MTA to begin final phase of critical track replacement work in Queens next month

Written by David C. Lester, Editor In Chief
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MTA will begin final phase of critical trackwork in Queens next month.
MTA New York City Transit/Ernesto Ho

MTA announced that crews will begin the final phase of a multi-phase project, replacing approximately 2.4 miles of track on the J and Z lines between the 121 St and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer stations in Queens.

The first part, completed in December 2020, involved the reconstruction of the E track between Jamaica-Van Wyck and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer Blvd and replaced 6,300 feet of track, 800 feet more than was originally planned in 10 weeks. The work on the J and Z lines will replace 12,500 feet of track and third rail, about twice the length of track replaced for the E track reconstruction work all within the same timeframe of 10 weeks. This work will begin Friday, July 1 at 9:45 p.m. and continue through September 2022.

replacement and installation of almost 2.5 miles of track at end of J and Z subway lines begins Friday night, July 1


The complete replacement of the 40-year-old-track, with a successfully proven updated design to increase durability, will lead to improved quality of service. It will require full access to the tracks and therefore a temporary suspension of all J and Z train service at the Sutphin Blvd-Archer Av-JFK Airport and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer stations. During this time, the MTA will provide free substitute shuttle bus service between the 121 St J station and the Jamaica-Van Wyck E station. MetroCards will be cross-honored at Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) stations between Atlantic Terminal, Jamaica Station, and Southeast Queens. The Sutphin Blvd-Archer Av-JFK Airport and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer stations have multiple connecting bus lines and are served by the E line.

24/7 closure on the J and Z lines between 121 St and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer


“Track replacement work in this area of Queens will bring us closer to our goal – delivering New Yorkers the modern subway system that they deserve,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “We appreciate our customers’ patience as we make the upgrades necessary to improve the reliability and speed of J and Z service.”

“Improving the customer experience is the north star,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “The fastest and most effective way to complete this project requires 24/7 access to the tracks. This short-term service change will provide more reliable service for years to come.”

normal E line service at Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer and Sutphin Blvd-Archer Av-JFK Airport


This is a replacement of direct fixation track, in which the rails are directly fixed to the concrete roadbed. Conventional tracks, which are most commonly known, have the rails installed on top of wooden or concrete ties. In order to replace 12,500 feet of direct fixation track, the concrete roadbed needs to be entirely reconstructed, with the exception of 3,000 feet of track, which would be replaced in kind. Once this final phase of track replacement is complete, the total amount of track replaced in this area of Queens will be 18,800 feet, about 3.6 miles.

For more detailed information, please check the MTA news release.

Read more articles about track construction.

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