Merry Christmas, Queens train riders! Your commute to and from midtown Manhattan is about to undergo a major change.
For the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the MTA will embark on a maintenance blitz that will close tracks carrying the E and M lines between midtown and Long Island City. Service on both lines will be altered during the period, which is regarded as one of the less intensive commuter periods of the year.
The work will start early on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 26, and continue straight through the late morning of Sunday, Dec. 31. If you’re planning on going to Manhattan on New Year’s Eve, don’t worry: the MTA says it will restore all service, and provide additional trains, well before the festivities at Times Square start.
According to the MTA, more than 500 of its workers will work in and around the 53rd Street Tunnel under the East River and connecting tracks. They’ll install four miles of cable necessary for signal improvements; replace 2,000 feet of third rail and 700 feet of regular track; clear 1,000 feet of track drainage pipes; and apply leak-eliminating grouting on tile walls.
“The schedule for this intensive Subway Action Plan and capital improvement work minimizes the impact on our customers while putting in new track, third rail and signal equipment for a more reliable ride,” MTA Chief Operating Officer and acting NYC Transit President Phil Eng said in a Dec. 12 statement. “We appreciate our customers’ patience while we do this critical work.”
Here’s the service changes you’ll find once track work starts on Dec. 26:
- E trains will run on the F line between Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue and West Fourth Street at all times. During overnight periods, the E trains will operate on the F line to Second Avenue on the Lower East Side, where trains will terminate.
- M trains will not operate at all between 71-Continental Avenues in Forest Hills and Essex Street in Manhattan; R trains will continue providing service. The M train shuttle currently in place between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues is not affected and will remain in operation.
- R trains will continue making stops at Queens Plaza except during overnight periods. At that time, shuttle buses will connect riders between Queens Plaza and the 21st Street-Queensbridge station, where E and F service is available.
Visit mta.info for more details.