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A few LIRR questions


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Hey Guys-


So here is my first set of questions about the LIRR, based on just observing some things as a rider:


1) Coming up on the Valley Stream substation, there is a track that branches off of the westbound Babylon track. From what I have looked at on the system maps, this looks like a branch-off for the West Hempstead line. However, there is only one track that branches off and not two like there usually are. How does this work with outbound and inbound trains with a single track? Does it eventually branch into two tracks?


2) Coming up on the Hunterspoint Avenue station, there is a single track that is blocked by two pieces of wood in an "X". This track starts to elevate above the other tracks heading westbound and eventually branches up and away and looks to meet up with a separate set of tracks that go southbound that are also elevated, but I never see any other trains on them. What are/were these tracks used for?


3) Whenever I am at Hunterspoint Avenue, I take a look over at the Arch Street Maintenance facility and for the last 3 months, I have seen car 7483, an M7, just sitting there. I thought at first she was waiting for maintenance, but after 3 months she is still sitting there. Anybody know the story on that particular car? Also, I frequently notice some Metro North M7's at the Arch Street facility as well. Does the LIRR handle overflow work for Metro North?


4) I thought that the diesel loco's that pull the C3 double-decker cars could not go into the tunnels or into Penn Station because of the exhaust gases not having anywhere to escape. However, I recently saw a set of C3's moving through Penn and the loco appeared to not have its diesel running. From what I've read on here, there is a subset of those loco's that are dual-mode and can run on electric. However, even when those loco's are on electrified parts of the rail (west of Jamaica), they are still running on diesel. Why wouldn't the LIRR run these on electric mode if they could and save the fuel?


Sorry for the extremely long post, but I'm glad I finally have a place to vent my curiosity! Thanks for any responses -_-

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1) The West Hempstead branch uses a single track. Since ridership is so low and it's so short this is possible


4) I'm not sure. I do know that only a limited number of DM30's from Montauk, Oyster Bay, and Port Jefferson head straight to/from Penn. They have to travel both in electric and diesel territory.

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The westbound dual modes have to switch to electric mode prior to entering Jamaica. Reason being if there's a problem with the switchover (those darned reliable engines), they can terminate the train at Jamaica and summon new equipment.


Concerning the wooden X crossing the tracks east of HP, I believe this is part of the cutoff to access the Lower Montauk branch (the Jamaica-LIC direct line) from the main line tracks. At least on Google Maps this appears to be the case.


The Arch Street Shop does not have LIRR employees, IIRC. Right now i'm fairly sure it's the shop where warranty work is done by Bombardier mechanics. Due to the unions, Bombardier employees wouldn't be allowed to work in an LIRR shop.

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4) The loco's are dual mode.


3) it may be used to shuttle workers around.


2) That connection was abandoned when 2 branches were abandoned & the extra connection was no longer needed.


1) That track is in service daily.


Hope that helps!


- Andy

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Looks like that track dates back more than 100 years during the PRR days. PRR operated trains from sunnyside for both systems. I'm glad it's blocked off, or an errant train might end up going to montauk instead of NJ! :(:cool::D


- A

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