<span class="caps">NYC</span> Trunk Line

NYC Trunk Line
uni­fy­ing the region

The ReThinkNYC Trunk Line estab­lishes a web of con­nec­tiv­ity between all of the region’s com­muter rail lines, sub­ways, bus­es, and light-rail. By unit­ing com­muter rail on a Trunk Line that runs along the North­east Cor­ri­dor, com­muters gain easy access to each of the four land mass­es that make up the NYC area.


What is NYC Trunk Line?


The NYC Trunk Line con­verts New York’s dis­parate region­al rail net­works into a uni­fied through-run­ning sys­tem mod­eled on Paris’s RER net­work. In Paris, they had a num­ber of com­muter rail lines that ter­mi­nat­ed at var­i­ous loca­tions inside Paris. They trans­formed this sys­tem into a sin­gle, uni­fied net­work. Commuter rail lines from the east were paired with those from the west and north with south. Today, trains race across Paris mak­ing numer­ous stops where rid­ers can trans­fer to oth­er com­muter or metro lines reach­ing their des­ti­na­tion more effi­cient­ly. Furthermore, it sim­pli­fied trav­el between sub­ur­ban regions.

New York already has most of the infra­struc­ture nec­es­sary to trans­form its com­muter rail into a RER-style through run­ning sys­tem. Although, rail lines are present­ly divid­ed between Grand Central, Hoboken and Penn Station, most already go into Penn and Penn Station sits in the mid­dle of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line between Washington and Boston. Therefore, the chal­lenge is to con­nect the dis­con­nect­ed lines into the Northeast Corridor and to build enough track capac­i­ty along this route to accom­mo­date all of the lines.

The ReThinkNYC Trunk Line plan solves this prob­lem by con­nect­ing the dis­con­nect­ed lines–Metro-North’s Hudson and Harlem Lines and New Jersey Transit’s Bergen County Lines–to the Northeast Corridor at Port Morris, the Bronx and Secaucus, NJ, respec­tive­ly.  To sup­port this increased train traf­fic, the plan adds two tracks between Sunnyside, Queens and Port Morris, the Bronx. Amtrak already plans to add two tracks between Newark, NJ and Penn Station New York with their Gateway pro­pos­al.  Together, the­se plans would cre­ate a four track trunk line that unit­ed all of the region’s rail lines togeth­er with four sta­tions along the route: Secaucus, Penn Station, Sunnyside and Port Morris.

Four Landmasses,

One City

There are four land mass­es that make up the New York City area: Manhattan, New Jersey, Long Island, and the Bronx.  The major trans­porta­tion hubs along the Trunk Line are locat­ed at each of the­se mass­es.  This makes it pos­si­ble for con­nec­tiv­i­ty between local, city-wide and region­al trans­porta­tion sys­tems.

The exist­ing sta­tions, Penn and Secaucus Junction, would work with two new sta­tions, Port Morris and Sunnyside, to fur­ther max­i­mize con­nec­tiv­i­ty to the Bronx and Queens. Sunnyside would be adja­cent to the Queens Plaza sub­way stop.  The Port Morris Station would be locat­ed at the south­ern tip of the Bronx where rides will be able to trans­fer between the Harlem and Hudson lines (before they branch off at 142nd Street) and the pro­posed Second Avenue Subway (Q) exten­sion.  Additionally, LaGuardia Airport would be con­nect­ed via an air­train. The Trunk Line sta­tions would also be con­nect­ed to expan­sive light rail and bus net­works.

Penn Station

Penn Station’s con­ges­tion and capac­ity lim­i­ta­tions large­ly stem from how the sta­tion oper­ates. It is real­ly three sta­tions in one: a ter­mi­nal for Long Island Rail­road (LIRR) from the east, a ter­mi­nal for NJTran­sit from the west, and a through-sta­tion for Amtrak. Ter­mi­nals are inef­fi­cient, and at Penn it is not uncom­mon for trains to wait 10 min­utes before enter­ing a plat­form; nor is it uncom­mon for a 10-min­ute line of pas­sen­gers to clus­ter around the esca­la­tor access to a plat­form. These delays are so ubiq­ui­tous that they are now built into sched­ules.

