Coney Island Complex
Interior of the Coney Island Overhaul & Repair Shop, with R-46 car number 5540. Photo by Zach Summer, January 2010.
The New York City Transit Complex at Coney Island is one of the largest transportation facilities in North America. Opened in 1926, the Coney Island Complex occupies 75 acres of land in the southern part of Brooklyn, New York. The main parts of the Coney Island Complex are as follows:
Overhaul & Repair Shop. The overhaul and repair shop is a 24/7 operation providing extensive repair and major overhaul services for the entire subway and Staten Island Rapid Transit fleet. It is comprised of three separate buildings, the Main Overhaul Shop (360,000 square feet), the Electric Motor Repair Shop (37,500 square feet), and the Pneumatic Shop (30,000 square feet). This area is responsible for all repairs (electrical, mechanical, and structural) necessary to restore a car to a safe and reliable condition for passenger service. There is also a paint shop, which paints components for all subway cars such as compressors, tread brake units, fiberglass seats and various under-carriage parts. The overhaul shop also works on maintaining and restoring the cars in the fleet of the New York Transit Museum. Within the Overhaul Shop there are four 30-ton cranes capable of moving entire subway cars from one work station to another.
Wheel, Truck, & Axle Shop. This shop repairs axles, wheels, and trucks for the subway and SIRT fleets. It is certified by the Association of American Railroads, which means that the shop is qualified to do repair work for any main line railroad in the United States. Some of the major equipment here is the wheel boring machine, which reconditions the center of the wheel where it joins the axle, and the wheel truing machine, which puts a new profile on a pair of subway wheels after excessive or unusual wear.
Maintenance/Inspection Shop. Handles day to day maintenance and inspection for trains in daily service on the B, D, F, M, N, Q, and Franklin Shuttle lines.
Yards. The three storage yards have the capacity for storing nearly 1,800 subway cars. The Coney Island Tower serves as a command center coordinating the moves of subway cars. The Car Wash cleans the exteriors of over 1,000 cars approximately once a week for a yearly total of 50,000 washes.
Other shops in this facility include the Pneumatic Shop, which supplies air brake units for the entire fleet of over 5,803 subway cars and approximately 500 non-revenue cars; the Traction Motor Shop, which overhauls ever year approx. 4,000 traction motors for the subway fleet; the Small Motor Shop, which works on the motors for air conditioning, pneumatic air compressors, etc.; the Support Shops (Wood Mill, Machine, Sheet Metal, and Blacksmith Shops) manufacture and rehabilitate all required items for the Car Repair Shop and other equipment needs; the Shoe Beam Shop, which processes approx. 2,500 third-rail shoe beams per year; and the Battery Shop, which restores up to 1,000 battery sets to like-new condition each year. There are also materiel storage rooms, a medical center, a police firing range, and various training facilities on the Coney Island site.
The New Coney Island Shops. Articles from BMT Monthly and Electric Railway Journal, 1926-1929, that describe the new shop facilities, improvement in work flows developed, and motor, truck, wheel, gear, and axle maintenance.