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E and M train service alert: Tunnel between Queens, Manhattan closes for repairs Tuesday

NEW YORK — Subway riders who rely on the E and M trains will face major changes on those lines during the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve.

The tunnel between Queens and Manhattan that carries the E and M lines is temporarily closing from Tuesday until New Year’s Eve for “much-needed repairs,” the MTA said.

Starting at 5 a.m. on Tuesday until 8 a.m. on Sunday, all E trains are rerouted on via the F line from Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue to West 4 St, and the M line will be totally suspended.

The holiday service change is part of the MTA’s Subway Action Plan, a multi-billion initiative to improve the city’s 113-year-old system that carries 6 million customers between the five boroughs every day.

It’ll let 500 crews “get in, make extensive repairs for five days and get out,” the agency said. Workers in the 53rd Street Tunnel will replace 2,000 feet of third-rail and 700 feet of track, clear 1,000 feet of track drainage, install leak-proof grouting and 4 miles of new signal wiring, the transit agency said.

Here’s how to navigate the service changes, including how to get to the area’s major airports:

If you’re traveling to JFK:

  • Board an E train at any F stops between West 4 and Jackson Heights, then take that train all the way to the Jamaica Airtrain
  • Pick up a Rockaway-bound A train from 8 Avenue stations, including 42nd St-Port Authority and 34 St-Penn Station, and take it to the Howard Beach/JFK AirTrain

If you’re going to LaGuardia:

  • Board an E train at any F stops between West 4 and Jackson Heights, then take that train all the way to the LaGuardia Link bus connection at Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue

The basics

  • E trains will run on the F line between Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue and West 4 St
  • E trains will run to/from World Trade Center from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and all times after 5 a.m. Friday
    Weeknights, E trains will run to/from the 2 Avenue F station
  • Overnights, free shuttle buses will connect Court Square-23 Street, 21 Street-Queensbridge, and Queens Plaza stations
  • M service is suspended weekdays
  • M shuttle between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues will continue to operate
  • A and C trains will still serve Penn Station and Port Authority Bus Terminal. From there, riders have several transfer options to continue their journey to and from Manhattan

Affected stations and travel alternatives:

  • Local E and M stations between 71 Avenue and 36 Street
    • Take R train during the day
    • Take E local trains overnight
  • Queens Plaza
    • Take R train during the day
    • Free shuttle buses to 21 St-Queensbridge will run overnight
  • Court Sq-23 Street
    • Access 7 and G trains at Court Sq
    • Free shuttle buses to 21 St-Queensbridge will run overnight making E and F train stops
  • Lexington Av-53 St
    • Use 51 St to catch a 6 train
  • 5 Av-53 St
    • This station will be closed
    • Use 47-50 Sts for E and F train service
  • 7 Av
    • Take B or D trains to 47-50 Sts for E and F train service, or use 59 St-Columbus Circle to A and C train service
  • E stations between 50 St and 14 St
    • Take E along Sixth Avenue, or take A or C trains
  • E stations between W 4 St and World Trace Center
    • E trainsw ill be able availfr om 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and at all times after 5 a.m. on Friday
    • Weeknights, take A or C trains to/from W 4 St for E train service
  • M stations between Essex St and Broadway Junction
      • Take J trains on weekdays/weeknights
      • M service will be available on the weekend