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#1 NY Penn

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 11:00 AM

I'll split this post into two parts, rail-related and non-rail-related.

Rail related
New York is home to the most utilized rail station in the country, Penn Station, and arguably the most beautiful rail station in the country (Grand Central Terminal, served only by Metro North commuter trains). Both are located in the heart of Midtown.

The subway in New York runs all day, every day. The fare is a flat $2.25 (as of now), and you can go almost anywhere in the city once you board. Be sure to study the map beforehand, as it is quite confusing to most.Posted Image

In terms of museums, NY offers an excellent transit museum, with historic artifacts, displays, a functioning control tower, and 23 vintage subway cars. It is located in Downtown Brooklyn, easily reachable via approximately a dozen train routes.
Wiki page

Official website - hours and directions


Non rail related
NY offers a wide range of cultural attractions, monuments, and other interesting places.

The major museums include:

Metropolitan Museum of Art: pretty much every type of art you can think of is displayed here, from an Egyptian pyramid to Impressionism to baseball cardsPosted Image.
Guggenheim Museum: art museum with the famous spiral design.

Museum of Modern Art: a museum dedicated to

American Museum of Natural History: huge museum covering every aspect of the history of the world. It features an excellent planetarium and collection of dinosaur bones, among numerous other exhibits.

Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum: a museum of military air and naval history. Includes a real aircraft carrier (USS Intrepid), a submarine that once housed nuclear weapons (USS Growler), and the same Concorde that flew from New York to London in less than 3 hours.



Other attractions include:
Bronx Zoo: a 265-acre zoo with over 4,000 animals. It includes a monorail that travels through additional exhibits not accessible to pedestrians.

New York Hall of Science: a museum dedicated to science.

Carnegie Hall: excellent music and concert venue.

Radio City Music Hall: excellent music and concert venue.

Lincoln Center: collection of opera, theater, and music centers.

Statue of Liberty: one of the most recognizable symbols of NY. While it has been difficult to see the statue up close in recent years, an excellent alternative is the free Staten Island Ferry (departs from the South Ferry subway station), which passes close by. The ferry is a one-hour round trip.

Ellis Island: see the place where millions of immigrants passed through on their way to America.

World Trade Center: the memorial here is set to open on the attacks' 10th anniversary.

Useful Links include:
Subway Weekender: this website helps with planning your journeys around town on weekends, as most weekends have extensive construction work going on around town. Note that weekends are NOT the only time that changes take place; see the MTA site (link below) for details.


The official MTA website: the official site of the NYC transportation agency. Check this site out for everything related to the subway, bus, LIRR, and MNRR.


Note: I'll keep this post updated as much as possible.

Edited by NY Penn, 09 August 2011 - 03:46 PM.

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#2 Train2104

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 03:21 PM

See this link for help with the subway on weekends:

http://subwayweekender.com

Note that service diversions due to construction occur on middays and at night too! Check the MTA site for more info.

#3 jis

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 05:13 PM

New York area also has some of the busiest interlockings in the country:

Harold [Amtrak/LIRR]
Penn A [Amtrak]
Bergen/Erie/Lack/Portal (2.5 min headway on a 90mph railroad) [Amtrak]
Jay [LIRR]
Hall [LIRR]

#4 NY Penn

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 05:25 PM

New York area also has some of the busiest interlockings in the country:

Harold [Amtrak/LIRR]
Penn A [Amtrak]
Bergen/Erie/Lack/Portal (2.5 min headway on a 90mph railroad) [Amtrak]
Jay [LIRR]
Hall [LIRR]


I'd think that Penn A, which serves Amtrak, NJ Transit, and deadheading LIRR trains would be the busiest out of those.

Here's a picture:
Posted Image

Edited by NY Penn, 09 August 2011 - 05:26 PM.

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#5 AlanB

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 08:06 PM


New York area also has some of the busiest interlockings in the country:

Harold [Amtrak/LIRR]
Penn A [Amtrak]
Bergen/Erie/Lack/Portal (2.5 min headway on a 90mph railroad) [Amtrak]
Jay [LIRR]
Hall [LIRR]


I'd think that Penn A, which serves Amtrak, NJ Transit, and deadheading LIRR trains would be the busiest out of those.


