on the Lexington Avenue Line
Monday, March 25, 2013
Last night MTA New York City Transit continued the expansion of its highly-successful FASTRACK program. This was the first of four nights of our intensive maintenance and repair effort on the Lexington Avenue Line between Grand Central-42 St and 125 St. Local service on the four-mile long line segment was shut down from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., and will be closed for the next three nights through early Friday, March 29. During the closure and service runs express in both directions between Grand Central-42 St and 125 St and service ends early.
Suspending all train service on a line segment or designated track on four consecutive nights for seven continuous hours gives work crews a significant uninterrupted block of time to perform many tasks on or near the tracks without having to stop work every few minutes while a train moves through the area. (The section of the Lexington Avenue Line between the 51 St station and the 96 St station is bi-level. Local trains are on the upper level and express trains are on the lower level.) This allows maintenance crews to have a safe work environment while trains are running on the express tracks. This work environment is better and a more efficient way to maintain and clean the nation’s largest and busiest rail transportation system—a system that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
With train service suspended on the local tracks of the nearly 95-year old Lexington Avenue Line, hundreds of maintenance workers were able to inspect signals and switches, repair and replace track rails and cross ties, clean track floors, perform elevator and escalator repair work, repair water damage, clear drains, and clean stations. They were also able to clear the track-bed of debris, and paint areas untouched in years, because they are not reachable during normal train operation. In addition, work crews were able to clean lighting fixtures, change bulbs, and repair platform edges. We also performed high-intensity station cleaning providing a visible improvement to the station environment.
Major accomplishments from last night’s maintenance blitz include servicing 20 signals, installing seven sections of track, five tie blocks, and 157 track tie plates. Keeping the subway’s physical structure in good condition and clearing the track of debris is vital to a sound operation as workers scraped 3,494 linear feet of track, removed 3,492 bags (2,450 pounds) of scrap and debris and cleaned 1,205 feet of track drain. Crews also repaired or replaced 120 feet of handrail, sealed 40 leaks and made repairs to three stairways.
With an eye on customer and employee safety as well as having an aesthetically-pleasing station environment, workers replaced six platform edge signs, 342 tunnel light bulbs, 20 blue (emergency) tunnel light bulbs, and repaired or replaced 15 square feet of floor tile. In addition, workers scraped 2,250 square feet of paintable surface, primed and painted 1,400 square feet and performed maintenance on ten cameras and seven monitors that are part of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems.
The FASTRACK project environment, introduced in 2012, experiences a significantly lower accident rate by participating employees. During FASTRACK events last year, the Lost Time Accident (LTA) rate per 100 Employees was 1.38 versus a rate of 2.42 during all other operations. An LTA is a job-related incident that results in the inability of an employee to perform their duties for at least one working day beyond the day of the incident.
How this impacts service?
Reliable service - service you can depend on to get you to where you need to go when you need to get there - requires regularly scheduled maintenance to the critical components you never see. FASTRACK is having a positive impact on service reliability as train delays on subway lines that have undergone FASTRACK maintenance have dropped 4.4% and track fires have declined by 50 %. FASTRACK is improving employee safety and service reliability.
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