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Around the Horn

New RPA report calls for combining LIRR, NJ Transit and Metro-North into one rail network

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This has to be the second most ambitious plan I've ever seen (the first being the IND Second System)...

I'm including several articles and the RPA report below... Please do check it out when you've got the chance, it's some crazy but well though out stuff...

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New RPA report calls for combining LIRR, NJ Transit and Metro-North into one rail network

When NYC’s three commuter railroads–the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and Metro-North–were built more than a century ago when the metropolitan area was less than half its current size. Today, the systems are crumbling, both in their physical infrastructure and politics. The latest suggestion for how to fix the issues comes from a new Regional Plan Association report that wants to take advantage of the fact that these railroads “share an amalgamation of rail lines” and thereby create one integrated regional rail network. Dubbed T-REX, short for Trans-Regional Express, the 30-year, $71.4 billion proposal would add 60 new train stations and more than 200 miles of new tracks...

https://www.6sqft.com/new-rpa-report-calls-for-combining-lirr-nj-transit-and-metro-north-into-one-rail-network/

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Could this $71B T-Rex make future commuting problems extinct?

T-Rex is a massive commuter rail system expansion of existing NJ Transit, Long Island Railroad and Metro North lines to meet a projected 34 percent increase in suburban commuters to Manhattan by 2040. The RPA outlined the T-Rex when its Fourth Regional Plan was released in November and provided a detailed plan on Wednesday.

Could T-Rex save a region choking on its own congestion or will it go extinct on the heap of grand plans never built?

T-Rex proposes building more Hudson River and East River rail tunnels, creating two new subterranean rail lines under Manhattan and rehabbing long dormant rail lines in New Jersey. It would require New York and New Jersey's transit agencies to cooperate, so trains from any agency could run through Manhattan across the region.

"It's leveraging the commuter rail system and using it to augment and relieve congestion on transit systems, and to create express service," said Richard Barone, RPA vice president of transportation. "We see it as a multi-decade investment, that keeps going. We are digging ourselves out of a hole."

http://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/2018/04/could_this_71_b_t-rex_make_your_childrens_commutin.html

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Regional Plan Association rolls out more details on $71 billion rail overhaul

An influential planning group's plan to overhaul the New York metropolitan area's railroad infrastructure keeps getting more ambitious. And costlier.

The Regional Plan Association, a 95-year-old organization with considerable sway in the area, pegged the estimated cost at $71 billion on the multi-decade plan.

Among its highlights are more than 300 miles of new track and divides the system into three tiers: Metro, regional express and trans-regional limited.

Additional plans call for a subway-like service for the southern part of Westchester and three trains an hour or more during peak periods in both directions for much of the Lower Hudson Valley.

"What were suggesting here is you have to keep making investments, not just make one investment and walk away for the next 20 or 30 years," said Rich Barone, RPA's vice president for transportation.

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/transit/2018/04/18/regional-plan-association-rail-overhaul/524774002/

The RPA report can be found at this link: http://library.rpa.org/pdf/RPA-Trans-Regional-Express-T-REX.pdf

Pages 37-44 cover most of the operational side and include maps...

The "central area" looks like this:

RPA-TREX-lead-e1524074623117.jpg

 

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Finding funding for this would be a nightmare.

 

Also... "Oyster Bay to West Hempstead Light Rail"??? Really?

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11 hours ago, P3F said:

Finding funding for this would be a nightmare.

 

Also... "Oyster Bay to West Hempstead Light Rail"??? Really?

That's what I said... Another pie in the sky project... <_<

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12 hours ago, P3F said:

Finding funding for this would be a nightmare.

Everywhere else will say to simply bill NYC for the whole thing.

 

 

12 hours ago, P3F said:

Also... "Oyster Bay to West Hempstead Light Rail"??? Really?

Oyster Bay doesn't even want buses (except when needed to cover for LIRR trains).

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35 minutes ago, B35 via Church said:

 

gabcvFz.gif

 

 

LOL, that looks a little like the Grand Central Parkway between the Kew Gardens Interchange and Parsons Blvd.

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Hence 'Regional Pot Association.'

Oh well, such amenities would indeed be nice...

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I like how they have Union Hall Street in use again. Jamaica LIRR is far from Jamaica Center in terms of convenience. Also, Jamaica Center is not close enough to 165th Street/Merrick Blvd, they should not have cut back the (J) only to end it at Parsons Blvd. Merrick Blvd should have been the terminal at least.

They split the bus network between the 165th St Bus Terminal and Jamaica Center and makes getting around more difficult than it has to be. Yes, there is the old Greenline routes but they take forever because they're picking up everyone to go to Southside Queens. The Q43 snails along Hillside and Sutphin. It would be nice to just be able to catch the (J) at 165th street and access the LIRR/CBD at Union Hall St.

