R Train to Staten Island

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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CarterB
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HBLR to Staten Island

Post by CarterB » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:55 pm

Better yet, agreement with NJ (and co-funding of course) to extend the HBLR over the Bayonne Bridge, and on to St. George for those on SI who commute to NJ rather than NYC. The only reason for a subway extension IMHO would be if there were significant potential of SI to Brooklyn riders. To Manhattan, I agree Ferry to South Ferry, subway on uptown is much quicker than via Brooklyn routing.
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hrfcarl
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Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by hrfcarl » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:01 pm

I have brough this topic up before - most recently on the NY&A board: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... a&start=15

To sum up, I was taking the PA of NY/NJ cross harbor freight tunnel SI option (St. George to 65th Street using SI N.Shore ROW from NYCT and AK rail bridge) and adding a MTA subway level. Immediate benefits: One seat ride subway Manhattan to/from SI leading to less busses and ferries with reduced maintenance for those busses and ferries plus reduced traffic on some bridges. The direct connection for rail freight to Brooklyn/Queens/LI from Class 1s would be a longer term benefit, if it happens.

Unfortunately, politics will make sure nothing happens.

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Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:43 pm

I'm sure there's some FRA requirement about freight and passenger (including subway) sharing the same ROW. It can't even just be separate tracks; it must be a physically-separated ROW. There used to be all kinds of talk about running commuter trains down subway tracks; again, probably FRA difficulties. Someone more knowledgable can confirm. I believe that's why the 63rd St. Tunnel has an upper and lower level (one for the subway extension, and one for ESA), and we're not even talking about freight with that tunnel. You can no longer mix and match ROW's.
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hrfcarl
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Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by hrfcarl » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:14 pm

Sarge wrote:I'm sure there's some FRA requirement about freight and passenger (including subway) sharing the same ROW. It can't even just be separate tracks; it must be a physically-separated ROW. There used to be all kinds of talk about running commuter trains down subway tracks; again, probably FRA difficulties. Someone more knowledgable can confirm. I believe that's why the 63rd St. Tunnel has an upper and lower level (one for the subway extension, and one for ESA), and we're not even talking about freight with that tunnel. You can no longer mix and match ROW's.
I do not believe there is a FRA requirement for seperate ROWs for freight and passenger, otherwise NY&A and CP could not operate on LIRR and MNRR ROWs, respectively. That is ignoring Amtrak's use of freight ROWs throughout the US. I believe the problem comes with electricification - some freight cars are suppose to be too low or big to operate with a 3rd rail or catenary in place. There may be an issue of how trains are controled between subway and commuter/freight trains - why the proposal of running LIRR Flatbush Ave trains on Subway lines into Manhattan was quickly shot down. Also, I believe there is a NYC or NYS rule that states that diesel are not suppose to operate in tunnels in NYC, but that may only pertain to passenger service.

To avoid these problem my post said "adding a MTA subway level", meaning seperate like in ESA as you mentioned, to the cross harbor tunnel.

jtunnel
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Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by jtunnel » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:10 pm

Politics aside. The Geology and Engineering of past attempts limited what could be done. Engineering and tunneling technologies have improved and the work could be done. However the costs are still very high and the funding scarce.

Freight trains do not like grades over 1.5% (and that is steep). Commuter rail tunnels can be a bit steeper, but not much, transit tunnels can have higher grades, but still need to be careful. Keeping the grades reasonable makes the runs longer and add to the cost.

You can only sell so many municipal bonds without hurting your ability to sell more bonds for projects of greater importance. Have to pick your battles and then fight for your funding.

Want clean drinking water, your sewage treated, the roads fixed or some rail line you'll might never use?

You can draw lots of lines on paper and make lots of plans. Lots of folks get rich in the idea and planning stages. Make lots of reports, make pretty slide shows, eat some good lunches.

Getting the funds to put a shovel in the ground, things change very quickly. Then there's the NIMBY's and BANANAS that get dealt with if the project gets that far, plus the EIS and the rest of the hoops to jump through. The lawyers get their share then.

