on the Grand Concourse
Monday, January 14, 2013
Last night was the kickoff for MTA New York City Transit's 2013 FASTRACK maintenance program, and for the first time, it took place on a line segment outside the Manhattan Central Business District and Downtown Brooklyn. The five-mile long Grand Concourse Line was shut down from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m suspending service between 205th Street and 161st Street in both directions. This FASTRACK line segment shutdown continues for the next three weeknights through early Friday morning, January 18.
Stopping all train service on a subway corridor on four consecutive nights for seven continuous hours gives maintenance personnel the opportunity 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 rail transportation system in North America—a system that never stops running.
Last year, the FASTRACK project environment experienced a significantly lower accident rate by participating employees. During FASTRACK, 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.
With no trains running along the nearly 80-year old Grand Concourse Line, an army 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 achievements from last night's maintenance effort include servicing 20 signals, replacing LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lighting in signal heads, installing nine sections of track, ten track tie blocks, and 311 track tie plates. Subways repair personnel also corrected 293 third rail defects and scraped and cleaned 1,285 feet of track under and around the third rail. Making repairs to the subway's physical infrastructure and clearing the track of debris was also important as crews installed 60 linear feet of “no clearance signs,” sealed 12 leaks and cleaned 450 linear feet of track trough, the space between the rails. Crews also scraped 2,995 linear feet of track, removed 3,705 bags (15,000 pounds) of scrap and debris. In addition, workers replaced 555 tunnel lights, seven platform edge signs, and seven conductor indication boards.
Work to make the station environment safer, more attractive and pleasing for customers was also accomplished last night as 12,300 square feet of paintable surface was scrapped and 2,000 square feet and 24 stair risers were painted. Closed Circuit Television systems received attention as the picture was optimized on three monitors from four cameras and maintenance was performed on a camera at 155 Street and at 161 St-Yankee Stadium.
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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