Jun
05

Q Train Quandaries: Astoria and the Second Ave. Subway

By

Photos from late May show the current progress on the Second Ave. Subway. The MTA says the project more than 80 percent completed and will open in December of 2016. (Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)

Despite the ongoing drama with the 7 line extension — the MTA now anticipates opening the 34th St. station in September or October, 21 or 22 months late — the agency continues to push the party line that the Second Ave. Subway will open by the end of December of 2016. A recent media tour of the construction site revealed significant progress, and the MTA says the project is 82.3% completed. Still, Upper East Side residents I’ve spoken with are skeptical as the work has been marked by constant missed deadlines and broken promises.

Meanwhile, across the East River in Queens, Astoria residents are beginning to take notice of the looming completion of Phase 1 of this project, and they’re worried. When the MTA first unveiled plans for the Second Ave. Subway, it was billed as a northward extension of the Q train from 57th St. and 7th Ave. to 96th St. and 2nd Ave. via preexisting tunnel to 63rd St. and new tunnel underneath 2nd Ave. This was 11 years ago when the W split the Queens load with the N train, and extending the Q north would have no affect on service to and from Astoria.

Since then, the W has gone the way of the dodo and the Q serves a vital part-time link for Astoria subway riders. In fact, the BMT trains from Queens have seen massive growth over the past decade, and residents and politicians alike have called for more frequent service, especially during off-peak and weekend hours. Thus, the threat of a Q train service diversion has many nervous. Today, Dan Rivoli, the new Daily News transit beat writer, and Chris Sommerfeldt delved into this issue and for some reason, the MTA played its cards awfully close to its chest. The two write:

In diverting the Q line to the East Side, NYC Transit has not decided if the N can handle riders in Astoria “or if there will need to be trains added,” according to an email obtained by the Daily News. The email was sent to at least two riders who inquired to the MTA about Q service in Queens by Joseph O’Donnell, outreach director for the megaproject.

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz stressed the transit agency is not planning a service cut. “While the route letters may change, and exactly what will happen hasn’t been determined yet, we have no plans to reduce service on the Astoria or any other line,” Ortiz said…

Sen. Michael Gianaris of Astoria said that while the MTA’s assurances sound good, he wants to make sure capacity on the Astoria train lines is maintained. But given the crowds of waiting commuters he sees from his district office, “what they really should be doing is increasing service,” he said.

As Rivoli and Sommerfeldt’s person-on-the-street interviewees note in the article, a service cut for Astoria seems ludicrous, and the MTA has maintained since eliminating the W in 2010 that the Second Ave. Subway opening would not lead to less service for Astoria. Still, I can see why some people in Queens may be unsettled by the MTA’s less-than-comforting remarks. At some point soon, the MTA should announce that some version of the W will return with part-time service into Astoria, and the MTA should consider restoring N express service in Manhattan during peak hours as well. For now, we don’t know what the service patterns will be, but in less than a year and a half we will. It should bring comfort to Queens even if the question remains unsettled for now.



92 Responses to “Q Train Quandaries: Astoria and the Second Ave. Subway”

  1. Astoria rider says:

    I take the astoria line every morning, and there’s no way the N can handle by itself without replacing the q’s service level train for train.

    The train is completely packed by broadway, just 4 stops from ditmars, manhattan bound.

    • publicadministration031568 says:

      definitely the astoria line needs a return of the w express, running in peak direction on the unused middle track, and express through manhattan until it terminates at whitehall street.

      • Brooklynite says:

        They tried peak direction express. It didn’t work. There’s no point.

      • Dj Hammers says:

        There’s not enough express stations along the line to take a signifiant load off of the N.

      • sonicboy678 says:

        Besides not being very useful, it does not make sense for the W to run express only to run local in Manhattan (aka the next borough over).

        • George says:

          Uh, the E and F both run express in Queens and then local in “the next borough over”.

        • Clayton says:

          Yeah, so does the Q and the N, and the 2 and so on. Most lines run express in one borough and local in the other. Makes sense to me…

          • Chris says:

            Please focus about the N Broadway Express in Manhattan skipping W49th street along with the Q trains will heads up to second avenue subway; According the recent plan for the future the N train will be diverted to 2nd avenue in both terminal so make it efficient service and save time; When the second avenue is done that will be a great combination of service instead of Astoria; Astoria will be a W train Broadway local between Manhattan and Queens; Hopefully make it happen;This is a very good plan.

