More 14th St. - Canarsie News

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More 14th St. - Canarsie News
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 7:59 AM
Hello. Why does it take awhile to open old station entrances? After we featured the update on Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St Station last week, this was a popular question. Your answer on this is below, as is the latest on the reported "L smell" (unrelated to the L Project, but certainly related to your interests as L train advocates).

Have a super weekend, and please remind your friends, family and neighbors to use the special M service, shuttle buses and other alternate service to get around this weekend while we work on the L line.
 
In-progress: New entrances at Metropolitan Av-Lorimer St Station

Explainer: Why is reopening old stairways more than just a good cleanup job?

Our L Project station improvements will make it easier for you to get in and out of stations. The old Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St staircases are slated to open at the end of the month, as mentioned in our last issue. Which prompted a few of you to ask: why does it seem to take awhile to open an old entrance? Well, it involves a lot more than slapping on a new coat of paint.

For starters, updating the stairs themselves means bringing them to current standards (yes, this is a thing): Adding treads on stairs, evening out steps and making sure there’s enough overhead clearance from any loose hanging wires are just a few pieces that have to get done. Then we have to install the stuff you'd expect, like turnstiles, signage, security cameras, fare machines and Help Points. Once these pieces are in place, we have to wire them and make sure they work together.

Even before we make our plan, we do an analysis of the station, looking at a number of factors. For example, before we got to work on the Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St entrances, we analyzed "egress capacity," or making sure there are enough exits for customers to quickly get out. Here, the large mezzanine area formed from these entrances means potentially many more people to evacuate in case of an emergency, but our analysis showed that the two exits meet the need.

We also have to design communication systems and work with neighboring businesses which may be affected by the construction. All these moving pieces, among others, requires more than 15 internal teams coming together. The entrance openings for the stairs at Hope Street and Powers Street for the Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St Station will be well-attended!

 

ICYMI: That L smell

This week, some of our customers and workers experienced a gas-type smell on the L train in Brooklyn. Safety is our number one priority and as soon as this was detected we immediately mobilized a comprehensive response with NYCT, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, FDNY, and the New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH) to ensure riders and workers were not at risk. 

We quickly installed ventilation measures that effectively worked to control odors and have continued ongoing air quality monitoring in the area which guided our response effort.  Independent labs have analyzed samples collected by NYCT and DEC and determined that the substance is consistent with diesel or #2 fuel oil, and ongoing cleanup efforts are successfully removing the oil from the area. DEC is leading an investigation to identify and cleanup the source of the oil, and we do not anticipate any further impacts on service in the area. 
 
We recognize these odors were unpleasant and apologize to customers and employees for the inconvenience. We will continue to keep you informed as our response continues. 
 

"What's this all about?"


Our friends and family always ask us that question. Now you can, too!

In addition to the customer question of the week, we're going to start incorporating photo features from you, too. Here's how it works:

1. See something related to the L Project that you want to know more about.
2. Snap a photo capturing the item.
3. Use the link in the button below (bookmark it) to submit it.
4. Continue reading this weekly newsletter to see if your photo makes it in.

P.S. The above photo was included in the last edition, but in case you missed it and are wondering "what's this all about?," it's the construction site for the new stair opening at Hope Street for the Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St Station.
Submit here
 

Reminder: Plan ahead for weekend and weeknight service changes on the L

Our overnight and weekend work continues on the L during the weeknights and all-day on the weekends between 8 Av and Broadway Junction in February and March, and so do the service changes. Specifically, we're doing long-term reliability improvements to track, switches and signaling so that our track will be safer and trains will run faster and smoother, and that we’ll have the right signals to run the one-track operation come April. 

Use the button below to get the full details and learn how to plan your trip. Or, if you're feeling more analog, stop by one of the key connecting stations (like Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs) to pick up a handy map (see photo above).
Learn more
 
Customer Question of the Week

Customer question
of the week

Q: Any idea when the new 1st Avenue stop entrance at Avenue A will open? - Sean

A: This entrance's timing is part of what we're revisiting under the revised project approach. Even though the tunnel work is a separate piece, there are some things that are dependent on each other, and we want to get the schedule right. More to come on this in the next few weeks.

 

Learn more and stay connected:

 
 
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, February 17, 2019 7:39 AM
Hello. This week, we talked with your local elected officials, community board leaders and advocate groups to share where we're at with the revised approach to the L Project. The headlines: construction is still progressing right now on all the non-tunnel rehabilitation pieces, and we've created a whole new service plan to go with the revised scenario (in which L train service will continue running normally for the majority of customers).

We'll be updating our website soon with the new information, including the presentation that was shared this week. In the meantime, other updates are below. Have a great weekend.
 
The moving walkway, on the right side of the photo, was removed last summer.

About that moving walkway at Court Sq Station...

We’ve gotten this question a few times now, so we’re dedicating more space to it. As you know, we removed a moving walkway last summer to create more space in the Court Sq Station passageway, and we aren’t planning to bring it back. Here’s why: We did an analysis and found that the 350-ft moving walkway was actually hurting pedestrian flow. It could only move in one direction and shaved just 9 seconds if you used it in the most efficient way possible. It also cost more than $200,000 a year to maintain.

 

But we also put some new improvements in, too, to help you speed up your commute. As you may have noticed, we added two new sets of stairs, put in new turnstiles and widened two existing stairs at the G platform. We even added railings on the narrow part of the platform to increase safety.

Got any more questions about the station updates? Use the button below.

Send your questions
 

Non-L Project update: Select Bus Service is coming to 14th Street in Manhattan

It's not the L Project. Or the L. But it partially would run right above where the L is, so we thought you'd be interested to get the news that we've committed to operating a permanent Select Bus Service on 14th Street in Manhattan.

We'll be partnering with NYC DOT on the planning, design and implementation of bus priority along the route including bus lanes on 14th Street. Our next step is to do a proper community input process on our initial proposed route (see above photo), so more to come.
 
 

L Project, IRL

This newsletter is great. But some situations call for a good face-to-face meet-up. With the proposed changes to the L Project's tunnel rehabilitation, and our new draft service plan, we're going to be taking our show on the road to talk about it with you in-person.
Next week, we'll be at Manhattan Community Board 4's Transportation Committee Meeting to start, and we'll continue to be at other community board meetings as requested.

We're also going to be doing our own open houses. Look for save the dates on posters and screens in your local stations and online soon!
 

Send us your questions and "what's this all about?" photos


We didn't get any questions or photos from you last week to feature, and we know it's not because you aren't curious. For the newbies, just a reminder on the two ways to ask your question (and potentially get it answered and featured) in the newsletter:
1. Have a thoughtful question about the L Project. We like all questions, but especially the ones that can help your fellow customers, too. Submit it here.
2. Snap a photo of something related to the L Project. Write a corresponding question asking what you want to know. Submit it here.
 

Don't forget: Weekend service changes on the L extend to Monday for Presidents’ Day

Our overnight and weekend work continues on the L during the weeknights and all-day on the weekends between 8 Av and Broadway Junction in February and March, and so do the service changes. Don't forget that Monday is a holiday, so service changes will extend for an extra day this week.

Thanks for bearing with us as we make long-term reliability improvements to track, switches and signaling so that our track will be safer and trains will run faster and smoother, and that we’ll have the right signals to run the one-track operation come April. 
Use the button below to get the full details and learn how to plan your trip. Or, stop by one of the key connecting stations (like Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs) to pick up a handy map (see photo above).
Learn more
 

Learn more and stay connected:

 
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, February 24, 2019 1:07 AM
Hello. An official, new slate of transportation options to add to the continued L service is here. So is an invite to join us at our open houses so you can ask us questions about how it will work for you. And a preemptive explainer on a transit term you'll be hearing a lot—"single-tracking operation." Have a great weekend and see you at an open house soon.
 
 

Explainer: What is a "single-tracking operation"?

Under the revised approach to the L Project, on nights and weekends, we can both keep L train service running AND keep working on the other track. This "single-tracking operation" is one of the many benefits of modern signaling, specifically a bi-directional capability that allows trains to operate in either direction on one track. Put simply, we're running trains two-ways on one track.

For the L Project, we're proposing to run this single-track L between Manhattan and Brooklyn, with a bonus L train running on the Brooklyn side (transit speak: "overlay"). Here's some of the detail on how it works (visual learners, see above):

| A train runs in one direction up until a point called an "interlocking." These are certain spots in our system where we can switch trains from one track to another. So when we talk about "switch work," these are the places we're working.

| Once the trains are cleared over the interlocking, there's a countdown of several seconds before the next train is given the go-ahead to move across in the opposite direction.

| Because of how long it takes trains to run over the single track section (between the interlockings), we can only run one train every 20 minutes in each direction between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

 

| On the Brooklyn side, the bonus “overlay” L won’t enter the single track section. Rather, it will only go to Lorimer St and then change directions. This way, L customers in Brooklyn will have an L train every 10 minutes.

| For this to work with the most consistent times between trains possible, the ideal situation is when a train is waiting at the point where the two-track part ends right as another train is crossing over the interlocking.

| Seconds matter even more here than our usual operation, so even something like one person holding a door can have a big impact on this flow.

We're definitely not alone in running this kind of operation, but it is unique with the volume of trains we have. Many railroads in North America actually are just really long single-track operations—most are freight systems that run one train in one-direction, and then another in the opposite direction, with trains passing each other on two-track sections. The difference is that they generally plan and measure their operations in trains per day instead of per hour like we do. 

Have more questions? Use the button below.

Send your questions
 

L service continues + extra bus/subway/free transfers = this map

The revised approach to the L Project means we could keep L service running. So we dug into the data to come up with a brand new proposal for alternate service so you have options to get around.

While most of you will be able to take the L as normal, we still want your feedback on this new service plan. So check out the above map and click the button below for the details, then come meet us at an open house (see list below) or give us feedback online.
Preview the plan
 
 

Join us at an open house


What's the latest update on construction? What does a "peak time" mean for the L train? What's the fastest way for me to go from the intersection of Lorimer Street and Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn to Union Square at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday in June? (Spoiler: the L.)

Gather your questions and your neighbors and come meet us at our upcoming L Project open houses. Doors will be open from 6-8 p.m. and you can come by any time. Save the dates:
  • Manhattan: Thursday, March 7, Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Bernard, 328 W 14 St (btw 8th and 9th Aves)
  • Brooklyn: Wednesday, March 13, Williamsburg Northside School, 299 N 7 St (at Meeker Ave)
  • Brooklyn: Tuesday, March 19, Grand Street Campus High School, 850 Grand St (btw Bushwick Ave & Waterbury St)
  • Manhattan: Monday, April 8, 14th St Y, 344 E 14 St (btw 1st & 2nd Aves)
Read the announcement
 

Construction update: New Union Sq Station stair project starting March 2


Remember when we said the L Project was a lot more than just the tunnel work? 
Enter the stairs between the NQRW and L platforms at Union Sq Station. Like you, we know the wacky way they face each other just doesn't work anymore with current ridership. So we're demolishing them and building new ones. The redesigned stairs will make it easier for you to get up and down between the L and NQRW platforms and quickly find a less busy spot on the platform. Summary: less time stuck on stairs = more likely you'll make the train.

Starting Monday, March 4, those stairs won't be available, so look for signs or a friendly MTA staff member to help you get around the station and make your connections. We'll be using the weekend L service outages to get the work done as fast as possible. The new stairs (AKA your faster connection) will be ready for you at the end of the month—we'll update you with specific timing as the project progresses.
 

Customer question of the week

Q:  Will the new select bus run only when the L train is shut down on nights and weekends or will it just run with the regular buses that are already on that route? Especially 14th Street. There is a lot of buses already so many that they are often back to back and stuck in slow traffics due to how many there are. - Pennline
A: We agree that buses have to move faster, and that's why we've committed to operating a new Select Bus Service route on 14th St in 2019. This is separate from the L Project, but we're looking holistically at this as something that will help get people around during that time and beyond. We're working with NYC DOT on next steps, including what bus priority will look like and other enforcement measures. And once the service is up and running, it will run on a normal schedule regardless of what's happening with the L train.

Additionally for the L Project, we've proposed running extra M14A service during the impacted times, which are overnights and weekends during the tunnel rehabilitation. Go here for more details on this and the other service ideas we have to support the L service changes.
 

Reminder: Overnight and weekend service changes on the L continue

Our overnight and weekend work continues on the L during the weeknights and all-day on the weekends between 8 Av and Broadway Junction in February and March, and so do the service changes. 

Use the button below to get the full details and learn how to plan your trip. Maps and details are also available at key connecting stations.
Learn more
 

Learn more and stay connected:

 
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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, March 04, 2019 3:48 AM
Hello. We have a top-four list of the biggest L Project accessibility initiatives, the major expansion of the Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St Station is open and don't forget to save the date for an upcoming open house. Have a super weekend, and keep sending us your questions.
 
Rendering of elevators going in at 14th Street and Avenue A at the 1st Av Station

The 4 major accessibility initiatives in the L Project

We keep saying that all of the accessibility work for the L Project is continuing. We did an explainer a few weeks ago about what it takes to make a station accessible. But what exactly are these so-called "elevator projects"? Here they are in one list:
 

  1. Bedford Av Station
    A street-level elevator at Bedford Avenue and North 7th Street to the mezzanine level, and a second one from mezzanine to the platform. This currently has a target completion date that aligns with the end of the tunnel rehabilitation work.
     
  2. 1st Av Station
    Two street-level elevators on either side of 14th Street. These elevators go straight from the street-level to the platform. This currently has a target completion date that aligns with the end of the tunnel rehabilitation work.
     
  3. 14th St/6th Av Station (L platform)
    This project will provide two elevators from the street to the mezzanine, and another two from the mezzanine to the L train platform. Work will start on or before December 31, 2020 and will complete on or before December 31, 2022.
     
  4. 14th St/6th Av Station (F, M platform)
    As part of the design and construction of #3 here, we are also designing and planning certain preliminary preparatory work for additional accessibility upgrades to the F and M train platform, including two elevators. With the additional elevators, we'll use the two street elevators that will be installed in #3 to connect the F, M trains mezzanines (both uptown and downtown) from street level and the passageway leading to 14th Street Station on 7th Avenue. Construction of this project is to be included as part of our 2020-2024 Capital Program Plan proposal, which will seek the right approvals and funding to start construction in that five-year time period..
 

Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St Station expansion is open

On Thursday this week, we opened a major expansion of the Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St Station. This project started this June and finished right in time for the morning commute. These entrances have been closed since the 90s, and we reopened them to give you another way to access the station, especially helpful if you take the G.

The most obvious part of the expansion is the two reopened entrances at Hope Street and Powers Street on either side of Union Avenue (see ribbon-cutting photo op here). But go below ground, and you'll see a lot more of the work. Here are the highlights:
  • Completely refurbished one section of the mezzanine and rebuilt another one
  • Added a total of nine new staircases
  • Opened a new set of turnstiles
  • Installed new digital screens, Help Points, and other signage to help you get around safely
Thanks to all of you who came out and helped us celebrate, including the Grand Street BID and all our neighbors, especially four-year old Clara and her mom for being the first official customers! Check out our photos here if you missed the festivities.

And special shout-out to The West for giving out free coffee to the first 10 customers, and to our MTA Music Under New York program for the tunes!
See the photos
 
 

Save the date for an open house


Last week, we announced the upcoming open houses for the L Project. These are your opportunity to sit with our team one-one-one and get your questions answered. 

Save the date here via our Facebook page or use this list to pencil it in your planner:
  • Manhattan: Thursday, March 7, Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Bernard, 328 W 14 St (btw 8th and 9th Aves)
  • Brooklyn: Wednesday, March 13, Williamsburg Northside School, 299 N 7 St (at Meeker Ave)
  • Brooklyn: Tuesday, March 19, Grand Street Campus High School, 850 Grand St (btw Bushwick Ave & Waterbury St)
  • Manhattan: Monday, April 8, 14th St Y, 344 E 14 St (btw 1st & 2nd Aves)
Read the announcement
 

Reminder: New Union Sq Station stair project starting March 2


If you're a NQRW or L customer at Union Sq Station, just a reminder that you're getting new stairs between these platforms.
That means that starting March 4, you'll have to take a different path to get between these platforms. Look for our signs (like this one here) or a friendly MTA staff member to help you get around the station and make your connections. We'll be using the weekend L service outages to get the work done as fast as possible and are currently estimating completion in early April.
 

Customer question of the week

Q:  How often will there be shuttle bus run on weekends? -  R. Nelson

A: During the times when L service is impacted, we will be running a new bus, the Williamsburg Link. It will operate on two routes, one clockwise and one counterclockwise. These buses provide connection between:
  • the Bedford Av L,
  • Metropolitan Av-Lorimer St G / L, and
  • Marcy Av J / M.
On weekends, buses will run every three minutes. We are still determining weeknight bus frequencies. And FYI, this is double the service we currently do on weekends and weeknights when the L isn't running. 

Check out our website for more details on all of our proposed service options.
 

Reminder: Overnight and weekend service changes on the L continue

Our overnight and weekend work continues on the L during the weeknights and all-day on the weekends between 8 Av and Broadway Junction in February and March, and so do the service changes. 

Use the button below to get the full details and learn how to plan your trip. Maps and details are also available at key connecting stations.
Learn more
 

Learn more and stay connected:

 
 
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 10, 2019 8:16 AM
Hi there. Bedford Av Station is about to get a lot bigger (ahem, way ahead of schedule, too). We want to hear from you in a new survey. Brooklyn: see you next week on March 13 at our open house. 

And which borough reads this newsletter more? A reader asked us, and we were curious, too. Your answer is below, along with a reminder to forward this to a friend, and make sure they subscribe. Have a nice above-20-degree weekend. 
 

Coming (really) soon: Bedford Av Station mezzanine expansion

Crews place the concrete for the new mezzanine's steel columns at Bedford Av Station

Good news—we're way ahead of schedule on the major mezzanine expansion we've been building at Bedford Av Station. We'll be ready to open it on Monday, March 25

But before it's finished, we have to build two new stairs to connect the mezzanine to the platform. We're going to do these one at a time, but it's still going to make the platform extra crowded.

Starting this coming Monday, March 11, our team and NYPD will be out helping you navigate safely. FYI, if you're traveling in the busy morning or evening times and get off the train at this station, you'll be directed to exit on the Driggs Avenue side. So please take extra caution at the station (no texting while walking!), and look for a friendly MTA employee or NYPD officer if you need help.

