Home Second Avenue Subway Second Ave. Opening Sagas: Shaving the tunnels, delaying a 72nd St. opening, and the train from (W)ayback

Second Ave. Opening Sagas: Shaving the tunnels, delaying a 72nd St. opening, and the train from (W)ayback

by Benjamin Kabak

A poster spotted on the Q train tout the Broadway revival of the W, set to debut on November 7. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

A poster spotted on the Q train tout the Broadway revival of the W, set to debut on November 7. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

My updates here have been sparse lately as work has taken centerstage over the past few weeks. Thanks for bearing with me. I know it’s a busy time for the Second Ave. Subway with an opening tentatively scheduled within the next 68 days so let’s see where things stand.

Despite repeated concerns from the MTA’s independent engineering consultant that the Second Ave. Subway may not open on time in December, the agency is doubling down on its commitment to launch this long-awaited line before 2016 is over. Still, a recent crosstown trip on the M86 showed me that a lot of work remains to be completed as fall heads toward winter, but with the W train’s return on the horizon, New York City is slowly and inexorably moving toward the debut of the city’s greatest urban legend.

First up, as you can see from atop this post, the MTA is priming the pump for the W train. I spotted that poster on a Q train, and many of my Twitter followers have sent in images of the W’s return. The signage describing service patterns, as you can see, remains as incomprehensible to the untrained eye as ever.

The train, which serves as a part-time Broadway local with service to Astoria was lost to the 2010 service cuts, and with the Q destined for 2nd Ave. and 96th St., the W will pick up the load. In addition to the return of the W, the R train will service Whitehall Station during the late-night hours. The new service patterns begin in two weeks as all Q trains will terminate at 57th St.-7th Ave. until the Second Ave. Subway opens.

And what of construction? No end of an MTA project would be complete without construction mishaps, the Second Ave. Subway is obliging us in that regard as well. As Dan Rivoli of the Daily News reported over the weekend, some segments of the new tunnels were too small and workers had to shave down parts of the curves in order to fit 75-foot-long subway cars. MTA officials assured the public that the work has been complete and tests continue (though it’s unclear how this engineering mishap occurred in the first place).

“There is no change to the anticipated date Second Avenue will be open. Tests are conducted as part of the overall process to get the tunnel ready and are done precisely so that we know what adjustments may be needed. Training runs are now being made regularly with 75-foot cars,” MTA spokesperson Beth DeFalco said to the News.

And finally, as the MTA comes face to face with the reality of a December opening date, the agency is willing to admit on the record what the whispers have said for a few months: The Second Ave. Subway may “open” “on time” by having trains skip the 72nd St. station. Emma Fitzsimmons, in a profile of the subway line for The Times, had more:

The authority’s credibility is on the line — not just to meet the deadline, but also to deliver a high-quality project. The city’s first new subway station in a quarter-century opened last year at Hudson Yards on the Far West Side of Manhattan. Several months later, major leaks appeared.

Mr. Prendergast has not ruled out opening the new line, but temporarily bypassing 72nd Street if that station is not yet ready. After a board meeting last month, he said trains had temporarily bypassed stations after the bombing in Chelsea on Sept. 17. Mr. Prendergast said last week that it was too early to discuss skipping stations and that he was focused on making sure they were all ready on time. “We haven’t given up on anything at this point,” he said.

For the MTA, such an arrangement would be a departure from the norm as MTA Capital Construction must certify an entire project complete for New York City Transit to begin operations. If the feds, however, are willing to permit service to some stations as crews complete 72nd St., it’s possible that the Q will make three of its four stops for the first few months. With Gov. Cuomo a driving force behind the push for a December opening date, even the culture an an institution as slow to change at the MTA could shift to permit some early subway rides to 96th St., 86th St. and 63rd St. without service to 72nd St.

The countdown continues apace.

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Tom S October 24, 2016 - 11:27 am

I kind of suspect it was sections of tunnel that were completed in the 1970s, possibly built to different specifications, not newly-built tunnel.

Mike M. October 24, 2016 - 11:35 am

None of the old sections of the SAS are part of the line that’s due to open this year. And anyway, the first 75-foot cars, the R-44s, were designed and purchased specifically for Second Avenue service, so the old sections should be designed around cars that size anyway. This is a screw-up, plain and simple.

