Subway Stations Flood

Some that TransLink and its allies, the Broadway subway lobby fail to mention is that subways and subway stations, by their very nature become massive sumps, if there is a flood, either by storm or by water-main breaks.

Subway station flooding is not uncommon, especially on older systems, which the underground utilities above the station age as well.

So the next time the shills and claques beat the drum for a Broadway subway, remind them of station flooding and what measures (read expensive) will be taken to prevent it.


New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority [MTA] restored subway service Sunday to a flooded Bronx station, the Time Warner Cable News “NY 1” site reports:

Water main break floods Bronx subway station
“Train Service Restored at Flooded Bronx Subway Station

By: NY1 News
10:01 AM (Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014)
TWC News: Train Service Restored at Flooded Bronx Subway Station
Play now

6 train service has been restored in the Bronx after crews finished cleaning up the mess left by Saturday’s massive water main break.

They had to pump out 800,000 gallons of water, that spilled into the East 143rd Street station.

Then crews had to clean up the muck and debris on the tracks.

That meant commuters had to find other ways to get aroundai??i??by taking shuttle buses.

No word on what caused the 48-inch water main to break.


7 Responses to “Subway Stations Flood”
  1. Haveacow says:

    The water main broke because it was 90-100 years old! This is why in many North American cities as soon as someone starts proposing the digging of the shallow trench (1 metre average depth) needed for surface LRT construction, other city departments come in and require that the whole road needs to be dug up because the water and sewer pipes also need to be done. The process usually starts by the city engineers saying, “look in 5-7 years were going to have to dig it up anyway, regardless if there is a LRT line or not. So lets put in the new pipes now and we get it all done at once.” The those same Engineers are asked if they have the budget to do the work at all? The usual answer is, “no but, it will be easier to get money for this project if our infrastructure replacement project requirement is part of the total project”, which is true. Then those costs get added to the project. There is so much water and sewer work needed to be done in so many places across North America the adding of these costs are often just automatic.

    Keep in mind, because of WW2 and the devastation that it caused in most of the main continental European cities, many of their sewers and water mains were replaced in the period between 1945-65. Many of the road and underground infrastructure in these cities as well as the operation of the services were completely replaced and modernized. The level of destruction allowed most of the services and infrastructure to be rebuilt almost completely from scratch (because they had to). During this period the concept of LRT began to appear in Europe and went hand in hand with this reconstruction of the cities. The UK for example, has a harder time building LRT partly because their cities were not as severely damaged in WW2 and therefore much less infrastructure needed to be replaced. Now every time someone proposes an LRT line in a British city, infrastructure people come out of the wood work all looking to somehow get on the LRT bandwagon and get their respective services replaced using LRT money, instead of theirs. Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Croydon come to mind because all of these systems had extra costs tagged on to replace old infrastructure during the construction period.

    Zwei replies: it is interesting to note that in France, the onus is on the owner, not the transit authority, of the underground utilities to pay for relocation or upgrades, thus much less is done as in the UK.

    We must remeber that on Broadway, the streetcars were operating before the large sewerage and water mains were emplaced, thus they are located in the gutter lanes.

  2. Richard says:

    And in BC, don’t forget, that most of these utilities are publicly owned

    Zwei replies: If a subway is built, the same utilities will have to be moved or changed. if LRT is built on Broadway, no need as the major utilities are in the gutter lanes.

  3. zweisystem says:

    Living in the UK, both in London and Nottingham, I can attest that a lot of gas lines, etc. use lead pipe!

    As Nottingham was one of the UK’s first industrialized cities (where the Luddites did a lot of damage) a lot of infrastructure is definitely Victorian or Edwardian and some sewerage works date back to the late Georgian era!.

  4. Richard says:

    It depends. For the construction of some of the stations on the Canada Line, the pipes were suspended over the pits during construction and the station was built under or around them.

    Note that in NYC, if there was LRT there, the wires would have likely been damaged during the hurricane requiring expensive repairs as well. No form of transportation is immune to really bad weather.

  5. Haveacow says:

    Oh hell Zwei,

    One of the big water mains on Rideau Street in the core of downtown blew out a few years ago producing a nice sized water spout. It was from 1878 and made of wood (yes it was still in use) the streetcars didn’t arrive on Rideau Street till the 1890’s. We don’t need European cities to find Victorian aged infrastructure most of out cities in North America are still relying on some. What’s really fun is what they find when they do put in new infrastructure. Last year they started digging at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto, under the subway line to put in the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT. In one of the side access shafts they found a cache of weapons from the late 1830’s. They figure that it was hidden with other weapon storage sites in the area because the Yonge and Eglinton Area (particularly Montgomery’s Inn on Yonge Street north of Eglinton) was a battle site during the rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada. The farmers were easily defeated by a force of regular troops but, it was always a rumor that others hid weapon supplies to prepare for the next revolution that was to begin sometime in the early 1840’s and would oust the Family Compact once and for all.

  6. jim says:

    Interesting about the replacement of services at the same time. In Abbotsford they would never think that far ahead. They dig up roads after repaving them only a month or so prior. Terrible planning here.

  7. Rico says:

    Hi Zwei,

    Just for kicks I went on VAN MAPS to check utility locations at Oak and Broadway. Water lines are center lane…just saying….

    Zwei replies: Just being replaced only a few years back, they would not have to moved.

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