Service Diversions 09-11-14

Get a head start on your weekend travel plans as I have just updated the Service Diversions through all of next week.

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter by clicking the button in the sidebar as I am using it more often. Also if you are into indie music make sure to follow @IndMusicReview & @SurgeFM!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Bedbugs Strike Again

At the rate this is going, I will probably need to make a category for all these bedbug stories! The disgusting & useless animals have once again been sighted on a NYC Subway. This time the unfortunate victim is the R Train.

Since last Wednesday, MTA NYC Transit has had to take 3 R Train trains out of service due to bedbug sightings. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more:

Bedbugs have jumped over to the R train — one subway line that had not been affected by a series of recent sightings of the dreaded bloodsuckers riding the rails.

Since last Wednesday, Sept. 3, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has taken three R trains out of service after receiving reports of bedbugs on board, transit sources said.

“The MTA is losing the war on bed bugs,” said Joe Costales, a chairman with the subway workers union, Transport Workers Union Local 100.

The MTA confirmed that it fumigated 16 trains after bedbugs were found on board last month.

In addition to the September sightings on the trio of R trains, an A train was sent to a rail yard after a bedbug sighting was made within the last week, the sources said.

Click here for the complete story.

This is becoming a huge nightmare for the agency. Sadly I can picture the TWU using this as an issue to attack the much maligned agency. However I don’t know how much can be expected from them as it is the riders who are bringing them into the system. So fumigating on a regular basis would probably be a big waste of financial resources.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Fiction That Is So Real….

Normally it is all about the news here on Transit Blogger but I just had to share this video a friend of mine posted on Facebook. I can’t believe I have never seen it before. While it is fiction, it sure feels real to us NYC Subway regulars!

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R Train Tunnel Might Reopen Sooner

For quite some time now, R Train riders in Lower Manhattan & Downtown Brooklyn have been affected by the closure of the tunnel between the 2 boroughs due to Hurricane Sandy repair work.

However some good news might finally be on the horizon as according to the MTA, the work might reopen due to work being completed ahead of schedule. Pete Donohue of the NY Daily News has more:

The R train tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn may open a bit sooner than scheduled, a transit official said Monday.

The project is now “on schedule to meet or beat the October deadline,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Adam Lisberg said Monday.

Click here for the complete story.

This would be a huge relief as the tunnel closing has made it quite inconvenient to travel in Lower Manhattan & Downtown Brooklyn for many riders. I know it has done so for me when I needed to travel to certain establishments for business purposes.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Metro North Completes Work Ahead Of Schedule

A feel good story for the much maligned Metro-North as earlier today they announced that the Cos Cob switching complex work project was completed 4 months ahead of schedule. Here are the details:

Metro-North Railroad employees have successfully rebuilt a switching control house in Cos Cob, Connecticut. The restoration, completed four months ahead of an initial, already expedited schedule, means that a nine-mile section of the New Haven Line’s tracks between Port Chester, N.Y., and Stamford, Conn., is fully operational for the first time since May 10, when a fire destroyed the previous control house.

The restored control house allows train dispatchers to switch trains from one track to another by moving small segments of rail in a complex of switches. Metro-North was able to dramatically speed up the control house restoration by taking equipment that had already been built and was ready for installation at another complex that had a switch layout that was virtually identical. The equipment that was repurposed uses the most modern technology, reducing the amount of complicated wiring that had been damaged in the May 10 fire.

Rebuilding a new control house would normally take 18 months of design, fabrication, installation and testing. Initially, Metro-North had expected to expedite that by using a retired switching complex. The railroad ultimately expedited it further by repurposing the modern complex.

The final component of the restoration – shifting control from a temporary emergency wayside control house back to Metro-North’s Operations Control Center in New York City – took place this past weekend, Sept. 6 & 7.

“I commend all of the employees who have been involved in the effort to work around the loss of our control house and rebuilt it using an innovative approach,” said Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giulietti. “From the employees stationed by the wayside operating switches manually, to those who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to restore OCC control of the switches, to those who conceived of and implemented this thoughtful and expedited approach, restoring full control took a safe, coordinated team effort with the involvement of many divisions of the railroad.”

Connecticut DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said: “This is great news for New Haven Line commuters. Metro-North is to be commended on a very creative solution to a complex problem. In addition, getting the job done ahead of time gives us more operating flexibility and improves reliability on the busiest train line in the country.”

As a result of the May 10 fire and the resulting loss of the ability to switch trains from one track to the next, Metro-North forces initially had to lock switches into place through a procedure known as blocking and spiking. Two tracks were locked into hosting westbound trains only and two were locked into eastbound service.

Because trains normally use three of the New Haven Line’s four tracks to travel in the peak direction during rush hours, a two-track bottleneck had created the potential for congestion-related rush hour delays.

In late May, Metro-North workers installed an emergency manual panel at Cos Cob that allowed limited switching capability by a signal maintainer who had to be stationed at the site at all times and in continuous communication with the Operations Control Center. This enabled Metro-North to make three of the four tracks available in each rush hour’s peak direction, easing congestion.

However, the ability to switch trains from one track to another remained limited. In the event of any operational problems that could have arisen in the area, train workers would have had manually switch trains from one track to another, a cumbersome process taking up to 20 minutes to perform.

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