Thursday, June 13, 2013

Metro-North initiates Bronx R-O-W cleanup

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MTA Metro-North Railroad said Wednesday, June 12, 2013 it will accelerate track work in the Bronx, encompassing drainage improvements, tie replacements, fencing repairs, and general cleanup of the wayside for nine weeks, stretching from July 1 through Labor Day.

During this time, one peak morning Harlem Line and one peak morning New Haven Line train will be canceled. In addition, two peak morning New Haven Line trains will be combined.

"Metro-North is committed to providing its customers safe, reliable, and comfortable train service," said Metro-North President Howard Permut. "We believe that accelerating long-planned track work is the right way to go and we ask the patience of our customers during this crucial effort."

Between Melrose and Woodlawn in the Bronx, the tracks are below street level in a "cut" with masonry walls. When it rains, water from some surrounding streets pours onto the tracks and has nowhere to go.

Though Metro-North suffered less severely last autumn from SuperStorm Sandy than other rail and transit operations, drainage and flood issues did affect the railroad. This problem will be addressed in part as work also begins on a two-year, approximately $11 million drainage project that will be performed concurrently with the track improvements. The work will include installation of underground drains that will connect to New York City sewer lines that cross below the tracks at 12 different locations. This is a continuation of drainage improvements successfully completed in 2011 at the Mott Haven Yard to alleviate flooding.

Between 1% and 2% of concrete ties between Melrose and Woodlawn, roughly a six-mile stretch, are being replaced with traditional wooden ties and new stone ballast will be installed.

As part of the project, Metro-North will repair fencing that runs along the top of the "cut" and clean up the right-of-way.