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TriboroughBridge

Questions regarding subway service

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Hi,

 

I just had a thread asking how subways work, now I have a few questions about some of the general subway services & a more recent service change.

 

1) Why does the (2) run local in Manhattan during late nights? from my understanding it ran express 24/7 until 1999. Dont people from Brooklyn & The Bronx already have a long ride to Manhattan? but it has to be longer with local service in Manhattan. why cant the (3) run local to south ferry, if possible? (loop or lower lever).

 

2) why dont (4) trains run all the way to New Lots Avenue 24/7? I see by Utica Ave, a lot of people get off the (3) to get a (4).

 

3) why is 34 St - Penn Station (both lines) set up the way they are? & off set :confused:

 

I heard they were set up like that to encourage people to transfer at Times Sq, Because of the crowding. but if you look at, 6 Ave or Broadway, they have the traditional 2 island platforms at 34 St & 42 St (& Rockefeller Center for 6 ave) & those are very busy stations.

 

4) why wasn't Bronx subway service created with 2 way express service, like the other Boroughs? :tdown::tdown:

 

5) would anybody agree with me, that the (5) should have it's own track at the Rogers Junction, then merge with the (2) at President st? This to avoid unnecessary conflict with the (3). :tup::tup::tup:

 

6) The (MTA), as we all know, is having major service changes on the White Plains line during the day. Do you think it was dumb of them to have the (5) terminate at 149 St & have the (2) by itself, local in one direction & express in the other? Because I think they should of had these changes at different times. :tdown::tdown::tdown::tdown::tdown:

 

Thanks for your help! your comments will be appreciated!

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1) Why does the (2) run local in Manhattan during late nights? from my understanding it ran express 24/7 until 1999. Dont people from Brooklyn & The Bronx already have a long ride to Manhattan? but it has to be longer with local service in Manhattan. why cant the (3) run local to south ferry, if possible? (loop or lower lever).

7 Av local riders didn't like the fact that the (1) was the only local during the nighttime, so the (2) had to help out as a result. Prior to July 2008, there was no (3) late night service at all.

 

2) why dont (4) trains run all the way to New Lots Avenue 24/7? I see by Utica Ave, a lot of people get off the (3) to get a (4).

Some (4) trains do go to New Lots during rush hours, and all (4) trais go there during the night. Space limitations perhaps?

 

Replies in red.

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1. What IRT said. A speedy ride takes a backseat to "A TRAIN!!!" on the midnights, people just want to seem they're making progress towards their destination. The express only saves 8 mins on the West side from end to end (less if you're getting on in the middle).

 

2. It's not space limitations, its track geometry. The (3) would interfere with the (4) service if it ended at Utica, and that's a no no. Too much service on the (4) along with (5) trains that go to Utica/New Lots.

 

3. For different reasons than 34-6th tho. 34-6 is a shopping mecca, 34-7/34-8 not as much so, its more for even passenger distribution. At 42-7, people tend to get on the (1) for their one stop ride to Penn more than the (2)(3) because the side platform on the downtown side empties right into Penn Station itself, saving them a minute or two.

 

4. The IRT is older than the IND, that wasn't thought of yet. They could use it on the (2)(5) especially.

 

5. Again another design flaw of the system.

 

6. This was to allow for more track work to be done. Every time a train goes by, work at times has to stop to allow the train to pass.

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1. What IRT said. A speedy ride takes a backseat to "A TRAIN!!!" on the midnights, people just want to seem they're making progress towards their destination. The express only saves 8 mins on the West side from end to end (less if you're getting on in the middle).

 

2. It's not space limitations, its track geometry. The (3) would interfere with the (4) service if it ended at Utica, and that's a no no. Too much service on the (4) along with (5) trains that go to Utica/New Lots.

 

3. For different reasons than 34-6th tho. 34-6 is a shopping mecca, 34-7/34-8 not as much so, its more for even passenger distribution. At 42-7, people tend to get on the (1) for their one stop ride to Penn more than the (2)(3) because the side platform on the downtown side empties right into Penn Station itself, saving them a minute or two.

 

4. The IRT is older than the IND, that wasn't thought of yet. They could use it on the (2)(5) especially.

 

5. Again another design flaw of the system.

 

6. This was to allow for more track work to be done. Every time a train goes by, work at times has to stop to allow the train to pass.

