MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

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

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DogBert
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by DogBert » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:50 am

tonyt wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:35 am
Doesn't make sense to connect to the LIRR. Let's face it the LIRR alignment is so that Manhattanites and a very few Queens patrons don't have to change at Jamaica for trains to JFK. Think of it. Other than Port Washington trains, almost every LIRR train east or west stops at Jamaica station. Travel to JFK is already a reality via the Air Train for Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. The proposed connection involves running separate trains whose sole destination is southern Queens. Didn't the LIRR stop that service in 1962?
It doesn't make sense to spend $2B more on a subway connection (which I'm assuming you're for?) when everything to connect it to LIRR is right there.

Also, there's no reason the route couldn't be retrofitted for subway later if the tunnel connection to Queens blvd. can will ever be built. That's a huge if. It's a short tunnel connection but you can bet on years of wrangling with the community, lawsuits, etc. It's a densely populated area. Like with the 14th street busway, all it takes is one narcissist lawyer to push the project back months.

Also one can take a train from downtown Vienna to the airport in 16 minutes with no transfers. The only reason we don't have that in NY is because we settle for less and accept that everything needs to be magically expensive or just a garbage connection to already overburdened transit routes. The LGA air train comes to mind... what a stupid concept that is.

hrfcarl
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by hrfcarl » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:41 pm

DogBert wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:50 am
It doesn't make sense to spend $2B more on a subway connection (which I'm assuming you're for?) when everything to connect it to LIRR is right there.

Also, there's no reason the route couldn't be retrofitted for subway later if the tunnel connection to Queens blvd. can will ever be built. That's a huge if. It's a short tunnel connection but you can bet on years of wrangling with the community, lawsuits, etc. It's a densely populated area. Like with the 14th street busway, all it takes is one narcissist lawyer to push the project back months.
I do believe Subway service should be the long term goal of this reactivation, but this makes the most sense to get the line operational:
Stage 1 - Rebuild/Rehab for LIRR with existing Main Line connections, at least Woodhaven and Howard Beach/JFK stations and price similar to Altantic Ticket service
Stage 2 - Build tunnel to existing connectors at 63rd Drive/Rego Park to Queens Blvd line (hopefully all lawsuits over by time Stage 1 done) and rehab/add stations along the branch where needed.

ExCon90
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:26 pm

Does the Queens Blvd. line have capacity for additional trains west of Rego Park, and where would the trains go in Manhattan?

andrewjw
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by andrewjw » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:49 pm

ExCon90 wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:26 pm
Does the Queens Blvd. line have capacity for additional trains west of Rego Park, and where would the trains go in Manhattan?
Not at peak in the near future. The main line operates three tracks in the peak direction and one in the contraflow direction. After ESA is complete, the three peak tracks will be connected to two (or maybe three, but the third shared with NJT yard moves, Amtrak, and the PW branch) to Penn and one to GCT, and will feed two to the triple-track Main Line, one to Atlantic, and one to Babylon. So the Main Line west of Jamaica will be at full capacity. (In fact, though the western Atlantic Branch will primarily run as a shuttle to the new platform, I wouldn't be surprised if some peak trains from the Atlantic east run through instead in order to increase the number of trains to the east as the Main Line west will be at capacity. Also note that ESA will decrease traffic for HPA/LIC since some of that traffic is just transferring to the subway to get to the East Side, and the proposed Sunnyside station would further decrease LIC traffic.) With this taken into account, each train to the RBB would be one train fewer to Jamaica or further east.

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newkirk
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by newkirk » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:58 pm

Some memories of the Rockaway Beach branch

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Bill Mangahas (AKA Newkirk Images LLC)
Train to Rockaway Park now boarding on Track 22

Backshophoss
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by Backshophoss » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:27 pm

Having to redo all the trackage to ensure isolation between LIRR and NYCTA will be the BIG $$$$$$$ for this.
A branch that died as a 1 car shuttle. the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ needed is not worth the effort.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

