The MTA will take advantage of a period of low ridership at the end of the year to perform critical signal and power upgrades on the E, M, and J lines, which will be operating on a restricted schedule through the end of the year. The scheduled work will allow them to fit a month’s worth of weekend repairs into just a few days. Work on the E and M will be wrapped up before New Year’s and should not affect your travel plans, but repairs on the J will continue into the first week of 2019.
The 53rd Street E and M tunnel will close in order to transition the line to a Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system. In addition, crews will be installing rails, plates, tie blocks and track ties, performing preventive switch maintenance, and upgrading communications, signals and electrical infrastructure. Installing CBTC on the Queens Boulevard Line is an important step to address overcrowding and heavy subway ridership by allowing MTA to run subway trains more closely together, increasing passenger capacity and allowing more frequent service.
The work will be performed between Queens Plaza and 50 Street-8 Avenue in Manhattan, from 4:45 a.m. on Wednesday, December 26, until 5 a.m. on Monday, December 31. E trains will be rerouted along the F line between Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue and West 4 Street. M trains will run between Metropolitan Avenue and Chambers Street. F trains will continue to serve Queens Plaza except overnights, when free shuttle buses will be available to 21 Street- Queensbridge and Court Square. Regular service – including additional service to accommodate New Year’s Eve traffic – will be in place before the festivities begin on December 31.
A portion of the J will be closed in Queens through January 7th to address repair work near the line’s Jamaica Center terminal. From 9:30 p.m. on Friday, December 28, 2018 to 5 a.m. on Monday, January 7, 2019, J trains will operate only between Broad St and 121 Street in both directions, at all hours. Free shuttle buses will make stops at Jamaica-Van Wyck and 121 Street. Customers going to Parsons Blvd-Archer Avenue and Sutphin Blvd-Archer Avenue should use the E line.
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