Archive for June, 2009

New York City Subway G Line Extension Date – July 5 – Is Almost Here

Thursday, June 25th, 2009
Service Advisory at MTA.info

Service Advisory at MTA.info

July 5, 2009, is the day that the New York City subway G line will be extended to the Church Avenue station on the F line. This is necessary due to the rehabilitation of the Culver Viaduct:

Beginning July 5 and lasting approximately four years, extensive reconstruction of the Culver Viaduct will require the extension of the G Line subway service to Church Avenue in Southern Brooklyn. While designed to accommodate this major structure rehabilitation, the extension will provide additional service south of Smith-9th Street, save travel time for many customers and provide additional transfer options.

This change is necessary because rehabilitation of the steel and concrete structure, opened in 1933 as part of the IND system, requires the removal of two tracks from service for the duration of the project, eliminating the area at 4th Av-9th Street used by G trains to reverse direction.

NJT Meadowlands Rail Service Begins July 26 2009

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

An article in The Star-Ledger has revealed that New Jersey Transit’s train service to the new station at the Meadowlands Sports Complex will begin on Sunday, July 26, 2009, for the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final match.

In other interesting news contained in the same article, the New York Giants have a connection to the new movie “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3″:

Lastly, the Giants invited us to a screening of “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3″ at their practice facility this afternoon with about 40 of the players. The film, which comes out June 12, was co-produced by Giants co-owner Steve Tisch.

Help build the Tel Aviv subway system while relaxing on the beach

Friday, June 19th, 2009

tel-aviv-100This Sunday, attend the Tel Aviv Beach Party in Central Park (in celebration of the city of Tel Aviv in Israel turning 100 years old), and while you’re there, tell them to build that long awaited subway already!!! If it’s not done by the time of my next visit, I’ll just have to ask for a tour of the only existing subway station in Tel Aviv – under Shalom Meir Tower.

Planned Tel Aviv Subway Map

Those darn interns and their funny MTA SERVICE ALERT mistakes

Friday, June 19th, 2009
mta-service-alert-b-d-f-web

maximum LOLs to be had

This NYCT SERVICE ALERT appeared at mta.info Tuesday morning. Upon seeing it, I says to myself, I says: “Have trolley tracks been relaid in the Bronx and have the (B), (D), and (F) trains been diverted to run along them?!?!?”

In case you’re not getting the joke, look at the last paragraph.

Initial Ridership Figures for Yankee Stadium Metro-North Station

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Take the train_web

Weekdays: about 50 vs. projection of 400

Game days: high of 4,200 vs. capacity of 10,000

Source: Slow start at new station

Final day of service for the R-40 “Slant” subway cars

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Rumor has it that today *may* be the final day of service for these awesome subway cars. In fact, the R-40 Slants have always been my favorite New York City subway cars, based on their amazing modern design, penned by Raymond Loewy in the 1960′s. Over the years their appearance has been marred (see the images in the middle of the page) by the addition of safety equipment and General Overhaul (GOH). Still, their unique railfan window (tall and narrow) allowed countless hundreds of thousands of young children to see out the front of the subway train (the railfan windows of the other subway cars were situated too high for them to see out of).

Goodbye old friends.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is the REAL DEAL

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

The New York Post published an article today that tells how much of the new movie “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3″ was filmed in real New York City subway tunnels, in real New York City subway stations, and on real New York City subway cars, and that’s what the director demanded. I’m glad he decided ot do the right thing!

And what makes the movie unique is that the production took great pains to make this New York story as authentically New York as possible, including traipsing through dusty subway tunnels, trying to film in crowded Grand Central and risking death from the ever-humming third rail.

…..

Much of the action takes place down in the dark, rat-infested tunnels beneath the city streets, and when director Tony Scott signed on for the project, he had one demand: that as much as possible, it would be shot in the actual subway system.

“When Tony and I were prepping the picture, what we always spoke about was that we needed authenticity,” says producer Todd Black. “We didn’t want people going, ‘This isn’t New York. That’s not the real subway. That’s a set. That’s Montreal or Vancouver.’ It needed to have that whole New York flavor, on the streets and in the subway.”

That meant heading underground for what Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, says is “probably one of the biggest productions shot in the subway.”

Most of the subway scenes were filmed on a stretch of abandoned track off Brooklyn’s Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, along which the HH shuttle used to run. (Service was discontinued in 1946.) Those particular tracks were unused, but the location gave the filmmaker’s the advantage of having active A, C and G trains passing along the neighboring tracks, giving scenes a realistic feel.

[Railfanwindow.com Blog Editor's note: This would be the abandoned "side" platforms at Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, as well as the tunnel between that station and the former Court Street station, which is now the New York Transit Museum.]

“In the past, we’ve allowed filming on a platform or inside a train, but very little filming with actors down on the track,” says Joe Grodzinsky, superintendent of Rapid Transit Operations. “‘Pelham’ shot scenes with the actors on the track as trains moved past them. That was unique.”

To make sure no accidents happened, everyone involved with the production (some 400 people, including a high-up executive at Sony) was forced to enroll in an eight-hour NYC Transit safety course. The group took a classroom lesson at the NYC Transit Learning Center in Gravesend, then strapped on regulation boots and safety vests, grabbed flashlights and headed down onto the tracks from a Brooklyn R station.

Because there’s only so much space in an actual subway car — as anyone who’s been smashed up against a weird, sweaty guy during rush hour can attest — the production built a fake car on a stage at Kaufman Astoria Studios. It was made from scratch using pieces of decommissioned subway cars and powered by hydraulics, so it could zip along a 40-foot section of track.

