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U-BahnNYC

Abysmal intervals on the (A) train?

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For a few weeks now, it seems to me, the (A) train has had extremely long intervals in the evening rush. I remember the trains used to come 4-6 minutes apart (in good service). Now, almost everyday I'll miss a southbound train at West 4th and the next one is 9 minutes away, and of course arrives packed. The one after that is another 9-10 minutes away (not even "bunching"). Keep in mind this is at ~6-7PM in the evening rush.

Meanwhile 2 (C) trains and 3 (E) trains will pass in those 9 minutes.

I can't figure out an explanation (given this happens in "Good Service") other than the MTA secretly cutting trips for some unbeknownst reason. Or crews are just really really bad at sticking to the time slot.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has noticed this.

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lol. You think the (A) train is the only one that gets this crap? (N) trains go missing all the time at the height of rush hour. Scheduled trains from the terminal don’t show up like the clock says.

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8 hours ago, U-BahnNYC said:

For a few weeks now, it seems to me, the (A) train has had extremely long intervals in the evening rush. I remember the trains used to come 4-6 minutes apart (in good service). Now, almost everyday I'll miss a southbound train at West 4th and the next one is 9 minutes away, and of course arrives packed. The one after that is another 9-10 minutes away (not even "bunching"). Keep in mind this is at ~6-7PM in the evening rush.

Meanwhile 2 (C) trains and 3 (E) trains will pass in those 9 minutes.

I can't figure out an explanation (given this happens in "Good Service") other than the MTA secretly cutting trips for some unbeknownst reason. Or crews are just really really bad at sticking to the time slot.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has noticed this.

You are not alone. I take the (A) all the time to/from work. Trains have in fact been running every 9-10 minutes like the (C) itself does all the time. For the (A)’s case, when I checked the Trip Planner, it said trains are suppose to be showing up every 4-6 minutes. Maybe I should double check. I wonder what’s going on in reality. Are the headways the same like the (C) or is it the timers, the aging signals/tracks, track/signal workers and flagging, or even the cars themselves?

Who knows. :(

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I made this point about missing trains a few years ago and back then it was dismissed by people like @itmaybeokay. Funny that he isn’t around much anymore... lol Something else I’ve been noticing the last few weekends in fact. The countdown clocks say 1 minute for a train, and that 1 minute easily becomes 5 or 10. It’s incredible... Glad other people are noticing... I’ve always said this but if they don’t send out buses, why would trains get any special treatment? I think the difference is before the issues were more contained and now it’s all over the place. 

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5 hours ago, Jemorie said:

You are not alone. I take the (A) all the time to/from work. Trains have in fact been running every 9-10 minutes like the (C) itself does all the time. For the (A)’s case, when I checked the Trip Planner, it said trains are suppose to be showing up every 4-6 minutes. Maybe I should double check. I wonder what’s going on in reality. Are the headways the same like the (C) or is it the timers, the aging signals/tracks, track/signal workers and flagging, or even the cars themselves?

Who knows. :(

Part of that reason is because trains are not evenly spaced out coming from Lefferts/The Rockaways. The slightest delay could set the Far Rock branch back by 7 minutes, causing that to cascade onto the Lefferts Blvd branch. At least from my experience.

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13 hours ago, CenSin said:

lol. You think the (A) train is the only one that gets this crap? (N) trains go missing all the time at the height of rush hour. Scheduled trains from the terminal don’t show up like the clock says.

And then those missing (N) trips end up resulting in missing (W) trains because when there’s a shortage of trains arriving at Ditmars Blvd, only (N) trains tend to get sent out to preserve some service in Brooklyn, since the (W) turns back to Astoria at Whitehall St. Then the shortage happens an hour or so later in the northbound direction.

 

but yes this is not the only route (pretty sure) that suffers from “missing trains”. Part of it is due to the fact that all 4 Av trains use the (R) track after 7PM. I’ve seen on subway time (N) and (D) trains making all stops in Brooklyn after 7PM.

 

in the case of the Broadway Line, remember the old saying

(N)ever

(R)arely

(W)henever

Edited by darkstar8983

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14 hours ago, Jemorie said:

You are not alone. I take the (A) all the time to/from work. Trains have in fact been running every 9-10 minutes like the (C) itself does all the time. For the (A)’s case, when I checked the Trip Planner, it said trains are suppose to be showing up every 4-6 minutes. Maybe I should double check. I wonder what’s going on in reality. Are the headways the same like the (C) or is it the timers, the aging signals/tracks, track/signal workers and flagging, or even the cars themselves?

Who knows. :(

Those factors alone don't warrant such long headways every. single. day.

The only explanation is less trains running to begin with.

