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6 Lexington Ave

Hear me out!! Please, no bashing...

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Well, this is a thought of mine, which I've been considering for quite enough time..

My thought/proposal is to switch the (4) and the (6) trains in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Why do I propose this? Because, I believe that it will benefit riders in the Bronx.

More specifically, I propose operating the (4) as a local along Lexington Avenue and terminate it at Brooklyn Bridge at all times. A peak direction <4> would be created in the Bronx, operating mid-days and rush hours express up to Burnside Avenue, just like the <6> does now.

The (6) would operate as an express along the Lex and in Brooklyn and terminate at Utica Av. During late nights it would operate local in Manhattan and Brooklyn and be extended to New Lots Ave, just like the (4) does now. I'm not sure of what I would do with the current <6> service.

Why do I propose this? As I said, I believe it would benefit riders in the Bronx, as the (4) has more ridership there. As the new (4) I propose will replace the current (6) as the sole East Side local, it would not have to share its tracks with any other service in Manhattan, leading to shorter headways, relieving overcrowding in the Bronx. I believe that the Jerome Av IRT needs more frequent service, being busier than the Pelham IRT.

I would appreciate your thoughts on this "scheme" of mine giving me reasons why you would agree or not agree with me. Please don't bash me. I'm not saying it should be done this way. I'm just wondering..

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A complete, non-bashing answer...

 

1. Assuming the (5) is still express, it will be mayhem with the merging delays should a (5) and (6)<6> come into 125th together. That is the primary drawback. There are already delays getting into 125th street because of overcrowding on the (4)(5) from people on the (6) trying to squeeze in.

 

2. As far as the Pelham/Parkchester train split in the Bronx, nothing has to be done there, as it works well assuming all trains run on time (midday its exactly 4 mins between trains, and Pelham trains makes a connection at Parkchester when on schedule, and its four minutes difference express runtime than local from Parkchester).

 

3. Although only a handful of trains are stored in Livonia (generally a couple (4), few (5), couple (2) along with half the (3)), this idea does take a secondary yard out of the mix for the (4), unless you plan to run a handful of trains from New Lots anyway.

 

4a. Based upon 1. you would then also have to run the (5) local in Manhattan (to Brooklyn Bridge) to avoid massive and possibly catastrophic merging delays at 125th. Both services ((4)(5) in this case) are fine going around the loop, as it can handle a high frequency of service. With the (5) local in Manhattan, there's nothing that goes to Flatbush anymore, unless either the <6> or (6) goes there. This is fine, as generally the headway would remain the same for Lex service out of Flatbush and the <6> generally runs the same hours as (5) trains to Brooklyn, 6am-8pm (southbound, first one is 0612 out of Pelham, last one is 1912. Northbound, ~1232 BB, and 2019 BB the last one). Service would have to be beefed up again to accommodate two south terminals, but there is some wiggle room for that, especially on the PM.

 

4b. But, now that you're introducing 142A to Flatbush, the (2) and whichever (6) goes to Flatbush can no longer swap trains (as they typically do sometimes), unless you swap car fleets with the (5). I doubt there's enough 142 from the to cover the amount of trains needed to service two terminals at the same time under this scenario.

 

5. But probably you only thought of leaving the Dyre service alone to avoid the train requirement issue, hence why you didn't even mention it in your post. That merging issue at 125th is back on the table then. For Lex express service to even close to work, everything has to be hard railed (in other words, no switches move). Notice that no switches move in the rush hour except a smooth, decently high speed one at the south end of 138th-GC. The one at 138th-3Av on the Pelham line is decently fast, too. Can't move the one at 125th back and forth, however. Whenever you saw that GO with the (4) and (6) local in Manhattan and (5) to Grand Central, you see how things can get. And that is off peak on the weekend. Imagine at 8am in the morning with PACKED trains.

