NaugyRR wrote: ↑Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:16 pmKilling off the direct service to Wassaic would be a pretty unpopular move. Don't forget that Wassaic is one of the few direct connections to the city that residents of the Taconic, Berkshire, and Litchfield Hills have, and as a rider of those trains I can tell you that they are well patronized. It's very nice to go straight home from Grand Central without having to change trains in the elements in Brewster. The dual-modes aren't the monsters that you're making them out to be. They're getting tired but the principle works, and once replaced with newer more efficient dual-mode equipment will continue to work.
For one, in order to eliminate the dual-modes, I'd electrify with 25kV60 from Norwalk to New Milford and Croton to Poughkeepsie, eventually expanding to Empire/Highbridge to Albany. New Milford would provide some service to GCT for those areas, and due to the distance, I'd suspect that some of that traffic is going to White Plains, which could be served by pure diesels that turn at White Plains. If the Harlem were extended from Wassaic to Millerton, and more passing sidings were put in, along with DMUs, far more frequent service could be offered, even without direct service.
The dual-modes are lousy diesels and downright awful electrics. MN would be better off with great electrics in the M-7/M-9 fleet and great diesels like the Nippon-Sharyo or Stadler DMUs, or if a few longer trains are needed, a small fleet of Siemens SC-44's, possibly ordered with new power for WoH operations. Running diesel in electric territory is idiotic as well, although for direct service to White Plains from Wassaic or Millerton, it would be necessary for a stretch.
Ridgefielder wrote: ↑Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:38 pmI'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. The A has been running to Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park/Beach 116th St. since 1956 without a problem. The population of the Rockaway Penninsula is greater than that of Hartford, Conn.-- Far Rockaway station alone has >1mm riders/year. There's zero reason to turn the line back over to the LIRR so you can pour thousands more riders into the already-at-capacity Jamaica Station.
You do realize that the RBB doesn't GO to Jamaica unless you go around the long way, right? The distances involved are longer than subways should be handling, if you look at a map, the NYCTA has a function and purpose in terms of the distance it covers, except for the RBB that sticks out like a sore thumb. The big opposition to the LIRR taking that back over would be fares, which would be solved by doing a MetroCard fare for all commuter rail citywide. It would also add a couple of stations with direct service to Penn and GCT in some currently underserved areas on it's way up to Rego Park.
And while at 36 miles the A might be the longest line in the NYC system, there are plenty of longer subway lines elsewhere. The Central line of the London Underground, for instance is 46 miles long and stretches all the past the suburbs to reach the open countryside: here's a view of the line from the M25 motorway near Epping https://goo.gl/maps/43Rdyk6TFUufLtRC7. If anything the NYC Subway should reach beyond the 5 Boroughs into both Nassau and Lower Westchester to alleviate some of the congestion on MN and the LIRR. There were serious efforts in the 1930's and '40's to preserve both the NYC Getty Square Branch and the NYW&B for just that, but they failed.
New York is not London, nor is it Washington, DC. Instead of building crazy and absurdly long subway lines, the money should be spent on improving, electrifying, and beefing up capacity on commuter rail lines. There is a LOT of improvement that can be made to both MNRR and LIRR that would add a LOT of capacity to both of them. There are also a lot of other really good ideas in terms of rail plans in the NYC area that don't involve building subway lines deep into the suburbs that no one asked for with ridiculously long rides. I'm not too familiar with the NYCTA projects, but in terms of heavy rail, there is the cross-harbor freight tunnel, TriBoroRX, Penn Access for MN from Hudson and New Haven, as well as the rebuilding of Penn that would unlock capacity for MN, Amtrak, NJT, and LIRR. There are also myriad improvements to various NJT, MNRR, and LIRR lines that would improve service and capacity throughout the region, none of which involve crazy long subway rides.
If anything were done with the "Lower Putnam", it should be done as MNRR, but that still runs into the issues of service dilution and downstream congestion. There's a reason it was abandoned. It's technically a terrible route, and from a density/development perspective, it's also a terrible route. There's good reason why it's a bike trail and not a railroad.