The ReThinkNYC plan solves the­se prob­lems by mov­ing Penn’s ter­mi­nal func­tions to Port Morris, the Bronx (NJT and Amtrak) and Secaucus, NJ (LIRR). Widening plat­forms and adding ver­ti­cal access to Moynihan Station with addi­tion­al­ly alle­vi­ate the all-too com­mon chaos for pas­sen­gers trans­fer­ring at Penn Station.

ReThink Studio pro­pos­es estab­lish­ing Penn Station as a through-run­ning sta­tion. The increased effi­cien­cy that this brings will in turn raise the station’s capac­i­ty.

This would also cor­re­spond to track-lev­el recon­fig­u­ra­tion that would widen Penn’s plat­forms by extend­ing each plat­form over one of the two tracks that abut it. This alter­ation pro­vides two ben­e­fits: the pro­ce­dure does not require re-lay­ing tracks, which will expe­dite the con­struc­tion process, and with a sin­gle track between each pair of plat­forms, pas­sen­gers will be able to load and unload on both sides of the train, fur­ther increas­ing effi­cien­cy (sim­i­lar to the 33rd St. PATH sta­tion).

Furthermore, the expan­sion of Penn Station’s func­tions into Moynihan Station across 8th Ave. pro­vides a rare oppor­tu­ni­ty to increase much-need­ed ver­ti­cal cir­cu­la­tion to the tracks. Penn’s new plat­forms will also be wide enough to bring four bi-direc­tional esca­la­tors to the plat­form at each access point, alle­vi­at­ing the bot­tle­neck to get on and off tracks that cur­rent­ly plagues the sta­tion.

Penn Station is already one of the busiest sta­tions in New York. However, because NJT, LIRR, nd some Amtrak lines ter­mi­nate at Penn, much of its con­ges­tion is a pro­duct of lim­it­ed trans­fer oppor­tu­ni­ties. For most com­muters, no oth­er sta­tion pro­vides the pos­si­bil­i­ty to trans­fer between com­muter rail and sub­ways.

The NYC Trunk Line will improve ser­vice at Penn Station by both expand­ing it to include Metro North lines, and by open­ing oth­er down­town long-dis­tance and com­muter rail sta­tions. While some new com­muters will be brought into Penn by increased acces­si­bil­i­ty, oth­ers will ben­e­fit from the expand­ed com­muter rail ser­vice, bypass­ing Penn all togeth­er.

Adja­cent to Penn Sta­tion, con­struc­tion is under­way to trans­form the Far­ley Build­ing into Moyni­han Sta­tion, which is cur­rent­ly slat­ed to be lit­tle more than an exten­sion of Penn Sta­tion for Amtrak oper­a­tions. Phase one will be com­pleted in 2016 and the plan includes adding two entrances and addi­tional stair­cases to some of Amtrak’s exist­ing plat­forms at Penn Sta­tion. Phase two will con­sist of a new train hall with­in a ful­ly ren­o­vated Far­ley Build­ing.

The ReThinkNYC plan instead max­i­mizes Moyni­han Station’s poten­tial by extend­ing all of Penn’s plat­forms west and under Moyni­han, which will allow for plat­forms 1 and 2 to be short­ened on the east side in order to con­nect the stub-end tracks into the inter­lock­ing.

The first phase of Amtrak’s Gateway Project — a four track right-of-way between Newark, NJ and Penn Station, and two tun­nels below the Hudson River — will relieve a major bot­tle­neck along the Northeast Corridor, the Project’s sec­ond phase will cre­ate one. Amtrak cur­rent­ly pro­pos­es a new sev­en-track ter­mi­nal sta­tion in Manhattan, a new NJT ter­mi­nal annex called “Penn Sta­tion South.” For Penn Sta­tion South to be built, how­ever, Amtrak will first have to acquire an entire block of pri­vate devel­op­ment just south of the exist­ing sta­tion and demol­ish sev­eral build­ings, includ­ing St. John the Bap­tist Church, which was built in 1872.

