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Rockaway Residents Rally For Return Of Abandoned Subway Line

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Video can only be seen on NY1:

 

http://www.ny1.com/content/news/187691/rockaway-residents-rally-for-return-of-abandoned-subway-line
 

Rockaway Residents Rally For Return Of Abandoned Subway Line

  • By: NY1 News 
  • 4:14 PM
A group of residents from Rockaway rallied Saturday for the return of a long abandoned subway line.
The Queens Public Transit Committee picketed in front of the Mott Avenue station.
They are protesting the possible conversion of 3.5 miles of the old Rockaway Beach Rail Line into a High Line-style park.
They say a train line would raise the standard of living of residents in the area.
They argue that the lack of transportation to Manhattan puts Queens residents at a disadvantage.
"I think it would be great to take into consideration the fact that some students are going through three boroughs to get to school," said student Silaka Cox. "Not just me, but there's a lot of students to go to school in Manhattan. It would just take a burden off of them if they just had a shorter commute."
"The biggest frustration is that it takes an hour and a half to get into Midtown Manhattan, and it could actually take a half hour or 40 minutes to get into Midtown Manhattan," said Stanley Schulman, a Rockaway Park resident.
"We do not want a park to stop us and divide Queens. We want to unite Queens," said Philip McManus, the head of the Queens Public Transit Committee. "The way to unite Queens is with the train."
Two city firms have been chosen to do a feasibility study on building the park.
The state is pitching in $400,000 for the project.

 

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"Subway"

 

it's LIRR idiots...

I would actually really like to see it being converted for the subway.

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"Subway"

 

it's LIRR idiots...

I don't think the name-calling is necessary. The remains of the line have subways running on them, and the subway is the only thing the abandoned ROW would be connected to, and what people want it connected to. They're not transit nerds like us.

 

Great to see the community rally behind this cause. Too bad Prince Cuomo and the rest give not a single f**k about transit.

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I hope this overrides the current funding with the "Queensway;" can't forget the extra boost that proposal got recently.

 

"Subway"

 

it's LIRR idiots...

They did convert part of the LIRR to subway lol. Edited by mtattrain
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As a LIRR it would make zero sense. They should ask for it to be restored as a subway line initially as a new line to somewhere in Manhattan. Maybe Broadway line return as the (W) or something else.

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As a LIRR it would make zero sense. They should ask for it to be restored as a subway line initially as a new line to somewhere in Manhattan. Maybe Broadway line return as the (W) or something else.

EXACTLY how I would do it:

 

The line would be a revived (W) running between Whitehall and Rockaway Park as part of a series of changes on the Broadway Line (and a couple of others) that reflect the (Q) being on the SAS by then.

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As a LIRR it would make zero sense. They should ask for it to be restored as a subway line initially as a new line to somewhere in Manhattan. Maybe Broadway line return as the (W) or something else.

It does , the line branches off the Main Line...it would be faster with the LIRR then the Subway.   LIRR is ready to go , Subway would require tunneling and would be expensive.

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I don't think the name-calling is necessary. The remains of the line have subways running on them, and the subway is the only thing the abandoned ROW would be connected to, and what people want it connected to.

 

What people want it connected to? Everytime I say something about subway vs LIRR everyone is trashing the subway for not being a high standard. In the article in the OP they clearly say "would RAISE the standard of living". So that can only mean they want LIRR service as subway service would lower the standard. Btw, you can connect the ROW to LIRR at Jamaica.

Edited by Vistausss

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Have it connected to the Queens Blvd Line and reroute the (R) train.

 

Good idea to make a slow local even slower because of an added extension!

 

Id rather connect it to the (E) and divert the (E) from 179th rush hour to the LIRR ROW all times (or at least during daylight hours).

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Good idea to make a slow local even slower because of an added extension!

 

Id rather connect it to the (E) and divert the (E) from 179th rush hour to the LIRR ROW all times (or at least during daylight hours).

 

The rush hour (E) is literally only three trains an hour for an hour or two.

 

Honestly, the (R) isn't that bad (plus you don't end up screwing over east-of-Forest Hills riders), but an extension from the Queens Blvd local line would also necessitate a conversion of Woodhaven to an express stop, since Roosevelt can barely handle transfer volumes during the rush as it is.

It does , the line branches off the Main Line...it would be faster with the LIRR then the Subway.   LIRR is ready to go , Subway would require tunneling and would be expensive.

