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'89 Liberty MCI

More Terminal Procedure Questions

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How early do crew members have to line up at their positions (front of train for T/O, middle of train for C/R) before they are supposed to get the line-up/starting lights so they can start the next trip? For example if you have to take a (5) out of Flatbush Avenue at 8:07 and get your line-up/starting lights at that time 8:07, I would guess that crews technically have to be at their positions at 8:04 (3 minutes prior) so that they have enough time to reprogram the train (on NTTs) and recharge the brakes. Is this a hard-and-fast policy that all crews have to adhere to? Or just a guideline?

 

I know they only have the full 3 minutes if their train pulls into the terminal on time. If the train is late and pulls in while the starting lights are on, which often happens at Flatbush, there is only enough time to recharge the brakes and do whatever else must absolutely be done before pulling out since the TOD moves slowly, preventing the announcements and signs from being reprogrammed quickly enough. All cars currently in service need to have the brakes recharged before starting a new trip out of a terminal, correct?

 

And what other things must absolutely be done before leaving the terminal regardless of the schedule? I only know that the following must absolutely be done even if the train is late, assuming it is going into service at the terminal (not running light to another station further down the line or to the yard):

 

-Train comes in

-T/O #1 changes headlights to taillights and applies parking brake

-C/R #1 dezones doors and then opens them from the other cab

-T/O #2 and C/R #2 come in and close cab doors

-T/O #2 recharges brakes and changes taillights to headlights

-C/R #2 presses door warning button ("stand clear of the closing doors please") and closes doors

-T/O #2 pulls train out of terminal

 

Just want to know if anything is missing. Even trivial details if there are any, so if I missed even the smallest thing please state what I missed.

 

Also, is 4 minutes the minimum amount of time allotted for a train to turn around? According to schedules this is all that most Flatbush trains get during middays and rush hours.

Edited by '89 Liberty MCI
More specific question about recharging brakes

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Also, is 4 minutes the minimum amount of time allotted for a train to turn around? According to schedules this is all that most Flatbush trains get during middays and rush hours.

 

I'd assume that the (7)<7> have less than that at Times Square, since trains run almost every 90 seconds.

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Also, is 4 minutes the minimum amount of time allotted for a train to turn around? According to schedules this is all that most Flatbush trains get during middays and rush hours.

 

Four whole minutes? lol

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I only speculated; I do not know.

 

Since service is so frequent they probably fudge that a bit. Maybe four whole minutes from the time the train starts pulling in to the terminal so that you end up with 3.5 minutes from the time the T/O hits the parking brake to the time the new T/O gets a line-up to take that train out.

 

I was under the impression that there had to be a certain minimum amount of recovery time for the train to make up for small delays that could have happened on the previous trip. But I know if it gets really bad they will just have the train skip stops on the way to the terminal so that it can be on time for the next trip.

 

Also in the case of the (2)(5) at least there is more room at 241 and Dyre, so the trains can pull out of those terminals on time for the following trip back to the southern terminal, even if they left Flatbush a bit late. Unless they are returning to the yard.

 

Quite entertaining when the automated announcement at Flatbush says that the next Manhattan-bound train will depart in one minute when that train has not entered the station yet (and takes about 30 seconds to get from the north end of the platform to the bumping block). Even better when I see the starting lights on and the board is blinking (5) to Eastchester-Dyre Av 0min (for example) while the train is still pulling in to the station. Or when two trains need to leave right away and the board blinks (2) Wakefield-241 St 0min and (5) Nereid Av 0min simultaneously and mind you, there are trains waiting to enter Flatbush. >_<

 

I do not want to digress too much because I still would like answers to my questions, unless I already have all the answers, but I wonder if the dispatchers at Flatbush could announce which track the next train is leaving from. I know the boards tell you one train will leave from track 3 at this time, the other train from track 2 at this other time, but at terminals the boards are usually off until a train pulls in, and at Flatbush this is even more prevalent since it handles two high-frequency lines and you have to know which platform to go to get the next train out if you are in a hurry. The announcements and boards should also refer to the tracks as the east and west tracks, rather than or as well as referring to them as tracks 3 and 2. My main reason for these provisions is that they might help distribute passengers, so that they do not have to crowd the south end of the station to get easy access to either platform or the south cars of the trains. If they know the next train will leave from the west track they can go to different locations along the west platform so there is even distribution of passengers in that next train. Same goes for the east platform.

