Building The Second Ave Subway

The Second Ave is the largest and longest awaited expansion of the NY Subway in the last 50 years.  In fact a proposed expansion of the Subway onto 2nd Ave has been a part of NY Subway planning  for over a Century.  At last  phase 1 is almost completed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Avenue_Subway

A wonderful gallery of pictures in the tunnels.

http://jalopnik.com/these-photos-of-nycs-subway-project-are-astonishing-513446087

More from business insider.

http://www.businessinsider.com/new-photos-mta-progress-of-2nd-second-ave-subway-nyc-mta-2013-12

Some pics on flikr.

Looking Uptown

Some Albums from the MTA.

SAS_9719
Second Avenue Subway Update: 72nd Street Station
Second Avenue Subway Update: First Work Train Ride
Second Avenue Subway Update: February 27, 2015

 

Second Avenue Subway Update: January and February 2015

 

More here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mtaphotos/albums

A drone takes a trip.

And more video from WCBS.

And the NY Times.

A video from the MTA.

The Second Ave sagas blog.

http://www.secondavesagas.com/

MTA’s info page.

http://web.mta.info/capital/sas_alt.html

In spite of all the complaints it’s important to remember that these are huge projects under very trying conditions and severe constraints.  And they seem to be doing well.

 

How NOT To Run A Railroad

I’ve been riding train my entire life.  I’ve been riding subways and Commuter trains since I was seven.  I’ve talked to a LOT of railroaders over the years. This is NOT how it’s done.

http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/capitalcomment/transportation/why-does-metro-suck-dangerous-accidents-escalator-outages.php

The fact is that management at Metro has LET this happen.  Frankly, they should have taken steps in the ROCC decades ago, especially about the extra tricks the people were doing.  Operating a railroad takes attention to what’s going on and you aren’t attentive when you work a double trick all the time.  As for the operator/controller spats, that’s just inexcusable as is the ROCC staff never leaving the building and seeing the railroad.  Frankly things are going to get worse before they get better.

Rethinking Transit

A bus that I would WANT to ride in.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pioneering-non-ux-john-ferrigan

This is more of a limo service than public transit.  That’s OK. I think that such options should be available for people who can afford them and don’t want to drive themselves and don’t want to be crammed into the typical transit bus.  The fact is that when transit systems were run privately such options were available, at an extra cost to rider.  On most of the NYC railroads to the suburbs, for instance, groups would lease “club cars” for their members morning and evening commutes into and out of the city.  these cars were usually old parlor cars from mainline trains and had a clubby atmosphere, with many commuters not only taking the same train, but the same seat every day.  Here’s the most  famous of the cars, the V:XI GBC, which stood for 5:11. which was the train it was on Gentleman’s Bar Club.

https://penneyvanderbilt.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/bar-cars-end-of-an-era/

The club cars disappeared in the early 1970’s when they were retired and replaced with far more pedestrian M2 bar cars which lost the atmosphere of the old clubs because they were run by the state supported railroad and not as clubs.  Not to mention that the bar cars where on the toilet ends of the M2s and they never managed to remove the smell of the toilets from the trains for the entire lives of the M2.  That, and the fixed seats sort of killed the clubby atmosphere of the evening commute.

By making transit more egalitarian, maybe we’ve lost something.  When there are no aspirations for better service, the service runs down.  I wouldn’t want to repeat the bad old days of the 1970’s and we need to consider that unless, like these busses, good and comfortable transit options are not available people who can afford to drive won’t use them.  Which draws the transit down  to the lowest common denominator and loses it’s ability to improve the traffic situation and have people actually use to it’s maximum possibilities.