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Around the Horn

Bay Ridge area politicians call for split R train

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18 hours ago, Deucey said:

Random “out there” thought:

Any reason (MTA) shouldn’t consider converting the Astoria Line to IRT spec and making it a (7) spur, and running (N) to 96th with (Q)?

 

Assuming the BMT trains are sent to Flushing instead, it's not a terrible idea because most Flushing riders transfer at Queensboro Plaza today. The major downside is that the (7) wouldn't have a yard.

51 minutes ago, RR503 said:

The most compelling argument for keeping the (R) is not so much access to Broadway -- 6th/8th get most of its service area, transfers are available at Lex-63, and the (6) at 51 can cover whatever is left -- but keeping the connection to Lex express trains at Lex-59 for Lower Manhattan commuters. Would it be the worst thing from a systemic point of view if Queens Boulevard-Lower Manhattan riders were pushed to alternate routes south? No, and if we're doing some flavor of (N) to Queens Boulevard, they could still transfer at 14. But it's nevertheless a good sized market, which is why the 63-59 transfer is so often brought up in these discussions. 

At 3 blocks, 60 St to 63 St is closer than PABT to Times Sq and thus the transfer really should be built. Then Lex Ave express / QBL express riders can transfer to each other and SAS riders can access the (6) until lower SAS is built.

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1 hour ago, bwwnyc123 said:

(R) is needed on Queens Blvd Line to provide one seat Broadway service to and from Manhattan without transferring to another train.

 

It depends really. A significant amount of people still transfer from the (R) at Lex/59th for the (4) or (5). And that’s probably way better than taking the (E) to Lex/53rd and transferring to the (6) followed by transferring to the (4)(5) at Grand Central. I know I preferred to transfer at 59th. But then, I boarded the (R) at 67th Ave back when I lived in Forest Hills.

If there’s really a need to keep the (R) on QBL, it should take on the form of a Forest Hills-Whitehall service. It could keep the (R) designation or R could stay with the 4th Ave local service to/from the Nassau St Line, while the FH-Whitehall service gets a different letter. 

53 minutes ago, Jemorie said:

The (R) is also a local counterpart/feeder line as the Queens Blvd local tracks feed onto the Broadway local tracks, which in turn feed onto the 4th Avenue local tracks. The local tracks stretch the entire length of all three corridors mention. If you need express service, that's what the (E) and (F) is for in Queens, as well as the (N) in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

But it doesn’t need to be doing triple-duty on three of the subway’s busy trunk lines. Most of the other B-Division local train are local on no more than two trunk lines. Prior to May 1987, so was the (R).

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21 minutes ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Prior to May 1987, so was the (R).

Sure, if we don't count 1961-67 at all...

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2 hours ago, R68OnBroadway said:

Care to elaborate?

With the way everything is set up (Brooklyn yards being in all the wrong places, Broadway Line stations along 60th Street needing service, no decent places to turn trains in Midtown in addition to merging conflicts at QBP, etc.), getting it off of Queens Boulevard is an exercise in futility.

Considering that this was in response to the IRT reclaiming the Astoria Line, you can imagine the impact that reversion would have.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Lex said:

Sure, if we don't count 1961-67 at all...

And your point is...

The 1961-67 :RR: didn’t serve QBL on weekends, anyway. Same for the (EE) and (N) service that ran on QBL between ‘67 and ‘87. Unfortunately I don’t have time to do research into how reliable those three services were compared to today’s (R).

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue

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40 minutes ago, Lex said:

With the way everything is set up (Brooklyn yards being in all the wrong places, Broadway Line stations along 60th Street needing service, no decent places to turn trains in Midtown in addition to merging conflicts at QBP, etc.), getting it off of Queens Boulevard is an exercise in futility.

Considering that this was in response to the IRT reclaiming the Astoria Line, you can imagine the impact that reversion would have.

Any plan involving taking the (R) off QBL would involve sending it to Astoria (with the switches there being rearranged). The (R) could use CI or 36th as a yard; even though there would be no direct access, deadheading wouldn’t kill the line.

As for the loss of QBL-60th service, you could just add a passageway between Lex/63 and Lex/59; even without that you have the (E) at Times Square and the (Q) to the (F) at 57th (with the shuttle modernization project would be able to make a direct transfer to the (F)(M) in a few years).

Converting Astoria to IRT specs is a terrible idea (it would make far more sense to convert the (7) to B div specs, but that’s not a priority nor a good way to spend money given all the other issues at the MTA.