 

 

 

1) Why does everybody always say express service will only save an X amount of time? Well, yeah that's what express service is there for to save you time, or catch up to a local train.

 

2) I mean the (3) & (4) run to New Lots. If the (2) & (5) can run to Flatbush Ave, ending with bumper, why cant the (3) & (4) go all the way till New Lots all times (except nights for (3))

 

3) Thank you! B) But why are the express & local platforms off set? It drives me up a wall.

 

4) Thank you for agreeing with me! :) & I'm assuming the (B) & (D) don't need it, because the (4) is very close by.

 

5) Once again, thank you for agreeing with me! :)

 

6) so I guess this why the (MTA) is having that pilot program to shutdown lines during various times. I understand that work would have to stop, but there were many delays with the (2) & OVERCROWDING! :tdown:

 

Anyway, thank you IRT & TwoTimer for your answers! :)

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this should help why irt 34 street built that way

 

 

Like 34th Street – Penn Station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line and Atlantic Avenue on the IRT Eastern Parkway Line, this station has two side platforms for local service and a center island platform for express service. This is due to the expected increase in ridership and to encourage riders to switch at the next stop northbound, Times Square – 42nd Street, as it is set up in the usual island platform manner for cross-platform interchanges.[6]

There is no free transfer between this station and the station of the same name (A C E trains) on the IND Eighth Avenue Line, despite the fact that both connect to Penn Station. The nearest transfer location is at Times Square – 42nd Street with a free transfer to 42nd Street – Port Authority Bus Terminal.[6]

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1) Why does the 2 run local in Manhattan during late nights? from my understanding it ran express 24/7 until 1999. Dont people from Brooklyn & The Bronx already have a long ride to Manhattan? but it has to be longer with local service in Manhattan. why cant the (3 run local to south ferry, if possible? (loop or lower lever).

 

2) why dont 4 trains run all the way to New Lots Avenue 24/7? I see by Utica Ave, a lot of people get off the 3 to get a 4.

 

3) why is 34 St - Penn Station (both lines) set up the way they are? & off set :confused:

 

I heard they were set up like that to encourage people to transfer at Times Sq, Because of the crowding. but if you look at, 6 Ave or Broadway, they have the traditional 2 island platforms at 34 St & 42 St (& Rockefeller Center for 6 ave) & those are very busy stations.

 

4) why wasn't Bronx subway service created with 2 way express service, like the other Boroughs?

 

5) would anybody agree with me, that the 5 should have it's own track at the Rogers Junction, then merge with the 2 at President st? This to avoid unnecessary conflict with the 3.

 

6) The (MTA), as we all know, is having major service changes on the White Plains line during the day. Do you think it was dumb of them to have the 5 terminate at 149 St & have the 2 by itself, local in one direction & express in the other? Because I think they should of had these changes at different times.

 

Thanks for your help! your comments will be appreciated!

 

1) Local riders would lose service. I guess the (3) going to South Ferry and the (2) going express would appease them, but that would cost additional money.

 

2) Probably it's because of low(er) demand. I don't think (3) trains are that crowded east of Utica Avenue and of course, extra trains cost money.

 

3) It's because when they first built it, they probably thought that there would be huge crowds transferring from the commuter rail lines, whereas at Herald Square, it wasn't right by the commuter rail station.

 

4) Back when the line was built, The Bronx was seen as a suburb of Manhattan, so there wasn't much demand for reverse-peak service.

 

5) It has to do with the fact that as the trains diverge to the Livonia Avenue and Nostrand Avenue Lines respectively, the levels of the trains are moving (because they wanted to minimize the number of trees torn up along Eastern Parkway when the line was built). If they were on the same level, it could've been like 59th Street/Columbus Circle (you have the Nostrand Avenue tracks in between the Eastern Parkway tracks in each direction, and then they merge into the regular tracks.

 

So it would look like:

Eastern Parkway Local (WB)

Nostrand Avenue (WB)

Eastern Parkway Express (WB)

Eastern Parkway Express (EB)

Nostrand Avenue (EB)

Eastern Parkway Local (EB)

 

EB and WB mean eastbound and westbound. Before Franklin Avenue, the Nostrand Avenue track would merge into the local and express tracks.

 

6) No comment.

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Hi,

 

I just had a thread asking how subways work, now I have a few questions about some of the general subway services & a more recent service change.

