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About irtredbirdr33

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  1. Subway Guy: That was an excellent and thoughtful response to the poster's question. You certainly know your subway system. Larry, RedbirdR33:)
  2. As R-33WF noted in the previous post the great Redbirds made their last run in passenger service on this date in 2003. I was one of those who was fortunate enough to ride that train. 34 years earlier the IRT Steinways and Lo-V's made their last runs on the 3 Avenue El. The consist was StM 5641-WF 5670-Lo-VT 5353-StM 5636 and WF 5676. Larry, RedbirdR33
  3. This is an article that I wrote about four years ago. It provides some historical perspective on the short lived "NX." TUSCARORA ARCHIVES THE ORPHANS OF CHRYSTIE STREET, PART 2 THE NX February 17, 2007 Prior to the opening of the Chrystie Street Line in November, 1967 passengers on the BMT Brighton Line had the choice of three services to Manhattan during the rush hours. There was the “Q” Broadway-Brighton Express between 57th Street – 7th Avenue and Brighton Beach via the north side of the Manhattan Bridge running express on the Broadway Line in Manhattan and the Brighton Line in Brooklyn. There was the “QT” Broadway-Brighton Local via Tunnel running between Ditmars Boulevard – Astoria and Coney Island (Platform via the 60th Street Tunnel and the Montague Street Tunnel. There was also the “M” Nassau Street – Brighton Express which ran in the direction of traffic from Brighton Beach to Chambers Street in the morning rush and from Chambers Street to Coney Island (Platform A) during the evening rush. It ran via the Montague Street Tunnel and ran express on the Brighton Line between Prospect Park and Kings Highway. The most popular of these services was the “Q” as the Broadway Line served both the East and West Sides of Manhattan. It also offered an array of convenient connections; at Broadway – Canal Street with the Centre Street Loop to the Lower East Side and the Financial District, at Union Square with the IRT Lexington Avenue Line and the BMT’s own 14 Street Crosstown Line, at Herald Square with the 6th Avenue IND, at Times Square with the IRT Broadway – 7th Avenue, Flushing and 42 Street Lines and again at Lexington Avenue with the IRT East Side Lines. So popular was this service that whenever the “Q” express was not operating it was the practice to run the Brighton Local via the bridge which was known as the “QB.” The new service plan called for the 6th Avenue “D” train to be the primary Brighton Line service. It would run express on the Brighton Line from about 6AM to 8 PM and enter Manhattan via the tracks on the north side of the bridge and the new Chrystie Street Subway. By contrast to the Broadway Line the 6th Avenue Line ran straight up the center of Manhattan Island and did not have the convenient connections of the Broadway Line. Brighton Line passengers were angered and dismayed at the thought of losing their popular “Broadway via bridge” service and in response to there concerns the Transit Authority proposed two new services both to run from Brighton Beach to 57th Street – 7 Avenue via the south side of the Manhattan Bridge. The new “QB” would run over the more direct route running local on the Brighton Line and then express in Manhattan on the Broadway Line. The other service would run from Brighton Beach south to Coney Island and then north via the express track of the Sea Beach Line and the 4th Avenue Line to Pacific Street. It would then bypass DeKalb Avenue and run express in Manhattan. This would be the “NX.” Both services where scheduled to run five trains each in the direction of peak traffic. The “NX” would operate Monday through Fridays only. Manhattan-bound “NX” trains would leave Brighton Beach from 7:32 AM to 8:21 AM on a twelve minute headway. Brooklyn-bound trains in the PM rush would leave 57th Street – 7th Avenue from 4:47 PM to 5:29 PM, again on a twelve minute headway. The twelve minute headway was determined by the running time on the express tracks of the Sea Beach Line between 8th Avenue and Kings Highway. This was an absolute block . A block being a length of track of defined limits and the absolute means that only one train at a time is permitted in the block. A northbound “NX” train at Kings Highway for instance could not enter the block until the preceding train had cleared the block at 8th Avenue. It was impossible to run service on more frequent intervals and if you wanted to run more “NX” trains you could do it only by extending the service hours. The biggest hurdle that the “NX” faced was operating through the terminal at Coney Island which could delay trains for up to ten minutes. The delays incurred at Coney Island negated whatever advantage was gained from the express run on the Sea Beach Line. The NX – Broadway Express Began service: Monday, November 27, 1967 Ended service: Friday, April 12, 1968 The Route: 57th Street – 7th Avenue, Manhattan Brighton Beach, Brooklyn Via