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13 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I made this point about missing trains a few years ago and back then it was dismissed by people like @itmaybeokay. Funny that he isn’t around much anymore... lol Something else I’ve been noticing the last few weekends in fact. The countdown clocks say 1 minute for a train, and that 1 minute easily becomes 5 or 10. It’s incredible... Glad other people are noticing... I’ve always said this but if they don’t send out buses, why would trains get any special treatment? I think the difference is before the issues were more contained and now it’s all over the place. 

Nope it's definitely going on. With the (A) I've only noticed the change quite recently, but it's infuriating to say the least. Not once have I waited 10 minutes in rush only for the (A) to pull in its slow overcrowded ass into the station, to then let it go in hopes of another train behind it, and end up waiting another 10 minutes for the same hell inside.

Weekends are so bad I change my work/class schedule to never have to use the subway then.

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58 minutes ago, U-BahnNYC said:

Nope it's definitely going on. With the (A) I've only noticed the change quite recently, but it's infuriating to say the least. Not once have I waited 10 minutes in rush only for the (A) to pull in its slow overcrowded ass into the station, to then let it go in hopes of another train behind it, and end up waiting another 10 minutes for the same hell inside.

Weekends are so bad I change my work/class schedule to never have to use the subway then.

I can believe it. The (A) can be unbearable on weekends. At Chambers Northbound on Sunday there was no (A) or (C) service with scarce postings to boot, so I had to schlepp up and down stairs to reach the (E) and then sit and wait and wait since that’s the first stop and then go local. Hopped off at West 4th Street and the (D) was running every 12-15 minutes and it felt much longer than that, so if they’re wondering why people are leaving the system, if you need a guide to use the damn subway and you’ve been using it for over 20 years as I have, you know there’s a problem. I seriously now have to stop and think and say, wow such and such line is knocked out, so how in the hell do I get from here to here?

The (A) and (C) above 59th Street is especially trying. Work just about every single weekend. I no longer serve a client along that line because I would arrive so late that it wasn’t worth it and I said to hell with it. To take that long to commute by subway from Columbus Circle to Uptown is a disgrace. Two express stops and one local stop.... 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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This is why if you're traveling anywhere between Canal Street and Utica Ave ( sometimes Broadway Junction) and a (C) comes first, GET ON! Unless an (A) is 1 minute away, the (C) will usually get you there quicker. 

 

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17 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

This is why if you're traveling anywhere between Canal Street and Utica Ave ( sometimes Broadway Junction) and a (C) comes first, GET ON! Unless an (A) is 1 minute away, the (C) will usually get you there quicker. 

 

Not only that but almost every weekend now the (C) is express from 59th to Canal.

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On 11/28/2018 at 12:04 PM, Around the Horn said:

The (A) has missing trips because they're either breaking down or in the shop. It's absurd...

I don’t Know why they’re insisting running R32’s on that line... it’s seriously like putting R32’s on the (E)  those cars should have been kept on the (J) / (C) or assigned to the (G) Line. And I really don’t want to hear/read “the riders on the (C) complain” or it Can’t be configured to 10-car sets on the line because of “spare factor”  that’s BS. 

Edited by VIP
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On 11/29/2018 at 9:09 AM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Not only that but almost every weekend now the (C) is express from 59th to Canal.

Those runs are annoyingly slow

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8 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Those runs are annoyingly slow

I just get on whatever comes first.  I prefer the (C) trains since they are newer, though not always the cleanest, but the (A) cars are definitely slow in terms of the doors opening and closing, not to mention feeling like you're going back in a time warp.  Those interiors... Ugh.... 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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9 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I just get on whatever comes first.  I prefer the (C) trains since they are newer, though not always the cleanest, but the (A) cars are definitely slow in terms of the doors opening and closing, not to mention feeling like you're going back in a time warp.  Those interiors... Ugh.... 

They're installing new lighting on some of the older cars, its brighter

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On 11/28/2018 at 12:04 PM, Around the Horn said:

The (A) has missing trips because they're either breaking down or in the shop. It's absurd...

 

16 hours ago, VIP said:

I don’t Know why they’re insisting running R32’s on that line... it’s seriously like putting R32’s on the (E)  those cars should have been kept on the (J) / (C) or assigned to the (G) Line. And I really don’t want to hear/read “the riders on the (C) complain” or it Can’t be configured to 10-car sets on the line because of “spare factor”  that’s BS. 

Huh? The (A) is still mostly to fully R46s and the R46s are not any better either. It's not "seriously like putting the R32s on the (E)" when the line has always been using older cars for years on end. That statement is more true for the (J) (not anymore anyway since it is getting back to being mostly to fully NTTs).

How would assigning R32s to the (G) make the line any better when the R68/68As are relatively much younger than them? And if they kept the (C) / (J) swap in session, how the hell would the (C) become full length?

