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Around the Horn

Bay Ridge area politicians call for split R train

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1 hour ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

I’m not quite sure what you mean by fixing the issues making 4th Ave local stations “intolerable.” If you’re talking about the physical condition of the stations themselves, judging by the recent rehabilitation of Prospect Ave, 53rd St and Bay Ridge Ave, it seems like the MTA is addressing that issue. Slowly. 

But even if they rehab all of the 4th Ave local stops, what good will it do if the sole 24/7 train line serving them continues to be plagued by signal problems at Grand Ave, sick passengers at Roosevelt, taking too long to get in, out and back in to 71st-Continental, etc.? It’s not about so much about recreating old BMT services as it is about providing that is much more predictable and reliable. The current (R) service is neither. Perhaps an Astoria (R) would be the best improvement, as opposed to a split. But no one at the MTA has even considered that.

Right.  The (R)'s problem's in Queens are why I came up with this new (K) / (Z) from 95th-Essex (with any trains going to/coming from East New York Yard, where such trains would be based running in service between Broadway Junction and Essex in addition to its normal route).  This would be in addition to the current (R) (meaning more service on 4th Avenue overall) and replace the (R) late nights since this new line would be 24/7.  

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Just an opinion, don't go shooting arrows at me (just kidding of course) but:

I personally never really considered a Nassau Street Line running via 4th Avenue again because before 2010, (brownM) ridership along West End and 4th Avenue was very minimal. However considering how most Brooklyn (R) riders transfer to the (B)(D)(N)(Q) & IRT lines between DeKalb Avenue and 59th Street, it sort of seems like the most practical option.

Possible Option:

  • (J)(Z): Jamaica Center <> Bay Ridge-95 St via Jamaica Skip-Stop Express/Nassau Street-4th Avenue Local, Rush Hours. Other times, (J) Jamaica Center <> Bay Ridge-95th Street via Jamaica-Nassau Street-4th Avenue Local.

 

  • Pros: 
  1. Due to minimal interlining (only interlining with the (M) at Essex Street and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway versus the (R) interlining with the (M) at Queens Plaza, (N)(W) at the 60th Street Tube, (N) at 34th Street-Herald Square, (W) at Whitehall Street and more recently (D) at 36th Street after 7PM due to Work Train assembly and (N) at 59th & 36th Streets due to construction that causes the (N) to stop at 45th & 53rd Street) delays and horrendous service gaps of 15 minutes+ would be reduced.
  2. Direct South Brooklyn & Nassau Street service would be restored.
  3. Direct South Brooklyn <> North Brooklyn service (believe it or not, I know many people including myself that would highly benefit from this).
  4.  Nassau Street and Lower Manhattan Broadway stations are very close in proximity, minimal impact to Lower Manhattan riders.
  5. Direct access to major hubs such as the Fulton Street Transit Center, City Hall & more Chinatown access. 
  6. If the few Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO riders really rely on Broadway Service, a transfer would be available at DeKalb Avenue or Canal Street to Broadway Services.
  7. Bay Ridge and 4th Avenue riders would finally ride on newer upgraded fleet, a step up from, the dingy R46's.
  • Cons:
  1. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe as a terminal, Bay Ridge-95th Street can only turn around so many trains an hour (I think the number is around 10). The (J)(Z) combined run a total 12 trains an hour (a frequency of 5 minutes). If 10 trains per hour is the maximum capacity that Bay Ridge-95th Street can turn around, 2 (J) and/or (Z) trips would have to be short turned at Broad Street, causing a slight gap in Rush Hour Service in Southern Brooklyn.
  2. If the short turn option is a no-go, then the (J)(Z) would have to be reduced to a combined 10 trains per hour (a frequency of 6 minutes) which doesn't seem bad at first glance, but riders along the Jamaica Line would experience 12 minute frequencies (average 6 minute wait times) at Skip-Stop Stations. I don't think Jamaica riders would be too enthusiastic about that. However I believe it can be done because if you recall the (J)(Z) was in fact going to be reduced to 10 trains per hour as apart of the 14 Street Tube Shutdown Plan to make room for beefed up (M) service.
  3. The (J)(Z) would deal with more interlining due to all temporary construction along 4th Avenue, may cause delays to ripple along the entire Jamaica-Nassau Line.
  4. May ironically turn into another long Local Queens through Brooklyn line where a delay in Queens may cause delays to ripple all the way to Bay Ridge, thus solving nothing.
  • (R): Forest Hills-71 Avenue <> Whitehall Street, all times except Late Nights (see (N)).
  • Pros: 
  1. Less Interlining = more reliable service.
  2. Short, Sweet and to the point Local line connecting Queens and Manhattan.
  • Cons:
  1. May have to short turn trips at Canal Street during Peak-Hours if Whitehall can't handle the 7.5 trains per hour (frequency of 8 minutes) that the (R) currently runs during Rush Hours. (May not be an issue considering the (W) runs a single train per hour less.)
  2. Reduced service south of Canal Street (back to post-2010 through pre-2016 frequencies) with only the (R) serving lower Manhattan.

 

  • (N): Astoria-Ditmars Blvd <> Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue via Broadway Local/4th Avenue Express, all times except Late Nights. Late Nights, (N) Astoria-Ditmars Blvd <> Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue via Whitehall Street to compensate for loss of late night service south of Canal Street (unless Late Night Queens through Manhattan (R) service could be considered). Peak Service would have to be beefed up from 7.5 trains per hour (frequency of 8 minutes) to about 12 trains per hour (frequency of 6 minutes) to compensate for the loss of the (W).
  • Pros: 
  1. Extra (N) service along the route, especially for Sea Beach Riders.
  • Cons:
  1. May need to Short-Turn trains at Kings Highway or 86th Street-Gravesend during Peak Hours (not a huge deal in my opinion) due to beefed up service.
  2. Beefed headways can cause more congestion on the Manhattan Bridge and Merge from the Express to the Local tracks along Broadway, delaying (Q) service.
  3. Absorption of the (W) would upset the many lovers of the line (including I).

 

  • (W): Retired, much to my dismay, but if the MTA comply's with Bay Ridge's demands, I feel there is just no room for the (W) in this scenario.