 

1) Why does the (2) run local in Manhattan during late nights? from my understanding it ran express 24/7 until 1999. Dont people from Brooklyn & The Bronx already have a long ride to Manhattan? but it has to be longer with local service in Manhattan.

 

Because riders on the overnight would rather have access to more stations without having to transfer than maybe save a couple of minutes. Take a rider going from Prospect Avenue to 66th Street. Which is better:

-Wait up to 20 minutes for the 2, take it to 72nd Street via express (saving 1 minute from 96->72), then waiting 10 minutes for the 1 to get to 66th or

-Wait up to 20 minutes for the 2, and take it directly to 66th Street via express (adding 1 minute travel time from 96->72), but not needing to transfer.

 

Additionally, more local trains on the overnight makes for more frequent service in Manhattan where ridership is typically highest, meaning less waiting.

 

why cant the (3) run local to south ferry, if possible? (loop or lower lever).

 

Because that costs money that the TA doesn't have to extend the service.

 

The current extension to Times Square reflects the reality that it is difficult to coordinate the transfer to a 3 shuttle from 135th to 148th with the track configuration at 135th. Therefore, the next logical place to extend service to is Times Square because that's the next place you can easily turn a train back uptown. The 3 runs express even on the overnight because it uses the middle tracks (since it needs to turn south of 42nd), and with the 1 and 2 already local, the frequency of service is OK at every 10 minutes (approx).

 

The loop station will not be used in customer service again, barring emergency, so any ideas for service changes that involve the loop are DOA.

 

2) why dont (4) trains run all the way to New Lots Avenue 24/7? I see by Utica Ave, a lot of people get off the (3) to get a (4).

 

Because the track configuration does not allow the 4 to be express on Eastern Parkway and go to New Lots AND allow the 3 into the relay track without the trains crossing in front of each other, causing delays. Same thing in the opposite direction for when the 3 would come out of the relay, they'd have to cross in front of each other again so the 3 could go local and the 4 go express.

 

The 4 has to be express in Brooklyn otherwise you have the same issues of merging trains by Rogers Junction which is not built to handle that level of interlining of trains if the 3 and 5 were express, for example. That would also cause problems at Atlantic when the trains switched again so that the 3 went up the west side and the 4 up the east. Too much switching to make any of the stuff that comes along with that idea feasible.

 

3) why is 34 St - Penn Station (both lines) set up the way they are? & off set :confused:

 

Same as Atlantic Avenue. Because of the railroad connection and the fact that 42nd Street is a major transfer point/destination, the original idea was to design those platforms to distribute ridership best and provide more platform space. Riders can easily access the train of their choice and move out of the station quickly, and if they're going uptown and need to transfer they can do so at 42nd Street.

 

I heard they were set up like that to encourage people to transfer at Times Sq, Because of the crowding. but if you look at, 6 Ave or Broadway, they have the traditional 2 island platforms at 34 St & 42 St (& Rockefeller Center for 6 ave) & those are very busy stations.

 

No railroad connections at those stations.

 

4) why wasn't Bronx subway service created with 2 way express service, like the other Boroughs? :tdown::tdown:

 

Because in many cases the streets are not wide enough to accommodate the els for the entirety of their run. Additionally these were routes designed when many of those areas were completely undeveloped, and therefore the idea of express service there was a way off distant thought. However, express service at the extremities of a line is highly overrated. These are the people who usually travel furthest to/from their destination, you don't want to make them transfer again.

 

The only Bronx line that could really use two direction express service would be the (6) line and only on weekdays during certain times. One could make a case for the (4) if it were possible to have a train make 161st->Burnside->Fordham Rd, then local to Woodlawn...but of course none of this is possible so it's all moot.

 

5) would anybody agree with me, that the (5) should have it's own track at the Rogers Junction, then merge with the (2) at President st? This to avoid unnecessary conflict with the (3). :tup::tup::tup:

 

Not possible without a massive rebuild tying up service in that area for several months, or maybe even more than a year. I already linked an image here on a different thread (I'll post it again below) showing how Rogers Junction and Utica Avenue "SHOULD" have been built in 20/20 hindsight. This layout WOULD have allowed the 4 express to reach New Lots, and the 3 local to end at Utica. It also would have prevented any delays when merging or diverging trains south of the Franklin Avenue station. But it's not possible to rewrite history, what's there is there, and that's why the service pattern in use runs now:

 

33epxxt.jpg

 

6) The (MTA), as we all know, is having major service changes on the White Plains line during the day. Do you think it was dumb of them to have the (5) terminate at 149 St & have the (2) by itself, local in one direction & express in the other? Because I think they should of had these changes at different times. :tdown::tdown::tdown::tdown::tdown:

 

Work on elevated lines, if noisy, must occur during daytime hours which is why GO's on this line are always on middays and weekends.

