Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by RPM2Night
henry6 wrote:
MNRR_RTC wrote:I remember one train on a Saturday that was a DM express to Montauk making Babylon it's first stop. I believe it was the 8:21am out of Jamaica. Sometimes it went down the Montauk branch and sometimes we would go on the mainline and cut across the central branch to Babylon. Either way, it was a nice way to ride to Islip on a Saturday.
Isn't that the summer schedule for the Cannon Ball? OR was. All parlor, too. Actually came out of L.I. City at one time.
the C-Ball still does originate at LIC. The equipment does atleast...I'd have to look at the book and see if HPA is the actual 1st regular passenger stop.
  by peconicstation
the C-Ball still does originate at LIC. The equipment does atleast...I'd have to look at the book and see if HPA is the actual 1st regular passenger stop.[/quote]

HPA is the 1st passenger stop for the Cannonball and it usually pulls into HPA at least 15 minutes early, and then lets passengers board. Quite a contrast to the cattle call boarding during the PM peak at Penn.

The equipment does not always come from LIC, a few times while waiting for it, the train set came in from the west.

A few summers ago, due to trackwork, HPA was closed, and all the diesel trains that originate from HPA, including the Cannonball originated at LIC.


  by RPM2Night
I always forget, when did they terminate service beyond Port Jeff? How many stops were there after Port Jeff? How much longer did it take to travel between Pt Jeff and Wading River?

  by kuzzel540
Peanuts wrote: Also... The last DM set runs as an equipment train from West Side to Jamaica and lays up there all day and then in the morning runs as an equipment train from Jamaica to Speonk, I think train 5730...

Is that the train I hear going through MS at about 3:30 am? It would be nice if that actually made all stops to Speonk. That would be better than taking train 2002 to KO, and having to drive back.

  by checkthedoorlight
there are quite a number of deadhead runs which really would benefit the riders if they were revenue. Off the top of my head, a number of reverse-peak runs out of LIC and HPA, particularly the ones that continue in service at Jamaica anyway. Likewise I know the late morning run from Montauk ends in revenue at Jamaica, but immediately keeps going to LIC - why kick off the passengers at Jamaica?
Everyone: It is hard to believe that the Ronkonkoma Branch Electrification is now in its 20th year of successful operation! As many of you know this service began gradually with service to Bethpage then Farmingdale in 1987 then later that year all the way to KO. The 19th anniversary of full KO service is January 18th. Does anyone have pictures and memories to share herein? I feel that this is a significant LIRR milestone anniversary and I wonder-Does the LIRR plan to commemorate this - especially one year from now? I will say that the only drawback is the single track sections between Republic and Deer Park and to a lesser extent Brentwood to Central Islip. No one realized how successful it would be - an example is Ronkonkoma is the 2nd busiest outlying station in the LIRR system. Memories and observations from MACTRAXX P.S. TO THE MODERATOR: Please post this as a new topic as I meant this to stand alone-I am having internet trouble and I do not want to lose this posting-THANK YOU - MACTRAXX

  by cpontani
I remember that my father was still taking the LIRR, and he noted the difference between the M-1's and M-3's were the lack of armrests along the windows. He said you'd hear people's heads thumpping on the windows expecting their elbows to be caught by the armrest. What does that have to do with the price of tea from China? He said that the reason they got the M-3's was because of the Ronkonkoma service.

  by Jo24Sam
Wow, I never thought when I started this thread it would explode like this, nice.

A few more...

The 5:41 PM weekday Hempstead to Penn train oddly skipped Country Life Press. 5:41 is the current train time departure, it may have been slightly different when it was 'express' 5+ years ago.

Currently, the only Brooklyn train to skip Jamaica is the 5:29PM to Huntington train, first stop Westbury (in the past I believe it was either Hicksville or Syosset). How much demand for an FBA express is there (is it crowded?) when only 2 AM Huntington trains serve FBA direCtly.

I miss the schedule degisnations of "J" and "T" for City Zone stations. "J" meant that there was a direct connection at Jamaica, usualy across the platform, and "T" meant there was a transfer with a wait time at Jamaica. This really made alot of sence and I know they took it away so that too many letters would confuse 'Joe Tourist' or whatever. "C" was used instead of "T" for outlaying transfers on the railroad (Rokonkoma for Greenport, Valley Stream for W. Hempstead, ECT...)

Current oddity - The 4:33PM Long Beach to FBA train skips Lynbrook. Lynbrook gets service from a Babylon train at around the same time the Long Beach train passes. Growing up along the Long Beach branch made this seem very odd since nothing skipped Lynbrook.

Last one... Its weird that the only AM inbound rush hour Greenport train connects with a super local train to Flatbush Ave. in Ronkonkoma. The real connecting trains are the next 2 trains after the local, as both make their last local stops in Suffolk County and arrive in the city at the same time as the local or 8 minutes later than the local. I cant see a poor sap commuter taking the train at 5:30AM from Greenport only to transfer to a local train for the second leg of his AM commute.

