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Airplanepilotgod8888

Alternate subway history

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This topic will be about the "what ifs" of the New York City subway.

For much of it's over 110 year history, the New York City subway is rich in events, projects, proposals and everything in between that either happened, almost never happened, or never happen at all.

 

By changing one event in the system's past could have major effects in both the short and long run.

Like for instance what if the IND second system, or parts of it was built and opened, or what if the second avenue subway was completed before 1950.

 

I've been wanting to create a topic like this for awhile now, here it is, I present Alternate subway history!

 

The format will be, a scenario will be posted, for example "What if the IND second system was built and opened".

The original poster could start talking about the senorio in the starting post or let another person start talking about it.

 

 

Senorios covered (So incase this topic blows up, and we wont have duplicate starting posts.

 


I'll start,

 

What if the subway was never consolidated and the IRT BMT and IND remained independent companies.

 

Let's discuss it  :) .

 

I might have in the past made a topic something about this.

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Imagine the R142 and R142A, along with the R62 and R62A running up and down the Manhattan elevated lines. For one, if they had kept those lines, they would have extended the platforms and closed down a good number of stops.

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What if the subway was never consolidated and the IRT BMT and IND remained independent companies.

The IND would have driven the IRT and BMT out of business with a well-funded better-designed competing system system adjacent to all the existing BMT and IRT lines. Then it would’ve bought them anyway if not demolished them.

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Perhaps the biggest mistake, in terms of train reliability, was linking the IND and BMT via Chrystie St. It would've been better to build/rebuild convenient transfer complexes and maintain the three separate systems.

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Trains running through DeKalb Av have never had a history of being reliable. Too many lines converging in one location will do that. That history is part of the reason why the Chrystie St connection was built in the first place. Whether it's the B, D, N, Q and R today or the N, QB, QT, RR, T and TT of yesterday, delays at DeKalb are unavoidable.

 

Also, Chrystie St was woefully needed to connect the former BMT and IND systems. The construction of the connection allowed for expansion of the 6th Avenue services across the Manhattan Bridge. As most of you know, prior to the opening of the connection, the bridge only carried Broadway services and an dwindling number of Nassau St loop trains. Ignoring this opportunity would've been quite a waste.

 

The connection also opened the door for direct 6th Avenue service to/from the Brighton and West End lines. Transfer connections are good and all, but when most of the riders are changing trains at Herald Sq for continuing service, perhaps a new transfer point is not the answer.

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At the end of the book Uptown, Downtown: A Trip Through Time on New York's Subways by Stan Fischler, he discusses how in the 1950s and 1960s with the growth of the automobile, millions were allocated by you know who, read the Power Broker, to building highways instead of mass transit. We could have on of the following plans built.

800px-Nyc_subway_expansion_1920_map.jpgStatenIslandTunnel.jpg800px-1939_IND_Second_System.jpg800px-1929_IND_Second_System.jpg

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Trains running through DeKalb Av have never had a history of being reliable. Too many lines converging in one location will do that. That history is part of the reason why the Chrystie St connection was built in the first place. Whether it's the B, D, N, Q and R today or the N, QB, QT, RR, T and TT of yesterday, delays at DeKalb are unavoidable.

 

Also, Chrystie St was woefully needed to connect the former BMT and IND systems. The construction of the connection allowed for expansion of the 6th Avenue services across the Manhattan Bridge. As most of you know, prior to the opening of the connection, the bridge only carried Broadway services and an dwindling number of Nassau St loop trains. Ignoring this opportunity would've been quite a waste.

 

The connection also opened the door for direct 6th Avenue service to/from the Brighton and West End lines. Transfer connections are good and all, but when most of the riders are changing trains at Herald Sq for continuing service, perhaps a new transfer point is not the answer.

 

I'm talking about the fairly obvious missed opportunities (Queens Plaza/QBP, Atlantic and the IND, etc.) that would've made the system more usable.

 

At the end of the book Uptown, Downtown: A Trip Through Time on New York's Subways by Stan Fischler, he discusses how in the 1950s and 1960s with the growth of the automobile, millions were allocated by you know who, read the Power Broker, to building highways instead of mass transit. We could have on of the following plans built.

 

Realistically speaking, the Second System never made much particular sense from a cost-benefit perspective, and the first Daniel Turner plan was essentially just brainstorming/transit masturbation.

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Perhaps the biggest mistake, in terms of train reliability, was linking the IND and BMT via Chrystie St. It would've been better to build/rebuild convenient transfer complexes and maintain the three separate systems.

Good point.