And here are some quick facts about this expansion:
  • The mezzanine extension will provide space for the new elevator, additional turnstiles and access to the new stairs.
  • We are also adding two new stairs from the mezzanine to the platform, which will offer 50 percent more room than our current stairs.
  • The new stairs will also help you find a less crowded spot on the platform because of the way they are designed.
 
 

Survey: How can we better communicate with you?

 

Do you check a trip-planning app before you leave home? What information do you find most helpful when we have changes in service?

We want to know! Your feedback will help us better equip you to plan your trip when we start the tunnel rehabilitation work.

Take our survey now—it'll be open through Monday, March 18.
Complete the survey
 

We're going to Brooklyn on March 13


Thanks to the 200-ish of you who came out to our open house this week in Manhattan (we even spotted a few Brooklynites who made the trek). We heard from many of you that it was valuable to have one-on-one time with our team and NYC DOT who are the ones doing the work behind the scenes. We appreciate the feedback and are glad to hear it was time well-spent!

There are three more coming up; save the date here via our Facebook page or use this list:
  • Brooklyn: Wednesday, March 13, Williamsburg Northside School, 299 N 7 St (at Meeker Ave)
  • Brooklyn: Tuesday, March 19, Grand Street Campus High School, 850 Grand St (btw Bushwick Ave & Waterbury St)
  • Manhattan: Monday, April 8, 14th St Y, 344 E 14 St (btw 1st & 2nd Aves)
Save the date
 

Battle of the boroughs: And the winner is...

We really appreciate all of our loyal subscribers. So we were curious: which borough was better represented? 

We ran the numbers, and...Manhattan has a hefty lead. 
Brooklyn: do you want to be better represented? Manhattan: do you want to keep this impressive lead? Regardless of which side of the river you call home, now's the time to get your friends and family to subscribe.

Use one of the share buttons here or send them this link: http://bit.ly/l-project-subscribe.
 

Customer question of the week

Q:  How do you plan on installing an escalator at 14th St.-Union Square L train platform when there is already a lot of foot traffic in that area? - Tyler

A: The new escalator here will provide a huge circulation benefit. It will really help customers transferring or exiting the station, as well as free up the stairs behind it, making it easier to get onto the platform. 
You're right that we'll have to navigate a busy platform to get the work done. But the good thing is that the work area is relatively narrow, so it will actually take up less platform space than our current project to demolish and rebuild the stairs connecting the L and NQRW platforms.
 

Reminder: Overnight and weekend service changes on the L continue through March 17

Our overnight and weekend work continues on the L during the weeknights and all-day on the weekends between 8 Av and Broadway Junction in March, and so do the service changes. 

Use the button below to get the full details and learn how to plan your trip. Maps and details are also available at key connecting stations.
Learn more
 

Learn more and stay connected:

 
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 17, 2019 9:02 AM
Hello. Good news, Manhattanites—we’ve made a ton of progress on 14th Street and so we’re able to cut back our working hours. Two open houses done and two to go (see you on Tuesday, Brooklyn). Don't forget to take our survey before the Monday deadline.

And we heard from a few of you asking about dust in L stations earlier this week. Our monitoring showed that the air quality was and is safe, which is why we ran service as normal. But we know dust isn't pleasant. So we're working closely with the contractor to look at changing their methods to be as aggressive as possible in reducing dust. Please continue sending us your questions—you can always get in touch with us via our comment page.
 

Construction update:
Hours in Manhattan are going down

We've been making lots of progress along 14th Street in Manhattan (see below for the latest). Thank you again to the businesses and the residents for sticking with us.

And that progress comes with good news—starting this week on Monday (3/18), we'll be able to reduce our work hours in Manhattan from 7-11 to 7-7 on weekdays (Saturday's 7-6 shift will stay the same).
Manhattan construction updates:

New entrance at Avenue A
  • Currently, we're constructing the roof on the north entrance, and placing the concrete for the staircase walls at the south entrance
  • We'll continue this work next week, including starting the room at the south entrance
New elevators on north and south sides of 14th Street
  • We're in the process of installing rebar for the shaft walls on the north entrance
  • We're continuing here and then working on the south side
New substation (near Avenue B)
  • Completed the excavation (see photo above!)
  • Beginning to install the protective concrete (which is what the workers in the above photo are doing)
 

Survey closes Monday, March 18

 

51% of respondents so far said that for a routine trip, they don't look at their travel options before setting out (27% check a third-party trip-planning app, and 22% use the MyMTA app). 

What do you do? And how do you like to be communicated with? Take our survey to let us know so we can best communicate with you during the tunnel rehabilitation work.

Take our survey now—it'll be open through this Monday, March 18.
Complete the survey
 

Progress report:
Union Sq and Bedford Av projects are on schedule


We're on schedule for both the Union Sq Station stair project and the Bedford Av Station mezzanine expansion and stair project.
  • Union Sq stairs connecting L and NQRW platforms (scheduled to open by beginning of April): Demolition is complete. Over the weekend, both stairs will be delivered.
  • Bedford Av stairs and mezzanine (scheduled to open 3/25): One stair will be completed this weekend, followed by the completion of the mezzanine and additional stair.
In the meantime, please remember to take extra caution on these two platforms, and look for an MTA team member or NYPD officer if you need assistance. 
 
Williamsburg residents and commuters talk with MTA staff including Janno Lieber, Chief Development Officer and President, MTA Capital Construction, at the open house on March 13.

We're going to Brooklyn (again) on March 19


Thanks to all of you who came to the first two open houses. Don’t worry if you missed them. Save the date for one of the next two here via our Facebook page or use this list:
  • Brooklyn: Tuesday, March 19, Grand Street Campus High School, 850 Grand St (btw Bushwick Ave & Waterbury St)
  • Manhattan: Monday, April 8, 14th St Y, 344 E 14 St (btw 1st & 2nd Aves)
Save the date
 

Customer question of the week

Q:  Will there still be an out of system MetroCard transfer between the G and J trains or will you just be relying on the shuttle bus service in a loop to bring riders to connect to the L and G at Metropolitan Avenue/Lorimer Street and the J and M at Marcy Avenue to ease overcrowding at the Metropolitan/Lorimer transfer? 
A: Short answer is yes, both! 

The Williamsburg Link buses will make the following connections as they run in separate loops:
  • B91: Marcy Av —Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St —Bedford Av
  • B92: Marcy Av — Bedford Av — Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St — Hewes St
Free out of system transfers will be provided at:
  • Broadway (G) and Lorimer St (JM)/Hewes St (JM)
  • Junius St (3) and Livonia (L)
 

Reminder: Overnight and weekend service changes on the L continue through this weekend

Our work on the L line continues this weekend all-day between 8 Av and Broadway Junction in March. 

Use the button below to get the full details of what we're doing and learn how to plan your trip using our alternate service options. Maps and details are also available at key connecting stations.
Learn more
 

Learn more and stay connected:

 
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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 4:35 AM

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:49 AM

Updated: 4/18/2019

The revised approach for the L Project means that we'll be able to run service on the L at all times, with reduced service on nights and weekends. We've created an alternate service plan to help you navigate starting April 26, 2019 through summer 2020. Use this page to learn more about travel tips and construction progress.

Service options during rehabilitation work

With the revised approach, the L will continue as normal during the busiest weekday times. During nights and weekends, L service will be reduced. We're adding extra M, G, 7, and bus service to give you more options. We're also adding two special Williamsburg Link bus routes for additional service. Subways are still the fastest way to get around, so our plan is focused on connecting you with a subway line as quickly as possible.

Updated 4/19/2019

L service will continue as normal during peak and midday weekday times. Service on the L will be reduced nights and weekends. During these times, use our new alternative service options on this map to avoid wait times and crowding.

This service plan will be in effect on nights and weekends, starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 26, 2019, through summer 2020.

Service Map: Weeknights and Weekends, April 26, 2019 through summer 2020
L Train schedule

With the revised approach, L customers will have normal service during the highest ridership times.

Weeknights: 10 PM to 5 AM, with service ramping down at 8 PM, L trains run every 20 minutes between Brooklyn and Manhattan and every 10 minutes within Brooklyn. Service will ramp down starting at 8 PM to make room for work trains. Overnight, between 1:30 AM and 5 AM, the service runs at its normal frequency, with L trains running every 20 minutes.

Weekends: 10 PM Friday until 5 AM Monday, with service ramping down at 8 PM Friday, L trains run 20 minutes between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and every 10 minutes within Brooklyn. Overnight, between 1:30 AM and 5 AM, service runs at its normal frequency, with L trains running every 20 minutes.

L trains will run every 10 minutes within Brooklyn thanks to extra trains between Lorimer St and Canarsie-Rockaway Pkwy. We’ll be running these trains during the busiest times L service is impacted by tunnel work (10 PM-1:30 AM weeknights and 6 AM to 1:30 AM weekends). Service on the L will be reduced nights and weekends. We're enhancing M, G, 7, and bus service to provide alternatives.

Weekdays 5 AM to 8 PM Regular L service
Weekdays 8 PM to 10 PM

L service begins to ramp down:

Brooklyn-bound (estimates based on Union Square)
8 PM to 9 PM: approx. every 5 min
9 PM to 9:30 PM: approx. every 12 min
9:30 PM to 10 PM: transition to 20 min

Manhattan-bound
8 PM to 8:30 PM: 
Rockaway Pkway every 6-10 minutes
Broadway Junction every 5 minutes
Lorimer St and Bedford Av every 5 minutes

8:30 to 9 PM: 
Rockaway Pkway every 20 minutes
Broadway Junction every 20 minutes
Lorimer St and Bedford Av every 5 to 20 minutes (ramp down)

Weeknights 10 PM to 1:30 AM Reduced L service (every 20 minutes between Brooklyn and Manhattan, every 10 minutes within Brooklyn)
Weeknights 1:30 AM to 5 AM Regular L service (every 20 minutes)
Weekends 6 AM to 1:30 AM Reduced L service (every 20 minutes between Brooklyn and Manhattan, every 10 minutes within Brooklyn)
Weekend nights 1:30 AM to 6 AM Regular L service (every 20 minutes)
Enhanced subway service

M service

Weeknights, we’ll extend the hours of normal weekday service into Manhattan, between 10PM and 1:30 AM. After 10 PM on weeknights, we’ll extend M service up to 96 St-2 Av on the Q , instead of to Queens Blvd.

Weekends, we’ll extend service from Essex St to 96 St-2 Av. M trains will run every 8 minutes instead of every 10 minutes during the day.

G service

Weeknights we’ll be running 5 additional G trips between 8:30 PM and 1:30 AM. On weekends, trains will run every 8 minutes instead of every 10 minutes during the day.

7 service

Weeknights, we’ll run 5 additional trips from 8:30 PM to midnight. On weekends, 7 trains will continue to run every 4 to 7 ½ minutes.

Enhanced M14A regular bus service

We’re planning additional M14A bus service to connect customers to the subway lines where we are enhancing service.

The extra M14A route service will extend to connect with Delancey/Essex St FJM Station. On weekends the M14A/D buses, combined, run every 3 to 5 minutes for the majority of the day along 14 St. 

On weeknights, buses will run every 4 to 5 minutes between 8 PM and midnight, in both directions across 14th Street for connection to the M train at 6th Avenue, or to the 6 train at Union Square for transfer to the M train at the Broadway-Lafayette station.The M14A will connect to the Delancey-Essex J/M Station every 7 to 10 minutes (as compared to every 12 to 20 minutes currently).

Weekday nights (M14 A/D combined)

  East-bound West-bound
8 PM-10 PM Every 4 minutes Every 4 minutes
10 PM-2 AM Every 5 minutes Every 5 minutes
2 AM-5 AM      Every 7 minutes Every 8.5 minutes

Sundays (M14 A/D combined)

  East-bound West-bound
5 AM-8 AM Every 7 minutes Every 10 minutes
8 AM-8 PM Every 3 minutes Every 3 minutes
8 PM-11 PM      Every 4.5 minutes Every 4 minutes
11 PM-2 AM Every 6 minutes Every 5 minutes

Saturdays (M14 A/D combined)

  East-bound West-bound
5 AM-8 AM Every 8 minutes Every 11 minutes
8 AM-8 PM Every 3 minutes Every 3 minutes
8 PM-11 PM      Every 5 minutes Every 7 minutes
11 PM-2 AM Every 6.5 minutes Every 5 minutes
New Williamsburg Link buses

We are introducing a new bus, the Williamsburg Link. It will operate on two routes, one clockwise (B92) and one counterclockwise (B91). This bus will provide double the bus service we normally do when there is no L service during weekend and weeknight construction work.

These buses provide connection between:

  • the Bedford Av L,
  • Metropolitan Av- Lorimer St G / L,
  • Marcy Av J / M, and
  • Hewes St J /M (B92 only).

Weekday nights 

  B91 B92
8 PM-9 PM Every 9 minutes Every 9 minutes
9 PM-12 AM Every 5 minutes Every 5 minutes
12 AM-1:30 AM      Every 10 minutes Every 10 minutes

Weekends

  B91 B92
5 AM-8 AM Every 10 minutes Every 10 minutes
8 AM-10 PM Every 3 minutes Every 3 minutes
10 PM-12 AM Every 5 minutes Every 5 minutes
12 AM-1:30 AM Every 10 minutes Every 10 minutes
Free Transfers

We're adding free transfers to make it easier to make connections. These include:

  • Between Livonia St on the L and Junius St on the 3
  • Connect from Broadway on the G to either Hewes St or Lorimer St on the J and M
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,942 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, April 28, 2019 8:45 AM
Hi there. It's today. Thank you for sticking with us and for helping us spread the word about the service changes. It's been fun meeting you out in stations this week, and the sentiment is clear—we're New Yorkers, we can do this.

Also we issued a press release today to recap our next steps, and three things were new:
  • The contract negotiation is finalized.
  • The total cost of the project will be reduced by $10 million.
  • The estimated project timeline is 15-18 months.
Thank you again, and see you soon (on the Williamsburg Link buses, M, G or 7 trains?).
 

Step 1: Pick a station, step 2: make a plan

Procrastinator? We have you covered. We made special guides for select stations along the L where there are the most service changes on nights and weekends (14 St-6 Av: you get an M!). But first, a quick L service cheat sheet:

L service during tunnel rehabilitation, April 26, 2019—Summer 2020:
  • No changes during the day on weekdays and rush hours
  • Reduced service between Manhattan and Brooklyn on weeknights and weekends starting at 8 p.m., running every 20 minutes starting at 10 p.m. (normal service was always every 20 minutes between 1:30 and 5 a.m., so service during that time stays the same)
  • Within Brooklyn, every 10 minutes in both directions on weeknights from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and on weekends from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Our advice: for most of you, alternative service options will be faster when L service is reduced, especially during busy times when you might not be able to board the first train.

Click a station below to get the full download. Not beholden to any particular station? Go here.
 

We have a special L Project team behind the scenes (and one of the leaders grew up along the L)

For the past few months, one of our main focus areas has been "how are we going to manage service in a way that keeps both the L trains moving and people safe?" 

Answer: put a special L Project team structure in place. 

This is a team designed to do two things: 1) make decisions about train and bus service, thinking holistically about our system and 2) do it quickly.
  • Field team: group station managers, platform controllers, wayfinders, traffic checkers, bus dispatchers, station agents and NYPD. These are the people who are seeing things in real-time, keeping you safe. We've designated a special "Field Captain" role, staffed largely from our group station manager team, who will be on-site at each station between 8 Av and Lorimer St on the L. 
  • Service delivery team: train operators, dispatchers and general superintendents at the Rail Control Center. Here we have another special role for the L Project—the "Canarsie Coordinator" (we like alliteration), staffed by senior leaders at the Rail Control Center.
The two leadership roles are designed to expedite decision-making. One of the Canarsie Coordinators has a particularly interesting point of view on the L Project: he grew up in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Meet Jose LaSalle:
 
Q:  How would you describe your role?
A: In some ways, the "Canarsie Coordinator" title is a misnomer. It's my job to be the big picture guy. See that there's a disruption on the A and know "oh, we need to start sending people to the J, and travel a few stops back even, because it will be faster."

Q: What do you think makes you ready for the job?
A: Maybe because I'm the only one who said I'd work 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.?! But no really, I do have a very well-rounded background being at NYC Transit for 26 years across many divisions. A division. B division. C division—work trains and flagger operations. And from 2010 to 2013, I was in the Office of System Safety when Sandy hit. I went to 148 and Lenox and saw that the water was parallel to the platform. I couldn't believe it. Then Whitehall—a brand new station—totally wrecked. But it shocked us all when we heard that the L was the worst. 

Q: What advice would you give to your former neighbors in Williamsburg and other L riders?
A: To have improvements to our system, you gotta do the work! I was there in the 2000s when we resignaled the line, and yeah it was tough, but look at it now. I think the L resignaling on CBTC is a big part of why the community has grown so much. For the L Project, this work we're doing, it's obviously critical. And we're making the most of it with the elevators, and the substations so we can run more trains. We need it. Even though it doesn't feel like it, the community will definitely be better for it.
 

What to expect at L stations

Normally L trains run every 5 minutes during most of the day on weekends. So with service only every 20 minutes between Manhattan and Brooklyn, especially for the first few weeks when people are still figuring out that alternatives are probably faster, there could be times when folks will have to wait to enter the platform or wait on line. Here are a few things to be ready for if you take the L:
1. Changed circulation patterns: At a few stations on nights and weekends, you'll always be directed to enter a station via one entrance, and exit via the other (see sign here for an example at Union Square). We'll also be putting up barricades and tape to help guide you in a way that organizes flow better.

2. Holding before going to the platform: Safety is our top priority, and we can't have crowding on platforms. So you might wait on line before going down to the platform.

3. Temporary service changes: Depending on the demand for the L train, we may have to implement service changes temporarily, like bypassing or restricting entry. These are things you've likely experienced before; they're tactics we use to keep you safe and moving. These strategies are not our starting point, but we need contingency plans to keep everyone safe in case too many customers decide not to use the alternative service options.

4. Trains holding for a bit at select stations: At certain stations, trains will be held for a few minutes (with the doors open). Since we're single-tracking on nights and weekends, we have to make sure we're maximizing our use of that single-track, so these temporary holds will help us do that.

5. A funny-looking train at Bedford Av: The single-tracking operation will make for an odd-looking situation: the empty L train that is turning around and heading back to Brooklyn will actually peek into the station. And by "peek," we mean a few car lengths. Yes it will look odd. But that's just how the interlockings work. 
 

