Late night train lengths.

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

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railfan365
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Late night train lengths.

Post by railfan365 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:57 pm

What ever happened tot he late night pracitc of running short trains during non-peak overnight hours? It seems to have been a good pracitc all around, provided that it doesn't artificially create rush hour conditions at other times. For security, it plays on safety in numbers, by concentrating the passengers in fewer cars, and makes it easier for police and train crews to keep track of the crowds. And for basic railroading, it makes train operatoin less expensive, with less wear and tear on equipment, as in "why run 8 or10 cars, when 4 cars would be enough"?

R36 Combine Coach
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Re: Late night train lengths.

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:28 pm

Shorter overnight trains have generally been used on OPTO routes.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

railfan365
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Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:55 am

Re: Late night train lengths.

Post by railfan365 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:25 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:Shorter overnight trains have generally been used on OPTO routes.
With regard to OPTO, I'm aware of it existing on 2 lines: The Franklin Avenue Shuttle, on which each train consists of 2 R-68's with the wide cabs facing out, with OPTO at all times, and the G line where each train consists of 4 R-46's or R-68's with a wide cab at each end and OPTO during late nights and weekends and a conductor on board the rest of the time. The 42nd Street Shuttle is described as having OPTO, even though each train runs with a 2 perosn crew consisting of 2 train operators who are assigned one to each end of the 3 car train and they swap duties at each terminal with one driving and the other handling the doors and announcements.

My point is to ask: Which other lines have OPTO, anyway?

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bellstbarn
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Re: Late night train lengths.

Post by bellstbarn » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:52 pm

I think you have asked two separate questions on topics close to each other. The OPTO question is fairly new, and I believe it is subject to agreements with the TWU. (I could be wrong.)
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As I recall, in the late 1940's both the IRT and the BMT operated short trains off hours. That's the origin of the old enamel signs on the BMT, "Trains stop at Center of Platform." Two other factors are at work: The labor needed to halve the trains after midnight and to rejoin them at 5:30 a.m.; and the crowds that can occur at any time of night in mid-Manhattan while the same train has light ridership nearing the outer terminals.
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Under Mayor Robert Wagner, Jr., I believe, maybe around 1963, we had a crime wave in the subways. Reacting to newspaper prodding, the city announced there would be a uniformed officer at every station in the subway at night and a uniformed officer on every train. (They forgot the havoc when some high schools let the teenagers leave all at once.) At the same time, the city announced that the rear half of each train would be closed in the middle of the night. As I recall it, within a year, the police presence diminished and the trains were opened their full length, just because of the loading problems midtown.
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All the above is subect to faulty memory.

R36 Combine Coach
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Re: Late night train lengths.

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:35 pm

The same policy of having a cop on each overnight train was repeated in 1986 under David Gunn when NYCTA was beginning to overhaul its image and improve the safety and condition of the system. To improve safety, shorter trains were operated during off-peak schedules.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

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