 

6. Introducing express service on the Jerome branch won't work unless you also introduce Burnside as a proper terminal (another problem arises from express trains skipping 161st-Yankee stadium as it is a busy station). That involves renewing, moving switches, as well as possibly installing new ones. Also, Woodlawn isn't exactly equipped to handle the 4-5 minute headways which would be needed to really reduce overcrowding on the Jerome line. Unlike Times Square on the Flushing line, Jerome has a double crossover, and a train has to completely clear the area before the next one can come in.

 

7. What all of this does which you didn't mention at all is slightly reduce Dyre and/or 238 service, as those are the only trains that are not too packed. The benefit is one can now increase (2) service to compensate and deal with those packed trains there.

 

So this is a complete answer to your proposal.

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Doesn't Times Square have a double crossover east of the station? Maybe you meant that Jerome has a two single crossovers?

 

I do get what you're saying though--Flushing's X crossover allows switches to be made without much traffic interference, where a train coming into Jerome has to wait for a train leaving it to clear the middle track before coming in.

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Doesn't Times Square have a double crossover east of the station? Maybe you meant that Jerome has a two single crossovers?

 

I do get what you're saying though--Flushing's X crossover allows switches to be made without much traffic interference, where a train coming into Jerome has to wait for a train leaving it to clear the middle track before coming in.

 

Yup, going over multiple tracks.

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Like TwoTimer said. It would cause too many delays between the (4) & the (6)/<6> at 125 St, cause they would have to crossover.

 

I see what you are saying & you have a very good point, but to go with you plan, the (MTA) would have to shut down the Lexington Ave line from either 86, 59 or 42 St & north to reconfigure the tracks so the (4) coming from the Bronx would have the access to the local track & the (6) would have access to the express track.

 

Also Pelham wouldnt be able to have express service (unless you went according to my plan of scrapping the 148 St station, have the (2) run to 145 & have the (3) run via Pelham express.) This is why Jerome doesnt have express service (it's either Pelham has express service or Jerome.) So by giving Jerome express service, the (MTA) would have to eliminate the <6> Pelham exp.

 

But if the (4) was able to handle this whole time without express service & you say the Pelham line's ridership isnt as high as Jerome, then switch the express service to Jerome wouldnt be a problem, but there would be angry Pelham riders (unless you went with my plan like I said earlier.)

 

But if the (MTA) could have the tracks reconfigured at 125 St, I would be for this plan! :P

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This is one of those moments I ask "Why wasn't the Dyre Ave Line branched off the Pelham Line but instead WPR Line?" That way, the (5) and (6) would have been express on the Lex and the (2) would have been both local and express in the Bronx with select rush hours (3)'s.

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Guest lance25

Well, if I recall correctly, the '39 Second System fantasy plans included a Dyre-Pelham connection. Of course, the original NYW&B trackage ran (in the Bronx that is) from Dyre Av to E 180 St and the old E 180 St was (and still is) right next to the White Plains Road line. So when the connection was eventually built in 1957, it made more sense to connect it to WPR north of E 180 St than to connect it to Pelham at around Whitlock Av.

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Then what about (4) riders to Brooklyn. This is just one of those proposals to make one subway line which we see the (6) cooler then the (4). I don't get why these threads are being created. The subway isn't an idea to make one the (6) better then the (4), or the (2) to be better then the (5). The subway has and always would be to get people from point A to point B. It wasn't built to make one line superior to another, but to move the masses. These threads are being created recently but for nothing more then to glorify a subway line. I for one don't see this making any sense at all. No pun or bashing intended. It is for all the threads that are similar to this that are being created recently.

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it

 

Lexington service right now is good enough. The only issue is with overcrowding, but your idea would just make it worse....

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The (4) already has access to the local tracks, no reconfiguring needed.

 

By access to the local track I mean, that when (4) train's arrive at 125 they should already be on the local track, without having to crossover from the current express track.

 

If the (4) has to run local in manhattan starting at 125, it has to crossover to the local track.

 

But it doesnt matter, I just realized it wouldn't work anyway, because the (4) & (5) use the same track from 138 Street & south. So that means the (4) would have to leave the express track jump over to the local track & have the (6) merge onto the express track, which would cause delays on the (5).