 

The reason for the service change is to limit the amount of trains in the area so work can get done at a faster rate, while allowing workers/contractors access to the necessary parts of the line that need to be rehabbed.

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Here you go.

 

1) Why does everybody always say express service will only save an X amount of time? Well, yeah that's what express service is there for to save you time, or catch up to a local train.

 

Express service isn't always needed. In Brooklyn you have plenty of unused express tracks because the density, and the need for it isn't there. I can name plenty. The West End Line, Sea Beach Line, Brighton Line (weekends), and the Culver Line. In fact I don't know why Culver residents are complaining. The idea for express service failed miserably in the 70's and 80's and it is most certainly going to fail again, because they have to take out trains to make room for express service reducing service on the local area.

 

2) I mean the (3) & (4) run to New Lots. If the (2) & (5) can run to Flatbush Ave, ending with bumper, why cant the (3) & (4) go all the way till New Lots all times (except nights for (3))

 

As stated above the demand isn't there, and plus it would just delay and affect the (3).

 

3) Thank you! B) But why are the express & local platforms off set? It drives me up a wall.

 

In the 60's and 70's a lot of platforms were extended to handle the longer cars (Ex: 75 footers for BMT/IND). This caused a lot of stations to be shut down and a lot of platforms to be off set, but they originally weren't built and designed like that.

 

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In fact I don't know why Culver residents are complaining. The idea for express service failed miserably in the 70's and 80's and it is most certainly going to fail again, because they have to take out trains to make room for express service reducing service on the local area.
You have to remember that the MTA had considered sending the now defunct (V) via the Culver line (possibly Kings Highway) once the Culver Viaduct rehabilitation finished. Who knows? Maybe it would've been successful.

 

FLineReport2009.png

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With the current subway configuration now there is no way that there can be a successful implementation of a (F) express line. Besides most of the express tracks that we have now were in no ways intended for express service. They were built for auxillary (emergency) use.

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Guest lance25

Actually, when the IND built the Crosstown-Culver line (the section between Church Av and north of Bergen St), there probably was some sort of express service intended when everything was said and done. It probably wouldn't have been four tracks if it wasn't. Also remember, the IND was supposed to be built in stages and the four-track Culver portion was to branch apart, one down the current Culver line and the other down Fort Hamilton Pkwy. Of course, that didn't happen, so we have the overbuilt Culver line with only the (F) serving it.

 

The question still remains however, whether there really a need for express service over there in the first place.

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With the current subway configuration now there is no way that there can be a successful implementation of a (F) express line. Besides most of the express tracks that we have now were in no ways intended for express service. They were built for auxillary (emergency) use.

 

Easy. Every other train becomes an <F>. Local riders still have the (F) and (G) if they live at Fort Hamilton Parkway or 15th Street/Prospect Park (if the Bergen Street Lower Level is fixed, then all local riders will benefit by the (G)'s presence).

 

The Culver Express failed in the 1970s because all (F) trains operated express.

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Because riders on the overnight would rather have access to more stations without having to transfer than maybe save a couple of minutes. Take a rider going from Prospect Avenue to 66th Street. Which is better:

-Wait up to 20 minutes for the 2, take it to 72nd Street via express (saving 1 minute from 96->72), then waiting 10 minutes for the 1 to get to 66th or

-Wait up to 20 minutes for the 2, and take it directly to 66th Street via express (adding 1 minute travel time from 96->72), but not needing to transfer.

 

Additionally, more local trains on the overnight makes for more frequent service in Manhattan where ridership is typically highest, meaning less waiting.

 

Ok, this makes sense. Thank you!

 

Because the track configuration does not allow the 4 to be express on Eastern Parkway and go to New Lots AND allow the 3 into the relay track without the trains crossing in front of each other, causing delays. Same thing in the opposite direction for when the 3 would come out of the relay, they'd have to cross in front of each other again so the 3 could go local and the 4 go express.

