I worked on the Long Island Railroad, in fact cleaning up the mess after 911, but the switches are all powered and while you can take them off power, how are you going to throw the switch when it is 2 feet under water? What happens if phantom power is going into that water from the 3rd rail...are you going to risk losing a mans life over a train run?
I am not saying the tracks cannot be run over in some places, but like my old Supervisor told me, "This is not 1985 anymore, we can only operate in the here and now." What he was saying was, it is a different era and such as it is now. It just is not worth it to run on tracks in these circumstances. As a former Safety Coordinator for the railroad, I would have shut the tracks down myself in these conditions. We still have too many people die on the rail every year...best to back up, call it what it is...a disaster...and wait until conditions improve before running trains.
In 1950 train wrecks caused 144 fatalities alone; 2 on the Long Island Railroad and one on the Pennsylvania Railroad. They might have been running trains in crazy stuff, but they were also killing people doing it. It is too bad, both my Grandmother and Grandfather worked for the LIRR back then and I knew they worked hard and were real railroaders. I retired from railroading myself now, but I am no more/no less a railroader then they were. Just a different era.
NoSmoke wrote:Considering the fact that these transit rail lines in New York City utilize electric third rail for motivation, flooding would be a huge concern I would think. I do not think it would really matter if Tropical Storm happened today, or 80 years ago back in the steam era, these lines were electrified even then and flooding would have prevented their use.
The subways are 3rd rail, as is the Long Island Railroad, however, the Long Island Railroad has plenty of Diesel power. New Jersey Transit is more than a commuter railroad, it is a regional railroad that operates in three states. We have mostly diesel power. The men of yesteryear made, decisions, made provision and did the job no matter what it took.