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Juelz4309

So called "Express" Runs

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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.

 

 

Really? Whenever I take the express, the local pretty much always gets bypassed. During middays or weekends there's a chance the local will be faster, but during rush hours, the express is always faster. Sometimes we even pass two trains. Which is why I always wait for the A/D over the C.

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There is also the 3 Av-E 177 stretch on the <6>. The <6> is more frequent than the (6) during rush hours and the (6) often gets held near St Lawrence so the <6> can end up passing a (6) even after a 5 minute wait.

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It's true that express tracks are primarily there to add capacity, but what if a train was planned to run express solely for the purpose of providing the convenience of speed? For example, when a Manhattan-bound (N) gets rerouted via West End express, the purpose is to get people to 62 Street and 36 Street faster so they can recoup the time lost taking the detour. Otherwise, why not run the train local instead? However, (and this was years ago) the train dispatchers would often hold the (N) at 9 Avenue to wait for the (D) and then it would send the (D) first despite the fact that the (N) could have continued on its way and passengers from both trains could be happy.

 

Now some of you might point out train schedules and that trains have to stick to them, but if they had to keep train on a schedule, they should have sent the train out of Coney Island a bit later. Holding an (N) train at 9 Avenue does not help any regular (N) train riders get to the missed stops in between, and does not justify the use of the express track. It's one of the few wrongs that can't be justified.

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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.

 

 

The same thign happens with the baseball specials on the (4) at Yankee Staudium. When a baseball special pulls into the station, it says "The train approaching is not in service." So I had to tell some people that the train was going to stop because they were ready to go all the way downstarits to catch the (D)

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My favorite is when everyone runs off the local (1) or (2) train at TImes Square and jumps on the (3) shuttle not knowing it's the last stop on the train during the late nights. They will jump onto the train and immediately after the conductor will close the doors. So now they have to wait for the C/R to key them off and on top of that wait 15 minutes for the next (1) or (2)

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Lesson - NEVER BACKTRACK!

 

 

I'm throwing it out there, but there is one backtrack that saved me time. When I was going to Cooper Union last summer, towards the end, I would take the (4)(5) to Union Square, and then cross over to the downtown track and take the (6) one stop to Astor Place. There would always be a train leaving as I went down to the Downtown platform, but since this was towards the tail end of rush hour, there was always a train a couple of minutes behind anyway.

 

It was a whole lot better than the (R) train, I'll tell you that.

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Taking the <6> to 177 St Parkchester and backtracking to St Lawrence Avenue can work in some cases (reverse peak service is very frequent, peak local service isn't)

 

There is also the 59 St - Fordham Rd (D) express run. Waiting for an express usually works (unless the (D) is really delayed)

Edited by GreatOne2k

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Whenever I am coming home from 34 St, I always take the (B) to Church Av for the (Q). But there are some Express runs that I find pointless. The (B)(D) from Broadway Lafayette to 47/50 Sts is the biggest one. I did not even know that there were Local stops on the 6 Av before I took the (V) to 14 St. Another one is the (A) from Canal St to 59 St. It does not even feel like you are on an Express train. But then again, I am used to the NTT Broadway Express, so that might be the difference.

 

The Lexington Av Express, WPR Express, and 7 Av Express in my mind are the best Express runs in the entire system. Somehow the B Division just can't cut it for me in this one. I would be interested to see what they do with the 2 Av. Maybe they will put in a third track from 72 St to 125 St.

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I love the posts from Trainmaster5 and Snowblock. :)

 

Yeah, people will always make such a fuss but hey? It's New York. What are you gonna to do? Lol.

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The Lexington Av Express, WPR Express, and 7 Av Express in my mind are the best Express runs in the entire system. Somehow the B Division just can't cut it for me in this one. I would be interested to see what they do with the 2 Av. Maybe they will put in a third track from 72 St to 125 St.

 

 

No, they said it'll be a 2-tracked line. They actually had a plan for a third track at 72nd Street for operational flexibility, but they scrapped that.