Actually rather suspect that Jay & Hall would be the busiest. Penn A only really deals with 3 mainline tracks (2 North River tunnels & the Empire connection) and 4 major yard leads to the West Side Yard.

Jay & Hall each have at least 8 mainline tracks plus yard leads to deal with. They would be closely followed by Harold and Interlocking F, which deal with 8 and 6 mainline tracks respectively, as well as Sunnyside yard.
Alan,

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#6 NY Penn

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 08:19 PM

If by busy you mean number of tracks, then I agree; the Jamaica interlockings would be busiest.

If you mean amount of trains, then I have to respectfully disagree.

Passing through Jamaica: trains to Atlantic Term (a few), trains to LIC (a few), all other non-Pt. Wash LIRR trains.

Passing through Penn A: all Penn Sta LIRR trains, all Penn Sta NJT trains, all NEC, Keystone, and Empire Service Amtrains.

Probably Harold ranks high in the list as well.

Edited by NY Penn, 09 August 2011 - 08:20 PM.

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#7 AlanB

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 09:09 PM

First, not all LIRR trains at Penn go to the West End. Many trains turn right on the tracks at Penn, West End simply cannot handle the volume of LIRR trains into and out of NYP.

Second, the Atlantic branch sees more than 120 trains per day, hardly a few. There are 24 trains per day to LIC and dozens of moves to the various yards around Jamaica, in fact they even dead head many trains back out of NYP in the morning and into NYP in the evening for storing in the various Jamaica yards.

At the Jamaica station I count 36 train movements for trains between 7AM and 8AM, not including 1 train at 8. That doesn't account for any yard movements at all, and there are several of those although they are much harder for me to count.

IIRC, and Jishnu please correct me if I'm wrong, I believe that the maximum inbound for the North River tunnels is 26 trains in one hour, toss in a few outbound NJT/Amtrak trains, maybe 1 Empire Service train, and some yard movements to West End and they're getting close. But many trains that go to West End sit there for a while, if not all day meaning only one movement during that hour sampling.

Again, I'm not positive that I'm correct, but Jamaica's numbers are impressive and may well exceed A interlocking.
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#8 NY Penn

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 02:20 PM

Assuming that the inbound track is at capacity:

25 trains NJ-NYP (NJT and Amtrak)
4 trains south from NYP (Amtrak, counting one at 7AM but not one at 8AM)
2 trains on the Empire Connection (one in each direction)
4 trains NYP-NJ (NJT- they seem to run every 15 minutes according to the trip planner)
That makes 35 already, not including any LIRR yard moves (which are probably abundant).
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#9 jis

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:20 PM

Assuming that the inbound track is at capacity:

25 trains NJ-NYP (NJT and Amtrak)
4 trains south from NYP (Amtrak, counting one at 7AM but not one at 8AM)
2 trains on the Empire Connection (one in each direction)
4 trains NYP-NJ (NJT- they seem to run every 15 minutes according to the trip planner)
That makes 35 already, not including any LIRR yard moves (which are probably abundant).

And the umpteen NJT westbound X moves. There is not enough space in Sunnyside to store all NJT empties, and actually there are several NJT consists that do more than one turn during the morning rush and shoulder hours, that leave NYP as empties.

But then at Jay and Hall you also have to count the even more umpteen LIRR X moves to Hillside and other yards.

BTW, the inbound track runs at capacity for only one hour during the morning rush AFAICT.

Actually while thinking of traffic through NYP A I tend to ignore the LIRR stuff because they do not really interfere with any scheduled train and those four tracks are not a bottleneck, and are often used even as yard track themselves. So I would not even know how to count for sure.

Edited by jis, 10 August 2011 - 05:21 PM.


#10 AlanB

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:16 AM

While I certainly wouldn't want to consider this the final word, since it is a document prepared with the intent of getting funding, this report from Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney claims that Harold is the busiest interlocking in the US with 783 trains per day moving through it.
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#11 jis

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 08:52 AM

While I certainly wouldn't want to consider this the final word, since it is a document prepared with the intent of getting funding, this report from Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney claims that Harold is the busiest interlocking in the US with 783 trains per day moving through it.

