MTA Press Releases

Press Release
August 5, 2020
MTA Announces Major Switch Replacement Work on 4-5-6 Lines This Month to Improve System Reliability

MTA will Replace Switches, Tracks and Conduct Tunnel Repairs on Weeknights and Weekends for 21 Days to Reduce Delays and Improve Reliability Throughout the System

All 4 Subway5 Subway Stations in Brooklyn will Remain Open with Alternate Train Service; 4 Subway5 Subway6 Subway Stations in Manhattan south of 42 St will be Closed from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Extended Access to Tracks Allows Crews to Piggyback Work and Reduce Future Track Outages

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that crews will replace track switches and perform an array of other improvement projects on the 4 Subway5 Subway6 Subway lines beginning on August 10, which will lead to improved reliability and better service throughout the lines in Brooklyn, The Bronx and Manhattan. The work will require overnight and weekend suspension of 4 Subway5 Subway6 Subway trains in Manhattan south of 42 St-Grand Central, and 4 Subway5 Subway trains in Brooklyn.

“Our fiscal crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic are real challenges, but they’re not going to stop us from performing this critical project to improve the reliability, performance and safety of our system for 4 Subway5 Subway6 Subway riders in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan,” said NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg. “We’re working to make sure this work causes as few disruptions as possible for our customers and look forward to getting this vital project started.”

“This is a prime example of our approach to bundling projects in order to maximize the amount of work we’re able to perform at any given time,” said MTA Construction & Development President Janno Lieber. “In order to maintain our progress on projects like these, we need the federal government to step up and provide the funding that will keep our transit system operating.”

August traditionally sees some of the lowest subway ridership of the year, minimizing the disruption of the work and impacting as few riders as possible. The impact on customers is also significantly reduced due to the ongoing overnight subway shutdown between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., during which there is robust alternate service available on MTA buses.

Replacing track switches at Union Square will allow the 4 Subway5 Subway6 Subway lines to move safely between the local and express tracks at that location while providing operational flexibility, reducing delays and improving reliability. The switches were last replaced more than 20 years ago, in 1989 and 1999.

While this switch replacement work is happening, MTA Construction & Development and other departments from across NYC Transit will use the track access created by this work to also perform a multitude of other reliability improvement projects, including to replace track at Canal St and Borough Hall, perform rail grinding at multiple locations and repair structural components in the tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In order to maximize the efficiency of track access, MTA Construction & Development is also bundling an array of other capital improvement work on the Eastern Parkway section of the 4 Subway5 Subway lines, including water damage repair and prevention, concrete and rebar restoration and the relocation of light fixtures for better resiliency.

The stations in Manhattan that will be closed during construction hours have alternate subway lines within one to four blocks. Customers are encouraged to transfer between the N SubwayR Subway and 4 Subway6 Subway at Lexington Av-59 St. Other transfers are available between the E Subway and 4 Subway6 Subway at Lexington Av-51 St and between the S Subway and 7 Subway and the 4 Subway6 Subway at Grand Central.

All 4 Subway5 Subway stations in Brooklyn will remain open with alternate train service, in addition to robust alternate bus service in both boroughs.

Because trains must move slowly over the track switches at Grand Central, the MTA is allowing for extra time in the schedules for trains running between Lexington Av-59 St and Grand Central-42 St. As a result, customers are encouraged to transfer at Lexington Av-59 St.

  • The 42 St Shuttle and 7 Subway train will provide connections between 4 Subway5 Subway6 Subway trains terminating at Grand Central-42 St and continuing service to Brooklyn on 2 Subway and 3 Subway trains at 42 St-Times Square. The 42 St shuttle, which was temporarily suspended at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and kept suspended in order to accelerate progress on the 42 St Connection Project, will be restored in order to help provide the alternate service for this project.
  • 4 Subway trains will make local stops in Manhattan and 5 Subway trains will not operate in Manhattan, with specific service varying each weekend. Customers should check the Planned Service changes on for service information.
  • 2 Subway and 3 Subway trains will serve all 4 Subway and 5 Subway stations in Brooklyn. Customers traveling between the Bronx and Brooklyn should transfer to a 2 Subway train at 149 St-Grand Concourse.
  • Customers can take the N SubwayR Subway to Times Square in Manhattan or Atlantic Av-Barclays Center in Brooklyn to reconnect with the 2 Subway3 Subway for service to 4 Subway5 Subway stations in Brooklyn.
  • N Subway trains will run via Lower Manhattan to provide additional service at stations near 4 Subway5 Subway6 Subway stations without service. Customers can transfer between N SubwayR Subway, 4 Subway and 6 Subway trains at Lexington Av-59 St.

The work is scheduled during the following weeknights from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.:

  • Aug. 10 – 14
  • Aug. 17 – 21
  • Aug. 24 – 28

The work is also being performed during the following weekends from 9:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday:

  • Aug. 14 – 17
  • Aug. 21 – 24
  • Aug. 28 – 31

Maps, fact sheets and other resources are available on the on the project’s webpage.