Construction this weekend

The tunnel rehabilitation part of the L Project starts this weekend, but what are we actually doing? Here are the top items on our checklist:
  1. Replacing track ties for a smoother ride
  2. New tunnel lighting system to enhance safety
  3. Replacing signal cables to improve reliability
  4. Expanding pump capacity to enhance resiliency
 

We have a sign for that

We want to make it as easy as possible to know where to go on nights and weekends. So we made lots of signs and we made them pink. Here are a few to look out for to help you get around:

1. "Station signage"

Very descriptive, we know. We put these along rails and in stations at key transfer points. Here's one outside of 14-St Union Sq Station.

2. Bus cannisters

Yes, that's their official name. A "cannister" can be used to hold any kind of material. We like to use ours for super helpful next stop and connecting subway lines information. These are all along the (free) Williamsburg Link bus routes (B91 and B92).

3. More station signage!

You'll find these where the single-track operation means different than normal train service. This is what we posted at Lorimer St Station, where some trains will end at Lorimer St and some will continue on to Manhattan.
 

Get in touch

You know what signs to look for. But don't be shy to ask for help. Here's how:
  • Sign up for our text alerts
  • Call 511 and say "subways" then "L train"
  • Tweet @NYCTSubway with #LProject
  • Ask a team member: Especially for the first few weekends, we'll have lots of staff out from 8 Av to Lorimer St. Look for someone with a pink button that says "Ask me about the L Project" 
Learn more
 

Glamour shot of the week: We're ready

Several members of our leadership did a walkthrough of the L train tunnel this week to see the preparations, including the test fiber reinforced polymer (FRP).
 
Photo: Marc Hermann / MTA New York City Transit / Tues., April 24, 2019
 

Learn more and stay connected

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,942 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, May 05, 2019 8:37 AM
  • i. We made it through the week together—THANK YOU! Nobody likes change, but New Yorkers are resilient and yes, patient, flexible and polite. L trains were very crowded on nights and weekends as expected, and will continue to be. But many more of you heeded our advice and tried out new routes using our more frequent alternate service.

    So this week's newsletter is dedicated to all the "customers formerly known as L train riders on weeknights and weekends." We want to hear about your experience. Did you take the M train for the first time and discover the view from the Williamsburg Bridge? Take the J and realize you have connectivity a lot longer than the L? Use our question form to tell us how it was and what we can do to improve. And read about a few things we're already working on below.

    Also, as promised, we posted the results from our dust monitoring following the first weekend of work (summary: they're well below the limits we've set), and will continue to publish these on Fridays. You can see all of our reports here.
     
    Catch up on L Project Weekly newsletters here
     

    The M train is really nice if you hate transferring

    "Where does the M train go?"

    Other than "can I transfer for free between the subway and bus?" (A: yes), this was the question we heard the most while we were out chatting with you this week.
    Turns out New Yorkers and visitors alike aren't used to this magical train, given that it used to hibernate after dark and on weekends. But now that the M train is running every 8 minutes on nights and weekends, and with an extended route, it has a ton of benefits—a view from the Williamsburg Bridge, connections to 14 other subway lines in Manhattan alone...

    ...and a bunch of "one-seat trips" (as we call it in the biz).

    So this one's for you, customer-who-doesn't-like-to-make-subway-transfers:
     

    Places you can get to with a one-seat trip on the M train 


    1. SoHo and NoHo (Broadway-Lafayette): Spend the day shopping if that's your thing, or check out the International Center of Photography (more our thing).

    2. West Village/Greenwich Village (W 4 St Station): Springtime at Washington Square Park is the best. In the other direction, NYU students, here's your Williamsburg alternative.

    3. Koreatown/Herald Square (34 St-Herald Sq): For the visitors: Macy's. For the visitors or the locals: karaoke.

    4. Midtown (42 St-Bryant Park, 47-50 Sts Rockefeller Ctr): It's in the name. Bryant Park. Rockefeller Center. Also: don't miss the New York Public Library's Reading Room in the main branch.

    5. More midtown (57 St): Two blocks away from Central Park. One avenue away from 5th Avenue. 

    6. Upper East Side (Lexington Av / 63 on up the Q line): The art work in our stations. Sometimes called "an underground art museum," check out the permanent art installations starting at the Lexington Av / 63 Station.
    Learn about the M train schedule
     

    Behind the scenes: Countdown clocks, work trains, and other first week fixes

    No matter how much you prepare, you can't plan for everything. During our first week of the single-track operation, we tried a lot of things for the first time in MTA New York City Transit history. Many things worked. A few didn't. 

    From the beginning, we promised we'd be able to make changes quickly, which we've been doing. Here are a few things we're working on or have already improved:

    1. Work trains
    We have to use work trains to get materials and crews in the jobsite. As we planned out the schedule for work trains, our mindset was always "how do we maximize the number of regular trains" within that work train schedule. So our initial plan was to mix work trains and regular trains, including the extra "overlay" trains in Brooklyn.

    But even though we had more trains, they weren't running reliably. The extra regular train service wasn't worth it if the work trains were slowing it down as much as it was. So we're trying a new way to make service as consistent as possible: we are adjusting the schedule to start the Brooklyn overlay service a bit later—10:45 p.m. (instead of 10:25 p.m.) at Lorimer St on most weeknights, and a bit later on Friday nights.

    This schedule adjustment will allow us to move work trains directly into the work zone. For you, this means L train service between Manhattan and Brooklyn will be more reliable during the ramp down period (between 8 and 10 p.m.).
    2. Countdown clocks and apps
    When we were starting to plan for the single-track operation, we immediately brought in our IT team. They're the ones who know how the data feeds from the modern CBTC signaling system drive the information you see—the countdown clocks and navigation apps. 

    They made a ton of changes behind the scenes in advance, including programming that special "overlay" train in Brooklyn so that you know it's "last stop, Lorimer St." But the single-tracking proved to be more challenging. So everyone from IT, the Rail Control Center and Service Delivery got in a room to figure out why the data kept jumping around. We could talk about this for a whole newsletter, so we'll leave it at this: we have a few solutions we're testing out, and if you see a blank screen, it's because we're trying something but don't think it's ready for prime time. 

    3. Line map inside M, J, L and (any new cars on the) G
    You know the graphics inside of some train cars that show the next stop information? Our newer cars have it, including many of the ones used along the M, J and L trains. 

    When possible, we integrate the bus lines that connect at key stations, so that you can see it on the map and hear it via announcements. Because of the special way these maps are produced, it's going to take some time before you see them in train cars. But when we do, you'll be notified of those critical connections. For example at Marcy Av: "Connection is available to the Williamsburg Link B91 and B92."
     

    Weekender: Plan ahead for Five Boro Bike Tour, McCarren 5K & 10K

    We're always on the look out for big events around the city that could impact our service. Here are two this week that we're watching, and our advice if you're taking part in the fun:

    1. Five Boro Bike Tour (Sunday): The ride starts in Lower Manhattan, so take the J to get there. Please be courteous to your fellow riders and don't take bikes on the L train during the busy times. Most L stops are super close to other lines that run more frequently and will have more space.

    2. McCarren 5K & 10K (Saturday): The race already happened, but shout-out to the team at St. Nicks Alliance for being great partners as we planned ahead to shift our Williamsburg Link routes (B91 and B92) and some stops during the race hours (8-11 a.m.).
    Learn all of your service options
     

    What's a "fan plant"?

    Along our train lines, we have industrial structures that we operate for ventilation purposes. Meet the very literally-named: "fan plant."
    For the L line, we built two fan plants in 1916 before the tunnel opened for service—one near the river on Avenue D in Manhattan and one on N 7th St in Williamsburg (way before the 2005 rezoning of Williamsburg and Greenpoint when the area was industrial!).

    We use them any time we do work on the L, like in recent weeks with the nights and weekends with no L service. We need to continue using these fan plants regularly during the project for safety. But we know the noise is disruptive, so we are taking steps to minimize it as much as possible. We've already 1) made a plan with our contractors and 2) used that plan to first activate the Avenue D fan plant before the one in Williamsburg as it's now by the new residences built after the rezoning. The Avenue D fan plant is close to the river in a fully industrial area.

    Here are some quick facts about fan plants and how we're operating them during the L tunnel work:
    • They are needed to meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 130 requirements for Emergency Tunnel Smoke Evacuation and OSHA requirements for workers.
    • We will need to use both fan plants, but will start by running the Avenue D fan plant first, evaluate conditions, then use the Brooklyn one as needed. We'll continue that process as conditions require.
    • The fan plants will be used when L service is reduced to the every-20-minute-situation around 10 p.m., and again in the morning when service is resumed to the normal schedule.
    • Both fan plants will also be used while we're working in the tunnel as needed.
    • We are currently working with our environmental engineering team to look for even more ways to reduce noise from the fan plant, in addition to minimizing its use.
    Learn more about our construction
     

    Construction update: This weekend

    Here are the highlights from our work this weekend:
    1. Install fiber cable for CBTC, which will allow us to move more trains closer together
    2. Install discharge pipe to the Avenue D fan plan to enhance the tunnel's resiliency
    3. Swap out old track plates and ties for a more comfortable ride
    4. Progress the station expansion of Bedford Av
     

    Glamour shot of the week:
    Look for the pink

    Maps, travel options, trip tips: To get to where you need to go, look for the pink signs around stations.
     
    Photo: Marc Hermann / MTA New York City Transit / Fri., April 26, 2019
     

    Get in touch

    • Sign up for our text alerts
    • Call 511 and say "subways" then "L train"
    • Tweet @NYCTSubway with #LProject
    • Ask a team member: We're still going to have lots of staff out from 8 Av to Lorimer St over the weekend. Look for someone with a pink button that says "Ask me about the L Project" 
    Learn more
     

    Learn more and stay connected

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  • i. We made it through the week together—THANK YOU! Nobody likes change, but New Yorkers are resilient and yes, patient, flexible and polite. L trains were very crowded on nights and weekends as expected, and will continue to be. But many more of you heeded our advice and tried out new routes using our more frequent alternate service.

    So this week's newsletter is dedicated to all the "customers formerly known as L train riders on weeknights and weekends." We want to hear about your experience. Did you take the M train for the first time and discover the view from the Williamsburg Bridge? Take the J and realize you have connectivity a lot longer than the L? Use our question form to tell us how it was and what we can do to improve. And read about a few things we're already working on below.

    Also, as promised, we posted the results from our dust monitoring following the first weekend of work (summary: they're well below the limits we've set), and will continue to publish these on Fridays. You can see all of our reports here.
     
    Catch up on L Project Weekly newsletters here
     

    The M train is really nice if you hate transferring

    "Where does the M train go?"

    Other than "can I transfer for free between the subway and bus?" (A: yes), this was the question we heard the most while we were out chatting with you this week.
    Turns out New Yorkers and visitors alike aren't used to this magical train, given that it used to hibernate after dark and on weekends. But now that the M train is running every 8 minutes on nights and weekends, and with an extended route, it has a ton of benefits—a view from the Williamsburg Bridge, connections to 14 other subway lines in Manhattan alone...

    ...and a bunch of "one-seat trips" (as we call it in the biz).

    So this one's for you, customer-who-doesn't-like-to-make-subway-transfers:
     

    Places you can get to with a one-seat trip on the M train 


    1. SoHo and NoHo (Broadway-Lafayette): Spend the day shopping if that's your thing, or check out the International Center of Photography (more our thing).

    2. West Village/Greenwich Village (W 4 St Station): Springtime at Washington Square Park is the best. In the other direction, NYU students, here's your Williamsburg alternative.

    3. Koreatown/Herald Square (34 St-Herald Sq): For the visitors: Macy's. For the visitors or the locals: karaoke.

    4. Midtown (42 St-Bryant Park, 47-50 Sts Rockefeller Ctr): It's in the name. Bryant Park. Rockefeller Center. Also: don't miss the New York Public Library's Reading Room in the main branch.

    5. More midtown (57 St): Two blocks away from Central Park. One avenue away from 5th Avenue. 

    6. Upper East Side (Lexington Av / 63 on up the Q line): The art work in our stations. Sometimes called "an underground art museum," check out the permanent art installations starting at the Lexington Av / 63 Station.
    Learn about the M train schedule
     

    Behind the scenes: Countdown clocks, work trains, and other first week fixes

    No matter how much you prepare, you can't plan for everything. During our first week of the single-track operation, we tried a lot of things for the first time in MTA New York City Transit history. Many things worked. A few didn't. 

    From the beginning, we promised we'd be able to make changes quickly, which we've been doing. Here are a few things we're working on or have already improved:

    1. Work trains
    We have to use work trains to get materials and crews in the jobsite. As we planned out the schedule for work trains, our mindset was always "how do we maximize the number of regular trains" within that work train schedule. So our initial plan was to mix work trains and regular trains, including the extra "overlay" trains in Brooklyn.

    But even though we had more trains, they weren't running reliably. The extra regular train service wasn't worth it if the work trains were slowing it down as much as it was. So we're trying a new way to make service as consistent as possible: we are adjusting the schedule to start the Brooklyn overlay service a bit later—10:45 p.m. (instead of 10:25 p.m.) at Lorimer St on most weeknights, and a bit later on Friday nights.

    This schedule adjustment will allow us to move work trains directly into the work zone. For you, this means L train service between Manhattan and Brooklyn will be more reliable during the ramp down period (between 8 and 10 p.m.).
    2. Countdown clocks and apps
    When we were starting to plan for the single-track operation, we immediately brought in our IT team. They're the ones who know how the data feeds from the modern CBTC signaling system drive the information you see—the countdown clocks and navigation apps. 

    They made a ton of changes behind the scenes in advance, including programming that special "overlay" train in Brooklyn so that you know it's "last stop, Lorimer St." But the single-tracking proved to be more challenging. So everyone from IT, the Rail Control Center and Service Delivery got in a room to figure out why the data kept jumping around. We could talk about this for a whole newsletter, so we'll leave it at this: we have a few solutions we're testing out, and if you see a blank screen, it's because we're trying something but don't think it's ready for prime time. 

    3. Line map inside M, J, L and (any new cars on the) G
    You know the graphics inside of some train cars that show the next stop information? Our newer cars have it, including many of the ones used along the M, J and L trains. 

    When possible, we integrate the bus lines that connect at key stations, so that you can see it on the map and hear it via announcements. Because of the special way these maps are produced, it's going to take some time before you see them in train cars. But when we do, you'll be notified of those critical connections. For example at Marcy Av: "Connection is available to the Williamsburg Link B91 and B92."
     

    Weekender: Plan ahead for Five Boro Bike Tour, McCarren 5K & 10K

    We're always on the look out for big events around the city that could impact our service. Here are two this week that we're watching, and our advice if you're taking part in the fun:

    1. Five Boro Bike Tour (Sunday): The ride starts in Lower Manhattan, so take the J to get there. Please be courteous to your fellow riders and don't take bikes on the L train during the busy times. Most L stops are super close to other lines that run more frequently and will have more space.

    2. McCarren 5K & 10K (Saturday): The race already happened, but shout-out to the team at St. Nicks Alliance for being great partners as we planned ahead to shift our Williamsburg Link routes (B91 and B92) and some stops during the race hours (8-11 a.m.).
    Learn all of your service options
     

    What's a "fan plant"?

    Along our train lines, we have industrial structures that we operate for ventilation purposes. Meet the very literally-named: "fan plant."
    For the L line, we built two fan plants in 1916 before the tunnel opened for service—one near the river on Avenue D in Manhattan and one on N 7th St in Williamsburg (way before the 2005 rezoning of Williamsburg and Greenpoint when the area was industrial!).

    We use them any time we do work on the L, like in recent weeks with the nights and weekends with no L service. We need to continue using these fan plants regularly during the project for safety. But we know the noise is disruptive, so we are taking steps to minimize it as much as possible. We've already 1) made a plan with our contractors and 2) used that plan to first activate the Avenue D fan plant before the one in Williamsburg as it's now by the new residences built after the rezoning. The Avenue D fan plant is close to the river in a fully industrial area.

    Here are some quick facts about fan plants and how we're operating them during the L tunnel work:
    • They are needed to meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 130 requirements for Emergency Tunnel Smoke Evacuation and OSHA requirements for workers.
    • We will need to use both fan plants, but will start by running the Avenue D fan plant first, evaluate conditions, then use the Brooklyn one as needed. We'll continue that process as conditions require.
    • The fan plants will be used when L service is reduced to the every-20-minute-situation around 10 p.m., and again in the morning when service is resumed to the normal schedule.
    • Both fan plants will also be used while we're working in the tunnel as needed.
    • We are currently working with our environmental engineering team to look for even more ways to reduce noise from the fan plant, in addition to minimizing its use.
    Learn more about our construction
     

    Construction update: This weekend

    Here are the highlights from our work this weekend:
    1. Install fiber cable for CBTC, which will allow us to move more trains closer together
    2. Install discharge pipe to the Avenue D fan plan to enhance the tunnel's resiliency
    3. Swap out old track plates and ties for a more comfortable ride
    4. Progress the station expansion of Bedford Av
     

    Glamour shot of the week:
    Look for the pink

    Maps, travel options, trip tips: To get to where you need to go, look for the pink signs around stations.
     
    Photo: Marc Hermann / MTA New York City Transit / Fri., April 26, 2019
     

    Get in touch

    • Sign up for our text alerts
    • Call 511 and say "subways" then "L train"
    • Tweet @NYCTSubway with #LProject
    • Ask a team member: We're still going to have lots of staff out from 8 Av to Lorimer St over the weekend. Look for someone with a pink button that says "Ask me about the L Project" 
    Learn more
     

    Learn more and stay connected

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Hi. We made it through the week together—THANK YOU! Nobody likes change, but New Yorkers are resilient and yes, patient, flexible and polite. L trains were very crowded on nights and weekends as expected, and will continue to be. But many more of you heeded our advice and tried out new routes using our more frequent alternate service.

So this week's newsletter is dedicated to all the "customers formerly known as L train riders on weeknights and weekends." We want to hear about your experience. Did you take the M train for the first time and discover the view from the Williamsburg Bridge? Take the J and realize you have connectivity a lot longer than the L? Use our question form to tell us how it was and what we can do to improve. And read about a few things we're already working on below.

Also, as promised, we posted the results from our dust monitoring following the first weekend of work (summary: they're well below the limits we've set), and will continue to publish these on Fridays. You can see all of our reports here.
 
 

 

The M train is really nice if you hate transferring

"Where does the M train go?"

Other than "can I transfer for free between the subway and bus?" (A: yes), this was the question we heard the most while we were out chatting with you this week.
Turns out New Yorkers and visitors alike aren't used to this magical train, given that it used to hibernate after dark and on weekends. But now that the M train is running every 8 minutes on nights and weekends, and with an extended route, it has a ton of benefits—a view from the Williamsburg Bridge, connections to 14 other subway lines in Manhattan alone...

