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 Tommy Meehan
I won't say you "always" see something new riding Metro-North but if you keep your eyes open you "sometimes" do. Been kinda boring lately. But yesterday I saw a couple things I never saw before. One was actually on the Harlem. On my way to GCT yesterday afternoon.

First, an in-service train with all the doors opened and half the train off the platform!

This is what I saw. As we went south there was an 8-car M3 train on Tk 3 at Wakefield. I thought at first it was OOS because all the doors were open on the west side but the head cars were up north of the platform end. About the second car from the head end I noticed a guy in a suit casually leaning against the glass bulkhead panel by an open door reading a newspaper. At the next door there was guy standing back from the door and looking out. There were people seated in the cars as well. The rear four cars were on the platform and people were getting off. That's when it hit me-

The first four cars were OFF the platform but their doors were open. Never ever saw that before. Luckily it was a rush hour train so mostly regular riders who know to be careful. Know to expect the unexpected. (Not all, but most.)

I guess what happened was, it was a Bronx local that makes stations on the train's east side. At Wakefield they had to open the west side doors and somebody screwed up. Maybe thought they were already at Mt. Vernon West??

(No train time or train number folks, I ain't a geek. I work in a factory and I've made some mistakes too. Some beauts! :-D )

Then, on the 10:20 PM Harmon local home. When we stopped at 125th St a young man sitting a couple seats behind me in the first car, got up and raced to the trash bin on the platform while we were stopped. He had like a little gum wrapper, holding it between his thumb and index finger. He put it in the trash then raced to get back on the train. Why? Felix Ungeritis? So he could say he did it? No idea.

As it turned out he had plenty of time. The local platformed on Tk 2 but they may not have announced that. Might've posted the train on Tk 1. We were there several minutes while the crew waited for people to walk over.

When I got off at Tarrytown the guy was still in his seat. As I walked past I noticed he had pages of Google maps printed from a PC and spread on his lap. I wondered if he was a railfan. Maybe the guy is a member of ths forum? Tall, slim about 25 with red hair?

Anyway, it was interesting.

[edted for clarity]
Last edited by Tommy Meehan on Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by Erie-Lackawanna
Tommy Meehan wrote:As we went south there was an 8-car M3 train on Tk 3 at Wakefield. I thought at first it was OOS because all the doors were open on the east side but the head cars were up north of the platform end.
If it was on track 3 and you were on another train, how could you see the doors open on the east side of the train? I'm thinking, from the rest of your description of what you saw, that the doors were open on the west side of the train, not the east side, right?

  by Tommy Meehan
Yes you're right. As I mentioned in the next paragraph, it was the west side doors that were open. That they'd obviously been opening the east side doors at the other stops and for some reason when they opened up on the west side someone forgot to set the door switches properly.

It was an odd sight. Seeing the open doors above, with the undercarriages, the trucks visible below. It was a "What's wrong with this picture?" moment. Took me a couple seconds to absorb what I was seeing.

Closest was several years ago on a Hudson Line train arriving southbound at Tarrytown. For some reason at CP26 they'd put us on Tk 3. The Conductor thought we were still on 2, She started to open the west side doors until the Asst. Conductor inquired, "What're you doing?" I was standing with them. The Conductor looked out and said, "Oh my God!", adding that she had not even felt us crossing over. She looked at me and said, "Yeah let me open on the platform side for you. It's better that way." I really laughed. The A/C said, "Yeah it's better if you want to stay employed, too."

She's a very nice conductor, very capable. I feel very safe on her train despite her momentary lapse. In fact she figured in another odd incident that I'll relate some time.
  by Jeff Smith
in 13 years of commuting to GCT on all of the EOH lines before my move south, I've seen doors open off platform only once and it was at Mamaroneck. I can't remember if we had extra cars, or the train stopped short, but it was an outbound rush hour express (Larchmont, Mam'k, Harrison only) and the last car was off the platform. I guess the conductor was too quick on the trigger, but at Mamaroneck, that can be dangerous. The last car was on the bridge over Mam'k Ave, a good fall into traffic. That's why I've always thought they should add a walkway over Mamaroneck Ave to the Mt. Pleasant / Bishop Av side. It would be easy on the inbound side; the old NYW&B abutments are still there. Unfortunately, no such luck on the outbound side, and that bridge has clearance issues.

I'm glad I only had the one beer from the bar cart at the end of the platform that day!
  by Tommy Meehan
Sarge I was pondering your message about the rear car opening at Mamaroneck and being off the platform.

I had an idle thought that perhaps -- and just perhaps (since it is impossible to know at this late date) -- it was an NH Line train with an odd amount of cars. Say nine instead of eight due to a triple-set being in the train. So perhaps the engineer thinking he had four pairs or eight cars (overlooking one set of triplets) stopped at the wrong spot.

Only on the NH Line can you have an MU train with an odd number of cars due to triplets being mixed in.
  by Jeff Smith

It was too long ago to remember, but that theory is plausible. I wonder if any extra safety measures are taken at Mamaroneck due to the viaduct/bridge nature of the line through the village. The station platforms on the western end abut right up to Mamaroneck Ave. There's a fair amount of space on the eastern end, as I recall.

  by Tommy Meehan
For the last few nights -- since Wednesday I think -- track crews have been out on the Hudson Line, working around (or at) CP 26, just south of the Philipse Manor station. I know this because my apartment is barely a block from the tracks and -- with the A/C off (finally) and the windows open again -- I have been getting seranaded by the horn blowing the various trains do as they come through the work zone. Not that I mind it, because I don't. It's pretty cool actually to hear engineers making sure to give a good loud, long warning to fellow employees working on the tracks. Especially on a dark rainy night like tonight.