Riverduckexpress October 24, 2016 - 12:17 pm

You’re mistaken Mike, the 1970s tunnel section under 2 Av from 99 St to 105 St is being used as part of Phase 1. That section is being used as tail tracks to store trains above 96 St.

imogen October 24, 2016 - 2:05 pm

Lotta curves on 2 Av between 99th and 105th, eh?

madbandit October 24, 2016 - 5:06 pm

Exactly. The only new significant curve for this project must be the portion from Lex/63rd to 72nd.

Drosejr October 24, 2016 - 6:11 pm

The tunnel from 57/7 to 63/lex was built in the 70’s, so that could be the culprit. Otherwise, it’s the new tunnel.

BruceNY October 24, 2016 - 8:23 pm

That section has been used for passenger-carrying trains for service diversions for years (and for a few months as a shuttle) so that’s not the culprit.

Apparently the same engineers at the MTA who botched the platform width at the new South Ferry station (among other more devastating oversights) still don’t know how big the rolling stock is.

John-2 October 25, 2016 - 12:39 pm

You’d think anyone doing the design engineering could simply go by the angle of the curve between City Hall and Cortlandt Street on the R, and know that anything sharper than that is not going to handle 75-foot railcars (though since they had to do some wall shavings there, too, before the first R-44s hit the system, the planners could have forgotten about that part and designed the 63rd Street curve to match the BMT tunnel’s original specs, which were only meant to handle the 67-foot Standards).

mister October 26, 2016 - 10:50 am

It has nothing to do with the radius of the curve. It has to do with the clearance of the structure around the curve.

Nick Ober October 24, 2016 - 11:27 am

Why not run 2 express services to 96th and 2nd Avenue and then 2 local services to Queens with one going to Astoria and the other going to Forest Hills? Why are 3 services being squeezed into the 60th Street tunnel and just 1 is going up Second Avenue?

Benjamin Kabak October 24, 2016 - 11:35 am

Just to be clear: The return of the W does not lead to an increase in service through the 60th St. tunnel. It’s simply ensuring that today’s service levels are maintained once the Q is rerouted. Sending two lines up 2nd Ave. reduces service to Astoria.

Tower18 October 24, 2016 - 11:51 am

Because, to adequately serve Astoria, you need two services, or at least the number of TPH provided by two services. To run that number of TPH on one service would dramatically overserve somewhere else. Give it whatever letter you want, it makes the most sense to have supplemental service to Astoria which short turns, which means Whitehall, which means a Broadway Local…until/unless 4th Avenue in Brooklyn needs another Local, which many will say it does, but the MTA doesn’t think so.

Yan October 27, 2016 - 2:34 pm

Because a second service would be redundant

Daniel S. Weiss October 24, 2016 - 11:37 am

I understand why they need to skip 72nd (ADA Law), but in all fairness, half the system isn’t even ADA accessible.

My grandmother was in a wheelchair & I fully support the ADA laws and am a firm believer in equality for the disabled, but Is it really that big a deal for the station to be non-ADA compliant for a few weeks when most of the subway is inaccessible? They will make it compliant, but it will be delayed.

Michael Romero October 24, 2016 - 12:22 pm

The law is quite clear on this one. They have to meet ADA requirements on anything new. They also have to on anything that’s substantially rebuilt. The feds won’t waver on it.

JEG October 24, 2016 - 1:01 pm

Are either of you involved in ADA legal issues? It is so often repeated what the law requires, or what federal, state, or local law mandates with respect to disabled riders, but I’ve yet to see a post from any lawyer with actual experience/knowledge regarding this issue as it relates to a federally funded mass transit initiative.

imogen October 24, 2016 - 2:06 pm

Lawyers, by profession, do not alter law.

JEG October 24, 2016 - 4:46 pm

This comment is totally inane because of course lawyers alter laws and their application.

In any event, laws and regulation are complex, and while non-lawyers enjoy playing lawyer, their advice generally shouldn’t be replied upon. So if these commentors are lawyers whose practice involves the ADA, great; however, this point about the ADA is so often repeated in these comments that its has become something of a truism, but apparently without foundation.