In truth, much more of the film would have had to been shot on sound stages had NYC Transit not consented to allow the crew access to the subway. The agency has turned down requests before for many reasons, including when a plot is considered too sensitive because it involves destruction or terrorism.

“There was concern [about "Pelham"], but we were very careful to say in the film, this isn’t about terrorism,” Black says. “Particularly after 9/11, we didn’t want to make anything about this movie be about terrorism. And the original wasn’t about terrorism. It was about greed and money.”

astoria_kaufman_studios

movie_enlarge

movie_enlarge2

Image Credits: The New York Post article

Source: SubChat

Jerome Avenue Line Express Experiment

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Starting Monday, there will be experimental peak direction express service along the Jerome Avenue El during an hour in the morning rush.

Some Utica Av-bound trains run express from Mosholu Pkwy to 125 St
AM Rush Hour, 7 AM to 8 AM, Mon to Fri, Jun 8 – 26
Please allow additional travel time at skipped stations.


Screen shot of relevant advisory on MTA.info

Screen shot of relevant advisory on MTA.info

There’s additional information (pics!) posted on this subject at SubChat.

UPDATE – Two media outlets have published reports on this topic:

  • amNewYork (note the error [at the time of this posting] in which stations will be served)
  • Daily News

UPDATE #2MTA NYCT Press Release

Press Release
June 4th, 2009
IMMEDIATE
#86
Paul J. Fleuranges
Charles F. Seaton

MTA New York City Transit Pilots Bronx Express Service Along the Jerome Ave. Line

It’s All About Time!

MTA New York City Transit is set to begin a pilot program aimed at shortening travel times along the 4 Line with the creation of a new Bronx Express 4 service between Woodlawn and 149th Street-Grand Concourse. The enhanced service will operate for a one-hour period during the weekday morning rush.

The pilot will begin June 8th and run through June 26th and be comprised of four trains within a one-hour period during the morning rush. The Bronx Express trains are scheduled to depart weekdays from Woodlawn at 7:15 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 7:45 a.m. and 8 a.m. After leaving Woodlawn, the Bronx Express 4 will make a station stop at Mosholu Parkway before switching to the middle track and heading to Burnside Avenue. From Burnside, the train will make its final Bronx station stop at 149th Street before making all regular express stops along the 4.

Customers boarding at Mosholu Parkway and Burnside Avenue will be alerted to the Bronx Express 4 by conductors’ announcements. Customers are being informed of the pilot through the distribution of take-ones printed in English and Spanish, as well as informational posters.

“The idea for this pilot is directly attributable to the Line General Managers program and it illustrates the types of innovations made possible when you have people running the railroad directly. David Knights, Group General Manager of IRT East and 4 Line General Manager Herb Lambert were looking to speed travel along a route that has been traditionally local in the Bronx,” said New York City Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. “Signal improvements and the continued mechanical reliability of the car fleet have allowed them to try new ways of improving service.”

“By skipping nine stations, the Bronx Express 4 is expected to shave about 3.5 minutes off the 20 to 21 minutes scheduled running time between Woodlawn and 149th Street-Grand Concourse during the height of the a.m. peak. This is a significant time saving when you are headed out to work in the morning,” said IRT East Group General Manager Knights. “This pilot will determine the feasibility of bringing Jerome Avenue service in line with the Concourse, White Plains Road and Pelham Bay corridors by offering an express service to morning commuters.”

This pilot is possible because of the recent upgrades made to the center track signaling system within the 2005-2009 Capital Program. The signal job called for the installation of intermediate signals along the stretch of elevated track between Woodlawn and 161st Street. As a result of the project, we now have a greater flexibility of use with the middle track and can send trains in passenger service as well as work trains up or down the middle track. In the event of a disruption in service or track maintenance, we can also reroute trains onto the middle track. Similar signaling systems, allowing express service, are in place on the Flushing and White Plains Road Lines among others that have three tracks.

The results of the pilot will be evaluated after the completion of the three-week period and a decision will be made on whether to make this change permanent.

Customers may call our Travel Information Center at 718-330-1234 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, or log onto www.tripplanner.mta.info to use Trip Planner to plan their trips. Customers with web enabled phones or PDAs can use our Trip Planner On-the-Go! by going to www.tripplanner.mta.info/mobile; in addition to planning their trips, Blackberry users can download the free icon for one touch access to the service.

Update #3:

Service details graphic from MTA.info

Service details graphic from MTA.info

Bus Destination Sign Failure

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

And this bus looks like it was serviced/painted/cleaned-up rather recently, too!

::::shakes head::::

NYCT Bus Orion V 6257 (Bx20). Note that the destination sign is broken and two "paper 20's" can be seen behind the windshield.

NYCT Bus Orion V 6257 (Bx20). Note that the destination sign is broken and two "paper 20's" can be seen behind the windshield.

Photo taken with my cell phone camera. Please excuse the poor quality.

MTA NYC Transit – 2008 Ridership by Subway Station

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

MTA NYC Transit has released 2008 subway ridership statistics by subway station for all 422 station complexes.

Here are the top 10 busiest New York City subway stations for 2008:

Station and subway lines Annual Ridership
1. Times Sq-42 St   / 42 St 60,880,668
2. Grand Central-42 St   44,600,738
3. 34 St-Herald Sq   39,040,943
4.  14 St-Union Sq    35,545,653
5.  34 St-Penn Station
28,343,889
6.  34 St-Penn Station
26,013,432
7.  Lexington Av-53 St    / 51 St
20,858,197
8.  59 St-Columbus Circle
20,475,053
9.  Lexington Av / 59 St
20,053,574
10.  Fulton St / Broadway-Nassau St
19,813,040

Additional information: Subway and Bus Ridership Statistics 2008

Source: BusChat