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About Caelestor

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  1. Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

    From a logistical standpoint, the regional railroads (including PATH + NJ Transit Rail) all should be merged into one entity, the city should take back control of the subway + buses, and the new NYCTA and NYMRR would collaborate with each other on some interagency issues. But that's politically not going to happen.
  2. Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

    Capacity is determined by frequency, and frequency is determined by a combination of minimum train headways dwell time service gaps, i.e. delays The first is reduced by new CBTC signaling. De-interlining / removing reverse branching can increase dwell time because of increased transfers but in practice significantly reduces the need for time of recovery by eliminating merge chokepoints in the middle of the line. In practice, the subway has multiple cross-platform transfers at 2-platform stops that reduce the effective time penalty to 0, which greatly improves the effectiveness of completely separating local from express tracks. The IRT lines are a good example of how to segregate the local and express services on a 4-track line. Given the current system, here's how to de-interline the B Division trunk lines, from easiest to hardest: 6 Ave: The local and express services are separated from each other. We'll revisit the line later when talking about QBL. Broadway: Send all express trains up SAS and add additional local trains. Southern Brooklyn lines, i.e. Dekalb Ave: The runs down Brighton because of the part-time express service. The stays on Sea Beach and the runs down West End. This is operationally easy to do, but somebody is going to object. 8 Ave / CPW: The need to run on its own pair of tracks, as well as the . The will run express with the south of 59 St, allowing the to be unimpeded on the local tracks south of 50 St. I recommend that at the upper level of 50 St, the local tracks be permanently closed and the platforms be extended to meet the express tracks in order to restore the 8 Ave service there. By having all trains stop at 50 St, there may also be less crowding at 42 St - PABT and 59 St - Columbus Circle. Given current track configurations, the will then run express on CPW and will run local. As the Concourse Line has higher ridership, the would run into the Bronx and the rerouted to Inwood. A track connection from the express tracks to the local tracks north of 50 St can be built to put the on the CPW local tracks instead. In any case, the CPW express tracks should service the busier Concourse and 6 Ave lines. Columbus Circle will become a major transfer point, but the station should be big enough to handle the crowds. WTC is not reconstructed due to low operational benefits. Queens Blvd: Currently, there's no other way but to have half the trains run via 63 St and the other half run via 53 St / 60 St. The Rockefeller Center - 5 Ave connection must also be deactivated from regular service no matter what happens. Express trains run via 63 St: all 6 Ave and Broadway riders benefit at significant cost to the 53 St, 8 Ave, and Lex Ave riders. Maybe politically feasible if a passageway between 59 St / Lex Ave and 63 St is built. As a side effect, there may be enough 6 Ave local service to support an train through Park Slope, assuming the doesn't get the extra capacity. Alternatively, the run express via 53 St and the run via 60 St / 63 St. This configuration was rejected by the MTA back in 2001 because Lex Ave - 53 St becomes overcrowded and the isn't a full-time service. I think the downsides of de-interlining QBL currently exceed the benefits. So even without fixing QBL, service on the other 4 trunk lines can be improved so that the , , and (before the arrives) can run on their own trackage with minimal construction. This leaves the mess in Queens, but in the future that can be untangled as well with two simultaneous improvements: 60 St Connection: Once more capacity is added to the Astoria Line, all trains can run to Astoria. SAS - 63 St connection built, new service along the lower SAS. Express trains run via 63 St, local trains via 53 St 2 Ave riders benefit at significant cost to the 8 Ave and Lex Ave riders, though a connection between 59 St / Lex Ave and 63 St should be built to ameliorate the situation. 53 St riders still have a connection at 55 St SAS. Finally, the and are treated as low-priority reverse branches to keep the running smoothly.
  3. Second Avenue Subway Discussion

