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NYCT - Bottlenecks Discussion Thread

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4 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

It would not be worth it, but you could in theory rebuild 3/149 and 149/GC so the (2) and <5> do not merge in the peak-direction,

If you are going to rebuild those two stops for non merging operations, you might as well rebuild the whole damn junction at 149th Street to speed service. That’s also a bottleneck. In fact, just take it a step further and just redo upper Lenox Avenue. How? Here’s the solution:

A new two track line would split from the existing Lenox Line and drop down to a new lower level. At this new lower level, there would be a new 145th Street station that is truly capable of fitting a 10-car train, ending those constant “only the first 5 cars will open at 145th Street announcements” and the inevitable confusion is occasionally entails. After that, the new tunnel will then go under the Harlem River to 150th Street, where a grade separated Junction will allow for a connection to the existing 149th Street station on the White Plains Road Line, while another set of tracks merges with the existing Jerome Avenue Line under Franz Siegel Park. While the connection to 149th will be used by the (2) trains, the connection to the Jerome Avenue Line will be used by the (3) train so that it can supplement the (4) train up to anywhere this line can terminate (I know for a fact that it won’t be terminating at Woodlawn). This way, if the Lexington Avenue Line gets messed up, at least service can continue running to Manhattan and Brooklyn via the Lenox Avenue Line rather than stop dead completely.

148th Street will close (but the existing tracks will remain) and be replaced by enhanced bus service to the 110th Street (2)(3) station. 

Meanwhile, the merge used by the (5) train will be moved to somewhere between Grand Concourse and 3rd Avenue so folks coming from Dyre Avenue can get a faster ride to Manhattan.

And just like that, no more bottlenecks on the (2) and (5), plus more system redundancy. Isn’t that great?

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People need to stop with this idea of sending the (3) via the (4) in the Bronx. We don’t need more interlining and the emptier (3) is critical for Harlem and UWS riders. This foamer idea needs to die.

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Yeah, there’s no need for the (3) to be extended to/from the Bronx via Jerome Avenue...for anyone in the Bronx who needs direct service to/from the West Side of Manhattan, the (B)(D) Grand Concourse corridor are already a block or two away from the (4) Jerome Avenue corridor.

Edited by Jemorie
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24 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

People need to stop with this idea of sending the (3) via the (4) in the Bronx. We don’t need more interlining and the emptier (3) is critical for Harlem and UWS riders. This foamer idea needs to die.

Honestly, with this plan, the only station that would lose service is Harlem-148th Street. This station was built to address poor bus and trolley service at the time. Though bus service still has a long way to go, times have changed. If the nearby M2, M7, and M102 bus lines are increased, then this should offset losses in service.

In addition, though this plan would induce interlining, there would be much much larger 145th Street that can finally fit a 10-car train. Since the current station can only allow 5 cars to open up, having people walk up from the rear of the train at 135th Street would end up causing delays. The at-grade Junction on the (2) and (3) as well as the (5)  train merge at 149th Street slows down service on the entire (2)(3)(4) and (5), and the current (5) train service is immensely popular.

Even though the (3) to the Bronx would create interlining on the (4), the benefits will offset the losses. First, the grade at 145th Street and the sharp curves on the (5) train are eliminated, those that’s two bottlenecks killed in one stone. The second is that rather than only 5-cars opening at 145th Street, now all 10-cars can open up there, eliminating the need to walk up from the rear 5-cars at 145th Street, reducing delays. After all, if we can get a new South Ferry station built to replace antiqued facilities, then we can sure as hell get a 10-car 145th Street station and eliminate our slow junctions. Finally, we can have some system redundancy, so in the event the Lexington Avenue Line stops running, service can be rerouted to the West Side and into Brooklyn, allowing the line to continue operating.

However, to address any concerns over Jerome Avenue interlining, an alternative I can think of is sending the (3) into a new Bronx corridor, rather than the Jerome Avenue Line. This would open up subway service to areas that are currently underserved, while providing the same benefits the new junction provides.
 

Under any scenario, coupled with a Rogers Avenue deinterlining, service on the (2)(3)(4) and (5) would be sped up, improving service. After all, who wouldn’t want a 10-car 145th Street Junction or junctions that aren’t at-grade and come with very sharp curves?

