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ROCKAWAY BEACH BRANCH STUDY IS OUT

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Some quick bits:

 

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The objective of this study is to assess, at a sketch planning level, the physical engineering and operational feasibility and order-of-magnitude costs of reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch (RBB) for Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) or New York City Transit (NYCT) subway use between Queens and Midtown Manhattan using the LIRR Main Line or the NYCT Queens Boulevard Line (QBL). As part of the study potential intermediate stations throughout Central Queens were assessed under either LIRR or NYCT service. The SYSTRA Team (the Team) examined the option to revitalize the RBB as either a LIRR or NYCT subway alternative.

Throughout this initial phase of the study, the SYSTRA Team has held various working sessions and progress meetings with LIRR, NYCT, and MTA which has informed the direction of this project. The assumption of this analysis is based on the current capacity of both LIRR commuter and NYCT subway services. LIRR capacity assumes East Side Access opening day and service operation to both Penn Station (PSNY) and Grand Central Terminal (GCT).

For LIRR, the new alignment would connect to the Main Line and continue south along the abandoned RBB alignment to Howard Beach Station. The area south of Liberty Avenue would create a shared corridor with both LIRR and NYCT operating through this area. It is assumed that up to a 30-foot separation would be required by Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) between LIRR and NYCT unless a crash barrier is constructed between the tracks. One new storage yard would be required for LIRR trains in the vicinity of Howard Beach Station. Two potential sites have been identified, which would provide a place for train storage, minor servicing and a train crew employee facility. As discussed further, the Team has determined not to extend the LIRR option across Jamaica Bay, as it once did in the past, due to considerable environmental and land use challenges. See Figure ES1 for LIRR alignment map. A detailed description of the LIRR alignment can be found in Sections 2.1 of the report.

The NYCT option involves a connection to the Queens Boulevard Line (QBL) using an eastbound and westbound track (via a new tunnel) to the existing RBB corridor, which would then continue south and merge with the existing “A” service south of Liberty Avenue to Far Rockaway. The NYCT extension of the RBB line to the NYCT QBL would require the construction of a new tunnel for a direct underground connection to the existing QBL Station at 64th Street. It is anticipated that this option’s proposed tunnel alignment and profile may have impacts to residential buildings, subject to future detailed engineering. See Figure ES2 for the NYCT alignment map. A detailed description of the alignment can be found in Sections 2.2 of the report.

Both options include six possible new stations which are at or adjacent to where LIRR stations were previously located. For the LIRR option, a possible combined station at Aqueduct Racetrack can be constructed eliminating the existing Aqueduct Racetrack and North Conduit stations. All stations would follow current LIRR or NYCT stations design guidelines including requirements for Americans with Disability Act (ADA) access. For the LIRR, the station design will include an automatic snow and ice melt system. A detailed description of the existing conditions and proposed concept for each LIRR and NYCT station are described in Section 3.3 of the report.

 

 

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A service and operating plan was modeled by the SYSTRA Team for service between PSNY or GCT and Howard Beach for the LIRR Option. The Rockaway Beach Branch service plan assumes 15, 20, and 30 minute headways during peak hours which are comparable to other LIRR branch services. For initial planning and engineering purposes, four trains, eight cars in length, will be stored on the four tracks available in the proposed yard and crew base east of Howard Beach station. The run time from Howard Beach to PSNY or GCT is 25 minutes; train turnaround at the terminals is assumed to be 15 minute revenue to nonrevenue and 20 minute revenue to revenue train cycle times, which includes the crew changing ends and mandated inspections. Both PSNY and GCT were examined, as well as a split service between both terminals.

Per the NYCT Trip Planner, the approximate travel time for each route between 63rd Drive – Rego Park and 34th Street/Herald Square is 30 minutes. Combined with the above TPC runs, an overall travel time from Howard Beach to 34th Street/Herald Square of approximately 45 minutes is derived. Based on the combined headway of 5 or 10 minutes along Queens Boulevard, it is proposed that a new service (MX) operate along the local tracks. The service should consist of three former “M” and three former “R” trains that operate along both the 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue-Broadway lines in Midtown. The new service would provide 10 minute headway along the RBB to Howard Beach. A lower frequency 15 minute headway, which would only eliminate two trains from each of the existing service, has also been tested and is provided for analysis of the impact of train frequency on NYCT passenger ridership.

The Team also modeled travel demand forecasts for each option. For the LIRR alternative, the RBB was modeled with 15, 20, and 30 minute headways in both directions in the 4-hour AM peak period. Tables ES-1 through ES-3 demonstrate the year 2025 forecasted station level ons and offs for the RBB for the AM peak period. Using an AM peak period to a daily factor of 2.678 for LIRR ridership, the branch level daily ridership is forecasted to range from 11,200 riders to 10,800 riders, respectively, per average weekday dependent on headway.

