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LIRR And MNRR Random Thoughts Thread


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@Truckie... I took MetroNorth in this morning and saw quite a few cops on the MNRR platform at Grand Central this morning. What was going on? 

 

They came for you because you didn't take the Express Bus.

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Why is that we can never get the same track when pulling into Grand Central? If the same schedule exists almost every day it doesn't make any sense to keep having different tracks each day.  I assume there must be a good reason for it??  <_<

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Why is that we can never get the same track when pulling into Grand Central? If the same schedule exists almost every day it doesn't make any sense to keep having different tracks each day.  I assume there must be a good reason for it??  <_<

 

While the schedule may be the exact same every day, the real conditions out there may not.  Your train might be running early or, more likely, late; there could be antoher train either ahead or behind you that is either early or, more likely, late; your normal track might be out of service for maintenance or repair; one or more switches your train might have to go over to get to your normal trick might be out of service for maitencance or repair.

 

There is no such thing as "always" on a railroad! ;-)

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While the schedule may be the exact same every day, the real conditions out there may not.  Your train might be running early or, more likely, late; there could be antoher train either ahead or behind you that is either early or, more likely, late; your normal track might be out of service for maintenance or repair; one or more switches your train might have to go over to get to your normal trick might be out of service for maitencance or repair.

 

There is no such thing as "always" on a railroad! ;-)

True, but wouldn't it be easier to use the same tracks when possible? It seems as if being assigned an actual track is the longest part of the trip because we just crawl and crawl and switch from track to track.  <_<

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True, but wouldn't it be easier to use the same tracks when possible? It seems as if being assigned an actual track is the longest part of the trip because we just crawl and crawl and switch from track to track.  <_<

 

It might be, but various operational or other conditions might inhibit that.  Just look at LIRR trains at Penn Station, they're always coming in on different tracks too.  It's the complexities of such a large terminal station that give way to the almost randomness of track assignments.

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True, but wouldn't it be easier to use the same tracks when possible? It seems as if being assigned an actual track is the longest part of the trip because we just crawl and crawl and switch from track to track.  <_<

 

It would be easier to assign the same tracks when possible and that is often the case.  The problem that arises is when there is one train with a mechanical issue it throws a wrench into the whole equipment rotation.

 

A simple example is the 6:28 pm train from GCT to Croton Harmon departs from track 42.  That equipment arrives at GCT around 6:15.  Just one little hiccup will prevent that turn from happening.  Whether it be equipment problems, switch problems, etc.  Should one of these issues arise it snow balls into a big mess as another set of equipment will have to replace what was intended for the train.

 

Another example is a month or two ago there was a sizable fire along the right of way in the Riverdale area taking track 3 out of service.  WIth that said, all local trains had to be routed onto track 4 causing substantial delays.  Not only did equipment miss their regularly assigned turns but so did train crews.

 

In short, the system isn't perfect.  There are many things taken into consideration to make the system work as well as it could on a good day.

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It would be easier to assign the same tracks when possible and that is often the case.  The problem that arises is when there is one train with a mechanical issue it throws a wrench into the whole equipment rotation.

 

A simple example is the 6:28 pm train from GCT to Croton Harmon departs from track 42.  That equipment arrives at GCT around 6:15.  Just one little hiccup will prevent that turn from happening.  Whether it be equipment problems, switch problems, etc.  Should one of these issues arise it snow balls into a big mess as another set of equipment will have to replace what was intended for the train.

 

Another example is a month or two ago there was a sizable fire along the right of way in the Riverdale area taking track 3 out of service.  WIth that said, all local trains had to be routed onto track 4 causing substantial delays.  Not only did equipment miss their regularly assigned turns but so did train crews.

 

In short, the system isn't perfect.  There are many things taken into consideration to make the system work as well as it could on a good day.

But in all seriousness, are you saying that these sorts of issues occur that frequently that assigning trains to the same tracks becomes that difficult? It sounds odd because when I use MetroNorth there doesn't seem to be any delays.  The trains are on time usually whether it is rush hour or off-peak.  This is the case with the Hudson Line anyway.

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A sizeable fire in the Riverdale area? Haven't heard V8 on that. You'd think he posted it here since he is living out there :P

I didn't hear about it and I used MetroNorth three times this week from Riverdale. I wonder where exactly it happened at... 

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I didn't hear about it and I used MetroNorth three times this week from Riverdale. I wonder where exactly it happened at... 

 

I never said it was this week.  I said a month or two ago.  Regardless, it was on the land side of the right of way at CP12.

 

Just because you don't hear about things happening doesn't mean they don't.  There are thing that go on the railroad every day that no one knows about unless you on that train.

 

More often than not the public knows about delays we do as the company sends out alerts via email as long as you are on the list.  The only time we know of a delay is when it happens.  It would be impossible for the RTC to notify every train crew of on going delays and try to keep trains moving.  Case in point was the Riverdale fire.  I was on the 6:28PM GCT to Harmon local train and before I was half way through the first car at least a dozen people asked me if the delays were going to affect us as they received emails alerts on their phones. 

