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Author Topic: Trouble on the LIRR  (Read 4467 times)
Joe323

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« on: August 24, 2010, 06:55:30 AM »

Yesterdays trouble on the LIRR has the MTA switching trains manually in Jamaica NY.  I didn't know railroads could still do that.  I have this image of men standing by each switch kind of like a giant model RR
.
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 09:35:14 AM »

Hey Joe - you haven't rode the LIRR (or NYC subways) lately. There are a number of manual switching facilities. What happened yesterday is that a feeder cable to a switching room burned through and a fire followed. The swtiching room was built and installed in 1913 (and is still in use)! It just happened that this switching facility controls all the track turnouts at the Jamaica throat.

There are 11 lines on the LIRR system and all but one run through the Jamaica interlocking. THe tie-up also affected Amtrak trains. There is lots of Amtrak and NJ Transit equipment on sidings and if you can't throw a switch the trains can't move.

LIRR  riders are used to disuptions. In the heat rails buckle, in the snow the switches ice up and even with de-icers require guys with shovels to clean the track. Then there are the trees that tumble onto the right of way in storms and block tracks and take down power lines.

The riders (all 250,000 daily riders) take all this in stride - what else can they do?


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Joe323

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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 10:39:49 AM »

Woody:

True I haven't ridden either in a while because I live on Staten Island and work in Lower Manhattan so I can get to work using the SIR and ferry or an express bus  both of which are preferable to the subway.  What I was trying to say is that in some ways I think our layouts are more technologically up to date than some of the prototype railroads we model.

The shame of this of course is that in the NY Metro area many commuters are dependent on these antiquated systems for their livelihood.  Yes all they can do is take it in stride.
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john tricarico

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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 11:42:05 AM »

hi woody

as of 11am most of the problems still arent cleared
news channels are reporting about 25% of L.I.R.R. trains
still cancelled 
work crews doing repairs at jamaica station
was planning to take a L.I.R.R. train from brooklyn to lynnbrook
tomorrow

ill wait till the problems clear

good luck guys  john t  brooklyn ny

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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 12:34:32 PM »

I haven't heard the locomotive horns from the Oyster Bay branch today.  I think this mess will not be cleared up too quickly.

It is true that most model railroads are technologically much more advanced than the real McCoy.

On my last expedition to the Big Apple a week ago I noticed that things haven't changed much since I rode them to high school and college forty years ago (people are still rude and pushy. welcome to New York!)
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Joe323

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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2010, 03:28:58 PM »

I haven't heard the locomotive horns from the Oyster Bay branch today.  I think this mess will not be cleared up too quickly.

It is true that most model railroads are technologically much more advanced than the real McCoy.

On my last expedition to the Big Apple a week ago I noticed that things haven't changed much since I rode them to high school and college forty years ago (people are still rude and pushy. welcome to New York!)

Yes from what I hear it will take a few days to clear this up completely.  What I am wondering though is given the vital economic nature that railroads serve in the NY metro area How come there appears to be no redundancy in the system? 

This lack of redundancy and fact that the infrastructure is so old means that there will be more incidents of this type in the future.
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john tricarico

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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 06:19:39 PM »

yo woody

next time in nyc go for a walk down memory lane 
 i mean the sunnyside yard

i may go there later this week  see whats going on
weather permitting
i was there in march  and my camera dropped out of my carry case
my blood pressure sky rocketed  camera was badly damaged
replaced it with another pentax


 
 good luck  john t  brooklyn ny

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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2010, 07:18:16 PM »

Redundancy? Not on the poor old LIRR. I love to go into Jamaica station and look at the old Pennsy position signals still being used.  I can't imagine how old the signals are. Of course they've been upgraded somewhat but they still look like the antiques that hey are.

The system is a mess and not getting better. The prices go up and the politicians blame the unions.
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jward


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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 08:10:18 PM »

if i am not mistaken, all power switch motors have a manual override in case of events like these. i often hear the csx dispatcher telling train crews whether the switches are in "motor" or manual mode when he gives permission to pass a stop signal.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Joe323

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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2010, 11:09:44 AM »

The system is a mess and not getting better. The prices go up and the politicians blame the unions.

And unions blame the politicians and on and on.  Meanwhile the problem doesn't get fixed.
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 03:32:06 PM »

THey were doinhg something very interesting on the LIRR. Trackmen were doing something called "block and spike." They wedge a piece of timber between points and the running rail then spike it down. Sounds like something a model railroader would do.

There new computerized system is on the way - so says a spokesman for the LIRR.  I won'r wait, life is too short.

The railroad is still only about 75% back to normal - whatever that is.
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Joe323

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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 04:18:21 PM »

I believe the idea behind block and spike is to keep the frogs from shifting accidental and possibly causing an accident.  My thinking on this is that if they freeze the turnout where they are they can plan how many trains can go though the choke point in Jamaica without creating a bigger traffic jam then there already is.  The other option I would think is to have a trackman throw the turnouts manually which would be time consuming labor intensive and not safe given the number of trains and the electrical voltage on the third rail.   But I'm just speculating.
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jward


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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2010, 08:23:41 PM »

block and spike is a common method when a switch is out of service.

you spike one of the points so it won't move away from the stock rail, and wedge a block between the opposite point and the stock rail. this ensures that those points aren't going to move until the spike and block are removed.

usually, in addition to the this, there is a blocking device placed on the dispatcher's or tower operator's panel so he doesn't accidentally try to throw the switch.  train crews will be notified by bulletin order that particular switch is out of service.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2010, 07:43:37 PM »

LI  Newsday, the local fish wrapper, had a detailed account of the prqctice  -including some nice pictures. I'll beyt there was lots of overtime!
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