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Fantasy map - no interlining


Komsomolskaya

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The vast majority of rapid transit systems in the world give each line a dedicated pair of tracks from end to end, without any merges or crossings at grade. While this removes the possibility for many one-seat rides, it can greatly increase reliability and capacity (no more "held waiting for train traffic ahead of us"), and simplify automatic train operation. In a sufficiently reliable and frequent system, one-seat rides are much less important. Below is an experiment in reconfiguring and expanding New York's rapid transit network to not make use of any interlining or merges (save for minor branching at the outlying ends of lines).

jtFbh.png

(Map based on Joseph Brennan's excellent subway diagram.)

 

 

  1. Westside Line: 242 St to South Ferry (Red)
    via Broadway/7 Av local
  2. Flatbush Line: 241 St/Dyre Av to Kings Plaza (Maroon)
    via White Plains Rd local, 7 Av express, Clark St tunnel, Brooklyn IRT local, Nostrand Ave, NEW Flatbush Avenue subway
  3. Lexington Line: Co-Op City to Newark Airport (Green)
    via NEW elevated line along I-95, Pelham local, Lexington Av local, NEW connection to World Trade Center, PATH downtown route, NEW line along Northeast Corridor
  4. Jerome Line: Woodlawn to Stanley Av (Aqua)
    via Jerome Av local, Lexington Av express, Joralemon St tunnel, Brooklyn IRT express, NEW crossover to local between Rogers Av and Nostrand Av, Eastern Pkwy local, yard tracks
  5. Bayonne Line: 34 St to 8 St Bayonne (Lavender)
    via PATH midtown route, NEW portal in parking lot northwest of Washington Blvd and 14 St, HBLR viaduct to and along 18 St, Conrail River Line/National Docks Branch to Liberty State Park, HBLR Bayonne Branch (grade separated)
  6. Jamaica Line: Jamaica Center to Broad St (Brown)
    via Jamaica local, Williamsburg Bridge, Nassau St subway
  7. Flushing Line: Flushing to City Hall (Yellow)
    via Flushing local, new structure east of Queensboro Plaza, 60 St tunnel, Broadway local
  8. Sunset Line: 72 St & 2 Av (expanded to four tracks) to Coney Island (Gold)
    via BMT 63rd St subway, Broadway express, Manhattan Bridge, 4 Av express, Sea Beach local
  9. Astoria Line: Fordham Rd to 24 St (Purple)
    via Astoria local, new structure east of Queensboro Plaza, Steinway tunnel, PLANNED Hudson Yards extension including station on layup tracks
  10. Brighton Line: Franklin to Coney Island (Black)
    via Franklin Av elevated (restored to two tracks), Brighton local
  11. Canarsie Line: 8 Av to New Utrecht Ave (Silver)
    via 14th St-Canarsie subway, LIRR Bay Ridge branch
  12. Fulton Line: 205 to Lefferts/Rockaway (Navy)
    via Concourse local, Central Park West express, 8 Av express, Church St express, Cranberry St tunnel, Fulton St express
  13. Culver Line: 179 St to Coney Island (Blue)
    via Queens Blvd local, 53 St tunnel, 8 Av local, Houston St local, Rutgers St tunnel, South Brooklyn express, Culver local
  14. Crosstown Line: Court Sq to Coney Island (Chartreuse)
    via Crosstown subway, South Brooklyn local, NEW Fort Hamilton Pkwy connection, SBKRR ROW, West End local
  15. Americas Line: Laurelton to 95 St (Orange)
    via LIRR Atlantic/Laurelton right-of-way, Queens Blvd express, 63 St tunnel, 6 Av local, Church St local, NEW connection to southern BMT Broadway subway, Montague St tunnel, 4 Av local
  16. Washington Line: 207 St to Coney Island (Magenta)
    via Washington Heights local, Central Park West local, 6 Av express, Chrystie St cut, Manhattan Bridge, Brighton express
  17. Chatham Line: Broadway & 125 St to Euclid Ave (Skyblue)
    via NEW 125 St subway, PLANNED 2 Av subway, NEW Schermerhorn St tunnel, Fulton St local
  18. Jersey Line: Tonnelle Ave to Exchange Place (Teal)
    via HBLR Tonnelle branch (grade separated), NEW viaduct and portal along NJT Hoboken right-of-way, PATH Washington Blvd subway with Exchange Place station expanded to four tracks
  19. Myrtle Line: Fordham Rd to Myrtle Av & Broadway (upper level) (Pink)
    via Metro North right-of-way, St Mary's Tunnel, Hell Gate Bridge, NY Connecting RR, Bay Ridge LIRR, Myrtle Av elevated

