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LIRR And MNRR Random Thoughts Thread

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Nothing pisses me off more with the LIRR than having cars closed off on a train. We shouldn’t have to sardine ourselves because there’s not enough conductors to check tickets, or because “service doesn’t meet the extra car requirement”. 

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20 hours ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

Nothing pisses me off more with the LIRR than having cars closed off on a train. We shouldn’t have to sardine ourselves because there’s not enough conductors to check tickets, or because “service doesn’t meet the extra car requirement”. 

What train was this? We have a Metro-North train like this too at times and Metro-North claims that they can't add more service at this time. Well open up those cars then.  Six car train with only four cars open. 

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13 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

What train was this? We have a Metro-North train like this too at times and Metro-North claims that they can't add more service at this time. Well open up those cars then.  Six car train with only four cars open. 

The Hudson Line regularly has trains where only half the train is open to passengers.  I'm not sure why they do this as it is incredibly inefficient.

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16 minutes ago, Bosco said:

The Hudson Line regularly has trains where only half the train is open to passengers.  I'm not sure why they do this as it is incredibly inefficient.

Yeah it's annoying since there are fewer seats and it's the first off-peak train, so a lot of people opt for it. They can't be that stupid not to know that.  It also doesn't help that the 20:37 train has an awkward wait of 37 minutes rather than 30 minutes. Even with just four cars though, they often times don't collect once they get into the Bronx.  As for the new cars, I can't wait for them.  That and better arm rests.  I usually opt for the folding chairs because they offer more leg room, and I don't have to be packed up next to someone.  

Those older cars... Seats aren't bad, but they jerk you around so much.  I felt like I was going to be thrown out of my seat a few times. Not exactly a calm ride, that's for sure. 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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52 minutes ago, Bosco said:

The Hudson Line regularly has trains where only half the train is open to passengers.  I'm not sure why they do this as it is incredibly inefficient.

It is actually more efficient and safer depending on the passenger load.  Example:  a morning weekend train departing Grand Central going to Croton Harmon local making all stops.  Some of the trains will get an 8 car consist as it comes from Southeast.  Now it goes to Croton Harmon for toilet servicing.  Using 8 cars for a light passenger load is unrealistic as there are multiple 4 car platforms in the Bronx (and from Hasting to Irvington with the temporary ramps).  It is safer and more efficient using four cars in this circumstance as people would be less likely to miss their stop if they are in the wrong car and it decreases delays and is safer when they are in the wrong car and don't have to go car to car.  Sadly there are many people disconnected from their sense of hearing as many use earbuds.  Regardless of how many times you tell someone or make announcements they still do not het the memo.  This also alleviates issues that arise as from and operational point of when it comes to train spotting and door operations.

Granted, with a larger passenger load, then more cars should be used.

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20 minutes ago, Truckie said:

It is actually more efficient and safer depending on the passenger load.  Example:  a morning weekend train departing Grand Central going to Croton Harmon local making all stops.  Some of the trains will get an 8 car consist as it comes from Southeast.  Now it goes to Croton Harmon for toilet servicing.  Using 8 cars for a light passenger load is unrealistic as there are multiple 4 car platforms in the Bronx (and from Hasting to Irvington with the temporary ramps).  It is safer and more efficient using four cars in this circumstance as people would be less likely to miss their stop if they are in the wrong car and it decreases delays and is safer when they are in the wrong car and don't have to go car to car.  Sadly there are many people disconnected from their sense of hearing as many use earbuds.  Regardless of how many times you tell someone or make announcements they still do not het the memo.  This also alleviates issues that arise as from and operational point of when it comes to train spotting and door operations.

Granted, with a larger passenger load, then more cars should be used.

