Smart Technology to Collect Fares

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

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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby railfan365 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:05 am

With regard to how access to station platforms would be controlled - I haven't thought of a suggestion for how that could be accomplised at all statoins. However, the only way I see automated fare collectionbeing of an economic benefit ot the railroad is to effectively control access through the staiotns and reduce the number of conductors going through trains and enforcing fare collection.

With regard to reverse moves with only one conductor, lets not forget that the subway, which is a railroad, has been operating for decades with a driver and one conductor for decades.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby truck6018 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:11 am

railfan365 wrote:With regard to reverse moves with only one conductor, lets not forget that the subway, which is a railroad, has been operating for decades with a driver and one conductor for decades.


The subway being a railroad is not a 100% correct statement. The subway system is not bound by FRA regulations. Not all the subway lines have a conductor, they only run with the train operator. I doubt the FRA would ever grant exceptions for the LIRR or MNR to operate without conductors.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby LongIslandTool » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:47 am

The FRA does not require a conductor on any train.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby Amtrak7 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:12 am

LongIslandTool wrote:The FRA does not require a conductor on any train.


I thought all heavy rail trains require at least 2 employees.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby ADL6009 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:32 pm

i think all trains need at least 1 qualified individual, that would be the engineer.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby LongIslandTool » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:46 pm

That's correct, ADL. And it's up to the Railroad to define "qualified". There merely need a regular program of instruction with some type of assessment.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby Trainmaster5 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:42 pm

Regarding the NYCTA subway, for many years there was a title of conductor-in-charge. I still have my old rule book and he WAS in charge of the train, not the motorman or today's train operator. He was also taught signals and how to "read the iron", so to speak so a reverse move could be done by the conductor and motorman, working together. That was the theory, anyway. About 20 years ago that title was eliminated and the rules were changed so that the train operator was responsible for the movement of the train. As pointed out earlier there are now routes where there is NO conductor onboard during the overnights (OPTO) which the MTA saw as a way to save money on payroll. Now today if I, as a motorman, had to make a reverse move you'd better believe I would take my time changing ends on a train to operate from the other end. 30 years ago we had it drilled into our heads that there was no such thing as a "fast move" but back then the conductor was qualified to read signals and iron. Today there are train operators who, IMO, can't do that.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby wilsonpooch » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:09 pm

In the article, Ms. Williams refers to Conductors collecting in the future and mentions 2020 as a time when they will probably use scanners.
I will not out anyone, but there is a poster who does not even work for the RR anymore doing all he can to stir the pot.
I had lunch with a senior RR management person in December, whan I visited NY and we talked about this whole situation.
There are no plans to have non qualified Conductors, or to completely eliminate Ticket Collections on the trains.
They did kick the idea around, but the reality of the LIRR is it cannot be done, too many ground level stations.
There is a posibility of doing it from Penn To Jamaica, and eliminating eastbound collection.
However there will be collectors getting on at Jamaica, to get the short riders east of Jamaica.
There will also for the foreseeable future be ticket collections westbound up too Jamaica.
Will this eliminate some collector jobs? Yes.
However there is currently no plans to eliminate a qualified Conductor on the trains.
With the reverse moves, short platforms, switches, setting up trains, brake tests, etc its impossible to operate the RR without a second qualified man.
They already run the greenport scoot with just an Engineer and Conductor, due to low ridership and a 1 or 2 car train.
It is not feasable on longer trains, with the conditions listed above.
Let not your hearts be troubled, the person making the most false statements on this does not even work for the RR, and is stirring the pot.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby Datenail » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:49 am

The LIRR isn't planning on one person train operation. They are considering changing the train service position whereas the asst. conductor is more like a collector. Phase one is for the asst. collector to report to the first station stop of the train and not in the yard. There will be general notice boards located on the platform in a designated area. Most asst. conductors either don't bother travelling to the yard at the beginning and end of the job, some not at the beginning and most not at the end. We pay them to and from the yard but decades of watching them deliberately cut time off the job has given us the idea of giving them what they want, shorter on-duty time.

We expect for a few weeks that some conductors will act like they have so many things to do in the yard and deliberately delay the train. Their union told us so. Their union was also told if they play that game too long the MTA will decimate their ranks and accelerate alternate collection methods.

Phase two is the elimination of the asst. conductor position altogether and operate as does our sister railroad, Metro-North does. The future of train service in the short run is sound. But in the long term, it will evolve into a much different job.

