Budd and Dutch, thank you both for pointing out again and so clearly the MoE/shop aspect. I was aware that coupling the 'S' car in between the A and B with the drawbar connection etc. is not something that is done in 5 minutes. I supposed that with this done though, the fixed 3 car configuration could stay in service for a while, this setup making it easier for passengers to walk from car to car through the powered blind end doors in order to get to the restroom, as discussed above. Of course, the impracticability of maintaining these configurations was not on my mind and I will not bother you more with the idea of triplets.
BuddR32 wrote: [...] LIRR has no desire or need for single MU cars, but if they did, [...]
It was not my idea, I just picked up the strange notion of "30 LIRR M9A option coaches
" in the LIRR Board Notes and really started to wonder what purpose they could be for. To me, too, the number of vehicles sounded to small to really be relevant for expansion of electric service. The overall fleet is so large that having those 'strangers' in between eventually will end up causing some trouble in operational terms. The idea of specifying these option coaches for diesel service seemed a bit off-the-wall to me, too, but then from what I think, 30 single-level cars would be the optimal size of a relief diesel fleet to take over some services on the Pt Jeff Branch, freeing up C3s for Montauk services. Well. Time will show what (if ever something) becomes of the 'option coaches'.
Besides, I am a bit disappointed about the lack of a further large option in that M9A contract in order to fill up the aspired Mid Pt Jeff Branch electric yard. Planning and land acquisition is funded in the current 2015-2019 capital program and the size of the yard was supposed to be about 16 tracks for 12 car trains. (Far more than could ever be achieved within the current footprint of Port Jefferson yard, which is why this cannot be an alternative to a new yard further west even if the whole line were to be electrified and at least partially double tracked, just besides.)
http://web.mta.info/capitaldashboard/al ... s&PLTYPE=5
Using simple maths, the 236 M9 and M9A 'surplus' cars can be distributed as follows:
- Pt Washington Yard enlargement 18 cars
Mid-Suffolk Yard up to 11x12=132 cars
leaving at least 86 cars for maintenance and other ESA services probably operated from NYC, including trains reversing at the new Massapequa pocket track
This leaves no cars for the new Pt Jeff Branch electric yard.
While the Main Line 3rd Track Project makes it a bit easier to continuously get trains from NYC to Huntington during the AM Peak, in order to make best use of the new express track and at the same time maintain decent service levels for local stations Hicksville through New Hyde Park, a lot of local trains starting from the Pt Jeff Branxh and thus the electric yard will be urgently needed. It seems a pity that a new EMU may have to be procured if the yard is built maybe 2025/30.