Edited by '89 Liberty MCI
Last paragraph.

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People are habitual, they do what they do. Some actually want a (5), others actually want a (2). Train crews are supposed to be on their trains (or at their positions if the train isn't physically there yet) 2 minutes early. Usually the crew doesn't begin to get to their position until they see the train pass the crew room (which is roughly in the middle of the platform, but of course you know this). They get away with this being that the train can only come in at 5mph (one of the slowest terminals to come into in the system).

 

There is a wait time of about ~17 second from when a train is dumped to when it can be charged again (doesn't matter where on the train the train is recharged from, in this case the other end). R142 equipment charges fast (along with all tech trains), the train is ready to go in as soon as about 45 seconds after first being dumped. Of course the c/r often has trouble getting the rear section closed at Flatbush, regardless of whether the platform knows in bright neon lights which train is going to leave next. Its the stragglers and people holding doors of cultural courtesy that delay departures.

 

I know you're out on a mission to improve service along the Flatbush trunk by any means possible. The combination of "which train leaves first", no island plat at terminal, and waiting at President St drives you mad. I remember the whole dig a side tunnel for the (5) and redo Rogers junction if possible, etc. Even if the TD announced for every train which side it was leaving from, its not like everyone comes through those turnstyles with their ears open. Every time I pull into 168 I find someone completely immersed in their music they are completely unaware of whats around them, and its not once they sit down on the train, its when they leave their house. I've had someone walk into the side of my car sittin in an intersection waiting to turn.

 

The only tangible way to improve the Flatbush terminal is to do two things...

1. Lenghen the switch so trains can leave faster. There is plenty of room in the tunnel (signals probably would have to be moved) for a 20mph switch. Note 59-CC where trains leave on the post. Note the SF terminal where trains used to leave on the post. They money for switch renewal is already budgeted, its just deciding to add Flatbush to the list. It's a maintenance expense not capital.

2. Close that south entrance to the station, move it back ~100 feet, allowing the tracks to be extended southward about 50 feet or so (tail tracks). Add an extra timer in the station limits. Now trains can come in at a comfortable 15mph (instead of 5mph). Yes this is capital but it isn't too expensive a project to do for a tangible increase of quality of service.

 

That won't solve President, but it will for all intents and purposes solve Flatbush.

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Agreed with what you said TwoTimer, except for one thing.

 

That won't solve President, but it will for all intents and purposes solve Flatbush.

 

...and, with trains leaving Flatbush more frequently, compound the problem at President.

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I put questions in bold so they would stick out in this long post.

 

TwoTimer: Based on what you told me before however, it sounds like rebuilding Rogers junction would not really improve anything since the (4)(5) are so frequent.

 

I remember (4)s getting held at 149 Street southbound quite a bit, yet 141 Street junction handles fewer trains than Rogers junction and is not nearly as 'sloppy'.

 

Flatbush is definitely easier and cheaper to fix than Rogers junction and probably needs fixing more than Rogers junction does, since it is the major limiting factor for Nostrand Avenue capacity.

 

For the following questions, suppose both pocket tracks are occupied.

 

1. After a train begins to pull out from the west track at Flatbush, how much time must pass before a train can begin to pull out from the east track?

 

2. What is the minimum wait time for the train on the west track if the train on the east track pulls out first?

 

3. Does Flatbush normally have the train on the east track leave first since that train can leave more quickly?

 

4. If you put a 20mph double interlocking in the tunnel, do you have enough room to put another 20mph double interlocking north of this double interlocking?

 

5. Can a <20mph double interlocking be placed north of the 20mph double interlocking if we cannot have two 20mph double interlockings? What is the fastest combination of these double interlockings that can physically be placed in that tunnel?

 

6. Would having two double interlockings between Newkirk and Flatbush increase capacity on Nostrand, even if the terminal remains stub-ended? Why or why not?

 

If it would increase capacity, then for now I would like to see two double interlockings between Newkirk and Flatbush. If the east track is open (or about to be open because a train is passing) between the new, northernmost double interlocking and Flatbush and no train is sitting on the east track in Flatbush, get over to the east track via the new/north interlocking so you get out of the way of the train that needs to depart from the west track.

 

If you move the Avenue H exit down 100 feet it will have to be on the south side of H rather than the north side. The distance from the exit to the intersection of Nostrand & H is 92 feet on google maps.