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To add on to what TwoTimer stated: The only way the Manhattan switch would work is if the <6> were to be renumbered as the (8) and that becomes its own line perhaps serving the Nostrand branch and the (6) serving up to Utica. The (4) and (5) would both have to be local. This way there would be no need to switch the tracks so often as they would be set already.

 

But even still there is the problem of the (6) having R142As and the (2) R142s. So even if the (6) were to run R142s, what about the (5)? It shares the same trunk with the (2) in the Bronx as well as yards. So, overall I say just leave things as is.

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What's the difference between the Broadway lines merging between local/express track and the Lexington Lines doing the same?

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Lexington has very frequent service as it is the only East Side line, so it can't afford to be delayed. Plus with smaller cars, they need to run more trains.

Broadway lines, aren't very frequent, but their cars can carry more people. So they don't need to be as frequent as the IRT lines. Plus compared to Lex, Broadway isn't as crush loaded since there are other lines surrounding it as alternatives.

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125th is a flying junction, so they could swap it so that the (4)(5) runs local and the (6) runs express. But apparently, the (4)(5) have the higher demand.

 

One of the old SAS plans, had the (2)(5) rerouted vis SAS, and that would open up the capacity to run the (6) express.

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Then what about (4) riders to Brooklyn. This is just one of those proposals to make one subway line which we see the (6) cooler then the (4). I don't get why these threads are being created. The subway isn't an idea to make one the (6) better then the (4), or the (2) to be better then the (5). The subway has and always would be to get people from point A to point B. It wasn't built to make one line superior to another, but to move the masses. These threads are being created recently but for nothing more then to glorify a subway line. I for one don't see this making any sense at all. No pun or bashing intended. It is for all the threads that are similar to this that are being created recently.

 

Perhaps you neglected to read my post, but I stated a very clear reason on why I proposed this (4)/(6) switch, namely to benefit the riders of the (4) in the Bronx. I didn't state anything about making this obligatory. I just wanted some thoughts from you and others on this board, who have a better understanding of the system. After all, that's what this board is about. For me there's no "cooler" line. That's just ridiculous. I may have a favorite, but that's besides the point. I suggested this, because I thought it made sense.

Lexington service right now is good enough. The only issue is with overcrowding, but your idea would just make it worse....

 

If it weren't for the complexities of switching and such, I don't think it would be that painful. Again, this is only my opinion, and I agree that service is good as is right now. It was merely a thought.

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No, the point is that it would be best to have the (4)(5) together and the (6) by itself. That way you don't have to overuse that switch. You have the routings for each lines set up, and you don't need to move the switch at all. Basically you either switch all the lines, or you leave them as they are. It cannot be a mix of just 1 line each. Lexington is too heavily used to be afforded a delay for trains to switch.

 

125th is a flying junction, so they could swap it so that the (4)(5) runs local and the (6) runs express. But apparently, the (4)(5) have the higher demand.

 

One of the old SAS plans, had the (2)(5) rerouted vis SAS, and that would open up the capacity to run the (6) express.

 

I'm sure the (4)(5) have more demand, but I think it really comes down to how flexible it is for the (2)(5) to share the same north and south branches. If there were just R142s or if R142As were more compatable with the R142s, then I guess it could be possible to have the (6) run express and the (4)(5) as the locals.

 

I take it this was when the SaS was going to be a 6-track line?

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This issue has nothing and I repeat nothing to do with whether the trains are R142 or R142A type cars or other such nonsense. Nor does the #3 line and its terminal at 148th Street have anything to do with this issue - and attempting to make any connection is further nonsense.

 

Yes, there is a flying junction at the 125th Street station but it actually gives no benefit to either the #4 or the #6 being either local or express. This was designed that way from day one. The switches can be set for either line to be local or express with ease - so the #4 can run local to Brooklyn Bridge, and the #6 can run express to/from Brooklyn. It does not matter which is local or express so long there is a "one sets the switches and forgets them" kind of operation. Once the tower personnel have to constantly switch trains from track to track the whole line slows down.

