Number 7 train drama

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Subway and bus riders are familiar with service changes and disruptions. The 7 train often is a source of aggravation.

On Tuesday night, signals failed due to a power failure. That resulted in a temporary shutdown of the line at rush hour and, into the evening, the trains did not run past Roosevelt Avenue.

Here’s the full statement from the MTA:

Last evening’s rush period was a particularly challenging one for our customers who depend on the Flushing Line and for that we apologize. This is what happened: At 4:40 p.m., a failure was reported in an electric line that powers the signals.  With signals dark, we were forced to suspend 7 service between Times Square and Main Street, Flushing.

Workers were immediately dispatched to the area and limited service was restored between Times Square and 74th Street at approximately 5:25 p.m. Meanwhile, buses were brought in to ferry customers between 74th Street and Main Street.  We realize, however, that buses cannot replace the capacity of a fully functioning railroad and thousands of commuters were left inconvenienced.

The problem was corrected at about 8 p.m., but before customer service could resume, test trains were run in order to make certain that all equipment was functioning properly and as designed. Full service between Times Square and 74th Street was resumed at 8:34 p.m.

This incident was unavoidable but it serves to underscore the continued and urgent need to maintain and upgrade the 7 Flushing Line’s aging signal infrastructure. This work is currently underway and while it will cause ongoing inconvenience in the form of scheduled service interruptions, the goal is a modern, state-of-the-art signaling system which will be far more efficient and reliable.