    There are 6 pairs of B-Division tracks through 42 St (Broadway, 6 Ave, 8 Ave) that feed into CPW (2 pairs of tracks) SAS (1 pair) 63 St (1 pair) 60 St (1 pair) 53 St (1 pair) However, because of interlining only the 6 Ave tracks are running at full capacity through Midtown. In the short-term, Broadway can be untangled so that all the express trains run through SAS, as originally planned in the 1999 DEIS before the public demanded the full SAS. 8 Ave is impossible to untangle because there exists an imbalance between its 53 St and CPW branches at its north end, but from personal experience it's the least crowded trunk line relatively. Long-term, SAS Phase 3 adds another pair of tracks through Midtown, but the issue is that the Broadway express tracks are linked to the upper SAS. Had the 72 St station been built with three tracks, trains could be short-turned to allow more trains, but since that's not an option anymore, the lower SAS will almost definitely need a second service to complement the . Hence the teal through 63 St into Queens, which also needs another line to relieve the . The issue then is that 63 St, 53 St, and 60 St have 3 pairs of tracks that feed into Astoria (1 pair) and QBL (2 pairs), but the former's max capacity is half that of a typical line because of its inefficient terminal. It's not possible to cram 5 services along a 4-track corridor without reliability issues, so some new trackage is going to be needed. Ultimately, the 1960s Program for Action presents the most efficient solution: fully separate the 63 St line from the QBL by building the bypass and connecting it to the QBL local tracks east of Forest Hills. Along with a crossover before 179 St, you could easily support bypass, QBL local east of Forest Hills QBL express to Jamaica Center QBL express to 179 St (weekdays) QBL local QBL only needs one 15 tph local service because all the riders switch to the express trains at Jackson Heights.
  4. Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

    The most optimal configuration for the IRT that would fully split the two IRT main lines and prevent delays on one line from interfering with the other. The one element missing is the Nostrand Ave extension to Avenue X to build a proper terminal that could accommodate the .
  5. Second Avenue Subway Discussion

    As already stated, there's no need for the third express track if the 3rd Ave Bronx segment is only running at half capacity due to the 125 St branch. Also, the should be running to 125 St and the into the Bronx. The and need to swap terminals. The one-stop extension of the is to give North Bronx riders a 30-minute ride to Midtown vs 50 minutes on the , and also to divert riders away from the overcrowded IRT lines. Given that the ridership of the Bx12 is an order of magnitude higher than the Bx28/38, the should turn east on Fordham Road and run straight to Co-op City. Overall, the SAS stops in the Bronx would be 3 Ave - 138 St, 3 Ave - 149 St, Melrose Ave - 161 St, 167/168 Sts, Claremont Pkwy, Tremont Ave, 180 St, Fordham Plaza, Crotona Ave / Southern Blvd, White Plains Rd , Williamsbridge Rd , Eastchester Rd, Co-op City. The pricier alternative is to terminate the at Fordham Plaza, and replace the Bx12 with a full extension to Co-op City with additional stops at Grand Concourse and University Ave. The FEIS didn't account for that, but personally I think the practical maximum capacity of a 2-track subway is 30 tph, since station dwells and recovery padding needs to be built into the schedule. Plans also had a 26 tph limitation at Hanover Square, but that could probably be easily rectified to 30 if SAS makes it down to Manhatta.
  6. Second Avenue Subway Discussion

    On the topic of Third Avenue, I see marginal benefit extending the subway past Fordham Plaza. Ridership potential is low, seeing as the Bx55 was just cut recently. A double solution of extending the to Gun Hill Road and extending the SAS along Fordham Road / Pelham Parkway is my preferrence.
  7. Rockaway Beach Branch

    That is a reasonable proposal. My original intention for the stop at 51st Ave was a future connection to Triboro RX, but the Q58 already exists and so a transfer should be established. I assume you mean the former Rego Park LIRR stop. The 1970s proposal had no stops between Woodside and Forest Hills, and the subway tracks would be laid along the empty trackbeds north and south of the existing 4-track LIRR mainline (formerly for the Rockaway Branch). Since two new stations are needed, either the ROW needs to be widened or an elevated solution needs to be deployed. In either case, the non-underground stations would be significantly cheaper compared to say SAS. Woodside is the problematic station, since the LIRR has 6 tracks, and so an underground stop is probably needed there, given that ESA is on the way and train traffic is expected to increase dramatically.
  8. Rockaway Beach Branch

    To extrapolate, the QBL bypass would run under Yellowstone Blvd to a new island platform below the existing Forest Hills station. The bypass would then connect to the outermost tracks of the 6-track section east of Forest Hills and take over the local service to 179 St, though it is possible that the is rerouted away from QBL to the bypass full-time. On the western end, it is highly unlikely that the Northern Blvd stop is ever built, as its main purpose would be to offer a transfer to the existing Queens Plaza station. Instead, riders could always transfer to the at Woodside, and the funds be redirected to less expensive and more meaningful stops at Woodhaven Blvd and 51st Ave.
  9. Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

