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

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by Jo24Sam
Now I'm not that old so I'm only talking about trains of maybe 10-15 years ago.

I recall a West Hempstead express train. I think it was eastbound reverse peak, and made only Malverne and maybe Hempstead Gardens (?) between Valley Stream and W. Hempstead. I think it was used to rush in so that a westbound didnt have to wait as long for the single track to clear. Anyone remember that?

There was an eastbound weekend Huntington train, I think it left at 4:44PM and it made its first stop in Nassau county, making it the only weekend train to skip Jamaica.

I always thought, until recently, that the 5:29PM eastbound Ronkonkoma was a non-electric consist. To me it made sence to me that non electric equipment would run local to Ronkonkoma, arrive at 6:45PM, await the 5:41PM express from NYC at 6:49PM, then leave for Greenport at 6:53PM. I cant understand why 3 trains are used rather than 2.

I rememember Long Beach service going to Flatbush Ave almost full time. Aside from rush hour service to Penn, there were 2 non-rush trains that went to/from Penn, both still in service today. The 8:30PM eastbound and the 5:14PM westbound.

Anyone got any more from the 1980's and 1990's?

  by CTG
Good to find that there's another LIRR schedule buff out there. I recognized each of the examples you listed -- though I seem to recall that the West Hempstead train was a westbound express train during the PM rush that made only West Hempstead and Malverne. I could very well be wrong about the direction, though. I have a very specific recollection that the Malverne stop was at 6:43. Whether it was AM or PM I don't really know!! (talk about having useless information stored away in the recesses of your brain...)

There was -- until recently -- an odd situation on the Babylon branch. There is 1/2 hourly service all day with the exception of one hour-long gap westbound during the PM rush. Until recently, there was a train that ran in this gap but skipped Freeport, Baldwin and Rockville Centre. I always found that odd because these are three of the more heavily used stations on the line. Eventually, they just did away with the train entirely and now all stations have a one-hour gap.

Current scheduling oddballs:

Consecutive Penn-to-Long Beach departures at 5:20 and 5:23 PM. There are 8 PM peak trains directly from Penn to Long Beach. Why are two of them scheduled so closely together. This one has existed since the beginning of time.

2 Babylon branch reverse peak trains that make Freeport / Seaford / Amityville / Babylon. What's the logic behind Seaford and Amityville? And how does that compare to the logic behind the 3:16 AM train from Babylon to Penn that only makes Amityville / Wantagh / Freeport before Jamaica.

I've always liked "hidden" stops that one would never expect. Like the 4:39 AM local from Babylon to Penn that makes a stop at Valley Stream (typically the only Babylon train that does so). At various times, there have been trains from the Main Line that also made westbound stops at Queens Village and Hollis -- though there aren't any on the current schedule.

I'm sure others will come to mind.

  by Lirr168
CTG wrote:Good to find that there's another LIRR schedule buff out there. I recognized each of the examples you listed -- though I seem to recall that the West Hempstead train was a westbound express train during the PM rush that made only West Hempstead and Malverne. I could very well be wrong about the direction, though. I have a very specific recollection that the Malverne stop was at 6:43. Whether it was AM or PM I don't really know!! (talk about having useless information stored away in the recesses of your brain...)
I'm only 19, so maybe you guys are talking before even my time, but I'll offer what I recall about the 90s: I live two blocks from the West Hemsptead branch in the Westwood area, so the click-clack of the trains has been a part of my life since day one! I remember a non-stop that would come westbound through Westwood at ~5:25pm. I suppose it would simply have been an equipment train, but I can't shake the feeling that when I happened to be near the station I would see people on it as it came through.

Could this maybe be the one you're thinking of?

  by kuzzel540
Train 1501. The only direct train from East Williston to Floral Park.

Train 190. The only direct train from Valley Stream to Babylon.

  by RPM2Night
Yeah, that East Williston seems very odd to me. But, if it creates another job and helps people get to the city somehow, it's a great train.

I forget specifically which train it was, but it's a huntington bound train that starts in Penn Station later on in the morning (sometime after 9AM I think) that makes a regular stop at Floral Park, and then makes normal huntington train stops along the way after that (NHP, Mineola etc etc)

Those babylon trains that only make Freeport, Merrick, and Amittyville have PD/Speonk/Montauk bound connections once they reach Babylon, right? They probably have it set up like that to run western folks out east quicker than having a very local babylon train making the connection.

  by Jo24Sam
[quote]Train 190. The only direct train from Valley Stream to Babylon.[/quote]

This train is odd because its an express. After VS its Freeport than Babylon with a eastern connection out there.

Train 6004 on weekends... 1:50AM Babylon local from Penn with a Far Rockaway connection at Valley Stream!

Train 6003 on weekends... 1:31AM local from Babylon to Penn that makes a Far Rockaway connection at Valley Stream also. Whats odd here is there is a train taht leaves Babylon 17 minutes earlier (also a local). Thats a real short gap in off hours. I'm guessing its to bring home the weekend drunks that go to bars along Sunrise Hwy.

Train 2809 on weekdays... Starts in Valley Stream at 8:03AM then makes all stops to Penn.

I always thought Floral Park would get more use out of the mainline platforms. Most every train passing through there is direct to/from Penn versus Hempstead trains which have more stops then connections have to be made to get to Penn.

