How Hard to Track SLE Real-time?

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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jxzz
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:12 pm
Location: New Haven County

How Hard to Track SLE Real-time?

Post by jxzz »

I live in Shore Line town east of New Haven, and I commute to Stamford using West Haven station. The easiest station for me should be Guilford or Branford and I wish I could do that with less driving, but the reliability and lack of real time tracking is really putting off a lot of potential SLE commuters like me. Most SLE stations do not have heating or winter proof shelter like West Haven station so that real time tracking is really a big deal. Plus, most commuters do have car and there is always an option to drive to West Haven to not miss meeting or jobs in Stamford/NYC if a big SLE delay or cancellation comes. Occasional delay or cancellation is workable if the tracking/alert is real time.

I attended commuter forum meeting with CTDOT commissioner in New Haven recently and asked a question on how and when will the Shore Line East trains can be tracked real-time. The answer I got was not satisfactory. Lots of what, if, can't etc. saying that train staffs or engineers are not supposed to push out real-time info.

I agree that train staff or locomotive engineers should not be in this job and they have more important stuff to do. But they do communicate with transportation center, and it is possible to install GPS on trains or cameras in stations to track the movement of trains to give out delay or cancellation as quick as possible to commuters who get stranded in downstream stations waiting knowing nothing. Yale buses/Stamford Harbor Point Trolly are tracked real time with GPS system and cell phone apps. SLE trains should do a lot better than now.

Metro North trains do have app like "right track" to track real time on stations for delay or cancellations, SLE does not have that. I would wish that SLE riders get the same things as those on Metro North lines.

Backshophoss
Posts: 6485
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: How Hard to Track SLE Real-time?

Post by Backshophoss »

From the phase break near East Haven station to Boston is Amtrak dispatch from the CTEC near Boston,SLE lacks sat tracking gear used by Amtrak and Dixiland software.
Same for NH H&Springfield service trains.
ConnDOT lacks the $$$$ needed to install sat tracking on their fleet
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22364
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: How Hard to Track SLE Real-time?

Post by DutchRailnut »

best bet is to call bus company and see where bus is ?
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

jxzz
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:12 pm
Location: New Haven County

Re: How Hard to Track SLE Real-time?

Post by jxzz »

DutchRailnut wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:13 pm
best bet is to call bus company and see where bus is ?
Bus is notoriously bad and unreliable. If one can not trust SLE trains, let alone buses. Who to call?

My coworker in Stamford told me that he used to commute from Danbury line living in Northern Norwalk because of easy driving to station and free parking. But twice in a year he was hit of cancellation of train for buses. Now the bus never showed up after 45 minutes wait and they end up sharing with a few commuters together on the same uber to their cars. Now worse became worst, rider sharing had surge pricing when the cost of ride during that kind of situation could hit hundreds of dollar while in normal times it would be only fraction of cost.

SLE probably had similar stories and had huge ridership drop over last year because of this. The whole thing should have been better communicated and managed.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22364
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: How Hard to Track SLE Real-time?

Post by DutchRailnut »

ok if a train is canceled do you really think there is a bus and driver waiting to jump in ?.
most transportation companies have same labor contract clauses like 2 hour call , but even a ASAP call not being within hour of cancelation .
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

jxzz
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:12 pm
Location: New Haven County

Re: How Hard to Track SLE Real-time?

Post by jxzz »

DutchRailnut wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:44 pm
ok if a train is canceled do you really think there is a bus and driver waiting to jump in ?.
most transportation companies have same labor contract clauses like 2 hour call , but even a ASAP call not being within hour of cancelation .
That is good to know. Very few commuters are aware of this inside info.

CTRailfan
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:03 pm

Re: How Hard to Track SLE Real-time?

Post by CTRailfan »

Crikey. This could be done by kids in high school with Raspberry Pi GPS trackers with SIM cards in them to report the GPS data to a web server and throw it up on a map. And how on earth can a state DOT not crack this one? There must be pre-packaged GPS trackers that can inexpensively be installed in each cab car.

For actual operations, SLE needs more reliable equipment and the Shore Line itself needs some more crossovers, sidings, and full double-sided stations.

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