 

The problem with LIRR conversion is, where the hell would you terminate it? It's actually illegal to interline LIRR and NYCT, and LIRR is going to want a separate concourse and waiting rooms, and it barely looks like there's room for additional platforms at Aqueduct and Howard Beach.

 

The Rockaway Beach branch needs subway-style spacing and frequency to have any chance at denting the extremely heavy bus ridership, and LIRR has been having extremely bad luck with the East River Tunnels and Main Line in recent months.

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You can terminate the LIRR in OZone Park on one side and via a new ROW near Hammels Wye on the other (Hammels used to be a station, hence the name of the wye). Most of the ROW from OZone Park to the (A) is still there.

http://forgotten-ny.com/2000/04/long-island-railroad-rockaway-branch/

Edited by Vistausss

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As for the park idea, as I said some other thread: this area is not the highline as in a 'touristy'/hipster area. It's some residential area. Of course they'd pitch a park idea. Anything that blocks a rail service revival is good for them.

Have it connected to the Queens Blvd Line and reroute the (R) train.

Terrible idea. It's already slow and long. Why make it longer? Of the 4 lines, the M would probably make the most sense since it is short enough (taking away the E will never fly because of the demand for it, so for all purposes the only way there's service from the rockaways to QB has to be a local). The other option could be to bring the G back to Queens. The major issue with the G was 71st can't turn back 3 trains. If the G was sent down that line, it would still keep the M and R as the only lines ending at 71st. As for the 1seat issue, people are going to transfer to the express, so it's not like it matters which local you send out there.

Edited by Grand Concourse
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I don't think the name-calling is necessary. The remains of the line have subways running on them, and the subway is the only thing the abandoned ROW would be connected to, and what people want it connected to. They're not transit nerds like us.

 

Great to see the community rally behind this cause. Too bad Prince Cuomo and the rest give not a single f**k about transit.

 

What's the benefit, from a transit perspective?

 

The subway stations in the Rockaways are some of the most lightly used stations in the entire subway system, and the trip to Midtown Manhattan is quicker on the A than it would likely be via this line. So I suspect the line would be lightly used as well - perhaps not the best bang for the buck.

 

But let's say I'm wrong, and ridership is high. Even if it hooks into the QBL local tracks, many if not most riders bound for Manhattan would transfer to the express at Roosevelt, just as M and R riders do today. The E is one of the most crowded lines in the system, with the F not far behind (and CBTC will only bring slight relief). Why would we want to funnel even more riders into the QBL express? It's not like the Rockaways don't already have service into Manhattan - they currently ride a line that has room for them.

 

If the goal is to serve the local market at intermediate stops, the line isn't terribly well located - it's several blocks from the Woodhaven Blvd. corridor, where the commercial activity is clustered. Enhanced bus service - SBS or whatnot - would probably serve that market better.

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What's the benefit, from a transit perspective?

 

The subway stations in the Rockaways are some of the most lightly used stations in the entire subway system, and the trip to Midtown Manhattan is quicker on the A than it would likely be via this line. So I suspect the line would be lightly used as well - perhaps not the best bang for the buck.

 

But let's say I'm wrong, and ridership is high. Even if it hooks into the QBL local tracks, many if not most riders bound for Manhattan would transfer to the express at Roosevelt, just as M and R riders do today. The E is one of the most crowded lines in the system, with the F not far behind (and CBTC will only bring slight relief). Why would we want to funnel even more riders into the QBL express? It's not like the Rockaways don't already have service into Manhattan - they currently ride a line that has room for them.

 

If the goal is to serve the local market at intermediate stops, the line isn't terribly well located - it's several blocks from the Woodhaven Blvd. corridor, where the commercial activity is clustered. Enhanced bus service - SBS or whatnot - would probably serve that market better.

 

What about the people that just want to go to that part of Queens from Far Rock? Or, what if someone wants to go to northern Queens...? And please no one say bus. Buses are slow(er than trains, especially)! This line reactivation is a no-brainer that's staring everyone in the face. Even the naysayers will use it once they find out how convenient it will be. We don't even have to do much digging. Everything is already there for the refurbishing. It's certainly not a Second Avenue Subway or West Side Extension. I'm all for making it a subway line so it can be integrated with the rest of the system. Maybe extend the (G) for an excuse to make it a full-length and frequent line...making crosstowners happy in the process. If your transit system doesn't look like a nervous system covering the landscape of the city, it's not complete. We have poor circulation in a few areas, especially Queens.

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What's the benefit, from a transit perspective?

