Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

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  by lirr42
Both loop tracks themselves are operational, they aree using them to turn (1) and weekend (5) trains as we speak. However if the new South Ferry station got destroyed, I would wager that the old station directly above it sustained quite a lot as well. Plus I'm sure all the platform gap mechanisms to bridge that insane gap on the turn were removed when passenger operations were shifted to the new station.

Plus the entire complex got destroyed. The turnstiles, MetroCard vending machines, escalators, and passenger communication systems, etc. were all drenched and have likely been placed in a large metal dumpster someplace.

A good idea, Mr. Lienr, but I think we'll be using the (R) or walking to Rector Street for the forseable future.
  by flexliner
I wonder Mr 42 if they did remove the gap fillers when the new station opened (does anyone know for sure?)
Sandy aside, what would the logic be of doing so?
I doubt their removal would appreciably increase the allowed speed around the loop
how much could they cost to grease up and operate once a week or 2?
that way they could be used for just in case scenarios (though less severe than Sandy)

on the other hand if their mechanisms were fried by the flood and they were removed for that, well not much can be done in that case
and probably prohibitive to repair/reinstall for the next just in case......
  by lirr42
I'm sure they removed them. What would be the purpose of keeping mechanisms in place only to get stuck open/fall off and obstruct trains trying to move through the area. Why would they keep them? The only real reason would be the complete distruction of the new station by some monumental hurricane—which probably never crossed their minds.

And using the station without the gap fillers would be a bad idea. The gap on that curve is pretty big, and this day in age nobody has the common sense to step 6 inches over the gap—but hey, I'll just fall down, get a bruise or two, and just sue the MTA for $10 million.

And keeping them working just for a 100-year record storm every now and then is definitely not economical. To maintain that station to the standards where it's safe and healthy for people to use just during rare freak service disruptions doesn't make so much money-sense, which is one of the only senses our friends at the MTA care about.

And yeah, if they were still there and operational before the hurricane, they most likely got trashed in the flooding.
  by geico
Just saw a report on the news that its going to take 3 years and 600 million to repair South Ferry.

Thats like rebuilding the station from scratch. how much damage was there? Structual damage??
  by lirr42
3 years!

That's how log it may take to restore service to South Ferry. 3!

Well after pumping everything out and getting a good look at things they found many cases like this:

So now, as gieco said, it's going to take 3 years and $600 million to get everything all fixed. It's truly amazing how much damage some water could do. Pretty insane.

The MTA updated it's "Restoring South Ferry Page" at some point in the last couple days; here are the more interesting parts:
MTA wrote:Restoring South Ferry

Walking down a set of rusting stairs, under a crumbling ceiling, along a debris-strewn platform and past a ruined control room, Wynton Habersham finally arrived at the most devastated part of the South Ferry subway station: A room full of electrical equipment, corroding from the effects of almost 15 million gallons of salt water that flooded it during Superstorm Sandy.

“It is completely nonfunctional,” said Habersham, chief electrical officer for MTA New York City Transit's subway system. “Just a simple cleanup won't suffice. We actually have to reconstruct and replace all of this equipment.”

Sandy damaged the New York City subway worse than anything else in its 108-year history, flooding eight tunnels and shutting service for millions of commuters. Recovery efforts began even before the storm was over, and extraordinary work by New York City Transit brought lines back into service rapidly.

...Habersham opened the door of an electronics cabinet and pointed to rust stains on a row of programmable logic controllers, which handled signals and switches from South Ferry to the Rector Street station on the 1 train. All of them were ruined.
...Soon after South Ferry was pumped out and drained, crews removed hundreds of relays and tried cleaning them by hand to return them to service – a task that turned out to be futile, as seen by heavy corrosion marks visible on the banks of relays.

“Once you’ve been exposed to that level of salt water, it comes right back,” Habersham said.

...“We reached out to the manufacturers and said, ‘Look, can we salvage this?’ ” Habersham said. “They told us, ‘No, just throw it away. There’s nothing you can do.’ ”

...Then came Sandy. Though MTA crews tried to barricade the station entrances and ventilation grates before the storm, chest-high water poured down the stairs and filled the station 80 feet deep, from track level to the mezzanine. The rebuilding effort will take an estimated $600 million and as long as three years, and engineers are studying whether some of the vital electrical infrastructure can be moved to higher ground to guard against future flooding.

Not everything can be moved, however: Habersham stepped out of the signal room into the north end of the station, where switches connect the station’s two tracks to each other so trains can enter and leave from either side of the center platform. The switch motors, full of electrical components, were destroyed – and new ones cost $35,000 each.

