Grand Central Station Complex (incl Upgrades): 4, 5, 6, S

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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Postby Lirr168 » Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:00 pm

i'd doubt it, the Shuttle doesn't even start service until 6 a.m.
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Postby Alex L. » Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:09 am

The shuttle had been running due to a "No service on the 7" GO that night.
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Grand Central Shuttle station

Postby Frank » Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:19 pm

What did the tilework in the Grand Central Shuttle station look like before the fire? Were there any mosiacs, or any artwork in the station?
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The Shuttle: GCT to Times Sq.

Postby L'mont » Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:39 pm

Can someone explain to me how the Shuttle works? Why do they have signals? Seems to me that, with no other trains on the track and only 2 stops, it could just go back and fourth un-signled. There are 4 signals just in the length of the platforms?

Can someone just explain the basic operations?

Thanks
Last edited by L'mont on Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bellstbarn » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:13 pm

Regarding the IRT shuttle between Grand Central and Times Square:
The signals that restrict speed approaching the terminals are, obviously, the same speed restriction signals that keep other route trains from hitting bumpers. As experienced by PATH in the past two years at Hoboken, hitting a bumper shocks standing riders. No one wants passenger injuries.
Three tracks are in use where the original mainline had two local and two express. In order to maintain the equipment, moves have to be made to get the trains out to a shop. Look around the northernmost track at Times Square, and you will see a movable walkway over the track. The walkway is pulled back to allow a train to leave onto the northbound Broadway local track. Crossovers in between Times Square and Grand Central allow movements from the other tracks. I don't know whether the southernmost track is still connected to the Lex., but it used to.
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To me, the strangest thing about this shuttle is what I call TPOPTO: two-person one-person train operation! Instead of a conductor and an operator, with the operator running from end-to-end every three minutes, an operator stays in his cab and works the train one direction, the doors the other direction.
All the above is subject to correction, as I make mistakes.
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You capitalized The Shuttle. There are other shuttles on the NY subway: Rockaway Park to Howard Beach; the Franklin Avenue Shuttle.
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Postby F40 » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:44 pm

bellstbarn wrote:--------
To me, the strangest thing about this shuttle is what I call TPOPTO: two-person one-person train operation! Instead of a conductor and an operator, with the operator running from end-to-end every three minutes, an operator stays in his cab and works the train one direction, the doors the other direction.
All the above is subject to correction, as I make mistakes.
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I have noticed this too last Saturday. Wouldn't it be sufficient to have this line with OPTO? (Unless walking back and forth is an issue. I think it's good exercise at the least. :wink: )
DANGER - DO NOT GET OFF MOVING TRAIN
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Postby bellstbarn » Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:25 pm

Probably someone more connected to union negotiations might explain why two operators are used for this odd "OPTO." My suspicion is that the criteria the TA devised five or ten years ago when they demanded OPTO involved routes with short trains, simple operation. In order to declare the G an OPTO route, they may have had to list the 42nd Street shuttle as OPTO, thereby forcing themselves to hire two operators instead of an operator and a conductor. The goal of the TA's move to OPTO is to do away with the doormen (conductors). I disagree with most of the transit community when they explain that OPTO is used around the world in many cities. I claim that NY has some of the longest trains for a single person to scan from the front. In Munich U-Bahn, for example, the operator actually opens his door, moves onto the platform and closes the doors of just three or four cars with a tethered control pad. Barcelona uses clever mirrors plus television, but the trains are not 600 feet long. In my opinion, length of train is important. Certainly, the TA did not want to end up with two operators on a 42nd St Shuttle, but the criteria they used probably caught them.
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If one wishes to see another strange OPTO at work, stand at Howard Beach inbound and watch the waste of time as the operator must walk back to check the train for sleeping passengers before he moves into the pocket track. That requirement blocks the next train from Far Rock, and all passengers suffer the delay.
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Postby pennsy » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:17 pm

Hi All,

Somewhat more complex. If you take the down staircase on the GCT to Times Square Shuttle platforms, either one, you will find yourself on the platforms for the IRT Flushing line going out to Queens, making both stops. So, if the trains are really crowded, and you don't mind the extra stairs, you will find the Flushing line does the same thing, and goes out to Flushing too, if you want to go there.
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Postby RearOfSignal » Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:31 pm

The signals used within the length of the platforms are one-shot Grade Timers which enforce a speed to pass the signal so the train doesn't hit the bumper.

