Dec 052012

Despite an announcement last week that estimated direct R-train service to Manhattan would return by the middle of December, the MTA is now saying restoration of the Montague Street Tunnel will take until the end of the year, as reported by NY 1.

The problem, officials say, is that repairs to electrical components damaged by salt water during Hurricane Sandy are taking longer than expected.

A Wall Street Journal piece by Ted Mann expands on the difficulty of refurbishing and replacing the archaic parts – often manufactured by long-defunct companies, which make up our century-old Subway system:

But other sections of the system are archaic. The Q, N and R trains that rumble beneath Broadway use some of the oldest equipment in the system, a spokesman said. Some signal equipment on the A line, meanwhile, dates to 1932, when the IND subway system first launched.

Since taking on leadership of the MTA this year, Chairman Joseph Lhota has repeatedly said that future capital spending on the system would include upgrades to less-than-sexy infrastructure, like signals.

Although R-train service in Manhattan was extended to Whitehall on Monday, the Broadway Local’s vital link to Brooklyn, at least for now, remains on the holiday wish list for Bay Ridge commuters.