Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

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Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby roysmith » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:39 am

Today's NY Times has an article titled, "How Did the Subway Get So Bad? Look to the C Train" (https://nyti.ms/2rP2RBo). The article says:
More than half a century ago, a 20-piece marching band in green and gold uniforms assembled near Track 37 at Grand Central Terminal to herald the arrival of what was hailed as an engineering marvel: the city’s first stainless-steel subway cars, known as Brightliners.

Did they really run subway cars into GCT? Are the tracks even interconnected anywhere? Track gauge is one thing. I assume they would push them in with a locomotive, but are subway cars even capable of being pushed like that? The right couplers and brake line fittings? What about clearance for third rail pickup shoes, signal trip-arms, etc?
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby NorthWest » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:47 am

As I understand it, they simply switched third rail shoes and ran them on their own power, both systems being 600V DC. I think they were delivered on their own wheels, so it was simply a matter of rerouting a set.
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:44 am

The tracks are indeed interconnected. There's a junction between the subway system and the ex-NH Bay Ridge Branch here, https://goo.gl/maps/JsvHbNRpUau, near the New Lots Ave. station on the L train. If you dig around on RR.net, you'll find photos from a few years back of a movement of an LIRR caboose over B division tracks from South Brooklyn to the Transit Museum at Boerum Place & Schermerhorn St.
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:08 pm

If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby mkm4 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:32 pm

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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby dieciduej » Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:08 pm

NorthWest wrote:As I understand it, they simply switched third rail shoes and ran them on their own power, both systems being 600V DC. I think they were delivered on their own wheels, so it was simply a matter of rerouting a set.


Looking at this photo from nyctransitforums.com, you can see that the contact shoe different from the standard NY subway shoe, and it is canted upwards.

Image

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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby TomNelligan » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:57 pm

This was just a one-time promotional run, which of course couldn't happen today since the FRA types would be apoplectic at the thought of rapid transit cars mingling with full sized trains. But it did constitute an effective promotion for the new cars. Trains did a news report on it at the time if you have access to back issues.
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby roysmith » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:16 am

NorthWest wrote:As I understand it, they simply switched third rail shoes and ran them on their own power, both systems being 600V DC. I think they were delivered on their own wheels, so it was simply a matter of rerouting a set.


Interesting. I assume they had to fabricate custom shoes?

What holds a subway shoe in contact with the third rail? Is it just the weight of the shoe and gravity? The Metro North shoes must have a spring pulling them up, so if nothing else, you need someplace to attach the other end of that spring. But, I imagine the mounting point is different too.
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby JamesRR » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:20 am

Over-running (as is with NYC Subway and LIRR) and under-running (Metro-North) shoes use spring tension to press against the third rail - gravity alone isn't enough. The shoe is typically mounted to a beam which spans the truck, and this beam is either pushed up or down via spring. The ends of the third rails are tapered in the appropriate direction, and the shoe is guided onto the rail upon contact.

At a time, the FL9 locomotives (which ran into both Grand Central and Penn Station during the NH days) had retractable third rail shoes which could be used for both over or under running rail via pneumatic pressure.
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby dieciduej » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:43 pm

roysmith wrote:What holds a subway shoe in contact with the third rail? Is it just the weight of the shoe and gravity? The Metro North shoes must have a spring pulling them up, so if nothing else, you need someplace to attach the other end of that spring. But, I imagine the mounting point is different too.


Here are some photos I took back in 2006 of a subway truck assembly.

Contact Shoe Beam.JPG
Contact Shoe Beam

This holds the actual contact shoe assembly. It is usually it is made of wood, to act as an insulator from the metal track frame.

Truck Frame.JPG
Truck Frame

This shows the contact shoe assembly mounted to the truck frame, less the wheels. The contact shoe is replaceable and the frame it is bolted to has the built in spring to force the shoe to make good contact.

Truck.JPG
Truck

Last but not least the fully assembled truck.

JoeD

PS Hey, wait a minute those are MBTA trucks! :P
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:59 pm

Changing shoe mechanisme is only 4 bolts plus 2 for electric connection, really not rocket science
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby UpperHarlemLine4ever » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:00 am

2 items regarding this posting.

1. The story at the time was that the equipment was pushed into Grand Central with an S Motor. If you look carefully at the photo showing the train leaving the yard, you can see an S Motor and a gap car in the background.

2. There was also a connection between the railroad network and the NYC subway at East 180th Street via the old NYW&B viaduct at this location. This viaduct is gone and apartment buildings now stand in its place. I attended Cardinal Hayes HS which was adjacent to the Mott Haven Yard and in 1962-63?? the yard had R-33 (Redbirds) in them constantly on their way to the IRT via the Port Morris Branch and the NYW&B viaduct.
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby NorthWest » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:55 am

They operated under their own power though they required 'change in position' to the third rail shoes.
http://www.nytimes.com/1964/09/10/stainless-steel-cars-to-brighten-bmt.html?_r=0
Note the anticipated '35-year operating life'.
In my correspondence with someone on that train in a thread on another forum commemorating their 50th anniversary of entering service, he noted that the trip was smoothly completed at 35MPH and was operated by a NYC engineer with a subway motorman advising him from beside.
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby Tadman » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:34 pm

TomNelligan wrote:This was just a one-time promotional run, which of course couldn't happen today since the FRA types would be apoplectic at the thought of rapid transit cars mingling with full sized trains. But it did constitute an effective promotion for the new cars. Trains did a news report on it at the time if you have access to back issues.


I might be wrong but you could probably still get away with this if the train was not a revenue run and had no passengers aboard.
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Re: Subway cars in Grand Central Terminal?

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:22 pm

yes and no , you could still get a FRA waiver with a lot of conditions, but would railroad violate its own rules for no other purpose of a publicity stunt ?
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