Tower18 October 24, 2016 - 6:54 pm

Every time this comes up, 2-3 people will insist with utmost certainty that the FDA will give the MTA a waiver, and 2-3 people insist with utmost certainty that the FDA would give waivers under no circumstances. I’m going to take a guess that each are just repeating their preferred version of the story that they’ve each gathered from other transit blogs.

SEAN October 24, 2016 - 8:10 pm

What about non-lawyers who read MTA documents & other sources who forged their opinions from them. That’s what I did back in 1990. The documents I read were related to the railroads & subway stations in that – what was required to make the transit system ADA accessible. This included “key stations,” features within them, future bus & train orders as well as NYC & Philadelphia wavors.

Brooklynite October 25, 2016 - 12:20 am

Hopefully the FDA wouldn’t be getting involved – after all, the subway is neither a food nor a drug 😉

I am not a lawyer and do not claim to be one, but the one example I can think of is the recent reopening of Old South Ferry. Clearly whatever rules exist for opening non-accessible stations were bypassed, or simply not enforced. That was an emergency situation, however, so its relevance to MTA’s failure to procure elevator cabs at 72nd St on time is unclear.

AMH October 25, 2016 - 2:25 pm

I’ve been wondering about this. The ADA has no enforcement arm, so the only way the MTA would suffer consequences would be for someone to sue them before February/whenever they could bring 72 St into compliance, right?

Benjamin Kabak October 25, 2016 - 2:37 pm

In this case, the MTA needs occupancy and use permits to open the subway, and they can’t get those without federal approval. So here, they can’t open the subway. But generally, yes, and that’s how the MTA has toed a tight line on ADA (non-)compliance. By and large, the disability advocates aren’t well capitalized enough to sue the MTA and they’ve had problems finding pro bono representation for suits against the MTA regarding run-of-the-mill capital projects and station rehabs.

Nathanael November 2, 2016 - 1:54 pm

Correct. Every now and then the disability advocates get the money together to nail the MTA for one of its specific ADA violations.

Eventually the MTA is going to be in big trouble, and here’s why. Right now, disabled people and disability advocates are mostly working on fixing the systems in their home towns; the financial resources are therefore spread across the country, with lawsuits funded locally against each local city or agency. Someone from Chicago doesn’t help fund any advocacy or lawsuits in NYC, because they’ve got enough work to do in Chicago.

But most cities are getting to the point where they are *routinely* complying with the law, and a surprising number are approaching 100% accessibility. Even Amtrak, an infamous laggard, is making huge progress.

There’s going to come a point when the MTA is standing alone as the last noncompliant transit agency. At that point — since people from all over visit NYC — the *national* resources of the disability community will all weigh in on NYC.

At that point, it’s likely that federal law will be revised to require that all stations be made accessible (with no federal funding provided), and the other agencies will shrug because they will have already *done* it. The MTA will find itself standing alone with no cover, and will be hit with a very large bill. They really ought to be making some effort to make things accessible “as they go”; they could have made dozens of elevated stations in Brooklyn accessible during reconstruction, and they simply didn’t bother.

Adirondacker12800 November 2, 2016 - 2:49 pm

Don’t hold your breath. How many decades did it take New Jersey and the Federal government to get the city to stop dumping raw sewage into the harbor?

Nathanael November 4, 2016 - 9:41 am

Really, it only took NJ about 30 years to address most of the sewage problem. They’ve still got some CSOs but those are truly tedious to fix permanently (requiring complete rebuilds of large parts of the sewer system), and they’re doing it bit by bit.

Accordingly, we should expect NY to be well on its way to completing the *much* cheaper project of making the subway accessible *already*.

JEG November 4, 2016 - 10:24 am

That’s a nice scenario you paint, but it unlikely to happen the way you present, and in any event won’t apply to existing infrastructure. Meanwhile, the MTA is making new stations ADA compliant, while retrofitting older stations with elevators to the extent required by law.

Brooklynite October 24, 2016 - 1:16 pm

While we’re on the subject – why does “anything that’s substantially rebuilt” not include the dozens of (mostly elevated) stations that have gotten top-to-bottom overhauls in the last decade without receiving ADA?