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Taking the <6> to 177 St Parkchester and backtracking to St Lawrence Avenue can work in some cases (reverse peak service is very frequent, peak local service isn't)

 

Yeah but that only works if you have a vapor key. Don't tell me you've been keying yourself through.

 

There is also the 59 St - Fordham Rd (D) express run. Waiting for an express usually works (unless the (D) is really delayed)

 

 

You better know the Yankees schedule. Because that "express from 145 to 161, then express to Tremont" double-crossover is actually SLOWER than if the D just ran local the whole way.

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I'm throwing it out there, but there is one backtrack that saved me time. When I was going to Cooper Union last summer, towards the end, I would take the (4)(5) to Union Square, and then cross over to the downtown track and take the (6) one stop to Astor Place. There would always be a train leaving as I went down to the Downtown platform, but since this was towards the tail end of rush hour, there was always a train a couple of minutes behind anyway.

 

 

Cool story, bro, but I'm calling bull on this one. The run from Brooklyn Bridge to Astor Place on the local is 5 minutes, on what should be a pretty empty train at any hour. The express run from Brooklyn Bridge to Union Square is 3 minutes IF you have clear signals the whole way. So you're saving maybe 2 minutes. Now, how long did it take you to go up the stairs, go down the next set of stairs, wait for the next downtown local to arrive, the gap fillers to open, and the minute or so it takes to go back to Astor Place? I'm willing to bet it was at least 2 minutes and an uptown local passed you before you got to Astor S/B. And was it worth the extra running around? Futhermore, isn't Cooper Union closer to the uptown exit? So didn't you have to cross one more intersection from the downtown side?

Edited by Snowblock
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Whenever I am coming home from 34 St, I always take the (B) to Church Av for the (Q). But there are some Express runs that I find pointless. The (B)(D) from Broadway Lafayette to 47/50 Sts is the biggest one. I did not even know that there were Local stops on the 6 Av before I took the (V) to 14 St. Another one is the (A) from Canal St to 59 St. It does not even feel like you are on an Express train. But then again, I am used to the NTT Broadway Express, so that might be the difference.

 

 

Wow, even on this forum nobody seems to get it.

 

The B to Church....so you bypass one whole stop and then have to wait for the same Q you would have originally caught at 34 (and that's assuming the B even came before the Q......if the Q came first you just wasted a whole interval)? Ooooooh, we got a playa here!

 

The 6 and 8 Ave express tracks are NOT about saving time. They are about having extra capacity. An A and a C can run side by side, and the A should get just enough of a boost to beat it to Canal by bypassing Spring St that there won't be a standoff for the line up. However, the A, C and E cannot all run on the same track, which is why they are are always separated. Same with the B,D,F and M. Yet not a year goes by where I don't hear some elaborate plan to build a wall on the express tracks at 42-6 in order to give the B/D a "better" express run, meanwhile depriving their riders of one of their busiest stops and an important transfer.

Edited by Snowblock

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Yeah but that only works if you have a vapor key. Don't tell me you've been keying yourself through.

 

 

 

You better know the Yankees schedule. Because that "express from 145 to 161, then express to Tremont" double-crossover is actually SLOWER than if the D just ran local the whole way.

 

 

I rode the (D) express on Tuesday when the Yankees were playing... There wasnt a B to be found (rode between 59th-Fordham, only saw a C), but the D still got the double crossover lineup. I've been on battery runs faster than that.

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I used to ride the (A) from Jay St to 207 St three or four times a week when I was in high school, and if there was an (E) across the platform from us at Canal St then nine times out of ten that same (E) would be sitting across the platform from us at 42nd St. As for the (D) Bronx express runs, I never understood why they didn't just build 161 St as an express station in the first place or run extra (B) trains rather than use the double crossover lineup.

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Snowblock,

 

Your advice is extremely sound and generally correct, but if the person really knows the line, sometimes rules can be broken.

 

My general rule of thumb is that it's ok to backtrack if the following conditions are met:

 

-You are at a local stop and are only a stop away from an express stop (e.g. you're at Kingston av on the (3) and need the (4))

-You are already on the express train traveling a long distance and you missed the local and the station is a stop or two away from the express station.

