• Why do express trains use Arrows?

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: lensovet, nick11a, Kaback9

  by lensovet
 
I’ve seen this on the corridor in both directions. What’s up with Arrows being used on expresses? Eg 3936.

Seems to be counterintuitive to me.
  by rcthompson04
 
This is a good question. I would guess some of this is driven by what the trains are being used for in the schedule as a whole. Maybe an express train going south is turning at Trenton to be a local on the way back north or a set is at Morrisville and needs to head back north to run on another line later in the day.
  by lensovet
 
Yeah I could see that happening for unexpected circumstances, but it seems unexpected to me that it happens regularly.

Of course I hope NJT's ops division is smarter than me and knows what they are doing. I hope…
  by west point
 
Could it be difference of allowed MAS?
  by lensovet
 
west point wrote: Sun Feb 13, 2022 1:40 am Could it be difference of allowed MAS?
what do you mean? the arrows have a lower MAS than the locos. so to me it would seem to make more sense to put the locos on the express trains since they can sustain MAS longer and go at higher speeds.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Lensovet (and Everyone):
The Arrow Three (and Two) MU car fleet were once noted as being the fastest commuter rail cars in the USA
capable of speeds of up to 100 mph...When the A3 fleet was rebuilt in the mid to late 1990s was that when
the cars were governed to 80 mph? On the other hand the 70 car A2 fleet - which were very similar to the
SEPTA Silverliner Four fleet in age (mid 1970s) which were built for Penn Central was let to waste away
falling out of favor during the late 1980s/early 1990s and then being scrapped...SEPTA turned down an
offer to acquire the entire remaining A2 fleet from NJT because of their poor condition...MACTRAXX
  by lensovet
 
The downrating to 80 was later. According to wikipedia, it was due to overheating that occurred as a result of the rebuild, so the speeds were lowered to reduce the overheating.
  by lensovet
 
So yeah, I don't get why an express train gets rolling stock with a MAS of 80 when a loco-hauled set could be going 100.
  by F40
 
My guess is equipment availability maybe. One set may have had to be taken out of service and they could easily replace it with another set positioned for the run, which happened to be Arrows.

That being said, I agree that Arrows should not be regularly assigned to expresses. They are acceleration machines suited for shorter distances and close stops.

I once remember an engineer "gunned" one from 0-80 in just about 60 seconds. That is unheard of when you're talking about heavy rail.

Despite their lower speed, and being bounced around because of the worn out suspension, I will miss them when they are gone. I have memories riding them since childhood.
  by Silverliner5
 
F40 wrote: Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:20 am I once remember an engineer "gunned" one from 0-80 in just about 60 seconds. That is unheard of when you're talking about heavy rail.
He probably was using only using a 4 car arrow 3 set since it's easier to reach that speed but more than 4 cars would be a pain unless you're running as express
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Tue Feb 15, 2022 10:43 pm The Arrow Three (and Two) MU car fleet were once noted as being the fastest commuter rail cars
in the USA capable of speeds of up to 100 mph.

SEPTA turned down an offer to acquire the entire remaining A2 fleet from NJT because of their
poor condition.
The Arrow Is (PRR MP85E6) were considered to be the fastest MUs built (except Metroliners), rated at 100+, though
capable of 120 (0-80 in 70 seconds). They were the fastest cars built by the St. Louis Car Company (Electroliners second). The related Silverliners were geared for only 85.

Even the LIRR M-1s were designed and rated at 100 (from original 1968 Budd product literature), but kept to an
80 max. Likely the record for fastest third rail MU.

SEPTA did purchase one pair of Arrow IIs to be used as cab cars. The plan in 1998 was to replace the 35 year old
Silverliner IIs with Arrow IIs.
  by lensovet
 
As I said I've seen this multiple times so it seems like an intentional equipment choice.

I suspect the real reason is capacity. These expresses do not fill up with as many people, so they prefer to keep the multilevel on the higher used trains.
  by F40
 
I guess it depends on what kind of express. In addition, maybe it's because there aren't enough MLV's to go around. The order so far can't replace all of the A3's and the 113 MLV MU's will come at some point.

Speaking of which, I honestly do not see the need to use MLV's on the Hoboken division lines more than 80% of the time. Or they should keep them a 4 car consist. 6 car MLV's are overkill. PVL is entirely single level because ridership does not warrant it (and the dreaded 2 hour (sometimes 3 hour) headways on weekends) and they can use the MNRR Comet V's in the pool.

Silverliner5 wrote: Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:38 am
F40 wrote: Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:20 am I once remember an engineer "gunned" one from 0-80 in just about 60 seconds. That is unheard of when you're talking about heavy rail.
He probably was using only using a 4 car arrow 3 set since it's easier to reach that speed but more than 4 cars would be a pain unless you're running as express
The train was not full by any means, and give or take a few seconds. I.e. 63-65 seconds with a good tail wind. If NJT cared about aerodynamics, they could cover the undersides to reduce turbulence from all of the irregularly shaped equipment that is there.
  by lensovet
 
F40 wrote: Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:50 pm I guess it depends on what kind of express.
i provided a specific train number in the first post.