So I've been in the city for a little over 6 months.  I've taken some random shots of some interesting things over that time that I have questions on.

They are seen here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/QTeduRUyebd6wH849

I have some questions on some of the photos. 

The 1st photo...there is a box in between the tracks.  I'm assuming there is some sort of sensor on the trains that can read that little square and know that they're stopping in a good spot?

The 2nd photo is of an odd red/white light (green signal is in the distance)...what is that signal for?  I've seen them in some other stations, but can't quite figure out what it means.

The 3rd photo has a few things in yellow.  One of them is on the third rail cover....why is that square yellow?  Also, what is the yellow pipe for? I get why its yellow, but not sure if its an electrical conduit or some sort of strengthening rod that I don't see hardly anywhere else.

The 4th image...what am I looking at? There is a handle that looks like it goes to the box on the ground...but I can't figure out what thats all for. Does it cut the power to the third rail?

The 8th image shows a crumbling stairway...whats in the locked off door?  Signal equipment?  Seems like a crazy place to put something.

The 9th image...so there are two drains there..one is in the ground and one is at the height of the ties? Why is it so high? Also interesting is that there are two rails together on the platform side.  I don't see this hardly anywhere else. Is it because there is a slight curve on that part of the platform?

The work train...what is that flatcar typically used for? The yellowbird RD421?

The photo after the worktrain with the orange rail joiner...why is it orange? What are those encapsulated wires between the tracks for?

The photo with the signal and the box and the yellow handle.  What does the yellow handle do? Cause a manual red signal?

The 42nd street photo with the pipe in the ceiling...there was water dripping down that pipe into the middle of the subway tracks (DT side, closer to 42nd).  Where the heck is that water coming from and why? lol.

 

I'm amazed that the ties stay in the concrete slots so well.

Original Post

As far as "...there was water dripping down that pipe into the middle of the subway tracks (DT side, closer to 42nd).  Where the heck is that water coming from and why? lol."

Born in NYC, living here all my life, on the subway all of time, whenever I see something like above my thoughts are always, who knows, who cares ? When is the train getting here.

Hmm...

(1) May be a transponder for CBTC (Communications Based Train Control), depending on what line you took the photo on.

(2) The lunar-white signal target is found on timer signals (they clear after a specified time interval as a train approaches as a speed-control mechanism)

(3) Don't know what the object on the third-rail cover is, but it's no doubt painted yellow to make it noticable to track workers. I want to call the "pipe" a gauge rod of some sort, but I will hold off on that.

(4) The handle is a "stop arm". It's raised whenever its associated signal is red. Run past it and it will kick out a valve sticking out from the trucks, triggering the emergency brakes.

(5) Could be signal or power infrastructure

(6) Don't know about the "high" drain cover, but the double rail is a guard rail, placed next to the inner rail on a curve to bear the outward forces of train wheels passing through it, so the outer wheel's flanges aren't biting into the side of the railhead.

(7) Those flatcars are typically seen on work trains that attend to track-replacement projects where the concrete roadbed is being demolished. The yellow subway car is called a "rider" car, carrying work crews and equipment to/from the jobsite.

(8) See #4

(9) Probably groundwater. Manhattan did have a number of springs and streams before it was all built over. 

---PCJ (answered to the best of my knowledge, Others may have more detailed info)

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Railride, thanks. Some interesting answers. A couple questions on those.

What is the point of the timer signal?  Is it so the engineer can see when the last train rolled through the same set of tracks?

Does the valve stem can reset itself after a certain amount of time or does it require someone to get under/beside the train to reset?

 

I added 16 photos from an earlier visit to Brooklyn.  Anyone reading the order of my questions above...count 16 photos and then things should make sense.

The white signal aspect timer signal indicates that the train has to proceed at a certain reduced speed to clear the signal  in a specified time.

The yellow trip arm next to signals is raised when the signal is red, and lowers when the signal clears. The arm will trip the brakes and put the train in emergency if a train rolls past the red signal.

The trip valve on the truck resets itself when it hits a trip arm. The motorman must put the trains' master controller and brake handle in the stop position when the train gets tripped. He/she then has to recharge the air in the brake system before the train will be able to move again.

 

Larry

DaveJfr0 posted:

So I've been in the city for a little over 6 months.  I've taken some random shots of some interesting things over that time that I have questions on.

