BMT Canarsie Line automation

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has plans to upgrade the entire New York City Subway system with communication-based train control (CBTC) technology, that will control the speed and starting and stopping of subway trains. Trains localize themselves based on measuring their distance past fixed transponders located between the rails - about every station or so. Trains report their location to a wayside Zone Controller via radio, and the Controller issues Movement Authorities to the trains. This technology upgrade (which is already used on subway systems such as Bay Area Rapid Transit)Fact|date=July 2007 will allow trains to be operated at closer distances (increasing capacity), with greatly enhanced safety compared to the current analog signalling/human control system, and will allow the MTA to keep track of trains in real time and provide more information to the public regarding train arrivals and delays.cite news| url = | title = Subways Run by Computers Start on L Line This Summer | accessdate = 2007-05-24 | first=Sewell | last=Chan | date = 2005-01-14 | publisher = "The New York Times"] Only newer-generation rolling stock that were first delivered in the early 2000s (R142, R143 and subsequent models) can utilize the CBTC operation.

The BMT Canarsie Line was the first line to implement the automated technology.cite news| url = | title = For Less Crowding on L Train, Think 2010, Report Says | accessdate = 2007-05-24 | first=William | last=Neuman | date = 2007-05-22 | publisher = "The New York Times"] The MTA plans to complete installation of the CBTC on the entire subway system by 2050.Fact|date=June 2007

Initial operations

The Canarsie Line, on which the L subway service runs, was chosen for CBTC pilot testing because it is a self-contained line that does not operate in conjunction with other subway lines in the New York City subway system. The 10-mile length of the Canarsie Line is also shorter than the majority of other subway lines. As a result, the signaling requirements and complexity of implementing CBTC are easier to install and test than the more complicated subway lines that have junctions and share trackage with other lines.

The project was first proposed in 1992 and approved by the MTA in 1997. Installation of the signal system was begun in 2000 and was mostly completed by December 2006. Due to an unexpected ridership increase on the Canarsie Line, the MTA will order more cars to be put into service by 2010, which will enable the agency to operate 26 trains per hour up from the May 2007 service level of 15 trains per hour, an achievement that would not be possible without the CBTC tehnology.

Future CBTC lines

The next line to have CBTC installed will be the IRT Flushing Line (7 service). The Flushing line is being chosen for the next implementation of CBTC because it is also a self contained line with no direct connections to other subway lines currently in use. Funding is in the 2005–2009 capital budget for CBTC installation on the 7 subway line, scheduled for budget year 2007. No current funding is available for implementation of CBTC on other New York City Subway lines.

Completion of CBTC on the entire NYC subway system is not expected until 2050, a completion date that many have criticized as being too slow. The current analog signalling/human control train control system used in the NYC subway system is based on Automatic Relay Signalling technology that dates back to the early 20th Century. It is so antiquated that many of the parts have to be custom built for the MTA, as these signalling systems are no longer produced as regular product lines. The MTA says it could implement CBTC more quickly if it had proper funding to do so, but due to current funding constraints, the MTA is projecting the project will have a 2050 completion date. Other factors, such as the 24-hour operation and complexity of the NYC subway system contribute to the drawn out completion projection.

CBTC will be particularly difficult to implement on heavily used lines that interconnect with other subway lines, as there might be signalling overlaps, service interruptions and other issues to deal with during CBTC implementation.Fact|date=February 2007

See also

*Second Avenue Subway
*7 Line Extension


External links

* [ Metropolitan Transit Authority] - The New York agency that runs the subway
* [ Route and Stations of the L Subway Line] - L Subway Route Map and Station Listing
* [] - An Interesting Look at The History of the New York Subway

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