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 Nester
 
Once upon a time when I commuted on LI, the electric fleet would activate the tail lights on the forward end to let passengers know that the train was operating fewer than normal cars (some stations would also have automated annoucements).

Now that I commute on the Upper Hudson, I *think* I see what the indication is -- when approaching the station, the engineer will alternate the headlights (I've never examined the panel on a shoreliner cab, so I don't know if there is a switch for this -- given how perfect the pattern is, I would guess there is).

Each time I was in a position to observe the train entering the station, I noticed this light "thing" when the train was short. Is this a coincidence? Or is this "the message"?

Nester

[Do they do something for the electric fleet? It's been a long time since I boarded an inbound at a non-terminal stop]

  by Swedish Meatball
 
I believe what you are seeing is that when the Engineer is giving one long shot on the horn the ditch lights automatically start to flash. I have never heard of letting the passengers know they are short of cars.
Last edited by Swedish Meatball on Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by M1 9147
 
On the Diesel fleet, the ditch lights alternate flashing on each side when the horn sounds. NJT is the same also. LIRR's does not. I believe MN does the same thing when a consist is short of cars as LIRR.

  by DutchRailnut
 
No sign or signal is used on MNCR to signify if a train is short cars.

  by Nester
 
DutchRailnut wrote:No sign or signal is used on MNCR to signify if a train is short cars.
Wow! I never thought I would see the day where I would suggest MN take a lesson from the LIRR...

Giving passengers on the platform some visual or audible indication that the train is running with fewer cars would certain speed up loading times, and would give the passengers in the rear a few moments to move up on the platform. For riders who use GCT North, this would help a lot... especially since many crews lock out the doors closest to the engine.

Nester

  by DutchRailnut
 
Locking out doors is illegal, unless stickers are placed to notify emergency workers.
only doors failing enroute can be cut out and locked as per FRA rules.
  by MNRR PA OPERATOR
 
As a MNR PA Operator, i always found it interesting that MNR does do the same thing actually. i have been assigned to 125th street, and have seen the marker lights and headlights illuminated. some small consists can be new canaan directs from NY to new canaan since the new canaan branch is 4 cars only. also i have seen some croton harmon locals be only 4 cars!

  by checkthedoorlight
 
New Canaan's branch can actually handle up to 6 cars, although Glenbrook, Springdale and Talmadge Hill can only platform 4 of them. I've seen 4, 5 and 6 car consists on that line.

4 car consists show up everywhere, on all three lines. There is actually one 3 car consist, although it is apparently only used for one run all day - the 530PM New Canaan shuttle which starts in Stamford (this is the only PM rush NC train that isn't a through)
  by MTASUPT
 
[quote]As a MNR PA Operator, i always found it interesting that MNR does do the same thing actually. i have been assigned to 125th street, and have seen the marker lights and headlights illuminated. some small consists can be new canaan directs from NY to new canaan since the new canaan branch is 4 cars only. also i have seen some croton harmon locals be only 4 cars![/quote]

A) markers sometimes are left on due to "senior moments" with the engineers not for any signal

B) New Canaan Branch trains are not only 4 cars

  by Nester
 
DutchRailnut wrote:Locking out doors is illegal, unless stickers are placed to notify emergency workers.
only doors failing enroute can be cut out and locked as per FRA rules.
I'm not in the business of ratting people out, but that rule is often ignored (i.e. it's more than one crew or conductor). I don't check for stickers, but I will keep my eyes peeled for them next time I see it.

Nester

  by Sirsonic
 
Nester wrote:
DutchRailnut wrote:Locking out doors is illegal, unless stickers are placed to notify emergency workers.
only doors failing enroute can be cut out and locked as per FRA rules.
I'm not in the business of ratting people out, but that rule is often ignored (i.e. it's more than one crew or conductor). I don't check for stickers, but I will keep my eyes peeled for them next time I see it.

Nester
There is a difference between doors that are locked out and zoned out or cut out.

If a door is cut out, it will not open through the use of the door control panel buttons, either at that door or from elsewhere in the train.

If a door is zoned out, it will not open through the use of the door control panel from elsewhere in the train, also it will prevent the door operation signal from passing onto the next car. For example, if on a five car train, only the last three cars are being used for passengers, and only the two vestibules between the 4th and 5th and 3rd and 4th cars were being used, the front of the 3rd car would be zoned out. This would prevent the doors on the front of the 3rd car, as well as all doors forward of there, from opening, when the crew opens the doors forward from the 5th car. A door that is zoned out can still be opened from the door control panel at that door.

A door that is locked out is physically blocked from opening, usually by a metal bar that prevents the door from sliding open. FRA regulations do require that emergency door releases, when operated, will also unlock a side door, however, this does not exempt a railroad from the stickering requirement mentioned above.

Also, let me say that this applies only to the MN equipment I have seen and operated west-of-Hudson. On the rest of MN, things may be different.

Edit: Oh, and I should add that a door that is cut out is usually locked out also, in order to prevent the door from sliding open. On newer equipment, individual doors can not be cut out, only locked out, which cuts out the door motor at the same time on equipment so designed. Doors can still be zoned out.

  by Nester
 
I understand that there is a difference between zoning out and locking out doors. Let me describe what is going on in more detail so that we're all on the same page:

On certain trains, there will be instances where the door and vestibule closest to the engine will be locked and not open when the train arrives at the station (even though the door is completely on the platform and can be used for passengers to safely board the train).

The policy (whatever it is) is not being consistently applied by the crews since there are situations where the crew will let passengers use that door to board the train.

Nester

  by Terminal Proceed
 
anyone who works passenger railroading knows what you meant all along. someone is just being difficult.