SEAN October 24, 2016 - 8:24 pm

I think it relates to the 20% project cost clause – if the cost of adding ADA features is greater than 20% of the total cost of renovations, then an ADA wavor maybe issued. However since the stations on 2nd Avenue are new construction, no accessibility wavor will be granted except for 72nd st if the MTA can demonstrate good faith in getting the station ADA compliant.

Brooklynite October 25, 2016 - 12:15 am

Let’s take the Culver project as an example. It’s a $140 million job, split over nine stations, of which none will be getting elevators. Therefore, elevators could be waived if they cost more than $28 million. The question is – assuming each station gets three elevators (two from mezz to platforms and one from mezz to street), giving 27 total elevators – do elevators cost a million dollars apiece? I don’t have numbers handy, but would be interested in seeing the figures if anyone has them.

eo October 25, 2016 - 8:37 am

Yes, they do cost a lot more than a million dollar a piece. The cost of the cab itself is minor, but the modifications required to actually create the elevator shaft run from 2-3 million dollars at easy locations to 10-12 at hard locations for elevated stations. For underground stations you can hit 20-30 million dollars at some more difficult spots.

Billy G October 25, 2016 - 5:16 pm


Joe Steindam October 26, 2016 - 7:50 am

MTA’s recent experience with inclinators at Hudson Yards hasn’t been promising. Also, they would only be worth deploying in stations where you had unused or extra stairways that weren’t needed. Most stations probably need more stairways as it is to move people more quickly off platforms and through fare control. Otherwise, installing the diagonal cut for an inclinator is probably more complicated than the vertical cut for an elevator.

TimK October 26, 2016 - 12:48 pm

What’s been the problem with the inclinators at Hudson Yards?

Otherwise, installing the diagonal cut for an inclinator is probably more complicated than the vertical cut for an elevator.

Where you’re already putting in stairways or escalators, it’s actually simpler and cheaper just to enlarge the cut otherwise needed for those than to do a separate excavation vertically for a conventional elevator. That’s why so many subway stations in Stockholm have inclinators.

Nathanael November 2, 2016 - 1:56 pm

Elevators for elevated stations normally cost $1-$2 million apiece. (1 million for easy locations, 2 million for trickier ones).

The numbers quoted by eo are grossly inflated, but may reflect typical overpriced NYC construction costs (which are a problem in and of themselves).

Nathanael November 2, 2016 - 1:59 pm

Incidentally, if they can build a ground-level headhouse, it saves an elevator. (You have one elevator to each platform, skipping the mezz level.) This was possible at Smith-9th and they didn’t bother because the MTA are scofflaws.

MDC November 4, 2016 - 12:42 am

How would this have been possible at Smith-9th? I used to pass thru that station all the time, and pondered elevator configurations many times. To have elevators direct to the platforms, you would have had to build 2 entirely new ground-level headhouses on land that is not currently being used by MTA, each presumably staffed, with gates and elevators. Then the elevators would have to go about 5(?) stories up to the platforms. I’d love to see it happen, but the expense would be immense.

It would have been a lot easier to build elevators at the nearby 4th Ave./9th St. station, at least from ground level to the Culver platforms, because the headhouses are actually under the platforms (or at least the western one is). That’s a real missed opportunity.

Nathanael November 4, 2016 - 9:42 am

Yes, it involves buying an empty parking lot underneath the culvert. How expensive is that really?

Nathanael November 2, 2016 - 1:57 pm

Those numbers are too high, judging by costs for elevators to elevated stations in *other* cities. NYC seems to have grossly overpriced construction costs, though.

JEG October 25, 2016 - 10:14 am

Since the stations on 2nd Avenue are new construction, no accessibility wavor will be granted except for 72nd st if the MTA can demonstrate good faith in getting the station ADA compliant.”

So according to the legal memoranda you’ve read, the MTA can be granted an exemption to the ADA by showing a good faith effort in getting the new station ADA complaint. Based on that standard, it would seem that such a waiver would be easily attainable since the project has created escalators and elevators at entrances whose installation – on a critically needed, multi-billion dollar project – will be delayed by a matter of months.