  2. Akiva says:

    The real problem is that there is there is only one line in that area of Queens, and there is only 3 tracks , and I do think the middle track is regularly used. The other option is to use the already over crowded 7 line. So that’s that

  3. Ryan says:

    The MTA absolutely should not consider restoring the N express, which is a garbage routing. Instead, the R should be made express through Manhattan and the restored W should assume its vacated slots on the local tracks at all times.

    • Sam says:

      The reason the N express worked was because it was ALREADY on the express tracks. The local N has to slow down and then switch onto the local track, waiting for any R trains to clear and delaying Q trains behind them. The whole thing causes a bottleneck.

      Now you are suggesting that, after Canal Street, the N switch to the local tracks, and the R cross to the express tracks.

      What a nightmare!!

      • Ryan says:

        Hardly, compared to nightmares like the A/C/E dance that happens a few blocks over.

        An R train and an N train enter their respective Canal St stations. First the R train goes and switches to the express track, then the N train is sent onto the local tracks just behind it. Reverse it for trains moving in the opposite direction.

        This would be of tremendous help to a plodding and maddeningly slow R train that really should operate express through Midtown.

        • Dj Hammers says:

          NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. That interlocking takes so long to reset. This would destroy service reliability. The R should be local. Thats it.

        • Brooklynite says:

          What you’re proposing is magnitudes worse than the A/C/E at Canal. On 8th Av, the A and E can operate through the interlocking simultaneously, and only the C, which operates approximately never, blocks all trains in its direction. With what you’re suggesting, NO TWO SERVICES would be able to pass at the same time.

          Interlining is to be avoided. It slows service and reduces reliability.

          • Dj Hammers says:

            Correct. Crossing the N and R at Prince would delay everything much more than the speedup that the R would get from running express.

            Also the broadway express affords barely any more time over the local…

            • Tower18 says:

              All other excellent points aside, the R is slow through Manhattan because of the Whitehall-Canal segment. Sending it express north of Canal wouldn’t make any meaningful difference.

              Besides, very few people ride the R along the whole route. Riders from Brooklyn heading above Canal tend to change for the N or Q (aka the only riders on the R are those headed to downtown destinations). Sending the R express above Canal screws the remaining Brooklyn riders who just stay on the R for Prince, 8th, 23rd, and 28th, and would lead to even more crowding on the N from Brooklyn.

              • Ryan says:

                Okay, so then why bother having the R Queens Boulevard at all?

                My issue with the R is that the complete route is too damn long (along with the M… it’s so weird how this seems to be a problem unique to Queens Boulevard local trains? I wonder…) but if nobody’s riding it from Brooklyn to Queens then the same problem I have that I believe gets solved by making more chunks of the R into an express route also gets solved by running the R into Astoria and bringing the W back as a Queens Boulevard Local / Broadway Local instead.

                Both routes become much more manageable, especially if you do render the N an express train, preventing the landed gentry out in Astoria from bitching about the loss of an express train that they were losing anyway.

                • Toby says:

                  As part of the plan, they should send extend the w train down the Brighton line as local or express, the overcrowding is unbearable sometimes. And with the future f express, they should send back the v train between forest hills and kings highway, so there will be assess to manhattan at the local stations.

          • sonicboy678 says:

            Granted, it does somewhat work in certain instances, but definitely not like that.

            Also, sometimes the C ends up blocked by the A or E, both of which tend to operate at slower speeds for some reason.

          • Chris says:

            Plus the “C” runs less frequently than the A and E, which limits the problem a great deal.

    • Riverduck says:

      What’s funny is, one of the original plans for the Second Avenue Subway (when the line was only planned to run from 63 St to 125 St, with no service below 63 St) was to flip the local and express tracks at Canal St, so that the local tracks would lead directly onto the bridge and the express tracks would go directly to Lower Manhattan, so that Second Avenue trains could directly serve the Financial District. Once the full-length SAS to Lower Manhattan become part of the plan that idea was scrapped. Seems like Ryan might like it.

      • Ryan says:

        Yes, that could actually work quite nicely.

        Per another comment I just made above, I’d accept running the R to Astoria and making the W a Queens Boulevard service as well, but if we’re going to insist on running the R across the entirety of its length then it needs to be express through Midtown and I imagine that flipping the tracks at Canal is a great way to accomplish that.

