Harold Interlocking signals are done!

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

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Harold Interlocking signals are done!

Postby adamj023 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:06 pm

https://www.newsday.com/amp/long-island ... 1.19767174

Good news for all LIRR riders! Should help boost reliability significantly.
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Re: Harold Interlocking signals are done!

Postby Head-end View » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:17 pm

Yes well, as I said in my thread about the rebuilding of Harold, let's hope sufficient back-ups were built in this time so the first bad thunderstorm that comes thru doesn't knock out the whole complex like happened in Jamaica in 2011 after the new system there went into service.
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Re: Harold Interlocking signals are done!

Postby adamj023 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:40 pm

Yeah I remember that. I got caught with signal issues at LIRR at Jamaica and trains were overcrowded.

The lightning issue was unrelated to the multiple signal huts that was done for Harold. Apparently something wasn’t done right by a contractor which was fully repaired and fixed after the issue occured so it never happens again. Plus unified train control is still a work in progress.

Harold apparently also had track modifications which were completed as well. Between the M9’s coming online later this year, track 19 back in service soon and the 6 weeks of Amtrak work still causing LIRR delays till September and the higher speed switches at Jamaica when those get completed supposedly year end, the LIRR should have vastly improved reliability and faster rides, and not to mention another benefit later on with the new Platform at Jamaica so more train frequency when project is completed in July 2019 approximately. Doubletrack project almost done to Ronkonkoma, and Mainline will eventually be finished with triple track in later years. East side access eventually as well.

Apparently the worst seems to be over for LIRR and it should get much better in the coming days. Manual controls meant more spacing between trains and manual intervention slowing the ride down. Same with the switches and even the manual controls of the M3 slows down the trains over M7’s and soon M9’s. With these bottlenecks removed, it should be much better. I would dread being on a train while it slows to a crawl on approach to Jamaica or even Penn Station.

A train from Kew Gardens and Forest Hills and even Jamaica should be a very quick non delayed ride from start to finish, and even trains from Atlantic Terminal to Jamaica.
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Re: Harold Interlocking signals are done!

Postby Head-end View » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:08 pm

Adam, you're being over-optimistic. The problems are never over on LIRR. No matter what improvements are made, and I've been observing this for almost fifty-years, there is always a joker in LIRR's deck of cards. Do you know the cliche: The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men?

Re: the replacement switches at Jamaica, I'm not sure if they will be higher speed switches, or just replacements of existing old, trouble prone switches. Maybe someone in else can confirm that.

Also, the new platform at Jamaica will be for the Brooklyn shuttle service. Trains to/from Grand Central and Penn will use the other platforms. And what manual controls are you talking about on M-3's that make them slower than M-7/M-9's. I don't think that is correct.
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Re: Harold Interlocking signals are done!

Postby adamj023 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:52 pm

Head-end View wrote:Adam, you're being over-optimistic. The problems are never over on LIRR. No matter what improvements are made, and I've been observing this for almost fifty-years, there is always a joker in LIRR's deck of cards. Do you know the cliche: The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men?

Re: the replacement switches at Jamaica, I'm not sure if they will be higher speed switches, or just replacements of existing old, trouble prone switches. Maybe someone in else can confirm that.

I can confirm it to be 100% true. Governor Cuomo signed off on the project with his own words of higher speed switches at Jamaica. Switches are currently up to 15mph. New switches will be 30mph and up. This is publically available information.

Also, the new platform at Jamaica will be for the Brooklyn shuttle service. Trains to/from Grand Central and Penn will use the other platforms. And what manual controls are you talking about on M-3's that make them slower than M-7/M-9's. I don't think that is correct.


The new platform means more trains at any given time going through Jamaica. The information on capacity information is public information. More trains from Jamaica to Penn Station will be run as well as dedicated shuttles from Jamaica to Brooklyn. By offloading Brooklyn to another platform it means more trains run through Jamaica at once.

M3 requires additional personnel to run as certain tasks require manual operation. Opening and closing doors and brakes I believe. The M7 is one person using a computerized system. This consumes additional time in the ride as employees do their tasks. The M7 doesn’t have the same delay time. The actual track speeds of the M3 vs M7 and M9 are likely all similar give or take as LIRR has not gone to higher speed trains. I do agree with the decision to run additional service with added M3 for the time being till all M9 orders and options are delivered as more service is better even with the slight increase in time on these trains.

The LIRR even assuming all improvements phased in will still be slower and slightly less reliable than the best commuter rail in the world in other countries. But people will still use the system who commute to/from destinations on the LIRR and will continue to do so as we see with ridership figures.

You can find relevant links by using a search engine for official sources of information such a Cuomo’s video announcing high speed switches at Jamaica or the fact they are now 15mph and will be upgraded to 30mph and up.

If it was up to me I would privatize the system and upgrade to high speed rail at a much cheaper cost. But this is the way it works based on who is in charge here so the changes while all good are not revolutionary but rather incremental improvements which is better than the way it was previously,
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Re: Harold Interlocking signals are done!

Postby gamer4616 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:21 am

adamj023 wrote:M3 requires additional personnel to run as certain tasks require manual operation. Opening and closing doors and brakes I believe. The M7 is one person using a computerized system. This consumes additional time in the ride as employees do their tasks. The M7 doesn’t have the same delay time.


I'm not quite sure what you mean here. The doors work the same on each set of equipment. One crew member can energize a door panel and can open/close the doors for the entire train. No additional personnel are needed for M3's. There is one Port Jefferson job I've worked that operated C3 equipment to Penn, M7 equipment to Port Wash, and M3 equipment from Jamaica to Penn in the same day. Crew size never changed. A crew operating a passenger train will consist of an engineer, conductor, and brakeman. Most trains will have ticket collectors to assist in fare collection and operating doors at short platforms, but they are not considered part of a crew job. The crew (engineer, conductor, and brakeman) will stay together all day, while a collector bounces around from train to train and might only work a train for one stop.

The handbrakes on the M7's are applied using a pinch valve, while the M3/C3 need to be manually cranked. The handbrakes are to secure the train at its final destination, when left unattended. No additional personnel are needed.
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