Unless they're a regular, they're simply not going to know.  As a passenger, you just see the train coming then you start looking to see which car you can get on to get a seat, then you have to look out for the gap before getting on the train, etc. It isn't until after the car pulls past you that you realize that those cars aren't being used.  There's a lot going on that the passenger has to think about, then on top of that trying to figure which car you're in.  Even after all of these years of riding, I don't necessarily always know which car I'm in, and I may ask to ensure that I can get off if I'm de-boarding from a stop with a shorter platform.  The one that used to always get me was Yankee-East 153rd street. The platform is incredibly long and you have no idea where the train will actually platform.  I don't understand why the platform is so long at certain stations anyway given the car lengths? The other one that has gotten me at that station is they'll announce a track change at the last minute and now everyone is scrambling to get to the other platform.  Now what I do is I wait right by a set of stairs so that I can make a run for it if need be.  Seems like others have had that problem and Metro-North has tried to address it by providing more details as to how to reach the platform, etc. when you need to cross over. It would be great if they could have some sort of sign up as to where the trains will actually platform though, though I have no idea how realistic this could be.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Unless they're a regular, they're simply not going to know.  As a passenger, you just see the train coming then you start looking to see which car you can get on to get a seat, then you have to look out for the gap before getting on the train, etc. It isn't until after the car pulls past you that you realize that those cars aren't being used.  There's a lot going on that the passenger has to think about, then on top of that trying to figure which car you're in.  Even after all of these years of riding, I don't necessarily always know which car I'm in, and I may ask to ensure that I can get off if I'm de-boarding from a stop with a shorter platform.  The one that used to always get me was Yankee-East 153rd street. The platform is incredibly long and you have no idea where the train will actually platform.  I don't understand why the platform is so long at certain stations anyway given the car lengths? The other one that has gotten me at that station is they'll announce a track change at the last minute and now everyone is scrambling to get to the other platform.  Now what I do is I wait right by a set of stairs so that I can make a run for it if need be.  Seems like others have had that problem and Metro-North has tried to address it by providing more details as to how to reach the platform, etc. when you need to cross over. It would be great if they could have some sort of sign up as to where the trains will actually platform though, though I have no idea how realistic this could be.

 

I understand your points and agree.  A station such as Yankees-E153 is long to accommodate games and other events and I understand that doesn't help for the other 200 plus days of the year.  

Most engineers will do their best to spot the train for the passengers waiting to board.  It is the job of the train crew to get those staring at a closed door when trying to board to make sure they get on.  When in doubt, look for the red lights on the side of the train....  But again, a station such as Yankees have 6 car lengths between the two sets of stairs at platfrom level and sadly some with their ears disconnected from the outside world (by choice), and have tunnel vision aimed at their phone have a difficult time waking up to their surroundings.

As far as last minute track changes.....  No comment...   They are as frustrating for me as passengers.  

Lastly, there are some that complain when the only one to blame is themselves.  Case in point, I recently read on twitter how my train, at Croton Harmon, never stopped.  Not only did my train not stop, but, we arrived at the platfrom 10 minutes prior to departure (Croton Harmon was the origination station) and every door on the train was open prior to leaving time.  To add insult to injury, we were delayed from departing the station for a minute or two to make way for an express train, and I had the doors open for the extra time until I knew we were going to get the permission to leave with the signal south of the platfrom.  To summarize, my train which per a passenger on twitter, "never stopped" not only stopped, had the doors open of every car (six out of six) for ten minutes prior to the departure time.  The doors were also open for approximately two minutes after the scheduled departure time to allow for last minute runners.  Some people you just can't please.....

 

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3 minutes ago, Truckie said:

 

I understand your points and agree.  A station such as Yankees-E153 is long to accommodate games and other events and I understand that doesn't help for the other 200 plus days of the year.  

Most engineers will do their best to spot the train for the passengers waiting to board.  It is the job of the train crew to get those staring at a closed door when trying to board to make sure they get on.  When in doubt, look for the red lights on the side of the train....  But again, a station such as Yankees have 6 car lengths between the two sets of stairs at platfrom level and sadly some with their ears disconnected from the outside world (by choice), and have tunnel vision aimed at their phone have a difficult time waking up to their surroundings.

As far as last minute track changes.....  No comment...   They are as frustrating for me as passengers.  

