Sunday, January 13, 2008

The #7 Train: Read the fine print

I took the #7 train yesterday. After reading the MTA brochure, I thought all the disruptions were going to be east of 61st Street; the line would be functioning normally between there and Times Square. This was not what happened.

I got to the station and there were handmade signs on all the turnstiles saying that there was no Manhattan-bound service; we had to go to 61st Street and take an express train back. So I went up to the platform and waited. And waited. Two inbound trains went by on the express track. It was more than ten minutes before a train stopped at my station, and there were already lots of people on the platform when I got there, so it had to have been at least fifteen minutes.

Looking at the track maps, I can see how it'd be difficult to get the trains from the outbound local track to the inbound local track. The train would have to switch to the express track before 69th Street, then go past the next switch and reverse. Doable, but maybe too complicated. I also don't know where they're planning to put the new switches, so maybe they couldn't send the trains that far east.

Looking over the MTA service advisories and the brochure, I see the notice: Manhattan-bound trains skip 52, 46, 40, and 33 Sts (PDF). I guess I was so overwhelmed with all the other stuff that I didn't notice the part that affected my own station! Well, that sucks, and it brings down my whole opinion of this outage. It would help if they could run more trains and shorten the wait. In any case, they'd better give us free LIRR trips to Penn Station at least!

P.S. Maybe the Chinatown vans would be an alternative for some people who live in Flushing and work downtown? If anyone tries this, please let me know.

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