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The MTA is in the process of installing automatic train controls.  They show how old some of the stuff in the system is   Its spot on  When I worked in signals we were replacing relays that were dated 1933.  Thing about the system is it works great.  Nice explanation of blocks


Last edited by bluelinec4
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    Very educational stuff, way back in the 50's the Union Switch and Signal (USS) who invented all the original electronic relay controls advised the NY engineers that all this upgrade work needed to be done, way back then.  The original USS is out of business now, purchased by an Italian Firm in 1984, just after my fathers passing and Bill Eanerds retirement from the USS.  Lets hope who ever has the contract today does the same kind of incredible high quality job, so Ny can still have the most incredible subway system in the world.  Do you happen to know who has that upgrade contract?  I would be interested to know.  Further the men who invented the original electronic relay controls advised NY engineers to keep & upgrade the electronic relay control engineering package, they did not believe a computer generated control system was safe enough to continually operate trains/subways with, on a longevity basis.  

I hope these NY engineers understand what they have just done.  The older electronic control system was basically electronic relays, almost fool proof and very safe for those people riding the subways.  Safety was the main reason the Electronic relay system was

kept for so many years.  It wasn't just the money.  I guess we will see what happens in the future, with the new computer generated control system.  The old relay system was a hands on, stand alone system, and could not be hacked, not so with a Computer generated control system.




Last edited by Pine Creek Railroad

If there are no museums for these old control systems, there sure should be. Some of these old railroad controls are fascinating and should be preserved somewhere. The level of craftsmanship in those old controls was probably also amazing. It looked pretty good from what little I could see in the video. There is craftsmanship in some of today's systems as well, but somehow it just isn't the same as it was in the old days.


In a related field (controlling things), I worked in the commercial temperature control industry and got a chance to see some incredible old systems from long ago. These were all being upgraded to computerized control (the reason I was there). Unfortunately, I am not aware of any preservation for these items, they just go in the dumpster as they are replaced. Some of the neatest of these old systems I have seen were in old AT&T buildings that were built from the late '20s to the mid '50s. The level of craftsmanship in the old telephone buildings is amazing as well. So were all the old relay phone systems which have also all been replaced with computer systems that can't get too hot or too cold or they shut down.

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