Lastly, there are some that complain when the only one to blame is themselves.  Case in point, I recently read on twitter how my train, at Croton Harmon, never stopped.  Not only did my train not stop, but, we arrived at the platfrom 10 minutes prior to departure (Croton Harmon was the origination station) and every door on the train was open prior to leaving time.  To add insult to injury, we were delayed from departing the station for a minute or two to make way for an express train, and I had the doors open for the extra time until I knew we were going to get the permission to leave with the signal south of the platfrom.  To summarize, my train which per a passenger on twitter, "never stopped" not only stopped, had the doors open of every car (six out of six) for ten minutes prior to the departure time.  The doors were also open for approximately two minutes after the scheduled departure time to allow for last minute runners.  Some people you just can't please.....

 

Either this person was out to lunch or maybe they were confused about which train is which.  During the rush, it seems as if the express and the local trains along the Hudson Line are scheduled just minutes apart at times, which may give riders the impression that their stop was skipped, when in reality their train hadn't arrived yet.

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There’s car markers now in MNRR territory on the platforms (these blue square signs that say 2, 4, 6, etc.) so it does make it a little easier for some riders if they know what they’re doing.

My philosophy: When in doubt, stand by the “2” or “4” marker. When in further doubt, stand by the exits nearest the center of the platform. Works at stops like West Haven and Harrison like a charm with their 12 car platforms and 7 car trains.

Finding the right cars to get off however: YMMV.

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26 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Either this person was out to lunch or maybe they were confused about which train is which.  During the rush, it seems as if the express and the local trains along the Hudson Line are scheduled just minutes apart at times, which may give riders the impression that their stop was skipped, when in reality their train hadn't arrived yet.

In either case, I hate to say it but it is ultimately up to the riders to pay attention.  The same (perhaps more so) goes for the subway.  If it's a last-minute change or whatever, fine.  But for regular trains, people should know where they're getting off and plan accordingly.

Fortunately, the M9s will have indicators letting people know which car they're in (Car XX of XX).

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5 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

There’s car markers now in MNRR territory on the platforms (these blue square signs that say 2, 4, 6, etc.) so it does make it a little easier for some riders if they know what they’re doing.

My philosophy: When in doubt, stand by the “2” or “4” marker. When in further doubt, stand by the exits nearest the center of the platform. Works at stops like West Haven and Harrison like a charm with their 12 car platforms and 7 car trains.

Finding the right cars to get off however: YMMV.

On all platforms?  I haven't used Metro-North in a few weeks and didn't notice them.  Then again it was raining out that day.

3 minutes ago, Bosco said:

In either case, I hate to say it but it is ultimately up to the riders to pay attention.  The same (perhaps more so) goes for the subway.  If it's a last-minute change or whatever, fine.  But for regular trains, people should know where they're getting off and plan accordingly.

Fortunately, the M9s will have indicators letting people know which car they're in (Car XX of XX).

I agree and that's why I would never wear earbuds when waiting for the train.  When it gets really cold or there's a lot of snow, they've made last minute changes at the Spuyten Duyvil station. Luckily the train comes in on the other side of platform but still.  It's a bit confusing and people still are puzzled.

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

On all platforms?  I haven't used Metro-North in a few weeks and didn't notice them.  Then again it was raining out that day.

I’m not sure about the Hudson line, but the Harlem and New Haven lines have them for sure. A lot of them are high up and against the wall though so they might be a bit tricky to find at first.

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2 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

I’m not sure about the Hudson line, but the Harlem and New Haven lines have them for sure. A lot of them are high up and against the wall though so they might be a bit tricky to find at first.

Interesting....

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3 hours ago, paulrivera said:

There’s car markers now in MNRR territory on the platforms (these blue square signs that say 2, 4, 6, etc.) so it does make it a little easier for some riders if they know what they’re doing.

My philosophy: When in doubt, stand by the “2” or “4” marker. When in further doubt, stand by the exits nearest the center of the platform. Works at stops like West Haven and Harrison like a charm with their 12 car platforms and 7 car trains.

Finding the right cars to get off however: YMMV.

 

Don't over think the car markers. 

I can give you numerous examples that would blow your theory.  Two quick examples: the track one platform at Spuyten Duyvil and track three platfrom at Ludlow.  These are both the "north bound" platforms, they both hold 8 cars.  The "2" car markers are where two cars would be on the platform.  The problem is the ramp / stairs of the platfrom are at the north end.  Because of this, if only four cars are open for passengers, the engineer will spot the open cars at the north end  (where the "4" and "6" car markers are).  If someone decided to walk toward the south end of the platfrom where the "2" is, they would have to walk back to the north end. 

