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Juelz4309

So called "Express" Runs

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I can think of these 3 Spots in the System that Needs to Have those Annoying Timers Removed to Improve these "Express Runs"

 

1. NorthBound A.D Lines at 116 St

Without fail the Trains start slowin down

Midwy out of 110 street and Crawl into 125

And God forbid its Rush hour...Now the crawl

Starts Back around 96 street! I understand why

The timers are there to enforce a slowdown

Flying up CPW but damn it jus takes away

The Fastness of it as to other stations in

Where the expresses blow into the Stop like

Uptown 4/5 at 14 street. It also don help that

Clunky slow ass R44s and 68s are So Heavy

I just look forward to the day those cars retire..

 

2. Northbound 2/3 South of 96 Street.

I cant Tell you how many freakin Times Ive

Missed my uptown 1 becuase of that Damn

Slowdown just after 86 st...Why!!! Its a straight

Shot into 96 st and it seems its just there for no

Reason...the Conductors on the 1 purposely

Close up in ya Face Especially durin The Rush

It dosent happen at 72 and there switches

South of it.

 

3. NorthBound 5 Express at 174 Street.

Another spot where after we gathered some

Speed after The Simpson Curve, the Crawl

Starts at 174 st all the way into 180...They

Should start at Tremont...Obviously That S

Is the reason but why!! Lol

 

The whole reason why we Have these Express Lines are to speed up our Trips...So they should be fast as Safely possible...It jus seems that they pick these random spots to throw timers in and its just frustrating watchin Locals Zoom by an "Exp".

 

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I can think of these 3 Spots in the System that Needs to Have those Annoying Timers Removed to Improve these "Express Runs"

 

1. NorthBound A.D Lines at 116 St

Without fail the Trains start slowin down

Midwy out of 110 street and Crawl into 125

And God forbid its Rush hour...Now the crawl

Starts Back around 96 street! I understand why

The timers are there to enforce a slowdown

Flying up CPW but damn it jus takes away

The Fastness of it as to other stations in

Where the expresses blow into the Stop like

Uptown 4/5 at 14 street. It also don help that

Clunky slow ass R44s and 68s are So Heavy

I just look forward to the day those cars retire..

 

2. Northbound 2/3 South of 96 Street.

I cant Tell you how many freakin Times Ive

Missed my uptown 1 becuase of that Damn

Slowdown just after 86 st...Why!!! Its a straight

Shot into 96 st and it seems its just there for no

Reason...the Conductors on the 1 purposely

Close up in ya Face Especially durin The Rush

It dosent happen at 72 and there switches

South of it.

 

3. NorthBound 5 Express at 174 Street.

Another spot where after we gathered some

Speed after The Simpson Curve, the Crawl

Starts at 174 st all the way into 180...They

Should start at Tremont...Obviously That S

Is the reason but why!! Lol

 

The whole reason why we Have these Express Lines are to speed up our Trips...So they should be fast as Safely possible...It jus seems that they pick these random spots to throw timers in and its just frustrating watchin Locals Zoom by an "Exp".

 

 

 

1. Those timers are there protecting the curve before 125. They were put in after some accident on the Central Park west line (I forgot which one thought) By schedule those timers only loose you about 2 minutes. They also create some space between trains.

 

2 . Those timers protect the switches after the Station. God forbid the train flies into the station at 50mph and overshoots and goes right into the junction. When the switches are set to diverge (from express to local) there are Wheel Detectors in the area which force the train to slow down even more.

 

3.IDK as i don't ride the trains in the Bronx often.

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Express lines are made first of all to equalize ridership which is to prevent crowding, without having to increase the frequency. That doesn't mean that the speed of the "express" line has to be any more significant than that of the "local". Besides I wouldn't want something like Union St. wreck happen anywhere in the locations mentioned, would you?

And again with the 75 footer bashing, give it a rest will ya?

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Timers are there for a reason. Like others have already mentioned, if they're not regulating operating speed, they're protecting curves or switches. And I believe that it was previously said that there's no timed connections except for Nevins between the (2)(3) and the (4)(5).