SEAN October 25, 2016 - 3:49 pm

Simplisticly yes, but as you know full well it’s never that cut & dry.

Yan October 27, 2016 - 2:37 pm

Many stations physically cant support elevators, theres no space for em

Nathanael November 2, 2016 - 1:58 pm

All the elevated stations can support elevators.

smartone October 25, 2016 - 8:27 pm

The problem is not the ADA law — the problem it is an unfunded mandate.

James Scully October 24, 2016 - 12:14 pm

I’m actually pretty happy with these Broadway line changes. Somehow adding a 4th Broadway train will help because the N will be express again. It currently takes 45-55 minutes to go from 59th Street in Brooklyn to 49th In Manhattan on the N, whereas it only takes about 25-35 minutes to go from 36th street in Brooklyn to 47-50th in Manhattan on the D.

Plus who didn’t miss the W?

Chet October 24, 2016 - 6:23 pm

Agreed. I’m on Staten Island and often park at 36th Street in Sunset Park and take the N or the D train to midtown…and the D is by far faster. Looking forward to the return of the N Express in Manhattan.

Quintus October 26, 2016 - 10:27 pm

Why it is faster and cheaper to just use the express bus. Express bus passes will work on the subway.

John A. Noble October 25, 2016 - 9:23 am

I would think Astoria residents — minus those who use the stops between City Hall and Whitehall Street who now will have a one-seat ride — didn’t miss the W. It hasn’t been publicized (as far as I can tell), but unless the new W schedule is drastically different from the old one, Astoria’s going to get a service cut. During rush hour, the Q runs about every eight minutes. The W used to run every 10-13 minutes, or about as often as the C train. I only commuted from Astoria briefly 8-9 years ago, but that area can’t afford any sort of service cut.

Personally, as someone who commutes from Staten Island and uses Whitehall Street station, I’m looking forward to the W’s return.

Benjamin Kabak October 25, 2016 - 9:28 am

The MTA has told me there will be no difference in peak-hour service to Astoria.

Macartney Morris October 25, 2016 - 2:59 pm

Cold comfort. As everyone (and the MTA surely) knows, off peak trains are already overpacked. Trains as late as midnight and 1am are standing room only, often packed standing. 69 trains less a day to Astoria is a devastating service cut that continues to go unmentioned in every single news report about the return of the W. This should be a scandal now, but apparently has to wait until people feel the actual affects of the cuts.

pete October 26, 2016 - 1:37 pm

Yep, and especially since at 12/1AM it is guaranteed some east river tube is closed for the night, so atleast the whole load of the 7 is dumped on the N/Q after the Steinway tunnel closes. N/Q in general is standing room only after sunset all the way to 30th ave. At 30th ave its like a toilet flushing and you can get a seat finally.

JEG October 24, 2016 - 12:57 pm

I said this before, but I’ll say it again. Every morning, there are few, workers around the 68th Street construction site. No work at all has been undertaken on the east-side entrances for weeks, and the exterior of the ventilation shaft is still incomplete.

Are there scores of contractors working on each of these elements? No. Can every construction issue be addressed by throwing more people at the job? Perhaps not, but certain of these elements are entirely independent of one another, so there is not an obvious reason that nothing is happening on certain projects, or that two people are assigned to a task that more could obviously handle in less time.

Nathanael November 2, 2016 - 2:00 pm

Lollygagging, bad work, and bill-padding appear to be common among NYC contractors for the MTA.

Not good. Not normal; contractors behave better elsewhere.

bodegavendetta October 24, 2016 - 1:17 pm

According to this NYT article, some construction workers are saying it will open in February, which sounds more likely. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10.....iving.html

Also, that signage is astoundingly bad.

LLQBTT October 24, 2016 - 1:25 pm

Who forgot about the 75 ft. equipment? They probably don’t ride those lines.

Walt Gekko October 24, 2016 - 3:52 pm

At least this is finally getting online:

Maybe at the beginning you have to do it with 72nd Street not ready and have the line simply skip there until the station is ready.

Maybe they can adjust the ADA law so that when there is a completely new station, they can open it when the rest is ready if the station can open otherwise BUT with the provision that work MUST continue 24/7 on the ADA components until complete with no stoppages whatsoever and they must be extremely diligent to get the ADA parts ready as fast as possible.

