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E, M Train Tunnel to Close for 5 Days of Repairs, Will Reopen on New Year’s Eve

via MTA

Dec. 20, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

The MTA tunnel carrying E and M trains between Queens and Manhattan will close for five days of repairs toward the end of December, with officials noting that the tunnel will reopen in time to accommodate riders on New Year’s Eve.

The underground connector, known as the 53rd Street tunnel, will close from 4:45 a.m. on Dec. 26 to 5 a.m. on Dec. 31. for work including signal modernization, power upgrades, and related track and infrastructure maintenance.

The work will be done in and around the tunnel, according to the MTA, between Queens Plaza and 50 St – 8 Av in Manhattan, and is part of long-term capital improvements for the lines.

E and M trains, as a result, will not serve the Court Square – 23rd St station during the closure.

E trains will instead be rerouted along the F line between Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av and W 4 St, where they will then continue on the regular E route to World Trade Center.

M trains will run between Metropolitan Av and Chambers St. F trains, meanwhile, will continue to serve Queens Plaza except overnights, where free shuttle buses will take riders to 21 St- Queensbridge and Court Square.

The five days of work on the E and M tunnel are also related to the ongoing overhaul of the Queens Boulevard line’s signal system, which carries E, M, F and R trains. These four trains, additionally, share track on one segment or another on either side of the tunnel.

The MTA says ridership during the last days of the month is at a significant low, and will allow the agency to do an entire month of weekend work in a single five-day period.

“This intensive work in the under-river tunnel requires workers to have full access to the tracks, but it’s critical for daily reliability and for upgrading the decades-old signals to the latest modern system,” said Andy Byford, MTA NYC Transit president.

Byford added that the work will result in more reliable trips for E, F, M and R customers.

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Why not run the G into Queens even if it is every 20 min or 1/2 hour. Mr. Byford also did not explain why the signal work and the pouring of concrete for track beds could not have been done together on the 7 line.


I think ANDY BYFORD will give up within 6 months and QUIT the MTA. He looks OVERWHELMED and does not understand New Yorkers. There has been so much mismanagement at the MTA over the years it may not be possible to fix in our lifetime. NYCHA according to a federal judge may not be fixable also. MTA Honcho is a no-win job in my opinion right now. Too many rules union or otherwise. MTA needs to cut the fat in it’s upper and lower ranks from top to bottom and start over. It is a very wasteful agency. It also is giving us built in fare increases every 2 years and less service. It is talking now after the increase in March about cutting car cleaners and cutting train and bus service. The 7 line just got signals upgraded and the service still sucks.


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