2 Bronx 6 Line Stations Reopen

This past Sunday, riders at 2 popular 6 Train line stations in the Bronx were happy as the Castle Hill Av & Middletown Rd stations reopened after being closed for 7 months due to a station renewal project. Here is more about it:

NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco, joined by MTA Vice Chairman Fernando Ferrer, MTA officials and community leaders, presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the completion of a seven month renewal project at the 94 year-old Castle Hill Av and Middletown Rd 6 line stations in the Bronx.

As part of a $109 million extensive station renewal project along the Pelham Line, Castle Hill Av and Middletown Rd were the first two stations to close for renewal work on October 5, 2013. During the closures, customers were able to take advantage of free shuttle bus service. Despite the harsh winter, both stations reopened on schedule to customer service on Sunday, May 4.

“Governor Cuomo’s leadership has helped provide funding for the MTA’s Capital Plan, which helps fuel our station renewal program, here in the Bronx and throughout our system,” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “The completion of work here at Castle Hill Av and planned work at three other stations will provide a welcoming atmosphere for our customers as they enter the system or step off their trains.”

Improvements at both Castle Hill Av and Middletown Rd stations included replacement of floors, walls, ceilings, street and platform stairs, reconstruction of platform edges, including rubbing boards and new ADA boarding areas, new lighting in the mezzanines and station painting. In addition, there was full structural steel replacement at Castle Hill Av, and Middletown Rd received public address speakers and will receive new platform lighting within the next two months. Each station will be outfitted with a bird deterrent system, which is currently in the design phase.

“The reopening of these two stations is a great day for our borough. These are critical transportation hubs for the neighborhoods they serve, and my office is grateful to the MTA for being so receptive to the concerns of these communities throughout the construction process,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

New artwork commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit will be installed in frames along the platform windscreens at each station in June. At Castle Hill Av, sculptural metal panels titled “Bronx: Heart, Homeland” by Priscila de Carvalho are a narrative of everyday life in the neighborhood. At the Middletown Rd station, sculptural steel panels titled “Cross-Bronx Waterway,” by Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi of SLO Architecture, show the journey of the 6 line as it weaves through the neighborhood, and the Bronx River, using metal ribbon work to evoke water ripples in the river that is home to various forms of wildlife depicted in the artwork.

Buhre Av and Zerega Av stations are slated to close between July 2014 and February 2015. The Pelham Bay Park station will also undergo renewal work but will not close during repairs. Service notices will be posted in all stations prior to the commencement of work, and announcements will be made on trains.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Metro-North Completes Bronx Track Work

MTA Metro-North workers doing work on the Bronx R.O.W. track project. Photo courtesy of MTA Metro-North Railroad.

The MTA Metro-North Railroad has finally completed the major track work project that was taking place in the Bronx. Here are the details:

MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced the completion of an extraordinary track reconstruction effort that began in July 2013 on the tracks through the central Bronx used by New Haven Line and Harlem Line trains.

The result is a safer, smoother ride and improved operating speeds.

All four tracks on a six-mile stretch from Melrose to Woodlawn now allow for speeds up to 75 miles per hour, resulting in improved performance and reliability in time for the May 11 schedule change. Trains were limited to 60 miles per hour prior to the start of the track reconstruction project.

“This project began out of an intensive focus on track safety that led to rigorous inspections using the most advanced rail inspection technologies that exist,” said Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giulietti. “Its completion, and the enhanced safety it provides, allows us to lift the permanent and temporary speed restrictions that had existed on these tracks in time for our new May 11 schedule.”

Full train schedules have also been restored to Melrose and Tremont stations, where customers during the morning rush hour recently had used temporary shuttle buses to connect to Fordham.

The project began on July 1, 2013, with crews first focused on Track 4, the southbound local track. When work on that track was completed, crews shifted their attention to the adjacent express track. By November 17, crews had finished rebuilding Track 3, the northbound local track. At that time, work was suspended until the spring. Track work is a seasonal activity, and it is suspended each year during winter. This April and May, work resumed on the last of the four tracks to be rebuilt, Track 1, an express track.

During the course of the project, workers:

Removed 6,157 concrete ties

Installed 7,537 new wood ties

Installed 3,243 tons of new stone ballast

Trenched 6,350 feet of the right-of-way shoulder or between tracks to improve drainage

Installed new rail on various curves

Welded rail joints and installed new insulated joints

Excavated and removed 4,995 cubic yards of mud created by poor drainage along the tracks

Removed a significant amount of debris, garbage and graffiti on railroad property

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FASTRACK Returns To The G

Starting this Monday, MTA NYC Transit’s FASTRACK will be returning to the G Train. Here are the complete details:

On Monday, May 12, MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program returns to the G line in Brooklyn. G service will be suspended between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and Church Av from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for four consecutive weeknights from Monday, May 12 to early Friday morning, May 16. Free shuttle buses, and F trains provide alternate service.