 

The 4 has to be express in Brooklyn otherwise you have the same issues of merging trains by Rogers Junction which is not built to handle that level of interlining of trains if the 3 and 5 were express, for example. That would also cause problems at Atlantic when the trains switched again so that the 3 went up the west side and the 4 up the east. Too much switching to make any of the stuff that comes along with that idea feasible.

 

Ok, nobody seems to get what I'm saying. I'm saying the (4) AND (3) should both go to New Lots, the (4) would join the (3) on the same track east of Utica Ave, like the (2) & (5) by Nostrand Ave.

 

What's wrong with the (3) & (4) going to New Lots? There's two tracks to store trains & the Yard. It seems a lot of people on the Livonia Ave line need (4) train's.

 

 

Because in many cases the streets are not wide enough to accommodate the els for the entirety of their run. Additionally these were routes designed when many of those areas were completely undeveloped, and therefore the idea of express service there was a way off distant thought. However, express service at the extremities of a line is highly overrated. These are the people who usually travel furthest to/from their destination, you don't want to make them transfer again.

 

I know this is crazy, but why not stack the tracks like at W 8 St on the (F) & (Q)? :confused:

 

Have the Manhattan bound local & express on the upper lever & Bronx bound express & local on the lower level.

 

Also, the people that are traveling the furthest are E 180 St & north. That's mainly who the (2) express would be for.

 

Not possible without a massive rebuild tying up service in that area for several months, or maybe even more than a year. I already linked an image here on a different thread (I'll post it again below) showing how Rogers Junction and Utica Avenue "SHOULD" have been built in 20/20 hindsight. This layout WOULD have allowed the 4 express to reach New Lots, and the 3 local to end at Utica. It also would have prevented any delays when merging or diverging trains south of the Franklin Avenue station. But it's not possible to rewrite history, what's there is there, and that's why the service pattern in use runs now:

 

This is what I'm talking about. I'm also applying this to the southbound (5). It would diverge from the express track & dip down & at President St merge with (2) that would save some time not conflicting with the (3).

 

Like you said, what's there is there, but if the (MTA) HAPPENS to see this, hey take it into consideration! :(

 

Anyway, I still think the White Plains line needs bi-directional express service, with the (2) being the express, maybe even an express stop at Simpson St. Having the (2) run express all times except nights or at least weekdays.

 

Now I know there is bigger demand for (2) trains, but that's why transferring was made. In Brooklyn, there is bigger demand for Lex, but people at local stops have only 7 Ave. So, should the (MTA) switch the (4)/(5) to the local? No. So they just have to transfer at Franklin ave or Nevins St.

 

I dont see the big deal of people in the Bronx having to transfer to the (2) from a (5)? :confused: On weekends when I need Lex, I have to take a (2) to Franklin Ave to get a (4) & I dont complain I just accept it.

Edited by TriboroughBridge

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Ok, this makes sense. Thank you!

 

 

 

Ok, nobody seems to get what I'm saying. I'm saying the (4) AND (3) should both go to New Lots, the (4) would join the (3) on the same track east of Utica Ave, like the (2) & (5) by Nostrand Ave.

 

What's wrong with the (3) & (4) going to New Lots? There's two tracks to store trains & the Yard. It seems a lot of people on the Livonia Ave line need (4) train's.

 

As we have told you it would cause massive delays on the (3). It isn't worth it because in the end it would only reduce service. Plus there is a reason why the configuration is like that. It was built like that for a future Utica Avenue Subway, and hopefully someday it would be built especially since subway service is also needed down there.

 

I know this is crazy, but why not stack the tracks like at W 8 St on the (F) & (Q)? :confused:

 

Have the Manhattan bound local & express on the upper lever & Bronx bound express & local on the lower level.

 

Also, the people that are traveling the furthest are E 180 St & north. That's mainly who the (2) express would be for.

 

You are going to have half the neighborhoods screw you over. The NIMBY's up there are going to shoot down that idea like crazy, and I highly doubt the elevated lines in the Bronx were built to handle two tracks above them, and the crossing over for express service won't save any time. Plus you are going to have to remove houses even if it's feasible making NIMBY's even more angry, and I told you that express service isn't always needed. There are plenty of unused express tracks in Brooklyn. Does Bronx warrant for express service. I highly doubt it.

