Home Service Advisories Major West 4th water main break knocks out IND service

Major West 4th water main break knocks out IND service

by Benjamin Kabak

Due to a sinkhole and a water main break that has caused flooding in the West 4th St. subway station, service on the 6th Ave. IND lines as well as the Q train has been severely affected this morning. As of around 8:45, service looks like this:

  • There is no B train service in both directions between Bedford Pk Blvd and DeKalb Av.
  • B trains are running local in Brooklyn in both directions.
  • Northbound B trains are running on the Q line from DeKalb Av to Astoria-Ditmars Blvd.
  • There is no D train service in both directions between Atlantic Av-Barclays Center and 34 St-Herald Square.
  • Southbound D trains are running local in the Bronx and will terminate at 34 St-Herald Square.
  • Northbound D trains are running on the Q line from Atlantic Av-Barclays Center to 57 St-7 Av.
  • F trains are running on the E line between W 4 St-Washington Square and Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av in both directions.
  • There is no M train service between 36 St (Qns) and Essex St.
  • M trains are running on the F line from 36 St (Qns) to 34 St-Herald Sq.
  • C trains are running express from Canal St. to 59th St.

These are, of course, subject to change at any moment, and I’m not going to be readily available to update this post over the next few hours. So keep an eye out on the MTA’s service status page. Their website seems to be holding up OK for now.

Meanwhile, as expected, with massive transit outages, Uber has entered surge pricing mode. Cabs are scarce, and on-demand cars will be very expensive. As the MTA’s website says, seemingly tongue-in-cheek, “Allow additional travel time.”

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Larry Littlefield January 15, 2014 - 9:34 am

Nice day for a bike ride.

It isn’t the re-routes that kill you, it is the lost capacity. What makes things worse is that the Montigue Tunnel is out, limiting the ability to re-route in that direction.

John-2 January 15, 2014 - 10:37 am

Surprisingly, while the Sixth Ave. line is FUBAR between West 4th and Herald Square, PATH doesn’t seem to be reporting any problems on their website between 33rd and Ninth Street (that doesn’t mean the water main break can’t somehow mess with the MTA’s equipment but leave PATH alone in the same 1 1/2 mile location, it would just be interesting to know the details on how you get a situation where that’s the case).

Tower18 January 15, 2014 - 11:02 am

What I couldn’t figure out is why the A train inbound from Brooklyn was an absolute mess this morning. Only the C train running express should affect A service, but that doesn’t require a move in the uptown direction–the C is already on the express tracks before Canal, so it just stays there. But the uptown express track was backed up into Brooklyn.

The only thing I could figure out was that there were a ton of backed up B and D trains on 6th Avenue and they were holding 8th Av trains at Columbus Circle for a time, to get those trains out of there.

Eric Brasure January 15, 2014 - 1:03 pm

I suppose it could be the additional TPH that the C added to the 8th Avenue express.

John-2 January 15, 2014 - 2:27 pm

That’s the likely cause — The way the switches are set up on both sides of 59th, you’d either have three routes (A, C & D) using the express platform at Columbus Circle before the C can cross to the local tracks north of the station, or you’d have a double switch, with the D and B using the local platform at 59th and the A and C the express, with the C and D then switching north of the station (the best option might have been to run all Concourse trains local from 145th to 59th and keep the C on the express track to 145th, but Bronx passengers likely would have been a bit miffed at that service adjustment).

Michael January 15, 2014 - 4:12 pm

I would also suspect that there is the matter of timing and the progress of knowledge of the water main problem, and the orders to re-route trains. For example – with the water main break active shutting off the middle of the Sixth Avenue line – it might make sense to do the following:

a) B and D trains are local in the Bronx in both directions, as well as local in Manhattan along CPW to 34th Street with return trips to the Bronx.

b) A and C trains run express in Manhattan from 145th Street to Canal Street, resuming regular operations in Brooklyn and Queens.

c) B and D from Brooklyn get sent over the Manhattan Bridge, with D trains ending at 57th Street, and B-trains ending at Ditmars Blvd. While Q trains travel to 21st-Queensbridge.

d) E and F trains travel local on the 8th Avenue line across 53rd Street. M-train travel across 63rd Street and down Sixth AVenue to 34th Street, and not interfer with Q-trains.

That is a nice plan for what happened. However putting such a nice plan into practice on the spur of the moment with various trains scattered all over the place is a lot easier said then done. Then there’s the duration of the outage, and the need to restore service to what is usually expected. Beyond the movements of the various trains, there the passenger element – getting the proper information to the proper folks as the usual commutes for multiple thousands is affected, helping the plenty that ae affected by the water damage. Not only are riders that the affected stations impacted but also riders on the various lines that feed and connect to those stations. And no matter what is “planned on the spur of the moment” – it will be a mess for a bit of time. The best ideas and intentions, can be made worse as new information could upset those plans. It is not easy or cute & dried.

tacony January 15, 2014 - 5:18 pm

Did the flooding at least wash some of the grime out of the West 4th station? It could use a good hose-down. It’d be a nice unintended consequence.

Bgriff January 15, 2014 - 6:41 pm

How screwed up were the trains? Well, I saw a B train at Queensboro Plaza.


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