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Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:47 am

hrfcarl wrote:I do not believe there is a FRA requirement for seperate ROWs for freight and passenger, otherwise NY&A and CP could not operate on LIRR and MNRR ROWs, respectively. That is ignoring Amtrak's use of freight ROWs throughout the US.
Sorry, I wasn't quite clear and mixed my modes. When different modes (freight, passenger, subway, light, et al) share ROW, FRA requirements govern how the passenger cars are built. That's why you won't see freight or commuter on subway or light rail, no matter the operating compatability. That's why you couldn't put freight in a subway tunnel - NYCT would be required to adhere to FRA requirements for their cars, then. I think those requirements concern crash-worthiness.

Of course, you are 100% right on commuter and freight sharing ROW across the country; however, there are more stringent requirements on the commuter cars in those cases. Think Acela. The reason it is so expensive is it does not run on a dedicated ROW; therefore, it must meet more stringent crash-worthiness standards. If you built a commuter or high-speed rail line on a dedicated ROW, you would have less stringent requirements. I think you could conceivably put commuter on subway or light rail; but only if the commuter line itself were a dedicated ROW with less stringent standards. Can you imagine an M-8 with all that weight bearing down on a subway train? The possibility of derailments is why physical separation between ROW is required. That's why, as you noted, you'd need a separate level since freight and transit don't mix.
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hrfcarl
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Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by hrfcarl » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:22 pm

Wasn't the MTA forced to make the SI subway cars FRA compliant? IF this shared tunnel was build, could that be lifted as these cars would be operating in all subway environment?

SystemsConsciousness

Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by SystemsConsciousness » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:31 pm

Two story tunnel.

Hebrewman9

Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by Hebrewman9 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:38 pm

hrfcarl wrote:
Sarge wrote: Also, I believe there is a NYC or NYS rule that states that diesel are not suppose to operate in tunnels in NYC, but that may only pertain to passenger service.
Why would it only apply to passenger service?

SystemsConsciousness

Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by SystemsConsciousness » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:03 pm

Because more people are in the tunnels maybe? I have no idea. I am sure with the proper ventilation systems it is fine as it is with the vehicular tunnels.

hrfcarl
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Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by hrfcarl » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:08 pm

Hebrewman9 wrote:
hrfcarl wrote:Also, I believe there is a NYC or NYS rule that states that diesel are not suppose to operate in tunnels in NYC, but that may only pertain to passenger service.
Why would it only apply to passenger service?
IIRC, the rule came about after an accident involving 2 steam trains at NYP and states something to the effect that no steam or diesel engines are allowed at NYP & GCT or their associated tubes/tunnels unless exception/permission given (Harold Protects should be an example of an exception). This lead to the creation of the dual mode diesels in Amtrak, MNRR & LIRR service. With seperate levels for freight and subway, this might be another exception to the rule and why I said "may only pertain to passenger service". I was hoping someone who knows for sure would clear thing up.

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Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by Kamen Rider » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:19 pm

hrfcarl wrote:
Hebrewman9 wrote:
hrfcarl wrote:Also, I believe there is a NYC or NYS rule that states that diesel are not suppose to operate in tunnels in NYC, but that may only pertain to passenger service.
Why would it only apply to passenger service?
IIRC, the rule came about after an accident involving 2 steam trains at NYP and states something to the effect that no steam or diesel engines are allowed at NYP & GCT or their associated tubes/tunnels unless exception/permission given (Harold Protects should be an example of an exception). This lead to the creation of the dual mode diesels in Amtrak, MNRR & LIRR service. With seperate levels for freight and subway, this might be another exception to the rule and why I said "may only pertain to passenger service". I was hoping someone who knows for sure would clear thing up.
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Sir Charge

Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by Sir Charge » Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:46 pm

Why not just build a tunnel from SI to Manhattan and scrap the ferry altogether? From what I understand, the SIRT doesn't always wait for an arriving ferry making the ferry riders wait upwards of a half hour for the next SIRT train. A direct connection to the main system in Manhattan would bypass all of this and allow faster travel times between SI and Manhattan.

SystemsConsciousness

Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by SystemsConsciousness » Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:18 am

That's a bit of a distance. But extending to the 1 train to Governor's Island and then down to Red Hook would have been a good idea.

jtunnel
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Re: R Train to Staten Island

Post by jtunnel » Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:40 pm

That pesky geology and tunnel grades things get in the way again.

Part of the reason Smith-9 is an elevated station and not in a tunnel like the rest of the G/F.

Brooklyn-Battery is a vehicular tunnel. Build one similar for the subway and the MTA will need to make it a cog railway.

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