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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

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  by OportRailfan
 
Amtrak7 wrote:
Head-end View wrote:I took a ride on PATH yesterday and the results were startling. Last time I rode (in September) there were still plenty of old trains running, and if a new one was in the station when you arrived you could usually catch a PA-1 thru 4 just by waiting for the next one.

Well a lot has suddenly changed in the last two months. Yesterday I did not see a single old train running on any line at mid-day. PA-5's everywhere. As I waited at Newark, checking out the NJ Transit and Amtrak action, I finally gave up when the fourth PATH train in a row was another PA-5. This after riding PA-5's from 33rd to Hoboken, a little side trip on HBLRT, and then another PA-5 from Exchange Pl. to Newark. Then the final insult, having to endure a boring PA-5 ride from Newark to WTC. It just ain't the same, watching only out the side windows and not seeing those timed signals change as the train goes upgrade into WTC. Ya' wonder why they couldn't at least have a tinted window in the cab door like NYCTA's R-160's have. You can see out of them outside the tunnels at least.................

Last winter I predicted, as the new trains were coming into service, that PATH railfanning would be over by the end of this year. Looks like I was pretty close to the mark. I saw what looked like a dead line of PA-1 thru 4's sitting outside the Meadows shops, and a few old trains tied down in the yard west of Journal Sq. station. I guess they're only using the old cars now during rush hours?
Deja vu, just like the LIRR M-7's some years back. There's hardly any front window railfanning left in the New York City area. We might as well hold a wake. :(
No! I am planning a PATH railfan trip for a weekend around Christmas...Are there any running at all?
There are still a couple of old sets roaming the system
  by Amtrak7
 
OportRailfan wrote:There are still a couple of old sets roaming the system
Rush hours only?
  by Fan Railer
 
Amtrak7 wrote:
OportRailfan wrote:There are still a couple of old sets roaming the system
Rush hours only?
Yes.. but if you're planning to wait till Chrismas, tough luck finding one by then...
  by OportRailfan
 
Amtrak7 wrote:
OportRailfan wrote:There are still a couple of old sets roaming the system
Rush hours only?
They're still used then. I think they also use them as protect/extra sets
  by Head-end View
 
I rode the system again today and to my pleasant surprise, had a little better luck. At mid-day there were a few old trains running and I caught one from Newark to WTC. Unfortunately, we were held at Newark from a 1:15 departure to almost 1:40, supposedly because of signal trouble. And the train got pretty crowded. But, I had my spot at the front door window ! :-D

Although there were a few old trains running today, the new trains now predominate the system. So if you're looking to get a last ride in, do it very soon. As I predicted earlier, I think the end is very near. :(
  by Amtrak7
 
Well, I'm planning the trip on the only weekday opportunity I have: The Black Friday PM "rush hour".

Those of you who have experience filming out the RFW: Where are they likely to catch you, if any?
  by Head-end View
 
Amtrak, be aware that photography is prohibited on PATH. If the conductor in the first car sees you filming, you may find police waiting for you at Journal Square, Newark, or WTC I would guess. :(
  by OportRailfan
 
Head-end View wrote:Amtrak, be aware that photography is prohibited on PATH. If the conductor in the first car sees you filming, you may find police waiting for you at Journal Square, Newark, or WTC I would guess. :(
It's possible that could happen, but most conductors if rode with don't care as long as they don't see it/you aren't getting in the way of operations.
  by Terry Kennedy
 
Amtrak7 wrote:Those of you who have experience filming out the RFW: Where are they likely to catch you, if any?
You're supposed to get a photography / video permit. That's not going to happen for personal use - the PA expects these requests to be for things like TV shows (believe it or not, "Law & Order" used to use PATH to stand in for the NYC Subway because PATH was easier to deal with) and to get paid lots of money. And you need a rush hour train set, when they wouldn't allow commercial use anyway.

Having said that (and not suggesting you do it)...

If you're in a crowded car and the train has left its starting terminal (so you won't be spotted by the engineer), it is unlikely that the conductor is going to try to get through the crowd to you. Be sure to be packed up and unobtrusive before the last stop. If you're doing this going into WTC, be aware that the conductor will come to the front of the car after Exchange Place if the car is one of the ones where the end destination sign is changed by the conductor (look for the key plate to the top left of the door, and a flap in the ceiling to look at the setting of the sign). Not all of the cars have this configuration - in some, the end sign is changed by the engineer from the cab. This won't happen at other stations since the crew just changes ends.