“In all likelihood,” Habersham said, “this whole machine comes out, and a new one comes in.”
So it's starting from scratch indeed. Hopefully they can restore South Ferry as quickly [and cheaply] as possible.
  by Backshophoss
What a nightmare!! Basicly everything was turned into scrap! Insurance and the Feds will pickup part of the tab,
with the MTA stuck with the rest of the bill.
Hopefully the crews that did the orignal work can be found to rebuild South Ferry,those crews might be able to rebuild it
in less than 3 years(possibly, since they did the orignal install)
For now it looks like the only work is to remove all damaged materials and equipment,and prepare the
spaces for new construction
Since surface space is nonexistant in lower Manhatten,did the NYCTA park a cut of work flats with dumpters
or gons at South Ferry for debris removal?
  by JackRussell
lirr42 wrote: So it's starting from scratch indeed. Hopefully they can restore South Ferry as quickly [and cheaply] as possible.
In some ways they are lucky - after the storm I feared that there would be many stations and control rooms in a state like this.
  by Head-end View
Yeah, but you wouldn't care as much if old stations and facilities (that needed replacement anyway) were destroyed. But to have a beautiful brand new station like this totally wiped out after so much money, time and effort was spent to build it.......... I really liked using that station a couple of times a year when I take a ride on the Ferry, not to mention those who used it every day. We'll be lucky if it gets reopened in my lifetime..........
  by lirr42
A news item posted on the MTA's website says that there are still roughly 50 switches that have not been repaired following Sandy! And to make Coney Island Yard work, they have to hand crank the switches the old fashioned way. Kinda interesting, hunh?

Read more here:
MTA wrote:Sandy's Effects Still Evident at Coney Island Rail Yard

It takes a lot to turn a modern railroad back into a 19th century operation—but, about four feet of salt water, mounds of storm-driven sand, sustained high winds and the absence of electrical controls did just that.

Those are the conditions out at MTA New York City Transit's massive Coney Island Rail Yard after Superstorm Sandy blasted through the City last year. The storm left the track-switching operation at the world's largest rapid transit maintenance and storage facility unable to be controlled remotely. The yard has track capacity for 1,800 subway cars, but all were moved to higher ground in anticipation of a weather event of truly historic proportions.

"It's like the old days of railroading with individual switches had to be hand thrown because the capability of operating from the tower was completely wiped out," said Senior Vice President, Department of Subways Carmen Bianco. "Coney Island Yard is vital to New York City Transit's subway operations. This facility supports a very large car maintenance, inspection and overhaul program, as well as being the largest car storage facility in the system."

Coney Island Yard is a huge and complicated operation generating hundreds of train movements each day. Changing switch positions is necessary on the maintenance side of the house in order send trains in and out of the barn. Switches also guide train movement on outside storage tracks where trains are threaded through a labyrinth of tracks and switches as they approach and leave their lay-up positions for morning and evening rush hour service out on the main line.

Normal operation is a wonder of automation, requiring the tower operator to use the interlocking machine to position switches to move a train to where it needs to be. Depending on where the train is headed, several switching moves will have to be performed to give the train the proper line-up. Not too difficult when the switches are remotely controlled by pressing buttons.

But, how do you accomplish the same task when there is no electricity to the track switches? "Signal Department personnel are sent to the field to crank switches by hand," said Paul Camera, General Superintendent, Electrical, who went on to explain that some moves may require the hand cranking of ten to 15 switches to guide the train to its proper path.

Through the entire move, someone is walking in front of the train, and with no signals, the train operator is also following hand flagging directions as he makes his moves.

The yard sits in a major flood zone vulnerable to the water flowing in from nearby bodies of water, including Coney Island Creek. Areas from the Rockaways to the Battery were swamped with raging floodwaters and the Coney Island section of Brooklyn was also hit hard, especially with the storm surge driven by the full moon. Coinciding with the high tide, the storm washed in water and debris which quickly inundated the tracks, switches, motors and signal equipment.

In Sandy's wake, the yard more closely resembled a lake than a storage area for subway trains. It took several days for the yard to drain and that process was aided by pumping in strategic areas. The removal of water from some of the flooded equipment was done with small hand pumps or vacuums.

Throughout the 75-acre complex, more than 190 individual switches were flooded in the wake of the storm, which also damaged signals and wiring. A combined workforce of in-house personnel and contractors washed salt water and sand from the switches and replaced switch motors where required and that work is ongoing.

