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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by Terry Kennedy
 
nyrmetros wrote:When PATH was first built, was there a choice between CTA and 3rd rail ?
PATH inherited the whole system from the H&M, except for the WTC station which they built to replace Hudson Terminal.

The original (1874-1882) phase of construction (pre-H&M) intended to use full-size steam equipment. The next attempt re-used the original work, but stepped down to a smaller size tunnel. By the time the H&M came along and started construction, they stepped down again. One of Jacobs' ideas was to run two "midget" cars side-by-side in a full-sized tunnel (the one that was furthest along - what is currently the NJ-bound side of the 33rd St. service). He gave up on that idea well before the H&M started any construction, instead going with (mostly) IRT-sized equipment and tunnels.

There's no clearance in tunnels like that for catenary. Not to mention the problems that would happen on the curves where a pantograph arm would hit the sides of the iron-ring-lined tunnel. A trolley pole with a single overhead wire (like the pre-reconstruction Newark City Subway) would have been technically possible, but not practical with multiple cars. I'm traveling now so I can't check to see if Jacobs' side-by-side sketches included trolley poles or not. I can check when I get home at the end of the month.

Even the 3rd rail has clearance issues - for some reason, the 33rd St.-bound trackage was built very low in the invert around the Morton St. curve - enough that the pickup shoes would hit the sides of the tunnel and arc. Since this is overrunning 3rd rail, the shoes are spring-loaded and will flop down if there isn't any 3rd rail. The H&M's solution was to put in a false 3rd rail made of wood on the other side, to keep the shoes up.

An early 1960's study the PA commissioned for suggestions to improve the system included raising the trackbed in this area, but that would have required service be shut down for an extended period for the re-grading, so the PA didn't do it. This caused a bit of trouble when the PA-1's arrived - the side bulge was intended to be above the level of the sidewall bench, but because the track was so low, lots of the bench had to be chipped away to obtain satisfactory clearance. The PA-series caused some other issues, too - the unidirectional crossover west of 9th St. didn't have enough clearance for them, and since that was actual tunnel rings, nothing could be done and the crossover was eventually pulled up. Even today, if a PA-series train runs westbound through the (normally) eastbound Grove St. station and crosses back to normal west of Grove St., the sway is sufficient to scrape the sidewall at the crossover if run at the maximum speed permitted by the signals.
  by nyrmetros
 
Yea there are a lot of CAT poles above the PATH line out to Harrison. Was Path ever CAT fitted?
  by OportRailfan
 
nyrmetros wrote:Yea there are a lot of CAT poles above the PATH line out to Harrison. Was Path ever CAT fitted?
MP52's used to run to Exchange place, but it was all contact rail for PATH, since the early days..

DC was the preferred traction power of the time
  by RedLantern
 
many19 wrote:....Why pay for removal of old stuff if you don't have to?...
Because they would likely make their money back and then some by selling the copper?
  by keyboardkat
 
OportRailfan wrote:
nyrmetros wrote:Yea there are a lot of CAT poles above the PATH line out to Harrison. Was Path ever CAT fitted?
MP52's used to run to Exchange place, but it was all contact rail for PATH, since the early days..

DC was the preferred traction power of the time
What's an MP52? Do you men MP54s?
  by OportRailfan
 
keyboardkat wrote:
OportRailfan wrote:
nyrmetros wrote:Yea there are a lot of CAT poles above the PATH line out to Harrison. Was Path ever CAT fitted?
MP52's used to run to Exchange place, but it was all contact rail for PATH, since the early days..

DC was the preferred traction power of the time
What's an MP52? Do you men MP54s?
probably. I may or may not have been on alcohol at the time.
  by HBLR
 
I gave this a real hard look over the last week, and i can say the lines through the freight yard up to the bridge are totally isolated from the northeast corridor. The line going towards newark from the underpass to newark are part of the anchor system for the electrified lines, but i'm not sure if they are electrified past the harrison station, they terminate at a pole with insulator anchors and may or may not tie in to the longer stretch going back towards the freight yard. This part is needed to maintain the curve coming off the bridge. This is just from my observations, and going towards the lift bridge there are too many lines to keep track of on a moving train, so i can't say for sure if the lines that anchor just past the harrison station are live or isolated, but they do perform a function for tensioning the "in service" lines it seems.
  by frank754
 
Even back at the turn of the century (1900), some interurbans chose to use third rail, especially those expecting higher traffic, as more current could be handled that way. Other notable examples included the Laurel Line (Scranton - Wilkes-Barre), the Wilkes-Barre & Hazleton, the line from Syracuse to Oneida, the NWP from Sausalito, CA to the northern suburbs, and the CA&E in Chicago. Some of these were dual-powered (cars also having trolley poles) for sensitive urban areas with a lot of street crossings.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Terry Kennedy wrote:
nyrmetros wrote:When PATH was first built, was there a choice between CTA and 3rd rail ?
PATH inherited the whole system from the H&M, except for the WTC station which they built to replace Hudson Terminal[/
quote]Also the Harrison Shops were built after PANYNJ took over.
  by MNR's #1 Conductor
 
transit383 wrote:While on the PATH train yesterday, I noticed there is about a mile or so of catenary still hung above the tracks. It runs from just about where NJ Transit's MMC is and ends right at the Hackensack River bridge. It is only hung over the eastbound track. Is there any reason this track still has the catenary or was this just an oversight when the rest of the wire was removed?

Was the catenary removal a Conrail move or a PATH move? Does Conrail still use those tracks around Journal Square or is it all PATH now?
If the wire is over PATH's tracks, it is their property and their call to keep it or take it down. AFAIK, none of PATH's equipment uses any form of catenary. As far as the Conrail SAO trackage thru Journal Square (the former PRR Harsimus Cove freight line), CSAO uses it largely to set up NS trash train 65J, which runs from here to Mingo Junction, OH. Often early afternoon, sometimes late morning, you can see the gray trash refuse container cars strung out on one of the tracks, as CSAO sets up the train for NS, and later NS takes 'em away down to the Lehigh Line and on their way westward late in the afternoon or early evening. AFAIK a CSAO local plies that line after hours, as I have been thru the area in the late evening and have seen NS/CR SWs and GP15-1s plying the line.
  by nyrmetros
 
Any updates on this? Has any of the cat been taken down or is it all still there?