How are LIRR tracks different from NYC Subway and PATH?

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How are LIRR tracks different from NYC Subway and PATH?

Postby rail10 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:45 pm

How does the lirr and metro north tracks differ from the nyc subway and path tracks in general including design?
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Postby Nova55 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:07 pm

LIRR/MN/SIRT are all governed by the FRA ( not sure about PATH ). NYCTA is not.

LIRR/SIRT//NYCTA use over running 3rd rail, MN uses under.
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Postby LongIslandTool » Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:54 pm

Subway tracks have the contact rail (third rail) closer to the running rail than LIRR and Metro-North tracks.

Railroads use heavier (taller) rail.

Railroad turnouts (switches) and curves use a much longer longer radius.

LIRR contact rail is a steel/aluminum fabrication.
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Re: lirr tracks

Postby thor88 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:37 pm

rail10 wrote:How does the lirr and metro north tracks differ from the nyc subway and path tracks in general including design?


The guage is the same for all 4. As well as the third-rail height for the NYCTA (subway) and the LIRR. As mentioned above by Nova55, Metro North uses under-running third-rail as opposed to the LIRR, PATH and NYCTA.

There are major differences in clearances and size of cars within the NYCTA and on PATH.

The NYCTA subway is broken into 3 divisions: A Division (former IRT), B1 Division and B2 Division. B1 and B2 are the former IND and BMT lines, I forget which is which. B1 and B2 Division cars are the same size. SIRT uses B Division cars.

A Division cars are 3' narrower. Most of the non-revenue equipment (garbage train, money train, work equipment) is A Division equipment. This is so it can be used anywhere on the system. The next time you see the garbage train or the money train, take a look at the doors. If you're on a B Division line, you'll see extenders attached to the side of the cars to bridge the 18" gap between the car and the platform.

PATH cars are still smaller than A Division cars. How much smaller I don't know. I recall reading an article about how NYC couldn't put A/C on IRT cars because the cars were too small for the equipment, but PATH already had A/C on cars which were smaller than the IRT cars.

It is possible to run NYCTA and PATH equipment on the LIRR. It would not be pleasant though because there will be huge gaps between the trains and the platforms.

If you'd like a project, take the LIRR to NYC some time. Measure the width from door to opposite door on an LIRR train. Then get on the 1,2 or 3 subway (A Division) at Penn Station and measure again. Then transfer to the L train at 14th St. (B Division) and measure again. Then take the PATH back up to 33rd and measure once more. Then compare the measurements.
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Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:13 am

[quote="LongIslandTool"]Subway tracks have the contact rail (third rail) closer to the running rail than LIRR and Metro-North tracks.

Are you sure about this? I recall when the R-?? cars (the stainless steel
cars that were built by Budd) were brand new, they assembled a set of
these cars in the New York Central yard at MO and operated them under
their own power into Grand Central Terminal. Of course the shoes had
to be modified to under running third rail but the distance from the rail is
a question in my mind. It also seems to me that either the R-44 or R-46
cars have been test operated on LIRR tracks, did they have to modify
the third rail shoes for this? Another one is the R-44's that operate on
Staten Island, they are under FRA rules on this line because of the
former ownership and operation by the Baltimore and Ohio.
Even back in the early 1940's the old New York, Westchester and Boston
portion in the Bronx was sold to the city of New York and old el cars from
the city were used on this line. The line was originally built to steam road
clearances and standards but in this case it was abandoned and sold to
the city and became a part of the subway system.
I wonder if the third rail was ever modified on the subway line to the
Rockaways when it was sold to the city for transit use by the Long Island
in the 50's?
In addition, there was at one time a portion of the subway system where
they hauled freight cars to Coney Island over a portion of line where
there was and still is active third rail.
I have to doubt if there was or is any difference in the distance from the
running rail to the third rail between the Transit Authority and the Long
Island or the other third rail operations in the area.
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Postby keyboardkat » Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:23 pm

The LIRR third-rail gauge and the IRT subway third-rail gauge (the distance and height from the running rails) are the same. Now the same is true on the BMT and IND divisions. But this was not always true.

On the older BMT lines, the third rail was originally higher and closer to the running rails. I remember seeing this on the old Broadway Brooklyn line. The tongue-shaped third-rail shoes were lifted up and the contact point was the flat area of the shoe inboard of the round-end mounting point.

In the days of joint BRT-LIRR service to the Rockaways from Chambers Street, LIRR trains used the BRT (BMT) line as far as Chestnut Street, then switched onto a steel structure which brought the trains down to the Atlantic Avenue line on the surface. Cars used for this service had the Boyd movable third-rail shoe mounting activated by a stationary cam in line with the third rail, to adjust the shoe position for the LIRR or for the BRT.
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Postby LongIslandTool » Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:31 pm

Kat set the record straight.

I was gleaning my information from Seyfried's Volume V which has a picture of the adaptable third rail shoes for joint Rockaway service. That's why I thought the third rails were still different. They once were. Apparently no more.

And yes, the Long Island tested many of the subway's newer equipment on its Min Line between Woodside and Forest Hills.
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Re: lirr tracks

Postby frankie » Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:52 pm

thor88 wrote:
rail10 wrote:How does the lirr and metro north tracks differ from the nyc subway and path tracks in general including design?


A Division cars are 3' narrower. Most of the non-revenue equipment (garbage train, money train, work equipment) is A Division equipment. This is so it can be used anywhere on the system.


One correction: A Division cars are 8' 9" wide and B1/B2 Division cars are 10' wide. That's a difference of 15" or a 7 1/2" platform gap difference between them.

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Postby Crabman1130 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:02 pm

LongIslandTool wrote:Kat set the record straight.

I was gleaning my information from Seyfried's Volume V which has a picture of the adaptable third rail shoes for joint Rockaway service. That's why I thought the third rails were still different. They once were. Apparently no more.

And yes, the Long Island tested many of the subway's newer equipment on its Min Line between Woodside and Forest Hills.


http://nycsubway.org/perl/show?78186
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Postby hs3730 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:09 pm

There's also the time the LIRR's MP72s ran down on SIRT, in both passenger service:
http://nycsubway.org/perl/show?10566
and apparently for a fantrip:
http://nycsubway.org/perl/show?66767
Shortly before they were to return to their normal island.
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Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:53 pm

Everyone: I seem to remember myself that NYCTAs R-44 and possibly some R-46 cars were indeed tested on the Main Line W of Jamaica. I also recall a pic of PATHs PA-1 cars being tested there also in the mid 60s that I saw somewhere. My two cents-MACTRAXX
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Postby pennsy » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:18 pm

Hi All,

I remember spending some time at the Inwood station of the LIRR. There are self guarding switches leading to that station from the east. This probably is specific to the LIRR. NYC TA would never use self guarding switches, turnouts, on any of its lines. Looking closely at these switches I did notice evidence of derailments. Many of the ties still had scars from the flanges of the wheels on them.
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Postby Nova55 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:18 pm

I was reading on the subway site before that when they tested them they hit 83mph on the island, in doing so burning up some traction motors.
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Postby LongIslandTool » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:52 pm

Yes, the LIRR has a large number of self-guarding frogs, though they are slowly being phased out. And yes, we do have derailments on them all the time. The subway appears to put guard rails on everything.

I do remember the R-44's or 46's being tested and that 83MPH speed sounds right. They were FAST!
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Postby pennsy » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:39 am

HI LI Tool,

Didn't know such derailments were commonplace. I do remember speaking to an LIRR employee and he told me that such turnouts had very strict slow speed limits. Something like they shouldn't be entered at speeds over 20 to 30 mph. Probably 20 mph is more accurate.
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