The Bulletin, S Bowl

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Content: ERA BULLETIN - MARCH, 2014 The Bulletin
Electric Railroaders' Association, Incorporated
Vol. 57, No. 3
March, 2014
The Bulletin Published by the Electric Railroaders' Association, Incorporated, PO Box 3323, New York, New York 10163-3323.
For general inquiries,
contact us at [email protected]
erausa.org.
ERA's
website
is
www.erausa.org.
Editorial Staff: Editor-in-Chief: Bernard Linder News Editor: Randy Glucksman Contributing Editor: Jeffrey Erlitz
Production Manager: David Ross
©2014 Electric Railroaders' Association, Incorporated In This Issue: Super Bowl® XLVIII ...Page 2
THIRD AVENUE "L" SERVICE CURTAILED 60 YEARS AGO
In 1954, trains operated between Chatham the morning, they can be handled north-
Square and Gun Hill Road on weekdays dur- bound in the evening. ing rush hours and midday. Expresses oper- "There is also available at the 149th Street
ated only in the rush hour. There was no ser- station the 7th Avenue subway line express vice south of 149th Street weekday evenings service, which serves the same downtown,
and midnights and 24 hours on weekends. City Hall, and financial district as the Lexing-
The May 4, 1954 report recommending that ton Avenue express. service be discontinued completely south of "The 7th Avenue service takes only four 149th Street also predicted that there would minutes longer than the Lexington Avenue
be space for the displaced passengers on service to get to the City Hall area, the same
Lexington and Seventh Avenue trains south destination as the present Third Avenue Ele-
of 149th Street. The report states:
vated Line. Traffic checks of the 7th Avenue
"The deci-
line
trains
sive factor is whether there
southbound at 149th Street
is sufficient
show that the
capacity on
riding is lighter
the alternate
on these trains
subway lines
than on the
to accommo-
Lexington Ave-
date the addi-
nue trains and
tional rush
therefore great-
hour passen-
er capacity ex-
gers who now use the Third
Third Avenue "L" express train, January, 1932. ists for carrying Bernard Linder collection additional pas-
Avenue Elevated Line to travel to Manhattan sengers." in the morning from points north of 149th (Editor's note: NYC Transit's schedule makers
Street, and in the reverse direction in the did not follow the suggestions in the report. They
evening. The non-rush hour traffic offers no decided to increase the Lexington Avenue service
problem.
and reduce the 7th Avenue service stopping at
"Traffic checks made in March and April 149th Street-Third Avenue, as shown in the table
1954 of Lexington and Seventh Avenue sub- on page 6. The new schedules went into effect on way trains leaving 149th Street-Third Avenue January 14, 1955, several months before Third
southbound and of the Third Avenue Elevat- Avenue Elevated Manhattan service was disconed trains arriving at 149th Street-Third Ave- tinued.)
nue show that there is capacity on the sub- Because southbound rush hour subway
way to absorb the additional load. Since the trains arriving at 149th Street-Third Avenue
passengers can be handled southbound in
(Continued on page 4)
NEXT TRIP: GRAND CENTRAL TER1MINAL TOUR, SATURDAY, APRIL 5
NEW YOREKRADIBVIUSLIOLENTBINUL- LMEATRINCHO,C2T0O14BER, 2000 SUPER BOWL® XLVIII by Randy Glucksman
On January 19, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks earned the right to compete in the Super Bowl. Since publication of the last Bulletin, there is a lot of additional information, which appears below. The press was making a big deal about the added NJ Transit service and using multilevel equipment on the shuttles. Member Julien Wolfe took note of the press releases and wrote: "There is an `error' in the press release -- this will not be the first mass transit Super Bowl! Back in 1982 we had all we could do to run the two trains (which included such things as using a $40,000 State of Michigan grant to build a platform near the Pontiac Silverdome for the one-time use of the trains, working with a caterer to supply a $25 box snack for some of the 1,500 who rode the two trains; a total of 60,000 were in the Pontiac Silverdome for the game, which featured the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. We at one time thought that an Amtrak special would come up from Cincinnati, which most likely would have sold out, but no one in Cincinnati either tried to do this, or if they tried it was unsuccessful; getting portable toilets installed in our coaches (after lots of memos from me to those who initially thought this to be funny, and then realized how serious it was); getting contracts with Consumers Power so we could put one train on the track into their plant during the game so that the engines could be near a roadway and thus have water supplied to them. We also had to arrange with the Pontiac Fire Department to have a pumper engine there to provide hoses for the water, to keep our steam heat going, which was needed on that very cold day, though not cold by our recent and current `Polar Vortex' cold we are enduring; and having GTW spike all the switches though their Pontiac freight yard to reduce chances of a derailment. We did run two trains (and, a lot of buses, and SEMTA was actually responsible for emergency repairs to the many charter coaches from all over the Midwest that also showed up). In the Detroit region `mass transit' is whatever you can take, but the logistics of what NJ Transit is hoping to do will be very impressive, I am sure." Julien was in charge of running the SEMTA rail service. NJ Transit announced a special non-commemorative version of the SUPERPASS on January 17 to be sold at TVMs and available on MyTix Mobile at the same $50 price. Both were valid for 8 days of unlimited travel -- January 27 through February 3 on all NJ Transit rail, bus, light rail, and Access Link services throughout New Jersey, including travel to and from Newark Airport and
New York City. The schedule, in a PDF, was sent as part of an email advisory. There were 31 westbound trips to MetLife Stadium and 26 eastbound trips to Secaucus Junction. Connecting service from/to Hoboken was also shown on this PDF. The car swap of multilevel cars for single-levels was not complete by the end of the week of January 20 (February Bulletin). Bus service was added on Routes 124, 129, 158, 162, 163, 192, 199, 320, and 321, and special green timetables were issued. Member Danny Chazin took advantage of the SUPERPASS and wrote that he used it for 6 of the 8 days it was valid. "On Monday, I rode to Gladstone; Tuesday to High Bridge; Wednesday to Suffern; Thursday to Bay Head; Friday to Pearl River on the Pascack Valley Line, and (Saturday) to Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and Camden." As I passed through Secaucus Junction on the morning after the Super Bowl, aside from some signs about the previous days' events, it was business as usual. However, early on Super Bowl Sunday, ice patrols in the Hudson River Tunnels caused 30-45-minute delays on trains in and out of New York Penn Station. Despite the frigid weather in the metropolitan area earlier in the week, and all of the required preparations, nobody ever expected a temperature at kick-off of 49 degrees, warmer than in the home cities of the competing teams. Believe it or not, the lowest temperature at kick-off occurred in New Orleans for Super Bowl VI, when it was 34 degrees. According to news reports, 32,900 rode NJ Transit trains to the game, far exceeding the previous record of 22,000 for a U2 concert. Typical ridership for regular football games is 8,000. Super Bowl Committee officials anticipated that 10,000-12,000, later revised to 15,000, would use the rail option. The long wait at Secaucus Junction for security screening was apparently more than some could handle. Coupled with being overdressed and an overcrowded and overheated station, a number of passengers required medical assistance. The shuttle service ran until its scheduled 1 AM departure. Buses that had been on standby were called in to speed up the departure process. I watched the Channel 4 6 o'clock news, where some of the train riders who were interviewed were upset about the delays going through Secaucus Junction, where the screening took place. There were also reports of fans waiting up to 90 minutes to board trains. NJ Transit officials told fans to expect similar conditions after the game, but assured them that trains would not stop running "until every sin- (Continued on page 3)
2
ERA BULLETIN - MARCH, 2014