In fact, more than two full months after the storm, 50 track switches still cannot be moved remotely and must be hand thrown by workers. The manual operation is labor intensive and complicated.

Of course, like just about everything else in the subway system, necessary jobs must proceed simultaneously. "We don't have the luxury of focusing on one thing at a time," said Wynton Habersham, Chief Electrical Officer. "For the past several weeks, it has been necessary to balance the restoration of the system and the hand switching with our ‘day job' of maintenance and testing of the remaining signals and switches."

Compounding the problem is the scarcity of replacement parts. Many of the switch motors are currently back ordered and won't be delivered until the end of January.

Have we come a long way since the storm? Yes, NYC Transit has made tremendous strides forward in recovering from the most devastating storm to hit the region but as in the Coney Island Rail Yard, the system is still not whole as we move forward with repairs to the Rockaway Line and the South Ferry station.
So a bit longer we will wait until we can "return to normalcy" completely following Sandy. You can read more on MTA's website and even see some photos here: Sandy's Effects Still Evident at Coney Island Rail Yard.
  by Jeff Smith
The money is flowing: Progressive Railroading
esterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) made available $2 billion in relief aid to transit agencies that sustained infrastructure damage by Hurricane Sandy last year.

The funds are available through the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) new Emergency Relief Program that was created under MAP-21 to help protect, repair, reconstruct and replace public transit equipment and facilities that were damaged by the super storm, which struck the Northeast in late October. The funds are the first installment of $10.9 billion appropriated to the FTA through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, which President Barack Obama signed into law last month.

"The $2 billion we're making available now will reimburse transit agencies for extraordinary expenses incurred to protect workers and equipment before and after the hurricane hit, and support urgently needed repairs to seriously damaged transit systems and facilities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and elsewhere," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. in a prepared statement.
  by BobLI
It sure would be nice to hear if theres any progress on rebuilding the line to Far Rockaway/Rockaway Park! The rumors of a June finish date are unreal. The customers riding the shuttle bus and H train shuttle are getting tired of that routine now. Its been over 3 months and no posters, MTA, etc telling of any progress.
  by Jeff Smith
Response from MTA: http://www.mta.info/nyct/service/Rebuil ... nSandy.htm

Rebuilding efforts as of January 31, 2013

The devastated area surrounding the Rockaway section of the line has been completely cleaned of debris. The receding tide had left over 40 boats, docks, logs, oil tanks, foam and thousands of tons of debris trapped on the tracks between the two fence lines. The two major breaches (one was 270 feet wide and the second was 120 feet wide) have been rebuilt and the railroad tracks have been fully restored. All structurally compromised areas have been fixed and major work continues on refurbishing critical operational systems for signals, communications, power and electrical.

Rebuilding efforts, November through January

Damaged to the track bed, signal, power and communication systems forced a complete shutdown of the train service in the immediate aftermath of the Hurricane. After surveying the damage on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, personnel and equipment were mobilized to begin the cleanup and reconstruction on Thursday, November 1. Working seven days per week. the contractor force of approximately 100 set up two mobile command sites with temporary power and communications and work began clearing the thousands of tons of debris left on the tracks.

With the prospect of Rockaway Line service being disabled for the next several months due to the destructive force of Hurricane Sandy, the MTA took the unprecedented action of moving subway cars by flatbed truck onto the Rockaway Peninsula and setting up a temporary train shuttle service. The 60-foot, 80,000 pound R32-type subway cars for this special shuttle service were loaded onto flatbed trucks in Ozone Park, Queens and trucked across the Cross Bay Boulevard Bridge and placed back on the rails at Rockaway Park. Once there, they were prepared for operation. In all, 20 cars were transported over four nights. The began service between Far Rockaway-Mott Av station and Beach 90 St on Tuesday, November 20.

But five weeks on, there are definite signs of progress. In fact, most of the damaged roadbed has now been repaired to a point where it is difficult to tell that only a couple of weeks ago, there was no roadbed. Over the weeks, a train of concrete mixers delivered and poured more than 3,000 cubic yards of concrete to fill and repair two major breaches, the largest of which was 270 feet across.

Men and track-borne machines are busy along the right-of-way straightening rail and dumping ballast, preparing the line for an eventual return to service for trains that carry more than 30,000 customers a day. In a makeshift construction yard created just south of the North Channel Bridge a huge loader fills dump trucks with the 3,600 tons of debris that had to be removed from what was left of the tracks before work could even begin.