...and a bunch of "one-seat trips" (as we call it in the biz).

So this one's for you, customer-who-doesn't-like-to-make-subway-transfers:
 

Places you can get to with a one-seat trip on the M train 


1. SoHo and NoHo (Broadway-Lafayette): Spend the day shopping if that's your thing, or check out the International Center of Photography (more our thing).

2. West Village/Greenwich Village (W 4 St Station): Springtime at Washington Square Park is the best. In the other direction, NYU students, here's your Williamsburg alternative.

3. Koreatown/Herald Square (34 St-Herald Sq): For the visitors: Macy's. For the visitors or the locals: karaoke.

4. Midtown (42 St-Bryant Park, 47-50 Sts Rockefeller Ctr): It's in the name. Bryant Park. Rockefeller Center. Also: don't miss the New York Public Library's Reading Room in the main branch.

5. More midtown (57 St): Two blocks away from Central Park. One avenue away from 5th Avenue. 

6. Upper East Side (Lexington Av / 63 on up the Q line): The art work in our stations. Sometimes called "an underground art museum," check out the permanent art installations starting at the Lexington Av / 63 Station.

Behind the scenes: Countdown clocks, work trains, and other first week fixes

No matter how much you prepare, you can't plan for everything. During our first week of the single-track operation, we tried a lot of things for the first time in MTA New York City Transit history. Many things worked. A few didn't. 

From the beginning, we promised we'd be able to make changes quickly, which we've been doing. Here are a few things we're working on or have already improved:

1. Work trains
We have to use work trains to get materials and crews in the jobsite. As we planned out the schedule for work trains, our mindset was always "how do we maximize the number of regular trains" within that work train schedule. So our initial plan was to mix work trains and regular trains, including the extra "overlay" trains in Brooklyn.

But even though we had more trains, they weren't running reliably. The extra regular train service wasn't worth it if the work trains were slowing it down as much as it was. So we're trying a new way to make service as consistent as possible: we are adjusting the schedule to start the Brooklyn overlay service a bit later—10:45 p.m. (instead of 10:25 p.m.) at Lorimer St on most weeknights, and a bit later on Friday nights.

This schedule adjustment will allow us to move work trains directly into the work zone. For you, this means L train service between Manhattan and Brooklyn will be more reliable during the ramp down period (between 8 and 10 p.m.).
2. Countdown clocks and apps
When we were starting to plan for the single-track operation, we immediately brought in our IT team. They're the ones who know how the data feeds from the modern CBTC signaling system drive the information you see—the countdown clocks and navigation apps. 

They made a ton of changes behind the scenes in advance, including programming that special "overlay" train in Brooklyn so that you know it's "last stop, Lorimer St." But the single-tracking proved to be more challenging. So everyone from IT, the Rail Control Center and Service Delivery got in a room to figure out why the data kept jumping around. We could talk about this for a whole newsletter, so we'll leave it at this: we have a few solutions we're testing out, and if you see a blank screen, it's because we're trying something but don't think it's ready for prime time. 

3. Line map inside M, J, L and (any new cars on the) G
You know the graphics inside of some train cars that show the next stop information? Our newer cars have it, including many of the ones used along the M, J and L trains. 

When possible, we integrate the bus lines that connect at key stations, so that you can see it on the map and hear it via announcements. Because of the special way these maps are produced, it's going to take some time before you see them in train cars. But when we do, you'll be notified of those critical connections. For example at Marcy Av: "Connection is available to the Williamsburg Link B91 and B92."
 
  • Member since
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  • 14,942 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, May 12, 2019 1:40 AM
Hi there. Two weeks in. How are things looking? You've taken our advice and are using the M and J in big numbers. Keep it up, and see below for a full report. Construction-wise, we're on track and doing demo (appropriate glamour shot below). And while we're mostly looking forward, we wanted to give the proper kudos to an already-completed job that's making this whole operation work: that Myrtle Viaduct. 

And thank you to everyone who wrote in with your stories about taking other options. Many of you commented on how you hadn't considered taking the M to midtown before (as opposed to the L + connecting line) and enjoyed it. A few of you told us that while the M14 was more frequent than the L, it felt slower because of traffic. Thanks for letting us know. We went out and timed the M14 (on a weeknight when there was a 10 minute wait for an L), and found that it did still beat the L headed from 8 Av to 1 Av. But we're certainly still working with NYPD to keep buses moving and are definitely looking forward to June.

Have a great weekend, and keep the comments/questions coming.
 
Catch up on L Project Weekly newsletters here
 

Everything you need to know about repairing viaducts

Riding the M on nights and weekends instead of the L? Good recon! Now take out your earbuds and tell us if you hear any difference.

You should. At that rebuilt stretch of track along the Myrtle Viaduct (between the Central Av and Myrtle Av Stations on the M), we installed new low-vibration track (LVT) for a smoother, quieter ride. Not many sections of our system have LVT, so enjoy.

New velvety rails are just one tiny part of what our teams did to prep the M line ahead of the L tunnel rehab. What sort of work? We asked our project folks about their full-court press to rebuild the entire Myrtle Viaduct. Here’s what we found out.

Doing a total viaduct rebuild in 10 months isn’t easy. First, you have to find an expert on viaducts. Luckily, we have one: Syed Abbas, the NYC Transit construction administrator who ran the project:
 
Syed Abbas: We don’t have many of these viaducts in our system, and they knew I had experience with an even bigger one. So I came off my other responsibilities and focused on the Myrtle Viaduct for 10 months.

L Project Weekly: So the Myrtle Viaduct needed work if it was going to run proper M train service for customers during the L tunnel rehab?

SA: It’s over 100 years old, built in 1913. It’s almost all concrete, the deck and supports, and while we had a supporting structure, the concrete was deteriorating. It was time to rebuild it.

LPW: What does the Myrtle Viaduct have to do with the L train?

SA: We always planned to use the M as a key alternative for customers. To replace the whole viaduct we had to shut down a section of the M line, from where it crosses over the L at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs Station down to the viaduct. If we didn’t have that work finished before the L tunnel work started, that would be a real headache for our customers.

LPW: And this was no small job.

SA: Massive. We took down the whole structure, then installed over [200] pilings. The whole 310-foot deck was precast, which is kind of unique. Lots of quality control. We had the structural steel made in Pennsylvania, then shipped it to Massachusetts, where we precast the deck panels. Each panel is about 22 to 29 tons. Then we trucked them to the site.
 
LPW: So, what was the hardest part of the whole job?

SA: You have to plan every step exactly. In some places we were just 1 ft. away from a private property line. We had to work with very tight restrictions and track alignments. Even a tiny error means you miss the J line connection. To get it right, we drew elevations for every step and had super-strict quality control.

LPW: Like threading a huge needle.

SA: Absolutely. And it’s hard for the community too. We relocated the whole block ahead of time. The MTA took care of everybody, but nobody likes that. My biggest concern, day and night, was to reduce stress for the community and our customers. That was my goal. Get it done right. Get it done on time to minimize stress for customers.

LPW: So your team got it done on time?

SA: Yes! We had a great team who got it done on schedule and on budget.

LPW: Music to the ears! Great job, everyone. So our L customers now have M trains every 8 minutes during the busiest times on nights and weekends, right when they need it.
Learn about the M train schedule
 

By the numbers (so far): M, J, G, L and M14 ridership

It's been two weeks, which our planners tell us is enough time for a preliminary look at how many of you have taken our advice to use other subways and buses instead of the L.

The highlights (numbers look at ridership on the weekends during busiest times):
  • By station, L ridership has decreased up to 50 percent 
  • By station, J and M ridership has increased on average over 60 percent between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
  • G ridership has also gone up—by about 35 percent—between Brooklyn and Court Square Station in Queens.
  • M14 ridership has risen by about 35 percent, and we're projecting even more once we launch Select Bus Service in June.
Learn all of your service options
 

Two-track Tuesday: Why L service will look a little different once a month

Did you know that we follow federally mandated guidelines for our track inspections? Yep. We have to do regular inspections all throughout our system. For the L, this means that once a month, we'll take a break from the tunnel work and instead do our track inspections.

For you, this means that nighttime L service will look a little different once a month—this month, it'll happen on Tuesday, May 14.
 
 
We'll be running two-track service so we can do the inspections, but service will stay reduced to about every 10-12 minutes after 10 p.m., with a similar ramp-down starting at 8 p.m.

What won't change is the alternate service options: same extended M train service, more G service, two Williamsburg Link bus routes, and more
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 5/11/19

We are continuing much of the work we talked about last week. Here are the highlights of what we're working on in the week ahead:
 
  1. Swap out old track plates and ties for a more comfortable ride
  2. Set up enclosure; conduct duct bank wall shaving and demolition
  3. Install electrical conduit from track level at Avenue D fan plant   
  4. Install brackets and junction boxes
 

Glamour shot of the week: Demolition
There's not a lot of it, but we're getting it done

Bobcat machine inside of the enclosed dust containment area. This machine is used to maximize efficiency of wall duct demolition. 
 
Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, May 4, 2019
 

Update: About that fan plant

In case you missed it last week, we wrote about the two fan plants that flank the L tunnel, built in 1916. Update: since the one in Williamsburg is now surrounded by residences along the previously industrial waterfront, this week, we started to test out a few methods to potentially minimize the noise the fan plant emits when used. 

It's going to take some time as we build and try out a few different structures and see if anything works to reduce the noise. So we'll be back with an update once we're able to test how effective these are. 
 

Customer question of the week


Q: The M Train always stops and crawls through the brand new Viaduct. It adds at least 5 minutes onto the already long commute. I thought we fixed it? - anonymous
A: You're right that we fixed it—we rebuilt the whole structure (see above article). Because of the density of the surrounding neighborhood, we had to build it in exactly the same spot, which also meant that we had to keep the track curves the same as before. 

It's these sharp track curves (overhead shot below) that slow down the trains. For example, for Manhattan-bound M trains, the speed limit is 10 MPH just outside of the Myrtle Av Station.

At this particular spot, you might experience some additional slowness because it's also where the switch is for the Ms to merge with the Js. So if there is a Manhattan-bound J train in the Myrtle Av Station, then the Manhattan-bound M has to pause temporarily until the J has left the station. 
 

Get in touch

  • Sign up for our text alerts
  • Call 511 and say "subways" then "L train"
  • Tweet @NYCTSubway with #LProject
  • Ask a team member: We're still going to have lots of staff out from 8 Av to Lorimer St over the weekend. Look for someone with a pink button that says "Ask me about the L Project" 
Learn more
 

Learn more and stay connected

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,942 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, May 26, 2019 4:05 AM
he L Project <lproject@nyct.com>
To:daveklepper@yahoo.com
 
May 25 at 6:14 PM
 
 
Hi there. It's a three-day weekend for many of you, but we're working Monday. So plan ahead and use the L alternatives on Monday like you've been doing on weekends. Also: an explainer on a special kind of track we have called "low-vibration track," an update on our demolition progress, and a fellow traveler asks "what's the difference between a viaduct and a bridge?"

And most importantly on this Memorial Day, to all of our service men and women and their families: THANK YOU for your service.
 
Catch up on L Project Weekly newsletters here
 
Workers in the contained area for demolition.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Tues., May 7, 2019 

Data on demolition: One tube is already 65% done with wall duct demo

We started demolition of the wall duct a few weeks ago, which is one piece of the overall rehabilitation work. The revised plan has much less total demolition (reduced to about 7 percent of the original), and we have made a lot of progress already:
  • We've completed demolition of 2,200 of 3,400 linear feet within the first tube, or approximately 65 percent.
  • There is 3,400 linear feet to demolish in the other tube, so overall, we're more than one-third of the way done with this demolition part of the job
Learn more about our construction
 

Explainer: What's "low-vibration track" and why don't we have it everywhere?

After our feature on the Myrtle Viaduct, we got a few questions about low-vibration track, or LVT. As we mentioned, this kind of rail makes for a quieter commute, but it isn't found in many places in our system.

You wanted to know why that was, and we did, too. So we talked with Antonio Cabrera on the MTA New York City Transit track engineering team:
 
Antonio Cabrera: To install the LVT you need to shut down a line entirely. It’s not a weekend job. So we’ll install it on big projects when possible, since we're already disrupting service. We have it on the Second Avenue Subway and the 7 Line Extension and now on the Myrtle Viaduct.

L Project Weekly: Why just these more recent projects? Is it a new technology?

AC: In the U.S., it’s pretty new. It’s been used in Europe and some other countries for maybe 30 years. In the U.S. they have some in San Francisco’s BART system and few other places. We started using LVT in 2008 and we are by far the biggest user in this country.
LPW: Why does LVT take longer to install than regular rail?

AC: It requires what’s called a monolithic concrete pour. First you put down a rubber boot, then a pad, then a concrete block, then another pad. You lay the rail on top of that layered support. Then you do very precise rail measurements and alignments. Then you do the concrete pour all at once, flowing the concrete under and around the LVT supports.
 

Hot tip: Buy/refill your MetroCard AFTER your trip

Ever get to a station at the same time as the train...then realize you don't have your fare ready and miss the train? 

Here's a tip: fill up your MetroCard AFTER you ride the train (extra credit if you use an EasyPay MetroCard). 
For those of you who use Bedford Av Station, we won't have the lovely MetroCard van there anymore, so if you need to buy or refill a MetroCard, we'd recommend doing it on the Bedford Avenue side where there are more vending machines.

And while we're on the topic of ways to pay your fare, have you heard about OMNY? Get smart here before we roll it out in select lines starting May 31 (less than a week!). 
 

Memorial Day reminder: L will do the every-20-minute schedule all-day on Monday

Just like we do when we have full train closures on weekends to do work, if it falls on a holiday weekend, we treat that Monday like a work day.

That means that this Monday (Memorial Day), the L will be operating like a current Saturday or Sunday, with trains every 20 minutes between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and every 10 minutes between Lorimer St and Canarsie.

Interested in Memorial Day weekend schedules for our other lines and rails like MetroNorth? Check out the press release round-up we did earlier this week for the full update.
Plan your Memorial Day weekend travel
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 5/25/19

Here's what we're working on this weekend and week ahead:
  1. Continue duct bank wall demolition, and smooth/seal previously-demolished surfaces
  2. Continue to swap plates and ties along the line to create a smoother, quieter, more comfortable ride
  3. Pull a variety of different cables to prepare for upgrades to power, communications and lighting
 

Glamour shot of the week: 
Mortar never looked so good

Crews pour mortar as part of the process to install new rail and ties on the L.
 
Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Sunday, May 19, 2019
 

Customer question of the week


Q: You talked about the Myrtle "Viaduct" but it just looks like a bridge to me. What's the difference between a viaduct and a bridge? -anonymous
A: A viaduct is actually a type of bridge. It’s long and made up of smaller spans held up by arches. Usually, a viaduct crosses over land not water.

A few other fun facts about viaducts and bridges:
  • Our Myrtle Viaduct is 310 feet long.
  • To improve the M line, we also rebuilt our 100-year-old Fresh Pond Bridge in Ridgewood, which is 65 feet long.
  • The world’s tallest viaduct is the Millau Viaduct. It’s impressive, taller than the Eiffel Tower. But it’s in France and useless to L train customers.
Ask us a question
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,942 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 04, 2019 9:43 AM
Hi. The alternate subway options (especially the J and M) are working. They're working so well in fact that most of you are just starting your trips there, and not even needing the current Williamsburg Link buses. So we're making some changes. More on that below.

Also: our answer to "how do you keep the tracks straight?," you can now use OMNY to get to the L (we're in the pilot phase, so just at Union Square for now) and some trivia: turns out pink was a thing before the L Project...except it wasn't used on the L.

Have a sunny weekend.
 
Got this from a friend? Subscribe to L Project updates
Catch up on past newsletters
 
A track geometry car, one of four in the system.

Photo: MTA Capital Construction / Fri., Sept. 23, 2016

How do we keep our tracks aligned? We have a special train for that.

While the tunnel gets a lot of attention, the L Project is just as much about the massive amount of new track we're installing. With this new track comes a very special train: it has two shiny, stainless-steel cars and super bright lights on the underside.
 
It’s not a work train, it’s not a vacuum train. It’s one of our custom-built Track Geometry Cars (TGCs), which are a bit like laboratories on wheels. People who see them wonder, what’s that? So we asked Antonio Cabrera, our Assistant Chief Officer for Track Engineering, to explain. The following is math-free.  
 
L Project Weekly: Antonio, these aren’t just regular subway trains with special equipment, are they?

Antonio Cabrera: No. They are completely unique, custom-built, self-propelled trains. They were designed and built just for our subway system. We have four TGCs that cover all665 miles of mainline track. They pretty much work all year round, but we rotate them in during off-hours, so you don’t see them often.

LPW: What are they for?

AC: We have two ways we inspect tracks. We have crews walking the tracks and we have automated track inspections. That’s what these cars do. They measure track and rail parameters, very precisely. They detect and record any defects or clearance obstructions. They measure the exact width of the track to gauge any misalignment or distortions. They check the levelness of the tracks and the track grades. They even sense flaws in the steel rails.

LPW: How do they do all that? What’s inside the cars?

AC: There’s a lot of equipment inside and outside. They have video cameras under the train to check the tracks and fasteners. Infrared cameras check “hot spots” on the third rail. Sensors measure the track gauge and the alignment and profile of the rails. Ultrasound devices check the rails for flaws. The crews inside have computers, monitors, and other analytical equipment. 
LPW: Like a locomotive pulling a laboratory.

AC: Sort of. Actually, there are two joined units. A measurement car and an engine car, and both carry measuring equipment.

LPW: They must have to move very slowly, right?

AC: No, they actually move at the regular subway speed. And they weigh the same as a typical rush hour car loaded with passengers, about 100,000 pounds. That’s part of the testing. It’s dynamic measuring. We’re testing under real load conditions, which is something manual inspections could never do.

LPW: So we have four TGCs and they move around the entire subway system monitoring for defects. What role do they play in the L Project?

AC: A very important role. We do our regular measuring and testing about every three months, but in this case we are also doing very precise quality control. As the track work progresses, we are checking everything under real load conditions to see that it’s done exactly right, exactly as specified in the contracts. We’ll be coming back to the L tunnel about mid-July for our next inspection.

LPW: Note to your calendars, trainspotters!
 

