Which is worse for crews? New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

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Roy FoyLoy
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Which is worse for crews? New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by Roy FoyLoy » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:39 am

Ok, MNRR employees, which is a worse shift: New Year's Eve or St. Patrick's Day? I'm guessing that the clashing of early morning revelers and people just trying to get to work makes March 17th a bigger headache.

truck6018
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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by truck6018 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:11 am

While I can't speak about the morning trains, from my perspective, having worked last night from 3:30 to 12:00 (the parade was over at 3) and New Years Eve from 3:30 PM until 6 Am New Years Day, it's easy to say that New Years Eve was worse (in GCT anyway). Sure, there were some individuals that couldn't stand or walk on their own last night but for the most part the over all behavior of the masses was better. The crowds on New Years Eve were far more unstable and belligerent.

I do know on the trains there were several fights going home last night but I still don't think it was bad as New Years Eve.

As far as the incoming crowds before the parade I don't think there was too much effect on the AM commute. From what I understand the heaviest of trains were when the AM peak was winding down, although I could be wrong. I do know of one train that skipped some of it's scheduled stops due to heavy ridership (these stops were picked up by another train). The only thing that made it really difficult is one train inbound train that broke down around 125 St. That train was delayed for almost an hour.

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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by Travelsonic » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:46 am

I was traveling from Mamaroneck to New Rochelle on 1351 [I think?] yesterday [3-17-10], a group of 20 easily - green shirts, necklaces, etc all ready for St. Patty's Day. They all got on, some in the M2 pair at the end of the consist [where I was], the rest in the M4 triplet ahead of it. They - being the people in my car - reeked of beer, but weren't acting up. People were traveling between the M2 and M4 cars - mostly at stations, which told me something was about to go on. My gut feeling was right. At New Rochelle, I got off, and saw the conductor wasn't getting back on and was signaling to someone. Then I noticed several of the doors in the M4 triplet were occupied by the MTA police. Something went on, I didn't stick around to find out since I - coincidentally - was wearing green too and didn't want to end up in that mess. I walked to, and over the walkway over the tracks, and proceeded down to the opposite platform, to see MTA police escorting one of them away.

On Youtube there is a video of a fight / confrontation / scuffle on board another MNRR train that day - wonder if it was the same group of people? They were all dressed the same, but that [obviously] is speculative at best.

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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by Steamboat Willie » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:30 pm

Having worked both holidays this year thus far, I can say St. Patrick's day was worse. It was mentioned amongst people who have been here awhile that this was definitely one of the worse ones recently. But, you cannot compare to how things once were years ago before Giuliani cleaned up NYC. Every holiday was worse when they didn't ban drinking out on the streets. The amount of uniformed officers on foot patrol was plentiful out on the streets this year. But on the train it is a complete free for all. The amount of people riding the train easily out number the staffing levels. Also, the police do not ride the trains either.

The Hudson line, specifically the upper half, the inbound and outbound trains were insane. I had heard that the NYS troopers met one of the trains in Croton and were throwing people off.

What I do pity are the regular commuters who have to deal with this. They have to come to work to make a paycheck and have no option then to put up with these antics. New Years Eve was much more of a controlled environment. truck6018, this holiday is probably the most popular holiday for people in train service to either book off sick or using a personal day. Ask anyone who has a little bit of time on here.

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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:32 pm

I've always posited that New Year's Day is "Amateur Day", while St. Patrick's and Steuben Day were for serious drinkers. For a while I lived on 87th just off of 3rd, which I believe is either where one or both of the parade(s) end up, and there's certainly a fair amount of Irish pubs around the neighborhood (there used to be more German pubs there as it is/was Yorkville). It was not uncommon to see people lying in the gutter, puking in garbage cans, and rolling brawls when I lived there. I would expect the problems to be worse on the two parade days rather than New Year's.
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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by RearOfSignal » Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:39 pm

I didn't work St. Pattys this year but I heard it was a bad one. But it's hit and miss... Last year I worked St. Pattys on my day off and honestly couldn't tell it was different from any other day. But new years you have way more people coming to see the ball drop. But at least they gate so we don't have to walk through collecting tickets from drunks. You'll probably want to give your boots a nice hosen' off once you get home on either day.
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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by NWP Conductor » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:35 pm

St. Paddy's Day is much worse hands down...plus it's at straight time!

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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by kitn1mcc » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:15 pm

NYE have more than just drunkards and those looking to drink at the event NYE draws famillys and the like St pattys day just attracks drunks or colledge kids
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Tommy Meehan
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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:23 pm

There was a time -- still within memory for some of us -- when St. Patrick's Day was about the parade. The Mayor, labor, cops and firefighters marching. Televised live on WPIX. I don't recall an emphasis on drinking, except maybe after work your Dad would gather with his buddies and stay out unusually late at a good Irish bar that was unusually crowded.

I still know quite a few guys, firefighters mostly, who march in bagpipe bands.

At some point, I guess during the 80s, St. Patrick's Day in Manhattan became about underage high school kids from the outer boros and the suburbs being able to come into town and get publicly drunk without being arrested.

