Major upgrade planned for New York's 42nd Street Shuttle

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Improvements on New York City Transits 42nd Street Shuttle include eliminating this curve at the Times Square terminus. That, in turn, will eliminate a large gap between the train and platform and allow full accessibility for the mobility-impaired.
TRAINS: David Lassen

NEW YORK — Work will begin Aug. 16 on a significant upgrade of the New York City Transit’s 42nd Street Shuttle, the short but heavily used connection between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced plans Friday for work on the shuttle, which needs just 90 seconds to cover its 2,400-foot route and dates to the opening of the city’s first subway line in 1904.

The current three-track operation will be consolidated to two tracks with a central boarding platform at each end, new signals, and an upgraded electrical system. Trains will be increased from four to six cars.

At Times Square, the terminal will be made fully compliant with the American With Disabilities Act, with a wider platform. The curve at the terminal will be eliminated; straightening the track will eliminate large platform gaps and make the shuttle fully accessible for mobility-impaired customers. A new station entrance and new turnstile area will be added, along with upgrades including new walls, paint, lighting, and signage. At Grand Central Station, a new staircase will be added to allow faster access to and from the platform.

Work will be conducted in phases to minimize service disruptions. The project is expected to be complete in 2022.

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