 

Anyway, I still think the White Plains line needs bi-directional express service, with the (2) being the express, maybe even an express stop at Simpson St. Having the (2) run express all times except nights or at least weekdays.

 

See my reply above, and you would get your answer.

 

Now I know there is bigger demand for (2) trains, but that's why transferring was made. In Brooklyn, there is bigger demand for Lex, but do people at local stops have only 7 Av? So, should the (MTA) switch the (4)/(5) to the local? No. So they just have to transfer at Franklin Av. or Nevins St.

 

You answered your own question down here. Just transfer.

 

I don't see the big deal of people in the Bronx having to transfer to the (2) from a (5)? :confused: On weekends when I need Lex, I have to take a (2) to Franklin Ave to get a (4) & I don't complain I just accept it.

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You are going to have half the neighborhoods screw you over. The NIMBY's up there are going to shoot down that idea like crazy, and I highly doubt the elevated lines in the Bronx were built to handle two tracks above them, and the crossing over for express service won't save any time. Plus you are going to have to remove houses even if it's feasible making NIMBY's even more angry, and I told you that express service isn't always needed. There are plenty of unused express tracks in Brooklyn. Does Bronx warrant for express service. I highly doubt it.

 

 

You answered your own question down here. Just transfer.

 

First of all, what are NIMBY's?

 

Second, everybody always says, express service isnt needed, it kinda is & yes I'm including the White Plains line, that could use some express. Why dont people say we dont need Eastern Parkway Express or 4 Ave express, only on lines that dont have bi-directional express service do people say it's not needed.

 

If I said Flushing line needs bi-directional express service, is that going to get shot down also?

 

I personally think the White Plains line is in need of bi-directional express service.

 

& I didnt answer my own question, I answered the people that said the (2) should be local in The Bronx, cause of bigger demand. So if, people are saying the (2) should be the local on the White Plains line if it had 2 way express, is pretty much like saying, the (4) & (5) should be local on the Eastern Parkway line. I wasn't answering my own question.

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Guest lance25
First of all, what are NIMBY's?

 

Second, everybody always says, express service isnt needed, it kinda is & yes I'm including the White Plains line, that could use some express. Why dont people say we dont need Eastern Parkway Express or 4 Ave express, only on lines that dont have bi-directional express service do people say it's not needed.

 

If I said Flushing line needs bi-directional express service, is that going to get shot down also?

 

I personally think the White Plains line is in need of bi-directional express service.

 

& I didnt answer my own question, I answered the people that said the (2) should be local in The Bronx, cause of bigger demand. So if, people are saying the (2) should be the local on the White Plains line if it had 2 way express, is pretty much like saying, the (4) & (5) should be local on the Eastern Parkway line. I wasn't answering my own question.

 

1) NIMBY - Not In My Backyard

Basically, they're people who are opposed to certain projects because they don't want it in their neighborhood. It could apply to really any project somewhere, regardless of wealth, class, or anything else you can think of.

 

2) White Plains Road probably could use express service up there. It's never going to happen though. You can't just add a fourth track somewhere on the line. There are structural concerns that would have to be dealt with. When the line was built many moons ago, it was intended for three tracks and the structure will only support three tracks. A four-tracked White Plains Road would require a complete rebuild, something that is almost impossible. Look at how long it's taking to get Second Avenue somewhere. And even if you could find the money and political backing for the rebuild, you have to consider the road below. If the road isn't wide enough to hold a four-tracked line above it, it probably won't get too far.

 

2a) As to why some don't say there isn't a need for express service on Fourth Avenue or Eastern Pkwy, I can't say I really have a reason for that. Express service on either line really doesn't save that much time, especially with Rogers Junction hindering the speed of the latter. Both lines however, do have the (probably) unintended effect of allowing more trains onto each trunk line without causing bottlenecks, especially considering how the lines feeds into each other.

 

3) I'm pretty sure Flushing doesn't need to be a four-tracked line. Outside of rush hours, you can pretty much get a seat on the (7) unless the Mets are in town or it's time for the US Open over at Flushing Meadows. Even then, it only takes like 20 minutes to get from end to end, only a few minutes more than the express. During the rush hours, the <7> does it's job of bringing commuters into Manhattan fast enough pretty damn well with very good headways.

