Sunday, June 7, 2015

First train under Second Avenue

Shush, its a secret -- sort of.  The MTA quietly announced, by way of a posting on one of its Flicker pages last Friday, that the first train rolled under Second Avenue late last month.

Sure, it was only a work train, but it still was the first train to ever operate under Second Avenue, according to the MTA's Flickr posting.

The train passed through the north side of the existing Lexington Avenue/63rd St station and proceeded over newly laid tracks north under Second Avenue.  The train was there to deliver new sections of rail for Phase I of the project.

A selection of images from this special journey under Second Avenue can be found below.



Rehema Trimiew / MTA Capital Construction
5/27/15

A train under Second Avenue.

The R156 locomotive shown here is MTA work train engine OL919. 



Rehema Trimiew / MTA Capital Construction
5/27/15

Looking east, from the lower level of the north side of the Lexington Av/63 St station.  This is the so-called G4 track, as is noted on the wall on the left in this image.



G3/G4 Tunnels and 72nd Street Station
Second Avenue Subway

A diagram of the tunnels in this area of the project.



Rehema Trimiew / MTA Capital Construction
5/27/15

This interesting image shows the connection between the old and new rail just east of the Lexington Av/63rd St station. My assumption is that the larger (heavier) rail on the right is the new rail that leads to Second Avenue.

These rails have been connected together using a special piece of steel known as a Compromise Joint Bar.   These joint bars are designed to connect different sections of rail in such a way that the gage (inner) side of the rail, and the top of the head and running surfaces are held in line.



Rehema Trimiew / MTA Capital Construction
5/27/15

Looking east, into the G4 tunnel, just to the east of the Lexington Av/63rd St station.  This tunnel with mined back in 2010/11 using a Tunnel Boring Machine.



Rehema Trimiew / MTA Capital Construction
5/27/15

Looking north from inside G4/S2 Cavern I, which is just to the south of the new 72nd Street station.



Rehema Trimiew / MTA Capital Construction
5/27/15

Looking south, from G4/S2 Cavern I.  New pieces of running rail being delivered to the work site.


Additional images can be found on this link:
Second Avenue Subway: First Work Train Ride
MTAPhotos on Flickr
12 images

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Update 6/10/15

An astute reader pointed out to me the other day that this actually was not the first train to travel under Second Avenue.

S3 Tunnel Constructors, an earlier contractor on the project, setup a temporary narrow-gauge railway inside each tunnel as they were being mined back in 2010 and 2011.  The train was used to haul muck from the TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) back to the TBM launch box and for transporting workers..


1/18/11
Muck train inside the west TBM tunnel under Second Avenue

Additional images from inside the west TBM tunnel can be found on this link:
A View Down Below, Part 1
The Launch Box - 1/23/2011




Here's a listing of the recent additions
to the right-hand column of The Launch Box:

"Second Avenue subway may divert Q trains out of Astoria, leaving some Queens residents worried about losing service"
By Dan Rivoli and Chris Sommerfeldt
New York Daily News - 6/4/15

::

MTA Second Avenue Subway Newsletters
Volume XXXVIII - June 2015

Lexington Av/63rd St Station Area

72nd St Station Area

86th St Station Area

96th St Station Area

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Simulated 2nd Ave Subway

The Second Avenue Subway entered virtual service on Thursday, May 29th, 2015.

On this date MTA Capital Construction opened its official Second Avenue Subway Simulator at the SAS Community Information Center (CIC) at 1628 Second Avenue between 84th and 85th Streets.

The simulator gives visitors to the CIC the experience of operating a train through the three new stations that are under construction for Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway.


Second Avenue Subway Simulator (3:32)
mtainfo channel on Youtube

The simulated journey starts on the tail tracks north of the new 96th Street station and enables the operator to guide the train through the tunnels, stopping at the 96th, 86th and 72nd Street stations.

Apparently the simulator does not allow you to continue on the Q Line past the Lexington Av/63rd St station as actual riders will be able to do once the line opens in late 2016.

According to the MTA, the three new stations in the simulation were created using renderings as well as the actual materials being used in their construction, so the texture of floor and wall tiles and other materials are replicated in the virtual stations as closely as possible to how they will look when the project is completed.

The subway simulator was developed by MediaCombo, in collaboration with Black Hammer Productions and Studio Mercenary.

Further information can be found in this article:

"The MTA's $80,000 Video Game About the Second Avenue Subway Is Addicting"
By Nick Lucchesi
The Village Voice



In other news, the MTA conducted a walking tour of the underground construction site for members of the news media on May 21, 2015. A selection of images from this tour are shown below.



