There’s been quite a lot going on this week in respects to public transit. Rather than creating 6 or 7 different posts, I’ve decided to list everything in one single post. Each tidbit of transit news is grouped by geographical region (or Focus Area) that I cover.
As the month of March comes to a close, I want to take a moment to provide an update to the restoration of service to the South Ferry Loop station along the New York City Subway – Line 1.
Just a couple days ago, on March 29, the NYCMTA released a set of new photos of the restoration work nearing completion. Among the highlights, we see that there is a new connector hall between the older loop platform and the newer concourse level. This will allow customers entering from the newer station entrances to gain access to the older loop platform, as well as those exiting Line 1 trains to connect to Line R trains at Whitehall St station.
The question remains however; when will the restored station open? The timeframe still points towards the first full week of April, but no exact date has been set. Once the station does reopen, things will be a lot better for the thousands of customers who rely on the South Ferry station to get them to and from Manhattan.
In the meantime, please take a moment to view my previous posting on South Ferry.
With the rolling stock transition soon coming to a close on Line 5, the RATP has already begun preparing for the next phase of rolling stock replenishment for Line 9. Line 9 currently possesses the aging MF 67 series D rolling stock, which are gradually reaching the ends of their useful lives. In 2011, the STIF voted to purchase 66 MF 2000 trains to replace the existing 70 MF 67 on Line 9. Because of changes in government policy (ORTF Law of 8 December 2009), the STIF is now required to fund replacement rolling stock by 50% and rolling stock for new lines or extensions by 100%. This eventually lead the STIF to fund the purchase of the MF 2000 rolling stock for Line 9, as well as the MP 05 rolling stock for Line 14.
With these two lines about to be equipped with new rolling stock, evidence of what has become the norm on the Parisian transport system has already been seen on the Paris Metro system…at least by a few so far. That new norm is a co-branded livery that features the white and mint green tones of the RATP, and the grey tones of the STIF (along with the string of leaflets). On SNCF-controlled rail lines, this co-branded livery comes in the form of the grey tones of the STIF and the shades of red of the SNCF. Though this co-branded livery presents a very unique and modern style for rolling stock, as well as buses, I have to say that the livery stops short of being anything close to “awesome”. In other words, I’m not really that thrilled to see the new livery, though things could have been much worse in my opinion.
The first co-branded livery appeared on renovated MI 79 trainsets (RER Line B) in 2011. This particular co-branded livery was unique in the sense that it included tones from all three agencies; the RATP, the STIF, and the SNCF, creating what I call an “organized colorful mess” of mint green, white, grey, and red. The co-branding trend quickly followed onto the numerous fleets of buses that the RATP has purchased since 2010, though in a more simpler form of green, grey, and white. In 2011, the MI 09 rolling stock (RER Line A) was unveiled with a co-branded livery featuring mint green vertical stripes down each door and a horizontal grey banner of the STIF. More recently, the new SNCF Z50000 suburban rail trains and the refurbished SNCF Z20500 commuter rail trains have received similar treatment with grey, white, and red tones, creating a fresh, modern look for both sets of rolling stock.
Now, we have the MF 2000 subway stock for Line 9 gracing a similar co-branded livery to that of the MI 09 commuter rail trains, with the green/white body replaced with grey/white tones and green vertical stripes along each door. This livery has officially marked the beginning of the new norm along the Paris Metro, where the RATP’s mint green and white livery has dominated the underground landscape since the early 1990s. With the MP 05 next on the list for Line 14 reinforcement, we can expect to see the blackend tones be replaced with a lighter shade of grey and the same vertical green stripes on the doors. Don’t think that I’m thrilled to see that happening either…because I’m really not.
Just putting in my 2 cents on the matter folks!
Happy Saturday everyone!
We are roughly a week away from the scheduled grand opening of station Mairie de Montrouge along the Paris Metro Line 4, and I’ve come across a couple YouTube videos which show the final testing phase in action!
Please know that neither video was taken by me, so I have to thank the two individuals who took these videos. The first video is that of an MP 89CC stock train departing station Porte d’Orleans, which is the current southern terminus of Line 4. Prior to Montrouge, trains would slowly depart the southbound platform and switch over to the loop tracks to return to the northbound direction via the northbound platform. A central track on the northbound platform would sometimes be used for arriving trains to unload passengers as well. This three-track, two-platform configuration is very common for terminating stations throughout the Metro.
