Saturday, August 31, 2013

New tri-borough rail line proposed

From CBS New York:

Transportation advocates hope New York City’s next mayor will take a fresh look at a bold idea — creating an inter-borough train that would link Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

The proposal calls for the train to come out of the Bronx over the Hell’s Gate Bridge, tower over parts of Queens and run below street level through the heart of Brooklyn – a little-used freight line that could have a very busy future, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Thursday.

The Regional Plan Association calls it “Tri-Boro RX.”

“Makes it easier for people to interconnect among all these neighborhoods in the city,” said the association’s Jeff Zupan.

The existing freight line that runs from Hunts Point to Bay Ridge would be used for new commuter rail service. One estimate has it carrying 80,000 passengers a day.

“What this does is create a rail line, a transit service that has transfer points with bus lines and with subway lines throughout the three boroughs,” Zupan said.

Zupan said the line could easily connect major transit hubs, including Astoria-Ditmars, Broadway Junction and Kings Highway.


Anonymous said...


How about more trains within Queens???? Why does one have to take all these damned, slow buses?

How about a new hub away from Flushing's shithole downtown?

Yes - please, please more transpo in the outer-boroughs!

Anonymous said...

When pigs fly...

Anonymous said...

this is designed to bring in more development.

you are right - all the attention is to make more land avail. for developers not help people that live here.

looks like a G train on steroids and we all know how busy that line is.

Anonymous said...

The more the press talks about this non-starter, never going to happen transit line, the stupider and stupider they look. (My favorite is Chris Quinn who said they could build it as a bus route for 25M. - you couldn't even buy all the buses you would need for 25M)

Here are the actual facts in long form:

1) those tracks are active, used by companies that make millions off the route. Freight in and out of Brooklyn Queens and Long island has grown significantly in recent years and continues to grow. This trend isn't going to stop given the cost of trucking and tolls. The Port Authority is actively encouraging freight train shipping via their cross harbor railroad operating in bay ridge.

2)Without rail freight, the cost of everything from rent in new buildings to chinese food will go up. Read the long form link above.

3) railroads are interstate commerce and answer to the feds (barely). They have deep pockets and are not going anywhere.

To build this line without interrupting freight, you would have to condemn hundreds of homes - at which point you've probably already spent $1b - you have pissed off entire neighborhoods and haven't laid a stick of transit-worthy track yet.

When seen in actual context and not the fantasy mind of someone that just highlighted a line on a map, it's not hard to see why this has not happened already, and is extremely unlikely to ever happen in our lifetimes.

A far more realistic transit addition to Queens would be reactivating the old LIRR rockaway branch. It could become a one seat ride from Manhattan to JFK, eliminating literally tens of millions of taxi and bus trips along our congested highways. But this won't happen either, because Cuomo gave half a million dollars to some idiots who think they can make it into the new High Line. Queens doesn't need another abandoned park. We need realistic transit that makes the entire region a safer cleaner place to live.

Anonymous said...

Shipping freight via rail isn't cheap, and infeasible if needed in a timely manner. Everything that needs to be shipped via rail is already being shipped that way. Volume may expand due to population increase, but not variety of products. This notion that we would have half our goods shipped by rail and cleaner air and less traffic if only we built a tunnel costing hundreds of billions of dollars is a fantasy. Even transportation advocates are now stating that its not a priority to expand freight via that tunnel. Truck traffic will increase with or without it. On the other hand, I don't know how many people would realistically be served by a passenger line that bypasses Manhattan, either.

Anonymous said...

At no point do I advocate a freight tunnel. No one should drop a dime on that. I don't even think I mentioned that.

Freight rail is growing, and not everything that could be shipped by rail is going that way yet. Home Depot just switched to rail recently, because relying only trucks was a failure for them during Hurricane Sandy. It'll be years before there is a seriously noticeable impact on truck traffic, but it certainly won't get worse.

The only way to really get cleaner air is to reopen the LIRR rockaway branch. Serious: hundreds of cab and bus trips per day, cut significantly. One seat ride to JFK from GCT or Penn.

All of this is moot. The RX wouldn't attract many riders. If you live in the bronx and work in sunset park - you should move closer to work. It's a non-issue.

Queens Crapper said...

I was under the impression that passenger service had to be maintained along the Montauk Line, otherwise ownership of the ROW reverts back to those along the line.

Anonymous said...

Nope - it has to be a complete abandonment. No trains at all. That only seems to happen in very rural areas.

Even if there are no trains, I believe the RR can hang onto it under the pretense of future use. CSX owned the high line and had to be bought out - even though a train hadn't run there since the early 80s (though this might be a different case since it was an actual structure).

Anonymous said...

Superb! Long Overdue! Lower middle class retail workers can now have employment mobility and not be locked into local retail jobs.