For the NYCT alternative, the RBB was modeled with 10 minute headways in both directions in the 4-hour AM peak period. Table ES-4 demonstrates the year 2025 station level ons and offs for the RBB for the 4-hour AM peak period. Using an AM peak period to a daily factor of 2.91 for NYCT ridership, has the project stations of Howard Beach to Parkside generating approximately 47,000 riders per day.

The capital cost estimates (Table ES-5) were prepared for both the LIRR and NYCT alternatives. All costs were developed on an order of magnitude basis and do not include costs for any possible land acquisition.

Table ES-5: Capital Cost Estimate Alternative Capital Cost Estimate

Long Island Rail Road $6,774,400,000

New York City Transit $8,102,400,000

The NYCT option was estimated at a cost that is approximately 20 percent higher mainly due to the cost associated with construction of a tunnel connecting the RBB right of way with the NYCT QBL.

 

 

Uh, excuse me? Almost $2 billion more for digging a tunnel that's going to be about 4000 feet? That is half the length of the Phase I Second Avenue line.

 

More quick bits:

 

LIRR Option

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This segment of the alignment will follow the RBB ROW that is currently being used by NYCT to provide A line train service to Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park. This ROW has been operated continuously and has been maintained. This segment of the ROW begins at the Liberty Avenue at the end of the viaduct and transitions into the retained embankment at Rockaway Blvd. As the ROW continues south, the track grade is elevated above the adjacent properties and street level.

To accommodate both LIRR RBB trains and NYCT “A” Line subway trains the alignment would locate the two LIRR tracks on the eastern side and the two NYCT tracks on the western side. The alignment assumes that the NYCT tracks would hold their current position where they enter the ROW to avoid encroachment on adjacent educational facilities and residences. The Linden Boulevard and Pitkin Avenue bridges will be replaced in their entirety and will accommodate the proposed track spacing. The track alignment in this segment enters with a set of reverse curves to set the LIRR tracks east of NYCT to yield an up to 30-foot separation between the two closest track centers. The alignment continues tangent until Sutter Avenue and then continues south with a set of reverse curves to set the LIRR tracks to be at a maximum of 30-foot separation between the NYCT tracks. The alignment continues tangent until the Pitkin Avenue bridge. This portion of the alignment can be traversed at 60 mph. The track separation will cause the new retained embankment to encroach on the adjacent parallel roadway between Rockaway Boulevard and Sutter Avenue, see more on this issue in Section 3.4.1.

This viaduct and embankment segment can accommodate four tracks but only at standard track spacing using the same mode of transportation. It is assumed that an up to 30-foot separation would be required by Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) between LIRR and NYCT unless a crash barrier is constructed between the tracks. The outside tracks are currently used to provide A Train service to the stations at Aqueduct Racetrack, North Conduit/Aqueduct and Howard Beach. The center two tracks along different portions of this segment are used by NYCT for turnarounds, track maintenance and equipment storage.

This track layout would require reconfiguration of the NYCT stations at Aqueduct Racetrack and North Conduit/Aqueduct from side platforms to one combined station with center island platforms that will be located at the Racetrack and centered between the two existing stations. The existing stations would be demolished. The NYCT transit tracks will be shifted west to obtain the increased track spacing needed to accommodate a center island platform and the proposed LIRR tracks would be shifted east to accommodate a center island platform. This shift would also be needed to provide a minimum of 25-foot center to center track spacing between the LIRR and NYCT and for construction of a crash barrier. To accommodate this transition, the LIRR westbound track south of Pitkin Avenue will go through a series of reverse curves to shift alignment to the east to increase the track spacing of the LIRR tracks from 14’ to 33’-2” to accommodate a 22-foot wide island platform to provide a possible LIRR Aqueduct Racetrack Transfer Station. A similar transition would occur on the NYCT eastbound track.

Also, north of Belt Parkway the westbound LIRR track goes through a series of reverse curves to shift the alignment to east to bring track spacing between the RBB tracks back down to single track section. This shift to the east is to accommodate the NYCT tracks utilizing the existing western two tracks at Howard Beach Station. A similar transition north of the Belt Parkway would occur on the NYCT eastbound track.

 

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One new storage yard would be required for LIRR trains and two potential sites have been identified. Having a storage yard at a terminal station serves multiple purposes including a local or nearby location to store trains that start or end at the terminal station, a place to perform inspections or minor service, a location to perform a brake test before entering into service, a place to store an out-of-service train, and a place for train crews to report. The first potential site could be built off the westbound LIRR track between the Belt Parkway and Howard Beach Station. The yard will be double ended and be accessed from No. 10 turnouts on either end. The yard will include two tracks that will provide for storage, light maintenance and vehicle cleaning of LIRR trains. The outside track is 600 feet long.