They are seen here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/QTeduRUyebd6wH849

I have some questions on some of the photos. 

The 1st photo...there is a box in between the tracks.  I'm assuming there is some sort of sensor on the trains that can read that little square and know that they're stopping in a good spot?

The 2nd photo is of an odd red/white light (green signal is in the distance)...what is that signal for?  I've seen them in some other stations, but can't quite figure out what it means.

The 3rd photo has a few things in yellow.  One of them is on the third rail cover....why is that square yellow?  Also, what is the yellow pipe for? I get why its yellow, but not sure if its an electrical conduit or some sort of strengthening rod that I don't see hardly anywhere else.

The 4th image...what am I looking at? There is a handle that looks like it goes to the box on the ground...but I can't figure out what thats all for. Does it cut the power to the third rail?

The 8th image shows a crumbling stairway...whats in the locked off door?  Signal equipment?  Seems like a crazy place to put something.

The 9th image...so there are two drains there..one is in the ground and one is at the height of the ties? Why is it so high? Also interesting is that there are two rails together on the platform side.  I don't see this hardly anywhere else. Is it because there is a slight curve on that part of the platform?

The work train...what is that flatcar typically used for? The yellowbird RD421?

The photo after the worktrain with the orange rail joiner...why is it orange? What are those encapsulated wires between the tracks for?

The photo with the signal and the box and the yellow handle.  What does the yellow handle do? Cause a manual red signal?

The 42nd street photo with the pipe in the ceiling...there was water dripping down that pipe into the middle of the subway tracks (DT side, closer to 42nd).  Where the heck is that water coming from and why? lol.

 

I'm amazed that the ties stay in the concrete slots so well.

Ok Dave  You have heard some pretty good guesses but let me tell you what they really are

1-The 1st photo...there is a box in between the tracks.  I'm assuming there is some sort of sensor on the trains that can read that little square and know that they're stopping in a good spot?

That box is a CBTC Transponder  Computer Based Train Control.  They are only used at the urrent time on the number 7 train and also the L train.  They are currently installing the infrastructure on the F but it is years away  If you see them anywhere else its for future use

2- The 2nd photo is of an odd red/white light (green signal is in the distance)...what is that signal for?  I've seen them in some other stations, but can't quite figure out what it means.

This is called a single shot Grade Time signal   There is a posted speed limit at least 600 feet before it that a motorman must read and adhere to.  All the signals work in time with those yellow stop arms in the track.  If you approach that signal at a higher speed than posted the stop arm will not go down and the signal will not go to green.  If the train strikes the stop arm there is a trip cock on the bottom of the car that dumps the air and places the train in Brakes in Emergency.  If a motorman does this he has to go to the penalty box for 5 minutes and feel shame.  The signal you have in the picture is at 57 and 7 and the posted speed is 20MPH  You will see trains slow as they enter the station to 20 or less  If you walk down the platform that speed limit sign is abot 50 feet from the platform end in the station  It says GT 20

3- The 3rd photo has a few things in yellow.  One of them is on the third rail cover....why is that square yellow?  Also, what is the yellow pipe for? I get why its yellow, but not sure if its an electrical conduit or some sort of strengthening rod that I don't see hardly anywhere else. 

This little square is a marker  It is similar to a mile marker but it also has a sign behind it that says HVB.  HVB marks the location of a High Voltage Box 
which is tapped from the third rail to run the emergency station lighting system.   The square on the yellow on the protection board marks where the tap is   The yellow pipe has the wire that leads to the emergency lighting system Box

4- The 4th image...what am I looking at? There is a handle that looks like it goes to the box on the ground...but I can't figure out what thats all for. Does it cut the power to the third rail?

These handles are train control  They stop trains from going where they shouldnt be   If the arm is up the train should not try to pass because it will strike the petcock on the front of the train the and place the trains Brakes in emergencyWhen the stop arm is up the signal directly across from it is red

5- The 8th image shows a crumbling stairway...whats in the locked off door?  Signal equipment?  Seems like a crazy place to put something.

Behind those doors are the power feeds  and splices from Con Ed

6- The 9th image...so there are two drains there..one is in the ground and one is at the height of the ties? Why is it so high? Also interesting is that there are two rails together on the platform side.  I don't see this hardly anywhere else. Is it because there is a slight curve on that part of the platform?

