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Interborough Express (Triboro RX) Discussion


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48 minutes ago, HSRR said:

I'd like to point out that Gov Horchul wants to study the cross harbor freight tunnel. if that gets built, wouldn't that increase the amount of freight traffic on the line? And in turn eliminate the possibilities of a bus way or light rail? Unless in the case of a bus way, would it be built over the row? Or for light rail would be time separated mandated by the FRA?

I hope so. Freight is especially important on Long Island (only way on/off without going through NYC is to cross the drink) and we really need rolling stock that's compatible with existing passenger rail for future extensions and potentially bumping off rolling stock from certain lines to go elsewhere.

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9 hours ago, Lex said:

I hope so. Freight is especially important on Long Island (only way on/off without going through NYC is to cross the drink) and we really need rolling stock that's compatible with existing passenger rail for future extensions and potentially bumping off rolling stock from certain lines to go elsewhere.

So I could be wrong, but don't the NY&A trains run mostly off-peak and nights and weekends anyways?

It's not like there's room for those trains on the Main Line during peak as it is.

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3 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

So I could be wrong, but don't the NY&A trains run mostly off-peak and nights and weekends anyways?

It's not like there's room for those trains on the Main Line during peak as it is.

I mean, sure, but that doesn't diminish its importance.

Even disregarding that, restoring passenger service means that freight would need to be radically changed to shorter, more frequent trains in order to minimize problems along stretches with only two tracks or switches. Some other tings that could help are use of the Montauk Branch on an increased basis (the physical infrastructure, not the use of the Main Line and Central Branch between Jamaica and Babylon), better freight connectivity in Nassau and especially Suffolk, and not having these weird ROW configurations between eastern Queens and western Nassau (really more of a benefit for passenger rail, but it would nonetheless make throughput easier by reducing directional conflicts, something that I'd also like to see done in New Rochelle).

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2 hours ago, Lex said:

I mean, sure, but that doesn't diminish its importance.

Even disregarding that, restoring passenger service means that freight would need to be radically changed to shorter, more frequent trains in order to minimize problems along stretches with only two tracks or switches. Some other tings that could help are use of the Montauk Branch on an increased basis (the physical infrastructure, not the use of the Main Line and Central Branch between Jamaica and Babylon), better freight connectivity in Nassau and especially Suffolk, and not having these weird ROW configurations between eastern Queens and western Nassau (really more of a benefit for passenger rail, but it would nonetheless make throughput easier by reducing directional conflicts, something that I'd also like to see done in New Rochelle).

Right, but what I'm saying is that movement on Bay Ridge can still be done on those off-times, as it is done on the rest of the network. 

Most of the freight customers are out east where there are similar if not more restrictions on when one can actually run a freight train. The Babylon Branch is also only double-tracked with frequent services. 

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7 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

Right, but what I'm saying is that movement on Bay Ridge can still be done on those off-times, as it is done on the rest of the network. 

Most of the freight customers are out east where there are similar if not more restrictions on when one can actually run a freight train. The Babylon Branch is also only double-tracked with frequent services. 

I think the sticking point is if/when the cross harbor tunnel is built, that would increase freight train movements (which is a good thing, less truck on nyc highways and the LIE). There's semi-opposing/competing interests on that trackage. Dangerous cargo would be banned from the tunnel, but it could take almost every other type of cargo that crosses over the river via truck. Perhaps the movements can be restricted still be restricted to over night, but from a transit perspective, it would leave people stranded at night. Would there be a bus replacement t night?

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50 minutes ago, HSRR said:

I think the sticking point is if/when the cross harbor tunnel is built, that would increase freight train movements (which is a good thing, less truck on nyc highways and the LIE). There's semi-opposing/competing interests on that trackage. Dangerous cargo would be banned from the tunnel, but it could take almost every other type of cargo that crosses over the river via truck. Perhaps the movements can be restricted still be restricted to over night, but from a transit perspective, it would leave people stranded at night. Would there be a bus replacement t night?

The bus situation wouldn't be any worse than today, where no such service also exists at all.

In the area, Metro-North also doesn't run 24/7. If you account for it, you can run 30 or even 20 minute service on a single track.

