Home Bronx Transit plans Bronx express 4 service

Transit plans Bronx express 4 service

by Benjamin Kabak

Update (1:30 p.m.): In a move reminiscent of the diamond 6 service, NYC Transit is planning a pilot program that would see the 4 train run express in the Bronx. According to amNew York’s Heather Haddon, Transit hopes that by running some Manhattan-bound 4 trains as express from the 7-8 a.m. rush, the agency can reduce overcrowding along the popular line.

Per Haddon, some 4 trains will run express between Woodlawn and 149th St.-Grand Concourse. The trains would take advantage of the new signals on the line that would allow them run along the middle track and will stop at Mosholu Parkway and Burnside Ave. The pilot program is set to begin on June 8 and run through June 26. If it is succesful, the MTA will consider making it a permanent service.

The MTA offered up more more info in a press release, explaining the origins of the idea and the signal upgrades:

“The idea for this pilot is directly attributable to the Line General Managers program and it illustrates the types of innovations made possible when you have people running the railroad directly. David Knights, Group General Manager of IRT East and 4 Line General Manager Herb Lambert were looking to speed travel along a route that has been traditionally local in the Bronx,” said New York City Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. “Signal improvements and the continued mechanical reliability of the car fleet have allowed them to try new ways of improving service.”

“By skipping nine stations, the Bronx Express 4 is expected to shave about 3.5 minutes off the 20 to 21 minutes scheduled running time between Woodlawn and 149th Street-Grand Concourse during the height of the a.m. peak. This is a significant time saving when you are headed out to work in the morning,” said IRT East Group General Manager Knights. “This pilot will determine the feasibility of bringing Jerome Avenue service in line with the Concourse, White Plains Road and Pelham Bay corridors by offering an express service to morning commuters.”

This pilot is possible because of the recent upgrades made to the center track signaling system within the 2005-2009 Capital Program. The signal job called for the installation of intermediate signals along the stretch of elevated track between Woodlawn and 161st Street. As a result of the project, we now have a greater flexibility of use with the middle track and can send trains in passenger service as well as work trains up or down the middle track. In the event of a disruption in service or track maintenance, we can also reroute trains onto the middle track. Similar signaling systems, allowing express service, are in place on the Flushing and White Plains Road Lines among others that have three tracks.

While the digital signs on the R142s render the 13 bullet rollsign moot, it’s worth noting that the MTA has four unused green bullets in its arsenal — 8, 10, 11 and 12. Maybe the express will earn a new numerical designation instead of the old diamond/express designation.

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13 comments

Tom S June 4, 2009 - 12:53 pm

Logically, wouldn’t it be 4-diamond service?

If they only use R142 cars, they could call it whatever they want, and not worry about roll signs.

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R2 June 4, 2009 - 3:15 pm

Yeah, makes no sense to call it something else. Diamond means express AND runs the entire length of the line as the local train.

Different number/letter designation is called for when lines branch off.

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Kai June 4, 2009 - 3:25 pm

Right, the diamond is not dead. It only had the “special routing” usage removed from its job description, leaving it only as an indicator of rush hour express. My guess is this 4 express service would still be designated . The red front displays of the R142s would fully support this.

However, my guess is that they won’t bother programing any signs during this test (apart from manually disabling the local stops on the strip map).

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Adam G June 4, 2009 - 5:07 pm

The 4 still runs some older stock, at least as of a few months ago.This may not be true any longer.

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Duke87 June 4, 2009 - 5:08 pm

So are they all still going to skip 138th Street?

Also, perhaps an error: set to begin on June 6th. Saturday?

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Cen-Sin June 5, 2009 - 10:13 am

About time… I always found it odd that both the 5 and 6 had express service in the Bronx but not the 4.

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Jason June 5, 2009 - 11:21 am

They should try this out on the westside too. there is a third track past w96 street that is not in revenue service that would greatly help all of us in washington heights, inwood, and kingsbridge

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James D June 5, 2009 - 3:16 pm

Seems strange that the MTA have finally gone for this, seeing as the stations skipped are relatively busy, including the *busiest* station in the Bronx. It sounds like the Astoria Express all over again. But doubtless there’s something clever going on with the schedule…

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Praising the 4 express service :: Second Ave. Sagas | A New York City Subway Blog June 9, 2009 - 11:58 am

[…] morning marked the debut of NYC Transit’s 4 express service in the Bronx. The trial run, set to last until June 26th when it will be reevaluated, features four trains from […]

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With fare hikes came some service extensions :: Second Ave. Sagas | A New York City Subway Blog July 2, 2009 - 1:58 pm

[…] Transit recently wrapped up a 4 express pilot program in the Bronx as well. We’re still waiting for the results, but this too could be a new service […]

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don July 6, 2009 - 8:19 pm

This is so needed to improve service the booming, bustling, and growing areas of the North Bronx. The program needs to be expanded to express sevice througout the morning from 6am to noon to manhattan and from 1201pm to 8:30pm for the afternoon and evening commute much like the 6 train service. All the other buroughs have express service on multiple lines throughout the day. The Bronx nrrds it too.

Reply
Transit extends Bronx 4 express pilot :: Second Ave. Sagas | A New York City Subway Blog October 22, 2009 - 12:56 pm

[…] three weeks in June, New York City Transit ran 4 express service in the Bronx as part of a pilot program. With a new signal system in place along the Jerome Ave. line, Transit […]

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johnny doller April 1, 2010 - 5:48 pm

lets start using the word efficiency .

undermanded and under budget!!

privitise every thing in the city.

Reply

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