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Unplanned Subway Service Changes

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Posted (edited)

Part Suspended  Posted: 07/03/2019  1:40AM 
 

There are service changes and delays in (4) and (6) train service in both directions because of signal problems at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.

There is no (6) train service in both directions between Grand Central-42 St and Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.

There is no (4) train service in both directions between Grand Central-42 St and Wall St.

New Lots Av-bound (4) trains will arrive and depart from the Bronx-bound platform at Wall St.

See a station agent for a courtesy pass to nearby bus and subway service.

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven

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Posted (edited)

Slow Speeds  Posted: 07/03/2019  9:26PM 

Southbound (B) and (D) trains are running at slower speeds because of a signal problem at W 4 St-Washington Sq. 

 

Not Mentioned:

SB (D) trains are making local stops from 145th Street to 59th Street.

SB (C) trains are making express stops from 145th Street to Canal Street.

Yankee Special trains will be running down 8th Avenue to West 4th Street.

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven

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What is going on today ?  It feels about 75 percent of today’s service alerts (today was actuallly rather quiet) were disruptive passengers . They really have to hold trains for that ?

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14 hours ago, Abba said:

What is going on today ?  It feels about 75 percent of today’s service alerts (today was actuallly rather quiet) were disruptive passengers . They really have to hold trains for that ?

We got all these extra cops to combat subway crimes, you dont want to use them?

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Local to Express  Posted: 07/04/2019  9:19PM 

Southbound (C) trains are running on the express track from 59 St-Columbus Circle to Canal St while our crews continue to work to correct a signal problem at Canal St.

 

Continue to expect delays in (C) and (E) train service.

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1 hour ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

Before that, there was this:

 

The Comments on those tweets are even more fun to read. Just Sayin'...

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4 hours ago, Deucey said:

So the entire IRT is down right now.

 

This reminds me of a few years ago (after leaving school for the day).

I hope we didn't have one of the shuttle crews open the doors on the wrong side again.

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1 hour ago, WestFarms36 said:

The Comments on those tweets are even more fun to read. Just Sayin'...

Was this you? (I feel like this was someone here.)

 

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4 minutes ago, Deucey said:

Was this you? (I feel like this was someone here.)

 

No it wasn't me. But that does look familiar that wording looks familiar tho to someone here.

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Posted (edited)

Multiple Impacts  Posted: 07/06/2019  4:20PM 

All trains are bypassing Canal St in both directions while FDNY investigates reports of smoke near Canal St.

There is no (J) train service in either direction south of Delancey St-Essex St.

Customers are advised to use nearby (R) service at City Hall and nearby (6) service at Spring St. Additionally, local bus service along the M

Please see a station agent for a courtesy pass for continuing train or bus service. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven

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3 hours ago, Deucey said:

Was this you? (I feel like this was someone here.)

 

I'm kind of shocked we're so far into the 'all eggs in one basket' approach. It seems like the ATS system does not have an alternate way to control the interlockings, I would have thought there would be some form of alternate control or a giant push-button panel or at least the controls of the staffed towers extended so RCC is not required to operate the railroad.

Utica, Franklin, Flatbush, most of Jerome, Broadway (n/o 96th St) are essentially flapping in the breeze because those Interlockings do not have a manned alternate control. Really disturbing. 

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13 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

I'm kind of shocked we're so far into the 'all eggs in one basket' approach. It seems like the ATS system does not have an alternate way to control the interlockings, I would have thought there would be some form of alternate control or a giant push-button panel or at least the controls of the staffed towers extended so RCC is not required to operate the railroad.

Utica, Franklin, Flatbush, most of Jerome, Broadway (n/o 96th St) are essentially flapping in the breeze because those Interlockings do not have a manned alternate control. Really disturbing. 

It just doesn't make economic sense to man those towers as backup for a control system with uptime well north of 99% unless you're doing some work that you know in advance may cause problems. To be sure, they certainly *could* man all the master towers, but I frankly can't think of a quicker way to get the agency lambasted by the papers for waste. 