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Yes, the MTA's gone a little overboard with timers, but I'll go as far as to say that most timers are there for a good reason. Like TwoTimer said, if all timers cleared at the right speed, then they wouldn't be as annoying as railfans think.

 

The other problem is that a lot of railfans don't know the difference between necessary and unnecessary timers.

 

About the CPW timers at 116 St, those are VERY important. They keep trains from derailing on the curve. The annoying ones are the timers from 86 St to 110 St northbound that clear at 35-40 MPH. It used to be a 50 MPH run.

 

Interestingly, though, I have a copy of the 1977 (D) train schedule and the CPW run used to be scheduled for 7 minutes. Now, it's 8, and I've seen trains do it in about 7 minutes. So, it's not that bad.

 

Most annoying timers IMO (in the areas that I'm most familiar with):

(A) 14 St - 34 St, they protect a 25 MPH switch, but southbound trains routinely go over the same switch at 35-40 MPH with no problem.

 

(A)(C) northbound between 50 St and 59 St

 

(2)(3) northbound passing Christopher St

 

(2)(3) southbound passing Franklin St. This should be 30 MPH IMO through the curve, and only slower if the switches are set for diverging.

 

(2)(3) southbound into 42 St; shouldn't be timed unless switches are set

 

(D)(N) 4 Avenue express southbound; shouldn't be timed unless switches are set

 

(N)(R) Prince St

 

(A) Broadway Junction, Utica, and Canal Sts

 

(A)(D) southbound CPW; shouldn't be timed unless switches are set for diverging

 

(E)(F) passing 63 Drive

Edited by TheSubwayStation
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Yes, the MTA's gone a little overboard with timers, but I'll go as far as to say that most timers are there for a good reason. Like TwoTimer said, if all timers cleared at the right speed, then they wouldn't be as annoying as railfans think.

 

The other problem is that a lot of railfans don't know the difference between necessary and unnecessary timers.

 

About the CPW timers at 116 St, those are VERY important. They keep trains from derailing on the curve. The annoying ones are the timers from 86 St to 110 St northbound that clear at 35-40 MPH. It used to be a 50 MPH run.

 

Interestingly, though, I have a copy of the 1977 (D) train schedule and the CPW run used to be scheduled for 7 minutes. Now, it's 8, and I've seen trains do it in about 7 minutes. So, it's not that bad.

 

 

It's very weird. It feels like the (MTA) puts timers wherever they feel. I've seen curves where trains go fast, (E.G. (E) & (F) trains by Grand ave, southbound (2) & (5) north of Sterling St), & yet trains safely go through these curves without fail & at fast speed. Especially that north of Sterling St is a slope.

 

Now southbound (2) & (3)'s between Brooklyn Museum & Franklin Ave, I understand, but why the hell do northbound need them?

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the Conductors on the 1 purposely Close up in ya Face Especially durin The Rush

 

 

Yes, there are people on the arriving (2) train who want to ride that (1) train, but there are lots more people already on that (1) train who want to ride that (1) train. Should they be delayed at all costs just to wait for me?

 

Holding trains during rush hours usually results in a net disbenefit - i.e. it hurts more people than it helps. The key question is this: Who is more important and should get absolute priority: the 1,000+ people who are already on the train, or a few extra people who don't feel like waiting another 3 minutes?

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Eh screw safety, cutting 30 seconds off your commute matters more.

 

And you forgot the stupidest timer in the whole system - Tk V2 south of Franklin St.

 

Policy is to not hold for connections during rush hour unless we are given holding lights. Gotta keep things moving, and there's another train right behind us that will love to accomodate your transit needs. One of the funnest games here is seeing if we can SAFELY open and close before the train across the platform gets their doors opened, because if they're still open then the fastest customer is just gonna hold them for everyone else and might as well just reopen and hope the other customers realize there are 29 other doors they can use now. No point in further delaying our train when the 1 runs every 3 minutes during rush hour!....and yet the customers act like my train is the last one of the night. I would think you would have learned by now to transfer between the 2/3 and the 1 at 72 St instead.......

Edited by Snowblock
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That's all true, but there are still some unnecessary timers. All the ones that TSS mentioned are unnecessary and should be converted to regular signals.