There are numerous stations on all lines that would go along the same theory, including Harlem - 125th St., Peekskill, Beacon, Yonkers, on the Hudson, Fordham, Mount Kisco, Valhalla, going south on the Harlem.

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So I bought the Atlantic Ticket shortly after midnight so I don't have to worry about using the machine in the morning. It's somewhat similar to City Ticket, it says "ATLT" in the box instead of "CITY" and the letters are smaller. Also, no zone numbers are listed and it notes all the stations it's valid for.

If you buy a round trip it's actually one round trip ticket instead of two individual tickets like CITY ticket.

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On 6/6/2018 at 3:22 AM, N6 Limited said:

So I bought the Atlantic Ticket shortly after midnight so I don't have to worry about using the machine in the morning. It's somewhat similar to City Ticket, it says "ATLT" in the box instead of "CITY" and the letters are smaller. Also, no zone numbers are listed and it notes all the stations it's valid for.

If you buy a round trip it's actually one round trip ticket instead of two individual tickets like CITY ticket.

I told one of my relatives how lives near ones of the stations, he got excited and said he'll start using it next week. He would normally take the bus to the subway, so I guess the discount was enough to entice him to switch over. 

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3 hours ago, IAlam said:

I told one of my relatives how lives near ones of the stations, he got excited and said he'll start using it next week. He would normally take the bus to the subway, so I guess the discount was enough to entice him to switch over. 

Unless he doesn't have to take the subway anymore, what's the appeal? 

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On 6/4/2018 at 3:02 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

On all platforms?  I haven't used Metro-North in a few weeks and didn't notice them.  Then again it was raining out that day.

I agree and that's why I would never wear earbuds when waiting for the train.  When it gets really cold or there's a lot of snow, they've made last minute changes at the Spuyten Duyvil station. Luckily the train comes in on the other side of platform but still.  It's a bit confusing and people still are puzzled.

They definitely have markers at the Riverdale station. The southbound platform marker placement is curious, though. The 4-car marker is at the midpoint of the platform. If the train stopped there, those folks waiting at the southern end of the station (that is, ALL of the passengers) would have to run down the platform to reach the train, as the only stairway is at the south end and everyone congregates there. Thankfully, the engineers know where to stop.

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Unless he doesn't have to take the subway anymore, what's the appeal? 

Sixty bucks gets you a 7 day subway unlimited and a LIRR unlimited to the stations in the program. If you go the single ride route, you're spending $5 or $7.75 (depending on whether you transfer or not) and saving a significant amount of time. 

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1 minute ago, Italianstallion said:

They definitely have markers at the Riverdale station. The southbound platform marker placement is curious, though. The 4-car marker is at the midpoint of the platform. If the train stopped there, those folks waiting at the southern end of the station (that is, ALL of the passengers) would have to run down the platform to reach the train, as the only stairway is at the south end and everyone congregates there. Thankfully, the engineers know where to stop.

I generally use the Riverdale station on weekends, and I haven't used it in a while. If I feel like going for a stroll I'll walk over there. Takes me about the same time roughly getting over to Wave Hill from my place.  I can't remember where in the heck I even waited for the train when I've gotten on there (always Southbound though), but I don't recall having an issue.  It's a little easier at Spuyten Duyvil because of the curve there Southbound and I use that station a lot more frequently, but still.

 

1 minute ago, RR503 said:

Sixty bucks gets you a 7 day subway unlimited and a LIRR unlimited to the stations in the program. If you go the single ride route, you're spending $5 or $7.75 (depending on whether you transfer or not) and saving a significant amount of time. 

Right, but if he still has to transfer to the subway at Atlantic I don't see the huge advantage. In my mind it isn't just a faster commute but the transfers that should be eliminated.  If there are issues with the subway or any transfer, you lose that savings in time.

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13 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Sixty bucks gets you a 7 day subway unlimited and a LIRR unlimited to the stations in the program. If you go the single ride route, you're spending $5 or $7.75 (depending on whether you transfer or not) and saving a significant amount of time. 