The other potential site, located east of the existing boundary, would require the acquisition of additional ROW in order to be constructed. The expanded ROW will occupy land currently used as a buffer between the ROW and airport roads and parking lots. Also, the yard facility must be accessible from the street to allow access by trucks and railroad personnel which will be provided via Aqueduct Road.

A terminal storage yard could be built off the westbound LIRR track south of Howard Beach Station. The yard will be stubended and be accessed directly from the station track. The yard will include four tracks that will provide for storage, light maintenance and cleaning of LIRR trains. The tracks from west to east will all provide 700 feet of storage space. Additional ROW must be acquired to the east of the existing boundary to accommodate this storage yard. The yard facility must be accessible from the street to allow access by trucks and railroad personnel. Access as well as the layout of the facility and any welfare support facilities will require further analysis.

 

 

Subway Option
 

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The proposed connection to the NYCT Queens Boulevard Line (QBL) would require an eastbound and westbound track to the proposed RBB corridor. An anticipated connection east of the 63rd Drive Rego Park Station was incorporated in the original 1930’s construction as noted in the archived plan and profile drawings provided to the SYSTRA Team. The alignment shown in this study replicates the connections that were originally envisioned and are described in the sections that follow.

The westbound connection would diverge off the northern most QBL track and continue east parallel to the existing QBL alignment in a new cut and cover tunnel. The track would curve south through the 220-foot existing underpass between 65th Road and 66th Avenue on a 500-foot to 600-foot compound curve for 15 mph. operation. The track would continue under the east side of 66th Avenue for a short distance and then into a reverse curve under the LIRR Main Line. The alignment enters the abandoned RBB corridor south of the LIRR Main Line. The curved 30 mph alignment was set to avoid a large seven-story residential building, just south of the LIRR Main Line, which is assumed to have deep pile foundations. This section of the alignment would be in a new bored tunnel which is discussed in greater detail in Section 3.4.2 of this report. The eastbound connection would be in an existing tunnel flare section built just east of 65th Road. A 500 to 525-foot compound curve for 15 mph operation curves south to the west side of 66th Avenue and parallels the alignment described above for the westbound track.

Both tracks would portal north of Fleet Street and would traverse the old RBB ROW from a tunnel to an embankment section. New UG bridges would be installed at Fleet Street and Yellowstone Boulevard. The alignment will continue tangent through Metropolitan Avenue. A new NYCT subway “Parkside” Station would be located just south of Metropolitan Avenue. The station would include two side platforms for RBB service.

The alignment will continue south following the old RBB alignment on a 50 mph “S” curve over Union Turnpike and under the Jackie Robinson Parkway. The track would be constructed on a new embankment section at normal 14’-0” track centers. The track would be tangent from Jackie Robinson Parkway to Park Lane South. The tracks curve southwest to Jamaica Avenue on a 50-mph alignment.

A new NYCT “Brooklyn Manor” Station would be located on tangent track just south of Jamaica Avenue. Two side platforms for RBB service are assumed. A new NYCT subway “Woodhaven” Station will be centered over Atlantic Avenue with two side platforms for RBB service and potential customer transfer to LIRR Service on the Atlantic Branch below. The embankment in this section ends at 97th Avenue where the ROW transitions to a viaduct.

This viaduct section which has been out-of-service for many years is assumed to be replaced in its entirety with a new viaduct section. See Section 3.4.1 for more info. This section is on a tangent alignment from 97th Avenue through Liberty Avenue. A new NYCT subway “Ozone Park” Station would be located between 101st and 103rd Avenues, with two new side platforms for RBB service.

South of Liberty Avenue, a new interlocking configuration is required to tie the proposed RBB service in with existing “A” Line service. The configuration shown in this study shows the two RBB tracks tying into the westbound “A” Line track followed by a double crossover for routing to the eastbound “A” Line track. Similarly, the “A” Line tracks converge to the eastbound track and would follow normal operations from that point east. This interlocking layout allows trains to diverge either on the RBB or the “A” line, though there is a short section of single track on either connection. Alternative layouts at this location will be discussed further with NYCT. The service from Sutter Avenue south assumes existing NYCT “A” Line service as no additional infrastructure changes are planned.

 

 

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The above is using the Subway or LIRR as a stub to Howard Beach, essentially.

 

Below is using the LIRR to go directly to the Airport:

 

LIRR Direct to Airport

https://new.mta.info/document/10986

 

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The Phase Two portion of the LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch/JFK Airport One-Seat Ride Rail Study included an evaluation of the feasibility of new Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service from Midtown Manhattan to the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport Central Terminal Area (CTA). The service would provide a single seat ride with no transfer except at the JFK CTA. Two of the three alignments reviewed would use the LIRR Main Line to access a restored Rockaway Beach Branch (RBB), which is documented in the “Phase One Rockaway Beach Branch Sketch Assessment Draft White Paper.” The third alignment would use a connection between the LIRR Main Line and the AirTrain infrastructure at Jamaica Station.