The LIRR wants to assist their train service employees the best it can. We have watched them refuse to collect fares and sit in the cabs talking on their phones and play games. So, its obvious they want to collect their tickets as fast as possible so they can get back in the cab. We've responded with technology to that will assist them in doing that. They bail-off the trains everyday and go home early even though they are required to stay on the entire trip. We have responded by implementing plans to do just that. Shorten their on-duty tiime and eventually get rid of the asst. conductor position. You see Wilson, we're not as bad as you think we are. We care.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby bluelightbynight » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:46 am

Look Daddy King Jay we saved $150,000 by telling those bad conductors they have to report to the station. We have a cool name for it to (phase 1). We are doing our part to save $ King Jay. Please love us Daddy King Jay we are going get those conductors and show them who's boss. NO News 12 or any US congressmen will tell us what to do Daddy King Jay.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby Doc Emmet Brown » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:01 pm

I have friends who work for the RR, and I have asked them if this is actually going on, they all say no, and say thats why they don't bother to post in here.
It's Because of the constant bickering and intentional missinformation.
Many have been driven away.
Why do you think *name redacted*, and other former Railroad employees do not post in here anymore?
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby truck6018 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:05 pm

Datenail wrote:Phase two is the elimination of the asst. conductor position altogether and operate as does our sister railroad, Metro-North does.


Could you elaborate please? Currently Metro North still operates with a conductor and at least one trainman (assistant conductor). Some trains have more than one trainman. Even since implementing use of the TIMS, staffing has not been reduced. The only major change is the TIM gets used as opposed to the C9's (duplex stock).

It is my understanding that Metro North does not have any immediate plans to reduce trainmen. The real reason I say this is because there are currently two new conductor classes in place with a third scheduled to start this week.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby bluelightbynight » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:21 am

I am not impressed by some LIRR management using tough words in some of their posts such as giving conductors what they want by making their shifts shorter. Because of the economic downturn , public service employee envy, and the need to impress King Jay they are now going to be tough on conductors. Why wasn't management tough when the MTA had extra money to give away ten trips. Management let the culture of conductors cutting corners manifest into what to it became with little or no discipline. I went blocks of years without being crew checked. In the same classroom when I was learning what the definition of a block was I learned the definition of a wheelman. I love all these tough guys now.


On a side note, if you read datenail's posts they seem to be written by more than one person. You can tell the posts of datenail have different personalities.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby Datenail » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:03 am

Truck, I will elaborate as you asked:

A Metro North asst. conductor is similar in to what the LIRR calls a collector. On the LIRR, an asst. conductor is assigned to the job as is the engineer and conductor. A collector is assigned to the train. On the LIRR, the asst. conductor will be paid from the yard in the beginning, to the yard at the end. A collector varies. He may be paid to the yard or to a station. He may follow a job or follow certain trains and encounter different engineers and conductors in his/her workday. An asst. conductor will see the same engineer and conductor his entire day and work the same trains as them. You don't have a collector position on Metro North, because your asst. conductors or trainmen as some call them, are our collectors. The elimination of the asst. conductor on the LIRR is not to cut the workforce. It is to provide the same flexibility that we have with collectors, as you do with your trainmen.

Our asst. conductors have on their own, shown the LIRR that we can in many situations, not pay them to and from the yard. If they would be where they are supposed to be on every train, this idea would not come to pass. This is the same problem we had when we had two asst's on every train. We would crew check and only the conductor would be there, or maybe one other trainmen. So the company cut the crew size. The UTU attempted to stop this by arbitration. Their position was that each train service person had a specific job. For the previous century, all we ever heard from the BRC and later UTU was that the conductor was the trains boss and everyone had to do what he said. Except until the company cut the crew size. According to them a conductor couldn't order a collector to throw switches or an asst. to be a collector. The arbitrator responded that for the previous century, the union said the conductor can so what changed? They lost most but not all of that arbitration. They said if not enough asst. conductors were available, then have the collector do that job. Isn't that what the union told everyone? How can you be boss until its inconvenient, so why be different now?

Bluelight:

I'm the same person writing every post. You may not like what I write, but its only me and no one else. I wasnt trying to be an internet tough guy. I was only saying what is happening or will happen. No suprises there. We also have a lot of Metro North influence in our operation. If you read my previous posts, you'll see that personally I believe train service jobs will change, but there will be train service. None of us write exactly the same way everytime we write. It depends on your mood at the time.

By the way, theres more changes to come. Such as rules, paperwork, etc. Soon, you'll see. We'll be Metro North spelled LIRR.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby Steamboat Willie » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:50 am

Interesting you mention that the LIRR has intentions of following MNRR practices. Date is pretty much spot on with his asst condr (trainman) evaluation. In addition to revenue responsibilities they are expected to line switches in yards that are not hand thrown for their trains. Not sure if LIRR collectors are required to do that or is that of the asst condr.

MNRR does not have dedicated brakeman/assistants to passenger crews like Datenail said, with the exception of yard jobs or work trains. Although it is possible by dumb luck that you may be working with that particular crew for 3/4 of your trains.

And MN also operates quite a few trains with C&E only. Last 2 trains out of Poughkeepsie at night, most of the Wassaic and Danbury zippers and almost all of the Waterbury zippers. And believe it or not a few rush hour New Haven Line trains are C&E only. And in case Wilson asks, things still run well most of the time with just one crew member. In fact there is one Danbury job that is C&E only and has 2 scheduled meets that you go into the clear both times. On top of that with the exception of Danbury all stations on the branch have no ticket machines so you are cutting the whole way down and also clearing up your train twice. So if MN can get away with things like that look forward to minimal staffing in the future.
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