In addition to the return of all four tracks to service in a six-mile stretch from Woodlawn to Melrose, track speed will be increased by 15 mph to 75 mph on three of the four tracks in the area for the first time in five years.
Since the summer, railroad forces have removed 5,381 concrete ties; installed 6,610 new wood ties; installed 2,350 tons of 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 4,702 cubic yards of mud created by poor drainage along the tracks and removed a significant amount of debris, garbage and graffiti on railroad property.
"This intensive focus on track improvements is critical to the safe and reliable operation of the railroad," said Metro-North President Howard Permut. "The complete rebuilding of this section of track is a major milestone in our ongoing effort to improve track conditions systemwide."
This weekend, workers will be removing bridgeplates at Fordham, Botanical Garden, Williams Bridge and Woodlawn stations, which have been in use when the inbound and outbound local tracks were out of service for work and which cause slow loading and unloading at these stations.
Melrose and Tremont stations will see right-of-way improvements continue for an additional two miles from Melrose south to the Harlem River Lift Bridge. Additional trackwork also is underway elsewhere on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines. This extended work will last through the end of the year.