7 train service into Manhattan will shut down for eight weekends as the MTA tests new signal technology.
The first of the interruptions will begin this March. Service between Queensboro Plaza and 34 St-Hudson Yards will halt between 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and 5 a.m. on following Mondays during all four weekends of the month.
Shutdowns will pick up in the fall, with four more closures planned in October and November. The schedule is subject to change based on inclement weather.
The agency is spending $774 million to install what’s known as Communications Based Train Control, a modern signaling system that’s already in place along the L train. The interruptions are needed to test the system, which will be replacing signal equipment that ranges between 50 and 90 years old.
Once the new signal system goes live—expected by the end of the year—the MTA will be able to more closely track train movements, which will allow it to run more trains on the increasingly popular line.
“A safe, reliable Flushing Line is critical to the growth of Queens and these projects are critical to the future of the line,” New York City Transit Acting President Darryl Irick said in statement. “Replacing old tracks means a smoother, faster ride for customers, and installing a modern signal system means less crowded and more reliable commutes.”
To accommodate commuters, the MTA will be operating free shuttle bus service in Queens making all stops at Queensboro Plaza, Queens Plaza, Court Sq, Hunters Point Av, and Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av stations. W trains will also run on the weekends during the closures, alongside N trains, to absorb trips between Queens and Manhattan.