GojiMet86 wrote: ↑Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:07 pmFirst, the Triboro RX is not in the works nor is it a priority.
Just because the MTA or LIRR or whomever would run it is delinquent in planning it, doesn't mean that it should be totally ignored in the system-level planning for Penn Access.
Second, the Triboro RX doesn't have to be a mainline railroad. If we are to indulge in fantasy proposals, it were up to me, I'd have it built as a B-Division subway line, no connection to MNRR or Amtrak or CSX. And contrary to what the plan calls for and what I would have agree with years ago, I would have it run across 86th Street in Manhattan instead of heading to the Bronx.
It's not a fantasy proposal, it's been on the table for years. Like many other projects, it's stuck in nowhere land due to a variety of factors. 86th Street? That would defeat the whole purpose of TriBoro connecting the three Boroughs. The other big not-Manhattan transit project that needs to get done is the BQX, which has nothing to do with anything else from a technical perspective. Part of the idea of TriBoro is that it would deal with the lack of transit along the HGL, which would not have been substantively addressed by the earlier Penn Access proposals, but this thing has scaled way up, which causes it to consume a lot more ROW, but also to fulfill that need, so it may make more sense for TriBoro to head over the Port Morris and Yankees Stadium, but that all needs to be sorted out before Penn Access is built.
TriBoro has to be FRA heavy rail. Temporal separation wouldn't work for a through freight route, that only works for industrial secondaries that can switch overnight, and NYC transit tends to like to run 24/7, which is not possible by definition with temporal separation. If you take the ROW currently used to access Fresh Pond, which is two tracks from Oak Point to Fresh Pond, and from roughly Flatbush Ave to Bay Ridge you cut off Long Island from the national rail system for freight traffic, which is unacceptable. The Cross-Harbor Tunnel would no longer be possible, and it nor the current car float operation would be able to re-connect Fresh Pond either, as a non-FRA TriBoro would block access from both directions.
TriBoro can run like a subway line to the rider, be ticketed as a subway line, be signed as a subway line, be called a subway line, but technically it has to be FRA heavy rail. During peak times it would likely be passenger-only, but mid-day and overnight would be able to accommodate CSX/CSAO freight traffic as it exists today and from the Cross-Harbor Tunnel linking Oak Island, Bay Ridge, Fresh Pond, Oak Point, and Cedar Hill.
I consider the most important section to be the one from Jackson Heights to the (2) (5) Flatbush Avenue-Brooklyn College station or, at the very barest minimum, East New York. That Maspeth/Ridgewood/Middle Village section of Queens is the hardest to get by subway to without having to detouring to Manhattan or taking a bus. Whereas it's easier to head west on a Queens/Brooklyn subway line to Manhattan and take the 4/5/6 to the Bronx.
Sure, the middle of the line sees the biggest benefit, but for TriBoro to be effective, it needs to cross-connect to a number of other transit lines and provide true outer borough cross-connectivity. TriBoro, combined with Penn Access, restoring the SIRR to Arlington and rebuilding the LIRR RBB would bring rail transit to a significantly larger part of NYC with a very minimal amount of tunneling or new ROW. Not to say that subways shouldn't be built where appropriate, but the existing ROWs are the low hanging fruit.