MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

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GojiMet86
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MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by GojiMet86 »

Will be posting this in both the MTA Subway and the MTA Long Island Railroad forums. If any mods want to merge them, feel free.

https://new.mta.info/system_modernizati ... ach_branch
Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

The MTA comissioned a study to assess, at a sketch planning level, the feasibility and cost of restoring passenger rail service on the former Long island Rail Road Rockaway Beach Branch (RBB). In Phase 1 of the Study, we evaluated reactivating the branch as either:

Part of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Main Line or
Part of the New York City Transit (NYCT) subway Queens Boulevard Line (QBL).
In Phase 2 of the Study, we looked at linking the Rockaway Beach Branch (using LIRR service) to the Central Terminal Area of John F. Kennedy International Airport. This would support a possible one-seat ride between the airport and Midtown Manhattan (Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal).

Phase 1 Report Documents
Phase 1 - Rockaway Beach Branch Sketch Assessment --> https://new.mta.info/document/10941
Phase 1 - Appendix A RBB LIRR Alignment --> https://new.mta.info/document/10946
Phase 1 - Appendix B RBB NYCT Alignment --> https://new.mta.info/document/10951
Phase 1 - Appendix C LIRR Station Plans --> https://new.mta.info/document/10956
Phase 1 - Appendix D NYCT Station Plans --> https://new.mta.info/document/10961
Phase 1 - Appendix E - NYCT Tunnel Profile Graphic --> https://new.mta.info/document/10966
Phase 1 - Appendix F Cantilevered Profile --> https://new.mta.info/document/10971
Phase 1 - Appendix G - LIRR RBB Historic Timetable --> https://new.mta.info/document/10976
Phase 1 - Appendix H Capital Costs 11.30.2017 --> https://new.mta.info/document/10981

Phase 2 - JFK OSR Rail Study
LIRR RBB JFK Study - Phase Two JFK OSR Rail Study --> https://new.mta.info/document/10986
LIRR RBB JFK Study - Phase Two JFK OSR Rail Study --> https://new.mta.info/document/10991

Head-end View
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by Head-end View »

Studies, and more studies, with more millions of dollars wasted. This branch is not gonna be reactivated in our lifetime. We'll be lucky if just the LIRR 3rd Track Project and the East-Side Access project get finished in the next few years. And don't hold your breath waiting for construction to start on the next leg of the Second Ave. Subway either......... :(

erie910
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by erie910 »

A question or two about operations before the NYCTA began Rockaway service:

First, was the elevated structure on which the subway runs constructed by NYCTA or the LIRR?

Second, was the service on the branch to Far Rockaway connected to the NYCTA tracks that run to Far Rockaway? If so, could not the LIRR continued to have served the Rockaways via what now is the Far Rockaway branch?

Third, the R-O-W on which the subway runs is 4 tracks wide. Were the bridges over Jamaica Bay also 4 tracks wide? If not, was the R-O-W 1 or 2 tracks wide over the Bay? Where did the 4-track R-O-W reduce to fewer, if it did? Related to this, did service to the Rockaways justify a 4-track R-O-W?

Fourth, were the stations at Howard Beach, Broad Channel, and in the Rockaways constructed by the LIRR or the NYCTA?

Fifth, has any consideration been given to using the Rockaway Branch R-O-W north of the Lefferts Blvd Branch for subway service? There are a couple of service options here, but this might make more sense than reviving the line as an LIRR branch.

Backshophoss
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by Backshophoss »

This "branch"died after the bridge fire/damage,was a single car shuttle to the End of service,there was NO freight potential
Aqueduct Didn't have a spur for Hay or Horse Feed! :wink:
The bridges were 4 track from the LIRR era,the 2 center tracks are used for Break in runs of rebuilt subway cars or
new car testing over Broad Channel.
Figure on the new yard will windup on PA/JFK land due to wetlands issues.
Figure on a "new" branch name as "Howard Beach Branch""
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

BuddR32
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by BuddR32 »

Will never happen, I agree with H-E-V. Studies really add no value other than to line pockets of politically connected friends.

DogBert
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by DogBert »

It'll happen. It'll happen with a lot of pushing, and a lot of looking hard into the price tag (which sounds around double what it should be). The demographics of Queens and the city on a whole is changing. People want this. It'll take a good 10-20 years, but it'll happen.

There's nothing in the study saying it can't happen. That's the main thing. Everything else is just political will and people not being jaded by the past.

Also, yes they looked at it as a subway extension, but the cost there is even higher, and it would add at least 40 minutes to commuters time per day vs. LIRR.

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newkirk
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by newkirk »

I don't know if this was posted or not, but this pdf report dated Sept. 21, 2018 is a long read if you have the time.

https://new.mta.info/document/10941
Bill Mangahas (AKA Newkirk Images LLC)
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EuroStar
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by EuroStar »

DogBert wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:33 am
It'll happen. ....
There's nothing in the study saying it can't happen. That's the main thing. Everything else is just political will and people not being jaded by the past.....
The only way that this could happen is if NY gets a governor who is willing to push it through and spend some political capital on it. Cuomo decided to get behind the third track, and in spite of all the wining of the NIMBYs, the third track is happening. Yes, the NIMBY extracted some concessions, primarily in extra sound walls, but they had no choice by to eventually fold. The same will need to happen here in order for this project to get anywhere, but if a powerful governor gets behind it, it will happen. The line does not abut all that many residential buildings, so while not cheap, buying out the NIMBYs with some sound walls and related items is certainly possible.

