Expresses slowing long before stations

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

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Tom Curtin
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Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by Tom Curtin » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:47 am

SInce I live on the west side I regularly use the 1-2-3 line and notice the following: expresses tend to slow quite a long way in advance of each express stop, in my layman's opinion a lot more than normal juducious operation calls for. This seems so consistent that I am coming to the conclusion that it is a rule.

Examples: a southbound express begins braking for 42d St when passing 50th St. local station. The same train begins braking for 14 St before passing 18th St; and braking for Chambers St before passing Franklin. The train then runs the last several blocks approaching each station at a fairly slow speed. I do not recall this was always the case. I can say with certainty that the signals are clear and this is NOT due to catching the signals of a train ahead. What's this about? Again, I see this very consistently.

Fan Railer
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by Fan Railer » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:51 am

and you are positive that by "clear" you mean straight green and no station timer setup....

RearOfSignal
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by RearOfSignal » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:02 pm

If there are ST signals, then the last timer signal would show clear just as it is passed.
Hurry up and wait at the signal!

Trainmaster5
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by Trainmaster5 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:48 pm

Every instance you've pointed out is at the entrance to a timed area. That's the reason for the slowdowns.

Tom Curtin
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by Tom Curtin » Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:35 am

Well, that explains it

Tom

Head-end View
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by Head-end View » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:24 pm

Yes, station timers are the issue. It's especially maddening when approaching Chambers St. on the downtown express, as the original poster said. It was so much more fun to ride back before station timers and full-width cabs. Those #2-3 Expresses used to fly right along in Manhattan. The only place between 34th St. and Chambers where they still make really good time is around the curve just north of Houston St. :(

Patrick Boylan
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by Patrick Boylan » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:13 am

Are these station timers timed correctly? Were they running trains too fast, unsafely, in the days before station timers? I assume the timers are supposed to be set to keep trains from going dangerously fast.

Head-end View
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by Head-end View » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:51 pm

I know of one very serious incident many years ago on the Lexington Ave. (4-5-6) Line where an intoxicated motorman came in too fast and caused a serious derailment with multiple casualties, etc. It was sometime after this that station timers were installed at many locations in the system. I don't know if it was because of that specific incident, or whether the TA had planned these safety upgrades anyway. But, they have noticibly slowed down the normal approach to many stations as the original poster described............ :(

railfan365
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by railfan365 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:42 am

Head-end View wrote:I know of one very serious incident many years ago on the Lexington Ave. (4-5-6) Line where an intoxicated motorman came in too fast and caused a serious derailment with multiple casualties, etc. It was sometime after this that station timers were installed at many locations in the system. I don't know if it was because of that specific incident, or whether the TA had planned these safety upgrades anyway. But, they have noticibly slowed down the normal approach to many stations as the original poster described............ :(
The crash referred to was at Union Square in early to mid 1991.

Head-end View
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by Head-end View » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:13 am

One interesting part of timed signals though. On those few trains that you can still see out the front of, it's cool to watch the signal aspects change as the train approaches at correct speed. The DeKalb Ave complex in Brooklyn on the former BMT routes was especially interesting, but there are no more front views on those lines since the R-40/42's were retired.

But you can still catch an old PATH train coming up the hill into World Trade Center; there are timed signals there. I don't really understand why they need them on an upgrade into a station, but I guess the PA is guarding against an engineer coming into the WTC loop too fast. Check that one out while you still can, before all the old trains are gone.

48toNYP
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by 48toNYP » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:05 am

Does the timer setup not exist on local tracks? Going back to the original poster's example, In addition to experiencing the express' speed governing, I've been on locals in the late evening where an express 2 passes my 1 at 59th, we catch up and pace the train until 50th, then overtake and come screaming into 42nd. It happens several nights a week for me. Does the setup of 42nd make higher speed arrivals less troublesome on the local track?
Jim

error46146
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Location: New York City

Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by error46146 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:44 pm

The MTA has this habit of putting timers on the express track but not the local track, especially at local stations..
Stand clear of the closing post, please...

keithsy
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by keithsy » Sat May 21, 2011 7:06 pm

error46146 wrote:The MTA has this habit of putting timers on the express track but not the local track, especially at local stations..
Try Church-Nostrand s/b. The whole west side IRT has been time down since 1985 when the old orginal signals were replaced with the more mordern IND signals.

HarlemBoy
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by HarlemBoy » Fri May 27, 2011 4:15 pm

Well in some cases Express Trains Slow Down Before Entering Stations because it could either be on the path to switch tracks or theres a certain speed limit entering the station. take the 5 for example:

before the train reaches gun hill road express during rush hour the train slows down at the station before because of the limit being 25mph do to the incline and descent before the station.
M7 Speeding Down The Harlem Line To Grand Central

TCurtin
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Re: Expresses slowing long before stations

Post by TCurtin » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:26 am

I'm the guy who started this topic. As I stated originally I live on the "West Side IRT line" (and being of a certain age I still like that term) and regularly experience everything we're talking about here. In general I think the uses of electronics to second-guess the motorman have become excessive and are creating an environment in which the operation isn't as crisp as it used to be. These "Station timers" are an irritation. So is the equipment's being governed for a max speed of 48 mph. Is all this really called for? Now that i've raised this monster I'm sure some of you will hasten to jump down my throat for having the temerity to question the value of safety devices, but it seems to me that the operation was perfectly safe when I rode these lines as a college student in the 60's, before all this technology existed.

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