Switch Replacement Project at E. 241st St. Terminal is Complete

Switch Replacement Project at E. 241st St. Terminal is Complete
A look at new switches from 239 St.

MTA New York City Transit maintenance forces just completed a project that saw the change out of a set of track switches just outside of the 2 Subway Line terminal at East 241st Street and White Plains Road in the Bronx.  Now, that sounds simple but it was a complicated, 17-day process that required teamwork, cooperation and coordination to make everything go smoothly.

Track switches are a vital part of the subway infrastructure. Nothing in the New York City subway system would move very far without working track switches.  In this case, the switches are required to guide trains to their proper tracks as they either enter or leave the station.  Additionally, these switches are used to guide out-of-service trains between the elevated structure and the 239th Street Yard. 

This maintenance job called for the replacement of five track switches originally installed back in 1980 and nearing the end of their useful service lives. The project, however, also necessitated the repair and replacement of several other components including the removal and relocation of brackets and equipment to accommodate the location of the new switch equipment, as well as the removal of all obsolete components from the work area; signal airline, air tank and cables.

The actual process of switch replacement involves the assembly of the switch panels and this happens off-site at NYC Transit’s Linden Shop in Brooklyn.  The switches are trucked from there to the worksite where they are hoisted by crane to the structure.  Once hoisted into place, the switches are secured and aligned with the supporting systems, including the airline, switch machines, signals and third rail.

“There is a lot that goes into a job like this, which might seem simple and straightforward from the public’s perspective but actually involves a tremendous amount of planning and coordination,” said Joseph Leader, Acting Senior Vice President, Department of Subways.  “The project was completed through high levels of coordination and cooperation from all supporting divisions, including Track, Station Infrastructures, Third Rail, Signals, Rapid Transit Operations, Work trains and Line Management.”

Prior to the start of this project, space was rented in a lumber yard adjacent to the structure at 240th Street for the storage of switch panels and a crane.  NYC Transit contracted with Verizon, Cablevision and Consolidated Edison to remove and relocate services from 240th to 239th Streets in order to provide street space for the crane.

The Division of Infrastructure was called in to correct any defects in the area as well as to remove and relocate any supports to accommodate the location of the new switch equipment.

During the project’s initial nine days, five area switches were removed and replaced with the new track switches.  This involved removal of 68 small sections of track and the installation of new tracks, new switch machines and new third rail throughout the area.

During this switch replacement project, White Plains Road trains ended their runs at 238th Street.  However, full service was resumed this Monday morning, Aug 26 at 5 a.m., as scheduled.