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MTA Testing New Computer-Guided Trains on 7 Line

By Katie Honan | August 9, 2013 6:59am
 The new 7 trains have been tested for a few days, according to the MTA. 
The new 7 trains have been tested for a few days, according to the MTA. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

QUEENS — It's robo-train, for Queens.

The MTA has started testing its newest 7 trains, part of a plan to roll out computer-run operations on the line much like those on the L train.

“We’re in the process of building out CBTC (communications-based train control) on the 7,” said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz of the $385 million project.

The 7 train will be the second line to have this technology. 

One test train, with seats still covered in plastic, was spotted by DNAinfo rolling through the 61st Street-Woodside station.

Ortiz said the authority started testing the trains within the last few days.

The MTA is retrofitting older R142 trains, which currently run on the Lexington line, to work with the automated technology. They will also roll out brand new R188 train models, which will run only on the 7 line.

As work continues on the line, 7 train service will be suspended between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square-42 Street from 11:45 p.m. Aug. 19 to 5 a.m. the next day.

The MTA said the new technology will be a win for straphangers, providing more reliable service, more frequent service and countdown clocks along the busy 7 line.

The project, which is expected to be completed by 2016, is almost halfway done, with conduits, fiber optic cables and instrument rooms installed, the MTA said.