MTA has announced its first round of FASTRACK repairs for 2013 – and they’re starting with the Concourse Line! The first round begins on the week of January 14th; for four consecutive weeknights between 10 PM and 5 AM, the entire Concourse Line in The Bronx (save for 161st Street – Yankee Stadium) closes while MTA employees conduct what I’ll call a “repair blitz.” Here’s a sample of the work performed during FASTRACK closures (from MTA’s Web site):
The FASTRACK maintenance program completely suspends train service over a segment of a subway line, to give our workers uninterrupted access to tracks, signals, cables, lighting, third rail components, and platform edges. Since its inception in January 2012, FASTRACK has resulted in an unprecedented amount of work being accomplished while reducing expenditures by $16.7 million dollars. Most importantly, FASTRACK provides a safer and more efficient environment for our employees to inspect, maintain, and clean our 24/7 subway system. Employee accidents on FASTRACK work were significantly lower (1.38) than on non-FASTRACK projects (2.41).
During a FASTRACK shutdown, our employees inspect hundreds of signals and switches, repair and replace track rails and cross ties, clean track floors, perform elevator and escalator repair work, repair water damage, clear drains, and clean stations. We also clear the track-bed of a significant amount of debris. We repaint areas untouched in years, because they are not reachable during normal train operation. We clean lighting fixtures, change bulbs, and repair platform edges. We also perform high-intensity station cleaning providing a visible improvement to the station environment and your commute. Subway delays on lines which have undergone FASTRACK maintenance have been reduced by 4.4% thereby providing you with more reliable service.
Between the Concourse Line component repairs at Fordham Road and 182nd-183rd Streets stations and this FASTRACK program (and note that there will be four rounds of FASTRACK on the Concourse Line this year), my home line is finally getting the love it deserves! Expect me to take lots of pix (and possibly video) that week to showcase the repairs!
Please note: as with any repair project, the FASTRACK will bring about some inconveniences:
- As shown on the map, uptown (D) trains terminate at 161st Street – Yankee Stadium; continue your trip by transferring to the (4). Allow extra travel time due to the transfer (and possibly longer walking distances).
- Downtown (D) trains skip 155th Street; this is due to the switch layout south of 161st Street. Presumably this means all (D) service departs from the uptown platform, so the downtown platform will likely be closed during the FASTRACK.
- (B) train service ends early (likely at 9 PM instead of 10 PM); note that this doesn’t affect rush-hour (B) service to/from The Bronx.
- A free shuttle bus connects the Norwood – 205th Street station to the Mosholu Pkwy (4) station due to Norwood being much farther from the (4) than the other Concourse Line stations.
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