on the Nostrand Avenue
Monday, January 21, 2013
Last night was the debut of MTA New York City Transit's FASTRACK maintenance program on the Nostrand Avenue Line in Brooklyn. The three-mile long, seven-station line was closed to train traffic from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., between Franklin Av and Flatbush Av in both directions. This FASTRACK line segment shutdown continues for the next three weeknights through early Friday morning, January 25.
Suspending all train service on a subway corridor on four consecutive nights for seven continuous hours gives subway repair crews the chance to perform many tasks on or near the tracks without having to stop work every few minutes while a train moves through the area. This is a safer and more efficient way to maintain and clean the nation's largest rail transportation system.
Introduced in January 2012, the FASTRACK project environment experienced a significantly lower accident rate by participating employees. During FASTRACK, the Lost Time Accident (LTA) rate per 100 Employees was 1.38 versus a rate of 2.42 during all other operations. An LTA is a job-related incident that results in the inability of an employee to perform their duties for at least one working day beyond the day of the incident.
With no trains running along the 92-year old Nostrand Avenue Line, hundreds of maintenance workers were able to inspect signals and switches, repair and replace track rails and cross ties, clean track floors, perform elevator and escalator repair work, repair water damage, clear drains, and clean stations. They were also able to clear the track-bed of debris and paint areas untouched in years because they are not reachable during normal train operation. In addition, work crews were able to clean lighting fixtures, change bulbs, and repair platform edges. We also performed high-intensity station cleaning providing a visible improvement to the station environment.
Significant achievements from last night's maintenance effort include servicing 11 signals and four switches, correcting 255 third rail defects, and scraping and cleaning 880 feet of track under and around the third rail. With a goal of ensuring track safety, work also included installing 11 sections of track, eight track tie blocks, and 27 track tie plates. Repairing the subway's physical infrastructure and clearing the track of debris was also included as crews installed 80 linear feet of handrail, sealed ten leaks and cleaned 1,050 linear feet of track drain and 450 linear feet of track trough, the space between the rails. Crews also scraped 4,255 linear feet of track and removed 2,350 bags (8,750 pounds) of scrap and debris. In addition, workers replaced 360 tunnel lights, six platform edge signs, seven conductor indication boards and repaired 84 square feet of rubbing board, the fiberglass extension of the platform edge that is parallel to the side of the train.
Work to enhance customer and employee safety was included as Closed Circuit Television and public address systems received attention. The picture was optimized on four monitors from six cameras and maintenance was performed on the line's Public Address and Customer Information Screens, affectionately know as “countdown clocks.”
How this impacts service?
Reliable service - service you can depend on to get you to where you need to go when you need to get there - requires regularly scheduled maintenance to the critical components you never see. FASTRACK is having a positive impact on service reliability as train delays on subway lines that have undergone FASTRACK maintenance have dropped 4.4% and track fires have declined by 50 %. FASTRACK is improving employee safety and service reliability.
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