on the Queens Boulevard Line
Monday, March 18, 2013
MTA New York City Transit’s new maintenance initiative—FASTRACK—came to the borough of Queens for the first-time last night. The Queens Boulevard Line was shut down from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m suspending service on the between Roosevelt Av and World Trade Center and on the between Roosevelt Avenue and 21st Street-Queensbridge. Service on the and ended early in Queens. This FASTRACK line segment shutdown continues for the next three weeknights through early Friday morning, March 22.
Suspending all train service on a subway line segment, on four consecutive nights for seven continuous hours, gives maintenance 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 work environment for employees and a far 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 episodes last year, 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 normally bustling Queens Boulevard 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.
Highlights from last night’s maintenance effort included testing and servicing five signals, replacing components in four switches and performing maintenance at a power substation. Workers also scraped 3,035 linear feet of track, removed 4,427 bags (16,000 pounds) of scrap and debris and repaired ten square feet of damaged concrete. With a goal of ensuring track safety, work teams installed 14 sections of track, 65 track tie blocks, 293 track tie plates and 418 friction pads. Repairing the subway’s physical infrastructure was also on the work schedule as crews sealed 32 leaks and cleared three drains.
Work to enhance the customer experience and employee safety was completed as workers tested public address systems at six stations and serviced 371 public address system speakers. In addition, seven platform edge signs, 286 tunnel light bulbs and 15 blue (emergency) light bulbs were replaced.
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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