BM6569
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by BM6569 »

If they got the third track project going, especially past the NIMBY's, I could see this happening at some point. Maybe you will see money included for it in the next capital plan in 5 years.

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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by EuroStar »

I do not understand why they keep trying to overbuild everything, unless this is a conscientious effort to make the project more palatable after the scope is reduced later.
1. There is absolutely no need for the connection to the Atlantic Branch. Yes, it seems that it used to exist and that the right of way is still there, but why? This is especially true in the light of the conversion of the Atlantic Branch into a shuttle from Jamaica. Shuttle from JFL to Brooklyn? I do not think the demand will ever be there.
2. Four track station at JFK with tail tracks underground? Why? No matter how much the density increases along the branch and how big JFK grows, frequency will never exceed one train every 15 minutes in each direction. That can be easily handled with a two track station without tail tracks. Even if a century from now the line goes to Staten Island or NJ, a two track station at JFL is enough.

DogBert
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by DogBert »

I think some of the overbuilding was added to jack up the price tag and make the idea sound less realistic.

Lose this whole tail track tunnel thing (in a swamp no less? dumb idea), lose the atlantic ave connection temporarily (it wouldn't cost much to reopen it though - the tunnel portals are still there), nothing but dirt covering the ROW), make it single track to start. Make it dual-mode to start, add third rail later. Run it as far south as woodhaven and replace the ozone park viaduct in the next round of funding.

The whole route doesn't need to be completed all at once. This notion that we need to spend $6B in one shot is a little crazy, considering how we could inch the ball down the field and get some customers service within ten years, and the rest within 15-20.

I really don't see the subway option happening. The fare is the only attractive thing about it. The added $2B for a short tunnel over to Queens blvd makes no sense.

tonyt
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by tonyt »

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?

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newkirk
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by newkirk »

Question: I photographed this trestle from the abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch trestle at IIRC Union Tpke.

Would this be the track connection to the lower Montauk Branch ?
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Kelly&Kelly
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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by Kelly&Kelly »

Some history answers:
First, was the elevated structure on which the subway runs constructed by NYCTA or the LIRR?

Second, was the service on the branch to Far Rockaway connected to the NYCTA tracks that run to Far Rockaway? If so, could not the LIRR continued to have served the Rockaways via what now is the Far Rockaway branch?

Third, the R-O-W on which the subway runs is 4 tracks wide. Were the bridges over Jamaica Bay also 4 tracks wide? If not, was the R-O-W 1 or 2 tracks wide over the Bay? Where did the 4-track R-O-W reduce to fewer, if it did? Related to this, did service to the Rockaways justify a 4-track R-O-W?

Fourth, were the stations at Howard Beach, Broad Channel, and in the Rockaways constructed by the LIRR or the NYCTA?
The elevated structure in Rockaway and Howard Beach was mostly built by the LIRR/NYC Bureau of Highways. Howard Beach in 1931, Rockaway in 1939. It was constructed with the intention of eventual rapid transit operation, which had been in the City's plans since 1910.

The Far Rockaway LIRR Station was at Mott Avenue, across the street from the present NYCTA Station. Far Rockaway had a large layup yard and was the LIRR's heaviest suburban station well into the 1940's. The tracks were connected there and the LIRR continued to operate to Rockaway Park via Valley Stream and Far Rockaway until the City of New York began reconstruction for the NYCTA service around 1955.

The Rockaway Beach Division had four tracks through to Hamilton Beach, just east of Howard Beach, then two tracks across Jamaica Bay on a trestle built by the New York Woodhaven and Rockaway Railroad in 1880. The four tracks were needed to accommodate the Rockaway summer service, layups of the summer trains and later Aqueduct Race Trains. The Rockaway Peninsula had three tracks from Hammels through Lawrence into the 1920's accommodating freight and at one time trolleys. Rockaway traffic was by far the heaviest on the LIRR in the early part of the 20th Century. Some 9 million annual riders used the LIRR and trolley operation in Rockaway in 1923. A fleet of non-lit MP-54 trailers were purchased exclusively for Rockaway trains.

The elevated Rockaway stations were constructed by the LIRR/NYC Bureau of Highways. They were designed for eventual inclusion in the rapid transit service, for easy installation of turnstiles. Howard Beach and Broad Channel stations were built by the NYCTA to replace low level wooden LIRR platforms on the trestle when the TA built the new concrete and fill trestle.

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Re: MTA LIRR - Reactivating the Rockaway Beach Branch

Post by R36 Combine Coach »

Kelly&Kelly wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:51 am
The elevated structure in Rockaway and Howard Beach was mostly built by the LIRR/NYC Bureau of Highways. Howard Beach in 1931, Rockaway in 1939. The elevated Rockaway stations were constructed by the LIRR/NYC Bureau of Highways. They were designed for eventual inclusion in the rapid transit service, for easy installation of turnstiles. Howard Beach and Broad Channel stations were built by the NYCTA to replace low level wooden LIRR platforms on the trestle when the TA built the new concrete and fill trestle.
Indeed built by Moses, the "Rockaway Improvement" he cited as one of his major achievements: removing street running off the Rockaway Peninsula. This combined with the new Rockaway Freeway (RFW), Marine Parkway and Cross Bay Bridges were intended to ease congestion, especially in the summer.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

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