 

In conclusion, there is no perfect way to solve the unpredictable service along the 4th Avenue Line. Chances are, the best service pattern for the aforementioned riders... is the one we currently have now!

It remains a very damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. It is very possible that there is no perfect solution with the way the subway system was built over a century ago. There just isn't enough time or money to reconfigure the subway system to meet 2019's demands. 

Thats just my 2 cents, I don't feel that the (MTA) is going to rearrange service, it is probably fine left just the way it is, even though it is pretty crappy. It's the best that can be done.

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1 hour ago, R32s said:

Just an opinion, don't go shooting arrows at me (just kidding of course) but:

I personally never really considered a Nassau Street Line running via 4th Avenue again because before 2010, (brownM) ridership along West End and 4th Avenue was very minimal. However considering how most Brooklyn (R) riders transfer to the (B)(D)(N)(Q) & IRT lines between DeKalb Avenue and 59th Street, it sort of seems like the most practical option.

Possible Option:

  • (J)(Z): Jamaica Center <> Bay Ridge-95 St via Jamaica Skip-Stop Express/Nassau Street-4th Avenue Local, Rush Hours. Other times, (J) Jamaica Center <> Bay Ridge-95th Street via Jamaica-Nassau Street-4th Avenue Local.

 

  • Pros: 
  1. Due to minimal interlining (only interlining with the (M) at Essex Street and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway versus the (R) interlining with the (M) at Queens Plaza, (N)(W) at the 60th Street Tube, (N) at 34th Street-Herald Square, (W) at Whitehall Street and more recently (D) at 36th Street after 7PM due to Work Train assembly and (N) at 59th & 36th Streets due to construction that causes the (N) to stop at 45th & 53rd Street) delays and horrendous service gaps of 15 minutes+ would be reduced.
  2. Direct South Brooklyn & Nassau Street service would be restored.
  3. Direct South Brooklyn <> North Brooklyn service (believe it or not, I know many people including myself that would highly benefit from this).
  4.  Nassau Street and Lower Manhattan Broadway stations are very close in proximity, minimal impact to Lower Manhattan riders.
  5. Direct access to major hubs such as the Fulton Street Transit Center, City Hall & more Chinatown access. 
  6. If the few Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO riders really rely on Broadway Service, a transfer would be available at DeKalb Avenue or Canal Street to Broadway Services.
  7. Bay Ridge and 4th Avenue riders would finally ride on newer upgraded fleet, a step up from, the dingy R46's.
  • Cons:
  1. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe as a terminal, Bay Ridge-95th Street can only turn around so many trains an hour (I think the number is around 10). The (J)(Z) combined run a total 12 trains an hour (a frequency of 5 minutes). If 10 trains per hour is the maximum capacity that Bay Ridge-95th Street can turn around, 2 (J) and/or (Z) trips would have to be short turned at Broad Street, causing a slight gap in Rush Hour Service in Southern Brooklyn.
  2. If the short turn option is a no-go, then the (J)(Z) would have to be reduced to a combined 10 trains per hour (a frequency of 6 minutes) which doesn't seem bad at first glance, but riders along the Jamaica Line would experience 12 minute frequencies (average 6 minute wait times) at Skip-Stop Stations. I don't think Jamaica riders would be too enthusiastic about that. However I believe it can be done because if you recall the (J)(Z) was in fact going to be reduced to 10 trains per hour as apart of the 14 Street Tube Shutdown Plan to make room for beefed up (M) service.
  3. The (J)(Z) would deal with more interlining due to all temporary construction along 4th Avenue, may cause delays to ripple along the entire Jamaica-Nassau Line.
  4. May ironically turn into another long Local Queens through Brooklyn line where a delay in Queens may cause delays to ripple all the way to Bay Ridge, thus solving nothing.
  • (R): Forest Hills-71 Avenue <> Whitehall Street, all times except Late Nights (see (N)).
  • Pros: 
  1. Less Interlining = more reliable service.
  2. Short, Sweet and to the point Local line connecting Queens and Manhattan.
  • Cons:
  1. May have to short turn trips at Canal Street during Peak-Hours if Whitehall can't handle the 7.5 trains per hour (frequency of 8 minutes) that the (R) currently runs during Rush Hours. (May not be an issue considering the (W) runs a single train per hour less.)
  2. Reduced service south of Canal Street (back to post-2010 through pre-2016 frequencies) with only the (R) serving lower Manhattan.

 

  • (N): Astoria-Ditmars Blvd <> Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue via Broadway Local/4th Avenue Express, all times except Late Nights. Late Nights, (N) Astoria-Ditmars Blvd <> Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue via Whitehall Street to compensate for loss of late night service south of Canal Street (unless Late Night Queens through Manhattan (R) service could be considered). Peak Service would have to be beefed up from 7.5 trains per hour (frequency of 8 minutes) to about 12 trains per hour (frequency of 6 minutes) to compensate for the loss of the (W).
  • Pros: 
  1. Extra (N) service along the route, especially for Sea Beach Riders.
  • Cons:
  1. May need to Short-Turn trains at Kings Highway or 86th Street-Gravesend during Peak Hours (not a huge deal in my opinion) due to beefed up service.
  2. Beefed headways can cause more congestion on the Manhattan Bridge and Merge from the Express to the Local tracks along Broadway, delaying (Q) service.
  3. Absorption of the (W) would upset the many lovers of the line (including I).

 

  • (W): Retired, much to my dismay, but if the MTA comply's with Bay Ridge's demands, I feel there is just no room for the (W) in this scenario.

 

In conclusion, there is no perfect way to solve the unpredictable service along the 4th Avenue Line. Chances are, the best service pattern for the aforementioned riders... is the one we currently have now!

It remains a very damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. It is very possible that there is no perfect solution with the way the subway system was built over a century ago. There just isn't enough time or money to reconfigure the subway system to meet 2019's demands. 

Thats just my 2 cents, I don't feel that the (MTA) is going to rearrange service, it is probably fine left just the way it is, even though it is pretty crappy. It's the best that can be done.

Very well written!

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4 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Also, it actually is simple.