Now, you *could* have a TSS hang around the station containing the tower and take control if need be...

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18 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

I'm kind of shocked we're so far into the 'all eggs in one basket' approach. It seems like the ATS system does not have an alternate way to control the interlockings, I would have thought there would be some form of alternate control or a giant push-button panel or at least the controls of the staffed towers extended so RCC is not required to operate the railroad.

Utica, Franklin, Flatbush, most of Jerome, Broadway (n/o 96th St) are essentially flapping in the breeze because those Interlockings do not have a manned alternate control. Really disturbing. 

That's exactly why when I was informed about the ATS system I immediately told my rabbi and another superintendent that the whole concept was bogus. What it ultimately became in my last few years was a way to eliminate some field dispatcher jobs and some tower operator positions. I actually had a job where I reported to no supervision because the job was eliminated and one hand never informed the other.  Every now and then a TSS would drop by but he knew the deal and never reported the situation. I don't remember how many times I would get south of Franklin Avenue and the ATS system would identify my train as a 4 instead of a 5. Before the advent of ATS every gap station from 125 south to Franklin could identify my train by sight. My rabbi and his partner explained the deal to me when I was entering the Joralemon tube n/b. By the time I entered Wall Street I opened my cab door and told them that only an idiot would believe that concept.  As it was explained to them,  and later to me, the ATS system would allow for more trains to run on Lexington closer together. They both smiled when I pointed out the obvious flaw in that reasoning. Without ripping out the whole signal system ,  especially on the Lexington corridor, and relocating every existing signal it would be impossible. Ever try to squeeze 16 ounces of soda into a 12 ounce can ? I said that without signal relocating and CBTC there couldn't be any more trains squeezed in. They both laughed and said that if I could figure the flaws in two stops who were the idiots who signed off on the idea. I actually prayed that one day I would turn on the television and see the signees doing the perp walk. I told a few people in supervision that if I was in a room where someone proposed such a plan I would physically beat the crap out of the person for thinking that I was dumb enough to accept the proposal at face value. I always thought that money changed hands somewhere along the line.  Just my opinion.  Carry on. 

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, RR503 said:

It just doesn't make economic sense to man those towers as backup for a control system with uptime well north of 99% unless you're doing some work that you know in advance may cause problems. To be sure, they certainly *could* man all the master towers, but I frankly can't think of a quicker way to get the agency lambasted by the papers for waste. 

Now, you *could* have a TSS hang around the station containing the tower and take control if need be...

I've had the opportunity to explain to a motor instructor on his way to 137th street tower what to do when he arrived there.  Good luck with that. BTW unless you're replacing the personnel you still have to pay them one way or another. I was never a tower operator but I was taught to trust the eyes on the scene rather than someone miles away.  My opinion. 

Edited by Trainmaster5
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14 minutes ago, Trainmaster5 said:

I've had the opportunity to explain to a motor instructor on his way to 137th street tower what to do when he arrived there.  Good luck with that. BTW unless you're replacing the personnel you still have to pay them one way or another. I was never a tower operator but I was taught to trust the eyes on the scene rather than someone miles away.  My opinion. 

I don't follow your point. I'm sure TSSs aren't exactly the best Tw/Os, but they do have to qualify on towers in their area. It's a triage mechanism that would cost the agency relatively little money, as these TSSs (and TDs, who are also supposed to have some knowledge of tower equipment relevant to them) are already running around the road. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, RR503 said:

It just doesn't make economic sense to man those towers as backup for a control system with uptime well north of 99% unless you're doing some work that you know in advance may cause problems.

I'm not advocating that, as I stated there are towers that are manned 24/7 regardless of ATS and RCC being in effect, and with a (relatively) minor adjustment to 3 towers, the entire A Division could be redundantly protected. Other systems controlled from centralized locations have plans and processes to operate from alternate controls or locations either seamlessly or in a pre planned way (leave the signals fleeted for Kings Cross until someone can operate the Plant from the Hut. 

