Category Archives: Regional Rail

Transit Observations from Philadelphia

I was in Philadelphia last summer for about five days. I have few observations as a pedestrian: I stayed in West Philadelphia, in the gentrifying zone radiating out of University City, and traveled to Center City, and both neighborhoods seemed … Continue reading

Posted in Pedestrian Observations, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 59 Comments

Metro-North-Everything Compatibility

The Regional Plan Association has a new study warning that Metro-North’s infrastructure is falling apart, and demands $3.6 billion in immediate spending on state of good repair. In general, my line on deferred maintenance is “you mean the agency deferred … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Good/Interesting Studies, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, New York, Regional Rail, Shoddy Studies, Studies, Transportation | 40 Comments

The Metro-North Accident and Train Control

Early in the morning on Sunday, a Metro-North train derailed on the Hudson Line, immediately south of the junction with Amtrak’s Empire Connection: maps of the derailment area can be found on the BBC, while The LIRR Today has a … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Incompetence, New York, Regional Rail, Transportation | 41 Comments

Who Regional Rail is For

A few rail proposals have happened in the last few months that begin with the concept of improving transit access in the suburbs, and end in a bad direction. These center on airport-oriented rail extension, which in the case of … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, New York, Regional Rail, Transportation | 48 Comments

Tel Aviv Needs a Subway, Done Right

After decades of false starts, Tel Aviv is finally building a subway-surface line. The political opinions of activists and urban planners in Israel are divided between supporters, who believe the line is long overdue, and opponents, who instead believe buses … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 29 Comments

Are Express Trains Worth It?

So, you have your urban rail line. It’s mostly above ground, so constructing new express overtakes is feasible. It has decent frequency, and carries trains to destinations at a variety of distances from city center. But it’s not an overcrowded … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Providence, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 93 Comments

Large-Diameter TBMs

Deep-level subway tunnels are usually built with tunnel-boring machines (TBMs), which can dig and create their own lining even under other infrastructure, such as older intersecting tunnels. But then deep-level stations require larger caverns, which are expensive to dig from … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Regional Rail, Transportation | 35 Comments

Comparative Subway Construction Costs, Revised

Here is a list of subway projects in the last 15-20 years, in both developed and developing countries. It’s in addition to my initial lists for developed and developing countries, but includes projects mentioned in past blog posts not on … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 42 Comments

Infrastructure and Democracy

Two stories, one recent and one older, have made me think about the undemocratic way the US builds infrastructure. The older story is California HSR’s cost overrun coming from scope creep; the biggest overruns were in the Bay Area, where … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation | 50 Comments

C-Shaped Lines

The ideal rapid transit line looks something like a straight line. It can have deviations, but on a map it will be more or less a line with a definitive direction. Most rapid transit lines are indeed linear, or failing … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 36 Comments