The not-so-secret way to get to the L using OMNY

Starting at noon this past Friday, we rolled out the first phase of OMNY, our tap-to-pay system. We're starting with 16 subway stations on the 4, 5, and 6 lines in Manhattan and Brooklyn between Grand Central-42 Street and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, and all Staten Island buses. 
If you're thinking, "But wait, doesn't this mean that even if I'm not using the 4, 5, 6 at Union Square, I can still use OMNY to get in and then head to another line, like the L?!?!?" Very astute, and yes.
Learn more about OMNY
 

New Williamsburg Link bus route to replace current B91 and B92 starting Saturday, June 8

We've been tracking how much you're using our alternate service options: the J and the M trains, for example, are seeing about 60% more of you on trains going over the Williamsburg Bridge.

For the Williamsburg Link bus routes, we've seen two patterns: 
1. Most folks are starting their trips at the Marcy Av Station instead of taking the buses to get there, so the bus ridership is low (only two or three customers per trip, on average).
2. The most used bus stops are in the Bedford Ave area and near Marcy Av Station (more than 60 percent of customers).

So we're launching a new bus route to replace the current two routes—the B91A—starting Saturday, June 8. 

More information (maps! frequencies!) will be posted online next week, but here are the highlights:
  • The new route will be shorter and focused on connecting the Marcy Av Station with the Bedford Ave area.
  • It will have two new stops—one on Driggs Ave at Grand St and another on Roebling St at Grand St—for a total of four stops. 
  • The new route will run every 8 minutes during busiest times, and will keep the current late night and early morning frequencies as is (every 10 minutes).
  • The bus will still be free.
  • The new route also helps you connect to other buses: Customers going between Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St and Marcy Av Stations can take the B24 bus for a direct connection between the two stations. Customers going between Metropolitan Av/Lorimer St and Bedford Av can take the Q59 to the B91A at Grand St.
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 6/1/19

Here's what we're working on this weekend and the week ahead:
  1. Continue wall duct demolition, and smooth/seal previously-demolished surfaces
  2. Pressure-testing the discharge line, which is critical to reducing the impact of future storms
  3. Installing electrical conduits and fixtures on the platform at 1 Av Station as part of the station expansion
  4. Continue to work on cabling: pulling a variety of different cables to prepare for upgrades to power, communications and lighting
Learn more about our construction
 

Glamour shot of the week: Lower level, please

One of the two new elevator shafts in progress at the L's 1 Av Station in Manhattan. Once complete, the station will have two elevators along 14th Street, one on the north side and one on the south side.
 
Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Monday, May 6, 2019
 

Real or fake?


Answer: Real.

This was the M line's symbol from 1967 to 1969. It was specifically used on the section of the route at Myrtle Avenue. Nice color!
 
 

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  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,942 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Monday, June 10, 2019 4:41 AM
Hello. We've talked a lot about the tunnel work, and what we're doing to prevent future Superstorm Sandy-situations for our subways. But we know protected street vents aren't going to help you get to work on time during rush hour on a regular dry day. So we checked in with our construction managers for an update on two of the three substations we're building that will help solve that problem—they'll power more L trains when the project is done. 

Also: how pink became a thing, we reached a mini milestone in the tunnel work, and a reminder that the new (and still free) Williamsburg Link route, the B91A, starts today. Have a super weekend.
 
Got this from a friend? Subscribe to L Project updates
Catch up on past newsletters
 
Progress at one of three substations we're building as part of the L Project. This substation is located in Brooklyn near Harrison Ave.

Photo: MTA New York City Transit  / Wed., June 5, 2019

Update: What's happening with those things in Brooklyn that will bring you more L trains, AKA substations

We've talked about the progress of one of the substations we're building for the L Project (on 14th St in Manhattan). So what's happening with the other two substations, located near Harrison Ave and Maspeth Ave in Brooklyn? 

It might look like they're building a green jungle gym of sorts (see photo above), but there's a lot more to it. Here's the latest:
 
Harrison Ave (in photo)

Completed:
  • Excavation: This one goes 55-60 ft below ground
  • Pouring and finishing the concrete floor


Currently working on:
  • Rebar installation (the green-ish bars in the photo), which creates a foundation to build the walls 
  • Preparing to pour the concrete along the rebar
What's next:
  • Taking the work fully underground, which also means giving back the street
Maspeth Ave

Completed:
  • Excavation: The team dug 70 ft down
  • Rebar, walls, floor and roof
  • Waterproofing the inside of the structure, including the walls and floor
Currently working on:
  • Wiring up the equipment so we can connect to power




What's next:
  • Fixing up the street
  • Connecting the building to the L's tracks
  • Testing the electricity (which comes from Con Edison)
 

Reminder: new B91A Williamsburg Link bus route starts TODAY

The modified Williamsburg Link service includes a new route with new stops, the B91A. This will replace the current B91 and B92, and goes into effect Saturday, June 8, 2019.
As we mentioned last week, we're making changes to the Williamsburg Link bus service. The goal of this service is to get you to alternate subway options fast, and so we've modified the route and frequencies based on how you've been using it. The changes go into effect today with one new route—the B91A—replacing the current B91 and B92.

Check out the map here or the link below for more information on the new bus route.
Meet the new Williamsburg Link B91A bus
 

How the L Project turned pink

Many of you and our Twitter friends have told us you like the pink look (thank you) and wondered how it came to be.

Here’s the story (details of late nights working in the office with average takeout food removed; you’re welcome):
When our marketing and communications team had its L Project kick-off (yes, we did everything “in-house,” as we say in the marketing biz), we were focused on two things:

1. Reaching as many L (and J, M and G) customers as possible with the right information in a way that works for you, and
2. Making it as easy as possible to navigate the service changes, whether you're a regu-L-er or a visitor.

As we made our own plan, we also phoned a few friends—including our colleagues at transit agencies around the world. We talked with Transport for London's team about a 2018 project in which one major connecting station was skipped for several months. And we spoke with Sydney's team about a rail line upgrade that meant thousands of customers had to use an alternate bus service for about nine months.

Both agencies shared that the most important thing they did was to make all information about the project look totally different. Sydney mentioned that it was tough to find a color that they didn't currently use in their system—a bright, fluorescent pink was the only one they could find.

So we sat down with our design team and looked at some options: teal, neon green and hot pink were the top choices. We tested all of them across our digital screens, tweaked shading to differentiate from other brands that also happen to advertise in our subways and buses, and, well, you know the rest. 
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 6/8/19

Check out the photo below for info on a mini milestone we reached last weekend. And here's what's on tap for this week:
  1. Continue to work on cabling: pulling fiber and communications cables near the N 7th fan plant and Avenue B, and pulling the pump room feeder and fiber cables at Bedford Av Station
  2. Restore liner wall from Avenue D to the pump room
  3. Accessibility work on the 1 Av Station platform
  4. Swap more plates and ties: between Bedford Ave and N 7th
  5. Install cables and tunnel lighting brackets from Bedford Ave to N 7th
Learn more about our construction
 

Glamour shot of the week: Now you see it, now you don't

Our demolition work for the project started with the wall duct. Over the weekend, we completed the wall duct demolition and smoothing process within the tube we're currently working. This photo, taken prior to that completion, shows where the wall duct demolition and sealing is done, and what part still needs to be sealed.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Monday, May 20, 2019
 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 4:33 AM
Hi. So we're building three new substations for the L. But how can they power more trains if we don't have more modern-signaling-trained operators to run them?! Good question. We can't! Which is why we're training more, right now. More on that below.

Plus: that weird monthly L service pattern is back this coming week, take our quarterly survey, and find out if you've been using "line" and "train" wrong all this time. Have a fabulous week.
 
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MTA New York City Transit team members help customers navigate the changes to L train service while the train operator runs the single-track operation.

Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit / Friday, April 26, 2019

Training the train operators: (More) people who move you know modern signaling

Did you know that the L is one of two lines in our system with modern signaling? And did you know that we wouldn't have been able to run our single-track operation without it (i.e. the reason you have some L service while we work vs. no L service)?

That's right. As we explained in last week's edition, we're working to get even more out of the modern signaling by adding more substations to power the trains. Modern signaling + more power = more trains.

But there's more to it than just new infrastructure. We're also training more conductors to use our modern signaling system (the L uses Communications-Based Train Control or CBTC). We asked Kim Gibbs, a senior director in the Subways division and former train operator herself, what this entails.
 
L Project Weekly: Kim, we understand the L line was our first subway line to get the modern signaling.

KG: That’s right. The CBTC is a big help right now. It's actually a major reason we can still run trains during the tunnel repairs.

LPW: How’s that?

KG: During the nights and weekends, trains run in both directions on a single track, switching off and going around our work site. We couldn’t do that efficiently without the precision of modern signaling, at least not with 20 minute intervals.

LPW: Good to know. Let’s talk about your role in all this. You’re in charge of training our people to run the trains with modern signaling. The train operators, conductors, dispatchers, control room people. What’s involved?
KG: The training depends on the job. For our train operators, modern signaling alone is a five-day course. We are currently have about 740 operators in our system trained on it. When the L Project was announced, we immediately started planning to train more people because we’ll be able to run even more trains on the L then. We’ve already trained a few dozen more since that point.

LPW: Is it hard for conductors to get used to the more automated signaling?

KG: They love it, once they get trained on it. We have a system where crews pick their job preferences, and the L line is a top pick. The train speeds and positions even out nicely. Actually, I used to be an operator on the L years ago, I really wish we had modern signaling back then!

LPW: Thanks, Kim and to all your modern signaling trainees. Our L customers see a lot of specially trained people out on the platforms these days. Now we know there are many more running the trains, too.
 

Reminder: Monthly two-track Tuesday is coming up on June 18

Remember when we said service would be a little funky once a month? It's that time again!

From 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, into the early morning hours on June 19, we'll be running two-track service so we can do our mandated track inspections. Service will ramp down starting at 8 p.m., and will stay reduced to about every 10-12 minutes after 10 p.m.

And just like last time, the alternate service won't change: same extended M train service, more G service, Williamsburg Link B91A bus route, and more
 

Want to give us feedback on your commute? Noticed recent improvements? Take our survey.

W The MTA regularly surveys people like you to get feedback on a range of topics. Right now, you can take the Customers Count Survey, which asks you to rate the subway lines, stations, and bus routes you use most often. Access-A-Ride and Staten Island Railway customers can evaluate those services, too. And bonus: you'll be entered into a drawing to win one of ten 30-day Unlimited Ride MetroCards or one of ten 7-day Express Bus Plus Unlimited Ride MetroCards.
 
The survey is only open until June 30, so take it now by going here: www.mta.info/CustomersCount.
Take the survey
 

True or false: The proper name for the L is "L line"

 False!

A subway “line” refers to the physical route and tracks. The subway “service” or “route” refer to the trains serving that line.

So the L is the train service (or “route”) running on the Canarsie Line. Don’t like that option? Good news! You can also call it the 14th Street-Canarsie Line and not be wrong.

Informally, people mix lines, routes, services, and trains all the time. A habit to which we also plead: guilty.
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 6/15/19

We're continuing to work in the tunnel, in two stations and three substations. Here's what's coming up this week:
  1. Continue to work on cabling: pulling communication and telephone cables near the Driggs-side communication room at Bedford Av Station
  2. Install fire alarm conduit at Bedford Av Station
  3. Install third rail cable brackets at 1 Av Station
  4. Continue accessibility work at 1 Av Station, including installing ADA-compliant tactile edges on the platform
  5. Install discharge pipe, manifolds and wall support brackets from Avenue D to the pump room
  6. Start duct bank shaving work from Bedford to North 7th
  7. New work on the rails: Remove and install contact rail parts, install contact rail between Bedford and North 7th and new negative return rail
  8. Install DC lighting fixtures at the 1 Av Station platform
  9. Swap more plates and ties: between Bedford Ave and N 7th
Learn more about our construction
 

Glamour shot of the week: There's more to a new entrance than the stairs

Behind the barricades between 1st Avenue and Avenue A along 14th Street in Manhattan, we're extending the 1 Av Station for a new entrance. From new lighting to lots of concrete to build the structure, there's more to it than just the new stairs. 

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Wednesday, June 5, 2019
 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 23, 2019 6:11 AM

Hello. We're still drying off from the wet weather this week (thanks for sticking with us as we dealt with it). But you know what we DIDN'T have to dry off? The L tunnel. That's because a little thing called sump pumps did the work automatically—with capacity for 2,750 gallons drained per minute once the new ones are installed. More below on how we prevent these soggy situations.

Plus: Bedford Av stair openings and closings to watch for, what's a "snake tray," and plan your travel now for Independence Day.

Happy first official weekend of summer!

 
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Ready for the big city. This new Canarsie sump pump just passed its factory test in Wisconsin. Its next test is on location under the East River. 

Photo: MTA New York City Transit / 2019

Come L or high water: Everything you need to know about sump pumps

One crucial piece of the L Project isn’t visible to riders. But it is fun to say: sump pumps!

These stationary pumps suck up water from a collecting basin called the sump. 

Sump pumps are usually located in a pump house at the lowest point of a subway line, where water wants to go. And since we had a lot of rain this week, we figured it's a fitting time for an update on how we're managing that inevitable issue: water coming into our system.

We asked Henry Schober, chief mechanical engineer at MTA New York City Transit, and his ace hydraulics team to demystify sump pumps. Here’s what we learned.

1,100 gallons per MINUTE
Yes, brand new pumps are being installed in the Canarsie pump room. We learned from the Sandy-situation, so not only are the new ones more powerful, but they also have their own power generators and controls above ground.

They’re designed to keep on pumping, no matter what. There are four pumps in the house, actually. Two small pumps that each drain 275 gallons per minute. Two super-strength ones that each drain 1,100 gallons per minute.

Why? The small pumps run daily, slurping up normal leakage from runoff. There's a lot of that.

And one non-L specific fun fact: On a dry day, about 13 million gallons of water gets pumped out of the city’s subway system. 

Fighting to the end
As you guessed, the big pumps are for special occasions.
They kick in when triggered by a rising float, like the one in your toilet tank. With their own generators, they’ll run even when there is a loss of power.
The sump pumps run by themselves. Our maintenance team can monitor their status right from their desks. In a bad flood, the big ones will pump away until the cavalry arrives.

Pump trains, go!
With the fixed sump pumps fighting incoming slosh, powerful pump trains can get in faster.

The department has five pump trains. Each sucks up 5,000 gallons per minute. They hose it out, into the sewer system, through nozzles placed every 500 feet along tunnel walls.

Now, this raises a nice hydraulic question.

Why not just have sump pumps that can do 5,000 gallons? Schober told us why not.

The size of a pump you can fit into a subway tunnel, pipes and all, is limited. It’s limited by the tunnel dimensions and track bed width.

It’s also limited hydraulically, by the size of the discharge pipes. 

“You know how many gallons are in the East River,” Schober asks rhetorically. “You can’t pump out the East River.”

A room under the river
Now that you’re into sump pumps, a few more answers for the curious L customer.

If you look hard, can you see sump pumps from the train? No. The sump and the pumps are in a room at the lowest elevation point between the tracks.

The pump room is equipped with extraction pipes and nozzles, and the pumps are below the floor there. Maintenance teams visit there monthly. They clean drains, check things out.

It isn’t the most pleasant place to visit, but one thing they don't have? Rats. "Rats stay by food, not water," according to one astute member of Schober's team.
 

Trip planner: Independence Day edition

 Getting your travel plans lined up for Independence Day (Thursday, July 4)? We're here to help you get around. 

And one hot tip: Don't wait in lines! Make sure you have your fare ready to go BEFORE you get to the station. Bonus points if you get an automatically-refillable EasyPay MetroCard.

Here's what you need to know:

Like we do on other holidays, we'll be running what we consider a "normal Saturday service." So let's hearken back to pre-April 26 days as to what used to be a normal Saturday on the L (and other alternative like the M and G):

During the day, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.:
  • L trains will run every ~4 minutes
  • G trains will run every ~10 minutes
  • M trains will go to Delancey-Essex only, and run every ~10 minutes
After 8 p.m.:
We'll stop pretending it's a weekend and get back to work like a normal weekday. L service will decrease to that every-20-minute thing, and alternative subway and bus options will start up at 8 p.m.
 

Openings & closings: Bedford Av Station stairs this weekend

Been to Bedford Av Station lately? If yes, you know that we've been busy working on adding more stairs at both ends of the station—specifically, doubling the number of stairs that go to the street level. 

Our approach for these stairs is to open them as soon as they're safe, and then we'll go back later to do the finishing touches (sorry to disappoint if you're a fan of that unfinished basement vibe). Also, FYI, we always keep a certain number of stairs open at a time. 

This weekend, we'll open a new platform to mezzanine staircase on the Driggs Ave side. Soon, we'll close the existing one on that same side for several months. We're totally demolishing the old concrete style and rebuilding it with our new steel stair standard (see above photo).
Learn the full improvement plan for Bedford Av Station
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 6/21/19

We're continuing to work in the tunnel, in two stations and three substations. Here are the highlights coming up this week:
  1. Install temporary shoring and demolition at the pump room
  2. Install conduits in tunnel lighting room near Bedford Ave
  3. Continue accessibility work at Bedford Av Station, including installing ADA-compliant tactile edges on the platform
  4. Continue duct bank shaving work, moving to between North 7th and the circuit breaker house
  5. New work on the rails: Remove and install contact rail parts between North 7th and the circuit breaker house, and install negative return rail conduit, cables and rail tags from Bedford Ave to North 7th
  6. Swap more plates and ties: from North 7th St to the circuit breaker house
  7. Install discharge pipe, manifolds and wall support brackets from Avenue D to pump room
  8. Install handrails and brackets between pump room and Avenue D
  9. Swap rail at 1 Av Station
Learn more about our construction
 

Glamour shot of the week: Now you know what a "snake tray" is

As we install new cables, we're doing so in a new way—outside of the bench wall. We're using a piece of equipment seen here, aptly named a "snake tray" for the shape of the brackets. These racks along the tunnel wall are designed to hold the new cables well above the tracks, and therefore away from any potential water in the tunnel. 

Here's what the snake tray is holding in the photo (from top to bottom):
1. Radio antenna cable
2. 36 strand fiber optic cable ("36" means there are 36 strands of fiber)
3. Sound power telephone system conduit (just under the rack)

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Wednesday, June 16, 2019
 

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  • Member since
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, June 23, 2019 10:25 AM

Very interesting.  Going back to US Navy sound powered telephone system.  That way can always communicate.  Very good idea !

fiber)
3. Sound power telephone system conduit (just under the rack)

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 30, 2019 1:00 AM
Hi there. In case you missed it, there is a major international event going on, and it's culminating this weekend in our wonderful city. So while the vibe is all about progress, we're marking the occasion by going retro and running L service like it’s pre-April 26, 2019, days again. More details below. 

