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Hi there. Let's talk about work trains and what they have to do with the L Project. We take you behind the scenes into our planning process. And that "subway stumper" in the Bedford Av Station? We think it's solved, but judge for yourself. Also: Broadway Junction Station work wraps up this week, and don't forget about our open house on Monday in Manhattan.

Oh and about that new color. For all of the people who aren't dedicated weekly readers of this newsletter like you, we wanted to make sure they're also in the know and can plan ahead for the coming service changes. So creating bright, pink posters and banners and signs was the natural choice. You'll start seeing them around this weekend. Need a refresher on the alternate service options? You can always find them on our website here, including a handy map.
Missed a newsletter? Check out our archive and get caught up. 

What’s a “work train” and what does it have to do with the L Project?

Ever been waiting for a train, hear something coming, just to see something roll on by that looks more like what you might call a “locomotive” than a subway train? 
 
These trains have been around since we started running the subway system. Since we’re going to be using them a lot during the L Project tunnel rehab work, we wanted to give you a primer on what they are and some things we're doing behind the scenes to make the operation as efficient as possible.
 
About work trains
The main function of work trains is to collect and transfer material and waste from the yards to project sites and vice-versa.
 
Some quick fun facts:

| The cars in a work train are usually a color we call “safety yellow,” but we also have red and blue/gray ones. The colors make sure customers don’t think it’s a subway car, and to note different weights of the cars. Blue/gray ones weigh 112,000 pounds, and the other models are 110,000. But all work trains can haul up to 225,000 pounds.

| They operate with two different max speeds: 25 MPH for straight tracks, and 15 MPH on curved tracks.

| Even if you’re a subway train operator, you still need special training to run the work trains. Our work train operators all go through a 14-day training course.

Work trains and the L Project
We’ll be using work trains as the main way to get materials in and out of the tunnel during the tunnel rehabilitation phase (working towards the April 26 p.m. start).
 
This means we will have to get them on the L line ahead of the work start time, and then off of it before service resumes at 5 a.m. Our service delivery and operations planning teams have spent a lot of late nights so we can ensure this operation goes as smoothly as possible. Here are a few things we’re working on:

| We are building the nighttime L schedule with work trains integrated in. We always ramp down service as we approach a service change (we can’t go from 10 trains on the tracks to none in an instant!), so we’re taking advantage by putting work trains between regular subway cars. This slow down period starts at 8 p.m.—i.e. your best opportunity to spot a work train!

| Moving the L work trains to a new home. We have several bus depots and train yards in our system where we do repairs and upgrade equipment. The current yard holding most of the work trains isn’t exactly close to the L line—it can take about an hour to get there from where it starts. So we audited our inventory and identified another yard, Linden Yard, that we could upgrade to be work train-ready. We’re in the process of building new connecting tracks to link everything together.

| Using heavy-duty cables to create work train...trains. Our work trains are great at hauling stuff, not so great at moving quickly. We can’t make them move faster, but after a few trials, we found a super low-tech yet innovative way to make them more efficient: linking them with “twelve-point cables.” That way, we don’t have as many gaps between regular subway cars as we slow down the service.

SOLVED! Bedford Av Station History-Mystery

Last week, we posted this photo above and asked for tips on what this graffiti could mean, or who the signatory could be. Thanks to everyone who sent in your ideas—there were a lot of creative suggestions. But one came with multiple clips of public records (census data, city records, Transit Commission meeting minutes and real estate listings), providing quite the compelling story in our opinion. Credit and kudos: Marc Hermann:

In 1921, there was a Nathan Hyatt appointed to the State Transit Commission from the former Office of the Transit Construction Commissioner. He was a Junior Engineer, receiving a monthly salary of $175. The 1925 census indicates he was born in Russia, naturalized in 1919, and listed his profession as “Civil Engineer” at that time, living at 381 Montgomery St., Brooklyn.

Marc found civil service records from 1922 that show Nathan took a Civil Service exam for Assistant Engineer and tried to appeal his score. He was living in Williamsburg on South 1st St. at the time. That September, the Assistant Engineer “Grade C” list was established, and Nathan is #17 out of 79 on that, with a score of 87.70. His address there is listed as 233 Maujer St., again, in Williamsburg.

Finishing next week:
Broadway Junction Station expansion

We're continuing to finish up station improvements work under the L Project, and next week, it's Broadway Junction. This is such a critical complex in our network, which is why we have identified the entire station complex as a priority for accessibility (all platforms—L, A, C, J, Z), in our next Capital Program.

In the meantime, we're excited to open:
  • Two new stairs to each J-Z platform up the mezzanine, which will increase stair capacity by 50 percent per platform
  • Two reconstructed stairs that were there before, but now are much wider
  • Huge expansion of the J-Z mezzanine area

Glamour shot of the week:
Everyone loves a good tunnel picture

Next week! Open house #4 in Manhattan, April 8


Don't forget to save the date for Monday next week: another open house in Manhattan!

Monday, April 8
14th St Y, 344 E 14 St (btw 1st & 2nd Aves)
Save the date

Reminder: Upcoming L service changes overnight

L service is running this weekend, but we will have some work during the upcoming weeknights. If you're a planner like us, remember to check out this handy list to help you navigate.

Click the button below to get the details and plan ahead using our alternative service when needed.
Learn more

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