Production of next-generation Acela Express fleet underway
Stadler unveils TEX Rail Flirt DMU
Siemens invests in remote monitoring specialist Wi-Tronix
DB consortium selected for California high speed rail
Judge puts the skids on state’s proposed rail trail
Amtrak's CEO shares his vision for rail's future
Flight Rail: a new type of train?
America’s short lines play the long game
New York rail operator bolsters security after London bombing
Then New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo consulted the deans and other faculty at the engineering schools at Columbia and Cornell Universities, and he accepted the plan they recommended to repair the tunnels in a less-invasive manner, so most of the service on the line could continue running (see NYCT Canarsie Tunnel shutdown reversal may product ripple effects).
The plan caused a political furor because Cuomo had mandated it at the eleventh hour, but it was implemented anyway. It preserves service that the riders otherwise would have lost for 15 months. Regular service now runs on the line on weekdays until mid-evening, which includes peak-commuting hours. On weekends and later on weekday nights, there is reduced service. Trains run every 10 minutes in Brooklyn when Manhattan service is curtailed (except very late at night, when every line runs every 20 minutes), and there is a train traveling the full length of the line every 20 minutes—in theory, at least. According to the MTA, only 10% of the line’s total riders are affected by the nighttime and weekend cuts. Under the original plan, all of them would have lost their trains completely, and there was an elaborate and expensive plan to run alternate service; such as the agency could provide.
On Saturday afternoon, May 11, this writer returned to 14th Street to check on how the line and its riders were doing. It was the third weekend of the new service pattern, and Joseph M. Clift, former Planning Director for the Long Island Rail Road and a vocal advocate for applying the Canarsie Tunnel repair method to Amtrak’s North River Tunnels under the Hudson River on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), joined this writer for the ride.
Fourteenth Street itself looked normal, for a Manhattan thoroughfare on a weekend afternoon. People were out pursuing the usual city activities. There were no special traffic restrictions on the street, and bus service had been enhanced, with buses running only a few minutes apart. With Manhattan service limited to 20-minute headways, as opposed to 4 or 5 minutes under the non-construction schedule, the augmented bus service provides necessary mobility for riders who are not going to Brooklyn.
In theory, there is a train between 8th Avenue in Manhattan and the Brooklyn end of the line at Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie every 20 minutes. The reason for the limited service is because one of the tracks between Union Square in Manhattan and Lorimer Street in Brooklyn (the second stop in the borough) is out of service on weekday nights and weekends, so the line must run single-track for that segment. The single-track segment includes the first stop in Brooklyn and Bedford Avenue in the Greenpoint neighborhood, which has became a busy stop in recent years. It also includes the two easternmost stops in Manhattan, First and Third Avenues. The next stop in Brooklyn is Lorimer Street, where Brooklyn-only trains to and from Canarsie turn.
Clift and this writer noted that the operation did not quite work that way in practice. The headways were more than the scheduled 20 minutes on that occasion; the countdown clocks at the stations noted a 27-minute gap in one instance and a train that failed to show up when the countdown clock indicated it would, in another. There were nine-minute delays to the Brooklyn-bound train at Union Square (as two Manhattan-bound trains went by four minutes apart), and at Lorimer Street, heading toward Manhattan. The trains were crowded because of the service reduction, but it seemed that the existing service could accommodate the riders. As the operation improves and runs more smoothly, it should be possible to accommodate even larger crowds.
This article first appeared on www.railwayage.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2019 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.