MTA Press Releases

Press Release
June 24, 2020
MTA On Track to Begin Next Phase of Signal Modernization on Culver F Line in Southern Brooklyn

Installation of CBTC Signaling System to Begin July 31; Project Was Accelerated to Meet Pre-Pandemic Deadline

Culver Line Signal Modernization Project Will Improve Service Reliability and Performance Throughout Entire f Line for Decades to Come

Work Will Continue Through December 21 Between Church Av and Coney Island-Stillwell Av

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that it remains on schedule to begin the next phase of the Culver Line Signal Modernization project. The next phase of the project, which will ultimately bring a CBTC signaling system to the f line in Southern Brooklyn, will begin days after the completion of the current phase of signal replacements culminates on July 27. The newest phase of the project will be conducted entirely on weekends, when ridership is lower, to minimize disruptions for the majority of the line’s customers.

The $253 million project, which had its original late March start date pushed back in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, will replace 70-year-old signals between Church Av and Coney Island with a modern Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) system and serves as an important example of the MTA's ongoing efforts to tackle major projects despite the ongoing pandemic. Once completed, the project will improve service reliability and performance throughout the f line for decades to come.

“We're keeping this project on schedule, and that's no small feat during a global pandemic,” said Janno Lieber, MTA Chief Development Officer and President of MTA Construction & Development. “This is a vital project for Brooklynites and we are fully committed to adding modernized signals to this line in order to improve service.”

“As we begin to shift towards a reopening of New York City, the completion of projects like Culver will grow increasingly important," said Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg. “Efforts to modernize our system for decades will far outlast this pandemic and we remain fully committed to completing them on time and on budget.”

A modern signaling system like CBTC is more flexible than the current ‘fixed-block’ signaling system because it continuously updates train positions, distances and travel speeds, allowing for faster and more efficient operations. NYC Transit has successfully installed and implemented CBTC on the Canarsie l and Flushing 7 lines. On-time performance of the Flushing 7 line and the Canarsie l line often exceeds 90 percent.

The MTA has conducted community outreach over the course of the project and launched a new website detailing the changes. Station signage has also been posted at the impacted stations. A customized subway map for users of the Culver line – particularly helpful for riders heading to Coney Island – is included on the website and will be available in stations as well.

In addition to installing CBTC along the f line, the signal modernization project will also replace the Kings Highway Interlocking, which governs how trains switch tracks at a key locations along the f line in Brooklyn; during rush hours, some f trains terminate at Kings Highway. From August 31 through September 25, f trains will run express between Avenue X and Church Av for in-service work, with trains normally terminating at Kings Highway terminating at Church Av and 18 Av.

The interlocking project will add three new signal facilities at Ditmas Av, Bay Parkway and Avenue X. This will allow personnel to respond faster and with alternative service options when there are disruptions, providing customers a better means to complete their trips.

The installation of new solid-state interlocking (SSI) equipment will also provide much more specific diagnostic information so problems can be fixed more quickly. This work includes: building a new relay room to house the new signaling equipment, reconfiguring and replacing two old interlockings at Avenue X and Ditmas Av, and adding two new interlockings south of Church Av.

In the next phase of the project, work will continue to take place every weekend, weather permitting, through December 21, 2020, with the exception of October 9-23 and Thanksgiving weekend. Work will continue to begin at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Friday evenings, with affected stations reopening at 5:00 a.m. on Monday mornings. Customers traveling on the f line between Church Avenue and Coney Island should continue to use d, n, and q trains and local buses to complete their trips during the weekend outages.

Work on the f line will continue in 2021 and 2022. Information will be posted on the website when it becomes available.