• Removing The Secret Minute at the Terminal Station

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

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by hxa
Kelly&Kelly wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:16 pm We can probably answer a specific inquiry if it regards operations. We've plenty of experience around the place and love sharing the 187 years of transportation excellence with our admirers.
Sorry I didn't mean offence. Years ago, someone posted an article on his blog, claiming that lirr padded its schedule, up to 30%. Is this the case or there's something wrong with his methodology? (i.e. oversimplification)

https://pedestrianobservations.com/2015 ... cheduling/
  by photobug56
I get that RR's have to build in SOME extra time. And I accept that (hadn't heard that claim before). I do think that there are problems with this amazingly old schedule - some easier to fix than others. Like I've no idea why that one EB train would pull out of HP every single night and then sit for 15 to 20 minutes. To me that seems like really bad scheduling. Reminds me of someone in MTA when they still ran buses in Nassau, who for decades made sure that a certain bus route (to NorthShore University Hospital) always pulled out of the LIRR station in question a minute or two BEFORE an EB train would arrive, creating a 30 to 60 minute wait for the next bus. At the time, I had a baby there in NICU and I would leave work every afternoon, head out to see him and be with my wife, and that scheduling made it much harder and more painful. Some time later, that MTA scheduling manager retired, and his replacement fixed the schedule.

Many times I would be at Penn, with two trains heading towards Great Neck leaving minutes apart every single day, with another one or two a short time later, etc. Those of us waiting for PJ or Huntington trains, especially PJ, had much longer waits. Plus, the GN trains were usually half empty at best most nights, while we had to squeeze. Same sort of thing with lots of South Shore trains, often far less than full.

I did eventually learn one reason PJ service has long been so poor. A certain retired on the job LIRR president told me, face to face at a public meeting, that only farmers lived east of Huntington, so no more service was needed. And how often did you need to transport their milk and farm goods to the west?
  by R36 Combine Coach
photobug56 wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:41 am How about the DE's and DM's plus the C3's? And if anyone remembers, the Bitanic? C1's,
C-3s have 100 mph top speed, according to Kawasaki's product fact sheet, but in reality likely only 80.
  by photobug56
I read online, no attribution, that the locos on diesel are capable of 100mph. The DM30AC on 3rd rail tops out at 80.

So both the cars and locos, assuming (huge assumption) that they are well maintained, are both capable of the official top speed of 80 (depending on where, etc.). Obviously affected by distance between stops, time needed to get to speed or to stop, and 'congestion ahead'.

So next question - has LIRR ever used 'professional' scheduling software to optimize schedules? They have pretty good counts on ridership per train, ought to be able to account for time needed at different stops (for instance very short at Greenlawn, fairly long at Jamaica), mix of equipment (with different acceleration and deceleration), track capabilities, switch restrictions, average weather effect, etc. I know there are piles of issues. Another - what it takes to take a train coming into or out of HPA versus the mainline. And would it make any sense for some trains to use the 'Lower Montauk', or is that only useful for Long Island City?
  by Kelly&Kelly
Much of the "professional scheduling software" used by other railroads has been written by the LIRR's IT and Scheduling Departments. I doubt there is a software package available that the Railroad hasn't worked with.

The Lower Montauk Branch has been turned over to the New York and Atlantic Railway's exclusive use by the Governor's office and all signalling has been removed. It's now a secondary Track with a very low speed as required by the FRA.
  by photobug56
Sad from my view about the Lower Montauk Branch - great for freight, but I loved the view and sounds, and the calm.

As to scheduling software, as I've noted, you can compare appropriate parts of current day schedules to those from the late 1800's and they're fairly similar. To me they show no signs of ever having been optimized, and the only changes I see are for things like construction. I know that some areas like the PW / Great Neck area demand and get lots of frequent service and oppose any change, but the greater good should prevail based on needs. Regardless, I see no signs of anything professional in scheduling. I know I'm no railroader, but schedules with little or no change during the nearly 30 years since I first commuted on LIRR makes no sense, especially with the mix of half empty trains to some destinations and jammed ones to others, with frequent service to some and at times little to no service to others.

Imagine, for instance, that you are a Stony Brook student. Done with classes for the day, you want to head west to go home. Oops, maybe in a few hours. That's just not acceptable.
  by MattW
Head-end View wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:29 pm Some parts of the Main Line have an 80mph (technically 79mph) speed limit and I believe that includes the area from Floral Park thru Westbury. Other areas, the limit may be anywhere from 40 to 70 mph. High-speed crossover switches are 60mph, but most other switches like the Divide Interlocking complex in Hicksville are 30mph. Some like at Mineola where the Main Line diverges to the Oyster Bay Branch may be a slow as 15mph.

All of my info is just railfan knowledge from a variety of sources and as always, if I'm mistaken or anyone knows different, please correct me.
Why do you say technically 79? The LIRR should be 80 straight out, no reason for it not to be.
  by DaveBarraza
Head-end View wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:29 pm Some parts of the Main Line have an 80mph (technically 79mph) speed limit
"Technically", it's 80. TTSI have always been 80. You can go 80 without an ASC brake application. You can go 81, even, because that's how you find out you've drifted up over 80. 81 is an ideal time to slow down a skosh.

Many properties have 79 mph speed limits because if a railroad sets the speed limit at 80 or above, the FRA requires cab signals. LIRR has cab signals.
  by Head-end View
Oh, so you're saying LIRR's official speed limit is 80, not 79, because they do have cab signals, correct?

Got it, thanks!
  by Kelly&Kelly
Branch "average speeds"?

One would have to calculate the length of each speed restriction, and the signal charting for code change points. Then you'd have to apply acceleration and braking characteristics for different equipment. You would do the same with each station and look at dwell times, which the Railroad also records for each train.

The Signal Department does this, but the records would not be public, unless perhaps you made a Freedom of Information request to the FRA for the signal records and did the calculations.
  by photobug56
I'm not looking for a precise number; even an educated guess or quick calculation would be nice. Look at it this way. If I took what MTA.INFO shows as a 5:59PM train Friday to East Northport arriving 7:24. 85 minutes to go about 40 miles. Less than 30mph average. 4:49PM 71 minutes - not so bad.

My point is simple - we know there are slow points like Jamaica. And there are transfers. All slow things down. But for a rush hour train to average less than 30mph?

East of Huntington, going east, it can feel like your riding the train from the very old TV show Petticoat Junction. Or like the yard tour train I've taken at Steamtown, or Strassberg's tourist train. Wood or coal burning steam locomotives in absolutely no hurry. And that's when things are running well. Except that this is during rush hour out of Manhattan. Ignoring the long wait between trains on the PJ line, trains to and from are just plain slow. Even the quickest morning inbound train is scheduled for 1:02 for those 40 miles. Under 40mph average for a train that can do about twice that on good track.

How can a 'modern' commuter railroad even justify such slow trains?
  by BuddR32
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:38 am
Kelly&Kelly wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:18 pm
Question - what is the official top speed on the mainline?
M-series (M-1 to M-9) have always been 80 mph, through M-1s were designed for at least 100 (1968 Budd
product literature).
Can do it too, been on one that made 102