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Deucey

How fast do expresses actually travel?

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So I peeked out the front window on a (4) one day this week - GCT to Bowling Green. Looking at the signals, I keep seeing speed zones go from 20 to 30 mph, then timers, and then a 35, then a drop to 30, and so on.

I know blocks are shorter on the Lex because of how many trains run through it per hour, but do these trains ever get up to 50-55 mph between stops?

Is it possible that because of these regularly changing speed zones, that's adding to the service gaps and delays - because the runtime on paper doesn't account for the actual speed trains travel in the tunnels?

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Downtown from 149 St to Bowling Green is just terrible to navigate. The bottlenecks at 138 and 125, the curve at 14th St, select (5) s ending at bowling Green, the slow approach to Fulton and Grand Central because of the sharp curves entering the station. Can't ever go up to 50 with these restrictions.

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6 hours ago, MysteriousBtrain said:

Downtown from 149 St to Bowling Green is just terrible to navigate. The bottlenecks at 138 and 125, the curve at 14th St, select (5) s ending at bowling Green, the slow approach to Fulton and Grand Central because of the sharp curves entering the station. Can't ever go up to 50 with these restrictions.

Southbound (4)(5) between 125-59th street at times reaches 50-55 mph depending on the motorman....

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32 minutes ago, biGC323232 said:

Southbound (4)(5) between 125-59th street at times reaches 50-55 mph depending on the motorman....

No express trains in the system can physically reach anywhere above 50. And yes, that is a fact. Not even the (A) ‘s Rockaway Flats. It’s only the 60th Street Tube.

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50? Hell, I can't remember the last time I took the subway where the train went over 30 (and I'm being rather generous with that)... Either way, it's embarrassing how slow/slowed our trains are & have gotten..... I've abandoned the quote-unquote expressholicism mindset many moons ago - to the point where I gun for locals over expresses because of it....

Yeah, the locals make more stops, but they tend to move at a better rate..... Not many more things frustrating in that regard than standing waiting on a platform, an express & a local arrive concurrently, you board the express train, you get to the point where you're at the last (local) stop before you get to the next express stop, you look to your right, and that got damn local train serves said local stop, eventually blowing past your express - as you're on said express train stalled b/w stations for god knows what reason.....

Edited by B35 via Church
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10 hours ago, Deucey said:

So I peeked out the front window on a (4) one day this week - GCT to Bowling Green. Looking at the signals, I keep seeing speed zones go from 20 to 30 mph, then timers, and then a 35, then a drop to 30, and so on.

I know blocks are shorter on the Lex because of how many trains run through it per hour, but do these trains ever get up to 50-55 mph between stops?

Is it possible that because of these regularly changing speed zones, that's adding to the service gaps and delays - because the runtime on paper doesn't account for the actual speed trains travel in the tunnels?

You’re spot on with that last point. It, coupled with the variability in operation incurred when human TOs address the timers, makes up a significant portion of gaps/delays. 

From GCT south on Lex, I’m pretty sure it’s 20 out of the curve, then unlimited until you hit the GTs entering 14 (they’re, what, 20 or 25?). That stretch isn’t long enough for you to get much above 40 — if you even get there. 

After 14, you have a short section of free running, but then at Bleecker, it’s GTs in the 30mph range pretty much all the way to BBCH. Then there are some GTs coming off the curve into Fulton, and entering Bowling Green. I *believe* those are both 20... 

If you want really fast running, try the (N)(W) into 60th, eastbound QB express around Woodhaven Blvd, westbound at 65 and into the Northern Boulevard Bypass, IRT West Side from 42 to 72, and s/b 8th Av into 42 and 14. All those stretches get above 40 easily, and I’ve been on (N)s which have crested 50 into 60th. Alas, during the Culver El station rehabs, (F)s would fly. I was one ones which did 45... Until next time, I guess. 

One fun thing about CBTC is that when installed, trains’ traction computers are reprogrammed to accelerate faster and reach higher speeds. Let’s just say I’m looking forward to QB exp... 

____

All of this said, I think that the reduction in speed isn't the biggest issue with GT proliferation -- it's the erosion of capacity. In many areas, GTs reduce train speeds well below what the area's signal spacing was designed for. That means that while train spacing is remaining constant, the time it takes for trains to cover those gaps is increasing, which translates into lower throughput. In clear water running, that reduction of a few tph matters little, but when it's time to recover from an incident, the absence of that give in line capacity makes the difference between some isolated delays and total gridlock. 

