Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
Sign in to follow this  
RailRunRob

Snow readiness and the Subway

Recommended Posts

Just made it back to New York in time for the snow but an observation and question. Growing up I don't remember the Subway shutting down as much for big snow are my recollections and perceptions skewed? Seems NYC is getting a bit soft.  I know a few years back some trains got stranded seems after that we've been playing it safe but that brings me to my second point. How does the MTA deploy rail scrapers? I know other systems fit revenue trains with them in the winter. Did the idea of fitting cars with snowblades ever come up with the MTA even if just for SIR? Seems it might have benefits being 40% of the system is aboveground would help keep the system moving better during winters. (shrugs) just wondering.

 

R3 

Edited by RailRunRob
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are getting soft, and I think part of it is due to them not wanting any lawsuits.  It's that simple.  When we had people stranded on trains and buses years ago, it was a mess.  They just don't want to chance it. I will say that the morning commute was ridiculous.  I didn't take the subway, but the buses were clearly few and far in between in Riverdale to even get to the subway down the hill in Kingsbridge.  They had a good part of yesterday to get things cleaned up, so I don't understand why there were such issues for things to running during the rush? The roads really weren't that bad, and even having the above ground trains stored should've have been that big of a deal.  It took me over two hours to get to the office this morning. Overall fail for the (MTA).

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just made it back to New York in time for the snow but an observation and question. Growing up I don't remember the Subway shutting down as much for big snow are my recollections and perceptions skewed? Seems NYC is getting a bit soft.  I know a few years back some trains got stranded seems after that we've been playing it safe after that but that brings me to my second point. How does the MTA deploy rail scrapers? I know other systems fit revenue trains with them in the winter. Did the idea of fitting cars with snowblades ever come up with the MTA even if just for SIR? Seems it might have benefits being 40% of the system is aboveground would help keep the system moving better during winters. (shrugs) just wondering.

 

R3 

 

This is funny (and I'm not saying you in particular do this) but if you go back and read the old SubTalk boards, back then railfanners were suggesting that aboveground service close because trains and passengers could get stranded. Now these same people are complaining and saying that the MTA could totally run the trains, and we're becoming soft...

 

Now to your post...

Typically the MTA deploys various snow MoW equipment after the service is suspended and runs passenger trains Not In Service as scrapers.

They are getting soft, and I think part of it is due to them not wanting any lawsuits.  It's that simple.  When we had people stranded on trains and buses years ago, it was a mess.  They just don't want to chance it. I will say that the morning commute was ridiculous.  I didn't take the subway, but the buses were clearly few and far in between in Riverdale to even get to the subway down the hill in Kingsbridge.  They had a good part of yesterday to get things cleaned up, so I don't understand why there were such issues for things to running during the rush? The roads really weren't that bad, and even having the above ground trains stored should've have been that big of a deal.  It took me over two hours to get to the office this morning. Overall fail for the (MTA).

DOT absolutely dropped the ball cleaning sidewalks, streets and bus stops. That's not on the MTA, in my opinion.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is funny (and I'm not saying you in particular do this) but if you go back and read the old SubTalk boards, back then railfanners were suggesting that aboveground service close because trains and passengers could get stranded. Now these same people are complaining and saying that the MTA could totally run the trains, and we're becoming soft...

 

Now to your post...

Typically the MTA deploys various snow MoW equipment after the service is suspended and runs passenger trains Not In Service as scrapers.

My thing is if you're going to shut down a good portion of the service, then you should have service up and running for the rush the next day.  Just about every snow storm now, they pull this BS where they cancel a good portion of service even BEFORE the storm has taken place.  Fine.  Now you have ample time to get stuff cleaned up since fewer people are using the system.  It seems like this is just giving them an excuse to provide half-@ssed service.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thing is if you're going to shut down a good portion of the service, then you should have service up and running for the rush the next day.  Just about every snow storm now, they pull this BS where they cancel a good portion of service even BEFORE the storm has taken place.  Fine.  Now you have ample time to get stuff cleaned up since fewer people are using the system.  It seems like this is just giving them an excuse to provide half-@ssed service.

