Plastic Wrap Causes Travel Nightmares

The day before Thanksgiving is always one of the heaviest travel days of the year. In a region like the tri-state area, this is just more added chaos to what is already the norm. Riders who especially deal with Penn Station know all about the chaos as it is a regular occurrence for them due to the inadequacies of Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road & NJ Transit.

Sadly riders of Amtrak & NJ Transit had to deal with an extra dose of chaos on their commutes Thanksgiving Eve that saw service delayed for as much as one hour due to plastic wrap being caught in the catenary power wires. Noah Cohen of NJ.com has more:

Plastic wrap caught in overhead wires caused major delays on Amtrak and NJ Transit lines Wednesday, slowing riders on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

“There was a plastic wrap in the catenary power wires and we were holding trains until it was removed,” Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said in an email shortly after 6 p.m. “Trains are now on the move, but residual delays are expected.”

Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line service was initially suspended because of the Amtrak wire problem near North Elizabeth, but later resumed with hour-long delays, according to NJ Transit.

Hour-long delays were also reported on NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line.

Amtrak reported delays on some of its trains near Metropark and Newark airport stops.

Photos on social media showed a packed waiting area at the already busy New York Penn Station.

Click here for the complete report.

I feel for these riders as dealing with service in & out of Penn Station is frustrating enough when things are decent much less on one of the busiest travel days of the year!

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

Amtrak Train Detaches On Trip To NYC

Credit: @Manchuck on Twitter

Long time readers know that I am a historic critic of Amtrak’s poor service & much deserved reputation as a failed transportation carrier. So when I heard the news of one of their trains detaching on a trip headed to NYC this evening, I was not surprised one bit.

The story starts on Train #68 on the Adirondack line that runs from Montreal to New York daily. The train which was scheduled to arrive at 8:50 in Penn Station (as of press time, the train has still not arrived at Penn Station) was south of the Albany-Rensselaer when a passenger heard a loud pop & felt a gush of cold air.

When the passenger turned around, he saw that the locomotive engine had detached from the cars & kept going as they sat there like sitting ducks. The 25 people in the car along with the rest of the passengers & crew who made up the 287 in total on board had to wait for 2 hours in the cold as they waited for another train to come get them so they could continue their trip to NYC.

I can’t wait until the investigation is concluded & the facts hopefully come out as to what exactly happened here. Was it some sort of mechanical failure or possible human error that caused this? If human error is the cause, we better see the termination of those responsible for something that could have been tragic.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

Greenpoint Elevator Project Moves Forward

Earlier today, MTA NYC announced that its project to install an elevator at the Greenpoint Avenue station will be moving forward. Here is more via the press release I received:

MTA New York City Transit announced today that the next phase of a project to bring full accessibility to the Greenpoint Av  station will require ‘round-the-clock’ track and platform access to construction crews who will be installing three new elevators and other accessibility features this winter.

“Accessibility is one of my top four priorities as part of the Fast Forward Plan to modernize NYC Transit, and I am very pleased to see how quickly the elevator project at Greenpoint Av has advanced in just a few months,” said MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford. “We thank our customers for their patience while we install these elevators; the final result will benefit everyone – from people who use wheelchairs to parents with strollers to anyone carrying anything heavy.”

The Greenpoint Av elevator project will install three new elevators and update station infrastructure such as stairs, handrails, turnstiles, powered gates and braille signage. An elevator will link the southern end of the station mezzanine to the sidewalk on the east side of Manhattan Avenue between Greenpoint Avenue and Kent Street. Two other elevators will provide access to the northbound and southbound platforms, respectively, from the station mezzanine. In addition, the station agent booth will be modified to a wheelchair user-friendly height and new sidewalk pedestrian ramps will be installed.

From 9:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30 to 5 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, only northbound  trains will stop at Greenpoint Av. Additionally, the Greenpoint Av station will be closed in both directions on weeknights between 9:45 p.m. and 5 a.m. and on weekends at all hours from Monday, Dec. 3 to Monday, Dec. 24. Alternate service during these closures is specified below.

