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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park infographics: what's built/what's coming/what's missing, who's responsible, + project FAQ/timeline (pinned post)

Long-delayed East Side Access coming in December, increasing but complicating LIRR service to Brooklyn. So Vanderbilt Yard delays weren't fatal.

So, East Side Access is coming, way late, allowing Long Island Rail Road access to midtown Manhattan, near Grand Central Station, to what is now dubbed Grand Central Madison, a new terminal along Madison Avenue between 43rd and 48th streets.

It's expected to debut in December. And that will both increase LIRR service to Brooklyn by 28%--potentially a boon for Barclays Center--but also complicate it, since almost all trains between Jamaica and Brooklyn will be shuttles, requiring a transfer at Jamaica.

The delays, in a sense, were favorable for the developers of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, since they were able to extend the deadline for delivering an upgrade Vanderbilt Yard, used to store and service LIRR trains, without that jeopardizing East Side Access. 

The permanent railyard didn't start, as promised, by 6/30/12, with completion 9/1/16. Original developer Forest City Ratner got an extension; But the MTA said delays in East Side Access meant the new railyard wouldn't be needed until at least 2019. That was three years off

The work on the railyard did get done. As I reported 5/12/21, Scott Solish op Greenland USA said the final track work planned had been completed and reviewed by the LIRR, which might have to make "some final adjustments." He said they had not received the official Final Completion notice yet. (I'm don't recall if it's come up at subsequent meetings.)

Access to Brooklyn

In a 6/18/22 article, LIRR East Side access will complicate commute to Brooklyn, Newsday reported that the new Manhattan service means commuters to Brooklyn will lose nearly all direct trips and, with transfer, required to go not merely across the platform but rather use the pedestrian overpass to a new south-side Platform F to access Brooklyn.

Shuttle trains will run every 12 to 20 minutes, stopping westbound at East New York, Nostrand Avenue, and Atlantic Terminal. As Newsday noted, while the LIRR "says the new shuttle trains will boost Brooklyn service by 28%, riders say the inconvenient transfer could add several minutes to their commute, and be especially burdensome for riders with disabilities."

Given concerns, the LIRR has kept four direct trains to Brooklyn on weekday mornings, while today there are 20 trains. 

Long delays

In  MTA officials for years misled the public about delays, cost overruns in long-stalled project to bring LIRR to Grand Central, the Daily News reported 10/16/22 that the $12.7 billion project was "more than a decade behind its original schedule and more than four times over its original budget."

Moreover, for years the MTA---astoundingly--kept three sets of books, one for internal use, another for the funding agency Federal Transit Administration, and another for the MTA board.

The major source for the Daily News article is a former executive who left in November 2009. The MTA in the article noted that, under the realm of Janno Lieber, the MGA did ensure the project would open this year.

In response, the MTA issued a statement sayindg the article "seeks to transfer the failures of previous leaders to a current MTA administration that has stuck exactly to the schedule and budget laid out when the project was turned around more than four years ago."

"The completion of this project delivers game-changing benefits for Long Islanders – doubling tunnel capacity, opening the first eight-track terminal in the United States in half a century, and most important, allowing service to be increased by 40%," the MTA said. "The failures that took place 13-20 years ago, under governors three times removed from the current administration, should not distract from these historic achievements."