No. 7 line to be shut between Times Square and 74th Street this weekend

By Philip Newman

Starting at 2 a.m. Saturday until 4:30 a.m. Monday No. 7 Flushing line subway trains will not operate between Times Square and 74th Street-Broadway in both directions.

The curtailment is due to extensive track work.

Alternate service will be provided by E, F, N, R and S trains as well as the Long Island Rail Road and free shuttle buses.

Shuttle buses will operate along two routes:

* Between Vernon Blvd-Jackson Ave. and Queensboro Plaza, Court Square, Hunters Point Avenue and Vernon Blvd-Jackson Ave.

* Between Queensboro Plaza and 74 St-Broadway, making station stops at 33rd Street, 40th Street, 46th Street, 52nd Street,Woodside-61Street and 69th Street.

The MTA will provide extra service on the E line between Manhattan and Queens. E trains will run every five minutes Saturday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The transit agency said straphangers traveling to and from Flushing, Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights are strongly encouraged to use this extra service as an alternate.

S (42nd St. shuttle) trains will also operate overnights from 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Monday.

The Long Island Rail Road will cross honor and accept displayed MetroCards from passengers traveling in both directions between Penn Station and Woodside.

The MTA said the continuing work on the No.7 subway line remains absolutely critical to the service’s reliability, safety and longevity. NYC Transit said it is addressing critical track conditions that require the removal and replacement of elevated track panels that have reached the end of their useful lifespan and pose a risk to the 7 line’s operational capacity. If the old track panels are not replaced, the agency said, they become subject to mandatory speed reductions, which result in fewer trains operating per hour and more crowding.

NYC Transit expects to renew and replace approximately 2, 980 feet of old track representing a $15 million investment.

A multiyear $550 million capital improvement project to replace the antiquated 50-to-90-year-old signaling system on the No. 7 line with state-of-the-art technology will continue into 2017.