A similar one-direction station bypass for northbound  service at Greenpoint Av will be scheduled in March 2019. Specific dates, including any weeknight and weekend work, will be announced closer to the start of that scheduled work.

Construction began in September and is expected to take a total of 28 months. More than 9,400 weekday customers use the station, which remains open to service during the work, though short-term outages such as these limited station bypasses have been scheduled to accommodate work requiring platform or track access. Announcements, signage and outreach to the affected communities and local elected officials detailing any additional service changes related to the construction will be posted and disseminated ahead of each service change as they are scheduled.

In May 2018, President Byford unveiled the Fast Forward Plan to establish a roadmap for the modernization of the subway, bus and paratransit networks. It proposes to add, in the span of five years, enough new elevators to ensure that all subway riders will not be more than two stops away from an accessible station.  The plan proposes making more than 180 subway stations ADA accessible over the course of 10 years. In June, President Byford appointed the agency’s first systemwide accessibility adviser, Alex Elegudin, to implement accessibility initiatives outlined in the plan.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has invested nearly $5 billion to make subway stations accessible, including $1.4 billion in the 2015-19 MTA capital program for adding accessibility at 20 stations. The 2015-19 capital program includes $479 million to replace 42 existing elevators and 27 escalators. Future capital programs will include funding for additional stations.

Some planned service changes to accommodate the Greenpoint Av elevator project will also accommodate track maintenance work on the  line to ensure reliability during the  tunnel reconstruction project that will begin in April 2019. The service changes listed below begin at 9:45 p.m. each night and ends at 5 a.m. the next morning, except weekend work, which begins at 9:45 p.m. Fridays to 5 a.m. Mondays:

November 30 – December 3

  •  operates between Nassau Av and Church Av
  • Free shuttle buses operate between Court Sq and Nassau Av

December 3-7

  •  operates between Church Av and Bedford-Nostrand Avs
  • Free shuttle buses operate between 21 St-Queensbridge and Bedford-Nostrand Avs

December 7-10

  •  operates between Nassau Av and Church Av
  • Free shuttle buses operate between Nassau Av and Court Sq

December 10-14

  •  operates between Church Av and Bedford-Nostrand Avs
  • Free shuttle buses operate between 21 St-Queensbridge and Bedford-Nostrand Avs

December 14-17

  •  operates between Church Av and Bedford-Nostrand Avs
  • Free shuttle buses operate between Court Sq and Bedford-Nostrand Avs

December 17-21

  •  operates between Church Av and Bedford-Nostrand Avs
  • Free shuttle buses operate between 21 St-Queensbridge and Bedford-Nostrand Avs

December 21-24

  •  operates between Church Av and Bedford-Nostrand Avs
  • Free shuttle buses operate between Court Sq and Bedford-Nostrand Avs

January 4-7

  •  operates between Court Sq and Bedford-Nostrand Avs

Free shuttle buses operate between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and Jay St

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

MTA Performing Accelerated JMZ Repairs

With the  L Train train shutdown impending in the near future, MTA NYC Transit announced the acceleration of repairs to the J Train & . Here are more details courtesy of the press release they asked me to share with my readers:

MTA New York City Transit is continuing its accelerated schedule of proactive weekend track maintenance and repairs, as well as station improvements, on the J Train &  lines this winter to ensure safe and reliable service when the L Train train tunnel reconstruction begins in April 2019 and the  L Train line operates as a Brooklyn-only service.

“We’re working hard to be ready for when the  L Train line runs as a Brooklyn-only service while we reconstruct its under-river tunnel next year,” said MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford. “To make sure our alternate service will be as reliable possible before the project starts, we’re doing accelerated work now on those subway lines and stations that will absorb customers going to and from Manhattan.”