You'll want to shoot through the end door, and not through the window next to the seats - that windows is actually 2 panes of glass several inches apart, which wll give you all sorts of nasty reflections and glare, not to mention 20+ years of grime on the inside of both sheets of glass.

The end door will have grime on the outside, so you'll need to wiggle around to find the cleanest spot. You don't want to press the camera up against the glass, or you'll get blur from vibration. The further away from the glass you get, the more reflections you'll have (bad). Ideally, you want some sort of light-blocking rubber bellows between the camera and the door glass. Think of something like a giant black suction cup, but with a hole for the camera lens. You may get water splatters on the glass from drips in the tunnels or rain outdoors. These will show up as out-of-focus blobs, particularly when shooting in the tunnels, because the camera will use a wide aperture and have little depth-of-field.

I've shot through the glass this way (with a permit, BTW) and had very good results:

Image

The biggest issues in the tunnels will be the camera "focus hunting" because things are moving, and dealing with parts of the image blowing out from the contrast of the bright lights. Outdoors in daylight isn't nearly as much of a problem, though the camera will get confused if you're shooting when the train comes out of the tunnel into the light.

If you can actually get a permit, the best thing to do is to arrange for the first car to be cleared of passengers, the interior lights turned off, and the door's window sash dropped. The last time I did this, PATH required a hard hat and safety goggles. You'd also want to use a tripod, since the wind will interfere with holding the camera steady. It also helps to have the engineer operate the train with the high beams on.
  by Amtrak7
 
Terry Kennedy wrote: If you're in a crowded car and the train has left its starting terminal (so you won't be spotted by the engineer), it is unlikely that the conductor is going to try to get through the crowd to you. Be sure to be packed up and unobtrusive before the last stop. If you're doing this going into WTC, be aware that the conductor will come to the front of the car after Exchange Place if the car is one of the ones where the end destination sign is changed by the conductor (look for the key plate to the top left of the door, and a flap in the ceiling to look at the setting of the sign). Not all of the cars have this configuration - in some, the end sign is changed by the engineer from the cab. This won't happen at other stations since the crew just changes ends.
Thanks for the advice!

I just discovered my camera can film with the LCD screen closed, which should make it less suspicious. To avoid the first stop problem, just don't start filming before the doors close
  by Amtrak7
 
Head-end View wrote:I rode the system again today and to my pleasant surprise, had a little better luck. At mid-day there were a few old trains running and I caught one from Newark to WTC. Unfortunately, we were held at Newark from a 1:15 departure to almost 1:40, supposedly because of signal trouble. And the train got pretty crowded. But, I had my spot at the front door window ! :-D

Although there were a few old trains running today, the new trains now predominate the system. So if you're looking to get a last ride in, do it very soon. As I predicted earlier, I think the end is very near. :(
They aren't as rare as you think during middays: on the HOB-WTC, I only had to let 1 PA5 pass by, same for 33-JSQ. There was one waiting at 33rd for the line to HOB. As for NWK-WTC, I just missed one during the rush.

Too bad I will probably not see them again. The cars aren't in horrible shape, though. They're still pretty nice.
  by Head-end View
 
Thanks Amtrak7...........I will be taking another ride in a few weeks, so we'll see.
  by Head-end View
 
Took another round-trip today WTC-Nwk. And the news is bad. The only old trains I saw today (in-service) were on the WTC-Hob service. None for my ride to Newark and back. Waited for 2 trains in each direction. And there are now fewer old trains on the sidings at JSQ and at the Meadows complex too. BTW, they are running 8-car trains WTC-Nwk.
  by Fan Railer
 
Can someone explain this?
http://www.panynj.gov/about/gtr/gtr-081110.html
PATH to Purchase 10 Additional Cars:

The Port Authority Board August 5 authorized the agency to exercise an option under the PATH Railcar procurement contract with Kawasaki Rail Car Inc., to purchase 10 additional rail cars at a total cost of $15 million. These 10 cars will augment the original 340-car purchase of new PA-5 cars from Kawasaki. Many of the new cars are now in service and more are being added to the fleet on a regular basis to allow us to meet future capacity needs.
  by Head-end View
 
I guess they want 10 more cars................What's your question?

BTW, has anyone ridden the system in the last week or two? Anyone been able to catch an old train, or are we now past the point of no return?
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