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how do RRs handle daylight savings time changes?

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how do RRs handle daylight savings time changes?
Posted by gregc on Sunday, November 05, 2017 5:11 AM

just read an articles that said Amtrack trains stop for an hour and race to catch-up in spring

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Posted by caldreamer on Sunday, November 05, 2017 8:13 AM

Also, what about states that do not use Daylight Savings Time (e.g. Arizona).  They stay n Standard time the year around, where as Texas and Californaia use Daylight Savings Time?

 

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Posted by peahrens on Sunday, November 05, 2017 8:29 AM

Airplanes, flight controllers, etc use Zulu time (UTC time or Coordinated Universal Time), which in my day also was referred to as GMT, Greenwich Mean Time.  IIRC.  

That eliminates confusion, no matter what Arizona does.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_time

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/railroads-create-the-first-time-zones

https://www.timeanddate.com/time/aboututc.html

I'm getting to old to learn new stuff, so I have not read all the above.

Paul

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Posted by gregc on Sunday, November 05, 2017 11:40 AM

daylight saving time changes occur between 2 and 3 a.m., either moving from 2 to 3, or from 3 to 2.

what happens when a train has a scheduled stop at one station at 2 a.m. and a stop at another station at 3 a.m.    It would seem that needs to be at two different stations at the same time.

more realistically, the train might have one hour less to get to a station.

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Posted by arbe1948 on Sunday, November 05, 2017 11:49 AM

I think I recall when my Dad worked for the Soo Line when I was a kid, they stayed on Standard time.

 

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Posted by BigJim on Sunday, November 05, 2017 12:22 PM

gregc
what happens when a train has a scheduled stop at one station at 2 a.m. and a stop at another station at 3 a.m.    It would seem that needs to be at two different stations at the same time.

Take some time to think about it. It really is no problem.

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, November 05, 2017 12:31 PM

"When I was a lad", all the railroads stayed on standard time, except the Pennsylvania.

And that was the case in their public timetables.

For example, I'm looking at a June 20, 1955 UP public timetable.  ALL times are shown as Standard time, not Daylight.  

In this case, that includes the Pennsy.  Perhaps the change to Daylight for Pennsy happened after that date.  I DO recall the PRR doing Daylight in the middle sixties, as that's when I was riding passenger trains.  On t'other hand, perhaps UP wanted to have their times stated in "UP" time throughout the timetable.  Curious.

 

I AM wondering how commuter train times were done.  Like out of New York or Boston.

 

Ed

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Posted by cx500 on Sunday, November 05, 2017 8:02 PM

Commuter trains ran on town time, either standard or daylight savings, since that was what the customers needed.  But for many years in Montreal the schedules were published only using standard time.  In other words, Joe's 4:43 still left at 4:43 but during the summer the public timetable showed 3:43 because it was still using standard time.  Eventually that stupidity went away and the public timetables showed whichever time was in use.  It was a few more years before the operating timetables also changed.

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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, November 05, 2017 10:27 PM

Really its no big deal.  There really aren't "scheduled" trains in the same way there were 35 years ago, only Amtrak and commuter lines have to worry about departing too early.  About the only thing they have to worry about is giving track and time across a time change. 

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, November 05, 2017 10:37 PM

cx500

Commuter trains ran on town time, either standard or daylight savings, since that was what the customers needed.  But for many years in Montreal the schedules were published only using standard time.  In other words, Joe's 4:43 still left at 4:43 but during the summer the public timetable showed 3:43 because it was still using standard time.  Eventually that stupidity went away and the public timetables showed whichever time was in use.  It was a few more years before the operating timetables also changed.

 

 

I'm not following you:

"Commuter trains ran on town time, either standard or daylight..." appears to contradict "...the schedules were published only using standard time."

It SOUNDS like you're saying the railroad ran on Standard time, but the schedules were printed with Daylight time.  This seems kind of maybe unsafe.  The 4:50 leaves at 5:50???

