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The Power to Change Things

If you ever doubt that one person can't do anything to change things, here's an example to the contrary, albeit not necessarily a very positive one:

A fire that began with a homeless person trying to keep warm by igniting wood and refuse in a shopping cart has crippled two of the city's subway lines, which might not be restored to normal capacity for three to five years, officials said today.

The Sunday afternoon blaze in Lower Manhattan was described as the worst damage to subway infrastructure since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It gutted a locked room that is no larger than a kitchen but contains some 600 relays, switches and circuits that transmit vital information about train locations.

"This is a very significant problem, and it's going to go on for quite a while," said the president of New York City Transit, Lawrence G. Reuter. He estimated that it would take "several millions of dollars and several years" to reassemble and test the intricate network of custom-built switch relays on which the two lines rely.

In the meantime, long waits and erratic service are likely to be the norm on the A and C lines.


In a statement, the transit agency said there were "no plans for the restoration of C service in the near future."

If I were still living in my old apartment in NYC this would have directly affected me; the Spring Street C/E station was half a block from me and I took the C several times a week.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 25, 2005 10:12 AM.

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