Syracuse Fantasy Map

Syracuse Fantasy Map

As requested by @bazeblackwood on Twitter, here’s my take on a Syracuse Subway Network.

Syracuse, a city of 150,000, currently lacks any form of rapid transit. Luckily, Syracuse will receive a BRT system, which will run a line from Onondaga Community College up to Eastwood, and a line from Syracuse University to Northside, crossing in downtown Syracuse.

Still, I wanted to design a full subway network for the city, as a way of imagining what one could look like. This continues the trend of me making these networks extraordinarily expansive, yet using somewhat realistic corridors to dense parts of Syracuse.

The first thing I want to note on the map is a new commuter rail line: Salt City Express, which runs from Utica, NY to Geneva, NY, passing through downtown Syracuse on a new right of way, which would allow Amtrak and the new commuter rail offering to serve downtown Syracuse instead of a station all the way over near Destiny USA. The other new right of way the line uses is in Rome, where it uses Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern Railroad (MA&N) trackage to serve downtown, instead of the existing station across the Rome Canal (I think that what its called? Google maps won’t tell me…)

Line S1 (which looks strangely similar to the DC Metro Red Line) runs from Baldwinville, down an existing right of way – but with new tracks – to just after Science Museum. From there, it either heads into a tunnel, or onto an elevated line over Harrison St, serving the northern edge of Syracuse University, and the SUNY upstate medical university. Just after Walnut Ave, it heads onto an elevated line above Beech and Lodi Streets as it heads towards Destiny USA and the NBT Bank Stadium. From there, its all existing right of way until North Liverpool

Line S2 is the main east-west line of the network, running from Camillus to Le Moyne college via downtown. The western portion of this line from Camillus runs parallel to the existing Finger Lakes Railroad (FL) right of way until North Fairmount, before using a short at-grade section parallel to Hwy 5 until Westvale, then running elevated above Genesee St until Tipperary Hill. The section from Clinton Sq to Sedgewick, like the section over Harrison St (S1) has the option of being elevated or tunneled. The google mymap shows the slight rerouting that would be needed to make the elevated line possible, but basically: the line would pop out just past S Warren St, and start climbing. The problem is, it has to cross I-81, which certaintly wouldn’t be an easy challenge. Luckily, I found just the space required for it to cross the highway, which would make it somewhat feasible (of course, assuming the entire project is feasible)

The teal line is the path that it would need to roughly follow to make it over the highway at a reasonable grade. Pink is the tunneled option.
The line would rise to ~35′ between I-81 and I-691, before curving to head onto James St

Line S3 is the airport connector for the network, running north from Taunton up to CIcero in North Syracuse. Taunton itself would be built at grade level, but the rest of the line until West side (other than the stretch next to the zoo) would be elevated. After diverging from S2, S3 runs elevated above Teall ave through 2 stops, then runs at grade parallel to I-90 as it orients itself to hit the airport. After it turns off of the highway, it runs over Rte 11 for 2 stops, crosses I-81, then runs above S Bay Road for 2 more stops. From there, it does another highway maneuver, running over Rte 11 again all the way until Cicero.

S4 is certaintly a unique line, to say the least… Once it branches off from the rest of the line after Clinton Square, it runs elevated above S Townsend St before briefly running next to the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYS&W) right of way next to Syracuse University, then running elevated again above Dr Martin Luther King Junior Way (or, better known by Google MyMaps as Martin Luther King E). From there, the entire way south to Onondaga Nation is parallel to the path of the Onondaga Creek, which provides a surprisingly good path through Southside and Valley.

S5, clearly the most important line on the entire network, connects the Airport Blvd stop on S3 to the actual airport. Originally, I was going to have S3 just serve the airport, but then I realized it would require a stupidly expensive tunnel under the airport, and decided against it. This line would (ideally) time its train with the schedule of S3, allowing seamless journeys. Maybe it could also be connected to S3 (using the same tech) and allow some S3 trains to short turn directly at the airport.

This is certaintly a crazy network design, but that’s the fun in it. A 2 line network just doesn’t have the same appeal as an entire over-complicated network! Anyways, thank you for reading!

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