® Super Bowl XLVIII (Continued from page 2) gle customer who has a ticket" is transported back to New York. In the end, the score was Seattle 43, Denver 8, and yes, snow began falling in the metropolitan area around midnight. The next day Chairman James Weinstein was interviewed, happily boasting that NJ Transit had done a good job. Well, that contrasted with what news reports were telling. One email described the Meadowlands Stadium Station as a "little three-track stub end `terminal' that could not possibly handle anywhere near the 28,000 passengers in a timely fashion and exactly why thousands of people never should have been encouraged to use the train in the first place. The station and the service have been overwhelmed completely by crowds before. There was every reason to expect that it would happen again. It was a recipe for disaster -- on a warm, sunny midwinter's day. The transfer at Secaucus only makes a bad situation worse. Nothing about the station facilities or the train service influences a passenger to ever want to travel that way again." Another comment: "The Super Bowl was a disaster waiting to happen from a transit perspective. Even with 10 car bi-level trains, the capacity of the Meadowlands Station was 15,000 passengers per hour. As 30,000 passengers approached the station at the same time when the game ended, NJT had a major problem. I don't blame NJT but the NFL for restricting parking at the game. The game ended at 10 but many passengers didn't get on an outbound train until after midnight." Member Bob Vogel, who was there, wrote: "NJ Transit ran ten shuttle trains between Secaucus Junction and the stadium. Each train had a Bombardier ALP-45/DP and ten Bombardier Multi-level coaches. Bombardier and NJ Transit were pleased that an ALP-45/DP in diesel mode could handle ten heavily loaded Multilevels. The Northeast Corridor shuttles between New York Penn Station and Secaucus Junction each had a Bombardier ALP-46 and Bombardier multilevel cars. It took me one hour to get from the Northeast Corridor platform to the Erie platform in the 100-degree mob scene mentioned in a number of news stories. The mob that I was in was well behaved, with sporadic cheers for both teams trying to compete with each other. A few chants of `New Jersey sucks' also rang out. Once downstairs, passengers going to the game had another security check and additional wait before boarding the shuttle trains. All of the hassle and delays were caused by security, not NJ Transit train operations." METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY: Folded copies (with hard covers) of the Massimo Vignellidesigned Regional Transit Diagram were available a few days before the Super Bowl. MTA NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT: On February 1, extra service operated on 1 and S (42nd Street). Most track
work was suspended for the weekend. MTA METRO-NORTH RAILROAD: From January 29-31, there was one extra late-morning inbound train on each line. The New Haven added one eastbound departure at 11:11 PM. On February 1, the New Haven Line "Shoppers Specials" were operated. MTA LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD: A brochure titled, Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered By GM, was published and detailed the transit options for those with tickets to reach MetLife Stadium. From January 29-February 1 (12 PM-10 PM), Broadway in Manhattan between W. 34th and W. 47th Streets was transformed into "Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered By GM," and a number of Special Events were scheduled. On Friday, I spent part of my lunchtime mingling among the crowds, and there were lots of them between W. 42nd Street and W. 34th Street. On those dates 11 extra westbound afternoon and evening trains to Penn Station were scheduled on the Port Washington (3), Ronkonkoma (1), Port Jefferson (from Huntington) (3), and Babylon (4) Branches. There were also four additional eastbound trains: one to Ronkonkoma and three to Huntington. On February 1 and 2, there were six extra Babylon Branch trains: 3 AM westbound and 3 PM eastbound. One extra postmidnight train operated to Huntington and to Babylon. Special PDF timetables were produced, but were only available on the Internet. I found this out after several inquiries at Penn Station, where one service representative told me that her supervisor informed her that there would be no paper copies! PORT AUTHORITY TRANS-HUDSON RAILROAD: A commemorative SmartLink Card was available for purchase, either on line or at select stations at a cost of $5. PATH operated under a special schedule between January 27 and February 2. Daytime, lines that do not operate 10-minute headways received that level of service. The 10-minute service continued into the evening. On the overnight "Around the World", Journal SquareHoboken-33rd Street service, trains ran every 15-20 minutes. There were 2 extra Newark trains per hour and 2 extra "Around the World' trains per hour on the overnight. For February 1 to 2, trains ran overnight on 10minute headways until 5 AM, then every 15-20 minutes and work trains were canceled. AMTRAK: Some emails circulating wondered about three-letter code for Secaucus Junction. Member Jim Guthrie reported that it is "SEC." MISCELLANEOUS: On Super Bowl Sunday, special "Fan Express" buses departed from six locations, every halfhour between 1:30 and 4:30 PM in Manhattan at a $51 round-trip fare under the auspices of the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee. One lane of the Lincoln Tunnel was dedicated to this service. It was expected that several thousand attendees would utilize this service since private cars, limos and taxis were not permitted near the stadium. There were three similar (Continued on page 8)
3
NEW YOREKRADIBVIUSLIOLENTBINUL- LMEATRINCHO,C2T0O14BER, 2000 SCENES ON THE THIRD AVENUE ELEVATED
Third Avenue at E. 59th Street looking east, November 23, 1954. Bernard Linder photograph
Third Avenue "L" at 59th Street. Bernard Linder collection
Escalator at 59th Street station, November 23, 1954. Bernard Linder photograph
59th Street station with Q-type cars. Bernard Linder collection
59th Street station, southbound platform, November 4, 1954. Bernard Linder photograph 4
59th Street station, November 23, 1954. Bernard Linder photograph (Continued on page 5)
ERA BULLETIN - MARCH, 2014 Scenes on the Third Avenue Elevated (Continued from page 4)
Third Avenue "L" looking north toward Bronx Park terminal, with home signal in foreground, June 17, 1951. Bernard Linder collection
Bronx Park terminal, with instruction car 824 and a New York Central steam engine, August 4, 1938. Bernard Linder collection
Mechanical interlocking machine in Bronx Park Tower, June 17, 1951. Bernard Linder collection
Fordham Road and Third Avenue. Bernard Linder collection
Fordham Road station looking north, June 17, 1951. Bernard Linder collection 5
Looking south toward Fordham Road station, June 17, 1951. Bernard Linder collection
NEW YOREKRADIBVIUSLIOLENTBINUL- LMEATRINCHO,C2T0O14BER, 2000
Third Avenue "L" Service Curtailed 60 Years Ago (Continued from page 1) were nearly filled to capacity, several gap trains were stationed in the Jackson Avenue middle. To avoid delaying the southbound through expresses, a crossover from the middle to the southbound local was installed between Prospect Avenue and Jackson Avenue. The following morning rush hour gap trains were scheduled:
DATE January 14, 1955 April 25, 1955 May 6, 1955 December 12, 1955 June 29, 1956
NUMBER OF TRAINS ASSIGNED TO
241ST STREET LEXINGTON AVENUE
7TH AVENUE EXPRESS
WOODLAWN LEXINGTON AVENUE
2
1
--
3
1
1
3
1
2
2
1
1
Discontinued
view while riding in cars that were warm in the winter and airy in the summer. The May 4, 1954 report provides an estimate of the savings after the elevated was demolished. The report states: "An estimate of the results of operation after the demolition of the Third Avenue Elevated Line south of 149th Street shows a net saving to the New York City Transit Authority of approximately $2,400,000 per year after the full effect of the demolition has been realized. "This is the net result of an estimated decrease of $2,700,000 per year in operating expenses, less an estimated loss of revenue of $300,000 per year. The estimated revenue loss results from an anticipated shift of a portion of the riders to the privately owned Third Avenue and Lexington Avenue bus lines. The major part of the saving in expense will result from a reduction in the operating force of about 496 employees. Many of these employees can be transferred to existing vacancies on other parts of the system, and the remainder will be rapidly absorbed in vacancies created by normal employee turnover. "While the decreased operating expenses have been
RUSH HOUR HEADWAY
LINE Lexington Avenue Thru Express Lexington Avenue Express (Local in Bronx) Lexington Avenue Express (Local in Bronx)
NORTH TERMINAL 241st Street 241st Street E. 180th Street-AM Rush 238th Street-PM Rush
MARCH 19, 1954 8 8 --
JANUARY 14, 1955 10 10 10
Lexington Avenue Express
Woodlawn
4
5
7th Avenue Express
E. 180th Street, Gun Hill Road-
4
5
AM Rush E. 180th Street-PM Rush
7th Avenue Express
145th Street-Lenox Avenue
--
10
Broadway-7th Avenue Express
242nd Street-Broadway
4
5
Traffic checks indicated that the subway trains could accommodate all the passengers transferring from the Third Avenue elevated trains at 149th Street. Unfortunately, the platform was occasionally overcrowded and passengers waited in the passageway. Riding declined gradually, but no one knew how the missing passengers reached their destinations. More than a year later, June 29, 1956, rush hour Third Avenue elevated service was reduced from a 4­ to a 5-minute headway and the gap trains were discontinued. The cars were old, but they furnished reliable service. Passengers could look out the window and enjoy the
carefully computed on the basis of schedule requirements and known maintenance costs, the estimated loss of passenger traffic must be based on assumptions of anticipated passenger shifts after a transit facility has been eliminated. This estimate is therefore based on the present riding pattern, the alternate facilities available, and assumptions about possible changes in riding habits." At the present time, Third Avenue is a one-way avenue, northbound only, and traffic is heavy. Bus service is not as reliable as the service provided by the elevated trains.