 

Sure I could receive the email alerts on my own phone to know what's going on except for the simple fact that we're not allowed to have our phones on while on the train.  A $15,000 civil fine by the FRA and discipline from the company (lost time or fired) is an excellent deterrent to keep my phone off and in my bag.

Edited by Truckie
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I never said it was this week.  I said a month or two ago.  Regardless, it was on the land side of the right of way at CP12.

 

Just because you don't hear about things happening doesn't mean they don't.  There are thing that go on the railroad every day that no one knows about unless you on that train.

 

More often than not the public knows about delays we do as the company sends out alerts via email as long as you are on the list.  The only time we know of a delay is when it happens.  It would be impossible for the RTC to notify every train crew of on going delays and try to keep trains moving.  Case in point was the Riverdale fire.  I was on the 6:28PM GCT to Harmon local train and before I was half way through the first car at least a dozen people asked me if the delays were going to affect us as they received emails alerts on their phones. 

 

Sure I could receive the email alerts on my own phone to know what's going on except for the simple fact that we're not allowed to have our phones on while on the train.  A $15,000 civil fine by the FRA and discipline from the company (lost time or fired) is an excellent deterrent to keep my phone off and in my bag.

Ah I see... I generally don't use MetroNorth at night since the express buses are just as fast by the time I do the whole Hudson Rail link thing.  What I'm surprised by is that there aren't more delays on the Hudson line because it's amazing how close the rails are to the Hudson River.  I would've thought that strong rains would cause more flooding or mudslides, but aside from Sandy I didn't hear of any serious problems with that.

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Ah I see... I generally don't use MetroNorth at night since the express buses are just as fast by the time I do the whole Hudson Rail link thing.  What I'm surprised by is that there aren't more delays on the Hudson line because it's amazing how close the rails are to the Hudson River.  I would've thought that strong rains would cause more flooding or mudslides, but aside from Sandy I didn't hear of any serious problems with that.

 

While the Hudson River in it self rarely(once every couple of years) posses an issue.  Every now and then there are issues that have to be closely monitored with the "usual" areas.  Riverdale is one of those areas as it is prone to flooding with the run off of ground water down the embankment. 

 

A couple of weeks ago Dobbs Ferry was problematic during prolonged heavy rain.  Because the street is above the land side platform there was rain water running off the street, onto the platform and onto the tracks.  It was literally a waterfall the whole length of the platform.

 

Coincidentally, parts of the Harlem Line coincidentally are more prone to flooding due its proximity to the Saw Mill River.

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While the Hudson River in it self rarely(once every couple of years) posses an issue.  Every now and then there are issues that have to be closely monitored with the "usual" areas.  Riverdale is one of those areas as it is prone to flooding with the run off of ground water down the embankment. 

 

A couple of weeks ago Dobbs Ferry was problematic during prolonged heavy rain.  Because the street is above the land side platform there was rain water running off the street, onto the platform and onto the tracks.  It was literally a waterfall the whole length of the platform.

 

Coincidentally, parts of the Harlem Line coincidentally are more prone to flooding due its proximity to the Saw Mill River.

While the views are spectacular, I often wonder why they put the stations along the Hudson Line so close to the Hudson River, especially the Spuyten Duyvil station.  I mean you just walk right off of the platform and right into the Hudson River.  The Riverdale station is a bit more protected in comparison.

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While the views are spectacular, I often wonder why they put the stations along the Hudson Line so close to the Hudson River, especially the Spuyten Duyvil station.  I mean you just walk right off of the platform and right into the Hudson River.  The Riverdale station is a bit more protected in comparison.

 

The thing about Sputen Duyvil is while the right of way is close to the water it's less of an issue as the Harlem River doesn't get the surges that the Hudson gets. 

 

One of the worst places on the Hudson for deterioration of the right of way is south of the Bear Mountain Bridge.  If fact, one of the capital projects this summer is shoring up the right of way with a retaining wall.

Edited by Truckie
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@VG8: How would you propose to build the Spuyten Duyvil station then?

Well I would put in more landfill or more rocks and give it more protection, similar to how the Riverdale station looks.  I think if anything I would be more concerned about the hills leading to the tracks due to the mudslides and trees that fall and block the tracks.  I wonder if they do any tree trimming in those areas because downed trees is a big issue in Riverdale.

 

The thing about Sputen Duyvil is while the right of way is close to the water it's less of an issue as the Harlem River doesn't get the surges that the Hudson gets. 

 

One of the worst places on the Hudson for deterioration of the right of way is south of the Bear Mountain Bridge.  If fact, one of the capital projects this summer is shoring up the right of way with a retaining wall.

Good point.  The waters never seem to be too crazy...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just came across this video. Really nice action on the LIRR Brookly Freight Track with a revenue train!

 

Thanks for posting my video...to my knowledge this train still uses that track. (I last rode it almost a year ago)

Edited by Amtrak7
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