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Personally, I hated Chrystie Street when it opened but not for the reason that was apparent at that time. Both the QJ (which I felt stood for Quit John as in Mayor John Lindsay) and the D train lines were too long and if a delay occurred, it would take much longer for train service to get back to normal. The QJ should have terminated at Brighton Beach and run express from Prospect Park to Brighton Beach instead of the D as the QJ ran Monday - Friday. It took many years and many changes with so many different routes over the years but finally the Brighton Line with the Q is back to what is a reasonable length and good service.

While I may dislike .Chrystie Street I feel that something had to be done as the south side of the Manhattan Bridge had only six trains in the AM and PM rush hours and that was it. Three R trains in the morning and the evening (Bankers Specials) and Three Brighton Chambers trains that were going into service were the only trains operating on that side.

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Personally, I hated Chrystie Street when it opened but not for the reason that was apparent at that time. Both the QJ (which I felt stood for Quit John as in Mayor John Lindsay) and the D train lines were too long and if a delay occurred, it would take much longer for train service to get back to normal. The QJ should have terminated at Brighton Beach and run express from Prospect Park to Brighton Beach instead of the D as the QJ ran Monday - Friday. It took many years and many changes with so many different routes over the years but finally the Brighton Line with the Q is back to what is a reasonable length and good service.

While I may dislike .Chrystie Street I feel that something had to be done as the south side of the Manhattan Bridge had only six trains in the AM and PM rush hours and that was it. Three R trains in the morning and the evening (Bankers Specials) and Three Brighton Chambers trains that were going into service were the only trains operating on that side.

An alternate would have been them building Second Avenue and connecting that to Chrystie instead of 6th Ave. Then, the Q and T would go up that way (The (T) would end up being the full length SAS just like in the current plan, yet still tied to its original West End foundation and the Q would probably be the Queens connection), and then the other side would still be switched to Bway, and the (N) and QB would be the same.

That of course wold have been much more money, and 6th Ave. was from them cheaping ot on it.

 

Another alt I once thought of, was an even cheaper build option of just increasing the capacity of the Nassau Loop. Two tracks would be for the bridge (As a two pocket terminal), and the other two for the Tunnel and Eastern Div. service.

So then, you would be able to have hwever much throughput you could have at a two track terminal (back in those days, they would probably say the max. 30tph). The Q, N, T would be the same, the TT through routed with the Eastern Div. (so you would have a TJ), and the increased south side bridge service an R express to 95th (in addition to the RR local), that would go via bridge both ways, in addition to the Brighton Banker's specials still, as well. 

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I'm talking about the fairly obvious missed opportunities (Queens Plaza/QBP, Atlantic and the IND, etc.) that would've made the system more usable.

 

 

Realistically speaking, the Second System never made much particular sense from a cost-benefit perspective, and the first Daniel Turner plan was essentially just brainstorming/transit masturbation.

Those opportunities still exist, though whether riders would utilize them remains to be seen. After all, they wouldn't be easy walking transfers, but rather more in line with the ones at 23 St (IND)/Court Sq (IRT) and Times Square/42 St-Port Authority.

 

However, to say that such transfers would've been better than adding sorely needed capacity is ludicrous. 6th Avenue had been operating at reduced capacity because of the lack of express tracks while Broadway was at capacity with everything from south Brooklyn with the exception of the (D) running up and down the line. Even with the severely reduced scope of the modified 1951 expansion plans, untangling DeKalb Av and sending some of those Broadway trains elsewhere were necessary.

 

The second system made sense as long as nothing interfered with the progress. Build a bunch of high-speed lines parallel, if not directly beneath, the existing elevated lines, drive out the competition with faster service and by keeping the fare artificially low so said competition cannot survive, then profit. Of course, such an expansion at the height of the Depression and at the onset of a world war will kill such ambition in a heartbeat, which is why the first system stalled in '37.

 

I agree with you on the Turner plans. There was no way on earth that many lines would've been built, even if there were no external forces preventing a large-scale subway expansion.

 

Personally, I hated Chrystie Street when it opened but not for the reason that was apparent at that time. Both the QJ (which I felt stood for Quit John as in Mayor John Lindsay) and the D train lines were too long and if a delay occurred, it would take much longer for train service to get back to normal. The QJ should have terminated at Brighton Beach and run express from Prospect Park to Brighton Beach instead of the D as the QJ ran Monday - Friday. It took many years and many changes with so many different routes over the years but finally the Brighton Line with the Q is back to what is a reasonable length and good service.

While I may dislike .Chrystie Street I feel that something had to be done as the south side of the Manhattan Bridge had only six trains in the AM and PM rush hours and that was it. Three R trains in the morning and the evening (Bankers Specials) and Three Brighton Chambers trains that were going into service were the only trains operating on that side.