Track with the cut ties and the trough in the middle werent the way they were originally installed   All the original track had full ties with ballast just like any other railroad.  The higher drain cover is a leftover from that time  I believe the concrete embedding with the trough started in the late 1960's   The lower drain was from when that track was converted

7- he work train...what is that flatcar typically used for? The yellowbird RD421?

That flatcar can be used for anything   I have seen tools, power equipment, junk, construction materials , vacuum equipment, sand blasting equipment etc etc etc on those cars   I have also seen them used as platforms to install new signal cable

8-The photo after the worktrain with the orange rail joiner...why is it orange? What are those encapsulated wires between the tracks for?

That red painted joint is called an insulated joint IJ It seperates two blocks on the signal rail   Just like our models there is one rail used for signalling and it is seperated into blocks.  The axels of the train complete the circuit to the signal rail to change signals from green to red etc etc.   Every 600 to 1000 feet there is an IJ   Sometimes the signal rail will be switched to the other side and you will seecables going across the middle of the rails.  Any joint that is insulated for signal purposes will be painted red   You will see the red paint on switch arms to prevent the running rail from connecting to the signal rail.

9- The 42nd street photo with the pipe in the ceiling...there was water dripping down that pipe into the middle of the subway tracks (DT side, closer to 42nd).  Where the heck is that water coming from and why? lol.

This was probably a drain from one of the upper levels that has lost its leader  Obviously the leader was never replaced and the water just drips down.  There is probably a hole somewhere near the back wall that the leaader would have led to

 

Sorry Mitchell   Patrick isnt the only one that would know these things

 

 

Ben,

Sorry I took so long to get back to reading this.  I had made a bookmark to and just got busy.

Thank you for answering everything. A lot of neat history here.  I had never thought about the tracks being relaid into concrete.  Always just thought that's how it was.  I suppose one could debate the air is cleaner down there without the ballast, lol.  Next time I wander into the 57/7 station, I'll have to go look for that GT20 sign and see if I can see the HVB itself.  I rarely get on/off at that stop.

Until next time...when I find some more subway oddities.  I suppose I need to get out of Manhattan more for that.  I take the B line a bit more often to visit friends, but I never see anything interesting on that route to 72nd other than a usually running late B train.

Let's see if I can use what I learned in this picture below...

  1. The reflector on the third rail guard is where there is a tap for power coming out of it.
  2. The far piece of track is insulated, probably for a signal block.
  3. The track closest to me has two random additional hooks with yellow bases.  I am actually unsure what those are for.

 

IMG-6323

 

And just a shot of a DT C train waiting at the junction for an A train at 125th street to GTFO of the station. It took several minutes to finally leave. For some dumb AND UNANNOUNCED reason, they ran my UT B train all the way from 57th street to 125th street with no stops in between and I had to catch a DT C to get back to the stop I wanted. Insanity; I'm glad I don't actually use this line that often.

IMG-6322

And I didn't take any photos because it was super crowded, but I took a 1 train up to 137th street yesterday.  Boy do the cars and station platform not align.  Huge gaps.  Interesting to see the train go outside for a brief minute.  It looks like they are working on the cutoff for the 2 and 3 trains.  One whole section of track was just gone entirely shortly after 96 street.  Looked flat as can be, like they never laid the tracks onto concrete embedded ties like lower in the system. And coming back downtown, the car doors align with the columns that hold up the ceiling.  Who's idea was that?  Lol, so dumb.

Oh and I took a photo to remind myself to look up 137th st station.  There is a yard right north of it.  I saw a turnout beyond the platform that indicated there were more tracks.  Who knew. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...City_College_station confirms it.

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DaveJfr0 posted:

Let's see if I can use what I learned in this picture below...

  1. The reflector on the third rail guard is where there is a tap for power coming out of it.
  2. The far piece of track is insulated, probably for a signal block.
  3. The track closest to me has two random additional hooks with yellow bases.  I am actually unsure what those are for.

 

IMG-6323

 

And just a shot of a DT C train waiting at the junction for an A train at 125th street to GTFO of the station. It took several minutes to finally leave. For some dumb AND UNANNOUNCED reason, they ran my UT B train all the way from 57th street to 125th street with no stops in between and I had to catch a DT C to get back to the stop I wanted. Insanity; I'm glad I don't actually use this line that often.