 

Oh your most definitely correct. They really need to fix the rush hour service a day after the storm. 

 

At least they weren't operating weekend service like New Jersey Transit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DOT absolutely dropped the ball cleaning sidewalks, streets and bus stops. That's not on the MTA, in my opinion.

So you're telling me that the streets and sidewalks were a mess in Bay Ridge?  I live on a hill and near several step streets, and everything was fairly clear.  I had no problems overall.  I will say that the bus stop that I opted for by Riverdale Avenue and West 236th street wasn't that great, but they had little pathways for people to get to the buses. The sidewalk itself was just fine and nicely shoveled.  Overall, I found the streets pretty decent and certainly not so bad that buses should've been terribly delayed.  Even by Henry Hudson Parkway, the streets and sidewalks were good.  The areas to cross the street were another story though.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you're telling me that the streets and sidewalks were a mess in Bay Ridge?  I live on a hill and near several step streets, and everything was fairly clear.  I had no problems overall.  I will say that the bus stop that I opted for by Riverdale Avenue and West 236th street wasn't that great, but they had little pathways for people to get to the buses. The sidewalk itself was just fine and nicely shoveled.  Overall, I found the streets pretty decent and certainly not so bad that buses should've been terribly delayed.  Even by Henry Hudson Parkway, the streets and sidewalks were good.  The areas to cross the street were another story though.

 

In Bay Ridge and in Queens, especially Jewel Avenue where people were digging out their cars and dumping all the snow directly in front of the oncoming bus  <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Bay Ridge and in Queens, especially Jewel Avenue where people were digging out their cars and dumping all the snow directly in front of the oncoming bus  <_<

There were some side streets in Riverdale that could've been better plowed.  Coming from the city this morning, I saw two cars stuck right by West 232nd street and Fairfield Avenue.  One lady was apologizing to me.  I told her not to worry, as I really felt sorry for her.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were some side streets in Riverdale that could've been better plowed.  Coming from the city this morning, I saw two cars stuck right by West 232nd street and Fairfield Avenue.  One lady was apologizing to me.  I told her not to worry, as I really felt sorry for her.  

 

Yeah, the street over here were pretty good, just as people dug out the snow it found its way back in the street. The bus stops were a mess because you had these high drifts forming from the plows and no paths dug out of them, so the bus couldn't get out of the traffic lane and you had to navigate the drifts to get to the bus. It was especially bad at Jewel and 150th where the bus had to stop in the traffic lane to let all of the students off, which then blocked the intersection

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is funny (and I'm not saying you in particular do this) but if you go back and read the old SubTalk boards, back then railfanners were suggesting that aboveground service close because trains and passengers could get stranded. Now these same people are complaining and saying that the MTA could totally run the trains, and we're becoming soft...

 

Now to your post...

Typically the MTA deploys various snow MoW equipment after the service is suspended and runs passenger trains Not In Service as scrapers.

DOT absolutely dropped the ball cleaning sidewalks, streets and bus stops. That's not on the MTA, in my opinion.

I hear you I certainly understand the never happy thing as well. I guess what made me ask is not being able to remember the system shutting down or at least pre-storm hit. Now I understand rider safety is paramount not saying it's right or wrong just saying I don't remember this throughout the 80's and 90's or really pre 2010-ish. Also, I noticed they ran the (1) to 191 via the Manhattan Valley crossing Through the storm that and the video below brought up the question of operations. Chicago gets much more snow per year so honestly, I would expect better preparedness and different necessary equipment. They seem to Equip all their stock with snowblades and rail Scraping shoes. They have EL type 3rd rails and I'm sure there are some other technical differences. But I figured I'd ask the question anyway. 