Keep this thread going!
Last edited by Jo24Sam on Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Everyone: I wish to answer questions about the West Hempstead and Oyster Bay branches. I checked my TT collection and I came up with the following: WH Branch: In the morning there was a train #904-this train ran up to early 1992 with the last TT showing this train was 11/18/91. This train stopped at Malverne at 6:39 and WH at 6:45 am. In the 6/8/92 TT this was a new train #902 - local arriving WH at 6:41am. In the evening there was a nonstop express WH-Jamaica leaving at 6:25 pm-#959 that ran until the 10/13/86 TT. With the 1/26/87 TT, this was changed to #961 leaving WH local at 7:01pm. With the 11/16/89 TT,train#902 was brought back-this time as a local at that same 6:25pm. As for the Oyster Bay Branch, the TT was combined with the 1/18/88 TT change. This TT mentioned on the cover "ALL SERVICE MINEOLA-MERILLON AVENUE-NEW HYDE PARK NOW COVERED IN THIS TIMETABLE" - The date of full KO Electrification. Train 1501 from East Williston was the last remnant of the Main Line electrification prior to 1970-electric trains would turn at EW to not tie up the Main Line. Info from MACTRAXX
  by henry6
checkthedoorlight wrote:there are quite a number of deadhead runs which really would benefit the riders if they were revenue. Off the top of my head, a number of reverse-peak runs out of LIC and HPA, particularly the ones that continue in service at Jamaica anyway. Likewise I know the late morning run from Montauk ends in revenue at Jamaica, but immediately keeps going to LIC - why kick off the passengers at Jamaica?
Several reason why not: need to clear opposing trains; need to clear interlockings and other confilicting moves somewhere; need to get time for equipment to be serviced and "turned"; need to place equipment in yard for proper return movement or placement; crew times (add stops,you add time to the schedule, time to crew's day); crew has to turn around even if equipment doesn't; not enough passengers and next train not too far off; market research says no need for service. And I am sure there are dozens more reasons...and excuses.., too.

  by robertwa
There used to be a 5:07 PM express to Hempstead that made first stop Bellerose - and used to have a bar cart in the 6th car (1970's and 80's as I recall).

  by CTG
Great recollection on the train that skipped Country Life Press -- I always wondered how much time that could really be saving...

I also grew up near the Long Beach Branch (in Oceanside, but closer to the East Rockaway station -- which is half in Oceanside anyway...). There were a couple of AM inbound peak trains that skipped Lynbrook in the late 80's when I had a summer internship in the city. If I remember correctly, there was actually one which skipped Lynbrook but stopped at Valley Stream -- that never made any sense to me, because there wasn't any Babylon service at Lynbrook during the AM peak.

There was also a 1:23 or 1:36 eastbound that went express Jamaica to Centre Avenue. And don't forget train 878, which was the only Long Beach branch train that made St. Albans.

Another current Babylon branch oddity is the scheduling for 1017 / 1019 / 1021. Most peak Babylon trains make stops according to the old Zones 5, 6 or 7 in Nassau. 1017 makes Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin then express to Penn skipping RVC. 1021 follows as a local from Seaford to RVC before heading to FBA, then 1019 follows that originating in Wantagh and making Bellmore, Merrick and RVC before going express to Penn.

That combination creates an odd scene where passengers from Freeport and Baldwin who miss 1017 will take 1021 and transfer at Rockville Centre for an express to Penn. There's probably 25-30 people making that transfer each morning (based on my observation of 4-5 people per car on a 6 or 8 car train).

  by CTG
Also, re the odd Babylon express trains from my first post.

#16 - 7:10 AM NYP/Jamaica/Freeport/Seaford/Amityville/Babylon
#22 - 7:49 AM NYP/Wdside/Jamaica/Freeport/Seaford/Amityville/Babylon
#7 - 3:16 AM Babylon/Amityville/Wantagh/Freeport/Jamaica/Wdside/NYP

#'s 7 and 22 have diesel connections at Babylon -- so I get the rationale behind having express trains. I just don't understand the stops. All day long, the express connections at Babylon either run express or make Freeport only. What's going on in Wantagh at 3:27 AM that warrants an express stop (especially when there's a local 30 minutes later)? Or with #22, Why Seaford and Amityville? Is there some kind of business there that has many reverse-peak commuters -- more so than any other stops on the line?

And what's the deal with #16 -- express, with a strange stopping pattern and no connection at Babylon? Is this just a case of running express in order to get to Babylon quickly to turn and become a late rush hour train?

As you can probably tell -- this combination of 3 trains has bothered me for quite some time. At some point, I'll probably end up heading out to Babylon at 3:00 AM to ride #7 in person.

  by CTG
OK -- 3 posts in a row for me. I promise to stop after this one...

One of Jo24Sam's recollections reminded me of one of my favorite LIRR schedule trivia questions.

Name the only electrified station that doesn't have direct AM peak service to Flatbush Avenue. (other than East Williston, Pinelawn and the stations that don't have direct track into Flatbush PW branch, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, etc.)

  by LI Loco
In the 1970s, there was an express that left Long Beach around 8 am, stopped only at Lynbrook and proceeded direct to NYP. It was preceded by a few minutes by a Brooklyn-bound local that made all of the intermediate stops.

Passengers, including yours truly, would board the local at the intermediate stops and change at Lynbrook for the express.

Today, both the Brooklyn local and New York express make all stops to Lynbrook (as do all trains on the Long Beach branch). A second New York train follows five minutes after the express, a situation similar to that with the 5:20 express and 5:23 local from NYP to Long Beach in the eastbound evening rush.