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The Insider on Red, Brown trains waiting for the other

Upon the return of the CTA Insider, some of you had some questions for him. One good question was whether there were rules on motormen on the Red Line waiting for a train on the other track to arrive before pulling out. Here's the Insider's reply:

"The scheduling of trains is set by a run card, and the motor-persons have to stick to this schedule. When we had conductors it was easier to wait. They would give a single buzz on the box to let the motor-person know someone was coming, or two buzzes as a go-ahead signal.

"Without the conductor, the motor-persons are on their own to make these decisons. They have nobody to back them up as to why they were "down." Making it to the next station or switchpoint or "I was waiting for a passenger" doesn't cut it anymore.

"During the am/pm rush, all anyone cares about is moving the trains. When a delay (a delay is considered to be 10 or more minutes) happens, everyone wants to know when they will be moving. I just wish that the passengers could hear what the radio chatter is like during a delay -- it can get personal and heated."


yesterday, during am rush hour, i was walking under the viaduct when I heard the train overhead. Everybody ran to catch the train, but I didn't feel like running just to see the train leaving the station when I get to the top of the stairs. I stroll into the kiosk, through the turnstile and up the stairs to see him waiving people onto the train. I get to the top of the stairs and he was waiving me on...I couldn't believe he had sat there all that time waving people on.

Yeah, that's why I'm wondering why they DON'T just tell the "motor-persons" to at least check. I've seen trains waiting for people to come before, and all the time you see a train waiting, and the two motor-persons inform their riders that there's a train waiting on the other track.

Seems like the policy should be something like:
- If you're not late
- If it's not rush
- If there's not a train right behind you
wait the extra 30 seconds for the people transferring between trains.

Doesn't seem that hard, especially because most motor-people do that already.

Last year I was taking the purple line from Evanston towards the loop at around 10:00 every evening (+/- 30min or so). There were several occasions when we would arrive at Howard and see the SB red line close its doors and leave after the purple was already stopped and its doors were _just opening_! It was very frustrating.
Of course, when I was aboard the NB purple express in the mornings, we'd always wait at least 2 minutes at Howard for the NB red line. I started thinking of the red line as the Evil One :)

What a crock!
As I commented to a post a week or two ago earlier, southbound Howard trains always wait for SB Ravenswood trains at Belmont, but never the other way around! Never, ever! Many times the same SB Howard must wait for the same SB Ravenswood at Fullerton also. This makes the already slow train even slower.
The Ravenswood line has always been the CTA's favorite line since George Krambles ran the CTA 30 years ago or so. He would even go out and be a Ravenswood motorman every week or so.
The simple solution is this: stop waiting, if the train isn't at the platform, leave!

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» They are just as pissed off as we are from Live from the Third Rail
Via CTA Tattler, we learn that transit workers are also none too happy when the system backs up: "During the am/pm rush, all anyone cares about is moving the trains. When a delay (a delay is considered to be 10... [Read More]

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