 

Also I had been thinking about the tail tracks, but the problem is that the people entering through the east entrances by the northbound B41 bus stop, the southbound B41 stop, and the northbound B44 stop would have a longer walk to the west platform since the platform bridge would be further south. It might take longer to make transfers.

 

People entering by HSBC would have a longer walk to the east platform, but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you wish to look at it) not that many people enter there anyway.

 

Especially compared to the east entrances.

 

However the wait time would fall because the terminal could then handle more TPH. The more TPH this terminal can handle, perhaps the less slack has to be picked up by the other two terminals. It would be less convenient for passengers to get to the trains, but the wait time would decrease.

 

I actually even thought about having only the south eight cars platform so the two north cars are already out the station when it is time to go, but that would be a disaster because the people would barely fit on the trains, both leaving Flatbush and heading to Flatbush (a mass exodus currently takes place whenever a train pulls in as Flatbush is a heavily-used station). It would probably cause a lot of other problems too. It would not be conducive to ridership growth.

 

On paper and based on my observations when riding the (2)(5) and observing these trains along the Brooklyn IRT and observing the trains entering and departing Flatbush, Flatbush gets good service, but from time to time you will have anomalies: Two consecutive (5)s or two consecutive (2)s to Flatbush end up arriving there 11 minutes apart during PM rush hour when the (5) should be operating every 5-6 minutes and the (2) should be operating every 7-8 minutes.

 

On the bright side, trains usually end up arriving at Flatbush 11 minutes apart most likely because the second train gets slowed down near and after Rogers junction but arrived at most of the stations in Manhattan 5-6 or 7-8 minutes behind its Flatbush-bound leader. Some trains are scheduled to go to Utica or New Lots because Flatbush can only turn so many trains around. What I want to see is more consistent and more frequent (2)(5) service to Flatbush. My goal is to get it to the point where no (2)(5)s have to go to Utica/New Lots unless they need to access Livonia yard.

 

Bronx people seem to have a problem during the PM rush, because when a (2) or (5) enters Flatbush 11 minutes after its leader, and there is no (2) or (5) coming from New Lots/Utica to squeeze in between, then Bronx people might have to wait as long as 15 minutes to get a train to 241, Nereid, or Dyre. Happened to me before when I wanted to get from E. 180 to Gun Hill/WPR a couple of years ago. It took a good minute for a (2) to show up after about 3-4 Dyre (5)s came through. I think it was longer than 10 minutes.

 

Roughly 1 out of every 5 pairs of consecutive (5)s might get stretched out to 10-11 minutes to Flatbush (and consequently 10-11 mins back to the Bronx) when you have as many Lexington trains going to Utica as you currently do (my friend who lives by the (2)(5) said as many as 5 Utica trains in a row will show up in the PM rush before a (5) to Flatbush shows up).

 

Also I am curious as to what exactly defines a "stub-end" terminal and why the trains have to pull into Flatbush at 5mph. I try googling "stub-end terminal" but cannot find any clear definitions or answers. If Flatbush is considered stub-ended because it has two side platforms and the bridge wraps around the track ends, well, that does not seem much different from VCP and Woodlawn, which are only different because they have an island platform. They have side platforms for crews and I think the platform bridges wrap around the track ends at those terminals too. I even saw the (1) South Ferry terminal designated as a stub-end terminal on one site.

 

7. Can I get a clear definition of this "stub-end" terminal please?

 

I can only guess that trains have to pull into Flatbush at 5mph rather than 10mph like VCP/Woodlawn because there is less room between the bumping block and the actual end of the rails, so there is less time and room for the bumping block to stop the train in case the brakes fail.

 

8. TwoTimer, what did you mean by leaving on the post?

 

NX Express: If Flatbush could take on more TPH, some (2)(5)s that go to New Lots and Utica could go to Flatbush instead, and Flatbush could do a better job pushing the trains out so they can make better service to the Bronx. As a result, more trains can go to Flatbush, for the people traveling from Manhattan to the Nostrand Avenue corridor. Then Utica and New Lots do not have to do as much work during PMs to pick up the slack for Flatbush. No trains are added to the (2)(5); some (hopefully most) (2)(5)s just change terminals. I know Flatbush trains go through Rogers junction slower than Utica/New Lots trains, but would diverting some (hopefully most) trains from Utica/New Lots to Flatbush really have such an adverse effect on the Brooklyn IRT and Rogers junction?

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Answers in Sea Green

 

I put questions in bold so they would stick out in this long post.