Those 2 back to back Penn - Long Beach trains do get alot of crowds. To my memory that 5:20PM express is always the first train to be canceled if there is any sort of equipment problems

  by RPM2Night
It might piss off a few people who are spoiled by that express...but, it's important to get those local stops too in that situation where they are short equipment.

  by checkthedoorlight
I always thought it was bizarre just how many trains that begin/terminate at Jamaica there are:

1402 - leaves Flatbush 8:48AM, arrives Jamaica 9:06AM, does not make any other stops -- I rode this train once, mostly out of curiosity, and there were maybe 6 other people in my car, yet it runs with a 10 car train.
1351 - leaves Jamaica 2:21PM, arrives Penn 2:40PM, with a stop at Woodside
1401 - leaves Jamaica 8:43AM, arrives Flatbush 9:01AM, stopping at ENY and Nostrand
1453 - leaves Jamaica 4:42PM, arrives Flatbush 5:10PM, stopping at ENY and Nostrand

It's also a bit bizarre how there's one morning train into Penn from West Hempstead, but no direct trains from Penn to WestHemp in the evening.

  by robertwa
How about the 3 morning eastbound trains that stop at Floral Park but then use the Main Line instead of the Hempstead Line. There are no corresponding westbound PM trains that do this.
  by henry6
I am not only glad to see that there are other LIRR timetable/schedule peruser nuts but just plain timetable/schedule peruser nuts in general. I have always found it fun pouring over timetables for hours to try to trace equipment and crew turns, meets, passings, etc.; first via public timetables then later discover my rights and wrongs from employee timetables (which often brings up more questions and conundroms!). Now I can at least tell my wife that I am not the only one!!!

  by NIMBYkiller
Montauk connections making Freeport are great for me. It gives Nassau folks a way out to the Hamptons. I get invited out there a couple of times a year and usually end up going N23->N40/N41->Babylon->E Hampton/Amagansett

Does the crew on 6004 actually announce the Far Rock connection at Valley? With some major schedule changes, I bet LIRR could run another train or two like this for the rush hour(Far Rock->Babylon in the morning).

Maybe once the 3rd track is built, you'll see more use of the Floral Park main plats, but for now I doubt it b/c there are so many trains on the main that adding another stop can really hold up the line.

Bob, which 3 trains is that. We already know there is the E Williston electric, but what are the other two westbounds that do this?

  by cpontani
I have boxes in my parent's attic of LIRR schedules from right around this era. It's been a thorn in their side, and I never had the storage space when I was renting, and now that I've bought a house, I've never had the time (or space in the car) to bring them down. They should dedicate a wing in Creedmoor for us.

I remember there used to be a couple of inbound weekday Huntington trains that hit Floral Park around 4am-6am. They used to actually waste a line on the PJ schedule with Floral Park (see note), and a bunch of dashes.

The East Williston electric train I believe has been in place since they electrified. I think plans were to electrify the branch, but the Pensy ran out of money. I can't find any sources... :(

  by robertwa
Does any one remember - maybe 10 years ago - when they put New Hyde Park and Merillon Ave. (maybe Mineola, too. I can't remember) on the green Oyster Bay branch timetables rather than the dark blue Port Jefferson branch timetables?

  by checkthedoorlight
henry6, you definately aren't alone. I've been like a kid on Christmas day ever since I picked up a recent LIRR ETT on ebay a couple months ago. I even plotted out most of the schedule in excel to try to figure out those same things, since unlike the MNRR ETT's, the LIRR ones don't list deadhead turns, even for the obvious ones (like trains ending at Great Neck, Farmingdale, Freeport, etc), nor do they list whether trains run via Montauk or Atlantic between Jamaica and Valley Stream, unless there's a station stop.....although it looks to me like 100% of the time, Far Rockaway trains will use Atlantic, and about 90% of the time, Babylon trains will use Montauk and Long Beach will use Atlantic.....I'm not sure about NYC-bound West Hemp trains, but it looks like it'd make more sense to send them via Montauk unless they're stopping at Valley Stream.

I've gotten all of the mid-line turns figured out...doing end of line turns is gonna be a bigger challenge. I figure Far Rockaway and West Hemp are gonna be easiest to figure out, since Far Rock's terminal only has two yard moves per day, and West Hemp only has one (907 out of the yard, and either 958, 960 or 962 into the yard). Here's one random one I haven't figured out yet - if there are 5 DM's entering NYP in the morning (6 if you count 2733 turning to 4108 and then returning as 1107), and 4 leaving in the evening, which run gets the 5th DM out of the West Side Yard and back to Speonk?

NIMBY - 1501 IS the only westbound non-Hempstead train that stops at Floral Park, and thus is the ONLY train all day that uses the mainline track 1 platform. 1606 (leaves Flatbush 4:54 AM, arrives Huntington 6:01AM), 1608 (leaves Penn 5:47AM, arrives Huntington 6:57AM) and 1612 (leaves Penn at 8AM, arrives Huntington at 9:10AM) use the mainline track 2 platform at Floral Park. Note that all four of these occurances are in the AM.

It is pretty odd the way that they print the current public schedules, especially since it gives the impression that half of the Far Rock trains only go as far as Valley Stream (when infact those are all Long Beach trains), and then a Long Beach traveller won't even know that his train is stopping at Rosedale/Locust Manor. Same situation with the Port Jeff timetable, since it's forced to print EVERY Oyster Bay and Ronkonkoma train that makes stops at Mineola and Hicksville....and meanwhile Ronkonkoma branch riders get surprised with stops at Westbury and New Hyde Park that weren't on their purple schedules.
  by henry6
What I miss most is the old "system" public timetables. LIRR especially. From it you could see better train (equipment) routings and connections so that you could move from one place on the railroad to another and back. Even with different routings, etc. Today you have to have copies of each route's tables and hope they are all printed in sync and that you don't drop one and the wind whisks it into Jamaica Bay.

But, I am curious. How can an Employee Timetable not show deadhead moves? Unless it is an employee use timetable or "system" table for employee convenience. But a railroad that still operates by timetable and train orders in many places has to show deadhead moves in their employee tables or they aren't operating properly; the timetable gives all train movement authorities, any other trains would be extras and would need seperate authorization. That would be too cumbersome.