-The train frequencies are relatively quick.***very important.

 

So would I backtack at E180 st on the (2) and (5)? NO....too short a run and there will be delays going into 180th st.

CPW at 125st? NO....too infrequent service on local track and trains slow after 103st.

96th st on 7th av line? No...(1) train is surprisingly quick and actually very frequent. I will wait at 42nd or 72nd to transfer.

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There have been times where I have backtracked on the Lex line--I needed to get to either 110th or 116th sts and I was coming from Brooklyn. I would take the (4) to 125th st and get the (6). It always woorked out pretty well. What I would do is look at the electronic schedules in the station (Grand Central) and see how many minutes away the next train was. I would also look at how many people were standing on the platform. I would also judge how slow the train I was on was going. If there was a lot of people on the platform and I saw that the next train was more than 6 minutes away, I would stay on the express.

I would never transfer at 59th or 86th st. That's just plain dumb.

 

I would also backtrack if I wanted any local stations between Roosevelt and 71st Continental, especially if I missed an (R) train DURING THE WEEKENDS, because I know the next (R) is at least 10 minutes away.

 

I have backtracked several times on the (3) line at Kingston av, taking a New Lots bound train to Utica to grab a manhattan bound (4). Basically, I would take the first (3) train that came. The (3) can be erratic. It drove me CRAZY sitting down watching 3 or 4 express trains pass while I was waiting...CRAZY.

 

These have almost always worked out for me.

 

There are many stretches where the local will work out better than the express--some it depends on distance.

 

Take the (A) and (C) in Brooklyn. Pretty much if you're at Nostrand Av or Hoyt-Schermerhorn or even Utica, just grab the first train that comes. From any of those stops to 59th st, there's pretty much little time difference.

 

I tell people at Jay st who ask me for directions to Broadway Junction to take the first train that comes, be it an (A) or (C). If a (C) comes and the (A) is more than 3 or 4 minutes behind it, the (C) will get there first.

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My theory: whenever an express run is "fun", railfans will go out of their way to take it...Buffs always get the impression that a "roller coaster ride" is going to save them time...

Edited by TheSubwayStation

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My theory: whenever an express run is "fun", railfans will go out of their way to take it...Buffs always get the impression that a "roller coaster ride" is going to save them time...

 

 

There are only a few stretches in the system where the express would save significantly more time than the local and a lot of that is distance based and whether or not the station you need to get to is either a local or express stop.

 

For instance, If I needed to get from 168th st to Euclid Av, and I was at Euclid, I would actually wait for the (A) even if the (C) was there and leaving. As long as that (A) comes within 10 minutes (very likely), I will beat that (C) to 168th.

 

I think express trains are useful only over long distances (for the purposes of speed).

 

Shorter distances, local or express is ok--and sometimes the local will be better.

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Well, I think express trains are always useful; sure, they can be delayed, but a local can be delayed too. The entire issue is whether waiting for the express takes more time than the express run saves.

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Whenever I am coming home from 34 St, I always take the (B) to Church Av for the (Q). But there are some Express runs that I find pointless. The (B)(D) from Broadway Lafayette to 47/50 Sts is the biggest one. I did not even know that there were Local stops on the 6 Av before I took the (V) to 14 St. Another one is the (A) from Canal St to 59 St. It does not even feel like you are on an Express train. But then again, I am used to the NTT Broadway Express, so that might be the difference.

 

The Lexington Av Express, WPR Express, and 7 Av Express in my mind are the best Express runs in the entire system. Somehow the B Division just can't cut it for me in this one. I would be interested to see what they do with the 2 Av. Maybe they will put in a third track from 72 St to 125 St.

 

 

The IND was meant to get people to the "city". It was meant to get people from the Bronx on a (D) train and get them to the "city" fast. So the IND wanted to let them off in popular locations, especially big streets. CPW residents would get a local as there destination is not as far away, and above 145th Street and Bronx residents would get an express as they would bypass CPW stops making the route faster.

