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About Caelestor

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  1. Caelestor

    LIRR Opens Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track

    The correct solution for such situations is to run all the peak direction trains on one track. Slowing down the express trains by a few minutes is far better than cancelling all reverse peak service and messing up the train fleet schedules.
  2. Caelestor

    Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

    In many ways, the upper 8 Ave line is similar to the QBL, in that express demand is much greater than local demand. On weekends, both lines have one local service and two express services. In addition, both SAS and Astoria have one service each on weekends, so only 8 services are currently being allocated across the 3 B Division trunk lines on weekends. Likewise, the B Division currently has 7 services coming in from the south: Bay Ridge, Sea Beach, West End, Culver, Fulton (local and express), and Brighton (local only on weekends). An additional branch, Jamaica/Metropolitan, has no service on weekends. Lastly, there exists a few quirks which complicates things. The most important ones are Only the 8 Ave express tracks can access Brooklyn Only the 6 Ave local tracks can reach the Williamsburg bridge The only optimal outlet for the 6 Ave local tracks at the northern end is QBL Likewise, the only optimal outlet for the 6 Ave express tracks at the northern end is CPW Given all this information, I would like to propose an improved operating plan with 3 distinct times of service: late night, weekends, and weekdays. The 53 St / 6 Ave and 60 St / QBL connections are removed from regular service to increase capacity on 8 Ave long-term. Late night: 6 services: each Manhattan trunk line has two services 6 Ave Concourse / CPW / 6 Ave / 4 Ave / West End QBL / 63 St / 6 Ave / Culver Broadway SAS / Broadway / Brighton via Bridge Astoria / Broadway / 4 Ave - Bay Ridge 8 Ave 8 Ave / Fulton QBL / 53 St / 8 Ave - terminates at WTC The short turns at Whitehall St via Montague St - long-term it would serve SAS via the Bridge full-time The can be extended to Essex St full-time for a full-time connection if ridership warrants it Weekends: Northern branches Retain one local service and two express services on CPW and QBL One service to Astoria and two services to SAS - the latter is more likely to be extended in the future Southern branches One service each for Bay Ridge, Sea Beach, West End, Culver, Jamaica/Metropolitan, and Brighton Local and express service on Fulton 9 services: each Manhattan trunk line has two local services and one express service 6 Ave Concourse / CPW express / 6 Ave express / 4 Ave express / West End QBL express / 63 St / 6 Ave local / Culver local QBL local / 63 St / 6 Ave local / Jamaica local Broadway SAS / Broadway express / 4 Ave express / Sea Beach via Bridge SAS / Broadway local / Brighton local via Bridge Astoria / Broadway local / Bay Ridge local 8 Ave 8 Ave express / Fulton express 8 Ave local: 168 St - WTC QBL express / 53 St / 8 Ave local / Fulton local Interlining (local / express track switches) is acceptable when only 3 services are running Weekdays: 12 services: each Manhattan trunk line has two local services and two express services 6 Ave: Concourse local / CPW local / 6 Ave express / Brighton express Concourse express / CPW express / 6 Ave express / 4 Ave express / West End QBL express / 63 St / 6 Ave local / Culver local QBL local / 63 St / 6 Ave local / Jamaica local Broadway SAS / Broadway express / 4 Ave express / Sea Beach via Bridge SAS / Broadway express / Brighton local via Bridge Astoria / Broadway local / Bay Ridge local Additional trains would supplement Astoria - Whitehall St and possibly 4 Ave / Sea Beach during rush hour 8 Ave 8 Ave express / Fulton express 8 Ave local: 168 St - WTC QBL express / 53 St / 8 Ave express / Fulton local QBL local / 53 St / 8 Ave local: terminates at WTC Deinterlining is used to maximize capacity at rush hour except along 8 Ave, which has the most spare capacity out of the trunk lines based on projected ridership and service levels. Note that this operating plan falls apart if SAS Phase 3 is ever built, but by then ridership patterns may have changed. I'm half-expecting the northern extension to 3 Ave - 149 St to be built before Phase 3 comes on the table.
  3. Caelestor

    Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

    You can rearrange the services all you want, but ultimately, we want to maximize throughput on the existing infrastructure given that only one track pair of capacity through Midtown has been added in the past 75 years. Revisiting my past analysis, here's the 2019 AM peak service levels on the B Division trunk lines during the shutdown. Only one pair of tracks will be at its max capacity. 6 Ave Local tracks: 28 tph SB / 28 tph NB - maximum capacity It's believed that 2 SB / 4 NB trains will be rerouted to 96 St SAS Express tracks: 15 tph SB, 20 tph NB No changes Broadway 10 tph SB / 10 tph NB, 10 tph SB / 11 tph NB, 8 tph SB / 10 tph NB, 8 tph SB / 6 tph NB 2 fewer trains SB 8 Ave 10 tph SB / 17 tph NB, 6 tph SB / 8 tph NB, 15 tph SB / 15 tph NB trains lengthened (25% capacity increase) The Broadway corridor could easily have 25 local tph (15 tph Astoria, 10 tph QBL) + 20 express tph SAS if the was permanently rerouted to SAS. This leaves very little capacity left for the and that's why Phase 3 will have to be reevaluated when the time comes in a decade or so. I understand the intention, but it makes no sense to terminate the at Columbus Circle. I'd rather build the short turn terminal at 72 St so that Lex Ave - 63 St has full service and future expansion into Queens or Bronx is still an option.
  4. Caelestor

    LIRR Third Track Project

    Oyster Bay needed to be made a shuttle / light rail service yesterday and given the way things are going, is probably going to be severed when ESA opens. All the extra capacity can be sent to Hicksville / Huntington / PJ where it's most needed. The crossovers (or lack thereof) in the diagram is highly questionable. The two obvious improvements: Build a track connections between the middle (express) Main Lain track and both existing ML tracks east of FP. Keep the ML trains off the Hempstead Branch, unless the existing WB Hempstead branch track is connected to the northernmost track for whatever reason. Give Mineola two island platforms - no train should be skipping a top 10 ridership station.
  5. Caelestor