6
ERA BULLETIN - MARCH, 2014
NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY CAR UPDATE
R-62s and R-62As Unitized R-62As 1666-70 and 2101-5 were loaned from 7 to 1 for the week of December 1-6, 2013 to provide an extra consist for the emergency service that was provided on the Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line in response to the Hudson Line derailment tragedy. The set of R-62As which carried (former) Mayor Mi- chael Bloomberg on a special tour of the Flushing Line extension on December 20, 2013 was composed of one 5-car unit (1806-10) along with single car 1954 for 6 cars total. It progressed under its own power but was very slow in motion as the new extension did not yet have working signals. A complete recap of R-62As moving to and from Pel- ham over the past year shows that cars 1741-5 and 2041-5 were transferred from 7 to 6 on January 9, 2013, with the latter then replaced by 1746-50 on or about May 26 to create the first train. The second 6 set was formed by 1721-5 along with 1731-5 on June 30, joined by cars 2191-5 from 1. The third and fourth R62A trains on 6 arrived on September 9, 2013 in the form of 1716-20, 1791-5, and 1831-5, all imported from 7. Just after the lone set from 1 was returned to 240th Street on January 6, 2014, the next allotment of R-62As arrived on 6 in numerical fashion on January 8, when cars 1761-70 came over from Corona. A fifth train was finally added on February 7 in the form of 1706-10 joint with 1776-80. As a result there were 55 R-62As assigned to 6 as of February 9, 2014. Another recent transfer includes the return of R-62s 1396-1400 and 1621-5 from 1 to 3 on December 26, 2013. On or about December 7, 2013 cars 1891-5 were again transferred from 1 to 7, being joined by 2206- 10 as of December 9. The latter (2206-10) was eventually returned to 1 on January 15, 2014, followed by the former (1891-5) on February 6. A full-width cab was installed on car 2150 (assigned to 7) by February 9, 2014. R-142s and R-142As; R-142A Conversions R-142As 7246-50 were removed from 6 service and transferred for shipment from 239th Street to the Kawa- saki Rail Car facility in Yonkers on January 16, 2014. The pilot CBTC R-142A train (7211-20 plus 7899) entered 7 service on January 18, but experienced prob- lems and has been sidelined since late January. The Retired R-110A By early December R-110A "B" cars 8002-3-4 had been reconstituted as pump reachers, while "A" (cab) cars 8001 and 8005 were stripped to bare shells, but as yet were excluded from the full conversion process. On December 8 sister set 8006-10 had likewise been relocated from storage at 239th Street Yard to 207th Street Shops. If the previous process is repeated on these
cars, 8007-8-9 would be converted to pump reachers while an unknown fate awaits "A" car 8006 and 8010. R-188s Recent R-188 deliveries include 7833-43 as of December 6, 2013; 7844-54 as of January 17, 2014; and 7855-65 as of January 31, 2014. These dates cite the last car arrivals of a given pair of units on NYCT property (one 5-car and one 6-car), a near-daily process that can consume up to two weeks per 11-car set. The second R-188 train (7822-32) was placed in revenue service on 7 on December 27, 2013, followed by the third (7833-43) on February 3, 2014 and a fourth (7844-54) on February 7. As of February 9, 7855-65 were being marshaled at Pitkin for set-up and test preparation. All remaining "new" R-188's (7866-98) are expected to be on NYCT property by the end of March, 2014 and could be in 7 service by the end of April, helping to set the stage for grand opening of the Javits Center extension whenever it occurs (a wholly separate event). Subdivision "B" Happenings A lone 8-car train of Phase I R-32s remained in use on J (sometimes Z) as of February 9, 2014 with a total of 12 such cars thus sequestered at East New York: 34267, 3698-9, 3714-5, 3726-7, 3770-1, and 3778-9...On December 10, Phase I R32s 3786/7 popped up at Coney Island Shops marked as the "RCI & Dept. of Car Equipment Derailment Training Car(s)." R-68s 2776-83 were returned from Coney Island (B, G, sometimes N) to Concourse (D) as of January 9, 2014. G service continues to be randomly mixed variations of R-68s and R-68As as of February 9, 2014. The divided R service caught a few more trains of Jamaica-assigned R-46s on weekdays starting in early December. Various observations of R-68s on N during December, 2013 include R-68s 2866/7/5/4-2860/1/3/2 on the 10th and 2908/9/11/0-2824/5/7/6 on most days between December 18 and December 26. January 11, 2014 found R-68s 2868/9/71/0-2858/9/7/6 on N, while the 16th saw one such N train of each type: R-68s 2816/7/9/8-2870/1/69/70 and R-68As 5148/9/7/65078/9/81/0...Pitkin-assigned (A) R-46s began receiving long-term SMS work at Coney Island in early December. A similar effort is soon to be undertaken on the Staten Island R-44s, with car 399 already on hand. This process is an entirely different one from the complete overhaul these cars received in the 2007-10 era, likely exceeds the capabilities of Clifton Shops (particularly if still compromised by damage from Hurricane Sandy), and may indicate that NYCT has opted not to execute the long-rumored transfer of some R-46s to MTA Staten (Continued on page 8)
7
NEW YOREKRADIBVIUSLIOLENTBINUL- LMEATRINCHO,C2T0O14BER, 2000
New York City Subway Car Update (Continued from page 7) Island Railway. Also spotted inside 207th Street Shops during Decem- ber 2013 was "mystery" R-143 8277, which had been seriously damaged in a Canarsie derailment in 2006. Previously claimed to have been returned to Kawasaki's plant in Lincoln, Nebraska for remedial construction, the car was said to be undergoing "restoration." This is not the first time such claims have been made, so we shall
see if progress occurs. In a similar vein, R-110B set 3001/2/3 was in and out of 207th Street Shops on various occasions through late 2013, with 3001 finally being shipped to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn on or about December 18. There it replaced long-retired R-33s 9156 and 9157, which were quite rusted after a decade-plus of outdoor storage and use as fire and police training cars. These two car bodies were trucked away to the Sims Metals yard in Newark to join many of their longdeparted sisters and were to be scrapped.
® Super Bowl XLVIII (Continued from page 3) routes from locations in New Jersey. There was a lot more criticism of how NJ Transit han- dled the Meadowlands rail service, and it will receive the attention of the New Jersey Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. Originally this committee was investigating why NJ Transit management left trains stored in low-lying rail yards during Superstorm Sandy, but now it also plans to question NJ Transit about its handling of the Super Bowl rail service. According to an article in The Record, Senator Bob Gordon, the Chairman, cited a "lackadaisical approach to planning." The Senator also plans to ask why the transit agency allowed the trademarks of seven of its logos to lapse. Other reports
told of NJ Transit staff spending two years planning for this event, and sending a four-person team to observe last year's Super Bowl in New Orleans at a cost of $14,505 (April, 2013 Bulletin). Some of our members are transportation professionals, and over the years I have frequently called on many of them to provide information for the Commuter and Transit Notes column. Some wondered why NJ Transit didn't dispatch some earlier (extra) trains when fans began leaving the stadium before the end of the game. It was also reported that more riders rode from the stadium than to the stadium. This was explained as those riders had arrived by bus and apparently did not want to wait for the bus departures, which were scheduled for one hour after the game was over.
LINE 1 2 3 4
SUBDIVISION "A" CAR ASSIGNMENTS CARS REQUIRED DECEMBER 15, 2013
AM RUSH
PM RUSH
10 R-62, 330 R-62A
10 R-62, 290 R-62A
330 R-142
320 R-142
250 R-62
240 R-62
240 R-142, 110 R-142A 230 R-142, 110 R-142A
LINE 5 6 7 S (42nd Street)
AM RUSH
PM RUSH
330 R-142
330 R-142
30 R-62A, 360 R-142A 40 R-62A, 360 R-142A
341 R-62A, 11 R-188 319 R-62A, 11 R-188
10 R-62A
10 R-62A
SUBDIVISION "B" CAR ASSIGNMENTS CARS REQUIRED DECEMBER 15, 2013
LINE A B C D E
AM RUSH 304 R-46 64 R-68, 136 R-68A 144 R-32 240 R-68 240 R-160A, 20 R-160B
PM RUSH 304 R-46 56 R-68, 128 R-68A 136 R-32 224 R-68 240 R-160A, 20 R-160B
LINE L M N Q R (North)
AM RUSH
PM RUSH
160 R-143, 32 R-160A 152 R-143, 24 R-160A
184 R-160A
160 R-160A
240 R-160B
220 R-160B
20 R-160A, 210 R-160B 20 R-160A, 200 R-160B
170 R-160A
160 R-160A
F 264 R-46, 110 R-160A
256 R-46, 100 R-160A
R (South) 110 R-160B
110 R-160B
G 40 R-68, 12 R-68A
32 R-68, 8 R-68A
J/Z 8 R-32, 40 R-42, 112 R-160A 8 R-32, 32 R-42, 112 R-160A
S (Franklin Avenue)
16 R-46
S (Rockaway) 4 R-68
8
16 R-46 4 R-68
ERA BULLETIN - MARCH, 2014
Commuter and Transit Notes
No. 304
by Randy Glucksman
Transition ­ After 304 columns and a "writing career" for the Bulletin that spans over 30 years (and this is year 57 for our Bulletin), longer than I work ed at NY C T ransit, the tim e has com e for m e to tak e a break from this part of m y life. I have enjoyed helping to document the changes that have taken place in the rapidly changing transit field. Life changes, as do responsibilities. My wife and I are planning to do some traveling and spend time with our two beautiful grandchildren. Thank you to my many contributors who have helped shaped this column. Also thanks to Production Manager David Ross, who always put up with my last minute changes, supporting my efforts to bring you, our members, the latest breaking news. In closing, all of the above does not preclude me writing an occasional article for the Bulletin.
METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY On January 14, New York State's Court of Appeals upheld the state's payroll mobility tax (PMT) which was enacted in 2009 to add funding for MTA. Lawsuits had been filed in several of the MTA counties to protest the tax. For 2013, ridership was up on both the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North. LIRR ridership rose by 2% compared to 2012, to 83.4 million rides. For MetroNorth (East), the increase was to 81.8 million rides, its highest, exceeding the previous record of 81.5 million, which was set in 2008. West-of-Hudson ridership fell 2.3% to 1,576,227 rides, with the majority of the reduction attributed to the Port Jervis Line. MTA reported: "It reflects a customer base that has been slow to recover since Hurricanes Sandy and Irene." The Pascack Valley Line was essentially unchanged. West-of-Hudson ridership peaked in 2008 at almost 2.1 million. MTA METRO-NORTH RAILROAD (EAST) Revised copies of the Harlem Line timetables with a January 18 date were available during the week of January 20. There was also a revised New Haven timetable, also January 18, which shows the schedule adjustment that was made to Train #1570 (February Bulletin). I saw a fourth pair of wrapped M-3s on January 17, the evening of the first ERA meeting at its classy new venue, The Roosevelt Hotel. (In my almost 49 years of ERA membership, this has to be our finest meeting location. The Board did good!) Cars 8006-7 join previously sighted 8028-9, 8094-5, and 8108-9. Subsequently, member Bill Zucker observed 8004-5 and 8008-9. On January 22, more than 200 passengers aboard Train #1578 (7:34 PM to New Haven) were stuck aboard the train for nearly two hours due to the catenary breaking above the train. A rescue train that was dispatched was delayed reaching the train due to a frozen switch. The following evening between 7:25 PM until nearly 10 PM, all lines were shut down due to "signal issues," i.e., computer problems. Amtrak trains on the Hudson and New Haven Lines were also affected. Grand Central Terminal was packed with commuters,
according to television news. MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast explained the next day that the problem was caused by human error ­ one of the two power supplies was removed for replacement. He said: "The project should have been analyzed for risks and redundancy before it began and it should not have been performed when thousands of customers were trying to get home in cold weather." Bill Zucker reported that he was caught in this delay while returning to the city and wrote: "My train was stopped just north of the Melrose station. While we were stopped, the crew passed out cartons of Coast Guard-approved emergency drinking water. We sat for an hour and a half in that spot and eventually made it to 125th Street, where we were advised to get out and continue with the subway, which I did." Nearly every day that week, I received alerts about delays due to emergency track repairs at various stations, equipment troubles, or winter-related conditions. At the January 27 Metro-North Committee meeting, a $36.076 million contract (with offsets by credits of $8.394 million resulting in a net $27.682 million contract) was awarded to Kawasaki Railcar Incorporated (KRC) for the purchase of three M-8s at $3.65 million per car, to replace a married pair and a "B" car that were damaged beyond repair in the May 17, 2013 derailment (July, 2013 plus other Bulletins). The contract also includes the purchase of spare parts, additional truck assemblies so that MNR forces can repair two other damaged cars, and the provision of labor and parts by KRC so four additional cars that suffered significant damage also can be repaired and returned to service. Because such New Haven main line costs are allocated between CDOT and MNR, MNR's share of the total cost is $9.244 million and CDOT's share is $18.437 million. History was made twice in one week when hockey games were played in a specially constructed ice rink at Yankee Stadium for the National Hockey League's 2014 Coors Light NHL Series. In all there were four games in this series, one each at Dodger Stadium and Soldier Field, and the other two in Yankee Stadium. The first (Continued on page 10)
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Commuter and Transit Notes (Continued from page 9) game between the Rangers and Devils took place on January 26 and was followed by the Wednesday night Rangers vs. Islanders game. For this game, #3, special PDF timetables were available on the Internet. The cost of the December 1, 2013 derailment was put at more than $9 million. MTA METRO-NORTH RAILROAD (WEST) The Newburgh-Beacon and Haverstraw-Ossining ferries remained suspended due to the frigid weather (February Bulletin). CONNECTICUT Department of TransportATION On January 20, WCBS-880 News reported that the use of bar cars on the New Haven Line would end by the end of the year, when all M-8s are in service. CDOT's commissioner told the Stamford Advocate, "the bar cars will continue," but he did not say that there is no money allocated and no design plan to include them in the M-8s. When this issue arose years ago, CDOT assured riders that bar cars would be built at the end of the contract. In the October, 2010 Bulletin, I wrote that a survey conducted by the former Connecticut Rail Commuter Council found that more than 90% of those participating in a survey wanted bar car service continued. Then-Governor Jodi Rell indicated her support for their cause. I found a news story on the Internet dated August 13, 2010 that quoted Governor Rell as saying that 7 of the 80 additional cars ordered "will be transformed into rolling bars." One of my friends reminded me that there was an option in the contract for a certain number of bar cars at the end of the order. Governor Dannel Malloy plans to meet with incoming Metro-North President Joe Giuletti on February 13 to make sure that he understands that Metro-North needs to be accountable to the State of Connecticut. The Governor also has support from a number of state legislators, some of whom have warned that they would recommend seeking another operator. On February 2, Governor Malloy announced plans for a $10 million project to upgrade the New Haven Line power supply to prevent future failures like the one that took place last September in Mt. Vernon. The M-8 status was updated on January 31 and shows 318 cars conditionally accepted with 18 cars undergoing Kawasaki inspection. That means that 300 of the 408-car order are in service. Bill Zucker's sightings now include: 9100-9307, 9312-35, 9340-73, 9376-7, 9382-3, and 9390-1 for 272 cars. The table below shows the status of the "Red" fleet. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a contact at Metro-North who would provide a listing of which cars have been scrapped.
DATE M-2 M-4/M-6 M-8
TOTAL
12/11
231
102
44
377
01/12
231
102
60
393
03/12
228
102
76
406
04/12
228
102
86
416
05/12
228
102
96
426
06/12
228
102
104
434
07/12
228
102
112
442
09/12
198
102
132
432
10/12
198
102
138
438
11/12
198
102
146
446
12/02
180
102
154
436
02/13
179
100
164
443
03/13
175
99
176
450
04/13
157
99
194
450
05/13
157
99
206
462
06/13
134
98
220
452
08/13
120
96
244
460
09/13
104
96
250
450
10/13
104
96
262
462
12/13
88
96
284
468
MTA LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD Train crews were advised during mid-January that the railroad was in the process of testing clearances and feasibility for color light signals to replace the existing low home signals in Brook Interlocking (Atlantic Terminal). Rectangular blocks of foam material were temporarily placed at the east end of Tracks 2 and 4 in order to simulate the size and placement of these signals. Oyster Bay Branch service was shut down for about four hours on Friday evening, January 24, due to a fire in a condo complex adjacent to the tracks in Albertson. The reason was the need for fire hoses to cross the tracks. Due to a third rail electrical problem in one of the East River Tunnels, the homeward bound commute was disrupted for passengers on January 29. The incident began at 1:15 PM, and about 4 PM, westbound service was suspended. 19 eastbound trains were canceled on the following branches: Port Washington (8), Ronkonkoma (1), Port Jefferson (1), Babylon (7), and Long Beach (2). Westbound service was restored at 5:11 PM with Train #1715, which departed from Huntington at 5:11 PM. Originally East Side Access (ESA) was to open in December, 2013. Then it was 2016, and then 2018, and now it seems the date will be 2021 -- or not. The New York Times reported that the cost could exceed $10.7 billion. That was the Federal Transit Administration estimate; MTA is holding to its own estimate of $9.7 billion. MTA Board members were provided with details at the January 27 Board meeting. MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast cited "the complexity of the work undertaken beneath a tangle of existing tracks and equipment, (Continued on page 11)
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Commuter and Transit Notes (Continued from page 10) drawing a brief parallel to the construction of the Panama Canal." ESA is believed to be the largest current infrastructure project in the country, and, when it is finally completed, will carry 160,000 customers per day. On February 5, the largest Long Island Rail Road union, the Sheet Metal, Air and Transportation Union (SMART), voted to authorize a strike on March 21, if there is no contract agreement by that time. This issue was most recently reported on in the January Bulletin. MTA rejected the recommendations of the Presidential Emergency Board in January. MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said at the time that the financial hit to MTA would be equivalent to a 12% fare hike if all unions got an almost 3% raise without changes to "archaic work rules." Currently, MTA and seven LIRR unions are in a 60-day cooling-off period. NJ TRANSIT Riding to work on January 21 (Martin Luther King Day) was different in that my usual express train did not operate. The almost-all-stops local departs 19 minutes earlier and the connecting train at Secaucus Junction is later. On regular weekday mornings, eastbound trains depart from the platform for Tracks A and B, while on weekends/holidays Track 2 is used. During my extended wait, I glanced down to where the buses pull in and noticed that the area had been greatly expanded and paved to accommodate the Super Bowl buses that would operate in 13 days. The cold weather, besides the snowstorm (please see below), caused all sorts of problems for commuters. Here, too, I received almost daily alerts advising of canceled trains, some with no reason given. During the afternoon of January 24, alerts were sent advising that due to a smoke condition in one of the East River Tunnels, trains could be delayed between 30 and 45 minutes. One NEC train destined to Trenton was reported 80 minutes late. NJ Transit uses these tunnels to send/receive trains from Sunnyside Yard. There was cross-honoring by PATH at New York, Hoboken, and Newark and NJ Transit and private carrier buses from the Port Authority Bus Terminal until 10 PM. Tuesday evening, January 28, a NEC train lost power in the south tube of the North River Tunnel and the next morning a Midtown Direct train lost power at Kearny Junction. In both cases the passengers were rescued when a "rescue" engine was dispatched. That same evening, trains were being delayed by an initial 15-20, then changed to 20-30 minutes due to power problems in New York Penn Station. A friend who rides the Raritan Valley Line reported that all track space between Garwood and Cranford is taken up with cars and engines. There does not seem to be any more space here should they have to move equipment in a storm.