the Manhattan Bridge (south side) the 4th Avenue and Sea Beach Lines Distance: 16.52 Miles Running Time: 45 Minutes Stations: 12 Map Color: Light Blue Why did the NX fail? There were several reasons including the aforementioned delay at Coney Island and the absolute block on the Sea Beach express tracks. The service was poorly advertised from the beginning. A brochure entitled “New Subway Routes” was issued just before the opening of the Chrystie Street Subway and it listed many of the new routes;B,D,EE,F,QJ RJ and RR but no mention of the “NX”. Many of the subway cars did not have “NX Broadway Express readings on their rollsigns and displayed “N” signs instead. The TA solution was to have a circular blue medallion with “NX” in white letters on the front of the train. The equipment for the “NX” came from the “N” line. All trains were eight cars long and were a mixture of R-27’s and R-32’s and R-38’s, although not in the same train. (The era of mixing equipment in the same train hadn’t started yet.) Larry, RedbirdR33
  4. Mr Gong: I try to be accurate when I post things and cite my sources. Mr Rogoff was certainly a valid source but I had to admit that this information was 50 years old. I believe that you are entirely right, that the pockets still exist. But I haven't heard from anyone who can provide more recent information. Are there any trackwalkers out there? Best Wishes, Larry, RedbirdR33
  5. You don't specify if this "hidden subway" is on the Brooklyn or Manhattan side of the bridge but I think that I can put for two worthy candidates. Since neither you or I were around when these lines were built I consulted two construction histories written by the late David Rogoff. Firstly on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge it was planned to build a loop track north of the now abandoned Myrtle Avenue Station to cross underneath the four bridge tracks and allow trains to return to southern Brooklyn without entering Manhattan. The loop was never built provision for it was made in the form of pockets in the tunnel walls. These pockets were still visible when Mr Rogoff wrote his history in 1961. Secondly on the Manhattan side of the bridge it was planned to build a crosstown subway on Canal Street running from the Manhattan Bridge to West Street. The only portion ever built extends from just east of Centre Street to the west building line of Broadway. It opened for service on September 4, 1917 and is used by the express trains operating across the Manhattan Bridge. The "hidden subway" part might refer to the unused portion of the tunnel from the west end of the "Broadway-Canal Street" platform to the end of the tunnel at the west side of Broadway. If you find any more information on this "hidden subway" let me know and I'll see what I can find out. Larry, RedbirdR33
  6. Actually it was used before that. The R-12's were the first IRT cars to carry route numbers on the roll signs. They arrived in 1948 about a year before the end of the joint operation of the Astoria and Flushing Lines by the IRT and BMT Divisions. The IRT Division assigned Route No 7 to the Flushing Line and Route No 8 to the Astoria Line. The R-12's were placed in service on these lines and the would have carried the No 8. (For the record the BMT Route Numbers were 8 for the Astoria Line and 9 for the Flushing Line. ) Larry, RedbirdR33
  7. If the R-39's had been ordered in all likelihood there would have been two separate groups, one for the IRT and one for the BMT. The BMT cars could have been equipped with an overriding door sill like the ones that the Q's had. Larry, RedbirdR33
  8. Jimmy: The cars that you are referring to were Rail Diesel Cars (RDC's) built by the Edward G Budd Company of Philadelphia .PA. in the 1950's. As built they were self-propelled railcars with diesel engines. Over the years as they got older many were converted to standard (unpowered) railroad coaches. Ridership on the Metro-North Hudson Line grew dramatically in the 1990's and even with the deliveries of the Shoreliner I,II, and III orders they was still a need for more equipment. Pending the delivery of the Shoreliner IV's (the ones with the center doors) The MTA contracted with the Virginia Railway Express to lease ten unpowered RDC's. (2 cabs and 8 trailers.) These ten cars arrived in late 1994 and the first time that I rode them was on November 17, 1994 . They remained on the property until the summer of 1997 though they may not have been used after June 1996 as this was when the Shoreliner IV's started to enter service. As I'm sure you know there were several variants of the RDC's. The RDC-1 was had an all-coach configuration. The RDC-2 had a baggage compartment as well. The RDC-3 had a coach section, a baggage compartment, and an RPO section. Although all the Virginia Railway Express cars had been converted to an all-coach configuration you could still determine the kind by locating at the outside door framing. The cab cars were: V801 - RDC-2 V802 - RDC-2 The eight trailer cars were: V302 - RDC-2 V303 - RDC-3 V307 - RDC-3 V310 - RDC-3 V312 - RDC-1 V313 - RDC-1 V315 - RDC-1 V316 - RDC-1 In late 1994 the MTA purchased outright two more de-powered RDC's from VRE the roster numbers were 1401 and 1405. Sometime in 1996 or 97 two more were purchased and rostered as 1402 and 1416. These latter four cars were intended for use on the Harlem Lines Brewster North - Dover Plains Shuttles. I have a complete roster of all RDC's through 1990. I would appreciate it if any one could provide original numbers for the above cars so I can backtrack their histories. Also when were the four 1400 series cars withdrawn from service. If I can give you anymore information please let me know. Larry, RedbirdR33