Not only does Penn Sta­tion South demol­ish the urban fab­ric of the neigh­bor­hood, but it also destroys the pos­si­bil­ity of cre­at­ing a region­al rail sys­tem for New York. At a time when cities around the world are eschew­ing ter­mi­nals for through-run­ning trains, New York is mov­ing for­ward on an ill-con­ceived plan to build yet anoth­er ter­mi­nal.

Secaucus Junction

Because of its unique loca­tion sur­rounded by lega­cy rail lines, ReThink Stu­dio envi­sions Secau­cus Junc­tion as a major trans­porta­tion hub for rail access with­in New Jersey, to NYC, and through­out the region. The New Jersey coast has seen a lot of devel­op­ment in recent years, but with­out ade­quate access to rail, devel­op­ments are dis­con­nect­ed, which stymies fur­ther growth. The ReThinkNYC pro­posal cor­rects this through a major rail sta­tion at Secaucus Junction, a light rail sys­tem that makes use of an abun­dance of aban­doned right-of-way through­out east­ern New Jersey.

As the south ter­mi­nal of the NYC Trunk Line, Secaucus Junction is poised to become a major trans­porta­tion hub in the NY region, espe­cial­ly because of its close prox­im­i­ty to a mul­ti­tude of tran­sit lines that serve NJ and parts of Manhattan. With the com­ple­tion of Amtrak’s Gateway Project, through-run­ning LIRR and Metro North trains will ter­mi­nate at Secaucus Junction. The com­ple­tion of the Secaucus Loop will make it pos­si­ble to bring all NJ Transit lines through Penn Station and into the region­al tran­sit sys­tem.Furthermore, cross-plat­form access to the Northeast Corridor and NYC Trunk Line will give pas­sen­gers access to oth­er des­ti­na­tions in the region.

A New Port Authority Bus Terminal will provide a trans­fer point between bus and rail before the bot­tle­neck of the Lincoln Tunnel. This will save time and resources for PABT and pas­sen­gers alike. The exten­sion of PATH and the 7 sub­way to Secaucus will provide increased access to Lower and Midtown Manhattan.

Secaucus Junction will thus­ly become a robust hub for fre­quent trans­fers into and out of NYC. Furthermore, with the expan­sion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, Secaucus Junction will also become a cen­tral sta­tion for intra-NJ tran­sit.

Secaucus Junction will be the nexus of many train lines: Amtrak, NJ Transit, LIRR, and Metro North along the Northeast Corridor, and extend­ed HBLR line, a PATH exten­sion, and a 7 sub­way train exten­sion. A new Port Authority Bus Terminal will provide the­se trans­fers for bus­es exit­ing from the high­way.

The improved con­nec­tiv­i­ty at Secaucus Junction brings ben­e­fits both to pas­sen­gers trav­el­ing to and from NYC, and to rid­ers trav­el­ing with­in New Jersey.

The Secau­cus Junc­tion sta­tion sits right where the Main Line tracks pass under the North­east Cor­ri­dor, cre­at­ing an oppor­tu­nity for pas­sen­gers to trans­fer between trains to and from Hobo­ken Ter­mi­nal bound trains and New York Penn Sta­tion bound trains. The sta­tion will pro­vide much-need­ed New York City-access to NJ Transit’s Pas­cack Val­ley Line, Main Line, Bergen County Line, and Metro-North’s Port Jervis Line. With the con­struc­tion of a cross-plat­form sta­tion at Secaucus Junction, the­se trains, as well as Amtrak trains and oth­er NY com­muter lines will stop at Secau­cus, great­ly improv­ing trans­porta­tion with­in New Jersey, to NYC, and to oth­er parts of the region.

By extend­ing the 7 sub­way train, direct access to Manhattan and Grand Central Terminal will be pos­si­ble. This hub will provide access as well to a new Port Authority Bus Terminal, an extend­ed 7 sub­way line, and an extend­ed PATH line. The estab­lish­ment of this hub will make a new Port Authority Bus Terminal more use­ful as a trans­fer point between bus­es and rail before the bus­es reach the bot­tle­neck of the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels to Manhattan.