And if you tuned in to our committee and board meetings this week, you heard the board's independent consultant report their findings, including their assessment that the L Project is a month ahead of schedule. From our perspective, we are happy with the progress but aren’t resting easy. We're going to keep pushing to get the work done fast and get it done right, and appreciate your continued flexibility as we do.

Have a pride-filled weekend.
 
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Put a lid on it. Crews work at street level on 14th Street in Manhattan. They are preparing the roof structure along the new extension of the 1 Av Station for the L.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / June 19, 2019

About that hole in the ground at Ave. A

Dateline—June 2019. Border of East Village and Alphabet City.  

We know folks around Ave A have been shouldering a lot lately. There’s been major, ongoing work around the east end of the 1 Av Station, right where the East Village meets Alphabet City.

It will end. And when it does, we’ll leave behind a big payoff for generations to come. Here’s what’s happening:

“We’re doing a lot of station improvements, but the big deal is the new station entrance at Ave A,” according to our onsite project engineering team.  

This is something L riders in StuyTown have been asking for…forever. From east of the station, it’s a hike west to the narrow stairs at First Ave. Which have been getting more and more crowded every year. Our engineers explain how we’re fixing that.

“We’re constructing two staircases and one elevator on each platform side,” they told us. “So that’s a total of four new stairs and two new elevators at Ave A on the east end of the platform. That means direct access for everyone who lives east of the station.”

Yup, two new ADA-compliant elevators. That’s the other big deal. It’s one of 50 new elevator installations we’re planning over the next five years to make our system more accessible.
And with new elevators also going in at Bedford Av Station, that means new borough-to-borough accessibility. For L riders on both banks of the river, that’s great news!
That’s also a lot of work.

The crew is digging down about 27.5 feet below street level. Which means unearthing and moving (carefully!)  gas lines, sewer lines, electrical conduits, and water pipes. Lots of stuff down there. All hooked up live to nearby stores and apartments.

“We have to build new utility lines before abandoning the old ones,” the team explains. “Each one has its own intricacies.”

Like urban surgery. Difficult…but has to be done.

As that digging goes on, the whole 1 Av Station is getting a redo. This 95-year-old, originally-BMT station is getting new lighting, security systems, communication systems. And things you can’t see, like new drainage, ventilation, more electrical power.

To sum up, East Villagers and StuyTowners are getting better station access. L riders are getting new inter-borough accessibility. And the 1 Av Station is getting a total systems upgrade, even as we dig.

Speaking of digging, did you know the MTA hires archaeologists? As we said, lots of stuff down there. More on that in an upcoming issue.
Read the full improvement plan for 1 Av Station
 

Trip planner: WorldPride 2019 + L Project edition

Service rundown:
  • L service is back in action, running on a pre-April 26, 2019, normal weekend schedule all the way from Friday night to the Monday a.m. rush.
  • M service will go back to its normal route (ending at Delancey-Essex) and frequencies.
  • G service frequencies will also go back to normal.
  • (There are other increased service options and changes, like special W service. Check them out here.)
Stations situation:
Overall, we expect stations around the March route on Sunday, June 30, 2019, to be crowded at times. But you're an L customer. You're ready for this. Just have your fare ready to go BEFORE you get to the station (or even better, grab an automatically-refillable EasyPay MetroCard). And tell your friends to do the same.

Read our special L Project + WorldPride trip tips email for more.

And if you missed last week's edition, check it out for tips on planning your Independence Day travel. 
Plan your trip
 
The platform at Bedford Av Station on the L. 

Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit / Friday, April 26, 2019

Platform changes at Bedford Av Station starting the week of July 1

Last week, we mentioned that we were opening a new staircase, and soon closing the existing one. Well, the time has arrived.

During the week of July 1, the existing stair on the Driggs Ave side of the platform will close for several months. We're demolishing the whole concrete staircase and rebuilding it with our new steel stair standard.

The new barricade means you'll be moving around the platform there a little differently. We will have staff out to help direct you safely, and remember to watch your step. 
Learn the full improvement plan for Bedford Av Station
 

M14 A/D Select Bus Service starts Monday, July 1

 Do you usually use the L at night to travel just in Manhattan? Or on weekends?

Good news: we can now help make that trip a little faster. And yes, it involves a bus.

M14 Select Bus Service launches on Monday. 

We've transformed the existing M14 A and M14 D routes with better bus stop spacing and all door boarding. That said, unfortunately, as of yesterday, we will not be able to take advantage of New York City Department of Transportation's planned transit and truck priority busway due to a temporary restraining order that was issued as part of a lawsuit.

Our full statement:

"This ruling will undoubtedly hinder our goal of speeding up buses on one of the busiest and most congested arteries and make traveling around the city harder for our customers. Transit prioritization such as the city's Transit and Truck Priority busway would help speed up Select Bus Service. In the meantime, we're working with NYCDOT and NYPD to enforce existing rules to ensure our buses won't be blocked by vehicles double parking and blocking bus stops when we launch M14 SBS on July 1 as planned."

Click the button below to get route maps and the full schedule.
Learn about M14 A/D SBS
 

Glamour shot of the week: Going new spool

These giant reels are holding the new communications cable for the L tunnel rehab. This cable, technically known by our electricians as “cable type 25 PR #22,” will be installed from the Avenue B substation to the communication room at 1st Avenue, and from Avenue B substation to Bedford Avenue. It’s fire resistant, and we’ve installed about 1,010 linear feet so far, out of 8,700 total. 

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Wednesday, June 16, 2019
 

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, July 06, 2019 2:38 PM
Hello. The Brooklyn Bridge's history got a lot of attention this week as it played host to that annual fireworks extravaganza. Always nice when transportation icons get recognized. But since part of our Canarsie Line is actually several years older (the Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883, whereas the Canarsie Line originated in 1865), we want to give it its proper due, too, on this Fourth of July week. Your L nostalgia is below.

Also: plan ahead for overnight L work in Brooklyn, what's the difference between "tube" and "tunnel," and what's coming up in construction. Have a fabulous weekend.
 
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Getting on track: train cars getting delivered at Bushwick and Montrose in Brooklyn, circa 1924.

Steam to CBTC—We've come an L of a long way

In an earlier edition, we talked about communications-based train control (CBTC), the modern signal system currently on the L and 7 lines only. Once the L Project is done, with new substations, track, and all the rest, the L will be among our most modernized lines. That’s quite a rise for a line that started as a pokey steam engine to a pier. You didn’t know? Here’s the mini-history.
 
1865 The first stretch of today’s Canarsie Line opened under a charter from the Long Island Rail Road, now an MTA commuter line and the nation’s oldest railroad. That coal-fed steam engine ran between East New York and Canarsie, which once vied with Coney Island as a waterside attraction.

1906 The Canarsie Line next became an electric Brooklyn Rapid Transit (BRT) line, terminating at the Williamsburg ferry. It had both elevated and grade-level track. Its juice was supplied by third rail and by trolley wire south of New Lots. (You can still see a few of the old trolley poles in Canarsie.)
 
1924 From the west, meanwhile, cometh the subway. The BMT subway line from 14 St-6 Av to Montrose Ave opened in June 1924.  
1931 A second underground line from Montrose to Broadway opened in 1928. Lastly, the 8 Av Station in Manhattan opened in 1931. With some nips and tucks, that’s your current Canarsie Line.

A final fun fact: The Canarsie Line is one of two “isolated” lines unconnected to the rest of the subway system tracks. The other is the 7 Line. (That’s part of the reason why it made sense to install CBTC first on these two lines.) With no overlapping track, new BMT cars couldn’t just be driven onto the line. So when the first cars were delivered to the Brooklyn side of the Canarsie Line in 1924, they had to be hauled down a special ramp at Bushwick and Montrose. See above photo.
 

Trip planner: Upcoming weeknight and weekend work at select Brooklyn L stations

 During the overnight hours for nine weekends and the preceding weeknights, we need full access to L stations between Broadway Junction and Lorimer St in Brooklyn to make a bunch of accessibility and power upgrades. This work was always part of the L project, and we’re able to set the dates for it now based on our progress and other work going on. 

This means that there will be no L service from midnight to 5 a.m. between Broadway Junction and Lorimer St on these dates (full list below).

FYI: L service will continue operating every 20 minutes between 8 Av in Manhattan and Lorimer St in Brooklyn. It will also operate every 20 minutes between Broadway Junction and Canarsie Rockaway-Parkway.
 
What’s the work?
In these nine weeks, we’re making improvements to 10 stations. Highlights include:
  • Morgan Av, DeKalb Av, Halsey St and Bushwick-Aberdeen: Reconstructing the platform edges, adding new tactile strips and installing ADA-compliant boarding areas
  • Myrtle Av and Wilson Av: Upgrading the power at the circuit breaker houses there
  • Wilson Av: Upgrading the track near this station
We’re also putting the finishing touches on the two new substations in Brooklyn—connecting them to power means we’ll be ready to run more L trains once the project is finished. We aren’t able to have active trains running while this connection is made.
 
Trip tips
  • Keep taking the other subway options during late nights and weekends! Using the G, 7, M, J and connecting Williamsburg Link B91A bus will still be the fastest option for most of you. 
  • Use our free bus connector: To get between the stations where there will be no L service (between Broadway Junction and Lorimer St), there will be a bus coming every 3 minutes, making all stops near L stations. On weeknights, one bus will run from Broadway Junction to Lorimer St in both directions. On weeknights, the bus will operate in two sections, one from Broadway Junction to Myrtle Av and one from Myrtle to Lorimer St.
  • Look for signs at your station to see when the last train before midnight leaves the station.
 
Weeknights

Tues., July 16 to Fri., July 19
Mon., July 22 to Fri., July 26
Mon., July 29 to Fri., August 2
Mon., September 23 to Fri., September 27
Mon., September 30 to Fri., October 4
 



Service rundown
From 10 PM to Midnight:
L: Operates every 20 minutes between 8 Av and Rockaway Parkway
L: Overlay operates every 20 minutes between Lorimer St and Rockaway Parkway
 
From Midnight to 5:00 AM:
L part 1: Operates between 8 Av to Lorimer St every 20 minutes
L part 2: Operates between Broadway Jct (L platform) and Rockaway Parkway every 20 minutes
Bus: Operates between Broadway Jct and Lorimer St
 
Weekends

Fri., July 19 to Sun., July 21
Fri., July 26 to Sun., July 28
Fri., August 2 to Sun., August 4
Fri., September 27 to Sun., September 29
Fri., October 4 to Sun., October 6
Fri., January 3 to Sun., January 5
Fri., January 10 to Sun., January 12
Fri., January 17 to Sun., January 19
Fri., January 24 to Sun., January 26
 
Service rundown
From 10 PM to Midnight Friday:
L: Operates every 20 minutes between 8 Av and Rockaway Parkway
L: Overlay operates every 20 minutes between Lorimer St and Rockaway Parkway
 
From 12:01 AM Saturday to 5:00 AM Monday:
L part 1: Operates between 8 Av to Lorimer St every 20 minutes
L part 2: Operate between Broadway Jct (J platform) and Rockaway Parkway every 20 minutes
Bus 1: Operates between Broadway Jct and Myrtle Av
Bus 2: Operates between Myrtle Av and Lorimer St
Plan your trip
 

What do you call it...tunnel or tube?

 What’s the difference between a tunnel and a tube? Our subways run in tunnels. The tube is that subway over in London, right?
 
Sort of. In fact, you’ll often see our under-river connections called "tubes" as well. As in, the Canarsie Tube, the Joralemon Tube, the Cranberry Tube. We asked some of our engineering pros: why’s that?
 
Matt Best, our chief engineer at MTA Capital Construction says: “My understanding is that all underground subways are tunnels. Colloquially, underwater crossings are called ‘tubes’ because they generally have a circular cross-section. But it’s always safe to say tunnel.”
 
Frank Mondello, our chief civil/structural engineer at MTA NYCT Capital Programs had this to add: “Tunnel is the general term. Tubes refer to tunnels with a circular shape mined through rock or soil. The structure is made of cast-iron ring sections bolted together on site then grouted with cement. They differ from land-based tunnels, which are usually dug as box-shaped trenches then covered over.”
 
In the Canarsie Tunnel, there are actually two cast-iron tubes, each enclosing one track running in opposite directions. So properly speaking, there’s one tunnel and two tubes. We cannot answer for London.
 

Glamour shot of the week: Filling in the gaps

Crews get closer to restoring the street at one of three total substations we're building for the L Project. This is near Maspeth Ave in Brooklyn. The substation is almost fully underground at this location.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, June 29, 2019
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 7/6/19

We're continuing cable work, and doing a lot with conduits this week. Here are the highlights:
  • Remove negative feeder conduit in one tube, and install the new conduit and cable
  • Install FRP shell from pump room to North 7th
  • Install cable and tunnel lighting brackets from Bedford to North 7th
  • Install new equipment, conduits and wiring in tunnel lighting room at Bedford Avenue
  • Install conduits at 1 Av platform
  • Install copper bus bar and cables on tube shell from Bedford to 1st Avenue
  • Core drill for conduits in Station Dept Rooms at 1st Avenue on mezzanine level
  • Pull signal feeder cable at Bedford
  • Swap plates and ties from Avenue D to 1st Avenue
  • Continue duct bank work from Avenue D to 1st Avenue
  • Remove existing and install new contact rail equipment from Avenue D to 1st Avenue
  • Install discharge pipe, manifolds and wall support brackets from Avenue D to pump room
 

Stay connected

 
  • Member since
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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, July 13, 2019 2:57 PM
Hello. If you're in the city this weekend, don't let the hot temps and muggy air get to you. We'll be out there, keeping up the work, including on our now-even-more-resilient tunnel lighting. So while your definition of recharging might be more of the AC and frosty beverage variety, we can't stop thinking about our new back-up batteries that are self-testing, using a computer-controlled system to keep the tunnel lit up. More illuminating information below.

Also: Remember to plan ahead for that overnight work that starts Tuesday, July 16; a cost comparison for the L vs. a for-hire vehicle; and more construction progress updates. Have a great weekend.
 
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That blue hue: Crews work near the blue lights in the L tunnel, which indicates the location for the safety phones. These phones are located about every 500 feet within the L tunnel.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, June 15, 2019

Enlightening explainer: From self-testing batteries to LEDs

Yes, there’s light at the end of the L Project. But exactly what kind? We asked Endrio Scalise, PE, acting principal engineer, to explain what sort of new lighting we’re installing in the L tunnel, and why. Turns out, there’s a lot more to it than screwing in bulbs.
 
L Project Weekly: Endrio, you were here when Sandy flooded us out, right?

Endrio Scalise: Yes, I’ve been with the MTA for 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like that flooding. It destroyed so much electrical equipment in our tunnels. Floor to ceiling in some cases.

LPW: You’ve worked on the lighting design in all 14 of our river tunnels. Tell us what’s happening in the L.

ES: We’re installing new LED lights, according to safety rules required for rail tunnels. It’s the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) code 130.

LPW: So this is a pretty standard installation?

ES:  Not at all, this isn’t off the shelf. The L tunnel is about 8,000 feet long, or 8,700 feet with the two stations at either end. That’s about a mile and a half. We’re installing 1,300 smart lights with chips connected by a computer-controlled network.

LPW: Why do we need so much tunnel lighting? We need plenty of light in stations and trains, obviously, but why tunnels?

ES: It’s for safety, primarily. The river tunnels are very confined spaces. We need good lighting and ventilation for maintenance workers, for police or fire crews, for any possible evacuations or emergencies.

LPW: So it’s critical that these lights are working 24/7. What’s the power source? Same as the third rail?
 
ES: No, the lighting has its own power sources. Two Con Ed utility sources, normal and reserve, plus back-up batteries. In case of a power failure to the utility, the back-up batteries can last about four hours. And our new batteries are self-testing. That’s one of the good things about it being computer-controlled. Instead of sending workers into the tunnels to check the lights and batteries, we can check them right from a laptop.

LPW: When you’re riding the train, you also see some blue lights in the tunnels. What are those?

ES: The blue lights indicate trackside safety phones, which are about 500 feet apart. Let’s say you have an emergency, someone injured on the tracks. There’s a safety lever at each phone box that lets you shut off the third rail. Once you pull that lever you have to phone into the rail control center. Otherwise, they turn it back on to prevent any unauthorized disruptions. 

LPW: So we have LED safety lighting in the tunnel. What about the stations?

ES: The station lighting is more aesthetic. In the tunnel we have bulbs every 30 feet. In the stations we have much brighter LED panels in continuous streamlined fixtures. Better than just bulbs. There’s a lot of science to this and many, many different types of colors. Without getting into the physics, it’s kind of in the middle between warm and cool.

LPW: The station lights are also smart-chipped LEDs?

ES: That’s right. We’ve had fluorescent fixtures in most of our system since the 1960s or even the 1940s. Some years ago, the cost of LEDs came way down and the quality went up. So we now switch over to the LEDs whenever we do major upgrades. These new bulbs should last about 10 years. That and the computer-controlled system we designed really save on maintenance and energy costs.
 

Reminder: Plan ahead for overnight work at select Brooklyn L stations starting Tuesday, July 16

As we mentioned last week, we're gearing up to do some planned accessibility and stations work. This means there will be no L service from midnight to 5 a.m. between Broadway Junction and Lorimer St on these dates. The first weeknight stint starts Tuesday, July 16.

FYI: L service will continue operating every 20 minutes between 8 Av in Manhattan and Lorimer St in Brooklyn. It will also operate every 20 minutes between Broadway Junction and Canarsie Rockaway-Parkway.
 
Here are some tips on how to best navigate the changes:
  • Keep taking the other subway options during late nights and weekends. Using the G, 7, M, J and connecting Williamsburg Link B91A bus will still be the fastest option for most of you. 
  • Use our free shuttle bus: To get between the stations where there will be no L service, there will be a bus coming every 3 minutes, making all stops near L stations.
  • Look for signs at your local station to see when the last train before midnight leaves the station.
Get the details
 

Transportation math: Subway vs. for-hire vehicle

 The Canarsie Line runs 10.1 miles from 8 Av to Canarsie.

(That’s about a third the length of the A line, our longest subway line at 31 miles, and about one sixtieth of our total track of 665 miles.)


To ride the length of the L would cost approximately $45 to $60 by a for-hire vehicle. Or, on the L, it's your $2.75 base fare. Nice deal.
 