Days after the above report was received, another report arrived in my inbox. On January 24, NJ Transit operated an inspection trip for those interested in purchasing 18 retired Arrow III cars. The "official" details are: "New Jersey Transit is soliciting offers to purchase 18 retired Arrow III MU electric railcars under solicitation SOP #AP004251-13. The cars were identified as being stored on the siding on the south side of the Raritan Valley Line between Garwood and Cranford stations. There were supposed to be 18 cars, numbers 1305, 1318, 1350-1,1370-1, 1388-9, 1398-9, 1406-7, 1410-1, 1476-7, 1512-3." As it turned out, the reporter found that these cars were not located where they were inspecting Arrow IIIs. The NJ Transit representative believed that they were at Kearny and that 50 additional cars were going to be sold along with 10 locomotives that would be scrapped. After the inspection was over, the writer left and traveled along Route 28. At Garwood, there are also at least two Comet coaches on this siding. Further along, there were 7 F40 locomotives and 7 more GP40s. Later, at the Garden State Parkway overpass, he saw additional Arrows, some of which appeared to have no pantographs. A member of the Lackawanna Coalition, one of New Jersey's rail advocate groups, wrote: "I see NJT's desire to sell off so many of their MU cars as a serious step in the wrong direction. We should have as close to an allMU railroad as possible on the M&E, Gladstone, and electrified portions of the Montclair Lines. The old M&E (before 1984) was like that, and schedules were considerably faster, and equipment utilization was far more efficient." (Editor's Note: The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western constructed what is the present-day Morris & Essex Lines with short platforms and close station spacing and employed EMUs to take advantage of the line's topography to provide speedy service.) How sad ­ here is a transit agency that just has taxpayer's money to burn when you look at its track record. In the appropriate time period, which was when each of the following groups of cars/locomotives were "young in age" they were retired early then scrapped or sold: Arrow IIs, Comet IIIs, and ALP-44s. For the record, NJ Transit's once 230-car Arrow III fleet counts just 162 active cars. A Super Bowl report appears as a separate article in this issue. The status of NJ Transit's post-Sandy rail fleet was unchanged since the February Bulletin. A bill has been introduced in the New Jersey Senate that would create a commission to consider consolidation of existing passenger (commuter) rail systems for the purpose of reducing costs. Which systems might be proposed for consolidation, and who or what would operate them, was not specified. This would be the third straight session in which a similar bill has been floated. In both previous attempts the bill won (Continued on page 12)
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Commuter and Transit Notes (Continued from page 11) unanimous Senate endorsement only to die in the Assembly, and a similar fate appears probable this time around. Thanks to member Dave Safford for this news. Jack May found an article in The Record that NJ Transit had failed to renew its trademarks. NJ Transit spokesman John Durso Jr. said that a lawyer hired by the agency incorrectly told the agency that its trademark protection was good until 2018. But the deadline was actually 2012, and they expired between January and March, 2013. The error was discovered during an audit in December, 2013. A lawyer in the firm, who had been the agency's attorney, told the newspaper a former associate in his office had miscalculated the time. Until it renews its trademarks, NJ Transit is using Service marks for the time being. HBLR will be getting a new station at 15th Street in North Hoboken. This was revealed in a New York Times article (January 30) and will be near the site of a property being developed by the Rockefeller Group, which will build a 40-story office tower. One of our members who forwarded this news wrote: "The fact that this new station was never discussed at an NJT Board meeting is indeed a scandal. Kinda sorta makes you wonder who is in charge of the agency." It is too early in the process to have any projected opening date. PORT AUTHORITY TRANS-HUDSON CORPORATION A new timetable with the Super Bowl XLVIII logo was issued effective January 26. On February 5, I rode PATH from Hoboken, and as I am not a frequent user of this system, I could not help but notice how much cleaner the passageway from the bumper block end of Hoboken Terminal to the trains is. In fact, the entire station has been updated since Superstorm Sandy. I can remember back in the 1980s and later, that there was a very unusual odor in that passageway. Once I was past the faregates, I walked to the leaving end of the train and saw a World Trade Centerbound train departing from Track 3 and caught a glimpse of a car that had been wrapped. I do not know how many such cars there are and how long this has been done. Later that day, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey published a 10-year, $27.6 billion capital plan, and it includes $1.5 billion for extending PATH from Newark to Newark International Airport. I had inserted a placeholder in several of the columns last year in anticipation of Governor Chris Christie making an announcement that he supported the PATH-Newark Airport extension, but finally deleted it when nothing occurred. AMTRAK After last month's Bulletin was completed, member Al Holtz forwarded additional information from The Roanoke Times about the proposed extension to Roanoke. There will be one daily round trip, leaving
Roanoke at 6:19 AM and arriving in Washington at 11:20 AM. The southbound train will depart Washington at 4:50 PM and arrive in Roanoke at 9:55 PM. Norfolk Southern will upgrade its rail facilities at the state's expense, including adding new signals, tracks, and a maintenance facility on the former Norfolk & Western main line between Roanoke and Lynchburg. Construction is expected to begin in 2015, with service operating in September, 2017 at the latest. METROPOLITAN AREA Transport of Rockland (TOR) is likely the last transit operation in the metropolitan area where passengers directly paid the Bus Operator, but that changed in late January, when new fare boxes were installed in all TOR and TAPPAN ZEExpress buses. These fare boxes are being funded by a $2.4 million grant and will accept bills up to $20 or quarters. Change will not be given; instead, passengers will receive what is called a "change card" that can be used for future riding by inserting it into a slot on the fare box until the value is used. Riders using UniTickets or passes will continue to show them to the driver. SuperSaver tickets are due to be replaced by an electronic Multi-Trip Card. ANOTHER SNOWSTORM ­ TUESDAY­WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21-22 A few days ahead, the forecast was for several inches of snow affecting the New Jersey coast and eastern Long Island. However, over the weekend and on Monday it became a 6-12-inch event. When it ended, the range was 1-15 inches and the Polar Vortex returned, with below zero wind chills, which lasted through the weekend to the end of the month. I heard a news report on January 24 that every state, including Hawaii, had temperatures below freezing. MTA Long Island Rail Road operated with delays on January 21, and on a weekend schedule for January 22, which provides approximately 60%-65% of a regular weekday schedule. I received an email with a photo that read: "Due to the inclement weather affecting the ticket vending machines, the on board fare has been waived." Realizing that more service was required for the evening commute, eight extra trains were operated. By branch they were: Port Washington and Ronkonkoma, one each, Port Jefferson, two, and Babylon, four. Full service operated on January 23. MTA Metro-North Railroad service ran with delays during the afternoon and evening. Starting at 8 PM, hourly service was operated over all lines. Shortly after 9 PM, service was reported as running on or close to schedule on all three lines. For Wednesday morning, a normal schedule was planned, subject to the severity and impact that the storm had on their territory. Full service operated on January 23. NJ Transit announced that cross-honoring would be in effect on January 21, which was soon extended through the following day. Additionally, it was announced that (Continued on page 13)
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Commuter and Transit Notes (Continued from page 12) waiting rooms would remain open until Monday, January 27. At various times, trains were reported as operating with delays ranging from 10-15 to 30-45 minutes. My trip home took three hours. The train that I had planned to ride from Secaucus Junction did not stop due to being overcrowded with riders who originated at Hoboken. Because I lucked out and was almost directly in front of a train door, I managed to get aboard the following train (42 minutes later). But despite the fact that Supervision at Secaucus Junction assured me that they were "trying" to arrange a six-car set, that did not happen, and the train departed Secaucus Junction about 10 minutes late with the assistance of NJ Transit Police. At the first several stops, the dwells were long, because passengers had to get off the train so that others who were further inside the cars could detrain. All in all the train arrived about half an hour after its scheduled time. For 24 hours beginning 4:45 AM January 22, trains bypassed the Newark Airport station due to flooding. Tickets were honored on the Route 62 bus from Newark Penn Station. For Wednesday, an "enhanced" weekend schedule -- the same that was used on Martin Luther King Day -- was in effect on all lines except for the Atlantic City Line. I got reports that due to the reduced service, those that ran were overcrowded with unhappy commuters. Full service operated on January 23. MTA New York City Transit canceled FASTRACK on the Queens Boulevard Line (EFMR). Express service was curtailed to enable storage of trains underground that are normally laid up in outside yards. In Philadelphia, member Bob Wright reported: "As we continue to deal with the polar vortex... (just got a little more snow...) SEPTA has been dealing OK with the snow. Lots of cancelled and late trains on Regional Rail on Tuesday, January 21, but at least it was running. Some of this was related to equipment problems, and some (as is starting to come out now) is related to 'call-outs' by crews who just didn't want to come to work. My homebound train was 45 minutes late on Tuesday (started at 30th Street but couldn't get out of the yard because of all the other late trains) and 35 minutes behind on Thursday (after being 35 minutes late on the inbound), but I'm not complaining. Lots of short/smaller consist trains because of the equipment difficulties, and lots more Silverliner Vs turning up on trains that haven't seen them in the past. By comparison, Wednesday inbound was only about 15 minutes off the mark, but the following train was reported as cancelled (but was showing up on the boards at Market East when I got there) -- on the homebound that day, the 5:47 PM at Market East bypassed us after being stuck at Suburban, and the 6:15 PM showed up at 6:30 PM making all stops (it usually skips North Broad and Allegheny). The snow
