• The East Side Access Project Discussion (ESA)

  • Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.
Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

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  by hrfcarl
 
Head-end View wrote:What is the purpose of a Sunnyside Station?
Thought it was suggested as part of the congestion pricing proposal. Suppose to be one of the places where one could park a car and take MTA into Manhattan. Am I even in the ball park with this?
  by Krowa08
 
I heard that one of the the purposes of the Sunnyside station was for transfers, people coming out of penn could switch out to GCT trains and vice-versa as to not have to worry about it at Jamaica, especially if they're switching to diesels, this way they can run more express trains that just bypass Jamaica. I heard this awhile ago so I'm not sure how accurate that is.
  by tun
 
That would make sense if both Penn and GCT-bound trains stopped there, but the plan was just for Penn-bound trains to stop there.
  by workextra
 
Respectfully, It's a mega waste of valuable taxpayer dollars.
All the money pissed down ESA (which is a cool project in it's own right) would be better spent on mainline improvements such as the 3rd track and double track, electrification to Northport, and Patchogue, in addition to the central branch.
The money could have also went to improving and organizing intra-island and reverse commute service.
All of which could have been in operation by now.
  by hrfcarl
 
Picking up from a thread here: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 0&start=30
ADL6009 wrote:
UpperHarlemLine4ever wrote:In a May 28 posting LongIslandTool says that ESA will probably not be operated by LIRR. Who would it be? Are you talking about some outside contractor???

Tool hasn't eleborated but the impression i get from him is that they want to create another Railroad to run trains into and out of Grand Central Terminal instead of the LIRR.
however this idea raises a host of questions, for example, would the trains continue onto LIRR terminals such as Hempstead / Ronkonkoma / Huntington? or would they all terminate at Jamaica? who will be in charge of dispatching trains into and out of GCT?
would the employee's of this new RR have to qualify on the entire territory of the LIRR? or only the portion they will operate over?
will the employee's of this new Railroad be under the control of the LIRR and be able to be used to cover LIRR assignments when the RR 'goes into the bag'?
will this new RR honor the passes of the LIRR employee's for transportation to and from GCT? as it stands now the MTA agencies do not cross honor each other's passes for transportation on the other agencies trains / buses.
would current LIRR employee's be required to qualify on the territory to GCT even if is part of another RR? (similliar to the way they need to qualify on Zone A?)
would current LIRR crews be permited to operate trains into GCT if conditions require it?

the whole idea of creating another Railroad to operate the service is so that this new RR can pay its employee's less than what the LIRR pays its employee's and not be hampered by the cumbersome work rules the UTU has negotiated with the LIRR.
the possible upside to this is that the employee's being laid off by the LIRR are perfect candidates to be hired by this new Railroad as the LIRR has already paid for their training and qualifying process. this new company might only need 150-200 conductors (one per train) and a similiar number of engineers, the exact same amount of people the LIRR is looking to let go.
As mentioned, Tools record for predictions has been spot on, so this is probably not that far fetched. Is there anything that could stop MTA from taking the Port Washington branch (pretty seperate from the rest of the LIRR system as way to avoid LIRR property & union requirements) from the LIRR to make a new RR - lets call it MTA ESA RR? To give 1 seat rides from other LIRR branches, LIRR would be given trackage rights to run trains into GCT ESA.
  by Head-end View
 
Let me get this straight..............The same MTA that a few years ago wanted to consolidate Metro-North and LIRR into one railroad called MTA Rail, now wants to have three railroads instead of only two ?? !! But yes, the above outlined scheme for reducing employee salaries and benefits, and therefore operating costs does sound like something government would do.
  by tun
 
hrfcarl wrote:Picking up from a thread here: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 0&start=30
ADL6009 wrote:
UpperHarlemLine4ever wrote:In a May 28 posting LongIslandTool says that ESA will probably not be operated by LIRR. Who would it be? Are you talking about some outside contractor???

Tool hasn't eleborated but the impression i get from him is that they want to create another Railroad to run trains into and out of Grand Central Terminal instead of the LIRR.
however this idea raises a host of questions, for example, would the trains continue onto LIRR terminals such as Hempstead / Ronkonkoma / Huntington? or would they all terminate at Jamaica? who will be in charge of dispatching trains into and out of GCT?
would the employee's of this new RR have to qualify on the entire territory of the LIRR? or only the portion they will operate over?
will the employee's of this new Railroad be under the control of the LIRR and be able to be used to cover LIRR assignments when the RR 'goes into the bag'?
will this new RR honor the passes of the LIRR employee's for transportation to and from GCT? as it stands now the MTA agencies do not cross honor each other's passes for transportation on the other agencies trains / buses.
would current LIRR employee's be required to qualify on the territory to GCT even if is part of another RR? (similliar to the way they need to qualify on Zone A?)
would current LIRR crews be permited to operate trains into GCT if conditions require it?

