Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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NaugyRR
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Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by NaugyRR » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:42 pm

Hey folks,

My girlfriend and I are going down to the city in January for the NYBG Train Show, and she would like to see the Statue of Liberty. Instead of dishing out for the Circle Line, I'd like to try taking the ferry since it's free. I've never been to Staten Island and was wondering if it'd be worth taking a joy ride the length of the SIRT and back?

I was also thinking about riding PATH out to Newark and back from WTC, which is another trip I've never done. I've been on the NEC a couple of times through the area, but never on PATH.

We're staying overnight at a hotel a couple of blocks from the Battery, so time isn't much of an issue.

Thanks!
- Jesse
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by GirlOnTheTrain » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:16 am

Do the ride out to Tottenville just so you can say you did it and cross it off your list. There's nothing particularly interesting. If you walk west from St. George Ferry terminal towards the SI Yankee (Pizza Rats? Cuz I think they went by that for a game this past season, lol) stadium, you can look down into the abandoned Ball Park station.

PATH is a fun ride, and if you're doing the WTC-NWK trip during the week, you might get this guy as your conductor. PM me if you want interval times, I can find them out, lol
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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by Allan » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:43 pm

NaugyRR wrote:Hey folks,

My girlfriend and I are going down to the city in January for the NYBG Train Show, and she would like to see the Statue of Liberty. Instead of dishing out for the Circle Line, I'd like to try taking the ferry since it's free. I've never been to Staten Island and was wondering if it'd be worth taking a joy ride the length of the SIRT and back?

I was also thinking about riding PATH out to Newark and back from WTC, which is another trip I've never done. I've been on the NEC a couple of times through the area, but never on PATH.

We're staying overnight at a hotel a couple of blocks from the Battery, so time isn't much of an issue.

Thanks!
- Jesse
If you are going to the train show at the NYBG, you will not doubt be in Grand Central Terminal. Make sure you see the model train layout in the NY Transit Museum Store & Gallery (to the left of the Station Master's office) .

The SIRT runs every half hour so if you decide to do a ride plan for it accordingly (SIRT trains do not necessarily meet the SI Ferry schedules so you may have to wait for one or the other).

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by NaugyRR » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:18 pm

Thanks Allan,

I usually try to stop at the train show at the museum annex during Christmas time, they do a nice layout. We'll actually be taking the Harlem Line down to Grand Central first (I usually take Empire trains, but I'd prefer schedule flexibility for that weekend), going down to the hotel and unloading our stuff, then coming back through later in the evening for the train show. I got us tickets for the Bar Car Nights (no kids, lol) and bought a couple round trips to Botanical Garden from GCT for us. I know the subway's cheaper, but not being as familiar with the area I'd rather be dropped right outside the front gate, and just catch the 4 to/from Bowling Green.

I'll keep the SIRT schedule in mind. I think the only things that she really wanted to do were hit up Ferrara's bakery and eat on Mulberry Street, and see the tree at Rockefeller. The tree we can check out at any time, and Mulberry I'll feel her out on and see when she would like to do it. I was thinking about catching the first through train out of Wassaic on Saturday morning and seeing if the hotel will hold our bags until check in, then doing the ferry/SIRT first.
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by Head-end View » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:18 pm

Between the SIRT and PATH, if you don't have time for both, I'd opt for the PATH Newark ride. It's the shorter but more interesting of the two, though you can't see out the front on either one anymore. PATH has nice new trains too, whereas SIRT is operating old R-44's from the 1970's. Staten Island Ferry is an excellent (and free) ride, has a good view of the Statue of Liberty and lots of other good stuff.