One Bomb train engineer coming south blew the standard grade crossing warning -- two longs-a short-and a long -- as he came through the work zone. He held the final blast until he was under the Beekman Avenue overpass, getting a great echo effect. I got a kick outa that. :-)

I took a walk over to the Beekman Avenue bridge around 10 PM. A southbound came along on Tk 1 as a MOW machine was being driven south on Tk 4. Right past where the old GM plant used to be. The southbound gave a series of short blasts and put the ditch light's on 'strobe effect.' I think he also, when he was first approaching the work zone, rang the engine bell. Turned out it was a CSX light engine move --two units, the lead unit being the 2716 I think (too dark to see the second unit's number clearly). That seemed pretty decent of the CSX guy! :wink:

I know interlockings with crossover switches such as CP25 and CP26 need a lot more maintenance than other tracks. What's unusual is to see the work crews out on weekday evenings.

(A Harmon local is laying on the horn as I preview this. For me, better than a lullabye!)

[edited for clarity]
Last edited by Tommy Meehan on Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Tommy Meehan
This morning the concrete tie installing units are sitting on Tk 4 just north of the Tarrytown platform.
  by Tommy Meehan
The Canac tie train sat all weekend on Tk 4, just north of the Tarrytown platform.

This morning [Monday] when I was boarding my bus by Tarrytown station I saw a crew person walking the train. GP35M 104 was tied on to the tie train's north end.
  by Tommy Meehan
This afternoon when I got off a Harmon local at Tarrytown I saw a headlight showing to the south on Tk 1. It turned out to be one of the GP35Ms slowly pulling a south facing Gennie, the 218 I think. He came north through Tarrytown very slowly.

I would guess he was going to go north on 3 after the local cleared CP26. At that hour, it was after 4PM, there's a lot of trains running.
  by Tommy Meehan
Saturday night at the Yonkers station a production crew was filming a commercial for New York State Lotto. The filming was taking place inside the concourse where the ticket window is located. The concourse was closed to the public during the shoot and passengers had to use the entrance/exit via the south corridor (where the old bus ramp was).

I thought Yonkers was a good choice for a commercial. The station renovation is finished and it looks great. A real old-time New York Central-looking station.
  by Tommy Meehan
On an early morning Hudson Line train to GCT on December 25th last year. The assistant conductor who punched my 10-trip was a real veteran. I said to him, "Man, they got you out here on Christmas?" He said sure, wouldn't turn it down. Work one round-trip and get paid for the whole day at overtime rates.

I was surprised to see him working on a major holiday as this guy is a real veteran. I remember him from 30 years ago (at least!) on the Harlem Line back in Conrail days. One of those little incidents that for some reason sticks in your mind.

Brutally hot summer afternoon on the NWP local. Some housekeepers got on at Hartsdale. One had a container of Baskin-Robbins ice cream for the a/c. (There was -- and still may be -- a Baskin-Robbins across the street from Hartsdale station.) He thanked her and she said he was welcome, no big deal. Apparently this was a regular thing, because he laughed and said she'd be surprised if she knew how much he looked forward to getting the ice cream.

This guy figured in another little incident, related previously in this thread. A mostly empty mid-evening Poughkeepsie-GCT train. The a/c and conductor completed their lift and were chatting together in the rear vestibule of the last open car. (Only two or three cars open.) When the conductor got in position to open the Bomb car doors on the wrong side he stopped her.
the Asst. Conductor wrote:"Yeah it's better if you want to stay employed, too."
  by AMK0123
(First time posting on the forum after two years on the sideline so go easy!)

3/16 - observed Canadian Pacific (D&H 417) northbound through Cold Spring station at 2110 hours. Two looked like SD40-2 with 3 boxcars and Metro North 213 in tow... Have seen Canadian Pacific more frequently in the past few weeks on Mon, Wed, or Fri, usually going north of Bear Mountian between 2100 and 2300 hours. Looked like the 213 was still in the older paint scene. Is it being taken for refurbish?
  by Erie-Lackawanna
Welcome aboard!

Yes, the 213 is going out to GE for overhaul.

  by Tommy Meehan
This AM I got my coffee, roll and local paper at the Tarrytown station newsstand (prior to boarding the Bee-Line bus I commute on). While I was at the stand the lights in the station went off for a few seconds. They came back on but not at full voltage I don't think.

Then they announced that Train 724 (the 7:04 AM local out of Harmon) would arrive on Tk 2 instead of the usual Tk 3. A minute later they began announcing 724 was running "five to ten minutes late."

(The previous train, No. 716 the 7:01 AM express to GCT, had arrived on-time and on Tk. 3 as usual. Train 418 -- originates Tarrytown at 7:12, limited stops to GCT -- also seemed to be operating normally. At least at 7:10 it was boarding passengers on the platform on Tk. 4 just like it always is. I didn't see the two diesel trains go through but they might've while I was inside the station.)

But the guy at the newsstand said the lights had been winking on and off all morning. The agent agreed and said that -- all things taken together -- there was obviously something going wrong somewhere but he didn't know what.
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