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West 28th Street Substation

The MTA is installing an underground power substation on West 28th Street in Manhattan. This substation will provide additional power to trains running on the Eighth Avenue line. It will support the implementation of a new, modern signaling system between 59th Street in Manhattan and High Street in Brooklyn.
Updated May 8, 2024
Construction work at the West 28th Street Substation site


  • Location
  • Type
    Infrastructure, Signals
  • Status
  • Budget
    $80 million

Area Map


  • Underway
  • 39 months; 24 months of street-level work
Scheduled completion
  • September 2025

About the project

Retrofitting a century-old subway system with modern signals is a complex process — and one that is necessary to deliver the service the city needs.  

The Eighth Avenue line between 59th Street in Manhattan and High Street in Brooklyn, which carries the  lines, is one of the busiest stretches of subway in the city. Installation of a new signaling system using communications-based train control (CBTC) along this key corridor is scheduled for completion in 2025. 

To support the increased capacity that CBTC will bring to Eighth Avenue, we need reliable power. To achieve this, a new underground power substation will be constructed on West 28th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. 

More than 250,000 customers use stations on this section of the Eighth Avenue line every day. It includes four of the city’s busiest stations: 59 St-Columbus Circle, Times Sq-42 St, 34 St-Penn Station, and Fulton St. Better service will benefit those customers, as well as others elsewhere on the lines, with smoother trips and fewer delays. 

The site was chosen after careful analysis of 30 potential sites. The location is close to the existing subway tracks and a sufficient distance from existing buildings. Construction will involve minimal disruption of utilities, a vital consideration when adding to an already enormous city infrastructure grid. West 28th Street is a crooked street with manageable traffic, limiting disruptions throughout the neighborhood when construction begins, without major environmental concerns. 

The entire West 28th Street Substation project is scheduled to last 39 months, with approximately 24 months of street-level construction. 

Project benefits 

  • Faster, more frequent, more reliable service on the 
  • Benefits approximately 268,000 customers daily
Map of the area around the project site for the West 28th Street Substation
Duration 02:32

Core Infrastructure: Substations

Substations convert AC power to DC power to run the subway

About Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) 

How can you increase the capacity of the subway system without building miles of new track? Find a way to let trains run closer together, safely, thanks to modern technology. That’s what CBTC does.

The 28th Street Substation is a vital component of bringing CBTC to the Eighth Avenue line, and making service better for customers on the   lines

Duration 2:11

What is CBTC?

An explanation of Communications-Based Train Control