resulted in the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines running all night on Tuesday instead of having the Nite Owl buses. Things are slowly returning to normal but the cold isn't helping. Waiting patiently for spring..." From the Washington, D.C. area, member Steve Erlitz reported MARC ran an "S" schedule on the Penn Line only. No Camden or Brunswick service. VRE ran an "S" schedule on both lines. The Washington Metro ran normal. Also, Maryland MTA canceled all suburban bus service except Route 201, which goes from Gaithersburg to BWI. For January 22, VRE operated a full schedule. THREE SNOWSTORMS IN ONE WEEK #1 ­ After the Super Bowl ended, snow began falling and continued through the afternoon of February 3. Up to foot of snow fell in some parts of the metropolitan area, but it only had a minimal effect on transit. #2 ­ NJ Transit had announced on Tuesday, February 4 that cross-honoring would be in effect system-wide on NJ Transit and private carrier buses. As I was completing this column, there was an email alert from NJ Transit advising that for Wednesday, February 5, an "enhanced" weekend schedule would be in effect on all lines except for the Atlantic City Line. Subsequent emails removed the word "enhanced" and replaced it with "Storm Schedule." To the best of my knowledge, this was the first use of that description. If commuters decided to go to work, this should make for some exceptionally crowded trains. And they did on my line. Instead of my regular Metro-North express, I rode an allstops local, and before we got halfway to Hoboken, the train was crowded. Commuters even sat in what I call the "dreaded middle seats." The man who sat next to me on my train had a Coach USA bus ticket, which the Conductor accepted for transportation, but did not collect. After leaving Wood-Ridge, I checked the Departure Vision screen on my iPhone for Secaucus Junction and found that there were no eastbound trains scheduled to arrive in what I determined to be a reasonable amount of time, so with PATH cross-honoring recently added, I opted to go to Hoboken. It turned out to be a good decision because the 33rd Street train I boarded departed within three minutes. I got off at 9th Street and walked to the W. 4th Street subway station where an E train soon arrived. This saved me having to walk the two long blocks from Sixth Avenue in the rain/sleet that was falling. Earlier, between 4:51 and 5:32 AM, Northeast Corridor (NEC) services were suspended due to "Amtrak overhead wire problems." Midtown Direct trains were temporarily routed to Hoboken and cross-honoring was arranged with PATH. There would be another NEC suspension later that morning. The Long Island Rail Road reported that it was planning to operate a normal weekday schedule. There were a few instances were trains had mechanical prob- (Continued on page 14)
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Commuter and Transit Notes (Continued from page 13) lems, and for a time service was suspended between Jamaica and Mineola, with delays of 1 hour 40 minutes. Downed trees caused a temporary suspension of service on the Hempstead Branch. Metro-North reported that it would operate a regular schedule with some train combinations for the AM commute. There were numerous delays and several train-to -train transfers on the New Haven Line due to catenary problems. Each took a while to resolve. The New Canaan Branch experienced power problems in the area of Talmadge Hill. Elsewhere, delays of up to 30 minutes were reported for the Hudson and Harlem Lines. Buses replaced one of the Waterbury Branch midday trips. At around 9:45 AM New Haven Line Westbound trains did not stop between Old Greenwich and Cos Cob. Riders had to ride eastbound trains to Stamford and transfer for westbound service to access those stations, and had to anticipate system-wide delays of 45-60 minutes due to power problems caused by severe weather conditions. Starting at noon, Metro-North decided to operate hourly service on this line. This is a similar service plan to what has been used with recent service disruptions. Hourly service began as follows: Inbound ­ 46 minutes after the hour from New Haven; on the hour from Stamford. The 11:46 AM from New Haven made all stops to Stamford, then via express to Harlem-125th Street and Grand Central Terminal. The 12:00 PM from Stamford made all stops to Grand Central Terminal Outbound ­ At 8 minutes after the hour to New Haven; 34 minutes after the hour to Stamford. The 12:08 PM from Grand Central Terminal operated via express to Stamford and then made all stops to New Haven. The 12:34 PM from Grand Central Terminal made all stops to Stamford For the PM peak, Metro-North operated with some local and express trains that serve adjacent stations being combined and making additional stops. This service plan represented 75% of the regular service and was based on lower ridership counts and the railroad's efforts to protect equipment due to the impact of the storm. The combined trains were chosen to minimize customer impacts and to get customers home within 1015 minutes of their normal time. After 9 PM, trains ran hourly on all lines for the duration of the night. For Thursday, February 6, Metro-North operated its regular service, although there were some delays. On the subways, signal problems plagued riders on 2 and 5 at Jackson Avenue, and N and Q at Queensboro Plaza. Express trains ran via the local track during the morning. After the PM peak hour, trains that normally are stored in outside yards were moved to designated express tracks and forced express trains to operate on
the local track. Four inches of snow fell in Central Park, and the fur- thest reaches of the metropolitan area received 20 inches. To date, 40.3 inches of snow have been recorded in Central Park since October 1, 2013. #3 ­ About a week out, meteorologists were expecting a nor'easter Sunday night into Monday, February 9-10. As the week progressed, there was some backtracking on the expectations that two storms would combine. They would not. One would become a coastal storm, passing to the south of New York. The other, an upper level disturbance, brought up to 2.5 inches of snow Sunday evening. MUSEUMS Another former NJ Transit PCC has found a home. Al Holtz forwarded this report: "On January 18, Car 26 arrived at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum (BSM). The car was one of the PCCs that had been stored under shrink wrap at the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail yards, at its Communipaw Avenue facility in Jersey City, for 10 years. Upon arrival in Baltimore, previously regauged PCC trucks from ex-SEPTA PCC 2185 (now in San Diego) were placed under this car. It has not yet been determined which of the three paint schemes that were used in Newark will be used in the restoration." The BSM member who sent this report to Al wrote, "I have urged them to put the car back in the 1954 Public Service Coordinated Transport two-tone gray, with blue trim, red 'wheels' (not trucks), and red headlight wings. This paint scheme also featured a gray (not black) trolley pole. Also, for authenticity, I have urged that the high trolley rope catcher be retained in the location 'above' the back windows, that the ugly rock screen over the windshields be removed ASAP, and that the 'stops' in the window tracks be removed so the windows can again be cranked fully open. NJT had installed those 'stops,' which allowed only a three-inch opening, to prevent passengers from being pelted with rocks by hoodlums." INDUSTRY The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reported that nearly 2.7 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation in the third quarter of 2013. This represents a 1.5% increase over the same quarter in 2012, and the ninth of the last 11 quarters that there have been increases in ridership. There were increases in 22 of 28 commuter rail systems where overall commuter rail increased by 1.9%, also in eight of 15 heavy rail systems and 14 of 28 light rail systems. Additional details can be found at: http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2014/ Pages/140108_Ridership.aspx. OTHER TRANSIT SYSTEMS BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS On January 18, Rotem cars 827, 828, 829, 830, 831, and 1825 had arrived at the Boston Engine Terminal (Continued on page 15)