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This obsession with the (2) , (3) , and (5) lines, especially the area around Lenox Yard and the 149th St Concourse and the Third Avenue stations is fascinating to me. I see unrealistic construction ideas proposed that are supposed to be built by a broke agency that can’t deliver the agenda it already has laid out. Thinking of SAS and ESA. I realize that we’re talking Random Thoughts, aka “ Fantasy Island “ stuff, but ignoring reality does have it’s limits, IMO. For example has anyone ever waited at the ten car marker at the north end of the (2) , (5) , platform at the Concourse? Remember that muffled sound heard from time to time ? That’s the existing infrastructure  for the MNRR. That five car platform at 145th and Lenox is causing delays on the (3) line ? Since when ? I have never experienced that as a C/R, M/M, or a passenger. As Union TPK posted before that idea about the (2) and (5)  at East 180th was argued about twenty years ago. While some of the demographics may have changed the original argument still exists today. Does the subway run for operational reasons or to serve the ridership ? It boils down to a simplistic approach. Back then the public, via it’s politicians, spoke.. That bottleneck of the S curve from Tremont to East 180 has been there forever. It’s constructed to avoid private property and the original train yard which was demolished back then and the sold  property put to other use. BTW the old trackage no longer exists for reconstruction of the old station at the East. That old section was removed and the (MTA) doesn’t own the property between there and the old railroad ROW connection IIRC the old and the new bus depots utilized some of that land. Just my observations. Agree or not. No hard feelings on this end. Carry on.

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13 hours ago, Trainmaster5 said:

This obsession with the (2) , (3) , and (5) lines, especially the area around Lenox Yard and the 149th St Concourse and the Third Avenue stations is fascinating to me. I see unrealistic construction ideas proposed that are supposed to be built by a broke agency that can’t deliver the agenda it already has laid out. Thinking of SAS and ESA. I realize that we’re talking Random Thoughts, aka “ Fantasy Island “ stuff, but ignoring reality does have it’s limits, IMO. For example has anyone ever waited at the ten car marker at the north end of the (2) , (5) , platform at the Concourse? Remember that muffled sound heard from time to time ? That’s the existing infrastructure  for the MNRR. That five car platform at 145th and Lenox is causing delays on the (3) line ? Since when ? I have never experienced that as a C/R, M/M, or a passenger. As Union TPK posted before that idea about the (2) and (5)  at East 180th was argued about twenty years ago. While some of the demographics may have changed the original argument still exists today. Does the subway run for operational reasons or to serve the ridership ? It boils down to a simplistic approach. Back then the public, via it’s politicians, spoke.. That bottleneck of the S curve from Tremont to East 180 has been there forever. It’s constructed to avoid private property and the original train yard which was demolished back then and the sold  property put to other use. BTW the old trackage no longer exists for reconstruction of the old station at the East. That old section was removed and the (MTA) doesn’t own the property between there and the old railroad ROW connection IIRC the old and the new bus depots utilized some of that land. Just my observations. Agree or not. No hard feelings on this end. Carry on.

Do you recall the time before MTA demolished the NYWB section South of East 180th St and how far it went? 

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I want to thank @Union Tpke for your post from Dec. 26 with pictures of the report about MTA's plan to address E180th by making all Dyre Ave trains local and the public's reaction which killed such proposal.  

As many of us who favor deinterlining know that by eliminating the places where trains can cross each other's paths, we can remove real bottlenecks in the system and thus make it a better system for all (passengers, operators, trains, etc.).  But when doing so may ruin someone's commute, or be perceived to ruin someone's commute, you have to answer to the public and then such a no-brainer improvement will simply not be done.

Pushing Dyre Ave trains local along the 149-180 stretch, and pushing WPR trains express over same stretch, clearly will avoid a lot of backups at the E180 junction.  Doing so could be a cheap way to avoid delays and possibly allow more trains along this stretch.  Sadly, a pilot to try out the service pattern change for a few months was not allowed.  A dramatic improvement in their running times may have improved their commute, even with a transfer.

IMO, part of the problem was that the service pattern didn't offer anything to be gained for Dyre Ave commuters.  If you are essentially going to force all dyre Ave commuters to get off their trains at E180th and wait for an express to 149th, the only way that would be feasible would be a significant service increase to Dyre Ave.  IIRC, during rush hour, there are 12 TPH #2 trains, 7 TPH #5 trains to WPR, and 7 TPH #5 trains to Dyre.  Dyre Ave customers may have to wait awhile at thier home stations, but once they do, they get the train they want.  So, the only solution would have been more Dyre Ave trains, albeit locals, and fewer WPR trains which would all be express.  Would that have been palatable?

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13 hours ago, mrsman said:

I want to thank @Union Tpke for your post from Dec. 26 with pictures of the report about MTA's plan to address E180th by making all Dyre Ave trains local and the public's reaction which killed such proposal.  

As many of us who favor deinterlining know that by eliminating the places where trains can cross each other's paths, we can remove real bottlenecks in the system and thus make it a better system for all (passengers, operators, trains, etc.).  But when doing so may ruin someone's commute, or be perceived to ruin someone's commute, you have to answer to the public and then such a no-brainer improvement will simply not be done.