The (R) switches to the Bridge track at DeKalb (Q) platform and operates the same route up to 96th St.

The (N), I forget where the switch was, can easily switch to the local track somewhere between Atlantic & DeKalb.

If by easy you mean a bottleneck being created north of Atlantic and south of DeKalb then yes very easy.

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4 hours ago, R32s said:

Just an opinion, don't go shooting arrows at me (just kidding of course) but:

I personally never really considered a Nassau Street Line running via 4th Avenue again because before 2010, (brownM) ridership along West End and 4th Avenue was very minimal. However considering how most Brooklyn (R) riders transfer to the (B)(D)(N)(Q) & IRT lines between DeKalb Avenue and 59th Street, it sort of seems like the most practical option.

Possible Option:

  • (J)(Z): Jamaica Center <> Bay Ridge-95 St via Jamaica Skip-Stop Express/Nassau Street-4th Avenue Local, Rush Hours. Other times, (J) Jamaica Center <> Bay Ridge-95th Street via Jamaica-Nassau Street-4th Avenue Local.

 

  • Pros: 
  1. Due to minimal interlining (only interlining with the (M) at Essex Street and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway versus the (R) interlining with the (M) at Queens Plaza, (N)(W) at the 60th Street Tube, (N) at 34th Street-Herald Square, (W) at Whitehall Street and more recently (D) at 36th Street after 7PM due to Work Train assembly and (N) at 59th & 36th Streets due to construction that causes the (N) to stop at 45th & 53rd Street) delays and horrendous service gaps of 15 minutes+ would be reduced.
  2. Direct South Brooklyn & Nassau Street service would be restored.
  3. Direct South Brooklyn <> North Brooklyn service (believe it or not, I know many people including myself that would highly benefit from this).
  4.  Nassau Street and Lower Manhattan Broadway stations are very close in proximity, minimal impact to Lower Manhattan riders.
  5. Direct access to major hubs such as the Fulton Street Transit Center, City Hall & more Chinatown access. 
  6. If the few Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO riders really rely on Broadway Service, a transfer would be available at DeKalb Avenue or Canal Street to Broadway Services.
  7. Bay Ridge and 4th Avenue riders would finally ride on newer upgraded fleet, a step up from, the dingy R46's.
  • Cons:
  1. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe as a terminal, Bay Ridge-95th Street can only turn around so many trains an hour (I think the number is around 10). The (J)(Z) combined run a total 12 trains an hour (a frequency of 5 minutes). If 10 trains per hour is the maximum capacity that Bay Ridge-95th Street can turn around, 2 (J) and/or (Z) trips would have to be short turned at Broad Street, causing a slight gap in Rush Hour Service in Southern Brooklyn.
  2. If the short turn option is a no-go, then the (J)(Z) would have to be reduced to a combined 10 trains per hour (a frequency of 6 minutes) which doesn't seem bad at first glance, but riders along the Jamaica Line would experience 12 minute frequencies (average 6 minute wait times) at Skip-Stop Stations. I don't think Jamaica riders would be too enthusiastic about that. However I believe it can be done because if you recall the (J)(Z) was in fact going to be reduced to 10 trains per hour as apart of the 14 Street Tube Shutdown Plan to make room for beefed up (M) service.
  3. The (J)(Z) would deal with more interlining due to all temporary construction along 4th Avenue, may cause delays to ripple along the entire Jamaica-Nassau Line.
  4. May ironically turn into another long Local Queens through Brooklyn line where a delay in Queens may cause delays to ripple all the way to Bay Ridge, thus solving nothing.
  • (R): Forest Hills-71 Avenue <> Whitehall Street, all times except Late Nights (see (N)).
  • Pros: 
  1. Less Interlining = more reliable service.
  2. Short, Sweet and to the point Local line connecting Queens and Manhattan.
  • Cons:
  1. May have to short turn trips at Canal Street during Peak-Hours if Whitehall can't handle the 7.5 trains per hour (frequency of 8 minutes) that the (R) currently runs during Rush Hours. (May not be an issue considering the (W) runs a single train per hour less.)
  2. Reduced service south of Canal Street (back to post-2010 through pre-2016 frequencies) with only the (R) serving lower Manhattan.

 

  • (N): Astoria-Ditmars Blvd <> Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue via Broadway Local/4th Avenue Express, all times except Late Nights. Late Nights, (N) Astoria-Ditmars Blvd <> Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue via Whitehall Street to compensate for loss of late night service south of Canal Street (unless Late Night Queens through Manhattan (R) service could be considered). Peak Service would have to be beefed up from 7.5 trains per hour (frequency of 8 minutes) to about 12 trains per hour (frequency of 6 minutes) to compensate for the loss of the (W).
  • Pros: 
  1. Extra (N) service along the route, especially for Sea Beach Riders.
  • Cons:
  1. May need to Short-Turn trains at Kings Highway or 86th Street-Gravesend during Peak Hours (not a huge deal in my opinion) due to beefed up service.
  2. Beefed headways can cause more congestion on the Manhattan Bridge and Merge from the Express to the Local tracks along Broadway, delaying (Q) service.
  3. Absorption of the (W) would upset the many lovers of the line (including I).

 

  • (W): Retired, much to my dismay, but if the MTA comply's with Bay Ridge's demands, I feel there is just no room for the (W) in this scenario.

 

In conclusion, there is no perfect way to solve the unpredictable service along the 4th Avenue Line. Chances are, the best service pattern for the aforementioned riders... is the one we currently have now!

It remains a very damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. It is very possible that there is no perfect solution with the way the subway system was built over a century ago. There just isn't enough time or money to reconfigure the subway system to meet 2019's demands. 

Thats just my 2 cents, I don't feel that the (MTA) is going to rearrange service, it is probably fine left just the way it is, even though it is pretty crappy. It's the best that can be done.

Agree this was well written.  That said, I think you need to keep the (R) in South Brooklyn and also don't want the (J) to be too long of a route.  The new (K) / (Z) takes care of both of those issues since you'd see a sharp increase in service on 4th Avenue (if need be, you could turn some trains at peak times at 86th instead of 95th).  Essex can be the terminal because of it having three tracks (not including those (K) / (Z) trains that would actually begin and end at Broadway Junction on Yard runs that would be in the regular schedule and noted as such).  That to me is the easiest and keeps Bay Ridge politicians happy having two different lines running to Bay Ridge at all times.  

