MTA awards L.K. Comstock Queens Boulevard Line signaling contract

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor
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Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) awarded a $223.3-million contract to L.K. Comstock & Company Inc. to upgrade the Queens Boulevard Line signaling system and install communications-based train control (CBTC).


The line is one of MTA’s busiest; by modernizing the existing signaling system and installing CBTC, MTA can run trains closer together, gain capacity and reduce crowding.

CBTC is operational on the Canarsie Line and Flushing Line, both of which L.K. Comstock installed, and is part of MTA’s five-year capital plan.

“The communications-based train control signaling system is a vital part of our plan to address issues of overcrowding, record ridership and service delays,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “CBTC represents the MTA’s efforts to bring advanced technology to a century-old subway system that, in some parts, has not been updated in decades.

Work on the project begins in January 2017 and extends 55 months with a targeted completion date in the fall of 2021. L.K. Comstock will perform all of the signal systems upgrades, CBTC installation and new systems work. RailWorks Transit will serve as a subcontractor to perform related track and civil work. Both companies are subsidiaries of RailWorks Corporation.

L.K. Comstock is responsible for installing new signal, communications, fiber-optic and CBTC systems, as well as track on the mostly four-track system starting in Jamaica, Queens, and extending under Queens Boulevard to 8th Avenue and 50th Street on the west side of Manhattan. Additional project work consists of building new signal rooms, modifying existing facilities and upgrading systems to ensure connectivity with the CBTC system. The project also includes constructing and extending fiber backbone support to perform health and system tests on the CBTC rail stock in all the ancillary yards and facilities that support the Queens Boulevard Line.