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My one day railfanning the Greenport Branch


Pu3rToRoCk8947

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With all this talk of the (MTA)s "Doomsday Budget" and shutting down the Greenport Branch,i decided to take a ride out there this morning and see it for the first time ever!

First thing was i took the 7:39 am Ronkonkoma train,# 2008 out of Penn with a connection to the 9:02 am Greenport train,#6200 and got there at 9:07 am,few minutes late but i caught it and finally i was on my way

Basically as the train made it's stops all the way to Greenport itself,nothing much to see along the way except a few farms and fields,trees,partially frozen rivers and the beautiful sunshine

I also caught to my amazement the closed Calverton Station shelter along the way with concrete pillars still standing to this day :eek:

When i arrived at around 10:37 or so,i decided to walk around and see the area,many beautiful homes which reminded me of a small quiet town,few people about their business,many boutiques and shops,the Shelter Island Ferry and i even found a Starbucks as well :P

Killed an hour as i ate in one of the deli shops and walked back to the station

Boarded back on the 11:39 am train to Ronkonkoma and was on my way back

home

It was a nice ride out there and as i was back on the train going home,a lady and a conductor were talking about the future of the Greenport Branch and the consequences of losing it,i didn't want to over hear but they were talking so loud and right behind me too!

Conductor told her that their union are fighting the (MTA) and that politicians and residents of their respective towns should fight back as well,

in my heart i pray that they do fight back to keep their service :tup:

I promise to take pics next time i decide to go out there again soon :P

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Lol,it is kinda long :P

The only annoying thing i found about the ride was a couple just being very rude and nasty,the guy was popping gum out of his mouth and the lady,i'm assuming his wife,was burping and belching along the ride all the way from Ronkonkoma to Riverhead stations

Nonetheless thank god for I Pods and beautiful scenery to distract my attention away from that :P

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sounds like you had a lot of fun, how does the town look around lunch time, was there any worry about not making it back to the train on time?

Well it's a quiet town i'm assuming,didn't see much as i didn't venture deep because i would probably get lost :)

I walked a few blocks around and i did make it to the train on time,half way though i wish i would have remembered to bring my camera,oh well next time!

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Most importantly, how was the ridership?

Coming from Ronkonkoma to Greenport i actually did count the riders,i would honestly say like about 8 or 9 people,including myself

Going back to Ronkonkoma i waited for them to open the doors and waited until everybody boarded,i would say like 12 or 14 people were on the 2 car consist,not much for Off Peak hours!

I am curious to see how many people actually use it during the Peak runs,probably 5 more people :)

I am kind of worried about it's fate since i seen in one day how many people actually use The Scoot! :(

Would like to check it on a Weekend some day

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The sad thing is that this line has potential. Plenty of people live in Riverhead. The Tanger Outlets is in Riverhead. Some people may even drive from Riverhead to Ronkonkoma for more frequent LIRR service.

 

A LOT of people from the East End drive to KO to catch the train there. Have you ever seen the parking lots at that station? On top of that, have you ever seen a KO train in the PM rush? They are at a level of "crowded" that stands above every other branch. Double-tracking the KO branch is a must for the LIRR...I don't know why they didn't do it when they electrified...good thing they provisioned it so that it could be done.

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The sad thing is that this line has potential. Plenty of people live in Riverhead. The Tanger Outlets is in Riverhead. Some people may even drive from Riverhead to Ronkonkoma for more frequent LIRR service.

I agree with you,i heard a few people talk about today while i was out there,seems to be a hot topic around when it comes to the local residents

One opinion i heard was the reason for crappy service is because (MTA) is deliberately trying to schedule few trains in order to get a reason for lack of ridership numbers and eventual abandonment of the line

In a way it does make sense,more or less

I also noticed the odd consist of DE engine+C3+C3+DE engine,is this normal for Greenport trains?

I thought it was one cab control car on one end and a engine on the other end

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A LOT of people from the East End drive to KO to catch the train there. Have you ever seen the parking lots at that station? On top of that, have you ever seen a KO train in the PM rush? They are at a level of "crowded" that stands above every other branch. Double-tracking the KO branch is a must for the LIRR...I don't know why they didn't do it when they electrified...good thing they provisioned it so that it could be done.

I have seen the crunched trains and the parking at Ronkonkoma during Peak hours,very crazy :eek:

I agree,double tracking should be a top priority for them

I have seen segments of a 3rd track before hitting Mineola station,isn't Mineola configured for a 3rd track?

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I have seen the crunched trains and the parking at Ronkonkoma during Peak hours,very crazy :eek:

I agree,double tracking should be a top priority for them

I have seen segments of a 3rd track before hitting Mineola station,isn't Mineola configured for a 3rd track?

 

That third track you speak of is as of now a MoW track...however it is the first stake in the ground of the third track. While Mineolas' station platforms are not configured for three-track operation, the pedestrian overpass was created wide enough to accommodate a third track underneath it. The most recent grade crossing elimination in the area (I forget what street it was) was also designed with three tracks in mind.

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Not to get off track here, but I think the Port jefferson branch east of Huntington should be double tracked as well. When I used to go to Stonybrook, i was always at the mercy of like 1.5-2.5 hour train schedules. If it was double tracked at least they could run trains every hour or so.

Even electrify the tracks and move those double deck trains to the other lines to use.

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Not to get off track here, but I think the Port jefferson branch east of Huntington should be double tracked as well. When I used to go to Stonybrook, i was always at the mercy of like 1.5-2.5 hour train schedules. If it was double tracked at least they could run trains every hour or so.

Even electrify the tracks and move those double deck trains to the other lines to use.

I agree with you,it would be nice to have a secondary track added but seeing that actually happen now would be nice :)

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Most recent grade crossing elimination was Roslyn Road, yes, it was designed with a third track in mind.

 

When they upgraded and electrified the main line to KO, all overpasses and crossings were built for a second track, the only task involved in double-tracking to KO is just to build track and third rail. The ROW is wide enough, unless somebody built in on it post-1980's. The LIRR 175th Anniversary Special was the first "revenue" train to Greenport to not transfer at Jamaica since the electrification was pressed into service.

 

The DE-C3-C3-DE consist was put into place after the Dec 2009 blizzard, as the LIRR had to make an emergency move and borrow an NY&A engine to plow the line down. C3 cab car obviously can't plow much snow.

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Hempstead Gardens during rush hour is a good place to railfan. Low ridership makes it relativly quiet, and where the 2nd track used to be is before the bars. From that point of view, trains can be easily seen.

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