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After cycling through this entire thread again, I see a lot of ideas flying back and forth, which is wonderful. However, a few of them are a bit troubling in my opinion. If the idea is to fix Bay Ridge transit, that cannot be done at the expense of other riders, especially when the number of riders impacted is potentially high. I'm not going to delve too deeply into specifics here, but I guarantee you that any plan that puts any Coney Island service via Whitehall during peak periods is dead on arrival. Riders may not be looking for a direct route from Bay Ridge to midtown, but they sure are doing so from the Sea Beach and Brighton lines. To give these riders the shaft to appease the ones along 4th Avenue is a grave disservice to everyone affected.

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I have two questions based on what everyone said:

1. Has the (MTA) studied Broadway deinterlining yet?

2. When will the 36-38 St yard be used for revenue trains? (And if possible that the (R) could be stored there, would they move the service to Astoria?)

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I’m going to drop another 2 cents on this topic and say that Most of us have considered and acknowledged the fact that certain upgrades need to be done on 4th Avenue (and Nassau) before we can even Consider an (R) train split. For this (R) Split to be successful the following must occur:

• The current work that is being done on the 4th Avenue Express must be completed by its deadline. 

• Bay Ridge-95th Street needs some track and signal upgrades in order to boost the amount of Trains that you can turn there. (Come on, we can be doing better than Turing only 10 TPH at Bay Ridge) 

• Broadway Service would need to be streamlined (or deinterlined). This means that some Broadway Services will have to be moved around (most frequently discussed is the (N) to 96th to run alongside the (Q)

• 36th-38th Street Yard would have to be converted into a Passenger train yard. It would still serve work trains, but not as many as work trains as they would be relocated to other yards. (I’m unable to list all of them at this moment) 

• Nassau would need to go extensive Upgrades in provision for future development/growth. 

A split service CAN work if all the criteria above is met, however, I don’t think we should discard the fact that. Broadway should still serve Montague so that Riders in South Brooklyn who are looking for South Ferry (1) or the (E) can still access it. With that out of the way, here is the service plan that I propose.

(Train)   (TPH).    (Route Description)       

(N)  15:  96th Street-Coney Island via Broadway Express and 4th Av/Sea Beach Express. All Times. 

(Q) 15: 96th Street-Coney Island Bus Broadway Express and Brighton Local. Late Nights, trains will run full local. 

(R) 15: Astoria-Bay Ridge via Broadway/4th Avenue Local. All Times except Late Nights where trains will be truncated to Whitehall 

(W) 10: Forest Hills-Whitehall Street Via Broadway and QB Locals. Weekdays Only. 

(J)(Z) 12: Jamaica to Broad Street. Since a new Nassau service will be introduced, some trains will need to be Short Turned at Chambers Street. 

(K)/(Z) 8: Essex Street-Bay Ridge via Nassau/4th Avenue Local. This service will run all times. 

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Posted (edited)

This 10tph cap at Bay Ridge is incorrect. That terminal has historically turned up to 15, and equivalent terminals (2-track stubs) have done as much as 26. 

I love spitballing reroutes as much as the next guy, but I’ve gotta wonder how much more informed we’d be if, instead of spending all this time here, we’d all (and note I’m using “we”—I’m totally guilty of this, though I’m not exactly free to pursue direct advocacy nonymously) actually gone out and evaluated the (R)’s operational issues. I know I’m becoming a bit of a one trick pony with my “guys it’s the operations” line, but I stand by it, as in a time when the system is in crisis, all most advocates/politicians seem to give a damn about is passing congestion pricing as if that’s gonna be some panacea. While I’m a fan of CP, I’d love to see more advocacy around systemic operations and management issues, as that’s where the issue lies and thus where our regional future is to be found. 

This isn’t an unprecedented idea, fwiw:

 

Edited by RR503
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, RR503 said:

This 10tph cap at Bay Ridge is incorrect. That terminal has historically turned up to 15, and equivalent terminals (2-track stubs) have done as much as 26. 

I love spitballing reroutes as much as the next guy, but I’ve gotta wonder how much more informed we’d be if, instead of spending all this time here, we’d all (and note I’m using “we”—I’m totally guilty of this, though I’m not exactly free to pursue direct advocacy nonymously) actually gone out and evaluated the (R)’s operational issues.

Off the top of my head, some easy targets:

-rolling stock (numerous trips have been cancelled over the last couple years because of R46s with issues)

-dwell times (also attributable to rolling stock; if you have an R160 in the PM rush and the previous train is a 75 footer, you will catch up to them by 36th if not earlier. The whole segment through Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn on an R46 in rush hour is a disaster)

-dispatchers holding trains for unnecessary connections which makes them even more late (one example: holding an (R) train which was already at least 5 late at DeKalb for both a (Q) and the following (B) )

-sharing tracks with the (N) from 59th to 36th and that godawful merge at 36th southbound that is the bane of my existence.

-sitting in Cortlandt waiting for a (W) to move that's also waiting for the previous (W) to leave Whitehall

-34th Street interlocking, nuff said

-11th Street cut, nuff said

-the conga line at Forest Hills

As for weekends, other than the "12 minute" headways I don't have an explanation for how much the (R) sucks other than it's a three borough local. 20 minute waits have become the norm so it's become virtually unusable.

Edited by Around the Horn
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All of that essentially makes the argument for streamlining Broadway. While there isn't much that can presently done to remove the aging rolling stock, more so if the (R) was ever removed from Queens Blvd, the bulk of the issues you mentioned can be addressed by implementing the oft-proposed idea of shifting the (R) back to Astoria and sending the (N) to the East Side. The (W) would go the way of the dinosaur as it's only needed to provide additional Broadway service to Astoria without running to Coney Island via Sea Beach. Those runs can be absorbed into the proposed (R) route and provide desperately needed additional service along 4th Avenue as well.

