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AlgorithmOfTruth

Grand Concourse Line (Local vs Express)

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As we all know, the (D) train runs express along the Grand Concourse during rush hours in the peak direction. During said time, the (B) train runs local all the way to/from 145th Street and Bedford Park Boulevard. I feel that service along the Grand Concourse could be better executed though by having (D) trains run express in The Bronx full-time with (B) trains taking over the local tracks to Bedford Park Boulevard. During overnight hours, (D) trains would make all local stops to/from Norwood-205th Street like they already do now. I am thinking of potential issues, like passengers disliking the fact that (D) express trains don't realize 161st Street-Yankee Stadium, (high ridership station) severing their connection to the (4) train. You could theoretically run both (B) and (D) trains local to 161st Street, then have (D) trains switch to the express track thereafter to avoid that problem, but the speed restriction protecting the interlocking causes the whole thing to die. Any thoughts?

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I'm sorry, but this "161st St is a high ridership station" excuse has to stop. I'm not sure if anyone remembers, but we had a thread a couple of months ago about how delayed the construction is for the Jerome Avenue Line because (MTA) wants to keep running service to 161st St and taking longer to complete G.O jobs in their entirety. This can't ALWAYS be the excuse, the repair of the subway is far more important then having service to a game. The (D) is also literally downstairs.

Now to answer your question, you can't have full (D) express service in the Bronx because theres only one express track. And even when the (D) is express, stopping at 161st St is a dumb decision, because by the time it takes to switch to the local, load up passengers, then switch back to the express, you would have been better off running it local in the first place.

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13 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

Now to answer your question, you can't have full (D) express service in the Bronx because theres only one express track.

The Pelham Line would like to have a word with you on that matter.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

I'm sorry, but this "161st St is a high ridership station" excuse has to stop. I'm not sure if anyone remembers, but we had a thread a couple of months ago about how delayed the construction is for the Jerome Avenue Line because (MTA) wants to keep running service to 161st St and taking longer to complete G.O jobs in their entirety. This can't ALWAYS be the excuse, the repair of the subway is far more important then having service to a game. The (D) is also literally downstairs.

Now to answer your question, you can't have full (D) express service in the Bronx because theres only one express track. And even when the (D) is express, stopping at 161st St is a dumb decision, because by the time it takes to switch to the local, load up passengers, then switch back to the express, you would have been better off running it local in the first place.

For it to work, it would involve (D) trains using the express track southbound for the AM rush, say from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM and northbound at all other times except during overnight hours (10 AM through 10 PM using the middle express track and 10 PM through 6 AM using the local tracks).

Edited by AlgorithmOfTruth

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The inconvenient truth the TA will never admit is that the Concourse Line should simply have been built as 4 tracks, out of sheer convenience for future capacity.  The current 3-track incarnation has always been a pain in the neck service wise.  Not expecting it will ever be rebuilt in this lifetime, though- about as hopelessly idealistic as having the (4) moved over to University Avenue to better serve Highbridge and Morris Heights...

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3 hours ago, R10 2952 said:

The inconvenient truth the TA will never admit is that the Concourse Line should simply have been built as 4 tracks, out of sheer convenience for future capacity.

Pin that on Hylan's IND...

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The IND had lots of money to throw around and they still had to cut corners to save on costs. How much would this 4-track tunnel between 161 Street and 145 Street cost? At least they would have to build it to 161 Street for phase 1.

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TBM a 4th track under the existing 3, 145 and fordham is already have room for 4. I cant remem if the D's bridges over cross streets on Concourse have room for a 4th track or not.

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I would disagree on the idea the stations in the Bronx could be converted to normal express stops within the current tunnel size. Tunneling below it would be... let's call it interesting and move on.

 

As to the overall question, does the ridership number justify the costs.

 

One change to one section of a line has a knock-on effect that ripples out through the rest of the system. If we're talking "full time" does that mean weekends? Do we now need to run the B on Saturday and Sunday?  Does the Brighton Line need an express on Saturday and Sunday?

 

The entire point of the Post Manhattan Bridge rebuild configuration was that the B could go to bed at night and take the weekend off instead of the half dozen different combinations of date and time specific northern terminals it served at various points in time in my childhood in the 90s. 

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1 hour ago, Kamen Rider said:

One change to one section of a line has a knock-on effect that ripples out through the rest of the system. If we're talking "full time" does that mean weekends? Do we now need to run the B on Saturday and Sunday?  Does the Brighton Line need an express on Saturday and Sunday?

Aside from the lack of overnight and weekend expresses, CPW headways relying on (C) are dismal, so running (B) on Weekends from BPB to 2nd Av could work - although the crossover to the locals could slow down service if (M) runs to 96th St on weekends.

