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Trainmaster5 last won the day on June 25

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About Trainmaster5

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    Retired Motorman

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  1. Alexander’s became Vornado Realty after the stores were shuttered. The chain actually owned the land the stores were built on.
  2. That first part brought back memories for me. November 9, 1965, the night of the first NYC blackout. Was working at Alexander's department store at 58th and Lex. Lights flickered and the backup generator kicked in. Store was closed and everyone was sent home. My department head told the owner about my issue. Everyone else lived in the Bronx or uptown in Manhattan. I was the only Brooklynite on duty at that time. The owner of Alexander's walked me outside and flagged down a s/b bus. I don't remember the route # but the B/O told me to sit behind him and he took me down to Brooklyn Bridge and told me to be careful. I walked across the bridge with a few other adults and made it over to the B41 stop across from the main Brooklyn Post Office. I waited with 3 other people and the bus showed up. I rode that bus down to Rutland Road, got off and almost ran the block and a half to my house. It wasn't the distance that sticks in my mind about that night. It was the time spent onboard those 2 buses. To this day I'm in awe of those professional B/Os who got me home without a street light or traffic signal. Mind you, I've been in a blackout underground as a M/M but there's just no comparison. Just my recollection. Carry on.
  3. Everyone in the A Division got trained on the R62/62A class and the R142/142A class cars when they were introduced. This included station and yard switchmen, transfer crews, extra list personnel, and , in the R142/142A class, selected members of the RCC supervision. Everyone meaning crews that would not even be using the new equipment.
  4. Back in the 80s the glass and the rubber gaskets were in high demand in some quarters. To put it simply the process was this. Buy a used van from the telephone company or another commercial enterprise. They were quite cheap back then. Problem arose when the person tried to get insurance. Commercial type vehicles paid higher rates than passenger vehicles. Solution was to take two door panel glasses from the end of the train cars along with the rubber gaskets. Cut 2 openings , 1 on each side, of your used commercial van, install the glass and rubber gaskets, and you now have a passenger vehicle which can be insured at a lower cost. I'd never thought of that until I was a C/R on the one day when some people told me about a car on my train with missing glass. I investigated and ended up isolating that car. Imagine a 9 car train with 2 air conditioned cars in the whole consist and 1 of them had to be isolated. Now imagine the anger directed at me instead of the people who caused the isolation in the first place. I think that I've mentioned before about people stripping out the glass and rubber gaskets from scrapped cars adjacent to New Lots station on the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch. I thought of those people as thieves but some folks thought of them as "enterprising " individuals. I'm guessing that the insurance companies are smarter these days. My memories. Carry on.
  5. Speaking of old trains perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the incident on the line years ago where the T/O pulled into Utica Avenue heading northbound ? Where the doors failed to open after he stopped. Because the rear four cars of the R46 consist, including the C/R, had uncoupled and were left back at Rockaway Avenue on the express tracks. That train was in passenger service which I know because my mom was on the section left behind. The investigation included a person who knew about a train that uncoupled at 145th and Lenox. That train was not in passenger service . It was a yard move and I know firsthand because I was on the end that got left behind. Be careful when you make these statements that sound definitive to others because some of us know better. Carry on.
  6. I’m glad to see that you and T to Dyre Avenue understand the manufacturing and the supply chain aspects of railcar construction. Judging by some previous postings it’s obvious that many people don’t have a clue about the process. Unless there’s an exclusive consortium set up for specific car type most final assemblers use whatever is on the market at the time. It boils down to price and (probably) timely availability for the final assemblers to fulfill the contract. Someone mentioned to me that the PATH cars are basically R142 units in another thread. One can look at the US auto industry and the same thing applies. Same thing in South Korea or Japan. I know that if Bombardier would leave the rail car business today Kawasaki, Alstom, a Chinese unknown company, or whomever took it’s place would still be limited to the same group of suppliers. The R211 will face the same limitations. Hopefully the next combination of parts fares better. The sky ain’t falling. Just my observation. Carry on.
  7. I remember talking to a man from the GM Tarrytown plant years ago. He said that if GM made the perfect auto you would never need to buy another one.
  8. Obviously I'm a union man given my history but can anyone explain to me how OPTO improves service ? I'm just looking at it from an operational point of view but in it's most simplistic sense it's slower than a two man crew. I come from an era when the BMT 16, , train had 2 conductors on some rush hour trains, specifically for the Broadway Junction stop. My first rule books mentioned "the Conductor in Charge" duties as well as the Conductors duties. Let's not overlook the obvious elephant in the room either. Are you or anyone else suggesting that we pay the sidelined conductors to sit around until they retire ? Just wondering if some of my fellow posters have ever looked at the real world repercussions associated with these posts. Whether you,. I, or anyone else agrees or disagrees, there's no hard feelings coming from my end. Just realize that politics, the NYS Constitution , and Civil Service Law have the final say in whatever comes next. Carry on.
