Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

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hi55us
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Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by hi55us » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:44 pm

As a daily commuter on the 42nd St. Shuttle, I have become completely disgusted with the S Train (aka the "0" train) and am wondering if there have been any plans to improve the shuttle.

Personally, I think a airport-style moving walkway (or just a regular passage way) would be a nice compliment/replacement for the shuttle. The shuttle is plagued by massive crowds during rush hour and dangerously overcrowded platforms (sometimes at GCT, often at Times Sq). A moving walkway style system would save the MTA money in maintenance and would allow the MTA to rent out space in the new passageway to merchants. They still could run the shuttle on 1 track, but I think most commuters would prefer moving along on a moving walkway and perhaps picking up a morning coffee at the midpoint.

Thoughts?

Passenger
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by Passenger » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:46 pm

It's still faster than an airport style moving walkway, let alone a simple corridor.

Moreover the level of crowding is less hazardous on a train than it would be on a moving walkway.
Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is a very important science.

lirr42
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by lirr42 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:27 pm

That would be one absurdly long passageway. At normal human walking speeds I estimate a walk of that distance to take about 10 minutes, while the shuttle takes, what? 90 seconds? 2 minutes?

Plus, while a 10 minute walk might be fine for you and me, the may not be as easy for a senior citizen or disabled person. To them a 10 minute walk could take an hour.

Plus the moving walkways would probably be harder to maintain. Right now 23 of the MTA's escalators are OOS for various reasons. Some of them have been like that for months. And with thousands of people standing on one moving walkway (which would probably get far more traffic than ones in the airport) the likelihood of something going wrong goes way up. Plus, you have that whole "stand right, walk left" concept that some people just cannot get into their heads, which would cause frustration as you are trying to walk on the left and some idiot is standing in your way.

And think...if you boarded up the shuttle imagine what the people who wanted nothing to do with the moving walkways would do...cram onto the already crush-loaded 7 train. And that's the very last thing they need right now.

The shuttle serves its purpose very well for now and deserves to stay.

hi55us
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by hi55us » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:51 pm

It wouldn't be much longer than the passageway from Grand Central "South" to Grand Central "North" which spans from 48th to 42nd (and, mind you, has no moving walkway). As I said in the initial post, I think replacing 1 track with the moving walkway would be a good step forward and lucrative advertising along the new walkway would increase revenues for the MTA and would allow them to properly maintain the walkway. The shuttle as it is would still run on 2 tracks and would be used for those people who can't make the walk.

When looking at the travel time on the weekends, one can wait up to 10 minutes for the shuttle. This all but negates the time advantage over walking.

SlowFreight
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by SlowFreight » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:55 pm

You're not the first to think of automated conveyor systems:

http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/IRT_Times ... al_Shuttle

Steampowered
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by Steampowered » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:45 pm

It would be great if it started at penn station and ended at grand central. One can hope!

MACTRAXX
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:48 pm

Everyone: The 42nd Street Shuttle uses the original route of the first underground IRT line...

This explains the curved Times Square station and the location on that end of the "iron plates"
over the tracks at the W end near the junction with the 7th Avenue line...
They switch train sets using those connecting tracks...

The moving walkway proposal is interesting but...the tracks would have to be removed for
starters and NYC Transit would lose a connection between the 7th Avenue and Lexington
Avenue IRT lines with which I believe can still be used for equipment moves...

I can understand replacing the shuttle if the ridership was low but as most of us know
the need more then justifies this service and I agree that losing the Shuttle would even
more crowd the paralleling 7 IRT train service...

MACTRAXX
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lirr42
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by lirr42 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:41 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:The moving walkway proposal is interesting but...the tracks would have to be removed for
starters and NYC Transit would lose a connection between the 7th Avenue and Lexington
Avenue IRT lines with which I believe can still be used for equipment moves...
There is no actual way to get between the two lines via the shuttle anymore. Track 4 (the northernmost one) is the one and only track connected to the 7th Avenue Line. Tracks 1 & 2 are the only ones connected to the Lexington Avenue Line, and there is no siwtch between track two and four. So the shuttle train on track 4 has to take a very long, out of the way route to get to tracks 1 and 2 .

Take a look at the diagram below, TSQ is on the left, GCT on the right:
Image

MACTRAXX
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:22 pm

lirr42 wrote:
MACTRAXX wrote:The moving walkway proposal is interesting but...the tracks would have to be removed for
starters and NYC Transit would lose a connection between the 7th Avenue and Lexington
Avenue IRT lines with which I believe can still be used for equipment moves...
There is no actual way to get between the two lines via the shuttle anymore. Track 4 (the northernmost one) is the one and only track connected to the 7th Avenue Line. Tracks 1 & 2 are the only ones connected to the Lexington Avenue Line, and there is no siwtch between track two and four. So the shuttle train on track 4 has to take a very long, out of the way route to get to tracks 1 and 2 .

Take a look at the diagram below, TSQ is on the left, GCT on the right:
Image
42: Thanks for that information - I was unaware of the current status of the Shuttle's tracks...

This creates an interesting move when train sets have to be moved or changed...
How often are the train sets changed out of what I believe is a dedicated group of cars ?

MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS

lirr42
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by lirr42 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:23 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:42: Thanks for that information - I was unaware of the current status of the Shuttle's tracks...

This creates an interesting move when train sets have to be moved or changed...
How often are the train sets changed out of what I believe is a dedicated group of cars ?
Yes, there are 10 R62A's that are used primarily for the 42nd Street Shuttle and they are based out of Livonia Yard in Brooklyn, if I recall correctly. Not sure how frequently they get swapped out, though. Just that when they do get swapped out, they go to Livonia Yard in Brooklyn (Livonia Yard is the one all the way at the end of the 3 train's route in Brooklyn)

railfan365
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by railfan365 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:47 pm

Does anyone know why the shuttle tracks were severed from the East Side and West side service during the WWI era expansion? It could have expedited traversing the system to be able to get between the East Side and West side without multiple transfers.

Adirondacker
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Re: Improving the 42nd St. Shuttle

Post by Adirondacker » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:32 pm

railfan365 wrote:Does anyone know why the shuttle tracks were severed from the East Side and West side service during the WWI era expansion? It could have expedited traversing the system to be able to get between the East Side and West side without multiple transfers.
Imagine what happens when the northbound local leaves 33rd and what was then 4th Avenue for Times Square. While there are trains leaving 86th Street and Lexington for Brooklyn via 4th Ave and trains leaving Union Square for the Bronx via Lexington Ave. Imagine doing that while the southbound local leaves 51st and Lexington for Penn Station while there are trains going from Union Square to Columbus Circle and trains from Columbus Circle to Penn Station.

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