Monday, May 6, 2013
MTA New York City Transit’s intensive repair and maintenance program—FASTRACK—came to South Brooklyn last night. The three-mile long Fourth Avenue Line was shut down from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m this morning, and will be closed for the next three nights through early Friday morning resulting in no train service between 36 St and 95 St in both directions.
Suspending all train service on a subway corridor on four consecutive nights for seven continuous hours gives maintenance workers the chance to perform many tasks on or near the tracks without having to stop work every few minutes while a train moves through the area. This is a safer and more efficient way to maintain and clean the largest and busiest rail transportation system in North America—a system that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
With no trains running on the Fourth Avenue Line between the 36 St and 95 St stations, 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, paint areas that are not reachable during normal train operation. In addition, work crews had an opportunity to clean lighting fixtures, change bulbs, and repair platform edges. Workers were also able to do high-intensity station cleaning providing a visible improvement to the station environment.
Achievement by the Numbers
Key achievements from last night’s maintenance blitz include servicing and testing one switch, replacing switch components, installing eight sections of track and 143 track tie plates and inspecting an interlocking, the arrangement of signals and switches that allow trains to move from one track to another. Maintenance crews also corrected 117 third rail defects, scraped and cleaned 2,440 linear feet of track under and around the third rail and removed 2,020 bags (9,300 pounds) of scrap and debris from the track bed. Fixing the subway’s physical infrastructure is also imperative as crews repaired or replaced 90 linear feet of handrail, repaired 34 leaks, cleared 270 feet of track drain, and replaced or installed 70 feet of “no clearance” signs.
Making the station environment safer, more attractive and aesthetically-pleasing for customers is a top priority as work crews replaced 22 platform signs, eight station light bulbs, 160 tunnel light bulbs, 16 blue emergency light bulbs and made repairs to three stairways. In addition, workers scraped 9,500 square feet of paintable area, cleared two platform drains and repaired 345 linear feet of rubbing board, the fiberglass extension attached to the platform edge. Ten public address systems were also inspected, cleaned, and tested.
The FASTRACK project environment, introduced in January 2012, experienced a significantly lower accident rate by participating employees. During FASTRACK operations, 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 our customers depend on to get them where they need to go—requires regularly scheduled maintenance to the critical components they 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%. Overall, FASTRACK is improving employee safety and service reliability.
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