Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by strench707
 
Hello all!

I just have a few questions in regards to NYP so I would like to thank anyone who is able to help in advance.

First Question:

What are those signals used in NYP? Name? Have they always been there? And if anyone has any decent pictures of them I would love to see it.

Second Question:

Where are all the places those funky signals are used? I know they are used in the Hudson Tubes, in NYP itself but I was wondering about whether they were used on the line that connects to the MNRR Hudsons Line, also if they are used in the East River tubes and finally if they are used in that LIRR Yard in Manhattan.

Third Question:

What has become of that large mail platform down there? Is it gone or just sitting there? Is it used? And was it high level (box car door height) or low level/close to the ground?

Fourth Question:

I understand that some tracks are electrified with 3rd rail. I have heard that NYP uses a double stacked system where there is a MNRR third rail stacked above a LIRR third rail so both the Amtrak P32AC-DM's and the LIRR trains can use them. I was wondering which tracks had the 3rd rail. I am assuming not all of them had it. Are some tracks only one kind or are they all stacked? Do some have 3rd rail but no catenary.


Thank you very much

Davis
  by JimBoylan
 
Penn Station always had L.I.R.R. style 3rd rail, never N.Y.C. style. Amtrak Diesels were converted after they left Grand Central. New Haven Diesels had 3rd rail shoes that could use either type of rail.
  by ExCon90
 
First question: No particular name that I know of; they simply displayed the night aspects of the semaphores that were used all over the railroad in 1910. When position lights were gradually introduced system-wide later on, the signals remained in place. In the brief glances I've had at them in recent years it appears that they have been replaced with new equipment, but displaying the original aspects.

Second question: They were installed in the North and East River Tunnels and in Penn Station itself because clearances did not permit semaphores, and while color-light signals of that day were not easily visible in bright sunlight, they were clearly visible in the tunnels. From what I can tell from photographs of the earliest days they used semaphores at all outdoor locations.
  by strench707
 
JimBoylan wrote:Penn Station always had L.I.R.R. style 3rd rail, never N.Y.C. style. Amtrak Diesels were converted after they left Grand Central. New Haven Diesels had 3rd rail shoes that could use either type of rail.
So if the Amtrak diesels were converted to LIRR third rail then I must assume they run diesel even where MNRR third rail is present up the Hudson Line. Also, by Amtrak diesels you are referring to the P32AC-DM's?

Also if anyone has any insight on which tracks within the station have the third rail that would be appreciated.
ExCon90 wrote:First question: No particular name that I know of; they simply displayed the night aspects of the semaphores that were used all over the railroad in 1910. When position lights were gradually introduced system-wide later on, the signals remained in place. In the brief glances I've had at them in recent years it appears that they have been replaced with new equipment, but displaying the original aspects.

Second question: They were installed in the North and East River Tunnels and in Penn Station itself because clearances did not permit semaphores, and while color-light signals of that day were not easily visible in bright sunlight, they were clearly visible in the tunnels. From what I can tell from photographs of the earliest days they used semaphores at all outdoor locations.
That makes sense. Those tunnels look way too cramped for any PL's or even full tri light signals. I would be interested in what aspects they can display whether they are that of a single headed signal or can display every aspect a double headed signal could display.

If anyone can dig up any pictures of these that would be most appreciated.

Thanks

Davis
  by timz
 
strench707 wrote:I must assume they run diesel even where MNRR third rail is present up the Hudson Line.
As do the MN diesels.

Penn Sta colorlights can display all three colors on the top unit and I think all three on the bottom. Total of... five aspects?

Dunno if they ever had third rail on tracks 1-4-- presumably they don't now. But it must be on tracks 5-21.
  by strench707
 
timz wrote:As do the MN diesels.

Penn Sta colorlights can display all three colors on the top unit and I think all three on the bottom. Total of... five aspects?

Dunno if they ever had third rail on tracks 1-4-- presumably they don't now. But it must be on tracks 5-21.
I wonder why if the MNRR diesels work with the 3rd rails why they dont just use them and save the diesel for north of Croton Harmon.

Here's a pic of the NYP signals (courtesy of Jersey_Mike) :
http://acm.jhu.edu/~sthurmovik/Railpics ... Signal.jpg

I assume the top left is a Green Light, the top right is a Yellow and below the two is a Red Light. Then below that there is the signal name board. Below the signal board is another Red which seems to light up in unison with the top one. Below that however I cannot make out what kind of bulb that is (maybe a yellow or a lunar white?).

My theory is that they operate like a single head dwarf with just the two reds for STOP.

However, if someone will eb able to identify the bottom bulb as a color then maybe they could operate like a double headed signal.

------------------

I am looking over Rich E. Greene's charts (this one in specific: http://www.richegreen.com/MNRRv6.pdf) and I think what your saying makes sense.

The tracks 1 to 4 just stub out so yeah it would make sense not to have a third rail. I think some LD trains going South originate off those tracks though. The 5 track stubs out but it also curves back into the bowl. I wonder if its stub is electrified. Maybe that track is where the LSL originates/terminates.

I am also going to assume that the 1E through 6E tracks don't have third rail because they just stub out. I think that also hold true for the 1A-3A and 5A stub tracks.

The tracks that are controversial to me now are the 1C through 10C stubs. They are near the L.I.R.R. platforms so they might be 3rd rail electrified for those trains but I dunno about Catenary.

