Archive for February, 2009

Boston has a bad week

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Traffic and transit news from Boston.

Source of the second item: Transportation Communications Newsletter

Different (1) Trains and New Station Name

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Some railfanning tidbits:

  1. Ten (10) cars of the R-62A “singles” class are no longer running on the (3) line, and are now running on the (1) line. What does this mean? It means you can possibly get a full size railfan window on the (1), if you are lucky.
  2. Shea Stadium, former home of the New York Mets, has been torn down, and has been replaced with Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets. As such, the name of the adjacent subway station is changing from “Willets Point – Shea Stadium” to “Mets – Willets Point”. The Mets website already notes this change.

Sources: 1, 2

New South Ferry terminal not opening in the near future

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Even though the platform width fix was only supposed to take three to four weeks, it looks like the new South Ferry subway terminal won’t be opening any time soon, since the MTA spokesman can’t give an opening date at this time. This comes after it didn’t open in January 2009 or December 2008, which were two previously announced opening dates.

Collect the metroPCS Metrocard

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
metroPCS Metrocard

metroPCS Metrocard

metroPCS wireless service has begun an advertising campaign that includes branded Metrocards.

Beginning on Tuesday, February 17, the company will be launching a fun and unique Metro Card campaign, selling colorful purple MetroPCS reusable Metro Cards at three Bronx locations, Third Avenue and 149th Station (2/5), Fordham Road and Grand Concourse Station (B/D), and Fordham Road and Jerome Avenue Station (4).

In addition to those three stations mentioned above, the metroPCS Metrocard is supposedly available at several other New York City subway stations, listed below. I can verify that as of this morning, the card is available at MVM #0012 at 125 Street (A/B/C/D).

  • 125 2/3
  • 125 and St. Nicholas A/B/C/D
  • 125 and Lex 4/5/6
  • Jamaica Center
  • 74th and Broadway
  • 82nd Street- Jackson Heights
  • DeKalb Avenue
  • Hoyt Street – Fulton St. 2/3
  • Flatbush Avenue – Brooklyn College.

Remember, out of the 12 stations listed, I’ve only verified one of them.

Good luck!

Source: nycmetrocard yahoogroup

New name tablets at 96 Street

Monday, February 23rd, 2009
New name table at 96 Street

New name tablet at 96 Street

Since at least June of last year, the southern half of the 96 Street station on the (1), (2), and (3) lines sported new white walls tiles, with empty spaces left for the name tablets.

I noticed this morning that the empty spaces have finally been filled in (along the east wall only) – and the new name tablets look like nothing else I’ve seen in the subway system. There is also a new tile band across the lower portion of the wall.

Gloomy Sunday – the Barge of Death returns

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
Barge of Death passing under the Broadway Bridge

Barge of Death passing under the Broadway Bridge

I awoke to a gloomy Sunday, and the empty Barge of Death waiting patiently for the Broadway Bridge to rise. Last week the Barge had deposited into the ocean its load of retired subway cars, and they sank to their watery grave. The empty barge now floats outside the 207 Street subway yard, waiting to be loaded with about 40 more retired subway cars.

Metro-North’s Hudson Rail Link receives new bus

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Hudson Rail Link Saf-T-Liner® HDX bus

Metro-North’s Hudson Rail Link feeder bus service has received at least one new bus, and it is now in service. The bus, numbered M0029, was manufactured by Thomas Built Buses, Inc. and is their Saf-T-Liner® HDX bus model.

The Saf-T-Liner® HDX bus features a rear-engine design that is the mainstay of transit-style bus fleets. It has a capacity of 66-90 passengers. The engine is located in the back for ideal weight distribution whether empty and loaded. This also creates a quiet and comfortable ride, with an oversized windshield giving the driver great visibility. Able to tackle mountain roads and city streets in style, this bus features a thermostatically controlled hydraulic cooling system, larger brakes, a steel drop frame, optional air suspension and optional transmission retarders for improved braking.

This is the fourth generation of buses used in Hudson Rail Link service since the operation began in 1991 with five 17-passenger vans. Those vans were replaced by eight transit-style buses in 1995. Increasing ridership led the third generation of buses to be introduced around 2003, with 10 All American Forward Engine buses from Blue Bird Corp.


Hudson Rail Link All American FE from Blue Bird

As a rider of this excellent bus service, I have noticed that the Blue Bird buses are starting to get a little rough around the edges. I don’t know if it is from old age, high mileage, or lack of maintenance, but apparently it has come to the point where a school bus recently had to be substituted in. The new Thomas Built bus should be a welcomed addition to the fleet. However, I don’t know at this time if all of the existing buses are going to be replaced now with the new buses.

The Hudson Rail Link bus service has multiple routes serving the Metro-North train stations at Spuyten Duyvil and Riverdale in the Bronx, NY, and can most likely be credited with significantly increasing train ridership from these stations. The bus service is operated under contract by Atlantic Hudson, Inc.

Additional photos I took today:

Edit (3/6/2009) :: There are at least two new buses : #M0029 that I photographed above, and #M0028 that I’ve seen a couple times recently.

Edit #2 (3/9/2009) :: I rode one of the new buses. What can I say – buses suck. But it still had that new car smell. The engine also sounds waaaaay different from the engine in the old buses.

The officers misinterpreted the rules concerning photography

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

The New York Times got to the bottom of the story of Robert Taylor (an employee of an unidentified transportation agency), who was improperly detained and/or arrested for taking photos in the New York City subway system.

The summons for taking photos states that Robert was “taking photos from the s/b plat of incoming outgoing trains without authority to do so.”  The summons even cited Rule 1050.9 (c), which, as everyone knows, specifically ALLOWS photography in the subway system. Unbelievable.

The NYPD was quick to turn around and admit that the summons was incorrect, but they did not say that the officers would be disciplined or retrained.

In the case of Mr. Taylor, the “officers misinterpreted the rules concerning photography,” said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. “The Transit Adjudication Board is being notified that summons was issued in error, resulting in its dismissal.”

I guess it’s possible these officers had copies of the old rulebook (20+ years old) in which 1050.9(c) says photography is NOT permitted. Don’t laugh, I know someone who saw a cop show him the old rule in his rulebook only a few years ago.


Valentines Day BARGE OF DEATH

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

The Barge of Death set sail at noon today, this Valentines Day. It was followed up the canal shortly thereafter by the Barge o’ Trucks. The Shelby pushed the Barge of Death and the Vera K. pushed the Barge o’ Trucks.

There’s a hole in the platform at the 231 St station

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The 231 St station on the (1) in the Bronx was recently rehabbed. All new station house, elevators, and paint.

But the concrete platforms were only patched – they were not completely replaced. When the station reopened, you could clearly see all the patches along the platforms.

Since then, besides getting hit by a couple trucks, the station seems to have been faring pretty well. However, last week I noticed a some wood nailed to a spot on the platform. I assumed it was a developing crack that would be addressed soon. It hasn’t been yet, but that’s not why I’m writing this post.

This morning, a few feet past the wooden band-aid, I saw a small hole in the platform that you can see straight through down to the street.


It appears that the hole formed within one of the “patch job” areas from the rehab, but I could be wrong. I’m not qualified at the moment to make a judgment on this, but maybe the entire concrete platforms should have been replaced during the rehab, and not just patched? It’s only been a couple years since the rehab… We’ll see if the platforms continue to deteriorate.

More photos: