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Author Topic: New York Subway Still Relies on 1930s Electromechanical Control Systems  (Read 8535 times)
G3RZP
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« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2015, 09:58:33 AM »

You'll see frames like that with semaphore signals on every preserved railway in the UK. Last place I saw with semaphores and a signal box was at Aviemore last year on the line from Inverness to Perth over Druimachdar summit.
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2015, 10:20:47 AM »

There may be a few of that style still in service in the USA, but most were gone a half-century ago or more, because maintaining the pipelines and such was costly. Same reason semaphore signals and now searchlight signals are all but gone.

My local "train" station (it's actually a tram, technologically speaking, even though large portions of it run underground as part of the Boston "T" system) is a 10-minute walk away at Cleveland Circle, Boston. This is the terminus of the "C" line and also the site of a train depot and switching/marshalling center. Some of the switches (UK = "points") are in the middle of traffic and are operated manually by employees who use large iron bars/levers for the purpose. Here's a photo:



Our century-old infrastructure at work! (It works pretty well, apart from the fact that it is ridiculously overloaded/crowded, having been designed for a considerably lower population.)

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 10:25:36 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
G3RZP
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« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2015, 01:46:27 PM »

It seems to me that very old technology and infrastructure, if given the manpower and resources to maintain it, tends to have less in the way of catastrophic failures that put it out of action for a long period. This suggests a cost benefit analysis: if the local transport system goes down, what is the overall cost to the economy and the people as a whole as against the saving in costs to the transportation authority of the new system?

Which, "tell it not in Garth, whisper it not in the streets of Absolom" suggests that for the economy as a whole, there may possibly be times when a socialist approach to some service provision may be justified in terms of overall economic return.
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SM0AOM
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« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2015, 02:44:43 PM »

It seems to me that very old technology and infrastructure, if given the manpower and resources to maintain it, tends to have less in the way of catastrophic failures that put it out of action for a long period. This suggests a cost benefit analysis: if the local transport system goes down, what is the overall cost to the economy and the people as a whole as against the saving in costs to the transportation authority of the new system?

Which, "tell it not in Garth, whisper it not in the streets of Absolom" suggests that for the economy as a whole, there may possibly be times when a socialist approach to some service provision may be justified in terms of overall economic return.

Certainly.

The general approach taken by the local transport companies is that my lost time as a commuter is not valued where there is a major foul-up in the system.
At a higher level, the cost for society as a whole when the transport systems fail can be calculated, and is about 400 SEK/hour today.

The major problem is that there is nobody that becomes accountable for the delays, and no compensation can be paid out,as there is no place to send an invoice to.

The closest you can come is that you may take a taxi at the expense of the subway company if there is a delay of more than 30 minutes.
A most clever scheme, as there are no taxis available if a major break-down occurs, and they do not regularly service the subway terminals anyway...

Since final privatisation of the subway system in the mid/late 90's the service level has decreased considerably, and the ticket rates have increased. The Hong Kong based company that runs the trains has successfully busted the unions, and uses quite a lot of low-pay hourly contractors which themselve have a pressed situation.

Another contractor runs the tracks,and they are pressed to use the lowest maintenance levels that are accepted by the State Transportation Safety inspection.
Preventive maintenance is quite seldom seen today.

As the family does not own a car, the proper functioning of the subway, commuter train and metro bus systems is essential for getting to work. Should a complete cut-off occur, like the one some years ago when the tracks became covered with ice from super-cooled rain and the third rail could not make contact, and the buses were stuck on icy streets, my choices are to use a vacation day or two, or work from home. It is fortunate that my employer (a major engineering consulting firm) is sympathetic in this respect.
Those who work in i.a. shops, factories or hospitals are less fortunate and lose income directly.

In the 80's when the whole system was owned and run by the municipal non-profit authorities, it worked much more smoothly and reliably,but with a larger amount of manpower. Especially foresight in planning was much more prevalent, so actions could be made before the fact.

73/
Karl-Arne
SM0AOM



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G3RZP
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« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2015, 11:54:02 PM »

I presume, Karl-Arne, that the 'savings' resulting from privatisation are not reflected in lower ticket prices?

Not that I am cynical.......
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SM0AOM
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« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2015, 12:53:04 AM »

I presume, Karl-Arne, that the 'savings' resulting from privatisation are not reflected in lower ticket prices?

Not that I am cynical.......

No, the 'savings' are passed on to investors from Hong Kong and Norway among others...

73/
Karl-Arne
SM0AOM
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