Lower Montauk Division Discussion

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Postby BAR » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:34 pm

Forgot to ask where you buy your ticket? I would guess there is not agent at LIC so can you purchase without a penalty on the trains. Thanks.

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Postby benltrain » Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:14 pm

Why does LIRR use this line if it is going through the city and only has one train a day?
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Postby Dave Keller » Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:32 pm

Because there's probably more legal hassle to try to discontinue pasenger service on the line than there would be to just run one train a day to make everything legal.

They've already discontinued all the stops along the way. This is about the most minimalist service they can offer and still keep the line open.

Also, I have no idea if there is some sort of legal issue for the NY&A handling freight along there. If the LIRR has no passenger service and they can't qualify keeping the line open to run freight as they no longer run their own freight, then, perhaps, the line may be considered abandoned, in which case the NY&A wouldn't be allowed to service the freight customers along there. I'm sure an ownership issue is involved as well.

Not really sure . . . just possibilites running through my head but I ain't no lawyer! :wink:

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TOMMY I AM

Postby henry6 » Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:46 pm

Tommy I am JEALOUS! That't the only contemporary line of the LIRR I have not ridden and have been trying to find a way to do so!
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Postby 9C1LT1 » Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:57 pm

hey guys,

There are several trains that dead-head daily on the lower Montauk. That line probably see's around 10-12 diesel trains a day pass through on the way to LIC and return. Train 507 travels the line in the morning in revenue service, 8:11am from Jamaica, and the previously mentioned 4:54pm to Oyster Bay. A worth while trip!! Plus lets not forget that NYA's connection to CSX is on this line so it will never close.

-Barry
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Postby BMC » Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:31 pm

While the one westbound Oyster Bay in the morning and the one eastbound Oyster Bay are the only two regular scheduled trains to be routed down the lower Montauk, that is that show in the timetable and in passenger schedules, they are by far not the only LIRR traffic that uses it.

As a previous poster stated there are also a few non-passenger carrying equipment trains that leave LIC Yard in the morning for Richmond Hill yard and for Jamaic Station after the rush hour and about the same amount that come down in the afternoon.

In one of my previous posts I also mentioned that the change of Engines also uses the lower Montauk as well as any drill crew kickouts of crippled cars and replacement of same.

The Lower Montauk is also a great detour if the main line is having any problems (either west or east).

WESTBOUND ... while the passengers are not able to discharge at Hunterspoint Ave. station they do get off at the LIC yard station (the only working active LIRR yard that has it's own passenger station) where they can pick up the #7 subway (which is one stop west of the connecting #7 station at HPA) for Manhattan.

EASTBOUND... I have actually sent trains up to HPA, loaded them with passengers and then double drilled them back into the yard and up the lower Montauk. Quite a nice safety valve that lower Montauk is.

To answer another poster ... on the LIC station platform is automatic ticket machine. If you have enough time there is a ticket clerk in HPS during the rush hour and an automatic machine too.

The LIRR does more than enough traffic to not have to worry about the lower Montauk being considered abandoned. The NY&A does not own any of the rail here (or anywhere else) on the LIRR ROW>
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Postby benltrain » Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:06 am

do electric trains run to HPA?\
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Postby Tommy Meehan » Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:04 am

About 15 years ago I made the best of a layoff from my factory job by visiting the Lower Montauk, and also Fresh Pond, on weekdays, something I'd never been able to do prior. At Fresh Pond I noticed a deadhead passenger train would come barreling through about every couple of hours, usually westbound. That was something I never saw on weekends.

Just as my layoff ended - musta been Apr 1991 - they took the Lower Montauk out of service west of the little Dutch Kills drawbridge. There was a problem with the draw span, I saw them inspecting it one day. At the time the NY Times carried an article quoting an LIRR spokesperson as saying the line closure was permanent. (Obviously that turned out not to be the case.) During the time the Dutch Kills-LIC segment was shut down I walked over to the westernmost 'stop' one afternoon (there was no station, not even a platform, the train merely stopped at a grade crossing). They were maintaining the schedule on the part of the line east of the bridge. I saw a westbound deadhead train arrive at that stop, layover about 15 minutes and then originate as the eastbound schedule.