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2 hours ago, Caelestor said:

Assuming the BMT trains are sent to Flushing instead, it's not a terrible idea because most Flushing riders transfer at Queensboro Plaza today. The major downside is that the (7) wouldn't have a yard.

Meh. You could run it like interlined buses (buses that change routes at the terminal (like how S52 switches to S42, and vice versa)) - (7) Astoria spur runs to 34th, then out to Flushing as <7> or normal (7), and normal (7) or <7> from Flushing goes on the Astoria spur - akin to how every other peak  direction train is either (6) or <6>.

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44 minutes ago, Deucey said:

Meh. You could run it like interlined buses (buses that change routes at the terminal (like how S52 switches to S42, and vice versa)) - (7) Astoria spur runs to 34th, then out to Flushing as <7> or normal (7), and normal (7) or <7> from Flushing goes on the Astoria spur - akin to how every other peak  direction train is either (6) or <6>.

I don’t understand this proposal. Flushing uses every last square inch in its 29 peak trains per hour, and the peak load point lies east of QBP. How are you going to make up for the lost capacity if you’re sending (7)s to Astoria....? What’s wrong with today’s service pattern? 

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9 minutes ago, RR503 said:

I don’t understand this proposal. Flushing uses every last square inch in its 29 peak trains per hour, and the peak load point lies east of QBP. How are you going to make up for the lost capacity if you’re sending (7)s to Astoria....? What’s wrong with today’s service pattern? 

I was Wallyhorsing.

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8 minutes ago, Deucey said:

I was Wallyhorsing.

Can’t argue with that! 

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3 hours ago, R68OnBroadway said:

Any plan involving taking the (R) off QBL would involve sending it to Astoria (with the switches there being rearranged). The (R) could use CI or 36th as a yard; even though there would be no direct access, deadheading wouldn’t kill the line.

3 hours ago, Lex said:

Brooklyn yards being in all the wrong places

 

Keep in mind that we're talking about a route in constant operation. It would need to be able to deadhead to a poorly-placed yard for its route with no hope of access from the south without backtracking (and creating more delays in the process, meaning that put-ins can only somewhat work in one direction). If this is under (generally) increased frequencies, then that only creates a situation where moves would need to be flawless in order to avoid delaying everything (and even under optimal conditions, that's asking a lot, as anything can derail said conditions, creating a mess). Hell, it's bad enough that we've had a more limited form of it by virtue of using 38th Street as a satellite facility for Jamaica, but turning that into a major pattern (or reverting to the way things were done during those periods the (R) didn't serve Queens Boulevard)?

Hard. Pass.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Lex said:

Keep in mind that we're talking about a route in constant operation. It would need to be able to deadhead to a poorly-placed yard for its route with no hope of access from the south without backtracking (and creating more delays in the process, meaning that put-ins can only somewhat work in one direction). If this is under (generally) increased frequencies, then that only creates a situation where moves would need to be flawless in order to avoid delaying everything (and even under optimal conditions, that's asking a lot, as anything can derail said conditions, creating a mess). Hell, it's bad enough that we've had a more limited form of it by virtue of using 38th Street as a satellite facility for Jamaica, but turning that into a major pattern (or reverting to the way things were done during those periods the (R) didn't serve Queens Boulevard)?

Hard. Pass.

This service pattern worked for years at frequencies immensely higher than those today, and we do in fact still operate a lot of service in this way. There are (R) trains which, every morning, go to 36, reverse, and head down to Bay Ridge. No sweat — express service on 4th doesn’t start until 6:15, and if you installed the other half of the crossover at 36 (or, better yet, a crossover between the express tracks at 59), you’d have until after 7:00 to get your put ins out, as southbound express service doesn't begin until then.  

But this doesn’t do justice to the complexity of this story: there are a lot of places along the 4th/Broadway/Astoria corridors where you can stash layups. 86 St spur, City Hall Yard and the Astoria middle track all can pull their weight, allowing you to reduce your reliance on yard put ins. I think it was (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong) in fact, the heavy use of these online storage areas for off-peak train storage that sealed the decline of the original (R) to Astoria service pattern: these trains were easy targets for graffiti artists of the era, and management wanted them put somewhere easier to protect for the night. That isn’t an issue now.

Would this service pattern be made a hell of a lot easier with a yard in Astoria? Yeah, absolutely. But it isn’t inoperable, either. 

Edited by RR503
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1 hour ago, RR503 said:

This service pattern worked for years at frequencies immensely higher than those today, and we do in fact still operate a lot of service in this way. There are (R) trains which, every morning, go to 36, reverse, and head down to Bay Ridge. No sweat — express service on 4th doesn’t start until 6:15, and if you installed the other half of the crossover at 36 (or, better yet, a crossover between the express tracks at 59), you’d have until after 7:00 to get your put ins out, as southbound express service doesn't begin until then.  