IMG-6322

And I didn't take any photos because it was super crowded, but I took a 1 train up to 137th street yesterday.  Boy do the cars and station platform not align.  Huge gaps.  Interesting to see the train go outside for a brief minute.  It looks like they are working on the cutoff for the 2 and 3 trains.  One whole section of track was just gone entirely shortly after 96 street.  Looked flat as can be, like they never laid the tracks onto concrete embedded ties like lower in the system. And coming back downtown, the car doors align with the columns that hold up the ceiling.  Who's idea was that?  Lol, so dumb.

Oh and I took a photo to remind myself to look up 137th st station.  There is a yard right north of it.  I saw a turnout beyond the platform that indicated there were more tracks.  Who knew. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...City_College_station confirms it.

Dave

The reflector on the third rail means that there is some type of connection at that point  In this photo it is not third rail power  That was trued in your previous photo because ithad the HVB sign behind it.  I cant reallt tell in the picture but it doesnt look like that joint is insulated as it is not painted red   The two little wires coming from the rail closest to you are signal wires that feed into a relay room somewhere nearby  That is what the relector is marking here.  So the rail closest to you is the signal rail  The rail furthest from you is called the running rail

 

When the line has local and express tracks they will occasionally run trains around problems  Your B train ran express because there was a train in the way with a problem  9 times out of 10 its a sick customer that is waiting for EMS   Most of those being homeless people.  They do this to keep the trains moving  verything runs on a schedule and trains sitting in the tunnel would cause more massive problems   They will also run trains local or express if there is some type of trackwork going on  These are usually spelled out in the temporary signs they tape to the poles in the station.  This usually happens off hours.  There are some times this happens because of an equipment problem too  A broken ril or a signal problem etc

 

The number trains is the IRT division  This was the first subway in New York and has major differences  It was designed in the late 1800's and modernizing it is very hard   The cars are skinnier  the cars are shorter  It was designed for trains with less cars on it  It was hard to build as construction techniques were much different   Take the 4,5 or 6 into 14 Union square and you will see what they call gap fillers   The station was built on a curve and these little platforms move out to meet the train by the doors.   The old South ferry stop only fit five cars  So if you wanted to go to the ferry you had to be in the first five cars  They didnt open the doors in the last five because they were still in the tunnel  The first five also had gap fllers.   There was a brand new South ferry station that was built before Hurrricane Sandy to allow a regular train   Sandy changed that when it flooded out and had to be completely rebuilt and the old station was put back in service.

 

The 9 train disappeared about 2004-2005   It was redundant line of the 1 that ran what they call skip stop service at rush hours This is similar to the Z.J service in queens   It was cancelled along with the w and v to save money during a budget crunch.

 

 

 

More interesting history.  Thank you.

I've definitely seen the car gap fillers in person and on Youtube. I suppose I should google the south ferry station to see its current status.  Haven't been down that way in a year and have no idea what station it was, just that I wanted to hit the free ferry, visit flagship brewery and come back.  Was a nice little trip in decent weather.

DaveJfr0 posted:

More interesting history.  Thank you.

I've definitely seen the car gap fillers in person and on Youtube. I suppose I should google the south ferry station to see its current status.  Haven't been down that way in a year and have no idea what station it was, just that I wanted to hit the free ferry, visit flagship brewery and come back.  Was a nice little trip in decent weather.

The new south ferry station is back in service  When they built it   it was built on a downgrade to go under the other tracks as they still use them to turn trains sometimes    The downgrade caused the station to fill with water from Sandy and the pumps couldnt handle it.

You can go here to see some pics from the flooding

http://web.mta.info/nyct/servi...rryStation_11_19.htm

bluelinec4 posted:
DaveJfr0 posted:

More interesting history.  Thank you.

I've definitely seen the car gap fillers in person and on Youtube. I suppose I should google the south ferry station to see its current status.  Haven't been down that way in a year and have no idea what station it was, just that I wanted to hit the free ferry, visit flagship brewery and come back.  Was a nice little trip in decent weather.

The new south ferry station is back in service  When they built it   it was built on a downgrade to go under the other tracks as they still use them to turn trains sometimes    The downgrade caused the station to fill with water from Sandy and the pumps couldnt handle it.

You can go here to see some pics from the flooding

http://web.mta.info/nyct/servi...rryStation_11_19.htm

Crazy to see.  In the restoration, do you know if they put in better pumps or add some sort of extra barrier in case a Sandy strikes again?

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