Of course, the difficulty lies in what serves Queens Blvd as the primary local. A seemingly no-brainer would be to make the (M) service the main one there, but it becomes a capacity cut as those trains must be eight-cars to run on Jamaica and Myrtle Ave. There's also the issue of whether the amount of service along Queens Blvd is also needed on Myrtle Ave, which is partly the reason behind the current operations of the (M) and (R) today.

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4 hours ago, Lance said:

All of that essentially makes the argument for streamlining Broadway. While there isn't much that can presently done to remove the aging rolling stock, more so if the (R) was ever removed from Queens Blvd, the bulk of the issues you mentioned can be addressed by implementing the oft-proposed idea of shifting the (R) back to Astoria and sending the (N) to the East Side. The (W) would go the way of the dinosaur as it's only needed to provide additional Broadway service to Astoria without running to Coney Island via Sea Beach. Those runs can be absorbed into the proposed (R) route and provide desperately needed additional service along 4th Avenue as well.

Of course, the difficulty lies in what serves Queens Blvd as the primary local. A seemingly no-brainer would be to make the (M) service the main one there, but it becomes a capacity cut as those trains must be eight-cars to run on Jamaica and Myrtle Ave. There's also the issue of whether the amount of service along Queens Blvd is also needed on Myrtle Ave, which is partly the reason behind the current operations of the (M) and (R) today.

I'll do QBL first since that's actually the easier problem to solve. If the (R) is ever taken off QBL, then the only feasible service pattern is running the (M) via 63 St (it stays local in Queens). This frees up capacity for the (K) along the QBL local tracks and 53 St. Deinterline the (A)(C)  and the (E)(K) along 8 Ave and every pair of tracks through Midtown is running at full capacity.

Broadway is the trickiest trunk to schedule, assuming all trains run to the same northern terminals at all times. All Broadway local trains should be running via 60 St and Montague, while all Broadway express trains should be running via 63 St / SAS and the Bridge. This scheduling works on weekdays and weekdays, the latter assuming the (K) or (M) runs on QBL during weekends. Late nights Broadway only has a SAS train via the Bridge and an Astoria - Coney Island train via Montague, the latter of which won't exist if the (N) goes to 96 St. Honestly, the best solution is to run the (N)(Q) to 96 St + (R) to Astoria at all times, which will increase costs but will dramatically improve service along SAS + Broadway.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Lance said:

All of that essentially makes the argument for streamlining Broadway. While there isn't much that can presently done to remove the aging rolling stock, more so if the (R) was ever removed from Queens Blvd, the bulk of the issues you mentioned can be addressed by implementing the oft-proposed idea of shifting the (R) back to Astoria and sending the (N) to the East Side. The (W) would go the way of the dinosaur as it's only needed to provide additional Broadway service to Astoria without running to Coney Island via Sea Beach. Those runs can be absorbed into the proposed (R) route and provide desperately needed additional service along 4th Avenue as well.

Of course, the difficulty lies in what serves Queens Blvd as the primary local. A seemingly no-brainer would be to make the (M) service the main one there, but it becomes a capacity cut as those trains must be eight-cars to run on Jamaica and Myrtle Ave. There's also the issue of whether the amount of service along Queens Blvd is also needed on Myrtle Ave, which is partly the reason behind the current operations of the (M) and (R) today.

The Queens Boulevard local question is essentially why you can’t fix Broadway without reorganizing the rest of the system. Sending just 10-15tph to Forest Hills simply isn’t adequate — not so much on QB local itself, but in LIC, where the locals provide important relief capacity to handle transfers off of the (G) and (7), as well as (ever growing) LIC O/D traffic. 

As for what I’d do, you all already know. 168/BPB-CPW local-8th local-WTC, Brooklyn-8th exp-53-QB local, 207/205-CPW express-6th express-Chrystie-Dekalb, Culver/Myrtle-6th local-63-QB express, SAS-Bway exp-Bridge-Dekalb, Astoria-60-Broadway local-Whitehall-4th local. Maxes out capacity and eliminates all merges that can’t be scheduled evenly or are restrictive of overall system capacity. 

All of this said, I think that we can’t see these reroutings as a panacea. Forest Hills terminal ops alone reduce possible Manhattan-Queens capacity by 10tph. Add in Astoria and you’re down another 15, which brings you to 65tph on the B division’s Queens lines. That’s what we run today; to run more, you have to reform operations and infrastructure before you reform service. 

Pivoting down to South Brooklyn, you’ve got a similarly operationally driven set of issues. A train every six minutes during the peak (which is what the (R) runs) isn’t unusually bad service for this city — it certainly isn’t the 6tph that skip stops on the (J)(Z) get. Do I think that we should have more service there? Absolutely, but I think reducing this issue to just one of service quantity/routing is, well, reductive. 

What the (R) suffers, in my opinion, is basically the affliction of the system at large, just worse. Timers (+associated operator variability) are an issue everywhere, but the (R) (especially along 4th, in Lower Manhattan, and in the approaches to 60th) is hit with massive concentrations of them, with many set to SLOW speeds. Merges cause delays, but the (R) has to deal with one between two high-dwell stations in midtown, and one in Queens that ties (R) service to general performance on three trunks ((E) for 8th, (M) for sixth, (R) for Bway). We’re bad at terminal ops, but few places are as problematic as Forest Hills, which stacks up trains down the QB local tracks and cuts capacity to boot. We’re bad at managing dwell in general, but on the (R), the combination of R46 equipment and bomb-type ridership (ie folks on at Lex-59 and off at Queens Plaza, as well as people dumping en masse at 59, 36 and Barclays along 4th) makes its issues especially acute. And our maintenance policies suck, but it’s the 4th ave corridor that gets hit with extended headways and all-local running after 7:30. Point being, the (R) has it bad, and pure reroute changes won’t necessarily fix its issues (is the (6), a largely deinterlined route, known for its good performance?)

But 4th Ave shouldn’t have 6 min headways, so what to do with that need? I’d argue for Nassau service. Yes, it creates a merge in Montague and sets the need for short turns at Whitehall and Canal in stone, but I’d argue that, considering the IRT’s crowding issues, one of the paramount objectives of routings in Downtown Brooklyn should be to minimize ridership impact on crowded lines — or even to help relieve them. That’s where Nassau comes in, as when combined with Lower Broadway, you’ve bracketed the Lex in Lower Manhattan with service that’s much easier to access for BMT riders while achieving the “more service on 4th” objective. 