    LIRR Opens Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track

    Long Island is on the decline because it is a bedroom community in a cul-de-sac, though I'll admit it does have some nice vacation spots. That said, a tunnel between Greenport and the Main Land would substantially revitalize the eastern ends of the island by diverting traffic away from I-95 in the long term. As for the 3rd Track, its only real purpose is redundancy. Were one of the tracks to be taken out of service - which apparently happens way more than it should, the PJ and Ronkonkoma branches aren't totally screwed. It's not going to offer any more capacity than simply making all trains run local and keeping travel times constant by reducing the padding would. Reactivating the Central Branch looks great on a map but should only be undertaken long-term if more economic activity actually sprouts up around the Ronkonkoma branch.
  6. In order to maximize existing and future capacity, SAS should be constructed in phases as follows: Phase 2: As planned to Lex Ave - 125 St or diverted to 3 Ave - 149 St, though the former would make more sense once express service comes online (see below). Send all Broadway express trains towards the UES and implement the diagram by @RR503. Phase 3: Instead of an extension south of 72 St, build an extension north from the Chrystie St Connection area. This solves two issues: the lack of a yard for the future and the reverse branching capacity limitations of running the on 2 tracks. While incredibly disruptive to build, I've become a fan of the realignment that sends the 6 Ave express tracks towards the Williamsburg Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge northern tracks towards 2 Ave. Nassau St is relegated to a shuttle until later construction in future phases. All SAS Phase 3 trains run local, terminating at a new 72 St terminal below the existing platforms or even a new 79 St - 1 Ave station. Alternatively, the BMT 63 St line is realigned such that it stops at a very deep 72 St platforms and the takes over the entire SAS corridor. In any case, whatever line that turns right on 79 St will have a provision for future extension into Queens. Provisions are made for 4 tracks between 72 St and Houston St to support express service (see below). Phase 4: Full-length SAS corridor with express service to fully relieve the . To minimize costs and travel time, the only stops would be at the transfer stations - 116 St, 72 St, 55 St, 42 St and 14 St. At its north end, it should run under 3 Ave in the Bronx; at its south end are a few options: Take over Nassau St. If so, build an express stop at Houston St. Continue down Water St (current Phase 4). Build the express stop at Grand St. Take over the north side of the Manhattan Bridge. The local SAS trains would be rerouted using either of the previous two options.
  7. I am assuming that SAS Phase 3 is somehow a 4-track trunk pair, otherwise this plan wouldn't work. First, the Jamaica Line is through-routed with one of the SAS track pairs. The 6 Ave - Williamsburg Bridge connection is removed from regular service, allowing for service to Brooklyn. The Nassau St stations south of Essex St are closed for conversion to SAS standards. Bowery is abandoned, but given its low ridership and proximity to Grand St, not a huge loss. Once the conversion is done, Nassau St is through-routed with the other SAS track pair. Lastly, a new East River tunnel is built between Whitehall St and Court St (Fulton), through-routing the Broadway local and Fulton St local services. Nassau St then takes over the 4th St local service full-time. This configuration allows for all trunk lines in Manhattan + Brooklyn / Manhattan tunnels to run closer to max capacity.
  8. The biggest issue with the isn't how it runs in Brooklyn, but its alignment in Manhattan. The only serves 6 stations in Manhattan: compare to the and the which serve 10 and 12 respectively, many of which are in the busiest part of the city (14 - 59 Sts). The serves more neighborhoods but trains have higher ridership because Midtown is a bigger destination than Downtown. The also has trouble competing with the because the latter has express service (fixable) and serves Downtown Brooklyn (not possible for the ). In the long term, both Nassau St and Williamsburg Bridge trains need to be rerouted uptown. With over half the Williamsburg Bridge trains going to 6 Ave in 2019, long-term planning would be looking at the existing services and thinking about another Chrystie St type project. Currently, 1.5 lines of trains head uptown via Chrystie St, and another similar project could route the remaining lines up a four-track SAS.
  9. Caelestor

    LIRR And MNRR Random Thoughts Thread

    I've heard L - I - double R as an abbreviation.
  10. Most of the Jamaica Line ridership lies west of Broadway Junction. The optimal service pattern in such a case is to have an "inner zone" local service (short turns at Broadway Junction) which we'll call the and an "outer zone" express service (to Jamaica) which we'll call the . Post shutdown, I think the optimal service over the Williamsburg Bridge / Jamaica Line is 8 tph on each of the . That said, the main impediment to operating such a frequent service without delays is the flat junction at Myrtle Ave. The problem with skip-stop service in general is that only the riders at the very end of the line truly benefit from the intermediate skipped stops, but I don't think there are enough Jamaica riders compared to the riders at the stops with half service. In general, riders value decreases in wait time more than decreases in trip time. Since skip-stop service is definitely getting cancelled west of Broadway Junction, I'd remove it east of that stop too. Were a train to suddenly be disabled, the other 9 tph could substitute more easily than 4 tph under a skip-stop service plan. The really shouldn't be running to 96 St because the merge from the Broadway local tracks to the express tracks is just going to delay service even more. Send those trains to Astoria and reroute more trains to 96 St.
  11. Caelestor

    Second Avenue Subway Discussion

    The are actually running only ~28 tph at peak, though 40 tph might be achievable with CBTC. Given that riders on QBL always transfer to the express trains at the first opportunity, extending the to 179 St may not be the most effective solution. Hence the QBL bypass proposal to reroute local riders east of Forest Hills from QB itself. On the other hand, extending the down Union Turnpike to a better terminal seems like a pretty good idea if the QBL bypass is built. Agreed on the extension. I thought we wanted to send all the bypass capacity to Forest Hills? In any case, the MTA probably needs to figure out where along the East River should new tunnels be built to support all these new lines from Queens.
  12. Caelestor

