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What would happen if the NEC shut down?


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#1 norfolkwesternhenry

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 06:05 PM

As Amtrak constantly faces attacks and budget cuts, I think drastic action must be taken. If the NEC shut down unexpectedly, the US economy would lose $100,000,000 per day. Here are my pros and cons for Amtrak and shutting down the corridor.

Pros: 1. The impact on the economy would force everyone to reconsider how important Amtrak is

2. 24 hours of no train traffic could mean many needed repairs could be made, and with no interruptions from passing trains.

3. 24 hours of no NEC service would be a major help to free up cars for maintenance that would otherwise be stuck on the corridor.

 

Cons: 1. A major loss of revenue would occur, but only for a few days/

2. LD trains would be cut back, and while the Cardinal and Silver Service can be held at WAS, the LSL wouldn't be able to access NYP, so it would be held back to the Croton-Harmon stop, or more likely, ALB or have the entire train travel to BOS.

3. Amtrak would definitely get some bad PR.

 

What are your thoughts?


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#2 MikefromCrete

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 06:26 PM

Twenty-four hours wouldn't allow much time for any significant track work or car repair. Such a day might dramatically point out the importance of the NEC, but in the end such a stunt wouldn't accomplish anything. 



#3 snvboy

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 06:31 PM

1) Source for the $100M/day or it's just covfefe

 

2) If you didn't have one already, you now have a file somewhere at multiple three lettered agencies


Edited by snvboy, 06 June 2017 - 06:31 PM.


#4 west point

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 08:54 PM

You forgot that "Sandy" shutdown NYPS for over a week. Anyone remember exact number ? That is why all the Crossties are now being replaced. The derailment at Frankford did cancel all trains PHL - NYP for what 5 days ?.

#5 Lonestar648

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 10:33 PM

During the year when Gunn started shut down procedures at Amtrak, the railroads using any track or stations owned by Amtrak were notified they would no longer be allowed to do so.  As drastic as this stunt was, it did awaken many in Washington to the fact that all rail travel in the Northeast would stop using anything owned by Amtrak, thus paralyzing the area.  Prior to this most in Congress though they could just let Amtrak die with no consequences. 



#6 BuffaloBoy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:42 AM

norfolkwesternhenry is back!! Welcome :giggle: 

#7 Alexandria Nick

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 02:15 AM

1) Source for the $100M/day or it's just covfefe

I'm extremely skeptical of such an exact, even number. For comparison, the 2010 Iceland volcano that messed up European air traffic hit for about a billion dollars a day on the global economy, but that also entailed a 30 percent reduction in total flights on the planet.  You were looking at impacting, in a week, as many people as the NEC handles in a year.  It just doesn't seem reasonable to me that such a small number of people would have such a huge economic impact, when a vastly larger group combined with all the freight that was grounded too cost "only" a billion a day.



#8 Anderson

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 04:05 AM

 

1) Source for the $100M/day or it's just covfefe

I'm extremely skeptical of such an exact, even number. For comparison, the 2010 Iceland volcano that messed up European air traffic hit for about a billion dollars a day on the global economy, but that also entailed a 30 percent reduction in total flights on the planet.  You were looking at impacting, in a week, as many people as the NEC handles in a year.  It just doesn't seem reasonable to me that such a small number of people would have such a huge economic impact, when a vastly larger group combined with all the freight that was grounded too cost "only" a billion a day.

 

It depends on if we're looking at said shutdown also completely wrecking commuting to/from WAS, PHL, and NYP.  Yes, some of your Long Island commuters would simply switch to the subway at one of the LIRR's other terminals and some NJT folks would make their way to PATH, but you're looking at probably looking at directly fouling up the commutes of at least a quarter-million people per day (and possibly more like 400k...after all, on a full NEC shutdown you'd drop the entire Hudson Line from Metro-North as well as all of the LIRR/NJT folks going into NYP).  Some of those commutes would still happen (by bus or car) but others wouldn't.

If you put the value of each cancelled commute to the economy at $200 (between lost wages, spending to make that commute happen, etc.), that's easily $50m on 250k disruptions...and let's not forget that if you have a bunch of those commutes not happening, at some point businesses in Manhattan would start edging back on staffing, etc.  Not all of the costs are direct, after all.


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#9 ainamkartma

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:55 AM

...after all, on a full NEC shutdown you'd drop the entire Hudson Line from Metro-North as well as all of the LIRR/NJT folks going into NYP).  Some of those commutes would still happen (by bus or car) but others wouldn't.

 

Can you explain how a hypothetical NEC corridor shutdown would affect the Hudson Line and why?  That is a surprise to me.

 

Thanks,

Ainamkartma



#10 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 10:25 AM

I'm sure he meant New Haven. I'm pretty sure Hudson is all MN track. However, I also suspect that all of MNs route into the City is MN track, too.
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#11 jis

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 11:04 AM

The question is whether the New Haven Line gets included in the shutdown because it is notionally part of the NEC or it is not included because it is MNRR/ConnDOT Line.

 

LIRR would have to terminate and turn trains at Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal with perhaps some enhancement to Subway service from those two areas.

 

BTW, NEC carries a smaller number of commuters into New York than Buses and PATH by far. An NEC shutdown is a huge inconvenience but not something that cannot be survived. It was done immediately following Sandy for a while. If all tunnels of the Lincoln Tunnel system are dedicated to bus use with pickup/dropoff distributed all around Manhattan plus ferries are deployed to the fullest, a shutdown of NEC from NJ can be survived.



