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Speed Limits Increase for New York Trains

Brooklyn N and R trains can now move at faster top speeds, but only when there aren’t stopped trains ahead.
December 20, 2018, 5am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York

New York’s Subway trains are among the slowest in the county, but that may be changing. “Over the weekend, the speed limit was raised on parts of two lines in Brooklyn — the N and R trains — from 15 miles per hour to as much as 30 miles per hour. Other lines will be sped up in coming months,” Emma G. Fitzsimmons reports for The New York Times. MTA CEO Andy Byford is changing the limits on certain stretches of New York subway lines in the hopes of improving service. These limits had been put in place after a series of crashes in the '90s, but now officials are confident they can speed up trains safely, by doing it strategically.

Beyond changing regulations, Byford is also improving some of the equipment. “Workers have also started to replace faulty signals that trigger a train’s emergency brakes at low speeds, a problem investigated by The New York Times and The Village Voice that has also led to slower service,” Fitzsimmons writes.

Still, observers point out, these speed gains will only be realized when trains are running smoothly. Breakdowns or stopped trains ahead will still bring N and R trains to a halt.

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Published on Monday, December 10, 2018 in The New York Times
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