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Re: THE STUDY RELEASED-Re: Study of old Rockaway rail line’s revival back on track

Posted by G1Ravage on Wed Oct 9 17:59:48 2019, in response to THE STUDY RELEASED-Re: Study of old Rockaway rail line’s revival back on track, posted by italianstallion on Wed Oct 9 15:13:04 2019.

I feel the corridor is definitely better served by rail than a park. Although as the study states, it *is* possible to incorporate park elements in various locations along the ROW, giving the best of both worlds.

The question then becomes: Which is better for everyone involved? Activating the Rockaway Beach Branch for NYCT Subway use? Or activating it for the LIRR?

LIRR use would be simpler and cheaper overall. As the study states, Whitepot Junction can already support returning the tracks to use, and the ROW there is already wide enough for two additional tracks between Rego Park and Woodside, roughly. Building stations without the need for fare control access would also be easier. The ability to utilize the existing portal connection to the Atlantic Avenue Branch is also a plus, as well the reopening of the old Woodhaven Station on said branch.

One of the limitations, though, would be the reconfiguration of the NYCT ROW south of Liberty Avenue, to permit both Subway and LIRR to run side-by-side to Howard Beach. Another would be the overall lack of service on the line, as the LIRR doesn't run frequent headways to begin with, and the cost of a LIRR ticket would likely be a deterrent for many people. Then again, with a lack of other speedy transit options in those areas, people are likely driving, or paying extra for car service or multiple transfers anyway.

NYCT use would allow for greater operational flexibility in terms of service to the Rockaways, as the new subway line could connect legitimately to the existing (A) line south of Liberty Avenue. This could allow for all (A) service to go to Rockaway Park, and a new service to provide more trains to Far Rockaway. All this extra service would also make Howard Beach a more acceptable option for travelers taking the AirTrain from JFK Airport, which is currently a 15-20 minute wait even during the day. A free out-of-system transfer could be provided to the (J) train's 104 Street Station, if a direct (elevated) transfer passage would not be feasible. The new line would definitely have more frequent service than the LIRR option.

One of the biggest detriments to the Subway plan is the need to bore new tunnels from Whitepot Junction to Queens Boulevard, which as always, would be prohibitively expensive, despite being only a few blocks long. The disruption to nearby buildings and Queens Boulevard Line service would likely render this plan dead on arrival. And although the activation of CBTC on the Queens Boulevard Line would definitely help in this regard, it may be difficult to come up with a service plan that permits the added service necessary for the Rockaway Beach Line, without taking away needed service through to Forest Hills. And since the existing Rockaway bellmouths are designed to only connect with the local tracks, it wouldn't exactly be a speedy ride into Manhattan, unless they transfer at Jackson Heights - Roosevelt Avenue, or an entirely new interlocking be created to permit these Rockaway Beach trains to switch to the express track at 63 Drive - Rego Park, which would definitely impact existing (E) and (F) service.

It's a hard sell either way.


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