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7 Line Signal Work, Underway Since 2010, to Wrap up End of Month

via MTA

Nov. 16, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

After nearly a decade of weekend service changes, closures, and other interruptions on the 7 line due to a massive signal system upgrade, the MTA at last announced that work on the project will wrap up at the end of the month.

The project, which replaces the entire 7 line’s signaling operations to a system known as Communications-Based Train Control, is set to be in service on Nov. 26. It has been underway since 2010, when the MTA selected the contractor for the project.

The new signal system, according to the MTA, will allow for more frequent and reliable service along the 10.5-mile line. It will help dispatchers know where trains are along the tracks with more precision, which the older system lacked. The precision, in turn, will allow dispatchers to have trains travel closer together and at faster speeds, thereby increasing service.

The $588 million CBTC project, however, has blown through several deadlines. It was supposed to be completed more than two years ago, but has encountered many setbacks along the way, including hardware and software issues.

MTA representatives said at a Nov. 13 board meeting that installation was 93 percent complete, with CBTC installed between Main Street and just before Grand Central Station.

Work on the remaining four stops will bring service for the entire Flushing line by the Nov. 26 date. All major testing, in addition, has been completed, with the contractor to stay on board for the next two years to monitor the system.

Workers along the Flushing line (MTA)

While the new communications system is soon to go into service, there will still be some track work after that, according to an MTA spokesperson.

The line’s 500,000 riders, however, are already set to see additional service in April 2019 to offset ridership demands the when the L train shuts down operations between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The line will see a total of 14 additional round trips during weekday mornings and evenings—five round trips will be added between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., and nine round trips will be added between 5:30 p.m. and midnight.

MTA documents show that average ridership volumes on the 7 line already warrant four additional round trips split between peak morning and evening hours. Projected ridership on the line for the L tunnel closure, however, bumps the number of additional round trips up to the slated 14.

The CBTC system completion also comes with news of Amazon’s plans to build a campus in Long Island City and subsequent concerns of whether the stressed transit infrastructure can handle the additional 25,000 employees attached to the project.

Amazon, however, will be temporarily operating out of One Court Square beginning in 2019 while its headquarters, spanning millions of square feet, are built around Anable Basin in years to come.

Citi, the anchor tenant of the 50-story tower that has expressed its desire to move out of the 1 million square feet of space it occupies in the building in 2020, is working on an expedited plan to move some its employees out of the building to accommodate Amazon’s plans.

Mayor de Blasio believes the area’s transit system will not be strained in the short term, as Amazon employees will be moving into a building that Citi is already moving out of.

“I don’t think is going to have a huge impact because they’ll be right there with those four subway lines,” he said at a Tuesday press conference, referring to the Court Square station.

While de Blasio touted NYC Ferry as a service that can help with infrastructure concerns, he acknowledged that city and state have to work together to come up with much needed solutions for the area.

“Amazon or no Amazon, this is something we have to address in the long haul,” he said. “Certainly, I’ve heard that from the local representatives many times.”

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So does this mean it will cost an additional $12.5 TRILLION to install modern signals on the 25 other subway lines that lack CBTC?


Will the subway be open on Black Friday? I need a way to bring my his ‘n hers Roombas home from the store.

Mine will be programmed to avoid piles of socks, while my lady wife’s Roomba will be programmed to stay within the confines of the kitchen and laundry room.


I’d like to know how many man-hours it took the MTA to “finish” this decade-long, over half a trillion dollar project. Other world cities have built entire subway systems in the same time frame.


Do you mean man hours actually worked or man hours billed, since these are not the same for the MTA.

Skip Seglipse

Building a new system is much different than retrofitting an old one when you have two days a week at a time with only partial closures most of the time.


Right, because we all have complete faith that the MTA could build a brand-new subway system in quickly and under budget.


BILL DUMBLASIO does not have to walk through a long hot tunnel between G-E-M trains.Th people movers (moving walkways) between the trains E-M-G were removed to make room fro CRUSH of L train riders displaced. Now I see that a bench with 6 seats were removed on the Manhattan side of the E- M platform when you come from the tunnel down the stairs.I sent a e-mail to MTA about why the seats were removed but have not received a reply yet.Elderly people could use those seats. DumBlasio think there is enough Transit right now and he thinks he an can SNOW JOB us (pardon the pun) and will do nothing about it. He takes blame for nothing and is ruining the City with his Affordable (not really) housing. We will work on getting more transit. What BS. How could the stupid NYC voters vote DumBlasio and Cuomo in again. You get what you vote for. NO CHANGE. STATUS CUOMO and DumBlasio.


As a man that was working on this project and knowing CBTC supplier (Thales, Canada) I am 100% sure it won’t work (after couple of days on).


DumBlasio and his 100 passenger Ferry. He even admitted that more is needed. Somehow all Politicians say we need to do more or work on something. It never happens and why nothing gets done. The answers thy give are of PROMISE, not SUBSTANCE. In other words Hollow and Meaningless. All decent Pols and people know this is a BAD Deal but the people who don’t take Public Transportation.

Skip Seglipse

How ignorant are you? The ferries have been a major success, with ridership exceeding expectations.


Skip Seglipse. the ferries are OK as a supplement to existing transit. I meant they will help much when the L train shuts down. Just think of no subways and buses, how would your ferries work out? I don’t think I am the ignorant one here.

Mike H

Waiting with 2 kids for 2 hours on a summer suaturday for 2 or 3 boats to come and go as you wait for one that is not at full capacity is not something I would call success


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