MTA Raises Certain Subway Speed Limits

Long time NYC Subway riders remember the days when certain stretches of the system had trains speed through what felt like at the speed of light. Unfortunately some accidents mainly due to human error caused the agency to overreact & implement signal timers which led to severely reduced speeds. This was especially evident on express runs that felt like a glorified local minus the doors opening & closing at select stations.

Fast forward to the end of 2018 & New York City Transit President Andy Byford is sticking with his promise to look into speeding up commutes safely. The agency plans to increase the speed limit in certain corridors as testing deems fit to do so. Jose Martinez of NY1 has more:

The MTA is trying to put some zip into your plodding subway trip by increasing the speed limit in 100 subway corridors as part of a major push to cut delays and improve service.

The agency began increasing the speed limits in selected locations over the weekend after months of testing to determine where trains could speed up without compromising safety.

“Even a small saving of seconds can result in a significant change because that is felt over the course of the entire line,” said Sally Librera, the chief officer of the MTA Staten Island Railway. “So we’re looking for seconds everywhere we can get them.”

The first speed limit increase came along the N and R line in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Trains that had been operating no faster than 15 miles an hour beneath Fourth Avenue can now operate at up to 20 or 30 miles an hour.

“All we’re doing is we’re looking at areas where we can actually advise train operators that they can travel faster and still be within those same speed regulations and operate safely,” Librera said.

The problem of slow trains dates to the 1990s, when safety devices called signal timers were installed along the tracks after two major subway accidents. If a train travels too fast, the devices automatically activate the emergency brake.

Click here for the complete report.

I am glad they are looking into increasing the speed limit in certain sections while removing the signal timers. However I feel more of this needs to be done as the system contains a lot of areas where these signal timers were unnecessarily installed. Having nearly 3 of them for every single mile of track is beyond ridiculous & a big reason as to why rides on the subway have come to a near crawl these days.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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