Brooklyn Boro

Coney Island Subway Yard gets protected against storms, flooding

On 74 acres, one of largest yards In US, maintains fleet of 800 cars

August 17, 2021 Raanan Geberer
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Work is underway to fortify and enhance the MTA’s flood-vulnerable Coney Island Yard Complex, the largest rapid-transit yard in New York State and one of the largest in North America, and this will make a service change necessary during the fall and early winter.

The super-transit complex covers 74 acres and operates around the clock. It performs regular maintenance for a fleet of about 800 cars and contains car washing and painting facilities. It also services cars needing heavy maintenance and overhaul, and has several storage yards for cars resting on “layup” between peak periods.

It even has a gym and medical center for MTA New York City Transit employees — as well as a firing range for cops of the NYPD’s Transit Division.

Unfortunately, because the yard complex was built on low-lying former marshlands, it has been vulnerable to flooding. During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, according to Politico, it was inundated with 27 million gallons of water and debris that damaged 18 subway cars, more than 22 miles of power and communications cables, and more than 39,000 feet of track.

The latest phase of the shoring-up project will see new flood walls, flood gates, drainage and pump stations installed to help protect the system against future severe weather events. Once completed, these fortifications will allow Coney Island Yard to withstand storm surges similar to those seen during Sandy, according to the transit agency. 

Subway cars ready for service at the MTA’s Coney Island Yard Complex in 2012. These-model cars have since been retired. Wikipedia photo by Wuse1007

“Superstorm Sandy showed us that we need to ensure that all of our NYC Transit facilities need to be protected, resilient and fortified against future natural disasters,” said MTA New York City Transit Interim President Craig Cipriano. “The Coney Island Yard Complex is key to maintaining the structure and integrity of our subway system.” 

As a result of the ongoing work for 15 weeks, starting Sept. 18, 2021, and continuing through Jan. 3, 2022, there will be no D train (West End line) service between Bay 50th Street and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. 

Fortunately, several other lines terminate at Coney Island. D train riders seeking to go to Coney can transfer to the N or Q at Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, to the F line at West 4th Street, or to the N line at 36th Street or at 62nd Street-New Utrecht Avenue. There will also be a free shuttle bus between Bay 50th Street and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue.

This fortification project is being managed by MTA Construction and Development and is part of the agency’s capital program. 

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