The local paper reported a large, boisterous crowd gathered at C-H Wednesday morning and had to be separated -- rival high schools I guess -- and put on different trains by police. Majorie Anders was quoted as saying this was possible because the crowd was so large an extra train had been ordered out.

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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:15 am

I'd say Puerto Rican Day Parade is worse.
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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by Ridgefielder » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:13 am

I think part of the problem this year was the weather. I honestly can't remember a St. Patrick's Day that was so warm and sunny. People are going to be much more eager to hang around and drink outside when it's 60 degrees and sunny than when it's 45 degrees and sleeting-- and it's the outdoor drinkers that are the underaged and/or overserved, from my observation.

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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by metrony » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:26 am

truck6018 wrote:While I can't speak about the morning trains, from my perspective, having worked last night from 3:30 to 12:00 (the parade was over at 3) and New Years Eve from 3:30 PM until 6 Am New Years Day, it's easy to say that New Years Eve was worse (in GCT anyway). Sure, there were some individuals that couldn't stand or walk on their own last night but for the most part the over all behavior of the masses was better. The crowds on New Years Eve were far more unstable and belligerent.

I do know on the trains there were several fights going home last night but I still don't think it was bad as New Years Eve.

As far as the incoming crowds before the parade I don't think there was too much effect on the AM commute. From what I understand the heaviest of trains were when the AM peak was winding down, although I could be wrong. I do know of one train that skipped some of it's scheduled stops due to heavy ridership (these stops were picked up by another train). The only thing that made it really difficult is one train inbound train that broke down around 125 St. That train was delayed for almost an hour.
That was the 8:49am out of Poughkeepsie (846) that broke down (correct?) they towed it back to Yankees-E.153 Street and the passengers boarded an M4/M6! (that is if my sources are correct).

I was at Dobbs Ferry and the 2:20pm local (#735) never showed up. They made an announcement saying the train is running 15-20 minutes late then another announcement saying the train is 30 minutes late and that was it. Nothing about it being canceled or anything. Didn't see it being towed to Croton, don't know where it broke down.

The 8:00am from Poughkeepsie (#844) was jammed pack time it reached Beacon. Everyone on the train was getting free rides, since it was close to impossible for the conductor to walk the aisles. St. Paddy's Day people were drinking on the train, they were fighting with regular commuters, regular commuters fighting with them. The conductor dispatch for the cops to come at Croton and to hold up the 9:00am (#742) train at Croton since we were running easily 10-15 minutes later. Some of the regular commuters changed over to the 9:00am train at Croton and the 9:00 train left, while the Poughkeepsie train was sitting there with the doors open.

Now what I don't understand is why MN didn't increase service. They only had 2 extra trains - one hudson morning, one harlem morning and nothing in the afternoon!??? Also MTA police should have been aboard the train at Poughkeepsie.

Also saw a whole bunch of illegally park cars at Beacon and 2 guys and a girl peeing right in the back of the station house (behind the southbound platform) at Dobbs Ferry. I was standing right in front of them on the northbound side.

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Tommy Meehan
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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:23 pm

metrony wrote:MTA police should have been aboard the train at Poughkeepsie.
I agree about the latter. That's what used to strike me. That the crews and ridrship often seemed left to fend for themselves on badly overcrowded trains with drunken boisterous teens.

They should have more of a police prescence on the trains.

IMHO the problem was much worse on St. Patrick's Day in the 90s. About 14 years ago I was forced to stand on a packed train and endure a literal wall of noise. It was sheer bedlam.

In fact when I'd been about to board the trainman warned me the train was a zoo. But I had to get to work.

I emailed Metro-North to inquire why there couldn't be some effort to control really excessive behavior. Why police were not on hand. As I recall the answer I got from customer service was that the MTA police were stretched pretty thin on St. Patrick's Day. That one problem was they were required by New York City (or had agreed) to have a certain number of police on-duty at Grand Central on that day.

I guess you just have to put up with it, reminding yourself, it's only one day a year. :-)

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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by Steamboat Willie » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:28 pm

Someone asked why there wasn't additional service than what MN provided. You do realize that the company has to run a regular rush hour in addition to accommodate with St. Patrick's Day. There is only so much equipment that is left to spare during a rush hour.

As for the police presence, there probably isn't enough staffing to have adequate amount of law enforcement presence on trains. So you have 2 officers ride a train, you are still heavily outnumbered. The RR wants to keep the trains moving and avoids holding up the entire place. The longer you keep them on the train the uglier things get.

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Re: New Year's Eve or St. Paddy's Day?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:31 pm

Steamboat Willie wrote:The RR wants to keep the trains moving and avoids holding up the entire place. The longer you keep them on the train the uglier things get.
Yeh that's probably true, I can see that.

One thing they might try is to get local police to control access to the inbound stations. Kids who are obviously intoxicated get turned away. The local police could also do bag checks and confiscate alcohol from kids who are underage.

Would it take having an inebriated underage drinker get hurt to get authorities to consider taking steps like that? Probably. :(

You know what I have always wondered. You see some of these kids, they are absolutely hammered. No way they're gonna sober up by the time they get home. So what do the parents do when their little darling arrives home three sheets to the wind? Laugh about it?

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