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BrooklynBus

The Time for Reactivation of the Rockaway Beach Line is Now

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You also have to take into account the junction at 36th St in Queens where the (F) turns off into/from the 63rd St tunnel. Often the northbound F has to wait there for an (E) to pass. Now you want to throw the the (M) into that mix as well? The M will have to do the same thing, except wait for an (R) or (V) to pass. And you risk trains backing up in the 63rd St tunnel because you would now have two services that have to converge onto the Queens Blvd line.

 

I still think rerouting the (M) onto the Rockaway branch without reviving the (V) is the better plan.

I agree. 6th Avenue also has to be considered in these ideas. Does that line need both the M and V along with the F? It seems like serious overkill if you ask me. Under an M via Rockaways service, only 67 Av and 71 Av lose service. Bringing back the V just to keep 6th Ave/Queens Blvd local service is a complete waste of money. And no, running it to 179 St won't make it better.

 

Like I was getting to in an earlier post on the subject. Rockaway Beach is a bit of a conundrum. To garner ridership, it needs to run to Manhattan. The problem is that there are few options available for a Manhattan route, not without diverting a Forest Hills or Jamaica route. With the way the bellmouths were built, connecting Rockaway Beach to the express tracks would require rebuilding a large chuck of Queens Blvd, so I will not consider those as feasible options right now. Obviously they're doable with some serious money and political will, but for the sake of this conversation, that option won't be included.

 

That leaves only the local tracks for use in a potential RB-Manhattan route. The M I already mentioned, has it's own problems. For instance, currently, the M only runs its full length on weekdays. While it's not outside the realm of possibility that such an extension would force 24/7 full service, that's not guaranteed. That means a stub terminal is required for a connection to the Queens Blvd line when the M doesn't run. The R is also a contender for the RB-Manhattan service, but it also faces the same problem. Another problem with both local options is that both routes are already pretty long, the R especially. That makes them more prone to delays.

 

A common idea to solve this problem is to run a shortened route to either 2 Av or Whitehall St on the 6th Ave and Broadway lines respectively. If it's to replace an existing Queens Blvd service, that means a loss of service somewhere else (6th Ave/Myrtle Ave, Broadway/4th Ave local). If it's on top of the existing services, that runs into the oft-mentioned capacity issues problem. Running three services on the Broadway or 6th Ave local tracks is not an ideal solution. There are capacity issues at the terminals and the lines at spots. And if you reduce the TPHs on certain lines to make them all fit, you make all of those services less reliable.

 

Like I said, there are no easy solutions for a Rockaway Beach-Manhattan route, nor are there any that would be beneficial for everyone. However, even though I don't think it's the best solution, I'd divert one of the locals down to the Rockaways. Of course, if the idea is to just give the Woodhaven corridor a quicker rider between the Rockaways and Queens Blvd, I'd go the shuttle route via light rail.

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I agree. 6th Avenue also has to be considered in these ideas. Does that line need both the M and V along with the F? It seems like serious overkill if you ask me. Under an M via Rockaways service, only 67 Av and 71 Av lose service. Bringing back the V just to keep 6th Ave/Queens Blvd local service is a complete waste of money. And no, running it to 179 St won't make it better.

 

Like I was getting to in an earlier post on the subject. Rockaway Beach is a bit of a conundrum. To garner ridership, it needs to run to Manhattan. The problem is that there are few options available for a Manhattan route, not without diverting a Forest Hills or Jamaica route. With the way the bellmouths were built, connecting Rockaway Beach to the express tracks would require rebuilding a large chuck of Queens Blvd, so I will not consider those as feasible options right now. Obviously they're doable with some serious money and political will, but for the sake of this conversation, that option won't be included.

 

That leaves only the local tracks for use in a potential RB-Manhattan route. The M I already mentioned, has it's own problems. For instance, currently, the M only runs its full length on weekdays. While it's not outside the realm of possibility that such an extension would force 24/7 full service, that's not guaranteed. That means a stub terminal is required for a connection to the Queens Blvd line when the M doesn't run. The R is also a contender for the RB-Manhattan service, but it also faces the same problem. Another problem with both local options is that both routes are already pretty long, the R especially. That makes them more prone to delays.

 

A common idea to solve this problem is to run a shortened route to either 2 Av or Whitehall St on the 6th Ave and Broadway lines respectively. If it's to replace an existing Queens Blvd service, that means a loss of service somewhere else (6th Ave/Myrtle Ave, Broadway/4th Ave local). If it's on top of the existing services, that runs into the oft-mentioned capacity issues problem. Running three services on the Broadway or 6th Ave local tracks is not an ideal solution. There are capacity issues at the terminals and the lines at spots. And if you reduce the TPHs on certain lines to make them all fit, you make all of those services less reliable.

