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Forest Glen

Cannonball Route

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I want to take a nice, quality pic of the Cannonball. I hate taking pics at places like Woodside and Jamaica since they're so cliche. I like taking pics at less popular stations. Does the Cannonball operate via the Main Line (Hollis, Queens Village, Mineola, etc) or does it operate via the Babylon Branch (Locust Manor, Lynbrook, Babylon, etc)?

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I want to take a nice, quality pic of the Cannonball. I hate taking pics at places like Woodside and Jamaica since they're so cliche. I like taking pics at less popular stations. Does the Cannonball operate via the Main Line (Hollis, Queens Village, Mineola, etc) or does it operate via the Babylon Branch (Locust Manor, Lynbrook, Babylon, etc)?

 

Usually the Babylon, but it can run via the Main Line if there is a problem.

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ah ha that explains why I saw it once at Queens Village!

 

This is one of the few Montauk Branch trains that operate via the Babylon most of the time. Most operate via the Main Line unless there's a problem there.

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This is one of the few Montauk Branch trains that operate via the Babylon most of the time. Most operate via the Main Line unless there's a problem there.

 

All Cannoballs and Montauk-trains run via Babylon. In weekends, some Montauk-trains run via the Main Line. That's scheduled. Other times only when there is a problem (like you said).

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All Cannoballs and Montauk-trains run via Babylon. In weekends, some Montauk-trains run via the Main Line. That's scheduled. Other times only when there is a problem (like you said).

 

That's not true. I remember taking the 5:09 Speonk train from Penn Station that operated via the Main Line.

 

I have one more question: approximately how long would it take the Cannonball to travel from Jamaica to Valley Stream?

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The Canonball is one of the few montauk bound trains that runs via Babylon branch.

 

I photographed it at Seaford. It came around 4:45 if I remember right, I got there around 4:30 to be safe. One thing to keep in mind it is a very FAST train, so be ready and have good timing. I messed up a few of my shots cuz i underestimated how fast it goes.

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All Cannoballs and Montauk-trains run via Babylon. In weekends, some Montauk-trains run via the Main Line. That's scheduled. Other times only when there is a problem (like you said).

 

LMAO!!!! Oh wait...you're actually serious. Ok. Time for a reality check. Um...no. The 6:22 AM (weekday) train to LIC operates via the Main Line. The 1:10AM train from Jamaica to Montauk uses the Main Line because it has to stop at...UGH! Hicksville! I'd say about 60% of Montauk trains operate via the Main Line. Back in 2007, more off-peak trains used the Babylon Branch...except for the 12:10 PM (weekday) train from Southampton to Jamaica. That uses the Main Line. However, RARELY rush-hours Montauk trains will use the Babylon Branch.

 

Oh and my source for this answer is the following:

 

1. Riding the train almost every month and observing it.

2. Knowing the the conductors on the Branch.

3. My mother has been riding the Montauk Branch from Southampton to Jamaica to work (Weekdays) since 1997.

 

 

That's not true. I remember taking the 5:09 Speonk train from Penn Station that operated via the Main Line.

 

I have one more question: approximately how long would it take the Cannonball to travel from Jamaica to Valley Stream?

 

You are correct about that Speonk train. If the Cannonball travelled on the Babylon Branch, it would take probably about 15-20 minutes. More like 15 BUT be ready because it will not stop.

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LMAO!!!! Oh wait...you're actually serious. Ok. Time for a reality check. Um...no. The 6:22 AM (weekday) train to LIC operates via the Main Line. The 1:10AM train from Jamaica to Montauk uses the Main Line because it has to stop at...UGH! Hicksville! I'd say about 60% of Montauk trains operate via the Main Line. Back in 2007, more off-peak trains used the Babylon Branch...except for the 12:10 PM (weekday) train from Southampton to Jamaica. That uses the Main Line. However, RARELY rush-hours Montauk trains will use the Babylon Branch.

