Spring sees the return of the flowers, bees, and our aggressive program of right-of-way improvements to ensure the safety and reliability of your commute.
We have an ambitious program set for 2016. On the Hudson and New Haven Lines, we intend to replace 44,800 ties, as well as re-surface 91 miles of track bed. (We do this surfacing to remove small surface and alignment deviations by compacting the stone under the ties for better track support, improved drainage and a smoother ride!)
Across all three lines, we will: conduct about 8.24 miles of rail renewal work; replace approximately 52 switches; weld 1,600 rail joints (improving ride quality); and restore 24 grade crossings (ties, rail, crossing pads, etc.).
Of course, due to a mild winter, we've already accomplished a lot this year as of late February (thank you, Mother Nature):
- In Grand Central Terminal: Most of the 2016 work has been focused on the completion of our Ladder K switch renewal program, which began in 2015. Ladder K is the first set of turnouts and switches a train reaches when heading south from the Park Avenue Tunnel. It runs the length of roughly 600 feet, allowing trains to cross parallel tracks, and sees a good amount of traffic. In all, we surfaced 11,600-plus feet of track; renewed five switches and used our Rail Vac aid in the replacement of 102 ties (this is a super high-powered vacuum that removes stone and debris from the track).
- On the Hudson Line: We've surfaced more than 10,000 feet of track bed, and welded 116 rail joints.
- On the Harlem Line, nearly 5,300 feet of track has been surfaced, 62 rail joints welded and 42 ties replaced and fouled stone ballast removed with our Rail Vac.
- The New Haven Line has gotten worked over too! About 8,750 feet of track bed has been surfaced and 73 rail joints welded.