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That's all true, but there are still some unnecessary timers. All the ones that TSS mentioned are unnecessary and should be converted to regular signals.

 

Not necessarily, IMO a bunch of the ones I mentioned should just clear at higher speeds. And, there are plenty of timers that should be deactivated when switches aren't being used.
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Eh screw safety, cutting 30 seconds off your commute matters more.

 

And you forgot the stupidest timer in the whole system - Tk V2 south of Franklin St.

 

Policy is to not hold for connections during rush hour unless we are given holding lights. Gotta keep things moving, and there's another train right behind us that will love to accomodate your transit needs. One of the funnest games here is seeing if we can SAFELY open and close before the train across the platform gets their doors opened, because if they're still open then the fastest customer is just gonna hold them for everyone else and might as well just reopen and hope the other customers realize there are 29 other doors they can use now. No point in further delaying our train when the 1 runs every 3 minutes during rush hour!....and yet the customers act like my train is the last one of the night. I would think you would have learned by now to transfer between the 2/3 and the 1 at 72 St instead.......

 

 

You should have seen the 6 this morning, the train was so packed, no one could physically fit even if they tried, and yet people still try to cram into the train even if its impossible. Plus there was another train right behind it.

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There seems to be a common misconception held by railfans and the public at large concerning "express" vs "local" trains as defined by NYCT. About 30 years ago in my C/R schoolcar class we were asked to define the difference between the express and locals. The whole class, 29 of us, answered as most of you would. The express is faster. We were all sure of ourselves, We were all wrong. One earlier poster in this thread seems to grasp the concept. The express is usually faster in practice but the difference, by NYCT definition, is that an express train makes fewer stops than the local. Ask a train crew or a long time rider on the Lex line between Brooklyn Bridge and GCT during the pm rush and they'll tell you the correct answer. When the IRT went into service it was assumed that riders would not transfer between the local and express if their final destination was a local station on the train they were on to start with. The "one seat ride" was the holy grail and was touted by the IRT. Nowadays everyone is in a hurry so speed is the holy grail to commuters and railfans so safety be damned. I can justify every "slowdown" in the OP on safety grounds and most of the other ones that have been brought up. I believe Snowblock, Two Timer, and a few other posters from RTO can comment on these areas as well as a few of the other locations railfans consider trouble spots. I was taught that safety trumps speed in RTO and while it may be overdone in certain locations it should be the #1 priority in subway operation. Just my opinion. Carry on.

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There seems to be a common misconception held by railfans and the public at large concerning "express" vs "local" trains as defined by NYCT. About 30 years ago in my C/R schoolcar class we were asked to define the difference between the express and locals. The whole class, 29 of us, answered as most of you would. The express is faster. We were all sure of ourselves, We were all wrong. One earlier poster in this thread seems to grasp the concept. The express is usually faster in practice but the difference, by NYCT definition, is that an express train makes fewer stops than the local. Ask a train crew or a long time rider on the Lex line between Brooklyn Bridge and GCT during the pm rush and they'll tell you the correct answer. When the IRT went into service it was assumed that riders would not transfer between the local and express if their final destination was a local station on the train they were on to start with. The "one seat ride" was the holy grail and was touted by the IRT. Nowadays everyone is in a hurry so speed is the holy grail to commuters and railfans so safety be damned. I can justify every "slowdown" in the OP on safety grounds and most of the other ones that have been brought up. I believe Snowblock, Two Timer, and a few other posters from RTO can comment on these areas as well as a few of the other locations railfans consider trouble spots. I was taught that safety trumps speed in RTO and while it may be overdone in certain locations it should be the #1 priority in subway operation. Just my opinion. Carry on.

 

Great points. I would say, though, that I can't think of a single area in the system where a local train would be faster without traffic delays. And, while I care about the safety of the signal system much more than speed, I would say that the TA should take advantage of better technology by installing conditional timers near switches rather than having trains always slow down whether they're using the switch or not.

 

I do find it interesting how you say that speed was not stressed in the early days of the IRT, while many people make statements like, "The days of rapid transit are done, and it's mass transit now."

