LIRR MU minimums

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LIRR MU minimums

Postby Islanderh93 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:23 pm

Hey! New guy here, but maybe you've heard of me elsewhere?

What's the minimum number of MU cars that can be run on a train? I've seen only as few as 6, but do they really need 6 cars to clear all the gaps?

I've seen old photographs of 4 car trains back in the 50's when the line ran more like an interurban, and those dreaded "eels" had to be brought out if a train stopped in the gap, but still it seems like 6 cars on the West Hempstead branch is overkill.
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby krispy » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:13 pm

6 Cars is the minimum. They used to have a 4 car W. Hempstead made up every day in Van Yard for the second trick rush, but after a few gapping incidents at Valley, they went to 6 cars. Why tempt fate?
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:38 pm

Running a singe pair of(2) cars thru the gaps means you have to make a "speed" run so as to be able to coast thru the gap
(at a speed too high to be safe at some locations)
Believe it was 2 pairs(4 cars) back when the M-1's were first brought online for service.
Using "Hot stick" jumping cables is an unsafe practice now,even in the shops,using battery powered car movers there.

NY Central at a running repair shop for 3rd rail locos(at Harmon) used "Hot stick" jumpers to move the P-2's and T-motors thru that shop.
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby MattAmity90 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:03 am

Backshophoss wrote:Running a singe pair of(2) cars thru the gaps means you have to make a "speed" run so as to be able to coast thru the gap
(at a speed too high to be safe at some locations)
Believe it was 2 pairs(4 cars) back when the M-1's were first brought online for service.
Using "Hot stick" jumping cables is an unsafe practice now,even in the shops,using battery powered car movers there.

NY Central at a running repair shop for 3rd rail locos(at Harmon) used "Hot stick" jumpers to move the P-2's and T-motors thru that shop.


They did run 4-car M1 consist when they came out, because there were signs at Babylon Branch stations that were being elevated, and stations electrified East of Mineola between 1970 and 1987 (Hicksville and Huntington in 1970, Ronkonkoma in 1987) and there are still some if your lucky that say 4 MU or even 4-12 MU.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby newkirk » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:40 am

Photo date: April 20, 1969. Can anyone explain this, two car test train ?
Image
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby MattAmity90 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:16 pm

newkirk wrote:Photo date: April 20, 1969. Can anyone explain this, two car test train ?
Image


April 20th, 1969 was the day for rail fans to explore the comfort and atmosphere of the new M1 cars. Back then, we knew it was the commuter rail car of the future with its' sleek design, air-conditioning etc. The M1 had only been in service for four months at the time (December 30th Train 93 was the first revenue from Babylon to Penn Station), while the rest were on display as stations in electrified territory were being converted to high-level. By early-1969 basically every high traffic station in electrified territory was high-level. More cars were delivered in the four months over the winter, and they were put into service, and they would run them to get mileage on them. On that day 2-car consists, 4-cars, 6-cars, and 8-cars were photographed along the Far Rockaway Branch, at Long Beach, Jamaica, Mineola, East Williston, Babylon, and West Hempstead.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby newkirk » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:25 am

Thank you MattAmity90.

I wonder if those 2 and 4 cars trains became gapped out ?
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby MattAmity90 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:32 am

newkirk wrote:Thank you MattAmity90.

I wonder if those 2 and 4 cars trains became gapped out ?


Only if the crossings were wide, and the widest crossing in electrified territory was Herricks Road, AKA The Most Dangerous Crossing in the USA. Thank goodness it was eliminated in the 1990's, but it should have been eliminated back in the 1970's since these trains after electrification reached Hicksville and Huntington were flying at up to 80 MPH (MAS) through Mineola.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:12 pm

NK: April 20, 1969 would either make this M1 a test train or a Mineola/East Williston MU run.
Keep in mind back then the Mineola-Huntington Electrification was under construction.

The LIRR would learn that the shortest M1 trains that could be practically run would be four cars
thanks to the large gaps in places such as either side of Jamaica Station. Later as Krispy mentions
that would become six cars due to the long gaps in the crossovers between Valley Stream Station
and the West Hempstead Branch going across both Babylon Branch tracks especially going east.

The Herricks Road crossing was NOT the widest in electrified territory but what made it dangerous
was that the gates would stay down for longer periods of time - what I am not sure about was if the
HR gates would go down when westbound trains were stopped at Mineola Station. This could make
motorists impatient and then a few would chance fate and run around the lowered gates.

The 3/14/1982 Herricks Road accident occurred 36 years ago this month. The NTSB report is here:
https://www.ntsb.gov/Investigations/Acc ... R8202.aspx
Note that there are 17 related recommendation pages added to this incident report.