Edited by RR503
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39 minutes ago, B35 via Church said:

50? Hell, I can't remember the last time I took the subway where the train went over 30 (and I'm being rather generous with that)... Either way, it's embarrassing how slow/slowed our trains are & have gotten..... I've abandoned the quote-unquote expressholicism mindset many moons ago - to the point where I gun for locals over expresses because of it....

Yeah, the locals make more stops, but they tend to move at a better rate..... Not many more things frustrating in that regard than standing waiting on a platform, an express & a local arrive concurrently, you board the express train, you get to the point where you're at the last (local) stop before you get to the next express stop, you look to your right, and that got damn local train serves said local stop, eventually blowing past your express - as you're on said express train stalled b/w stations for god knows what reason.....

I cant agree with you more on the 2nd paragraph...lol...Some lines tho on certain strecthes reach close to 50...Depending on the motorman driving...But yes back in the 90's even early 20's trains was flying....

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There's one op on the (E) that I get going Queens bound in the morning, and man he just takes off... He's gotta be doing at least 45 on QBL.

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2 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Isn't the (A) from JFK to Beach 90th St fast?

It's a open run but I doubt it gets over 50. Maybe with the NTT cars. Every other scenario for the most part but I've seen has some type of gravity assist Involved. S/B 72-42  on the (2)(3) . Queens Blvd S/B coming into 65th street and the express spit off. 34-W4th S/B  (D)(B) and the mother of them all the 4.15%- 4.37% grade 60th street tube.  

Edited by RailRunRob

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3 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Isn't the (A) from JFK to Beach 90th St fast?

Around 40 mph or so.

EDIT: Except for the drawbridges.

Edited by Jemorie

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Between 34th - W4th on the (B)(D) is a speedy run.

Surprisingly 34th - 14th on the Bway is pretty fast as well.

Edited by kosciusko
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10 hours ago, RR503 said:

If you want really fast running, try the (N)(W) into 60th, eastbound QB express around Woodhaven Blvd, westbound at 65 and into the Northern Boulevard Bypass, IRT West Side from 42 to 72, and s/b 8th Av into 42 and 14. All those stretches get above 40 easily, and I’ve been on (N)s which have crested 50 into 60th. Alas, during the Culver El station rehabs, (F)s would fly. I was one ones which did 45... Until next time, I guess. 

One fun thing about CBTC is that when installed, trains’ traction computers are reprogrammed to accelerate faster and reach higher speeds. Let’s just say I’m looking forward to QB exp... 

____

 

Trains on Queens Boulevard lately have really slowed down going westbound through Woodhaven. They used to go 35 or so. Now they go what seems to be 15-20. The timers going into Roosevelt westbound are infuriating. Trains go between 10-15 through there, and it is way too slow. If trains could quickly follow the train just leaving Roosevelt, it would do a lot to reduce dwell times and reduce crowding at Roosevelt.

I also can't wait for CBTC! Do you think that trains would be able to run 50?

I know that this would take a lot of work, and that you might not be allowed to do so, but it would be fantastic if you could make a general speed map of the subway system.

Thanks again!

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1 hour ago, Union Tpke said:

Trains on Queens Boulevard lately have really slowed down going westbound through Woodhaven. They used to go 35 or so. Now they go what seems to be 15-20. The timers going into Roosevelt westbound are infuriating. Trains go between 10-15 through there, and it is way too slow. If trains could quickly follow the train just leaving Roosevelt, it would do a lot to reduce dwell times and reduce crowding at Roosevelt.

Huh. When I was there last (a month or so ago) my (F) did high 30s both directions, but then my TO treated the (clearly signed) STs like absolutes entering Roosevelt. I'll have to check it out again...

1 hour ago, Union Tpke said:

 I also can't wait for CBTC! Do you think that trains would be able to run 50?

I sure hope so! Given this is the first mainline CBTC install, and the first one whose system design is taking place under management aware of the ills of slowing, I think it's definitely in the cards...

1 hour ago, Union Tpke said:

 I know that this would take a lot of work, and that you might not be allowed to do so, but it would be fantastic if you could make a general speed map of the subway system.

Gee, what an excellent idea ;)

This is actually something I've been working on-and-off on since earlier this year. To keep it all aboveboard, I take data only from GT signs seen either in my own foaming or RFW videos, so I don't guarantee total accuracy, but it's a start... I did Nassau/Myrtle as a sort of proof of concept -- grade timers/switch speeds only. And no, not even this section is finished, so pretty please phrase your additions/corrections in light of this and not "AHMYGADTHERESAMISTAKE." 