 

4) The (2) is local on White Plains Road all times because of not only demand, but also efficiency. You switch up the (2) and (5) in the Bronx and you'll have a whole lot of people transferring at E 180 St or 149 St (either 3 Av or Grand Concourse), while the current setup keeps most people on their train because it's going to where riders want to go. As to why the (4) and (5) run express in Brooklyn, that's primarily because of the way the line is setup and not because of any time savings. Lexington Avenue feeds from the south to the Eastern Pkwy express tracks while 7th Avenue feeding to the local ones. Sure, the (4) and (5)can run local, but they'll cross in front of the (2) and (3) at Atlantic, thus delaying the whole line even more than Rogers Junction does.

 

Hope that answers your questions.

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I think that prior responders attempted to answer as many of your questions as possible, and the answers provided were wonderful.

 

1) The bottom line is simple - the subways and elevated lines - their existence, features, changes over time, their usage today - often comes down to money.

 

The MTA did not exist until 1968, while something close to 90% of our current subway and elevated lines were completed by the 1940's. So the MTA is not "responsible" for the building, configuration, or long time operation of the subways and elevated lines.

 

The subways and elevated lines were originally operated by, or to be operated by private companies - however bankruptcy of the IRT and BMT companies and the in-ability of the city to find a private operator to run its IND subway -- lead to NYC operating all of the subway and elevated lines in the 1940-early 50's.

 

2) Each of the subway and elevated lines have sections that were not completed as originally planned - often because the money evaporated. The Brooklyn IRT lines - the #2, #3, #4 and #5 were intended to be much more extensive than what we have today. The IND lines were to have a whole "Second System" built except the Great Depression killed all of those plans. The current former BMT lines (basically the Manhattan and Brooklyn J, L, M, N, Q, R lines) is all that remains of a vast network of subway and elevated lines that used to exist. (The N, Q and R trains via northern Queens were by arrangement and streamlining with the IRT company and after-unification with the IND lines.)

 

My point is that to answer the question "why" involves learning the histories of the various lines, some history about NYC, and to understand that money or the lack of it - creates what we have today.

 

3) Many of the subway and elevated lines were built at a time when there was little population in the out-laying areas of the city, and at times the completely planned configuration was not built. One example, the photos of the #7 line and Queens when it was built.

 

Three examples - the 205th Street on the D-train was never meant to the terminal of the line, neither was Main Street-Flushing, or 179th Street in Queens on the IND lines. The IND Fulton Street line - the current A and C train lines - are completely different from what was planned and but not built.

 

4) Transit fans tend to want to use very express track and variation of service. Over the history of the subways and elevated lines - many variations and schemes of service have been tried - there is often nothing that is really new.

 

The middle tracks on several of the elevated lines were not planned to be "express tracks" - but rather service tracks for the line. In addition, extensive usage of the "express track" on several lines often did not occur until ridership levels rose.

 

The middle tracks of the #1 line (north of 96th Street) or the #4 Jerome Avenue line in the Bronx are practically useless as express tracks - few "express stations", and a great deal of switching needed - that cuts down on speed.

 

Often the middle track was provided on a kind of "if needed basis" if there was money during the building portion, sometimes the provisions for a middle track was built into the elevated structure. This explains the space provided for such a track on the Queens portion of the J and Z trains, and along the elevated section of the current #3 line in Brooklyn.

 

Sometimes space was provided for tracks that never were built - along the Fourth Avenue line in Brooklyn, on the R-train segment - the tunnels were built for 4 tracks - although only two were built and used.

 

5) The IND subway planners had definite ideas about the behavior of subway riders and what features to include or modify. In addition the IND subway planners had loads of money to spend the first time out. Whereas the IRT and BMT companies did not always extend express service to the out-lying portions of their subway lines - the IND planners did.

 

In addition they planned for and built large stations often with full length mezzanines, express track short-cuts to speed service and elaborate flying junctions. At the same time - several stations and lines have major short-comings - often glossed over by transit fans. One example was providing only two tracks for all its northern Queens riders to reach Manhattan. A decision that took decades to attempt to change (the 11th street cut in the mid-1950's - used by today's R-train to Queens Blvd), and the whole 63rd Street tunnel - Queens Super-Express segment.