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail runs between Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, and Union City. By using aban­doned rail lines, New Jersey’s light-rail sys­tem can be devel­oped into a net­work that is ful­ly inte­grat­ed with com­muter rail, sub­way, and bus.

The ReThinkNYC plan includes extend­ing light rail to Staten Island, Bergen County, and Secaucus Junction. Therefore, res­i­dents of North Jersey and Staten Island will have access to a light rail net­work that pro­vides con­nec­tions to busi­ness­es dis­tricts and Secaucus Junction the region­al tran­sit hub for New Jersey.

ReThink Studio’s pro­pos­al for NJ Light Rail will be pub­lished in 2017.

The pri­ma­ry access point for bus­es going to the PABT is through the Lincoln Tunnel, which cre­ates a direct link between Midtown Manhattan and New Jersey. Over the next few decades, Port Authority expects both rid­er­ship and bus ser­vice to increase by 30%. However, the Lincoln Tunnel is already oper­at­ing at capac­i­ty and the Port Authority has no plans to con­struct any new tun­nels into Manhattan.

In the same way that the Hudson River rail tun­nel is a major bot­tle­neck for trains access­ing Penn Station, the Lincoln Tunnel is a major bot­tle­neck for the thou­sands of bus­es going to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal each day.

To alle­vi­ate this choke-point and provide addi­tion­al capac­i­ty to han­dle future pro­ject­ed rid­er­ship, ReThinkNYC pro­pos­es that a small­er bus ter­mi­nal is con­struct­ed in Midtown Manhattan on the exist­ing site and a new bus ter­mi­nal is built into an expand­ed Secaucus Junction.

With this con­fig­u­ra­tion, most bus­es will be redi­rect­ed to Secaucus with the inten­tion of reduc­ing vehic­u­lar con­ges­tion by get­ting com­muters onto rail before reach­ing Manhattan. Furthermore, some bus­es will still provide direct ser­vice to Midtown Manhattan, but can also be redi­rect­ed to Secaucus in the event of traf­fic grid­lock at the Lincoln Tunnel.

At Secaucus, bus rid­ers will be able to trans­fer onto com­muter rail, sub­way, and light rail that will con­nect to Jersey City, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.

For com­muters between NJ and NYC, lim­it­ed cross-Hudson River sub­way ser­vice means 3- and 4- seat rides are com­mon, as few sta­tions link the two land mass­es. However, an exten­sion of the PATH train along an exist­ing right-of-way to Secaucus Junction and an exten­sion of the 7 sub­way train to Secaucus Junction will alle­vi­ate much of this inef­fi­cien­cy. While extend­ing the PATH will provide a new link from Secaucus to Lower Manhattan, the 7 train will offer addi­tion access to Midtown and new access to Grand Central Terminal.

With the com­ple­tion of the hub and the estab­lish­ment of addi­tion­al NJ Transit stops at Secaucus Junction, the fre­quent ser­vice to Manhattan via NYC sub­way and PATH will become increas­ing­ly nec­es­sary to car­ry pas­sen­gers to mul­ti­ple Manhattan des­ti­na­tions.

PATH (cyan), 7 sub­way (pur­ple), Amtrak (blue), HBLR (orange) con­verge at Secaucus sta­tion, pro­vid­ing flex­i­ble and fre­quent ser­vice to Manhattan.

Sunnyside Station

Sunnyside Station will be the cor­ner­stone of a larg­er plan to trans­form the neigh­bor­hood into a new high-den­sity office dis­trict. The sta­tion will be ser­viced by long-dis­tance and com­muter rail, sub­way, local bus­es, and a new Brooklyn/Queens Light Rail Network. By mov­ing Sunnyside’s rai­l­yard to the Bronx, it will be pos­si­ble to imple­ment through-run­ning in Sunnyside and to con­struct a new 280-acre Central Park in Queens around the sta­tion. The park, the tran­sit hub, and rezon­ing will spur the devel­op­ment of res­i­den­tial and office space in the sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hood. The park will also provide space for a relo­cat­ed Madison Square Garden – an insti­tu­tion that has his­tor­i­cally been moved with the growth of the City to new dis­tricts.