    It's rather unfortunate that the Myrtle elevated was replaced by a Crosstown Line that doesn't connect to the , which would be a more direct route than transferring at Canal St. This is actually a novel idea that could significantly benefit the Astoria Line. It appears that Whitehall St can turn 6 tph, and a Astoria Blvd turnback would probably turn the same number of trains. Even with an expected reduction in tph, all 10 tph can then run Astoria - Coney Island, with no more SAS short-turns. In practice the combined trains would run more on time and capacity would increase overall. There are two issues though: Building the switches, which would probably shut down the Astoria Line for an indefinite number of weekends. The cannot handle SAS alone. Even when the eventually opens, the will likely remain the more popular route because it serves the Broadway corridor. It's still worth considering the Astoria Blvd short-turn, since right now Ditmars Blvd is comparable to Bay Ridge, which itself can only reliably turn 10 tph. Agree that the should be extended into Brooklyn, as several peak hour trains already run to and from the Coney Island yard.
  10. Rockaway Beach Branch

    I could see the Lower Montauk functioning similar to the Rockaway Line, except with higher ridership because of the influx of passengers at Jamaica. Stops at Flushing Ave (optional), Fresh Pond (Metropolitan Ave), Glendale (Cooper Ave), Ridgewood (Woodhaven Blvd), and Richmond Hiill (Lefferts Blvd). The issue is how to connect it to a line in Manhattan, since 63 St is too far away from LIC. More recent proposals have used the Lower Mantauk as part of a new NJ - Manhattan - LI line through Union City. As for the QBL bypass, I believe the intention was to build the tracks south of the ROW using part of the space that was originally occupied by the southbound Rockaway Branch. The line would go underground at Sunnyside Yards.
  11. Rockaway Beach Branch

    Based on the past 75 years, the MTA will never have the funding or will to build a completely new line from scratch. All future projects will be extensions of existing lines, albeit there's a lot of extensions that need to be built. The two big ones are SAS and QBL Bypass, which will probably take a generation to complete at current pace.
  12. (4) (5) Lexington Avenue Express

    To add on, in the early 20th century the subway system was essentially the IRT based in upper Manhattan / Bronx expanding into Lower Manhattan/Brooklyn, and the BRT/BMT based in Brooklyn expanding into Midtown Manhattan. Today the Bronx lines are overcrowded compared to their Brooklyn counterparts because the IRT eventually made it to Brooklyn but the BMT never got past 59 St. Furthermore, the IRT trains have significantly less capacity than the BMT and the IRT predates the BMT so most development occurred around the former. The subway system circa 1920 was actually fairly coherent: you have East Side and West Side subways for the IRT, and the BMT got a very lucrative corridor along Broadway into Manhattan. In fact, the Broadway express tracks were supposed to become the CPW line, but the IND threw a major wrench in their plans by building the 8 Ave corridor. It also doesn't help that the elevated lines in Manhattan that belonged to the IRT were all eventually torn down. The IND built the replacements for the 9 Av and 6 Av els, but the SAS for the 2 Av and 3 Av els was always delayed, and w/o the SAS, the 3 Av el in the Bronx had to be torn down as well.
  13. Zone fares won't work because there's no way to figure out exactly where a passenger exits the system. That said, I think peak hour congestion pricing is a real possibility, since ticket do record time of entry. Peak hour fares would effectively reduce the number of people entering the system at its least flexible., and shift passengers toward the shoulder peak / midday as seen in London. Were fare capping to be implemented, presumably the pay-per-ride and eventually the x-day passes would all be eliminated. Don't have time to do all the math right now, but overall such a system would reward frequent riders but penalize the marginal riders who only use the subway to commute.
  14. Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

    In theory, the Park Place / Chambers St / WTC complex is adequate for serving riders because they would just switch to the across the platform for the transfer. That said, I could see the two Canal St stations combined when renovations (as well as accessibility) are needed. While both Canal St and Franklin St on 7 Ave have relatively low ridership due to the presence of the 8 Ave Line, I don't think the latter needs to close unless the MTA deems it more beneficial to close down a stop to speed up the train, which already meanders between 34 St and 14 St.
  15. Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

    When drawing crayon on a map, it's important to consider capacity so that the new lines you build can run reasonable service while not wrecking service on the other lines. Comments in green.


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