        (For that matter, I’d flip the tracks around at Queens Plaza too so that the 53 St tunnel fed directly into the local tracks and the 60/63 St tunnels became the express alignments – forcing the E onto the local tracks and using its vacated slots for the R instead, which would be a larger help than express service in Midtown, but, one segment at a time.)

        • Bgriff says:

          Once upon a time the R ran to Astoria, but its Queens terminal was swapped with the N because a Bay Ridge-Astoria routing does not provide yard access on either end — the current configuration gives the N train a home at Coney Island and the R train a home in Jamaica.

          • Ryan says:

            Gosh, if only there was an extremely underutilized yard in Brooklyn, that is already the target of expansion plans to relieve yard crowding elsewhere, that happens to be directly connected to the Fourth Avenue Line.

            If only we had a facility already used for limited R train storage that could instead become the full-time yard for the R, freeing up space in Jamaica Yard for the Queens Boulevard services (including the would-be W Broadway – Queens Boulevard Local service) while permitting the R’s issues to be solved by disconnecting it from Queens Boulevard and routing it up to Astoria instead.

            …what’s that? You say there’s a “36-38 St Yard” that sounds exactly like what I just described? Naw, couldn’t be.

            • bigbellymon4 says:

              The 36-38 St yard isn’t big enough to handle enough trains for R train service. The max amount of trains it can hold is 3-5 according to the track maps on nycsubway.org

    • Riverduck says:

      That doesn’t do much for the passengers though. If this situation came to light the N and W would both be local while the Q and R were express. Why would you have both lines to Astoria running local? Having one local route to Astoria and one to Queens Blvd better serves passengers. And again, the Broadway Express only saves a couple minutes, and if the R has to switch tracks, that’s going to be slower than having the N, which is already on the express track, run express.

      • sonicboy678 says:

        I agree.

      • bigbellymon4 says:

        Something called walking across a platform to transfer. Everyone can’t have one seat rides and to maximize capacity of the system, you will eventually need to transfer to other trains.

  4. Bolwerk says:

    Sweating about the exact contours of your subway service in 1.5+ years? #WhitePeopleProblems

  5. Spendmor Wastemor says:

    How about:
    1 Use the center track. That does converge at some point, so run the trains closer together over that stretch. Trains can stop in 600-ish ft in the worst case, so there’s not real need for them to be 1/2 mile apart for the entire length of their run.
    2 Get through the tunnel faster: use the U shaped under-river profile to accel/decel, sorta like a Hot Wheels toy. The tunnel is a 2 track bottleneck, so clearing it faster means more trains can be stuffed through it.
    3 If the problem is in Astoria, which is likely given the building boom there, then short turn the new center track service at the first reasonable chance in Brooklyn. There’s no need for more trains to Coney Island.
    It’s unfortunate that the system was not built with a few more turnaround loops.

    • Dj Hammers says:

      The big bottleneck is actually the Queensboro Plaza area due to all of the timers. The tunnel is not as bad.

      An Astoria-Whitehall service will work just fine.

    • Brooklynite says:

      They’ve tried the center track before and it proved unpopular. The center track shall not be used.

      The tunnel isn’t the only problem, the issue is also along 59th and all the way to Times Square. Physics of underriver tunnels don’t apply all the way.

      It should just be turned at Whitehall St, like before 2010.

      • sonicboy678 says:

        Honestly, I can only see the center track being used if additional space is needed to turn trains around and adequate connections exist between Astoria Local (both directions) and Astoria Express between 30 Avenue and Astoria Boulevard.

        • Tower18 says:

          The center track would only be useful as a sort of “cleanup” special service, to run 1-2 trains at peak periods from Ditmars, so that the “local” trains arrive at Astoria Blvd empty, and 30th Av nearly empty (as most from Astoria Blvd. took the express) instead of 75-90% full. This could be used right at the peak of the peak. These specials could be turned at Whitehall as extra locals in Manhattan.

          Otherwise there’s no benefit for regular service.

          • Spendmor Wastemor says:

            reply to DJ Hammers:

            “The big bottleneck is actually the Queensboro Plaza area due to all of the timers.”

            There’s nothing wrong with those timers that a 3 pound sledgehammer could not fix.
            Just cuz a timer was installed does not mean a timer must remain in the same place set to the same crawl forever. The system ran for 75 or 100 years with a fraction of the timers it has now, with bolted track and cruder equipment.

          • sonicboy678 says:

            That’s pretty much it.

