Five years ago, straphangers, politicians and transit advocates arrived in Astoria with cardboard coffins and tombstones to mourn the death of the W train, just shy of its ninth birthday.
Its untimely demise came along with the also-young V train and dozens of bus routes. Their cause of death was a massive budget hole, resulting in the largest service cuts in MTA history.
As the agency plans to re-route the Q line to the new Second Avenue Subway instead of its current route to Queens as early as December 2016, the MTA has begun considering a plan to bring the W line back from the dead, according to several people inside and outside of the agency with knowledge of the talks.
MTA officials have been discussing, largely in private with rider advocates and public officials, what to do about train service in Queens when the Q runs to the Upper East Side instead of Astoria. They all agree that the system couldn't get by with only the N train -- ridership along the N/Q line has been increasing in recent years.
Andrew Albert, the MTA's second-longest-serving board member, told amNewYork he recommended bringing back the W line.