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What mode the IBX should should use is dependent on the northern extension, but I'm definitely leaning towards heavy rail. Specifically mainline trains, since the IBX will probably be extended towards Coop City / New Rochelle. The IBX can be the first "C Division" line, which consists of all the local mainline / regional rail branches that should be separated from the express branches of the LIRR. So IBX would be "Line 1", the PW branch would be "Line 2", and so forth. An alternative would be to send the line via Astoria Blvd, 86 St, and 10 Ave to connect with the (L) and form one really complex line.

As a circumferential line, IBX needs to stop at every major subway and bus transfer station, so:

  • Brooklyn Army Terminal
  • 8 Ave / Fort Hamilton Pkwy (N) 
  • New Utrecht Ave (D)(N) 
  • McDonald Ave / Avenue I (F) 
  • Avenue H (B)(Q) 
  • Nostrand-Flatbush Aves / Brooklyn College (2)(5) 
  • Utica Ave - Kings Hwy (Future Utica Ave Line)
  • Remsen Ave
  • Junius St - Livonia Ave (3)(L) 
  • ENY (LIRR) / Atlantic Ave - Broadway Junction (A)(C)(J)(L)(Z) 
  • Myrtle Ave - Fresh Pond Rd
  • Metropolitan Ave (M) 
  • Juniper Valley - Eliot Ave
  • Grand Ave
  • Queens Blvd - 51 Ave (LIRR) 
  • Broadway - Roosevelt Ave (7)(E)(F)(M)(R)
  • Northern Blvd (Future Northern Blvd Line)
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Could a combined Cross Harbor freight tunnel and Triboro RX Study provide joint funding to plan and upgrade the corridor jointly? Many of the overpasses have 4 track beds, so they can add sidings for the freight side and use 2 tracks for the transit side.

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25 minutes ago, Caelestor said:

What mode the IBX should should use is dependent on the northern extension, but I'm definitely leaning towards heavy rail. Specifically mainline trains, since the IBX will probably be extended towards Coop City / New Rochelle. The IBX can be the first "C Division" line, which consists of all the local mainline / regional rail branches that should be separated from the express branches of the LIRR. So IBX would be "Line 1", the PW branch would be "Line 2", and so forth. An alternative would be to send the line via Astoria Blvd, 86 St, and 10 Ave to connect with the (L) and form one really complex line.

As a circumferential line, IBX needs to stop at every major subway and bus transfer station, so:

  • Brooklyn Army Terminal
  • 8 Ave / Fort Hamilton Pkwy (N) 
  • New Utrecht Ave (D)(N) 
  • McDonald Ave / Avenue I (F) 
  • Avenue H (B)(Q) 
  • Nostrand-Flatbush Aves / Brooklyn College (2)(5) 
  • Utica Ave - Kings Hwy (Future Utica Ave Line)
  • Remsen Ave
  • Junius St - Livonia Ave (3)(L) 
  • ENY (LIRR) / Atlantic Ave - Broadway Junction (A)(C)(J)(L)(Z) 
  • Myrtle Ave - Fresh Pond Rd
  • Metropolitan Ave (M) 
  • Juniper Valley - Eliot Ave
  • Grand Ave
  • Queens Blvd - 51 Ave (LIRR) 
  • Broadway - Roosevelt Ave (7)(E)(F)(M)(R)
  • Northern Blvd (Future Northern Blvd Line)

Personally, I would add a few more stations to that list. The stations I would add are 18th Avenue, Coney Island Avenue, Bedford Avenue, Ralph Avenue, Rockaway Avenue, and Wilson Avenue. The first two are streets with multiple businesses and important bus routes. Bedford Avenue bisects Brooklyn College and that particular stretch has notoriously poor traffic, particularly when Midwood High and (to a lesser degree) PS 315 let out for the day. (People also live around there.) Ralph Avenue may not be as important as Utica Avenue, but in addition to breaking up a larger gap, it nonetheless affords connections between people along that stretch of the street and places like Bay Ridge or Jackson Heights. Rockaway and Wilson Avenues are meant primarily for connections made by the existing B60 (and for streets that sit near the B60) that are out of the subway's reach.