 

Oh and my source for this answer is the following:

 

1. Riding the train almost every month and observing it.

2. Knowing the the conductors on the Branch.

3. My mother has been riding the Montauk Branch from Southampton to Jamaica to work (Weekdays) since 1997.

 

:tup::tup::tup::tup::tup::tup::tup::tup::tup:

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Forest Glen: If you want to go sOmewhere new for a cannonball pic, go to Babylon. You're guaranteed to catch it there.

 

For everyone else: Most, but not all Patchogue/Speonk/Montauk trains operate via the Main because of all the pokey locals and construction on the Babylon branch. Very few of those are shown on the Port Jeff (main line) schedule since they generally don't stop, but those that are have 27xx or 87xx train numbers. However, some trains (especially reverse peak) will operate via the south shore. But if there is a problem on one branch, trains will be reroutes to the other branch. All it takes is observation to figure out which trains run where.

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Forest Glen: If you want to go sOmewhere new for a cannonball pic, go to Babylon. You're guaranteed to catch it there.

 

For everyone else: Most, but not all Patchogue/Speonk/Montauk trains operate via the Main because of all the pokey locals and construction on the Babylon branch. Very few of those are shown on the Port Jeff (main line) schedule since they generally don't stop, but those that are have 27xx or 87xx train numbers. However, some trains (especially reverse peak) will operate via the south shore. But if there is a problem on one branch, trains will be reroutes to the other branch. All it takes is observation to figure out which trains run where.

 

So basically we are saying the same thing! Thank you. Honestly, I'd prefer the main line because of more rail action...in my opinion.

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Forest Glen: If you want to go sOmewhere new for a cannonball pic, go to Babylon. You're guaranteed to catch it there.

 

For everyone else: Most, but not all Patchogue/Speonk/Montauk trains operate via the Main because of all the pokey locals and construction on the Babylon branch. Very few of those are shown on the Port Jeff (main line) schedule since they generally don't stop, but those that are have 27xx or 87xx train numbers. However, some trains (especially reverse peak) will operate via the south shore. But if there is a problem on one branch, trains will be reroutes to the other branch. All it takes is observation to figure out which trains run where.

 

Its exactly why I dont see the big deal on adding a stop in Hicksville. For me to go out on the Montauk line most of the time I backtrack to Jamaica only to ride right past where I got on!

Since the trains go thru Hicksville at no more than 15mph or so I just dont see the big deal. I've complained to the LIRR for years about this but its like talking to a brick wall. Some have pointed out to me its because they dont want pax riding to Hicksville from Jamaica since the trains are crowded, but maybe they should have a flag stop system or a number I could call to request the train stop there so I can travel to Montauk.

On weekends I have to take a train around 7am from Westbury to Jamaica, sit there till 8:10am to get the eastbound Montauk which crawls thru Hicksville. But if that 8:10am made a stop in Hicksville (passes thru around 8:25am) then I'd be able to get an 8:05am east from Westbury with a brief wait at Hicksville. An hour of time and several dollars saved too.

But the RR absolutely refuses to listen.

They care more about getting ppl from NYC out east than LI'ers. :tdown:

And as it is I dont get out to Montauk until 10:45am or so, so most of the time I just say screw it and get the 8:30am 319 to Toms River and arrive there by 9:45am. And now with an 8am departure from PABT, I'm in S.Jersey even sooner. :cool:

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Its exactly why I dont see the big deal on adding a stop in Hicksville. For me to go out on the Montauk line most of the time I backtrack to Jamaica only to ride right past where I got on!

Since the trains go thru Hicksville at no more than 15mph or so I just dont see the big deal. I've complained to the LIRR for years about this but its like talking to a brick wall. Some have pointed out to me its because they dont want pax riding to Hicksville from Jamaica since the trains are crowded, but maybe they should have a flag stop system or a number I could call to request the train stop there so I can travel to Montauk.

