MTA track replaced with proven updated design

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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MTA crews finished the last leg of track maintenance that began in July.
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that normal J and Z service was restored by 5 a.m. on Sept. 19 between the 121 Street and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer stations in Queens following completion of approximately 2.4 miles of track replacement.

This work on theJand Zlines replaced 12,500 ft of track and third rail, about double the length of track replaced for theE track reconstruction work in 2020, also in southeast Queens. The 40-year-old-track was replaced with a successfully proven updated design to increase durability and improve quality of service.   

With this final segment of a multi-phase project complete, the total amount of track replaced in this area of Queens is 18,800 ft, about 3.6 miles, the length of about 64 football fields. The first part, completed in December 2020, involved the reconstruction of the E track between Jamaica-Van Wyck and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer and replaced 6,300 ft of track in 10 weeks. 

“This track replacement work brings us closer to our goal—delivering New Yorkers the modern subway system that they deserve,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.“We thank our customers’ for their patience as we worked to install modern infrastructure that will deliver service improvements and reliability on the J and Z lines.” 

“This direct fixation work ensures the Lower Archer line will be in a state of good repair, delivering reliable service forJ andZcustomers,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “Building on the work done on the E line a few years ago along Archer Avenue, the team efficiently replaced miles of aging track with a modern, durable design, supporting more reliable service for years to come.”

This track replacement project, which began earlier this year on July 1, required a full temporary suspension of service to accommodate the work due to the replacement of direct fixation track. Unlike conventional tracks, which are most common in the subway and easier to replace in shorter time periods during low ridership such as overnight hours, direct fixation track requires the concrete roadbed to be entirely reconstructed. This project replaced 12,500 ft of direct fixation track, with the exception of 3,000 ft, which was replaced in kind.

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