Flushing Line Extension to Javits Center


Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea?


Consider that the Flushing line is the heaviest in the city. Times Square can platform two trains, for however briefly, at a time to load. All of the passengers are heading in the same direction all day long.

Now take that and essentially cut the capacity in half, since one track will be Javits bound trains. The passengers to Queens will have to wait for a train from Javits to arrive. While this goes on, the passengers to Javits will be waiting on the same platform.

An Alternative?

How about the L? It's not as crowded as the 7, the headways are longer, so to add trains is not a problem. It connects with all the trunk lines in Manhattan. Why can't that be extended past 8th Ave and up the west side to Javits? In fact, instead of the park, how about using the Highline for that? That will involve less construction. It would also serve Chelse Piers.

Just a thought.

Update 7/10/06

Now I've heard that the ridership on the L is increasing. There was a piece in the Daily News on July 7, that they don't have enough R-143 cars to cover the service now. I'm still convinced that the L is better than the 7 for Javits.
However, if they build a middle track in TS to always have a Queens train loading, that may relieve the potential for overcrowding and conflicting passenger movement. Maybe the Javits trains should be local and the TS trains express.

Update 1/4/2007

The question came up again in the nyc.transit newsgroup, some interesting new thoughts were proposed. One was to built both connections, from the 7 and the L. How do both IRT and BMT cars share the same tracks?
The proposed solutions included gap fillers, gauntlet tracks, and converting the L to and IRT line. All have major problems. The easiest solution is to build a four track terminal at Javits with two tracks each for the 7 and the L.
The gap fillers would have to be 550' long for the 11 car trains run on the #7. They would be maintenance intensive.
Gauntlet tracks would require two third rails, one under the platform for the IRT cars on the inside rails and the other on the outside for the BMT cars. There would also have to be dual signal trip arms as the IRT has them on the cab side the BMT on the opposite side. There would also have to be some way to insure that BMT cars don't accidentally take the inside rails and prevent them from preceeding north of Javits. All of this would increase maintenance requirements.
Converting the L to IRT specs would reqiuire all of the Canarsie stations to be extended 70 feet for the 550' trains versus the 480' L trains. Also, much money was spent on the R-143 cars for the CBTC system. There are no other BMT/IND lines in service that will get CBTC any time soon.
It's assumed that the Second Ave Subway will open with CBTC and the Q line will get all of the 52 five car units (26 trains) that are due in the R-160 order. Other parts of the R-160 order will go to the G in five cars sets and the J, M, Z in four car sets. This implies that the IND Crosstown line and the BMT Jamaica and Myrtle lines will be next with CBTC.
All that having been said, with the #7 scheduled to get CBTC next, the IRT current cars (R-62's), do not have this feature. The R-142's have the same provision for the CBTC as the R-143's, but there will be a need for additional B cars to make up 11 car trains (one 5 and one 6 unit per train). Additional trains will be needed for the longer run to Javits. Taking all the R-142's from the #2 and adding the B cars to half of the sets will make 33 trains, one more than what's needed now for service. More trains may be required than that.

Update 12/21/2007

The Daily News reported that the plans to expand the Javits Center have been scrapped. o why is so much being spent on extending the Flushing Line there?

Update 3/31/2007

And now the Moynihan Station plans may be scrapped, $1 Billion will be spent on offices and residential development. Where does this leave the Flushing extension?


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The opinions expressed in this document are those of Joseph D. Korman, webmaster & student of transportation

Monday March 31, 2008
Copyright © 2008 by Joseph D. Korman