I do not have a great deal of difficulty believing that. Furthermore the report may actually be considering F (I think that is what the east end of Harold is called?) as part of Harold, in which case it is most certainly true, because that throws in all the X moves of Amtrak and NJT into the mix, and of course there are the LIRR X moves too. basically Harold carries all the traffic that JO and C carry together in Penn Station unless there is a secret tunnel to the 4th dimension funneling off some trains from the lot that leave Penn Stations eastwards. :)

As the interlockings go under CTC many of the large ones are being split up. For example the legendary Zoo in Philadelphia is not a relatively small interlocking since all of the NEC pieces have been hived off from it in Girard and Mantua. Similarly Hudson has been split up into Hudson and Rea, and Dock is in the process of being split up into Dock East and Dock West. If it were built when Towers were in vogue, Portal, Lack, Erie and Allied would probably have been a single Tower (Portal perhaps)

Eventually Penn A will possibly be split into at least two since it makes no sense to have it control the yard leads from LIRR platforms. Also, if/when the second set of tunnels under the Hudson happen, possibly the south side approaches will be under a different sub-CP.

#12 AlanB

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 02:11 PM

I do not have a great deal of difficulty believing that. Furthermore the report may actually be considering F (I think that is what the east end of Harold is called?) as part of Harold, in which case it is most certainly true, because that throws in all the X moves of Amtrak and NJT into the mix, and of course there are the LIRR X moves too. basically Harold carries all the traffic that JO and C carry together in Penn Station unless there is a secret tunnel to the 4th dimension funneling off some trains from the lot that leave Penn Stations eastwards. :)


I can't speak to whether those numbers include moves through F Interlocking, but F Interlocking is west of Harold, not east of it. F Interlocking essentially starts at the eastern end of the LIRR Hunterspoint Avenue platform. It controls everything from there westbound up to and including the three yard leads from Sunnyside. For the eastbound tracks F controls up to where the yard leads to Sunnyside split off. F also controls the flyovers for the freight leads coming off the Lower Montuak line.

Harold takes over everything just past where all the Sunnyside yard leads merge/split off and controls from there to the westbound merge of the Hell Gate line. Basically at that point Gate handles Amtrak and the LIRR takes over their tracks.
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#13 jis

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 03:07 PM


I do not have a great deal of difficulty believing that. Furthermore the report may actually be considering F (I think that is what the east end of Harold is called?) as part of Harold, in which case it is most certainly true, because that throws in all the X moves of Amtrak and NJT into the mix, and of course there are the LIRR X moves too. basically Harold carries all the traffic that JO and C carry together in Penn Station unless there is a secret tunnel to the 4th dimension funneling off some trains from the lot that leave Penn Stations eastwards. :)


I can't speak to whether those numbers include moves through F Interlocking, but F Interlocking is west of Harold, not east of it. F Interlocking essentially starts at the eastern end of the LIRR Hunterspoint Avenue platform. It controls everything from there westbound up to and including the three yard leads from Sunnyside. For the eastbound tracks F controls up to where the yard leads to Sunnyside split off. F also controls the flyovers for the freight leads coming off the Lower Montuak line.

Harold takes over everything just past where all the Sunnyside yard leads merge/split off and controls from there to the westbound merge of the Hell Gate line. Basically at that point Gate handles Amtrak and the LIRR takes over their tracks.

Yup I meant to say west. It controls the tunnel entrance, Hunterspoint and LIC leads and Sunnyside leads. In the new layout it will also handle the Amtrak Harold bypass tracks.

#14 VentureForth

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:08 AM

Where are these interlockings physically located?

Edited by VentureForth, 14 August 2012 - 07:08 AM.

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#15 jis

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:10 AM

Where are these interlockings physically located?

Proceeding from west to east starting in NJ:

Bergen: Just outside the Hudson tubes in Jersey Meadows, at the west end of the curve leading to the tunnels

A: Just east of the Hudson tubes is the one that controls entry to Penn Station from the west. It is located roughly between 8th and 11th Ave between 31st and 33rd Sts in Manhattan. It also controls access to the LIRR West Side Yard from Penn Station.

