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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by GojiMet86
 
Will be posting this in both the MTA Subway and the MTA Long Island Railroad forums. If any mods want to merge them, feel free.

https://new.mta.info/system_modernizati ... ach_branch
Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

The MTA comissioned a study to assess, at a sketch planning level, the feasibility and cost of restoring passenger rail service on the former Long island Rail Road Rockaway Beach Branch (RBB). In Phase 1 of the Study, we evaluated reactivating the branch as either:

Part of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Main Line or
Part of the New York City Transit (NYCT) subway Queens Boulevard Line (QBL).
In Phase 2 of the Study, we looked at linking the Rockaway Beach Branch (using LIRR service) to the Central Terminal Area of John F. Kennedy International Airport. This would support a possible one-seat ride between the airport and Midtown Manhattan (Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal).

Phase 1 Report Documents
Phase 1 - Rockaway Beach Branch Sketch Assessment --> https://new.mta.info/document/10941
Phase 1 - Appendix A RBB LIRR Alignment --> https://new.mta.info/document/10946
Phase 1 - Appendix B RBB NYCT Alignment --> https://new.mta.info/document/10951
Phase 1 - Appendix C LIRR Station Plans --> https://new.mta.info/document/10956
Phase 1 - Appendix D NYCT Station Plans --> https://new.mta.info/document/10961
Phase 1 - Appendix E - NYCT Tunnel Profile Graphic --> https://new.mta.info/document/10966
Phase 1 - Appendix F Cantilevered Profile --> https://new.mta.info/document/10971
Phase 1 - Appendix G - LIRR RBB Historic Timetable --> https://new.mta.info/document/10976
Phase 1 - Appendix H Capital Costs 11.30.2017 --> https://new.mta.info/document/10981

Phase 2 - JFK OSR Rail Study
LIRR RBB JFK Study - Phase Two JFK OSR Rail Study --> https://new.mta.info/document/10986
LIRR RBB JFK Study - Phase Two JFK OSR Rail Study --> https://new.mta.info/document/10991
  by Paul1705
 
My first impression is that ridership without a direct connection into JFK looks poor. It's possible that the line would have to be opened in a single stage to the airport if it's to be justified at all.

The second issue is that the LIRR probably will have the capacity with Grand Central access opening. The Queens Boulevard subway capacity issue has been on the table for decades but it hasn't been resolved yet. There is a bellmouth at Northern Boulevard that would allow a connection into the upper level of the 63rd Street tunnel for a new route. However, it looks like the MTA will need a couple more decades, if ever, before dealing with that project.
  by #5 - Dyre Ave
 
Hi. I didn’t realize it’s been so long since I last posted on this board. Here goes...

I believe the Rockaway Beach Branch should be restored as subway, not LIRR. The subway option, in spite of its outrageously high price tag (is that much palm-greasing really needed?) would benefit the communities located along the branch far more than a once or twice-hourly LIRR service would. A subway line would be able to run much more frequently than that, even on the Queens Blvd subway.

But I don’t like the Mx service proposed in the study. It would take away service from the rest of the M and R lines, which would pit subway riders on the other end of those lines against reactivating the branch. We don’t want that. I’m also not a fan of extending either the M or R, because both lines are long and have lots of merges with other lines (the M has more merges and the R is the longer of the two). Extending either the M or R will only make them less reliable.

My preference is to run the W train from the RBB to Whitehall St, replacing the R in Queens. The R would then be shifted to the Astoria Line and the N would stay on the express tracks after 34th St in Manhattan and terminate at 96th St - 2nd Avenue alongside the Q. This would reduce delays and allow trains to run more frequently, which is badly needed. This is assuming we continue to have a Broadway service on Queens Blvd. If we don’t, and we de-tangle the QB line somewhat, then my preference is to have a K service that runs the same way I suggested for the W, but via the 53rd Street Tunnel and the 8th Avenue Local to World Trade Center alongside the E. This would require building new switches south of 50th St so the C can switch to the 8th Ave express tracks and displacing the M to the 63rd St Tunnel.
  by andrewjw
 
Your proposal makes sense, except for the following issues:

Astoria riders seem attached to the "N" designation and have outsized political influence, so I would leave the Astoria route designated "N", and shuffle the other designations so the "W" is the Sea Beach / Bwayh Exp / 2 Av route and the "R" is the Bway Local / QBL / RBB route. (Brooklyn riders might complain about the letter change, but they are getting improved service, so hopefully they will stay quiet; whereas Astoria customers are not, would not.)

