'FASTRACK' Coming to the Lexington Avenue Line

MTA New York City Transit is set to introduce FASTRACK— a new way of working on the rails.

Beginning Monday, January 9, the 4, 5, and 6 lines will be shut down from10 p.m. until 5 a.m., suspending all Lexington Avenue Line service between Grand Central-42nd Street and Atlantic Avenue in both directions for four consecutive weeknights.

Signals, tracks, tunnels, structures and stations must all be kept is proper working condition, an incredibly difficult task in a system where trains run 24 hours a day, every day. Providing maintenance for over 2,600 switches, 12,000 train control signals, more than 700 miles of track and 469 stations is an enormous challenge. NYC Transit is taking a new approach to the performance of critical maintenance and upgrades. By shutting down a section of a subway line, we can work more efficiently at less cost and provide a much safer environment for our transit workers.

System-wide, NYC Transit's weeknight ridership is approximately 250,000. The closures will affect from 10% to 15% of those riders depending on the line segment. While providing a safer work environment for our employees who will no longer be sharing tracks with in-service trains, we also anticipate an annual productivity savings of $10 to $15 million. However, this is not a replacement for weekend work. Most weekend service diversions are due to capital work which consists of major station and line rehabilitation projects, such as the Culver Line reconstruction, the West End Line rehabs, and the rehabilitation of Dyckman Street and Smith-9th Sts. Weekend diversions will continue as before.

In order to accomplish our maintenance tasks we have chosen four corridors that begin at Manhattan's Central Business District (CBD):

  • Lexington Avenue 4/5/6 from Grand Central-42nd Street to Atlantic Avenue
  • Sixth Avenue B/D/F from 59th Street-Columbus Circle to West 4th Street
  • Seventh Avenue 1/2/3 from 34th Street to Atlantic Avenue
  • Eight Avenue A/C/E from 59th Street-Columbus Circle to Jay Street-MetroTech

These corridors will completely shut down on four consecutive nights from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., four times a year. Only subway line segments where there are substantial subway alternatives have been selected for the overnight shutdowns. So, in addition to nearby lines, there may be other lines running that don't usually operate during the late night hours in order to help accommodate customers. In order to avoid further inconvenience, we will avoid other service diversions in the area affected by the closure.

By providing a more productive work window, Transit employees will be safer by not working on "live" track and will avoid the interruptions of repeatedly having to "clear up" for trains going by. Workers will inspect track, repair or replace rails, and perform power and signal maintenance. During this time, we will also be able to repair platform edges, wall tiles and lighting in addition to power washing at some of the closed stations.

When a line segment is closed at night, customers can expect to add 20 minutes to their usual travel time. Alternative transportation options will be detailed in announcements and posters on trains, in stations and on selected buses; brochures will be available in both English and Spanish. Information will also be available online and social media, email and text alerts.

Our next FASTRACK overnight closure will be on the Seventh Avenue 1/2/3 line between 34th Street and Atlantic Avenue from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for four consecutive nights beginning Monday, February 13 and ending at 5 a.m. Friday, February 17.