Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that after more than a month of around-the-clock work in one of the most storm-ravaged sections of the MTA transit system, R trains are set to resume service through the Montague Tube, which connects Brooklyn Heights with Lower Manhattan.
Service on the R Line has operated only between 34th Street and Whitehall Street since December 3. However, with the Montague Tube once again open, R train service will begin operation between Jay St - MetroTech and Whitehall St. in time for tomorrow morning's rush period.
"For the past several weeks the Lexington Avenue Line has been overburdened. Staten Islanders have been forced to find alternate routes to midtown and subway customers from Bay Ridge have endured longer trips and transfers," said Governor Cuomo. "The return of the full length R route is an enormous achievement that will take some of the pressure off of the 65,000 commuters who use this line every day." "With the resumption of train service through the Montague Tube we have taken another step forward toward restoring the subway system to its full pre-storm profile," said MTA New York City Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. "This was a long and difficult job that required the replacement of components and the rebuilding of systems before trains could run again."
The under river link was knocked out as a result of damage caused by the massive inflow of corrosive salt water, which left tracks, signals and electrical components submerged for days. Flooding extended for a span of more than 4,000 feet, requiring the pumping of 27 million gallons of water and the removal of tons of debris that had washed into the tunnels. Significant damage was sustained to the power feeds and controls to one pump room, and two fan plants were lost when components and controls for these pumps and fans were extensively damaged.
The electrical and signal system had to be rebuilt virtually from scratch, including wiring, relays, track circuits, lighting stop motors and other equipment associated with the safe movement of subway trains.
While sufficient work has been performed to resume the safe operation of train service, temporary service suspensions will be necessary in the future to allow workers to go in and make permanent repairs. Some of this work can be done under FASTRACK but the majority of the effort will require limited suspensions of service in the weeks and months to come.
Two areas of the subway system remain out of service---the A Line between Howard Beach and the Rockaways and the No.1 Line south of the Rector Street Station in Lower Manhattan. Work continues in both locations.