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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by Traingeek3629
 
Metro-North continues to mismanage the Upper Hudson, with cascading effects for the rest of the line. Their decision to not continue to run twice-hourly service has proved disastrous, with excessive crowds creating heavy delays and unsafe onboard decisions.

Both last night and today, train 8852 (as well as 8848) was running at 100% capacity out of Cold Spring, and upwards of 140% by the time it got to Croton-Harmon. The heavy crowding and long stops at Manitou/Breakneck meant that 8852 was running upwards of 20 minutes late, and #8752 also was held for 10-15 minutes at Croton to accommodate passengers from the Upper Hudson, who transferred at Croton en masse. They were experiencing these levels of crowds and delays last weekend with doubled service, and they still figured that everything would be fine this weekend. Total facepalm.
  by daybeers
 
Wow, wild ridership! The NHL gets twice-hourly weekend service, actually better than some weekday late nights, why can't the Hudson get that too?
  by Traingeek3629
 
It appears that MNR isn't running the holiday "Shopper Special" trains that they used to in the weekends leading up to Christmas. Gonna be some crazy crowds on the evening semi-expresses to New Haven - it was crowded last year and that was with extra trains that ran express to Fairfield.
  by shadyjay
 
A couple observations from this past Saturday's trip from West Haven down to South Norwalk and back on the NHL, M-8s:

1. I heard a series of computerized electronic tones right as our train was beginning to change tracks within an interlocking. Is this common on the NHL/MN/M-8s for interlockings to be "announced" this way?

2. At one point, the lights in our car went out (side lights). The train crew then came on the PA and announced that at Stratford, only the middle cars were open, and if you were seated in a car with the lights out, that car would not platform and you'd have to walk either back or forward. After we got past the bridge plates, the lights in our car came back on. I don't recall being on a NHL train in the past and having the train crew use the lighting in the cars as a reference to whether or not your car will platform.

Thoughts?
  by Traingeek3629
 
shadyjay wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2024 6:39 pm A couple observations from this past Saturday's trip from West Haven down to South Norwalk and back on the NHL, M-8s:

1. I heard a series of computerized electronic tones right as our train was beginning to change tracks within an interlocking. Is this common on the NHL/MN/M-8s for interlockings to be "announced" this way?

2. At one point, the lights in our car went out (side lights). The train crew then came on the PA and announced that at Stratford, only the middle cars were open, and if you were seated in a car with the lights out, that car would not platform and you'd have to walk either back or forward. After we got past the bridge plates, the lights in our car came back on. I don't recall being on a NHL train in the past and having the train crew use the lighting in the cars as a reference to whether or not your car will platform.

Thoughts?
Doing that with lighting is actually a pretty great idea. Lots of people can be disoriented as to where in the train they are or what cars will be platforming, so it's good to have a clear indicator of that.
Of course...2010s railcars should have actual in-train information systems, but I digress...

I've heard those tones before. Never figured out what they're for and they seem to be pretty random, but maybe I just never made the connection. I tend to hear it coming out of terminals mostly.
  by daybeers
 
Yes that's a great idea about the lighting. Of course agreed on the information systems, especially since we just got the last delivery a couple months ago...

Some engineers use the tone to alert conductors before traversing an interlocking, as some are pretty rough. It's just courtesy to give them a couple seconds to put their feet a little farther apart and balance.
  by Kilgore Trout
 
I had always assumed that the longer ascending tone is the destination announcement system being reset, as I had almost always seen it happen when the announcements were wrong but were correct afterwards. (I suppose there could be multiple distinct tones.)
  by Kurt
 
In car notification system would be useless for the general public. Every car that has LED signage as to where the train is going and what the next stop is, are ignored. I lost track of how many times someone stood in front of the LED display, and asked "Is this the train to Grand Central?"
  by Head-end View
 
I rode a New Haven bound M8 train from Grand Central to Stamford yesterday. And I was pleased to discover that unlike on LIRR's M7's, passengers can see thru the cab-door's tinted window. So I stood at the first vestibule and enjoyed the view of track, stations, and signals, (such as they are nowadays :( ) LIRR's M7's have the window covered by a dark colored shade so there is no more head-end viewing on LIRR.

Good for Metro-North ! :-D
  by shadyjay
 
Kurt wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 8:58 pm In car notification system would be useless for the general public. Every car that has LED signage as to where the train is going and what the next stop is, are ignored. I lost track of how many times someone stood in front of the LED display, and asked "Is this the train to Grand Central?"
In fairness to the person asking you, the interior LED signs have the next stop displayed between stations. The destination only comes up at stations ... "This station is... Stamford... this is the train to.... Grand Central ... the next stop is Harlem-125th St". After leaving Stamford, the displays hold onto the "Harlem 125th St" or whatever the next stop is. The exterior LEDs list the destination.