Pushing Dyre Ave trains local along the 149-180 stretch, and pushing WPR trains express over same stretch, clearly will avoid a lot of backups at the E180 junction.  Doing so could be a cheap way to avoid delays and possibly allow more trains along this stretch.  Sadly, a pilot to try out the service pattern change for a few months was not allowed.  A dramatic improvement in their running times may have improved their commute, even with a transfer.

IMO, part of the problem was that the service pattern didn't offer anything to be gained for Dyre Ave commuters.  If you are essentially going to force all dyre Ave commuters to get off their trains at E180th and wait for an express to 149th, the only way that would be feasible would be a significant service increase to Dyre Ave.  IIRC, during rush hour, there are 12 TPH #2 trains, 7 TPH #5 trains to WPR, and 7 TPH #5 trains to Dyre.  Dyre Ave customers may have to wait awhile at thier home stations, but once they do, they get the train they want.  So, the only solution would have been more Dyre Ave trains, albeit locals, and fewer WPR trains which would all be express.  Would that have been palatable?

They would have certainly had to increase service to Drye to serve all of the local stations.

Maybe Byford can get this plan through with fast forward.

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8 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

They would have certainly had to increase service to Drye to serve all of the local stations.

Maybe Byford can get this plan through with fast forward.

There is something else that has been in the pipeline for some time, not here, but somewhere else. That is all I can say. Wait for the spring.

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13 hours ago, mrsman said:

I want to thank @Union Tpke for your post from Dec. 26 with pictures of the report about MTA's plan to address E180th by making all Dyre Ave trains local and the public's reaction which killed such proposal.  

As many of us who favor deinterlining know that by eliminating the places where trains can cross each other's paths, we can remove real bottlenecks in the system and thus make it a better system for all (passengers, operators, trains, etc.).  But when doing so may ruin someone's commute, or be perceived to ruin someone's commute, you have to answer to the public and then such a no-brainer improvement will simply not be done.

Your points about the service change's drawbacks are well taken.

I would just like to also point out that even if it was a good plan, MTA has laughably bad PR. They couldn't sell bars of pure gold if they tried.

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4 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

There is something else that has been in the pipeline for some time, not here, but somewhere else. That is all I can say. Wait for the spring.

Any specific month?

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4 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

Your points about the service change's drawbacks are well taken.

I would just like to also point out that even if it was a good plan, MTA has laughably bad PR. They couldn't sell bars of pure gold if they tried.

You are right about that.  

In reality, this improvement alone would have only had a marginal benefit.  If it could be built in conjuntion with other improvements to the iRT (Grand Concourse, Rogers), then we might actually be able to force more trains through there.

The MTA should be given a little more flexibility with some of these pilot projects.  Try it out for 3 months and see if it improves travel times.  Who wins and who loses and by how much.

Look at 14th st busway.  A lot of naysayers, but once it was implemented it had proved to be quite popular.

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19 hours ago, mrsman said:

But when doing so may ruin someone's commute, or be perceived to ruin someone's commute, you have to answer to the public and then such a no-brainer improvement will simply not be done.

When they rebuilt that junction, they could’ve not cheaped out by moving the local track over so there could’ve been an over or underpass for Dyre Av trains to not cross the local tracks, AND both built a connection from that local track to the Dyre Av line and a direct connection from the current overpass to a Y-junction that connected to the WPR southbound express and local track.

The space is there, but why do it right when you can save a couple bucks before the cost overruns kick in?

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3 hours ago, R68OnBroadway said:

Any specific month?

I do not know. One more thing. It was supposed to happen in December.

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11 hours ago, Deucey said:

When they rebuilt that junction, they could’ve not cheaped out by moving the local track over so there could’ve been an over or underpass for Dyre Av trains to not cross the local tracks, AND both built a connection from that local track to the Dyre Av line and a direct connection from the current overpass to a Y-junction that connected to the WPR southbound express and local track.

The space is there, but why do it right when you can save a couple bucks before the cost overruns kick in?

It was also not a space-constrained area. There were plenty of redundant tracks (or tracks that could be used for redundancy) and the MTA chose to cut corners where it would have made the greatest difference in improvement.

