on the Grand Concourse Line
Monday, April 8, 2013
Last night MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK maintenance program returned to the Bronx. The five-mile long, nine-station Grand Concourse Line was shut down from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m suspending service between 161 St-Yankee Stadium and 205 St in both directions. This FASTRACK line segment shutdown continues for the next three weeknights through early Friday morning, April 12.
Stopping all train service on a subway corridor on four consecutive nights for seven continuous hours gives maintenance personnel the opportunity 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 largest rail transportation system in North America—a system that never stops running.
With no trains running along the Grand Concourse Line, which opened in 1931, an army 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 that are not reachable during normal train operation. In addition, work crews were able to clean lighting fixtures, change light bulbs, repair platform edges and do high-intensity station cleaning, providing a visible improvement to the station environment.
Achievements by the numbers
Major accomplishments from last night’s maintenance effort include servicing 21 signals, installing eight sections of track, 11 track tie blocks, 282 track tie plates and 37 friction pads. Subways repair personnel were also able to correct 71 third rail defects and scrap and clean 935 feet of track under and around the third rail. Work repairing the subway’s physical infrastructure and clearing the track of debris was also performed as crews had the opportunity to repair or replace 55 feet of handrail, seal 45 leaks, clean 1,000 linear feet of track drain and scrap and clean 2,135 linear feet of track trough, the space between the rails. In addition, work teams were able to remove 7,000 bags (15,000 pounds) of scrap and debris, and replace 139 tunnel light bulbs and 17 blue (emergency) light bulbs.
Work to make the station environment safer, more attractive and pleasing for customers was also accomplished last night as maintenance crews were able to scrape, prime and paint 5,850 square feet of paintable surface, clean five station drains, replace 16 platform signs and repair 65 linear feet of rubbing board, the fiberglass extension attached to the platform edge. Closed Circuit Television systems received attention as the picture was optimized on three monitors and eight cameras.
The FASTRACK project environment, introduced in January 2012, experienced a significantly lower accident rate by participating employees. During FASTRACK operations, 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.
How this impacts service?
Reliable service—service our customers depend on to get them where they need to go—requires regularly scheduled maintenance to the critical components they 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%. Overall, FASTRACK is improving employee safety and service reliability.
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