Also I wouldn't go all in with ATS reliability being north of 99% unsourced. The logs of similarly sized Regional Command Centers contain a number of phrases like "code failure" "unable to operate switch" "indication lost at xyz, cycling over to B system". When a location needs to come under local control it isn't posted in the newspaper. It's just explained away as 'signal problems' Which is part of why  NYCT has certain towers manned 24/7. I'm simply proposing things that aren't crazy, for example Livonia Yard has indication out to Utica Avenue, it may as well be able to remotely control that location. No extra manpower required at all.

As far as TSS hanging around in those strategic locations, I won't confirm any work program, but lets just say somebody thought of that. As it turns out in situations like this the TSS's plate is full with more safety sensitive tasks like evacuating trains, assisting with trains making reverse moves, keybys, spotting on the platform so multiple trains can evacuate to the station etc. They'll be pre-occupied and won't have time to crack open the manual and brush up on how to run a plant when they haven't pulled a lever in who-knows-how-many years. It just looks very unprofessional when there is a single point of failure and the Agency is unable to implement a contingency at the well known points of failure after an hour.

What Trainmaster is alluding to is that not only are TSS's nominally qualified on towers but after years of non-practice they are going to make mistakes that will hurt more than help, aside from that the TSS role requires them to be mobile and respond to situations on the road so unless you bolt the TSS to the location (in which case you have a more expensive Tw/O), they won't be in place to respond as in cases like this, the trains aren't moving so they'll have to surface and go the overland route. Some areas are manned by TDs and or ATDs, but the operation of the machines are secondary functions and indeed a lot of people are promoted to the title without having worked Tw/O so their experience with the equipment is academic and may not be able to do the troubleshooting to gain control of the plant in an instance like this.

The proposal I make doesn't require any extra manning it simply means adding a control line to places that have indications for an area.

I'm just left scratching my head that there is some token staff at or near each location, why the A Division was dead in the water for so long. Just pray there isn't a fire at RCC or someone calls in a bomb threat and we'll have this problem again. 

Edited by Jsunflyguy
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39 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

When a location needs to come under local control it isn't posted in the newspaper. It's just explained away as 'signal problems' Which is part of why  NYCT has certain towers manned 24/7.

So does this mean that switch and signal problems are actually the computer system failing and not (necessarily) mechanical failures?

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1 minute ago, Deucey said:

So does this mean that switch and signal problems are actually the computer system failing and not (necessarily) mechanical failures?

No, the majority of the times its something annoying like the majority of the time its something like a track circuit failure requiring T/Os to key-by an automatic signal and having to go at restricted speed or a switch blocked by debris or bulb out on a signal. But a location that cannot be controlled remotely would fall into that category and wouldn't be easy to discern. 

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28 minutes ago, RR503 said:

I don't follow your point. I'm sure TSSs aren't exactly the best Tw/Os, but they do have to qualify on towers in their area. It's a triage mechanism that would cost the agency relatively little money, as these TSSs (and TDs, who are also supposed to have some knowledge of tower equipment relevant to them) are already running around the road. 

The motor instructor was coming from Dyre. I was more familiar with the location than he was. I don't think that they get much hands on experience. Thanks to my switching and work train experience I was given the opportunity to operate some tower machines by experienced people. Lenox,  Mott, 96th, Bowling Green/Nevins,  and Livonia  Gave me a different perspective compared to some other titles. Imagine a console dispatcher at RCC calling me by name telling me to move my train from Nevins spur. Problem was the TSS standing next to me and I saw the switch move but the signal remained red over red. The console dispatcher called for  TSS T to respond to the scene.  TSS replied that he was standing next to me looking at a red over red homeball.  So much for the idea of someone in Manhattan looking at a screen telling me what I was supposed to see according to his information.  I realize that the agency was trying to save money but the over reliance on technology over the human is risky IMO. The person at RCC giving me these instructions used to be a tower operator. When he left RCC and came back to the real world everyone at Utica,  from the superintendent on down, called him out. I never held it against him but chalked it up to the brainwashing these guys get. Just my perspective.  Carry on. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jsunflyguy said:

I'm not advocating that, as I stated there are towers that are manned 24/7 regardless of ATS and RCC being in effect, and with a (relatively) minor adjustment to 3 towers, the entire A Division could be redundantly protected. Other systems controlled from centralized locations have plans and processes to operate from alternate controls or locations either seamlessly or in a pre planned way (leave the signals fleeted for Kings Cross until someone can operate the Plant from the Hut. 

