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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by SeptaFan235
Hi there. I had a quick question about the NYC Subway and how the train operators monitor passengers getting on/off trains at the train stations. Is there a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) on the trains that the train operator can see to know when to leave the station and to be sure that there are no passengers trying to get on/off trains before leaving the station? I rode the NYC Subway a little less than a year ago and I have always wondered how that works because I do not recall seeing the operator look out onto the platform of the station when I was getting on/off trains to monitor the passengers getting on and off, so I thought maybe they use something like a CCTV on the trains? Does anyone know how this works?

  by bellstbarn
You did not see the train operator (motorman) look out the window because on most trains there is a conductor (doorman, guard) half-way back in the train. As the train arrives in the station, he drops his window and waits for the train to stop with him opposite a striped board. He then points to the board (acknowledging that the stop is correct, with neither front nor rear hanging off the platform), and he opens the doors. I have been told that in closing the doors he first looks rearward and closes those doors when they are clear, then looks forward and safely closes those. I believe he is required to observe the platform as the train leaves, but sticking one's head out while the train is moving could prove fatal.
A ten-car train has the conductor at the forward cab of the sixth car. As a generalization, our equipment is now formed in four-car or five-car sets, and the conductor would be wherever the set meets. In some places the conductor is assisted by tv screens at the striped board.
On certain routes, there is OPTO (one person train operation). I'm uncertain whether every stop on those routes has a tv screen adjacent to the operator's position. Most of the OPTO trains are half the length of regular service. I believe that the L line, which uses 8 60-foot cars regularly has new screens at the operator's stopping point.
When people argue that one-person operation is the norm on other systems, such as Paris, I point to the 600-foot length of many trains. Of course, the TA wants to go to full OPTO, but they are introducing it first on trains with short trains.
When I guide strangers about our town, I show them the striped boards that indicate the conductor's position on most routes. For safety, I would urge a person to board a car near that position or anywhere from the front to the conductor's position. At least in years past, the rear car was the "club car" of rude conduct.
The oddest situation is at the 42nd St shuttle where OPTO was introduced as two-person one-person operation. An operator is stationed at each end, acting as operator in one direction and as an over-qualified conductor the other direction. I don't know if it's called TPOPTO.
All the above is subject to correction by more knowledgeable people.
  by R36 Combine Coach
The 42 Street Shuttle has been doing so since the mid 1990s with the R62As (full cabs). The operator at rear serves as conductor.
  by railfan365
keithsy wrote:Only as a courtesy when he is operating with a conductor. He is not required.
There is no conductor. The 42nd Street Shuttle always operates with a motorman at each end, and they take turns - in either direction, the one at whichever end is then the "front" drives the train, and the other on works the doors. There is no conductor in the middle of the train.
  by Kamen Rider
that statement was in general, I think, not just the shuttle