FASTRACK Returns To N, Q & R Lines

MTA NYC Transit has announced that FASTRACK will be returning to the N Train, Q Train & R Train. Here are the details:

MTA New York City Transit’s FASTRACK program returns to Manhattan stations along the NQR lines for two consecutive weeks. Beginning Monday, July 6, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., for four consecutive weeknights, and from Monday, July 13, to early morning Friday, July 17, NQR trains will not stop at stations in Manhattan. N trains will run in Queens and Brooklyn only, Q trains run in Brooklyn and are rerouted via the 6 Av D line in Manhattan, and R service will end early in Manhattan and Queens each night.

Travel alternatives:

• In Queens, take the M instead of the R. Take the 7 for service between Queens and Manhattan.
• In Manhattan, use nearby stations on the 8 Av AE, 7 Av 12, 6 Av DF, and Lexington Av 46 lines instead.
• Take the 24AD and Q between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
• N trains make local R stops between Court St and 59 St, in Brooklyn.

NQR trains will operate as follows:

N trains operate in two sections (Queens and Brooklyn) as follows:

• Between Astoria-Ditmars Blvd and Queensboro Plaza.
• Between Coney Island-Stillwell Av and the Court St R station.

Q trains rerouted via the D line in Manhattan as follows:

• Manhattan-bound: After DeKalb Av, Q trains run via the D to 47-50 Sts, then to the 57 St F station, which will be the last stop.
• Coney Island-bound: Trains originate at the 57 St F station then run via the D line to Brooklyn. Regular Coney Island-Stillwell Av bound Q service resumes at DeKalb Av.

R train service ends early in Manhattan and Queens as follows:

• The last R train to Bay Ridge-95 St leaves Forest Hills-71 Av at about 9:15 p.m.
• The last R train to Forest Hills-71 Av leaves Bay Ridge-95 St at about 9:20 p.m.
• In Brooklyn, R shuttle service between 36 St and Bay Ridge- 95 St will operate overnight.

Joseph Leader, Senior Vice President for the Department of Subways, said, “Our FASTRACK efforts have been highly successful in repairing and maintaining a subway system that improves train service reliability for our customers while providing a safer work environment for employees.”

During our previous FASTRACK along this corridor in November 2014, New York City Transit repair and maintenance crews completed many tasks along this 7.3-mile long segment of the NQR line. Track workers cleaned 47,680 feet of track, replaced 33 rails, 651 track plates, 575 friction pads, and cleaned 4,600 feet of track under and around the third rail.

Infrastructure crews repaired 130 leaks and 170 square feet of damaged concrete, serviced three pump plants, cleaned 25 muck drains, replaced 60 square feet of grating, replaced 708 light bulbs, and repaired 344 feet of bench wall. At stations, workers replaced 92 ADA tiles, scraped and primed 1,800 square feet of station surface and painted 3,300 square feet, repaired 35 feet of rubbing board, and performed lighting improvements which consisted of cleaning 396 lighting fixtures, and the replacement of 498 light bulbs. Signal workers serviced 15 switches and 27 signals, tested 15 switches and 34 signals, and performed maintenance at 17 switch locations. They also replaced 12 track relays, 4 switch components and completed several inspections of signal components and equipment. This represents only a portion of what Transit workers accomplish under the FASTRACK program.

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MTA Names New SI Railway Head

The MTA’s Staten Island Railway has a new head & his name is Stapleton native & 30 year MTA veteran Douglas Connett. Vincent Barone of Staten Island Live has more in this report:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has named a new head of the Staten Island Railway.

Douglas Connett, a Stapleton native and 30-year veteran with the MTA, was named the vice president and chief officer of the railway on Thursday, June 18, according to an internal memo that the MTA had provided to the Advance.

“Doug has a hands-on approach and enjoys teaching those around him while instilling the vision of providing safe and reliable mass transportation service,” wrote Joseph Leader, senior vice president of the Department of Subways, in the memo. “He sets a high standard of professionalism and his communication style helps to foster a safe and unified work environment resulting in high morale among employees.”

Connett will be in charge of day-to-day operations of the railway. Former vice president and chief officer Frank Jezycki held the position for 10 months before moving on to head the MTA’s Maintenance of Way Division.

Click here for the complete report.

I have heard good things about Mr. Connett in terms of helping the Staten Island Railway after Sandy. Let us see what more he can do with full control as the Railway definitely has some changes that need to be made to help bring out its full potential.

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LIRR To Add More Cameras On New Trains

In what will be a huge blow to the privacy rights of many, the MTA Long Island Rail ROad has announced it will be adding even more cameras on its new car fleet that is scheduled to debut in 2018. Here is more via Alfonso A. Castillo of Newsday:

LIRR officials upped the ante on rail security Monday and said they will increase the number of cameras to be installed in passenger compartments aboard their newest fleet of trains.

The change in specification was outlined for 236 M9 electric train cars, expected to begin rolling out in 2018. The Long Island Rail Road originally planned to outfit its new trains with seven cameras, six in the passenger compartments and one facing forward.

Now, officials say new cars will have 10 cameras, including eight inside passenger compartments — two more passenger cameras than the six originally outlined. The trains also will have a camera, with audio capabilities, in the engineer’s cab.

The passenger cameras will include: two in each vestibule (totaling four), two in the main passenger area, and one at each end of a car. The LIRR and its train manufacturer, Kawasaki Rail Car Inc., have not agreed on a price for the change.

The LIRR, which separately is moving forward on a project to retrofit most existing electric trains with cameras, indicated those older trains will have the same specifications. The plan marks the first time cameras are being installed on the railroad’s cars, officials have said.

Jim Allen, the LIRR’s director of new rolling stock, said the new number of cameras is necessary to get “100 percent coverage” of the train. LIRR officials have said the cameras will aid investigation of crimes and other incidents onboard trains, including customer slip-and-fall claims.

“We want to see every person that comes on or gets off the train, as well as the pockets of seats within the train,” Allen said at a Manhattan meeting of the MTA Board’s LIRR Committee.

In another change, video footage captured by the cameras will now be stored for 30 days, instead of the originally planned seven.

“Any cameras that go beyond that [NTSB recommendation] seem to go beyond pure safety and they’re now venturing into what your views of security are,” Ballan said.

Board member Charles Moerdler said he was “troubled” by what he believes is an invasion of LIRR riders’ privacy.

“You cannot travel on a train without a camera on you,” said Moerdler, who urged the LIRR to be transparent with its customers about its plans. “I do think you need to give the public notice that Big Brother is watching.”

Click here for the complete report.

Once again we have the excuse of safety & security to disguise the fact that Big Brother is once again here to further infringe on our civil liberties especially in terms of privacy.

I am 100% against this plan to have cameras in the passenger areas as we know at some point, the footage will be used for no good regardless of the claims that it will be closely guarded.

The agency should be able to install technology that would help enable it in any potential accident investigation without infringing on the privacy of the engineer as he or she does the job they are paid to do.

Hopefully riders will rally against the false tales of safety & security as their civil liberties will always be more important regardless of the spin that Big Brother supporters will throw your way.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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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!

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