MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced the completion of an extraordinary track reconstruction effort that began in July 2013 on the tracks through the central Bronx used by New Haven Line and Harlem Line trains.
The result is a safer, smoother ride and improved operating speeds.
All four tracks on a six-mile stretch from Melrose to Woodlawn now allow for speeds up to 75 miles per hour, resulting in improved performance and reliability in time for the May 11 schedule change. Trains were limited to 60 miles per hour prior to the start of the track reconstruction project.
“This project began out of an intensive focus on track safety that led to rigorous inspections using the most advanced rail inspection technologies that exist,” said Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giulietti. “Its completion, and the enhanced safety it provides, allows us to lift the permanent and temporary speed restrictions that had existed on these tracks in time for our new May 11 schedule.”
Full train schedules have also been restored to Melrose and Tremont stations, where customers during the morning rush hour recently had used temporary shuttle buses to connect to Fordham.
The project began on July 1, 2013, with crews first focused on Track 4, the southbound local track. When work on that track was completed, crews shifted their attention to the adjacent express track. By November 17, crews had finished rebuilding Track 3, the northbound local track. At that time, work was suspended until the spring. Track work is a seasonal activity, and it is suspended each year during winter. This April and May, work resumed on the last of the four tracks to be rebuilt, Track 1, an express track.
During the course of the project, workers:
- Removed 6,157 concrete ties
- Installed 7,537 new wood ties
- Installed 3,243 tons of new stone ballast
- Trenched 6,350 feet of the right-of-way shoulder or between tracks to improve drainage
- Installed new rail on various curves
- Welded rail joints and installed new insulated joints
- Excavated and removed 4,995 cubic yards of mud created by poor drainage along the tracks
- Removed a significant amount of debris, garbage and graffiti on railroad property
Photos of this track work are available at this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mtaphotos/sets/72157634650879991/