On weekends I have to take a train around 7am from Westbury to Jamaica, sit there till 8:10am to get the eastbound Montauk which crawls thru Hicksville. But if that 8:10am made a stop in Hicksville (passes thru around 8:25am) then I'd be able to get an 8:05am east from Westbury with a brief wait at Hicksville. An hour of time and several dollars saved too.

But the RR absolutely refuses to listen.

They care more about getting ppl from NYC out east than LI'ers. :tdown:

And as it is I dont get out to Montauk until 10:45am or so, so most of the time I just say screw it and get the 8:30am 319 to Toms River and arrive there by 9:45am. And now with an 8am departure from PABT, I'm in S.Jersey even sooner. :cool:

 

As for the Cannonball, it won't add the stop. Other Montauk trains, you have the chance.

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As for the Cannonball, it won't add the stop. Other Montauk trains, you have the chance.

 

Yeah I'm talking about the others. The Cannonball should be left alone...

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Its exactly why I dont see the big deal on adding a stop in Hicksville. For me to go out on the Montauk line most of the time I backtrack to Jamaica only to ride right past where I got on!

Since the trains go thru Hicksville at no more than 15mph or so I just dont see the big deal. I've complained to the LIRR for years about this but its like talking to a brick wall. Some have pointed out to me its because they dont want pax riding to Hicksville from Jamaica since the trains are crowded, but maybe they should have a flag stop system or a number I could call to request the train stop there so I can travel to Montauk.

On weekends I have to take a train around 7am from Westbury to Jamaica, sit there till 8:10am to get the eastbound Montauk which crawls thru Hicksville. But if that 8:10am made a stop in Hicksville (passes thru around 8:25am) then I'd be able to get an 8:05am east from Westbury with a brief wait at Hicksville. An hour of time and several dollars saved too.

But the RR absolutely refuses to listen.

They care more about getting ppl from NYC out east than LI'ers. :tdown:

And as it is I dont get out to Montauk until 10:45am or so, so most of the time I just say screw it and get the 8:30am 319 to Toms River and arrive there by 9:45am. And now with an 8am departure from PABT, I'm in S.Jersey even sooner. :cool:

 

Yeah I'm talking about the others. The Cannonball should be left alone...

 

 

Here we go again with this issue!

 

Let me take you back a few years, the CURRENT 6:22am train (Weekdays)from Southampton makes local stops to Sayville, then express to Babylon, HICKSVILLE and MINEOLA before reaching Jamaica. Now Hicksville and Mineola were added because the LIRR cut a train off the Port Jefferson branch (more like a Huntington train) and a train from the Oyster Bay Branch (hence Mineola). Also, they cut a train off the Babylon Branch which is why we are making a stop there as well. However, I can kind of understand Babylon being the start of the Montauk Branch.

 

Back in 2004 (I think) that 6:22am train (which was a different time back then...like 6:15am or something) went from Montauk to Sayville and EXPRESS TO JAMAICA! My mother has rode this train for 15 years and has found these added stops unnecessary...the NASSAU COUNTY stops she means. That train would get into Jamaica at about 8:00am or so.

 

From Montauk (or even Southampton), the ride is LONG enough as it is. PLUS, at Hicksville you have TWO branches that more quite more frequent than the Montauk Branch. "PinePower", I'd trade with you in a minute for the kind of service that the Hempstead, Far Rockaway, Long Beach EVEN West Hempstead (Weekdays) and Oyster Bay Branches offer. There is NOTHING wrong with people from Nassau going to Jamaica OR coming out to Babylon (or better yet) driving to the Babylon Branch stations along Sunrise Hwy in Nassau (which if you live in Westbury, then you have that wonderful, beautiful N35) and take the train to Babylon and picking up a Montauk train from there. I'm not saying people have to ride the bus BUT they could drive. Trust me, if it's "The Hamptons" people WILLfind a way to get there. Also, the 1:10am train from Jamaica to Montauk DOES stop at Hicksville. This is the "I missed my Ronkonkoma/Huntington train and how can I get home now? What should I do?" train. Basically for those party-animals but whatever.

