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Union Tpke

End of the W Astoria Line Express

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This change will have no impact on annual operating cost.

Railfan: “This move will cost you dearly, MTA. Boycott the (N) and (W)!”

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Was there ever a time when an Astoria express was beneficial - going back to the BMT days?

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19 minutes ago, Deucey said:

Was there ever a time when an Astoria express was beneficial - going back to the BMT days?

I don't exactly know what you mean. There was never an Astoria express service prior to this W express.

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5 hours ago, CenSin said:

 

 

Railfan: “This move will cost you dearly, MTA. Boycott the (N) and (W)!”

Why would the elimination of a not-beneficial Astoria express cost them dearly? After all, nobody used the (W) when it ran express between Queensboro and Astoria.

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27 minutes ago, JeremiahC99 said:

Why would the elimination of a not-beneficial Astoria express cost them dearly? After all, nobody used the (W) when it ran express between Queensboro and Astoria.

Did you just take that seriously?

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, JeremiahC99 said:

After all, nobody used the (W) when it ran express between Queensboro and Astoria.

Barely anyone used the (W) train when it ran express between Ditmars and Queensboro, stopping at Hoyt since most passengers flocked to the (N) train which until July 2001 had been the main Ditmars to Queensboro Local.

Edited by 4 via Mosholu

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35 minutes ago, Lex said:

Did you just take that seriously?

Was it supposed to be a joke, because somehow, I have a hard time not taking things seriously.

35 minutes ago, 4 via Mosholu said:

Barely anyone used the (W) train when it ran express between Ditmars and Queensboro, stopping at Hoyt since most passengers flocked to the (N) train which until July 2001 had been the main Ditmars to Queensboro Local.

That does sound correct. The ride from Ditmars to 34th Street making every single Astoria Line stop on the map does not take that long anyway.

It would be different if the line went out farther east in Queens serving LaGuardia Airport and even parts of Northeastern Queens with no subway service. If that were true, then we would have express service to cut down on travel time between NE Queens and Manhattan. However, this is not the case, so no express service for them.

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2 hours ago, Italianstallion said:

I don't exactly know what you mean. There was never an Astoria express service prior to this W express.

So the third track was always superfluous then? (Ie it was built but not used even when the BMT operates it before unification.)

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18 minutes ago, Deucey said:

So the third track was always superfluous then? (Ie it was built but not used even when the BMT operates it before unification.)

I don’t even think that it had signals for a while...likely used just for train storage. Remember that the IRT and BMT jointly operated the Astoria line until 1949 (hence the R booth numbers). I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the BMT Astoria-QBP shuttles laid up on it. 

Paging some of our more senior members for a history lesson! 

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2 hours ago, Deucey said:

So the third track was always superfluous then? (Ie it was built but not used even when the BMT operates it before unification.)

Third-tracks were pretty much standard issue back then. You find it on pretty much all the elevated lines. And even the ones that don’t have it have space reserved for a third track. For some, the original intent was probably for auxiliary uses like train storage since some third-tracks were built with no other infrastructure oriented towards revenue service (express stations and platforms). The 7 Avenue line ((1)(2)(3)) above 96 Street was probably made that way, and the Livonia Avenue line ((3)) was probably the same as well.

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On 8/16/2019 at 6:25 PM, Deucey said:

So the third track was always superfluous then? (Ie it was built but not used even when the BMT operates it before unification.)

Yep. Used for storage only. As pointed out, it was not even signaled until just before the W express was started. Trains laid up there  middays and at night. 

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On 8/16/2019 at 5:04 PM, 4 via Mosholu said:

Barely anyone used the (W) train when it ran express between Ditmars and Queensboro, stopping at Hoyt since most passengers flocked to the (N) train which until July 2001 had been the main Ditmars to Queensboro Local.

One problem was that if you waited to board a W at Ditmars or Astoria Blvd., you would NOT overtake the preceding N local before Queensboro Plaza. So what's the point?

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23 hours ago, CenSin said:

Third-tracks were pretty much standard issue back then. You find it on pretty much all the elevated lines. And even the ones that don’t have it have space reserved for a third track. For some, the original intent was probably for auxiliary uses like train storage since some third-tracks were built with no other infrastructure oriented towards revenue service (express stations and platforms). The 7 Avenue line ((1)(2)(3)) above 96 Street was probably made that way, and the Livonia Avenue line ((3)) was probably the same as well.

The third track north of 96th Street was added after construction was started so they couldn't make any platforms access it.

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On 8/17/2019 at 8:00 PM, Italianstallion said:

One problem was that if you waited to board a W at Ditmars or Astoria Blvd., you would NOT overtake the preceding N local before Queensboro Plaza. So what's the point?

According to the documents posted by @Union Tpke, it was specifically done to improve Ditmars' ability to process the additional trains terminating there. But it failed in practice and it simply went local along Astoria after 9/11, even when the (N) train came back from its minor break following 9/11.

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2 hours ago, 4 via Mosholu said:

According to the documents posted by @Union Tpke, it was specifically done to improve Ditmars' ability to process the additional trains terminating there. But it failed in practice and it simply went local along Astoria after 9/11, even when the (N) train came back from its minor break following 9/11.

They could have installed even just one switch south of Astoria Boulevard to get northbound trains onto the middle track to dwell. That would have solved something. 

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