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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by CarterB
nyrmetros wrote:So there were actual plans to have the subway over the GWB ??
Yes, definitively for the lower deck.
  by Paul1705
Well, sort of. The bridge was engineered to handle trains, but I don't think there was a specific plan for an extension at that time. The various rapid transit plans of the era (like New York's so-called "second IND") didn't include any lines outside of the city limits.

However, it was a far-sighted idea to include those provisions in the bridge's construction, even if they haven't been used yet.
  by CarterB
Paul1705, When the GWB was planned, it was at that time, planned to have a lower deck for subways, and the 174th st yard was built specifically for where the turnouts to the GWB would have been. The whole idea lanquished under the depression and mostly because of "King" Robert Moses, who killed the idea totally. When I-80 was planned, the lower deck sprang into action to be added, but for automobiles only with NO provision for any future rail.
  by Patrick Boylan
I'm going to demand my money back from Circle Line, whose tour guide said there was room for a 3rd deck for trains.
  by railfan365
Is the lower level stong enough to have freight trains running on it? As to where in NY the tracks would go - they could go on the West Side line to the West Side Yard and/or the Bronx and Queens, if the bridge can handle it. This could be a less expensive alternative to the long debated cross harbour rail tunnel that still hasn't been built.
  by RailRide
Doubtful, and freight trains on suspension bridges has historically been "not a very good idea". Getting from the bottom of the GW to sea level where the West Side line is would be a horrifically expensive undertaking (not to mention getting freight rail to the bridge on the NJ side), and there are no longer any freight-handling facilities along the west side line.

Even if the above two issues weren't problems, any new freight-rail link into NYC would need to accommodate double-stacks. You can build a new tunnel to double-stack clearances. Enlarging the GW's lower level...see above.