 

A number of new in-system transfers are also constructed.

 

All lines (aside from branches) operate every 4 minutes 5:00-0:00, every 12 minutes 0:00-5:00, and up to every 2 minutes at rush hour (depending on demand). (Automatic train operation makes this feasible by almost eliminating the marginal cost of increased off-peak frequency.) Shorter trains may run when demand is lower. All stations have platform-screen doors.

 

Those parts of HBLR not converted to rapid transit operation are left as a Jersey City Streetcar and extended on surface streets to Hoboken (which is a much less important destination with almost all commuter traffic diverted through ARC).

 

The Transit Museum is relocated to 9th Avenue, Brooklyn.

 

Comments/suggestions?

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Frequency becomes a problem. For example, the Lexington Line needs a lot of trains per hour, more than the 3 and 4 need on your map. The alternatives are either too much service in the Bronx, short-turns, or too little service in Manhattan.

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Frequency becomes a problem. For example, the Lexington Line needs a lot of trains per hour, more than the 3 and 4 need on your map. The alternatives are either too much service in the Bronx, short-turns, or too little service in Manhattan.

 

The SAS reduces that problem immensely, though. Add an express along the SAS stopping only at 14th, 42nd, 72nd and 125th (maybe connect the 10/Brighton Line up Bedford Av and under the East River to join the SAS at 14th St; could make the 10 local and the 17 express to get express service to the Financial District), and the problem basically completely evaporates.

 

Nice map, and cool idea. Service and travel would overall be a lot slower, though, I think, despite the reduction in wait times. Some trains would be very crowded at rush hour.

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The problem I have with this is the NYCS was not designed like the London Underground. It was specifically designed to have express and local services used together to shorten the time to get into Manhattan and to travel uptown or downtown. The idea of multiple services sharing a line and then splitting out into the Boroughs is very efficient because then we have tons of cars in Manhattan (where they're needed), and fewer in the outer Boroughs.

 

Indeed, New York has an odd geography and unique needs.

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I really like this concept. I've been toying with the same idea in the past, trying to come up with a comprehensive network with as little sharing of routes as possible, without the need of new line construction.

I don't think the main problem is the fact that two (or more) routes share the same tracks along a certain stretch; the main problem is that most of those routes share their tracks with multiple other routes along different parts of their service run. Take the M for example: it shares its tracks with the J, F, E and R trains between Metropolitan Av and Forest Hills. That implies that the timetables of those routes must all be interlocked: trains must arrive at a certain station before the merging point with another route at a specific time. If one of them messes up, the effects will spread throughout the system.

I'll try and come up with my simplified version of the NYC Subway later this evening :)

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Frequency becomes a problem. For example, the Lexington Line needs a lot of trains per hour, more than the 3 and 4 need on your map. The alternatives are either too much service in the Bronx, short-turns, or too little service in Manhattan.

Every local train on Lexington Ave already goes at least as far as Parkchester (with most going to Pelham Bay) and this doesn't end up being "too much service" in the Bronx. High-quality frequent service in the outer boroughs could hope to gain riders who currently drive or take express buses in from further out, and in the long run could even encourage increased density in these areas.