After the opening of station Montrouge, the traffic pattern will permanently change at station Porte d’Orleans. The southbound platform and track will continue to be used for southbound traffic. However; the center track will be switched over to northbound traffic, keeping in tune with the rest of the Line 4 stations. The current northbound track, at the outer edge of the northbound platform, will be permanently removed and covered over to make way for a new access point, which includes elevator access.
The second YouTube video is particularly awesome, and is not very common to see in any subway system. It shows a conductor’s view of the MP 89CC stock train departing station Porte d’Orleans and traveling to station Montrouge. After a short stop at the southbound platform, the train reverses and returns to the northbound direction, making a brief stop at the northbound platform before returning to station Porte d’Orleans.
Now, while these videos are quite awesome, there were a couple other videos here and there that showed station Montrouge during construction. However, I’m not able to find those videos at the moment.
Like the opening of station Front Populaire along Line 12, I will be making a post about the history of Line 4 and station Montrouge. Please look out for this post next Sunday! 😀
I know I’ve been talking quite a lot about the Paris Metro as of late. However, I don’t want to leave the New York City Subway out of my discussions, as there’s much to talk about on that system. Particularly, I will be speaking of news that the New York City MTA will be, for the first time in the agency’s history, reopening a previously closed subway station.
During the lifetime of a subway system, many stations may permanently be closed to passengers for a variety of reasons. Common reasons include: the distance of the station in comparison to adjacent stations (stations too close to each other), cost of maintaining the station (too expensive to maintain and keep open), and the design of the station (either the station is obsolete or too oddball to keep open). In any case, once a subway station is permanently closed to passengers, passenger access will be permanently sealed and trains will simply pass through the corridor without stopping.
I would like to share some links with you. These are links to a few photo albums from the Paris Metro Line 4 blog by Dominique Josse that depict the construction of station Mairie de Montrouge. There are three albums to view, all of which are accessible from the left side navigation bar on the homepage. Since the site is in French however, it may be difficult for some to locate the exact links to the albums.
- Construction in and around station Porte d’Orleans
- Construction of station Mairie de Montrouge
- Construction of the Montrouge depot
Don’t forget to check out the virtual tour by clicking on the link ” Visite virtuelle station Mairie de Montrouge” located on the left side navigation bar. It’s very cool and very realistic!
Please stay tuned for further updates. The countdown to the grand opening is well underway, and this time (unlike Front Populaire on Line 12), I plan to really enjoy the excitement as if I was actually in Paris!
In my third installment of my fantasy subway for the Hampton Roads, VA area, I focus on Line 3. Line 3 connects the two busy military hubs of Naval Station Norfolk and Naval Air Station Oceana via the Lynnhaven area and Norfolk International Airport. This particular line has 18 stations and is one of a few that have express service. To view the Google map of this route, click here.
Because Line 3 has express service, it is one of the few subway lines that follow a four track configuration (similar to some of the lines of the New York City subway) for most of its route (I’ll go through the exceptions in a later posting). Most stations encompass two island platforms, with the outer tracks facilitating local service and the inner tracks facilitating express service. Stations that are “skipped” during express service have barrier walls facing the express tracks. The line is also completely underground and connections are available to subway lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
The rolling stock used for Line 3 is similar to that of the MP 89 from the Paris Metro, as Line 3 is one of the few rubber-tyred subway lines in the system. The other rubber-tyred lines in the fantasy Norfolk system include Lines 1, 4, 6, 7, 7A, and 10. The other lines utilize traditional steel wheel trains similar to those used on the New York City Subway. I will go over the rolling stock of the fantasy Norfolk system in a later posting.
I know that I’ve been lagging behind on posting as of late. I’ve been trying to get into a regular schedule, but November and December have been much busier than I thought. Holiday event planning is definitely no easy task, and I’ve been having to help my family out with several different events that took place during the past couple months. Add to that; my computer problems during August and September, and my hiatus from earlier in the year. I know that in the end, I probably let down some of my viewers, and I sincerely apologize for that. I hope that with the new year, I can finally devote some time to make some major updates.
