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State officials announce storm strategies for public transportation

Buses navigate the snow in Midtown Manhattan on

Buses navigate the snow in Midtown Manhattan on Jan. 21, 2014. Photo Credit: MTA

State officials will serve up scraper "shoes" to clear LIRR train rails, "storm fighting centers" and other strategies to keep public transportation mayhem to a minimum as a nor'easter visits the region on one of the biggest travel days of the year.

New York City subways

Storm control center will direct local storm fighting centers in deploying resources.

Sixty-one locomotives and 22 rider cars will be available to carry crews and equipment to snow removal sites and also serve as rescue trains.

Eight new locomotives and 79 trains will have scraper shoes to remove ice and snow from the third rail.

Signal equipment has been winterized to direct almost 220 miles of outdoor tracks.

New York City buses

Salt trucks with plows have been assigned to each bus depot to work with city sanitation crews and trucks to clear bus routes.

Tires will have snow chains for traction, and articulated buses will be retrofitted with all season tires.

Tracking technology will alert managers if bus service falls below minimum standards on a route.

Metro-North Railroad

Twenty-two extra trains will depart from Grand Central Terminal between 1-4 p.m.

More than 100 track workers will be on hand starting 5 p.m. Wednesday to clear snow from platforms and rail switches.

Chain saw crews will clear trees that fall across the tracks.

Patrol trains will operate overnight if needed to keep the tracks clear.

Low-tech items, such as brooms and hair dryers, will be used with plows and jet engine snowblowers to keep tracks clear.

Cold air blowers will be used to combat snow buildup at switches.

MTA bridges and tunnels

Almost 9,200 tons of roadway de-icer are available.

Electronic weather sensors will deliver real-time information on roadway surface temperatures, wind velocity, precipitation and other data via wireless communications to help direct de-icing operations. They will also determine if speed restrictions are needed.

Long Island Rail Road

Switch heaters will be turned on 5 a.m. Wednesday to ensure track switches function despite ice accumulation.

Diesel locomotives will be positioned at key locations in case they are needed to tow disabled trains.

Two de-icer trains are on standby, and third-rail scraper shoes have been placed on some electric trains.

Nine extra eastbound trains will depart Penn Station between 1:46 p.m. and 4:06 p.m. to handle the holiday rush.

Station waiting rooms will remain open throughout Wednesday night.

A fleet of snow-fighting equipment, including nine jet snowblowers and two snow broom machines, have been tested and placed throughout the system.


A dashboard, storm-monitoring system will track immobilized vehicles and customers of Access-A-Ride.

New York City Transit has set up procedures with city officials and first responders to rescue customers stranded on Access-A-Ride vehicles and those who develop medical needs during the storm.

Source: NY Governor's office

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