The con­nec­tiv­i­ty of Sunnyside Station stems from the prox­im­i­ty of the Northeast Corridor and a num­ber of sub­way lines. With the estab­lish­ment of the NYC Trunk Line, Sunnyside will provide com­muter rail access to NJ Transit, Metro North, LIRR, and Amtrak. The con­ver­gence of sev­en sub­way lines brings the con­nec­tiv­i­ty of mid­town to Queens.

With a new bus sta­tion and a light-rail sys­tem, Sunnyside Station will provide access not just to Manhattan and the region but with­in Brooklyn and Queens. This kind of con­nec­tiv­i­ty, unprece­dent­ed in Queens, will stim­u­late the devel­op­ment of hous­ing and office space, alle­vi­at­ing the sev­ere short­age of both that afflicts the core of New York.

A major com­po­nent of this trans­porta­tion net­work is ReThink Studio’s pro­pos­al for a Brooklyn/Queens Light Rail Network, to be announced in August 2016.

Sunnyside, Queens is cur­rent­ly an under­uti­lized neigh­bor­hood with a mas­sive rail yard seg­re­gat­ing the area from Long Island City, Astoria, and the water­front. As part of the rail yard, the Northeast Corridor tra­vers­es right through Queens, but the clos­est stop is at Penn Station in Manhattan.

The ReThinkNYC plan includes an inter­modal trans­porta­tion hub to be built in Sunnyside, which will provide con­nec­tions between long-dis­tance rail, com­muter rail, sub­way, light rail, and bus.

Unlike oth­er pro­pos­als for Sun­ny­side, the ReThinkNYC plan would not allow for com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment on top of the site itself. Instead, the exist­ing low-den­sity com­mer­cial areas adja­cent to Sun­ny­side would rede­velop over time by rezon­ing the area for high-den­sity, mixed-use devel­op­ment. Thus, an oppor­tu­nity is cre­ated to extend com­mer­cial indus­try from Mid­town Man­hat­tan across the East River and solve the hous­ing and com­mer­cial office space dual-crises.

Port Morris / LGA

Port Mor­ris Sta­tion will be the north ter­mi­nal for the NYC Trunk Line. The sta­tion, locat­ed in the south Bronx, will be a region­al mass tran­sit hub for the north land­mass of New York State and Con­necti­cut. The station’s site and con­text accom­mo­date con­nec­tions to NYC, LGA Airport, along the NYC Trunk Line and Northeast Corridor, and along local bus routes. With the com­ple­tion of the sta­tion, an adja­cent con­ven­tion cen­ter, and sup­port­ing devel­op­ment, Port Morris will encour­age oth­er growth in the South Bronx, both across the Bruckner Expressway and along its water­front.

With a widen­ing of the Hell’s Gate bridge just south of Port Morris, the NYC Trunk Line will extend into Port Morris, its north­ern ter­mi­nal and rai­l­yard. The sta­tion at Port Morris would provide cross-plat­form trans­fers between the NYC sub­way, com­muter rail, a new LGA air­train, and Amtrak. The maxed-out rai­l­yard would fit over 114 trains, replac­ing over­crowd­ed Sunnyside Yards. As part of the pro­pos­al for Port Morris, La Guardia Airport will be con­nect­ed with the new rail sta­tion via an under­ground air­train. With rail access to LGA, pas­sen­gers trav­el­ing by air will not only be able to access NYC, but also long-dis­tance and com­muter rail lines, and bus­es.

With local and long-dis­tance con­nec­tiv­i­ty and air­port access to an expand­ed LGA Airport, ReThinkNYC pro­posed a con­ven­tion cen­ter at Port Morris to replace the Javits Convention Center. Auxillary devel­op­ment around the sta­tion and a link across the Bruckner Expressway would also spur growth in the South Bronx neigh­bor­hoods to the north of Port Morris.