 

TwoTimer: Based on what you told me before however, it sounds like rebuilding Rogers junction would not really improve anything since the 4/5 are so frequent.

 

I remember 4s getting held at 149 Street southbound quite a bit, yet 141 Street junction handles fewer trains than Rogers junction and is not nearly as 'sloppy'.

 

Flatbush is definitely easier and cheaper to fix than Rogers junction and probably needs fixing more than Rogers junction does, since it is the major limiting factor for Nostrand Avenue capacity.

 

For the following questions, suppose both pocket tracks are occupied.

 

1. After a train begins to pull out from the west track at Flatbush, how much time must pass before a train can begin to pull out from the east track?

About 20 secs from when the last car leaves the station.

2. What is the minimum wait time for the train on the west track if the train on the east track pulls out first?

Similar.

3. Does Flatbush normally have the train on the east track leave first since that train can leave more quickly?Similar.

 

4. If you put a 20mph double interlocking in the tunnel, do you have enough room to put another 20mph double interlocking north of this double interlocking? There is no need for back to back diamond switches.

 

5. Can a <20mph double interlocking be placed north of the 20mph double interlocking if we cannot have two 20mph double interlockings? What is the fastest combination of these double interlockings that can physically be placed in that tunnel? Note above.

 

6. Would having two double interlockings between Newkirk and Flatbush increase capacity on Nostrand, even if the terminal remains stub-ended? Why or why not?No.

 

If it would increase capacity, then for now I would like to see two double interlockings between Newkirk and Flatbush. If the east track is open (or about to be open because a train is passing) between the new, northernmost double interlocking and Flatbush and no train is sitting on the east track in Flatbush, get over to the east track via the new/north interlocking so you get out of the way of the train that needs to depart from the west track.

 

If you move the Avenue H exit down 100 feet it will have to be on the south side of H rather than the north side. The distance from the exit to the intersection of Nostrand & H is 92 feet on google maps.

 

Also I had been thinking about the tail tracks, but the problem is that the people entering through the east entrances by the northbound B41 bus stop, the southbound B41 stop, and the northbound B44 stop would have a longer walk to the west platform since the platform bridge would be further south. It might take longer to make transfers.

 

People entering by HSBC would have a longer walk to the east platform, but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you wish to look at it) not that many people enter there anyway.

 

Especially compared to the east entrances.

 

However the wait time would fall because the terminal could then handle more TPH. The more TPH this terminal can handle, perhaps the less slack has to be picked up by the other two terminals. It would be less convenient for passengers to get to the trains, but the wait time would decrease.

 

I actually even thought about having only the south eight cars platform so the two north cars are already out the station when it is time to go, but that would be a disaster because the people would barely fit on the trains, both leaving Flatbush and heading to Flatbush (a mass exodus currently takes place whenever a train pulls in as Flatbush is a heavily-used station). It would probably cause a lot of other problems too. It would not be conducive to ridership growth.

 

On paper and based on my observations when riding the (2)(5) and observing these trains along the Brooklyn IRT and observing the trains entering and departing Flatbush, Flatbush gets good service, but from time to time you will have anomalies: Two consecutive 5s or two consecutive 2s to Flatbush end up arriving there 11 minutes apart during PM rush hour when the (5) should be operating every 5-6 minutes and the (2) should be operating every 7-8 minutes.

 

On the bright side, trains usually end up arriving at Flatbush 11 minutes apart most likely because the second train gets slowed down near and after Rogers junction but arrived at most of the stations in Manhattan 5-6 or 7-8 minutes behind its Flatbush-bound leader. Some trains are scheduled to go to Utica or New Lots because Flatbush can only turn so many trains around. What I want to see is more consistent and more frequent (2)(5) service to Flatbush. My goal is to get it to the point where no (2)(5)s have to go to Utica/New Lots unless they need to access Livonia yard.

 

Bronx people seem to have a problem during the PM rush, because when a (2) or (5) enters Flatbush 11 minutes after its leader, and there is no (2) or (5) coming from New Lots/Utica to squeeze in between, then Bronx people might have to wait as long as 15 minutes to get a train to 241, Nereid, or Dyre. Happened to me before when I wanted to get from E. 180 to Gun Hill/WPR a couple of years ago. It took a good minute for a (2) to show up after about 3-4 Dyre (5)s came through. I think it was longer than 10 minutes.