Nice map, and cool idea. Service and travel would overall be a lot slower, though, I think, despite the reduction in wait times. Some trains would be very crowded at rush hour.

No line has less rush-hour service under this proposal than it currently has (aside from those eliminated completely), so I don't see why anything would be more crowded. Regarding travel time, a significant factor slowing down train service currently is human reaction time, which speed limits must allow for and which increases the time a train take to accelerate from a stop; this issue would be eliminated in this fantasy. Trains also currently have to slow down when going over switches; in principle many switches could be removed/spiked into place once interlining was eliminated (though some should remain operational for yard access and service disruptions).

The problem I have with this is the NYCS was not designed like the London Underground. It was specifically designed to have express and local services used together to shorten the time to get into Manhattan and to travel uptown or downtown. The idea of multiple services sharing a line and then splitting out into the Boroughs is very efficient because then we have tons of cars in Manhattan (where they're needed), and fewer in the outer Boroughs.

 

Indeed, New York has an odd geography and unique needs.

Every large rapid transit system has a high density of lines and services in the center (where lines come together and density is highest) which spread out as they enter outlying areas; my map above would not change this. New York's unique geography meant it made sense to increase capacity by building pairs with an express and local line adjacent to each other, rather than building a larger number of two-track nonadjacent lines as most other cities have. My proposal reflects this, and all the Manhattan trunk routes would retain both express and local services, with each being provided by a different line. The issue I'm trying to avoid is the mix-and-match of services from different trunk lines in the outer boroughs (where for example Queens Blvd express carries trains from both Sixth Ave local and Eighth Ave local). Such an arrangement decreases capacity and reliability, especially when it leads to the underutilisation of infrastructure like the 63rd street tunnel because trains using it have to share with others elsewhere.
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The vast majority of rapid transit systems in the world give each line a dedicated pair of tracks from end to end, without any merges or crossings at grade. While this removes the possibility for many one-seat rides, it can greatly increase reliability and capacity (no more "held waiting for train traffic ahead of us"), and simplify automatic train operation. In a sufficiently reliable and frequent system, one-seat rides are much less important. Below is an experiment in reconfiguring and expanding New York's rapid transit network to not make use of any interlining or merges (save for minor branching at the outlying ends of lines).

 

(Map based on Joseph Brennan's excellent subway diagram.)

 

 

  1. Westside Line: 242 St to South Ferry (Red)

    via Broadway/7 Av local

  2. Flatbush Line: 241 St/Dyre Av to Kings Plaza (Maroon)

    via White Plains Rd local, 7 Av express, Clark St tunnel, Brooklyn IRT local, Nostrand Ave, NEW Flatbush Avenue subway

  3. Lexington Line: Co-Op City to Newark Airport (Green)

    via NEW elevated line along I-95, Pelham local, Lexington Av local, NEW connection to World Trade Center, PATH downtown route, NEW line along Northeast Corridor

  4. Jerome Line: Woodlawn to Stanley Av (Aqua)

    via Jerome Av local, Lexington Av express, Joralemon St tunnel, Brooklyn IRT express, NEW crossover to local between Rogers Av and Nostrand Av, Eastern Pkwy local, yard tracks

  5. Bayonne Line: 34 St to 8 St Bayonne (Lavender)

    via PATH midtown route, NEW portal in parking lot northwest of Washington Blvd and 14 St, HBLR viaduct to and along 18 St, Conrail River Line/National Docks Branch to Liberty State Park, HBLR Bayonne Branch (grade separated)

  6. Jamaica Line: Jamaica Center to Broad St (Brown)

    via Jamaica local, Williamsburg Bridge, Nassau St subway

  7. Flushing Line: Flushing to City Hall (Yellow)

    via Flushing local, new structure east of Queensboro Plaza, 60 St tunnel, Broadway local

  8. Sunset Line: 72 St & 2 Av (expanded to four tracks) to Coney Island (Gold)

    via BMT 63rd St subway, Broadway express, Manhattan Bridge, 4 Av express, Sea Beach local