The com­plex will offer free trans­fers between Amtrak long-dis­tance rail, com­muter rail, the NYC Sub­way, local and region­al bus routes, as well as LaGuardia Air­port. Addi­tion­ally, Port Mor­ris Sta­tion will fea­ture a park-and-ride facil­ity, mak­ing it one of the most con­nected tran­sit hubs in coun­try.

Port Mor­ris is the best loca­tion for the end of the NYC trunk line because it is at this loca­tion that the Metro-North Harlem & Hud­son Lines can be linked into the North­east Cor­ri­dor. Con­struct­ing the new con­nec­tion will only require reac­ti­vat­ing an aban­doned right-of-way and con­struct­ing a two short tun­nels. NYC-bound Metro-North ser­vice will ter­mi­nate at Secau­cus and Grand Cen­tral Sta­tion, cre­at­ing a more resilient and robust trans­porta­tion sys­tem.

Con­struct­ing a new sta­tion and rail yard at Port Mor­ris is nec­es­sary because the exist­ing rail yard at Sun­ny­side, Queens is at capac­ity and is not able to be expand­ed.

As a major region­al trans­porta­tion hub, Port Mor­ris Sta­tion will have the unique advan­tage of poten­tially trans­form­ing LaGuardia, New York City’s least acces­si­ble air­port, into one of the most acces­si­ble air­ports in the United States. Such a trans­for­ma­tion will be as easy as con­struct­ing an air­train shut­tle from Port Mor­ris Sta­tion, under the East River, and into the exist­ing LaGuardia Air­port or an expand­ed LaGuardia, as part of ReThink Studio’s pro­pos­al to ReThink LGA.

In January 2012, Governor Cuomo pro­posed relo­cat­ing the Javits Convention Center to a new 3.8M square foot facil­i­ty on the site of the Aqueduct Raceway in Queens.  This would have offered 3 mil­lion more square feet of exhi­bi­tion space than Javits. But it was not to be. The site in Queens was con­sid­ered unac­cept­able.  Although it was close to JFK, it was close to lit­tle else and six months lat­er the idea was scrapped.

The ReThinkNYC plan adopts Governor Cuomo’s pro­pos­al to relo­cate the Javits Center and builds off the idea by plac­ing the new facil­i­ty adja­cent to Port Morris Station. This loca­tion is just across the river from Manhattan and would be con­nect­ed to Midtown via three sub­way lines and sev­er­al com­muter rail lines. The site is also a quick dri­ve up the FDR.

Conventioneers could arrive by air, train, sub­way, car or even fer­ry.  The new com­plex would include inte­grat­ed hotels, restau­rants and a shop­ping mall. The com­bi­na­tion of all of the­se ameni­ties pro­vides a valu­able syn­er­gy not only for con­ven­tion­eers, but also for air pas­sen­gers in tran­sit, peo­ple from near­by neigh­bor­hoods, and com­muters as well.

As part of the ReThinkNYC pro­pos­al for the Bronx, a new and improved local bus sys­tem will oper­ate with Port Morris Station being the pri­ma­ry trans­porta­tion hub for the net­work. The major­i­ty of bus routes will begin at Port Morris Station and fol­low a radi­al align­ment into the Bronx and upper Manhattan. The new hub-and-spoke bus sys­tem will be designed with con­sid­er­able empha­sis placed on con­nec­tions with com­muter rail and sub­way lines.

Connecting Subways to Trunk Line Hubs

Expanding the New York City Subway sys­tem is no easy task, with most projects nev­er com­ing to fruition and oth­ers tak­ing decades to com­plete. Thus, it is impor­tant that any sub­way expan­sion project is designed to be com­pat­i­ble with a region­al rail net­work and not become a “sub­way to nowhere.”

The ReThinkNYC plan adopts cur­rent and his­tor­i­cal sub­way pro­pos­als and mod­i­fies each one so that the sub­way is inte­grat­ed with long-dis­tance rail, com­muter rail, and the local bus net­work.

MTA’s SAS Phase Two Plan

The first phase of the MTA’s Sec­ond Avenue Sub­way (SAS) project is the exten­sion of the Q train from 57th Street and 7th Avenue to 96th Street and 2nd avenue. A con­nec­tion is added to the F at 63rd Street and Lexington/3rd Avenue. New stops include 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street.

