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RR503

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Everything posted by RR503

  1. This isn't true. ATS-A was specifically designed to be a non vital overlay over interlocking logic. When it fails, RCC loses control of interlockings, but someone in a master tower could easily take over provided the failure wasn't itself caused by some local interlocking defect, which, in these system-scale cases, it usually is not. The backup system is essentially the old towers and key bys. As @Jsunflyguy and I have discussed, it can be hard to immediately staff the master towers that underpin ATS, but if you do, then it's significantly easier to bring back service. There's (less) of a need to do these manual bypass ops. Until then, they rely on this sort of ad-hoc, location guided system to get at least one panel of each train into a station. To the point of the stop arms, though, when you are working to restore service after a failure, you can indeed hook stop arms down so that you don't have to repeat the process manually every time a train needs to pass. Sure as hell is not as efficient as just controlling the signals, but you in theory only would have to walk through a given area once.
  2. Yes, that’s the red signal issue. Automatics allow you to pass red signals by keying by, and you can pass homes if the tower/control center issues what’s known as a ‘call on,’ problem with the latter is that it requires there to be a tower/control center in control of the signals. You also may not want to pass a home if you’re not sure of what a switch beyond it is doing. Its important to remember that ATS is a signal control system and not a signal system. All the automatics keep working, and the interlocking signals are all still there — they’re just red. The problem is getting those controlled signals to be, well, controlled, rather than just pretty red lights in the tunnel.
  3. They almost always do something of the sort — key by until you can get a door panel in the platform. It just takes a while, requires coordination that’s usually provided by RCC/towers, and gets essentially impossible when you’re trying to bypass a non-functioning home signal.
  4. IDs can get messed up during even normal operation conditions, but for non-signal events like 12-9s, BIEs, work train issues at critical locations, etc, you usually at least have all the basic track circuit data and maybe some IDs in one place to look at. That’s of course reliant on the backend infrastructure being something above garbage (not the case in NYC) and staffing levels allowing some flex capacity to handle such taxing events (as you say, a non starter at MTA), but provided both of those, it seems to be the experience elsewhere that having everyone in one room helps move things along. Also, there are pretty few towers left in the system where you can physically see the traffic moving through your interlocking. Decentralized ops may give you some workload advantage, but that’s again a function of staffing levels. A question: RCC gets indication from the punchboxes on the A, right?
  5. There is supposed to be a backup command center, but seemingly no one knows what its status is. Depending on where exactly the failure was tonight, could have been useful.
  6. The sad part about all the ATS issues is that a well manned central control with decent physical infrastructure should actually be better at dealing with large scale disruptions than a bunch of decentralized towers. Everybody's in one room, every interlocking is staffed, all trains are visible. Issue is, of course, those two equivocations: staffing and infrastructure, neither of which MTA seems to understand how to manage.
  7. It very well may, but there’s also a good chance they’ll rewrite the schedule to have s begin local service earlier. Really speaking, they should just double end the s and not schedule some endless layover so you can get away sans fumigation, but the chances of that...
  8. This is a good point. I have a feeling they’ll put some holds in to make merges work on paper, but yeah, this could get ugly. Making a mental note to track it... I live along the , but don’t use it for my commute to Lower Manhattan because a) the transfer to the is bad and b) trains get so crowded that when I do take that route, I frequently have to pass up a train. I walk the mile or so to the IRT and use that instead. Culver is bad.
  9. They need to stop using OTP as a surrogate for rider experience. Schedules are first and foremost organizational tools, so they’ve gotta reflect real world (here, crappy) conditions. That’s okay — so long as you provide some absolute metrics like runtime that show how service really runs.
  10. Ten bucks says this dies by this time next year. I just don't see a path to success for a service that runs at 2tph frequencies on a line with the reliability issues of the . People will look at the clocks, see the train they thought would arrive in 5 will arrive in 15 and just take the local.
  11. LOL I was just drafting a post on this. I think there's one sentence in here that's extremely telling: No mention of process reforms to reduce impact, none of different GO formats, none of track barriers. Just "see work, cut service." I'm increasingly of the opinion that productivity issues are the next big threat to the system, both given the increase in work volume, and the multi-decades decline in peak ridership in favor of off peak travel. Not that there's much of a chance that these cuts get stopped, but the constant degradation of off peak service is really, really important.