 

The Lexington Avenue line is one of the busiest lines in the entire system - because it handles a lot of trains. Now once #4 and #5 trains are mixed together on the express tracks in the Bronx - the trains need not be separated until the lower tip of Manhattan (Bowling Green) or Brooklyn - Franklin Avenue. The #6 line basically runs on its own tracks with its Bronx local / express operation handled entirely in the Bronx. Except for emergencies - local and express trains do not really have to be switched from one track to the next. That makes the whole operation smoother, and makes for faster running trains.

 

The Lexington Avenue line is one of the busiest lines in the entire system - because it handles a lot of people. The real issue is the huge amount of rider traffic that the Lexington Avenue line as a whole has to carry, and getting the trains needed to carry to those loads. A lot of trains are needed to service the line.

 

The number #6 has a huge train yard off of the Westchester Square station to handle its trains, while the #4 has its train yard near the Bedford Park Blvd station. A large amount of trains are needed for both the #4 line, and for the #6 line. The Westchester yard (off the #6) handles 468 cars each day, while the Jerome Yard handles about 411 subway cars. The #4 line uses about 34 10-car trains during the rush hours. The #6 line uses about 36-38 10-cars during the rush hours.

 

What tips the balance is the #5 line. The #5 line gets its trains from the Unionport train yard, the East 180th Street yard and the 239th Street train yard. The #5 line uses 32 10-car trains during the rush hours, with its trains coming from each of these train yards. The 239th Street yard also supplies - services - maintains the almost all of the #2 trains - supplying the 31 10-car trains needed for the #2 line.

 

So it is basically a simple question - just where do you want to "spend" your trains to handle the crush crowded loads of the Lexington Avenue subway, and it's Brooklyn based riders? Sending #4 trains to Brooklyn Bridge as a local is certainly do-able, as well as just keeping the current #6 train the local.

 

Does one really want to send those very helpful #5 trains down Lexington Avenue along with the #4 as Lexington Avenue locals to Brooklyn Bridge? This would leave the #6 line to carry the entire weight of the Lexington Avenue express service and its Brooklyn based ridership.

 

There's often been talk on these forums about the #5 line as a "supplemental line", a kind of "un-needed copy" of the #4 line - since on paper maps these lines appear somewhat identical. However when it comes to actual carrying capacity - getting the trains where one needs them to carry the huge loads of people - the #5 does the job that it is intended to do. This is very much noticed when there's a G.O. that impacts the #5 line.

 

It is for these reasons that both the #4 and #5 should remain the Lexington Avenue express trains to better service the riders of the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn. I'm done.

 

Mike

Edited by MikeGerald
missing word

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To add on to what TwoTimer stated: The only way the Manhattan switch would work is if the <6> were to be renumbered as the (8) and that becomes its own line perhaps serving the Nostrand branch and the (6) serving up to Utica. The (4) and (5) would both have to be local. This way there would be no need to switch the tracks so often as they would be set already.

 

But even still there is the problem of the (6) having R142As and the (2) R142s. So even if the (6) were to run R142s, what about the (5)? It shares the same trunk with the (2) in the Bronx as well as yards. So, overall I say just leave things as is.

 

This one makes the most sense.

 

I wish the (6) ran to Nostrand Ave instead of the (5)

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Then what about (4) riders to Brooklyn. This is just one of those proposals to make one subway line which we see the (6) cooler then the (4). I don't get why these threads are being created. The subway isn't an idea to make one the (6) better then the (4), or the (2) to be better then the (5). The subway has and always would be to get people from point A to point B. It wasn't built to make one line superior to another, but to move the masses. These threads are being created recently but for nothing more then to glorify a subway line. I for one don't see this making any sense at all. No pun or bashing intended. It is for all the threads that are similar to this that are being created recently.

 

You can also say the same about (6) riders to Brooklyn, not a good example, and I doubt this was about the (6) being better than the (4). His only point was bring (6) like service to Jerome riders from 149th on northbound. What Mike forgot to mention was that while it's only a handful of trains, (4) trains are also stored at Livonia and Concourse yards as well.

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