As we near the final 18-24 months of construction on the 7 line extension, the MTA is rapidly moving forward with some of the last elements of the project. Yesterday, the authority posted a video providing a behind-the-scenes look at the delivery of the rails. Their explanation offers us an update on the project as well:
The 7 Extension Project, now 65 percent complete, has just received its first set of rails.
Each rail delivered to the extension site is 390 feet in length and weighs approximately 15,000 pounds. Each delivery consists of only four rails because of their weight. The rails are delivered with a work train leaving the Linden Shop in Brooklyn. The trip takes about 48 hours from loading to unloading because it only travels during the midnight shift in order to avoid interrupting passenger service.
The first of sixteen deliveries left the Linden Shop on April 30 headed for the Grand Concourse Yard (via the 4 line) where it laid up for the day. The next day, the work train traveled via the D line and south of 34th Street, switched tracks and came back north on the F line. From there, it crossed over at Queens Plaza to the N line, and then switched to the 7 line to Times Square.
As for the overall project, structural work at the future 34th Street Station is now complete. Work also began in September on the project’s last major contract. This systems contract includes rail track, all mechanical, electrical and related systems throughout the tunnels, station, ventilation buildings and the main subway entrance at 34th Street. Completion of this contract is the last piece needed to initiate service on the 7 line Extension.
Even as this project nears its completion, I am still reminded of missed opportunities. Not construction a station or even a shell at 41st St. and 10th Ave. remains one of the more inexplicably short-sighted moves made by the City and MTA in recent decades. Perhaps though the 7 line will one day reach the western parts of Chelsea. That won’t make up for the missing stop near Hell’s Kitchen, but it would bring train service to an inaccessible part of Manhattan.