What bottleneck am I talking about? The Jamaica bottleneck! The bottleneck includes the Jamaica station & the tracks entering & exiting the station. The Jamaica station is the Long Island Railroad’s second busiest station after Penn Station. The station serves 10 of the agency’s 11 branches. However it is woefully lacking a proper structure to handle the service it receives.
The basic layout to the Jamaica Station has not changed since it was built in 1913. Trains entering & leaving the station have to slow down to as much as 15mph while moving from one track to another. The current setup worries the Long Island Railroad as it might cause issues with their plans to send trains to Grand Central as part of the East Side Access plan.
The setup also frustrates many commuters & these facts have not been lost on Long Island Railroad President Helena Williams. She had this to say; “It’s the throat, and that’s the problem – the throat is too narrow. The level of frustration we get from our customers in regard to that slow crawl through Jamaica is something we need to address.”
The Long Island Rail Road Commuter’s Council Chairman Gerard Bringmann had this to say:
“Ten of our 11 branches run through Jamaica, yet it’s a bottleneck. Even though it’s the hub, it’s a bottleneck and really slows things down.”
The agency’s plan includes the following:
- Seek company submissions for a two year study to come up with ideas to fix the Jamaica bottleneck at an approximate cost of $7.2 million dollars
- Start a design phase that would last 18 months & cost approximately $15 – $30 million dollars
- Construction costs that could total anywhere from $200 – $350 million dollars & be complete by 2014
A Queens resident who posts on The Rider Diaries had this to say about the report:
“Great. bring even MORE construction to downtown Queens. not that WE benefit from it or anything. But i suppose it helps for all those ppl working on the east side? cuts out that transfer from the E/V to the 6 (while the 6 does come often enough during rush hour, to wait for a train for one stop to GCT – obnoxious) ”
I support anything that will get rid of the annoying crawling that occurs entering & leaving that station. I’ve been on many trains that took over 10 minutes to get in & out of that station. When you usually go through Jamaica, you swear that an extra 20 minutes was added on to your commute. The crawling is truly that bad! 2014 can’t come soon enough for commuters!