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The IND was meant to get people to the "city". It was meant to get people from the Bronx on a (D) train and get them to the "city" fast. So the IND wanted to let them off in popular locations, especially big streets. CPW residents would get a local as there destination is not as far away, and above 145th Street and Bronx residents would get an express as they would bypass CPW stops making the route faster.

 

Exactly; the IND's design was meant to keep local riders from transferring (and adding more crowding) to the express. The way they did that was by:

 

1. Making local trains faster

2. Eliminating transfer opportunities (For example, CPW local riders are already in Midtown by the time they can transfer to the express)

3. Smaller difference between express and local trains within Midtown and Lower Manhattan so that riders wouldn't even bother to transfer when they got to that area.

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After I work the B-Div for a while, I should have a better idea how these runs actually work. All I know is there are a lot of customers (and most of them are either tourists or kids) who have a mentality that you have to change from the local to the express at the first available opportunity. On weekends when we have either the local or the express track OOS, I experienced a lot of this first hand. My favorite are the customers who actually say that they REFUSE to ride the local and step away from my train, even after I tell them that there won't be any expresses until Monday morning. And it NEVER FAILS that whenever one track was out between 42-125, I would always see customers rip down the tape and go to the closed platform as I passed them in the other direction. Right, just because you got past the barricade, that means there's gonna be a special train that makes a stop just for you? And those people I see waiting at 103 & 110 are just scum farebeaters, since those turnstiles get deactivated too.

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Cool story, bro, but I'm calling bull on this one. The run from Brooklyn Bridge to Astor Place on the local is 5 minutes, on what should be a pretty empty train at any hour. The express run from Brooklyn Bridge to Union Square is 3 minutes IF you have clear signals the whole way. So you're saving maybe 2 minutes. Now, how long did it take you to go up the stairs, go down the next set of stairs, wait for the next downtown local to arrive, the gap fillers to open, and the minute or so it takes to go back to Astor Place? I'm willing to bet it was at least 2 minutes and an uptown local passed you before you got to Astor S/B. And was it worth the extra running around? Futhermore, isn't Cooper Union closer to the uptown exit? So didn't you have to cross one more intersection from the downtown side?

 

 

I just said right there that there would usually be a local pulling out of Union Square as the (4)(5) pulled in. So I would calmly walk up and down the stairs, and then in a minute or two, there would be another local.

 

We would usually pass at least one local on that stretch between City Hall & 14th Street, or two if a (6) happened to leave City Hall around the same time as us. I would never see that second local, so that means I got there quicker.

 

Maybe I just got lucky, because I only did it a few times. Before that, I would either go through Brooklyn, or I would take the (R) train or the (4)(5) to the (6) at City Hall. Then it occurred to me as I was taking the (6) downtown to go home that if a good 3-4 express trains passed us before we got to City Hall, I might as well try my luck at catching one of those.

 

FWIW, I typed in Bowling Green to Astor Place in on Google Transit, and it suggested going up to Union Square and backtracking.

 

My general rule of thumb is that it's ok to backtrack if the following conditions are met:

 

-You are at a local stop and are only a stop away from an express stop (e.g. you're at Kingston av on the (3) and need the (4))

-You are already on the express train traveling a long distance and you missed the local and the station is a stop or two away from the express station.

-The train frequencies are relatively quick.***very important.

 

 

This.

 

BTW, I think you meant 86th Street on the (1).

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I think it pretty much boils down to knowledge and how well you know the system.

Some of it is common sense, but some of it isn't.

 

For instance, if I am at 34th st and need to get to Roosevelt av, I will opt for either the (F) or (M) and will take whichever one comes first.

 

I honestly prefer the (M), because there's fewer suprises and I will have a greater chance of getting a seat. The time difference between the (F) and (M) is not that great....even though the (F) is express, it stops at 57st, Lexington av and Roosevelt Island, and probably will get delayed when (E) trains merge with it at 36th st.

 

My last option will be the (R) because lord knows what delays it will face past 34th st especially with the (N) and (Q) running on the same tracks. I have some horror stories about that. There have been instances where it took me 35 (or more) minutes to get from 34th to Roosevelt av on the (R) because of delays with the (N) and (Q)!

 

Knowledge is power indeed.

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