Rubén M.Cenzano

Chartered Civil Engineer specialised in Transportation

Ingeniero de Caminos especialista en Transporte

NYC's metro gradual transition to CBTC (Communications-Based Train Control) @NYCTSubway

Posted On Tuesday, 29 September 2015


This small half-documentary half-promotional video has a special charm: watch how the electronic equipment from ancient times is still used in New York, one of the largest and busiest subway networks in the world. It still uses the 1930's famous meter cables and relays to control the trains and operate the route signs and stations.


Use an electric system almost a century old in a city such as New York has its own complications: no spare parts to replace relays, valves and other components and there is only one company that makes some of them on demand. The rest is recycled as much as possible each time it is "modernized" by any plausible alternative. Such is the shortage that the 1930's original copper cables are kept for future repairs.

Replace the old systems for modern ones is a tremendous cost, not to mention the inconvenience of closing tube lines for several days. Although networks like New York would benefit from CBTC equipment the reality is that this transition can only be done gradually in a very slow pace.
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