Hey, remember how the New York Islanders owners said that their new Belmont Park arena would require a full-time commuter rail station, and it turned out that would be somewhere between cost-prohibitive and physically impossible, and then lots of local elected officials said they wouldn’t approve the arena without a 24/7 train station? Surprise, surprise, New York state is now “expanding its environmental review to study the possibility of adding a full-time Long Island Rail Road station,” according to “sources” cited by Newsday. The paper continues:
No decision has been made about the new station’s location on the Main Line, sources said.
It is also unknown how much a new station would cost or how it would be financed.
That is a mighty large detail, considering that one (now former) MTA board member said a couple of months ago that building a full-time train station could cost as much as $300 million.
Of course, studying something isn’t the same as building something, so it’s entirely possible this is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s way of establishing a price tag (and degree of possibility) for such an undertaking, so that he can then say to local pols, “Look, this wouldn’t work, can’t I just give you some extra youth sports funding or something and make your objections go away?” The environmental review is supposed to be done by the end of June, so that doesn’t give the state a lot of time to explore its options; but then, this is a governor who reworked an entire multi-billion-dollar transit project that had been in the works for years on the advice of a few academic-honcho friends, so maybe he knows some good non-Euclidean mathematicians who can help out.
[UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: The Newsday article indicates that the new station under study would go on the main LIRR line, presumably between the Bellerose and Queens Village stops, not on the spur that leads directly to Belmont Park. But that would leave fans at least a half-mile walk from the new station to the new arena, which isn’t much less than the walk would be from the existing Queens Village station — and it would still be extremely expensive and involve difficult geometry (the Cross Island Parkway would get in the way, among other things). My money is still on this being a proof of bad concept, but we’ll see in a couple of months, maybe.]