Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by JamesRR
DutchRailnut wrote:yes you can see a tail track, but that map the track numbers are unreadable.
Agree - no actual track # on that old drawing. Does look like a tail on track 101 - almost giving access to the loop area.

Note that these maps have to be taken with a grain of salt. I have a number of them at home and there are variations in them - some were early drawings that had features never built, or were modified. I have a few maps with pretty good detail and I can dig out and see if they have that track.
  by CP-4070
I would be very interested in that James.
  by Backshophoss
Were there yard tracks dedicated to NYC/PC business car/private car layups?
Do NOT include the "Waldorf" track,that was a special case! :wink:
  by Ridgefielder
checkthedoorlight wrote:There's no track 100 on my map, but on this 1931 track map there is a small stub (maybe 2 cars long) that comes off the south end of track 101. My guess is it was some loading/unloading track for supplies for GCT.
If there's no Track 100, why is there a gate on the lower level concourse marked "Track 100"? It's the easternmost gate downstairs, in the corridor that leads to the lost & found and the police station.
  by DutchRailnut
track 100 is maintenance dock the track next to dock is 101 .
  by wborys
Let me ask here, rather than start a new thread-

As of 2019,
can we say the lower loop at GCT is no longer functioning?
is the upper loop still in regular use?
  by Backshophoss
The upper level loop is intact,still usable.
The lower level loop is now a some what useless tail track,part of where the loop was is public space/stairwells to the LIRR cavern level concourse/
track platforms.
  by Ridgefielder
Backshophoss wrote:The upper level loop is intact,still usable.
Not just still usable, but still in very frequent use. Pretty much every train that arrives on Tracks 39-42 loops around to the Lexington Ave. yard after discharging passengers.
  by JamesRR
Yes, more recently, the upper level loop was completely rebuilt - new track, switches, concrete, etc. It's highly functional and as mentioned, used often.

Lower level loop, on the other hand, was deactivated as a result of the LIRR project.
  by RearOfSignal
The lower level loop was out of use way before LIRR. I don’t think it’s been used since they got rid of Madison Yard. The lower loop will occasionally store passenger trains.
  by DutchRailnut
its been out of service since about 1992
  by JamesRR
I always found the lower level loop system fascinating, because there were inner and outer loop tracks. I know the inner ones quickly became impractical due to car lengths growing, but I often wondered why the system was more expansive on the lower level than the upper. I imagined before reversible m.u. equipment came along it would make for speedy turning of trains - or even just the locos - in a commuter operation. But with the age of m.u.s and push-pull operations, not really necessary.
  by DutchRailnut
lower level pretty much was just about 100% MU and not locomotive hauled but any move via outerloop pretty much involved going via madison ave shop.
  by PC1100
Into the 1960s some locomotive hauled trains left from the lower level - Harlem Division trains to Brewster and Pawling. In fact those trains almost exclusively left from the lower level with the exception of those leaving GCT during the evening rush hour and on weekends starting in 1962 (when the lower level started closing weekends). Employee timetables up to around 1965 show this. The inner loop for tracks 101-103 was restricted to the 1906-1929 era NYC MU cars. If I recall correctly it was taken out of service around 1974, as the last of those cars were retired in 1971 with the arrival of the M-1s. Jaap do you know why the outer loop was taken out of service back around 1992?
  by JamesRR
I found some images in an old Engineering News article I had on the building of GCT (from the time period when it was under construction).

The first image shows how Track 100 (of which we've been discussing) was a tail track, which looks like it was there to allow trains to use that large supplies/service area.

The second shows a profile of the levels, and the baggage subways can easily be seen below the lower level. Again, these are drawings from construction, so the track plans have changed over the years.