C: Controls half of the eastern approach to Penn Station - the two tracks under 33rd St, technically tracks 3 and 4. Located under 6th to 7th Aves between 32 and 33 St in Manhattan.

JO: Controls the other half of the eastern approach to Penn station - the two tracks under 32nd St, technically tracks 1 and 2, located under 6th and 7th Aves and 32 and 31 St. in Manhattan.

F: Located in the area of Hunterspoint Ave in Long Island (Queens), between the east entrance of the East River tubes and Sunnyside Yard. It is adjacent to Harold interlocking in the east. It controls movements between Sunnyside Yard and East River tubes, and of course trains heading to/from East River tubes from/to the east.

Harold: Located adjacent to Sunnyside Yard in Long Island (Queens) and controls access to Penn Station from the east. LIRR and Amtrak routes separate under the control of Harold. I believe its name comes from a Harold Avenue which it is close to.

Beyond Harold the next Control Points are Gate on Amtrak and Jay (in Jamaica) on LIRR. There are several remotely controlled interlockings between Harold and Jay.

BTW, A, C, JO are all controlled from PSCC located in a building adjacent to Penn Station, which also house the New York CETC.

Edited by jis, 14 August 2012 - 08:12 AM.


#16 AlanB

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:37 AM

Harold: Located adjacent to Sunnyside Yard in Long Island (Queens) and controls access to Penn Station from the east. LIRR and Amtrak routes separate under the control of Harold. I believe its name comes from a Harold Avenue which it is close to.


It was indeed named after Harold Avenue, but on a map Harold Avenue no longer exists. It was renamed 39th Avenue around the end of the 19th Century.

Beyond Harold the next Control Points are Gate on Amtrak and Jay (in Jamaica) on LIRR. There are several remotely controlled interlockings between Harold and Jay.


The only interlocking that I know of between Harold & Jay is the new Wood interlocking just east of the Woodside station. Wood can cross trains in either direction on the Port Washington Branch and it can allow eastbound trains on track #2, the normal eastbound express track, to cross over to track 4 the normal local track. No other movements are possible at Wood.

Wood is remotely controlled, but from where I have no idea.

The next switch on that line is east of the Kew Gardens Station and I believe considered to be part of Jay.

BTW, A, C, JO are all controlled from PSCC located in a building adjacent to Penn Station, which also house the New York CETC.


AFAIK, so is Harold & F.
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#17 June the Coach Rider

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

Where is a safe hotel within walking distance of Penn Station in NY for a single older lady. Hopefully not too far away.

#18 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 06:15 AM

First off, I'm not advocating trespassing, but I came across this article entitled "50 Overlooked But Beautiful Places to Visit in New York City." (Link here

 

Now beauty is definately in the eye of the beholder, but I found interesting, and beautiful :wub: , the places listed that are rail related. 

 

I think #44 - minus the smell - and #50 are the two I'd most like to experience.


I wish I was a headlight on a northbound of the border train.

#19 jis

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 02:12 PM

BTW #44 should be Hell Gate Bridge, and not Hellsgate Bridge :)

It is named after that portion of East River connecting LI Sound to Harlem River, which is called Hell Gate.

 

BTW, you do pass through #1 Freedom Tunnels each time you travel into our out of Penn Station by an Empire Service Train or by the Lake Shore Limited.



#20 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 05:49 PM

BTW #44 should be Hell Gate Bridge, and not Hellsgate Bridge :)

It is named after that portion of East River connecting LI Sound to Harlem Riverwhich is called Hell Gate.

The devil is in the details. :)  I know what it is named for, I've passed through Hall Gate by boat before.

 

 

BTW, you do pass through #1 Freedom Tunnels each time you travel into our out of Penn Station by an Empire Service Train or by the Lake Shore Limited.

  Yes.  I never said which ones I've seen. :ph34r:


Edited by The Davy Crockett, 05 August 2013 - 05:53 PM.

I wish I was a headlight on a northbound of the border train.




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