on the Lexington Avenue Line
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
FASTRACK—MTA New York City Transit's intensive subway repair and maintenance initiative continued its third night underground on Manhattan’s East Side. From 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., there was no service at local stations on the Lexington Avenue Line between the Grand Central-42 St station and the 125 St station. During the shut down, and service made only express stops and service ended early. This FASTRACK line segment shutdown happens for the final night this week and concludes at 5 a.m. Friday morning, September 13.
Stopping all train service on a line segment on four consecutive nights for seven continuous hours gives work crews a large block of uninterrupted time to perform many tasks on or near the tracks without having to stop work every few minutes while a train moves through the area. The section of the Lexington Avenue Line between 45 St and 100 St is bi-level. Normally, local trains operate on the upper level and express trains operate on the lower level. With train operation confined to the lower level, maintenance crews have a train-free work environment. There is also less disruption to customers’ regular travel patterns. Train service on the Lexington Avenue Line continues to run, although with service only at express stations.
When trains were not running on the Lexington Avenue Line’s local tracks between Grand Central-42 St and 125 St, 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. Work crews also performed high-intensity station cleaning providing a visible improvement to the station environment.
Achievement by the Numbers
Major achievements from last night’s maintenance and repair blitz included servicing and testing 16 signals, replacing 12 track tie blocks and 329 track tie plates. Maintenance crews also corrected 74 third rail defects and scraped and cleaned 6,588 linear feet of track and 2,945 linear feet of the surface under and around the third rail. Keeping the subway’s physical infrastructure in good condition and clearing the track of debris is also very important as crews repaired or replaced 30 linear feet of handrail, sealed 27 leaks, cleared 950 linear feet of track drain and removed 2,176 bags (24,000 pounds) of scrap and debris.
With an eye toward improving worker and employee safety and the appearance of the station environment, work crews repaired or replaced 15 square feet of floor tile, replaced station light bulbs and tunnel light bulbs and repaired 30 linear feet and painted 700 linear feet of rubbing board, the fiberglass extension attached to the platform edge. To make it safer when going up and down steps, maintenance workers painted bright yellow the edges of the threads on eight stairways. Work teams also primed 500 square feet of paintable surface and painted 3,200 square feet, eight stairway copings, and five K-A rails. K-A rail is the street level railing, usually painted green, that surrounds the station entrance/exit stairway and stairway coping is the concrete base below the K-A rail. Stairway coping is usually painted black. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) equipment was included in the maintenance effort as two monitors and 24 cameras were serviced.
Since its introduction in January 2012, the FASTRACK project environment has resulted in a considerably lower accident rate by participating employees. During FASTRACK events last year, the Lost Time Accident (LTA) rate per 100 Employees was 1.38 versus a rate of 2.42 for 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.
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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