 

Like I said, there are no easy solutions for a Rockaway Beach-Manhattan route, nor are there any that would be beneficial for everyone. However, even though I don't think it's the best solution, I'd divert one of the locals down to the Rockaways. Of course, if the idea is to just give the Woodhaven corridor a quicker rider between the Rockaways and Queens Blvd, I'd go the shuttle route via light rail.

 

I think extending the Rockaway Shuttle to Queens Blvd would be best. Broadway/6th Av/8th Av/QBL doesn't need another service. But extending the (M)(R) down the Rockaway ROW would make them unreliable. The only way I can see the (M) going down the ROW is if it terminates at Howard Beach.

Edited by BronxBombers

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I think extending the Rockaway Shuttle to Queens Blvd would be best. Broadway/6th Av/8th Av/QBL doesn't need another service. But extending the (M)(R) down the Rockaway ROW would make them unreliable. The only way I can see the (M) going down the ROW is if it terminates at Howard Beach.

And I would think Rockaway riders would want such a line going to Rockaway Park OR split between there and Far Rockaway (hence, my plan to revive the (V) and have it run 2nd Avenue-Rockaway Park or Far Rockaway and eliminate the Rockaway Park (S) ). 

 

One other option for this would be to if necessary have 2-4 (F) trains per hour at "peak of the peak" times run via the (G) between Bergen Street and Queens Plaza and then running normal route via the express from there so the (M) and (R) can remain as they are (except for the (M) shifted to 63rd and running local from 36th Street) while the new (V) runs to Rockaway Park via 6th Avenue.  If it can reduce the trains running on 6th Avenue by just enough to allow three locals to operate on 6th Avenue, that might be a compromise to fit in a new line on the Rockaway Beach Branch.

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no, not two tracks, using the LIRR row to Rosedale.

 

The LIRR actually does need that capacity; the way tracks  are currently set up, it would be very unfeasible to run all LIRR trains down the St. Albans Branch, particularly when service is set to double after East Side Access opens.

And I would think Rockaway riders would want such a line going to Rockaway Park OR split between there and Far Rockaway (hence, my plan to revive the (V) and have it run 2nd Avenue-Rockaway Park or Far Rockaway and eliminate the Rockaway Park (S) ). 

 

There is currently no demonstrable need to have two trunk services running all the way to the Rockaway Peninsula. Heck, there isn't even a need to have one full trunk service, which is why trains terminate at Lefferts. The Rockaway stations are underutilized because most of their walkshed is in Jamaica Bay or the Atlantic, and nearly all of them are at the very bottom of the ridership tables. The only thing the Rockaway Branch needs is a QBL local terminating at Howard Beach.

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That leaves only the local tracks for use in a potential RB-Manhattan route. The M I already mentioned, has it's own problems. For instance, currently, the M only runs its full length on weekdays. While it's not outside the realm of possibility that such an extension would force 24/7 full service, that's not guaranteed. That means a stub terminal is required for a connection to the Queens Blvd line when the M doesn't run. The R is also a contender for the RB-Manhattan service, but it also faces the same problem. Another problem with both local options is that both routes are already pretty long, the R especially. That makes them more prone to delays.

 

A common idea to solve this problem is to run a shortened route to either 2 Av or Whitehall St on the 6th Ave and Broadway lines respectively. If it's to replace an existing Queens Blvd service, that means a loss of service somewhere else (6th Ave/Myrtle Ave, Broadway/4th Ave local). If it's on top of the existing services, that runs into the oft-mentioned capacity issues problem. Running three services on the Broadway or 6th Ave local tracks is not an ideal solution. There are capacity issues at the terminals and the lines at spots. And if you reduce the TPHs on certain lines to make them all fit, you make all of those services less reliable.

 

Because the (R) already runs its full route seven days a week - unlike the (M) - I get the feeling the MTA might choose to reroute the (R) over the (M). Then they wouldn't have to run all four QB lines on the weekends and holidays. That comes in handy for weekend work. But then that would leave the weekday-only M as the only train serving 67th Ave, so the (E) or (F) would have to run local when the M is not running.