The fleeting point is a good one, but do those other towers have physical space (front end and back end) to accommodate the additional equipment needed to take control of those additional stretches of track? I’m aware indication usually goes beyond control limits; unsure of the degree to which that helps here. 

1 hour ago, Jsunflyguy said:

As far as TSS hanging around in those strategic locations, I won't confirm any work program, but lets just say somebody thought of that. As it turns out in situations like this the TSS's plate is full with more safety sensitive tasks like evacuating trains, assisting with trains making reverse moves, keybys, spotting on the platform so multiple trains can evacuate to the station etc. They'll be pre-occupied and won't have time to crack open the manual and brush up on how to run a plant when they haven't pulled a lever in who-knows-how-many years. It just looks very unprofessional when there is a single point of failure and the Agency is unable to implement a contingency at the well known points of failure after an hour.

The TSS idea was a bad one. That said, I do think, given the number of tower locations also staffed by various types of TDs, at least investigating whether some more-than-basic training in tower operation could be given to them for emergencies would be useful. They sure wouldn’t be anywhere near as competent as a full Tw/O, but having someone to establish basic lineups would certainly do some good...

21 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

No, the majority of the times its something annoying like the majority of the time its something like a track circuit failure requiring T/Os to key-by an automatic signal and having to go at restricted speed or a switch blocked by debris or bulb out on a signal. But a location that cannot be controlled remotely would fall into that category and wouldn't be easy to discern. 

If I may digress, one of the unsung/sensical provisions of SAP was cleaning IJs. Track circuit failures are, IINM, the most common signal failure in the system, and they’re almost always caused by some conducive crap bridging the IJ. 

To the point of troubleshooting, it seems 9 times out of 10 it’s a train crew who notices the fault. I remember a bad, bad rush on the Lex beginning when a TO reported a dark signal to RCC... That said, I don’t think decentralized towers have any greater capability to catch those sort of common front-end faults than does RCC (except proximity, of course). 

Edited by RR503
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20 hours ago, RR503 said:

The fleeting point is a good one, but do those other towers have physical space (front end and back end) to accommodate the additional equipment needed to take control of those additional stretches of track? I’m aware indication usually goes beyond control limits; unsure of the degree to which that helps here. 

To the point of troubleshooting, it seems 9 times out of 10 it’s a train crew who notices the fault. I remember a bad, bad rush on the Lex beginning when a TO reported a dark signal to RCC... That said, I don’t think decentralized towers have any greater capability to catch those sort of common front-end faults than does RCC (except proximity, of course). 

On pushbutton panels adding controls where there is indications isn't a space factor on the machine, for really complicated and confined areas you can even have a separate control panel so you can squeeze in more input buttons.

As far as recognizing TCFs its a matter of presentation if you have a large panel and your indications are far enough apart you can easily recognize it. If you have multiple small presentations on multiple screens where you're constantly going back and forth it may take you a little longer especially when a line has a busy service where trains are close together it may take a while. As far as a dark signal, unless its a Home signal there won't be an indication of whether or not the signal cleared in the field. 

The benefits against RCC are a matter of workload and visibility of the information. As we go from 1 person in each tower, to two people in a Master Tower controlling a large section to 3-5 people controlling the entire service its very easy to overlook an out of sequence indication or the fact that the signal didn't clear until the 2nd home signal was punched in (indicating a yellow bulb may have failed). So a minor advantage in recognition and lower workload to assist in troubleshooting (if needed) while working service around the issue.

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