the whole idea of creating another Railroad to operate the service is so that this new RR can pay its employee's less than what the LIRR pays its employee's and not be hampered by the cumbersome work rules the UTU has negotiated with the LIRR.
the possible upside to this is that the employee's being laid off by the LIRR are perfect candidates to be hired by this new Railroad as the LIRR has already paid for their training and qualifying process. this new company might only need 150-200 conductors (one per train) and a similiar number of engineers, the exact same amount of people the LIRR is looking to let go.
As mentioned, Tools record for predictions has been spot on, so this is probably not that far fetched. Is there anything that could stop MTA from taking the Port Washington branch (pretty seperate from the rest of the LIRR system as way to avoid LIRR property & union requirements) from the LIRR to make a new RR - lets call it MTA ESA RR? To give 1 seat rides from other LIRR branches, LIRR would be given trackage rights to run trains into GCT ESA.
I would not want to lose a one seat ride into Penn under that scenario. ESA was suppose to add to our service, not decrease it.
  by DogBert
 
Re: The sunnyside station. It's not far fetched at all. Hell, it's rather smart when you look at the context of how quickly LIC has been changing. They just build a new office tower a block away from where the new stop will be. Metlife is still at Queens Plaza (I hear they're moving, but even if they do that building is good real estate). Citibank is maybe a 10 minute walk - shorter if they have exits onto thomspon ave.Whenever the economy decides to pick up again, there'll only be more jobs in LIC, and more residents too. Significantly more than many LI towns. They all deserve more service, not less.

Where I live, unless you have a car it's just as much time to go to penn as it is to woodside. HP & LIC stops are rush hour only and are incredibly useless unless you're a regular commuter. A stop at sunnyside would service riders that don't live along the 7 subway line. You'd get people off the N/Q and east end of queens blvd line who don't want to deal with Jamaica or transfers.

I'm sure many many many rush hour trains will be skipping the stop on their way into penn.
  by Sir Ray
 
Herring wrote:Looks like the ESA is full steam ahead for 2016 opening.
According to this Snoozeday article, looks like the ESA is going off the rails at full steam

For those without Newsday on-line access, selected highlights from the article:
Budget projections show the Long Island Rail Road's East Side Access project - widely considered the MTA's most ambitious transportation project in generations - is running $800 million over budget and more than 18 months behind schedule, according to federal officials
...
The transit administration now is pegging the massive project's total cost at $8.1 billion. The MTA has budgeted $7.3 billion. The federal agency also disputes the MTA's completion date of September 2016, saying the project will not be finished until April 2018.
  by Johnny F
 
What was the reason for building a separate concourse and not sharing the existing Metro-North station facilities? I admit I have zero knowledge of the circumstances, but on the surface it seems that a direct link to the existing station would have been quicker and less expensive. Anybody know?
  by oknazevad
 
From my understanding:

A) Grades. The 63rd St tunnel under the East River is pretty deep, and getting trains from there up to even the existing lower level of GCT would require slopes that are unworkably steep.

B) Completely incompatible systems. Just about the only thing that Metro-North and the LIRR have in common from a technical standpoint is the use of standard gauge tracks. The elctrification systems are different, with MNR's being under-running 3rd rail and LIRR's being over-running 3rd rai. Signal systems are different, too, afaik.

In short, they don't and won't run together because it's physically impossible. Remember, though, that the ESA station being attached to Grand Central is an improvement over the idea of a fully seperate station from when the idea was first floated back during the 63rd St construction.
  by DutchRailnut
 
If for example the part of lower level were to be used by LIRR it would have cut off to many tracks for MNCR.
Due to incompatible third rail, you would either loose loop tracks and yard or to many valuable platforms for MNCR.
and yard tracks can be made available outside the terminal but capacity of four tracks in park ave tunnel is at about 100%.
by giving up 4 yard tracks only on lower level, LIRR has room for LIRR mezanine but the tracks are at a level almost 100 feet under the lowerlevel of current GCT.
  by HalMallon
 
It is my understanding that main reason to create a LIRR terminal under GCT was the difficulty in underpinning the tracks. The original plan had the new LIRR tracks head west from the 63rd Street tunnel, fly under the GCT tracks from east to west, to connect up to the lower level tracks on the west side of GCT. The logistics of underpinning tracks that are in use 24 hours a day were deemed insurmountable/too costly. Also, there was concern about the integration of LIRR space with MNRR space.
  by DutchRailnut
 
the 63th street tunnel is already under and crossing the MNCR tracks, no need to underpin any track.
a huge curve will bring the track back towards the new Caverns right in middle under lower level.

http://www.mta.info/capconstr/esas/imag ... on_jpg.htm

http://www.mta.info/capconstr/esas/imag ... ic_jpg.htm

http://www.mta.info/capconstr/esas/imag ... th_jpg.htm
  by LongIslandTool
 
Tool has not elaborated on the details of a new agency to operate ESA because those details do not exist. The present administration is pressing to reduce costs visible to the public. An astute researcher will see that overall costs are increasing, management hiring is increasing and the MTA is pushing for higher fees and taxes to cover these new costs.

In such a political climate which is anything but transparent to the general public, plans and policies change by the day.

Lately, it is popular culture to blame unionized labor for all of America's socialistic-inspired ills. Thus the inspiration to operate ESA outside of the union environment. New York State, however mandates that "prevailing wage" be paid to workers employed by the State. Unless ESA were "privatized" the labor savings would be minimal.

This is all conceptual. There are no details to share. Expect to see fares on ESA trains collected with automated fare collection, much like the subway. MetroCards. Also expect to see two or one man crews.

Again, this can change with the change of regime and nothing is certain until it happens.
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