If I was around during that time and used one of the south Brooklyn lines, I would've been pissed off with the Chrystie service too. Anything that didn't go to 6th Avenue went to Jamaica with the exception of the (N) and the extremely limited (QB). I don't count the (NX) because nobody rode that line. But seriously, whoever thought Jamaica needed three separate lines, five if we include the  :M: and  :KK:, was smoking some serious  (MJ).

 

An alternate would have been them building Second Avenue and connecting that to Chrystie instead of 6th Ave. Then, the Q and T would go up that way (The (T) would end up being the full length SAS just like in the current plan, yet still tied to its original West End foundation and the Q would probably be the Queens connection), and then the other side would still be switched to Bway, and the (N) and QB would be the same.

That of course wold have been much more money, and 6th Ave. was from them cheaping ot on it.

 

Another alt I once thought of, was an even cheaper build option of just increasing the capacity of the Nassau Loop. Two tracks would be for the bridge (As a two pocket terminal), and the other two for the Tunnel and Eastern Div. service.

So then, you would be able to have hwever much throughput you could have at a two track terminal (back in those days, they would probably say the max. 30tph). The Q, N, T would be the same, the TT through routed with the Eastern Div. (so you would have a TJ), and the increased south side bridge service an R express to 95th (in addition to the RR local), that would go via bridge both ways, in addition to the Brighton Banker's specials still, as well. 

I think that was the original idea from the '51 proposals, or at least something along those lines. While some service would've gone to 6th Avenue since something had to tie in with the new express tracks, south Brooklyn service would've likely been distributed between 2nd and 6th Avenues along with the Broadway line.

 

As for increasing capacity on the Nassau St loop, that would not have done anything useful. Besides, the loop had plenty of capacity since the only thing running there were a handful of  :RR: trains along with the (TT) running from Montague to Chambers St during the normal hours. In fact, that was the problem. With so little service running on the south tracks, and with so little demand for such a service in the first place, it created an imbalance in overall service and actually caused the Manhattan Bridge to list slightly to the north.

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I think the capacity was limited by the configuration at Chambers St. where trains coming off of the loop would have to cross over the through Nassau service. Which is probably why they only ran those 4th Ave. specials over the bridge (peak direction and returning through the tunnel; with the Brighton specials doing the reverse) in the first place. The (brownM) terminated there in the middle with the relay, the TT went through (they were supposed to terminate there and I guess relay in the loop, but I know at least some continued to ENY to return for the PM) along with the (J). So they really had no more room for more service on the loop.

 

Eliminating that crossover (I think there were plans to make J4 connect to R2 anyway which would keep the through Nassau/Centre service on that side of the station) would have increased the capacity at least for full two way service on that side of the bridge.

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Well there was a plan in the early years to connect Chambers from the south to the Brooklyn Bridge, wasn't there? Now that would have been a real freakshow.  Just imagine a train leaving Metropolitan, looping through Nassau, and looping back to Metropolitan via the lower Myrtle El.  Or a train going from Jamaica-168th, looping through Chambers and then looping again back to Jamaica through the Lexington El.  It's probably better they never went forward with the Brooklyn Bridge ramps... 

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What if the Archer Av extension was never built?

That's a good one...

 

 

Sent from my iPod touch using NYC Transit Forums mobile app

My best guess would be that the (E) ends at 179 St like before Archer and the (J)(Z) ending at QBL, with a possible extension to the LIRR station. Perhaps the new terminal would be set above the LIRR and Airtrain but that's my take.

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My best guess would be that the (E) ends at 179 St like before Archer and the (J)(Z) ending at QBL, with a possible extension to the LIRR station. Perhaps the new terminal would be set above the LIRR and Airtrain but that's my take.

Yeah. I'd guess that if the (J)(Z) were extended to the LIRR station, they would also have a station near where Jamaica-Van Wyck is currently (heck in that scenario they'd probably give it that name)

 

 

Sent from my iPod touch using NYC Transit Forums mobile app

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I thought the (J) would keep its terminal at 168 and there would still be skip stop to a degree

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What if the IND was not built and instead the BMT was expanded?

Then, first of all, many of  the els may have been kept and upgraded instead. Like we would have had the full Fulton el instead of the subway. I also used to imagine the BMT and IRT connected at City Hall, via a connecting piece along William St. (when it ran through), connecting to the Park Row line. Perhaps also extending past the City Hall terminal, through the tip of City Hall Park and across to the 6th Ave. el. So you would have a BMT el service mimicking the Chrystie subway services, with Bronx-Bklyn lines!

Also, the BMT would have gotten the CPW-Wash Hts. line (which would have probably replaced the 6th and 6th Ave. els, but you would still have something paralleling the (B) and (D) lines. Perhaps they would have also done Concourse). Someone would have had to build something on the Queens Corridor.

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