  9. Astoria Line: Fordham Rd to 24 St (Purple)

    via Astoria local, new structure east of Queensboro Plaza, Steinway tunnel, PLANNED Hudson Yards extension including station on layup tracks

  10. Brighton Line: Franklin to Coney Island (Black)

    via Franklin Av elevated (restored to two tracks), Brighton local

  11. Canarsie Line: 8 Av to New Utrecht Ave (Silver)

    via 14th St-Canarsie subway, LIRR Bay Ridge branch

  12. Fulton Line: 205 to Lefferts/Rockaway (Navy)

    via Concourse local, Central Park West express, 8 Av express, Church St express, Cranberry St tunnel, Fulton St express

  13. Culver Line: 179 St to Coney Island (Blue)

    via Queens Blvd local, 53 St tunnel, 8 Av local, Houston St local, Rutgers St tunnel, South Brooklyn express, Culver local

  14. Crosstown Line: Court Sq to Coney Island (Chartreuse)

    via Crosstown subway, South Brooklyn local, NEW Fort Hamilton Pkwy connection, SBKRR ROW, West End local

  15. Americas Line: Laurelton to 95 St (Orange)

    via LIRR Atlantic/Laurelton right-of-way, Queens Blvd express, 63 St tunnel, 6 Av local, Church St local, NEW connection to southern BMT Broadway subway, Montague St tunnel, 4 Av local

  16. Washington Line: 207 St to Coney Island (Magenta)

    via Washington Heights local, Central Park West local, 6 Av express, Chrystie St cut, Manhattan Bridge, Brighton express

  17. Chatham Line: Broadway & 125 St to Euclid Ave (Skyblue)

    via NEW 125 St subway, PLANNED 2 Av subway, NEW Schermerhorn St tunnel, Fulton St local

  18. Jersey Line: Tonnelle Ave to Exchange Place (Teal)

    via HBLR Tonnelle branch (grade separated), NEW viaduct and portal along NJT Hoboken right-of-way, PATH Washington Blvd subway with Exchange Place station expanded to four tracks

  19. Myrtle Line: Fordham Rd to Myrtle Av & Broadway (upper level) (Pink)

    via Metro North right-of-way, St Mary's Tunnel, Hell Gate Bridge, NY Connecting RR, Bay Ridge LIRR, Myrtle Av elevated

 

A number of new in-system transfers are also constructed.

 

All lines (aside from branches) operate every 4 minutes 5:00-0:00, every 12 minutes 0:00-5:00, and up to every 2 minutes at rush hour (depending on demand). (Automatic train operation makes this feasible by almost eliminating the marginal cost of increased off-peak frequency.) Shorter trains may run when demand is lower. All stations have platform-screen doors.

 

Those parts of HBLR not converted to rapid transit operation are left as a Jersey City Streetcar and extended on surface streets to Hoboken (which is a much less important destination with almost all commuter traffic diverted through ARC).

 

The Transit Museum is relocated to 9th Avenue, Brooklyn.

 

Comments/suggestions?

The point of all the interlining that we currently have in New York is to give people, especially in the outer boroughs and Upper Manhattan, more choices. Also it allows for fewer transfers. If the lines all become self-contained routes, that will require extra transfers for many people.

 

But I do like that you have the Flushing Line going to City Hall and the Astoria Line going to 23rd and 11th. That would be one less transfer for me. I currently take one bus and two subways to work.

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Here is a list of cities that interline heavy rail lines with other lines or in some cases, other systems, in Alpahbetical order.