    LIRR And MNRR Random Thoughts Thread

    This blog and I absolutely agree with you on the Central Branch, but politically it's way too difficult. I also agree that Oyster Bay needs to be converted into a shuttle or light-rail system but that's more feasible to achieve. LIRR should take a page from MNR and stop underserving stations. Given how competitive the train is versus driving in NYC, frequent service is more important than speed. Every branch (except Oyster Bay and West Hempstead which should probably be demoted to shuttles) should get 30-minute off-peak service with some exceptions: Woodside, Mineola, Hicksville: All trains should stop Forest Hills / Kew Gardens: Given the QBL weekend work, 4 tph minimum would help a lot.
  13. Caelestor

    Second Avenue Subway Discussion

    FWIW the two ideal spots for new LIRR stations are Sunnyside Transfer / 39 St, universal MNR / ESA / LIRR transfer point serving the future Sunnyside yards redevelopment. Court Square / Thomson Ave, where a lot of development in LIC is and transfer point for the . The LIC terminal is too close to the waterfront but as diesel services are gradually withdrawn, the yard could be closed and redeveloped. An underground station there would be great, but unlike Hoboken it would be difficult to construct since the East River tunnels are already there. As for HBP, it is in a decent location but it could be replaced by the Court Square station so that all trains to NYP can serve LIC. As for new subway capacity in Queens, there seems to be 3 proposals floating around: QBL bypass: Does little to serve new areas, but most people agree this should be built to utilize the existing infrastructure east of Forest Hills. It's the easiest to build, and it has an underused tunnel it can access, i.e. 63 St. I personally think the corridor can support 30 tph, especially if a Union Turnpike branch is built. Northern Blvd: Serves new areas and should significantly relieve the , but by far the most expensive to build of these 3 options because it would be fully underground. It's also unclear how it would enter Manhattan. PW recapture: Extends subway service deep into Queens and simplifies LIRR operations, but also not clear how it would be connected to the existing subway system. The other (political) complication is that unlike Rockaway it leaves the city limits. Today there are 4 track pairs feeding into Harold Junction: Hells Gate, PW, and LIRR Main Line x2. Post-ESA and MNR to Penn, one pair of LIRR Main Line tracks feeds into 63 St and the other pair + HG go to Penn, so PW is the odd one out. Presumably the runs express to reduce congestion at Canal St or the run local and terminate at WTC. Alternatively if 53 St tph is increased with a new service, then there's a possiblity of curtailing the to 207 St - WTC local and running the into Fulton St.
  14. Caelestor

    Second Avenue Subway Discussion

    With its minimal ridership and service hours, LIC should be treated like a stop on the Greenport branch. While HPA has decent ridership, I think ESA will probably divert a lot of the existing ridership transferring to the since they will just get off at GCT instead. As for PW, it makes sense for the branch to be separated from the rest of the LIRR. Like the old Rockaway branch, it serve a lot of stops in NYC proper and runs through more dense neighborhoods. More importantly, it's a branch that takes away capacity from the main line between Sunnyside Junction and Jamaica. That said, the PW and QBL bypass should not be connected at Winfield Junction, since the latter is really the only ROW that can utilize the currently unused half of QBL east of FH and thus it needs all the capacity it can.
  15. Caelestor

    SUBWAY - Random Thoughts Topic

    Many people here overestimate the time savings of express trains and underestimate wait times. During late nights with fewer riders, stop penalties are considerably lower, roughly 30 seconds each. Were the to run local between Jackson Heights and Forest Hills, 6 Ave riders east of Forest Hills would have a trip that takes 2 minutes longer, but all those riders in between would save the transfer penalties. However, I don't think the should run local between Queensbridge and Jackson Heights because ridership at those stops is much less and the trip time penalty is longer, ~4 minutes, because the express tracks take the direct route under Northern Blvd. FWIW I would also advocate for the to stop at 14 St and 23 St because they have high ridership, but 23 St is closed right now and the will be running full-time local starting next year, so the should be reevaluated in 2020. As for deinterlining, there's no point doing so during late nights when all trains are running at 20 minute intervals.


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