John-2 October 24, 2016 - 3:59 pm

The DJ Hammers video that was picked up by the local news outlets a couple of weeks ago that showed trains testing out the new tunnels east and north of 63rd-Lex included one train of R-68 cars. So unless those cars got some dents during their trial run, the MTA probably shaved the tunnels before cars used in regular revenue service were allowed through.

JJJJ October 24, 2016 - 4:23 pm

Those signs are aimed at people who have lived on the line for 50 years.

For everybody else, maps would be better.

Its 2016. We cant have a digital display where the map changes based on the time of day?

Chet October 24, 2016 - 6:24 pm

Digital signs!! Excellent idea!
Seriously- that would make navigating the weekend changes so much easier and the MTA wouldn’t have to deal with plastering the system with paper notices.

Yan October 27, 2016 - 2:41 pm

yeah, but then you run into the problem of keeping the digital sign working and to make sure it doesnt malfunction

Brooklynite October 27, 2016 - 6:24 pm

Given that we have over two thousand subway cars covered with digital signs conveying information such as route and destination, keeping a digital sign that isn’t on a moving vehicle working is fairly easy.

pete October 26, 2016 - 1:38 pm

What happens when the map changes after you decided on a route to take?

AFC October 27, 2016 - 4:40 pm

Nothing any differently from when the route changes while you’re on the train now due to an incident. There’s just more chance you’d know about it in a timely manner.

Spendmore Wastemor October 24, 2016 - 7:39 pm

Even better, they shouldn’t have built that many station. Every 1/2 mile is too close, it makes the longest walk along 2nd ave 440 yards. If you can walk at all, you can walk more than that. 63rd (which is actually at Lexington), 72nd, skip 86th, 96th, 110th, skip 116th (which is ridiculously close), then 125th & 2nd, with an underground moving sidewalk to Lexington and Lenox.
NYC subway stops in Manhattan are spaced too closely. At a New Yorker walking pace, it’s four minutes to walk 1/4 mile, plus some intersection wait. A bit more walking every day would cut down on obesity and Type II diabetes as well.

Benjamin Kabak October 24, 2016 - 7:46 pm

1/2 mile station spacing is fairly standard for new-build metro systems. Considering the length of the NYC subway consists, maybe we could push it out to 3/5 or 3/4 of a mile, but based on geography (and crosstown bus connections), no one should be eliminating 86th St.

Roger October 25, 2016 - 2:00 am

Also since M86 is a SBS, we should wetdream about a 86 St crosstown some day….

Roger October 25, 2016 - 2:23 am

The plan goes like this:

96 Bway – 96 CPW – whatever Street on 5th avenue – 86 Lex – 86 2nd/1st – Astoria boulevard – (one or two more stations in Queens) – LGA – College Point – Maybe into Bronx

86 Street is near a “strait” of East River and if we need another East River crossing, it is the right place, Have stations at 96th at West Side and 86th at East Side ensures that transfers happen at express stations.

Adirondacker12800 October 25, 2016 - 3:14 am

Send the Canarsie line up Tenth Ave and Amsterdam. Connect to the Broadway/7th Avenue lines at 72nd, the Central Park West/8th Avenue lines at 86th and Third Ave, west end of the platform for the Lexington Avenue lines and east end of the platform for the Second Avenue lines. Through Astoria on 30th Avenue and out Northern Blvd to Flushing.

Eric October 26, 2016 - 9:34 am

That would be a really long line, do you not fear excessive bunching?

Brooklynite October 27, 2016 - 6:25 pm

Merges and diverges are the primary cause of bunching, not just line length.

Spendmore Wastemor October 26, 2016 - 7:35 pm

“no one should be eliminating 86th St.”

Yes, that probably has to stay, one does have to pay attention to the details, and I’m not familiar with all of them. But obviously, there will be a shorter walk to the train once 2nd ave opens, so the disabled (including myself) and everyone else who has not been dying in the streets due to the current haul over to Lexington can also make the shorter haul from their endpoint to a station on 2nd.