This memorandum, Rockaway Beach Branch/JFK Airport One-Seat Ride Rail Study Draft Technical Memo #3, further explores the feasibility of three alignments considered in the “Phase Two: Rockaway Beach Branch/JFK Airport One-Seat Ride Rail Study Draft Technical Memo #2 (Tech Memo #2), alignments “North of Howard Beach” and “South of Howard Beach.” The three alignments are being examined more closely as they pertain to constructability, travel demands, service and operation, and potential costs.

 

 

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Both the alignments proposed, North of Howard Beach and South of Howard Beach (Figures 3 & 4, above), will fall within the soft ground. The anticipated subsurface geology at both sites will consist of Fill and Organic Silty Clay underlain by glacial deposits consisting of Varved Silt, Clay, Fine Sand, Glacial Outwash Sand and Glacial Till deposits extending to an approximate depth of 100 feet below the existing surface. This in turn is underlain with Raritan Clay and Lloyd Sand deposits extending to approximate depths of 350 feet and 400 feet, respectively. Bedrock consisting of Gneiss and Schist occur at an approximate depth of 400 feet below the existing surface. Groundwater is likely to be encountered at shallower depths.

South of the proposed alignments, towards Rockaway Boulevard and Howard Boulevard, the thickness of the abovementioned soil layers increase in direct correlation to an increase in the thickness of the Glacial Till layer. It is likely that this layer will be underlain by Glacial Gardiners Clay and Jameco Gravel deposits. The depth of bedrock increases to approximately 600 ft.

Further south of the proposed alignments closer to JFK, the in-situ soils include an approximately 10-foot-thick organic silty clay layer below the fill layer. The Gneiss and Schist Bedrock is likely to be encountered below a depth of 800 feet. The proposed tunnel alignment will likely pass through glacial outwash sand deposits.

The North of Howard Beach alignment will mainly run on a viaduct structure before descending into a tunnel upon approaching the CTA of JFK. The anticipated viaduct will need to be constructed on deep foundations, either driven or drilled piles. Several road segments and sidewalks in the vicinity will need to be closed for the duration of construction, adversely impacting traffic. Test borings will need to be drilled to specific depths to evaluate subsurface materials at the proposed viaduct pier locations. The driving and or drilling of piles for f the pier foundations will create ground borne noise and vibrations.

The South of Howard Beach alignment will consist of mostly tunnel into the CTA of JFK. Several borings will be required to more accurately determine the subsurface and ground water conditions as well as the appropriateness for use of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) along the alignment. Several multi-story buildings along the alignment likely occur on deep foundations and may be impacted by tunneling. In addition to privately owned structures, there may be situations where the proposed tunnel will affect the foundation of a structure in the public ROW. Buildings not situated on piles may be able to remain in place, with a compensation grouting program to account and adjust for settlement during the TBM drive. Existing structures and foundations will be individually evaluated during preliminary engineering and based on the findings will be secured or acquired accordingly.

Based on the previous NYCT subway tunnel project in this area, tunneling through sand and gravel with occasional boulders (soft ground) will be challenging, but constructible. The general quality of ground can be described as granular, uncemented and medium dense to dense material. Tunneling problems arise when the ground is unstable (running ground/flowing ground). Should unstable ground be encountered installation of deep dewatering wells may be required to counteract the effect of the water.

 

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The LIRR service options that utilize the Rockaway Beach Branch were modeled with 20 minute headways in both directions in the 4-hour AM Peak Period. An assumed runtime of 10 minutes was used for travel time between the Aqueduct Station and JFK Terminal for both the North and South of Howard Beach alignments making their project ridership the same. The LIRR is at capacity on the west end of their system. In order to accommodate LIRR service to JFK service to other LIRR branches would be impacted. For example purposes, the following scenario was created to reduce service on other branches:

• Port Jefferson/Huntington Branch increased Manhattan bound train headways from 14 minute to 17 minute, eastbound trains increased headways to Long Island from 48 to 60 minute headways.

• Ronkonkoma Branch increased Manhattan bound train headways from 10 minute to 11 minute headways, eastbound trains reduced service from Manhattan from 30 minute headways to 34 minute headways.

• Hempstead Branch increased Manhattan bound train headways from 24 minute to 27 minute headways.

• Babylon Branch increased Manhattan bound train headways from 7 minute to 8 minute headways.

Table 1 shows the projected year 2025 station level ons and offs for the Rockaway Beach Branch for the 4-hour AM Peak Period as well as AM Peak boardings as modeled by the RTFM. Using an AM peak period to daily factor of 2.678 for LIRR ridership for daily boardings between Midtown Manhattan and Aqueduct Station and AirTrain AM peak period to daily factor of 2.41 for JFK boardings, the branch level daily ridership is forecasted to be approximately 11,200 commuter trips per average weekday.

