[Marxism] Popular/national fronts, dissappointments,

rrubinelli rrubinelli at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 27 20:42:42 MST 2005

Maximum authorized speed, (MAS) Hudson Line:  MP 11.5-CP25, 75 mph; CP
25-CP 33, 70 mph (CP means controlled point; remotely controlled
interlocking).  North of Harmon, near Garrison, NY (across from West
Point) we have FRA Class 5 track, MAS 95 MPH  and that extends to
Poughkeepsie, with speed restrictions for curves, bridges, etc.  We call
those "civil restrictions,"  as opposed to signal governed speed
restrictions which maintain the safe spacing of trains.  North of CP 75
(former Conrail) MAS increases to 110 MPH for passenger trains.

Neither the class of track nor the MAS has anything to do with the
material used in the construction of crossties.  Wooden crossties can
and do support speeds over 100, 125, 150  MPH.  MAS is determined by
cross-level (changes in elevation between the two rails), vertical
alignment (degree of vertical decline, or runoff, over set distance),
super-elevation (height of one rail, the "outside" rail in curves),
horizontal alignment, etc.  On the lower Hudson line, it is exactly that
vertical alignment that restricts our speed to no more than 75 mph.

Prior  to purchase of the GE Genesis locomotives, and modifications to
our Bombardier push-pull coaches, we restricted operations on the upper
Hudson to 79 mph despite the MAS of 95 (a MAS we had when we had wooden
ties as well as concrete ties).  This was due to excessive heat build up
when decelerating, or braking, the train for stops.  The heat from the
brake shoes was cracking the wheels (thermal cracks).  This is not as
dire as it sounds, as the cracking is never catastrophic, unless it is
neglected.  But it is expensive, both in costs of wheel replacement, and
down time on equipment for repairs.

As for 40 mph...  don't know when you last rode MNR on the lower Hudson,
but the work going on now is station rehabilitation, and the 40 mph
zones are limited to trains passing those precise work areas as a form
of roadway worker protection.  We require the train to reduce speed when
passing the work zone.

Other than that, if you hit a 40 mph zone on the Hudson, then you were
crossing over-- as the speed control apparatus requires the train to
reduce speed to 45 mph (limited speed) when crossing over to another

As a matter of fact, the lower Hudson did have concrete ties installed 8
years ago-- almost precisely 8 years ago.  The supposed advantage  was
that estimated life for concrete ties until change out was supposed to
be 50 years--- 2-3 times that for wood ties.

But guess what?  Our concrete ties began to disintegrate north of
Tarrytown this year, and we spent 2 months ripping them all out between
Tarrytown and Harmon on track 3 and installing a new batch of 20,000 or
so.  Seems the manufacturer didn't exactly pre-stress them correctly.
Manufacturer agreed to absorb costs of replacement.

And next year, gee, it looks like we'll get to rip out those on track 4
between Greyston and Riverdale.  Just lucky I guess.

Your tax dollars at work.

I do know a little bit of what I'm talking about DW, I am the asst chief
of  operations.  That's your tax dollars at work too.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <dwalters at marxists.org>
To: "peoples spouting off" <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2005 10:05 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Popular/national fronts, dissappointments,

> 90 mph? On those old wooden railway ties? I don't think so rr.
Everytime I ride
> MetroNorth, we'll shuttled OFF the concrete ones, go at 40mph
(estimate) and
> then back on. With all the work being done at those stations north of
> you'll have to wait about a year to get a good run at 90mph. You would
> thought the those pre-stressed congrete ties would of been installed 8
> ago...but noooooo....
> David
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