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MTA deploys ‘magnetic wands’ to remove delay-causing subway debris

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The agency will use 1,000 wands that clean insulated joints as part of its Subway Action Plan

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomor - Kevin P. Coughlin/Flickr.

Governor Andrew Cuomo spent a portion of his day on Thursday touring the MTA’s Ninth Avenue subway station as the agency gave him a hands-on demonstration of how it’s using “innovative magnetic wands” to remove materials on subway tracks that are responsible for red-signal delays.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA announced plans to order an additional 700 magnetic wands, used to remove conductive material on tracks that lead to joint failures, and will also work to replace insulated joints. What this basically means is that the subway’s block signal system, which is responsible for making sure that trains don’t come into contact with each other, will get a nice cleaning so that particles such as steel dust don’t send the wrong signals and cause red light delays.

The agency already has 300 magnetic wands in its toolbox, but the additional 700 will allow the MTA to clean half of the subway’s 22,000 insulated joints by November of this year.

“These brilliantly simple tools have already helped us remove almost 600 pounds of delay-causing steel dust and we look forward to removing a significant amount more thanks to the now fully0funded Subway Action Plan,” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford.

Will this work to make your commute better? We can only hope so.

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomor - Kevin P. Coughlin/Flickr.