 

It's been said that the Woodhaven Blvd station has provisions to facilitate conversion into an express stop. I think that should be a part of any plan to extend the M or R onto the Rockaway Beach branch. That would allow Q11/21/52/53 riders to cut out one transfer. But I wonder if it is also possible to install switches between 63rd Drive and Woodhaven and a crossover track west of Woodhaven that would allow RB trains to switch from local to express track, then terminate and relay at Woodhaven. Installing all those switches would certainly be a major expense and cause plenty of disruption, above and below ground. It might be cheaper and easier to just run the (R) 24/7 over the entire route, long as it would be.

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue

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Because the (R) already runs its full route seven days a week - unlike the (M) - I get the feeling the MTA might choose to reroute the (R) over the (M). Then they wouldn't have to run all four QB lines on the weekends and holidays. That comes in handy for weekend work. But then that would leave the weekday-only M as the only train serving 67th Ave, so the (E) or (F) would have to run local when the M is not running.

 

It's been said that the Woodhaven Blvd station has provisions to facilitate conversion into an express stop. I think that should be a part of any plan to extend the M or R onto the Rockaway Beach branch. That would allow Q11/21/52/53 riders to cut out one transfer. But I wonder if it is also possible to install switches between 63rd Drive and Woodhaven and a crossover track west of Woodhaven that would allow RB trains to switch from local to express track, then terminate and relay at Woodhaven. Installing all those switches would certainly be a major expense and cause plenty of disruption, above and below ground. It might be cheaper and easier to just run the (R) 24/7 over the entire route, long as it would be.

 

A express conversion of Woodhaven is basically a requirement, for one other reason; Roosevelt is overcrowded during peak hours and all the transfers from the RBB would cause the situation on those narrow platforms to be even worse than it is now.

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The LIRR actually does need that capacity; the way tracks  are currently set up, it would be very unfeasible to run all LIRR trains down the St. Albans Branch, particularly when service is set to double after East Side Access opens.

OK, I couldn't find any information on that so thanks for clearing that up. 

You are a lifesaver on getting facts straight.

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A express conversion of Woodhaven is basically a requirement, for one other reason; Roosevelt is overcrowded during peak hours and all the transfers from the RBB would cause the situation on those narrow platforms to be even worse than it is now.

That I agree on.  The Woodhave Boulevard conversion may need to happen anyway regardless of whether the Rockaway Beach branch gets built.

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This is a thought. I might be bashed for saying this but I don't care lol. the (E) could go to Far Rockaway, the (M) running in it's place to Jamaica Center... something in the lines of that. This way the (A) can stay going to Lefferts or at least split between Lefferts and JFK instead of going all the way down to Far Rockaway. This eliminates the idea of drilling of a connection to Fulton Local tracks cause that money could definitely be used towards a Queens Blvd Super Express im just saying

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A Queens BLVD super express running on the LIRR tracks is not possible since the fleet has to be retrofitted with FRA standard equipment, the only cars that have those are the R44 SIR. Even building a elevated track, not only there are obstacles like overpasses and the Flushing line Woodside station, the community won't like the elevated tracks to ruining the view around the area. Rockaway spur as subway line ends at Rego Park with a connection to the LIRR and transfers to Manhattan as an alternative.

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A Queens BLVD super express running on the LIRR tracks is not possible since the fleet has to be retrofitted with FRA standard equipment, the only cars that have those are the R44 SIR. Even building a elevated track, not only there are obstacles like overpasses and the Flushing line Woodside station, the community won't like the elevated tracks to ruining the view around the area. Rockaway spur as subway line ends at Rego Park with a connection to the LIRR and transfers to Manhattan as an alternative.

 

Plans for it date back to 1968, and in fact the last updated plans for it came up in the 1990s. While primary source information from the MTA regarding those projects is not widely available, plans for it do exist, and they almost certainly did not involve requisitioning two tracks from the LIRR.

 

You can't run them on the same physical tracks, but you can run them in adjacent tracks, and there are locations around the country where mainline and subway equipment run side by side.

Edited by bobtehpanda

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Also, you could technically have a tunnel beneath the LIRR ROW (though it would be expensive and would make a transfer to the (7) at 61 st difficult since the transfer would need to be ADA accessible). Note that if a super express were actually made, it would require a connection to the 63rd St Line and would require at least one service going to Forest Hills simply because Forest Hills is only getting more densely populated with those 30 floor apartment buildings going up here and there.