The peak to daily factor for AirTrain stations was developed using the 2015 modeled ridership for the AirTrain at non-JFK terminal stations of 10,200 boardings compared to the average weekday boardings at non-JFK terminal stations from August 2017 with observed data of 24,800 boardings for a peak to daily factor of 2.41 for AirTrain Station boardings.

The RTFM model forecasts average weekday ridership for “regular” work and non-work travel but does not take into account air passenger travel in a meaningful way. In order to estimate air passengers that would potentially use a One Seat Ride (OSR) service, the PANYNJ developed forecasts to estimate the mode split a OSR service would be based on using the current model splits at JFK and selected airports worldwide. Based on a forecasted 237,635 average daily passengers at the airport, 18.7% of whom transfer to connecting flights within the airport from the “PANYNJ, John F. Kennedy International Airport: 2016- 2050 Unconstrained Forecast”, the PANYNJ estimated average weekday ridership on an OSR service for air passengers to be between 9,000 and 16,700 passengers per day. Their estimates factor in current AirTrain ridership from the “JFK 2017 Air Passengers Survey – Modal Split O/D Manhattan” and “2017 AirTrain Survey”, the proportion of air passengers that are coming from or traveling to Manhattan from the “2017 JFK CTA Data Collection – Frontage Passenger Survey”, group size from the “JFK 2017 Air Passengers Survey – Group Size Frontage Survey” for trips with Manhattan only, and asserted modal shift from other modes to an OSR from between 10 and 25% for eligible trips. For these forecasts the lower forecast of 9,000 air passengers per day was used as the forecasts treated all of Manhattan air passengers equally as the travel market, and mode shares for the high end were based on Heathrow Express ridership in London which operates as a non-stop premium rail service to and from the airport terminal and operates off of dedicated platforms at a central London train station which are features that will not exist in this scenario. The PANYNJ’s travel model identifies origins and destinations within Manhattan but does not provide data at the more localized level (neighborhood, TAZ, etc). As such all Manhattan trips are treated equally, regardless of their distance from Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal. Proximity and ease of access to Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal will influence modal choice.

 

 

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Hybrid vehicle

In the hybrid vehicle scenario is introduced, service will run between Penn Station/ GCT and Jamaica over the LIRR Main Line. In Jamaica, trains will use a new connection to be built to enter/leave the Jamaica AirTrain terminal. At that point, trains will reverse ends. Airport bound trains will be switched over to the AirTrain Automatic Train Control (ATC) system, as well as any other operations necessary to make them AirTrain compatible. Westbound trains will have the reverse operations performed. Airport bound trains will then proceed to operate over the AirTrain system into the airport, making all regular AirTrain stops.

Running times between Manhattan and Jamaica are approximately 18 minutes for non-stop trains, and 22 minutes for trains making all local stops (Woodside, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens) per the LIRR employee timetable. According to the PANYNJ website the AirTrain travels to the airport from Jamaica every 4 to 12 minutes and the run time is about 10 minutes.

 


 

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Capital Costs

The capital cost estimates presented in the “Phase One Rockaway Beach Branch Sketch Assessment Draft White Paper” were amended to prepare an estimate for both the North and South of Howard Beach alignments. The alignment estimates take into account the required changes in the infrastructure from the vicinity of Aqueduct Station to the JFK CTA. All costs were developed on an order of magnitude basis and in accordance with the LIRR’s estimating format. The basis of estimate items noted in the “Phase One Rockaway Beach Branch Sketch Assessment Draft White Paper” apply to these estimates and are only amended by the following items:

• Soft cost for agency service support costs (Utility Companies, etc.) assumed at 5% of cost.

• Force accounts costs as shown for each work category.

• No costs are included for pedestrian access to air terminal from rail terminal station(s). • Estimate developed for one station at JFK in CTA.

• Costs associated with any additional fleet/rolling stock that may be needed for this service are not being analyzed or estimated in this study.

The total cost of each alignment option is shown in the table below. See Appendix F for the detailed cost breakdown for each alignment.

Alternative Capital Cost Estimate

North of Howard Beach $19,346,000,000

South of Howard Beach $19,488,000,000

Note: The total above are inclusive of phase 1 and phase 2.

 

 

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Most relevant to NYCS, 

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Based on the combined headway of 5 minutes or 10 minutes along Queens Boulevard, it is proposed that a new service (MX) operate along the local tracks. The service should consist of three former “M” and three former “R” trains that operate along both the 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue-Broadway lines in Midtown. The new service would provide 10 minute headway along the RBB to Howard Beach. A lower frequency 15-minute headway, which would only eliminate two trains from each of the existing service, has also been tested and is provided for analysis of the impact of train frequency on NYCT passenger ridership.

