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 checkthedoorlight
 
this afternoon in GCT I noticed that the departure boards around the lower level kiosk kept changing. Upon taking a closer look, I saw that they have a new format:

Image

every 5 seconds, it scrolls to the next page.

I think that this is a really interesting format, and helpful for riders who only know what station they are going, and not which train will get them there (particularly during peak hours when many trains only make 5 stops or so), although if you are really in a rush and you know your train is next, you might have to wait 15 seconds or so to see your track #, rather than looking at the very top of the old board format.

I also noticed a flaw. Look at Danbury - the 3:07 is actually a main line train, and the 3:12 is a maxibomb. Anybody who boards that 3:07 to go to Danbury is just going to have to change to the same second train at Stamford or SoNo, overcrowding the first train and leaving the maxibomb empty.

  by pgengler
 
The LIRR has something similar with the flip-boards (instead of a CRT) above the ticket counters at Penn Station. It doesn't list track assignments quite so far ahead, though.

  by checkthedoorlight
 
that's because Penn station often doesn't even KNOW what track most of their trains are going on until a couple minutes before they arrive. Note that the second train that connects to the Waterbury shuttle is leaving 5 and a half hours after that photo was taken, but they already know it'll be on track 105.

  by 4 Express
 
checkthedoorlight wrote:that's because Penn station often doesn't even KNOW what track most of their trains are going on until a couple minutes before they arrive. Note that the second train that connects to the Waterbury shuttle is leaving 5 and a half hours after that photo was taken, but they already know it'll be on track 105.
Correction, (In literary terms) they think it will be on track 105, MNR cannot predict the future.

  by DutchRailnut
 
MNCR uses very strickt platform rules and do most of time have trains on pre-assigned platforms.
yes it sometimes changes and will be announced and changed on the boards at same time.

  by checkthedoorlight
 
about 90% of the time, a given route is on the same platform every day, and odds are if it isn't, it'll get changed to track 28.

Earlier this week I missed my 7AM train because I assumed it was on track 26, and it was actually on track 105 :wink:
  by pnaw10
 
checkthedoorlight wrote: every 5 seconds, it scrolls to the next page.

I think that this is a really interesting format, and helpful for riders who only know what station they are going, and not which train will get them there (particularly during peak hours when many trains only make 5 stops or so), although if you are really in a rush and you know your train is next, you might have to wait 15 seconds or so to see your track #, rather than looking at the very top of the old board format.
I agree that this is a better format... you're right that "Croton-Harmon / 1st Stop Marble Hill" dosn't necessarily tell people if the train will stop at other stations like Dobbs Ferry or Scarborough, for example. If you're in a hurry, you'd still need a paper schedule to see if this particular train will be stopping at your station.

Even if people have to wait 15-20 seconds to see their station, it's a better system. The only way they could improve it... 19 stations per board, 120 stations in the system. Have 7 monitors side-by-side at every location where there are monitors present.

If they changed "TIME OF NEXT TRAIN" to simply "NEXT TRAIN" (and same for "2ND TRAIN," they could actually fit 20 stations on each screen, and they'd then only need six monitors to show everything.

Interestingly enough, the online board (http://as0.mta.info/mnr/html/bigboard.cfm) still displays in the old format.

  by Lackawanna484
 
I like this improvement a lot.

One way they could make it even better would be to have two boards for Harlem Line trains, scrolling only Harlem train stops, two boards for Hudson, etc.

Most people know (?) which line they're on...
  by Head-end View
 
Planning track assignments is always easier at stations like GCT which are the end (or beginning) of the line. NJ Transit has the same issues. At Hoboken which is a dead-end, the tracks are displayed very far in advance. At Penn Station they are not displayed/announced until 10 minutes before departure due to frequent, last minute changes being commonplace. Same for LIRR. :-)