How often do trains get put together?

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How often do trains get put together?

Postby roysmith » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:44 pm

I took the 3:58 New Haven line out of GCT this afternoon. It was kind of strange that it was a long train (I didn't count cars, but looked like at least 10, maybe more), and mostly empty. They could have had half the number of cars, and it still would have been mostly empty. Which got me thinking about how trains get put together.

I assume the railroad has a good idea of how many people ride each train, and how many cars they'll need for each trip. Do they assemble each train with the right number of cars for that particular trip? Or do they have a bunch of trains pre-made up with 6, 8, 10, or whatever cars, and they stay together like that for the whole day, or for many days at a time?
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Re: How often do trains get put together?

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:15 pm

the trains pretty much stay together, an inbound GCT train, has to leave GCT as there is simply no way to store them in city, and that same consist needs servicing (toilets, water, cleaning,even some shop (cars cut out ).
splitting a train would result in having to put it together later, and possible problems .
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Re: How often do trains get put together?

Postby srock1028 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:28 pm

Looking at the schedule, the 3:58 New Haven Line train is actually a "zipper" (Harrison Train) that was 9 cars instead of its normal 8. It deadheads back to GCT, then turns into the 6:32 PM New Haven train which needs that sized consist.
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Re: How often do trains get put together?

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:04 pm

I don't know just what the situation is today in GCT but in my time with Metro-North it was very common to make up trains and split trains in the terminal. The yardmaster would simply call the emergency engineer's room and talk to one of the engineers as to what needed to happen. The emergency engineer would go to the train and using his "dream key" in the receptacle would make the cut. In the case of trains being coupled again the emergency engineer would sometimes move a bunch of cars from one track to another and make the hitch and sometimes the cars were on the same track. In any case these moves were not a big deal and would be easy moves as long as no problems came up. Occasionally we could not get the un-coupling done without the wrench and then they would send a car inspector down with the necessary wrench. Occasionally when making a coupling (hitch) we could not get a good coupling and again a car inspector was called. These moves were done with all MU type equipment in GCT from ACMU's to the newest (at my time) M-3's. Maybe today it is a bigger deal but it wasn't then. We had regular engineers who did MU moves all day and most of the time these moves were done by them.
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Re: How often do trains get put together?

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:28 pm

not big deal, problem is GCT lost 70% of its storage due to ESA and trains being longer in general.
these days 4 and 6 car trains are rare.
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Re: How often do trains get put together?

Postby NaugyRR » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:33 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:I don't know just what the situation is today in GCT but in my time with Metro-North it was very common to make up trains and split trains in the terminal. The yardmaster would simply call the emergency engineer's room and talk to one of the engineers as to what needed to happen. The emergency engineer would go to the train and using his "dream key" in the receptacle would make the cut. In the case of trains being coupled again the emergency engineer would sometimes move a bunch of cars from one track to another and make the hitch and sometimes the cars were on the same track. In any case these moves were not a big deal and would be easy moves as long as no problems came up. Occasionally we could not get the un-coupling done without the wrench and then they would send a car inspector down with the necessary wrench. Occasionally when making a coupling (hitch) we could not get a good coupling and again a car inspector was called. These moves were done with all MU type equipment in GCT from ACMU's to the newest (at my time) M-3's. Maybe today it is a bigger deal but it wasn't then. We had regular engineers who did MU moves all day and most of the time these moves were done by them.
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Sounds like you didn't split too many push-pull sets then, Noel. Did you ever run into an instance when a car was found bad-ordered within the terminal and had to be set-out, or were sets in that incidence just slowly and carefully dragged to MO/High Bridge/etc.?
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Re: How often do trains get put together?

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:24 am

I believe Noel left MN before first Bombardiers arrived in 1985/6.

and yes bad order cars do get set out and moved to proper shop by AMMO or PMMO switcher.
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Re: How often do trains get put together?

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:20 pm

My last day with Metro-North was in late September or early October, 1987. I had four weeks vacation at that time and I took October off to finish up my move from NYC to Albany, the best move in my life. I took the month of October to finish my move and finish qualifying between Selkirk and Dewitt, they provided me pilots to finish up Buffalo. The most amusing part was the very end of October between my last day of vacation and November 1st when I got a call from Metro-North that I had to pick and work a job. I was already fully moved up to Albany and qualified and ready to go on my new job and I had no intention of returning to New York City to work for two or three days, I don't remember which it was in this case. They continued to push the issue so I told them I would take a job out of Poughkeepsie. I was not qualified between Harmon and Poughkeepsie so they would have had to pay me to qualify so then they backed off and wished me well. As for the "Bomb Trains" they came a little bit before I left Metro-North but they did not want to bother to qualify the emergency engineers on their operation from the cab car at that time so any time a move was made with them they used two engineers and one on the cab car end used the radio to back the equipment in to the block. It was all FL-9's at that time. High Bridge was maybe in the think stage but nothing more at that time. I had a couple of different emergency jobs all on the middle trick or a relief which worked three middles and the last trick on Fridays and Saturdays which was a one person job. There was some built in overtime involved and I worked with a great bunch of guys. At that time the emergency jobs were among the best jobs in New York, I doubt if they are today. On a good day we had it very good and on a bad day we usually made a bundle of overtime going up the road .
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Re: How often do trains get put together?

Postby russellsal8 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:10 pm

Speaking of train lengths, have the substations on the Harlem and Hudson been upgraded to allow 10 and 12 car M7s? I remember that being a discussion here in years past. The being the reason that all of the 10 and 12 car trains being run with M3s since running with the M7s would be too heavy. Thanks.
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Re: How often do trains get put together?

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:30 pm

only place the longer trains are problem is North white plains to Southeast, it was electrified with understanding only 6 car trains would be run.
they did tweak them up by raising voltage by nearly 70 volt to 770 volt DC but need upgrading.
the longer M-7 trains do not go up to Brewster 8 cars is just about max.
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