Metro-North 2014 Memorial Day Service Plan

Here is the official 2014 Memorial Day Getaway service plan info for the Metro-North Railroad:

To help you get a jump on Memorial Day Weekend, the “unofficial” start of summer, Metro-North offers 18 extra early getaway trains on Friday, May 23 on all three lines — Hudson, Harlem and New Haven.

On the Hudson Line, there are 5 extra outbound express trains, departing as follows:

1:38 p.m.: express to Peekskill, then Beacon, New Hamburg and Poughkeepsie

2:38 p.m.: express to Peekskill, then Beacon, New Hamburg and Poughkeepsie

3:11 p.m.: express to Tarrytown then all stops to Croton-Harmon

3:45 p.m.: express to Peekskill, then Beacon, New Hamburg and Poughkeepsie

4:11 p.m.: express to Peekskill, then Beacon, New Hamburg and Poughkeepsie

On the Harlem Line, there are 3 extra outbound express trains, departing as follows:

2:18 p.m.: express to Scarsdale, then all stations to North White Plains

3:13 p.m.: express to White Plains and North White Plains only

3:34 p.m.: express to Southeast, stopping first at White Plains, then North White Plains, and all stations between Goldens Bridge and Southeast

On the New Haven Line, there are ten extra outbound New Haven line trains, departing as follows:

12:58 p.m. express to Westport, then all stops between Fairfield and New Haven

2:01 p.m. express to Westport, then all stops between Fairfield and New Haven

2:28 p.m. express to Westport, then all stops between Fairfield and New Haven

2:31 p.m. stopping at all stations between New Rochelle and Harrison

2:56 p.m. express to Stamford, then all stops between Noroton Heights and South Norwalk

3:02 p.m. express to Stamford, then Westport, then all stops between Fairfield and New Haven

3:03 p.m. stopping at all stations between New Rochelle and Harrison

3:26 p.m. stopping at all stations between New Rochelle and Harrison

3:29 p.m. express to Westport, then all stops between Fairfield and New Haven

4:00 p.m. express to Stamford, then all stops between Bridgeport and New Haven

In addition, a number of trains during the PM peak period will not operate Friday or will be combined. All extra and cancelled trains are shown in the public timetable at http://web.mta.info/mnr/html/planning/schedules/index.html.

There is regular weekend service on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday, Memorial Day holiday, Grand Central North exits are closed. Metro-North will operate on a regular Sunday schedule with one extra inbound evening New Haven Line train. This train will depart New Haven at 7:40 p.m., and make express stops to Grand Central Terminal.

One extra outbound New Haven Line train will depart Grand Central Terminal at 11:13 p.m. There will be extra cars on select afternoon and evening inbound trains.

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Service Diversions 05-16-14

Get a head start on your weekend plans as I have just updated the Service Diversions through all of next week.

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter by clicking the button in the sidebar as I am using it more often. Also if you are into indie music make sure to follow @IndMusicReview & @SurgeFM!

Have a safe & wonderful weekend.

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New LIRR Schedules Start May 19th

Riders of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) need to make note that new LIRR timetables will start this Monday May 19th. Here are the details:

New MTA Long Island Rail Road timetables are going into effect system-wide on Monday, May 19. With Memorial Day weekend approaching, the LIRR has already resumed weekend service to and from Greenport and the North Fork of Suffolk County where the beaches and vineyards are popular tourist destinations for day-trippers and vacationers alike.

Trains to Greenport depart Penn Station twice each weekday and now twice on Saturday and Sunday. Starting Friday, May 23, and each Friday through October 10, the 3:55 p.m. train from Penn Station (with a change of trains at Ronkonkoma) arrives in Greenport at 6:45 p.m..

Our traditional extra summer service to Montauk and the Hamptons on the South Shore is also reflected in the new timetables, along with extra weekend service to and from Long Beach and Freeport for beach lovers. The new timetables will remain in effect through Monday, September 1, 2014 and reflect the LIRR’s commitment to restore service based upon customer demand.

