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 Otto Vondrak
Radio reports this morning had wires down across all four tracks at North Avenue in New Rochelle (at first I thought of the NYW&B when they mentioned North Avenue), closing the entire New Haven line for 40 minutes, then reopening one track around 9:00 am, other three tracks still closed as of 10:00 am. Some MN trains left stranded, but with A/C and lights, Amtrak trains between Penn Station and New Haven halted until further notice. Add this to the sporadic power outages on NJT last nigth between NYP and NWK, and it hasn't been a good week on the NEC.

  by Sean W.
Yeah, I heard that too. I was going to go on a rail expedition today, but when I heard about how the whole thing was brought to a halt, I just said @?#! it and decided to stay home.

BTW I sent my last roll of film to one of those mail-in services (Clark Color Labs or something), about a week ago and never got 'em back, so I don't know if/when I'll be able to post them here.
  by chuchubob
A Metro North train deadheading from GCT to New Rochelle pulled the wires down as it was crossing over from eastbound to westbound track.
  by Noel Weaver
Well, a few years ago, a problem of this nature could and was blamed on
the age and condition of the wires.
Today, we have fairly new wires and really a completely new catenary
system. In spite of the new catenary system, we still not only break
pantographs but when we do, the wires seem to come down everywhere.
In my opinion, this does not need to be. It all started around 1969 or
1970. On the former New Haven Railroad the pantographs were designed
to break apart or fall apart when tangled in the wires, general result,
broken and destroyed pantograph and some wire damage on the track
involved. We then went to the PRR GG-1 with a similar but much heavier
pantograph followed by M-2's with pantographs designed like battleships.
Next time you see an AEM-7, take a look at the pantograph on it, much
lighter weight and simpler construction. A round trip between Boston and
Washington is over 900 miles and yet we do not hear of the wires coming
down on three or four tracks all at once with these engines or on the
PRR side south of New York.
With realtively new wires etc, I think it is time to look at the construction
and or design of the pantographs on the Metro-North equipment.
I remember having pantograph problems on the old New Haven Railroad
equipment with both electric motors and MU equipment and not tearing
down the wires on three or all four tracks, generally only on the track we
were traveling on.
Problems are bound to happen in electric operation occasionally, the big
thing when these problems do occur is getting back in operation as quck
as possible. It is much easier and quicker when only one track is out and
not most of if not all of the railroad.
Noel Weaver

  by DutchRailnut
A Amtrak train with 10 cars only has 1 pantograph. MNCR with 10 cars has 5 against the wire, so the odds are against MNCR.
Amtrak and MNCR have about same failure rate per mile on their pantographs and despite being beefy looking the material of pantograph can be compared to the britle aluiminum of a rooftop tv antenna. crossing over there is no solid wire but an insulator in the wire, it could have broken, or a hanger loose or a chipped carbon strip. blaming the wire there has nothing to do with age, as Pelham to stateline is all new wire.
  by Noel Weaver
My point is that pantographs can and do fail whether there is one or five
in a train. I am just trying to point out that they do not need to take the
whole railroad down when they do.
I did not say that Amtrak's record was any better, only that they don't
usually take the whole railroad down when they do.
Indeed, on the old New Haven we had plantograph failures too but they
would only generally take out the actual track they were running on and
it was much faster to get things fixed up and moving again on all four.
The pantographs were "designed" to break up before all of the wires got
pulled down.
Noel Weaver

  by KidRailfan
From what I could see looking out of the railfan window the day after was that the pantograph had gotten caught in the wire that feeds the track over the switches, since the one there had a lot of shiny copper on it. The wire ran straight across from track 6 to track 3. If the wire caught wasn't in an area with crosswires, would all four wires still have come down?