Albany Fantasy Map

Albany, a city of more than 100,000 people and the capitol of New York lacks any rapid transit or commuter rail at all. Even Amtrak doesn’t serve Albany, instead stopping across the Hudson River in Rensslaer. Like the previous networks, this would be a light metro system, similar in some ways to the REM network in Montreal.

A chunk of the network (Upper Washington Ave to Albany) utilizes a 4 mile downtown tunnel, which allows for extremely frequent service in downtown Albany. While this tunnel is longer than tunnels I’ve used for longer projects, and at current construction costs would be an incredibly expensive feat, its pretty much the only way to serve downtown. (The existing tracks don’t serve many major population clusters)

That being said, none of the other parts of the network utilize any major tunnels – its all elevated and at-grade.

Line A1 is the shortest of the 4 lines, running from Buckingham Lane south of Downtown Albany past Russel Sage College and the Albany Medical Center before merging with the rest of the lines at Washington Park. After it diverges from the rest of the lines after Albany, (ideally where Amtrak would also stop) it runs south through Rennslaer, past one of the 3 University at Albany campuses that this network serves.

Line A2 is, by far, the longest line on this network; the diagrammatic map doesn’t nearly do it justice. Starting in Schenectady, it runs southwest paralleling an existing railroad right of way until the University at Albany stop. (from my understanding, this doesn’t have a campus name) Then, it runs the entire length of the downtown tunnel, diverging from A3 after Simmons Lane to service the neighborhoods east of the Hudson River (mostly Troy). This is also the bit of the line where I made some weird decisions to (hopefully) avoid most property acquisition while still serving the Hudson Valley Community College.

Line A3 runs from Albany International Airport, elevated above Central Ave, before diving into the central tunnel in the median of Route 85. The entire northern section of the line follows an existing right of way up to Waterford, running through the western edge of Watervilet and Cohoes on its way.

Finally, A4 runs from the Airport up to Latham Farms. The main purpose of this line is to fill in some of the service gaps of the network in Loudonville and Latham that were pretty apparent, as well as providing a faster route from the Airport to Downtown. This line (on the independent parts) would run completely at grade, utilizing existing right of ways and highway routes to lower costs of the route.

Despite being very branch-crazy, I’m super happy with how this network turned out. Plus, I think this is one of the best looking diagrams yet.

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