Home Transit News Passenger Rail Another subway woe: Cuomo says power distribution must be overhauled

Another subway woe: Cuomo says power distribution must be overhauled

By: MARC SANTORA/The New York Times

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PHOTOGRAPHER: HARRISON HILL

‘To repair the MTA, we must also focus on the services that the MTA relies upon’

NEW YORK — The “summer of hell” was still months away when the power failed at the Seventh Avenue station at 53rd Street in the heart of Manhattan. The backup power supply also failed. At 7:30 a.m., trains pulling in and out of the station were halted. Then trains behind those trains screeched to a stop. On and on it went until nearly half the city’s subway lines were delayed, and hundreds of thousands of commuters were stranded underground, many for hours.

Even during a season when aging infrastructure and overcrowding have created a vortex of suffering for commuters, that a relatively routine power problem at a single subway station could cascade so far and so fast set off alarms.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an investigation into what caused the April meltdown, and this week, even before the findings have been formally released, said the results were clear: The entire power distribution system for the subway needed to be overhauled.

“To repair the MTA, we must also focus on the services that the MTA relies upon,” Cuomo said. “The No. 1 necessity is a reliable power supply.”

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