Present plans for phase two (not yet fund­ed) of the project would extend this line north to 125th Street and Lex­ing­ton where rid­ers could trans­fer to the 4/5/6 trains or Metro-North lines.

1968 MTA Proposal

As part of the MTA’s 1968 plan, the Sec­ond Avenue Sub­way would go into the Bronx and trav­el along the North­east Cor­ri­dor right-of-way. At East 180th Street, the line would con­tinue along the Eastchester/Dyre Avenue Branch of the 5 train, replac­ing the present 5 train ser­vice.

Four track sub­way.  Two tracks con­tin­u­a­tion of the Q train, two express tracks going to low­er Manhattan.

Dyre Avenue Branch (two tracks)

Coop City Branch (two tracks)

At Port Mor­ris, rid­ers would be able to step across the plat­form to trans­fer between the A/Q sub­ways and Metro-North’s Harlem, Hud­son and New Haven Lines Lines. This ser­vice would be sim­i­lar to the trans­fer at Penn Sta­tion Newark, where rail pas­sen­gers can trans­fer across the plat­form to a PATH sub­way. Future smart­phone-based fare col­lec­tion promis­es to fur­ther sim­plify this trans­fer.

This con­nec­tion would reduce pas­sen­ger traf­fic at Penn Sta­tion and Grand Cen­tral, as well as traf­fic on the 4/5/6 sub­way lines. It would also allow the­se com­muters to take a sin­gle sub­way to get to near­ly all areas of low­er Man­hat­tan.

ReThinkNYC pro­pose cre­at­ing a new branch of the A train extend­ing across 125th Street. Addi­tional sta­tions would be built to con­nect to the 2/3 at Mal­colm X blvd and at Park/Lexington to con­nect to Metro-North and the 4/5/6 lines. After this the line would con­tinue east to join with the Sec­ond Avenue Sub­way en route to the Bronx.

At East 180th Street, rid­ers will have the option to trans­fer across the plat­form to a 2/5 train lead­ing to 241 Street/Wakefield before con­tin­u­ing on the Eastchester/Dyre Avenue branch, which will be con­verted from 5 train ser­vice to A/Q.

These changes to the Sec­ond Avenue Sub­way will make it the “sub­way to every­where” –mean­ing, it gives rid­ers on the A/Q/T lines a sin­gle seat ride to a glob­al air­port. Fur­ther­more, the pro­posal will relieve over­crowd­ing on the 2/5 sub­way lines by direct­ing many of the­se com­muters to the less crowd­ed (and phys­i­cally larg­er) A/Q/T trains.

By extend­ing the 7 Train from its present ter­mi­nus at 34th Street – Hud­son Yards to Secau­cus Junc­tion via a new tun­nel under the Hud­son River, New Jer­sey com­muters will have the abil­ity to trans­fer onto the New York City Sub­way before reach­ing the Penn Sta­tion bot­tle­neck. Extend­ing the 7 Train will not only cre­ate a stronger link between New Jer­sey, Man­hat­tan, and Queens, but it will also pro­vide a direct con­nec­tion between Grand Cen­tral Sta­tion and the North­east Cor­ri­dor at Secau­cus.

New Construction Detailed

New York already has the infra­struc­ture for a through-run­ning trunk line— the Northeast Corridor—which runs through the City from New Jersey, into Manhattan (via Penn Station), Queens, and the Bronx before con­tin­u­ing towards New Haven.

ReThinkNYC pro­pos­es using the Northeast Corridor Right of way as the NYC Trunkline for a through run­ning-ser­vice, that would serve all the region’s rail lines. It would begin at Secaucus, NJ where NJ Transit’s Bergen lines would join (via Secaucus Loop pro­pos­al), and end at Port Morris, the Bronx, where Metro-North’s Harlem and Hudson lines would be con­nect­ed (via an aban­doned line and a new short tun­nel). Rail yards would need to be built at each end. Amtrak’s Gateway tun­nel pro­pos­al would upgrade most of this route to four tracks.