Crabman1130
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by Crabman1130 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:09 pm

andrewjw wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:49 pm
ExCon90 wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:26 pm
Does the Queens Blvd. line have capacity for additional trains west of Rego Park, and where would the trains go in Manhattan?
Not at peak in the near future. The main line operates three tracks in the peak direction and one in the contraflow direction. After ESA is complete, the three peak tracks will be connected to two (or maybe three, but the third shared with NJT yard moves, Amtrak, and the PW branch) to Penn and one to GCT, and will feed two to the triple-track Main Line, one to Atlantic, and one to Babylon. So the Main Line west of Jamaica will be at full capacity. (In fact, though the western Atlantic Branch will primarily run as a shuttle to the new platform, I wouldn't be surprised if some peak trains from the Atlantic east run through instead in order to increase the number of trains to the east as the Main Line west will be at capacity. Also note that ESA will decrease traffic for HPA/LIC since some of that traffic is just transferring to the subway to get to the East Side, and the proposed Sunnyside station would further decrease LIC traffic.) With this taken into account, each train to the RBB would be one train fewer to Jamaica or further east.
I believe the question was about the subway line.

ExCon90
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by ExCon90 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:02 pm

Yes, it was--thanks. The info about ESA was welcome, however.

DogBert
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by DogBert » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:02 pm

On the queens blvd subway, at the moment, no. But they're installing new signals so maybe in 10 years assuming it takes as long to get CBTC running as it did for the 7 line. They *could* divert one of the local lines through. Only three stops would lose a little local service. They could also bring the G back up Queens blvd.

So far as I know the main constraint for subways would be actual subway cars.

andrewjw
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by andrewjw » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:10 pm

DogBert wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:02 pm
On the queens blvd subway, at the moment, no. But they're installing new signals so maybe in 10 years assuming it takes as long to get CBTC running as it did for the 7 line. They *could* divert one of the local lines through. Only three stops would lose a little local service. They could also bring the G back up Queens blvd.

So far as I know the main constraint for subways would be actual subway cars.
Edit: Oh, whoops, sorry for the subway details in the LIRR forum. I knew there was a reason I'd assumed we were talking about LIRR capacity!

Oh, sorry. Here's a summary.

The current capacity limitations are how many trains they can turn at 71 Av/Continental without it becoming a conga line, 53 St Tunnel, and the Broadway Local tracks (with the limit there being at 34 St due to the merge).

RBB would nicely alleviate the 71 Av issues and only short-change 67 Av, since 71 Av customers will mostly take the express, and the portals are directly after 63 Dr according to Vanshnookenraggen.

It's hard to add capacity on 53 St-8 Av because Canal St and WTC are both close to capacity, and hard on 53 St-6 Av because that involves merging with the E and then with the F.

It's comparatively easy to add capacity on Broadway. Since the current capacity limitation is the merge, just remove the merge! Send all Broadway Express trains to 2 Av and all the Astoria and QBL trains down 4 Av Local (which could use more service anyhow) plus some terminating at Whitehall. Deinterlining at 34 St would have massive positive repercussions for the whole system and I expect it will be necessary due to increased SAS demand after Phase II is complete. So you could imagine running all M trains down QBL and R trains to 71 or vice versa (or some mix as proposed here) and at the same time increasing capacity by increasing the number of R trains and deinterlining 34 (since 71 won't be an issue).

The proposal to run G trains is challenging because this would create a *very* complicated merge at Queens Plaza, with three lines joining onto one track, with both the M and the R causing backups if delayed. Also, this would result in even fewer customers staying on the local at Forest Hills than we have today: one limitation on QBL is that there is no more space on the inside of the trains on the QBE tracks (to which many people transfer at Forest Hills). Also, it would be hard to fit more G trains on Culver Local without causing merge delays with the F, or without running more F expresses (which some people on this forum would love, but which overall cause more inconvenience than they are worth because they will dump some G riders on the A/C at Hoyt/Schermerhorn, which are overcrowded because of the capacity limit in the Cranberry tunnel).

In the long run, the obvious but costly solution is a build-out of QB Super-Express as was planned decades ago. By running the super express trains, the express trains would be more able to take the capacity generated by RBB (which would all transfer at Woodhaven, which has provisions for express-stop conversion; the Rego Park provisions for RBB are express-only).