  9. You've pretty much described how I learned the subway system albeit I did my exploration 30 years before you did. I already had my Lionel at home and then at 11 years old I got a bus and subway pass. Free rides on subways allowed me to explore every line in the system. I rode every bus line in Brooklyn and learned the differences between neighborhoods. My original home base in Brownsville gave me the opportunity to see the massive complex at Atlantic Avenue to Broadway Junction with the Canarsie line and the dual level LIRR station(s) below Atlantic. Moved to Flatbush/Lefferts Garden but still went to public and junior high school in East Flatbush/Rugby. Still riding with a free pass. Never got hassled by anyone wherever I went either. Brightliners, Electric buses on the B45, B47, B48, B65 among others, Fishbowls at ENY depot. Bergen St Electric bus barn. I never thought of it as a hobby but I remember my older relatives stressed that you try to learn something new every day. The day you stopped learning was the day you closed your eyes for the last time. I, too, subscribe to the " to each his own " way of thinking although lately it seems that some folks have taken the forum as a way of broadcasting their thoughts while denigrating others. I'm out here in Suffolk county now, retired and trying to avoid coronavirus so I try to get the big picture of transportation from my fellow posters and my fellow retirees. We've been looking (I post) at the forums for quite some time and my friends are aware of the observant people, the informative people, and the folks who "know it all ". The current climate in the agency discourages employees from discussing how things are done and my fellow retirees try not to cross the line with the current employees but we're in agreement that some posters are trying to pass themselves off as more knowledgeable than others to the detriment of the NYCTF as a whole. Sometimes it's better to sit back and observe. Just my thoughts. Carry on.
  10. Now for something completely out of left field. I'm out here in Brentwood riding aimlessly when, because of a traffic accident, I decided to detour into the Pilgrim State Hospital grounds heading westbound on G Road. Figured I'd take the shortcut down into the Heartland complex down toward Deer Park LIRR station. Pulled over because everyone seemed to be lost and I figured I'd let some of the traffic die down. Happened to glance to my left and through the tall underbrush I noticed some poles and what appeared to be a structure. Sure enough the Pilgrim State LIRR shed is still standing. The last few times I've noticed it was about a decade ago in the winter or early spring so there was no brush blocking the view if you slowed down to look for it. I wasn't too keen on getting out of my air conditioned car to do any exploration because it was hot as Hades but I figured that some young explorer types might be interested in this info. Carry on.
  11. The BOT, NYCTA design specs were pretty much cookie cutter deals, IMO, because of the peculiarities of the existing systems in the IRT and BMT. Tight turns, gap fillers, short platforms in the BMT Eastern division. I remember BMT Standards, Triplexes, Multi’s and Myrtle, Third Avenue, and Fulton-Pitkin Els to Lefferts Avenue, not Boulevard. After the elimination and consolidation all that’s left was cookie cutter to me. I remember a State of the Art concept Train that got publicity in the 70’s but never was produced for the NYCTA. Look at an R44-46 and then look at an LIRR M1 railcar. Meanwhile the PATH system got new equipment that wasn’t cookie cutter material and the PANY&NJ actually financed cars (62A?) for Transit. I remember a PATH engineer who would ride with me down to Flatbush every day. We would talk about our jobs and one day he showed me that his equipment and keys were the same as mine. I always wondered why NYCTA and PATH didn’t put in a joint order for cars for PATH and the IRT. Even if the specs weren’t exactly the same thing the basic equipment was similar to me. Just my observation. Carry on.
  12. The problem occurs when the incoming order equals the older equipment. Storage space is limited. The uncouth savages who frequent the system would tag anything laid up outside of the yard limits. I remember some cars awaiting disposal on the LIRR Bay Ridge tracks adjacent to the Canarsie New Lots Station back in the day where vandals and “collectors “ were scrounging around every day until the cars were moved. Heck, the first R62A consist on the had to be laid up in Livonia Yard every night until security was increased at Lenox. I doubt if things are better today. My take. Carry on.
  13. You bring back good memories. First Lionel at 6 and I kept adding to it until I was 16 or 17 years old. My cousin was an American Flyer guy but my best friends and my other cousins were in the Lionel family too. Carry on 😀
  14. The cookie-cutter experience is pretty much what my subway peers were talking about. Buses might be somewhat different than subway cars but a NTT, IMO, is "see one see them all ". That's what the (mta) is striving for. When you have one or two main suppliers it gets boring really fast. In the metro area it seemed to me that the design process was generational with subway and rail cars. Perhaps if more manufacturers entered the bidding process things would change. Just my thoughts. Carry on.
  15. I’m gonna put this out here for the rest of the posters. Thomas Dewey to Andrew Cuomo. Democratic Party or Republican Party. Board of Transportation, NYCTA, or in my lifetime. I’m willing to bet that 95% of the complainers wouldn’t be satisfied with who had control of the bus and subway system in the City or the regional railroads. Leaving my personal financial history aside I fail to see any one Governor rising above the rest. I have never voted for a contract. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are uninformed about who really runs the transit systems in the region. The financial folks run them. Financial downturn means transit problems. Period. Bond holding institutions and the largesse provided by congressional appropriations are transit lifelines. Harp on the governors of NY, NJ, and CT all you want but they are beholden to the financial system and Congress for funding . I have pointed this out for over a decade. Ask BrooklynBus,Roadcruiser1, Wallyhorse, VG8, B35, or my resident photography favorite DTC.I sound like a broken record come election time. Stop the incessant whining and vote for the candidates that are aligned with your interests. Build some coalitions where necessary. My peers glance at the forums from time to time and ask me how I can put up with some of the posters and their suggestions and complaints. My stock answer is that I’m amused by them but certain things pique my interest. With our backgrounds we only recognize 3 types of revenue subway equipment. SMEE, R46, and NTT. R46 by itself. R142-R188 NTT, and everything else is SMEE. Cosmetic differences between NTT groups and R62-68s. That’s our subway take. YMMV. It’s depressing to see people bugging out about a particular subway car fleet. Carry on.
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