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(A) 14 St - 34 St, they protect a 25 MPH switch, but southbound trains routinely go over the same switch at 35-40 MPH with no problem.

 

 

OH MY GOD that is SO annoying. It feels like you are not even on the Express.

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Today, I was on a (4) train from Grand Central to 14th USQ! It BOOKED Normally, the express just makes less stops.

Edited by Quill Depot

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You should have seen the 6 this morning, the train was so packed, no one could physically fit even if they tried, and yet people still try to cram into the train even if its impossible. Plus there was another train right behind it.

 

 

I once was trying to convince this woman who was standing the doorway of the 6 right next to my cab that the train right behind us has now caught up to us to the point where you can SEE it in the tunnel, and is gonna be much emptier than my train which she couldn't fit into, so step back. And she said "yeah but that one is gonna be delayed by THIS train". I was at such a loss of words that I couldn't even say anything, so I just hit the close button and caught her off guard.

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I believe Snowblock, Two Timer, and a few other posters from RTO can comment on these areas as well as a few of the other locations railfans consider trouble spots. I was taught that safety trumps speed in RTO and while it may be overdone in certain locations it should be the #1 priority in subway operation. Just my opinion. Carry on.

 

 

I can't believe the way riders will WASTE TIME just to ride the express......a couple examples off the top of my head

 

- This one happened TODAY. I'm not sure WHAT caused all the problems on the Lex line this afternoon, but the next Utica-bound 4 was 12 minutes behind my 5 train to Flat (and had another 5 in front of it too). A customer at Atlantic asked me if my train was going to go to Utica, and I told her "take this train to Franklin and change to the 3 across the platform." There was a 3 that left Nevins as we were coming into it, so there was a good chance that we would make a connection or even beat it there (yes, we did make a connection at Franklin, and then had to let it go in front of us at Nostrand Jct). The customer looked disgusted and said "uh, no." and stepped back. I'm willing to bet when that 4 did finally arrive, it was packed to the brim. If she even made it onto that train, she would have gotten to Utica about 15 minutes later than the 3 I suggested she transfer to would have taken.

 

The lesson here - DO NOT wait for the express if there's a local already there! Atlantic is a special case since the express and local platforms are separated, but even on days when I am going from Atlantic to Utica, if I saw that the 3 was more than a couple minutes away and a 5 was coming in sooner, I would always take the 5, because there's a chance it will catch up to a 3 I just missed, and if I get on the 3 at Franklin, who cares if I have to stop at 2 more stations?

 

- The Lex line between 42 and 125 St. 42 and 125 are both easy places to transfer between the 4/5 and 6. 59 and 86 have that option too, but rather than walking across the platform, you have to climb a couple flights of stairs (I don't think either of those stations even have elevators). Yet ALL THE TIME I see groups of people running from the 6 to the my 4/5 at 42 st, only to get off my train at 59 St. So really, you gave up your spot on what I'm sure was a less crowded train just so you could skip 1 measly spot, and spend just as much, if not MORE time climbing your way up to the exit? The worst offenders are those who do this when the 5 is turning at 42 and will be sitting on tk L3 for a couple of minutes before it even departs. Granted, the customers might not know any better, but they just wasted time to save maybe 1 minute. In a similar example, I once explained to a whole group of Hunter College students who commute from Staten Island via the Ferry that they want to take the 4/5 from Bowling Green to Grand Central and transfer to the 6 THERE, rather than at 59. I can't believe they went months of climbing up 3 flights of stairs just because they thought it was FASTER to take the 4 from 42-59........and they said they never even paid attention to a 6 that might or might not be across the platform at 42.

 

Lesson there - take the easiest transfer, not the last possible transfer.

