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SUBWAY - Random Thoughts Topic

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On 10/22/2020 at 10:35 PM, Trainmaster5 said:

Been debating whether to bring this up or not in the past but with all of this free time here's my random thought(s). There's no slight or antagonistic feelings directed toward any forum members but after a discussion with some of my school car buddies I (we) should point out a difference in our way of thinking about some subjects.

1) From our earliest training in RTO transfers are frowned upon. The very act of making a transfer introduces a delay in one's commute and adds to the running time. This includes cross platform connections. There's a reason why this is one of the things stressed in conductor training. It is especially to be avoided in commission (rush) hours.

 2) I've seen proposals mentioned that IRT service in Brooklyn should be divided where Seventh Avenue trains run exclusively on the Nostrand line while Lex service runs out to Utica/New Lots. It's been said that this will speed up service and more trains can be run through the area. We look at it in another way. Whom is clamoring for more trains, in the morning rush, to head toward Manhattan from Brooklyn ? Short of a rebuild of the junction someone is going to be sitting at Nostrand or President  no matter what. Train crews aren't complaining because it's built into the schedule. From what I see you've just moved the delay to Franklin Avenue and the cross platform transfer that's to be avoided. Perhaps some posters aren't old enough to realize that the East-West combinations on both branches was something that the ridership clamored for for years, that and Mid-day express service in Brooklyn.

3) While we're speaking of transfers how many are aware of why the (E) , (F) , and (M) services are set up entering and leaving Queens toward Manhattan ? It's because of the major bottleneck at  the Lexington-53rd station. The transfer to the Lex (6) would create dangerous conditions almost every morning on the platforms. There weren't enough stairways to allow the passengers from the first train to leave before the second train arrived. The 63rd St option allowed the crowding problem to be alleviated by running the (F) that way while leaving the old option of Sixth Avenue-Eighth Avenue service at 53rd St with the (M)(E)  split. What we were taught is that train routing and service was supposed to be for the benefit of the riders. More trains running, by itself, does not equate to a better commute.

Although those days are long gone I can give you an example of service geared toward the commuter. Rush hour BMT from Queens. #15 service running skip-stop from 168th St. Trains were labeled A or B making stops like today's (J)(Z) . There were Lexington Avenue (BK) el trains starting at 168th St or 111 St,  #14 Broadway(BK) Short line trains entering at Crescent St or Eastern Parkway or Rockaway Parkway headed toward Downtown Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan.

4) Meanwhile the Fulton El had trains headed toward the same destination from Lefferts with a rush hour variant toward 8th Ave-14th St (today's (L)). I'm leaving out the Myrtle and the Southern BMT intentionally but I'm trying to point out service geared toward the rider. All done with no CBTC, towers at 168th, tower 1, 2, and 3, at Atlantic, the flyover, end of platform at Eastern Parkway, Broadway and Lex, and Myrtle upper. BTW the BMT Southern ran 5 services through 57th-7th every rush hour, again no CBTC. Two locals, (QT),  (R) , and three expresses  (N) ,(Q) , and (T).

It appears, at least to me and some of my coworkers, that some folks are like a poster we all know who just wants to run trains randomly on all tracks for whatever reason. Just our take. YMMV. Carry on.

As per usual, you do bring up valid points given your past experiences, and I also find it interesting to see some of my own ideas from a different perspective, however with all due respect, I'm still going to rationalize my position on what I think about deinterlining as a general idea. 

1. This is something that I'll take note of, but focusing on cross platform connections for now. Looking at this from the perspective of a passenger, I don't think a cross platform connection is something that adds a lot of time to my commute (under normal circumstances) so I wouldn't worry too much. However, from the perspective as a counductor, I'm guessing the main reason that they're generally avoided is because it'll add to the dwell times of both trains in the station, which doesn't help with run times as you pointed out. Can't blame you but I don't see it as a compelling enough reason (in certain cases) to not deinterline, which brings me to my next point.

2. Now regarding that whole mess that is the IRT Nostrand/Rogers/Franklin Junction (whichever name you prefer), if riders along Eastern Parkway and Nostrand Avenue in particular, advocated for mid-day Express Service, then why would the (MTA) recommend sending all 7th Avenue Service to Nostrand and all Lexington service to Utica/New Lots everytime they initate a study regarding Rogers Junction? (and I'll admit to putting forth that proposal here on the forums) Interestingly enough, I found a document from 2009 IINM showing diagrams of Rogers Junction being rebuilt into a Y-Junction, (Don't remember if it was alternative 4 or 6 that proposed this), but after thinking about it, I fail to see how rebuilding this junction would justify deinterlining unless the (MTA) wants to avoid a 59th Street situation, but I also fail to see how deinterling Rogers would increase dwell times at Franklin Avenue unless you were to reduce service on all lines involved. Then again, a rebuilt+deinterlined Rogers is something we won't truly know how it will play out until its put into practice. As a little something extra, here's something I pulled out from the MTA NYCT Subway Speed and Capacity Review Report:

Quote

F. Operations 1. Discipline and Training Policies. The recent introduction of the “Optimal Operation – Plan of Action” operating bulletin is a positive step towards improving operator confidence in the signal system and operation rules and towards shaping the agency’s discipline policy to focus on true safety violations. NYCT should continue with this specific and other similar policies and should ensure that the training curriculum is updated to reflect these changes as they are implemented.

2. The auto-routing triggers for the system, which have not been updated since the conclusion of the A Division ATS project, should be reviewed and updated as required to accommodate the service plan at each location.

