Scenes from Wednesday: A water main break at 14th St.

By · Published in 2015

One of the problems with aging infrastructure is facing the unexpected. For the MTA, these problems arise internally when signals malfunctions, switches fail and rails break, but the agency also has to contend with everything in between the subway tunnels and the street above. On Wednesday night, a water main broke at 14th St. and 7th Ave., and it of course shut down the West Side subways for some time.

As of this writing, the 1, 2 and 3 trains are not running between Chambers St. and Times Square. Some 2 trains are running via the 5, and otherwise, shuttle buses have replaced 7th Ave. IRT service in Manhattan. The MTA hopes to have everything running normal again by the morning rush, but keep an eye on the MTA’s website for the latest.

Since the water main break happened at a station with wireless signals and wifi service, the Internet played home to some dramatic images as water started filling up the local tracks. Early on, we saw the YouTube video I posted above — which isn’t of some pilot program for an in-station subway carwash system, and there were plenty of other images.

While the immediate problem was at 14th St. and 7th Ave., the MTA again had some issues with communicating amidst an unexpected service problem. I took the 4 train home from Grand Central at around 8:30, and by the time my train rolled into Nevins St., 2 and 3 trains were operating with 15-minute headways. There were no announcements about connecting service, and Transit opted against running the 4 and 5 trains local to pick up the slack. Riders waiting for trains at Chambers St. had no idea of the problem as the MTA made no announcements. Of course, the agency had bigger fish to fry — or really puddles to drain — but keeping riders who are already in the system aware of their options in real time has always been a challenge for the MTA.

7 Responses to “Scenes from Wednesday: A water main break at 14th St.”

  1. Abba says:

    Just resumed somewhat.

    Service Change Posted: 04/09/2015 12:56AM

    Due to a water condition at 14 St, the following service changes are in effect:

    1 Subway Line Icon and 2 Subway Line Icon trains are running express from Chambers St to 34 St-Penn Station in both directions.

    Shuttle bus Shuttle Bus Service icon service is running between 34 St-Penn Station and Chambers St in both directions.

    1 Subway Line Icon, and 2 Subway Line Icon trains are running with delays in both directions.

    Allow additional travel time.

    • Herb Lehman says:

      I love the MTA’s euphemisms. “A water condition” = an effing FLOOD.

      Must have been interesting, to say the least, for those passengers.

  2. streater says:

    I think this is where huge chunks of ice were hanging from the ceiling above the tracks this winter. I even took pictures of it back in february.

  3. Brooklynite says:

    But yet, when it’s a planned outage like a 7 train shutdown, it’s announced every two minutes all over the IRT. There needs to be a happy medium somewhere.

  4. phil says:

    No alerts/updates from texts or the apps I use so obviously I had no idea there was a problem when I tried to get a 2/3 to get uptown from Fulton Street. By some miracle I got to the platform just as an empty 2 train departed uptown, the conductor of that train was letting everyone know about the water main as he passed by.

  5. BruceNY says:

    Finally the tile walls are getting washed!

    • tacony says:

      Stole the joke I was going to make about how this is inconvenient but if it’s what the MTA has to do to actually clean the stations…

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