Patrick Cashin / Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President MTA Capital Construction, briefs members of the news media before the start of the tour.



Patrick Cashin / Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Walking through one of the tunnels that leads from the Lexington Av/63rd St station to the new 72nd Street station.



Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

This image would appear to show the G4/S2 Cavern I that is shown in the diagram below. The view is looking south. The tunnel on the left leads to the north side of the upper lower level of the existing Lexington Av/63rd Street station.

This cavern has been designed to allow room for a connection to the S1 S2 tunnel that will be constructed as part of Phase 3 of the Second Avenue Subway project. The future S1 S2 tunnel will connect to this cavern on the cement wall just to the right of the existing tunnel.



G3/G4 Tunnels and 72nd Street Station
Second Avenue Subway

This diagram details the current and planned subway tunnels just to the east of the Lexington Avenue/63rd Street station.

The G3/G4 tunnels (shown in blue and green) are being built as part of Phase 1 of the project. The tunnels designated as S1/S2 (shown in red), for the future "T Line", will be built during Phase 3 of the project.



Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit



Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

Dr. Horodniceanu answers questions from the news media.



Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

A view from inside one of the new stations.



Patrick Cashin / Metropolitan Transportation Authority

A view of a long escalator shaft inside one of the new stations.



Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit


Additional images can be found on this link:
Second Avenue Subway Update - May 21, 2015
MTAPhotos on Flickr
80 images



Here's a listing of the recent additions
to the right-hand column of The Launch Box:

"The MTA's $80,000 Video Game About the Second Avenue Subway Is Addicting"
By Nick Lucchesi
The Village Voice

Video: "Update From Underground: NYC's Second Avenue Subway"
By Jennifer Weiss
Wall Street Journal

"MTA wants $2.5B from NYC for Second Avenue Subway"
By Rebecca Harshbarger
New York Post - 5/4/2015

"MTA: Fund the Plan or Risk Second Avenue Subway Expansion"
By Kate Hinds
WNYC - 4/29/15

"NYC's New Subway Stations Feature a Twist On Its Famous Typeface"
By Adam Clark Estes
Gizmodo - 4/28/15

"New Photos Show 2nd Ave Subway Stations Nearing Completion"
By Emma Whitford
Gothamist - 4/27/15

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MTA Second Avenue Subway Newsletters
Volume XXXVII - May 2015

Lex Av/63rd St Station Area

72nd St Station Area

86th St Station Area

96th St Station Area

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2nd Ave Subway 82% Complete

On Monday April 27th the MTA reported that Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway is now 82% complete. 

The announcement was by Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President MTA Capital Construction, during a presentation that he made to MTA Board Transit/Bus Operations Committee.

At this time the project remains on-track to open in December 2016.

Dr. Horodniceanu's full presentation to the MTA Board Transit/Bus Operations Committee can be found on this YouTube link.

A selected set of images from the presentation are shown below:


Metropolitan Transportation Authority

A six-story ancillary building rising on the site of the former Century Lumber yard on 97th Street.  Its interesting to see that the exterior walls are being built using concrete.  Clearly this will  be a very secure facility.



Metropolitan Transportation Authority

This current images shows utility work that is taking place above the 96th Street station.



Metropolitan Transportation Authority

New escalators in the 72nd Street Station.



Metropolitan Transportation Authority



Metropolitan Transportation Authority

New electric power distribution and control equipment.



Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The frame of a new entrance to the 63rd St/Lexington Ave station.



Metropolitan Transportation Authority

An interesting view from the new lower level platform for the Q Line.  What is interesting is the station name on the wall - which suggests that that the MTA my have plans to change the name of this station from "Lexington Av - 63 St" to simply "Lex 63".


The complete set of images from the presentation can be found on this link:
Second Avenue Subway Update
MTA - 4/27/2015



Here's a listing of the recent additions
to the right-hand column of The Launch Box:

"Second Avenue Subway Brings Fear-Inducing LED Streetlights"
By Shannon Ayala
Curbed NY - 4/24/15

"A Photographer Shows What’s Really Going On With the Second Avenue Subway"
By Ben Shapiro
New York Observer - 4/15/15

"Whistleblower alleges pay scam at Second Avenue Subway project"
By Rebecca Harshbarger
New York Post - 4/6/15

"Second Ave. subway project will be cut short if funding doesn't come through, MTA chief says"
By Pete Donoghue
NY Daily News - 3/2/15

::

MTA Second Avenue Subway Newsletters
Volume XXXVI - April 2015

Lexington Av/63rd Street Station Area

72nd Street Station Area

86th Street Station Area

96th Street Station Area