This is all assuming that RBB is actually built, and built to LIRR or subway specs, which seems unlikely since the study proposed such high costs (whether or not they are accurate) and the project would probably have less impact than other possibilities (SAS phases III/IV or Bronx extension; QB Super Express; smaller capacity expansion projects like reconfiguring Rutgers, Crown Heights/Utica Ave, 149 St/GC, Astoria Blvd, or a personal favorite of mine, hooking up the Montague tubes to the Fulton local tracks to fix the Cranberry capacity issue and give deinterlined Broadway Local trains a southern sink).

#5 - Dyre Ave
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by #5 - Dyre Ave » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:37 pm

andrewjw wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:10 pm
DogBert wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:02 pm
On the queens blvd subway, at the moment, no. But they're installing new signals so maybe in 10 years assuming it takes as long to get CBTC running as it did for the 7 line. They *could* divert one of the local lines through. Only three stops would lose a little local service. They could also bring the G back up Queens blvd.

So far as I know the main constraint for subways would be actual subway cars.
Edit: Oh, whoops, sorry for the subway details in the LIRR forum. I knew there was a reason I'd assumed we were talking about LIRR capacity!

Oh, sorry. Here's a summary.

The current capacity limitations are how many trains they can turn at 71 Av/Continental without it becoming a conga line, 53 St Tunnel, and the Broadway Local tracks (with the limit there being at 34 St due to the merge).

RBB would nicely alleviate the 71 Av issues and only short-change 67 Av, since 71 Av customers will mostly take the express, and the portals are directly after 63 Dr according to Vanshnookenraggen.

It's hard to add capacity on 53 St-8 Av because Canal St and WTC are both close to capacity, and hard on 53 St-6 Av because that involves merging with the E and then with the F.

It's comparatively easy to add capacity on Broadway. Since the current capacity limitation is the merge, just remove the merge! Send all Broadway Express trains to 2 Av and all the Astoria and QBL trains down 4 Av Local (which could use more service anyhow) plus some terminating at Whitehall. Deinterlining at 34 St would have massive positive repercussions for the whole system and I expect it will be necessary due to increased SAS demand after Phase II is complete. So you could imagine running all M trains down QBL and R trains to 71 or vice versa (or some mix as proposed here) and at the same time increasing capacity by increasing the number of R trains and deinterlining 34 (since 71 won't be an issue).

The proposal to run G trains is challenging because this would create a *very* complicated merge at Queens Plaza, with three lines joining onto one track, with both the M and the R causing backups if delayed. Also, this would result in even fewer customers staying on the local at Forest Hills than we have today: one limitation on QBL is that there is no more space on the inside of the trains on the QBE tracks (to which many people transfer at Forest Hills). Also, it would be hard to fit more G trains on Culver Local without causing merge delays with the F, or without running more F expresses (which some people on this forum would love, but which overall cause more inconvenience than they are worth because they will dump some G riders on the A/C at Hoyt/Schermerhorn, which are overcrowded because of the capacity limit in the Cranberry tunnel).

In the long run, the obvious but costly solution is a build-out of QB Super-Express as was planned decades ago. By running the super express trains, the express trains would be more able to take the capacity generated by RBB (which would all transfer at Woodhaven, which has provisions for express-stop conversion; the Rego Park provisions for RBB are express-only).

This is all assuming that RBB is actually built, and built to LIRR or subway specs, which seems unlikely since the study proposed such high costs (whether or not they are accurate) and the project would probably have less impact than other possibilities (SAS phases III/IV or Bronx extension; QB Super Express; smaller capacity expansion projects like reconfiguring Rutgers, Crown Heights/Utica Ave, 149 St/GC, Astoria Blvd, or a personal favorite of mine, hooking up the Montague tubes to the Fulton local tracks to fix the Cranberry capacity issue and give deinterlined Broadway Local trains a southern sink).
My preference for reactivating RBB is also for subway. I fully agree with deinterlining Broadway. Though I favor sending the R to Astoria and running the W to Queens Blvd and onto the reactivated RBB to Rockaway Park. This way, neither the M, R or W are too long of a route.

andrewjw
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by andrewjw » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:00 pm

#5 - Dyre Ave wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:37 pm
My preference for reactivating RBB is also for subway. I fully agree with deinterlining Broadway. Though I favor sending the R to Astoria and running the W to Queens Blvd and onto the reactivated RBB to Rockaway Park. This way, neither the M, R or W are too long of a route.
Let's continue this discussion in the relevant thread of the NYCS forum.

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