 

The subway stations in the Rockaways are some of the most lightly used stations in the entire subway system, and the trip to Midtown Manhattan is quicker on the A than it would likely be via this line. So I suspect the line would be lightly used as well - perhaps not the best bang for the buck.

 

But let's say I'm wrong, and ridership is high. Even if it hooks into the QBL local tracks, many if not most riders bound for Manhattan would transfer to the express at Roosevelt, just as M and R riders do today. The E is one of the most crowded lines in the system, with the F not far behind (and CBTC will only bring slight relief). Why would we want to funnel even more riders into the QBL express? It's not like the Rockaways don't already have service into Manhattan - they currently ride a line that has room for them.

 

If the goal is to serve the local market at intermediate stops, the line isn't terribly well located - it's several blocks from the Woodhaven Blvd. corridor, where the commercial activity is clustered. Enhanced bus service - SBS or whatnot - would probably serve that market better.

 

The buses on Woodhaven carry a combined 26.3K riders a day over a 4 mile shared corridor, which pencils out to 6.5K potential subway riders per mile. This is better than all light rail systems in the US except the Boston Green Line. This does not include people using east-west buses that don't currently use the Q11/21/52/53 due to longer travel times and a two-bus ride to the subway.

 

Also, this is not a particularly thorough view of the situation on the ground, but a cursory view of Woodhaven Blvd on Google Earth shows very little commercial activity on the street itself, compared to other Queens thoroughfares such as Northern, Union, Hillside, Main, and Merrick. The only major benefit of tunneling on Woodhaven itself rather than the LIRR ROW is the bigger space available for a station footprint, and the relative ease of connecting to the east-west train lines south of Forest Park (connecting to the (J) from the old LIRR ROW would be tricky, similar to the Broadway-Hewes/Lorimer situation on the (G)). Normally, subway construction on major arterials is great, but in the specific case of Woodhaven it's not that much better unless Woodhaven Blvd gets upzoned.

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Here's my idea. Its only able to work with the second avenue subway (stubway lol) being open

 

The (R) becomes based out of coney island yard, and runs from 95th to Ditmars

The (W) is based out of Jamaica Yard, runs from whitehall to the rockaways

The (Q) runs to 96th Street.

(N) stays on its current route.

 

Also hopefully CBTC would make it so they could run more M trains per hour so people in east queens by forest hills dont lose a lot of local service.

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It does , the line branches off the Main Line...it would be faster with the LIRR then the Subway.   LIRR is ready to go , Subway would require tunneling and would be expensive.

Will it be frequent,?

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Will it be frequent,?

Probably not frequent enough to justify taking a train to a train, to another train or bus for people wanting Queens. It is a commuter railroad.  Plus, it would be multiple fares, that wouldn't exist if it (the Rockaway Line) becomes a subway.

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It would have to be. If the LIRR returned to the Rockaway branch and ran on standard commuter rail frequencies (every 30 minutes during rush; every 1-2 hours off-peak) and is priced at typical LIRR fares (Zone 1 one-way peak fare is $8.00, that's eight dollars), then most people will continue to use the Q11, 21, 52 and 53 routes to the subways. Either it has to run more frequently and be priced lower than that or restored Rockaway branch service should be provided by higher-frequency NYC subway trains charging $2.50 per ride.

 

My preference is to extend the (M) train onto the Rockaway branch. I don't see a compelling reason not to do it (not wanting to spend money or deal with NIMBYs is not a compelling reason not do it). It really makes more sense to restore rail using subway trains, just like they did with the Bronx portion of the New York, Westchester and Boston railway, which is today's (5) train to Dyre Avenue.

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue
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It would have to be. If the LIRR returned to the Rockaway branch and ran on standard commuter rail frequencies (every 30 minutes during rush; every 1-2 hours off-peak) and is priced at typical LIRR fares (Zone 1 one-way peak fare is $8.00, that's eight dollars), then most people will continue to use the Q11, 21, 52 and 53 routes to the subways. Either it has to run more frequently and be priced lower than that or restored Rockaway branch service should be provided by higher-frequency NYC subway trains charging $2.50 per ride.

 

My preference is to extend the (M) train onto the Rockaway branch. I don't see a compelling reason not to do it (not wanting to spend money or deal with NIMBYs is not a compelling reason not do it). It really makes more sense to restore rail using subway trains, just like they did with the Bronx portion of the New York, Westchester and Boston railway, which is today's (5) train to Dyre Avenue.

On a different note is a subway line cheaper to operate than commuter rail? Is restoring rail better that way fiscally?

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