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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by Jeff Smith
Found this interesting article while searching for some early history on East Side Access. Most of the article pertains to the subway. This site is a great resource for historical research: The New York Transit Authority in the 1970's

Some of these proposals are on the verge of fruition; some are long forgotten. Some are if only's.... interesting stuff.
A summary of the new subway lines and subway related expenditures proposed in phase II of the 1968 "Program for Action" follows:
•Completion of the Second Avenue Subway from 34th Street south to the Financial District along Water Street to Whitehall Street. It would pass through the Grand Street station of the Chrystie Street connection to allow a cross platform transfer with IND 6th Avenue trains. (The Grand Street station was built with this provision in mind.)
•A midtown distribution system along 57th, 48th, 42nd and 33rd Sts., using some kind of guided systems technology to link terminals, offices and other travel points. One guided system under consideration was the same proposed as a replacement for the 42nd Street shuttle back in the 1950s.
•Extension of the subway east of Jamaica to Hollis, Queens and razing the El along Jamaica Avenue.
•Extension of the new northeast Queens subway line to Springfield Blvd.
•Replacing the 3rd Ave. El in the Bronx with a new subway line running adjacent to the New Haven Line ROW along Park Avenue. (The MTA saved a heck of a lot of money when it replaced the 3rd Ave. El with "extended BX-55" service in 1973.)
•Extending the Pelham Bay Line to Co-op City in the Bronx.
•Extending the IND Concourse Line to White Plains Road, providing easy transfers to the IRT White Plains Road line.
•The purchase of an additional 500 new air conditioned high speed subway cars.
•Extending the LIRR from the Flatbush Avenue terminal into lower Manhattan.
•A new railroad station at 149th Street in the Bronx to provide a convenient interchange between the Penn Central, the New Haven and the subway system.
By 1975, The "Plan" Lacks Action

As late as November 1974, the MTA still felt that many of the subway projects that were underway or planned would get done, as follows:
•Southeast Queens Line to Springfield Blvd - 1981
•The 63rd Street Line - 1982
•The Second Avenue Subway from 34th Street to 125th Street, including the interchange with the 63rd Street Line - 1982
•The "Super Express Bypass" from Sunnyside Yard to Forest Hills - 1983
•Extension of the Second Avenue Subway into the Bronx to Co-op City - 1983
•Connecting the BMT Jamaica El with the Archer Avenue subway - 1983
•Second Avenue Subway from 34th Street to Whitehall Street - 1988
•The Utica Avenue Line, the Nostrand Avenue extension of the 2/5 Lines, the subway along the Long Island Expressway to Kissena Blvd and the LIRR East Side Terminal - 1993.
On November 2nd, 1971, state voters turned down a $2.5 billion state transportation bond issue. It happened again to a $3.5 billion bond issue on November 6th, 1973. These bond issues would have financed additional subway improvements and extensions. The 1973 bond issue would have financed the following improvements:
•Extension of the IRT #5 Dyre Ave line to Co-op City
•Building the long-proposed IND line to Springfield Blvd
•Building joint LIRR/subway extensions from the Atlantic Ave LIRR terminal to lower Manhattan
•Building the two track subway under the Long Island Expressway to Kissena Blvd. and Queens College
•Another branch off the Queens Blvd IND line at 63rd Drive to Rockaway (the very same branch proposed in 1929 and 1939).

Foreshadowing what was to occur in 1975, the plans were shelved. The bond issues that would have paid for them were defeated at the ballot box.

Finally, in April of 1975, due to the City's fiscal crisis and the need to maintain the existing infrastructure, the Second Avenue subway construction was stopped. The sections actually finished (completed tunnel, no track) are from the Bowery to Chrystie Street, East 2nd to East 9th Streets (filled back in), East 99th to East 105th Streets, and East 110th to East 120th Streets. Former head of the MTA William Ronan complained in an article written for the Journal of the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies of White Plains that one of the major problems with getting transit improvements done in New York City was that the public had too much to say about them.
  by Paul1705
I'm pretty sure the East Village section of the Second Avenue subway never involved much more than some utility relocations; they never got as far as digging tunnels. I remember seeing this underway in in the spring of 1975.

The contracts for the two East Harlem sections had been awarded and those were completed. Work was still in progress there as late as 1978 or '79. Work on the Manhattan section of the 63rd Street line was also continued during this period.

The nature of the Bronx Third Avenue el replacement was never defined well. It was unclear where it would fit within the width of Park Avenue or how it would connect to other lines at the north and south ends. I'm not sure if it was really a serious proposal or a red herring intended to placate Bronx residents and politicians.