Monthly two-tracking is coming up, this time on a Monday

Our monthly, mandated L track inspection is coming up this week—except this month, it's on Monday instead of Tuesday.

From 8 p.m. on Monday, July 15, into the early morning hours on July 16, we'll be running two-track service so we can do our mandated track inspections. Service will ramp down starting at 8 p.m., and will stay reduced to about every 10-12 minutes after 10 p.m.

And just like in May and June, the alternate service won't change: same extended M train service, more G service, Williamsburg Link B91A bus route, and more. 
 

Glamour shot of the week: Piecing it all together

A prefabricated piece of a substation is lowered into the site. This is one of three substations being built as part of the L Project, located near Harrison Ave.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, June 29, 2019
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 7/13/19

We're continuing our cable and conduit work. Here are the highlights of what’s on tap this week:
  • Continue working near the pump room: work on floor beams, remove temporary shoring and install steel support beams
  • Continue installing the structural FRP from pump room to North 7th
  • Install new third rail power equipment
  • Install cable and tunnel lighting brackets and fixtures from Bedford to North 7th
  • Install tunnel lighting fixtures at 1 Av
  • Continue working on the new equipment, conduits and wiring in tunnel lighting room at Bedford Avenue
  • Core-drill and install conduits at 1st Av on mezzanine level
  • Swap more plates and ties from Avenue D to 1st Avenue
  • Continue removing existing and installing new contact rail equipment from Avenue D to 1st Avenue
 

Related links

Subway on-time performance crosses 80% for the first time in six years, up from a low of 58% in January 2018 (MTA press release)

In South Brooklyn subway news, new limited F Express service has arrived (MTA press release)
 

Stay connected

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  • Member since
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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, July 20, 2019 2:01 PM
Hi there. Thank you for your patience and flexibility last Saturday while we dealt with the power outage. The L wasn’t impacted, but in light of the situation (the puns are too easy), we went back to our electrical experts to find out how it all works. Turns out we didn't always get our power from ConEd. More on that below. 

Also: Details about the ongoing work overnight and all day on weekends at select stations in Brooklyn (keep using those alternative service options or try our shuttle bus!); The old double-meaning of “Canarsie;” And discharge manifolds never looked so good. Stay cool this weekend.
 
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Underground power play: Progress at the new substation for the Canarsie Line, near Harrison Place. Once completed, this structure will be fully underground and the street restored.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, June 29, 2019

Juicing the L: Why the Canarsie Line craves more power

Everyone knows there was a blackout last Saturday. And as our readers know, we announced a few weeks ago that there will be no late night or weekend trains between Lorimer St and Broadway Jct for several weeks. What do these things have in common? Well, both are a pain for customers, and both involve electricity. So to keep you “current” we talked to Vinnie Valenti and Mike Anderson, two of our electrical and power experts, about power on the L.
 
L Project Weekly: Vinnie and Mike, thanks. As L riders know, we’re doing work now, including electrical work, that means shutting down some late night and weekend service between Lorimer and Broadway Jct. Part of that work is related to two of our three new substations for the Canarsie Line. Let’s remind folks what a substation is.
 
VV: Right, substations convert the AC power we buy from ConEd to DC power for the third rails. Our system draws about 1.8 billion KW-hours a year for our subway traction power alone. It all comes through substations.
 
LPW: We have 223 substations across the system, including five for the L. Now we’re adding one at Ave B in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn, at Maspeth Ave and Harrison Place. Why do we need these three new substations?
 
VV: The main reason is to run more trains. With the modernized signals on the Canarsie Line, we can safely run more trains closer together. But more trains need more power. And trains today need more power than they used to. They draw more power in summer with the air-conditioning. And they need more power when they’re climbing up inclines, which the L has on either end of the tunnel.
 
LPW: Everyone’s happy about more trains. Any other advantages to the new substations?
 
MA: Yes, they add redundancy and stability to the system. Trains can’t run too far away from a live substation. If a transformer goes out on some part of the line, for example, the additional power can cover more track and keep trains from stalling out.
LPW: So would more substations help in a blackout like the one we had last week?
 
VV: No, substations don’t generatepower. We get all our power from ConEd. If ConEd has a blackout we lose power, just like your house or any other building.

MA: Let me hop in here. Our subway system actually used to generate its own power. We had three powerhouses. One of them was the old Kent Ave BRT Powerhouse on the southwest end of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, which got torn down 10 years ago. In 1959, we sold our powerhouses to ConEd in exchange for 10 years of free electricity. For 10 years we paid nothing. Then in 1969, that’s when we got our first ConEd bill!
 
LPW: Ha, interesting! So, let’s talk about the work we’re doing now. These substations are big projects?
 
VV: Yes, building a substation is no joke. The two new ones in Brooklyn are each about 5,000 sq. ft.  When we start hooking up cables, that’s a lot of work involving multiple electricians. We run 12 positive cables and six negative cables from each substation to the tracks. At the L tunnel, we’ll have to start at one end of the tube and run it all the way through to the other.
 
LPW: When we do electrical work, we have to shut down service?
 
VV: Definitely. For safety reasons, you can’t do the electrical cable work with live power. There’s a lot of planning, a lot of moving parts, lots of testing. We’re trying to do this work with the least possible headaches for our customers.
 
LPW: Okay, now the classic “readers-want-to-know” question. Why don’t rats get electrocuted?
 
MA: They’re too short.
 
VV: What Mike means is, if they touched the third rail and the ground at the same time, yes, they would be electrocuted. But they hop up on it, so it’s like birds landing on a wire.
 
LPW: Thanks, guys. We’ll check back when our new substations go live.
 
 A final bit about substations: Though our new substations are completely underground, our old substations were housed in all sorts of buildings, some in cool art-deco towers. If you get off the last L stop at 8 Av Station and walk down to 13th, you can see a handsome specimen. It’s the 1932 IND Greenwich Substation No. 6.    
 
This 1932 IND substation is still providing
power to the L at 13th and Greenwich near the western end of the line. It was rebuilt a few years ago, and the MTA worked with local preservationists to retain the historic doors and façade.
 

Reminder: Use alternate service options or free shuttle buses during overnight + all-day weekend work at select Brooklyn L stations

Thanks to all of you who used our alternate service and the shuttle buses this week while we've worked at stations between Lorimer St and Broadway Junction. Reminder that we'll be continuing this work all day this weekend and for a bunch more overnights and weekends.

And a few of you were curious: what are the details of what's happening? We talked with one of the project managers to get the rundown of the work, just for this weekend:

How many different crews are working at one time?
This weekend alone we'll have 12 different teams working all at once. We always want to maximize our use of a service outage. So this includes multiple teams from maintenance of way and signal maintenance, to an iron working team and a lighting crew. And for the substation work, we of course have multiple electricians working. 

What is the work exactly?
It's a long list. Here are the highlights:
  • Installing new modern, efficient lighting in the stations
  • Running the track geometry car along the track to make sure trains can maintain the right speeds and frequencies
  • Improvements to station floors and platform edges for accessibility
  • Pulling cable for contact rail and the negative rail so we can connect it to the two new substations in Brooklyn
  • Cleaning trash from the tracks and roadbed to limit issues for our train service
Get the details
 

Contestants, use "Canarsie" in a phrase

 You know Canarsie is the official name of the line the L train runs on. Did you know it was also a vaudeville line?

Back in the day before Canarsie was connected by transit, it served as New York slang for an out-of-the-way place. For wise guys, "by way of Canarsie" meant getting somewhere by the most roundabout route.

Examples: A customer who thinks she was charged too much for a car ride might say the driver went “by way of Canarsie.” A losing racehorse might be “coming down the stretch by way of Canarsie.” Over time, the gag fell out of the lexicon.

While there's no evidence of exactly what did it in, we like to think the L train increasing access to Canarsie had something to do with it.
 

Glamour shot of the week: No water works here

New discharge manifolds are installed in the L train's one tube (see the six things with blue caps and mini wheels above). Discharge manifolds regulate water pressure and flow. The new and improved ones here took over for ones that were ready to be replaced after 20 years of solid service.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, July 13, 2019
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 7/20/19

We're continuing to work on conduits, cable and new plates and ties. Here's the list of what we're doing this week:
  • Continue progress on installing the structural FRP from pump room to North 7th
  • Remove the duct bank near a circuit breaker house and signal case and install a new discharge line
  • Install negative transponder jumper and negative equalizer returns
  • Install brackets for new signal cases between pump room and Ave D fan plant
  • Continue working on the new equipment, conduits and wiring in the tunnel lighting room at Bedford Avenue
  • Install conduits in several places at 1 Av for the fire alarm and lights
  • Swap additional plates and ties from Avenue D to 1st Avenue and weld rail joints
  • Inspect steel beams and install new ones at the pump room
  • Continue removing existing and installing new contact rail equipment from Avenue D to 1st Avenue
 

Stay connected

  • Member since
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, July 28, 2019 7:40 AM
Hello. Last week, we mentioned that one of the biggest uses of power is air-conditioning in train cars. We got a lot of questions from you about how this all works, including maintaining them and how you can report a "hot car." We talked with one of our general superintendents to get the cool lowdown; read our interview below.

Also: one of you asked "what's happening behind the barricade on the Bedford Av platform?" so we answered; A photo of the new rails—can you feel the difference?; Don't forget about the service changes in Brooklyn all weekend. Have a sunny summer weekend.
 
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Cool customer: An (air-conditioned) L train pulls in to Bedford Av Station. 

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, July 13, 2019

L train chill out: How our crews keep your AC humming

Last week, the mercury hit 93 F. So we don't think you'll disagree that we’re putting our power to good use with that temperature-modifying invention—air-conditioning! 

We didn't always have it though. The IRT tested the first AC units in 1955, and The New York Times called it “the dream of every heat maddened subway sardine.” Still, it wasn’t until July 1967 that our first fully air-conditioned fleet rolled out. Since then, AC has been standard order on all new cars. 
 
But keeping it working on the L means rigorous maintenance on the air-conditioning units at the East New York Yard, where we park the L, J, M, and Z trains. So how do we keep those cars cool? And what should you do if you board one that isn’t? We talked to Patrick Nee, a general superintendent and a 39-year NYCT veteran who’s fixed a lot of AC units in his day.

L Project Weekly: Patrick, we have about 5,400 cars in daily service. How do we check the air-conditioning on all of them?

Patrick Nee: It’s part of our routine inspections. Every car gets a top-to-bottom inspection every 10,000 to 12,000 miles, or 68 to 78 days, whichever comes first. We check the motors, doors, brakes, lights, everything. That includes the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, the HVAC unit. We also do daily inspections when trains lay up in the yard. If the AC or anything else isn’t working, we switch those cars out for ones that are working to keep service moving, and then fix the broken one.

LPW: Is there anything we do differently in summer?

PN: We do change the AC filters, like you would at home. I like to change them one or two times between the regular inspections.

LPW: We have a lot of different trains or “rolling stock,” as we call it, under different contracts. So the HVAC units are all different, right?

PN: They all have the same basic parts, but there’s one big difference. The rolling stock built before 1999 have the HVAC units underneath the car. They pick up more dust, and they’re harder to work on because they’re built into the car.
And the maintenance process is more manual. I used to work on them in the summers, down in the service pit under the car. It was sweaty, dirty work. But hey, I was in my 20s, I had to put my time in.

LPW: So if those are manual, what’s more automated about the newer cars, AKA our "millennium" fleet?

PN: For the newer ones, we can plug in a computer diagnostics system and check the whole car. Everything is right on screen. It’s much faster. I love working on the new ones. And the HVAC units themselves are modular and sit on top of the car. We find something wrong, we just pop out the whole unit with an overhead crane and pop in a new one. We send the defective one up to the 207th Street shop and they fix it and store it there.

LPW: What kind of cars run on the L, old or new?

PN: Those are all newer ones, mostly the Kawasaki R143 cars. It’s a good car, the first 60 ft car built for our B Division, the lettered lines. You can tell them by the lighted “strip maps” over the windows. Their HVACs are good.

LPW: We all know that you’ll sometimes get into a car with no AC. If that happens, we tell customers to note the car number, located at either end of the train, and send it to us using this handy form. What happens then?

PN: Someone confirms it, then flags to us, and we’ll get them out as soon as we can and fix them. The R143s come in four-car sets, so if a train comes in with one AC out, we have to take out those four cars and switch in new ones. Sometimes we’ll have a spare train at the yard, a “gap train” as we call it, and we can just send that out right away.

LPW: Thanks, Patrick. Thanks to you and all our shop crews for keeping things cool.
 
Want to help us keep the cars cool? Do keep the windows closed when the AC is on, please. And if you encounter a hot car, first, sorry! Then tell us about it using this form for the quickest fix. (Reporting it at a Help Point in a station works, too.)

Still craving more cool? Check out these photos from a recent visit we made to the Corona Maintenance Yard (not where L trains go, but still interesting!).
 

Reminder: Use alternate service options or free shuttle buses during late nights on weekdays + all-day weekends at select Brooklyn L stations

Your weekly friendly service reminder: We're continuing work at stations between Lorimer St and Broadway Junction, meaning no L service all day at those stations this weekend, and between midnight and 5 a.m. on weekdays. Click the button below to get the full schedule and our alternate service options.
Plan a trip
 

 Customer question of the week
 

Q: There's construction plywood up on the Bedford Av platform, but I can't see anything happening. I know there was a new staircase installed over there already, so what is this all about?
-Anonymous


A. You might not see us, but we're working behind that big blue barricade all while L train service continues at Bedford Av Station (see photo below). This is where we're demolishing the old staircase and building a brand new one.

 And yes, we've already installed one new staircase. This is kind of part 2 of the bigger project here (the Driggs Ave side of the platform, to be specific). Here's the rundown:
  • The overall project will both make that end of the platform easier to get around AND increase stair capacity by 50% on that end.
  • To achieve this, we removed one stairway that was too wide for wheelchair access, and are replacing it with two stairways that are slightly narrower. This will add more room on the platform.
  • By having two staircases that are narrower (instead of just one, wider one), it's a net 50% increase in how many people can use these stairs at one time to get from platform to mezzanine.
 

Glamour shot of the week: Renewed rails means smooth sailing

A crew member walks the tube currently being worked on. In this section, all of the rail and track ties have been fully replaced. If you're traveling Manhattan-bound on weekdays, see if you notice just how smooth the ride is.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, July 13, 2019
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 7/27/19

We're continuing our progress on conduits, cable and track work. Here's what's on tap this week:
  • Install the structural FRP between the North 7th fan plant and the circuit breaker house
  • Continue installing negative transponder jumper
  • Install more conduits, including heat trace conduits and cable
  • Install brackets at Avenue D
  • Continue installing cable and tunnel lighting brackets and boxes
  • Install discharge line near signal cases between Avenue D and the pump room
  • Continue working on the new equipment, conduits and wiring in the tunnel lighting room at Bedford Avenue
  • Install conduits for fare machines and lighting at the 1 Av Station mezzanine
  • Swap more plates and ties and remove and install new contact rail parts between Avenue D and 1st Avenue, and continue welding rail joints
 

Stay connected

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  • Member since
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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, August 03, 2019 1:40 PM
Hi there. We're making progress at a fast clip. Or perhaps more appropriately, we're "more than just on track" (okay, it was a stretch). That's right, the installation of the new tracks are about 80% of the way done in the first tube. But what does it take to install these tracks? More on that below.

Also: Changes are coming to night and weekend bus options in Williamsburg; Even more accessibility at 14th-6 Av Station, do "tracks" and "rails" mean the same thing (spoiler: no); And don't forget about service changes in Brooklyn this weekend. Have a super weekend.
 
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Approximately 80% of the track work is complete in the first tube on the L. Here, crew are chipping out and removing the old track ties (and keeping the area wetted down to prevent dusty conditions). The old ties were damaged from being under saltwater during Superstorm Sandy. 

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, July 13, 2019

Explainer: Making Tracks, Literally—Here’s How We Do It

Happy to say, among other things, the track work in the Canarsie Tunnel is really moving along. Our track crews are working in one of most confined spaces in the system. Yet they’re laying down track about 20 percent faster than normal. To find out how, we tracked down two of our experts, Antonio Cabrera in engineering and Frank Jezycki from operations. 

L Project Weekly: It seems like the track work is ahead of schedule. We can only do this work during the weekend shifts. How are we getting so much done?

Frank Jezycki: First, let’s back up and recall why we’re doing this. When Sandy hit, the tracks in the Canarsie Tunnel were under 7 million gallons of saltwater. The tracks are safe, but that really speeds up deterioration of the ties. We need to replace the whole thing. That’s 7,000 ft of track in each direction, so 14,000 ft in all.

LPW: Track crews typically lay down about 300 ft of track in a weekend. On the L Project, we’re doing about 350 ft to 400 ft per weekend. Are we doing something different?

Antonio Cabrera: Yes, though it’s not unique to the L. Originally, we were going to tear out the whole concrete roadbed under the ties. That would have meant jackhammers and trains hauling out tons of concrete. Instead, we took inspiration from other projects we’ve done and are chipping the old wood ties out of the concrete. We set slightly smaller plastic-composite ties into that gap, then we pour an epoxy concrete over the whole thing. Less demolition, much less time.

LPW: In an earlier issue, we talked about LVT, low-vibration track, which is currently only on the L and the 7 lines. Are there other track improvements we’re making?

FJ: Yes, we’re installing continuously welded rail or CWR. That’s standard now when we replace large sections of subway track. Instead of the usual 39 ft pieces of steel rail, called “sticks,” we weld them into 390 ft long rails. Those are called “strings.” When you ride the subway you can hear the difference. No more ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk.
That means a quieter ride, less wear on cars, less wear on the whole track system.  

LPW: Sticks and strings! Tell us more, like how much does one of those steel strings weigh?

AC: Okay, the standard spec for rail is either 100 or 115 lbs per yard, since we use two types. So going with the 100 lb ones, that’s 1,300 per stick, times 10 sticks per string, that’s 13,000 lbs, or 6.5 tons.

LPW: Not exactly lightweights. How do they get from wherever into the Canarsie Tunnel?

AC: The 39-ft steel sticks are made in Pennsylvania, then trucked to our Linden Shop in Brooklyn. It’s the shop where we work on track, and, by the way, it’s our only shop with rail connections to the IRT lines, the BMT lines, AND the LIRR. That’s where we weld 10 regular sticks into 390 ft. strings.

LPW: And then?