 

Amsterdam

 

 

[OT]There are serious plans to end the current interlining pattern and give each line its own, segregated right of way. Theoretically it should be feasible, but it requires completion of the North-South line currently u/c through the city center.[/OT]

 

Your list in itself is very interesting. I never realised there were that many cities with interlining service patterns. Nonetheless, the NYC subway has turned the practice into an art form with the heavy interlining and routes running alongside three or even four different other routes along their service run. Even the SAS will see some interlining with the Q and T. Must be something genetic, I think :P

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The point of all the interlining that we currently have in New York is to give people, especially in the outer boroughs and Upper Manhattan, more choices. Also it allows for fewer transfers. If the lines all become self-contained routes, that will require extra transfers for many people.

One-seat rides tend to not be all that useful in practice. For example, if I'm going from 125th IND to somewhere on 6th Ave and an A comes first, I'll always be better off taking the A and then getting off at 59th to wait for a B or D, rather than waiting at 125th for a D. The time saved by avoiding transferring is generally more than made up for, on average, by the need to wait longer at the starting station. The important thing is not how many transfers people must make, but how long they take to get to their destination, and frequent non-interlined routes have the potential to decrease this for most trips. There's a good post on this topic at Human Transit.

But I do like that you have the Flushing Line going to City Hall and the Astoria Line going to 23rd and 11th. That would be one less transfer for me. I currently take one bus and two subways to work.
Idea here was not so much to eliminate transfers as to increase capacity to Flushing by running Division B-size trains there, since it needs the capacity more than Astoria.

 

Here is a list of cities that interline heavy rail lines with other lines or in some cases, other systems, in Alpahbetical order.

Amsterdam, Atlanta, Barcelona, Brasilia, Bilboa, Brussels, Bucurest, Bursa, Chicago, Cleveland, Copenhagen, Fukuoka, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Kyoto, Los Angeles, London, Munich, New York, Nuremberg, Osaka, Oslo, Rio de Janerio, Rotterdam, San Fransisco, Shanghai, Seoul-> trains continue on into inchion, Stockhom, Taipei, Tokyo-> trains continue to Yokohama, Valencia, Vancover, Washington

Most of the cities you list use "interlining" only in the form of simple branching of a particular trunk line in outlying areas, as with my lines 2 and 12. This makes sense in cities that have only been able to build one or a few track-pairs through downtown, but want to serve multiple outer neighbourhoods. Fortunately New York has enough core capacity that relatively little such branching is needed and full service frequency into the central area can be provided for almost all routes (though one could argue my line 19 should be a branch of line 6).

 

Through-running of a few metro trains onto less-congested commuter mainlines, as is done in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Fukuoka, is also a rather different operational pattern than New York's complicated weave of inner-city services, and the core Metro lines in these cities are all completely segregated from each other.

 

Of the top 20 metro systems by ridership worldwide, only New York (#4), Shanghai (#9) and London (#10) have different metro lines sharing tracks or merging in the city center (Paris, Hong Kong and Guangzhou have minor outlying branching, while Tokyo and Osaka have commuter through-running). The shared segment in Shanghai (part of lines 3 and 4) is widely regarded as a huge mistake, as it halves capacity on both lines, resulting in severe overcrowding. Only London has anything like the complicated weave of services found in New York.

 

At any rate, the point of this post/map was not so much to attack interlining as to experiment with how hard it would be to operate New York's system without it. Most of the lines work OK, but lines 8, 9, 10 and 19 are forced to stub-end in less than ideal locations. Further comments or suggestions, either on the map itself or the general interlining question, are welcome.

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The #10's stub-end would be extremely unpopular and cause a huge outcry.

Instead, it could be extended to merge with Line 9 via a new under-river tunnel.

 

In general, although the idea of no interlining is awesome, New Yorkers just have a one-seat-ride obsession. They will even take a slower route to reduce the number of transfers.

EDIT: Also, why was Broad Channel Station on line 12 eliminated?

Also, Line 8 could go via Second Avenue Express to 125 St, then go to LaGuardia Airport, with Line 7.

Line 19 could go to Jay Street in Brooklyn via the old Myrtle Av elevated route.

In addition, the transfer at Lafayette Av is useless...as there is an express stop directly nearby (Hoyt-Schermerhorn).

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