 

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Posted by cx500 on Monday, November 06, 2017 11:05 AM

No, eventually schedules published for the PUBLIC were printed using daylight time, which was more easily understood by the riders.  But for operating purposes the public timetable was irrelevant; only the internal employees timetables had any force, they were what all railroad employees used to run the trains (and track forces), they remained on standard time and there was nothing unsafe about the practice.

Where the time zone changed geographically, the terminals did have a minor challenge, since trains operating in different directions were using different times.  Often the station and yard office clocks had two hour hands, and the agent or operator had to remember which dispatcher he was talking to. 

A public timetable would include the time zone, so you might see a westbound train departing nominally 50" before it arrived, assuming a 10" station stop if you ignored that important part.  Again, this was only in the public timetable; the operating timetable used to run trains would show the two subdivisions separately.

It should also be noted that the railroads generally changed time zones at the terminal nearest to where the actual change took place, which could also confuse the public in the area, but not the railroaders.

 

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, November 06, 2017 11:24 AM

cx500

No, eventually schedules published for the PUBLIC were printed using daylight time, which was more easily understood by the riders.

 

 

"Eventually" would appear to be post-1965, anyway.

 

Ed

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Monday, November 06, 2017 12:04 PM

gregc

just read an articles that said Amtrack trains stop for an hour and race to catch-up in spring

 

Um, no. Nobody waits around an hour or travels 60 mph faster to make up the time. The people who do the scheduling know what they are doing. They know that on that date it just takes an hour longer or shorter to get to the destination. I use to schedule television programming and I dealt with the time change twice every year without any problems. The only problem ever was employees showing up an hour early or late because they forget to change their alarm clock.

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Posted by gregc on Monday, November 06, 2017 12:12 PM
of course what i read about Amtrack doesn't make sense
 
so it would be fair to say that if a train starts on EST or EDT, it follows a schedule using that time until it gets to it's final destination and any passengers can assume this?
 
somehow other trains starting after the time changes are cognisant of this

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, November 06, 2017 2:41 PM

Lone Wolf and Santa Fe

 

 
gregc

just read an articles that said Amtrack trains stop for an hour and race to catch-up in spring

 

 

 

Um, no. Nobody waits around an hour 

Page 132 of the September 2017 timetable:

"At the fall time change (first Sunday in November), Amtrak trains traveling overnight will normally hold at the next station after the time change then depart on time." 

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, November 06, 2017 3:21 PM

NittanyLion
 

 

"At the fall time change (first Sunday in November), Amtrak trains traveling overnight will normally hold at the next station after the time change then depart on time." 

 

 

But I thought that was what all scheduled trains did all the time.  That is:  You can NEVER leave early.  So, naturally, after arriving at the next station, you would "hold at the next station" and "then depart on time".  Always.  Or late, of course.  Never early.

Or am I wrong?

I expect there would be a new timetable with the starting date and time of the time-change.  And it might come into effect while a train is between stations.  So, upon arrival at the new station, the train would then operate under the new timetable.

 

 

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Posted by gregc on Monday, November 06, 2017 4:04 PM

NittanyLion
"At the fall time change (first Sunday in November), Amtrak trains traveling overnight will normally hold at the next station after the time change then depart on time." 

what do they in the spring when time jumps from 2 to 3am?

is there an amended schedule for one day?

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Posted by NittanyLion on Monday, November 06, 2017 4:42 PM

7j43k
But I thought that was what all scheduled trains did all the time.  That is:  You can NEVER leave early.  So, naturally, after arriving at the next station, you would "hold at the next station" and "then depart on time".  Always.  Or late, of course.  Never early.

Or am I wrong?

I expect there would be a new timetable with the starting date and time of the time-change.  And it might come into effect while a train is between stations.  So, upon arrival at the new station, the train would then operate under the new timetable.