It is funny how the Metro North signs/audio say "Please watch the gap between the train and the platform", while the LIRR M-7s say "Please stop over the gap between the train and the platform". And then there's the M-9s that don't mention the gap at all and have a women's voice.
  by shadyjay
 
A couple new observations today:

Observed the Park Ave viaduct has the easternmost 2 tracks closed due to the construction. Not sure if it was just a weekend thing, but it looked like a lot of cleanup to get those tracks open again, if that's the case. All trains were utilizing the westernmost 2 tracks. If that is indeed a long term closure, I have to give the RTC guys some credit, especially during rush hour!

We headed north on the "inbound express" track from GCT limits to Woodlawn, where there was more work taking place on the two "outbound" tracks. Approaching the flyover, I wondered how frequent (if ever) a NB New Haven Line train takes the flyover. Sure enough, we took it. It seemed weird entering the NLH from the opposite side!

The new signs for "Fairfield-Black Rock" are up at the former Fairfield Metro station. My inbound train had blank announcements ("This station is ___________"), while my outbound still had the previous name, and the train crew called it by the old name when warning of the bridge plates.

It is still amazing how many different variations of station signage there are on the New Haven Line... the new style with CTRail logos, white with a red line, white with a red line and CT Commuter Rail logo, and white with a red line and text italicized. Everything in NY state has the same style sign. It doesn't help matters that CT decides to change their station sign design every couple years.

Pulling into West Haven, our train was advised that only the front 2 cars would open due to bridge plates. Then, we got switched to Track 3 and all doors opened, while a GCT-bound train was boarding on Track 1 (using the bridge plates). I had no objection, as I didn't have to go "up and over", and most likely the RTC did this since there were more people disembarking from NYC than getting on at West Haven and going into the city.
  by Traingeek3629
 
shadyjay wrote:
The new signs for "Fairfield-Black Rock" are up at the former Fairfield Metro station. My inbound train had blank announcements ("This station is ___________"), while my outbound still had the previous name, and the train crew called it by the old name when warning of the bridge plates.

It is still amazing how many different variations of station signage there are on the New Haven Line... the new style with CTRail logos, white with a red line, white with a red line and CT Commuter Rail logo, and white with a red line and text italicized. Everything in NY state has the same style sign. It doesn't help matters that CT decides to change their station sign design every couple years.
This exemplifies the disaster that is CTDOT/MNRs wayfinding. I doubt they will be able to record and program in a new "Fairfield Black Rock" announcement, which will almost certainly be confusing especially since FBR is a fairly tourist-heavy stop.

The station signage is ridiculous. Out on the Shore Line, there's many variations in font and sign format even within stations. Clinton has new CTrail signs on one side and the red-line "Connecticut Commuter Rail" on the other. Old Saybrook has Amtrak signage, while Branford and Guilford have two different versions of the red line sign with different font and CCR logo. Between NH-State St and Bridgeport, I believe every station is unique. For what it's worth, the design in use at Milford is probably my personal favorite aesthetically.

They had finally seemed to have settled on a design for a few years and now it's getting changed around again. Am I being nit picky? Probably. But it's part of creating a coherent brand identity, and it should not be this difficult.
  by robelybasis
 
Traingeek3629 wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 9:59 pm
shadyjay wrote:
The new signs for "Fairfield-Black Rock" are up at the former Fairfield Metro station. My inbound train had blank announcements ("This station is ___________"), while my outbound still had the previous name, and the train crew called it by the old name when warning of the bridge plates.

It is still amazing how many different variations of station signage there are on the New Haven Line... the new style with CTRail logos, white with a red line, white with a red line and CT Commuter Rail logo, and white with a red line and text italicized. Everything in NY state has the same style sign. It doesn't help matters that CT decides to change their station sign design every couple years.
This exemplifies the disaster that is CTDOT/MNRs wayfinding. I doubt they will be able to record and program in a new "Fairfield Black Rock" announcement, which will almost certainly be confusing especially since FBR is a fairly tourist-heavy stop.

The station signage is ridiculous. Out on the Shore Line, there's many variations in font and sign format even within stations. Clinton has new CTrail signs on one side and the red-line "Connecticut Commuter Rail" on the other. Old Saybrook has Amtrak signage, while Branford and Guilford have two different versions of the red line sign with different font and CCR logo. Between NH-State St and Bridgeport, I believe every station is unique. For what it's worth, the design in use at Milford is probably my personal favorite aesthetically.

They had finally seemed to have settled on a design for a few years and now it's getting changed around again. Am I being nit picky? Probably. But it's part of creating a coherent brand identity, and it should not be this difficult.
100% agree with you on this, an issue that has been bugging me too. All over the place its different from the stations you mentioned to the Waterbury Branch having New York style signage with italicized text and an MNR logo. Honestly ConnDOT should just use the Metro-North Italicized logo style everywhere and just keep the MNR logo on MNR stations and the CTDOT logo in place of the MNR logo at HL and SLE stations. Simple design and matches with the rest of the system.