The major issue is yard access. Neither of your Local routes have effective access to Jamaica or Coney Island yards. You would need to schedule all put-ins using the Sea Beach express track (like the W today) and using 71/Continental as the origin/destination for select Bway Local / QBL trains.

Also, note that WTC is at or close to capacity with 15tph of E, so adding another service would be challenging.
  by #5 - Dyre Ave
 
The reason I favor sending the W from Whitehall to QBL/RBB and the R from Bay Ridge to Astoria is that by leaving the R on QBL and extending it onto the RBB, the R would become an even longer, less reliable service than it currently is (unless the R is truncated at Whitehall). The issue with the R not having a yard if sent back to Astoria, can be resolved by making the 38th Street Yard able to store revenue service trains (the long-term Second Ave Subway plans do make mention of this). The W would become based out of Jamaica Yard and would also have use of the Rockaway Park Shuttle’s storage yard.

I’ve never heard of Astoria riders having such attachment to the letter N, like the Ridgewood and Bushwick riders who wanted to keep the M designation instead of having a V train to/from Metropolitan Ave. But even if they do, and the N stays in Astoria (would Sea Beach riders really be any less likely to complain about the letter they had much longer than Astoria has had it?), it would then have to run to/from Bay Ridge and fully local in Brooklyn and Manhattan in place of the R. And then the N would have the same “no-yard issue” that an Astoria R would have, unless 38th St is converted into a revenue service storage yard (work trains would need to be dispersed to other yards throughout the system...which they should be doing, given how often work trains have been fouling up revenue service in South Brooklyn).

As for the K option, WTC should be able to turn more than 15 tph. The L currently turns 20 tph at 8th Avenue, and there are plans to bump it up to 26 tph once the power and tunnel work are completed. Presumably combined E/K service could be about 25 tph.
  by Paul1705
 
When the Second Avenue subway was on the table in the 1950s, there had been a plan for what later was called the Queens Super-Express. There is a map of it on-line that I'll have to find. Anyway, it included rapid transit service along the Rockaway Beach branch. The service would have been: Rockaways-Rego Park (at the old LIRR station site)-bypass through Woodside- tunnel to Manhattan around 76th Street.

When the Super-Express idea was revived in the late 1960s, it didn't include any Rockaway service - all service would have gone to Forest Hills and beyond.
  by STrRedWolf
 
So I just got wind of this (late, I know, not often I'm in here) and figured I'd take an out-of-NYC view on this...

...and I see LIRR would be a bit of a waste. I don't know if folks would pay for an express from Penn or Grand Central to get to JFK or the casino (pre-COVID-19 of course), and I don't see how costs would be recovered. And this will be expensive to build.

Subway service seems to be the best way to go, financially. You don't need to reconstruct a ton of current stations (although Aqueduct Racetrack could use another platform), and you're using existing openings by 63 Drive/Rego Park M/R. The kicker is, it's connecting to the outside local track, which means... do you redirect the M or the R?

The real decider is the night-time schedule. The M's cut down to Middle Village to Myrtle Avenue and the R is cut down to South Ferry to Bay Ridge. So if you keep those two lines intact... what are you left with? A big gap.

Why not fill it with a new line? Why not bring back the H? (Why not Zoidberg?)

Looking at track layout from 63rd Drive/Rego Park and going Manhattan-bound, I see some interlockings around Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue. So why not have a new line start at Rockaway Park/Beach 116 St, go up though the Rockaway branch all the way to 63rd Drive/Rego Park, continue local (like M/R) until Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave, switch to express and follow the E's route into the World Trade Center? Night time service can cut this down to Rockaway Park/Beach 116 St to Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave, and connect with the E that way.