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People are already complaining

https://qns.com/2022/01/residents-worry-potential-drawbacks-interborough-express/

 

Quote

Ridgewood, Maspeth and Middle Village residents, elected officials concerned about potential drawbacks of proposed Interborough Express Rail
By Julia Moro
Posted on January 11, 2022

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced her proposal for an Interborough Express Rail that would connect Brooklyn and Queens during the State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan 5, and while many are thrilled about increased access to public transportation, there are those who are voicing concerns regarding the amount of noise the railway would bring to an area already overwhelmed with freight cars.

Hochul’s proposal would utilize a dormant 14-mile rail line, providing faster commutes for countless residents between the two neighboring boroughs. The rail would go right through the Ridgewood, Middle Village and Maspeth areas — which have been dealing with excessive noise from the New York & Atlantic Railway Co. (NYA) rails at all hours of the night, among other issues.

Residents near Mafera Park, and especially on Edsall Avenue in Glendale, have been battling with NYA for years now. They claim that trains currently come by at odd hours of the night, blaring horns and slamming freight cars together. This creates incredible noise and shaking that some say is ruining the foundations of their homes.

Luis Ross lives 40 feet from the tracks on Edsall Avenue and said the noise, along with the deteriorating conditions of his street due to the rail line, have seriously impacted his quality of life.

“We can’t sleep. Me and my wife were going to stay in a hotel one time because it was affecting my heart,” Ross said. “We’re tired. We either have to move out or tell somebody about this.”

In response to these concerns, NYA previously released a statement saying that although it is understandable residents are bothered by the noise, the horns are entirely unavoidable.

“Audible warning devices are federally mandated to ensure the general public’s safety,” NYA said in a statement. “Rest assured that our train crews are not wantonly sounding horns for any other purpose than what is required by federal safety regulations. Safety is of paramount concern to NYA.”

Residents today are still struggling to get a good night’s sleep with the NYA freight rails running through their otherwise quiet neighborhood. And now the potential for a new commuter rail has residents asking, how much more can this community take?

One resident, Linda Byszynski, a local activist and resident, said she supports a Brooklyn and Queens line but has concerns about the impact and placement of the rail.

“It looks like the proposed freight line that they want to use is the one in my ‘backyard,’” Byszynski said. “I have concerns because of the noise and the deteriorating conditions of the rail line.”

Another local, Sharon Vincent, has lived on 72nd Place between Edsall and Central avenues since 1998.

“I’m often woken up at 2, 3 or 4 in the morning by the horns,” Vincent said. “I would love to see some kind of connection into Brooklyn so I don’t have to go into Brooklyn via Manhattan, but I am concerned about it running here. This [house] is my retirement.”

This particular area of Queens is far off from any major public transportation lines. City Councilman Robert Holden told the New York Post that he supports the transit option for his constituents.

“Since much of our district is a virtual public transit desert, it’s exciting to revisit the idea,” Holden said. “More transportation would be very helpful. We need a thorough study.”

State Senator Joseph Addabbo said he sympathizes with the community and has heard the noise from the NYA rails first hand back in 2009 when he asked a constituent if he could experience it for himself.

“Here I am, sitting in the kitchen of a constituent at 4 in the morning, having my coffee and cookies, with the rattling of the dishes because the rail is so close to these homes,” Addabbo said. “I appreciate the governor’s vision, and it really is all about improving transportation, but to do it in a very environmentally friendly way with minimal impact on the community. I support the idea of moving forward in a very cautious way as we look at the details.”

In response to some of the residents’ concerns, an MTA spokesperson told QNS that they are working to begin an environmental review, which will give residents the opportunity to voice their concerns.

“The MTA shares the view of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards that this project will be good for all parts of Queens and we are eager to partner with him to pursue strategies that will enable the most efficient roll-out of the environmental review process,” the statement said. “We invite anyone with input to participate in the robust environmental review process that’s soon going to be underway.”

The MTA also said that the trains would be electrically powered, minimizing local noise and emissions. However, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, who lives in Ridgewood, last week said she is “deeply concerned” about the proposal.

“I opposed the privatization of the Long Island Freight Line many years ago and there continues to be serious safety concerns. I want to ensure those I represent are included in the process, as they understand transportation needs between the boroughs better than any plan coming from Albany,” Nolan said. “I would oppose this project at this time but, of course, await information from our governor as to her vision to address the critical needs of Queens.”