  12. A few comments: - Astoria and Dekalb should be major bottlenecks - You should include dwell time constraints at Jackson Heights, Grand Central (both levels), 72/Bway, and mention dwells when talking about USQ. - Dunno where you'd put the marker, but highlighting restrictive (ie GT heavy) signal design along Eastern Parkway and its effects especially on 4/5 service may be worthwhile. - BG terminal ops should go on there. That's an easy 3 minute delay whenever they're short turning a train. - I'd be sure to describe what's bad about E180. It's the crossing move that 5s make - Why do the 2 curves at Crescent get different rankings? - I'd add the merge at 75 Ave - I'd add Whitehall terminal ops - I'd add Utica terminal ops And a general question: what is your definition of bottleneck? An area that slows service? That reduces capacity? That does both? This is a good effort. We need more info like this publicly and concisely accessible. I'll think of more comments, I'm sure.
  13. Yeah. One of the reasons I harp on things like this is that operator variability around stations is a really, really common gap generator when you have a confident op taking the STs while someone else holds back. Given that we seem completely incapable of getting dwell times into something vaguely evocative of international norms (despite, mind you, having some pretty cool car equipment features like local recycle), STs are critical, and yet... To the point on 59, I'll of course defer to those who operate/ride through there on a daily basis, but it's always been my impression that a southbound from 59 will get a yellow from the train holding outside of the station at GC, will slow up, and then will essentially mirror its leader as it makes its way into GC. I always seem to be there when there's a good bit of congestion going, so again, dunno if this is universally applicable, but nevertheless my observation.
  14. Gonna disagree with those saying management is where there is space for cuts. Management is a shell of what it once was; there are groups that have, because of the hiring freeze, lost over half of their staff. It's getting to the point where we will see real challenges. They need an infusion of new people and a reorganized structure that allows for less siloed thinking and more action, not cuts (except to the consultant payroll). It's worth keeping in mind when reading this report that the big drivers of MTA costs are debt service, healthcare, and increasing payroll costs (both in headcount and in O/T). The first of those is essentially the long term manifestation of capital budget funding deficits and cost escalations, but the rest of them are largely consequences of expanding ranks of middle/lower hierarchy jobs without serious productivity improvements. Certainly worth stressing that a good bit of those costs are self-inflicted MTA initiatives (SAP, deck chair shifting in ops support, etc), but the general issue is that the workforce isn't, in some key areas like maintenance, all that productive even by US standards. But of course the report isn't gonna talk about that.
  15. I really am not, and I do apologize for being unclear. When I said "but with RTO culture being as impermeable as it is....well, at least the thought is there" I was referring to the tendency of TSSs to not follow applicable rules, not the tendency of TOs to react rationally to a toxic discipline culture. If you look at throughput numbers over the years (NYMTC, older capacity studies), or read old timer's posts/talk to them, you'll notice in the first data set, higher delivered capacity, and in the second, a seeming greater attention to what is best to do in certain areas, and a greater knowledge of the ins and outs of train operation and their territory. A lot of this seemingly has to do with 'reforms' made to schoolcar in the intervening years. As to the distinction between quality and laxness, that's a good point, but I take it you do see how more aggressive train operation anticipating less discipline helps capacity in key areas. Maybe quality was the wrong word. Yup! I don't know whether I agree with your assumptions about follower distance. If you're running up on your leader during the off peak, sure, but during the peak you totally could have someone close on your tail. That's the essence of the conga lines that develop there and reduce Lex capacity. As for the issue of benefit, it's worth noting that a few seconds on a 27tph railroad will lose you a train per hour, which increases crowding, increasing dwell times, etc etc etc. Once again, I'll defer to those with more granular stats and to those who can do risk calcs here, and I really do agree with you that discretion in those "leader is taking forever" situations is important, but all the same, I think that at least from an academic viewpoint, it's worth being aware of the costs of not using ST.
  16. I read the bulletin. I know what it states. While I get that it's contract time and that NYCT is under the gun to maximize positive press, it nevertheless marks a departure from anything resembling past practice. Do we have to moderate any faith we have in its power with knowledge of how things are on the front line? Yes, absolutely, but I don't think I suggested anything to the contrary... FWIW, those Glory Days also saw somewhat reasonable dwell times, better train acceleration, more consistent high quality train operation, well designed signals and the like. Many of those positive inputs to the capacity equation have been diminished or eliminated outright, making it all the more critical that what's left is operated well. Does that mean operators shouldn't exercise discretion in the situations you describe in your last sentence? No, but I think we shouldn't lay blanket rules either way. On the issue of fast versus slow, that's a lot more fraught than "it balances out." At stations that have restricted exit speeds like GC, capacity preservation is predicated on a following train following at something pretty close to braking distance into the station, so that the extended exit time is somewhat mitigated by having a follower enter close behind. So running in on yellows may feel faster, but nine times out of ten you'll have just netted a capacity loss. Equally important is being cognizant of what's going on behind you. Close signal spacing with ST cutbacks usually extends only far enough down the tunnel that one train can close in. On a line like the Lex, it's quite likely you'll have someone on your tail; waiting to close will -- and this is very much contingent on signal system intracacies -- likely mean they have to slow earlier, which in creates a cascading speed effect that reduces line capacity. Again, I'm not saying that this should always be done, but there are certainly losses to be had.
