on the Washington Heights/Inwood Line
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
FASTRACK—MTA New York City Transit's pro-active maintenance initiative—continued its third night along the Washington Heights/Inwood Line. The 2.35 mile-long line was closed from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m suspending service in both directions at stations in Upper Manhattan. This FASTRACK line segment shutdown continues tonight and concludes at 5 am Friday morning, March 1.
With all train service suspended on a subway corridor on four consecutive nights for seven continuous hours, maintenance workers have an opportunity to perform numerous jobs 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 repair and clean North America's largest rail transportation system. Like New York City, the subway never sleeps.
The FASTRACK project environment, introduced in 2012, experienced a dramatically lower employee accident rate. During FASTRACK episodes, the Lost Time Accident (LTA) rate per 100 Employees was 1.38 versus a rate of 2.42 during all other maintenance activities. 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.
When trains were not running on the Washington Heights/Inwood Line, which opened in 1932, 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.
Important achievements from last night's maintenance agenda include servicing 15 signals, four switches, replacing five sections of track, 78 friction plates, 203 track tie plates and repairing a water pump, 22 leaks and 25 linear feet of bench wall, an extension of the station platform that is located in tunnels and used by maintenance personnel and for emergency egress. Repair crews also corrected 54 third rail defects, scraped and cleaned 600 linear feet of track trough, the space between the rails and repaired or replaced 60 linear feet of handrail. Keeping the subway's physical structure in good condition and clearing the track of debris is also vital to a sound operation as workers scraped 3,485 linear feet of track and removed 5,330 bags (24,000 pounds) of scrap and debris and cleaned 550 linear feet of track drain.
With a focus on customer and employee safety and having stations that are attractive and clean, workers replaced 640 tunnel light bulbs, 36 blue tunnel light bulbs, eight platform edge signs, and repaired 345 linear feet of rubbing board, the fiberglass extension of the platform edge, that is parallel to the side of the train. Maintenance crews also painted 5,000 square feet of paintable surface area, primed 8,700 square feet and painted 4,100 square feet.
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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