Summer Service Enhancements

Montauk Branch:

Highlighting the Montauk Branch summer schedule is the seasonal debut of the Cannonball, on Friday afternoon May 23, originating from Penn Station at 4:06 p.m. for the second consecutive year. First stop is Westhampton at 5:41 p.m., then Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton and Montauk. That’s a one-seat ride from Midtown to Montauk with reserved seating available for an extra charge. To complete the round-trip, the LIRR will also offer the westbound Cannonball on Sunday evenings, providing customers from stations Montauk through Westhampton with an express run to Jamaica and then on to Penn.

Long Beach Branch:
The new timetables include the return of two summer-only weekend trains to and from Long Beach. The extra summer trains will run on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays starting Saturday, May 24 through Monday, September 1, Labor Day. They are:

• The 10:31 a.m. express from Penn Station, arriving Long Beach at 11:17 a.m.

• The 4:55 p.m. from Long Beach, stopping at Jamaica, arriving Penn Station at 5:48 p.m.

Timetables Changes Due to Track Maintenance & Construction

The new train schedules also reflect the LIRR’s effort to keep its infrastructure in good repair. Changes have been made to accommodate construction projects and track programs affecting off-peak trains on the Babylon, Long Beach, Oyster Bay, Montauk and Ronkonkoma branches.

Babylon Branch:

One of two tracks will be out of service overnight on weeknights between Amityville and Babylon for track resurfacing through. As a result, departure times for 35 overnight Babylon trains and their connections will be adjusted between 15 minutes earlier and 13 minutes later. These overnight Babylon Branch schedule adjustments are reflected in the May 19 timetable and will be in effect starting Monday, May 19 through September 1.

Long Beach Branch:

One of two tracks will be out of service between Valley Stream and Long Beach on weekends for switch replacement work. Departure times for Long Beach trains and their connections will be adjusted between 7 minutes earlier and 15 minutes later. In addition, eastbound Long Beach trains will no longer connect with eastbound Montauk trains. Freeport trains will connect with the eastbound Montauk trains on weekend mornings to alleviate crowding on Long Beach trains. These weekend schedule adjustments on the Long Beach Branch are reflected in the May 19 timetable and will be in effect beginning Saturday, May 24. This particular project will continue until the implementation of the November 17th Timetable.

Montauk Branch:

Single track will be out of service between Bethpage and Babylon Mondays through Thursdays, July 7 through August 28 for mechanized tie replacement. Montauk trains will be rerouted to the south shore and operate via the Babylon Branch while new railroad ties are installed. Other than a change of scenery related to the rerouting of trains along the south shore, midday customers will not experience any significant change in service. This project will be completed with the implementation of the September 2 timetable.

Oyster Bay Branch:

Buses will replace trains between Mineola and Oyster Bay on the weekends of May 31-June 1 and June 14-15 to accommodate concrete tie installation work. Each 48-hour outage will begin at 12:40 a.m. Saturday and continue through 3:30 a.m. Monday morning. On both weekends, normal train service will resume in time for Monday morning’s rush hour. Oyster Bay Branch service will be affected as follows:

Westbound

Customers at stations Oyster Bay through East Williston will board buses bound for Mineola, then connect to train service for all points west. Buses and vans will depart up to 51 minutes later than normal train times. Please plan for up to 27 minutes additional travel time.

Eastbound

Customers will board alternate trains to Mineola where they will transfer to buses and vans for travel to stations East Williston through Oyster Bay. Please plan for up to 33 minutes added travel time.

This project will be complete after the June 14th outage.

Ronkonkoma Branch:

One of two tracks between Hicksville and Farmingdale will be out of service during weekday off-peak hours for mechanized tie replacement. Two westbound off-peak trains from Farmingdale will depart 17 minutes later and some midday off peak Main Line trains have one minute added their schedule as trains travel at slower speeds through the work area as crews replace railroad ties. These weekday off-peak schedule adjustments will be in effect from Monday, May 19 through Friday, August 29. This work ends with the implementation of the September 2nd timetable.