 

Edited by RailRunRob
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear you I certainly understand the never happy thing as well. I guess what made me ask is not being able to remember the system shutting down or at least pre-storm hit. Now I understand rider safety is paramount not saying it's right or wrong just saying I don't remember this throughout the 80's and 90's or really pre 2010-ish.

What happened was changed because of two particular incidents. 

 

  1. A bilizzard that turned out to be far more than forecast, around 09-10 I think trapped A train riders somewhere near broad channel for many hours. 
  2. An ice storm caused trains to get stuck in yards during another storm, and the rush hour service the next day was a *disaster*. 

So, the result of this is, you will have above-ground-suspensions if a storm is forecast to be above a certain threshhold, and you'll move the trains out of the yards if it's forecast to be certain conditions. 

 

Moving the trains out of the yards means parking them on express tracks, means you have to suspend express service. It also means until you get the trains laid up on the express tracks moving - service has to stay suspended possibly into the AM rush. Which definitely happened today. 

 

As for the cuts to outdoor service - well - that may not have been necessary this time - but that was the governor's decision directly. As was the full-shutdown last year. 

 

I can find links to these stories if you like. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What happened was changed because of two particular incidents. 

 

  1. A bilizzard that turned out to be far more than forecast, around 09-10 I think trapped A train riders somewhere near broad channel for many hours. 
  2. An ice storm caused trains to get stuck in yards during another storm, and the rush hour service the next day was a *disaster*. 

So, the result of this is, you will have above-ground-suspensions if a storm is forecast to be above a certain threshhold, and you'll move the trains out of the yards if it's forecast to be certain conditions. 

 

Moving the trains out of the yards means parking them on express tracks, means you have to suspend express service. It also means until you get the trains laid up on the express tracks moving - service has to stay suspended possibly into the AM rush. Which definitely happened today. 

 

As for the cuts to outdoor service - well - that may not have been necessary this time - but that was the governor's decision directly. As was the full-shutdown last year. 

 

I can find links to these stories if you like. 

 

I remember that one on the (A) noted that in my intro. But I guess that's kinda my point. I would think the system would have a higher threshold with AC traction motors taking hold nowadays easer. maintenance less moving parts. Back to my point would cars with scrapers and snowblades help the system keep running during storms to reasonable limits of course (Extreme 2ft+ Storms). Elevated trackage should be able to handle 10-18 inches of snow no? I understand the highwind and visibility factors. CTA seems to have it down packed albeit a smaller system.

Edited by RailRunRob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember that one on the (A) noted that in my intro. But I guess that's kinda my point. I would think the system would have a higher threshold with AC traction motors taking hold nowadays easer. maintenance less moving parts. Back to my point would cars with scrapers and snowblades help the system keep running during storms to reasonable limits of course (Extreme 2ft+ Storms). Elevated trackage should be able to handle 10-18 inches of snow no? I understand the highwind and visibility factors. CTA seems to have it down packed albeit a smaller system.

I have a similar question for whoever can answer it.  Is it me or hasn't the (MTA) been discussing (repeatedly I may add) that they've upgraded their snow fighting tools to better handle these sorts of storms?  Given what we've seen, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What happened was changed because of two particular incidents. 

 

  1. A bilizzard that turned out to be far more than forecast, around 09-10 I think trapped A train riders somewhere near broad channel for many hours. 
  2. An ice storm caused trains to get stuck in yards during another storm, and the rush hour service the next day was a *disaster*. 

So, the result of this is, you will have above-ground-suspensions if a storm is forecast to be above a certain threshhold, and you'll move the trains out of the yards if it's forecast to be certain conditions. 

 

Moving the trains out of the yards means parking them on express tracks, means you have to suspend express service. It also means until you get the trains laid up on the express tracks moving - service has to stay suspended possibly into the AM rush. Which definitely happened today. 

 

As for the cuts to outdoor service - well - that may not have been necessary this time - but that was the governor's decision directly. As was the full-shutdown last year. 

 

I can find links to these stories if you like. 

That was Dec. 26-27, 2010 with both the (A) (coming from JFK) and (N) (as I remember at 8th Avenue in Brooklyn) both getting stuck in storms when both lines should have been closed (along with the open cut along Brighton) once the storm got much heavier as I would have ordered.  The (A) mess was taped and put up on YouTube and you had the "Ambulance Chasers" come out in full-force for that one.

 

That storm, however, was a "perfect storm" (no pun intended) of circumstances that led to numerous other changes around the Christmas Holidays so nothing like that (which happened on Sunday night into Monday morning) ever happens again:

 

As Christmas fell on a Saturday in 2010, that meant decisions for that weekend had to be made on Thursday (12/23).  At the time those decisions had to be made, the forecast for Sunday night into Monday called for "maybe 1-3 inches" of snow at the most and that was mainly for Long Island.  That actually was still the forecast when the decision normally would have been made on Friday (12/24), so there was no harm there even when it was later upped to 1-3" of snow.

 

It was only late on Christmas Eve Night that things began to change, as that 1-3 inches suddenly was bumped to 6-10" and Philly also was suddenly in the 4-8" range after originally being forecast to get just a trace if anything.  By the time this new forecast came out, many of those who normally would be in a position to make changes likely were either heading for Midnight Mass and/or were with family, and especially if they were with people who were considerably older could not easily get away to look into the growing storm as at that time, even for that many older such frowned upon that as did many religious types.  That, coupled with lack of availability of normal media in many cases created problems as many local TV stations didn't have local (and in some cases, network) news at all until 11:00 PM on Christmas Night in order to give those who have families the day off and not have to come in except for the late broadcasts (this was very notable in Philly where longtime beloved meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz of WCAU-TV actually came in on his own and did a series of special web-only weather updates during Christmas Day when this storm exploded to 10-15" in Philly and New York).  While the forecast in Philly did not change much after that, the forecast for New York did and by the time many people were finished with Christmas it was way too late to make changes even if some were done since many were reluctant to call people in during the Christmas holiday knowing some have family members, again including many elderly who are no longer with us who would have frowned on their leaving even for an emergency like this.  That led to the fiasco that was during the 2010 storm (that storm BTW also saw the Vikings-Eagles game that was supposed to be Sunday Night Football be postponed to Tuesday and then-Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell make his "bunch of wusses" comment following that postponement).

 

That storm led to many local stations doing away with taking Christmas Day off as by the following Christmas, most were running live local newscasts at their regular times as if it were a regular day.  

 

Ironically, a month later NYC got ANOTHER major blizzard as 19" hit and there were no problems with service running the way it used to before the lawsuits from the Dec. 2010 blizzard hit.   

Edited by Wallyhorse
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DOT and DSNY did a terrible job cleaning up bus stops and sidewalks today in Queens as was mentioned above. Plus by tonight all the plows pushed snow back on front of all the stops that had previously been cleared.

 

MTA did a terrible job cleaning subway stairs in upper Manhattan subway stations today. Some of them were completely iced over. I've never seen something like it before. Disgusting.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DOT and DSNY did a terrible job cleaning up bus stops and sidewalks today in Queens as was mentioned above. Plus by tonight all the plows pushed snow back on front of all the stops that had previously been cleared.

MTA did a terrible job cleaning subway stairs in upper Manhattan subway stations today. Some of them were completely iced over. I've never seen something like it before. Disgusting.

Actually heard on the news that numerous people were falling down the stairs because they weren't cleaned as they should've been. When you consider how much of the system was shut down, it is absolutely inexcusable to have such conditions. The Metro-North trains are STILL severely delayed despite claims that they are "on-time". The train before mine was about 30 minutes late and so packed that the conductor started yelling for people to wait for the next one. Dangerous conditions all around. Wouldn't be surprised if someone sued them because they were injured. On top of that they are still going around checking tickets and collecting fares as if everything is peachy dandy. Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree 100% there is NO excuse not to clean the stairs and make sure they are clear of snow.  That can cause the exact liabilities the (MTA) was trying to avoid with shutting down the above-ground portions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree 100% there is NO excuse not to clean the stairs and make sure they are clear of snow.  That can cause the exact liabilities the (MTA) was trying to avoid with shutting down the above-ground portions. 