Edited by RR503
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I have to go find the thread where this was originally posted but I like the idea of:

1. removing the Broadway Line ( (R) ) off of QBL

2. combining the (R) with the (W) from Astoria and moving the (N) to SAS

3. replacing the (R) on Queens Blvd with the (K), moving the (M) to 53rd and making the (C) 8th Av/Fulton Street Express to Lefferts Blvd

4. connecting Broadway Local (the (W) ) with the Fulton Street Local to Euclid.

As a result, the 4th Avenue local would go up Nassau.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Lance said:

All of that essentially makes the argument for streamlining Broadway. While there isn't much that can presently done to remove the aging rolling stock, more so if the (R) was ever removed from Queens Blvd, the bulk of the issues you mentioned can be addressed by implementing the oft-proposed idea of shifting the (R) back to Astoria and sending the (N) to the East Side. The (W) would go the way of the dinosaur as it's only needed to provide additional Broadway service to Astoria without running to Coney Island via Sea Beach. Those runs can be absorbed into the proposed (R) route and provide desperately needed additional service along 4th Avenue as well.

Of course, the difficulty lies in what serves Queens Blvd as the primary local. A seemingly no-brainer would be to make the (M) service the main one there, but it becomes a capacity cut as those trains must be eight-cars to run on Jamaica and Myrtle Ave. There's also the issue of whether the amount of service along Queens Blvd is also needed on Myrtle Ave, which is partly the reason behind the current operations of the (M) and (R) today.

Can’t the (W) run to/from Forest Hills as the secondary QB local train? Like the (EE)/<N> did  in the old days.

Though in the long-term, I favor the (E)(F)(K)(M) plan to maximize capacity on 6th, 8th and Broadway (like I’ve posted in the Proposals thread). If Congressman Rose, et al, can be persuaded on this as a way to make 4th Ave local service run better, then great!

 

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue

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16 hours ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Can’t the (W) run to/from Forest Hills as the secondary QB local train? Like the (EE)/<N> did  in the old days.

There's nothing preventing such a route. I was just trying to eliminate the logjam at Whitehall St with terminating (W) trains, while at the same time preserving the amount of service along Astoria and Broadway. Running the same level of service in Astoria with just one route while keeping Whitehall terminal in play is a potential disaster that I was trying to avoid. Also, retaining the (W) as a service to 71 Avenue would still deal with the double merge at Queens Plaza between the (M) and Astoria (R), thus potentially delaying those lines.

17 hours ago, Around the Horn said:

I have to go find the thread where this was originally posted but I like the idea of:

1. removing the Broadway Line ( (R) ) off of QBL

2. combining the (R) with the (W) from Astoria and moving the (N) to SAS

3. replacing the (R) on Queens Blvd with the (K), moving the (M) to 53rd and making the (C) 8th Av/Fulton Street Express to Lefferts Blvd

4. connecting Broadway Local (the (W) ) with the Fulton Street Local to Euclid.

As a result, the 4th Avenue local would go up Nassau.

Not to put a damper on this, but as this is not the proposals thread, I'd prefer we keep these ideas somewhere within the realm of reality. If a plan to fix 4th Avenue ever came to fruition as suggested in the opening post, it's not going to be done via a costly and invasive connection between the Montague tunnels and the Fulton St line.

@RR503 While piss-poor operations due play a major role in service degradation, the routes themselves don't help matters at times, the (R) being the most prominent example. Right now, the (R) merges with other lines a total of eight times in one direction at the height of service. Combine that with the Forest Hills terminal ops (the only terminal that turns two full length services at its peak) and the timers situation you mentioned and we have the situation we're currently mired in. In sending the (R) back to Astoria, along with sending the (N) to 96 Street, eliminates all but two of those merge points, both of which are only temporary due to the 4th Avenue tunnel project. As mentioned above, it also eliminate that potential for a worsened Whitehall terminal issue if the present Queens (R) and the current (W) both have to terminate in Manhattan if the Brooklyn (R) were to be replaced by a Nassau service.

Obviously, such an approach cannot be applied to every situation, which is why as you've mentioned, we must address the larger issue at hand, operations in general and the infrastructure, both of which have not really changed much in the past few decades. Of course, that's unfortunately more of a longer term project given the current political climate, which is why my idea is more of an immediate fix.

On a side-note, the (6) ran much better before they started screwing around with it. As someone who's used the (6) for the past few years until fairly recently, I can attest to how poorly the line is now compared to years prior. The car situation was of course unavoidable since the (7) needed those former 142As for CBTC and Transit was in no shape to purchase 400 more brand new cars for the service, but reducing service along the line because of the Second Ave line caused the service to tank. The fact that the (Q) runs to the east side does very little for anyone outside of that relatively small section between 96th Street and roughly 68th Street. Bring the service back to it's former two minute intervals between 3 Av-138 St and Brooklyn Bridge and the line's performance will bounce back.

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8 minutes ago, Lance said:

There's nothing preventing such a route. I was just trying to eliminate the logjam at Whitehall St with terminating (W) trains, while at the same time preserving the amount of service along Astoria and Broadway. Running the same level of service in Astoria with just one route while keeping Whitehall terminal in play is a potential disaster that I was trying to avoid. Also, retaining the (W) as a service to 71 Avenue would still deal with the double merge at Queens Plaza between the (M) and Astoria (R), thus potentially delaying those lines.

Not to put a damper on this, but as this is not the proposals thread, I'd prefer we keep these ideas somewhere within the realm of reality. If a plan to fix 4th Avenue ever came to fruition as suggested in the opening post, it's not going to be done via a costly and invasive connection between the Montague tunnels and the Fulton St line.