In the future, when I have more time to devote to this, I'll start a thread and solicit help. I want this to be a more 'open-source' project, both because I don't have the time/capability to do it all alone, and because I think collaboration will make the finished product only better. Among ideas I have for future iterations are the inclusion of chaining start/end for timed sections, ST demarcation, unenforced speed sign demarcation, a transition to a geographic map, and (this is a crazy long shot) but average section speed mined from GTFS. I doubt any of these things are coming soon, so please don't hold your breath...

Anyway, yes, a sample. Please zoom in so shit's legible.

gmhwvjF.jpg

 

Edit: I realize I left out a key. 

Red = 1 shots, yellow = 2 shots, dashed = DGT, perpendicular line = change in speed w/ same type of timer, arrow indicates active direction. Unmarked switches can generally be assumed to be D10. 

Edited by RR503
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28 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Huh. When I was there last (a month or so ago) my (F) did high 30s both directions, but then my TO treated the (clearly signed) STs like absolutes entering Roosevelt. I'll have to check it out again...

I sure hope so! Given this is the first mainline CBTC install, and the first one whose system design is taking place under management aware of the ills of slowing, I think it's definitely in the cards...

Gee, what an excellent idea ;)

This is actually something I've been working on-and-off on since earlier this year. To keep it all aboveboard, I take data only from GT signs seen either in my own foaming or RFW videos, so I don't guarantee total accuracy, but it's a start... I did Nassau/Myrtle as a sort of proof of concept -- grade timers/switch speeds only. And no, not even this section is finished, so pretty please phrase your additions/corrections in light of this and not "AHMYGADTHERESAMISTAKE." 

 

You might want to mention that the old Manhattan Bridge tracks are off limits due to their bad condition. Really great job! I will try to help if I have time.

Thanks!

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15 hours ago, RR503 said:

Huh. When I was there last (a month or so ago) my (F) did high 30s both directions, but then my TO treated the (clearly signed) STs like absolutes entering Roosevelt. I'll have to check it out again...

I sure hope so! Given this is the first mainline CBTC install, and the first one whose system design is taking place under management aware of the ills of slowing, I think it's definitely in the cards...

Gee, what an excellent idea ;)

This is actually something I've been working on-and-off on since earlier this year. To keep it all aboveboard, I take data only from GT signs seen either in my own foaming or RFW videos, so I don't guarantee total accuracy, but it's a start... I did Nassau/Myrtle as a sort of proof of concept -- grade timers/switch speeds only. And no, not even this section is finished, so pretty please phrase your additions/corrections in light of this and not "AHMYGADTHERESAMISTAKE." 

In the future, when I have more time to devote to this, I'll start a thread and solicit help. I want this to be a more 'open-source' project, both because I don't have the time/capability to do it all alone, and because I think collaboration will make the finished product only better. Among ideas I have for future iterations are the inclusion of chaining start/end for timed sections, ST demarcation, unenforced speed sign demarcation, a transition to a geographic map, and (this is a crazy long shot) but average section speed mined from GTFS. I doubt any of these things are coming soon, so please don't hold your breath...

Anyway, yes, a sample. Please zoom in so shit's legible.

gmhwvjF.jpg

 

Edit: I realize I left out a key. 

Red = 1 shots, yellow = 2 shots, dashed = DGT, perpendicular line = change in speed w/ same type of timer, arrow indicates active direction. Unmarked switches can generally be assumed to be D10. 

Coolness.👍 Great job!

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We've had a few threads on this over the years--thinking the "SPEED" thread on its own--and the best answers naturally are from the T/Os on the forums. As everybody's mentioned, the tunnel crossings are your real speed zones. Besides those, there are some speedy stretches of express trackage on the Bronx lines downhill, some south Brooklyn stretches that are quick for level ground, and a few sections of unmolested express trackage in Manhattan not yet ruined by timers. 50mph is possible on 34-W4 6th Ave. 47-48mph is fairly routine for an R62 on the 96-72, 72-42 stretch, R142s can sometimes push up to 50. The Lex express should reasonably hit the mid-40s depending on conditions. 8th Ave never goes too quick--sometimes the C 50-42 is quicker than anywhere on the express--and Fulton St is getting slower by the month, but Utica used to be a quick one. There are a few good spots left.