 

Roughly 1 out of every 5 pairs of consecutive (5)s might get stretched out to 10-11 minutes to Flatbush (and consequently 10-11 mins back to the Bronx) when you have as many Lexington trains going to Utica as you currently do (my friend who lives by the (2)(5) said as many as 5 Utica trains in a row will show up in the PM rush before a (5) to Flatbush shows up).

 

Also I am curious as to what exactly defines a "stub-end" terminal and why the trains have to pull into Flatbush at 5mph. I try googling "stub-end terminal" but cannot find any clear definitions or answers. If Flatbush is considered stub-ended because it has two side platforms and the bridge wraps around the track ends, well, that does not seem much different from VCP and Woodlawn, which are only different because they have an island platform. They have side platforms for crews and I think the platform bridges wrap around the track ends at those terminals too. I even saw the (1) South Ferry terminal designated as a stub-end terminal on one site.

 

Any terminal that ends in a bumping block where tracks end.

 

7. Can I get a clear definition of this "stub-end" terminal please?

 

I can only guess that trains have to pull into Flatbush at 5mph rather than 10mph like VCP/Woodlawn because there is less room between the bumping block and the actual end of the rails, so there is less time and room for the bumping block to stop the train in case the brakes fail. Transit is reactive. There has been incidents of trains hitting the bumping block at Flatbush. It has nothing to do with how hard the switch is, or how far it is from the [10]8. TwoTimer, what did you mean by leaving on the post?

Being able to leave with full power (at least up to 20mph which is better than 10 anyway). Note how (:((D) trains take the switch leaving 59. Its such a long and smooth switch, often you may not even know you just went over a switch. It is also the fastest switch in the system at 25mph (there's a few others out there now).

 

NX Express: If Flatbush could take on more TPH, some (2)(5)s that go to New Lots and Utica could go to Flatbush instead, and Flatbush could do a better job pushing the trains out so they can make better service to the Bronx. As a result, more trains can go to Flatbush, for the people traveling from Manhattan to the Nostrand Avenue corridor. Then Utica and New Lots do not have to do as much work during PMs to pick up the slack for Flatbush. No trains are added to the (2)(5); some (hopefully most) (2)(5)s just change terminals. I know Flatbush trains go through Rogers junction slower than Utica/New Lots trains, but would diverting some (hopefully most) trains from Utica/New Lots to Flatbush really have such an adverse effect on the Brooklyn IRT and Rogers junction?

 

It has nothing to do with providing service to the Bronx. It has all to do with providing service to the Flatbush trunk. @NX yes more trains would exasperate the problem at President St, but more trains isn't necessarially the problem. More trains are needed if end to end was packed solid with people (think: (L) line by time it gets to Williamsburg, or Bway Jnct for that matter). But it isn't its just the rear 6 cars on the (2) side and the rear 3 on the (5) side with the middle 2 in the front section. Its more station access and setup. If Flatbush had entrances at the north end coming in from Glenwood and the B6, along with the ones it already has, then the faster switches, it actually would function close to the way South Ferry does now, which would represent a great improvement (with the fast switch, trains coming in and leaving with good speed, etc).

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Two diamonds back to back... I can see some wall scraping there... kind of like the 20MPH GT enforced SB on the (2)/(3) approaching 96 Street to prevent just that...

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Hello,

 

Some thoughts from the UK on this interesting post and one I know a bit about as I plan schedules over here, albeit on the heavy rail system rather than the Subway.

 

We have what are called Timetable Planning Rules, these dictate the headway on the lines (the time we have to allow between two trains), junction margins (for conflicting moves) and just about everything else including turnround times for trains at terminal. THis varies by train type, length and company. You can have two identical trains operated by different operators (think companies rather than people) at the same station and one needs 6 minutes to change ends and the other operator needs 7 minutes. A lot of that is dictated by the unions. There's a procedure to make changes to the Rules, I "own" some of the them, they're done geographically, but I can't change them without consulting out to operators.

 

We also have rolling stock restrictions so certain types of trains are not cleared for certain lines or platforms. It can get very complicated!

 

There's also "stepping back" on our London Tube whereby train driver one brings train one in but train driver two takes train one out as the driver can't walk along the platform in time. So driver one may take out train three or four.

 

If anyone's interested the link to the Rules can be found here, they are made available publicly...

 

Network Rail - Operational rules

 

Scroll to the bottom, it's the last link with "View the TPR online (includes the EAS)"

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