NEW YORK I Interborough Express (IBX)

The surprising return of the three-borough ‘X line’ subway

By Dana Rubinstein 10:08 a.m. | Apr. 25, 2012

To the surprise of the idea’s originators, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer earlier this month unearthed a dusty old proposal for a new subway line that would serve the outer boroughs.

“The X Line would connect all but three subway lines in the city and join Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, which no other line does today,” said Stringer, speaking to a room full of New York establishment types at a breakfast hosted by the Association for a Better New York.

Here’s why it’s not a pipe dream: The line is built entirely along existing rights of way,” said Stringer. “That means no tunneling, which is the biggest hurdle in this day and age to building new subways.”

Stringer’s championing of the X line took some transportation advocates (pleasantly) aback.

…The idea goes something like this.

There are, for the most part, existing freight tracks running from Bay Ridge up through Queens and across the Hell Gate Bridge into the Bronx. Freight traffic on those rails is light. And there is, theoretically, enough space alongside them to accommodate some form of commuter rail.

It doesn’t have to be a subway type car,” said Zupan. “It could be somewhat smaller, but still operate as a train with multiple cars.”

The train would run above ground and intersect with nearly every subway line in the city, avoiding Manhattan altogether.


Interesting proposal-- I think it banks on South Bronx and Broadway Junction to serve as destination points, both of which are areas in the pipeline for being redeveloped. This could also help out with the transportation situation in northern Astoria and for projects on Hallets Point. Astoria Cove would be a 15 min walk from the 21st Street ‘stop’ (if one were to be built).

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R.P.A. calls, again, for outer-borough X line

By Dana Rubinstein on February 10, 2015
The proposed X-line. (RPA)

The Regional Plan Association has a solution to New York City’s outer borough transportation problems: build the Triboro Rx line, or the X line as it is alternately known.

The proposed 24-mile route along a mostly above-ground right-of-way now used entirely by freight trains, would serve more than 100,000 weekday riders and is, according to the association, “by far the most promising” concept for rail expansion in the outer boroughs.

Passengers would board at one of 22 different stations stretching from the Bay Ridge in Brooklyn to Jackson Heights in Queens, to Co-Op City in the Bronx.

Along the way, it would intersect with 6, N, Q, 7, E, R, F, M, L, 2, 3, and 5 trains, providing just the sort of intra- and inter-borough connectivity now lacking in New York City’s radial, Manhattan-centric subway system. (The G train, which has substantially less connectivity to other lines, carries a similar number of passengers.)

“This line would address many of the weaknesses found in the transit system in the boroughs—poor connectivity within and between the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, slow bus service, excessive transferring and service reliability,” reads the report.

The R.P.A. could not provide a cost estimate for the project, though spokeswoman Wendy Pollack said that “it will cost substantially less than any other rail projects in the region, because the right of way is already there and it’s overground.”

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Announcement video:

The MTA has released a report:


New York City desperately needs a circular, or semi-circular rail route around it like this.

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now this definitely makes sense

Ugh, Queens. “We hate everything!”

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