The MTA sent out an odd notice on Monday, stating that trains had to skip the 72nd Street station on the Broadway line because of a “dust condition.”
2 and 3 service changes and delays are in effect because of a dust condition at 72 St. See https://t.co/gYecYgUkcv
— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) November 27, 2017
The dust was originally thought to be smoke, according to the Daily News. People were apparently having trouble breathing on Sunday night too because of the poor air quality.
I took the 1 train uptown last night from 14th street to 72nd. Took me half an hour. Most of that was between 42nd and 72nd. We crawled along the line. The dust was so bad that my lungs didn’t go back to feeling normal until some time afterwards.
— Chaim Dauermann (@ChaimDauermann) November 27, 2017
The MTA says it was caused by a dust cloud formed when workers scraped gunk out of drains and troughs.
“The work involved scraping the roadbed of nontoxic sediment and caked dirt composed of trash, newspaper, lint and hairs from the throngs of commuters who pass through the station every day.
Tarek said it was unusual that the gunk would dry up and create a dust cloud, but the area was parched and arriving trains kicked up the dirt.”
A transit blogger also weighed in.
So I've heard more about this morning's dust condition. It's related to part of the Subway Action Plan related to ROW maintenance. Material related to drain cleaning dried out too soon and turned to dust. I have no idea what anyone was breathing.
— Second Ave. Sagas (@2AvSagas) November 27, 2017
File photo of 72nd Street station.