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@ Deucey, @ CenSin

Gotta remember that the mantra at (MTA) is budget neutral or savings at all costs. That's why I'm so cynical about many proposals my fellow posters propose. Some of these ideas or variations of them have been proposed in-house over the years and have been shot down because of budgetary reasons solely or in part. $$$$ but no brains, IMO. If I told you that I took a (5)  SMEE train into Livonia Yard to be laid up and found a missing door panel glass somehow the budget word got thrown into the conversation. The (3) line barn would have to charge the (5) line budget to replace the glass. NO JOKE. The alternative was for me to take said consist back up to East 180th St yard and return with a new consist. Never mind that the barn at Livonia used to be a (2) line barn and still had stacks of the door panel glass in the barn unused because the (3) line was using R62A cars at the time. Of course if I did take the consist back uptown and return with another my O.T. would be charged to the (5) line budget. Luckily the yard dispatcher, the barn chief and I were on friendly terms so the cost issue was squashed in-house and I used the same consist the next morning making an OT "special" trip up to East 180th St. That "cost" thing can sometimes end up biting the powers that be in the butt. Before budgetary concerns became such a big thing I've piloted transfers from East 180th St -Concourse Yard- Avenue X yard with most of the mileage in the "B' Division and OK'd and operated an IND Slant 40 from 207th St yard to Concourse Yard. No "B' Division personnel involved so no budgetary charge. Heck, the B Division Desk Trainmaster told me that I was " B" qualified although I was an IRT guy. No one brought up the budget word back then. Now that's all you hear, Subway, Surface, Railroad(s). Maybe common sense should be added to the conversation ?  My opinion. Carry on

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1 hour ago, Trainmaster5 said:

Maybe common sense should be added to the conversation ?  My opinion. Carry on

Common in what locale? Seems like the common sense in the MTA is “budget.” Sometimes I wonder if the engineers (those that design the physical systems) get along with the bean counters in any industry.

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On 1/8/2020 at 1:29 PM, Union Tpke said:

There is something else that has been in the pipeline for some time, not here, but somewhere else. That is all I can say. Wait for the spring.

East 180th would have been a better pilot then what they actually came up with.

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2 hours ago, Around the Horn said:

East 180th would have been a better pilot then what they actually came up with.

Disagree. E180 isn't really an issue in the AM peak -- the clever use of B lead makes for little runtime loss or variability on that stretch sb when the (5) is express. NB it's an issue which should certainly be looked at, but should likely be seen through the lens of A division capacity analysis when they get towards 0 day for Lex (and I expect IRT West) CBTC. The one they've come up with certainly has its risks, especially as it pertains to loads/dwell times, but is bidirectional, easy to implement, likely to be popular, and solves a nasty merge. 

Some data on E180; note the absence of a significant runtime increase in sb AM rush (2)(5) service, and the marked presence of one in the PM rush, one which aligns with the beginning of express service:

Sb (2) service:

NtjpTeP.png

Sb (5) service:

EYCUI7E.png

Nb (2) service:

W46AqAe.png

Nb (5) service (the lack of overnight data is because for whatever reason the MTA's public data feeds are absolutely horrendous at reporting the times at which (5) trains leave E180 when it's the service origin station):

WFrT0Zc.png

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13 hours ago, RR503 said:

for whatever reason the MTA's public data feeds are absolutely horrendous at reporting the times

Amen. They probably do estimates and don't know exactly when trains arrive/depart.

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4 minutes ago, CenSin said:

Amen. They probably do estimates and don't know exactly when trains arrive/depart.

However, the flawed data allows us to do analysis that otherwise would not be possible.

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5 minutes ago, CenSin said:

Amen. They probably do estimates and don't know exactly when trains arrive/depart.

No, they know when things depart and arrive, it's an issue with the structure of the feeds and the feeds' relationships with the various data sources that makes it difficult to get consistent data specifically around terminals (rest of route is generally quite good). 

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2 minutes ago, RR503 said:

No, they know when things depart and arrive, it's an issue with the structure of the feeds and the feeds' relationships with the various data sources that makes it difficult to get consistent data specifically around terminals (rest of route is generally quite good). 

I primarily deal with the B division, and I know for a fact that the data is bad. Maybe the A division is better in that regard. They do have ATS.

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18 minutes ago, CenSin said:

I primarily deal with the B division, and I know for a fact that the data is bad. Maybe the A division is better in that regard. They do have ATS.

Define "bad". Can you get precise estimates of dwell times and such; do elevated stops sometimes blend together? Absolutely. But if you know how to play with it right, you can extrapolate a lot of interesting info. 

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2 hours ago, RR503 said:

Define "bad". Can you get precise estimates of dwell times and such; do elevated stops sometimes blend together? Absolutely. But if you know how to play with it right, you can extrapolate a lot of interesting info. 

I'm holding in between Neptune Avenue and West 8 Street right now. Yet the data shows that I'm already in the station. There's another (F) there.

Edited by CenSin

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