I don't understand what these station managers do.  As a manager myself, I thought managers are supposed to oversee and actually manage the operations specific to their job, so the fact that the stairs weren't cleaned should be a reflection on them.  They make all managers look like idiots, and believe me, there are some really incompetent ones out there.  :lol:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else saw on the news how horrible the platforms on the (7) line looked yesterday? The Junction Blvd platforms looked like a skating rink!

 

If there's a service suspension, there's no excuse for the (MTA) to have the elevated platforms full of snow and ice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else saw on the news how horrible the platforms on the (7) line looked yesterday? The Junction Blvd platforms looked like a skating rink!

 

If there's a service suspension, there's no excuse for the (MTA) to have the elevated platforms full of snow and ice.

I'm posting on the links on here to show how ridiculous the situation is.  

 

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/transit/2017/03/16/ice-snow-on-subway-platforms-after-nyc-winter-storm.html

 

http://nypost.com/2017/03/15/taking-the-subway-is-still-a-mess-after-wimpy-winter-storm/

 

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/03/15/snowy-bus-subway-stops/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, the stairs are kinda crazy. Can't sugar coat that one.

They need a more effective system.  At various Metro-North stations, they put down so much salt that it still remains for weeks, even after it has rained.  They waste huge bags of the stuff because it is done manually without any sort of machine to properly disperse the salt where it is actually needed.  They do have the machines, but it seems as if they are too lazy to use them at times.  Surely they don't have an endless budget for this stuff, but it would be cheaper for them to use those machines as opposed to numerous lawsuits.  Aside from that salt accelerates corrosion, which is why some of these stations look so bad after just a short amount of time.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They need a more effective system.  At various Metro-North stations, they put down so much salt that it still remains for weeks, even after it has rained.  They waste huge bags of the stuff because it is done manually without any sort of machine to properly disperse the salt where it is actually needed.  They do have the machines, but it seems as if they are too lazy to use them at times.  Surely they don't have an endless budget for this stuff, but it would be cheaper for them to use those machines as opposed to numerous lawsuits.  Aside from that salt accelerates corrosion, which is why some of these stations look so bad after just a short amount of time.  

You have valid point's I'm sure there's defiantly a better system. To one of your earlier points seem they are backing down and not wanting lawsuits. The Trains can handle the weather maybe the signaling and other areas can't so well thus why chance it with service. I forgot the CTA uses Cab signaling didn't factor that in. But beyond that seem's there going to get lawsuits from some of these platforms and stairs anyways way to cover your bases.

Edited by RailRunRob
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have valid point's I'm sure there's defiantly a better system. To one of your earlier points seem they are backing down and not wanting lawsuits. The Trains can handle the weather maybe the signaling and other areas can't so well thus why chance it with service. I forgot the CTA uses Cab signaling didn't factor that in. But beyond that seem's there going to get lawsuits from some of these platforms and stairs anyways way to cover your bases.

 

Yes, good point. CTA's cab signaling definitely helps matters. Their only signals are at junctions. 

 

The staircases are just inexcusable at this point...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They need a more effective system.  At various Metro-North stations, they put down so much salt that it still remains for weeks, even after it has rained.  They waste huge bags of the stuff because it is done manually without any sort of machine to properly disperse the salt where it is actually needed.  They do have the machines, but it seems as if they are too lazy to use them at times.  Surely they don't have an endless budget for this stuff, but it would be cheaper for them to use those machines as opposed to numerous lawsuits.  Aside from that salt accelerates corrosion, which is why some of these stations look so bad after just a short amount of time.  

They probably had a surplus of salt this year since we only had one other big storm this winter. Also, Metro-North's middle management isn't nearly as inept as NYCT's mid-tier management.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.