The ReThinkNYC Trunk Line is an expan­sion of Amtrak’s Gateway Program beyond Penn Station to Queens and the Bronx.  This image shows the com­ple­men­tary con­nec­tiv­i­ty that the NYC Trunk Line would provide.

The ReThinkNYC Trunk Line aims to improve upon Amtrak’s Gateway pro­gram by uni­fy­ing the region’s trans­porta­tion net­work.

The fol­low­ing sheets detail the improve­ments to the Northeast Corridor required to build the NYC Trunk Line. This work would be in addi­tion to Amtrak’s Hudson River Tunnels, but would replace Amtrak’s Penn Station South ter­mi­nal pro­pos­al and the Port Authority’s new Manhattan Bus Terminal pro­pos­al.

Metro-North’s Hudson and Harlem lines would be con­nect­ed to the Northeast Corridor at the Bronx using an aban­doned rail­road right of way, the Port Morris branch and two short tun­nels.

This draw­ing detail how the­se lines would be con­nect­ed to the Port Morris branch.

This draw­ing shows the new sta­tion at Port Morris, which would serve as a ter­mi­nal for NJ Transit and Amtrak trains as well as a through sta­tion for Metro-North lines.

The 114 track capa­ble rail yard would replace Sunnyside Yards and would be decked over.  This new infra­struc­ture and con­nec­tiv­i­ty would trans­form the Port Morris neigh­bor­hood.

Also show is the con­nec­tion to Metro-North’s Harlem and Hudson lines via the Port Morris branch.

The Trunk Line hub at Port Morris would be con­nect­ed to the Second Avenue Subway (Q) and a new branch of the (A) that would run across 125th Street with new sta­tions at Lenox Ave (2/3 trans­fer) and Park/Lexington (Metro-North/4/5/6/ trans­fer).

The Second Avenue Subway (Q) and the new branch of the (A) would con­tin­ue north after Port Morris along the Northeast Corridor.  They would branch off just before East 180th Street Station to replace the (5) Dyre Avenue line.  This would restore the orig­i­nal route of the Boston and Westchester Railroad. This was an impor­tant part of the 1968 Second Avenue Subway pro­pos­al dur­ing the Lindsay Administration.

After Sunnyside, the Northeast Corridor con­tin­ues along an exist­ing via­duct towards Port Morris. This line present­ly sup­ports two pas­sen­ger rail tracks, but has the capac­i­ty to sup­port four.  This would involve addi­tion­al tracks, widen­ing the embank­ment just after Sunnyside Yards.

Connecting Metro-North’s Harlem and Hudson lines via the aban­doned Port Morris branch will require a new via­duct adja­cent to the exist­ing one on Randall’s Island that descends at a steep­er slope (2% instead of 1.5%).

Sunnyside Station would be 16 tracks on the upper lev­el and 4 low­er lev­el tracks (East Side Access to Grand Central).

Included in this plan is a new light rail sta­tion and 7 line sub­way stop.  Additional sub­way ser­vice would be con­nect­ed via the exist­ing E/M/R ser­vice at Queens Plaza and N/W ser­vice at Queensboro Plaza.

Sunnyside park would replace the Sunnyside Yards, which are being moved to Port Morris.

Penn Station improve­ments would trans­form Penn Station into a through-sta­tion with wider plat­forms.  A rail over­pass between the West Side Yard track and the south­ern half of Penn Station along with the Amtrak’s pro­posed Gateway tun­nels would make through-run­ning pos­si­ble.

The sta­tion is designed to be New Jersey’s answer to Times Square.

Secaucus would be the ter­mi­nus for Long Island Railroad, Metro-North Service and new 7 train ser­vice.  To do this, the sta­tion would great­ly expand­ed and a rail yard added.

In addi­tion, the new Secaucus would also include a new Port Authority Bus Terminal, PATH Service, and Hudson Bergen Light Rail Service.  All of the con­nec­tions to the­se new ser­vices are shown in the draw­ing.

ReThink Studio

ReThink Studio