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Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 10:40 AM
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phoenixboi08 phoenixboi08 is offline
Transport Planner
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 575
Originally Posted by TowerDude View Post
They still need to buy that block of buildings south of MSG to build Penn Station South to really expand capacity
They COULD just not build Penn South...
It'd just be repeating the mistakes of ESA; that's what I'm too dumb to get across, I guess...? I do think there's a deeper discussion about what's going wrong here.

Hypothetical/thought exercise:
1 ESA + Gateway + West Side Access were one program.
2 Expand LIRR to GCT - at existing platform level, not in a cavern
3 Continue tunnel south to PSNY - with re-configurations at GCT
4 Make interim improvements to LIRR+MNRR+NJT/Amtrak for interoperability
5 Finish tunnel; rationalize rail services for through-running, have contingency plan to renovate Hudson Tubes given new capacity
6 LIRR trains can now operate to PSNY via GCT and either head east back to Sunnyside or west to Trenton

MNR trains can to GCT via Bronx or Hell's Gate, and respectively head east back to Sunnyside, west to Trenton, or north to GCT - depending on their arriving direction

NJT/Amtrak trains can head north or east from PSNY and either continue on towards CT from Sunnyside, or return west via GCT and PSNY

7 With new service patterns (eg. ability to turn trains around outside PSNY) and decreased dwell times, begin making track-level improvements at PSNY (eg. reducing tracks and widening platforms without even having to wait to remove MSG) and rehabilitating the hudson river tunnels
8 Meanwhile, open new station at Sunnyside and plan long-term to build new trans-Hudson capacity via Hoboken Terminal instead of replicating existing hudson tunnels
Again, it's mainly a thought exercise, right. I'm highlighting the kind of comprehensive manner in which something like this (ie. the need to address capacity, expand it, and create redundancy around critical infrastructure - like the hudson tunnels) should unfold.

The basic premise, to me, is that we keep quibbling about the cost of these projects but I'm more concerned that the scope is wrong (ie. limited) because we aren't addressing the fundamental issue: The metropolitan area isn't properly planning for regional transit, and the restraints (administrative and cultural) that both flow from and bolster that situation are the reasons something like ESA is being built, at the cost it's being built, with the limited amount of usefulness therein.

It's strange we simply accept that upgrading all the RRs to use the same damn technologies is ideal but too difficult, yet we tacitly cement it each time we build some $10+ billion station that doesn't even take the marginal steps (ie. for what ESA cost, we could damn well have gotten a midtown tunnel out of it instead of the cavern) to get around dealing with it.

We've quite honestly either built or will build all the of the requisite infrastructure to get to 99% of where we'd like to be: We just built it incorrectly and so we're at like 10%. That's fairly frustrating to me.

I'm ambivalent about costs.
"I'm not an armchair urbanist; not yet a licensed planner"
MCRP '16
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