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by Allan » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:01 pm

NaugyRR wrote:Thanks Allan,

I usually try to stop at the train show at the museum annex during Christmas time, they do a nice layout. We'll actually be taking the Harlem Line down to Grand Central first (I usually take Empire trains, but I'd prefer schedule flexibility for that weekend), going down to the hotel and unloading our stuff, then coming back through later in the evening for the train show. I got us tickets for the Bar Car Nights (no kids, lol) and bought a couple round trips to Botanical Garden from GCT for us. I know the subway's cheaper, but not being as familiar with the area I'd rather be dropped right outside the front gate, and just catch the 4 to/from Bowling Green.
......
MetroNorth from GCT to the NYBG is the best way to go. The 4 at Bedford Park Blvd (Jerome Av) or the D at Bedford Park Blvd (Grand Concourse) are quite a walk to/from the NYBG. Most people take the Bus from the stations (Bx26 toward Co-op City) to the NYBG.

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by NaugyRR » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:18 pm

Head-end View wrote:Between the SIRT and PATH, if you don't have time for both, I'd opt for the PATH Newark ride. It's the shorter but more interesting of the two, though you can't see out the front on either one anymore. PATH has nice new trains too, whereas SIRT is operating old R-44's from the 1970's. Staten Island Ferry is an excellent (and free) ride, has a good view of the Statue of Liberty and lots of other good stuff.
Thanks for the tips Head-End. I may try to do both. I've done the Circle Line's night cruise a couple of times, but the other tourists I've found are a bit rude, even with the pricier seating option. During the last Autumn Express a couple of passengers in my car suggested the ferry, especially since it's free.

Seeing as I'll already be in Staten Island I'll probably just do the SIRT and cross it off the list like GoT suggested, and might sneak a ride on PATH from WTC as well. I'd like to take my girlfriend to the memorial and maybe grab lunch from Shake Shack around the corner, so may just say, "Hey babe, let's take a quick ride since we're already here", haha. I was originally thinking about taking her to the Transit Museum, but I've done it a bunch of times already, and figured we could save it for a trip in warmer weather. She would like to check out the Intrepid and the High Line (I've done both several times), but I told her the flight deck may be a bit cold in early January, lol.



Allan, my thoughts exactly on the train show. I usually do Google Streetview to/from places I've never been just to get a sense of the territory, and it does seem like a long/cold walk, especially at night. Our hotel is right near the Bowling Green station, so connecting to GCT from the 4 is no issue whatsoever for the convenience.
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by ExCon90 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:04 pm

One point of interest on the SIRT is that you're riding what is actually a subway car operating at ground level through primarily suburban/quasi-rural areas, with barrier-free entry to the platforms from local roads. There was a time when there were manually operated crossing gates, but I think the grade crossings are long gone.

And on the ferry, don't miss the view from the north end of the boat, going and coming, of the Manhattan skyline -- better than you'd get from the Statue of Liberty ferry. And on the return trip it can be interesting to stand well forward and watch the boat heading straight for the cribbing (?) between two slips, and watch as the forward end of the boat moves sideways with the current to slide smoothly into the slip just as it looks like you're going to crash.

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by NaugyRR » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:15 pm

That's why it's always been of interest to me; it's sort of like New York City's version of the Isle of Wight Railway, a quasi-interurban utilizing rolling stock that should otherwise be underground. Unfortunately on my trips to the city I've never really had a reason to go to Staten Island, so now that I do I'd like to gain the experience.

I remember watching a video on YouTube not terribly long ago with old footage of the classic boxy SIRT rolling stock, and as you mentioned, crossing gates.
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by rr503 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:38 pm

Definitely do the SIRT. Dunno if you're a signal lover, but the line is signalled with CPLs. Most are now dwarfs, but IINM there are still full sized installations at Tompkinsville and on the gantry south of Stapleton (those are the ones that come to mind; I'm sure there are more).

