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 Jeff Smith
I think I remember reading that these cars use FL-9's for power. I guess that's another nail in the coffin.......unless the converted Bombs retain them (likely not with replacements arriving shortly).

  by DutchRailnut
The inspection train has not used F units in a while, for last 4 years 2 Genesis units have been used, yup a bit of overkill 6400 ponies for 3 cars.
The last time the MN-1 - MN-2 - MN-3 were run with FL-9's was on the Farewel to FL-9 excursion, barring a few non-occupied moves.

  by roee
I assume the cars now don't have geometry equipment in them. Would the new cars have the geometry equipment as Dutch was hoping? I would think that would make sense, having on inspection train that can handle multiple tasks.

  by DutchRailnut
probably not, railroads and suggestions never work well together, suggestions are usually frownd upon and put down as rediculous, but later surface as some bosses idea ;-)

  by Erie-Lackawanna
It was pointed out to me privately that Danbury and Thomaston are not in the same league...a statement with which I agree totally. My point, which I didn't write originally, was that a museum where they'll sit and rust is inappropriate considering the alternative, and (as I see it) a tourist line that might want to run them wouldn't want to run them very often because of the difficulty they add in turning the train at the end of the line. Hence, Scranton and the ELDCPS are a better destination.

There...hope that sets things straight. ;-)

And Otto - they're definitely going to be replaced, it's not just railroad rumormongering. :(


  by Otto Vondrak
Jim- thanks for clearing that up about the replacement plans.

Wherever they end up, hopefully they are destined for preservation and not the scrappers torch. Regarding the stainless steel car, I wonder if a museum/excursion operator up in Rochester or Medina could add that to their fleet of NYC cars...


  by Penn Central
DutchRailnut wrote: As Penn Central knows many a new engineer put some embarising flatspots on those cars.
It is easy to get in trouble with the inspection train, even for an experienced engineer. One 20 year vet forgot about Portchester Curve and hit it at 60 mph with the president onboard. Before the Genesis power came in 1995, Bombarier trains with FL-9s were restricted to 79 mph (still in effect due to brakes). With no restriction on the inspection train it wasn't easy going 89 up the Hudson with no stops and not missing a speed restriction. When Don Nelson was President, he knew the track speed and kept his eye on the speedometer in the observation car. If you didn't do MAS, you would get a call on the radio asking why.

New engineers learn 90% of what they need to know from the engineers they work with on OJT and Metro-North has the best record for training engineers because of the fine men and women who take the newbies on their own runs and teach them what they need to know. Unfortunately, I've never seen a student engineer on an inspection train. With all the suits crammed in the cab, it probably would not be a good learning environment.


  by Penn Central
DutchRailnut wrote:probably not, railroads and suggestions never work well together, suggestions are usually frownd upon and put down as rediculous, but later surface as some bosses idea ;-)
That sounds pretty negative and malcontent. On Metro-North, they had a program called IDEAS where several employees earned thousands of dollars for their suggestions. To say that they frowned upon ideas when there was a program to encourage them is false and misleading. I'm sure if an employee had an idea for a new inspection train that could save money, it would be adopted.

From the Metro-North website:
"When you join us, you’ll have opportunities to demonstrate your skills and leadership abilities, develop and implement your ideas, and be part of an organization that recognizes and rewards individual achievement."


  by pnaw10
Otto Vondrak wrote:If I can rebut Maybrook's opinion about the train- I see no problem with Metro-North or any other railroad operating an inspection fleet. Why can't they have a train to allow executives to make inspection runs and occasionally entertain the politicians that could possibly affect the operating budget contributions? It's part of doing business, and it's a grand old railroad tradition I'm glad Metro-North carries on.
Exactly... it's the same reason politicians are invited to special tours at NASA, or through war zones -- even if they aren't necessarily knowledgeable in those fields, nor qualified to access "restricted" areas. But these are the folks who have a major impact on your budget, directly with their own votes, and indirectly with their influence on other lawmakers' votes.

While it would be nice to see some politicians get a "real world" experience, on a regularly-scheduled peak-hour train without any kind of special treatment, the railroad can't reasonably force politicians to do so. You only have to annoy one key person to get the bad vibes spread to many others.
  by Otto Vondrak
Right... any new information on the status of the inspection cars and what might replace them?
  by Erie-Lackawanna

"Right... any new information on the status of the inspection cars and what might replace them?"

I have heard murmurings of current Bombardier cars. Perhaps doing it as part of the current overhaul program? Assuming that Bomb can get their act together...
The MN1-2-3 were brought to Harmon Last night (10/3) along with the two NJT 5010 and 5009. The 1-2-3 will probably be in Harmon for the Open House.
  by CNJGeep
Well I suppose having 5009/10 would make sense for the inspection train.
They were owned by MN Originally.
  by Jeff Smith
So it appears to be happening, at least in some respect: Mid Hudson News

From what I've read elsewhere, this isn't expected to completely replace the Phoebe Snow et al, but is still a great addition.
Metro-North to purchase high-tech track inspection car

NEW YORK – The Metro-North Railroad division of the MTA will spend $11.8 million for a device called a geometry car. The high-tech machine will be used to ride the rails to locate potential issues before they cause problems, noted Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti.

“We have been borrowing geometry cars from Long Island. We have an MTA blue ribbon panel of federal Railroad Administration and National Transportation Safety Board reports that all said we need to get a track geometry car,” Giulietti said. “We are getting one of the most advanced track inspection vehicles in the world and this vehicle will further enhance our efforts to identify potential track problems so they can be repaired before they become safety issues and affecting the service.”

The MTA board this week approved the purchase of the machine.