But this doesn’t do justice to the complexity of this story: there are a lot of places along the 4th/Broadway/Astoria corridors where you can stash layups. 86 St spur, City Hall Yard and the Astoria middle track all can pull their weight, allowing you to reduce your reliance on yard put ins. I think it was (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong) in fact, the heavy use of these online storage areas for off-peak train storage that sealed the decline of the original (R) to Astoria service pattern: these trains were easy targets for graffiti artists of the era, and management wanted them put somewhere easier to protect for the night. That isn’t an issue now.

Would this service pattern be made a hell of a lot easier with a yard in Astoria? Yeah, absolutely. But it isn’t inoperable, either. 

Let me put it a different way.

Look at the B25. Now imagine that route coming out of Ulmer Park. You would immediately question why that's being done, particularly since it has almost nothing to do with anything else over there. You would instead have it come out of a depot that it would have fairly easy access to. Of course, you wouldn't want it to be in a position where it would require specific access at all hours (in case 💩 hits the fan or general storage/maintenance are needed) and trying to perform those related moves puts it at high risk of delaying other routes along with potentially delaying the relevant one. (Before you say anything about this, I'm well aware that buses are not limited to certain paths and facilities in the same way that trains are, but the point is that what you're trying to push is going to combine several problems at once for no reason, including the fact that it would require certain service patterns to begin only after the moves are finished.)

If you really want me to support anything of the sort, then we would need a storage and maintenance facility in Astoria as well as ample storage space in Bay Ridge in order to be able to facilitate ample service on the route without risking whatever integrity that and surrounding routes have. I will accept nothing less, as that is the only way to keep it from being a cop-out.

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Posted (edited)

Imagine if (R) didn't serve Queens Blvd then riders would be forced to transfer to the (7) at Roosevelt Av/74 St to get to (N)(W) at Queensborough Plaza, or 42 St Times Sq. (E)(F)(M) would suffer from overcrowding and use Court Sq as a Transfer point between (7)(G)(E)(M) lines.

Edited by bwwnyc123

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7 hours ago, Lex said:

Look at the B25. Now imagine that route coming out of Ulmer Park. You would immediately question why that's being done, particularly since it has almost nothing to do with anything else over there. You would instead have it come out of a depot that it would have fairly easy access to. Of course, you wouldn't want it to be in a position where it would require specific access at all hours (in case 💩 hits the fan or general storage/maintenance are needed) and trying to perform those related moves puts it at high risk of delaying other routes along with potentially delaying the relevant one. (Before you say anything about this, I'm well aware that buses are not limited to certain paths and facilities in the same way that trains are, but the point is that what you're trying to push is going to combine several problems at once for no reason, including the fact that it would require certain service patterns to begin only after the moves are finished.)

No disagreement that it’d be _nice_ to have  storage along the line. But again, not a need. For one, there’s no need to run (or not to run) any service pattern when taking trains into/out of service on our imaginary route. You can simply put trains into service at 59 or 36 nb or take them out at those stations sb — the reverse move exists simply to hasten trains to/from Bay Ridge before AM/after PM rushes. And once again, you can fulfill much of your service requirement with ad-hoc facilities along the line — you can even stage gap trains at some of those locations if you’re particularly worried about access to yards for gap filling. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Lex said:

Let me put it a different way.

Look at the B25. Now imagine that route coming out of Ulmer Park. You would immediately question why that's being done, particularly since it has almost nothing to do with anything else over there. You would instead have it come out of a depot that it would have fairly easy access to. Of course, you wouldn't want it to be in a position where it would require specific access at all hours (in case 💩 hits the fan or general storage/maintenance are needed) and trying to perform those related moves puts it at high risk of delaying other routes along with potentially delaying the relevant one. (Before you say anything about this, I'm well aware that buses are not limited to certain paths and facilities in the same way that trains are, but the point is that what you're trying to push is going to combine several problems at once for no reason, including the fact that it would require certain service patterns to begin only after the moves are finished.)

If you really want me to support anything of the sort, then we would need a storage and maintenance facility in Astoria as well as ample storage space in Bay Ridge in order to be able to facilitate ample service on the route without risking whatever integrity that and surrounding routes have. I will accept nothing less, as that is the only way to keep it from being a cop-out.

I don’t understand how either splitting the (R) or making a 24/7 (R) (or (W)) between Bay Ridge and Astoria with a storage yard at 38th Street, Brooklyn is a cop-out. The MTA already has made long term plans to use that space for revenue storage. Trains going out of service for the night can end their revenue runs at 36th St going southbound and run light to the yard. Since relatively few trains per line are needed for overnight service, this really shouldn’t be an issue. I disagree that 38th Street Yard would be in the wrong place. If nothing else, it would be closer to the (R) route than Jamaica Yard is. OOS trains headed to Jamaica from 71st must deadhead some distance to get to the yard leads, which are in Kew Gardens by Union Turnpike. If faster access to 38th is truly needed for northbound trains, then either install switches that permit (R) trains to get to the express tracks and reverse out of 36th quicker, or build a track between 38th and 39th streets connecting the northbound local track to the (D) line in the open cut between 4th and 5th avenues.

4 hours ago, bwwnyc123 said:

Imagine if (R) didn't serve Queens Blvd then riders would be forced to transfer to the (7) at Roosevelt Av/74 St to get to (N)(W) at Queensborough Plaza, or 42 St Times Sq. (E)(F)(M) would suffer from overcrowding and use Court Sq as a Transfer point between (7)(G)(E)(M) lines.

If you remove the (R) from Queens Blvd and don’t replace it with another service, then yes, the (E)(M) would have to take on the additional riders from the (R), potentially overwhelming Lex/53rd. The (F), not so much, as few people will be willing to exit the subway at 63rd to use the out-of-system transfer at 59th. That’s why there would still be a fourth QBL service. That service could either be a Broadway Local terminating at Whitehall (either still called (R) or with a different letter), or it could be a QB local that goes to the 8th Avenue Line (displacing the (M) to the 63rd Street tunnel).

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, bwwnyc123 said:

Imagine if (R) didn't serve Queens Blvd then riders would be forced to transfer to the (7) at Roosevelt Av/74 St to get to (N)(W) at Queensborough Plaza, or 42 St Times Sq. (E)(F)(M) would suffer from overcrowding and use Court Sq as a Transfer point between (7)(G)(E)(M) lines.

If that’s the case, then you’ll have to introduce a new service in order to reduce such crowding. One that was discussed here often was an (E)(F)(K)(M) service pattern where the (K) will replace the (M) on 53rd Street and the (M) is rerouted via 63rd Street. But then you’ll have a new bottleneck between 36th Street and Queens Plaza/Queensbridge. That shouldn’t be a problem if you reschedule trains and whe CBTC come online. 

Edited by LaGuardia Link N Tra

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On 6/20/2019 at 12:40 PM, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

If that’s the case, then you’ll have to introduce a new service in order to reduce such crowding. One that was discussed here often was an (E)(F)(K)(M) service pattern where the (K) will replace the (M) on 53rd Street and the (M) is rerouted via 63rd Street. But then you’ll have a new bottleneck between 36th Street and Queens Plaza/Queensbridge. That shouldn’t be a problem if you reschedule trains and whe CBTC come online. 

Removing (R) Line from QBL would be a terrible idea, I Take the (R) a lot.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, subwayfan1998 said:

Removing (R) Line from QBL would be a terrible idea, I Take the (R) a lot.

I guess in order to keep a Broadway service on the QBL, you could do:

(N) Coney Island-Forest Hills via 63 St and QBL Local and have the (E)(F)(M) run as normal. This would deinterline Broadway at 34, provide QBL with Broadway service, and allow (R)(W) to almost maximize Astoria capacity but would create bottlenecks with the (F) and (M) , and attempting to remove the bottleneck with the (M) would result in not being able to ride locally between Queens Plaza and stops west of Jackson Heights or ride express between 21 St and Jackson Heights. You could, theoretically, with the help of CBTC, have the (G) cover the local stops between Queens Plaza and Jackson Heights, like this:

(N) Coney Island-179 St via 63 St and QBL Local

(M) Metropolitan Av-Forest Hills via 63 St and QBL Local

(G) Church Av-Forest Hills via Crosstown and QBL Local

(E) same

(F) Coney Island-179 St via 53 St and QBL Express

but that might be a bit overkill in terms of service on QBL and just creates another merge, at which point it would probably be more beneficial to have the (N) QBL Local and leave the (E)(F)(M) as normal. But who knows?

Additionally, any rerouting of the (R) or (W) to the QBL would mean a loss in Astoria service assuming the Broadway line is deinterlined. So, the Broadway line kind of has to be interlined for any Broadway service on QBL to make sense, unless folks would actually be willing to bring the (N) there. Even doing so, however, would mean you lose access to 5 Av-59 St and Lexington Av-59 St, although both stops are pretty close to Lexington Av-63 St.