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Whenever reactivation of the Rockaway Line does become a reality, the Queens Blvd Super Express mind as well come with it. Just connecting Rockaway to Queens Blvd doesn't really help alleviate Queens Blvd cause the subway system needs to expand regardless

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Whenever reactivation of the Rockaway Line does become a reality, the Queens Blvd Super Express mind as well come with it. Just connecting Rockaway to Queens Blvd doesn't really help alleviate Queens Blvd cause the subway system needs to expand regardless

 

One is significantly more expensive than the other.

 

QB Bypass is not a requirement for conversion of the RBB, since locals on the QBL are not crowded to the same extent that express trains are.

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One is significantly more expensive than the other.

 

QB Bypass is not a requirement for conversion of the RBB, since locals on the QBL are not crowded to the same extent that express trains are.

I understand where you're coming from 

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Plans for it date back to 1968, and in fact the last updated plans for it came up in the 1990s. While primary source information from the MTA regarding those projects is not widely available, plans for it do exist, and they almost certainly did not involve requisitioning two tracks from the LIRR.

 

You can't run them on the same physical tracks, but you can run them in adjacent tracks, and there are locations around the country where mainline and subway equipment run side by side.

If I'm not mistaken, the '68 plans called for an expansion of the mainline ROW to fit the bypass , which at that time, was only one track.

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Wasn't there an amended Queens Super Express proposal a few years later that did call for two tracks?

 

There was, and the very latest proposal wasn't actually a super express in that it had planned stops at Northern Blvd and Woodside.

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There was, and the very latest proposal wasn't actually a super express in that it had planned stops at Northern Blvd and Woodside.

I would do the same.

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Just a question, can they bring the (M) back to its original place (Nassau St, Brooklyn,) and just use the (V) on the RBB? The (M) would be pretty long if they used it there, wouldn't it?

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Just a question, can they bring the (M) back to its original place (Nassau St, Brooklyn,) and just use the (V) on the RBB? The (M) would be pretty long if they used it there, wouldn't it?

Unlike when the Chrystie Street Connection first opened, Midtown is significantly more popular as a destination for riders along the Myrtle Line/parts of Williamsburgh. Also, 2nd Avenue-Houston St (IND) has merging issues with the (F), which runs at 15 TPH during Rush Hour. So if the (M) were rerouted to its original route and the (V) were brought back into existence, it would most likely have to run to Church Avenue, which would be more expensive than simply running it to 2nd Avenue and calling it a day. (IMO)

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The only other thing I would do with that, is if they connected Chrystie to SAS (as originally planned), then move the M to SAS , and run the (V) from Rockaways to Church Ave. (I just can't get into the weird shape of the (M) route if it ran via the Rockaways).

Though SAS is still Midtown; it's still not as central as 6th Ave. so I don't know if the people used to the new (M) midtown service will accept being moved over like that (though it would get us around all the service problems on the current IND).

Also, that's if they cut into the current Chrystie connector, but I don't know if the deep Chrystie build will preclude that (like it eliminates possibility of Grand St. connection).

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Just a question, can they bring the (M) back to its original place (Nassau St, Brooklyn,) and just use the (V) on the RBB? The (M) would be pretty long if they used it there, wouldn't it?

In theory, they can. It doesn't mean they should. The (M) is more popular now than it was on Nassau St, so going back to the old M route is not happening.

 

And the (M) really wouldn't be that long of a route if ran down the RBB. I think the (A), (F) and (2) lines would still be longer. A bigger issue would be how to run the extended (M) during weekend and late night hours.

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In theory, they can. It doesn't mean they should. The (M) is more popular now than it was on Nassau St, so going back to the old M route is not happening.

 

And the (M) really wouldn't be that long of a route if ran down the RBB. I think the (A), (F) and (2) lines would still be longer. A bigger issue would be how to run the extended (M) during weekend and late night hours.

That could be the catalyst to making the (M) 24/7 if they did that. 

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If the M went to Rockaway Park, it would most definitely be too long.

 

The run time right now is about an hour from MET to CTL. If it extended from somewhere on Queens Blvd. towards the Rockaways (it wouldn't be able to do so directly from Continental due to physical configuration), I can say with absolute certainty that the run time would be too long.

 

1:00 MET to Queens Blvd. branch off point.

 

From Rockaway Blvd. on the A to Rockaway Park is at minimum 20 minutes, and you've still got to cover the distance between Rockaway Blvd. and whereever you're completing the line. So you're probably looking at 1:45 scheduled with no delays, which easily can get over 2 hours.

 

It's also a gigantic circle for one point in the run, which is inefficient, at minimum.

 

There are better methods of using the Rockaway Beach Branch tracks than just extending the M.

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