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=66264 a previous HR Crossing discussion

Getting back to the original topic what the LIRR found is that short trains could be subject to third
rail gap troubles and that running longer MU consists could solve this problem.

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Last edited by MACTRAXX on Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby MattAmity90 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:32 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:NK: April 20, 1969 would either make this M1 a test train or a Mineola/East Williston MU run.
Keep in mind back then the Mineola-Huntington Electrification was under construction.

The LIRR would learn that the shortest M1 trains that could be practically run would be four cars
thanks to the large gaps in places such as either side of Jamaica Station. Later as Krispy mentions
that would become six cars due to the long gaps in the crossovers between Valley Stream Station
and the West Hempstead Branch going across both Babylon Branch tracks especially going east.

The Herricks Road crossing was NOT the widest in electrified territory but what made it dangerous
was that the gates would stay down for longer periods of time - what I am not sure about was if the
HR gates would go down when westbound trains were stopped at Mineola Station. This could make
motorists impatient and then a few would chance fate and run around the lowered gates.

The 3/14/1982 Herricks Road accident occurred 36 years ago this month. Search this as written and
information can be found such as the NTSB report (H-82-015 was the NTSB record number) along
with news reports. viewtopic.php?f=63&t=66264 was a previous discussion.

Getting back to the original topic what the LIRR found is that short trains could be subject to third
rail gap troubles and that running longer MU consists could solve this problem.

MACTRAXX


I know why the crossing was the most dangerous, aside from the facts that the distance between Mineola and Merillon Avenue is only a mile with the crossing precisely halfway in between, the old NASSAU interlocking was located between Mineola and the crossing, it was four lanes wide, and the ends of the gates on each side did not meet the yellow lines leaving a clear path for a car to go around or straight through. What was or is the widest crossing in electrified territory.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: LIRR MU minimums

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:20 pm

MattAmity90 wrote:
MACTRAXX wrote:NK: April 20, 1969 would either make this M1 a test train or a Mineola/East Williston MU run.
Keep in mind back then the Mineola-Huntington Electrification was under construction.

The LIRR would learn that the shortest M1 trains that could be practically run would be four cars
thanks to the large gaps in places such as either side of Jamaica Station. Later as Krispy mentions
that would become six cars due to the long gaps in the crossovers between Valley Stream Station
and the West Hempstead Branch going across both Babylon Branch tracks especially going east.

The Herricks Road crossing was NOT the widest in electrified territory but what made it dangerous
was that the gates would stay down for longer periods of time - what I am not sure about was if the
HR gates would go down when westbound trains were stopped at Mineola Station. This could make
motorists impatient and then a few would chance fate and run around the lowered gates.

The 3/14/1982 Herricks Road accident occurred 36 years ago this month.
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=66264 a previous HR crossing discussion.

Getting back to the original topic what the LIRR found is that short trains could be subject to third
rail gap troubles and that running longer MU consists could solve this problem.

MACTRAXX


I know why the crossing was the most dangerous, aside from the facts that the distance between Mineola and Merillon Avenue is only a mile with the crossing precisely halfway in between, the old NASSAU interlocking was located between Mineola and the crossing, it was four lanes wide, and the ends of the gates on each side did not meet the yellow lines leaving a clear path for a car to go around or straight through. What was or is the widest crossing in electrified territory.


MA90:

How do YOU know so much about the Herricks Road Crossing? (again going off the original topic)

https://www.ntsb.gov/Investigations/Acc ... R8202.aspx
There are 17 related recommendation pages included.

The Herricks Road Crossing accident occurred on 3/14/1982 and the crossing was eliminated in
late 1990s.

Going back to the original topic: One of the widest grade crossings in electrified territory is located
at Bethpage Station - the Stewart Avenue crossing. When eastbound trains leave Bethpage it is
wide enough for a pair to go totally off of the third rail - the last shoe on the second car creates
a noticeable arc because MU trains draw the most power/amperage starting from a station stop.
This is the reason that each station will have a substation at or nearby to provide this energy.

On a related personal matter on the subject of posting in this Forum:

This is an example why I no longer like to take part or answer questions when you are posting in
these forums since you come off as some sort of know-it-all especially when it pertains to subjects
like this one that was back before you were born.

I only contribute or reply when I can help or have pertinent information to add to a given topic.

The best feature of all forums is the opportunity to learn about something - I don't need to be
constantly posting when someone posts something interesting. I go into all this with the thought
of learning something new each day or remembering what happened in past railroad history.

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