 

This is a big one because even the MTA signage gets this wrong. If you are coming from the west side late night and are going towards New Lots, ALWAYS transfer at Nevins. Not Franklin, not Fulton, not Borough Hall, not the 7 to Grand Central. NEVINS. The 2 and the 4 have a scheduled connection at that station for the entire 20 minute interval, and trains will be held to make that connection for a reasonable amount of time. I really need to speak to one of the midnight superintendents about the fact that all of the MTA signage on the west side tells you to make that transfer at Franklin (and the signs at Chambers St for some reason tell you to transfer at Franklin for the 1 train!) and have them change it to Nevins so that customers don't get stuck waiting 18 minutes for the next 4, since the 4 usually leaves Nevins first and if you're on the 2, you have no chance of connecting to the 4 at Franklin, since they're head to head on the local track. Same with taking a northbound 2 out of Flat - if you walk across the platform at Franklin at 3am, you're gonna be standing there for 18 minutes and then the 4 is just gonna come in on the local anyway, meanwhile if you stayed on that 2 until Nevins (and yes, suffered through those 3 local stops it makes), you would find a 4 train with yellow glowing holding lights there waiting to take you into its arms.

 

The 7 line after 8PM - do NOT wait for the express if the local comes first, for the love of god. The local is gonna make all of the stops that the express does (the last Willets dropout leaves Times Square at 8:01pm), and chances are quite good that the next express is never going to catch up to it. I experience this every week on one of the runs I do. I leave Times Square at 9ish, yet people are sitting on the express across the platform and don't even flinch when I close down. And the next time I see that express's equipment is coming into the station when I'm walking down the platform at Main St to the crew room. On the other hand, the 7 express between 4PM-8PM usually is the better option to wait for IF you are going to Junction or Main. But the local should still beat the next express to Woodside as long as it has a good crew, so there's no reason to wait for the express to go to Woodside at any time of the afternoon if you can take the local first. And even if you gamble and get an express that does pass it, the earliest it could ever possibly pass the leader is between 46 and 52 st, so we're talking the difference of a minute. However, wait for that express that just happens to make a connection with the N/Q and you can forget about catching up to the local any sooner than 74-82. I've never worked the 7 on AMs so I can't really speak for how things work in reverse.

 

Lesson there - don't wait for the express if there's a local already there! This lesson keeps popping up, doesn't it?

 

One more - If you're at Flatbush (or any other stand along Nostrand Ave), there's absolutely no reason to wait for the 5 to leave if the 2 is gonna leave first. The 2 doesn't have to cross over leaving Flat so that saves a little bit of time, and there's always the option of changing to the 4 once you get to the Eastern Parkway trunk. If you're going to a station that the 5 serves in the Bronx, chances are you're better off just staying on the 2 and keeping your seat. You can always get back onto the 5 at E180. The 2 is also less prone to delays than the 5 is so you might even end up saving time despite riding the farther-distance route.

 

Lesson - if the first train that arrives can get you to your destination, don't wait for another possible train.

 

- The 3 Av-E180 express run. If you're actually going to a Dyre line station then yes, absolutely wait for the 5 express. And if you're going to a WPR station north of E180 and the 5 comes first, go ahead and get on - you can transfer at E180 and it's not uncommon for Dyre trains to get rerouted. But don't pass up that 2 train for a 5, because chances are you're just gonna have to get back onto the 2 anyway, and the express run really doesn't save a significant amount of time - it's a slow, curvy stretch, and E180 is a bottleneck, and if it's backed up, your 5 might sit there on the middle track outside the station while a 2 gets run ahead of it. Also keep in mind that those 5's to 238 ALWAYS get butchered - they might run express to Gun Hill-WPR and drop out, or they might do something like "Pelham, Gun, 233, 238" which is your lucky day if that's one of your stations, but if it bypasses your station I bet you're gonna wish you got onto that deuce instead. And it's also very common to get rerouted to Dyre, so now you have to wait for the NEXT 2 anyway.

 

Lesson - some express runs are built strictly for track capacity, not to save time. Don't fall into the illusion of "catching the express = shaving a ton of time off my commute" because any chance of saving time is gonna be lost by having to make extra transfers, and possibly losing the race to the local. Once again, always take the train that comes first as long as it's going to your destination.