@RR503 While piss-poor operations due play a major role in service degradation, the routes themselves don't help matters at times, the (R) being the most prominent example. Right now, the (R) merges with other lines a total of eight times in one direction at the height of service. Combine that with the Forest Hills terminal ops (the only terminal that turns two full length services at its peak) and the timers situation you mentioned and we have the situation we're currently mired in. In sending the (R) back to Astoria, along with sending the (N) to 96 Street, eliminates all but two of those merge points, both of which are only temporary due to the 4th Avenue tunnel project. As mentioned above, it also eliminate that potential for a worsened Whitehall terminal issue if the present Queens (R) and the current (W) both have to terminate in Manhattan if the Brooklyn (R) were to be replaced by a Nassau service.

Obviously, such an approach cannot be applied to every situation, which is why as you've mentioned, we must address the larger issue at hand, operations in general and the infrastructure, both of which have not really changed much in the past few decades. Of course, that's unfortunately more of a longer term project given the current political climate, which is why my idea is more of an immediate fix.

On a side-note, the (6) ran much better before they started screwing around with it. As someone who's used the (6) for the past few years until fairly recently, I can attest to how poorly the line is now compared to years prior. The car situation was of course unavoidable since the (7) needed those former 142As for CBTC and Transit was in no shape to purchase 400 more brand new cars for the service, but reducing service along the line because of the Second Ave line caused the service to tank. The fact that the (Q) runs to the east side does very little for anyone outside of that relatively small section between 96th Street and roughly 68th Street. Bring the service back to it's former two minute intervals between 3 Av-138 St and Brooklyn Bridge and the line's performance will bounce back.

Don't forget that dwell times are higher on the (6) because of the R62As and their narrower doors. Service has markedly gotten worse.

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2 hours ago, Lance said:

@RR503 While piss-poor operations due play a major role in service degradation, the routes themselves don't help matters at times, the (R) being the most prominent example. Right now, the (R) merges with other lines a total of eight times in one direction at the height of service. Combine that with the Forest Hills terminal ops (the only terminal that turns two full length services at its peak) and the timers situation you mentioned and we have the situation we're currently mired in. In sending the (R) back to Astoria, along with sending the (N) to 96 Street, eliminates all but two of those merge points, both of which are only temporary due to the 4th Avenue tunnel project. As mentioned above, it also eliminate that potential for a worsened Whitehall terminal issue if the present Queens (R) and the current (W) both have to terminate in Manhattan if the Brooklyn (R) were to be replaced by a Nassau service.

 Obviously, such an approach cannot be applied to every situation, which is why as you've mentioned, we must address the larger issue at hand, operations in general and the infrastructure, both of which have not really changed much in the past few decades. Of course, that's unfortunately more of a longer term project given the current political climate, which is why my idea is more of an immediate fix.

To be clear, I don't think reroutes aren't part of a solution here -- they absolutely are -- I just think that they can't be seen as a panacea. Interlining is a delay vector, of course, but you've also got to keep in mind that it was historically possible to operate high (34tph) frequency service in highly interlined system service plans. I by no means think that we should return to those days -- I think trending towards deinterlining is a good thing, if for no other reason than interlining forces you to schedule delays and gaps -- but at the same time it runs counter to historical reason that we should treat deinterlining as a magical cure. You and I are on the same page as to what could/should be done route-wise; I think the difference is just me being bad at communicating my thoughts.

A note on operations, though: while signal/equipment/infrastructure modifications do take time, there are a LOT of operational mitigations that are really tomorrow-changes -- terminal operations, dwell control, schedule modifications, for example -- and simply require someone who cares to push them. Reroutes, in contrast, require study, outreach, and board approval, processes which take time. I'd wager that even the most complex signal mods would be doable in shorter periods (though something like an Astoria terminal rebuild would indeed take a lot longer). 

2 hours ago, Lance said:

 On a side-note, the (6) ran much better before they started screwing around with it. As someone who's used the (6) for the past few years until fairly recently, I can attest to how poorly the line is now compared to years prior. The car situation was of course unavoidable since the (7) needed those former 142As for CBTC and Transit was in no shape to purchase 400 more brand new cars for the service, but reducing service along the line because of the Second Ave line caused the service to tank. The fact that the (Q) runs to the east side does very little for anyone outside of that relatively small section between 96th Street and roughly 68th Street. Bring the service back to it's former two minute intervals between 3 Av-138 St and Brooklyn Bridge and the line's performance will bounce back.

Yeah, the car swaps and frequency cuts were...unfortunate. Contributing is the degradation of T/O and C/R training (the 6, being a line where one trip is PBP-BBCH-PBP, is a line that few with seniority will pick onto, which ties its service performance more closely to the training and support new ops get), which itself is aggravated by the fact that some of the ST signals along it are unsigned, the GTs unreliable, the station dwells difficult to manage, etc. It needs more frequency, and some serious TLC. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/8/2019 at 12:29 PM, Lance said:

There's nothing preventing such a route. I was just trying to eliminate the logjam at Whitehall St with terminating (W) trains, while at the same time preserving the amount of service along Astoria and Broadway. Running the same level of service in Astoria with just one route while keeping Whitehall terminal in play is a potential disaster that I was trying to avoid. Also, retaining the (W) as a service to 71 Avenue would still deal with the double merge at Queens Plaza between the (M) and Astoria (R), thus potentially delaying those lines.

@RR503 While piss-poor operations due play a major role in service degradation, the routes themselves don't help matters at times, the (R) being the most prominent example. Right now, the (R) merges with other lines a total of eight times in one direction at the height of service. Combine that with the Forest Hills terminal ops (the only terminal that turns two full length services at its peak) and the timers situation you mentioned and we have the situation we're currently mired in. In sending the (R) back to Astoria, along with sending the (N) to 96 Street, eliminates all but two of those merge points, both of which are only temporary due to the 4th Avenue tunnel project. As mentioned above, it also eliminate that potential for a worsened Whitehall terminal issue if the present Queens (R) and the current (W) both have to terminate in Manhattan if the Brooklyn (R) were to be replaced by a Nassau service.

Obviously, such an approach cannot be applied to every situation, which is why as you've mentioned, we must address the larger issue at hand, operations in general and the infrastructure, both of which have not really changed much in the past few decades. Of course, that's unfortunately more of a longer term project given the current political climate, which is why my idea is more of an immediate fix.