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1 hour ago, LGA Link N train said:

I'm not gonna lie, some of the stuff they propose does look nice. Though I have mixed feelings for some of their proposals like how they want to send trains to JFK using the RBB. 

I do like the fact that they use the 3rd Avenue corridor though that just makes the Grand Central Spur of the Metro North look redundant

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We can't get two agencies to collaborate on rebuilding a subway station when a couple of buildings collapse on it. Now we want to get three agencies to work together to form one comprehensive rail network? Yeah, okay, sure. Pull the other one, it's got bells on it.

Edited by Lance
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3 hours ago, Lance said:

We can't get two agencies to collaborate on rebuilding a subway station when a couple of buildings collapse on it. Now we want to get three agencies to work together to form one comprehensive rail network? Yeah, okay, sure. Pull the other one, it's got bells on it.

That may be true today (it is), but that attitude isn't going to get us anything other than the status quo. I don't agree with much of the minutiae of the RPA T-Rex proposal, but the basic premise is exactly right: we should leverage capacity on regional rail tracks to get more people around the region on public transit, and make journeys across the wider area much easier. It's been proven around the world, and for a growing region, New York (and surrounding area) is severely lagging behind.

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1 hour ago, officiallyliam said:

That may be true today (it is), but that attitude isn't going to get us anything other than the status quo. I don't agree with much of the minutiae of the RPA T-Rex proposal, but the basic premise is exactly right: we should leverage capacity on regional rail tracks to get more people around the region on public transit, and make journeys across the wider area much easier. It's been proven around the world, and for a growing region, New York (and surrounding area) is severely lagging behind.

I'm not up to speed on the major rail systems worldwide so perhaps you and other folks can help me out.  It appears that the most successful examples are regional to some extent but I'm not knowledgeable about specific boundaries. I think what Lance is alluding to is this metropolitan area.  An intra-state or national plan is a magnitude easier to implement compared with the multiple agencies and different types of equipment and power requirements we have in this region.  Throw in the various political fiefdoms involved and I think Lance is spot on.  Three states, three governors,  mayors and county executives,  and agency heads are not  willingly giving up anything without being forced to.  That's just the reality in this region today.  Good luck trying to pry that " clout" from those politicos. Forget whatever merits the plan has. A national plan from Amtrak down to the local rail and bus system is my ideal, lol. Just my thoughts though. Carry on. 

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15 hours ago, officiallyliam said:

That may be true today (it is), but that attitude isn't going to get us anything other than the status quo. I don't agree with much of the minutiae of the RPA T-Rex proposal, but the basic premise is exactly right: we should leverage capacity on regional rail tracks to get more people around the region on public transit, and make journeys across the wider area much easier. It's been proven around the world, and for a growing region, New York (and surrounding area) is severely lagging behind.

I'm not against the overarching plan here; I just don't think it's feasible given the infighting within each agency and the turf wars between the three agencies that would be involved in this proposal. Prove to me they can all work together beyond a 9/11 or Sandy type of emergency situation and then I'll be convinced of this actually working.

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32 minutes ago, Lance said:

I'm not against the overarching plan here; I just don't think it's feasible given the infighting within each agency and the turf wars between the three agencies that would be involved in this proposal. Prove to me they can all work together beyond a 9/11 or Sandy type of emergency situation and then I'll be convinced of this actually working.

If enough money is behind it, it'll get done. Eventually the powers that be in NYC will realize that our transit system hasn't changed since 1940, and that if they want to keep any investment beyond 2050, they've got to expand it. Then, all the real estate people, hedge fund types, chambers of commerce and civic improvement groups will have a kumbaya moment, and do the exact thing that we did 110 years ago -- force siloed transit powers to cooperate in the furtherance of some civic good. This is already beginning to happen, at least the public/private part. Look at 1 Vanderbilt, Hudson Yards, Atlantic Terminal, even AECOM's Red Hook thing. That is private capital realizing that for anything to get done, they need to force us bureaucrats to see the city as more than a constellation of fiefdoms. 

Not to denigrate pragmatism, but this sort of obsession with minute increments of progress is part of transit's problem in New York. We don't make grand plans anymore. Yes, that's a function of financial reality, but I'd wager a good sum that if the MTA proposed something truly wild (imagine a modern Second System type thing), there'd be a whole lot more political and economic will to get shit done. We need some vision -- like LA's Measure M -- that brings something for everyone, because otherwise the majority of voters and taxpayers will remain violently apathetic about transit expansion; they'll have no clear reason to care. In short, I don't think our current system stagnation is just a financial problem. It's a vicious cycle of political apathy, financial intransigence and shrinkage. 

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