 

 

Ed

 

Yes and no. Not every station on a given line might be serviced by that particular train or it could be a flag stop.  Plus it is fairly rare to come into an station an hour early in the first place and hold that long.  

Amtrak doesn't issue new timetables in November or March, as I recall, so it is moot for them.

gregc

what do they in the spring when time jumps from 2 to 3am?

is there an amended schedule for one day?

 

They're just an hour late and try to make it up.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 2:04 PM

dehusman

Really its no big deal.  There really aren't "scheduled" trains in the same way there were 35 years ago, only Amtrak and commuter lines have to worry about departing too early.  About the only thing they have to worry about is giving track and time across a time change. 

 

And Hours of Service on duty and rest times.

Jeff

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Posted by pajrr on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 3:10 AM

I have been on Amtrak when the time changes. When the clock turns back, Amtrak sits at the current station for 1 hour until the clock catches up. When the clock goes ahead an hour the trains are 1 hour late and try to make up time. Commuter trains complete their runs without the delay, since the runs are short and most people are outbound from the major starting point. Very few passengers are actually picked up in the deae of night heading towards outlying terminals.

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 9:52 AM

OK.

So we have how Amtrak handles it NOW.

And we know that railroads, for a long time, refused to "go along" with Daylight Saving.

But:

Pennsy DID go along with it back in the olden times.  How did PENNSY deal with the change?  Did THEY stop all their trains for an hour?  And, if so, how did that interact with all the other railroads that didn't do Daylight?

Amtrak may well do the "stop-an-hour" on their fully controlled trackage.  Do they also do that with the Empire Builder on BNSF?  AND.  If BNSF is NOT on Daylight Savings (which I seem to remember hearing), then how does the crew on the Amtrak train then run their train?  On the time the railroad uses, or their own time?

I suppose one answer to the above is to NEVER use a time reference when operating a train.  That is, the dispatcher NEVER can use time in a communication with operating and maintenance personnel.  Then there's no confusion.

As I said, I believe I heard that BNSF still stays with Standard time.  And I think I also heard UP goes with Daylight.  So.  Does anyone KNOW this info for various railroads at the current time.

 

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Posted by gregc on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 10:20 AM

part of my curiosity is how do time changes affect the interaction of freight and passenger trains sharing the same tracks.   If a passenger trains "holds up" at a station, couldn't that interfere with a freight.

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 10:53 AM

Having worked in logistics all my life, picking up or losing an hour is no big deal. Delays are a constant and can be dealt with through a combination of things depending on the mode of transportation..  All I know is that once a year we likely got an hours overtime from the Government and at the other end we would go home an hour early.Smile, Wink & Grin

 

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 11:35 AM

By the way, my comments about PRR using Daylight Savings are only about the public timetables.  As are my other comments.  PERHAPS PRR operated on Standard, but "converted" to Daylight for their public tables.

 

Ed

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 2:56 PM

7j43k

Amtrak may well do the "stop-an-hour" on their fully controlled trackage.  Do they also do that with the Empire Builder on BNSF?  AND.  If BNSF is NOT on Daylight Savings (which I seem to remember hearing), then how does the crew on the Amtrak train then run their train?  On the time the railroad uses, or their own time?

 

I don't know why you make the leap to "Amtrak only does it in their territory" with no evidence. In fact, you're completely wrong. It is system wide and irrelevant to the host railroad.

This isn't complicated stuff. Basic around answers these questions. For instance, the Capitol Limited arrived at Alliance OH at 1:36AM on November 5, 23 minutes from the time change. It departed on time at 1:39. En route to Cleveland, 1:59 AM becomes 1:00AM. It arrives at 1:56 AM, a whopping 57 minutes ahead of its 2:53 AM arrival. It then waited for its 2:59 AM departure, which it somehow missed, and left at 3:05. Norfolk Southern and it's time practices don't matter. Amtrak says they're leaving at local times. NS just has to try to get them their slot (legally).

