside. From Oceanside take the Metrolink OC Line to LA Union Station, then take Ventura County Line, OR from Oceanside take the Orange County Inland Empire line to San Bernardino.




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