New York

Track Fire at Herald Square Briefly Disrupts Subway Service Friday

What to Know

  • Gov. Cuomo has declared an MTA state of emergency, asking the new chairman Joe Lhota to do a series of urgent reviews
  • The city's subways and commuter trains have been plagued by rising delays and unreliable service
  • MTA Chairman Lhota has been tasked with coming up with a reorganization plan in 30 days and an equipment review in 60 days.

Subway service on the N, Q, R and W lines was briefly disrupted Friday morning because of a small track fire at Herald Square, the MTA said. 

Fire officials say they got a call about the possible fire at West 32nd Street and Sixth Avenue shortly before 8:30 a.m. Northbound R and W trains were running express from Canal Street to 57th Street, with delays affecting N and Q trains, but the MTA said the fire on the N/R tracks self-extinguished and normal service had resumed by about 9:15 a.m.

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At least three people riding a Q train tweeted that their subway passed through the smoke, with their conductor specifically warning they should not be alarmed. Photos posted to social media showed several firefighters on the hazy platform.

Riders also reported being held at other stations as authorities investigated.

It wasn't the only issue on the subways Friday morning. Mechanical problems at Park Place caused disruptions on northbound 2 and 3 trains, while a "hanging sign" at 14th Street rerouted some southbound 4 and 5 trains, the MTA tweeted. Later, another train with mechanical problems caused 7 train delays. And signal problems at Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn caused delays on the F and G lines for more than an hour early in the afternoon.

Friday's commute was just the latest in a series of headaches for subway riders. (See timeline below.)

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