A couple of, well, decades ago, the MTA started planning MetroNorth service for the time when East Side Access opened and many Long Island Railroad trains would be going to Grand Central Station. This could provide an opening for MetroNorth trains, at least those on the Hudson and New Haven Lines, to go to Penn Station. The tracks are already there, so this should be relatively simple and cheap right?
Wrong. After 22 years of planning, and the expenditure of however many $millions or $tens of millions on staff and consultants, the MTA might finally spend $1.6 billion to add a few stations to the New Haven line as part of the Metro North to Penn project. Perhaps there will be service in another decade or two.
If there wasn’t such operational inefficiency involved, however, MetroNorth service to Penn Station could start next spring for no money at all. How?Continue reading