    • Dj Hammers says:

      “use the U shaped under-river profile to accel/decel, sorta like a Hot Wheels toy. The tunnel is a 2 track bottleneck, so clearing it faster means more trains can be stuffed through it.”

      They already do this.

    • publicadministration031568 says:

      use the lower level at city hall to turn Astoria trains.

      run the W express in Astoria and Manhattan, giving the Ditmars riders a super express (similar to the old NX routing in Brooklyn 1967-1968)

  6. Yes, we will likely see the return of the W train to keep Astoria headways stable.

    N Astoria Local/Broadway Express/4th Ave Express/Sea Beach (via MannyB)
    Q 2nd Ave Local/Broadway Express/Brighton Local (via MannyB)
    R Queens Blvd Local/Broadway Local/4th Ave Local (via Whitehall)
    W Astoria Local/Broadway Local

    How about an extension of the W down 4th Avenue (via Whitehall), at least to the 9th Ave Terminal of the West End Line? We all know 4th Avenue between Atlantic and 36th Street could use more service (since the M was rerouted up 6th Ave). Always thought it would be cool to extend the J to offset the loss of the M on 4th Ave, but I think Broadway Service is more desirable.

    • Brooklynite says:

      If the R ran reliably, there would be no need for the W to Brooklyn. That should be focused on first.

      Also, even with the R179s MTA will not have enough cars to send the W to Brooklyn.

      • Ryan says:

        The R is never going to run reliably unless it’s rendered an express route or split in half (e.g., it trades Queens segments with the W so that the R becomes the Fourth Avenue Local – Broadway Local – Astoria Local with the W becoming a Broadway Local – Queens Boulevard Local service instead.)

        Even if you reorganized service that way, you might not have enough slack to get trains to Ninth Avenue. And even if you did, I’m not sure what problem that’s solving that isn’t solved better by making the R not a steaming pile of crap instead.

    • Ditmars says:

      Extending the W into Brooklyn would worsen the already delayed MTA service. The N and the Q are already backed up in Astoria coming from Coney Island, and there was less of this when the W was around.

      • Toby says:

        NSW, the w train should be sent down the Brighton line as either local or express cuz the trains are almost always crowded

      • Toby says:

        Naw, the w train should be sent down the Brighton line as either local or express cuz the trains are almost always crowded

    • Michael says:

      While I like your ideas, I would make the following changes:

      N 2nd Ave Local/Broadway Express/4th Ave Express/Sea Beach (via MannyB)
      Q 2nd Ave Local/Broadway Express/Brighton Local (via MannyB)

      R Queens Blvd Local/Broadway Local/4th Ave Local (via Whitehall)
      W Astoria Local/Broadway Local to Whitehall Street (all times), Canal Street and/or 9th Avenue (rush hours) and Coney Island (midnight hours)

      I would send both the N and Q trains up the Second Avenue line to the 96th Street-Second Avenue station, express along Broadway and then to/from their respective lines in Brooklyn. With the N and Q trains both scheduled for service every 10 minutes, that would NOT be enough service for the newer Second Avenue segment especially if the Second Avenue line is to take on major passenger loads from the Lexington Avenue subway.

      This change would remove the bottle-neck of trains switching between the local and express tracks and speed up train travel in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The N and R trains would run every day from 6am to midnight. I would keep the R-train just the way it is, running every day from 6am to midnight, all local between Forest Hills and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

      I would revive the W-train as the Astoria and Broadway local service. At all times the W-train would run from Astoria to the Whitehall Street station making all stops in Manhattan. During the rush hours the W-train would be supplemented by W-trains entering service at Canal Street from the City Hall station/train layup area, and from W-trains entering service at the Brooklyn 9th Avenue station. With trains coming from the Canal Street, Whitehall Street and 9th Avenue stations – the head-ways between W-trains should be 4-5 minutes. During the midnight hours, the W-train would be extended to Coney Island via the Sea Beach line replacing the N and R trains in making all Broadway and 4th Avenue local stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

      Thus during the midnight hours only the Q and W trains would be running on the Broadway line, and their pathways would never cross each other making for a less congested ride.

      At all times of the day, the pathways of R and W trains, and N and Q trains never cross-each other. The 49th Street station would still get the same amount of service allowing riders access to/from Queens and downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. Since there isn’t any switching of trains between the local and express tracks the through-put of the whole Broadway line should increase.

      Just my ideas.
      Mike

      • sonicboy678 says:

        That means you will need quite the number of trains for W service, along with adequate N and Q service.