 

At times huge "mega-stations" were built in places that simply at the time did not warrant the service, were far from business areas, or that only made sense in light of the IND Second System - that was not built. Both the Hoyt-Schermerhorn and West 4th Street stations fit this description, as well as a couple of the non-built IND Second System stations. Not all ideas that seemed "great at the time" actually turned out to the case. Another example is the provision of 5th tracks - extra tracks along the IND Eighth Avenue and Fulton Street lines. Most of which serve little function, can be difficult to use, but required a great deal of money to build in the first place.

 

Last paragraph. Often times the suggestion that one "follows the money" as a way to understand why things are done, why things are the way they are. The bottom line is simple - the subways and elevated lines - their existence, features, changes over time, their usage today - often comes down to money. Today the effort is to streamline the subways as much as possible with predictable service. The midnight hour service arrangement is a balance between costs, what is tolerable and trying to run as few routes as possible.

 

Yes, I can be long winded, but I hope this and the other explanations have helped to answer your questions.

 

Mike

Edited by MikeGerald
missing word

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1) NIMBY - Not In My Backyard

Basically, they're people who are opposed to certain projects because they don't want it in their neighborhood. It could apply to really any project somewhere, regardless of wealth, class, or anything else you can think of.

 

I know this doesnt apply to anyone specific. Just look at 2 Ave.

 

 

2) White Plains Road probably could use express service up there. It's never going to happen though. You can't just add a fourth track somewhere on the line. There are structural concerns that would have to be dealt with. When the line was built many moons ago, it was intended for three tracks and the structure will only support three tracks. A four-tracked White Plains Road would require a complete rebuild, something that is almost impossible. Look at how long it's taking to get Second Avenue somewhere. And even if you could find the money and political backing for the rebuild, you have to consider the road below. If the road isn't wide enough to hold a four-tracked line above it, it probably won't get too far.

 

I know that it's not going to ever happen, but do you think it would be crazy to have the track stacked like I said or is that going to far?

 

2a) As to why some don't say there isn't a need for express service on Fourth Avenue or Eastern Pkwy, I can't say I really have a reason for that. Express service on either line really doesn't save that much time, especially with Rogers Junction hindering the speed of the latter. Both lines however, do have the (probably) unintended effect of allowing more trains onto each trunk line without causing bottlenecks, especially considering how the lines feeds into each other.

 

I personally think It's great having Eastern Parkway & the 4 Ave express.

 

 

4) The (2) is local on White Plains Road all times because of not only demand, but also efficiency. You switch up the (2) and (5) in the Bronx and you'll have a whole lot of people transferring at E 180 St or 149 St (either 3 Av or Grand Concourse), while the current setup keeps most people on their train because it's going to where riders want to go. As to why the (4) and (5) run express in Brooklyn, that's primarily because of the way the line is setup and not because of any time savings. Lexington Avenue feeds from the south to the Eastern Pkwy express tracks while 7th Avenue feeding to the local ones. Sure, the (4) and (5)can run local, but they'll cross in front of the (2) and (3) at Atlantic, thus delaying the whole line even more than Rogers Junction does.

 

Of course when I wrote this, I meant that even Hoyt Street should give access to Lexington Ave (through re-constructing the line of course) but I was just bringing an example.

 

Hope that answers your questions.

 

Yes, thank you for answering my questions!:(

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Having tracks stacked on top of tracks isn't a good idea for express service. The only reason why W. 8th St. is like that is because the (Q) train tracks have to rise above the (F) train tracks. The (F) train tracks come in at a lower height than the (Q) train tracks, and plus another reason why it is like that is because the (F) and (Q) has to have their own platforms at Coney Island. Otherwise service wise it isn't a good idea.

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Guest lance25
I know that it's not going to ever happen, but do you think it would be crazy to have the track stacked like I said or is that going to far?

 

It's not only crazy. It's impossible without a full rebuild of the line. Using the example RC1 gave, W 8 St-NY Aquarium, the station and surrounding track area was built for that specific purpose - to have the Brighton and Culver services on separate levels. You try to slap a track above the current White Plains Road line and the entire railway will come crashing down onto the roadway. Sure, you can try to increase the supports and what have yous, but that will undoubtedly add more stress to the road and whatever is underneath it. If we are talking about a full rebuild, then you can go buck wild, as long as the roads can hold the structure above.

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