 

Stopping in Nassau County is an inconvience. Have you seen the amount of people that ride ANY train to "The Hamptons" or Montauk this time of year. SOME trains are "S.R.O." One Friday evening, I took the 8:53pm out of Jamaica and that was S.R.O. to Sayville. This past Sunday, I'm at Southampton Station watching people PUSH themselves onto the train. The 6:17pm and 8:17pm leaving Southampton were about 20 minutes late just getting TO Southampton. Those trains runs express from Patchogue to Jamaica. So stopping in Nassau with these packed trains? Now, don't you even try..."Well, what about trains from Speonk and Patchogue? They can pick up the slack." Yeah, but then you got the FIRE ISLAND FERRIES getting on at Patchogue, Sayville (the BIGGEST crowds), Islip and WHOA...Bay Shore!

 

Now I can understand your argument BUT look at it from the East End riders point of view. That 1:10am train to Southampton is TWO HOURS (3:19am) because it's a local train from Babylon to Montauk. Stopping at Hicksville takes about 5-10 mins (depending if there's no drama unfloding at the stop). Meanwhile, it takes you (assuming you live in Westbury) about what 15-30 minutes to Jamaica? If you miss a train, it's at most what...an hour wait? Dude, come on. Despite Long Island Bus, you guys have it easier in Nassau and can navagate to any station...unlike in Suffolk.

 

...and wait! I should not REALLY talk. Look at the North Fork. They have NO service between Ronkonkoma and Greenport on the weekends (October-May) thanks to those budget cuts...and you know better then to say that the S92 is an alternate.

 

 

Just basing my facts on riders who ride the Montauk Branch. That's all.

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Sayville is not the busiest stop on the line. It is the third busiest stop on the Montauk line. Patchogue, Bay Shore, and Islip are 1 2 and 4 respectively.

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Sayville is not the busiest stop on the line. It is the third busiest stop on the Montauk line. Patchogue, Bay Shore, and Islip are 1 2 and 4 respectively.

 

I did not say it was the busiest on the WHOLE line. In terms of rush-hours and during the summer season where you have those shuttles waiting for them, it has the biggest crowds.

 

My point was with a Patchogue train stopping between Patchogue and Babylon, the train does get packed.

Edited by The TransitMan

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The only reason to have montauk trains even serve hicksville is to try and provide a north south train service within LI. However the crowds make even that too difficult.

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The only reason to have montauk trains even serve hicksville is to try and provide a north south train service within LI. However the crowds make even that too difficult.

 

Its still not right that its easier to get from NYC to Montauk than from Westbury to Montauk.

If the trains are so jammed they cant take on a small amount of pax at Hicksville, then service needs to be improved. After all turning away potential passengers is NOT a good thing. Many already choose to take Hampton Jitney because its much more frequent and comfortable.

The LIRR should have purchased more diesel equipment to better serve the Montauk, or reduced service on the PJ and Oyster Bay lines to free trainsets.

I'd have hourly service to Montauk on summer weekends, with 30 min headways west of Patchogue or Speonk. The problem of course is the single trackage east of Sayville, though there are sidings along the way.

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I see the delays every weekend from the crowding on the Montauk line. If it is so bad then the LIRR needs to increase service. There needs to be at least a train every hour to/from Montauk during those busy times. Its obvious the service is insufficient to handle the loads.

My point is you have a north-south connection that no one can utilize. Sure there's a few trains, which only benefit those traveling to Nassau for the day (not out east for the day).

Yes Montauk is a long ride, so have Patchogue and Speonk trains stop at Hicksville instead. But they are very crowded, as you said, which means service needs to be improved.

On weekends cut Oyster Bay line service to every 3 hours, Port Jeff to every 2 hours, to free up the equipment.

