Unless you’re an intensely private musician about to release a secret album or the organizer of a weather-dependent event, Twitter is probably not the ideal forum for a surprise announcement that affects tens of thousands of people's daily lives. However, the MTA threw the caution to the wind yesterday and officially announced the immediate five-month closure of an N train tunnel via a reply to a twitter account called @WheresTheDTrain.
Good morning. This work started this morning and is expected to be completed sometime in Dec 2018. ^JP— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) July 30, 2018
The reply was instigated yesterday when the D, N and R lines were experiencing massive delays while their official status on the MTA’s site remained “Good Service.” Commuters began to suspect that something may have been amiss when they saw that a literal, giant blue wall had been constructed over the N express line at 59th St, most likely resulting in service along those tracks to be less-than-good.
And excuse me, now I am at 59th Street and this blue wall is literally blocking the N express line. Yet utterly no explaination why? There is not even basic signage. WTF is this? How can anyone plan their trip “accordingly” with a literal wall like that just being there?!? @NY1 pic.twitter.com/5kt1GW6S0k— Jack Szwergold (@JackSzwergold) July 30, 2018
It turns out that the great blue wall of mystery had been constructed over the weekend for previously announced repair work on the N line. The new, previously unannounced information, however, was that the repair work for those “necessary structural repairs” from 59th to 36 Streets would not last for just one weekend, but for five months.
“We had issues and challenges coordinating internally and the planned change was not properly communicated to our customers,” NYC Transit Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer said in a statement to Metro. The MTA’s website and app now reflect the changes to N service in Sunset Park, and announcements are being made. “We deeply apologize for our significant errors today and know that we need to do better. We are working through our policies and procedures to ensure this does not happen again.”
The planned work in the tunnel should only result in a small service change for the duration of the repairs—two additional stops at 45th and 53rd Streets for N train riders. Yesterday’s problems were hopefully a one-time-only error that prevented D trains being routed onto the express tracks. The great blue mystery wall, however, will be remaining with us until the holiday season.