Empire Service (New York State)

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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby ryanov » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:11 am

I believe the S shuttle train is slightly more direct when making such a move.

During many times of day, you'll be moving far more slowly on a bus.
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby Jenny on a M2 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:17 am

It is.

It's also fewer flights of stairs than the 7, which is in a tunnel below the Shuttle. That definitely matters if you're hauling luggage.
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby ThirdRail7 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:57 pm

Click on the link to see a brief video and pictures of the movable portion of the Spuyten Duyvil bridge being lifted and moved by the worlds largest floating crane.



Video: Amtrak uses massive crane to move railroad bridge

NEW YORK — Amtrak workers used one of the world's largest floating cranes Thursday to move the bridge that provides train access between upstate New York and New York Penn Station.

The passenger railroad service is upgrading the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, which is a railroad swing bridge that spans the Spuyten Duyvil Creek between Manhattan and the Bronx.
I want my road foreman!
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:49 pm

slow connection? video is month old :-)
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby ThirdRail7 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:02 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:slow connection? video is month old :-)


Yet, it wasn't posted here! Slow board??? :P
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:13 pm

ryanov wrote:I believe the S shuttle train is slightly more direct when making such a move.

During many times of day, you'll be moving far more slowly on a bus.

Actually the 7 is slightly more direct, depending on where you arrive in Grand Central.

On the GCT end, the Shuttle platforms stretch between Madison and Vanderbilt Ave's, under 42nd St. You enter from the southwest corner of the main concourse. At the Times Square end, the platforms are on a curve from 42nd to 43rd, and end just short of Broadway. It's ~250 foot walk from there to the 1/2/3 platforms under 7th Ave.

The best entrance to the 7, on the other hand, is from the southeast corner of the concourse. It's a level below the 4/5/6 platforms on Lexington Ave. At the Times Square end, the 7 is directly below the 1/2/3 platforms, on the alignment of 41st St.

In my experience the 7 also tends to be less crowded between GCT and Times Square, and it runs with standard 10 car trains, rather than the 3 car trains of the shuttle.

The bus would probably be slower than walking at most times of a weekday.
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby BAR » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:55 pm

Ridgefielder,

I agree with you and I did descend to the #7 Train at the Southeast corner of the concourse, an entrance I was familiar with from my days of living in New York. I always preferred the #7 to the S to get from GCT to Times Square and the subway connections there. However the advisory Amtrak provided does recommend the S.

My experience with the shuttle bus that Amtrak used to provide was always on Saturdays and it made good time between NYP and GCT. It also made dealing with luggage much easier.

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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby SouthernRailway » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:28 am

Why does Amtrak need to do its "line up and wait" boarding procedures for Empire Service (and other Grand Central-based) trains?

I took the Ethan Allen Express from Grand Central, and an Amtrak staff member blocked people from boarding and kept yelling at people to direct them to a specific car based on where they were going.

I figure that Amtrak wants to seat people by destination so that they can be shepherded off the train easily. I also figure that Amtrak wants to be sure that blocks of seats are available for people getting on at various stations down the line.

Why doesn't Amtrak just consider that its passengers are usually adults, and let people be responsible for following station announcements and getting off at the right station? And if a large bock of seats is needed for groups getting on at stations down the line, just have those seats be at the other end of the train from where people are boarding at Grand Central and block the seats off with a sign or something. Then let people board at Grand Central when they want, and without being herded around and yelled at.

Amtrak just always seems to make boarding at large stations as miserable as possible, and there are better ways.
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby andegold » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:16 am

It's not a Grand Central thing. Empire Service trains always have a queue at Penn as well.
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby CHTT1 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:42 am

You seem to put a lot of faith in people actually following directions.
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby SouthernRailway » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:14 pm

CHTT1 wrote:You seem to put a lot of faith in people actually following directions.


If people miss their stops, too bad. Surely that's a rare occurrence anyhow, and not worth treating Amtrak passengers like cattle during boarding.

If people sit in a car that's reserved for people getting on at a later stop, then they can be forced to move. Can't Amtrak close off cars like Metro-North and NJ Transit do, to avoid this?

None of these is worth making a huge crowd of people be herded like cattle and screamed at in 90 degree heat on the Grand Central platforms. Totally ridiculous and customer-unfriendly.
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:05 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:Why does Amtrak need to do its "line up and wait" boarding procedures for Empire Service (and other Grand Central-based) trains?

I took the Ethan Allen Express from Grand Central, and an Amtrak staff member blocked people from boarding and kept yelling at people to direct them to a specific car based on where they were going.

I figure that Amtrak wants to seat people by destination so that they can be shepherded off the train easily. I also figure that Amtrak wants to be sure that blocks of seats are available for people getting on at various stations down the line.

Why doesn't Amtrak just consider that its passengers are usually adults, and let people be responsible for following station announcements and getting off at the right station? And if a large bock of seats is needed for groups getting on at stations down the line, just have those seats be at the other end of the train from where people are boarding at Grand Central and block the seats off with a sign or something. Then let people board at Grand Central when they want, and without being herded around and yelled at.

Amtrak just always seems to make boarding at large stations as miserable as possible, and there are better ways.

Can't you just walk in another gate and go around them?
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby SouthernRailway » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:19 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:Can't you just walk in another gate and go around them?


Monday-Friday, probably. This was on a weekend, though, so the north entrances were closed.

The Amtrak staff member was about 2 cars down the platform (if you're coming from the main part of Grand Central), so nobody could get around the person.
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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:29 pm

Amtrak has always handled their trains like this, just imagine if people were to board with no check ??
MN commuters would play dumb just to get express ride to Yonkers or Croton .
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Empire Service this summer

Postby east point » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:53 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:Amtrak has always handled their trains like this, just imagine if people were to board with no check ??
MN commuters would play dumb just to get express ride to Yonkers or Croton .



Yess have seen that too much. Too many persons try to beat the system unfortunately !
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