MTA Metro-North Railroad has announced that it will hold an Open House in Goshen, N.Y., on February 15 to share details on a proposal for capital improvements that will enable enhanced train service on the Port Jervis Line.
The Open House will be held at the Harness Racing Museum, 240 Main Street in Goshen, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Metro-North staff will be available to explain Metro-North’s proposal and answer questions. Staff will make presentations at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each presentation will be followed by an opportunity for dialogue between the public and railroad officials, who will be seeking input on the proposal.
After an extensive study to find ways to improve transit mobility and accessibility between Orange County and New York City, Metro-North identified locations along the Port Jervis Line to build passing sidings for trains as well as a new train yard mid-way along the line, and details of those proposed investments will be the subject of the Open House.
The Port Jervis Line is primarily a single track railroad for 65 miles in New York State between Sloatsburg and Port Jervis. This means it operates primarily as a “one-way street,” with limited opportunity for trains to pass each other along the Line. The line’s sole passenger train yard is located in Port Jervis, 95 miles from the Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey, meaning Metro-North has no available yard between these points for storing and servicing trains. These constraints limit the number of trains Metro-North can operate during the peak, off-peak and reverse peak periods.
The Port Jervis Line currently carries 10 trains to Hoboken between 3:50 a.m. and 1 p.m., but just two trains are able to operate in the reverse direction during this time. After 1 p.m., the reverse dynamic is in place, with 11 Orange County-bound trains operating between 1 p.m. and 3:10 a.m. and just three trains operating in the reverse direction. The addition of a mid-point yard and passing sidings is envisioned to allow for more frequent peak and off-peak service, and will also introduce reverse commute service.
The capital improvements are expected to allow Orange and Rockland County residents to further benefit from longer term capital projects, such as a future trans-Hudson crossing, which could provide the opportunity for a future one-seat ride to New York City and improved transit connections to Stewart Airport.