Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

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Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby Anna » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:37 pm

Call me crazy, but imho we don't need 3rd track at all. I mean, we have two directions: EAST and WEST. All we need are two tracks. That's it! Then we can run trains every 5min in both directions - like every subway train on this planet. I know it's not a subway, but is it really matters? K.I.S.S. "Keep it simple, stupid".

The problem that we have are all those interruptions, like on track incidents, crashes etc.

So, the question is: Why not leave those 2 tracks as they are and spent money on soundproof walls, bridges etc.. so trains would run basically in non-collision tunnels. One track, one direction, every station stop (the trip would be longer by 5-6min) but it would be SIMPLE. Actually, it doesn't prevent from running few express trains per day. This solution would be so cheaper we could afford even glass doors on stations:


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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby MattAmity90 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:01 pm

Well, one thing is certain: The project would not be by any chance as simple as what they are currently doing with the Ronkonkoma Branch by double-tracking it finally. In that project the area in which the second track is being constructed was always owned by the LIRR and didn't have to be leased.

As far as the third track project, it is not ludicrous at all but I question some areas of the Main Line. I do believe that the third track should be added at Mineola and Hicksville (which is already three tracks with two island platforms) because those are two of the busiest stations on the railroad. One thing I like about the project is eliminating all grade crossings on that stretch because in New Hyde Park during both rush hours in the AM and PM, the gates are down for 49 minutes in one hour leaving just 11 minutes for you to get across the tracks. One thing I would propose is extending the third track over Herricks Road through Mineola with crossover switches and rejoining the two main tracks at the Eastern most interlocking of the Nassau quartet, and using the third electrified track at the West end of Divide to be put in service that would extend Track 1 at Hicksville to rejoin the two main tracks just to the West of Charlotte Avenue.

The interlocking in between Merillon Avenue and New Hyde Park where that derailment took place would be eliminated while the area over Herricks Road would take over that creating a new West end of Nassau Interlocking. Of course the current Nassau tower would have to be demolished and I would recommend constructing a new one and relocate it to the triangular area where the Oyster Bay Branch diverts to the North and where the two Willis Avenue crossings are located.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:52 pm

Anna:

Answering your question in a word unequivocally: YES.

The Floral Park-Hicksville Third Track HAS been needed at least since the 1980s.

Have you been following the LIRR Main Line Third Track topic up above?

To construct what you suggest would be just as disruptive to regular Main Line service as the
current LIRR project would be. This route is not a rapid transit line and to run frequent service
as you suggest would require anyway at least the elimination or closure of the grade crossings
along the route which would either be politically impossible or create a traffic nightmare in the
towns such as New Hyde Park which may increase opposition to any changes necessary.

To have trains always stopping at New Hyde Park-Merillon Avenue-Mineola-Carle Place-Westbury
is not necessary and would inconvenience express trains going further east that are already at or
near capacity that go to (examples) Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson Branch points in particular.

The only people that think that the Third Track Project is not necessary is the NIMBY opponents
that have repeatedly delayed this vital project for many years. With the revised current plan to
build this project with as little local interruption as possible that is better then previous plans to
use some lineside property not owned by the LIRR which in itself added to some opposition.

In the case of the LIRR Third Track Project the future benefits far outweigh the inconveniences
that will be necessary during the construction project for riders and residents of Long Island.

http://www.mta.info/news/2017/03/22/lir ... k-can-help

Opinion by MACTRAXX
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby MattAmity90 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:49 am

Actually MACTRAXX you do have a point.

I am not a NIMBY at all as you know, I'm all for the third track. What I stated was actually a temporary yet ideal alternative by adding a third track to certain areas, but I just realized that what I proposed would be the perfect candidate as Phase I of the project. Phase II would see the triple-tracking of the remainder of the Main Line.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby DaveBarraza » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:29 am

Anna wrote:Call me crazy, but imho we don't need 3rd track at all. I mean, we have two directions: EAST and WEST. All we need are two tracks.


Look at the service pattern. Both tracks are used westbound in the AM and eastbound in the PM, based on capacity demands. Remember that subway trains have better braking and acceleration than diesel commuter equipment.

The third track enables the kind of "back and forth" operation that you propose. Trust me if it was possible to run the schedule using one track each direction from Floral Park to Hicksville - they would be doing it (then they would need fewer trains)
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby tahawus84 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:32 am

I would rather see them put the money into making what they currently have operate better. Every other day it there is a signal or switch related delay. Is that going to change with a third track? I could see the benefit of the third track during times when equipment breaks down, but it seems the majority of the problems I encounter during my commute are problems that I am still going to encounter after the third track is built. I think the ronkonkoma double tracking project was needed but I am not sold on the necessity of the third track yet.
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby mjd13076 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:37 am

Commute every day and you'll see the necessity. So, a resounding YES. END OF STORY. People and businesses bought their properties adjoining railroad tracks... What do they expect? What's next, stop running trains because it's too noisy?
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby Norton » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:38 am