Seems way more confusing than just routing one of the (M)(R) down the RBB. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, GojiMet86 said:

Uh, excuse me? Almost $2 billion more for digging a tunnel that's going to be about 4000 feet? That is half the length of the Phase I Second Avenue line.

I honestly fail to see how it should be $2 billion for that tunnel. I’ve seen posted on SubChat that there may actually be a connecting tunnel in place. I myself can’t vouch for the extent of said tunnel, but if there is a significant amount of tunnel already there, then that crazy high $2 billion figure absolutely needs to come down. Even with having to dig under the LIRR Main Line and up to a portal near Fleet Street.

2 hours ago, Caelestor said:

Most relevant to NYCS, 

Seems way more confusing than just routing one of the (M)(R) down the RBB. 

Yes, why the need for a new service? One that will force a reduction in existing (M) and (R) service. I’m sure Bushwick and Bay Ridge riders would absolutely love that.
 

I think it would be better to route the (W) down the RBB, replacing the current (R) as far as 63rd Drive (the (R) would be displaced to Astoria, in turn displacing the (N) to 2nd Ave). 

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue
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19 hours ago, Caelestor said:

Most relevant to NYCS, 

Seems way more confusing than just routing one of the (M)(R) down the RBB. 

That’s to be expected. I mean, it’s not like they’re experts or anything, right? /s

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, CenSin said:

That’s to be expected. I mean, it’s not like they’re experts or anything, right? /s

It least it was better than what I was initally proposing for my NYC Subway Grand Master plan (SAS using the RBB and Queens Bypass). Good thing I dropped that from my plan.

Also, I'm surprised that they did not consider additional stations on the lien for better bus connectivity. From south to north, I would've proposed these stops for better connectivity:

  • Liberty Avenue (Q112, (A))
  • 101st Avenue (Q8)
  • Atlantic Avenue (Q24)
  • Brooklyn Manor-Jamaica Avenue (Q56, (J)/(Z))
  • Myrtle Avenue (Q55)
  • Union Turnpike (Q23)
  • Metropolitan Avenue (Q54)
  • Yellowstone Blvd (QM12, QM42)
  • Fleet-Dartmouth Streets

That would've given more opportunities for Richmond Hill residents to ride the new line as well.

Edited by JeremiahC99

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45 minutes ago, JeremiahC99 said:

It least it was better than what I was initally proposing for my NYC Subway Grand Master plan (SAS using the RBB and Queens Bypass). Good thing I dropped that from my plan.

Also, I'm surprised that they did not consider additional stations on the lien for better bus connectivity. From south to north, I would've proposed these stops for better connectivity:

  • Liberty Avenue (Q112, (A))
  • 101st Avenue (Q8)
  • Atlantic Avenue (Q24)
  • Brooklyn Manor-Jamaica Avenue (Q56, (J)/(Z))
  • Myrtle Avenue (Q55)
  • Union Turnpike (Q23)
  • Metropolitan Avenue (Q54)
  • Yellowstone Blvd (QM12, QM42)
  • Fleet-Dartmouth Streets

That would've given more opportunities for Richmond Hill residents to ride the new line as well.

Liberty Avenue and 101st/103rd would be in too close proximity from one another

I agree with Myrtle Avenue. 

Union Turnpike, Maybe. But then you also have the Q52+, Q53+, and the Q23 at Metropolitan Avenue. 

Fleet Street, its where a portal might be located for trains to enter a tunnel, so I don't know.

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Interesting idea having both (M) and (R) run down the line. Should only be one (the (M)) though. If they go along with the MX plan (V) would be the best name for it.

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1 hour ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

Yes, but which alternative was designated as "preferred" before the study even began?

That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Though it seems like the (MTA) prefers the LIRR option. I personally think the NYCT option will go through but I don’t know. 🤷‍♂️

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Posted (edited)

For all the talk of it being "cheaper" the LIRR option is $6.7B vs $8.1B. Ridership would be 11k vs 47k, respectively. And the LIRR option uses up slots from pretty much every Main Line service (duh) and they tried real hard to sandbag the NYCT option with the MX.

$609K per rider for LIRR. $172K per rider for NYCT. We may as well just set the State Treasury on fire.

That being said, I do believe the ridership stats. The current Q52/53 combo is 21k riders daily, so a bit more than doubling of current ridership sounds like a fine estimate.

Edited by bobtehpanda
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I thought the Q52 was supposed to be the greatest route in the boro. Does this mean that SBS is a mistake?

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3 hours ago, NY1635 said:

I thought the Q52 was supposed to be the greatest route in the boro. Does this mean that SBS is a mistake?

Where is this even coming from?

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On 10/8/2019 at 8:49 PM, T to Dyre Avenue said:

I honestly fail to see how it should be $2 billion for that tunnel. I’ve seen posted on SubChat that there may actually be a connecting tunnel in place. I myself can’t vouch for the extent of said tunnel, but if there is a significant amount of tunnel already there, then that crazy high $2 billion figure absolutely needs to come down. Even with having to dig under the LIRR Main Line and up to a portal near Fleet Street.