Some clarification here would be great.

Finally this photo by Jersey_Mike of the "diagonal platform I am going to assume is the old Mail Platform. Maybe, maybe not?
http://acm.jhu.edu/~sthurmovik/Railpics ... atform.jpg

Thanks all for the help!

Davis
  by JimBoylan
 
Of course, all tracks had 3rd rail when new, and the more complicated switches had overhead 3rd rail. This started to change about 1930, when catenary was installed. Amtrak Diesels that can use 3rd rail in Penn Station cannot use Metro North 3rd rail on the same trip. 1st, they would have to have the shoes changed, usually at Rennselaer Shop.
  by ExCon90
 
To strench707, you are right on the colors; the bottom one is amber, the same as the top right. Aspects are:
Green over red - Clear
Amber over red - Approach *
Red over amber - Restricting
Red over red - Stop
* In an employee timetable from 1963, the special instruction reads "trains exceeding slow speed [15 mph] must at once reduce to that speed," whereas the standard Rule 285 (Approach) at that time required a reduction to medium speed [at that time, one-half the maximum authorized speed for passenger trains, not exceeding 30 mph]. It seems a little like overkill, since if the MAS for passenger trains in NYP did not exceed 30 mph (I don't have an ett handy), the existing Rule 285 would have covered it.
The special instruction referred to above also stated that the signals were in service between the east portals of the North River tunnels and the west portals of the East River tunnels; however, there were similar signals in the tunnels themselves (for obvious reasons I never got a close look at them) which could also display yellow over green (Approach Medium). Additionally, since at that time the East River tunnels had manual block for movement against the current of traffic by signal indication, there were also distant signals at braking distance from the home signals which could display green over yellow** for Clear and yellow over yellow** for Caution (Rule 285A), and home signals equipped to display red over two reds side by side, the standard PRR night aspect for manual-block signals. You could see these from the rear vestibule of a Long Island train running with the current of traffic.
**These were the night aspects for distant signals in manual-block territory, having a semaphore arm with a fishtail blade plus a yellow marker to the right of the mast below the top arm.
  by strench707
 
Thank you for the very detailed response.

Just a quick clarification:

The green over red
and
Amber over red

Is those the bottom reds that they are over or the farthest up reds?

Also in red over amber is it the top red over the lowest amber?

Thanks

Davis
  by ExCon90
 
strench707 wrote:Thank you for the very detailed response.

Just a quick clarification:

The green over red
and
Amber over red

Is those the bottom reds that they are over or the farthest up reds?

Also in red over amber is it the top red over the lowest amber?

Thanks

Davis
Green over red and amber over red use the lower of the two reds; i.e., the 2nd lens from the bottom.
Yes -- it's the top red over the bottom amber.
  by strench707
 
Okay thank you very much for the clarification. What's wild to me is that there are a ton more of these signals in the East River tunnels than the Hudson tubes even though the Hudson line has less tracks. Maybe more volume?

Davis
  by ExCon90
 
Originally the North River tunnels had signals at about the same intervals as those in the East River tunnels (I think about a mile apart), but as part of the whole Secaucus Jct. project, Amtrak resignaled the portion from HUDSON to "A" to provide for cab signals without wayside signals except at interlockings (you don't notice it much while crossing the Meadows because the interlockings come one after another and you're hardly ever out of sight of an interlocking home signal). Over the weekend I asked a friend of mine who was involved in the project, and he said that since once you enter the tunnel there are no interlockings until "A" they took out all the waysides except for one controlled home signal at the bottom of the grade which dates from the beginning -- I never knew about this before -- designed to hold trains for which no route was immediately available into Penn Station. They didn't want to allow a heavy train to proceed to "A" and hold him at the home signal there because the entire train would be on an upgrade at that point and starting it could be a real problem. However, stopping the train at the hold signal at the bottom of the grade would mean that the entire train was still on the downgrade from the west portal, and when they had a route available to a platform and cleared the signal, when the engineer released the brakes the train would give the locomotive a little bit of a push-start to let it find its feet by the time the whole train was on the upgrade. (How one thing leads to another -- if you hadn't started this thread I never would have asked my friend about it and I still wouldn't know about that hold signal at the bottom of the dip under the Hudson River.)

RELATED QUESTION: Would someone please list the interlockings in order from DOCK to "A"? Or are Amtrak etts available on a website somewhere that's accessible to "civilians"?
  by strench707
 
Thanks for the thoroughly detailed response. If no one answers your question by Tuesday night then I will step in with the answer because that's the soonest I can pick up my 2008 charts.

Davis
  by GE-RULES
 
DOCK (8.5) Movable Bridge
REA (7.8) R-DOCK
HUDSON (8.3/7.2) R-DOCK
SWIFT (7.2) R-Section A Dispatcher
PORTAL (6.0) Movable Bridge R-Section A Dispatcher
LACK (5.1) R-Section A Dispatcher
ERIE (4.7) R-Section A Dispatcher
ALLIED (4.0) R-Section A Dispatcher
BERGEN (3.7) R-PSCC
CP MID (1.8) R-PSCC
A (0.2) R-PSCC
  by ExCon90
 
GE RULES: Thankyouthankyouthankyou. I could never sort out ERIE, LACK, and ALLIED. I take it CP MID is the hold signal at the bottom?