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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by Rightbackatchya
Hi all,

As someone relatively new to NYC, one very basic observation of the MTA subway experience is that it is a very jolty ride. Acceleration and deceleration is fast (as though the power:weight ratio is relatively high) and perhaps that's exacerbated by the lash between cars.

But my biggest surprise and question to the track knowledgeable folk out there is: why is the nyc subway track geometry seemingly so bad? Or is it clapped out bogies that don't match the track or a bit of both?

There is a lot of lateral jolting (left to right with respect to direction of travel) and roll (about the direction of travel axis). It's almost as though the left track varies from the right track in both vertical and horizontal directions.

I've seen the MTA's track geometry car wheeling around and I trust it picks up imperfections in track geometry to the nth degree, but something isn't right. A ride in the NYC subway is a bit like what a ride in a 19th century mining cart would be. :-D

Also: I'd be super surprised if I'm the first to raise this, so if there is an existing convo about this, please advise.


  by Backshophoss
It's nearly impossible to redo a "Tamping"run to level the tracks as the tie stubs are encased in concrete.
What car type were you riding? Some car types ride better than others.
AS a 24 hour operation the track/rails are pounded on a constant basis.
  by Rightbackatchya
By the tie stubs being encased in concrete - are these original (from the turn of the 20th century) or do these get replaced every few decades?

I frequent the A. The newest trains are a bit better, but all have a significant bounce, roll etc.
  by Rightbackatchya
Uptown A directly outside 135th on express track feels like I’m rolling about in a boat in a storm