I'm all for the third track, but you've got to admit that providing just one additional mainline train in the peak direction does not look very good when you're trying to justify a project of this magnitude. Most of the benefit seems to be for reverse commuting and, to a lesser extent, problem-recovery.
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby Commuter X » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:31 pm

I think most of the opposition is because we can not trust government to build something on-time and on-budget (See ESA)

Does anyone believe the final cost would be $2B and complete in three or four years?
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby tahawus84 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:25 pm

I should add that I do commute everyday, and I think it would be a waste of money.
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:06 pm

The Mainline is at a point that there's no way to do any reverse commuting,it 2 tracks running west in the AM,2 tracks running east in the PM,
the only other option is to rebuild the Garden-Mitchel Secondary back to mainline standards and extend it back to Beth tower.
If there's away to clear a path thru all the power lines that use the old ROW to Beth tower.
It's now a REAL NEED for that 3rd Mainline track to keep the Mainline to Hicksville(Divide)fluid for all moves in both directions
and with no 3rd rail on the Central Branch makes the Babylon(middle Montauk branch) useless for reverse commuting by "going around"
the over congested Mainline.
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby jack butler505 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:01 pm

Backshophoss wrote:The Mainline is at a point that there's no way to do any reverse commuting,it 2 tracks running west in the AM,2 tracks running east in the PM,
the only other option is to rebuild the Garden-Mitchel Secondary back to mainline standards and extend it back to Beth tower.
If there's away to clear a path thru all the power lines that use the old ROW to Beth tower.
It's now a REAL NEED for that 3rd Mainline track to keep the Mainline to Hicksville(Divide)fluid for all moves in both directions
and with no 3rd rail on the Central Branch makes the Babylon(middle Montauk branch) useless for reverse commuting by "going around"
the over congested Mainline.


The Garden City-Mitchell Secondary would make even more sense if the Islanders come back, plus if you built a spur branching off to the south, it could service Nassau Community College and Hofstra as well
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby keyboardkat » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:01 pm

I always was in favor of reopening and rebuilding the old Stewart line between Garden City and Bethpage. The ROW still belongs to the MTA as successor to the various predecessor railroad companies that developed Long Island. Unfortunately, LIPA high tension electric towers now occupy the ROW and would have to be moved, plus all the homeowners who have built along the route in the 70 years since the end of WWII would scream bloody murder! But so will property owners along the main line! New bridges would have to be built over the Meadowbrook and Wantagh Parkways, and over the Seaford-OB expressway. I think a school building encroaches on the ROW just east of the Seaford-OB expressway, an example of the problems that would have to be dealt with somehow.
The railroad's giving up of the Garden City-Bethpage line around the turn of the last century was, in hindsight, a big mistake. But in fairness, no one could have known that at the time. The Island had a much lower population then, and a lot of today's developed territory was empty. No one could have predicted what LI would become.
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby MattAmity90 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:04 am

keyboardkat wrote:I always was in favor of reopening and rebuilding the old Stewart line between Garden City and Bethpage. The ROW still belongs to the MTA as successor to the various predecessor railroad companies that developed Long Island. Unfortunately, LIPA high tension electric towers now occupy the ROW and would have to be moved, plus all the homeowners who have built along the route in the 70 years since the end of WWII would scream bloody murder! But so will property owners along the main line! New bridges would have to be built over the Meadowbrook and Wantagh Parkways, and over the Seaford-OB expressway. I think a school building encroaches on the ROW just east of the Seaford-OB expressway, an example of the problems that would have to be dealt with somehow.
The railroad's giving up of the Garden City-Bethpage line around the turn of the last century was, in hindsight, a big mistake. But in fairness, no one could have known that at the time. The Island had a much lower population then, and a lot of today's developed territory was empty. No one could have predicted what LI would become.


Aside from that, you have the big substation at the corner of Salisbury Park Drive and Newbridge Road, think of the crossing they would have to construct for Newbridge Road (the former one on the Babylon Branch before its elevation in the mid-70's was a nightmare), of course like you said the houses even though many dot along the Jericho Straightaway (North to South section between Syosset and Hicksville), and I guarantee they would rebuild two stations along the way which would most likely be Uniondale and East Meadow. I agree though, it wouldn't be that bad, but the logistics as you said would be too much.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: Is the 3rd track project really necessary?

Postby zhaos » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:08 pm

If there's something that needs changing, it's the fact that nonstop ronkonkoma-line trains at rush hour take basically as long to travel to/from Penn station as the local trains.

Train 2017 which runs nonstop between Wyandanch and Penn takes 58 minutes to go between those two stations. But off-peak service is just as fast. When I've taken 2017, the train seems to roll leisurely along the main line, and of course, the train often ends up sitting stopped somewhere between Jamaica and NYP.
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