AC: As I said, that shop has a rail link to the BMT lines, or lettered lines, which includes the L. We load them onto a special CWR flatbed train and run them right into the tunnel worksite. That takes a lot of power. The CWR train can haul up to eight 390-ft strings, or about 52 tons of steel.

LPW: At this point, something called a “critter” picks up the rails, right? This critter isn’t actually alive is it?

FJ: The critters, as the crews call them, are these small, self-mobilizing tractors with hoists on their undersides. We’re using two of them in the tunnel. One critter pulls up the old rails, the other lays in the new rail.

LPW: So, once this is all done, once the critters lay out all the strings, our customers are going to have 14,000 feet of smooth, continuous rails on low-vibration track beds. No more ker-thunk, ker-thunk. How far along are we?

FJ:  We’re about 80% of the way done in the first tube.

LPW:  That’s great! Thanks. And thanks to all our hard-working track crews.
 

Changes to night and weekend bus options in Williamsburg: B91A will be replaced by current B62, B24, Q54

You've continued using the alternative subway options, especially the J and the M, instead of the L, in big numbers. But you've been starting your trip directly at the subways, instead of using the neighborhood Williamsburg Link bus (B91A) we've been running. The average number of customers on the B91A has been ~3 per loop; where the B62, for example, has about ~33 customers on weekends and ~44 on weekdays, per trip.

So to make the best use of our bus resources for all New Yorkers, we're going to replace the B91A with existing bus service in the neighborhood: the B62, B24 and Q54. We'll be keeping those buses in Brooklyn and using operators to fill vacancies.

Check out our handy map below for where these routes go and when they operate. And click the button below for more details. 

If you love the Williamsburg Link bus, you still have some time to enjoy it. The last day of service will be August 31, 2019. 
Learn About Your Replacement Bus Options
 

Reminder: Weekend work happening at select Brooklyn L stations

We're wrapping up a string of work at L stations between Lorimer St and Broadway Junction this weekend. This work will resume the nights and weekends later in September (don't worry, we'll send out reminders then). 
Plan your trip
 
Rendering of the original accessibility project at 14 St-6 Av Station, which would make the L and the F/M platforms accessible. The revised project will add accessibility to the 1/2/3 platform as well, not pictured here.

Accessibility upgrade at 14 St-6 Av Station

If you're a long-time reader, you might recall that we talked before about how the L Project was adding full L accessibility to three stations: Bedford Av, 1 Av and 14 St-6 Av. And we did a heck of a lot of legal-esque explaining to make sure you knew that we were ALSO committed to making the F/M platform at 14 St-6 Av accessible.

You may have heard rumblings about changes to this project this week, and the rumors are true! 14 St-6 Av will ALSO be getting accessibility for the 1/2/3 lines (within the 2020-2024 capital plan). The elevators in this complex will be completed as one project to maximize efficiency. And FYI, the elevator access to the L platform will still come first. 
 

Tracks, rails, roads…do you know the difference?

 Okay, “rails” are the runner bars, from the Latin “regula,” meaning “rule” or “bar.” Early rails were wooden, then iron, now steel.

The “track” is the pair of parallel rails the wheels run on.

A “road” is simply an open way for vehicles, hence railroad. The word comes from Anglo-Saxon “rad” meaning “to ride,” as in a journey on horseback. Our own subway crews usually call the tracks “the road.” A subway operator out on the job is “pounding the road.”

Bonus question: Why are track rails 39 ft long?

Railroad buffs largely agree, it’s because they were transported around the U.S. rail systems in open boxcars or gondola cars, which were standardized at 40 ft long. To get them in and out, you needed a little room at the ends.

But why were boxcars 40 ft long? Don’t know. If you do, drop us a line.
 

Glamour shot of the week: Working on parallel tracks

Moving on: Multiple crew members work together on the tracks. Here, they're in the early stages of replacing this stretch of track in the Canarsie Tunnel.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, July 13, 2019
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 8/2/19

Tiles, more cabling and accessibility prep work at Bedford Av Station. Check out the highlights of what we're doing this week:
  • Remove old and install new track-wall ties at Bedford Av Station 
  • Continue progress on installing the structural FRP panels between the pump room and North 7th
  • Install ADA-compliant ramp steel at Bedford Av Station platform
  • Remove and install new handrail in the tube on the Brooklyn side
  • Core drill and install new drain lines on the Brooklyn side, and a discharge line near the signal cases between Avenue D and the pump room
  • Testing and installing power elements: test the negative equalizer for the 4th rail; install 3rd rail power gap jumper near the North 7th fan plant
  • Cable work near Bedford Av Station: Core drill and install antenna communications cables; install conduits and feeder power cables; relocate and install conduits and cable at circuit breaker house; splice antenna and pull cables near the North 7th fan plant
  • Install tunnel lighting brackets and new lighting
  • Continue installing conduits at 1 Av Station for the fire alarm and lights, both platform and mezzanine levels
  • Swap additional plates and ties, and remove and install new contact rail equipment between Avenue D and 1st Avenue and weld rail joints
 

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, August 10, 2019 1:46 PM
Hello. We’ve talked pumps, cables, racks and tracks. Still, we’ve barely scratched the surface! That's right, this week, we're talking about subway tile. We've installed about 60% of the replacement tile on the first side so far...and we just started two weeks ago. More below on the history of our tiles, and how while they all might have that same pearly white gleam, they're actually made from several kinds of material to withstand different conditions.

Also: reminder about changes to bus options in Williamsburg coming on 9/1. Have a lovely weekend.
 
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We've installed about 60% of the new tile on the first side of the L tracks so far—and we only started two weeks ago. Here, a team works to install the tile at Bedford Av Station, all while keeping the station open on the other track.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, August 3, 2019

Doing Tile, Subway Style

What do Topkapi Palace, the Basilica, and our subway system all have in common? All are world-famous for their ceramic tilework. Restoring tilework is a big, bright chunk of the L Project. So this week we’re talking tile with three members of our architectural team—Linda Tonn, Thomas Fackelman, and “tile guru” Sara McIvor. We’ll just call them the A Team.
 
L Project Weekly: We have beautiful mosaics and tilework all across our system. That includes new artworks and the old ceramics, which we work hard to preserve. Give us a little background.

A Team: Yes, our older tilework is quite famous. It falls into roughly two periods. The earliest, from 1901 to 1907, was created by Heins & LaFarge, who were part of what’s called the Arts and Crafts movement. They also worked on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The L stations were done later, in the 1920s, created under Squire J. Vickers, our chief architect from 1906 to 1942.

LPW:  Are the styles different?

A Team:  There are many styles, but the work done under Vickers has a simpler, graphical look and is used as signage and station identification, like the B in a hexagonal frame at Bedford Av Station. This is the mosaic style people associate with our subways.

LPW: What sort of tilework are we doing with the L Project? We’re not tearing out any old mosaics are we?

A Team: No!!! We are cleaning the old mosaic and matching and repairing any missing bits. And we are replacing the basic white tiles on the track wall at Bedford Av and on the platform and mezzanine at 1 Av Station. We try to match any tilework we are replacing whenever possible.
LPW: So, the basic white wall tiles we’re replacing, are those standard tiles we use throughout the subway system?

A Team: Our white platform tiles are somewhat standard, but we use different tile sizes and types. That’s because our stations were built over different periods by different companies. We use ceramic or glass tiles. We also use glazed and unglazed bricks, porcelain enamel panels, painted concrete, and other finishes. But ceramic tile is the most common.

LPW: Why is that?

A Team: It looks nice and it’s very practical. It’s easy to clean, even when it comes to graffiti. The glazed surfaces won’t fade. High-fired ceramic and porcelain tiles are very durable and withstand fluctuations in temperature. We use frostproof tiles near station entrances, which are fired at ever higher temperatures and absorb less moisture. And our tilework uses soft corners instead of mitered corners, which is easier to clean and more resistant to impacts.  Most of the tiles you see at Bedford Av and 1 Av are still the original tiles, almost 100 years old.

LPW: If it’s so durable, why do we have to replace large sections of tile?

A Team: Water. The main thing we have to combat is water infiltration coming in behind the tile. But basically there’s no material or finish that is going to withstand water infiltration.

LPW: Thanks, team. And one final note to readers—yes, we are going to go back and power-wash all of the old mosaics later in the project (wouldn’t make sense to do it while we’re still working!). Check out the photo below for how Bedford Av Station looks with new tile (platform left) and the old walls exposed, pre-new tile (platform right). Pre-power-wash, not bad.
 

Reminder: Plan for changes to Williamsburg bus options starting September 1

As we shared last week, there will be changes to night and weekend bus options in Williamsburg, starting September 1, due to more people starting their trips at the subway and not needing the B91A. 

If you've been using the B91A bus to connect between Marcy Av Station to other parts of Brooklyn, there are several other bus options in the neighborhood. Use the map and link below to learn more about your alternative buses.
Learn About Your Replacement Bus Options
 

That glazed look

 The Canarsie Line has many fine examples of the geometric Arts and Craft tilework. This style was created under famed subway architect Squire J. Vickers when he worked on the subways between 1906 and 1942, like this cut-porcelain, high-glaze beauty at Wilson Av Station.

While Vickers set the overall look, dimensions, and signage coding, there was no standard pattern. Tilesmiths would often cut and set mosaics at their own whim.
 

Glamour shot of the week: Subway tile is always in style here

It's been said that subway tile is over. Not here. An L train enters Bedford Av Station where new tile has been installed. Crews installed this tile all while keeping the station open for service.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, August 3, 2019
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 8/10/19

We're pushing ahead on the aforementioned tile work. Also: lots of work on discharge lines and tracks. Here's what we're up to:
  • Continue removing old and installing new track-wall tiles at Bedford Av Station
  • Repair existing platform tiles on walls at 1 Av platform
  • Continue progress on installing the structural FRP panels, between 1st Ave and Ave D
  • Install tunnel lighting room equipment near Bedford Av
  • Pull cables near Avenue D fan plant
  • Install new conduits and feeder power cables for existing panels near Bedford Av Station
  • Install new conduits for fire alarm and communications at 1 Av platform and mezzanine levels
  • Remove and install new handrail in the tube from 1st Ave to Ave D
  • Work on discharge line and manifolds by N 7th fan plant, and remove old pump discharge pipe
  • Core drill at Ave D fan plant platform for discharge line
  • Install tunnel lighting brackets and new lighting
  • Swap additional plates and ties and remove and install new contact rail equipment between Ave D and pump room
 

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, August 17, 2019 2:10 PM
Hi there. As we're making progress underground, that also means we're getting closer to making improvements above ground. Starting this weekend, we're going to begin restoring one part of the street/sidewalk in our construction zone on the Manhattan side. We'll have a full schedule of this restoration soon. In the meantime, get all of your street restoration questions answered here, like "will there be new trees?" (yes) and "will the sidewalk be just plain concrete?" (no). Keep reading for more.

Also: the M train will run up to the Upper West Side on the D line this weekend and next (because of work we're doing on the 1, 2, 3 lines), and don't forget about changes coming to bus options in Williamsburg on 9/1. Enjoy the weekend.
 
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An aerial view of 14th St in Manhattan from April 2019. Starting this weekend, we're beginning the process of restoring the street and sidewalk in front of Associated Supermarket (top left, red awnings).

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Street restoration 101: Belgian blocks, trees and more

This weekend, we’re going to begin packing up and restoring a section of the street and sidewalk on the Manhattan side of the job. We’ll have a full schedule soon of what you’ll see and when, and what’s to come on the Brooklyn side, too. In the meantime, we wanted to know: what does “street restoration” actually mean? In general, it’s “leave the neighborhood better than you found it.” We talked with our construction management (CM) team to get the specifics.

L Project Weekly: Team, jobs like this mean that we’re temporary neighbors in a community. When it’s done, of course, we’ll leave behind a brand new, fully accessible subway station. But what about everything we tore up?

CM: Sure, we have a very comprehensive plan for street restoration. The basic rule is to restore everything, leave no footprint.

LPW: People restore old houses and paintings. What does it mean to restore a street?

CM: We mean the street, the sidewalk paving, the trees, everything. The biggest task is rebuilding the street itself. We’ll be doing that work ourselves, following very specific rules from the city DOT.

LPW:  What’s involved?

CM:  It's a multi-step process. First, we dump in backfill, then we compress it with a heavy vibrating roller and tamping machines. Then we pour a base course of concrete.

LPW: Then comes asphalt, right?

CM: Yes, that’s called the ‘wearing course.’ A big asphalt spreader moves down the street slowly with crews following, raking the asphalt even. We do one pass down

one side of the street and back up the other. We need to minimize traffic disruptions, and so we’re required to do most of the work at night.

LPW: We’ve seen those asphalt machines working at night. It’s kind of fascinating to watch. What about the sidewalks, we’re pouring concrete there, right?

CM: That's partially right. It's actually an accessibility issue. We are pouring concrete around the new elevators and on sidewalk ramps for ADA-compliant accessibility. Originally, the sidewalks along the worksite were what’s called Belgian block. You see it a lot around New York City. For proper restoration, we actually removed all those blocks and saved them at the beginning of the job. We’ll have a team of masons who lay down a bed of sand, then set the stones. It’s really a craft, the same way it was done in the nineteenth century.

LPW: We have some great trivia on that below for our readers. But to finish up, we also had to pull out a few trees, the ones directly on top of the areas where we're working. We’re replanting trees, right?

CM:  We were able to protect most of the trees, but we did have to take out a few. We’ll be putting back more trees than we took out. I can give you our final shopping list later, but I know there are a few different kinds.

LPW: Great. We know you still have a lot of work to do. We’ll get back to you later about those trees, knock on wood!

 

M train will run on the D line Aug 16-19 and Aug 23-26

North Brooklynites/Upper West Siders: If you've ever yearned for a one-seat trip to get to each other's neighborhoods, you have it for two weekends.

We're doing some big weekend work to improve reliability on the 1, 2, and 3 lines. So as we're moving service options around to accommodate the West Siders, that means the M train will be running on the D line for two weekends, August 16-19 and August 23-26.

Specifically, the M will be rerouted to 145 St via Central Park West on the local track on Saturday and Sunday for those two weekends. See the map below for the details.
The rare one-seat trip between North Brooklyn and the Upper West Side: The M will route up to 145 St Station (instead of 96 St-2 Av on the Upper East Side) for two weekends, August 16-19 and August 23-26.
 

Progress report: 3 weeks, 10 Brooklyn L stations

Thanks for your flexibility when we had those three weeks of late night and weekend L closures (between Lorimer St and Broadway Junction). We'll be going back later in September to finish up the accessibility and power work, but we made major progress during those three weeks. 

Some highlights:
  1. Reconstructed new platform edges and created ADA-compliant areas at Halsey St and DeKalb Av Stations
  2. Prepped for new tactile strips on both sides of the platforms at Bushwick Av-Aberdeen St, Halsey St, DeKalb Av and Morgan Av by removing the old ones, and installed new tactile strips on both sides of the Halsey St Station
  3. Pulled several thousand feet of the various kinds of cable (telephone, 36-strand fiber optic and control) needed to connect the two new substations in Brooklyn to the track
  4. Connected 1,200 feet of 500 MCM cables—big power cables—to the positive and negative cables from the substation. The photo below shows the new negative return cable being "cleated," as we call it, at Maspeth Av substation
 

ICYMI: Changes to Williamsburg bus options start September 1

If you've been using the B91A, a reminder that this route will be replaced by other existing bus options in the neighborhood starting September 1. The change is because the majority of people are starting trips at the subway stations instead of using the B91A to get there. 

Use the link below to see a map and schedules for your alternative buses.
Learn About Your Replacement Bus Options
 

Asphalt and revolutions: What’s the connection?

 Here’s some party patter about…paving!

Your friends will be fascinated to learn that asphalt may haveoriginated as part of a counter-revolutionary strategy: When the urban planner Baron Haussmann reconstructed Paris between 1853 and 1870, he is said to have renovated streets with a smooth asphalt-style surface to cover the cobblestones and blocks. This prevented the old practice of tearing up the paving stones for barricades and weapons during the city’s many revolutions. Later urban planning guides would cite this as one of the virtues of asphalt paving.
 

Glamour shot of the week: All of the new ties. All done.

Our new ties. Up close and personal. As of last weekend, we finished installing all of the new ties in the first rehabbed tube. We're continuing to do work on the third rail and other parts of the track in this tube.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, August 10, 2019
 

Construction look-ahead: Week of 8/17/19

We're doing work below and above ground now. Also: the tile work continues. Here is a summary:
  • Tile and trackwall work: Powerwash in preparation for mortar and tile installation at 1 Av; repair and install trackwall tiles and fix lateral girders at Bedford Av
  • Continue removing old and installing new trackwall tiles at Bedford Av Station
  • Repair existing platform tiles on walls at 1 Av platform
  • Continue work on installing the structural FRP panels, between 1st Ave the circuit breaker house, and Bedford Ave to the pump room
  • Continue track work: disconnect old third rail jumper connections between 1st Ave and the circuit breaker house; install new track fuse box near 1st Ave; install contact rail between 1st Ave and the circuit breaker house and weld 10 rail joints there
  • Continue cable work: remove old positive feeder cable on the Brooklyn side; start splicing new communications and control cables from Bedford Av to 1 Av
  • Continue conduit work: Install heat trace at Bedford Av fire standpipe; install conduit for heat trace at the Ave D fan plant; install new fire alarm and fare control conduits at the platform and mezzanine level of 1 Av Station; install conduit for telephone at 1 Av Station; install conduits for DC power at Bedford Ave
  • Continue installing brackets and couplings between Bedford Av and 1 Av
  • Install new tunnel lighting between pump room and Bedford Av
  • Install discharge line and manifolds by the N 7th fan plant
 

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, August 24, 2019 2:11 PM
Hello. We're moving ahead on the project. But this week, we're also looking back—way back. Specifically, we'll look at an archaeological report we did before we broke ground on our Maspeth Ave substation (one of three we're building for the project). The report cleared us to work, and we’ve been doing so consistent with its recommendations. But why did we need this report? And what did we find out about the history of the area? Keep reading. And if you're really into urban history like us, you'll find a link to the full report.

Also: your Labor Day weekend L schedule; the M train will run up to the Upper West Side on the D line again this weekend (because of our project on the 1, 2, 3 lines); and one more full week before we make changes to Williamsburg bus options. Have a fabulous weekend.
 
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Our worksite on Maspeth Ave. Here, we're building one of three new substations for the L. Based on records available, this site required an archaeological study before we started any work.

Photo: Trent Reeves / MTA Capital Construction / Saturday, June 29, 2019

History revealed: Long before a substation, a 17th century Dutch village