Home Brooklyn With Brighton work over, B express returns

With Brighton work over, B express returns

by Benjamin Kabak

With the station rehab work along the Brighton Line wrapped up, Brooklyn B and Q train riders are in for a treat. For the first time in three years, B express service will return to the trench on October 3. The sign from Transit says it all.

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19 comments

TP September 13, 2011 - 3:10 pm

Yet still no night and weekend service.

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Al D September 13, 2011 - 3:44 pm

Do the northbound express trains still regularly overshoot Newkirk?

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SEAN September 13, 2011 - 3:48 pm

Yeah, but what about the B & Q. LOL

Seriously you think the F express will return at some point?

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Alex C September 13, 2011 - 8:51 pm

Either 1) Extra F trains to do the express runs, or 2) Another line to run down to Church via express (could do E or C with proper service change of the other line, but then capacity issues may arise). Aside from Bergen, which would need to be renovated on the lower level, you have some busy stops at Carroll, 4 Av-9 St, Prospect Park, and Fort Hamilton. Any express service would need to be additional service, not taking locals and sending them express.

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Andrew September 13, 2011 - 11:04 pm

Agreed (except that the lower level of Bergen isn’t going to be renovated, so you can consider Bergen a local stop).

And since there is absolutely no way that NYCT could justify adding significantly more service to that line – trains are far from crowded (if you don’t believe me, try the middle of the train) – don’t get your hopes up for any sort of express service, unless ridership skyrockets.

It’s not the best line for express service, in any case. As you point out, the busy stations are the ones up north. Virtually all of the stations south of Church – the ones that would benefit most from an express – are very quiet. If ridership does grow, simply running a few more F’s (perhaps even terminating at Church) would probably be the best way to serve the new riders.

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Rick September 13, 2011 - 5:23 pm

I’m going to miss the B train at my local station (Beverley Road). The Q train is always hit or miss now ever since it got extended to Astoria.

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Andrew September 13, 2011 - 11:06 pm

Thanks for the reminder that not everybody wins when it comes to express service. The express stations on this line are busy enough to make this express service worthwhile, but there have still been a lot of people who have benefited from the B local the past two years.

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Benjamin Kabak September 13, 2011 - 11:08 pm

Selfishly, I like this news though. I often take the B from 7th Ave. in the morning, and now the trains will be a little less crowded during the rush hour commute. People further down the line will benefit.

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Andrew September 13, 2011 - 11:32 pm

In my experience, with both the B and Q running local, the Q is more popular, but with the B running express, the B is more popular. So I think your trains will be more crowded than they are now, not less. But I could be wrong – let us know.

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Kris Datta September 13, 2011 - 8:56 pm

I thought the B express was only out for 2 years. Thanks for the update, BTW.

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John September 13, 2011 - 11:02 pm

It was only two years. I’ve lived here for two and a half and remember catching an express B on occasion. I think it went out of service near the end of 2009.

Also, this is great news. It was a planned construction project that actually ran on schedule and wrapped according to when it said it would be finished. Kudos to the MTA on this one.

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Matthew Tang September 13, 2011 - 9:36 pm

The B running express is a good move, but honestly it isn’t much of a time difference maker. It’s just good to see the four tracks of the Brighton Line back in service.

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Steve September 14, 2011 - 8:12 am

I miss the B being a local train from back when it was on the West End line. I would prefer the B being local to Coney Island again and the Q running express just for sentimental reasons, though. Still can’t get used to the B not going to Coney Island anymore.

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Andrew September 14, 2011 - 10:43 pm

But the B doesn’t run full-time.

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SpendmoreWastemore September 14, 2011 - 4:41 pm

Now if I may take my turn to blow a dark cloud over the tracks:

Will the “express” continue to labor at a pace so slow that an entire local train can pass it between stops? The pace of that train is such that it can be matched by a 14 year old on a bicycle or the line at the DMV. The (one remaining) 1984 Yugo pulling a statue of Lenin down the tracks could beat the express-distress snail train.

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Alex C September 14, 2011 - 5:13 pm

You may be referring to times of track work (usually middays/nights/weekends). Yes, when there are workers nearby trains run slow. Otherwise, no, it will run as normal, as trains usually do. Over dramatic exaggerations aside trains slow down for either traffic or work nearby.

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Farro September 14, 2011 - 11:27 pm

What I never got was that the local ends up running longer than the express–the Q goes out to Coney Island, but the B stops at Brighton. This isn’t as ridiculous as the new lots line, since the B is not a full-time train, but it’s still weird. I guess they do it so service doesn’t have to confusingly change on weekends (since switching the tracks of the Q and B would then mean either running the B on weekends or switching the Q to local on weekends). That being said, I’ve found it strange that since last July’s cuts the Q is a local in Brooklyn but an express in Manhattan, and the N is an express in Brooklyn but a local in Manhattan. Some consistency please?

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Andrew September 15, 2011 - 7:23 am

No, it’s simply because of the track layout at Brighton Beach: the express tracks are in the middle, so B trains can cross between the southbound and northbound tracks without interfering with the Q. There was a brief attempt in 1967 to run the D express to Stillwell while the M local terminated at Brighton Beach, with everything crossing each other at Brighton Beach, and it was a massive failure.

The Q is busier than the N, and it’s always been a Manhattan express. The N was a local (via tunnel) from the late 80’s until the full bridge reopening in 2004, and even then it remained a local via tunnel at night, when it fills in for the R. That made it the logical choice to be the second local north of Canal on weekends, when the W didn’t run, and when the W was canceled entirely in 2010, the weekend service pattern was extended to the rest of the week. Since the N has to run local at night, would it really make sense for the Q to run local at other times? There are plenty of lines that are express in one borough and local in another – I don’t think it creates much confusion.

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Sean September 30, 2011 - 6:15 am

The B seriously needs the R160 subway cars like the Q & I agree with Steve, I miss the B running down the West End & the D running local on the Brighton.

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