Friends of the QNS, the group that is pushing to reactivate the Long Island Rail Road’s Lower Montauk branch, is hosting an educational on the study from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at Finback Brewery in Glendale.
The group says that the 8.5-mile stretch of railway knowns as the QNS would relieve a long strip of transit deserts in western Queens. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority closed the LIRR track in 1998, due in part to low ridership. In the interim time, the tracks have served freight trains.
The proposed 10-station QNS rail, which runs from Jamaica Station through Glendale and Ridgewood to Court Street Station, would connect to the Queens Boulevard Line (E, F, M, R) as well as the L, M, J, Z subway lines and the LIRR.
The timing of project also coincides with the campaign for borough president by former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley–one of its key supporters. At the end of her tenure as councilwoman, she commissioned a feasibility study on the project, and she currently serves as a member of the Friends of QNS board.
The feasibility study argued not only that the rail line would affect 180,000 residents living within a 1/2 mile radius of it, but that it could do so cheaply and conveniently. Because the QNS trains would run on existing MTA-owned tracks, it says that the line could be improved immediately, without recourse eminent domain.
The feasibility study claims that the rail would cost $2.2 billion, which it claims is 90 percent cheaper per mile than the Second Avenue Subway line.