I know summer on the Montauk line is chaos, I've taken it enough to know that. Its not just that I have to backtrack to Jamaica, but I have to pay a higher fare too (a more expensive via Jamaica ticket instead of via Hicksville).

And to take the N35? That would take even longer.

On Saturdays it isn't as bad as I can get to Ronkonkoma and get Suffolk Transit to Patchogue to get the Montauk trains there, the 7A bus is only a 25-30 min ride. But Sundays there's no service, though now with the S92 running it does provide an alternative, though the Greenport line train gets there just too late (11:30am) to get out to Montauk.

Heck even the LIRR's own service out there is pathetic. First train doesn't even get to Montauk until 10:55am! Thats because the first Montauk train isn't until 8:10am at Jamaica. There should be one at 7am! NJT has 319's leaving PABT at 7am on weekends!

And I'm sure HJ has earlier buses too. Oh and I'd take HJ but they dont carry within LI.

So by the time all is said and done, I just say screw it as far as backtracking to Jamaica on the 7am train from Westbury, waiting for the 8:10am being jammed with a bunch of annoying people to the Hamptons where I dont get out there until nearly 11am, so I just stay on the train till Penn where I get an 8am bus and am in Toms River before 9:30am...

The MTA could take a page from NJT and have some express buses for LI'ers to get out east...we need our own damn 319..

 

 

Here we go again with this issue!

 

Let me take you back a few years, the CURRENT 6:22am train (Weekdays)from Southampton makes local stops to Sayville, then express to Babylon, HICKSVILLE and MINEOLA before reaching Jamaica. Now Hicksville and Mineola were added because the LIRR cut a train off the Port Jefferson branch (more like a Huntington train) and a train from the Oyster Bay Branch (hence Mineola). Also, they cut a train off the Babylon Branch which is why we are making a stop there as well. However, I can kind of understand Babylon being the start of the Montauk Branch.

 

Back in 2004 (I think) that 6:22am train (which was a different time back then...like 6:15am or something) went from Montauk to Sayville and EXPRESS TO JAMAICA! My mother has rode this train for 15 years and has found these added stops unnecessary...the NASSAU COUNTY stops she means. That train would get into Jamaica at about 8:00am or so.

 

From Montauk (or even Southampton), the ride is LONG enough as it is. PLUS, at Hicksville you have TWO branches that more quite more frequent than the Montauk Branch. "PinePower", I'd trade with you in a minute for the kind of service that the Hempstead, Far Rockaway, Long Beach EVEN West Hempstead (Weekdays) and Oyster Bay Branches offer. There is NOTHING wrong with people from Nassau going to Jamaica OR coming out to Babylon (or better yet) driving to the Babylon Branch stations along Sunrise Hwy in Nassau (which if you live in Westbury, then you have that wonderful, beautiful N35) and take the train to Babylon and picking up a Montauk train from there. I'm not saying people have to ride the bus BUT they could drive. Trust me, if it's "The Hamptons" people WILLfind a way to get there. Also, the 1:10am train from Jamaica to Montauk DOES stop at Hicksville. This is the "I missed my Ronkonkoma/Huntington train and how can I get home now? What should I do?" train. Basically for those party-animals but whatever.

 

Stopping in Nassau County is an inconvience. Have you seen the amount of people that ride ANY train to "The Hamptons" or Montauk this time of year. SOME trains are "S.R.O." One Friday evening, I took the 8:53pm out of Jamaica and that was S.R.O. to Sayville. This past Sunday, I'm at Southampton Station watching people PUSH themselves onto the train. The 6:17pm and 8:17pm leaving Southampton were about 20 minutes late just getting TO Southampton. Those trains runs express from Patchogue to Jamaica. So stopping in Nassau with these packed trains? Now, don't you even try..."Well, what about trains from Speonk and Patchogue? They can pick up the slack." Yeah, but then you got the FIRE ISLAND FERRIES getting on at Patchogue, Sayville (the BIGGEST crowds), Islip and WHOA...Bay Shore!

