On NJ.Com Transit forum

2041.1. A few things by JAzumah, 5/8/06 12:06 ET
Re:
SubwayToSecaucus.com (cont'd) by SteveLanset, 5/8/06

  1. How many trainsets does this plan propose be purchased?
  2. Answer: 11 trainsets = 10 active sets plus 1 spare set.

  3. Would the Secaucus station be capable of turning a train every 90-100 seconds maximum?
  4. Answer: Half the #7 trains would run to Javits, the other half to Secaucus at a rate of 20 trains per hour with planned new signaling system.

  5. Where are we going to store new proposed trainsets?
  6. Answer: A small yard south of Secaucus Transfer during the day, Flushing yard at night.

  7. How do we prevent a turf battle between the MTA, NJT, and the Port Authority?

Answer: MTA already subsidizes west of Hudson NJT operations. NJT is also a funder of NY ops, would benefit from our proposed operation. PA is creature of the two states and is a potential funder. Plenty of precedence for cooperation and syngistic benefits for all.

2011.2.1.1.1. # 7 exits near capacity, can't handle much more by planner429, 4/25/06 1:02 ET
Re:
Subway to Secaucus is better way by SteveLanset, 4/25/06

#7 extension will handle riders from Queens going to jobs on west side. moving nj riders to same midtown stations already overcrowded will not be feasible. extension of #7 will mostly preclude any west of hudson connection. Have you seen new 34th Street plans? It will take about 5 minutes to get to surface. #7 is at same depth if not deeper then new station. ARC is going ahead, train is leaving the station, even NY real estate interests support it. Like many so called rail experts you are stuck in the past. Yes I am a transportation planner now working for private consultants, but I have worked at NJ TRANSIT and Port Authority a number of years ago.

Answer:

We can build additional stairs at 5th-6th Ave station, additional escalators at Grand Central. 5th-6th Ave offers the advantage of being close (more walkable) to the street level. We foresee little net increase in activity at 7th-8th Ave. station because more riders would stay on the No. 7 train to their destinations and would less likely get on or off at this stop. Newsstands can be moved off the platforms to more felicitous locations.

There is little question that many business interests (contractors, real estate developers, construction unions, and their transportation consultants) have lined up behind ARC. But who is representing the public interest in this pork barrel decision?

2041.2. still does not address capacity issues by planner429, 5/14/06 18:19 ET
Re:
SubwayToSecaucus.com (cont'd) by SteveLanset, 5/14/06

Where are you going to find the room for these new stairwells, and its really escalators you need because of the deep level of the #7 line. Its very expensive to do this, and still may not be enough.

Where is this small yard to turn subway trains going to go? There is barely enough room for ARC loop, never mind a subway turnback. ACtually the ARC plan has significant engineering behind it, and a detailed look. Going back to your plan would cost New Jersey another decade. MTA won't even run bus service from Staten Island to Bayonne, this would be even harder. Give it up

Answer:

The #7 comes close to street level at 5th-6th Aves.; there is obviously some room for additional stairs in that station and in the flight up to 42nd St. Yes, added escalators could be built at Grand Central, i.e. from the #7 platform up to an existing landing, then up to 3rd Ave and/or 42nd St. No new stairs/escalators would likely be needed at 7th-8th Aves; many current users of that station would board and disembark in New Jersey instead. Does Planner429 have any alternative idea for connecting his ARC station at 34th and 8th Ave to Grand Central Station?

The "small yard" in New Jersey can go where NJ Transit wants to build a new Boonton train storage yard, part of the ARC design, but much smaller.

Not only does the MTA pay NJ Transit to run trains west of the Hudson, it runs trains to Connecticut and is reimbursed for that.

Our subway to Secaucus can be built in much less time than ARC, so would not likely delay a solution to cross-Hudson passenger capacity problems.

Other correspondence (05-26-06):

Responding to question about NY MTA's willingness to cooperate with other agencies:

1. We can observe that the MTA does not categorically object to cooperation with other states and agencies with respect to joint rail operations. It pays NJTransit to run operations to NY State destinations via New Jersey, note the Port Jervis and Northern Valley lines. Connecticut pays the MTA to run Metro-North to New Haven and will soon operate the Shore Line East service to New London. This service will not interfere with existing MTA infrastructure and operations.

For that reason, it is unlikely that the MTA would seriously object to extension of the #7 line to Secaucus. Nothing has to be done for NJ east of 11th Ave.; the Mid-Town loop to Grand Central, on the other hand, would likely require substantial MTA collaboration and would undermine dozens, maybe hundreds, of buildings in Manhattan. New Jersey would pay for construction of the link from 11th Ave. to Secaucus. Our proposal would improve the MTA's ROI for #7 extension to 11th Ave. and Javits Center! Unlike THE Tunnel to the Cavern under 34th St, the extended #7 would offer New Yorkers better access to the burgeoning economic and housing opportunities on New Jersey's Gold Coast.

The main problem facing the G line is insufficient ridership, which probably most accounts for the MTA's reluctance to support it. We don't think that the extended #7 line would lack for riders.

Responding to question about need to increase capacity in N.E. Corridor and Penn Station NY:

2. There is enough physical capacity on the N.E. Corridor and in Penn Station NY (PSNY). They're just poorly managed and underutilized. And if the Tunnel is build, many rush hour trains will be less than 10 cars long mostly because they won't take enough people to where they want to go. 34th St. is not their preferred destination and new lines to be served (Bergen County, Raritan, MOM, and diesel part of NJ Coast) do not have enough riders.

A 1971 engineering study of PSNY recommended upgrade of the switches and additional minor changes. Even with the current mix of cars and locomotives, those recommendations, not yet implemented, could increase PSNY's capacity to process 35 trains per hours from 25 tph. If all Amtrak and commuter trains were self-propelled cars, then up to 5 more tphs could be wrung out of PSNY.

The addition of our extended #7 line would reduce demand for the N.E. Corridor and PSNY. Many current riders to PSNY are uptown bound and would gladly switch to the new #7. MOM, when it finally comes along, would feed passengers to the #7 as well as PSNY. The Lackawanna Cutoff train , about 5 cars long, will not be competitive with bus services to Manhattan; it will mostly feed transfers to the M&E line, Newark, and the NJ Gold Coast.

The extended #7 line would not only absorb many train riders, it would also benefit NJ-to-NYC bus riders, who outnumber train riders by 2.5 or 3.0 to 1. Many buses and their riders could unload/load at Secaucus rather than go through the Lincoln Tunnel or across the GW Bridge. That would cut down on traffic through those arteries, air pollution, and fuel consumption.

If, by 2020, there is a significant increase in riders on the rail lines, we could rebuild Secaucus Transfer to turn around diesel locomotives there rather than at Newark or Hoboken.