on the Washington Heights/Inwood Line
Monday, February 25, 2013
Last night MTA New York City Transit continued the expansion of its successful FASTRACK program as the intensive maintenance and repair effort made its maiden appearance on the Washington Heights/Inwood Line in Upper Manhattan. The 2.35-mile long line segment was shut down from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., and will be closed for the next three nights through early Friday morning resulting in no train service in both directions at the six stations between 168 St and 207 St.
Stopping all train service on a subway corridor on four consecutive nights for seven continuous hours gives work crews a significant uninterrupted block of 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. This work environment is much safer and a more efficient way to maintain and clean the nation's largest and busiest rail transportation system — a system that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week..
The FASTRACK project environment experiences a significantly lower accident rate by participating employees. During FASTRACK, the Lost Time Accident (LTA) rate per 100 Employees is 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 train service suspended on the more than 80-year old Washington Heights/Inwood 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.
Major accomplishments from last night's maintenance blitz include servicing 20 signals and two track switches, installing nine sections of track, six friction pads, and 200 track tie plates. Repairing the subway's physical infrastructure and cleaning the underground system is also crucial as crews performed maintenance on the DC (direct current) feeder breaker and other components in the power substations, installed or repaired 85 linear feet of handrail, cleaned 700 linear feet of track drain, and 750 linear feet of track trough, the space between the rails. In addition, workers replaced 200 tunnel light bulbs, 15 blue tunnel light bulbs, four platform edge signs, and repaired 18 leaks and 40 linear feet of rubbing board, the fiberglass extension of the platform edge, that is parallel to the side of the train.
Making the station environment safer, more attractive and pleasing for customers is a top priority as workers scraped 9,300 square feet of paintable surface, primed and painted 1,400 square feet and performed preventative maintenance on five escalators and elevators. Also, three monitors and four cameras that are part of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems, received maintenance and 129 public address system speakers were inspected, cleaned and tested.
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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