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Commuter and Transit Notes (Continued from page 14) and were awaiting acceptance. On January 29, The Boston Globe reported that these cars, already 2Ѕ years late in delivery, were so plagued by mechanical (doors, Air Conditioning, brakes), engineering, and signal software problems, that they were being shipped to a facility in Rhode Island for repairs. An MBTA spokesman described the problems as standard operating procedure (SOP), a normal part of introducing new, more technologically advanced train cars into a transit system. The improved Worcester schedule, which was supposed to be implemented first on January 13, then January 27, was postponed until the end of February. Completion of work at the Yawkey station was cited as a reason for the delay. Due to popularity of bike cars, coaches 221 and 225 are to be converted to additional bike cars for this spring. Five of the 500-series MBB cars are to be refurbished for CapeFlyer service. On January 29 the Massachusetts House voted to rename South Station as The Governor Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center at South Station. He was a one-time candidate for President of the United States and is a known supporter and rider of public transit. This bill was quietly pushed by former Governor William Weld as well as former Dukakis aides. "I'm honored and flattered" said a surprised Dukakis, "but nobody told me about it." Thanks to member Todd Glickman for these reports. LINDENWOLD, NEW JERSEY Bob Wright reported that effective January 18, PATCO switched to a new schedule in order to accommodate the long-awaited track work on the Ben Franklin Bridge. The schedule is also on the website. Bob wrote: "It's unusual in that there will be a separate Monday schedule, as work will be concentrated on long weekends, which will impact Mondays as well. The basics are that operations will be single-tracked across the bridge at all times and trains will be 'platooned' in the peaks, so the off-peak direction will have greatly reduced service. Not sure how this is going to work, since the line does pick up a decent amount of reversepeak ridership, but we shall see. In my limited experience on the line, reverse peak already has relatively long headways (one would think that what comes over the bridge would be going back, but many trains are stored in the Locust Street Subway and others deadhead back to Jersey), so this may not have that great an impact. The work also takes out the adjacent curb lane on the bridge (where construction equipment will be staged). I looked at the schedule and noted that one PM peak train starts at 12th-13th/Locust, which is different (there is one that starts at 8th/Market, but that's been in the schedule for quite some time --
it's a train that goes into the layup track there after making an AM run into the city, then deadheads from 15th-16th/Locust to the layup track). On Locust Street in midday and peak operation, train storage often results in active trains using either track, so that will continue. Riders have to keep alert to make sure they get on the correct train." Member Lee Winson sent a report that on the first day of the reduced schedules, several trains broke down forcing trip cancellations, which led to overcrowding. In fact, after 7:30 AM, some would-be riders could not board trains. A DRPA spokesman said that the construction had nothing to do with the morning's problems because ice on the bridge had impeded construction. Fifteen of the 70 cars typically used for service experienced motor problems, which were caused by snow getting into the electrical circuits. PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA Bob Wright recalled another "problem" when the Broad Street Subway Extension through the Navy Yard was being considered "way back when" (January Bulletin). " PTC and SEPTA buses served the Navy Yard (and still do, but on a very limited basis) and I recall that they had to stop at the main gate where the Marine guards would board each bus and require one to show credentials to enter the Yard. (I'm guessing if you didn't have any, you would be asked to leave the bus.) My dad (a World War II Navy veteran) used to take us to visit the Yard on Armed Forces Day, when there was an open house at the Yard. When the bus got to the gate, the Marine would still get on and do his check, but the 'guests' were told that they had to stay on the bus to the last stop, where Navy shuttles would pick us up to tour the Yard (or one could walk following certain routes marked for such). With a subway stop in the Yard, there was concern about how this would be handled and what the guards would do." SEPTA was not immune to the effects of the extremely cold temperatures. Malfunctioning doors on the MarketFrankford Line and on Silverliner Vs on Regional Rail caused delays and missed stations for some passengers. "Our equipment does not like this five-degree weather," said Ron Hopkins, SEPTA's Assistant General Manager of Operations. Bob Wright rode the Norristown High-Speed Line on December 19, 2013 and reported: "all seems to be working fine after the recent construction. Speeds on the Schuylkill River Bridge are back to `normal.' It seems all other slow zones are also gone. I had occasion to ride the Chestnut Hill East Line earlier this week (January 13) and the high-level platform being built for inbound trains on the main line at Wayne Junction station also abuts the outbound CH East track. Currently the outbound trains are still using the low-level platform just to the south of the new platform, and the small 'island' between inbound and outbound tracks is still (Continued on page 16)
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Commuter and Transit Notes (Continued from page 15) being used by inbounds. I've been told that the current thinking is that the high-level will serve both directions and inbounds will switch to the outbound track just north of the station to permit this. I also noticed three Silverliner IIs in the Wayne Shop Yard, one of them very much graffiti-covered (I think this one was one of those previously stored at Overbrook)." I have previously written of SEPTA's interest in purchasing bi-levels. Al Holtz sent a report that they would be similar to ones that NJ Transit operates. This model car can seat 120-140, or up to 170 for MBTA, compared to the Silverliner Vs' 109. Thirty-six would be required. SEPTA officials say a clearance study to make sure the taller cars would fit through underpasses and tunnels on its 151 route miles of electrified trackage would be the first step. Although adding additional cars to trains could also increase capacity, it would require lengthening platforms at many stations. The Inquirer reported that SEPTA has released more details of a planned extension of the Norristown Hi-Speed line to King of Prussia, as well as comments received from the public. Alternatives have been in concept reduced to three: At grade, in a median along US 202. This would reduce the auto lanes from 4 to 2, as well as offering significant hazards to passengers crossing the highway at stops. This would, however, likely be the least expensive option An elevated line similar to the JFK AirTrain. This would potentially be the most expensive as well as visually obtrusive A line following the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which passes behind the King of Prussia Mall. No comment was offered on this option An underground alternative is considered as most desirable, but too expensive for serious development. SEPTA will provide ridership projections and cost/ benefit analyses at the next public meetings, scheduled for fall 2014. Thanks to Dave Safford for this report. WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA As of mid-January, although the majority of software issues had been resolved on the Silver Line, there was no firm opening date. This is the first of many openings that had been listed in the January Bulletin as happening this year. At publication time, early February, none had opened, and all of the others are addressed below under their respective cities. More than 500 people showed up at a job fair held at the District's Department of Transportation on January 27, hoping that they would be selected for one of 34 positions as Operators, Service Attendants, Mechanics, and Materials Handlers. On this same subject, the transit agency, which is already in possession of three Inekon (Czech Republic) streetcars, took delivery of its
first U.S.-produced streetcar on January 21. Clackamas, Oregon-based United Streetcar, LLC, is producing two additional streetcars. There was no updated information as to when the H Street/Benning Road Streetcar would open. The Spotsylvania station, which had an opening date last year, then was moved to March, was again moved -- to June. Steve Erlitz sent information that MARC planned to introduce its newest bi-level (actually copycats of NJ Transit's, purchased on one of NJ Transit's options). Starting in late February and early March, the first of these 54 new cars built by Bombardier were expected to be received. The cars feature several welcome amenities, including larger restrooms, electrical outlets at each seat, four doors instead of two for exiting the train on high-level platforms, and the latest in Federal Railroad Administration-recommended equipment for collision and safety survivability. MARC's first goal is to retire the four remaining "gallery cars" on Brunswick Line Trains #874 and 875. Once that is completed, the cars will be allocated to all three lines as they arrive. An accompanying photo showed a car numbered 8045. CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA According to a report in The Charlotte Observer, in order to improve its chances at winning a federal grant, the Charlotte City Council voted on January 28 to spend up to $12 million on an engineering study for a 2.5-mile streetcar extension. This extension is not without controversy and is expected to cost $126 million. Last year, City Manager Ron Carlee broke a yearlong deadlock over the project with a proposal to spend $63 million from city reserves and to seek $63 million in federal grants. That plan would not use property taxes, and it helped convince some Councilmembers -- including Patrick Cannon, who is now Mayor -- to vote for it. This city is currently building a "starter" streetcar line from Time Warner Cable Arena to Presbyterian Hospital, a $37 million project, with the aid of a $25 million federal grant. The long-term plan is for a 10-mile line from Beatties Ford Road to the site of the old Eastland Mall. Thanks to member Pete Donner for this report. ORLANDO, FLORIDA Sun Rail very likely will not begin revenue service this month. At publication time, there was no opening date. CLEVELAND, OHIO Member Paul Deitrick sent an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer that reported ridership on Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Lines rose in the third quarter of 2013. On the Red Line, the increase was 5.7% and was second to Metro Dade at 11.1%, where service was increased during the peak hours. The Blue, Green, and Waterfront lines ridership was up 4.6% during the same quarter. CHESTERTON, INDIANA A long-debated NICTD 8-mile extension to Dyer could (Continued on page 17)
