MTA warns pauses to 24/7 subway service needed to modernize subways

Discussion in 'Commuter Rail and Rail Transit Discussion' started by Thirdrail7, Sep 22, 2019.

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  1. Sep 22, 2019 #1

    Thirdrail7

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    Thirdrail7

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    The city that never sleeps will need a lot more taxi and Uber drivers.

    https://www.nydailynews.com/new-yor...0190916-agxkcr4ii5caphgcsrmghgxyzy-story.html

     
  2. Sep 22, 2019 #2

    Anderson

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    I mean, given all of the issues and given the size of the system I have to wonder if it wouldn't have just made more sense in the scheme of things to simply support a base of bespoke parts suppliers (which would be a convenient way to handle political payoffs, I'd note...somehow I don't think there's a "market rate" for electromechanical switches circa 1930) than to mess with things. Yes, I know I very much tend towards the "If it ain't broke don't fix it" side of things but the degree to which the MTA has made a dog's breakfast of upgrading the system really brings to mind the question of whether it is worth it.
     
  3. Oct 9, 2019 #3

    neroden

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    There's a lot to be said for replacing the antique signalling systems with something modern. It's painful but London's been doing it one line at a time, and it's well worth it.

    You *do* have to have actual maintenance shutdown windows in order to maintain *any* system. The most efficient way to do it is London's "blockade" system where an entire section of line is shut down for a few weeks to be totally reconstructed. New York seems congenitally allergic to that, so overnight or weekend closures may be the only option; these take much longer due to the deploy/clean up/deploy cycle. However, the "blockade" system really is a good idea and would actually work better in parts of NY than in London, due to the high redundancy of the NYC Subway system. The hard ones are the lines which don't have redundant lines a block away, but the lines in Manhattan below Central Park, you really could do it.
     
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  4. Oct 9, 2019 #4

    Pere Flyer

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    If NYCT were to operate a night bus network with equally convenient service like most metro operators around the world, shutting down the subway at night for much-needed repairs wouldn’t be such a big deal. (And given the agency’s share of stairs-only subway stations, a night bus network would be more accessible, de facto.)
     
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  5. Oct 10, 2019 #5

    Seaboard92

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    What about just single tracking the lines. The frequency takes a major hit. But it would allow one track to be worked on. Then move to the next eventually.
     
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  6. Oct 10, 2019 #6

    jis

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    The track layout and the available signal system makes that more or less infeasible in case of New York City Transit. It will first require replacement of the signaling system, which is exactly what requires the taking segments out of service overnight in the first place.
     
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  7. Oct 10, 2019 #7

    PVD

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    Working adjacent to live track with energized 3rd rail adds additional safety considerations that slow down work and limit who can be there which adds cost and slows down work considerably.
     
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  8. Oct 16, 2019 at 1:14 AM #8

    Metra Electric Rider

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    Isn't New York more subway dependent than say Chicago (which, despite our rail systems, is still fairly bus dependent)? Hence subways shutdowns have a greater affect (or is that effect) than elsewhere, in addition to car ownership stats.
     
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  9. Oct 16, 2019 at 4:19 AM #9

    railiner

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    What I don't understand, is how in the first half century or so of subway operation in New York, they seemed to be able to maintain the system, while keeping service running 24/7. It is only in the last half century or so, that you see them shutting down entire lines or large portions, overnight and on weekends. I suppose that what they are doing now is a lot more extensive than what they did in the past.....
     
  10. Oct 16, 2019 at 4:20 PM #10

    drdumont

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    Well thought out, but I believe in the current instance, they plan to remove the old signalling and control system and replace it with newfangled technology. Wile I presume a lot of the signalling and flow control could be left to run on the old system while the physical side of the new system is installed, but disconnecting the old, connecting and testing the new, and having to try to run a hybrid system during the week until the new system is completely confident and running is a huge time consuming effort.
    I'm currently in the middle of a similar albeit smaller situation, keeping an older switching and automation system (interconnected and interdependent) for two tv stations running while paralleling a new switching system and a new automation system (the new ones will not be as interdependent, but will be interconnected).
    Of course, while juggling them will take quite a lot of time and involve a lot of tsouris, no one will die if there is a mistake.
    Athough the sales department might differ in their opinion of the latter.
    And I don't have to work in a dark, hot, smelly, vermin infested environment. Unless you include the sales department...
     
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  11. Oct 16, 2019 at 6:12 PM #11

    MikefromCrete

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    Perhaps the system wasn't maintained all that well, leading to today's problems.
     
  12. Oct 16, 2019 at 6:20 PM #12

    DCAKen

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    And there are many more safety regulations to follow these days.
     
  13. Oct 16, 2019 at 7:30 PM #13

    railiner

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    I believe the system was pretty well maintained, until maybe around the seventies, or so...and then city fiscal troubles may have entered into the problem of deferred maintenance... I have no facts to substantiate that, just my feeling.

    I agree that worker safety is taken more seriously nowadays's, and of course, that's a good thing.

    I will say that nowaday's, they have advanced equipment to perform a lot of the maintenance, that weren't around in the early days....
     
  14. Oct 17, 2019 at 1:39 AM #14

    Metra Electric Rider

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    I would think that, if not replaced already, some of the moving and non-moving parts is or has (or is way past it's due date) approached the end of their useful lifespans - even if well maintain some things just simply wear out eventually. The saltwater flooding tunnels didn't help during Sandy either.
     
  15. Oct 17, 2019 at 6:44 PM #15

    drdumont

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    I think New York is still suffering the long term effects of the "deferred maintenance" in the past. No doubt the subway system is included in the suffering.
    When I had to use the subways in the 70s and 80s, at first it was really Godawful. Filthy, smelly, nothing but graffiti.
    The last time I was on the subway it was wayyy improved. Kudos to the system operators. But I imagine after Sandy they still have a long row to hoe.
    I'm willing to bet that after all is done, in spite of the temporary inconveniences, the result will be greatly improved service.
     
  16. Oct 17, 2019 at 9:57 PM #16

    jis

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    But I thought this proposed overnight shutdown has a lot to do with replacing the electro-mechanical interlocking and train protection by CBTC, something that is hard and expensive to do while maintaining service. And while one is at it track rebuilding is also a good thing to do after a hundred years.
     
  17. Oct 17, 2019 at 11:49 PM #17

    drdumont

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    My point exactly...
    New technology, new track, a clean sweepdown fore and aft, maybe LED lamps to replace fluorescents, a little paint, some throw pillows...
     
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  18. Oct 18, 2019 at 2:20 PM #18

    MARC Rider

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    I think the improvement happened sometime in the mid-1980s. I visited someone in 1984, and she complained bitterly about how unreliable they were. They were also full of graffiti, smelly, and, in the summer, the cars were sweatboxes, as none had AC. I didn't go to New York for a few years and then returned in 1987. It was like night and day. Air conditioned subway cars, all the mess cleaned up, no delays. Almost thought I was was in Tokyo or something. :)
     
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  19. Oct 18, 2019 at 7:48 PM #19

    railiner

    railiner

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    I think it turned around for the better, when David Gunn took over...
     

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