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 emfinite
 
Last week I took a trip with a buddy on the Danbury branch from South Norwalk to Danbury. We had a clear shot right up to Danbury, but on the way back we met train 1844 at Wilton. When looking into the cab-car on our train, I saw a Movement Form M on a clipboard with Paragraph F filled out. I am quite familiar with the Long Island Railroad's Standard Code of Operating Rules, but Metro-North's operation is a bit different. Can anyone outline for me the basics of manual block operation on M-N?

Which branches are still manual block?

What is the RTC? It seems as if they were referring to the RTC as the tower operator as we call them on the LIRR.

Is the superiority of a train relevant in any case, or does the RTC determine the superiority of trains when it fills out a Form M, Paragraph F?

Does anyone have a picture of a Form M that I can use for reference?

And one more question: What are the aspects of the signals used on M-N? I saw a flashing green, a solid yellow and two solid reds with the middle bulb dark. On Long Island, I am familiar with position light signals and really don't know much about the M-N signalling system. Is it unique to their system?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Joe

  by DutchRailnut
 
MNCR Has no superiority of trains all meets are directed by Movement form M (not unlike a like a NORAC Form D) .
The RTC (dispatcher) = rail traffic controler, directs all forms and meets, MNCR has no more manned towers, everything is from New York's control center.
Only rail still manual block are Danbury Branch, Waterbury Branch, and Beacon Line.

MNCR has only a few signal aspects left.:
top red & bottom red (middle Dark) is stop signal.
Middle green flashing (top & botom Dark) is Proceed Cab, ( ok to go by cab signal indication.
The yellow you saw was Approach restricting , it only tells you that your comming up to signalled territory from Manual block and not to exceed 30 mph Passenger or 15 mph freight.

only other signal at interlockings is two reds and green flashing alternating, for Absolute block, used for Cab Signal failures.

  by Rockingham Racer
 
Yean, and frankly I don't like them. Give me a red-over-yellow-over-yellow possibility anytime and all the other aspects you see on railroads at interlockers.

  by KLCS
 
Dutch, does Metro-North only have signals at interlockings, due to their cab signal system or are there a few exceptions? What are the route aspects at interlockings?

  by DutchRailnut
 
Only signals are at interlockings, the route aspect is your Cab signal indication.
MNCR does have ex NYC route indicators when going north at Harlem river bridge and at woodlawn, but those are just leftovers still in service today.
Other than some railfans complaining most MNCR engineers are perfectly happy with our system.

  by Swedish Meatball
 
The only place you see the signals are at the Control Points (CP). CP 244 at Westport is a moveable bridge and not a interlocking. CP 307 at New Canaan governs trains in and out of New Canaan on a single track. I am not familiar with the H&H but Dutch should know of any other exceptions.

  by DutchRailnut
 
Any of the Moveble bridges are interlockings, just because they do not have switches to cross from one track to other does not mean there are no switches.
On New Haven line the bridges are protected by single point swiches used as derails.

Even CP307 is interlocking, since the signal is interlocked with direction of traffic and prevents a train from leaving if traffic is not set up in right direction.

Defenition of interlocking is:

Interlocking- A arrangement of signals and appliaces so interconnected that the movement must succed each other in proper sequence and for wich interlocking rules are in effect.

interlocking appliance A movable apperatus within an interlocking that allows or prevents movement over designated routes, including switches, movable frogs, mitre rails and derails.
An interlocking appliance is blocked when an approved device is applied to control console that prevents the control for that appliance from being operated.

  by KLCS
 
Only signals are at interlockings, the route aspect is your Cab signal indication.
MNCR does have ex NYC route indicators when going north at Harlem river bridge and at woodlawn, but those are just leftovers still in service today.
Other than some railfans complaining most MNCR engineers are perfectly happy with our system.
With the signals located at interlockings (these are the dwarf signals?), what are the aspects that they display(for main/diverging)? What are the aspects/codes for the cab signals?

Dutch, Can you elaborate on the ex-NYC route indicators and single point switches, I have never heard of them before?

  by DutchRailnut
 
The aspects are discribed in second post in this tread.