Even 3/4 mi station spacing would save vast amounts of $$, wear ($$) on the trains and somewhat reduce the number of times one is jerked sideways on route. That’s a 3/8 mile walk from the exact midpoint, plus the amount one is offset from 2nd ave. A 3 or 4 track express/local setup would have been better, it also keeps the system going when something goes fubar.

imogen October 24, 2016 - 7:50 pm

If we had a line on every avenue, sure, but most of us have to walk e/w in addition to n/s to get to the station. The extension’s spacing is already farther than older segments—any farther would be pushing it for less able riders and for business development along the line. Not every transit rider or business patron is a sprightly 30 year old.

Roger October 25, 2016 - 1:57 am

125 and 2nd? Unless you want to make SAS into Bronx..

Have the stop at 125 and Lex, then 125 and Lenox, 125 and 8th, 116 Amsterdam, 106 Amsterdam and end at 96 Amsterdam with connection to 1/2/3. Basically mimicking the route of M60.

Billy G October 25, 2016 - 5:25 pm

crosstown to connect to ACBD track near 135th street, rise up and connect to those BD tracks to the Bronx, have a station shell to connect to the 2/3 at 125th and ACBD at 135th, possibly an underground walk between 125th and 135th. Lovely topography there, probably would require very hard bits.

Kevin Walsh October 25, 2016 - 11:41 am

If you live on 86th Street 10 blocks is way too long to walk to a station, especially in cold or rain.

Eric October 25, 2016 - 6:11 am

They seriously couldn’t figure out how wide to make the tunnels so that trains could pass through them?

Imagine if they built the new Tappan Zee bridge, but accidentally made the lanes too narrow so that cars could not travel over it. People would be up in arms. Only when it comes to public transportation is this staggering level of incompetence tolerated and nobody suffers any consequences for it.

Is the next update going to be that now that the tunnels are shaved, the concrete layer is too layer and it’s developing cracks and is in danger of collapse? This has happened in other tunnel projects before.

Eric October 25, 2016 - 6:12 am

“the concrete layer is too layer”

the concrete layer is too THIN

Jeff October 26, 2016 - 7:52 am

Concrete pouring is not an exact science. It’s probably just the carpenter misplacing the formwork for the pour causing the issue. In another words, it’s a construction mistake, not a design mistake.

BruceNY October 26, 2016 - 1:41 pm

When the MTA was getting ready to open the new South Ferry station somebody realized that the platform edges were not at the correct width. I don’t believe that was a construction mistake, but rather a case of engineering/design incompetence (IRT cars have been the exact same width since 1904), but I could be wrong about that.

R2 October 25, 2016 - 9:12 am

Perhaps the designers thought the 75′ rolling stock would be retired by then :p

Peter October 27, 2016 - 7:01 pm

This is, of course, WHY you test, and VERIFY that things like track gauge and clearance gauges are correct.

It’s pretty hilarious to me that there is “outrage” over this. The regular main-line railroads are inspecting track- and clearance-gauges ALL OF THE TIME, especially when new lines are being constructed or renovated. I mean, you are going to trust that Skanska, etc. have built this thing properly without verifying through running trains, gauge/geometry cars, etc. through first? Sheesh!

John October 28, 2016 - 12:01 pm

Some new signage at Union Square annoyed me the other day. On the uptown (soon to be) R/W platform, the sign suggested that late night for Forest Hills, to take the N to 59 Street for downtown 4/6 service to 51 St for the E. This is seriously confusing to tourists AND adds another trip late nights when it’s completely unnecessary. The signs should guide people to leave the R/W platform and walk to the 4/6 platform at Union Sq to go to 51 St. Poor direction suggestions.

AMH November 1, 2016 - 11:40 am

Seriously, even the N/Q to 42 St for the E is better than that mess!

Tower18 November 2, 2016 - 11:37 pm

Or the L to the E

Keon Morris October 31, 2016 - 4:06 pm

Still upset they didnt bother to at least leave space for a potential express service in the future or do a 79th st station. A better idea for the future would have been express service Q from 72nd straight to 86th then on to 125 have the T stop at 79th 86th 96th 103 110 116.

AMH November 1, 2016 - 11:39 am

106 makes more sense than both 103 and 110.


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