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MNR To Purchase Advanced Track Equipment

With safety being a big issue for the MTA’s Metro-North Railroad, it should come as no surprise that the agency is purchasing advanced track inspection equipment. Here is the dish:

MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced plans to purchase a new track monitoring system that will be mounted on regular train cars to provide continuous inspection data and complement the in-depth inspections performed twice each year.

The two methods are intended to supplement each other and increase the amount of data available to Metro-North track engineers regarding adherence to federally mandated track parameters such as gage, curvature, height and overall alignment.

“Metro-North’s first task is to improve safety on the railroad by all means, including using the latest technology,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti. “We want to know before normal wear and tear turns into a failure. Continuous monitoring of joints and the surface of the rails themselves will keep us on top of maintenance.”

The equipment, known as an Autonomous Track Geometry Inspection System (ATGIS), is mounted on passenger trains moving at regular speeds and will generate continuous data to allow Metro-North to identify track geometry anomalies early and prevent failures.

The plan calls for the purchase of four units, one for each major train equipment type, a diesel locomotive, a diesel-hauled coach, an M8 and an M7, which will provide inspection coverage for all three lines and branches.

The new system will be in addition to semi-annual inspections now performed by a staffed track geometry car.

The ATGIS and the track geometry car inspections address a Federal Railroad Administration recommendation that Metro-North make better use of available technology in its track inspection protocol. They are in addition to the railroad’s ongoing twice-weekly track inspections by qualified Inspectors who walk track and drive high-rail vehicles over the track to look for defects.

Geometry measuring equipment uses laser beams to measure the relationships between different components of the structure and take high resolution photos of the entire 800-mile length of track that Metro-North maintains. Technicians review the data to observe potential flaws such as a missing bolt from a joint bar or a tie plate that is improperly positioned.

To acquire the ATGIS, Metro-North intends to ask the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, its parent agency, on Monday to approve a type of procurement called a Request for Proposal, rather than a simple low-bid procurement in which price is the sole determining factor.

Potential vendors will be evaluated on the basis of technical and manufacturing capabilities, past performance, organizational resources, experience of personnel and cost. This purchase will be funded as part of Metro-North’s operating budget.

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FASTRACK Returns To Central Park West

MTA NYC Transit’s FASTRACK program will be returning to Central Park West next week to alter service on the A Train, B Train, C Train & D Train. Here are the details:

On Monday, May 19, MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program returns to Upper Manhattan along the ACBD lines. A trains will be suspended in both directions between 59 St-Columbus Circle and Inwood-207 St and D trains will be suspended between 59 St Columbus Circle and 161St-Yankee Stadium from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for four consecutive weeknights from Monday, May 19 to early Friday morning, May 23. B and C service will end early each night.

A and D trains will operate as follows:

• A service will operate between Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd or Far Rockaway and 59 St-Columbus Circle.

• D service will operate in two sections, between Norwood-205 St and 161 St-Yankees Stadium and between 59 St-Columbus Circle and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue.

Travel alternatives:

As an alternative, customers should take the 124 trains, the M4, Bx12 or Bx19 buses and free shuttle bus service.

• A Customers should take the 1 for service between Midtown and Washington Heights/Inwood.

• D Customers should take the 2 and 4 for service between Midtown and the Bronx.

• For Central Park West, customers may use nearby 1 and 2 stations along Broadway.

• In Harlem, customers may use nearby 12 stations or take free shuttle buses to/from the 110 St or 157 St stations. Bx19 buses run along 145 St.

• In Washington Heights/Inwood, customers may use nearby 1 stations along St Nicholas Av.

• The 42 St S Shuttle will operate through the night.

• 2 trains run local between Times Sq-42 St and 96 St.

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