The J Train & lines will be heavily used as alternate subway service during the L Train tunnel reconstruction, and NYC Transit is extremely focused on conducting as much repair and maintenance work as possible on those lines to limit any unplanned service outages when the L Train becomes a Brooklyn-only line.

Additionally, NYC Transit is making capacity improvements at stations along the J Train & lines, such as projects to widen stairs, turnstile areas or points of entrance/exit and transfer. A project to double capacity recently completed at Hewes St with a reopened staircase and more turnstiles.  To accelerate construction for station improvements at Marcy Av J Train &   and track work, crews will require total track or station access on select weekends in November and December.

Service changes on the following weekends begin at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Fridays to 5 a.m. on Mondays:           

November 23–26

  • J Train trains operate between Hewes St and Jamaica Center.
  • service is suspended.
  • Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Essex St and Metropolitan Av in two routes:
  1. between Essex St and Hewes St
  2. between Essex St and Metropolitan Av

November 30–December 3        

  • J Train trains operate between Hewes St and Jamaica Center.
  • trains operate between Metropolitan Av and Myrtle Av.
  • Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Essex St and Hewes St

December 7–10   

  • J Train trains operate between Hewes St and Jamaica Center.
  • service is suspended.
  • Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Essex St and Metropolitan Av in two routes:
  1. between Essex St and Hewes St
  2. between Essex St and Metropolitan Av

December 14–17, 21–24, 28–31, and January 4–7, 2019          

  • service is suspended.
  • Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Essex St and Metropolitan Av.

January 11–14, 18–21, 25–28     

  • J Train trains operate between Myrtle Av and Jamaica Center.
  •  service is suspended.
  • Free shuttle buses provide alternate service between Essex St and Metropolitan Av in two routes:
  1. between Essex St and Myrtle Av
  2. between Essex St and Metropolitan Av

Signage will be posted and announcements will be made at affected stations to provide exact start and end times of service, as well as details of the alternate service.

ABOUT THE L Train TUNNEL RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT

The L Train tunnel – also known as the Canarsie Tunnel – was one of nine underwater tunnels that flooded during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, all of which required extensive rehabilitation and repair. The tunnel, which houses the under-river subway tracks for the L Train line between Manhattan and Brooklyn, was flooded with enough water to fill 11 Olympic-sized swimming pools and suffered extensive damage to tracks, signals, switches, power cables, signal cables, communication cables, lighting, cable ducts and bench walls throughout a 7,100-foot-long flooded section of both tubes. Bench walls throughout those sections must be rehabilitated to protect the structural integrity of the tubes. While short-term repairs enabled NYC Transit to safely restore L Train service after Sandy, long-term repairs are needed to run  service without major failures.

NYC Transit began public outreach on the L Train tunnel reconstruction project in 2016, with more than 100 public workshops, neighborhood town halls and meetings with community boards, elected officials, the New York City Department of Transportation and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to plan the project and proposed service mitigation, and to solicit public feedback on how best to accommodate approximately 225,000 riders who currently take the L Train train between Manhattan and Brooklyn and the 50,000 riders who take the L Train in Manhattan.

Information on the L Train train tunnel repairs, the alternate service changes during the project and the improvement projects planned for stations along the  and other lines are available at http://mta.info/LTunnelReconstruction.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries:

NYC Transit Thanksgiving 2018 Service Info

Here is the official Thanksgiving 2018 service plan information for MTA NYC Transit Buses & Subways:

New York City Subway: Thanksgiving Day Service

The New York City Subway will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day. The closest subway stations to the start of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are the 72 St 1 Train 2 Train 3 Train, 79 St 1 Train, 81 St C train, and 59 St-Columbus Circle 1 train A Train C train D train stations.

Additional service on the 42 Street Shuttle as well as increased early morning service on the line will be provided to accommodate spectators. To prevent crowding on stairways and platforms, some subway entrances at 59 St-Columbus Circle will be closed. The 72 St station will remain open, but trains may bypass the station if crowding develops prior to the start of the parade. In addition, select exits and entrances will be closed at Penn Station, and stations along the Sixth Avenue     line.