Travel alternatives:

• Free shuttle buses operate between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and the Jay St-MetroTech F station making station stops at Classon Av, Clinton-Washington Avs, Fulton St, and Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts.

• Transfer between G trains and free shuttle buses at Bedford-Nostrand Avs.

• Take the F for service between Jay St-MetroTech and Church Av.

• Transfer between free shuttle buses and F trains at Jay St-MetroTech.

• A service is also available between Hoyt-Schermerhorn and Jay St-MetroTech.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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2 Qns-Bound A Stations Close For 3 Months

Riders at the Queens-bound 88th St & 104th St A Train stations need to be prepared for their stations to be closed for 3 months due to renewals. Here are the details:

MTA New York City Transit announces the beginning of a major $39 million capital project at five stations along the A line on Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park. The project calls for station renewals at 80 St-Hudson Street, 88 St-Boyd Avenue, Rockaway Boulevard, 104 St-Oxford Avenue and 111 St-Greenwood Avenue. For these stations, originally opened in the early 1900’s, these improvements include the installation of new lighting, better platforms, enhanced safety features, and upgraded communications, and will create significantly better conditions for customers.

Improvements at these five stations will also feature repair or replacement of mezzanine to platform stairs, mezzanine floors, doors and windows, and interior and exterior walls. Each station will be painted and canopies, windscreen panels and railings will also be replaced. Customers will also benefit from new lighting in the mezzanines, and new artwork. The construction contracts were awarded in December 2013 as a joint venture to Forte Construction Corp and Emis Construction Group.

In order to carry out work on this project in a safe and efficient fashion, we will temporarily close the Queens-bound platforms of the 88th St-Boyd Avenue and 104 St-Oxford Avenue Stations from May 12, 2014 to August 18, 2014. Normal A service will be provided travelling towards Manhattan.

Queens-bound customers travelling to 88th St-Boyd Avenue must ride to the Rockaway Blvd Station and transfer to a Manhattan-bound A train. Customers wishing to ride towards Ozone Park Lefferts Blvd or the Rockaways from 88 St-Boyd Avenue must ride a Manhattan-bound A train to 80 St-Hudson Street and transfer to a Queens-bound A train. Normal service will be provided travelling towards Manhattan.

Queens-bound riders travelling to 104 St-Oxford Avenue must ride to the 111 St-Greenwood Avenue Station and transfer to a Manhattan-bound A train. Riders wishing to travel towards Ozone Park-Lefferts Blvd from 104 St-Oxford Avenue must ride a Manhattan-bound A train to Rockaway Blvd and transfer to an Ozone Park-Lefferts Boulevard-bound A train.

Following the completion of this phase of the project, work will move over to the Manhattan-bound platforms at these two stations, tentatively scheduled to begin in September 2014.

We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding while we carry out this important work. Service notices will be posted in all stations along the Liberty Avenue line prior to the commencement of work and announcements will be made on trains. Brochures are also available at station booths.

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Brooklyn-Bound F Train Derails In Queens

F Train Derailment
Emergency service workers responded to the derailment of a Brooklyn-bound F train just south of the 65th Street station in Woodside, Queens. Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin.

The big story of the day is the Brooklyn-bound F train that derailed in Queens this morning at 10:24 AM just south of the 65th Street station in Queens. Just a short time ago, I received a press release from NYC Transit which stated:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is investigating the derailment of a southbound F train on the express track south of the 65 St R M station on the Queens Boulevard line.

The derailment occurred at 10:24 a.m. on Friday, May 2, when six cars of an eight-car Brooklyn-bound F train went off the track. The wheels of the first and last cars remained on the track.

New York City Fire Department and Police Department personnel helped to evacuate approximately 1,000 customers on the affected train through an emergency exit in about two hours. An E train in the area was moved back to Queens Plaza where passengers were discharged with no injuries reported.

MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said the MTA will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the derailment, including full inspections of signals, track and all other infrastructure in the area.

MTA New York City Transit crews are working to restore local service on the E F lines through Queens by the Friday evening rush hour. Express service in both directions on the Queens Boulevard lines will be suspended until after the incident train is removed from the tracks after the rush hour.

The M R trains will not run along the Queens Boulevard line. R trains will run between Whitehall St and 57 St-7 Av in Manhattan. M trains will run between Metropolitan Av in Queens and Chambers St in Manhattan.

Limited shuttle bus service has been established between Forest Hills-71 Av and Queens Plaza and between Forest Hills-71 Av and 21 St-Queensbridge. The 7 train will provide some alternate service for Queens Boulevard line customers as well. MTA Long Island Rail Road is cross-honoring valid MetroCards between Penn Station and Jamaica Station.

This service plan will be in effect until the derailed train can be removed and all necessary inspections and repairs can be completed. There is no timetable for restoration of express service. Local E F service may be temporarily suspended to accommodate this work.

Scheduled weekend work on the 7 and J lines has been cancelled to accommodate customers using those alternate routes.

I will either post or tweet any new info as I receive it so make sure to follow me (@TransitBlogger) on Twitter.

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