Don’t get me wrong...I’m in favor of the (R) being rerouted back to Astoria and the (N) going to 2nd Ave. I think it can make for a more reliable (R) in Brooklyn. Certainly, it would have far fewer merges than the current (R). But without the (W), you’ll need another service to replace the (R) on the QB local, as the (M) alone won’t be sufficient. (Please, nobody say, “Extend the (G)!”) It could be the (K), like @Caelestor posted up thread and like @RR503 posted in the Proposals thread. That’s probably the best option. 

If the current (R) were to be replaced in Brooklyn by a Nassau St service, the (W) should operate in Brooklyn as the secondary Bay Ridge-4th Ave local train. Only the (R) should terminate at Whitehall in that scenario. But then that may preclude the the (N) from going to 2nd Ave and the (R) to Astoria.

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue
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3 hours ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Please, nobody say, “Extend the (G)!”

But that solves everything, right? /s

For the record, I also don't believe the (M) should be the sole Queens Blvd local line, primarily because it assumes the combined (M) / (R) service levels are also needed on Myrtle Ave, which is not true. That's the conundrum with trying to reduce the number of merges and divergences along the lines, more so since most of the system was designed to be heavily interlined.

On the issue of the actual subject at hand, has there been any news regarding splitting the (R)? While it's nice to discuss the hypotheticals behind potential service rerouting, I'm kind of curious if the MTA is actually looking into the issue or whether it will be buried like the Culver express plans a few years back.

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2 hours ago, Lance said:

For the record, I also don't believe the (M) should be the sole Queens Blvd local line, primarily because it assumes the combined (M) / (R) service levels are also needed on Myrtle Ave, which is not true. That's the conundrum with trying to reduce the number of merges and divergences along the lines, more so since most of the system was designed to be heavily interlined.

Also, it’d force you to reduce (E) and (F) service to 10tph to fit the 20 of (M) service through 53 and 6th local. This is essentially why you can’t move the (R) without reorganizing the rest of the B division. 

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5 hours ago, RR503 said:

Also, it’d force you to reduce (E) and (F) service to 10tph to fit the 20 of (M) service through 53 and 6th local. This is essentially why you can’t move the (R) without reorganizing the rest of the B division. 

And is why I simply add a new (K) / (Z) line between 95th and Essex that would be 24/7 (plus yard runs that would extend service to or from Broadway Junction for such runs only that would be scheduled).  Such at a MAX 8 TPH (either overlapping the (J) in Manhattan or where the (J) terminates at Chambers other than a limited number of rush-hour (J) trains that end and begin at Broad) to me is the way to do it.

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On 3/9/2019 at 4:42 PM, RR503 said:

Also, it’d force you to reduce (E) and (F) service to 10tph to fit the 20 of (M) service through 53 and 6th local. This is essentially why you can’t move the (R) without reorganizing the rest of the B division. 

This might be controversial, but I don't think QBL local needs 20 tph, especially since most riders east of Roosevelt Ave transfer over to the (E)(F). The (M) running at 15 tph should be more than enough to accommodate riders at the ten local stops between Queens Plaza and Forest Hills. In fact, it may very well be possible that running the (E)(F)(M) at 15 tph each could work very well in practice. Keep the (E) and (F) the same, and run the (M) between Forest Hills and Middle Village at all times except late nights, replacing the (R). Some peak (M) trains would have 10 cars, terminating at Houston St / 2 Ave. The only impediment would be the signaling, which IIRC currently limits tph to 28 along 6 Ave, and a potential chokepoint in moving all QBL / Lex Ave transfers to 53 St.

As for the (R), consolidating it with the (W) and moving the (N) to 96 St would also improve the current congestion at Times Sq. The ideal service pattern would be 15 tph between Astoria and Bay Ridge, plus additional short turns between Queensboro Plaza and Whitehall St.

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5 hours ago, Caelestor said:

This might be controversial, but I don't think QBL local needs 20 tph, especially since most riders east of Roosevelt Ave transfer over to the (E)(F). The (M) running at 15 tph should be more than enough to accommodate riders at the ten local stops between Queens Plaza and Forest Hills. In fact, it may very well be possible that running the (E)(F)(M) at 15 tph each could work very well in practice. Keep the (E) and (F) the same, and run the (M) between Forest Hills and Middle Village at all times except late nights, replacing the (R). Some peak (M) trains would have 10 cars, terminating at Houston St / 2 Ave. The only impediment would be the signaling, which IIRC currently limits tph to 28 along 6 Ave, and a potential chokepoint in moving all QBL / Lex Ave transfers to 53 St.

QB local absolutely needs 30. It’s the only way of getting any sort of capacity into LIC that won’t be packed to the gills with riders from further east. It’s also the only way of making a dent in QB express crowding without new construction. If you go for full deinterlining (53 via local, 63 via express) QB local all of the sudden becomes capacitally relevant further out, which basically forces a more equitable load distribution. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/7/2019 at 12:08 PM, Lance said:

All of that essentially makes the argument for streamlining Broadway. While there isn't much that can presently done to remove the aging rolling stock, more so if the (R) was ever removed from Queens Blvd, the bulk of the issues you mentioned can be addressed by implementing the oft-proposed idea of shifting the (R) back to Astoria and sending the (N) to the East Side. The (W) would go the way of the dinosaur as it's only needed to provide additional Broadway service to Astoria without running to Coney Island via Sea Beach. Those runs can be absorbed into the proposed (R) route and provide desperately needed additional service along 4th Avenue as well.

Of course, the difficulty lies in what serves Queens Blvd as the primary local. A seemingly no-brainer would be to make the (M) service the main one there, but it becomes a capacity cut as those trains must be eight-cars to run on Jamaica and Myrtle Ave. There's also the issue of whether the amount of service along Queens Blvd is also needed on Myrtle Ave, which is partly the reason behind the current operations of the (M) and (R) today.

Unless, 2nd Av becomes a terminal again and 10 car (M) trains operate from Forest Hills to Metropolitan Avenue while still keeping the 8 car (M) to Metropolitan Avenue.

 

Or we can bring back the (G) onto QBL.

 

Edited by Lawrence St
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