Edited by Jemorie

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5 hours ago, Jemorie said:

 

Huh? The (A) is still mostly to fully R46s and the R46s are not any better either. It's not "seriously like putting the R32s on the (E)" when the line has always been using older cars for years on end. That statement is more true for the (J) (not anymore anyway since it is getting back to being mostly to fully NTTs).

How would assigning R32s to the (G) make the line any better when the R68/68As are relatively much younger than them? And if they kept the (C) / (J) swap in session, how the hell would the (C) become full length?

The (G) is a short line and not as busy as the (A) 

what is to become full length?! It’s either they do it or don’t. R32’s can run in 10-car sets... you see the (A) ? It’s running 7-10 sets of Ten car R32’s... so what does keeping R32’s on the (C) or sending most of them to Coney Island have to do with hindering full length (C) service? 

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17 minutes ago, VIP said:

what is to become full length?! It’s either they do it or don’t. R32’s can run in 10-car sets... you see the (A) ? It’s running 7-10 sets of Ten car R32’s... so what does keeping R32’s on the (C) or sending most of them to Coney Island have to do with hindering full length (C) service? 

For many months I was skeptical of the R32s having any real impact on (A) service, as we've all been told on here that rolling stock doesn't matter. But gosh darn it, it's such a strange coincidence that as soon as ~25% of the (A) fleet became R32s, the service becomes unbearable...

At this point I just don't get it. Why keep 8 car R32s on the (C) and 8 car NTTs? The (C) was supposed to be nearly all full length by now, but no, it's still something like 3/4 8-car sets... wtf? It all feels so pointless.

6 hours ago, Jemorie said:

How would assigning R32s to the (G) make the line any better when the R68/68As are relatively much younger than them?

You just said it. It wouldn't make the (G) any better (for now), but you can't compare the (A) to the (G). One line is the longest in the system and carries many more people to many more important places, the other is, well, largely irrelevant at the moment (until the shutdown). My point is, the (MTA) has zero logic because logic would dictate place the most reliable rolling stock on the busiest and longest lines. And before anyone tries to excuse this with the whole "we're short on rolling stock" spiel, let me mention that the R32s could easily be put into 10-car sets to go on the (C) or get sent to the (B).

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7 hours ago, VIP said:

The (G) is a short line and not as busy as the (A)

So? As I said, the R46s are not any better either and the (A) has always been using older cars for years on end. The SMEEs are well known for either having slight tinier doors (R62s, R62As, R32s etc) or lesser amount of doors on one side of the train (R46s, R68s, R68As). The (A) has always been unreliable from the start and will continue to be so unless the line gets the NTTs. And a line being short-length is meaningless. I highly doubt that will change the R32s' breakdown rates especially since they are around 30,000 miles without a failure and the damn cars are near 60 years old (while the R46s, though not as old as the R32s, are near 45 years old). Same with the J/Z. The only part you (including U-BahnNYC) got right is It's just the areas that the (G) serves that make it less attractive compared to the other more popular lines like the (E), (F), (L), (2)(4), (5), (6), and of course the (A). So obviously you're not wrong there.

7 hours ago, U-BahnNYC said:

For many months I was skeptical of the R32s having any real impact on (A) service, as we've all been told on here that rolling stock doesn't matter. But gosh darn it, it's such a strange coincidence that as soon as ~25% of the (A) fleet became R32s, the service becomes unbearable...

At this point I just don't get it. Why keep 8 car R32s on the (C) and 8 car NTTs? The (C) was supposed to be nearly all full length by now, but no, it's still something like 3/4 8-car sets... wtf? It all feels so pointless.

You just said it. It wouldn't make the (G) any better (for now), but you can't compare the (A) to the (G). One line is the longest in the system and carries many more people to many more important places, the other is, well, largely irrelevant at the moment (until the shutdown). My point is, the (MTA) has zero logic because logic would dictate place the most reliable rolling stock on the busiest and longest lines. And before anyone tries to excuse this with the whole "we're short on rolling stock" spiel, let me mention that the R32s could easily be put into 10-car sets to go on the (C) or get sent to the (B).

1. But I was always under the impression that the R32s (despite their age and relatively high breakdown rate), like the NTTs, are better crowd handlers. They have an extra 16 additional doors on one side of a 600 feet long train compared to a 75 feet long train having only 64 doors on one side. Notice how the (MTA) has been reluctant to run any NTTs on the line for whatever reason. And I'm not surprised why. Also, remember, the R32s' side signages could also be a problem, as trains don't always spend enough time at 207th Street and a train coming north from Lefferts Blvd may get sent out as a Far Rockaway train and vice-versa. Depending on the crews. That's another reason why the (A) line employees don't like the R32s.

2. I agree. The (A) and (C) swapped cars fully back in the summers of 2011 and 2012 and both were able to run full-length trains at all times, despite shorting the (J)(Z) and (R) fleets a bit with 2/4 of the R42s from East New York and 2/4 of the (R) 's own fleet. Both lines can easily share the R32s and R46s at any given time as full-length trains at this point today.