The shuttle trk 1 connects to the lex just above 33st on the downtown local track.

I've also noticed that on trk 3 there is no interlocking signal protecting the trailing point before GCT platform. Anyone else notice this or am I mistaken?
Hurry up and wait at the signal!
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Postby chuchubob » Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:24 pm

rcervel wrote: The shuttle trk 1 connects to the lex just above 33rd on the downtown local track.


A number of Museum IRT trains started there.
http://www.transitspot.com/gallery2/v/u ... _21_12.jpg
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:21 am

The Rockaway Park Shuttle runs OPTO if it's only a four car train. But if it's a full 8-car train, then it'll require a train attendant to open/close doors.
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Postby pennsy » Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:04 am

Hi Robert,

As I remember it, the Rockaway Park train operated as an E train on the IND and terminated at Beach 116th st. This is essentially an Irish area, Sunny Fitz's probably still remembers me and my partners in crime. Don't ever remember it being a shuttle. I would wait at the Broad Channel station, if the weather was nice, to switch from the Rockaway Park E train to the Far Rockaway E train, the one I needed. If the weather was bad, I changed at Euclid avenue, underground station. If my timing was right, I would get the Far Rockaway E train at West Fourth St, New York University station, and of course race that cute blonde to the seat. That blonde became my Mrs. What was that ? No romance on the IND subways ???
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Postby bellstbarn » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:56 pm

By exploring the subway schedules at http://www.mta.info I learned that in Winter 2007, inbound from Rockaway Park there are only five trains weekdays (Monday-Friday) that continue past Howard Beach (that is, five inbound morning rush hour trains, matched by five outbound during the evening rush). All other service to Rockaway Park is provided by the S shuttle, a separate timetable.
The five inbound and five outbound through trains to/from Rockaway Park show up in the A timetable.
The same A timetable informed me of another S shuttle that I did not know of: A midnight shuttle (S) from Euclid to Lefferts.
Link to the timetable showing most of the Rockaway Park service, a pdf file:
http://mta.info/nyct/service/pdf/tacur.pdf
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I avoid railfanning the subway at midnight. However, I can just imagine the outbound Far Rockaway train arriving at Euclid, with the announcement, "Change here to the Lefferts Blvd shuttle." Nineteen minutes later, at Broad Channel the announcement, "Change here for the Far Rockaway shuttle."
That is how 20-minute owl headway is provided on three branches.
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Postby Kurt » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:43 am

As far as I know, two operators are used due to crowd conditions. During rush hour, it would be almost impossible for the an operator to get out of one cab, walk to the other end, and enter that cab. Most passengers do not move out of the way when the crew does attempt to exit/enter a cab Remember, the shuttle only runs 6 am to 12 midnight ( unless the 7 is down for scheduled maintenance. I have seen shuttles crowded as late as 10 pm, depending on what events are going on in the area.

As far as I know, the connector from track 1 to the Lex line is not used for museum train storage, I have seen the shuttle moved through, not in revenue service, as it was swapped for another set. Not sure if track 1 is connect to tracks 3 and 4, which exit to the 1,2,3 line in Times Square, after the steel bridge plates are removed.
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Postby RearOfSignal » Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:39 pm

Kurt wrote:As far as I know, the connector from track 1 to the Lex line is not used for museum train storage, I have seen the shuttle moved through, not in revenue service, as it was swapped for another set. Not sure if track 1 is connect to tracks 3 and 4, which exit to the 1,2,3 line in Times Square, after the steel bridge plates are removed.


The Trk 1 connection to the Lex isn't used for storage since it's the only way to get equipment onto trks 1 & 3(they are connected). Trk 4 however is not connected to 1 & 3. The only connection trk 4 has to another track system is to the 7th Ave line when the pedestrian bridge is taken OOS.
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