Today in interesting but kind of harrowing news, parts of the New York City subway system still function on infrastructure that’s about as old as the Great Depression. Don’t completely freak out though, because plans to install a Communications-Based Train Control System (CBTC), a modern mechanism that allows the MTA to see a train’s speed and location in real-time, is coming to the Queens Boulevard line (EFMR and 7 lines in Queens), according to the MTA.
The system is already in place off the L train, and MTA just inked a $205.8 million deal to expand this system to the Flushing 7 line.
A video produced by the MTA shows that for basically every train with a letter name, MTA staffers flip switches that signify the safe and unsafe conditions that mandate conductors to stop and go. In other words, pretty antiquated technology is still quite common in our subway system, and that might be responsible for the groan-worthy delays you’re so accustomed to.
This video offers a close-up glimpse of some of these stations, where train tracks are manipulated and interlocked by workers pulling levers and pressing buttons, and where machinery built in the 1930s is still used to ensure the safe movement of trains.
Watch it below:
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