Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

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

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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:44 am

umtrr-author wrote:I don't know if they stayed on flatbeds all the way to New York City, but either late last year or early this year I observed somewhere around ten NYC Subway cars being hauled down Interstate 81 southbound between Binghamton and Scranton.


Those were the R160As being delivered from Alstom in Hornell.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby railfan365 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:00 pm

For what it's worth, back in late 1985, I saw flat bed truck trailers on the GWB with IRT redbirds on them, fresh from overhaul. Delivering subway cars by truck has been going on for a long time, contrary to how some of us think it should be done.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:19 am

During the overhaul program, the R32s, R42s and R46s went by flatcar to MK. Some R36 WFs and the R38s traveled on their own wheels to GE's Buffalo shop. The IRT R26/28/29s went back and forth to MK on flatbed trailer. The R33s, most R36s and some R42 and R44s were overhauled in-house at either 207 Street or Coney Island Shop. This photo shows a SBK diesel hauling WF R36s freshly returned from GE in late 1984.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby pnaw10 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:18 pm

railfan365 wrote:I've read in a different thread that NYNJ's old track that connects to the SBK yard at 39th Street is no longer connected to the rest of the railroad on 1st Avenue. I've also read conflicting accounts about whether the connectoin still exists between the Canarsie line and the Long Island Railroad's Linden Yard. Does anyone know if there is presently a rail connection between the subway system and other railroads?


It's funny, I usually stick to the Metro-North forum, but after reading a recent NY Times article about something in the subway, I had been doing some research on Wikipedia and nycsubway.org and happened to find mention of this very topic yesterday -- before stumbling upon your query here today.

According to Wikipedia's entry for Linden Shops:
It has track connections to the IRT New Lots Line and BMT Canarsie Line but has no third rail, restricting the facility to diesel-powered trains only. There is also a track connection to the LIRR's Bay Ridge Branch. This connection is one of two from the subway to the mainline United States rail network (The BMT West End Line is the other).


After checking a few sources, it appears the BMT West End Line connection to "the outside world" is rather limited in scope. Heading north from Coney Island, the D/M lines stop at 9 Ave, then turn north to merge with the BMT Fourth Ave Line (R). But if, instead of turning north, a train were to continue west, it would head onto trackage controlled by what was formerly called the NY Cross Harbor Railroad.

According to trainweb.org's page on the NYCHRR, the map in my previous link is a little outdated: the NYCHRR has since changed hands twice, the most recent owner being the Port Authority. Admittedly, I skimmed the page quickly, but it appears that (once again, despite what the map says), the tracks are active going out to the harbor and cars can be floated out across the harbor, though I got the impression this option isn't used nearly as often as it used to be, say, 20 or 30 years ago.

The map linked above also shows a connection to the South Brooklyn Railroad, but it infers that the SBK tracks are just stub tracks and not really connected to the rest of the SBK? Again, I didn't spend a ton of time investigating -- just a "starting point" to help you if you want to continue looking into this further on your own.

Jeff Smith wrote:Is the Kawasaki? assembly plant in Yonkers connected to the Hudson Line? I can't recall.


As another poster said, yes, it is -- but Metro-North has no direct connection to the subway. I would imagine a strictly "rail-only" route from Yonkers to the subway would involve being towed south to MO, around the wye and back up to New Rochelle, then back southbound down the Hell Gate line to the LIRR, then onto the proper routing to get from the LIRR into the subway system.

Considering such a move would involve multiple agencies (and likely "special crews" collecting premium or overtime pay), it's easy to see why most new subway cars are delivered by flatbed truck instead. Much faster and easier to load a car onto a flatbed in Yonkers and drive it into the 207th Street Yard, than it is to make all those complex moves on the rails. (Not to mention, the third-rail shoes would have to be removed before a subway car can run on MNR's tracks, then reinstalled at some point before being introduced to the subway system. This step isn't required if the cars are being trucked.)
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:04 pm

The last time new cars were delivered by rail were the IRT R142s from Bombardier, which went by CP from Plattsburgh to Fresh Pond (via Hell Gate and NYCR) and then NYA to Linden Shop.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby keyboardkat » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:44 pm

Unfortunately, a West End Line train going straight west instead of heading north along Fourth Avenue, would quickly run out of power and momentum, as the track to the harbor and the SBK has no third rail.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby #5 - Dyre Ave » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:44 am

Jeff Smith wrote:That was to the present-day NEC, formerly the NH and NYW&B.

That one's definitely gone now with the NYW&B el having been demolished just south of East 180th Street.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby Shalom » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:58 am

There was once a float bridge at track 58 in the 207th Street Yard (see map at http://images.nycsubway.org/maps/yard_207th.pdf), but it's shown as abandoned as of the date of that map (3/1/65). I suppose they could have once used that for deliveries.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:30 pm

This page has very good info on the 207 Street carfloat and docks. The IND R1-9s in the 1930s were delivered by DL&W from Berwick, PA to Hoboken and then floated up to 207 St.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby greenpointmike » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:13 pm

I watched new cars going over the GW a while back on flatbeds. Its my understanding they're getting shipped from upstate via trucks the whole way.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby mrsubway » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:29 am

Just South of East 180th, there used to be a connection to what is now Metro North. I can verify that the connection is gone, and has been since I've lived in the area. I seem to recall somewhere that the R44s were originally tested on the LIRR when they were delivered. That's interesting. ;)
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:49 pm

Actually, that connection was to the Amtrak NEC; MNRR does not run on the former Harlem River Branch. It's been gone for some time to make room for a bus depot. If you go to our NH forum, there should be a topic on this connection concerning a remaining catenary tower, which was originally for the NYW&B, portions of which were taken over for the Dyre Av line/5 train.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby rjbrody » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:59 am

mrsubway wrote:Just South of East 180th, there used to be a connection to what is now Metro North. I can verify that the connection is gone, and has been since I've lived in the area. [I seem to recall somewhere that the R44s were originally tested on the LIRR when they were delivered. That's interesting.] ;)

An oldtimer on the A told me years ago that the 44s were tested on the LIRR and that they originally had a high top speed. He also showed me how program the route and destination signs for everything imaginable including the LIRR and MetroNorth.
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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby RedbirdR33 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:47 pm

An oldtimer on the A told me years ago that the 44s were tested on the LIRR and that they originally had a high top speed


The test occurred on January 31, 1972. An eight car train was tested on a stretch of track between Woodside and Jamaica. The R-44 set the all-time speed record for subway cars topping out at 87.75 MPH. A second run was made with two motors cut out to simulate a fully loaded train and still reached 77 MPH.

Source: "New York Subways" by Mr.Gene Sansone

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Re: Subway Connections to the National Rail Network.

Postby rjbrody » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:41 pm

Thanks for the info Larry. Imagine an A train flying across the flats to Broad Channel at 87 MPH! The fastest I ever got my 62A (1 train) was on 2 track into 14 St - 48 MPH!
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