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:12 am

NR: Visiting Staten Island would be a good idea provided your significant other would not mind
the ride - which I recall is around 14 miles from St. George to Tottenville and takes about 40
minutes one way. I suggest that you pick up a copy of the NYC Transit Staten Island Bus Map.
This map also has information about the SIR and the Ferry services included. The fare for SIR
is paid with a Metrocard at either the St. George or Tompkinsville Stations (the first two stops
on the route) on either entry or exit - no other fares are required at any other stations. SIRT
serves areas on Staten Island that are mostly suburban type - with more densely populated
city-type neighborhoods in the northeast segments and more open out towards Tottenville.
Keep us all posted on your decisions to ride either the SIRT or PATH...MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by NaugyRR » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:04 am

Thanks rr503 and MACTRAXX for the input. Watching some videos on YouTube last night, I did notice the CPL signalling, in particular in this video by FanRailer https://youtu.be/WmINSu9COVk?t=378. It's interesting to see that the B&O/PRR heritage still exists here on an MTA line, a subway agency known for their own distinctive signalling. Does the SIRT use trip-cocks like the rest of the subway? Also, I noticed that on the lead out of Clifton's shop there is a sign that reads "Cab Signal Begin"; is the SIRT cab signaled as well?

MACTRAXX, the info on the fares is very helpful. On my return to St. George, would we need to swipe out again to get out of the system, paying for two rides? Likewise for PATH, at Newark, would we need to re-swipe to return back to WTC?
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:13 am

NR: Thanks for the thoughts and reply. I will add this fare information:

If you use one pay-per-ride Metrocard upon entry to the Subway you can pass it back to your
companion to pay their $2.75 transit fare to go to South Ferry. The Ferry ride is usually about
25 minutes in duration. The two encoded transfers on the card - provided they are used within
two hours 16 minutes elapsed time from your first entry - will get you on the SIRT. When you
go back to Manhattan you use your Metrocard at St. George to exit SIR and then have two valid
NYCT transfers to use to board the Subway (or a bus) after your return Ferry ride.

PATH accepts pay-per-ride Metrocards for the same $2.75 fare (no transfers allowed) for fare.
Newark (and Harrison) are the two places on PATH in which one must pay again to re-board.
At other PATH stations from Journal Square and east staying in the "paid" area is possible.
See: http://www.panynj.gov/path" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by ExCon90 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:06 pm

On the link to the video by FanRailer, if you scroll down to the clip referenced Nassau to Tottenville, there's a caption indicating that they now have cab signaling, with waysides at interlockings. At 7:40 there is a Medium Approach, at 8:30 an Approach Medium, and at 9:17 a Medium Clear (the bottom white orbital marker is almost obscured by the third rail), which at least gives more useful information than the "Stop-Go" you find elsewhere in such installations. It looks as though the SIRT may be the last stand of the B&O color-position signals.

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Re: Leisure Ride on the SIRT? Maybe PATH?

Post by NaugyRR » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:59 am

Well, we ended up doing neither, haha.

It was cold and rainy and nasty all day on Saturday, so we decided waiting half hour for the return trip on the SIRT alongside the shoreline was better saved for another day, and PATH won't be running weekend trains from WTC until next year.

We did ride the ferry, which was a fun, fast ride, and she got to see the Statue up close, and had lunch at the Shake Shack around the corner from the WTC, next to the movie theater. Afterwards we grabbed a train uptown from Fulton Center and got off at 14th Street to walk the High Line and eventually head over towards GCT.

The weather cleared while we were on the High Line until we got to the West Side Yard, and then it was basically sleet, and of course the 7 wasn't running out of Hudson Yards. Fed up with the weather, we grabbed a train uptown from Penn and transferred over to GCT on the shuttle.

Taking Metro-North to NYBG was a great idea, and there were quite a few other passengers who did the same. The Bar Car Nights was super fun, and the train display was amazing, deff worth the price of admission.

Yesterday the weather was actually decent. We grabbed Dunkin' from the ferry terminal in the morning then caught an R-train uptown to Canal Street. Canal Street was a little sketchy, but Mulberry was cool. In the warmer weather I'd like to go back and try one of the small Italian joints. The pastries from Ferrara's were really good.

Back at Grand Central I stopped by the Transit Museum Annex to see their layout and see what's new in the store. I ended up picking up my first Morning Sun book, "Metro-North in Color", which at $60 I was a little hesitant buying, but after reading a few chapters on the train home, quickly changed my mind.

We ended up catching the 1:10 train home yesterday afternoon, and of course it was snowing here once we got back. Oh well, it was a fun trip despite the weather.
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"

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