  17. They'll likely cross at 34. It's D20 in both directions, unlike if you did W4 or a combo of Bway Laff and W4.
  18. If only we could get that consistency these days! Curious now: since they were installed in the 70s (?), have the GT speeds changed on Lex? I know that before the GTs, the curve into GC was a sign speed of 18 -- wondering if the GTs were ever anything but what is present today. Also would love to know how the actual control lines of the signals have evolved over the years, but the effect of signal mods on Lex capacity is truly a topic for another day... As for the actual mechanics of operation, I was told that these days, they really want operators to approach both 2 shots and 1 shots with confidence, ie as if they are gonna clear at posted speed. As I'm sure you know, they've been adding all sorts of fun hardware to the one shots (countdowns) to aid in that, but the degree to which TOs trust them seems quite variable. I even hear that there's even some bulletin out saying operators following all applicable rules should not be disciplined if they hit some signal, but with RTO culture being as impermeable as it is....well, at least the thought is there. This is really interesting. I can't say I know whether they still do this, but would certainly be interesting to know. The capacity man in me, of course, doesn't like the misuse of ST capability at such a high dwell station for the sake of (relatively speaking) rare issues, but I can also totally see how, especially with the subway environment of that era, holding back would make sense. I too am interested to see how the signal architecture of Lex will change. If I'm remembering correctly, contracts have already been let for interlocking designs in support of Lex CBTC. With the signals of today being such crap, we don't really have much to lose, but all the same, it'd be great if we don't get another Forest Hills...or at least if the final CBTC product is good at balancing that area's needs. I'd at least love it if they worked with some of the switchwork on Lex. There are a lot of opportunities to smooth diversion operations within the confines of current tunnels (around Brooklyn Bridge and 14 St, for example), and it'd be a real shame if those opportunities were just let be.
  19. Those GTs into Lex 63 are annoying, yes. On the home signal with the ST20 aspect, though, I think that it clears if you clear the 2 shot before it. It’s just there to indicate that an overshot 2 shot will require you to go at 20 to clear the home. There’s a signal on the northbound local south of Bergen that has a similar arrangement.
  20. Some TOs seem to either not understand how timing sections work, or are too afraid (of the equipment, of supervision, of their ability to estimate braking distances) to operate per design. Whenever I go up Lex, that seems to be the issue around GC. If I'm remembering correctly, it's 35/30/25/20, but the beginning of the timing section for the GT35 isn't until a good bit after the little jog into the bored tunnel (where the sign is). A good op will run up at speed, and brake so the train only gets down to time speed at the sign, but there are many who do differently. A shame. There's a good bit of a rules angle here, to be fair. Timers are designed so that they time to the speeds they're posted at; ie if you pass a GT35 at 35 it'll clear essentially as you pass it. Issue is that years of unreliable timers and poor instruction have made it so that operators think they must see the signal clear before they pass it, so beyond any signal-specific unreliability, the general practice is operating a good bit below the limit. That, I believe, is also what's afflicting the GT25 into 47-50 -- especially since it's a one shot sans countdown aspect.
  21. This is very clearly evidence that R32s have gone to Rockaway Park. R179s have been once or twice, though.
  22. The part about bringing service standards and planning under one roof just plain doesn’t make sense to me. I get that large scale stuff is of course tied up in politics, but I understand that recommendation to mean centralizing things like scheduling and some parts of MOW-E, which, unless the goal really is inserting politics into engineering, makes zero sense from a “operators and operations planners should work closely” perspective. I found it disappointing that labor costs/productivity and debt service weren’t mentioned. Those are the big expense drivers in the operating budget, and while it’s all well and good to play with organization, but you’ve eventually gotta talk about the elephant in the room.
  23. You see the section on speed review? They were so careful not to mention Save Safe Seconds and imply that it was somehow the Governor’s task force that was doing the fixing...
  24. We'll probably get another study, a whole bunch more politicking, and the "grand compromise" will be them adding like one more express, if any.

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