Does it include an express bus pass? (So you can use the X63 for say, East Midtown?)

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8 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Right, but if he still has to transfer to the subway at Atlantic I don't see the huge advantage. In my mind it isn't just a faster commute but the transfers that should be eliminated.  If there are issues with the subway or any transfer, you lose that savings in time.

The bus is less reliable than the subway or LIRR, thus its elimination from a route is a net increase in reliability, not to mention a decrease in time. What's more, with 9 subway options at Atlantic itself (along with 2 at Nostrand and one at ENY), I think any disruption that may take place could be mitigated much more easily than one at a station with only 1 or 3 options, as the stations in Jamaica do. 

2 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Does it include an express bus pass? (So you can use the X63 for say, East Midtown?)

I actually don't know, but I can find that out for you. 

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3 minutes ago, RR503 said:

The bus is less reliable than the subway or LIRR, thus its elimination from a route is a net increase in reliability, not to mention a decrease in time. What's more, with 9 subway options at Atlantic itself (along with 2 at Nostrand and one at ENY), I think any disruption that may take place could be mitigated much more easily than one at a station with only 1 or 3 options, as the stations in Jamaica do. 

I think it would be a real advantage if they were offering the current price with direct service to Penn Station.  I think they would get more people that way.  I'm thinking about the fact that for the stations in question, it wasn't just the price that was the issue. They're generally located in isolated areas, which is another turn-off. All they've done here is address the cost, not accessibility to the stations.  

In my neighborhood, they did a large marketing blitz.  They posted Metro-North marketing material at various bus shelters along Riverdale Avenue.  It actually prompted me to use Metro-North more frequently because they marketed how easy it was to reach the stations with the shuttle buses, otherwise I would've never considered switching from the express bus. For a while last year I bought both the express bus pass and a monthly Metro-North pass.  Prior to that I would use the train roughly 2 - 3 times a week to get to the office.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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4 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I think it would be a real advantage if they were offering the current price with direct service to Penn Station.  I think they would get more people that way.  I'm thinking about the fact that for the stations in question, it wasn't just the price that was the issue. They're generally located in isolated areas, which is another turn-off. All they've done here is address the cost, not accessibility to the stations.  

In my neighborhood, they did a large marketing blitz.  They posted Metro-North marketing material at various bus shelters along Riverdale Avenue.  It actually prompted me to use Metro-North more frequently because they marketed how easy it was to reach the stations with the shuttle buses, otherwise I would've never considered switching from the express bus. For a while last year I bought both the express bus pass and a monthly Metro-North pass.  Prior to that I would use the train roughly 2 - 3 times a week to get to the office.

I can say definitively that the issue wasn’t station isolation so much as it was a lack of awareness and price. While ENY and Nostrand are not really in the thick of things, Jamaica, Rosedale, Locust Manor and Saint Albans (the latter especially) are located very near/above major transportational and commercial corridors, which would make them attractive if only the LIRR tried to market their service. 

...which brings me to my second point. Right now, in SE Queens, the NYCTRC/LIRR are hosting open houses promoting Atlantic Ticket in order to raise awareness of the railroad as a viable commute option and of the ticket program. Of course, this would all be better if the LIRR included Penn in the pilot, but given the crowding and track conditions already extant at that station, they opted not to include it — out of institutional lassitude, sure, but also a defensible excess of caution.

I’d also remind you that this is a sort of trial-by-fire pilot program. The Atlantic Ticket concept is meant to be expanded to all areas of NYC’s commuter rail system eventually, but it was felt necessary for it to be proven in a smaller area first. The SE Queens and Atlantic Terminal destination string struck planners as being an area where excess capacity existed and could be harnessed to the railroad’s benefit. Thus, the real question being answered here is whether or not an agressively marketed fare reduction/consolidation program can affect the opening/redistribution of commuter markets in the City, and what the magnitude on which those changes would take place would be. If this question is answered in a positive manner, commuter rail fare reduction will have succeeded at what is a relatively difficult transportational task, thus certifying it as a valid treatment for other corridors in the city. 

Edited by RR503

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