 

Now I can understand your argument BUT look at it from the East End riders point of view. That 1:10am train to Southampton is TWO HOURS (3:19am) because it's a local train from Babylon to Montauk. Stopping at Hicksville takes about 5-10 mins (depending if there's no drama unfloding at the stop). Meanwhile, it takes you (assuming you live in Westbury) about what 15-30 minutes to Jamaica? If you miss a train, it's at most what...an hour wait? Dude, come on. Despite Long Island Bus, you guys have it easier in Nassau and can navagate to any station...unlike in Suffolk.

 

...and wait! I should not REALLY talk. Look at the North Fork. They have NO service between Ronkonkoma and Greenport on the weekends (October-May) thanks to those budget cuts...and you know better then to say that the S92 is an alternate.

 

 

Just basing my facts on riders who ride the Montauk Branch. That's all.

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Its still not right that its easier to get from NYC to Montauk than from Westbury to Montauk.

If the trains are so jammed they cant take on a small amount of pax at Hicksville, then service needs to be improved. After all turning away potential passengers is NOT a good thing. Many already choose to take Hampton Jitney because its much more frequent and comfortable.

The LIRR should have purchased more diesel equipment to better serve the Montauk, or reduced service on the PJ and Oyster Bay lines to free trainsets.

I'd have hourly service to Montauk on summer weekends, with 30 min headways west of Patchogue or Speonk. The problem of course is the single trackage east of Sayville, though there are sidings along the way.

 

or you can use ronkonkoma train to farmingdale and use N72 to babylon for the montauk trains.

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I see the delays every weekend from the crowding on the Montauk line. If it is so bad then the LIRR needs to increase service. There needs to be at least a train every hour to/from Montauk during those busy times. Its obvious the service is insufficient to handle the loads.

My point is you have a north-south connection that no one can utilize. Sure there's a few trains, which only benefit those traveling to Nassau for the day (not out east for the day).

Yes Montauk is a long ride, so have Patchogue and Speonk trains stop at Hicksville instead. But they are very crowded, as you said, which means service needs to be improved.

On weekends cut Oyster Bay line service to every 3 hours, Port Jeff to every 2 hours, to free up the equipment.

I know summer on the Montauk line is chaos, I've taken it enough to know that. Its not just that I have to backtrack to Jamaica, but I have to pay a higher fare too (a more expensive via Jamaica ticket instead of via Hicksville).

And to take the N35? That would take even longer.

On Saturdays it isn't as bad as I can get to Ronkonkoma and get Suffolk Transit to Patchogue to get the Montauk trains there, the 7A bus is only a 25-30 min ride. But Sundays there's no service, though now with the S92 running it does provide an alternative, though the Greenport line train gets there just too late (11:30am) to get out to Montauk.

Heck even the LIRR's own service out there is pathetic. First train doesn't even get to Montauk until 10:55am! Thats because the first Montauk train isn't until 8:10am at Jamaica. There should be one at 7am! NJT has 319's leaving PABT at 7am on weekends!

And I'm sure HJ has earlier buses too. Oh and I'd take HJ but they dont carry within LI.

So by the time all is said and done, I just say screw it as far as backtracking to Jamaica on the 7am train from Westbury, waiting for the 8:10am being jammed with a bunch of annoying people to the Hamptons where I dont get out there until nearly 11am, so I just stay on the train till Penn where I get an 8am bus and am in Toms River before 9:30am...

The MTA could take a page from NJT and have some express buses for LI'ers to get out east...we need our own damn 319..

 

interesting My updated LI idea has something similar thanks for bringing that up. I think that HJ should stop at hicksville at least.

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Today I headed to Valley Stream to take pics of the Cannonball. Too bad Mother Nature couldn't wait 15 minutes to rain. I took a shot that was blurry due to the rain (which I won't post). Had it not been raining, I would've easily nailed it. I'll have to wait till next week, but at least I verified that the Cannonball travels via the Montauk branch.

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