Yes, why the need for a new service? One that will force a reduction in existing (M) and (R) service. I’m sure Bushwick and Bay Ridge riders would absolutely love that.
 

I think it would be better to route the (W) down the RBB, replacing the current (R) as far as 63rd Drive (the (R) would be displaced to Astoria, in turn displacing the (N) to 2nd Ave). 

What I suspect would happen in that scenario would be any new train would replace the (R) that in turn might turn brown and in that scenario run Bay Ridge to Essex via Nassau.  while the (M) is unaffected other than perhaps becoming a seven-day-a-week line between Metropolitan and 71-Continental with the (M) possibly adding runs to offset the loss of the (R) in Queens.

Edited to add: Your routing for the (W) mirrors what I had in mind originally for this, with the (W) running Whitehall-Rockaway Park and indeed replacing the (R) in Queens while the (R) runs it's "natural" route between 95th-Bay Ridge and Astoria, however, given the (MTA) apparently wanting a yard on one end or the other, I could see the (R) going to Nassau with the (W) becoming much more beefed up to become the full-time Broadway Local running via the RBB to Rockaway Park (eliminating the need for the Rockaway (S) as well as the rush-hour (A) trains there), with some (W) trains southbound extended to 9th Avenue on the (D) where it can turn. 

Edited by Wallyhorse
Noting W Changes

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On 10/8/2019 at 6:00 PM, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

I’m on the subway while reading this, but couldn’t you have just added this to the existing Rockaway Beach Branch Thread?

I was rushing before I went to shul for Yom Kippur.

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4 hours ago, Wallyhorse said:

What I suspect would happen in that scenario would be any new train would replace the (R) that in turn might turn brown and in that scenario run Bay Ridge to Essex via Nassau.  while the (M) is unaffected other than perhaps becoming a seven-day-a-week line between Metropolitan and 71-Continental with the (M) possibly adding runs to offset the loss of the (R) in Queens.

Edited to add: Your routing for the (W) mirrors what I had in mind originally for this, with the (W) running Whitehall-Rockaway Park and indeed replacing the (R) in Queens while the (R) runs it's "natural" route between 95th-Bay Ridge and Astoria, however, given the (MTA) apparently wanting a yard on one end or the other, I could see the (R) going to Nassau with the (W) becoming much more beefed up to become the full-time Broadway Local running via the RBB to Rockaway Park (eliminating the need for the Rockaway (S) as well as the rush-hour (A) trains there), with some (W) trains southbound extended to 9th Avenue on the (D) where it can turn. 

Isn't the Williamsburg Bridge TPH already to the max? How are you going to add more (M) train runs?

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19 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

Isn't the Williamsburg Bridge TPH already to the max? How are you going to add more (M) train runs?

You could add those extra (M)’s as short turns to 2nd Avenue until the capacity constraints along the Williamsburg Bridge are dealt with.

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1 hour ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

You could add those extra (M)’s as short turns to 2nd Avenue until the capacity constraints along the Williamsburg Bridge are dealt with.

And what about 6th Avenue? 

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1 hour ago, Lawrence St said:

Isn't the Williamsburg Bridge TPH already to the max? How are you going to add more (M) train runs?

It is not. 21 TPH run over the bridge, and 3 more can be run. With some capital improvements, such as grade-separating Myrtle, fixing the curve at Marcy, and rebuilding Essex, you should be able to get 28-30.

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6 hours ago, Wallyhorse said:

What I suspect would happen in that scenario would be any new train would replace the (R) that in turn might turn brown and in that scenario run Bay Ridge to Essex via Nassau.  while the (M) is unaffected other than perhaps becoming a seven-day-a-week line between Metropolitan and 71-Continental with the (M) possibly adding runs to offset the loss of the (R) in Queens.

Edited to add: Your routing for the (W) mirrors what I had in mind originally for this, with the (W) running Whitehall-Rockaway Park and indeed replacing the (R) in Queens while the (R) runs it's "natural" route between 95th-Bay Ridge and Astoria, however, given the (MTA) apparently wanting a yard on one end or the other, I could see the (R) going to Nassau with the (W) becoming much more beefed up to become the full-time Broadway Local running via the RBB to Rockaway Park (eliminating the need for the Rockaway (S) as well as the rush-hour (A) trains there), with some (W) trains southbound extended to 9th Avenue on the (D) where it can turn. 