  9. Your subway yard roster is most informative and you must have put a great deal of time and effort into its construction. I especially like the work equipment section. Thank you for this and please keep up the good work. Larry, RedbirdR33
  10. That's because two separate events keep getting lumped together. When the NYCTA introduced the Diamond Jubille Edition of the Subway Map in June , 1979 the two surviving independent shuttles ; 42 Street and Franklin Avenue, were re-designated from "SS" to "S". Six routes; AA,CC, GG, LL, QB and RR continued to use double letters. The subway map issued on April 15, 1985 was the last to show the double lettered routes. The next map was issued on May 10,1985 and was the first to show all single letters; AA to K, CC to C, GG to G, LL to L, QB to Q and RR to R. I believe that the effective date of the changeover was May 6, 1986. However since they could not change all the rollsigns overnight it was possible to ride single letter routes before that date and double lettered routes after that. Larry, RedbirdR33
  11. According to the April, 1986 issue of the New York Division Bulletin the first train of R-68 cars started its thirty day test on the "D" Line on April 13, 1986. The consist was 2506-2508-2509-2504-2501-2505-2502-2510 . Larry, RedbirdR33
  12. <i>The ramp (singular) is still there, not replaced by stairs. You probably are confused with the area I am referring to. It is at the extreme western end of the Flushing line mezzanine. It rises to the level of the long passageway under 41st Street that connects with the 8th Avenue - 42nd Street station. Since the IRT section is older than the IND station, at one time there was no connecting passage, just an exit to 41st Street somewhat west of 7th Avenue. I believe there was even a change booth there. When they did build the passage, the exit remained for several decades. It was only when they decided to make the passage part of the fare control zone to allow free transfers between the two stations that they closed the exit. The area is just behind or west of the current newstand at that location. There is a door next to the newstand that may lead to a utility room or something that may reveal traces of what was there, but I've never seen it open.</i> There most certainly was a change booth there. Before the entire complex was made a free transfer point that booth marked the end of the control zone. In other words you could walk underground all the way from the Times Square IRT/BMT platforms to the IND 42 Street platforms but once you reached that change booth you had to exit from the control zone. If you wished to board the IND you had to pay an additional fare once you reached 8th Avenue. A few years ago I was walking through that passageway and a door was open that allowed me to see the remains of the control area. I have to look at it from the street level to see if any evidence of it remains. Larry, RedbirdR33
  13. The bottom of the pedestrian passageway is on the same level as the BMT Subway. Larry, RedbirdR33
  14. <i>About 5-10 years ago I remember reading about this old passageway at Times Square that had been opened up while the complex was being renovated. A member of Subchat wrote that he saw it while going from the Shuttle and walking down to the BMT. He described it as being located close to the right set of staircases and when taking a peek inside the boarded wall, he saw incandescent lights, old tiles and a horrible smell.</i> I may have been the one who made that post on sub-chat. Construction workers had broken into the floor of the shuttle platform just to the south of track one. although I did not have a clear view I did see a tiled wall below the platform. At first I thought that this was the south end of the long abandoned underpass between the north and southbound shuttle platforms. I spoke to Mark W about this and he said that what I saw was the old BMT mezzanine which was actually below the shuttle platform. If anyone has more info about this I would like to hear it. Larry, RedbirdR33
  15. Greetings and best wishes to all. I sure that some of you know me from the old sub-talk and sub-chat boards. I look forward to discussing trains and other transit issues. Larry,RedbirdR33
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