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5 hours ago, Kamen Rider said:

I would disagree on the idea the stations in the Bronx could be converted to normal express stops within the current tunnel size. Tunneling below it would be... let's call it interesting and move on.

The really interesting part might be that a single track gets a series of platforms to itself along the Grand Concourse. The track would also be completely segregated from all the other tracks for most of the line. If a train goes kaput on that track, anything behind is pretty much committed to staying the course delays and all.

I think the biggest issue would be how to connect it to the rest of Central Park West. Is there even an extra trackway available for such use?

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Let me throw the gas can into the fire....

How useful is the Concourse Exp as it is? Personally, I feel just having the (D) run local along the Concourse 24/7 would encourage more use in the South Bronx section and siphon riders away from the (4). The (B) should be the 24/7 CPW express to 207th-Inwood (cut back to Prospect Park weekends/late nights). Let the (A) and (C) run local to 168th St. Not only do you achieve full deinterlining, but undoubtedly improve CPW and Inwood service.  

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3 hours ago, shiznit1987 said:

Let me throw the gas can into the fire....

How useful is the Concourse Exp as it is? Personally, I feel just having the (D) run local along the Concourse 24/7 would encourage more use in the South Bronx section and siphon riders away from the (4). The (B) should be the 24/7 CPW express to 207th-Inwood (cut back to Prospect Park weekends/late nights). Let the (A) and (C) run local to 168th St. Not only do you achieve full deinterlining, but undoubtedly improve CPW and Inwood service.  

Real useful actually since the (4) takes forever to go from Bedford Park to Midtown.

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There’s a lot of cases where if a line was 4 tracks instead of 3, max capacity would be achieved, Concourse is one of them. We gotta make do with what we have though.

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22 hours ago, shiznit1987 said:

Let me throw the gas can into the fire....

How useful is the Concourse Exp as it is? Personally, I feel just having the (D) run local along the Concourse 24/7 would encourage more use in the South Bronx section and siphon riders away from the (4). The (B) should be the 24/7 CPW express to 207th-Inwood (cut back to Prospect Park weekends/late nights). Let the (A) and (C) run local to 168th St. Not only do you achieve full deinterlining, but undoubtedly improve CPW and Inwood service.  

The (B) is needed on the Concourse to relieve the (D), especially in the morning. Problem is there aren't enough (B) trains running at rush hour and when things aren't working right (literally a third of the time)... look out.

The (D) as an express with current headways is already very popular (it's actually pleasant when it's running correctly, which is why they took a run out from both AM and PM not too long ago because ridership was below crush-loaded guidelines). But if it ran by itself in the Bronx during rush hour, that would be a disaster.

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10 hours ago, NBTA said:

There’s a lot of cases where if a line was 4 tracks instead of 3, max capacity would be achieved, Concourse is one of them. We gotta make do with what we have though.

That wouldn’t be the case as the Grand Concourse services are tied to 6 Avenue express capacity: 4 tracks along Grand Concourse feeding into 2 tracks down 6 Avenue.

Suppose they switched it up and put the (C) there, it’d be the same problem. The (C) is constrained by Cranberry Street, and a lion’s share of its capacity goes to the (A). The (E) is its other limiter along 8 Avenue.

But what if the (A) and (C) went up there instead of the (B) and (D)? The same problem occurs because of Cranberry Street.

Grand Concourse and the Washington Heights branches essentially have a combined capacity greater than the Central Park West trunk. It’s not possible to use up all the capacity of either branch currently without depleting another branch of adequate service.

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45 minutes ago, CenSin said:

That wouldn’t be the case as the Grand Concourse services are tied to 6 Avenue express capacity: 4 tracks along Grand Concourse feeding into 2 tracks down 6 Avenue.

Suppose they switched it up and put the (C) there, it’d be the same problem. The (C) is constrained by Cranberry Street, and a lion’s share of its capacity goes to the (A). The (E) is its other limiter along 8 Avenue.

But what if the (A) and (C) went up there instead of the (B) and (D)? The same problem occurs because of Cranberry Street.

Grand Concourse and the Washington Heights branches essentially have a combined capacity greater than the Central Park West trunk. It’s not possible to use up all the capacity of either branch currently without depleting another branch of adequate service.

The only way to fix the dilemma is to connect two tracks to a 125th Street/SAS line.

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On 1/3/2020 at 6:10 PM, R10 2952 said:

The inconvenient truth the TA will never admit is that the Concourse Line should simply have been built as 4 tracks, out of sheer convenience for future capacity.  The current 3-track incarnation has always been a pain in the neck service wise.  Not expecting it will ever be rebuilt in this lifetime, though- about as hopelessly idealistic as having the (4) moved over to University Avenue to better serve Highbridge and Morris Heights...