 

- Another example on the 3 Av-E180 stretch, which ALSO happened on my run today. I was working a 5 making local stops up to Dyre. The 2 that was following me was running behind schedule and the crew was told to run non-stop from Freeman to E180. There were lots of customers at 174 and Tremont who didn't board my train, I'm assuming because they were going to a WPR station and were waiting for the 2. If they DID board my train and transferred at E180, they would have gotten that 2, but instead they got the *honk-honk* bypass treatment, and now they have to wait for the next 2 (which usually is right behind it, but not always)

 

Lesson - TAKE THE FIRST TRAIN THAT SHOWS UP whenever multiple lines share the same track, and ride it until the last transfer point (or at least the last transfer point that doesn't involve stairs). This also applies for the M/R, B/D, 2/3 in Brooklyn, etc.

 

I'll let some other people chime in on B-Div, but I also want to say that waiting for the CPW express is ALWAYS a stupid idea if there's a local there already, because that's one express run where the local really IS faster.

Edited by Snowblock
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- One more case on the 3 av-E180 stretch, which is just plain customer stupidity. I get customers who are going to a local station who will PURPOSELY get on my 5 express in order to ride to E180 and then backtrack. Some of them even have the nerve to demand that I open both sides so I can save them a crossover (which gets a NO every single time). Backtracking NEVER saves you time, simply because it means traveling an extra distance. And that 174-Tremont-E180 stretch is SLOW no matter what track you're on - having to ride through it TWICE just makes things worse. I can guarentee you that every single rider who does that would have gotten to their destination faster if they waited for the next local, even if it's 6 minutes away. Making a perfect connection to a downtown 2/5 is going to give them the illusion that they took a shortcut, meanwhile if they actually looked at the uptown local track, EVERY SINGLE TIME they are going to pass an uptown local before they get to their station. Customers sometimes try to pull this trick at 86/Lex, which is an express station where you can't change direction. And now they have to waste even more time arguing with the station agent about why they shouldn't have to pay 2 fares now.

 

 

Lesson - NEVER BACKTRACK!

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@ Snowblock, great points...I do have to say, though, that the IRT countdown clocks sort of change things, since you can figure out how much longer you'll have to wait for the express. Oh, and I would have to say that the CPW express is definitely faster than the local. As I said, I can't think of any express run that is actually slower than the local when there's no congestion.

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People run across the platform if monsters were after them from a local (N) to an Express (Q) going uptown just to have very same (N) they got off leave 57 1st...I just shake my head

 

I had 2 customers the other night run off my astoria (N) train to a last stop (Q) train at 57st just to close up and look at them feel stupid. Gotta love it

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Ah yes, that reminds of Utica Ave. A Manhattan bound 3 will come into the station, while a Manhattan bound 4 sits across the platform, and won't be leaving for another 9 minutes (and at least here we have countdown clocks that clearly say that). In that case, customers going to the east side are gonna have to transfer to the 4/5 anyway, so at least they're getting a seat, but I always get that ONE person who asks why this train isn't moving, and then gives me an attitude about how the 4 is supposed to be faster than the 3 and they gave up their seat for nothing......and then I see them get off the train at Franklin or Atlantic......

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@ Snowblock, great points...I do have to say, though, that the IRT countdown clocks sort of change things, since you can figure out how much longer you'll have to wait for the express. Oh, and I would have to say that the CPW express is definitely faster than the local. As I said, I can't think of any express run that is actually slower than the local when there's no congestion.

 

 

The one flaw with the countdown clocks in this case is that trains don't get IDed by ATS until they come out of the relay. So if you're at Utica (or Times Square at night), you'll have no idea when the next train will be coming unless it's already sitting there. This also causes for funny situations at stations like Parkchester where it says the next 6 train is 9 minutes away, and then all of a sudden "there is a Manhattan bound 6 train approaching the station" because a Parkchester turn crossed over from the middle track.

 

And from my experience, I've been on plenty of B/C trains which did the 125-59 local runs without ever getting passed.

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And from my experience, I've been on plenty of B/C trains which did the 125-59 local runs without ever getting passed.

 

That sounds like there was probably congestion, since the CPW express is scheduled to save 4 minutes over the local.

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Another one I just thought of - taking the 4 into Utica vs the 3. The 3 is quite often faster, due to the fact that the 4 gets backed up at Utica pretty often. You'll fly by Nostrand/Kingston but then sit outside of Utica while that 3 train catches up with and then passes you.

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