Everything had been dumped on the roadbed that you can think of and some things that you would never imagine. Heavy vegetation, boats, personal watercraft, logs-even a Coca Cola bottle dating back to 1902 was uncovered. This artifact was probably a remnant of the thriving beach and hotel community that existed on Jamaica Bay at the turn of the century. At one point workers came across a backyard deck and chairs that had become detached from a neighboring home.

A walk through the Broad Channel Station was like visiting a ghost station. The floors and walls had been scrubbed and all the debris cleared, even the oil tank that had washed up on the Brooklyn-bound platform. To clear the station, a street crane was brought in to lift the debris over the station fence before depositing it in dump trucks. Everything appeared ready for service, lacking only customers and trains.

A return to service, however, is still four to six months away as a full assessment of the damage sustained by the power and signal systems can only begin when one of the tracks is made completely safe and serviceable.

Here’s what’s happening:

Over 45 pieces of heavy equipment have been mobilized in the cleanup and reconstruction effort.
Over 20,000 tons of new material including, track ballast stone, Rip­ Rap stone and Jetty stone had to be located and delivered to the site.
Over 3,000 tons of debris has been removed from the site.
600 feet of steel sheeting has been installed at the major breach to restore the fresh water pond.
3,000 cubic yards of concrete have been placed at the tow breach locations.
80% of breach reconstruction has been completed at the two major breaches (one was 270 feet wide and the second was 120 feet wide) and railroad tracks are being restored.
Fence removal continues with an estimated 20,000 linear feet of new fencing required.
The current focus is the track restoration including surfacing, third rail power, signaling and communication.
Track work is progressing on an accelerated basis, while all the damage on rail system is still being assessed.
The Devastating Impact of Sandy

The Rockaway Flats rail line damaged by hurricane Sandy carries over 30,000 riders per day between the Howard Beach Section of Queens and the Barrier Island known as the Rockaway’s. The damage starts south of Howard Beach station/North Channel bridge extending to the Hammels Wye station/ South channel bridge approximately 3.6 miles. The rail system consists of two tracks the entire distance with a third test track approximately two miles long. The tracks are built on a 70 foot wide fenced strip of land crossing the middle of Jamaica Bay. The tracks are bound on the Eastern edge by the bay, with a good distance of the western edge bound by a freshwater pond within the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

During the storm, a tidal surge covered this seventy foot wide strip of railroad track with over four feet of water. Fencing was destroyed; track washout occurred throughout, and at two locations the strip of land was breached connecting the fresh water pond with Jamaica Bay. The receding tide left over 40 boats, docks, logs, oil tanks, foam and thousands of tons of debris trapped on the tracks between the two fence lines. Track ballast washed out from under and around the railroad ties for thousands of feet. Numerous areas had holes beneath the railroad track of three feet or more where all the ballast stone was displaced. Other areas were completely buried in this same stone. The two fence lines protecting the rail line from the public were bent over, filled with debris and destroyed. The fence line on the east edge of the property landed on the signal messenger systems, the pole bent over with the weight of the water and debris. Signal cables were ripped off of the messenger wires and were strewn on the tracks. Several areas of damaged cable were noted. The entire signal system was underwater requiring replacement and rehabilitation.

Our Pledge to You

Before Sandy's arrival, we safely evacuated customers, and secured equipment to weather the storm, and with the intention of bringing service back as soon as we were safely able to do so. Taking into account the breadth of our service area as a whole, we've been able to accomplish a lot. After Sandy, we worked to bring bus and subway service back as swiftly as possible. These efforts are continuing, and for the most part, we are running close to normal subway service. But we realize until we resume full service, your commute will be longer. We appreciate your patience as we work to restore service.
  by flexliner
read on another transit related forum that they are actually rehabbing the loop station at SF for temp use.
according to one poster who claims to work on the 1 line the gap fillers are reinstalled currently in manual mode and the platform is being rehabbed.
he also notes an exit from the existing platform into the new SF mezzanine which would allow for R transfer. (this may have to be widened)
anyone here who can confirm or otherwise?
  by Head-end View
Who would have ever thought the old S.F. station would ever be pressed into service again? That article says the new station opened in 2009 which cost $500 million to build will cost $600 million to rebuild. Geez!........

What's more troubling is (looking at the big picture) NYC has, in the last eleven years, suffered it's 2 biggest disasters in modern history. Sept. 11th and Superstorm Sandy. Hope these events don't come in three's as is believed by some.
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