BMC I'm curious to know what the 'change of engines' means. Don't think I ever heard that term before.
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Postby Lirr168 » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:00 am

benltrain wrote:do electric trains run to HPA?\


One EB and one WB per day I believe; might be more, but at least one each direction.
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Postby BMC » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:44 am

As far as electric service ... yes, one in the morning (from Huntington) and one in the afternoon (equipment from Jamaica and out to Ronkonkoma). But just like the Oyster Bay's on the lower Montauk these are the only two "scheduled" trains.

Here again, the beauty of LIC/HPA as a LIRR "safety valve" is present.

Obviously, they don't run down the lower Montauk (which a LONG time ago WAS electrified ... What years Dave?), but there are four tracks in LIC that are able to yard electric equipment.

Many times a disabled train will limp into the yard to clear up main track or to be "put out of the way" until after the rush hour when they can either get fixed in LIC or crawl back to the shops or a MU yard facility.

Also, if there is a problem in the tunnels or in Penn Station itself, MU trains can easily be diverted to HPA/LIC. Some turn there for points east, other are yarded until after the rush and then extraed back.

At one time, LIC made Jamaica look like a tiny station it was a HUGE major terminal with a huge station facility and a dozen platforms. Those days are long gone, but it's nice to know that even in 2006 it still serves a vital and varied role as a working yard for the LIRR. I was proud to retire out of there.
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Postby BMC » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:50 am

Change of Engines ... if an engine on a train is shopped after the equipment trains have left LIC for Richmond Hill a "CE" is called to bring down a replacement engine for the shopped one. He/She will work with the Drill Crew and then take the crippled engine back to Morris Park.

In LIC, It is not a frequent occurence, but it does happen. But CE's also do the same thing in case there was an engine shopped in say Port Jefferson or Speonk.
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Postby bellstbarn » Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:47 pm

I was under the impression that the "Lower Montauk" was used for several equipment moves daily. For example, if a morning Hunterspoint Avenue train drops its last passengers at Hunterspoint, it can continue to LIC and then reverse into the Lower Montauk for fueling and other service at Morris Park. If it returned east via Woodside, it would add to the rush-hour crowd on that route. Am I right?
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Postby BMC » Tue Apr 18, 2006 2:45 pm

As myself and various other posters have said there are indeed a few equipment trains that leave LIC after discharging at HPA.

In the morning, the difference is that the eastbound equipment trains that go up the lower Montauk, go up DURING the rush hour exactly because it is the much lesser traveled route. This is of course prior to and after the superiority of the one passenger carrying westbound Oyster Bay.

The morning equipment trains that go up the main line to Richmond Hill (only light engines go directly to Morris Park) and the equipment trains that go directly to Jamaica Station for revenue service head east AFTER the morning rush.

In the afternoon (and the particulars may have changed since I retired in August) equipment trains come down both via the Lower Montauk and the main line. If a train is in trouble in the yard, the Yardmaster may very well turn one of those mainline westbound equipment trains right in HPA station to represent it.

As I stated above, at least the option of using the lower Montauk as a "safety valve" is there. Otherwise, the powers to be have everything slotted in very nicely.

On an unrelated subject that another poster mentioned about the Dutch Kills bridge ... the LIRR wanted to have it as a fixed (not available for maritime traffic) bridge. They were overruled by the US Coast Guard.

The water areas on the Lower Montauk ...Newtown Creek and Dutch Kills (Kills is Dutch for river) are horrible, stinky messes due to the industry in the neighborhoods.
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Postby benltrain » Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:28 pm

why is most of the HPA service diesel? do they service the diesels at LIC and then run them to HPA?
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Postby jayrmli » Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:46 pm

A couple of points:

Not the entire Lower Montauk was electrified. Just from the Glendale Cutoff (by the old Rockaway Beach Branch) to Fresh Pond. This enabled electric freight service via Fresh Pond to the Rockaway and Flatbush Avenue lines.

In 1991 service over the Dutch Kills Drawbridge was suspended when the bridge was unable to be operated for mechanical reasons. Since it was a navigable waterway, the Coast Guard ordered the bridge to remain in the open position.

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