3. Operations at Nostrand Junction Interlocking (a) As a short-term opportunity, schedule timetables could be adjusted to provide additional distance between these trains in both directions. While the potential conflicts would still exist, and would still cause issues during delay scenarios, by adjusting the base schedule such scenarios hopefully would occur less frequently. (b) As a longer-term opportunity, NYCT has considered several variations on major infrastructure projects to reorganize the junction and eliminate conflicting movements. One of the more recent studies is the conceptual engineering study completed in February 2009. Improvements are also being evaluated as part of the ongoing Utica Avenue Line Study. (c) Another consideration would be the reorganization of route pairings on these two branches. For example, assigning (2) Line and (3) Line trains to the Nostrand Avenue Line and (4) Line and (5) Line trains to the New Lots Line Recommendations 61 would reduce the number of conflicting movements and potentially reduce the infrastructure required.

3. I'm aware of the crowding that Lexington-53rd faced (pre-COVID), but If you don't mind me asking, how bad was it before the debut of the (V) Line? Now regarding everything between 50th Street and 36th Street-Queens, I've initally had mixed feelings about swapping the (F) and (M) back in 2017, but afterhearing that an (F)/(M) swap was seriously considered and almost had a polit program, I saw that the goal was to reduce merging conflicts at Queens Plaza, which I don't mind TBH because any local-express merge that occurs mid route IMO, is a detriment to the overall corridors reliability. Now regarding your point about how services are routed in certain ways to benefit the passengers riding said services, that something that I have a csonfslicsting opinion on. Now while the subway is meant to take passengers from Point A to Point B, I don't think that passenger convinence should be prioritized at the expnse of the system's overall reliability, and same goes vice versa. I guess thats why I (along with a few others on here) like to get experimental with these types of ideas. Cause I want to see what works and what doesn't with our current system. And if an idea doesn't work, I want to know what factors will have to come into play in order to make said idea work. 

4. I'm not really sure where CBTC falls into all of this, but given that the (MTA) ran more trains back then, I'm assuming that dispatchers were a lot more strict with you along with the rest of your coworkers when it came to a Train's schedule, correct me if I'm wrong, and like I said in my last point, while theres nothing wrong with having services being geared towards riders, I don't think that passeneger convinence should come at the expense of overall service reliabiltiy. Also, was the system AT capacity during the time that you worked for Transit or no? 

 

On a side note, I find it crazy how I was having a very similar discussion to this with a friend of mine who loves to study the history of the subway system and whatnot. I don't recall if we ever came to a consensus though. 

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1 hour ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

As per usual, you do bring up valid points given your past experiences, and I also find it interesting to see some of my own ideas from a different perspective, however with all due respect, I'm still going to rationalize my position on what I think about deinterlining as a general idea. 

1. This is something that I'll take note of, but focusing on cross platform connections for now. Looking at this from the perspective of a passenger, I don't think a cross platform connection is something that adds a lot of time to my commute (under normal circumstances) so I wouldn't worry too much. However, from the perspective as a counductor, I'm guessing the main reason that they're generally avoided is because it'll add to the dwell times of both trains in the station, which doesn't help with run times as you pointed out. Can't blame you but I don't see it as a compelling enough reason (in certain cases) to not deinterline, which brings me to my next point.

3. I'm aware of the crowding that Lexington-53rd faced (pre-COVID), but If you don't mind me asking, how bad was it before the debut of the (V) Line? Now regarding everything between 50th Street and 36th Street-Queens, I've initally had mixed feelings about swapping the (F) and (M) back in 2017, but afterhearing that an (F)/(M) swap was seriously considered and almost had a polit program, I saw that the goal was to reduce merging conflicts at Queens Plaza, which I don't mind TBH because any local-express merge that occurs mid route IMO, is a detriment to the overall corridors reliability. Now regarding your point about how services are routed in certain ways to benefit the passengers riding said services, that something that I have a csonfslicsting opinion on. Now while the subway is meant to take passengers from Point A to Point B, I don't think that passenger convinence should be prioritized at the expnse of the system's overall reliability, and same goes vice versa. I guess thats why I (along with a few others on here) like to get experimental with these types of ideas. Cause I want to see what works and what doesn't with our current system. And if an idea doesn't work, I want to know what factors will have to come into play in order to make said idea work. 

There will always be valid points when it comes to a debate about a certain topic that tends to be very controversial, of course towards any debate, however I do have to agree with the idea of experimenting. No one can truly say how good or bad an idea really is unless it is tested (unless the idea was bad to begin). I personally would like to see the MTA to do a bit of experimenting whenever they come to a point where they have enough money to try out certain proposals. Bad idea of course if they plan to do so, however, I'm pretty sure people have gotten used to all the stuff that the MTA does, certain Weekend G.O.'s, few month long maintenances during weekdays especially. Again, probably a bad idea but I propose that the MTA at least try for 1 week at the maximum to deinterline a certain section of the system, whether it is Dekalb, Rogers, QBL, 59th St, you get the idea., of course there will be drawbacks, but there will always be drawbacks. Again, as repetitive as I am, the MTA should at least try experimenting instead of just looking at the statistics.

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I also like the idea of a deinterlining pilot.  Many of the deinterlining ideas require no captial infrastructure, just posting a GO to let passengers know of some of the proposed changes.

I am confident that if deinterlining, even in a minor way, were allowed to happen, the system efficiency would be readily apparent.  Of course, deinterlinig pre-supposes that we run trains at a relatively frequent schedule, so a good test pilot would need to be post-COVID.

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