mkm4 wrote:The original MNCR study is here.
THANK YOU for finding this! I've been looking all over the place for it, for some reason I thought it was on the Tappan Zee Bridge website.
I think Alternatives 3 and 4 are the best, assuming that the Tappan Zee Bridge is rebuilt brand new. Adding railroad lines to a bridge that's going to be built anyway should be cheaper than building a completely separate, dedicated railroad bridge or tunnel. I also very much like the idea of running the line along I-287 and beyond, so it can make connections with all 3 major Metro-North lines. Both options are pretty much equal -- the only difference being whether the SWF express runs would get to GCT via the Hudson or Harlem Line. There are pros and cons to both sides.
The only thing I question is the line from West Nyack to Newburgh. I realize that trackage is already in place, but what kind of service would this be? Assuming most direct trains would originate at Stewart, I'm guessing that the Newburgh trains would simply be a shuttle to West Nyack, as opposed to running trains direct from Newburgh to GCT. (Running direct service from GCT to both SWF and Newburgh would just add more traffic to the lines involved, perhaps unnecessarily.)
Will there be any stops between Newburgh and West Nyack? If not, why bother? Just have trains to Stewart continue on into Newburgh on a new track. No sense in running trains up and down two long, parallel lines that end just a few miles from each other when you can just extend the dominant line by a few short miles and still serve the same audience. It would save on wear and tear, as well as fuel costs (assuming we're talking diesel service here). However, I would accept Newburgh-West Nyack service if there are intermediate stops along the way.
Overall, I think Alternatives 3 and 4 are the best, as they both help reinforce the argument for a brand new Tappan Zee Bridge to replace the old one. They both propose to run along I-287, which could help relieve some of the congestion there... and they provide a suburban connection between the three existing MN lines. (Great for someone who, for example, lives in Poughkeepsie, but works in White Plains.)
One final comment in response to what the MTA wrote:
Stewart Airport is viewed by NYSDOT as a regional reliever, rather than a fourth airport for New York City.
Yeah, suuuure... we'll see how long that
idea lasts once there's one-seat high-speed rail service from GCT to SWF.