Also, PRR may have never had to worry about what to do because DST as we use it wasn't a thing until 1967. PRR stopping being a thing in 1968.

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, November 09, 2017 12:36 AM

NittanyLion

 

 
7j43k

Amtrak may well do the "stop-an-hour" on their fully controlled trackage.  Do they also do that with the Empire Builder on BNSF?  AND.  If BNSF is NOT on Daylight Savings (which I seem to remember hearing), then how does the crew on the Amtrak train then run their train?  On the time the railroad uses, or their own time?

 

 

 

I don't know why you make the leap to "Amtrak only does it in their territory" with no evidence. In fact, you're completely wrong. It is system wide and irrelevant to the host railroad.

If you will reread what you quoted, you will see that I do NOT say "Amtrak only does it in their territory".  You will note that I am questioning what happens OUTSIDE their territory (the term meaning trackage that is exclusively under Amtrak control).

 "It is system wide and irrelevant to the host railroad."

 "system wide":  there are at least two systems possible, the Amtrak system and the host railroad system(s)--please specify

"irrelevant to the host railroad":  please explain why Amtraks behavior is irrelevant to the host railroad

This isn't complicated stuff. Basic around answers these questions. For instance, the Capitol Limited arrived at Alliance OH at 1:36AM on November 5, 23 minutes from the time change. It departed on time at 1:39. En route to Cleveland, 1:59 AM becomes 1:00AM. It arrives at 1:56 AM, a whopping 57 minutes ahead of its 2:53 AM arrival. It then waited for its 2:59 AM departure, which it somehow missed, and left at 3:05. Norfolk Southern and it's time practices don't matter. Amtrak says they're leaving at local times. NS just has to try to get them their slot (legally).

I am comforted that you say it is not complicated stuff.  And I am especially impressed with your statement:

"Basic around answers these questions."  

Impressively stated, but with concision.  Though it does sound a bit like a cleaning product.

 

Also, PRR may have never had to worry about what to do because DST as we use it wasn't a thing until 1967. PRR stopping being a thing in 1968.

 

An interesting statement.

However.

PRR, while perhaps not actually "worrying" about DST, did deal with it prior to 1967.  As I said, their timetables reflected that.  Or, so I recollect from riding their trains.

 

I am curious: what are the facts around your 1967 date?

 

Ed

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Posted by NittanyLion on Thursday, November 09, 2017 4:17 PM

I'm still not sure why you're making this more complicated than it actually is: Amtrak sets their arrival and departure times, full stop end of story.  The host railroads have a legal obligation to work with them for them to follow their schedule.  One a year, a handful of trains, in the dead of night, are allowed to sit for an hour.  Big deal.

Also, as for 1967, that's when the 1966 law that created DST as it exists kicked off the time change.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, November 09, 2017 4:41 PM

7j43k
Amtrak may well do the "stop-an-hour" on their fully controlled trackage. Do they also do that with the Empire Builder on BNSF?

Amtrak stops for an hour.   They did it every year for the last 30+ years I worked on the UP.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, November 09, 2017 4:57 PM

gregc

part of my curiosity is how do time changes affect the interaction of freight and passenger trains sharing the same tracks.   If a passenger trains "holds up" at a station, couldn't that interfere with a freight.

 

That's why you have dispatchers, to minimize that type of thing.  By the way, nothing says they have to hold "at a station" (depot).  They can't depart the next station for which a departure time is shown.  The dispatcher can dump them in a siding before the station if there is no siding at the station.  On the other hand if they are running more than an hour late, no problem.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, November 09, 2017 5:01 PM

BATMAN
Having worked in logistics all my life, picking up or losing an hour is no big deal. Delays are a constant and can be dealt with through a combination of things depending on the mode of transportation.

Its not a delay.  If the train is scheduled to depart at 3:00am and it departs at 3:00 am, its on time.  It doesn't matter how long it sat. 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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