 

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25 minutes ago, GojiMet86 said:

Well, New Yorkers do like to complain about pretty much everything, so I’m not surprised there’s already complaints, even though the environmental review is only just getting under way. Hopefully, their concerns can be addressed and some kind of measures can be taken to mitigate them. I’d really hate to see this worthy project go down in flames due to NIMBY’s who have the ears of their local elected officials.

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If one buys or builds a house next to an active rail line ( or inactive but existing one ) I have no sympathy for them. My first apartment was at the intersection of Livonia Avenue and East 98th Street in Brooklyn. The IRT elevated line turned from N-S to W-E at my bedroom window and a new fire station opened below it. The train didn't bother me but,  according to the article,  I should have protested the fire house. Wow. Sounds like the folks next to the RBB or those against the LIRR Third Track project in Nassau county.  Carry on. 

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The irony is that most of those folks were probably only able to afford those houses, because they were next to a rail line.  Although I remain a skeptic of Triboro-RX, I don't condone the NIMBYism of these residents; in Southwest Queens, Archie Bunker lives eternal it seems.

Having said that, as someone who grew up next to the Bay Ridge Branch in that area of Queens myself, the heavy-duty diesel engines used by CSX on that route are slow, loud, smoky, and made my place and several others in the vicinity vibrate a lot.  It's frustrating because back before the late 1960s, the Bay Ridge Branch actually had overhead catenary, and the locomotives were electric.

Regardless of whether the branch gets revitalized for cross-harbor freight or FRA heavy-rail passenger service, I think re-electrification would be the right way to go.

 

 

Edited by R10 2952
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23 minutes ago, Trainmaster5 said:

If one buys or builds a house next to an active rail line ( or inactive but existing one ) I have no sympathy for them. My first apartment was at the intersection of Livonia Avenue and East 98th Street in Brooklyn. The IRT elevated line turned from N-S to W-E at my bedroom window and a new fire station opened below it. The train didn't bother me but,  according to the article,  I should have protested the fire house. Wow. Sounds like the folks next to the RBB or those against the LIRR Third Track project in Nassau county.  Carry on. 

You mean like some of those transplants that bought into One Hunters Point not too long after construction completed on the place, that practically demanded that the railyard (LIRR Long Island City) be shut down? The place is not 2 blocks down, not one block away, but literally across the f***ing street from the trackage... People got nerve, for real....

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5 hours ago, R10 2952 said:

The irony is that most of those folks were probably only able to afford those houses, because they were next to a rail line.  Although I remain a skeptic of Triboro-RX, I don't condone the NIMBYism of these residents; in Southwest Queens, Archie Bunker lives eternal it seems.

Having said that, as someone who grew up next to the Bay Ridge Branch in that area of Queens myself, the heavy-duty diesel engines used by CSX on that route are slow, loud, smoky, and made my place and several others in the vicinity vibrate a lot.  It's frustrating because back before the late 1960s, the Bay Ridge Branch actually had overhead catenary, and the locomotives were electric.

Regardless of whether the branch gets revitalized for cross-harbor freight or FRA heavy-rail passenger service, I think re-electrification would be the right way to go.

 

 

I definitely agree with that. (They should probably equip the locomotives with pantographs and third rail shoes in order to maximize coverage.)

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The homeowners interviewed in the article live near the Montauk Line, not the proposed route of the Triboro RX. Though, I suppose they could study the feasibility of a branch to use the Montauk Line.

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1 hour ago, N6 Limited said:

The homeowners interviewed in the article live near the Montauk Line, not the proposed route of the Triboro RX. Though, I suppose they could study the feasibility of a branch to use the Montauk Line.

Yes, this is something I've agreed with over the years.

In the '80s, there was a plan to tie the 63rd Street Tunnel into the Lower Montauk Branch and convert it to subway use, but the Archie Bunkers made a big stink about it.  About 10 (I think?) years ago, there was a plan to convert the Lower Montauk to lightrail/streetcar- the NIMBYs struck out again.  Personally, I reckon the path of least resistance in those neighborhoods would simply be to reactivate LIRR passenger service along the Lower Montauk.

At the end of the day, they're not going to be able to argue with commuter rail service that regularly ran through there from the mid-19th century until 1998, which in the case of one of the complaining residents, was already after she purchased her home.