Edited by Bay Ridge Express

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3 hours ago, Bay Ridge Express said:

I guess in order to keep a Broadway service on the QBL, you could do:

(N) Coney Island-Forest Hills via 63 St and QBL Local and have the (E)(F)(M) run as normal. This would deinterline Broadway at 34, provide QBL with Broadway service, and allow (R)(W) to almost maximize Astoria capacity but would create bottlenecks with the (F) and (M) , and attempting to remove the bottleneck with the (M) would result in not being able to ride locally between Queens Plaza and stops west of Jackson Heights or ride express between 21 St and Jackson Heights. You could, theoretically, with the help of CBTC, have the (G) cover the local stops between Queens Plaza and Jackson Heights, like this:

(N) Coney Island-179 St via 63 St and QBL Local

(M) Metropolitan Av-Forest Hills via 63 St and QBL Local

(G) Church Av-Forest Hills via Crosstown and QBL Local

(E) same

(F) Coney Island-179 St via 53 St and QBL Express

but that might be a bit overkill in terms of service on QBL and just creates another merge, at which point it would probably be more beneficial to have the (N) QBL Local and leave the (E)(F)(M) as normal. But who knows?

Additionally, any rerouting of the (R) or (W) to the QBL would mean a loss in Astoria service assuming the Broadway line is deinterlined. So, the Broadway line kind of has to be interlined for any Broadway service on QBL to make sense, unless folks would actually be willing to bring the (N) there. Even doing so, however, would mean you lose access to 5 Av-59 St and Lexington Av-59 St, although both stops are pretty close to Lexington Av-63 St.

Why would you have the (N) operate via 63rd St? That causes nothing but bottlenecks.

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1 hour ago, Lawrence St said:

Why would you have the (N) operate via 63rd St? That causes nothing but bottlenecks.

I was going over the possible options to keep Broadway service on QBL while still deinterlining Broadway.

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5 minutes ago, Bay Ridge Express said:

I was going over the possible options to keep Broadway service on QBL while still deinterlining Broadway.

You deinterline Broadway this way but also cause a cascade of bottlenecks at 63rd St because of the constant switching between the (M)(Q) and (N) .

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, subwayfan1998 said:

Removing (R) Line from QBL would be a terrible idea, I Take the (R) a lot.

Fair enough. I’m sure if there’s a sizable number of QBL riders whose destination lies near the Broadway Line and far from the 6th or 8th Avenue lines, then a Broadway/QB local service should stay there. There certainly was a reason the NYCTA opened up the connection between the QB line and the 60th Street Tunnel back in 1955.

But should that service continue to be the current (R) train to/from Bay Ridge? I don’t think it should. To its defenders, the current (R) sounds like an efficient use of the existing trains and trackage. But between the long, all-local route, plus the many merges and signal, track and mechanical delays, the current (R) service has become so unreliable. Year in and year out. Well before Sandy. People could dismiss this as nothing more than just a bunch of griping or railfans just trying to tear up the subway map to run a service according to their own personal likes. But if that really were the case, then why has there been so much complaining over the (R) line over the years? And why does it keep recurring?

Maybe it is the current route. Maybe it really is time to try something different. 

12 hours ago, Bay Ridge Express said:

I guess in order to keep a Broadway service on the QBL, you could do:

(N) Coney Island-Forest Hills via 63 St and QBL Local and have the (E)(F)(M) run as normal. This would deinterline Broadway at 34, provide QBL with Broadway service, and allow (R)(W) to almost maximize Astoria capacity but would create bottlenecks with the (F) and (M) , and attempting to remove the bottleneck with the (M) would result in not being able to ride locally between Queens Plaza and stops west of Jackson Heights or ride express between 21 St and Jackson Heights. You could, theoretically, with the help of CBTC, have the (G) cover the local stops between Queens Plaza and Jackson Heights, like this:

...

Additionally, any rerouting of the (R) or (W) to the QBL would mean a loss in Astoria service assuming the Broadway line is deinterlined. So, the Broadway line kind of has to be interlined for any Broadway service on QBL to make sense, unless folks would actually be willing to bring the (N) there. Even doing so, however, would mean you lose access to 5 Av-59 St and Lexington Av-59 St, although both stops are pretty close to Lexington Av-63 St.

Still though, I don’t think sending the (N) via 63 to QBL is better, simply because of the multiple merges that would be required to run it. And you wouldn’t be able to run additional service for 2nd Avenue. 

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue

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