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barely any decent runs left with the increase of these bullsh*t timers.  our "express" trains are a joke

I remember years back a T/O on here said the real reason for express lines are to ease congestion  

the (2) is the only real decent express. especially from Chambers to 14th and vice versa - still hauls ass.

the (4) can fly to what feels like 40+ from Brooklyn Bridge to Union Square n/b if the T/O doesn't brake for those curves - love when they hit those switches coming into Union Square with speed

 

 

Edited by brakethrow

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The s/b express run between 96th-42nd on the 1 2 3 line is pretty quick. And s/b 4 5 on the Lexington avenue line is quick also from 125th-86th (sometimes through 59th).

The most disappointing runs to me are s/b CPW and the 5 express train in the Bronx. Northbound express trains begin to coast and slow down a little past Prospect Avenue and slow down significantly after 174th street where they crawl past West Farms Sq. 

What angers me more is when either the n/b 2 or 5 have to wait at East 180th for the other train to cross in front. Which defeats the purpose of having an express train. You overtake a 2 local at 174th only to wait for it at E 180th. If only there was something that resembles the Dyre Ave flyover so that neither train have to wait for the other at this station. I imagine this is part of the reason why the MTA wanted to make the 2 express and 5 local in the Bronx.

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On 9/20/2018 at 7:50 PM, Union Tpke said:

Trains on Queens Boulevard lately have really slowed down going westbound through Woodhaven. They used to go 35 or so. Now they go what seems to be 15-20. The timers going into Roosevelt westbound are infuriating. Trains go between 10-15 through there, and it is way too slow. If trains could quickly follow the train just leaving Roosevelt, it would do a lot to reduce dwell times and reduce crowding at Roosevelt.

I also can't wait for CBTC! Do you think that trains would be able to run 50?

I know that this would take a lot of work, and that you might not be allowed to do so, but it would be fantastic if you could make a general speed map of the subway system.

Thanks again!

My experience is that the pseudo timers (at least on the local tracks) are now gone.

I say pseudo timer because when the interlocking at Roosevelt was replaced, the signals would stay red until a train was approaching, but without an associated GT before the station (assuming no station time or diverging move). Once the train was close enough, the station signals cleared to yellow. Not a huge slowdown, but noticeable. 

Now the signals are yellow by default, not red. Again assuming no ST or diverging move. This happened within the past month or two. 

Not sure about the express tracks but i think those were "removed" too. 

Rush hour is still a mess there though. 

 

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On 9/29/2018 at 8:25 AM, RestrictOnTheHanger said:

My experience is that the pseudo timers (at least on the local tracks) are now gone.

I say pseudo timer because when the interlocking at Roosevelt was replaced, the signals would stay red until a train was approaching, but without an associated GT before the station (assuming no station time or diverging move). Once the train was close enough, the station signals cleared to yellow. Not a huge slowdown, but noticeable. 

Now the signals are yellow by default, not red. Again assuming no ST or diverging move. This happened within the past month or two. 

Not sure about the express tracks but i think those were "removed" too. 

Rush hour is still a mess there though. 

 

That's encouraging news. Byford says he is having timers looked into. Maybe this is the fruit of that examination.

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On 9/19/2018 at 11:21 PM, Deucey said:

So I peeked out the front window on a (4) one day this week - GCT to Bowling Green. Looking at the signals, I keep seeing speed zones go from 20 to 30 mph, then timers, and then a 35, then a drop to 30, and so on.

I know blocks are shorter on the Lex because of how many trains run through it per hour, but do these trains ever get up to 50-55 mph between stops?

Is it possible that because of these regularly changing speed zones, that's adding to the service gaps and delays - because the runtime on paper doesn't account for the actual speed trains travel in the tunnels?

Yes trains actually do! I can tell you when i work the (3) going south bound between 72 and 42, i get the train up to 53 Mph.

On the (4) and (5) going north Bound between 42 and 59 st, Ive gotten it to 50.

On the (4)(5) south bound Bowling Green to Borough Hall i can get it to 49-51 mph.

and During a G.O on the (2) going South bound down the middle track From Gun Hill to 180, I got the train to 55mph between Allerton and Pelham Parkway just before the timers. 

its Possible!

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On 9/20/2018 at 8:07 AM, biGC323232 said:

Southbound (4)(5) between 125-59th street at times reaches 50-55 mph depending on the motorman....

Not possible! Timers won't allow it! If there wasn't any timers on the down grades it can happen

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