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Regular F train service restored to Roosevelt Island with completion of tunnel work

F train service at Roosevelt Island
Regular F train service has been restored to Roosevelt Island after completion of work in the 63rd Street tunnel.
Marc A. Hermann / MTA

Regular service on the F line has been restored between Manhattan and Queens, through Roosevelt Island, following the completion of renovation work in the 63rd Street Tunnel under the East River.

Since August, F trains had been running along the E line to and from Queens to accommodate work in the tunnel, including brand new tracks and 25,000 feet of new third rail, which provides electric current powering subway trains. MTA crews also replaced signals and cables, repaired defective concrete, and sealed leaks.

Regular F train
New tracks were constructed and 25,000 feet of new third rail was laid.Marc A. Hermann / MTA

In the meantime, though, Roosevelt Island commuters were made to use an F shuttle train running along a single track at 20-minute intervals, traveling between Lexington Avenue/63rd Street in Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, and 21st Street-Queensbridge in Queens.

Meanwhile, since F trains were sharing tracks with the E line, the M train was rerouted to terminate at 57th Street in Manhattan and did not go to Queens.

Both the F and M lines resumed regular service between Manhattan and Queens at 5 a.m. on April 1. Monday morning, F trains arriving at Roosevelt Island were greeted by Greg Morrisett, dean of the island’s Cornell Tech campus, as well as Cornell Tech mascot Touchdown the Bear.

Regular F train
Cornell Tech’s Touchdown the Bear was on hand.Marc A. Hermann / MTA

The 63rd Street tunnel, originally envisioned in the MTA’s 1968 “Program for Action,” was largely completed in the 1970s but didn’t open for service until 1989, and even then it did not connect to the Queens Boulevard trunk line and thus was often deemed the “tunnel to nowhere.” The connection was completed in 2001.

The tunnel has two levels, the upper one being used by the F line. The lower one lay dormant for decades, but last year was finally activated as Long Island Rail Road service arrived at Grand Central Madison.

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