Yes, Wallyhorse, I do remember you posting about running the (W) on the RBB, but coupled with a whole host of changes to train service in South Brooklyn. At that time, I wasn’t sold on it and I felt an extended (M) or (R) would be much simpler. Since then, I’ve soured on extending the (M) or (R). This is due to all the discussion we’ve all had on delays and less-frequent service due to the many merges and reverse-branching present throughout the system, especially in the B-Division. And both the (M) and (R) have many merges, especially the (M). Meanwhile, the (R) is a very long local route that’s failing miserably at having to do triple-duty as the local on QB, Broadway and 4th Ave. Extending it to the Rockaways would only make it worse.

I’ve become such a fan of getting rid of the (N) express/local merge at 34th St, because I see it as a prime example of why we can’t run trains as fast or frequently during rush hours as we should be. But then, the (N) can no longer go to Astoria and something has to run in its place. That’s why recently I’ve been in favor of sending the (R) back to Astoria and running the (W) to Rockaway via QB local. Though I really would prefer to have it not continue past Whitehall, otherwise it will be almost as long as an extended (R) would be.

2 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Isn't the Williamsburg Bridge TPH already to the max? How are you going to add more (M) train runs?

Exactly. The loss of the (R) at 67th Avenue (my home station from 2012-15) may not be the end of the world, especially if it’s only the (M) that’s turning at Continental. They may be able to get the trains in and out faster. And, like @Union Tpke just posted, they can run three more (M) trains.

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue

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1 hour ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Yes, Wallyhorse, I do remember you posting about running the (W) on the RBB, but coupled with a whole host of changes to train service in South Brooklyn. At that time, I wasn’t sold on it and I felt an extended (M) or (R) would be much simpler. Since then, I’ve soured on extending the (M) or (R). This is due to all the discussion we’ve all had on delays and less-frequent service due to the many merges and reverse-branching present throughout the system, especially in the B-Division. And both the (M) and (R) have many merges, especially the (M). Meanwhile, the (R) is a very long local route that’s failing miserably at having to do triple-duty as the local on QB, Broadway and 4th Ave. Extending it to the Rockaways would only make it worse.

I’ve become such a fan of getting rid of the (N) express/local merge at 34th St, because I see it as a prime example of why we can’t run trains as fast or frequently during rush hours as we should be. But then, the (N) can no longer go to Astoria and something has to run in its place. That’s why recently I’ve been in favor of sending the (R) back to Astoria and running the (W) to Rockaway via QB local. Though I really would prefer to have it not continue past Whitehall, otherwise it will be almost as long as an extended (R) would be.

Exactly. The loss of the (R) at 67th Avenue (my home station from 2012-15) may not be the end of the world, especially if it’s only the (M) that’s turning at Continental. They may be able to get the trains in and out faster. And, like @Union Tpke just posted, they can run three more (M) trains.

The 34th St merge is ridiculous and not needed, but the (MTA) just HAS to have the (N) stop at 49th St...

And let's not forget the 2010-2016 era where the (N) was the Broadway Local, the merges were so bad that you would have been better off taking the (N) or (Q) and still get to the same place within that timeframe.

Edited by Lawrence St
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23 hours ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

Liberty Avenue and 101st/103rd would be in too close proximity from one another

I agree with Myrtle Avenue. 

Union Turnpike, Maybe. But then you also have the Q52+, Q53+, and the Q23 at Metropolitan Avenue. 

Fleet Street, its where a portal might be located for trains to enter a tunnel, so I don't know.

I decided on my locations of the proposed stops to allow for better coverage for Richmond Hill. In addition, the Union Turnpike stop was added to allow for better access to the Forest View Crescent Apartments. However, I did not account for some of the stop spacing concerns you bring up. Maybe if I drop Liberty Avenue and Fleet Street stops, as well as consolidate the Metropolitan Avenue and Union Turnpike stops into a single station between Metropolitan Avenue and a point north of Union Turnpike as well, maybe we can accomplish both while allowing for adequate speeds. Final stops from South to north:

  • 101st/103rd Avenue 
  • Atlantic Avenue 
  • Brooklyn Manor-Jamaica Avenue 
  • Myrtle Avenue 
  • Metropolitan Avenue-Union Turnpike
  • Yellowstone Blvd 

What do you think?

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Except the first and the last, those are all good locations for new stations. Yellowstone is even closer to Metro than Union Turnpike and it has no connecting regular local bus service, so you really don’t need a station there. I prefer a stop at Liberty Avenue over 101st/103rd, because you can then connect to the Lefferts (A) branch, which would make it convenient for all (A) riders coming from the west to travel north on the RBB (which I’ll refer to as the (W), as that’s my preference for the train that should run there). 

Might I also suggest adding an infill (A)(W) station at Linden Blvd/Centerville St and closing the northbound-only Aqueduct Racetrack station? This would not only facilitate opposite-direction transfers between the (A) and (W), but it would be a way more convenient place for potential riders in the Cross Bay Blvd corridor to board the train - unlike the current Aqueduct station, which is located entirely on racetrack grounds and doesn’t allow for easy bus transfers.

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue

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