#12 railiner

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 11:09 AM

Penn Station and 'A' Tower are part of the NEC, which Amtrak trains from the Empire connection from the Hudson Line need to access Penn Station...so if the NEC were "shut down" Empire line trains would have to divert to Grand Central Terminal...I kind of doubt MN allowing that to happen on a regular basis...
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#13 ainamkartma

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:45 PM

Penn Station and 'A' Tower are part of the NEC, which Amtrak trains from the Empire connection from the Hudson Line need to access Penn Station...so if the NEC were "shut down" Empire line trains would have to divert to Grand Central Terminal...I kind of doubt MN allowing that to happen on a regular basis...

 

Why, if the price is right?  GCT and its approach trackage are running at a small fraction of their historic capacity...  The situation is nothing at all like NYP.

 

Ainamkartma



#14 Ryan

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:00 PM

If you put the value of each cancelled commute to the economy at $200 (between lost wages, spending to make that commute happen, etc.), that's easily $50m on 250k disruptions...


That's a somewhat ridiculous number. I recently switched from taking the train to driving, and it costs me about a tank of gas $40 a week. Nowhere near the $200 you're claiming.
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#15 the_traveler

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:06 PM

I would hate to see all Empire Service trains go to GCT. Prior to 1994, all did as there was no other way.then you had to transfer between GCT and NYP to catch another train.

Not fun with luggage!
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#16 jis

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:14 PM

I would hate to see all Empire Service trains go to GCT. Prior to 1994, all did as there was no other way.then you had to transfer between GCT and NYP to catch another train.

Not fun with luggage!

Well, if NEC is shut down and there are not trains running through NYP, then there would be nothing to transfer to at NYP, now. Would there? So that would be a non-issue.



#17 ainamkartma

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 02:11 PM

 

If you put the value of each cancelled commute to the economy at $200 (between lost wages, spending to make that commute happen, etc.), that's easily $50m on 250k disruptions...


That's a somewhat ridiculous number. I recently switched from taking the train to driving, and it costs me about a tank of gas $40 a week. Nowhere near the $200 you're claiming.

 

Doesn't seem so ridiculous to me.  Just as a spot check, in the fourth quarter of 2016, the average weekly salary in Union County, NJ, was $1,400.  In New York County, NY, it was $2,200.  So on average, you could make an additional $800 per week by commuting from Union, NJ, to NY, NY, or $160 per day.  That doesn't seem like a terrible proxy for "value of each canceled commute".  If you assume there is some bias for workers in the fields with the highest income gap to be the commuters, of course this calculation underestimates the value of each commute.

 

There's a solid incentive for people to spend good money and time getting into Manhattan every day.

 

Ainamkartma



#18 jis

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 02:24 PM

Only some proportion of commutes will get canned, not all. People will  not just sit around and do nothing to create alternative ways of getting there while NEC is out. So just taking the NJT ridership and multiplying with $50 or $200 does not necessarily give you a reasonable estimate of what will happen. Specially if it is for the long haul significant alternative arrangements will be made. If it is a day or two most likely work from home and just vacation days will get used a lot.



#19 Anderson

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 02:47 PM

 

 

If you put the value of each cancelled commute to the economy at $200 (between lost wages, spending to make that commute happen, etc.), that's easily $50m on 250k disruptions...


That's a somewhat ridiculous number. I recently switched from taking the train to driving, and it costs me about a tank of gas $40 a week. Nowhere near the $200 you're claiming.

 

Doesn't seem so ridiculous to me.  Just as a spot check, in the fourth quarter of 2016, the average weekly salary in Union County, NJ, was $1,400.  In New York County, NY, it was $2,200.  So on average, you could make an additional $800 per week by commuting from Union, NJ, to NY, NY, or $160 per day.  That doesn't seem like a terrible proxy for "value of each canceled commute".  If you assume there is some bias for workers in the fields with the highest income gap to be the commuters, of course this calculation underestimates the value of each commute.

 

There's a solid incentive for people to spend good money and time getting into Manhattan every day.

 

Ainamkartma

 

This.  The cost of the commute is not the only "cost".  There's a cost in terms of someone not going into work for a day (and knock-on effects through the economy)...not to mention the associated lost productivity (e.g. one presumes that the person making $2200/week in Manhattan is producing at least that much value for their company).  For example, if a restaurant in Manhattan has a half-dozen people scheduled for a shift one night who suddenly can't make the commute into town, that could cut table capacity (and depending on the cost of the commute, etc., some of those people might be flat-out unable to make it) and with it revenue/profits for the owner.  If a lawyer can't make it into NYC for a day, that could easily be $3-4k in billables out the window...and even in these cases, if they can make it, they might drop an hour or two of time due to having to arrange a non-standard commute.

Edit: And as jis said, if it's for a day or two (or "a day at a time") you'll get some vacation days and the like burned, with the first few days being the biggest mess.  If it's for a few months, I'd expect that you'd see companies looking at renting office space in Stamford, Hoboken, etc. to accommodate it.  And of course, we're looking at this strictly on the commute side.  On the tourist/leisure side of things there's room to lose a lot of trips within the Corridor as well.


Edited by Anderson, 07 June 2017 - 02:54 PM.

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#20 the_traveler

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 02:55 PM

Could you inform me where New York County, NY is?:huh: I know it can't be where New York City is, since it is in a different county.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

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