The frustrating 10 second pause

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

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hi55us
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The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by hi55us » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:31 am

I was riding the 1 train over the weekend and when it arrives at south ferry(its southern terminal) it has a frustrating 10 second pause before the doors open. Normally I would not mind, but I was in a rush to catch the SI ferry. Why does this long pause occur?

Allan
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Allan » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:11 pm

hi55us wrote:I was riding the 1 train over the weekend and when it arrives at south ferry(its southern terminal) it has a frustrating 10 second pause before the doors open. Normally I would not mind, but I was in a rush to catch the SI ferry. Why does this long pause occur?
At terminal stations, the arriving conductors are required to set up the train fro the next trip out in the opposite direction. That means that the conductors position shifts from the 6th car to the 5th car (which would be the 6th car going in the opposite direction). Because of the way the door controls are set up and operating procedures, this should only be done when the train is in the station and the doors closed.

The 10 seconds is the time it takes for the conductor to go from one cab to the other and initialize the door controls (and then open the window and point to the stopping board as required by procedure)

Head-end View
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Head-end View » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:48 pm

I don't get it. Can't the conductor open the doors from the "old" position, then close them if necessary, switch cabs and make the changover before re-opening the doors for the new passengers to board? I don't think the exiting passengers should have to suffer that kind of delay, especially when many are trying to catch the boat.

Trainmaster5
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Trainmaster5 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:42 am

Head-end View wrote:I don't get it. Can't the conductor open the doors from the "old" position, then close them if necessary, switch cabs and make the changover before re-opening the doors for the new passengers to board? I don't think the exiting passengers should have to suffer that kind of delay, especially when many are trying to catch the boat.
Your method adds an extra step to the procedure. The proper way, as was pointed out, is to open and close the doors one time. This cuts down on the customer injuries caused by door closing accidents.

Head-end View
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Head-end View » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:53 pm

Yes, but it seems to result in unreasonable delay to riders waiting to exit the train to catch the ferry. That kind of thing causes people to hate the subway or the railroad. The doors should open promptly when the train stops. The subway system should implement procedures that strive for the best possible customer-service to encourage ridership and good public-relations, and yes safety, too.

railfan365
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by railfan365 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:25 pm

I've been wondering for years: Why does the conductor have to switch cabs at the end of a line? Why can't the cab in either of the middle two cars be good for door control going either way?

RedLantern
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by RedLantern » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:29 pm

If 10 seconds often means "make or break" for catching your boat, maybe this means you should leave earlier.
Trains aren't dangerous, it's lack of common sense that's dangerous.

Trainmaster5
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Trainmaster5 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:06 am

railfan365 wrote:I've been wondering for years: Why does the conductor have to switch cabs at the end of a line? Why can't the cab in either of the middle two cars be good for door control going either way?
1- conductors are required to only open doors when the train is stopped at a c/r's indication board. That's the raised black/white striped board usually located at the middle of the platform. If the c/r is not spotted "on the board" the c/r must not open the doors unless ordered to do so by a higher authority. Put simply, when the c/r is " on the board", all doors of the train will open onto a platform.
2- With the advent of video monitors the c/r must change his/her operating position at terminal for basically the same reason. The leaving c/r must be "on the board" when leaving the terminal so that any c/r's indication boards or video monitors encountered will be in the same place at all stops.
Before the question is asked let me state that there are no 26 or 32 inch monitors out there in the field so the train must be stopped at a precise location at all stops or there will be a delay, or worse, if the procedure is not followed correctly. There are also no 6 foot c/r's indication boards out there so the c/r must change operating positions at the terminal. For the oldtimers out there who remember the c/r operating outside, between the cars, he didn't have to change positions because he would always end up " on the board" because he was in the middle already.

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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Head-end View » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:01 pm

Trainmaster, thanks for an interesting and informative post. I still have a few questions. First, how long is the "Conductors' Board"? Isn't it long enough to be seen from the cabs of either of the 2 cars at the middle of the train? And I was only aware of video monitors being installed at the train operators' position at the head-end of the platform for OPTO. Where and why do they need any monitors at the conductors' location? Would it be for curved platforms?

I applaud the Transit Authority's orientation to safety, however customer convenience should be factored into the equation too. They went to all this effort and expense to build a fine, new South Ferry Station and then they subject the riding public to this nonsense? The doors should open promptly when the train stops in the station. No excuses when the conductor is continuously stationed in the cab at the door controls ! It's not like on a commuter railroad, where the conductor is collecting fares and may be delayed getting back to the cab to open the doors.

Trainmaster5
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Trainmaster5 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:26 am

Head-end View wrote:Trainmaster, thanks for an interesting and informative post. I still have a few questions. First, how long is the "Conductors' Board"? Isn't it long enough to be seen from the cabs of either of the 2 cars at the middle of the train? And I was only aware of video monitors being installed at the train operators' position at the head-end of the platform for OPTO. Where and why do they need any monitors at the conductors' location? Would it be for curved platforms?