The TA will never admit that because it was started in the '50s. The MTA was started in the '60s. The people who made that decision in the '30s were all retired or dead by the time their successor agencies started, and they're all definitely dead now. What's the point in crying over spilled milk?

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2 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

The people who made that decision in the '30s were all retired or dead by the time their successor agencies started, and they're all definitely dead now.

If they could see the contemporary importance/prominence of their own work and how architects today have to shave newly built infrastructure down to the bone, they would be smiling from ear to ear. Nobody else will ever get to build like they did with grand junctions and more than 2 tracks.

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On 1/9/2020 at 4:59 PM, paulrivera said:

The (B) is needed on the Concourse to relieve the (D), especially in the morning. Problem is there aren't enough (B) trains running at rush hour and when things aren't working right (literally a third of the time)... look out.

The (D) as an express with current headways is already very popular (it's actually pleasant when it's running correctly, which is why they took a run out from both AM and PM not too long ago because ridership was below crush-loaded guidelines). But if it ran by itself in the Bronx during rush hour, that would be a disaster.

Well I wouldn't say the (D) as an express with the current headways is good. Some (not all, but some) trains in the timetable during rush hour (out of the Bronx in the AM and back to the Bronx in the PM) are actually scheduled to come every 10 minutes. I noticed the (MTA) has a pretty sloppy ass schedule for some lines in general (don't get me started on the half-hour headways on both the split (A) branches...).

The (B) and (D)'s headways need to be a full 6 minutes (10 trains an hour) during the rush in both directions.

Edited by Jemorie

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On 1/3/2020 at 8:44 PM, Jemorie said:

The Pelham Line would like to have a word with you on that matter.

He probably meant express service only in the peak direction of travel, which is the same kind of express service on the Pelham Line. Now, perhaps the (D) could run an expanded peak express service that’s not limited to rush hours only, like the <6>, as well as the (J) between Myrtle and Marcy. That’s something that really should be considered. Why they haven’t even considered it in all these years is beyond me, but so is the fact that they run (J)(Z) skip stop service like it’s still 1989 on the (J) line.

On 1/6/2020 at 5:27 PM, Deucey said:

Aside from the lack of overnight and weekend expresses, CPW headways relying on (C) are dismal, so running (B) on Weekends from BPB to 2nd Av could work - although the crossover to the locals could slow down service if (M) runs to 96th St on weekends.

I still wonder why they won’t just run the (C) more frequently on weekends. That crossover to the local, followed by the switch back to the middle tracks at 2nd Ave may be why they haven’t considered running the (B) on weekends. Though they did run the (B) on weekends between 145th and Stillwell (via the West End Line) on weekends for a little over a year in 2000-01, while working on connecting the 63rd St tunnel to the Queens Blvd Line and prepping the connection for its eventual full-time (F) service. So there is precedent for running a weekend (B), but maybe it may have to go to Brooklyn to avoid excessive merging delays. 

On 1/8/2020 at 6:38 PM, shiznit1987 said:

Let me throw the gas can into the fire....

How useful is the Concourse Exp as it is? Personally, I feel just having the (D) run local along the Concourse 24/7 would encourage more use in the South Bronx section and siphon riders away from the (4). The (B) should be the 24/7 CPW express to 207th-Inwood (cut back to Prospect Park weekends/late nights). Let the (A) and (C) run local to 168th St. Not only do you achieve full deinterlining, but undoubtedly improve CPW and Inwood service.  

Possibly. They actually did consider deinterlining CPW in 1991, as part of major budget cuts, as City Hall had threatened to cut its share of funding to the MTA. The plan was to run the (A) as the full time CPW local, the (D) express only on CPW and local full time on Concourse, and the (orangeQ) express weekdays only to/from 207th, with the local (A) extended back to 207 to replace the (orangeQ) during overnights and weekends. But then the folks in Washington Heights complained over losing their express, specially with the letter it’s always had (the (A)), and that plan went nowhere. @Union Tpke and @Lance posted some pretty good materials on here in the past about that. It also gives a good explanation for why there was an orange A bullet on the R110B front roll signs.

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On 1/10/2020 at 11:44 AM, CenSin said:

Nobody else will ever get to build like they did with grand junctions and more than 2 tracks.

To be fair, no one else got to build like they did because they blew the budget so bad the first time around with all the crazy shit they did.

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11 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

To be fair, no one else got to build like they did because they blew the budget so bad the first time around with all the crazy shit they did.

Maybe the problem is the budget:)

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