Several escalators in the 86th Street station on the Second Avenue subway line are out of service.
Several escalators in the 86th Street station on the Second Avenue subway line are out of service due to water damage. (MTA Flickr)

Less than six months after opening, Manhattan’s Second Avenue subway has fallen prey to an equipment malfunction: Escalators are out of service at the line’s 86th Street station.

The escalators at the station’s 83rd Street entrance went out of service after sustaining water damage when faulty sensors activated the station’s sprinkler system on Monday, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told Metro via email Wednesday.

“We are working around-the-clock to repair the escalators and hope to have a better assessment soon,” Ortiz said.

To help alleviate commuter bottlenecks while the escalators are being repaired, additional MTA staff will be on hand on the platform and mezzanine levels to direct foot traffic.


Ortiz said the nature of the repair work is complicated “because of the water damage and repair includes examining every single step — 250-plus steps — on the escalators to ensure that they are safe when we restart them.”

The malfunction at the 86th Street station comes just days after the MTA unveiled a six-point plan that aims to get to the root of frequent issues plaguing its more-than-100-year-old subway system — and regain straphangers’ confidence.

Adding 750 new cars to its train fleet through September 2018, improving tech that addresses those ever-present “signal issues” and focusing on alleviating bottlenecks at areas where multiple train lines merge are among the focal points of the new initiative.

Phase I of the century-in-the-making Second Avenue subway officially opened to the public on Jan. 1 and was the largest expansion of the city’s subway system in 50 years, according to

Service on the line will eventually extend from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in the Financial District and include 16 new stations and easy transfers to other lines and commuter rail. 

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