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Commuter and Transit Notes (Continued from page 16) become a reality if, at the March 28 Board meeting, the Directors vote to allocate $1.9 million, about one-third the cost of the study. The extension is estimated to cost $571 million, and state support for this project is growing. If no obstacles appear, construction could begin in 2019, with revenue service in 2023. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS After suffering through the first two weeks of January, Metra commuters were wondering if on-time performance would improve. At that time, the number of delayed trains was in the hundreds and cancellations in the dozens due to mechanical failures, jammed switches, and crew shortages. One Metra Board member interviewed by The Chicago Tribune said: "This month's going to be a `disaster' in terms of weather-related delays." A high-level meeting was held between representatives from the Engineering, Transportation, and Mechanical departments to review the problems of the previous week and seek corrective measures. Thanks to member Jim Beeler for this report. MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA Member Jack May sent information that Metro's 11mile Green Line connecting the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul will open on June 14 -- 60 years to the month since the last streetcars operated. The actual date was June 18, 1954. This mid-June opening will allow the line to serve baseball fans attending major league baseball's All-Star Game at Target Field on July 15. AUSTIN, TEXAS The Austin American-Statesman reported that Capitol Metro would spend $27 million over the next two years in an effort to boost capacity, especially during peak hours, on its 32-mile line. Capitol Metro owns six DMUs, but uses only four during peak hours; given these restrictions, it operates on a minimum 34-minute headway. A second track will be constructed at the Crestview, Howard, and Lakeline stations along with signaling and switches. Thanks to Jack May for this report. DALLAS, TEXAS DART announced on January 24 that the 4.7-mile Orange Line extension to DFW Airport would open in September, in time for the Texas State Fair. Test trains could be running this spring. The line had been scheduled for a December opening. Construction began for the South Cliff Three Line on January 24. This 2.6-mile line will run from the Ledbetter station (Blue Line) to the University of North Texas at Dallas and will have two stations: Camp Wisdom and UNT Dallas. The Ledbetter station will be redesigned. Some preliminary construction is already underway and current plans call for a late 2016 opening rather than in 2019. Thanks to Railway Age for these two reports.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH Utah Transit Authority officials are studying right-of- way options to extend FrontRunner service to other communities, including from Pleasant View to Brigham City, approximately 17 miles. Thanks to Al Holtz for forwarding this news. ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico The Montano station, which was originally scheduled to open in January, did not. No additional information was available on the New Mexico RailRunner website other than "early 2014." SEATTLE, WASHINGTON A celebratory parade was held downtown on February 5 to honor the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. Sound Transit added service from Tacoma to Seattle, which departed at 8:30 AM and arrived at King Street Station at 9:29 AM. Another extra train operated early in the afternoon that departed King Street at 2:30 PM and arrived at Tacoma at 3:29 PM. In addition, cars were added to trains to and from Everett. Both the 7:15 AM departure from Everett and the 4:05 PM departure from Seattle were five-car sets. PORTLAND, OREGON TriMet released the names of the four finalists for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge on January 15. They are: Abigail Scott Duniway Transit Bridge, Cascadia Crossing Transit Bridge, Tillicum Crossing Transit Bridge and Wy'east Transit Bridge. All names have local historic significance. The public has until March 1 to vote. Not all submissions were, how would you say, politically correct? Al Holtz forwarded a report with some less charitable names including "A-Big-Waste-of-TaxpayerMoney," "Boondoggle Bridge," "The Stupid Bridge," and "Waste of Tax Payers Money Bridge." Westside Express Service (WES) celebrated its fifth anniversary on February 2, and over this time period carried more than 1.9 million passengers. Last year, ridership was more than 476,000. SALEM, OREGON The Talgo Series 8 trains finally made their first revenue runs in Amtrak Cascades service, Eugene to Vancouver, B.C., on January 6. With these two trainsets there now seven Talgos. A new schedule showing the increased service was issued. Thanks to Al Holtz for sending this report. Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Crenshaw/LAX LRT extension on January 21. The USDOT Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program provided a $545.9 million loan for the $1.272 billion project, which will build an 8.5-mile light-rail line, with eight stations, connecting the Expo Line and Metro Green Line. Revenue service is expected to begin in 2019. Then, on January 23, citing high costs (an estimated (Continued on page 18)
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NEW YOREKRADIBVIUSLIOLENTBINUL- LMEATRINCHO,C2T0O14BER, 2000 Around New York's Transit System
Flushing Line Extension Update As a follow-up to last month's story about the Flushing Line Extension, at the same January 27 meeting where the East Side Access project received a new opening date, MTA Capital Construction President Michael
Horodniceanu confirmed that the opening would be delayed three months from its June, 2014 date "in part because of complications in the installation of an inclined elevator."
Commuter and Transit Notes (Continued from page 17) $3 billion) and other risks, Metro put the 1.5-mile extension into LAX Airport on the back burner. Barring any changes, this would leave two light rail lines (the other being the Green Line) a short distance from LAX. Other options are still being reviewed. Thanks to Pete Donner for this news. Member Paul Gawkowski wrote from Los Angeles, where he is spending time with his family, that over the last few weeks there have been alternating positive and negative stories about transit in Los Angeles. First, on the positive side, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) announced it would spend $1.2 billion to renovate the Long Beach Blue Line, which opened in 1990. Some $850 million would be spent to buy 78 new LRVs from Kinkisharyo, and to renovate 52 others. Other projects will include spending $13 million to replace overhead power lines and installing gates to protect pedestrians at grade crossings. On the negative side, LACMTA announced that it would have to raise fares as much as 117% over the next eight years if it is to avoid being $225 million in debt in 10 years. Several fare increase scenarios were presented. Currently, LACMTA covers approximately 26% of its operating costs from the farebox. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA Member Matt Nawn sent news that the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System has donated two of its U-2 model cars for preservation. 1018 will be preserved at the Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction (California) and 1019 at the Rockhill Trolley Museum (Pennsylvania); hence, one example of each will be preserved on the West Coast and East Coast, respectively. The preservation of these vehicles was only made possible through the efforts of UTCRAS of Morton, PA, which transferred the title of former NJ Transit PCC Car 10 to San Diego MTS in exchange for the donation of one U-2 LRV each to Western Railway Museum and Rockhill Trolley Museum. 1019 will be preserved and kept indoors (currently, all cars owned by the museum with the exception of former DRJC/DRPA/ SEPTA "Bridge" Car 1009 are stored indoors) as both a display vehicle and operating exhibit. Toronto, Ontario, CANADA Progressive Railroading reported that Infrastruc-
ture Ontario and Metrolinx issued a request for proposals to Crosslinx Transit Solutions and Crosstown Transit Partners, the teams short-listed to design, build, finance, and maintain the 12-mile Eglinton Crosstown light-rail transit line. There will be up to 25 stations. More than six miles will be underground. Metrolinx awarded Bombardier a C$471 million contract for 65 bi-levels with two options for 75 additional cars on January 27. The base order of 65 coaches is to be delivered between June, 2016 and July, 2017, and bring the fleet to 473 coaches. Metrolinx requires the larger fleet to support its growth needs and plans for eventual two-directional, all-day service on its rail lines. Panama City, PANAMA Scheduled to open in February, at publication time I found an Internet posting giving March 5 as the opening date. FROM THE HISTORY FILES 65 Years Ago: In March, 1949, the April edition of Headlights reported that all seven Brill Master Units (601-604, 606, 609, and 611) formerly operated by the Union Street Railway in New Bedford, Massachusetts were on the property of the Queensborough Bridge Railway. These cars closed out the trolley era in New York City during the early morning hours of April 7, 1957, when car 601 became the last car to operate over the Queensborough Bridge. The line was just 1.6 miles in length. This car was preserved by the Trolley Museum of New York, first at its original St. George, Staten Island location and years later at Kingston, New York. Due to its deteriorated condition, the car was sold in early 2009 and dismantled. Its parts were split between the Electric City Trolley Museum and the Shore Line Trolley Museum (Branford). 30 Years Ago: In March, 1984, the Toronto Transit Commission awarded UTDC a C$96.2 million contract for 52 ALRVs. The cars, numbered 4200-51, arrived between 1987-9 and allowed retirement of the last PCCs. Several days after I wrote this, Al Holtz forwarded an email reporting that "as soon as the Toronto ALRVs have been declared surplus, San Francisco MUNI is supposedly interested in buying several of them for use on the overcrowded conditions on the `F'/Market line. Apparently they have a historical restriction out there about no cars allowed that are newer than 1956, but this will somehow be overlooked. How many they will buy is not known as yet."
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