3. Fine. 😑 I just don't see what difference would it really make since both the (A) and (G) would still be using old cars (till the shutdown) and the five-car R179s are not always guaranteed to be on the (A) solely especially since it is easy for them to end up on the (C) too. Hence "sharing" from both Pitkin Avenue and 207th Street.

 

Edited by Jemorie

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To make a long story short: I've noticed something very similar on the (F) when going home from my job to the Jamaica/179th Street terminal towards the end of the PM rush hour. I personally think they're on a pre-determined time schedule, and they adjust as necessary. The reason why I say this is because, one time, when going through Forest Hills/71st Avenue, 75th Avenue, Kew Gardens/Union Tpke and Briarwood, the Countdown Clock had it as if the (F) train was actually an (E) train and the (E) train that was right behind us was an (F) train.

Apparently Technology and Human Errors don't get along, which makes sense not only in this scenario, but for other things as well outside of the subway system and this website.

Edited by +Young+
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On 12/1/2018 at 1:37 PM, U-BahnNYC said:

For many months I was skeptical of the R32s having any real impact on (A) service, as we've all been told on here that rolling stock doesn't matter. But gosh darn it, it's such a strange coincidence that as soon as ~25% of the (A) fleet became R32s, the service becomes unbearable...

At this point I just don't get it. Why keep 8 car R32s on the (C) and 8 car NTTs? The (C) was supposed to be nearly all full length by now, but no, it's still something like 3/4 8-car sets... wtf? It all feels so pointless.

You just said it. It wouldn't make the (G) any better (for now), but you can't compare the (A) to the (G). One line is the longest in the system and carries many more people to many more important places, the other is, well, largely irrelevant at the moment (until the shutdown). My point is, the (MTA) has zero logic because logic would dictate place the most reliable rolling stock on the busiest and longest lines. And before anyone tries to excuse this with the whole "we're short on rolling stock" spiel, let me mention that the R32s could easily be put into 10-car sets to go on the (C) or get sent to the (B).

You have many good points here. The (C)should've been running nothing but 10-car R46 sets by now. It's been several months since the R32/R46 (A)/(C) fleet swap began. With 207th Street Yard being the new home for the majority of the R32s, you can't help but think that's where they might stay for good. We have credible sources advising us otherwise, but I sense plans have changed. Note that I did NOT say they are incorrect about anything. With that said, I hope the few problematic "individuals," and they know who they are, refrain from mocking up fantasy-based fleet assignment lists now that they've see this.

Edited by AlgorithmOfTruth

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1 hour ago, AlgorithmOfTruth said:

You have many good points here. The (C)should've been running nothing but 10-car R46 sets by now. It's been several months since the R32/R46 (A)/(C) fleet swap began. With 207th Street Yard being the new home for the majority of the R32s, you can't help but think that's where they might stay for good. We have credible sources advising us otherwise, but I sense plans have changed. Note that I did NOT say they are incorrect about anything. With that said, I hope the few problematic "individuals," and they know who they are, refrain from mocking up fantasy-based fleet assignment lists now that they've see this.

I agree with your analysis here, but I should also note the swaps are dependent on R179 deliveries which have been slightly delayed (most notably the 10 car R179s that should have been on the (A) by now). So it is a possibility that the moves may still be on, but just happen later.

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On 12/2/2018 at 3:01 PM, AlgorithmOfTruth said:

You have many good points here. The (C)should've been running nothing but 10-car R46 sets by now. It's been several months since the R32/R46 (A)/(C) fleet swap began.

It could totally happen. It's ridiculous how the (C) is still running 8-car R32s. Why not just make them 10-car? Also, why give the (C) new 8-car NTTs if the point is to have it be full length? Unless plans have changed and the (C) will remain short.

 

On 12/2/2018 at 4:05 PM, Around the Horn said:

I agree with your analysis here, but I should also note the swaps are dependent on R179 deliveries which have been slightly delayed (most notably the 10 car R179s that should have been on the (A) by now).

Either way, it's only 12 R179s. More swaps need to happen.

Speaking or R179s, since nobody on the official thread wants to answer my question (and this is a thread about the (A)'s reliability), can anyone tell me what the hell the 5-car R179 set has to go through before it can start revenue service on the (A)? What am I missing that makes it so different than a 4 car set?

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The A train very often has bunching, so one train will be >10 minutes away, and the new 2-3 with have 2-3 minute gaps during rush hour. Quick analysis of the timing from: http://toddwschneider.com/posts/nyc-subway-data-analysis/ shows "The A train has a notably flat and wide distribution, which explains why the first graph in this post showed that the A had the worst 75th and 90th percentile outcomes, even though its median performance is middle-of-the-pack."

It's been going on for more than the past few weeks, but maybe its just been more noticeable lately.

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