        The switching would also not be necessary except at 57 Street-7 Avenue. The track layout is optimal for having trains to/from Astoria skip 49 Street.

        • Brooklynite says:

          You’re incorrect about that last part. I’ve heard from several sources that the interlocking at 57th is not suitable for regular service. For instance, if a Queens-bound express is crossing over to Astoria a Queens-bound local cannot enter the station. Things like that. Also, 5th/59th southbound does not have a punch box.

          Also, 49th is a busy stop for Queens residents so it’s better to have the switching occur between 34 and 42.

          • sonicboy678 says:

            What you’re telling me is that there are no switches just north of the station. Do you have proof of this?

            • Brooklynite says:

              That is not what I said, or close to it. There are switches north of the station but the interlocking will not permit certain moves.

              • sonicboy678 says:

                If that’s the case, then a few small additions should be able to quickly rectify that.

                Honestly, I don’t even see why there are three services at 49 Street, anyway.

                • Bgriff says:

                  49th Street is in the heart of midtown — it warrants being treated (effectively) like an express station, certainly at least at rush hour. If we had unlimited ability to reconfigure subway stations easily, 51st Street on the Lex and possibly 50th Street on the Broadway IRT would also probably warrant express service.

      • johndmuller says:

        Michael, this would appear to be a good plan, simplifying and decongesting the Broadway line without really inconveniencing anyone’s trips. People from Astoria who actually wanted to go to Brooklyn might now have to transfer (I wouldn’t expect a great deal of people inconvenienced).

        The 96th St. station would have to be able to handle the turn-around action, at a station probably not really designed for being a terminal, but if there are some tail tracks and the right switches there, one has hopes that it could be done.

        • Michael says:

          Thanks for your thoughts.

          I would hasten to add that the Ditmars-Astoria station, a two-track stub end terminal, has been handling the turn-about of 2-lines for a few decades now. Remember when the station handled the RR trains and their frequent service needs, the N trains, the B and N trains, the N and W trains, and now the N and Q trains. A look at some of the 1970’s & 1980’s time-tables is instructive.

          I agree with you on the planning work, but I’m thinking that the MTA understood that the 96th Street station would be a terminal for a long while – remember the entire stub-way had to be re-designed due to cost-cutting from the earlier published designs. This is unlike the case with the current Archer Avenue terminal where the plans were to extend the line when it was being built in the 1970’s. The city’s fiscal crisis and NIMBY actions by local Queens folk put the kabash to further expansions into south-eastern Queens, and a Queens-super-express-by-pass route. Opening those stations in the 1980’s was really about “making due because our plans changed” rather than “this was the plan from the start”.

          If the Second Avenue Stub-way can not handle trains every four or five minutes at its terminals (both the designed permanent and designed temporary) then it would definitely fail at being to help alleviate the passenger loads on the Lexington Avenue subway – its prime goal for decades. The design goals from the beginning of the Second Avenue subway was to be handle lots of train traffic and passengers.

          Again, thanks for your ideas.
          Mike

      • What will happen during late night hours the R train shuttle between 36 and 95 street; Are going to be full time between 95th street and Forest Hills?

        • Chris says:

          Please focus about the N Broadway Express in Manhattan skipping W49th street along with the Q trains will heads up to second avenue subway; According the recent plan for the future the N train will be diverted to 2nd avenue in both terminal so make it efficient service and save time; When the second avenue is done that will be a great combination of service instead of Astoria; Astoria will be a W train Broadway local between Manhattan and Queens; Hopefully make it happen;This is a very good plan.

      • William says:

        The problem with sending both the N and Q up 2nd avene is that the W will be all alone on the Astoria line. Plus, trains would be filled up by 39th avenue. Besides, in New York, a large crowd can bulid up in 10 minutes during rush hours. In order to prevent this from happening, they would have to make W service more frequent in Queens

  7. Dj Hammers says:

    The MTA seems to want to introduce some ambiguity, because they do not want to commit to keeping service in Astoria at current levels. It is impossible to increase N service because of the bottleneck at Dekalb and Canal Avenues.

    The should be forced to come out and say that they will not reduce service to Astoria.

    • Brooklynite says:

      I can assure you Dr. Hammers that they know perfectly well that they cannot cut service. Trains are crowded enough.

    • Chris says:

      They can’t increase service, because the ridership needs on the Brooklyn end are much lower.

