It was not a pleasant start to the week for Queens subway riders.
A broken rail was part of a trio of MTA issues that delayed at least 146 trains on the 7, E, M, R and F lines during the Monday morning rush hour, according to internal MTA incident reports obtained by amNewYork.
“Reliable subway service is vital to the NYC economy & the daily life of so many. This morning’s 7 train shut down & E/M/F/R delays are outrageous — and it’s all too common,” tweeted Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “[The MTA] must fix this persistent issue to ensure the sustainability of our city.”
Photos circulated on social media showed riders packed wall-to-wall in stations across Queens and Manhattan as the MTA grappled with widespread delays.
“Happy Monday to us,” Adriana Popa tweeted with a photo of a subway stairwell overflowing with people. “I’ve been waiting for the F train for over 20 mins !”
Another commuter, Sultana Rubi, said on Twitter that a trip that typically takes her an hour turned into a three-hour ordeal.
Morning service started inauspiciously: The first issue arose just south of the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue station, where the MTA was about an hour late clearing a construction site for service when the third-rail power was restored at 6 a.m. The late clearance delayed dozens of trains that pass through the station.
Then came the broken rail spotted on the 7 line near the Queensboro Plaza station, crippling service from about 6:50 a.m. to 9 a.m.
But the MTA’s alternatives were also hampered, giving 7 line riders few choices. A track circuit failure, along with signal and switch trouble, delayed 52 more E and F trains for more than an hour starting at around 6 a.m.
While the repairs were taking place, the 7 was running in two sections — between Flushing-Main Street and Queensboro Plaza, and between Court Square and Hudson Yards — and the LIRR was cross-honoring MetroCards.
The MTA had, for a period of time, assembled shuttle buses and provided free transfers via the Long Island Rail Road at Flushing-Main St, 61 St-Woodside and Penn Station.
Full service was finally restored at 9:03 a.m.
“Crews were mobilized and began making repairs immediately,” said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.