Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by nikon01
When I ride the 6 train to work in the morning, I always ride in the front car since it makes for a quick escape at 51st street when I get off. Today, for some reason, our train operator was honking her horn as we came into every station. We were making all the stops as usual (ie not passing through stations), and I couldn't tell if there were people standing too close to the platform at every station (23, 28, 33, GCT). Every time she came in it was a set pattern, usually a long followed by a short, a pause and then another long and short. When we arrived at GCT she did the same pattern, then the conductor came on and asked for a police officer to assist him in the conductor car.

That made me wonder, was the train operator using her horn to try and summon a police officer to help out the crew? Is this a normal practice? I have seen operators use their horns in stations if someone is hanging out too far on the platform, but I can't imagine that was happening at every station from 23-51 streets. Anyone have any idea? It certainly was making an impression on the other people in the lead car with me.

  by RearOfSignal
Yes, the whistle signal long, short, long, short is used to notify that the train crew needs police assistance.

  by jonnhrr
I thought all trains had radios. Radio dead maybe?


  by Sir Charge
couldn't have been too urgent since they continued making stops

  by nikon01
Interesting, thanks for the info. They were making stops, but the conductor was really rushing at the stops to get the doors closed and move on. Perhaps they knew the officer would be at GCT. We sat there for about 10 mins while the officer "took care" of the situation.

The radio was working, as I could hear the train operator conversing with either the conductor or dispatcher while sitting at GCT.
  by b&p rupture
The crews don't have police radios, obviously. If the crew needs assistance, signalling for Police enroute (L-S-L-S) is one way, but calling control and being governed by their instructions is the procedure. (They'll request police response.) If it's a situation serious enough, or a medical situation where the person can't be moved off the train, they'll hold the train in the station, to wait for assistance. If it's not, then it's signal enroute. There's always the possibility of getting a response in a station along the way , otherwise it'll be "we'll have assistance meet you at __________ station." (in this case GCT.)
  by jtunnel
I've seen trains hold short or crawl into some of those stations where transit districts are located. Seen a whole group of cops go runing from the district down to the train that was giving the horn signal

Sometimes if a train operator has had a close call or a man-under, a result is they will give a short "toot" when entering a station. I've seen this on several lines and have had motormen tell me they know of others who do this. Seems to me a lot more crews do this now.
  by StevieC48
WOW I never knew that. Boston doesn't have any horn signals to summons the PD on the RTL. Besides when the train crew needs PD they cll the OCC and they relay to the PD what is happening. They usualy have the train move up to the nearest station, have the train move into the station when the PD are on the platform to meet the suspect. But the MBTA is goitn to a 800mhz trunking system so the PD can cross talk with the trains on the RTL and Light Rail lines. Not sure when they are going in to effect.