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Thursday, December 10, 2009

MTA: Slippery when everything

Jeez so the most heavily used (and only 24 hour) subway system in the world (ours) can't handle snow (ok) water (floods, sure) trash (track fires, sure, acceptable) and now add to that list colorfully brittle fallen leaves. yep leaves.

Today's New York Times reports that leaves are apparently staging an insurgent attack(my words) on rail steel causing trains to be slowed on select outdoor (below grade) subway lines like the Brooklyn Q, N, and Franklin Shuttle. This isn't as much of a problem for outdoor elevated lines like the Queens 7, Queens N and Queens J, (is somebody sticking it to Brooklyn?) because on those elevated the rain washes the resolute leaves away.

The article details the MTA's efforts to warn of delays and the average rider's understandably incredulous reactions. There's even a scientific breakdown of hot leaves become fatty acids which become waxy buildup on the rails, which some how requires a vacuums train to clean, although the cavity creeps fight crest squad might be a better way to go....

Interestingly what is not mentioned is why or how after 100+ years of service (and in my person 30+ years as a New Yorker) there seems to be no prior sign-age posted by the MTA about delays caused by fallen leaves. I'm pretty sure we've had autumn a few times before in the last 100+ years you'd think the problem woulda shown up before now.

Is it scientific? Are the new wheels of our mostly new subway fleet's extra stainless steelery causing them to get lubed up quicker? (let your minds glide on that) Or as some strap-hangers suggested is it the MTA looking for new and more creative excuses rather than newer and more creative savings methods?

1 comment:

  1. A friend works for the MTA and says the administration (not the working MTA people but the paper-pushers) has always been incompetent and poorly managed (executives promoting girlfriends, etc).


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