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I would like to wish you, and your family a very Merry Christmas! I certainly hope that you are able to enjoy this wonderful day, no matter where you are located!
With all this said, I would like to take some time to reflect back on some of the major transit-related developments that occurred in 2012. I have grouped everything by month, and color coded each event as they pertain to the particular focus region that I cover in my blog.
BLUE: Tampa Bay (HART, PSTA, MCAT, SCAT, PCPT, Hernando THEbus, Citrus County Transportation)
GREEN: Orlando Area (LYNX, SunRail)
RED: Hampton Roads, VA (HRT)
TEAL: New York City, NY (NYCMTA)
PURPLE: Paris, France (RATP, STIF, SNCF)
I have two small updates for my fantasy subway project that I’m doing on Google Maps that revolves around the Hampton Roads, VA area. The first update consists of the addition of five tramway (light rail) lines throughout Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth. I will briefly go through where each of the lines travel to. You can view the map here.
- Tramway 1 (T1) travels from Naval Station Norfolk, through downtown Norfolk, and towards Virginia Beach. A portion of this line comprises of the existing Tide Light Rail line.
- Tramway 2 (T2) travels from downtown Norfolk towards Suffolk via Chesapeake.
- Tramway 3 (T3) is a semi-loop line that travels from Portsmouth through the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Oakleaf Forest, Fairmont Park, and into Naval Station Norfolk from the east.
- Tramway 4 (T4) runs from Portsmouth into Suffolk. An extension is planned to go into downtown Norfolk, but it has been a challenge. ~ In reality, it would be a challenge connecting Portsmouth to Norfolk via LRT due to the Elizabeth River being quite large. I have to ask myself if a new tunnel would have to be built.
- Tramway 5 (T5) connects the Lynhaven Bay area to downtown Norfolk via the airport.
I will likely make more changes to the LRT lines later. I now realize that T5 could really be a part of T3, but I’m not sure whether to merge the lines. And you may notice how I number each of the LRT lines. The naming/numbering convention used is similar to how the LRT lines are numbered in Paris, France.
My second update is a stand-alone map of the Line 7A subway. Since it is the smallest subway line, I thought I would make an individual line map of Line 7A first. Line 7A basically runs along the beltway that partially surrounds Suffolk. Originally, it was part of Line 7 when it terminated at Holland Rd. However, when Line 7 was extended towards the outer fringe town of Courtland, a bypass tunnel was built along Holland Rd to facilitate quicker service into Norfolk. Thus, the original beltway line was made independent. You can view a map of Line 7A here.
I want to stress that these are just fantasy systems, just like the Mushroom Kingdom transit system. There are actual efforts to try and extend the existing LRT line in Norfolk towards Naval Station Norfolk, as well as Virginia Beach and Portsmouth. However, I am not sure if the proposed extensions will ever make it out of the planning books. It sure would be nice to have a neat network of light rail lines, as well as BRT lines throughout Hampton Roads.
If you want to share any comments, or have questions, feel free to drop me a line via the Contact page.
Back in 2009, I embarked on a week-long trip to Belgium & France. During my stay in Paris, I became fascinated with the city’s subway system. The system, unlike many here in the US, operates rubber-tyred subway trains. That’s right, the trains run on rubber tires (although each outside tire is reinforced by a steel wheel on the inner axle to allow the train to run if a tire goes flat). One such example is pictured below.
Pictured here is the MP 89CC rubber-tyred subway train. For those of you who may not be familiar with the naming conventions that the Parisian transit authority (the RATP) uses for their subway fleet, I have a brief description in the next paragraph. Notice in the photo that the train is equipped with rubber tires on the outside of each axle. Behind the tires is a steel wheel, which again helps keep the train on track if a tire goes flat. One of the reasons why the RATP and many other transit agencies use rubber tyred subway trains is because they tend to have a much better grip to the tracks than the traditional steel wheeled trains. This is especially the case on lines where there are steep grades because traditional trains tend to have a harder time braking. The rubber tyred trains on the other hand can stop in a similar nature to that of a car or bus.