  8. capt subway says:

    The best plan would be to return to the service run before the service cuts of a few years back when the W was eliminated.

    And yes the R should remain on the local tracks because it is already on the local tracks.

    And yes the N should remain on the express tracks because it already is on the express tracks, and indeed can stay on the exp all the way to 57/7 because the Q will no longer be terminating there but continuing on up to 2nd Ave. (The N was crossed over at 34 St previously in order that it not get sandbagged behind Q trains waiting for a terminal pocket at 57/7.)

    The whole problem? There are not enough cars for a return of the W (or some similar service) at this time. With the service cuts of a few years back the TA scrapped most of the cars rendered surplus by those cuts. The TA has been over scrapping and being caught short from time immemorial.

    • Dj Hammers says:

      That’s why is it important that the best performing R32s are kept once the R179s come in. The W will NEED to be restored, but the cars for it will only be there if 50 or so R32s are kept.

      • Brooklynite says:

        I’ve done the math and if they reduce spare factors slightly there will be enough cars to run full service without keeping any R32s.

        • Dj Hammers says:

          Correct. However they it would be tight and there would be no room in the fleet for future growth.

          • Brooklynite says:

            If necessary certain trains could be short-turned; for instance more F trains could terminate at Kings Hwy (or even Church).

            • sonicboy678 says:

              I wouldn’t be so quick to short-turn F trains at Church Avenue. Although the F certainly doesn’t have the highest ridership along McDonald Avenue, there are definitely enough riders to warrant having full service at least to/from Kings Highway.

              • Brooklynite says:

                Even during the rush, one can almost always get a seat on a northbound F until around Church Av. Besides, people in Windsor Terrace and Park Slope would appreciate the emptier trains.

                • sonicboy678 says:

                  In essence, that would reduce the G’s usefulness. There’s really no need for short-turning F trains at Church Avenue unless even more trips are being added.

                  Trains terminating at Church Avenue also run a risk of holding up other trains unless said trains run express. I wouldn’t be so quick to use the express tracks without restoration of Bergen Street’s lower level.

                  • Brooklynite says:

                    If there is a shortage of cars, such short turns will be necessary. Otherwise they are not, I agree.

    • Brooklynite says:

      The interlocking at 57th St is subpar, and there is no punchbox at 5/59th southbound. Therefore it is better to keep the N on the local to 34th.

      After the 179s come in and the 32/42s are retired there will be just enough cars to bring the W back, if spare factors are reduced slightly.

    • Ditmars says:

      The N express stopped at 49th Street because of it’s high volume. The Q express has been stopping there on weekdays since it was extended to Astoria, and that’s without any sandbagging at 57th Street. 49th Street should and will remain a stop for all Broadway Line trains going to/from Queens.

      • Chris says:

        I will like to see that change once the Q is extended via second avenue and the W is put back in service.

    • Chris says:

      You are 100 percent right. This had nothing to do with the overflow of passengers at 49th Street. The R and W was quite adequate for this purpose.

  9. Fbfree says:

    In many comments, it’s seems taken as a given that service can only be increased by adding a new route. Why?

    I wonder if the MTA might be planning a major overhaul of the routes around Long Island City once the new transfer point to the upper east side is made at Lex/63, notably by shifting the R to the 63rd St. tunnel, at least during peak times.
    Upsides:
    – Express and local service on both 53rd and 63rd tubes.
    – Increased capacity in the 59th St. tunnel for Astoria
    – Pre-sorted local and express service on the Broadway line.
    – Cross-platform transfer between Queens and the UES
    – Extension of the G onto Queen’s Blvd, at least off-peak?
    Downsides:
    – Added switching delays / capacity constraints at 36th St.
    – Less local service to Queens Plaza
    – Astoria service local in Manhattan
    – It’s a change.

    This is just one possible service change. Give the MTA time to be sure of their options.

    • Fbfree says:

      Downsides:
      – Switching delays at Lex/63.
      – Limited frequency for the Queens Blvd local from Manhattan
      – Other things I haven’t thought about.

    • Brooklynite says:

      Many riders from Queens Boulevard want access to the Lexington Express, which they only get on the R. An underground passageway could be built from the F station, but it hasn’t been.

      As part of a complete de-interlining there would be no Broadway service at all on Queens Boulevard, but that’s not likely to fly politically either. So for now we’re stuck with what we have.

      A few more downsides:
      the Astoria-Bay Ridge route would not have yard access. Far from insurmountable, but oddlly difficult for MTA to coordinate.
      the F does not need more merging. It’s unreliable enough as it is.