I applaud the Transit Authority's orientation to safety, however customer convenience should be factored into the equation too. They went to all this effort and expense to build a fine, new South Ferry Station and then they subject the riding public to this nonsense? The doors should open promptly when the train stops in the station. No excuses when the conductor is continuously stationed in the cab at the door controls ! It's not like on a commuter railroad, where the conductor is collecting fares and may be delayed getting back to the cab to open the doors.
I have seen conductor's boards almost 3 feet in length. It's long enough to be seen from both cabs BUT the train must stop at a position where the conductor's operating cab must be centered on the board. As for the video monitors if you work the IRT lines a conductor will encounter many curved stations, especially in Manhattan, where this no direct line of sight to observe the whole platform when closing the doors. The customer convenience is taken into consideration, hence the strip maps, automated announcements, etc., but the subways and railroads are being run by the bean counters and lawyers these days, not transportation people. Back when I was a C/R I would try my best to help the customers catch the ferry or the last connecting bus to the suburbs but if I did that today you would catch your ferry or bus and I'd be demoted or fired. BTW the 10 second pause happens at all terminals these days, so don't feel singled out at South Ferry. As an aside, there is also an "integrity test" for C/Rs where the indication board is removed completely to see if the C/R will still open the doors. Imagine being caught up in that one. Open up and you're OOS on the spot. Never mind if you've worked that line for years and KNOW that the spot is between the only 2 staircases on the station. The board may be gone but the staircases haven't moved, right? Tough luck pal. You're OOS on the spot.

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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Head-end View » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:55 pm

Thanks again for another informative post. How do they run that integrity test? (chuckle!) Do they cover the board with something or do they physically remove it? And when the train comes in and the conductor doesn't see the board, what do they do then? Continue to the next stop, or sit there staring at the station wall? Or call the dispatcher?

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a wise guy here............I appreciate the importance of these rules. I remember maybe 20 years ago, there were a couple of incidents that resulted in the rule requiring conductors to actually point a finger at the board before opening the doors.

Trainmaster5
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Trainmaster5 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Head-end View wrote:Thanks again for another informative post. How do they run that integrity test? (chuckle!) Do they cover the board with something or do they physically remove it? And when the train comes in and the conductor doesn't see the board, what do they do then? Continue to the next stop, or sit there staring at the station wall? Or call the dispatcher?

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a wise guy here............I appreciate the importance of these rules. I remember maybe 20 years ago, there were a couple of incidents that resulted in the rule requiring conductors to actually point a finger at the board before opening the doors.
The board is physically removed, although the mounting hardware is still there. The supervisors are also hiding nearby, watching. The C/R must communicate with the train operator and the command center with station location and the problem. Usually the supervisors on the scene will identify themselves and give the C/R permission to open up and congratulate the C/R for passing the test, speeding up the process. If it's not a test but vandalism instead the C/R will take the same steps about notification but must also make the added step of walking to the rear of the train, making sure all doors are abreast of the platform. This is in conjunction with the train operator's notifying the C/R that the front section of the train is indeed abreast of the platform. That's just an overall outline of what it entails. The finger pointing was to make sure that the C/R actually saw an indication board when the train stopped as there were instances where doors were opened where there was no platform, or on the wrong side where there was a platform. The NTT trains are set up so the T/O has ultimate control of which side the doors open and the C/R must wait for the T/O to energize the circuit.

Kamen Rider
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by Kamen Rider » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:45 pm

Wasn't there also something about them not wanting the CR to cross while the train is moving?
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railfan365
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by railfan365 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:41 pm

Trainmaster5 wrote:
Head-end View wrote:Thanks again for another informative post. How do they run that integrity test? (chuckle!) Do they cover the board with something or do they physically remove it? And when the train comes in and the conductor doesn't see the board, what do they do then? Continue to the next stop, or sit there staring at the station wall? Or call the dispatcher?

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a wise guy here............I appreciate the importance of these rules. I remember maybe 20 years ago, there were a couple of incidents that resulted in the rule requiring conductors to actually point a finger at the board before opening the doors.
The board is physically removed, although the mounting hardware is still there. The supervisors are also hiding nearby, watching. The C/R must communicate with the train operator and the command center with station location and the problem. Usually the supervisors on the scene will identify themselves and give the C/R permission to open up and congratulate the C/R for passing the test, speeding up the process. If it's not a test but vandalism instead the C/R will take the same steps about notification but must also make the added step of walking to the rear of the train, making sure all doors are abreast of the platform. This is in conjunction with the train operator's notifying the C/R that the front section of the train is indeed abreast of the platform. That's just an overall outline of what it entails. The finger pointing was to make sure that the C/R actually saw an indication board when the train stopped as there were instances where doors were opened where there was no platform, or on the wrong side where there was a platform. The NTT trains are set up so the T/O has ultimate control of which side the doors open and the C/R must wait for the T/O to energize the circuit.
Which railroad is NTT?

railfan365
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Re: The frustrating 10 second pause

Post by railfan365 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:44 pm

Trainmaster5 wrote:
railfan365 wrote:I've been wondering for years: Why does the conductor have to switch cabs at the end of a line? Why can't the cab in either of the middle two cars be good for door control going either way?
1- conductors are required to only open doors when the train is stopped at a c/r's indication board. That's the raised black/white striped board usually located at the middle of the platform. If the c/r is not spotted "on the board" the c/r must not open the doors unless ordered to do so by a higher authority. Put simply, when the c/r is " on the board", all doors of the train will open onto a platform.
2- With the advent of video monitors the c/r must change his/her operating position at terminal for basically the same reason. The leaving c/r must be "on the board" when leaving the terminal so that any c/r's indication boards or video monitors encountered will be in the same place at all stops.
Before the question is asked let me state that there are no 26 or 32 inch monitors out there in the field so the train must be stopped at a precise location at all stops or there will be a delay, or worse, if the procedure is not followed correctly. There are also no 6 foot c/r's indication boards out there so the c/r must change operating positions at the terminal. For the oldtimers out there who remember the c/r operating outside, between the cars, he didn't have to change positions because he would always end up " on the board" because he was in the middle already.
Interesting summary. But what do they do in left side opening stations where the conductor's position will vary slightly based on the type of train -such as R-32's and R-44's running on the C line?

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