On a side note, one of the local politicians interviewed made a point about how they opposed the privatization of LIRR's freight operations in the '90s- valid point actually, in that the MTA would probably have to take the lease back from NY&A RR before they could potentially restore passenger service (amongst other prerequisites, anyway).

Edited by R10 2952
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Everyone here that's talking about electrification and similar expensive improvements should remember one thing: The only reason this line is being considered now is because it's relatively easy to build and can be done quickly and inexpensively. Anything involving more than a few stations, side tracks and DMUs probably won't be happening. 

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56 minutes ago, RapidoNewLook said:

Everyone here that's talking about electrification and similar expensive improvements should remember one thing: The only reason this line is being considered now is because it's relatively easy to build and can be done quickly and inexpensively. Anything involving more than a few stations, side tracks and DMUs probably won't be happening. 

I think you have a good point there. I’d like to add my take on cost. Maybe people are looking at line maps and such but from the Brooklyn waterfront area to the area around East New York station there’s little or no security around the trackage. There’s a reason why the LIRR and NY&A run scout/pilot trains up and down that section. I think everyone has to look at the big picture and that cost added to the project. My opinion. Carry on.

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18 minutes ago, Trainmaster5 said:

I think you have a good point there. I’d like to add my take on cost. Maybe people are looking at line maps and such but from the Brooklyn waterfront area to the area around East New York station there’s little or no security around the trackage. There’s a reason why the LIRR and NY&A run scout/pilot trains up and down that section. I think everyone has to look at the big picture and that cost added to the project. My opinion. Carry on.

Wouldn't the sharp increases in train frequencies between the pair of Bay Ridge Branch-related projects practically render that a moot point?

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36 minutes ago, Lex said:

Wouldn't the sharp increases in train frequencies between the pair of Bay Ridge Branch-related projects practically render that a moot point?

I’d love to see the projected ridership numbers via a reliable O&D method . I think we’re talking Port Jeff or West Hempstead type LIRR numbers. My take. Carry on.

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51 minutes ago, Trainmaster5 said:

I’d love to see the projected ridership numbers via a reliable O&D method . I think we’re talking Port Jeff or West Hempstead type LIRR numbers. My take. Carry on.

I think it depends on how many stops they add. Connecting the subway lines would be helpful of course, but it would have to stop at major avenues with bus routes to make it more useful.

The summer may see increased usage as it would improve access to Coney Island.

 

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20 hours ago, Lex said:

Personally, I would add a few more stations to that list. The stations I would add are 18th Avenue, Coney Island Avenue, Bedford Avenue, Ralph Avenue, Rockaway Avenue, and Wilson Avenue. The first two are streets with multiple businesses and important bus routes. Bedford Avenue bisects Brooklyn College and that particular stretch has notoriously poor traffic, particularly when Midwood High and (to a lesser degree) PS 315 let out for the day. (People also live around there.) Ralph Avenue may not be as important as Utica Avenue, but in addition to breaking up a larger gap, it nonetheless affords connections between people along that stretch of the street and places like Bay Ridge or Jackson Heights. Rockaway and Wilson Avenues are meant primarily for connections made by the existing B60 (and for streets that sit near the B60) that are out of the subway's reach.

I'd be be okay with adding all those stops with two exceptions. Assuming mainline trains are used, the IBX platforms should be longer than the standard subway platforms, and so Coney Island Ave would be a couple blocks away from the west end of Avenue H (Q). While Wilson Ave would be a better transfer to the (L), its station catchment area isn't great because of the nearby cemetery, and both Metropolitan Ave (M) and Broadway Junction are good transfer stations. On the other hand, I'd be down for building a new station at Wyckoff and Cypress Streets instead.

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On 1/8/2022 at 7:08 PM, RapidoNewLook said:

Loud diesel powered trains once nightly is a lot less disturbing than loud subway trains all day every day. 

In my opinion the only trains that can reliably run on this proposal must be diesel powered. From the waterfront eastward it's mostly open-cut trackage. Subway cars and MU consists added to snow or ice is a no-go. Look at the Sea Beach (N) or Dyre (5) in those conditions. Third rail is a non-starter ,IMO . Let's be realistic. There's nothing wrong with enthusiasm but look at the big picture every once and a while. Carry on.

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