New York City Subway: Vintage Trains Through December

The MTA celebrates the holiday season each year with its “Shoppers Special” vintage subway train, which will run up the Sixth Avenue    line from 2 Av on the line to Rockefeller Center, then up the Central Park West A Train C train D train line to 125 St this holiday season. This special train of subway cars from the 1930s runs every Sunday between November 25 to December 30.  The first run of each Sunday departs at 10 a.m. from 2 Av and the last run of the day departs at 5 p.m. from 125 St.

New York City Buses: Thursday/Friday Service Details

Buses operated by MTA New York City Transit (NYC Transit) and the MTA Bus Company will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day. Many routes do not operate on Sundays or do not run on part of the route at certain hours. Customers traveling on Thanksgiving Day should check Sunday schedules, lines and routes.

All bus service in Manhattan may experience delays, and will be affected by reroutes, detours, and/or frozen zones, especially those routes operating in Midtown near the parade route such as the BxM2, M5, M7, M10, M11, M20, M31, M34 SBS, M34A SBS, M42, M50, M55, M57, M72, M79 SBS, M104, Q32, QM2, QM4, QM5, and the QM6. The 79 Street Transverse will be closed from 12 noon Wednesday, November 21, to 12 noon Thursday, November 22, and buses will not be permitted to cross during this time. Details will be provided at www.mta.info under “Service Status.”

On Black Friday, November 23, NYC Transit and MTA Bus Company buses will operate on a weekday schedule with some exceptions listed at mta.info. Special schedules are in effect for express bus routes operated by MTA Bus Company. A listing of affected routes and timetables can be found at http://web.mta.info/nyct/service/SpecialBusSchedules_11_2016.htm

Free Q70 Select Bus Service LaGuardia Link

To encourage the use of mass transit and to ease congestion on New York City streets during the Thanksgiving holiday, the MTA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are offering free rides on the Q70 Select Bus Service (SBS) LaGuardia Link from Monday, November 19, to Monday, November 26.

The Q70 SBS connects the      subway lines and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to LaGuardia’s terminals B, C and D, providing a worry-free limited-stop ride with customer amenities designed for travelers. Stops for Q70 SBS LaGuardia Link are distinctly marked outside LIRR’s Woodside Station/61 St-Woodside subway station and the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av    /74 St-Broadway subway station complex.

Customers boarding at LaGuardia terminals B, C, and D can spot the LaGuardia Link buses via their distinctive blue exterior design and SBS signage. Customers are urged to allow extra time due to ongoing construction near LaGuardia Airport and increased holiday traffic. More information on MTA various services to New York area airports is available here.

Special Overnight Bus and Weekend Subway Service to Jamaica JFK AirTrain

To accommodate critical track renewal work on the line in Queens, trains will terminate at 179 St in Queens on select late nights and weekends through November and December. During this vital work, customers traveling to or from John F. Kennedy International Airport can take free shuttle buses making all station stops between Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike and Jamaica Center for service to Sutphin Blvd-Archer Av for the Jamaica AirTrain. As an alternative, customers can also take the train to Howard Beach-JFK for the JFK AirTrain or LIRR to Jamaica.

The dates and times of this work are as follows:

  • November 20-21, from 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • November 23-26, from 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday
  • November 27-30, from 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • December 4-7, from 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • December 7-10, from 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday
  • December 11-14, from 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • December 14-17, from 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday
  • December 18-21, from 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • December 24-28, from 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • January 14-18, from 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • January 18-21, from 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday

In addition to the MYmta smartphone app, customers can check www.mta.info and check out the “Weekender” tab located within the Service Status Menu for Current Service Status on any MTA mode of travel that they plan to use.  Remember that TripPlanner+ provides travel information that takes weekend service diversions into account. Customers using bus routes in the five boroughs can also use MTA Bus Time to track real-time bus positions and gauge arrival times.

xoxo Transit Blogger

You might enjoy reading these related entries: