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Re: Staten Island North shore cars (Re: And the R-179 contract goes to....)

Posted by WillD on Sat Mar 24 15:53:58 2012, in response to Staten Island North shore cars (Re: And the R-179 contract goes to....), posted by J trainloco on Sat Mar 24 14:06:07 2012.

Currently, the SIR uses third rail, high platforms and the same cars as the subway.

Great, so order some thing like these:

It'll be largely mechanically compatible with whatever LRVs are ordered for the North Shore Line, and it'll still use the high platforms and third rail.

Converting the existing SIR to a light rail format wouldn't be worth what you might save on the North Shore.

Who said anything about changing the South Shore line's infrastructure at all? Leave the third rail and platforms alone. Just order rolling stock which delivers some synergy with the rolling stock that would likely be utilized by the North Shore line.

In addition to that, as the North shore is grade separated, I don't know what one gains by making it light rail.

There's no reason light rail cannot be grade separated if the structures are in place and are structurally sound. But while the structural soundness or replacement of the elevated structures is critical to the implementation of a heavy rail line using subway cars it is merely optional with a light rail alternative. The LRT offers the possibility of taking down a particularly difficult to replace segment of structure and running at grade along the segment. It'd even be possible that they'd utilize some amount of street-running if that were required by local pressure.

In any event, the North Shore may have some grade separated elements, but it's definitely not fully grade separated. The approach to St. George will require a tremendous amount of work for a heavy rail line, particularly threading the heavy rail line along Richmond Terrace. Light rail opens up alternative approaches to implementing the line which may ease local opposition.

How do you figure light rail would carry more people?

The March 2004 study by URS for the SI Borough President and the Port Authority found that they could not keep O&M costs under the limit of $10 million a year if they ran the heavy rail mode at the same 12 minute headway that was proposed for all other rail based modes. The two person train operation presumably was simply too expensive. As a result the heavy rail mode was constrained by its costs to a 15 minute headway. This meant the LRT mode was projected to be capable of carrying around 2200 more passengers per day at around two thirds the annual O&M cost ($5.62 million vs $9.06 million) and 20 million dollars less in capital cost ($351 million vs $370 million).


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