The route indicators at HMO and Woodlawn are left over from NYC days. it gave indication if you were lined for Hudson/Harlem and Harlem/New Haven.
Even with diverging signals in past you had no clue if you diverted to other track in 4 track territory or to other line with 4 tracks so route indicators were used.

The single point devises are Derails to prevent a train from running of open bridge.

  by MN Jim
 
KLCS wrote:With the signals located at interlockings (these are the dwarf signals?), what are the aspects that they display(for main/diverging)? What are the aspects/codes for the cab signals?

Dutch, Can you elaborate on the ex-NYC route indicators and single point switches, I have never heard of them before?
The aspects they display are those described by Dutch earlier this week. There is no difference in the wayside display for the diverging/non-diverging route. If a different speed is required due to the route being taken, the cab signal display takes care of it. In other words, if you're at an interlocking, and you're lined for straight track where the MAS is 75 mph, you'll see a flashing green on the wayside, and a "Normal Cab" on the cab signal display.

If, at the same interlocking, you're lined to cross over to another track using a crossover designed to permit diverging movements at 45 mph, you'll see a flashing green on the wayside (same as straight movement), and a "Limited Cab" on the cab signal display.

The route indicators are nothing more than a lighted arrow, pointing straight up (for straight track movements) or to the left or right (for diverging movements). They are in service at CP 4 (indicating how you're lined at CP 5 - straight is for the Harlem, pointing left is for the Hudson) and CP 112 (straight is for the Harlem, pointing right is for the New Haven). These route indicators are for information only, and convey NO AUTHORITY governing the movement of trains. They simply give the engineer time to stop before he makes a wrong turn, if the RTC has given him an incorrect route.

The "single point switch" derails that Dutch referred to are standard main track derails, where a switch point is installed in the (usually) outside rail. When the point is open, the train will derail (since it's just one rail). When closed, trains pass normally. The normal position of a derail is in the derailing position.

Hope this explains everything.

Jim

  by KLCS
 
So from what I understand, the on-board cab-sgnal display not only gives speed restrictions, but also displays which route to take at switches?

  by MN Jim
 
No. There is no way from the signal system (on board or wayside) to determine whether you are diverging or not. Of course, if you're qualified, you have a darned good idea if you're crossing over based on the aspect you have in the cab and your familiarity with the territory, but the signal system only tells you at what speed you are authorized to operate the train.

Jim

  by Penn Central
 
Here's a more basic explanation of the Metro-North cab signal rules:
The signals at CPs are commonly referred to as GO, NO-GO signals. They display three aspects:
Stop Signal (NO GO)
Proceed Cab (Proceed Governed By Cab Signal Indication - i.e. GO)
Absolute Block Signal (permits trains without operative cab signals to go to the next CP with restrictions)

As Jim noted above, trains proceed by cab signal indication, but they can not exceed the maximum authorized speed for a section of track. MAS in cab signal territory on Metro-North ranges from 4 mph to 90. An eastbound train on the New Canaan Branch can have a Normal Cab approaching Glenbrook, but must still abide by the 20 mph track speed.

The equipment would not (at this time) enforce a 20 mph speed restriction with a normal cab signal. It is up to the engineer to know and abide by the track speed. For an engineer on a Harlem local out of NWP, its pretty easy to remember the speeds. For someone like Dutch, who is qualified on all Metro-North territory, it is much more difficult.

  by DutchRailnut
 
A little update on <<Absolute Block Signal (permits trains without operative cab signals to go to the next CP with restrictions>>

This rule is for trains with enroute failure, MNCR or FRA does not allow a train to be dispatched with failed or non existing Cabsignal/atc on NEC or any of its feeder lines.

  by Jersey_Mike
 
Of course, if you're qualified, you have a darned good idea if you're crossing over based on the aspect you have in the cab and your familiarity with the territory, but the signal system only tells you at what speed you are authorized to operate the train.
At WOODLAWN the eastbound digerve onto the New Haven line uses a 60mph high speed turnout (no MPF incidently) and movements approaching it recieve a CLEAR cab signal for both lineups. The direction indicator is the only clue as to if you need to reduce to 60 or stay at 80. Just another wonderful signaling hack by MNRR brought on by the decision to cheap out on interlocking signals.