    • Chris says:

      Removing the R from Lex/59th St. would be a BIG change that most people would not agree with. 59th Street is a major transferring point for this line. No benefit would be gotten from this. This could only mean 1) a less crowded R train and 2) a more crowded V and E train. The V train might cope with this change, but forget about the E, it is way above capacity. And at some point, the N and W will have to accommodate the lost of R service. The 59th transfer is very important transfer for the N as well.

  10. Bouchaib says:

    The MTA has been playing their cards close to their chest for a while now. When MTA first cut the W train in 2010, the website explicitly said that the Q would be extended to the UES and “alternate” subway service will be planned for Astoria. However, I can’t seem to find that on the MTA’s website anymore for some reason. This article coupled with my observation is very dubious.

  11. Brian says:

    The N should simply run every other minute and become the Broadway Tunnel / 4th Avenue Local train, with W express service along 4th Avenue and Broadway weekdays until 8 PM. The Q and the R trains would run express, and the R would run via 63rd Street. Run the M all times except nights so that passengers from the East Side would simply take that train instead of the R.

    From a track standpoint running the R express via 63rd Street, then local along Queens Blvd, would immensely help the Broadway Line.

  12. Chris says:

    I will like them to return the W line. When it was operating, it was usually the one that was there. The reason it was so dependable, was because it did not run to Brooklyn, where oftentimes, traffic got delayed. For this reason it got crowed. But it did not matter, because it was usually short-term. It wasn’t schedule to come as frequently as the N, Q, R lines, but it reliability was on par with the Q, which ran the most frequent. Priority was given to the R and the N in most cases, but I was glad, because that meant a less crowed ride.

  13. Chris says:

    Please focus about the N Broadway Express in Manhattan skipping W49th street along with the Q trains will heads up to second avenue subway; According the recent plan for the future the N train will be diverted to 2nd avenue in both terminal so make it efficient service and save time; When the second avenue is done that will be a great combination of service instead of Astoria; Astoria will be a W train Broadway local between Manhattan and Queens; Hopefully make it happen;This is a very good plan.

    • Chris says:

      When the second avenue is done; Make it efficient service like this; According the future plan; This is a very good service.

      N-2nd Ave Local/Broadway Express/4th Ave Express/Sea Beach
      Q-2nd Ave Local/Broadway Express/Brighton Local
      R-95th street Brooklyn and 71st street Queens is fine
      W-Whitehall Street and Astoria will be sufficient service without second service; Make it increase service of W train.
      Hopefully make it happen for the sake of commuters everyday.

  14. Chris says:

    How about the shuttle train late nights between 95th street and 36th street in Brooklyn riders to Manhattan and Queens/From Manhattan and Queens heading home in late nights;Instead you will getting off on the platform to switch the train so make it full time? We staying away the trouble during late night hours.

  15. Chris says:

    Speaking of Astoria riders W train will be survive without additional service; Make it increase service of W trains.

  16. Chris says:

    Please make it happen on the Broadway Service: Hopefully!

    N/Q – Express Service skips W49th Street and R/W – Local Service stops W49th street

    This is a smooth and efficient service

    • Chris says:

      When the second avenue is done; Make it efficient service like this; According the future plan; This is a very good service.

      N-2nd Ave Local/Broadway Express/4th Ave Express/Sea Beach
      Q-2nd Ave Local/Broadway Express/Brighton Local
      R-95th street Brooklyn and 71st street Queens is fine
      W-Whitehall Street and Astoria will be sufficient service without second service; Make it increase service of W train.
      Hopefully make it happen for the sake of commuters everyday.

  17. Chris says:

    Q trains will be rerouted to the Upper East Side; Everyone knows already about that currently planned; We are expecting the answers about the N train Broadway Express to be returned along with the Q train skips W49th Street so make it smooth service and efficiently runs.
    That’s enough about emphasis the Q train.

  18. Chris says:

    W-Whitehall Street between Astoria will be sufficient service without second service; Make it increase service of W train.
    Hopefully make it happen for the sake of commuters everyday.

    Astoria riders will be survive without additional service and its not far to Midtown Manhattan wherever you go between W34th Street and Lexington Av./ E59-E60th Street.

  19. Chris says:

    If the N train Broadway Express will be rerouted to the 2nd Avenue Upper East Side; Well that’s wonderful news.

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